Thursday, December 23, 2010

Count down to referendum and Khartoum tactics

The referendum for South Sudan independence is fast approaching and Khartoum is panicking. It is currently using all it has to either stop the plebiscite or disrupt it.

The recent complain at the Constitutional court is one of them. Saying that the referendum register should have been done before three months as per CPA and therefor the referendum is illegal is flawed. NCP is trying one of its last arsenals. The whole CPA was delayed tactically by the NCP. Going by that reasonging, even the census was illegal, the election was illegal and many others. There was no parliamentary debate to amend the dates, which was not necessary as per the CPA because it gave the Presidency to decide the most appropriate time. These challenges will fail.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

NCP panic and propaganda tactics

All signs are that the NCP is panicking ahead of the referendum for South Sudan secession in January. The various statements coming from the NCP is a clear sign that they have failed to convince the South about unity and are now using blame tactics to deflect the blame for the upcoming secession of the South.

The following were some of the points and events:
1. Bombing south Sudan territory twice
2. Claiming that South Sudan is supporting the JEM rebels in Darfur
3. Claiming that the SPLM is preparing to topple the government in Khartoum

The claims are as baseless and ridiculous as the people who uttered them. I leave the first two to you but claiming that the SPLM want to attack the north and topple the government is more that ridiculous, but utterly bizarre. The ultimate question: what does the South want from the North if it is preparing to have its own country? Does this statement make any sense at all?

The NCP is uttering these statements to convince the poor northern streets and turn them against the southerners in the north. It is a clear strategy to prepare the minds of the northerners against the southerners, if they secede.
Salva promise not to carry reprisal attacks after the air raid is a blow to the NCP desire. Those who concocted this plan will cower in shame.

South Sudan will retaliate through the ballot, by voting overwhelmingly for separation.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Referendum voter registration begins!

Voter registration for the referendum has started today all over Sudan. Although the Chairman of the Referendum Commission complained of lack of money, the process is already kicking off.

For many people it is the culmination of many years of waiting and hoping that it will happend. The fact that the registration has started will calm some fears about whether the exercise will ever happen.

There is a long way to go. There could still be hook ups. The SPLM has accused the NCP of planning to register foreigners with forged documents. The trick is that, when the day comes to vote, they will not be eligible, thus bringing the turn out below 60 %!

The NCP can play tricks so that the outcome of the vote comes out in their favour. Everyone knows that. That is why, the SPLM urges people NOT to register outside the country.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Referendum symbols out!

The symbols for the referendum are out: a waving hand for separation and joint hands for unity.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pressing the north to let the south go

Sudan and Bashir in trouble! The pressure is mounting to ensure that the referendum for independence goes ahead as planned:

THE American administration is pressing Omar al-Bashir’s Sudanese government in Khartoum to let the southern bit of his country become peacefully independent after a referendum due there on January 9th, when an overwhelming majority of southerners is expected to plump for secession.
To help him out . . .

John Kerry, chairman of the American Senate’s foreign relations committee, recently flew to Khartoum with an offer from President Barack Obama: ensure a decent referendum in South Sudan and abide by its result and you will no longer be labelled a state sponsor of terror.
Let us wait and see how Bashir will choose.

The Economist

Southern Sudan: A Shaky Peace

The November issue of the National Geographic Magazine has an extensive article on Southern Sudan. It followed the story of Logocho. An excerpt from the opening paragraph reads:
One day some years ago, before the latest civil war began in earnest, a Sudanese boy named Logocho peeked into the entry of his family's grass hut. His father sprang out and grabbed him, and then, with an older boy, pinned him in the dirt.

A strange boy, Logocho. Above him, his father's shoulders and chest rippled with welted tribal scars. A Morse code of dots and dashes crossed the father's face and forehead, signaling to any potential cattle raiders—the Dinka, the Nuer—that he, as a Murle, would defend his stock with spear, knife, fists, and teeth.

