Home | Comment & Analysis    Saturday 3 March 2007

South Sudan Abyei now or never


By Isaiah Abraham

March 2, 2007 — SPLM as a serious partner in the Sudan has failed the Marginalized People of the Sudan particularly Southern Sudanese on Abyei. The aspirations of these people were pegged on this party and until today the SPLM has gone down as a mere threat with no real influence in the GoNU. Take Darfur for example. No shared views or one position as far as GoNU is concerned. In the prima facie the GoNU is seen from afar as a collision of parties but in reality it’s NCP which is dictating not just ruling. This group has gone away once more time unchallenged from the SPLM on Abyei. The SPLM that was seen as champion of the marginalized has abandoned its original focus and is testing the patience of Southern Sudanese. The question on every street touch person of our beloved land, Southern Sudan, is when will the Abyei Protocol be implemented?

Our people waits for closed to two years and the ruling party in the South is doing talking on Abyei case as if that is all its. When they talk our people thought our leaders has other cards to pursue this important interest. It becomes too much to believe GOSS or the President anymore. His junior lieutenants are intimidated by those whose ties with him make it impossible to dispose of the predisposed. This is not the SPLM/A we all know. Anyone who doubts Mr President’s ability to lead must be excused. The President has to do more to prove to us he is indeed in charge. Someone is saying he like a blackboard where someone writes clear but someone else could also come and rubs. The party and its President are trying but they must do more on pertinent cases such as Abyei and squabbles over controls of marginalized Areas of Nuba Mountain and Ingessina Hills. We don’t want to ask ourselves where is the man we were made to trust to take us to the Promised Land? If he is there then we need to know something about the work of his teams in the GoNU. Abyei issue has divided the party. We got to be judgmental if we are to progress. In a short while I will tell you why, in the meantime let’s go general to the circles.

If the Tellars, Justines and the Akueins are the face of this Party, excuse me this party will have to work hard to win confidence among Southern Sudanese in the near future. Today color of several key leaders is that of the SPLM; but believe it or not, the time is in the offing when the same leaders who are now chanting SPLM Oyee will shout to hell with this party. That is indeed normal and no surprise in the real political competitive. Why will they do that? Because of many reasons but chief among them is how this Party is running the affairs of the Land. None will go for stained party that has lost direction to govern. SPLM must read afar if they are serious about power.

People are just tired of the Finance Minister (GOSS) disregards of public outcry. We thought the President could move him to Environment or Water where money is scaled and allow others to protect public funds from being squandered or mishandled. Where on earth should preferential rule a system? His shifting will allow others to see whether its meritocracy to have in the same Ministry the Director of Planning, Procurement and Investment from the same ethnic lines. The President has been asked and should still to be asked to show leadership in this. Good Governance can’t just come without a fight. Someone has to risk. His chances of becoming another President after referendum are unknown. There are fresh bloods in the likes of Pagan, Dr. Itto & Mr. Nhail not because they are delectable & relevant but they possess what it takes to lead. The President performances as leader now will work for him later during tough times ahead. Nothing like good luck in this field, people are to get the exact fruits of their struggle. Arthur is not helping him and hence he (Arthur) in this situation must cooperate to allow the President maintain credibility among our people.

The same is true when the Presidential Affairs Minister (GoNU) has devoted his time to negatively counter whatever that comes from the South. He has gone public on Monday to assert that the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) is on track. He assured the public that the CPA has been implemented 90%. Who is fool to go by this percentage? The Abyei and Nuba Mountains plus Ingessina are not 10% but 50%. He should know this. This is NCP mouth piece release and must not go unchallenged. Abyei failures rest with the President and his men. They wanted the President to play it safe and this is what we are hearing often when Hon. Tellar opens his mouth. He has gone ahead now to reveal to us that NCP will not go by the circular from the Interim Conference of the SPLM Bureau as for a need of reshuffle. Although this didn’t come out as a resolution the President was given options open to stamp discipline on his Ministers. Be in the GoNU or GOSS, the President has the right to remove any Minister that never toed the policies of the party (SPLM) that sponsored him/her to the Cabinet. The least he could do is to consult President El Bashir.

The slots in the GoNU were given to parties and parties have interests. One party can not lord over others. If parties had rights to proposed candidates to fill up those positions, they have also the same rights to remove their un-performing candidates. Right or wrong? If we go by Tellar’s argument that members of GoNU will require broader consultation from concerned or represented parties, what if the case is where one party withdraws from the Government? Will that requires any consultation from the parties where the party in question wanted to withdraw from? Government in collision would have lost meaning and that is why it’s called Collision Government. Therefore the President must not buy Mr. Tellar cheap idea.

On Abyei, the President made an important enlightenment on the 9/01/07 during the CPA Anniversary in Juba, but that statement didn’t qualify to be a solution in itself. It remains a declamation and mere Public Relation thing. Kofi Annan then and now Ki Moon did it several times on Sudan as to Darfur and President El Bashir paid no attention to their threats and long reading of statement. There is no magic this time round that he will pay attention to any criticism made against him or his party. Signs are there that the Abyei issue is no longer an issue; whether from President El Bashir or his party the NCP. Some SPLM members in the GoNU are slugging. The SPLM Secretary General tried on this single handedly and though he is still talking, he has since resigned himself to an eventual luck. We need therefore our President to unilaterally appoint the said Administration in Abyei and deploy SPLA forces in Abyei and at the border between the South and the North. The President should also seek International Court of Justice (ICJ) hearing and then deploy as much force to Malakal and other oil surrounding areas. He must honor his own words to rid the South from other armed groups. Gen. Paulino M Nhial and Wani Konga are reported to have private armies. Investigation? A big yes!

Writers will not give SPLM/GOSS rest until something is done on Abyei. Abyei is South and South is Abyei. Failure to articulate any resolution or lack of implementation reminds us of bitter memories of mysterious killing of our dear leader Dr. John Garang.
It will just be self pitied however to say if Garang were alive something like this couldn’t have happened. Southern Sudan is still that strong under HE Mr. Kiir Mayardit and HE Dr. Machar Teny; and our Land responsibility lies within the reach of every right thinking patriots. Messes here and there will not take away anything substantial; that is why its called a ‘house’. We will remember our hero as having been hacked because of his stand to free us. May his spirit live on.

* The author is based in Southern Sudan. He can be reached on Isaiah_abraham@yahoo.co.uk

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