Home | News    Saturday 9 July 2011

Al-Mahdi blames South Sudan split on rulers’ failure to handle diversity


July 8, 2011 (JUBA) – Sudan’s former prime minister Al-Sadiq al-Mahdi has attributed the secession of South Sudan to the failure of the country’s rulers in managing its diversity, warning in the process against a new war between the two countries.

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Former prime minister of Sudan Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi (AFP)

Today, 9 July, South Sudan declares formal independence from the North after the region’s citizens voted overwhelmingly to secede in a referendum held at the start of this year.

The vote was stipulated under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which ended more than two decades between the predominately Christian South and the Muslim-dominated North.

In a sermon he delivered following Friday prayers in South Sudan’s capital Juba, Al-Mahdi fulminated against the legitimacy of the rule of the National Congress Party (NCP) in North Sudan, saying that the secession of the South had further undermined the party’s credibility.

He further accused NCP’s leaders of peddling delusions about the beauty of Sudan’s map after secession, adding that the current map is “melancholic and indicative of detraction.”

Al-Mahdi, who had two spells in power as the country’s prime minister - and was ousted by a coup led by Sudan’s now president Omar Hassan Al-Bashir - acknowledged that the secession of South Sudan was a product of failure by the country’s rulers to manage diversity within unity.

The leader of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP) warned against what he termed as “the rise of racist and war-attracting rhetoric” by Northern and Southern leaders, accusing them of being unaware of the dangers of the new war.

Al-Mahdi called on the international community to participate in finding a solution to pending issues between North and South Sudan, in reference to disagreements over the borders and oil, warning that these issues could lead to war.

Separately, the NUP leader reiterated defense of his party’s decision to engage in dialogue with the NCP, saying they were negotiating with the NCP to prevent the disintegration of Sudan.

In a press conference held in Juba on Thursday, Al-Mahdi said that the dialogue between his party and the NCP had reached an advanced level.

However, he added that disagreements remain over essential issues “such as the International Criminal Court (ICC), Darfur and the national government.”

He further divulged that the dialogue was recently undermined by the issues of Abyei, South Kordofan and the Blue Nile as well as the NCP’s decision to deprive southerners from citizenship in the North.

“We have Americans and British citizens in the government itself, how come we deprive the country’s people’s in the South from citizenship,” Al-Mahdi said in reference to the fact that some senior NCP officials are holders of Western passports.


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  • 9 July 2011 10:50, by Sam.Eto

    Al-Mahdi is a short sighted, self indulged arrogant fool. He blames everyone else for things that are clearly part of his own doing and short fall. South Sudan split has nothing to do with this government - it is a combination of some Southern will, Northern unwillingness and Western agendas.

    South Sudan is not independent today - I’m sorry to tell my southern brothers. You were handed over from the Northern Sudanese to the Americans in a deal signed in 2005. You have nothing to do with it. You are now the responsibility of the US government and not a sovereign state - starting off with the 7000 UN troops the US asked for.

    As for the internal situation in the South well nothing simplifies better than this article:

    South Sudan free at last to do what?

    The South Sudanese minister of information, Barnaba Marial, wells up at the thought of independence for his nation. It is bigger than his wedding day, he says; the biggest day of his life.

    For Marial, and for most of his countrymen, the journey of two wars, two million dead, starting with an uprising in the town of Torit in 1955, is a biblical march of a chosen people out of the steppe, swamps and hills of the lower reaches of the Nile.

    The part of Moses was for a long time played by John Garang, the founder of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army and its political wing, the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement. Garang died in a helicopter crash in 2005 after securing a peace deal with the rulers in Sudan’s north. His successor, Salva Kiir, like Garang from the majority Dinka people, is a lesser prophet.

    Free at last, free at last. Even out in the bush, the celebratory mood is infectious and moving. Almost everyone, from generals to cattle herders has been learning the new national anthem. The first verse goes, "Land of great abundance, uphold us united in peace and liberty."

    No one doubts the abundance. South Sudan has fertile and well-watered lands, with an estimated eight million to 14 million people (nobody really knows) compared with 84 million in neighbouring Ethiopia. Villagers in South Sudan need not buy farmland. They simply walk into the scrub and cultivate it. The price of a small holding of several acres is only the minimal sum needed to have it marked out and registered.

    South Sudan has the potential to be among the largest food producers in Africa. The country also has hardwood timber. It has oil, gold, chromium, iron ore and a host of other minerals. Some think oil revenues will fall off before 2020. Others are more hopeful. The government wants to divide up unused concessions owned by Total, a French company, and sell them to other enterprises.

    But the combination of abundance and weak government almost never has a happy outcome in Africa. The new government can draw on very few trained officials. Ministries lack computers. Tax collectors are illiterate.

    The new country could break down in civil conflict along the unsettled northern border or within itself. A recent agreement between north and south to put 4,200 Ethiopian peacekeepers in the disputed region of Abyei may hold. Neither side wants a return to war. Even so, the United Nations says 2,000 people have been killed and 300,000 displaced in fighting so far this year.

