Home | News    Wednesday 29 December 2010

INTERVIEW: SPLM’s Amum hints at reaching deal over post-referendum arrangements


By Ngor Arol Garang

December 28, 2010 (ABYEI) - Pagan Amum, a senior member of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) on Tuesday said that, attempts to reach a compromise over post-referendum arrangements, with Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP), were progressing well.

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Pagan Amum (Reuters)

Sudan’s south is due to hold a plebiscite on January 9 to decide whether it will separate from the north as part of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the SPLM and NCP.

Most observers expect the south opt to secede from the north. Amum, who is the Minister for Peace and CPA Implementation and the SPLM’s Secretary General, is in Khartoum leading the SPLM negotiating team on post-referendum arrangements with the NCP.

Amum told Sudan Tribune from Khartoum: "Our discussions have started and are progressing very well on most of the outstanding post referendum issues and arrangements. These outstanding issues, as you may be aware, include citizenship, security as well as international agreements."

Amum, says he is optimistic that the ongoing discussions would bring an agreement over the citizenship before the referendum takes place.

"It is possible that an agreement will reached before referendum takes place because we have already agreed on the principles on protection of both northerners and southerners on either side in case of secession," said the lead negotiator.

He pointed out that the rights of people will be protected and guaranteed and that voluntary return would be assisted without interference and sabotage.

“We have agreed that protection of the citizens from two regions on either side be given high priority without reservations,” said Amum.

However, he said that said only one issue regarding citizenship has not been agreed upon, on the status of northerners in the south and southerners in the north.

"All discussions on the citizenship have been concluded. The only issue which still being discussed and we shall get out of it is the issue of some of the northern Sudanese who are associated with south Sudan. These are people who say to have lived permanently in south. Their rights to choose between citizenship of south Sudan and nationality of southern Sudan or retaining the right of Sudanese citizenship in the north is what being discussed," he said.

“The same applies to south Sudanese who are permanent residents in northern Sudan and needs to be given the right to choose either the citizenship in the north or retaining or assessing citizenship in the new state of south Sudan incase the referendum vote becomes secession,” said Amum

The leading figure of the southern ruling party, however, said hopeful that they reach a settlement.

"Discussions are moving forward, so we are hopeful that we will reach agreement on the all the issues of citizenship before the referendum takes place" says Amum.

On the other issues, the Secretary General of the ex-rebel movement said that the two parties reached an agreement on security issues with the exception of security arrangements for the two areas of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

Another unresolved issue in the economic sector, particularly currency debate.

"The last issue is the economic sector. There are progresses that we have made in the area of currency. We have agreed that the two regions will issue separate currencies with coordination during an interim period in which the current Sudanese Pound will continue to be the legal tender for both north and south," he said.

Amum added that they have not reached an agreement on who would be responsible for paying cost of recovering money in circulation incase the country splits into two.

"The remaining issue and we are discussing it to get solution is only one item on the issue of currency. This issue the question of who pays the cost of recovering the Sudanese money that is in the hands of the people or in the economy in the market. Is it the Central Bank of Sudan or both sides? This is the only one issue we have not reached an agreement but we are still discussing it," he said.


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  • 29 December 2010 07:14, by Anyang

    That’s the right way to go or things may quickly fall a part if all were in vain.

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    • 29 December 2010 13:32, by choldit

      I am very concerned that academic is not being valued in a time that it is badly needed by South Sudanese citizens. Pagan Amum is by nature a political activist. The responsibility of the task of negotiating these very fate determinding issues with these very fishy people in the North Sudan should not be left on him.

      The heirarchy of the things that should be discussed should have demacation of the border and the Abiey issue at the top of the list but not the security or how oil should benefit both South and North.

      The NCP has nowhere to go rather than SPLM led GOSS coze all Northern Sudan parties want it go. The NCP leaders understood the fact that if they give South Sudanese thhier choice they will stay in power as long as they need it coze the SPLM may got its back.

      But what about the Nubian and Southern Blue Nile who fought with South to free the miginalised Sudanese? and what about the Darfurian.

      We really need knowledgable leaders willing to have expertises arround them to deal with this rather than "one man show" style of doing things.

