Head Office: Juba
Date: November 15, 2008
To His Excellency Left General Salva Kiir Mayardit, Chairman of the Sudanese People Liberation Movement (SPLM).
Through His Excellency General Pagan Amom Okeg, Secretary General of SPLM
Since seventies, the hope for initiative that may bring total change into Sudanese society was a vision that embraced many, till the Sudanese People Liberation Army/Movement (SPLM/A) was launched on May 16, 1983.
Personally I first contacted SPLM in Khartoum in August 1983, representing the United Patriotic Front, and delegated by Mr. Mukhtar Ebied to seek means for corporation and coordination between the two Movements. Since 1991 we worked under the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), in Uganda with great hopes to fulfill dreams of our Sudanese people, by uplifting injustice and marginalization subjected by the center.
Failed to be trained militarily, when accepted the Secretary General post of New Sudan Islamic Council (NSIC) in March 1996, appointed by Cdr Altahir Bior Ajack, I truly thought it was the Movement’s Islamic wing, in the context of aiming at causing changes in different aspects of life.
Since its formation in 1991, NSIC looks like an orphan organization, due to the nature and propaganda lodged by Khartoum Governments during the war and negative stands taken by SPLM leaders, particularly in response to separation of Religion and State and as a defense measure from Arabization policies, in an odd environment where Islamic religion continually under pressures and questions!
I worked to promote human values existed in Islam, as it is in other religions, particularly when I became the Chairman of NSIC on 16th February 1999, after nominated by late hero Cdr. Yousif Kuwa Makee, and endorsed by the late hero Dr. John Garang De-mabior.
Within that capacity, I managed to raise morals of our Muslims fellows in SPLA and gave religious justification to SPLM positions, above all we managed to establish environment of tolerance and peace that may help in establishing modern Islamic Center for Religious Teaching (MICRT), as derived from our developed vision towards Islam.
Within the process of establishing the structure bases of NSIC, the South Sudan Islamic Council (SSIC) was formed on 24-28 April 2005, at a conference in Yei town (after personal permission from Your Excellency), at which I was elected a Chairman. We managed to achieve common ground with our brothers in the New Sudan Council of Churches, through two Conferences, the first in Yei on April 26, 2005 and the second in Jinja on August 30th to 4th September 2005.
Your Excellency, before the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) on January 9, 2005, and after formation of Government of South Sudan (GOSS) in October 2005, we prepared ourselves, later requested authorization for reception of Islamic properties in South Sudan and to start formation of NSIC at State levels, instead, we faced great difficulties, as shown in the followings sequences:
1- On January 4, 2005, I wrote a Concept Paper On Islamic Activities During The Interim Period, to Dr. John Garang De-mabior, Chairman of SPLM and C-In-C of SPLA, with copies to both Governors Cdr Malik Agar Eyre, and Cdr Abdulaziz Adam Alhilu.
2- Strange enough, I handled Your Excellency above Concept Paper in Nairobi, on Faraday, July 29, 2005.
3- On October 2005, and for more than three weeks, I failed to meet Your Excellency Khartoum office, regarding the Council.
4- Around December 2005, I met the Vice President, H.E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny, who promised to send me a ticket in June 2006 to come to Juba for re-organization of NSIC, unfortunately that never happened.
5- After nearly three months waiting in Juba, I met Your Excellency on January 2007, where you promised the followings:
a. Consult with Minister of Legal Affairs on the legal statues of the NSIC.
b. Appointing me in another post in addition to the NSIC Chairmanship.
6- On March 27, 2007, I hastily returned Juba, after a talk with MR. Martin Majut Yak, Director of Your Excellency office, who claimed that, Your Excellency had appointed me a Senior Advisor at the Ministry of Gender, Social, and Religious Affairs! Unfortunately after more than one and half month waiting in Juba, denied all that!
