A few hours ago, I set myself the task of writing a digital essay with the mada (Kiswahili for "theme") of:
"Does the Sudanese peace accord have any development implications for neighbouring states like Kenya?"
I have just scooped up those sixteen or seventeen paragraphs I had typed, treating the textual chunk as if was so much kelb poop and flung it out my Montreal window.
Back in front of my iMac monitor I glance at my watch and notice that it has now sneaked into the A.M, Monday, August 1, 2005.
Reuters has been telling anyone who can click on their site that the Sudanese Presidency has now officially confirmed the buzz that has been raging in a thousand newsrooms around the world- former SPLA guerrilla leader and freshly installed Sudanese First Vice-President
John Garang De Mabior ni hayati-amefariki, ameeaga dunia. Sudanese state television initially reported that Garang's craft had landed safely, but Abdel Basset Sabdarat, the country's Information Minister, went on TV hours later to deny the report. Soon afterwards, a statement released by the office of Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir confirmed that a Ugandan presidential plane, instead of a helicopter, crashed into "a mountain range in southern Sudan because of poor visibility and this resulted in the death of Dr. John Garang, six of his colleagues and seven other crew members."
Details are sketchy at this point, but there are two obvious questions dancing on most people's lips right now:
2. What Happens Next?
Even though this is a breaking story, there is already no shortage of opinions when it comes to speculating-that is all we can really do right now, in the absence of more concrete facts- as to the cause of death and motivations. One Kenyan wag is convinced that President Museveni is the man to pick up for questioning as the prime suspect.
You may as well immediately apprehend
Barney the Dinosaur as well if you are going to go that route...
What has amazed me in the short time that I took to rummage through the overflowing shelves of the various libraries dotting the expanses of cyberspace is to discover the NUMBER and VARIETY of people who may not have been too distraught to hear of Garang's catastrophic and untimely demise. Another thing was to be reminded about how widespread were the misgivings WITHIN Sudan abut the much trumpeted peace accord between the Garang and Bashir.
Right now thinking about the swirling suspicions raging in the wake of Garang's shocking sudden exit is akin to delving into one of those perplexing bourgeois mystery-thrillers that the late
Dame Agatha Christie used to dispatch her trusty, dandified Belgian emigre detective
Monsieur Hercule Poirot to solve- a killing where almost EVERY ONE on the scene could be a plausible suspect.
So here is a list of likely and unlikely suspects:
1.Pure mechanical failure or natural weather conditions;
2.President Omar El Bashir of Sudan;
3. The opponents of Omar el Bashir from the North like Dr Hassan al Turabi and the National Islamic Front;
4.Former aides of John Garang in the SPLM;
5. The Sudan Communist Party;
6. Rival militia leaders from southern Sudan;
7. Neighbouring African heads of state(someone has already fingered Yoweri Museveni);
8. The CIA;
9. The MOSSAD
11. The Saudis;
13.Please insert additional suspects here.
Let me strike off IMMEDIATELY, two perennial Dirty Tricks Champion contenders- Uncle Sam and Yoweri Museveni.
John Garang was a US asset-if not an actual CIA operative.
They would have been INSANE to do away with the person who had just ascended to the number two position in the country that they bombed as recently as 1998 linking it to global terrorism.
Museveni had a lot to look for in a Sudan that was no longer at war...
Next, let me do my usual over the top number by hauling in for the third degree treatment, members of Garang's own SPLM movement.
Why, I hear someone demand, veins almost popped in apoplexy would the SPLM want to eliminate their own leader?
Well, first of all, keep your kabuti on, accept this humble offer of masala chai from me, kick back your heels and read the following news dispatch that came out almost TWO WEEKS AGO:
" KHARTOUM, July 18 (Xinhuanet)-Sudanese First-Vice President and Head of the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) John Garang on Monday issued a decree to dissolve the SPLM's leadership council.
Based on the decree, all members of the leadership council were relieved from their positions except for the elected chairman and deputy chairman of the movement.
In the meantime, Garang also dissolved the legislative council, national legislative council, national executive council, regional administrations and the provinces of the SPLM.
Garang confirmed that he had taken the move under his authorities in accordance with the decisions of the national conference of 1994 and the decisions of the SPLM's National Liberation Council of 1999 and under the framework of the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
Garang was sworn in as Sudanese first-vice president on July 9 in a ceremony witnessed by a host of foreign dignitaries.
