Home | Comment & Analysis    Friday 27 November 2009

ABYEI: Bashir wants it all

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By Roger Winter

November 26, 2009 — Having visited Abyei on numerous occasions over the last fifteen years, it has become a place that I regularly go to see President Bashir and his National Congress Party at their predictable worst. Visually, the destruction of May 2008, when Abyei’s market and most of its homes were burned to the ground by Bashir’s 31st Sudan Armed Forces Brigade, were, of course, the most striking sights. Abyei’s civilians fled south, displaced once again. To top things off, the 31st blew up the facilities of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement, the NCP’s ‘partner’ in the mis-named Government of National Unity. This wanton destruction by Khartoum’s forces was followed by both Parties presenting their cases to the Permanent Court of Arbitration(PCA) in the Hague. On July 22 of this year the PCA rendered its findings which both Parties committed to implement, including by properly demarcating the borders.

Ten days ago, for the second time since its destruction, I visited Abyei. It was an amazing yet devastating experience. What was amazing was the ‘new’ Abyei. To a very substantial degree, the recently-displaced population of Abyei has returned and those returnees have been supplemented by many others coming home after many years in exile. In addition, there is construction of new commercial and administration buildings going on such as has not existed in Abyei before, thanks to both private and donor investments, such as those from USAID. And then I saw Abyei’s new, vibrant market, full of people, full of goods, full of smiles and full of hope. Visiting different residential areas the vitality and the determination of the returnees was evident; their actions, words and energy all said to me, “This is our place; we are happy to be home!”.

But the dark storm clouds of Bashir and his NCP, along with the criminals of the 31st Brigade, are not far away. Both Bashir and his NCP have a perfect record insofar as agreements are concerned; they NEVER , EVER keep an agreement they sign. This brings us again to the PCA decision of last July which both the SPLM and the NCP pledged publically to implement. The plan was for an ‘Oversight Committee’ to be formed, which would report to the Presidency and oversee the actual workings of the demarcation team. The team was to consist of an equal number of experts from both sides and to be protected while carrying out its duties by members of a Joint Integrated Unit(JIU). In actuality, the Oversight Committee was never formed, the demarcation ‘leader’ is an NCP cadre who reports directly to Bashir, and the SAF Brigades, including the 31st that itself burned Abyei to the ground, chased away the JIUs assigned to protect the team. The SAF Brigades in the area are made up of men who are not at all objective as they come from the Misseriya community from which Bashir raised many Mujahideen to serve in his Popular Defense Forces. The SPLM members of the demarcation are clearly out-manned, alone and at risk. The process itself has been hi-jacked.

The task of the demarcation team is to lay out Abyei’s boundaries pursuant to the PCA decision. This involves working in the field, on the ground and in the air, to plot out and mark the boundaries with pillars and markers so that there is no question of the border’s location. The plan was to install between 25 and 30 major pillar markers along with smaller markers between pillars. So far, four pillars have been installed, all in southern locations. When visiting other areas for their preliminary work, the team has been threatened with death and bodily harm. The process is now at a standstill. The demarcation task was to have been completed in November.

Bashir has publically made promises to the Misseriya community about Abyei’s future. His promises are all at odds with the Abyei Protocol of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, not to mention the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. He obviously couldn’t care less about demarcation. He wants Abyei and he wants it all.

Roger winter is former USAID manager and former US State Department special envoy for Sudan assigned to follow Darfur dossier and implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement



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  • 27 November 2009 01:49, by Wende Yongaptheeth

    Roger Winter,

    You are more then right and accurate to the point. What is happening in Abyei is a red flashing light and a time bomb for the CPA, unity of Sudan, genocide reminiscent to the one in Darfur and must be seen as so.

    The potential fight fights blare-up in Abyei will engulped the entire Sudan and leads to secession of many states to independent from Ja’alyeen Al Beshir tribal Sudan.

    This is Yugoslavirization of the Sudan into more then five independent states of Darfur, Nuba Mtns, South Blue Nile and South Sudan state. The remaining part of the part North will inverts and collapse on its own weight for lack of able man power to fight for its, lack of resources to sustain it and emergent of tribal rivalry between the Ja’alyeen, Danaqlas and Shaiqi.

