The 4thCPA Anniversary in Malakal: Time For Naivasha Partners to Honour their Promises
By James Okuk
If history could be paused or rewind likes a cassette, I would wish my recall of the occasion of the colourful celebration of the Signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi-Kenya to recur again and again. In This stadium on 9th January 2005, many local, national, regional and international dignitaries (including the present and the former Heads of States and Governments) flocked into Nairobi to share the joy of the Sudanese populace, especially the Southerners for ending the longest devastating war in Africa; a war that led to regrettable death of about two million people, displaced about four million more from their dignified livelihoods and properties, destroyed physical infrastructure, halted good governance and rule of democratic laws in Southern Sudan, and eroded socio-economic and administrative opportunities for the people of Southern Sudan because of intentional centralized gross injustices in the distribution of resources and wealth in the Sudan. Not only this, but also the successive government elites in Khartoum denied Southern Sudan a fair sharing of political power and security arrangements that could have prevented harms and sufferings of the innocent people who are creators of wealth but owners of none in the rural peripheries and urban slums.
Further, that CPA occasion was also a great day to
Kenya government and people because it boosted the economy by generating additional income and revenue in one way or another. Southerners became cash cows to Kenyans and the South became their dollar zone. The Kenyan Police stopped to harass South Sudanese refugees for Kito Kidogo (small bribe) and many Kikuyu ladies wished to be married or concubined by Southerners so that they can enjoy the flowing dollars from peace.
In Nyayo Stadium, both Kenyans and Southern Sudanese communities danced, sang and rejoiced joyfully about the gift of peace, each in his best way and pride of demonstrating the culture of happiness. Though most of them did not know what was agreed exactly in the CPA document, at least they were overjoyed about the good news of the END-OF-WAR from the warmongers who have become peace-makers through the mediation of Kenyan Army General, Lazarus Sumbyeiwo and facilitation of international diplomats in conflicts resolution. Sumbyeiwo became successful in his mediation efforts because he took his time to travel to the war-effected major towns and villages in the
Sudan to listen to what the common people expect from him and from the Sudanese leaders in Naivasha in regard to peace-making. There he found out how the people were eager for “No More War! We Want Peace!”
After the beautiful words and up-to-date political rhetoric has been documented and named “The Comprehensive Peace Agreement Between The Government of The Republic of The Sudan and The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Sudan People’s Liberation Army” due to tough negotiations between outstanding SPLM/A and NCP/SAF cadres in many luxurious hotels in Kenya (Karen, Machakos, Nairobi, Nakuru, Nyanyuki and Naivasha) under the auspices of the IGAD and its Partners Forum (UN, Italy, Norway, UK, USA) and with pressure from President George Bush, Koffi Anan and other international powers, the most difficult questions remained hanging in the thin-air: Who will implement this wonderful comprehensive peace document so that the promises that are stipulated in it could get translated into real actions and dignified deeds without delays?
This question was basically answered that the two parties who negotiated this deal should implement it “jointly and fully”, with the National Congress Party/Sudan Armed Forces controlling the North and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Sudan People’s Liberation Army controlling the South. Not only this, but also in order to bridge the distance between the South and the North,
both partners should form joint integrated units in political and military operations according to certain percentages but with majority in the South for the SPLM/A and Majority in the North for the NCP/SAF. The two partners should be the major ruling parties in the government (with all its levels vertically and horizontally) but should also involve other political parties on minority basis of power sharing. The two partners should ensure that government powers are devolved to the regions and grassroots so that the old bad habits of too much concentration in the centre are dispelled and propelled into the dustbin of the dark chapter of the history of the Sudan.
It was also promised that the regional and international communities would stand with the main partners (NCP and SPLM) to help them with the enormous responsibility of implementing the letter and spirit of the CPA so that the guarantees extends beyond the internal national powers, unlike what happened in the previous dishonoured agreements. Countries like
Oslo would arrange for donations conferences and consortiums to source pledges (Multi-Donor-Trust Funds) all over the world, which shall be managed by the World Bank and the UN agencies for development and peace-building purposes, especially by considering the recommendations and directives of the 2004 Joint-Assessment-Mission (JAM)-
After this “Who-Question” was answered then the “When-question” was considered too, where it was agreed that the starting time for implementation should begin right away with the first six months of the Pre-interim Period (January – July 2005) where the two partners will put their previous houses in proper order and prepare for the new marriage and relationship between their political/military entities who have been bitter and lethal enemies for many years. Some NCP cadres have to accept to lose some ministerial and other executive, legislative and judiciary portfolios to the SPLM/A and Other Political Parties or Armed Groups that would be willing to make the CPA their ownership. Also some SPLM/A cadres have to accept to lose some of their ‘quasi’ executive, legislature and judiciary portfolios to the NCP/SAF and Other Political Parties and Armed Groups that would indorse the ‘bi-partisan’ CPA.