He signed a peace agreement in January with the Sudanese government to end more than two decades of civil war in the country."
Here is the same story reported on by AP's Mohamed Osman.
Think about the enormity of the late Garang's decree:
By a simple fiat he had eliminated the the very political entity that had allowed him to ascend to the vice-presidency, deprived his former side-kicks, lieutenants and storm troopers of their only weapon against Garang's new coaliton partner- their movement and their structures.
How many top military and political leaders were threatened with financial ruin and political meltdown? Why did Garang dissolve the SPLM/SPLA and who stood to gain from that edict? The little I know of the SPLM was that at least at first its organizational principles and structures were inspired by the Marxist-Leninist central tenet of democratic centralism- which implied that the individual top leaders subordinated themselves not just to the collective leadership in the politbureau and the central committee, but the party/organizational congress, convention or whatever you chose to call one of those annual, compulsory meetings of the organization.
In other words, for instance in the Kenyan context, if Uhuru Kenyatta, were he to be appointed Vice-President or Prime Minister in Kenya tomorrow and he decided to wind up KANU through a personal announcement, not only would we laugh out loud at the very concept- and ask him to convene, at the very least the national executive committee to initiate open consultations leading to a special members meeting where the meeting itself decides whether the entity wraps up or dissolves. So imagine the shock of a Biwott, a Godana, a Ruto, a Katana Ngala, a Professor Oniango, a Dr. Shabaan etc were they to be confronted by a "decree" dissolving their political home- merely because Uhuru Kenyatta had inked a deal with Mwai Kibaki. But this is exactly what John Garang did to his SPLM co-leaders, ordinary members and supporters on July 18, 2005. Now that he is suddenly dead on August 1, 2005, how many of those suddenly "useless" and "irrelevant" SPLM members are shedding tears of sorrow and shock?
Let us turn to another set of Sudanese who should be way up on any suspects' list were it to emerge that there was foul play in the death of Garang. I am talking about
Dr. Hassan Abd Allah al-Turabi's National Islamic Front which used to be the leading and dominant ideological force in the Sudanese government before falling out with President Omar al Bashir. Acknowledged by both friend and foe to be the Mastermind behind the introduction of Sharia law into Africa's largest country, an ally of Osama bin Laden and svengali of the JEM movement fingered in the ongoing Darfur genocidal tragedy, Dr. Hassan Abd Allah al-Turabi is currently sitting in a Khartoum jail instead of wielding the power he once enjoyed as the most influential politician in Sudan only a few short years ago. No big fan of Dr. John Garang, is he weeping uncontrollably, pining for the SPLM leader, wringing his hands while incanting, "Say it aint so jamaani, Do not let it be true, wananchi!". Remember Dr. al Turabi could call on the sophisticated global terror network of Al Qaeda to do his bidding if he wanted...
But just as you are getting comfortable, let me CONFOUND YOU further by introducing some of my very best ideological friends from the region- the Sudan Communist Party as the third suspects. Whaat?!! I hear my Sudanese Marxist-Leninist comrades lurking underground- I would imagine, in Juba, Khartoum, Cairo, Toronto, Nairobi and St. Paul reeling with shock at this "strange accusation". But wait, at this point I am just the Shetani's Wakili. Seriously, think about it. Why not the Sudanese Communists? After all, they were not EXACTLY in love with the recent pro-American freshly converted Born Again Christian Garang who used to POSE as a "Marxist" in the mid 1980s to the early 1990s. And you know something, the SPLM were not exactly kissing cousins with my Communist sisters and brothers in the land of my Luo ancestors. Recently the SPLM did something that is considered way beyond incredible in the unspoken rules of revolutionary underground ethical behaviour- they went on their website and EXPOSED the EXACT whereabouts of the leader of the Sudanese Communist Party who was working in clandestinity within the Sudan- the SCP is largely exile based. Think I am making stuff up? Well, URLs rarely fib:
"National Security Chief visits Sudanese Communist party leader: SUNA
KHARTOUM, April 7, 2005 (SUNA) -- The Director General of the National Security and Intelligence Organ Maj. Gen. Salah Abdallah, accompanied by his deputy Maj. Gen. Mohamed Atta paid a visit Thursday afternoon to Secretary General of the Sudanese Communist Party Mohamed Ibrahim Nugud at his hiding place at Al-Fardos quarter, Block 58, south of Khartoum.
