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Egypt’s top newspaper blames Sudan’s Bashir for the country’s likely breakup


December 26, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – The semi-official top newspaper in Egypt launched a rare attack on Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir saying that his policies over the years have made people in South yearn for their own state rather than desire to stay united with the rest of the country.

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Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir (R) welcomes Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (C) at Khartoum airport upon his arrival with Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi (not in picture) on December 21, 2010 for talks with Bashir, ahead of a referendum on southern independence (AFP)

"The truth is that the government of Sudan bears alone the largest part of the tragedy lurking in Sudan now. Although it is too early to evaluate the mistakes which led Sudan to this fate, the government of Sudan has committed a series of blunders since assuming power in the country. They emphasized to the southerners that the concept of self-determination rather than integration with the North’s ideological policies, made the coexistence between them difficult and impossible," said Osama Saraya, editor in chief of Al-Ahram newspaper in his op-ed published Friday.

"The Government promoted the sin that the adoption of the right to self-determination will make the unity of Sudan a correct choice for the South, but it did not do anything over the years that have elapsed since the adoption of this right. The successive governments did not comprehend very well the elements the Southern issue nor did it realize the surrounding international situation indicating that they [international powers] were keen in their quest for the dismemberment of this great country " he added.

Saraya said that Khartoum brushed aside advices by Cairo in the lead-up to the signing of the Machakos protocols in 2002 which he said resulted in the current situation. He hinted that the Egyptian government wanted the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in the North to abandon the imposition of Islamic Sharia’a law to make unity attractive to the Southerners.

Al-Ahram’s top guy said that the NCP wanted to trade self-determination right for implementation of Sharia’a law in the North. Some observers say that this enforced the mental lines dividing the North and South.

"Egypt was never far from the evolution of the situation in Sudan. It did not desist from giving warnings and advices to those who are in power in the south and the north and cooperating with them. Egypt interacted with the situation to the extent of its internal dimensions with a problem in a sovereign state. [Egyptian] President [Hosni] Mubarak visited Juba in southern Sudan, while Southerners wondered where is the Sudanese president from visiting Juba?"

"But the situation caused by repeated mistakes led to what we are in today" Saraya said.

He noted the mini-summit held in Khartoum this week that was attended by Mubarak and other regional leaders including Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. They all met with Bashir and southern leader Salva Kiir to discuss progress on implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed between the North and South in 2005.

The two sides have been discussing without success since July the key sticking points of future citizenship arrangements, the sharing out of natural resources — particularly oil — security and compliance with international accords, notably on water allocation from the Nile.

They have also yet to find common ground on the disputed oil district of Abyei which had supposed to be holding a simultaneous vote on its own future that has been delayed by disagreements over who should have a ballot.

Saraya said that the North now needs to adopt a "new way of thinking" that will help it face the new post-secession challenges "to maintain stability, and to develop radical solutions to the problems that will likely get more complex".

He criticized Bashir’s speech last week that pledged to transform constitution in North Sudan to a fully Islamic one after the South secedes.

"Not included in this new way of thinking is for the Sudanese president to stand in the midst of the current crisis to announce a few days ago that the constitution would be amended and that the Sharia’a [law] will be the source of legislation in the event of secession of the south".

"This means that the Sudanese president continues to believe that the Caliphate state in the Sudan is more important than unity, and that with the secession of the south he got rid of the force which hindered the establishment of a religious state in the Sudan. Not only does [this speech] makes unity hopeless but pushes southerners further toward secession, and deepens the rifts between the two countries after the referendum".

Saraya said that Bashir’s defense of the video showing a Sudanese woman being lashed further encourages division and weakens Sudan’s international standing.

Egyptian officials in the past have shyly blamed Bashir’s NCP party for the breakup of Sudan. Last February, Egyptian president reportedly criticized Khartoum for lacking the will to preserve the unity.

The Egyptian media which is mostly controlled by the government, have omitted any reference to this portion of Mubarak’s speech but a Kuwaiti newspaper disclosed it.

This month a senior Libyan official shared same sentiments and said that the North failed to make the unity attractive to the South.

“Our brothers in Khartoum have a responsibility to bear, this responsibility is represented in actions such as Shari’a law, the civilization project of [Hassan] Al-Turabi, the fighting and the declaration of Jihad on the south” Abdel Rahman Shalgam, Libya’s permanent representative to the United Nations, said in an interview with the UAE-based Al-Bayan newspaper.

The referendum on independence for south Sudan was promised in a 2005 peace deal that ended a civil war between the mainly Muslim north and the south, where most follow traditional beliefs and Christianity.

A successful referendum could bring a conclusion to one of Africa’s most bitter conflicts, which has rumbled on since around the time of Sudan’s independence in the 1950s.