7- On April 20, I received a letter with Ref: MoPA\I.D.2 dated April 13, 2007, from Your Excellency office, to meet H.E. Mary Kiden, ministry of Gender, Social, and Religious Affairs, for registration of South Sudan Islamic Council, unfortunately she was executing a different plan regarding South Sudan Islamic Council.
8- On May 27, 2007 both SPLM-GOSS/NCP-GNU agreed to form Islamic Committees all over South Sudan which should organize Muslims for their final Conference, these resolutions were signed by His Excellency Dr. Riek Machar Teny Vice President of the GOSS, without attendance or consultations of SPLM Muslims.
9- Finally, the authorization for establishing State Committees, as regulated by above agreement was granted by H. E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny V. P. of GOSS, by a letter No GOOS/VPO/J/56.p, dated July 20, 2007, unfortunately instead of calling me, it was handled to Ezaldin Nimir Deng, together with amount of money, unfortunately, Ezaldin hamper that process.
10- On August 3, 2007, I met H.E. Dr. Riek Machar, the V. P. of GOOS in Nairobi, who promised to send me an air ticket on August 17, 2007, and accommodation in Juba, that never materialized.
11- On November 8, 2007 His Excellency Dr. Riek Machar Teny Vice President of the GOSS, wrote a letter No GOOS/VPO/J/56-A.1, dated 8/11/2007, to H. E. Mary Kiden, Minister of Gender, Social Welfare and Religious Affairs, mentioning for first time that Mr. Altahir Bior Ajak, as Chairman of NSIC, and to lead the process of reorganizing Muslims in South Sudan.
12- On December 3, 2007, Altahi Bior Aljack used above letter, he formed Islamic Committees in Southern States, these Committees composed mostly from members of NCP and Islamic Movement )IM(, something they never dream of. NCP members in these lists range from 88% in Central Equatoria State to 70% in East Equatoria State and 63% in Upper Nile State.
13- Around December 27, 2007, I met H. E. Pagan Amom, SPLM Secretary General in Nairobi, who promised me a ticket and accommodation in Juba.
14- After arriving Juba on January 21, 2007, I issued a Memorandum on February 18, 2008, proving legitimacy and exposing NCP relation with Mr. Altahr Bior and his formed structures.
15- On March 31, 2008, Governor of Central State H. E. General Klement Wani Konga together with Minister of Social Development, H.E. Huda Micheal Lyla, were called by the Vice
President H. E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny, with presence of Altahir Bior and his Committee for Central Equatoria, where the Minister was asked to handle Islamic Institutions to that Committee.
16- On April 9, 2008, I gave Your Excellency, a letter signed by forty SPLM Muslims Members in Central Equatoria, opposing above move.
17- That was culminating with great oppositions from different groups, and letter by H. E. General Klement Wani Konga, Governor of the Central Equatoria State, on April 13, 2008, in which he stated the presence of problems within the Islamic community in his State.
18- These faithful efforts were behind the intervention of Your Excellency, calling both disputed parties to a meet in your office on April 30, 2008, (after listening to the parties, in which it was mentioned that I am not a Southern, and that I am a Darfurian), Your Excellency stated the following (what we thought) three guidelines:
I- That, Nuba, Fung and people of Darfur had participated in the liberation war, and have rights for different posts.
II- When Altahir Bior migrated to Australia, New Sudan Islamic Council as an establishment belongs to the Movement was running by nominated person.
III- The Vice President Dr. Riek Machar appointment of Altahir Bior was not proper, because he didn’t took action against the one who was running the office.
19- At the end of the above meeting, Your Excellency asked us to come on May 2, 2008. Unfortunately, that never took place due to fallen of our Heroes, the Ministry of Defense and his collages.