    Al Beshir is provocking the war against the most powerful SPLA and the NIF SAF is not going to win an all out full scale war against the SPLA because the SPLA this time round is going to have accrues disgruntled armed forces from other regions such as Darfur, Nuba Mtns, Blue Nile and itself the SPLA.

    This is a red light run for Al Beshir which put him and his NIF SAF at risk and inevitable collapse and disintegration of the Sudan.

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    • 27 November 2009 02:25, by Deng Thiak Adut

      Thank you dear Roger Winter. I trust your sincere thoughts over article and the contents you presented. “Bashir wants it all” and no surprise, he recently sent along Francis Deng to Abyei to work for peace and to promote unity in the country. He also paid handsome money to Deng who recently wrong on an article title, “prospects of reconciling self-determination with unity in Sudan”. Deng in that article proposed that the prospects of unity is more favourable than separation without thinking of the meaningful separation for southerners.
      Everyone might have read his article and it is an amazing article if you want to read itsudantribune. Three things you should take from Deng’s article are; first “Separation is worse scenario” according to him, second point, he emphasised is that the caused of war is about “marginalisation”, and finally, he seem to focus on provisions of ’material” and “morality” as essence of unity as remedies. All these are insults to southerners, because we not here to be bribe with money worth and mosques again as he contradicted his finest point, that no one go to war for nothing. He abundant those beautiful and courageous words, and simply worked contrary against South and Abyei protocol. The root causes of war is too deep Mr Deng Mading, and pursuant to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruling this year, there is nothing much Bashir would do apart from creating hurdles and deterrence for demarcation team to do their work. Francis Deng is therefore a clear example of Bashir link with Abyei demarcation failure and therefore he is against the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
      I believe most of the Abyei people know very well that Francis Deng is a devil advocate. In him here lies al Bashir.

      However, Winter painted a very different position from what the the SPLM ought to do. And I do trust him for these precious news. I think GOSS should mobilise her force in Abyei and Making sure that the JIU does not take any part in the area. On the different view, Al Bashir had shown Southerners the symptoms of separations and we are they one refusing to accept his offer in bilateral terms. It was withdrawal of salaries for 105 members of parliament, in particular SPLM, and now it is about destructing the court ruling. What is the next move by NCP then? There is no such thing as government of National Unity we must act now for separation with no concession attached. Legally, we have right to reiterate our position as sovereign nation as at this phases of transition toward so called New Sudan. The transition roads are quiet rough and I can’t think if there is a CLEAR 10% of chance of United Sudan in future. We might be just wasting our time to develop our country, so lets turn our petrol taps off. I believe this is an equitable positions and decision which rests on the shoulder of H.E. Kirr Maryardit.

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      • 27 November 2009 03:38, by Michael Madit Magot

        Dear Roger,

        You are right in your article that " Bashir want Abyei all".
        Bashir and his government have learn that Abyei people are divided over their fate should the referendum come.
        Majority of Abyei elites are favouring unity of Sudan.
        Given their historical close allias with the government of Sudan the Abyei people are ignorant and uninformed of the importants of an independent Southsudan.

        Well the Abyei issue will not obstruct the noble vision of Southerners to liberate themselves from the york of slavery.
        The Abyei people must unite and determine their future or else the South would opt for independent without them.

        The Southerners have learnt enough of the Islamic regime and thus they do not want their future be tied down for the issue of minority.

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        • 27 November 2009 04:33, by Dinka Boy

          Dear Winter,

          Great Job.
          You have wrote very good article that the proud human being should honor.

          I would like to tell you that during the South and North War, the higheset percentage in the Bashier army were darfurian who help him to fight SPLM.

          In fact, Bashhier is the Criminal who can not thanks darfurian because of their full effort in the North government.

          The death of Darfurian in 2008 is the pure hatred aganist humanity. Bashier fire the big bomb and weapons that they used aganist SPLM ever since to the people of Darfur.
          Abyei people espcially the Dinka-Ngok are Southerners geographically and ethinicically.