Because of these new calculations and the promise of Dr. John Garang that politicians and warmongers should not panic because there will be many political and military rooms in the CPA’s house to accommodate everybody, many former cadres of the NCP and their militias stooges immediately declared their divorce warrants and went very quickly to get new membership in the SPLM/A so as to get accommodated in the promised rooms when the interim period kick off (July 2005 – December 2011). Of course, the NCP got worried of this collective divorce and run-away of their cadres from the South in the beginning, but later they became relaxed as they thought they have found a good ‘Rat-hole’ to get the SPLM/A into the pocket.
The sleepless NCP demiurges thought that sooner or later the SPLM/A bushmen/women will get blinded as they mess up with government power, wealth and luxury that they did not know how to handle before. They will become hated by their very people when they fail to deliver the expected quick CPA dividends that they highlighted in the “SPLM Strategic Framework for War-to-Peace Transition” where it was asserted that the CPA tasked the SPLM with both challenges and opportunities to translate New Sudan Vision (Justice, Equality, Liberty, Freedom, and Democratic Governance) into Real Mission. That is, realizing a New Sudan in which all citizens can fully participate in the management of the country affairs at all levels without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, race, region, political affiliation, ethnicity, or language. Also the SPLM cadres were urged to work hard for institutional building and reforms in
Southern Sudan during the interim period (2005 – 2011) for political stability and inclusive sustainable socio-economic progress and unity.
Thus, right from the kick off the Pre-interim Period, the NCP started to play sabotage-and-delay-tactics games in order to spoil the honey-moon of the SPLM/A with their supporters, especially in terms of development and security in
Southern Sudan and Transitional Areas. They even started to give out the prohibited ‘Land Title Deeds’ to Churches in the North so that they could construct Prayer Places and start looking at the former Islamic Fanatics as Mr. Nice Guys compared to Mr. Bad Guys of the SPLM/A and the GoSS who humiliate Muslims in the South and beat their own brothers to wounds and death with impunity. Nonetheless, and despite these ulterior abortive acts, the CPA has remained alive but “staggering like a drunkard.”
In the CPA, it was acknowledged that the war in Southern Sudan has been the longest in
Africa and there was a pressing need for the two conflicting parties to end it and never extend it any longer. This promise has been achieved so far and thanks to the two partners for fulfilling this promise (though some temporary conflicts between the armies of the two parties have occurred in Malakal and in Abyei). This proves the theory that Peace is the absence of war but not necessarily the absent of conflicts. Though the CPA has blessed Southern Sudan and Transitional Areas with happy giggling of children and joyful ululations of women, yet it remains un-immune from possible raining down of bombs from the sky, especially with the new Jet Fighters recently purchased by SAF from Eastern Europe.
Also in the CPA, it was stated categorically that there is need to re-direct human energies and material resources in
Southern Sudan for acts of Peace, Stability, Development, Good Governance and Rule of Just Law. Hence, there is a need to effect democratic transformation (beginning with parties structures) so that the people can elect their leaders in a fair and free manner and mandate them legitimately with government duties, including successful management for the agreed right to Self-determination by the people of Southern Sudan and Abyei Area and also the right to Popular Consultation by the People of the Two States of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile in 2011. Thanks to the SPLM for having tried this democratic transformation during its 2nd Convention in 2008 though this turned out to be a sham procedural democracy with leaders going out to choose their voters instead of the people coming in to elect and mandate their leaders legitimately. The NCP did not exert effort so far for the promised democratic transformation; it continues with its dictatorial ugly old ways. Worst still the other political forces; especially from
Southern Sudan, have resorted to sycophancy where they declared in 2008 to be ‘Acolytes’ of SPLM; No Opposition! Good hope from the General Elections in 2009 remains bleak.