SUNA learnt that the Director General of the National Security and Intelligence Organ and his deputy told Nugud that there was no justification for his hiding and that he was not wanted by the authorities and that the security organs had been knowing his permanent and temporary places of residence and that he could move in full freedom and contribute in all political and social activities.
The visit took place at 05:00 p.m. and lasted for about an hour, during which a cordial talk took place between the Director General of the National Security and Intelligence Organ and his deputy and Nugud.
Nugud has remained in hiding since the advent of the "National Salvation Revolution" on June 30, 1989.
It was reported that his hiding had taken place by a resolution from the Central Committee of the Sudanese Communist Party.
The National Salvation leaderships made calls in many occasions to the leaderships of the opposition political parties including Nugud to return to the political arena and practice their activities publicly because there is no justification for their stay abroad or underground inside Sudan."
The source of the SPLM story- the official Sudanese government news agency. This is a grave indiscretion given the fact that both the Sudanese Communist Party and the SPLM are supposed to be part of the umbrella National Democratic Alliance whoe main enemy is supposedly the government of Omar el Bashir!
Ideologically too, the Communists of Sudan had some misgivings about the Made in Kenya pacts between Garang and Bashir. Here is a paper presented by Dr. El Shafie Khider Saeed one of their senior members who is also part of the leadership of the National Democratic Alliance:
Naivasha … Hope .. or Disappointment!? by Dr. El Shafie Khider Saeed, Member of the National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) Leadership Council
Why was the Agreement received with Jubilation in the South and Reticence in the North!!?
For decades, the Sudanese in the South of the country have led a nightmarish existence accentuated by the bounding of artillery and the specter of imminent capricious death from the air. Hence, it was completely understandable the jubilant reception, no matter how fleeting, given to the prospect that the war may finally stop. Welcome was also the prospect that this time a new type of peace may emerge.
Reaction among Sudanese in the North was more subdued acknowledging the fact that the war must stop as should the loss of life in the South and the North. No one looked forward to perpetuating the anguish that comes with the prospect of protecting one’s child from forced military conscription or sacrificing them in the crematorium of the civil war. Amidst the muted expressions of relief that the war may soon come to end one could also not mistake the strong sense of uncertainty, which was engendered by several factors:
(1) From the start, the negotiations shrouded in secrecy, were the subject of deliberate attempts to conceal the truth form the people of the Sudan. The sense of unease was compounded by the realization that the process was driven by foreign interests that may seem contrary to the collective will of those most concerned/interested in reaching a sustainable and comprehensive resolution to the crisis, i.e., the people of the Sudan.
(2) The situation was worsened by the inexplicable exclusion of other political groups from the negotiations and the realization that the negotiating parties are not representative of all the Sudan. Hence, by definition, they were not empowered by popular mandate to exclusively share the wealth of the country or decide its present and/or future. This could only mean that any bilateral agreement reached behind the consensus of the Sudanese is likely to prove unsustainable.
(3) Ambivalence was fostered by the growing conviction that the agreement failed to resolve conflicts in other parts of the Sudan. The crisis in Darfur, for example, has evolved into the most tragic humanitarian situation in the world today. It threatens to invite international military intervention as was articulated by UN’s Secretary General and others in the international body. The exclusion of such critical issues, which are part of a comprehensive political and democratic solution may give impetus to the spread of conflict to other regions (the whole of Western Sudan the North, East, Southern Blue Nile or even major cities, including the Capital) with the potential for dismembering the country.
(4) Large sectors among the Sudanese hoped for a new order similar to that ushered by the October 1964 Revolution and the Intifada in April 1985 only to be disenchanted with the realization that the agreement is unlikely to yield such a change. The regime remains as do its major players, the hardships endure, and the abuse of religion in politics continues. Concern is amplified by the feeling that the agreement will further enable and give security to the nouveaux riche who amassed wealth by engaging in parasitic economic activities and/or profiteering from the war and hunger as well as the misappropriation of public funds. These fears are perhaps the product of hasty analyses, but they do remain common among people in the North.