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      • 29 December 2010 20:33, by LL Reuben


        Don’t be concerned dear, Pagan Amum is competent; many Southerners have truth in him. If he wasn’t capable the GoSS would not have replaced Dr. Riek Machar with him. So, please refrain from doubting everything that this man does and stand for, he is one of the reason why the SPLM/A is still standing firm. He is one of the main reasons the South will vote for self-determination in the short coming days. His stance on issues affecting Southerners is always much-admired by most Southerners. He has never wavered especially during the darkest times during our struggle. This man has accomplished the most among many Southerners including you and me. Give him his dues.1111

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        • 30 December 2010 13:25, by choldit

          My dear, you and I know it very well that there is no comparsion between Dr. Riek Macher and Pagan Amum (and there will never be)so that one can reasonably replace Dr. Riek with Pagan. So don’t pick Dr.Riek to be compared with Pagan coze that should be unbalanced ideation. Who have truth in him if his own county can’t vote for him in the last primary vote?

          He was in Addis Ababa to negotiate the Abiey referundum issue recently what did we get? success/fail!! I can’t understand why you said, "he is the reason why the SPLM/A is still standing firm." for SPLM/A, did you mean SPLM as a party or you really mean SPLA as a Southern Sudan army? But, whichever you meant still I don’t know why you think he should be the reason. FOR SURE, YOU DON’T MEAN IT WHEN YOU SAID, "He is one of the reasons the South will vote for self-determination in the short coming days." Yes, the Southern Sudan will vote in the Referundum that will determine thier fate but certainly he is not one of the people who brought this to the Southern Sudan people.

          You said he never wavered during darkest days. Did you? so that, though you are capable of helping South Sudanese negotiate a fair deal with North, you should be replaced with rickless person who lack critibility and intelectuality just coze he went against Dr. Garang during Kirr’s rebel against Garang?

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          • 31 December 2010 00:30, by LL Reuben


            Sorry pal, if the English I write doesn’t makes any sense to you. To me, everything I said in my comments stand that way.

            Dr. Riek as you said can’t be compared to Pagan because it obvious, Riek has a long list of personal failures that includes; the Khartoum Peace Agreement of which he was cheated by Bashir. The only thing he accomplished from that agreement was that he became an assistant to Bashir. The Juba Peace Accord which he mediated between the Uganda government and its rebels the LRA, is not worth mentioning. His SSIM movement which he created in the 90s has evaporated and no single atom can be found today. Again while running the SSIM; he only accomplished murdering thousands of innocent Dinka civilians. So, do you admire Riek’s personal failures or do you admire him because he believes in the magician Ngundeng and Wurnyang? At least that is what seems to be the case (his adoring of Ngundeng) with most of you people, who think Riek is something.

            Pagan, on the other hand, has been much the same since he joined the SPLM/A in 1983. By the way SPLM/A were brought into existence hand in hand if you don’t know, because, you did sound a little confused about what I said in my previous comment. Anyway, Pagan has never defected to Khartoum when the war was intense; Riek defected to the enemy and became a body guard for the enemy. You mentioned Pagan failing to win in his constituency, so what? Did he defect to Khartoum and join the enemy, or is he still part of the SPLM/A. You know the answer to that. If Pagan is not a superb leader in your opinion because he lost the election of which he has not create chaos, then you might as well consider Angelina Teny, who lost to Taban in her home of Bentiu with a full support from guest who…Riek Machar. Now is Riek anything anymore to you now that you learn the truth?

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            • 1 January 2011 03:30, by choldit

              Dear LL,

              Plse don’t push me into defending Dr. Riek Machar that you badly intented to attack his credibility,integrity, truthworsiness, and above all his reliability. I am not in position of comparing Pagan Amum with Gier Chuang, Hoth May, Mamur, Wiyay, Lam Akol or anyone else but just to reasonably raise my concern over leaving South Sudanese fate determining issues on rickless uncultured man(Pagan Amum).

              But in your opinion, is Pagan Amum capable of negotiating CPA mother(Khartoum Peace Agreement. notice:major change in CPA is 2% in CPA while 25% oil revenue in KPA should go to oil producing localities), LRA, Abiey Tribunal at Hughe, and above all fight for Self-Determination for South Sudanese? you name the rest.

              It seem Dr. Riek is a threat-source for you and your like which seem to be the reason why you run into attacking him by comparing him to your rickless cousin, Pagan Amum. And I agree with you on having Dr. Riek pobia especially if you aiming for leadership in what would be South Sudan nation b4 Dr. Riek. But you have to prepare yourself coze Dr. Riek Machar is a heavy weight with well-built truthworthy personality and regarded by South Sudanese as a dear son of thiers who brought/bringing them a nation in not a golden plate but a diamand plate.