    The north is mostly to blame, particularly in the Kordofan region. But there also have been cases of South Sudan hammering militias that dared to defy it. That reflects squabbling over local resources, lack of communication in a country with few roads and indiscipline in ragtag bits of the army.

    There is also the dogmatism of the SPLM. As with most African liberation movements, history has only one telling. The guerrillas are intolerant of criticism and angry at journalists. Yet a state built solely on the SPLM’s narrative is bound to disappoint. The vice president of the new country, Riek Machar, an ethnic Nuer, has already been sidelined. He is distrusted by some of the Dinka higher-ups.

    If South Sudan is to hold together and prosper, it has to overcome many hurdles. The first is transportation. The republic is a quagmire for several months a year. Rains swamp what few roads there are. Some progress has been made in building gravel tracks. It is possible to drive between some of the federal states even during the rainy season. But transportation remains expensive and settlements themselves are often sunk in mud. New ideas and technologies are needed.

    A second challenge is "monetizing" the country’s livestock and moving the Dinka and Nuer cultures on from cow worship. The government says the country has 12 milion cattle and 24 million goats and sheep. Yet there is no meat export industry and little interest among herders in selling their animals.

    A further task is to push development and investment beyond Juba, the pleasant town on the Nile chosen as the capital that is dominated by Dinkas. The governor of the state of Eastern Equatoria, Louis Lobo Lojore, says his people want more federalism. That means, for example, giving states the right to strike deals with foreign investors. Ministers in Juba rudely dismiss such ambitions. Investment has to come through the capital, and the terms must be decided by officials there.

    A question keeps cropping up: Is South Sudan a nation of equals or a Dinka state? Unless there is a balance between Juba and the state capitals and between Dinkas and other groups, South Sudan may prove too big and diverse — too Yugoslav, in other words — to hold together.

    Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 9, 2011 A19

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    • 9 July 2011 16:17, by DeltaBravo

      He was part of that Rulers. In 1969 he did massed killing in all Southern Cities and Villages. He was racist himself,so don’t let him blame on others. He created Muralin to killed a lot of Civilian in Northern Bhar al Ghazal my home Town where i came from. Now iam worry about Nubian,Fur,Funj,Beja they will become target of racism as it is taking place now in Kordufan and Darfur. With NCP in Power nothing is good the for group i mention above.

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  • 9 July 2011 18:20, by Lorolokin

    Al Mahadi is just a shit Coz he was part of the Khartoum based government. Instead he was the most venomous snake.


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  • 9 July 2011 22:12, by Aleu

    Mr. Sadiq al Mahdi.

    I think you are right, the incharge Party so call NCP have fails to make Sudan nation diversity and good government. I think the Independence of Southern Sudan show that, the North Sudan took the issue of religion during the peace agreement saying, Southern Sudanese they have choices to take referendum but we are not going to accept any changes in the government system. The NCP underestimating SPLM and Southern Sudanese thinking maybe we will not make it this Inedpendence for Southern Sudan as like now the world have pay respect and there is no doubt the NCP is responsible for secession otherwise, we would have not separate from North Sudan but thank we have finally come to conclusion.

    You might be right also about the thing which you brought up very important that racist and war could happen at the same time. Don’t forget the racist has already started when Omar al Bashir orders his SAF to invaded Abyei buring civilian houses down forcing Dinka Ngok people no any option to leave and in again, the case for Nubian Mountaints of the Southern Kordofan State that really appear to be an ethnic cleansing agenda when government troop went door to door killing those supporting SPLA and the Southern Sudanese people, this is absolutely racist against Black African tribes in the Sudan made by the indictment have began.

    It could go worst if the whole Black African tribes against the Arab in Sudan and who have to be blame.? Well, the Khartoum government is responsible for whatever happen to none Arab in Sudan and we will see how that work out from the indictment killer Omar al Bashir.

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  • 10 July 2011 05:03, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

    Saddiq Mahdi should do the noble task of bidding farewell to South Sudanese and thank them for work done well to get rid of their shackles of slavery, expoitation, thuggery and inhumane acts of rape, massmurder in the name of religion and arab race. He and his ancestors were the first architects of all the evil in Sudan. It is extremely real when he comes to the region as a guest and many of his likes. They must be subjected to serious security checks.

    Another thing of importance is as long as Darfur is in flames, Nuba is still bleeding and the Ingessana, Burun and funj are under threat of being attacked by the enemy of black Africans, South Sudan will definitely not be at peace with itself because this country was built yesterday on foundation of opposition of what is taking place in these places. The people of these place are being punished as we were for standing tall and say they are what they are in the eyes of Almight God the creator no more or less but pure Africans who just want to live on what God has given without trouble with anyone on earth. For that I believe every peace loving person on earth can give a helping hand the least is a moral support for their stand for their ideals.

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