The mutated popular reception given to the agreements is, to a certain extent, understandable. The same, however, cannot be said of the reception given to the agreement by the political and cultural elite in the Nnorth, who seemed uncertain, confused, insular, and prone to “whining” at a time when they were expected to show leadership in defining the present and future essence of the agreement.
An objective appraisal of the process that culminated in the framework agreements between the Ingaz Government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) must recognize that these agreements were the product of certain factors:
(a) The negotiations and agreement reflected a state of exhaustion permeating the political struggle in the country;
(b) Notable weakness in the activity of the political and the mass movement in the Sudan, despite the achievements accrued thus far;
(c) The understanding that the core of the conflict in the Sudan is one caused by the schism between North and South drove international pressure brought to bear on resolving the Sudanese crises.
From the start of the negotiating process, we remained convinced of three basic tenets:
(1) The process that initiated the negotiations was bilateral and was likely to remain so to the very end despite calls to the contrary. This reflected the will of the international community that led the process to its outcome. Moreover, this architecture suited the perception of the regime and was not unequivocally repudiated by the SPLM, which was not able to do more than call for the inclusion of others. The dichotomy between comprehensiveness and bilateralism must be viewed as an integral part of the ongoing political struggle that requires of other political groups certain fundamental prerequisites that remain outstanding.
(2) The negotiations were bound to lead to an agreement between the parties. We have also contended that the agreement, irrespective of our own acceptance/satisfaction of/with the outcome, was likely to achieve three key goals:
- First, an end to the war;
- Second, the agreement will represent a significant breach of the totalitarian edifice and will create a new reality that has the potential of paving the way toward democratic transformation and a better climate for the political struggle;
- Third, the agreement marks the failure of yet another attempt to reconstruct the Sudanese State along ideological lines, irrespective of that ideology.
(3) Flawed is the perception that the negotiations and the consequent agreement were the exclusive product of armed conflict between the Government and the SPLM or efforts by the international community. To the contrary, the outcome is the product of the collective action and will of all the parties concerned. It is the product of the synergy generated by armed conflict, the political action of the NDA and the mass opposition movement, the resistance of the Sudanese against the war, the role of national/eminent personalities, the pressure by the international community as well the contribution of the friends of the Sudan, particularly Egypt, Libya, the IGAD, …, etc.
Given these realities, it became incumbent upon the Sudanese political and mass movement to overcome the “wait-and-see” attitude and prepare itself to take full advantage of post-agreement conditions. These preparations must aim at mobilizing the mass movement into sustained effective political action to respond to certain fundamental issues, namely, fostering and making comprehensive the peace and affecting democratic transformation. The mere announcement that an agreement is reached, with celebrations ensuing, is inadequate as far as addressing these challenges, which are an integral part of resolving the crisis.
Peace in the South is a Step in Resolving the Sudanese Crisis!
The dichotomy between war and peace is a pivotal aspect of the Sudanese crisis that ensued with the country’s independence. Yet, it is but one of the fundamental issues that remain outstanding. Peace alone will not feed the hungry or cloth the unclothed nor treat the ill. Peace, exclusive to the South, does not mean peace in the West nor will it remove the potential for war in the East.
The political struggle in the Sudan is not entirely driven by conflict over power between the Government and the Opposition nor is it encapsulated in the conflict between the North and the South. This struggle will not be arrested by a ceasefire between the combatants.
The essence of the political struggle in the Sudan is one over the reconstruction of the modern Sudanese State into one reliant on a democratic and pluralistic system of government that is cognizant of the cultural, religious, and ethnic diversity among the Sudanese and one that is able to realize sustainable and balanced development throughout the country. It is apparent that peace will not endure if separated from the issues of democracy and development. These three key issues are integral to addressing the fourth component of the crisis, i.e., the unity of the country.
The Sudanese crisis in all its interdependent fundamental manifestations is too complex to resolve by an exclusive “alliance” or “partnership” between two parties, even if they involve those who paved the way for peace.
The resolution of the crisis is an undertaking for all the Sudanese. This is why we have always called for the widest possible popular participation in all matters, including the negotiations leading to and implementation of the final agreement. This represents the only viable partnership capable overcoming the crisis. The realization of such comprehensive participation can only be predicated on the widest possible democratic transformation that guarantees such rights as the freedom of expression and assembly, a free press as well as other basic freedoms. It must also include the termination of rule by decree and the State of Emergency, which are used to thwart such a change.