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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 27 December 2010 08:49, by Bol Deng

    The Northerners had not understood the root cause of problems in Sudan since its independent in 1956. Frankly, they never noticed that their rules has been against Southerners for long,other they would have shift their gears at the time when the South want their right at the time of Addiss Ababa agreement in 1972.

    Also, this CPA had promise the North elites to make some adjustment on their policies and accommodate some clues that can persuade Southerners for unity. They also missed these points and start meandering about to manipulate CPA implementations through delay and violence.

    Now, they are starting to feel their mistake just recently but the South had known that it’s too late to deceived them and to play around while were completely a separate entities.
    Let them( North) replant their Islamic laws in their part. Period!

    repondre message

    • 27 December 2010 10:19, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

      It is not a matter of blaming now but it’s a matter of advising Breshir so that the remaining united country should not separate again after Southern Sudan.

      It’ll not be only South that will separate but other directions in all corners of Sudan may beakup if Omar al Beshir isn’t serious.

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    • 27 December 2010 15:47, by Wiyual Wech Puk D. Payol.

      The Epypt’s top newspaper blames Bashir for correct action he did in Sudan.Arabs in Sudan did not know what southerners fight for.the implementation of all Islamic laws in Sudan which are working against the right of the people of southern Sudan was the main cause of war.The Arab brothers in north Sudan did forget that the land of Sudan as whole belong to African who are the people of southern Sudan.Now it is too late for Bashir to makes unity.the best choice for the people of southern Sudan is separation instead of unity.the sharing of natural resources with exception of the Nile water will be determined by the border demarcation which will be made later on after the succesion of southern Sudan as an independent nation in east Africa.Oh people of Arab league, forget unity and try to know that the southern sudan is out of the nothern sudan’s sharayia laws.

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      • 28 December 2010 00:24, by padiit gaga

        There is no time now, because Bisher have been lead sudan for many years and you did not blame him, now it is time for southsudan to be independent state. that is why you try to blame him for his deed. you,re right to blame him because if he treated all sudanesse equally there could be no separation now,but because he misstreated southerness that is why the need sudan to be divid in to two states.

        Bashir did not develope south,but he developed north while the south is only place for fat. President does not considers southerness as his people he treated them like wild animals they do not have Haspitals, school, and also they do not have safty water, they drink in Rivers with animals together.
        There must be no unity, because people are not treate equally ,separation is important for southerness so that they can stay in their states and treate themselves equally.

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  • 27 December 2010 08:50, by Sam.Eto

    Egyptian government would sell their mothers if they could. They are a group of self centered, opportunistic low lifes. They sold out the Palestinians, Syrians, Qataris, Libyans, Algerians, Yemenis and now Sudanese. They would do anything to keep their seats and please the Americans. They fear the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt they would tarnish any Islamic movement; Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran. Again to save their butts and lick the Americans.

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    • 27 December 2010 08:55, by Bol Deng


      I can see your frustration but there is noting that will prevent South Sudanese to form their own state no matter what you think about. Why are you getting bitter when South Sudanese decide to leave peacefully?

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    • 27 December 2010 11:39, by Nhomlawda

      Sam Eto

      Your comment represents nothing than a shallow brain that hardly pereceive anything good. Why are u blaming Egyptian government on something they can not control. South Sudan independence was intelligently designed in the CPA. SPLA was kept as a seperate army to safe guide interests of Southern Sudanese political destiny enshrined in the CPA and in the conduct of referendum. So why are you blaming and abusing them on something they have no control over.
      Please make sure your little brain is working perfectly before adding your valueless contribution to this website.

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    • 28 December 2010 00:21, by Marco A. Wek

      No fake Sam Eto, Egypt would not sell their mothers to get what they want but rather they tried once and again to tell your stupid Northern ruling party for years about the consequences of their ill treatment to Southern Sudan as well as other marginalized Sudanese but they did not listen. They went as far as lobbying for prolonging of our referendum in the hope to try to have your hard liners in the North Sudan to change their ill treatment to the natives of Sudan but it was than too late and now they are coming to say what you people don’t want to admit in public that is that you don’t tell your Muslim brother is wrong when the other party they wrong to is nonmuslim.

      Did you get the point fake Sam Eto? Egypt, Libya and other Arab counties do pitty your coming situation and their concern over a large number of your people who will be filling their cities looking for refugee status.

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  • 27 December 2010 09:04, by Mading

    You are 100% right to blame Sudan’s president (Bashir) for his useless administration that has catalyzed the Southern desire for separation however, this chauvinistic administration started before Bashir came into power for all Arabs tribes in Africa have same brains. Therefore, it is only that the pot has just broken in his hands but we Southerners were prepared to avoid staying with the Khartoum Arabs. Currently, the southerners are in a vehicle without reverse gears that takes us back to unity.

