Monday, November 20, 2006

Bashir in Juba . . . so what?

President Omar el Bashir was in Juba last week. You may ask so what?

Indeed that was the question on everybody's mind. Is that news? Is he there as part of a PR exercise or something sinister?

Just for the record, the last time he visited Juba was for the funeral of Dr John Garang the Mabior, the former SPLM/A Chairman and Vice President who died in a mysterious helicopter crash. That was one year and half ago. He skipped the first anniversary of his death this year in Juba.

The most important element of his visit is the discussion of the militia issues. These militias are really causing headaches to civilians in the South. As per the CPA, there should be no militias. But the government continues to support renegade groups that terrorize civilians. We want to see that stopped. He promised to do just that. Let us hope it happens.

I wish those paliamentarians had asked the right questions: why is the implementation of the CPA going so slowly? Why is the Abyei Border Commission not formed? Why is the Petroleum Commission non-functioning? Vice President Kir should make these things clear.

We want answers, not promises.