The article went on to an analysis of the problems that lead to the war and the peace, which is threatened by the upcoming referendum. Another excerpt:
The origin of tensions in Sudan is so geographic, so stark, you could see it even from the surface of the moon. The broad ivory of the Sahara in Africa's north set against the green savanna and jungles of the continent's narrowing center. A great, grass-stained tusk. Populations generally fall to one side or the other of that vegetative divide. Which side, north or south, largely defines the culture—religion, music, dress, language—of the people there. Sudan straddles that line to include arid desert in its north and grasslands and tropical rain forests in its south, and the estranged cultures on either side.

In Sudan, Arabs and black Africans had met with a clash. Islamic conquerors in the seventh century discovered that many inhabitants of the land then called Nubia were already Christian. The Nubians fought them to a stalemate that lasted more than a millennium, until the Ottoman governor based in Cairo invaded, exploiting the land south of Egypt as a reservoir of ivory and humans. In 1820 he enslaved 30,000 people known as Sudan, which meant simply "blacks."

Eventually global distaste for slavery put the slave traders out of business. The Ottomans retreated in the early 1880s, and in 1899, after a brief period of independence for Sudan, the British took control, ruling its two halves as distinct regions. They couldn't garrison all of Sudan—it's a massive country, ten times as big as the United Kingdom—so they ruled from Khartoum and gave limited powers to tribal leaders in the provinces. Meanwhile, they encouraged Islam and Arabic in the north and Christianity and English in the south. Putting effort and resources into the north, they left the south to languish. The question all this raises is: Why? Why was a single Sudan created at all?

Why indeed! Read the full article HERE and see some of the photos HERE.
Source: November 2010 Issue, National Geographic Magazine

Thursday, November 04, 2010

The Citizen Newspaper suspended for advertising alcohol!

The CPA had brought into fruition the one country, two systems. While the South is semi-autonomous, with its own government and laws, the North had some form of sharia lwas implemented like banning sale of alcohol and Islamic banking etc. How do you balance that, when the country is trying to unite?

It is tricky, when on one hand you want to say that the country be kept united, while on the other hand you oppress and suppress the same people who want to be united with? Does that sound like a catch 22?

The banning of the Citizen Newspaper is one good example. While alcohol consumption and sale is legal in Southern Sudan, including advertising, it is banned in the north. When the Citizen advertised alcohol in its paper, which also circulates in the north, it is served a suspension for one month for breaking Islamic laws. How can we reconcile these facts, bearing in mind that the paper is owned by Southern Sudanese who are being coerced to vote for unity.

The only option, as put by the editor of the Citizen, is to close the office in Khartoum and relocate to an Independent South Sudan!

Monday, October 25, 2010

NCP: Committed to Referendum?

Has the Khartoum government started making onciliatory remarks to placate USA? If so, Khartoum has seen that delaying the referenda is not going to solve their problems. The message from John Kerry is clear, play ball and you will be rewarded. Otherwise . . .

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

STRATEGY OF SABOTAGE - how the NCP in Khartoum wants to stop the referunda

The National Congress Party employs a variety of tactics to sabotage January’s referenda. Because a 60% quorum (of a still undefined electorate) is needed and a 51% vote for or against, every NCP move counts.
● Backing militias to destabilise the South. The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement now openly blames its ‘partner’ for supporting Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army (increased attacks in Western Equatoria), General George Athor Deng’s militia in Jonglei, Colonel Galwak Gai Deng (Unity State), and Lam Akol Ajawin (Upper Nile). It says it has evidence (AC Vol 51 No 12).
● Backing anti-SPLM Southern parties. The SPLM has countered this effectively; many oppositionists have joined the SPLM or agreed to cooperate.
● Creating uncertainty about whether the referendum will be free and ‘credible’. The NCP repeatedly says any fair vote could only be for unity.
● Spreading uncertainty that the referendum will take place.
● Harassing the SPLM in the North, including presidential candidate Yasir Saeed Arman and the Ajrass Hurriya newspaper.
● Refusing SPLM candidates for the referenda commissions. The SPLM, however, cannot refuse NCP candidates.
● Appointing Northerners to both the chair and secretary generalship of the South Sudan
Referendum Commission. The SPLM accepted Omer el Sheikh as SG this week only ‘to break the impasse’, said a source. Omer then reportedly resigned, further delaying preparations. Chairman Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil earlier threatened to resign.
● Turning the SPLM’s insistence on holding the votes on time against it by pressuring it to accept NCP terms.
● Paying Juba its share of oil money in local currency this month, creating shortages in an import-dependent South.
● Using deniable Islamist groups such as Hizb el Tahrir to call for abandoning the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the Southern right to independence.
● Failing to agree on voting eligibility or numbers of Southerners in the North.
● Failing to allow a debate in the North but accusing the SPLM of breaking the CPA by backing separation.
● Encouraging interested foreigners to take an even-handed approach (as in Darfur), even though the NCP wants the CPA to fail while the SPLM wants it to succeed.
● Failing to enable the demarcation of the borders of Abyei and between North and South. The NCP can then claim the votes were invalid.
● Fuelling African fears of state disintegration. Even South African ex-President Thabo Mbeki mentioned this danger.
● Convincing Arab governments of a Zionist plot to dismember Arab countries.
● Fuelling Western fears of more ‘failed states’ in the global south.
● Portraying the Nile as under threat.
● Withholding referendum funds from Juba

