SALAH GOSH, AWAD ABU JAAZ AND TAHA HAVE DECLARED WAR ON REFERRENDUM by Yohannes Kong Tut, Juba, South Sudan
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Aug 7, 2010 - 12:22:28 PM
SALAH GOSH, AWAD ABU JAAZ AND TAHA HAVE DECLARED WAR ON REFERRENDUM
Salah Gosh made it clear on July 30 that his government would not accept the ruling of the International Court of Justice on Abyei. On July 31 Awad Abu Jaaz said " We will never accept the secession of the South" whereas VP Taha reiterated his position on August 2, 2010 saying that if South is allowed to separate it would continue to split even more and more into minor tribal entities. Taha, Awad and Gosh have all declared their intentions vaguely against the will of the people of South Sudan but nevertheless their stance would never shaken the position of the people of South Sudan in the upcoming referrendum to be conducted on January 9, 2011. There is no doubt that NCP and other Northern opposition parties are turning the CPA into a nightmare by downplaying the objective of the people of South Sudan and by deploying tactics in place to delay the demarcation of borders as to pastphone the referrendum. In this article, I want to empathise the needs for Southerners to think about the two decade war that resulted into lost of two million lives, left the region in ruin and displaced its inhabitants as refugees in neighbouring countries. Remaining in a united Sudan is a breeding of another war which will result in more devastation than two decade war which was ended five years ago. Salah Gosh, Abu Jaaz and Taha are all Mujahedeen (Islamic militants) and to understand their position, I would begin to go first through a brief history of marginalization of Southerners by regimes that have come and gone in Khartoum before and since 1956, underlying assumptions of NCP and Popular Uprising, Egypt and Libya's position on referrendum, strategies the SPLM/A should adapt to in the changing face of the CPA and the way forward.
Brief history of marginalization in South Sudan
Since the era of condominium rule in the Sudan, Egypt had demonstrated a greater influence in Sudan particularly in the South by wanting to steal its resources and exploiting its people. Egypt and the authorities in North Sudan have asserted their influence in the South fully controlling its resources while its inhabitants were considered non-elite, pastoralists and hunters who had no means of good livelihood rather than reliance on cattle and farming. Egypt and Northen authorities had gradually planned to displace the people of South Sudan over time. In this aspect it was planned that Southerners would be asked to join Uganda, Kenya and Zaire (current DRC). That is why there was Rei Al Misri everywhere in South Sudan. Had it not been the fact that Southerners became enlightened to form the Anyanyas, we would have been mingled with Turkana of Kenya, Acholi of Uganda and Zandi of Zaire. During the era of Nimeri hundreds of thausands of Egyptians were flown to South to live in Rei Al Misris to establish their adminstrative centres and to run corporate businesses in the region of the South as a mean to accelerate the displacement of Southerners. Referrendum is the only chance left for us to gain our independence. Those who have been secretly bribed to speak up in favour of unity are not to be considered heroes in any way because they are betrayers of their people and land. It is true that there are some within the SPLM/A who are opting for unity which is totally misleading, degrading and ruining to Southerners. Given the reality of this brief history of marginalization in the South for decades, it would be wise if South secede as an independent country and probably the newest state in the world. Unity of Sudan has no room in the hearts of Southerners as it will relapse us back to the oppression of NCP.
