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 . . .