Source: Africa Confidential

Friday, October 15, 2010

Abyei: Sudan's Kashmir?

As the countdown to the Southern Sudan secession referundum ticks, the second one for Abyei seems to be much delayed in terms of preparations. Unlike the one for the whole Southern Sudan, the Abyei referundum committee has not even be formed yet. The discussions in Addis Ababa have failed because the Messirya are insisting that they have the right to vote and rejected the Hague Arbitration over land ownership.

Now, the Khartoum government has come out blatantly that . the Abyei referundum may have to be delayed by months. This is already causing a lot of stir in Southern Sudan where people belived that the referunda should take place on time.

Mark this: the Khartoum government is going to use this matter to threaten Southern Sudan about their own referundum on secession - delay Abyei referundum and you will have your secession vote on time; we can then agree on how to manage the oil in Abyei later.

Abyei is fast becoming like Kashmir. It maybe the hotspot that returns the foes to war again. The response of the UNSC to deploy UNMIS troops is a welcomed relief to many people.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Kamal Ibeid, the minister encouraging the secession of the South Sudan: thanks for your effort

The information minister in the government of national unity Kamal Obeid had delt the Quest for Unity of the Sudan a deadly blow. He has left his colleagues in the NCP hanging their heads in shame for his blunt talk about the Southern Sudanese in the North in Case of secession.

The Minister had said that "Southern Sudanese in the north will lose their citizenship if the South secedes. They will not be allowed to work or sell anything in the market or be treated in the hospitals. They cannot be given even a needle".

How can we hope for unity when we have pundits like that for ministers? He is clearly inciting the people and this may lead to reprisal attacks against Southerners in the North when the results are for separation.

It is yet another reason why we cannot and never will be able to live together again in a united Sudan.

Thanks Mr Minister, you have given us another reason to reject a forced unity . . .

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A National Anthem for South Sudan

Title: South Sudan Oyee!

Oh God!
We praise and glorify you,
For your grace upon Cush,
The land of great warriors,
And origin of world’s civilization.

Oh Cush!
Arise, shine, raise your flag with the guiding star,
And sing songs of freedom with joy,
For peace, liberty and justice
Shall forever more reign.

Oh black warriors!
Let’s stand up in silence and respect,
Saluting millions of martyrs whose
Blood cemented our national foundation.
We vow to protect our nation.

Oh Eden!
Land of milk and honey and hardworking people,
Uphold us united in peace and harmony.
The Nile, valley, forests and mountains
Shall be our sources of joy and pride.

So Lord bless South Sudan!


It is not perfect, no likable by all, but who cares. Now let us give it a tune.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Bashir in Nairobi: the analysis

I like the BBC Analysis on the matter:

The case of the Sudanese president has always been a sensitive one at the United Nations. It was the Security Council that referred him to the ICC, but with mixed feelings from world powers like America and China - neither support the court out of fears it could be used against them, both abstained in the vote.

Pressing the case is also increasingly inconvenient: the focus now is on the forthcoming referendum for self determination in Southern Sudan. For that to succeed, some here feel they need a pragmatic relationship with the Sudanese government.