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      • 31 December 2010 04:08, by Mboriundoko Kumba

        I called him H.E Pagan Amum because this is the only guy from SPLA /SPLM mondukulu fear from him because of his intellegent in poltics ,Iam sure he is going to be the next president in the government of Southern Sudan either you like it or not he is going to be the next president ,
        This is the guy I have seen in him that he is not tribalist like those of Salva kirr Riak machar and so on dinkas and nuers .these are the tribes which is doing worse in south sudan in terms of tribalism.please never give up time for the mentioned tribes to be a president in this coming newly country .I also call him that he is a moving government wheresoever he goes never worried he can tolk alone about the issues of South Sudan since he is the only remaining John Garang.I encourage all southerners to give him respect .

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    • 29 December 2010 13:43, by Ezekiel Dau

      That is the right way we are after you,keepup and God will bless you.
      Seperetion oyeeeee
      South Sudan oyeeeeeeee

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      • 29 December 2010 15:19, by Kiirpeter Chol

        one thing still bites my understanding, thats why thise national Criminal Part wants to put back the self determination referendum for Abyei. this guyz are part of us our leaders have to make posible ways to ensure that the abyei referendum is also conducted together with ours hear in South sudan rather than taking time desicussing about citizenship etc.

        what i’m making clear to every southerner who may come across this message is "when they try to play with fire, don’t stop the fire from burning their hands"


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      • 30 December 2010 08:35, by Thondewut

        late young generation supporting what Hon.Gen.Amum said we are here for seperation .we think all almight God will help us for our independent.

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    • 30 December 2010 05:32, by peter

      I am Ethiopian American residing Dallas, Texas, I can’t wait to see an independent south Sudan, I have been supporting the struggle since I was kid, my father and me was eager to see the military progress in Ethiopian television during the 80’s. Please! Make this new nation more accountable and be careful when you give land for investors. We Ethiopian loves you very much and I my self-ready to contribute some thing for the be loved and innocent people of south Sudan.

      Good Bless South Sudan.


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    • 31 December 2010 13:35, by samuel mayen

      Abigg thank to Amuum for praising our county up.
      its true we are comming out we dont want to joint hands with this Arabs toatally, No one can toalarate the ward of mr. Bashiir from us southereness
      Long and long go untill we end in south sudan it is our very right time to go peaple dont tight of walking we have alraedy reached our home.

      samuel cook

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  • 29 December 2010 07:44, by padiit gaga

    This is time for CPA caption to put in to action we must follow the steps that were signing in 2005, nothing could be missed if one is missing it must show disobient to who break and he,she will be charge byinternational communities. because this peace was signing by international communities it was not Sudan alone

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  • 29 December 2010 07:54, by Bol Deng

    It’s been a while for SPLM and NCP to come up with a proper proposal that could permit differences over the post-referendum arrangements. The Khartoum government mainly the NCP has been planting delay tactics against the post-referendum issues. By now, they realized that nothing is going to help them at this critical time.

    SPLM has been insisting that they are going to protect Northerners in the South,but i am doubting about the North parties. They have been spreading some unpleasant speeches that make me think twice about the live of those who are willing to live there in the North while Southerners.
    This problem of citizens should not be the point of discussion right now because the South will received their Southerners while the North should do the same thing.Because they are complicated the citizenship right, i preferred those who claimed to be South come to the South for good and verse versa.We are going to talk about referendum about citizenship. Are we not aware about the problem of Abyei?

    The security is very complex the way i can see because the NCP is hating the South while the SPLM want peace because of the referendum. Peacekeepers should be the one monitoring the borders while both SPLM and NCp should maintain calmness.

    SPLM must still be active in Blue Nile and South Kordufan until these two states are through in their popular consultations. Their political destiny is the one that will convince SPLM/A to leave these areas.

    As i can see, the currency( pound) has never disapeared. This was because of war which encouarged North to used Dinar as their way of segregating the South. So, South is going to used pound and even North can also used it if they want it. Not only Sudan used pound, we have British as well and others around the world,so no owner of the pound in Sudan and no one has discovered it so that he or she can be paid the cost of recovery in the Country. I think the NCP are molding their arguments about illegal issue. Pound never disapeared it’s just a matter of war in Sudan.

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  • 29 December 2010 08:53, by Peter Ochalla

    It is good that the NCP is realising in the last minute the right of Southern Sudanese. Peaceful negotiations are the right tools for peace.

    However, though the NCP led- government does not agree with all terms and conditions of the post referendum, South Sudan will definitely match away with joys of initiating itself governmentally.