20- On August 16, 2008, I was asked to participate in the sub-committee of the executive committee between SPLM-GOSS/NCP-GNU, then my name with other three Muslims were added to the delegation to be heading to Khartoum, chaired by H. E. Dr. Riek Machar, who added Altahir Bior name, and called both of us to his house on August 17, 2008. In the meeting, he asked to be briefed on our meeting with Your Excellency on April 30, 2008. In which he said he didn’t know that I am the Chairman of both NSIC and SSIC, then he cancelled our traveling with his delegation.
21- On August 19, 2008, I wrote Your Excellency, explaining above meeting and requesting recognition, particularly after H. E. Dr. Riek Machar mentioning that he “didn’t know that I am Chairman of both NSIC and SSIC”.
22- On August 25, 2008 H.E. Dr. Riek Machar called both of us (me and Altahir Bior) to his office that, saying NSIC file was brought back to his office, hence I asked him to determine who is the Chairman of NSIC, he said he already did that on November 8, 2008, but he wants me to work under the chairmanship of Altahir Bior, later he start forming a committee headed by Altahir Bior, with my name as the secretary general I protested, finally I withdraw from the meeting (after taking his permission), deciding to resign.
23- I was requested by many SPLM Members (Muslims in particular) not to resign.
24- Two days later, H.E. Mary Kiden, ministry of Gender, Social, and Religious Affairs, was called by H.E. Dr. Riek Machar and a list of NSIC delegate was presented to her, it even contains two names of NCP members; they were to met with Islamic organizations in the NCP. To make some balance, the ministry of Gender, Social, and Religious Affairs added some SPLM members names.
25- On September 4, 2008 a meeting was hold in Heron Camp Hotel in Juba, bringing together NSIC headed by Altahir Bior, South Sudan Supreme Islamic Council of NCP headed by Shiekh Bish and South Sudan Islamic Association of Khartoum of NCP headed by Mongo Ajack. The organizers were ex-NCP members, hence SPLM members added by the ministry of Gender, Social, and Religious Affairs were denied entrance; a decision was made by loyalists SPLM Muslims members to boycott the meeting, a note and Memorandum was presented to H.E. Dr. Riek Machar, with a copy to Your Excellency.
26- After withdrawal, SPLM member Ramadan Hassan Lako mediated between us, we agreed to participate, with certain conditions, unfortunately on his return, he found them already formed a steering committee, headed by Altahir Bior with both Shiekh Bish and Mongo Ajack as deputies.
27- On that day, September 5, 2008, we were informed that Your Excellency stopped the meeting, and directed us to attend Your Excellency Ramadan Breakfast for Muslims, as delivered to us by Mr. Martin Majut. Unfortunately, the group ended their meeting that night, with pre-arranged formations.
28- We tried our best to hold on our legitimacy, and on October 4, 2008 we hold press conference at Begin Hotel, in which we refer to Your Excellency above three guidelines (18-II), which express continuation and legitimacy of my Chairmanship of NSIC, hence I decided to use that authorization to form NSIC-State Committees and the NSIC Executive Committee, which I started previously with Upper Nile State and presently with both Central and East Equatoria States, bearing in mind Altahir is only Chairman of steering Committee.
29- On October 6, 2008, Your Excellency issued direction to States Governors to handle Islamic properties to Mr. Altahir Bior Ajack, a decision which we respected, but it changed balances of the situation, and caused great demoralization to Muslims members of SPLM.
30- On October 20, 2008 I was call by the South Sudan Public Security, and directed by deputy Director to stop issuing memorandums and organizing meetings and forming committees, the Director was in the office. It was my hope that such request should have been issued by the SPLM party organs rather than the security organ, funny enough it coincided with October 21, 1964 anniversary.
31- On November 2, 2008, we formed a Committee from SPLM Muslims members, to met the SPLM Secretary General to request for covey a meeting for SPLM Muslims Members, in order to elect their legitimate body.
Your Excellency, I continued the second struggle during the past three years motivated by internal believes in our noble objectives, regardless of several unfulfilled promises. That struggle was based on the right of SPLM Muslims to manage and administrate Islamic affairs through the NSIC (we aimed giving NCP percentages as stipulated by the CPA), and we fought for that regardless of these promises, with a single objective, which is to uphold the values that ignited these struggles.