All this makes further action on the case difficult: the Security Council didn't respond to a previous ICC notification that Sudan itself was not co-operating with the court. It's not clear it will do so now and reprimand Kenya for ignoring the arrest warrant

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Dr. Samson Kwaje: RIP

Southern Sudan has lost a hero of the struggle. Samson Kwaje will be missed.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Remembering the heros of the struggle

Today, South Sudan is remembering its martyrs in one of the most colourful occasions marking Martyrs Day.

The day is key because South Sudan remembers the day its leader and founder of the Sudan People Liberation Movement/Army, Vice President of the Republic of Sudan and President of the Government of Southern Sudan, died in a plane crash this fateful day five years ago.

It commemorates also all those who have fallen along the way to freedom. It is fitting that their memories are kept alive for generations to come, those who have given up their lives so that others may have it.

Happy Martyrs Day.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Letter to Talal Osman, the columnist trying to make unity attractive

(Talal Osman writes a column call COFFEE BREAK in the daily Newspaper The Citizen in Khartoum, Sudan)

Dear Talal Osman,

I have been following your rants in your column in The Citizen newspaper with interest ever since the rhetoric about making Unity Attractive was launched by the NCP after the elections. It seems the whole GONU programme is currently geared towards achieving that objective.

It is interesting to note from you writings that you believed “the majority of South Sudanese” wants unity. I want to dispute that figure.

There are several notable issues that you correctly put that I feel obliged to congratulate you for airing them out so explicitly. Many Arabs like you did not want to acknowledge them: the issue of implementation of Sharia law and the waging of a religious Jihad in the South Sudan. You can call them mistakes of the previous governments, but still they left deep pains in the hearts of many southern Sudanese.
After the CPA, the GONU has all the opportunity to make unity attractive.

In my opinion and opinion of many others, I would suspect, it should have implemented the CPA fully from day one, and not to drag its feet all these years. What happen in the last five years clearly showed that the NCP is not serious about the peace they have signed and are working to destroy it. How can they win the southerners after that? The northerners have the opportunity and they blew it. The South Sudanese can no longer trust the northerners, who have a track record of not honoring agreements.

Just a reminder, the SPLM in the very first day was fighting for a New Sudan, from Halfa to Nimule that is based on equality, justice and democratic rule. The late Dr John Garang himself had often voiced his dream to go a drink coffee in a small town in northern Sudan. That was the vision.

What the government is doing currently is a last minute panic reaction to the reality that they are facing of the sure certainty that the people in South Sudan will vote for separation, come 2011. All the efforts to date geared towards making unity attractive are futile and waste of time. What will you do in six months to change the mind of the South Sudanese to vote for unity that you have failed to do in six years? Give me a break!

In your column, you talked of Sudan Airways and other airlines offering to take newspapers to Juba for free as a gesture to make unity attractive. Sometimes you make us here in South Sudan laugh. Many people in the north seem to think that the people in the south are so stupid that they can be fooled. Have people been fighting all these years so that you get the newspapers free to Juba? This is not the southerners of 1947. They are a new generation who grew up in war and know what they are doing. It is in the same line of thought (stupid southerners) that many people like you think that whatever position southerners are taking, they were being pushed by the Americans and Europeans. Can’t we think for ourselves and know what we want? It is this mindset that must change in order to make unity attractive. Oppression does not have to be overt like in South Africa or America with “”White Only” (or “Arabs Only”, to be exact) signs all over the place. Many southern Sudanese had suffered under the hands of the government just for being black and from South Sudan.

The likes of Gandour who cried in a meeting is a sure sign that the NCP are deeply convinced that South Sudan will go. For you to call it crocodile’s tears is a misnomer. Gandour was not being insincere or showing fake tears. These were true tears of someone who knew that they have utterly let the Sudanese people down and failed to make unity attractive.

When Bashir called for the political parties to discuss the referendum, it was rejected outright. I liked what the opposition said and I quote: “The National Congress Party (NCP) facing these two options [granting equal citizenship rights or secession] will not be able to evade or circumvent them through compromises, generosity, mediation, public relations or bribery through money or [offering] positions”. This is a true statement that you must drill in your heads. The NCP does not want to take the full responsibility of Sudan separating in their watch and wants to drag the opposition in to it. The opposition parties who rejected the call are very wise indeed.