          We know that Bashier is like the dry wood among the bushy trees.
          The guy must be hang like Saddam Hussein because he make the same genocide like what saddan did to the Kurds.
          Thanks again

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          • 27 November 2009 05:51, by Gatwech

            Roger Winter,

            The problem is there are leaders like Dr. Riek Machar who want to save Abyei and bring it back to the South, yet many sons and daughters of Abyei are siding with Al-Bashir to keep Abyei as part of the North. Our SPLM leaders fought this battle in the Hague and won it, yet the royal family of Abyei, represented by Dr. Francis Mading Deng are going around telling Bashir that Abyei will never join the South. Can you see the dillemma with this poor community? They are strengthening the position of Al-Bashir. They even sent their representatives to hague to argue against Riek Machar’s position on Abyei. These people’s ladies have been born many children by Messeriya and they think it is enough blood ties to keep them together. They enjoy being slaves.

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            • 27 November 2009 08:30, by black man world

              Wow Bewitch you are totally amazingly stupid dude, you connect things that don’t connect and make the dumb argument out of it. WOW am speechless dude.

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              • 27 November 2009 14:15, by Lokorai

                Dear Roger,

                You have been a great friend of our people (Southern Sudan) and knows much about everything virtually; your attempt to square things on Al Bashir here on Abyei however is a surprise.

                Al Bashir might be wrong but the truth lies somewhere-around us for being so demanding and ever complaining. May be we should content with what we have achieved so far, do better job to sustain and maintain the momentum to avoid the fall out altogether in the entire CPA.

                Please talk to this Kawaja (Reeves) who doesn’t know what he has been saying loudly here.

                Otherwise we love you and esteemed you!

                Lokorai

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                • 29 November 2009 02:32, by Thyinka

                  Frederick Douglass once said, "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." Everything that Southern Sudan has achieved so far was fought for. NCP never gave anything free to Southerners and they are always looking for ways to take back what they have conceded. If anybody thinks that the South complain a lot, then, they should think again because Southern Sudan is demanding what belongs to her.

                  Roger Winter has written a very good article on the nature of Al Bashir and his NCP regime. They can never be trusted to keep their promise or agreement.

                  I have great respect for Eric Reeves because for his unwavering support for the cause of the marginalized in Sudan especially Darfur and Southern Sudan. He has done and continue to do his share of highlighting the plight of the marginalized in the Sudan and that should be appreciated.

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                  • 29 November 2009 02:35, by Thyinka

                    Frederick Douglass once said, "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." Everything that Southern Sudan has achieved so far was fought for. NCP never gave anything free to Southerners and they are always looking for ways to take back what they have conceded. If anybody thinks that the South complain a lot, then, they should think again because Southern Sudan is demanding what belongs to her.

                    Roger Winter has written a very good article on the nature of Al Bashir and his NCP regime. They can never be trusted to keep their promise or agreement.

                    I have great respect for Eric Reeves because of his unwavering support for the cause of the marginalized in Sudan especially Darfur and Southern Sudan. He has done and continue to do his share of highlighting the plight of the marginalized in the Sudan and that should be appreciated.

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            • 27 November 2009 21:34, by Amook Raan

              Getwech
              your seem to be stupid and empty head, stop and shut your ass up!

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              • 27 November 2009 21:35, by Amook Raan

                Thank you Mr. Roger for supporting us.

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                • 28 November 2009 07:01, by Trueman

                  CHURCH PRAY FOR GENITALS!!!

                  A pastor in one of the churches in a Kampala suburb recently caused laughter when he asked worshipers to hold their genitals in prayer. The man of God told people to close their eyes and hold their private parts in order to cast out demons of premarital and extramarital sex.

                  While some people took it seriously and embarked on serious prayer, others, especially the youth, giggled as they exchanged glances with one another. The pastor was not amused and rebuked them, saying this was a serious matter. He insisted on seeing everyones eyes closed with their hands on the groin.

                  After the prayer, some elderly people were blushing, while the youth made fun of the whole exercise.

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                  • 28 November 2009 14:48, by Gatwech

                    Trueman,

                    Which part of your comment has something to do with Abyei underwhich article you comment.

                    You always sound like a homosexual in your sexual comments.

                    Please don’t indirectly preach sex or homosexuality here.