Unity/Separation or the Aspirations of the Sudanese?
Many interests, foreign and domestic, seem to focus on one item in the agreement, i.e., the issue of Unity/Separation. This misplaced and singular focus ignores the dialectical interdependence among all the clauses of the agreement. To these interests the issue of Self-determination is an anathema, which when accepted it is done so reluctantly.
On our part, we stipulate to the paramount importance of the issue of Unity/Separation and cannot begrudge those who see it as the “only” issue. However, we also submit that the agreement can be viewed from two distinct vantage points: Unity/Separation juxtaposed to the needs and aspirations of a suffering people consumed by war. For us the answer is very clear – it is the later that is of paramount importance. Moreover, the pursuit of objectives that satisfy the needs and aspirations of the Sudanese in this agreement will determine if it leads to Unity or Separation.
The pursuit of Separation can only be made redundant by reaching a just and compressive peace that is augmented by balanced development, equitable wealth sharing, the creation of an inclusive democratic state were basic freedoms are guaranteed and all citizens are equally endowed with certain inalienable rights irrespective of race, faith, gender, culture, .., etc.
Self-determination is an expression that rejects war and affirms the right to choose. Hence, rather than fall prey to fear and uncertainty regarding the outcome of the exercise of such a right, it is more effective to direct all efforts toward making Unity the preferred outcome. This is said with the recognition that the agreement is contradictory in some aspects. The agreement, for example, does seem to foster Unity, yet it also lays the foundations for Separation when it accepts the division of the country along religious lines as well as allotting the North a 50% share in the wealth of the South.
Future Opportunities and Threats!!
After signing of the agreement, it became apparent that there are three potential opportunities worthy of pursuit by the Sudan and the Sudanese:
1. Convergence between the Naivasha Protocols, the NDA’s Asmara 1995 Protocols, and the NDA’s draft National Consensus Charter. A deliberate reader of the Naivasha Protocols will find many similarities with the NDA’s Conference on Fundamental Issues (Asmara 1995) as well as the NDA’s draft National Consensus Charter. The convergence is most pronounced when it comes to the nexus between national legislation and international conventions on human rights, decentralized rule, self-rule for the three regions, the issue of self-determination, and Committees and Commissions, .., etc.
2. Call issued for a Social Contract by Dr. Garang De Mabior, Chairman and Commander in Chief of the SPLM/A, on signing of the Nairobi Declaration on June 26, 2004. The proposed Contract, based on national consensus and faithful to the peace agreement, defines parameters of good governance and benchmarks and targets for social and economic development during the interim period.
3. Proposals submitted by Ustaz Ali Osman to a meeting with the NDA. The meeting took place in Cairo on June 9, 2004. The proposals included three basic points:
(a) Naivasha is a gateway to transport the Sudan into broader horizons that include a basic agreement/charter for national cooperation on the fundamental issues of national reconstruction. This will be followed by fair elections to oversee the implementation of this agreement;
(b) This project requires of all to jettison their previous bitterness and conflicts;
(c) What is required to embrace the future is the development of mechanisms to achieve the inclusion of all parties.
By contrast, there are also threats capable of undermining these opportunities:
- Any agreement between the Government and the Movement must understandably entail a certain degree of “partnership.” However, what is objectionable in this regard is for the two parties to determine the extent to which others are allowed to contribute. Moreover, this posture is contradictory to the spirit of national consensus and reconciliation. The agreement, for example, could have adopted a more representative format when it came to the institution of the Presidency. Under the current terms of the protocols, the status quo is perpetuated, with Al Bashier as President and Vice President Ali Osman (who will lose seniority as Dr. Garang is incorporated into the institution). A far more representative format would have built on the approved premise of expanding the institution to include representation from other volatile regions such as the East and the West of the country.
- Politicians can burry the bitterness of the past and move on. The same, however, does not hold true when it comes to convincing the public to discard just demands for accountability regarding those who violated their basic rights and embezzled or misappropriated public funds. These allegations may be refuted, but a better way is to devise a mechanism to adjudicate such issues, with one possible alternative being a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission.” This will allow the country to heal and discard historical bitterness, which if left festering will likely explode to undermine all other gains.