Underlying assumptions of NCP and Popular Uprising
NCP and Popular Uprising of Turabi are striving for the same strategic goal. Even though differences and disputes exist between these two parties, they are considered minor when it comes to achieving the overriding common objectives. Turabi's popular uprising and Bashir's National Islamic Front's party as it used to be before it transformation into NCP, are parties accredited with the tasks of spreading Islam in Africa through first establishing a dominant Arab subculture in the region of South Sudan and gradually extend this objective to the rest of the continent gradually. The reason why sharia law is strongly implemented in Sudan derive from the militant nature of these two parties. During the Islamic conference of the early 1990s, NIF had assumed the task of spreading Islam in South Sudan and the rest of Africa as a mean to be credited or acclaimed as Islamic hero by values and virtues of its achievements in Arab world. This led to the establishment of more Khalwas, muslim religious schools, and the formation of a Jihad group called Dufah al Shahabi. At that time Turabi became obsessed with rights, freedoms and vows of being a Jiihad and the commitment to life in that manner of Jihad-wheeled direction. During this secret islmic conference of 1990s, missions were stratified to radically islamise the globe by Osama bin Ladin while he was in Port Sudan few days before he could leave for Afghanistan. Turabi and Bashir were assigned the task of islamising Africa starting first with South Sudan as Kenya, Uganda and other countries were perceived weak and easy to islamise. This move led to the flow of more muslim groups such as shiite, ismailis, Aramain al kheria..etc to South to preach different idialogies on spreading islam and maintenance of one's rights and virtues in that path. This is an on-going development even now in the Sudan and tha is why attempts to disolve the sharia in order to cling to democratic transformation have failed drastically. These underlying assumptions of NIF and Turabi are implanted in the minds of this current growing generation of Northerners and they will always pop up from time to time and from generation to generation, that is, if sharia is erased from the constitution now, another islamist with radical views will bring it back in the future. It is better that we all vote for separation or a UDI would be the last resort as it worked in Kosovo. All major powers in the world have agreed that we secede already. It will be our weakness in accepting bribery and the negative sentiments of betraying our land and people that will keep us in united Sudan. If South gets out of Sudan, other marginalized regions within Sudan will struggle for freedom within their geographical proximities.
Egypt and Libya's positions on referrendum
Egypt, Sudan and Libya have been bonded by strong ties of friendship as they all share some common norms mainly deriving from islamic heritage but they have varied opinions on separation of the South. Egypt sees South Sudan as a threat because the Nile water flowing to Egypt reduce in quantity. Egyptian stance is not right totally because it is opting for making Southerners suffer so that Egyptians gain from water and Nile Resources. Southerners have the right to be independence and to be free like any one in the world. Egypt's position is very much contradicting the right position of separation which is opted by the people of South Sudan. Libya does not care about the success of Southerners. Libya wants Sudan to remain united so that islamisation process is carried out gradually. Libya's leader sees the progress of Africa mainly from the view of islamisation and arabisation. That is why he came up with some ideas on how Africa can be united and radically islamised during AU summit. Gadafi knows that Southerners are the most difficult people to be islamised in Africa. Therefore, Libya does not want South to secede simply beccause he thinks it will not deepen his loud urges for continental islamisation of Africa. South Sudanese should absolutely reject the position of Libya in their struggle for independence.
Strategies SPLM/A should adapt to
SPLM/A as a party charged with responsibilities on how to make decisions on the future of the South, should seek political allignment with forces that are struggling in other regions of Sudan such as Darfur, Kordufan and Blue Nile. And since there are only five months remaining for the referrendum to be conducted, SPLM/A should be extremely cautioned about sending its top leaders for forums and conferences in Khartoum. SPLM/A should allow the media and international community to monitor all the events that are taking place in South Sudan. SPLM/A should engage all the people of South to learn more about their rights and to cross the barrier of being categorised as second class citizens. SPLM/A should be able to disagree with panels like Mbeki's which has changed its focus from supporting the separation of the South to introducing new ways of remaining in a united Sudan. Southerners should not listen to such a panel because its main ideas are driven by Libya, Egypt and middle eastern countries. It will take centuries for Africa to form a confederation and when it does, South Sudan will join that confederation as a country. Therefore, Mbeki's call for confederation is directly influenced by Egyptian and Libyan stance on the unity of Sudan.
Our way forward
Our way forward would be to keep struggling and to push for referrendum to be conducted as stipulated in the CPA. Any negative reiteration on delaying the CPA will be considered a deviation from the norms of the CPA as originally stipulated.
Yohannes Kong Tut, Juba, South Sudan
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