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  • 27 December 2010 09:04, by Jada Lotole

    It is really pity that the Egyptians are now talking ill of thier once darling arab leader! Shame on you ! You must have really closed your eyes,ears,blocked your humane sense from seeing,hearing and nkowing the facts about bashir’s evil wrong doings since his take over of power ! You must have also not nkown that We the Southern Sudanese are "An Independent Country" already ! I exhort the egyptian mdeia to stop talking about us but rather talk about thier Somali to be !

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  • 27 December 2010 09:58, by Maguangdit

    It is a matter of time but Criminal Bashir will soon find himself disowned by his Arab governments and brothers. These are the manifestations of internal troubles brewing but a bitter outburst will be heard after January 9, 2011.

    The same Arabs who blame Omar Albashir are the same people who advised him to take this course of action over the years. Now, you have learned that what goes around comes around. Mr. Criminal Albashir of the National Criminal Party will eventually end up in the Hague as far as I understand should he lose the power in the North.

    Long live Southern Sudan!

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  • 27 December 2010 10:02, by Abraham Majur Lam

    Thanks my Egyptian brother Saraya, is good some Arabs can Identified the weaknesses of NCP regime and how they let us go. We southerners have had the spirit of unity since 1947 but our brethren in North betrayed us and they have to shoulder the blame not southerners. For people who have been looking indepth Sudan history have said the truth about Khartuomregime true colours and ideoloies. To my dismay I don’t really understand to some of us people like so called Bishop Roric Jur senses of understanding and reasoning are, if he is too blind not to realise all these mistakes and atrocities commited by his NCP regime. He even foolishly dare to said give his killer regime a chance for unity which they NCP talk about when they are even worsening the situation by reinstate Sharia’law before Referendum result. We shall comes see on 9 Jan 2011 who holds right to South Sudan referendum wishes.

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    • 27 December 2010 11:02, by Victory

      Egypt naw have come to the point of realization about the truth of south sudan by blaming al,bashir for all his dees while they used to be one mind,one accord with khartoum aganist the southern sudanese, well we the southerns are riding right now on a train without a break untill we reach to our final destination which is new sudan.
      Therefore i ugre south sudan president silva kiir to avoid any friendship with egypt as now they are pretending to be good inorder to drow closer to southernas by blaming al,bashir so that people can say egypt is working for the faviour of south ,we are all awar of the fact that egypt is looking for food & he may betry us,as he did to khartoum away with pharohas,long live SOUTH SUDAN.

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  • 27 December 2010 15:54, by original sudanese

    To so called
    Freedom Fighta and victory
    I am not going to use aggrisive language with you. I am having a good day therfore I am not going to let you mess it up. You guys are nothing but PUNKS like I said before. I did not insult none of you and you are acting like cry babies. A man is the one who control himself not the one who just park like a dog. This is a free forum therfore I can express my opnion like anybody else. You don’t have the right to tell me not to post here..... Thank you Sudan Turbine for letting everone express there opions in this forum. I suggest that anyone uses foul langauge should be stoped from posting as there are nothing but PUNKS

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  • 27 December 2010 20:40, by Cholmaduk

    Well,blaming Sudan’s Bashir at this time is too late. Bashire does not understand the fundemental problems of Southerners in Sudan even if the CPA gives him and his administration one chance to make unity attractive,he still appiles unconstituted laws in the Sudan.The Khartuom’s radicals and Bashir’s administration should be blame for the out break of civil war between South & North if you are realistic about the Khartuom’s regimes. The exisiting of shariah law led the country into civil war,and likey lead the country in two states.The southerners go to war with North because of injustice and bad reputations of governance under shariah laws in Sudan since its independent in 1956. I hope that Mr.Karim and group of radical Muslim Clerics understand why the sem-offical top newspaper in Egypt launched a rare attack on Bashir’s polices over the years. The neighbor countries are exhausted for bashir’s rules in Sudan.

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  • 27 December 2010 21:24, by James Garang

    Dear Egyptians please do not blame Al Bashir because since Al Bashir came to the power you are not advice him well for the way how to united Sudan like what you are trying to say now at this time. just you are keeping quite and we were not heard your voice one day in all these years of war. and also in these five years of interim period government you are there working together with Al Bashir and you are keeping quite so I ask you why you blame President Bashir now? and the Khartoum policy was been connected with Egyptians policy since the independent of Sudan from British rule so I am not agree with your blaming of Bashir instead of encouraging him to give people of southern Sudan their right to stop violence so that there will be no more death again between South and North Sudan and now I see you, you are encourage him to make obstruct to the referendum so that the unity will win and that case will bring war between North and South Sudan again. but I hope Al Bashir is very enough intelligence at this time not to listen nonsense advices again because the problem of South and North Sudan since all Arabs Muslim have their contribution in Sudan’s conflict. please I am advice you to encourage Bashir to give us our right period.

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