    The issue of citizenship t me personally is not a major issue to be discussed, it should be left upon those concerned citizens to decide what they want. What should be made clear to the northern Sudan government is oil: It belongs to the South and this time what cannot share it as usual again.

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  • 29 December 2010 09:40, by mohammed ali

    This is hypocricy!You and the SPLA are calling for the NCP to give southerners in the north the nationality of northeren Sudan.You better say it strightforward and not hiding behind ’the northerners in the south" because the vast majority of them had already left the south and there are no more than 200 northerners in the South ; all of them want to keep their northern Sudan ntionality.

    I would expect that , you call upon the 2.5 millions southerners living in the north and refusing to go to the SPLA paradise in the South, to go back to the south and not to remain as second class citizent, as you claim!

    You want secession , have it , it is good for you and you are most welcome! But do not leave the people whom you claim to have fought for their liberation and salvation to remain as second class citizents.It is rediculous!If they were second class citizents when they were citizents and part of the country, according to your logic they will be fourth class citizents after secession.Your logic says, that you should fight for their immediate repatriation to the SPLA paradise!

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    • 29 December 2010 13:49, by Peter Ochalla

      No matter whether Southerners will be the second class citizens in South Sudan. There are many second, third and fourth class citizens Arabs in the northern Sudan. You better be a second class citizens with freedom of religion, etc. You will remain with your north under sharia law. Most of you Arabs north do not need that law and for sure you’ll all suffer under primitive Bashier.

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      • 29 December 2010 18:02, by ebonyebony

        If we Notherners choose Shariaa that is out business ..now go to your South state quickly and I call upon all SPLA hypocrites like Amum why , for almost five months, you and Atim Garang have been demanding that Southerners should have the right to claim Nothern Sudan citizenship? You SPLA people always say that you have been treated as a second class citizen in the North ..now why are you seeking this citizenship? and the bad thing Pagan speaks as if there are thousands of Notherners waiting to be granted the citizenship of the Southern Sudan after secession? who wants it? It is the Southerners who want the North citizenship..millions of them just come to Khartoum now and see the long queues of Southerners in the Migeration and passport departments ti issue nationality? let the Southerners go to South and the Notherners go to North and we will accomodate our people..by the way i advise you as an ’elite’ Sudan tribune leader to go to Obied and some towns between north and south Sudan and see how Southerners are flocking back to North

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    • 29 December 2010 18:13, by Agutran

      Mohammad Ali, you’ve got it wrong, and let me tell you why, your politicians in north are the ones lobbying and pleading for deals with Pagan Amum to have accommodation in the south in case of south secession .

      What do you think Southerners need so bad in the north, since whatever that made the north a paradise came from the South?

      You need to be wise enough to reserve your judgment that 2.5 million southerners are refusing to come to south before the referendum.

      Your own politician admits that 80% of Sudan economy comes from the South.
      If you’re not pretending to see and know that reality, then you have to be highly irrational.

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  • 29 December 2010 22:30, by mohammed ali

    I did not get wrong!Even if I got wrong , why donnot Pagan call southerners straightforward ..Leave the north come to our free , democratic ans prospourous south , we will accommodate all of you!Forget about northern politicians , let him call southerners..only.

    Having said that, I donnot want them to be forced to go to the South.I have seen and talked to southerners in Khartoum, they say even those who went for the referendum are coming back agai to the Jalabba’s hell.

    Unfortunately , since independence up today the south is not contributing to the budget with a single penny apart from the oil.It is true that most of the oil is coming from the South, good for you , we are than happy for you. But I can assure that we have a lot of oil and it is not necessary that is to be a competition between us, you be happy with what you have and we will be happy with what we have.

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    • 30 December 2010 06:49, by Deng E. Manyuon

      Mohammed Ali
      You definitely know why the successive paralysed governments in the South could not contribute to the central government budget since the so called independence! The central governments in Khartoum were not interested to plan for any economic program of action in the South. There has never been any short or long term plan for soci-economic development in the South. Except obvious looting of natural resources from the South. Where is sugar cane factory in Mangala? Where is food oil factory in Yirol? Where is Fruit Factory in Wau? Where is cotton scheme in Anzara? What have you done with the wide agriculture lands in Renk? What have you done with Rice project in Aweil? It was deliberately done to make the peole of South suffer. By the way, the people of the Southern Sudan could not reach this critical decision to opt for separation from nothing. Unity has never been attractive!!!! It was a forced unity, not volutary!!!

      Gone the days of our people ignorance!


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