As you go have your cup of coffee, know that South Sudan is going vote for freedom from the hands of oppression and will be declared a nation come January 2011.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Opposition parties in Sudan say no to talks on referendum

Now the NCP is panicking. When they called the other political parties last week to discuss the Referendum, it was a sure sign of panick. The NCP is now certain that they have failed to make unity attractive and the southerners will surely vote for secession come January 2010. They want to share the blame later with the other parties.

Unfortunately for the NCP, the other political parties are very smart and saw through their game. While others jumped at the opportunity to press for other issues to be discussed as well, none had come out strongly in support of the call by NCP. In fact they are beaming at NCP's predicament.

I particularly like this statement :

"The National Congress Party (NCP) facing these two options [granting equal citizenship rights or secession] will not be able to evade or circumvent them through compromises, generosity, mediation, public relations or bribery through money or [offering] positions".

How true! Nothing will make the southerners change their position now. Too late.

Friday, July 16, 2010

What is Sudan?

I nipped this piece from this blog. I found the sentiment funny, to say the least.
"An uncertain country haphazardly cobbled together first by the Ottomans in the 19th century and later by the British during the 20th. It has no cultural coherence or geopolitical logic, even though its populations have become used to living together". Gerard Prunier
The past 50 years of independence and the more than 30 years of conflict in Southern Sudan has shown that they HAVE failed to really live together. Sorry, Mr Prunier.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Yes, for separation

The youth in the Southern Sudan capital Juba had expressed it loud and clear. Last week, they staged a procession through the streets of the town to kick start their campaign on awareness for the people to vote yes for separation in the upcoming referendum in January, 2011.

This is a huge task they are undertaking. Many people have taken it for granted that the South will vote for a separate country come 2011. Not the youth. They want to make sure that every vote counts, come D day.

I wish them luck . . .

Monday, July 12, 2010

Making unity attractive 2

The Government in Northern Sudan has started a massive campaign to convince the people of Southern Sudan to vote for unity in the upcoming referendum in January 2010. They seemed to be takne by surprised that 2011 is already here and they have done nothing to make unity attractive.

What is more surprising is the confidence with which they are preaching unity. All the campaigns are trying to say that unity is bad because the Southerners will butcher themselves to obscurity if given the chance to go their separate way. The feeling in Southern Sudan at the moment is ti make South Sudan free and later deal with our own issues.

The Southern Sudanese has become a sought after prize at the moment. They were paraded in interviews on TVs, families visited at home, etc. Will that make unity attractive?

I think the NCP failed to take the issue of the referendum seriously when they signed the CPA. Now it is coming to hound them. Whatever they do, it is too late . . .

Monday, May 24, 2010

Making unity attractive

The new elected government in Sudan has taken over, the parliament sworn in and the states getting their acts together. The whole thing one sees these days is the talk of the next phase in the country of making sure the South vote for unity.

The question is: what can the government in Khartoum do in the next six months before the referendum to make unity attractive? In my opinion, it is a little too late . . .

Now let me tell you the laughable things they are trying to do to make unity attractive: there had never been a Southern Sudanese presenter on the main Sudan TV channel for decades until the talk of making unity attractive. Sudan TV these days got a beautiful Southern Sudanese girl to present the weather report, her hair uncovered, wearing trousers and had her crucifix dangling from her neck! Will THAT make unity attractive?

I laughed the other day a commentator was asked what the government should do to make unity attractive. This is what he said: give the people from the south land titles in Northern states and provide for their students a bigger quota and a special consideration for admissions in the universities! Now that is something.

But I say, too late, fellas . . .

Friday, May 14, 2010

The General Athor Mutiny: what next?

What is happening in Jonglei State is what people had feared all along that will happen. A general who ran for Governorship of Jonglei as an idependent candidate and lost is crying foul, and had "almost" mutinied, if not already. The renegade general had returned to his village with many soldiers and threatened to attack Bor. How serious is his threat?

