*By James Okuk Solomon
The exposure and bitter experiences of decades of war and its consequences has taught the Sudanese to understand so many complex things. Right now the Sudanese are keen to differentiate between mob emotions and democratic politics. Most of them have learnt how to deal categorically with deceptive appeals and fallacies used by some politicians for the selfish short-term gains. They are not any more satisfied by slogans but by concrete examples of development and the public good. The Sudanese have become aware of the benefits of comparison of situations and evidences of events. They have learnt to employ their long memories and identify the right leaders from the crooked ones. Any politician who takes the Sudanese for granted now is also risking his political career for granted. The long-sighted political architects have understood this change and are now adjusting their politics to fit this popular transformation.
What is mob emotion?
It is the attitude of joining any Ben Wagon without weighting the possible consequences and losses. It is the hatred and envy behaviour which does not differentiate the past from the present situation or the individual from the group. It is a communalistic defence mechanism for the hidden individualistic trauma, disappointment, dissatisfaction, marginalization and depression from numerous complex reasons – e.g. poverty, joblessness, laziness, loitery, etc.
It is easy to mobilize the poor and the angry people for destruction and a cause they do not understand critically. Mob politics is good for communists but risky for democrats.
The history of humankind, including the
is full of lessons that could be learnt from the negative consequences of mob politics. The NIF/NCP regime should learn from the consequences of the mob politics they tried when they declared Holy War (Jihad) against the SPLM/A and Southern Sudan in 1990s where Arabs lost many of their dear ones – intelligent professors, bright students, gifted doctors, etc. – in the unnecessary war zones for a fake cause that was engineered by demagogues in Khartoum for no justifiable reasons. The SPLM/A should also learn its lesson from the consequences of the mob politics they used during their splits in 1990s where many villages in the South got burnt and many innocent southerners, intelligent officers and commanders loss their precious lives and left behind so many neglected orphans out of cheap tribal hatreds, which only benefited the warlords. Do the SPLM and NCP want to get more negative and destructive lessons from the current crisis they are going through?
Last week in a short press conference in
, Mr. 1st VP Salva Kiir has rightly asked Mr. President Al-Bashir to be wise in dealing with the crisis of the CPA partnership. However, so far, Mr. Salva is himself delaying to apply the same wisdom on his side. So far he is hesitant to allow his SPLM’s nominated and suspended cadres (in GoNU ministries and presidential palace) to take the constitutional oath and get back to government business so that they can work from within and continue seeking non-confrontational resolutions for the pending differences in the CPA implementation. It should be noted well that the CPA implementation is not a mathematical ruler, but a political game to be played with tactical mechanisms for progressive scores that does not admit to a risky regressive defend.
In the globalized world of today, democratic politics is considered as a sustainable power whose legitimacy comes from the convinced and enlightened citizens who do not feel like a second, a third, a fourth or any downtrodden class. The CPA has given the SPLM, the NCP and other political forces in the country an opportunity to make political interests out of the new democratic constitutional set up that is based on the promotion of the fundamental human rights. In 2009, the people of the
will determine who are going to be their preferred democratic leaders through the ballots. Therefore, instead of wasting time quarrelling with each other and neglecting the people, the SPLM and the NCP should sit down (as they did in Naivasha) and find agreeable give-and-take ways of attracting the people and pulling most of them to their support so that they can remain in power after the mid-term general elections. Else the SPLM/NCP should get prepared to occupy the opposition benches if they got divorced and allowed internal divisions rather than healthy competition within their institutions.
The author is a Sudanese and a PhD student of political philosophy in the
. He can be reached at: [email protected]