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!