It is well known that there are many disgruntled SPLA soldiers out there. The transformation of the SPLA from a guerrila army to a conventional one has not gone smoothly. Many generals who expected high positions in the new army were kept out in the bush while afew enjoy the air-conditioned offices in Bilpam in Juba. The foot soldiers were abandoned, many going without their salaries for months.

General Athor wants to get his share, by running for governor. Unfortunately for him, the SPLM Political Burea picked the incumbent for their ticket. He ran as independent and lost. He had already fought two small skirmishes with the SPLA. The demands he made were also unreasobale: the cancellation of the elections and setting up an interime government. However, his claims that the SPLM had lost its vision of democracy and inclusivity in government may get some followers.

This development is serious to the fragile peace in Southern Sudan. It feeds into the skeptics scenario that Southern Sudan will slip into a state of lawlessness and inter / intra - tribal fighting that has the potential of engulfing the entire region.

The SPLM must move fast to contain the situation. Dealing with it militarily will only escalate the situation. It is time Kirr show his wisdom and resolve the issue. If other Generals and top military officers join Athor, it could amount to a big rebellion against the GOSS and SPLA. It is a situation we definitely did not want in Southern Sudan at the moment.

Let peace prevail . . .

Friday, May 07, 2010

And the next step: referendum

Now that the elections are over and the winners declared, there is nothing much to look forward to other than the referendum slated for January 2011. It does not matter whether your candidate won in the elctions or you do not accept the results: that is up to the courts if you want to contest.

What our people should be focusing on these coming months should be the referendum. President Bashir had already planned for a massive campaign to conviince Southern Sudanese to vote for unity. What we need to see is how he planned to accomplish that in seven months that he failed to do in five years.

There are many grudges in Southern Sudan. The CPA is being implemented in bits and at a pace only conveneint to the NCP. Feet dragging is the norm. Despite Bashir's pledge to hold the referendum on time, his statements contradict the issues on the ground.

When the NCP raised the slogan of "Making Unity Attractive", they thought it will be easy to "buy" off the Southerners like they did in 1947. Hard luck. The SPLM should start their own campaign for a separate country.

Southerners are going to vote for a separate nation. Period.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The calm after the elections . . . ?

The citizens of Juba in Central Equatoria were not concerned about the Presidency of the Republic or that of the Governemnt of Southern Sudan. Bashir and Salva Kiir are the expected winners, no one doubted that.

In the election, the battle ground states were Central Equatoria, Westen Equatoria and Unity States, where the independent candidates were more popular than the SPLM candidates. People fee that the SPLM official candidats are being force on them, and they turn to show their disatisfaction by vooting for the independent candidates.

However, things have not turn out as expected. In Central Equatoria, the incumbent SPLM Candidate got through as well as in Unity State. The initial results show that the independents were leading, but due to pressure, the State election officilas have to succumb to pressure and announce the incumbents winners. Too bad for a fledgeling democracy, if you can call it that. The SPLM seems determined to ensure that their candidates get the positions, like their partners in the North.

One success story is worth celebrating: Western Equatoria independent candidate defeated the SPLM incumbent governor, the unpopular Jemma Nunu by a narrow margin. The SPLM failed to get that state due to many factors, one of which is the Election Officials strick abidance by the rules.

The citizens of Central Equatori feel that they have been robbed of a leader, one who will safe them from misrule and corruption of the incumbent. They will only have to look at their neighbour's luck with longing.

If democracy was born in the West, it had certainly been buried in the jungles of Southern Sudan . . .

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Have you voted?

Voting has been going on in the Sudan since Suday. Although there reports of irregularities, mainly logistic and technical difficulties, many polling stations have gone on smoothly.

However, some political parties are saying there are riggings by the SPLM and NCP, intimidating voters and harrasing party observers. Juba seems to have no such reports.

The most annoying thing is for voters who do not find their names on the list. Many have to visit several polling stations before they found their names.

I hope the Sudanese will be able to show the world that they can have a peaceful election without violence. Free or fair is something else.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Where have all the foreigners gone in Juba?