In the middle of all these confusions and tricks, was the Political Islam which was used by several group of people to undermine human dignity throughout human history, as we know it was severely misused against our marginalized people in the past and present war of Darfur.
It was my fate to be in charge of such institution, while aiming at causing great reforms through well studied programs and in collaboration with other Scholars and Reformists, all of which intended at causing great changes, that may help saving next generations from repeating mistakes committed against us, unfortunately I was left alone confronting well trained, well financed and well organized group of people, who doesn’t care after moral values in achieving their goals.
Maybe our memory is start fading, but who are those people?
NCP emerged from the Salvation Regime which took power on June 30, 1989, the Salvation was a camouflage used by the National Islamic Front (NIF) to take power, NIF which was an intelligent
collation formed in 1985, started in Sudan by the Muslims Brotherhood, as propagated by some Egyptian Teachers in 1953, it change name in 1964 to Charter Front, then around 1972 the name was changed back to Muslim Brotherhood.
Political Islam implemented by above group and others worldwide, had brought great suffering to humanity during the past three decades, we in SPLM/A knows much better than others what dose they stand for, and their means in implementing these goals.
Based on our believes in peace and reconciliation, obtained from the core of Islamic teaching and modern Human developments, we had forgive them for what they did, but we can’t forget the Jihad war and the renegade description given to Muslims members of SPLM/A, it was one of the issues that had caused great pains to our late Hero Cdr. Yousif Kuwa Makee, it was these acts which forced us to search for ways to bring reforms into Islam, and to implement Humanity Islam, which was proofed by Prof. Abdullahi Ahmed An-Naím to represent the Shariea in it is highly developed process.
From this brief outlines it is clear that, this is an ideological struggle between reformists and those whose aims are controlling others mentality and destiny.
Within that context we planned to reconcile with NCP Muslims members as I explained to Your Excellency on January 2007, it was based on Reconciliatory Conference aimed at integrating them into the society and bringing peace within Muslims Community.
Unfortunately, these and the proposed Islamic reforms we intended to implement, were a notion that lacks a time-frame.
Your Excellency, the logic of God and life could seem odd and strange to ours, as I thought we could have enhanced developments of Sudanese people, in different aspects, the Islamic religion among which. Thus the dispute within the NSIC was a crucial stage for the Movement, as it showed the planning and determinations of the NCP, it also showed our weakness and lack of vision and ideas towards important questions such as Islamic Religion.
As seen, great efforts were made by many SPLM loyalists to avert present dilemma and future consequences, unfortunately recognizing the Steering Committee, represents great setback, great sorrow to Muslims within the Movement and a personal tragedy for me, simply because the Steering Committee represents the same NCP committees formed last year, by Altahir Bior (as seen in his last committees dominated by NCP), and above all it is against what we were fighting for two decades.
These mentioned efforts were aimed at establishing much better Muslims society and to achieve the basic changes dreamed by our people, the late hero Cdr. Yousif Kuwa Makee, and to protect our people and society from the current world experiences. On the other hand, while in power, possessing revolution legitimacy, we failed to utilize that by proper investment in Islamic institution that was established by SPLM itself (NSIC), hence this also shows a personal failure for someone who never join any political party and dedicated himself toward establishment of perfect society, as the past paragraphs can showed.
Finally, since there is a rumor that, I am the obstacle for NSIC been recognized by some top SPLM executive (as I lack the tribal criteria), I decided to bow down for others to lead for that change, and decided to present my resignation as Chairman of South Sudan Islamic Council, Chairman of New Sudan Islamic Council and SPLM Membership, while doing so, I am apologizing to our fellow Muslims and others who were with great expectations for a meaningful change we were aiming for.
Mahmoud E. Yousif
Juba, November 15, 2008