                    Remember "don’t tell, don’t ask" policy on homosexuals in the United states.

                    repondre message

                    • 28 November 2009 17:11, by Nile Flame

                      awesome findings Mr. Winter, but unity of Sudan is more important than separation. i know the world is push for separation in sudan while the world is emerging to globalization. A sught-less Kiir’s with his vision-less counterparts tirelessly compaign for separation while they do not addressed the significance impact for separation. its not a matter of just having a sovereign nation but there criterias to be met under the international law for a state to be recognize as independence.

                      Southerners should imsgine how the south as independent nation will look look like in next 100 years? i wish my southerners colleagues would rule out the essence of fulfilling their guts just for short period of time and for get what will happen to the generation to come.

                      unity is the way out for the people of sudan, nations fight, tribes fights but all in all they seek solutions that would bridge the chasm and resume better relationship as common people

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                    • 28 November 2009 22:51, by Trueman

                      Gatwech,

                      Iam not homosexual nor sexist but i entertain funny stories which i like to share with those interested.
                      You may not be interested because some people here on the board twisted my stories to meant Nuer.

                      Well that will not make me abandon my favourite.
                      You either swallow it or spit it.

                      repondre message

  • 29 November 2009 07:51, by Time1

    Bashir is not serious about implementing CPA, signing the peace was just a way for them to get out of international pressure and try and clear their terrorism tainited name, they also thought they can silence the south by signing a peace deal then later they will ignore the peace and they will then have put out the liberation struggle. Now implementing the CPA was not in the plan of Omer bashir and his NCP party, they wanted to use it as a way out of their problems, so now that they realized that CPA will brining real change to Sudan in terms of democracy, freedom to marginalized and will threatened their grip in power so they decided they will not implement it fully or they want to revise some of the issues that was agreed on, like border demarcation, referendum, security bills and resource sharing.

    I agree with Roger Winter that Bashir is just buying time but his real intention is to get everything for the NCP but not to make any concessions, he has been making promises to the messerieya that he will give them land and he will do alot of things for them, but he has not explained to them how he will give the messerieya the land o0f the Ngok dinka, so it is all false promises.

    NCP has so far been mobilizing the messerieya to enter Abyie and cause chaos, they now want to force the messerieya Arabs back into Abyie to get invovled in the self determination elections in Abyie for 2011, meanwhiel the agreement in CPA states clearly that only peoples native to Abyie will have to decide, but NCP now wanted to include citizens or residence who are not native to Abyie to also vote in the elections hoping this will turn things their way.

    They have been sabotaging the demarcation process, border officials are intimidated and also no cooperation from NCP side on all levels, considering the International court in Hague had asked both side to respect the AByie ruling and start immediately to implement the ruling, but NCP has so far refused to implement or cooperate in that issues.

    Implementing the CPA in full is not in the interests of NCP, because this will set a road map for evacuation of NCP from power peacefully, they are afriad and they want to stay in power even if it will cost the Sudanese peoples their lifes, NCP does not want peace in Sudan, they only want to stay in power as a dictatorship regime, they are not interested in democracy or any other form of change, four years now we have not seen any positive change from NCP towards a democratic Sudan, everything is still the same.

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  • 29 November 2009 11:59, by Akuma

    Dear Roger,

    In Northern Sudan rule by regime of BAshir, they claim that Abyei belon to north but i think doesn’t belong North because Abyei belong to Southern Sudan.

    What make Abyei to be in Northern Sudan is due to tax pay be cause their leaders were forces to pay tax to northern part becasue of long distance.

    Are there Dinka tribe in Northern if Arab are not fool?, All Abyei people are even fooling themselves, they consider outsiders to help them while they just SPLM to talk on their behalfs, How foolish are they?. Here Prof. Francis cliam to Abyei origin, and he let to be dominate by Arabs.

    Bashir need Abyei beacuse of Oil present, once there the oil is allocate somewhere them in Abyei, there could be no commotion development among.

    What interested in Abyei is oil.

    There is no possibility that Abyei belong to Northern Apart because they are Dinka by cogent/origin rather than stupid Arabs ideology.

    Please let Abyei do their part and Government of Southern Sudan will help them.
    Dr. AKUMA. Chicago USA

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