If you walk the streets of Juba today, you will notice it immediately: there are fewer people in the streets. The mini buses are far apart, the morning rush hour crowds quieter and the boda boda taxis less ubiquitous! I asume it is the same in many towns in Southern Sudan.

Granted, many people might have gone to their respective constituencies to vote on Sudan. But the usual foreigners population in Juba has dwindled remarkably. The Ugandans and Kenyans have closed their businesses and flocked home. The airport has become very congested as flights are overbooked. The restuarants are closed, shops in Konyokonyo market in Juba closed. The bars are without customers. And prices are beginning to go up already!

These people are fearing the violence during elections, as if it is the norm. No one wants to be caught in it, like it happened in Kenya, it seems.

Personally I do no think there will be mmuch violence, if any at all. The campaigns have gone rather peacefully in general, with little violence between different supporters. Why should people fear the actual voting process itself?

I am urging my neighbours not to flee because there will be no need to fear!

Umma out, DUP in . . .

Umma Party is the latest to boycott the elections. Another blow to the NCP and the elections, the first since 1986.

It is obvious now what the strategy is: everyone knows Bashir will win, but they want him to lose the credibility. What is the worth of the elections if there is no opposition?

However, DUP is going in the elections, full speed ahead. Now that is another twist.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

NCP: no delay to elections

It is becoming obvious that NCP had no heart to hold credible elections in the country. Right from the beginning of the signing of the CPA, NCP started working on how to undermine the agreement and never see it fulfilled. The signs are always clear for all to see.

There is a complete disregard to the elements contained in the agreement. Many of the articles have not been implemented fully and some are being watered down and re-interpreted to sooth their interests.

What is happening is a sham and NCP knows that. What has happened about the Demarcation of Borders, Abyei Status, JIUs, Militias and the referendum? True, NCP is arguing now that the elections will not be postponed, because they will also not hold the referendum on time if that happens. The SPLM shouldn’t buy that. Not everyone does, but could they do it?
If the NCP can play around with many of the provisions in the CPA, the SPLM is right to worry, though. Salva Kiir has already made it clear that referendum is more important than the elections.

Sudan is becoming very interesting these days.

To vote or not?

The SPLM had me confused nowadays. Will I ever vote? I had hoped to exercise my rights happily but now is confused. I had registered in Khartoum (a stupid thing, I now admit) and hoped to be there to vote for Yasir Arman and any SPLM politician standing.

My dilemma now is: why should I travel all the way to Khartoum and vote for someone else? I will wait for the referundum instead.

SPLM Boycotts elections in Northern Sudan

Now the elections are getting really interesting. The other day, the SPLM Presidential Candidate Yasir Saed Arman, withdrew from the race, citing problems in Darfur and electoral irregularities that will not lead to a free and fair elections.

Yesterday, the SPLM Political Bureau has decided to also abandon the elections in Northern Sudan, citing the same problems and saying the elections will not be free and fare etc, etc. Funny enough, the SPLM will continue to run in Southern Sudan, competing in all levels of government. Now the streets have become really active.
Nobody is believeing the crap. If the elctions are not going to be free and fare in the North, how will it be in the South? Is it not the same elections, same ballots and same NEC? When there are no explanations, the conspiracy theories abound and I like what I hear, because it goes with what I believe a long time ago that it is going to happen: that SPLM is handing Northern Sudan to NCP and NCP is handing Southern Sudan to the SPLM. That will be the results of the elections, each ensuring their grip in power. And the oppositions parties, they can go to hell.

The opposition have already sensed this and said the SPLM cut a deal with NCP. Are they right? Maybe. Bashir has threatened to postpone the crucial referrundum in the South in 2011 if SPLM withdraw completely from the elections aor asked for delays. For the SPLM, 2011 is much more important than the elections.

So the whole elections is turning out to be a sham.

Elections, elections, elections

Hey, I am back. I have been troubled with a lot of things are now the scene in Sudan is getting juicer by the day as the elections gets nearer by the day.

Most towns in the Southern Sudan are already in high election mood. I have seen them, some of them, and will tell you that many people are ready to exercise their democratic rights.

What the SPLM is doing is a subject for another post.