The CPA tasked the two partners with commitment to try to decorate the Sudan with practices that could make it an attractive peaceful unified country with unshakeable sovereignty for all its citizens after acknowledging the mistakes that were done in the past to tear the country apart and keeps its people in perpetual conflicts because of mismanagement of ‘Arab Identity’ and ‘Islamic Religion’ through
bigotry and fanaticism by the subsequent governments who exchanged the Gordon Palace on the Nile in Khartoum. Thus, the fundamental part of the new decoration was supposed to separate religion and race from government business since the Sudanese stakeholders have different and diverse colours, cultures and faiths to put in one pot without clashes. The
Sudan is a country of beautiful diversities that need not be oppressed and compressed into monolithic ugly uniformity.
Only in this way of separation and toleration of diversities is the country supposed to remain united sincerely and voluntarily on a free will of all the stakeholders. Alas! This promise remains uncertain as the North refuses to let go the intolerant Sharia (Islamic Law) that revitalizes inhumane legal punishment methods of the dark Middle Ages. Islamic slogans (e.g. Bismi Allah al-Rahaman al-Rahim) still occupies the top parts of government documents in GoNU, Islamic prayers are still being held in government offices, and mosques that are built inside GoNU Ministries still disturb the serenity of Non-Muslims employees with loud speakers (Hazan) daily. Banking system in
Khartoum remained Islamized. Why keep these old habits to die hard!
Now it is the Fourth Year of the Anniversary of the CPA Signing Occasion and this is going to take place in the Capital Town of Upper Nile State where you get the old tallest building in
Southern Sudan in the form of Mosque. This rotation of celebrating the Anniversary of the CPA is
not only meant to recall the end of war in Southern Sudan, but it is also done to help the hosting state get some donations from the GoSS and other sources for improving the physical infrastructure in the capitals of Southern States. The 2nd CPA Anniversary that was celebrated in Juba reflected a negative political wrangling from the two partners as the 1st Vice President accused the NCP in Public for sabotaging the implementation of the CPA while the President Al-Bashir blamed the SPLM of being unfaithful to partnership, especially with the non-oil revenues collected from Southern Sudan and other funds disbursed by the national government for the purpose of development in the South. The 3rd CPA Anniversary was celebrated in Wau where the president boycotted and sent the Vice President Ali Osman to attend with the 1st VP, Salva Kiir Myardit. The preparations and arrangement in
Town was poor because of lack of funds for putting up accommodation and comfort facilities for the dignitaries and delegates.
But this time the GoSS has disbursed US$ 21 million for a better preparation and arrangement of 4th CPA Anniversary in Malakal. The National Government did not give out any thing yet but it is expected that the President Al-Bashir will donate some good amount to Upper Nile State during his public address there, since the governor of Upper Nile State belongs to his party (NCP) as this State was given freely to the NCP by H.E. Nhial Deng Nhial in 2005. From the 2% share of oil revenue and other revenues in
State and in addition to the above-mentioned amount from the GoSS, Upper Nile Government and people have managed so far to prepare comfortable accommodations for the dignitaries and the delegates who will be attending the 4th Anniversary Occasion. For example, a Presidential Villa was built besides the Rest House in Malakal (just behind the governor residence). Also a government building that was constructed (before the SPLM/A war broke out) by the former Commissioner of Malakal, late Othwon Dak Padiet, has been reconstructed and made into a beautiful hotel on the river shore, named Nile Hotel.
Malakal Stadium has been renovated and modernized so that its spotlights could make the place and its neighbourhood look like a day time at night.
In this stadium (where the 4th CPA celebrations will be hosted), football, volleyball, basketball, boxing and other sports grounds in addition to sitting steps and official ceremonial podium have been constructed, painted and lighted beautifully. Many youth and women come from all corners of the Town to see these with their own eyes. Unfortunately, the fence of the stadium remains zink sheets, but with a promise that it shall be turned into concrete walls from next year. Malakal has also the privileged of being chosen for building
Academy in South according to FIFA standards. A big land for this academy has already been allocated by the government at the outskirts of Southern side of the Town where the construction will commence from this year when all the planning and building materials have arrived in the location.
