Kenana Forum, a Wild Goose Chase
By Majok Nikodemo Arou
Southern Sudanese across the globe were taken aback with the convention of Kenana Conference, which was staged apparently by pro National Congress Party (NCP) Southern Sudanese politicians to jam the SPLM and Government of Southern Sudan‚Äôs (GoSS) sustained efforts to implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) amid deliberate attempts of the NCP hawks to throttle it.
The timing and funding of the conference, which commenced on April‚Äôs fool day, juxtapose sinister motives. Undoubtedly, the gathering was a brainchild of Uncle Bona Malwal and Dr Lam Akol Ajawin.
Indeed, the selection of Kenana to hold the conference had raised eye brows; leave aside the controversial resolutions of the conference, which depict, among others, outright plan to stifle the SPLM and GoSS.
The deliberations were far from sincere and honest as claimed by pro NCP self acclaimed journalist. Should the Kenana conferees have been sincere, they would have told the NCP that it is selectively implementing the CPA, condoning border demarcation, security law to mention but a few.
Surprisingly, the Kenana group meted out their unplaced anger against the SPLM and GoSS, which are grappling with many odds, of which some were created by their supposedly partner the NCP.
Reviewing the Kenana resolutions, it‚Äôs a pity to note that the gathering was held upon the request of the NCP only to paint pessimistic scenario about the SPLM and GoSS as well as issue hyped condemnation of the ICC charges against the Sudanese President Omer Hassan Ahmed El Bashir. The NCP got what it wanted almost free of charge- may be payment of the bill!!
The Kenana Group issued a clearance certificate to the NCP, which is in the view of the most Kenana conferees blameless about the delay in the implementation of the CPA, whereas they condemned to death the SPLM and the GoSS.
One would state for sure that the group knows the tactics of the NCP, but snubbed them in return for hidden agenda. The tactic is simple: They (Bona + Lam) seek to pull the carpet under the SPLM to derail the CPA, hoping that the NCP would some day install them in ruins of
South Sudan. This was attempted in the past. Was it successful? Lam has the answer. These two gentlemen fail to extrapolate that a doom of the CPA will affect them too! Unless they miscalculate unfolding scenario in this respect, it could be disastrous not only to the South but also for the whole country.
Dr Ajawin is one of the SPLM leading figures and member of the National Liberation Council and has access to the leadership of the SPLM to express his views but not at Kenana. It is confusing why a knowledgeable ambitious figure in his caliber should entangle in the NCP hawks‚Äô perennial saga to eclipse the gains of the
Southern Sudan through Kenana gathering and other unseen forums!
Recently, some parties held their conventions in
Juba. They were not harassed or intimidated nor prevented to exercise their political activities. So the claims of choosing Kenana for security reasons are groundless.
The SPLM‚Äôs position in regard to the ICC charges against El Bashir has been unequivocally stated: No confrontation with the international community and Sudan Government should cooperate with the ICC to settle the issue amicably. What is not clear here? It‚Äôs now obvious that the NCP is cooperating with the international community to settle the ICC indictment amicably as recommended by the SPLM despite the hullabaloo on the
Khartoum streets. The NCP delegates are now roving Western countries to come to terms with the ICC indictment with less collateral damages. The SPLM is working in this direction.
Yes the situation is not rosy in the South. No dispute the SPLM is accountable as a ruling party. It has to build more capacity, achieve food security and restore security across the South. But would the GoSS‚Äôs shortcomings be turned into excuse to collaborate with the NCP hawks to torpedo the CPA. Home accountability is there in place even better compared to that of
Khartoum. South Sudan Assembly is there to address the issues of mismanagement and corruption. Moreover, one thing should be noted: the GoSS is grappling with many odds at the backdrop of high aspirations put forward, following the signing of the CPA in 2005.
This author was in the
South Sudan in 1996-1998 and saw huge devastation. When I visited the South in 2008 and 2009, one could claim the South is taking shape slowly though. Probably high hopes put forward by the masses and official miscalculations in the post peace aggravated the situation and disillusioned the masses. Frankly four years would not be enough to build infrastructure from the scratch, but this would not rule out that the achievements on the ground today are below the expectations.
Let‚Äôs call a spade a spade. The Kenana gathering would remain a blemish in the history of our struggle. It was held to please the master and displease the brother. What a shame! The group seems to chase a wild goose.
The author is a Sudanese journalist and could be reached at