Not only this, but Upper Nile government have erected new big electric generators for lighting Malakal town and fixed series of tall poles of nightlights on the streets from Hay Malakia
to Dangershofo, Lwakat to Bam, and Hay Jellaba to new Naivasha, making the town look beautiful and modern at night more than Juba. In addition water and sanitation networks have been put in place for every house to tap from the pipes instead of going direct to river
Nile to draw unsafe water.
Also roads network in the town were enlarged and levelled perfectly so that cars, motorbikes and bicycles could be driven smoothly without bumps, potholes and dust. A high way that connects Upper Nile with
Northern Sudan is also being cleared from landmines and trees and levelled. Vehicles come to and fro without difficulty or fear. It is expected that this highway will get tarmaced by next year. Also un-asphalted highway from Juba via
Canal is bringing vehicles safely to Malakal. You can see the number of vehicles (small and big) increasing in Malakal as a result of this roads expansion and highways connections.
Slums and inappropriate constructions (including awkward shopping malls and dislocated houses) have been demolished and cleared off by the government to create a hygienic space and cleanliness in the town. Mobile Telephone Communication Networks and internet services have also been made efficient to cover the vicinity villages. No more squatting on river shores or graveyards because families are encouraged to build pit latrines (but not bucket toilets with Nubian carriers).
What the Government and people of
State have done so far is the good news that many concerned Southerners would want to hear about
Southern Sudan instead of corruption, tribalism, political bickering, indiscipline from some SPLA soldiers and other negative things that are detrimental to peace-agenda. The people of Malakal are very excited of these new development dividends and are starting to see the difference of war time from the peace time. All the
Counties and their communities have mobilized themselves massively for cultural, sports and other joyful competitions during the CPA celebrations. Each of them is determined to present the best that could be shown to entertain the guests and participants. They are ready to tell the world that this decentralized State with all its communities and individuals (regardless of politics) are capable of doing well. This is a great lesson that needs to be extended and continued in other States of Southern Sudan.
Thus, the CPA anniversary should be the time to recollect and evaluate the achievements that have been done so far from the declared promises to the people of
Southern Sudan. It is the time to blame or praise each of the Naivasha partners for either their failures or successes in the CPA duties in accordance with Implementation Modalities and Global Matrix (Activities, Timing, Executing Authority, Funding Sources, Composition, Location, Procedures, Processes, Criteria and References):
The Machakos Protocol, which is the referential framework for the rest of the protocols and agreements in the CPA document.
The Agreement on Wealth Sharing and the annexed Definition and Calculation of Net Oil Revenues.
The Protocol on Power Sharing and the annexed schedules of: a) The Executive and Legislative Competencies of the States, Concurrent and Residual Powers; b) Appendices on Functions of the 1st Vice President, the Vice President, and Appointments that the President is required to make with the consent of the 1st VP within collegial consultations within the presidency; and c) the Clusters of National Ministers and their distribution.
The Protocol on the Resolution of the Conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States and the annex of Percentages of Power Sharing there.
The Protocol on the Resolution of the Conflict in Abyei Area and Appendix on understanding the mandate of Abyei Boundaries Commission;
The Agreement on Security Arrangements with the Annexure I of Permanent Ceasefire and Security Arrangement Implementation Modalities and its Appendices for Assembly Areas, Calendar and Timetable of Major Ceasefire Activities, and Structure of Infantry Division, Brigade and Battalion.
The List of Corrections for the above-mentioned Protocols and Agreements.
This is the summarized content of the celebrated CPA occasion that was signed by Dr. John Garang de Mabior, the late Chairman of the SPLM/A and H.E. Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, the former 1st VP of the Sudan and witnesses by signatures from President of Kenya, President of Uganda, Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Italy Deputy Government of Foreign Affairs, Special Envoy of the Netherlands, Norwegian Minister of International Development, United Kingdom Secretary of State for International Development, United State Secretary of State, Chairperson of African Union, Representative of European Union, Head of IGAD Partners Forum, Secretary General of the League of Arab States and Special Representative in the Sudan of the United Nations Secretary General. These international authorities are watching closely what is happening about the CPA implementation. Let them not be frustrated to throw up their arms in defeat and shake their heads in disgust as the SPLM and the NCP leaders try to abrogate the CPA, especially with ICC case on Al-Bashir.
James Okuk is a concerned Southerner and a PhD student in the
Nairobi. He could be reached at