- Other political groups are unlikely to accept, regardless of claims of sincerity or well-crafted arguments, the right of the two parties (National Congress and the SPLM) to build a “national” army and complete the restructuring of other security organs. The way security and military intuitions are arrayed is an integral part of any debate on politics, democratic transformation, and/or the vicious circle that is not unique to our country but encompasses others in the region.
Transcending the bilateral nature of the agreement and transforming it into a body that is more enduring and comprehensive, as indicated by the aforementioned three opportunities, cannot be reduced to a redistribution of political portfolios among the various groups. To the contrary, such an endeavor requires that an integrated and comprehensive charter be drafted, with the Naivasha protocols as starting point. The purpose of such a draft would be to address, by all political groups, the various layers of the Sudanese crisis: peace, democratic transformation, balanced and comprehensive development, the reconstruction of the modern Sudanese State, and fostering voluntary unity. Work on this project should commence immediately with the adoption of the following steps:
- The final peace agreement should be put to a forum of all Sudanese opposition groups prior to its adoption. The final agreement should be signed before this forum;
- It must be recognized that the crisis in Darfur is a political one that cannot be resolved by military means. The resolution to this crisis requires the convening of a national political forum attended by all of Sudan’s political groups, the people of Darfur, and opposition military groups there;
- Addressing the prerequisites of democratic transformation, which include the abrogation of laws restricting basic freedoms, revoking the state of emergency in all areas not affected by conflict, lifting press censorship, abolishing restrictions on political and trade union activity, addressing grievances, drafting a democratic election law, …, etc.
- Addressing issues related to the daily living conditions faced by ordinary Sudanese, including the internally displaced and those terminated from the civil service without just cause. The broadest possible programs to restructure the national economy, the civil service, and other sectors must also be enacted.
Alternatives for Other Political Groups
Cognizant of all of the aforementioned, political groups excluded from the negotiation process may invoke some political alternatives:
(1) In the event the two parties adhere to the text of their agreement, without devising suitable mechanisms to realize inclusiveness and comprehensiveness, political groups may focus exclusively on the issue of democratic transformation (participating in Committees and Commissions) but reject any token representation in the Executive Branch as stipulated by the protocols.
(2) Political groups, irrespective of weight given, may participate in the Executive Branch in the event the prerequisites for democratic transformation are met and a program of national consensus is drafted.
We call for a national consensus that bridges that divide among groups that for socioeconomic, historical and perhaps regional reasons have engaged in conflict before realizing that the very existence of the Sudan is now uncertain and it is a threat to all. These groups must realize that their basic common interests are stronger than their divisions. Collaboration among these groups is now needed to bring about a new reality in the Sudan that safeguards its democratic united state and creates conditions conducive for the peaceful transfer of political power and the implementation of a comprehensive development program beneficial to the lot of ordinary Sudanese. The People of the Sudan, who persevered through many failures, have remained hopeful that one day such a change will be realized.
El Shafie Khider Saeed, Cairo June 2004 [Translation prepared by Mohamed El Bushra]
In addition to that, there is this other position paper, this time from a Southerner in the same Sudan Communist Party-obviously using a political "handle" or nom de guerre:
"For A United One Sudan
Presented by Joseph Modesto
Member of Sudan Communist Party
And former member of the Constituent Assembly
At Conference on a Confederation Concept for the Sudan
Place: Friendship Palace Hotel, Khartoum North
Date: From 13 - 16 July 2002
We welcome to the Sudan Dr. Rudiger Wolforum Director the Max-Planck-Institute and appreciate his efforts of finding a solution to the Sudan Crisis. It is true that "there is no blueprint for a federal state, for a federal state has to satisfy the political, historical, economic, ethnic necessities or particularities of a given state." In this regard we agree with Dr. Wolfrum.
We also wish to say right away that we are for the unity of the Sudan and recognize that the conflict has its ethnic, religious, cultural etc dimensions. We are also convinced that inspite of these dimensions, the conflict can be resolved within one united Sudan.
We wish we could solve the conflict without intermediaries or guarantees by the internationally based or otherwise. But there is need for intermediaries or guarantors because southerners were let down: The first time was when a federal system was promised to them on the eve of independence in 1956. The second time when Nemeiry abrogated the Addis Ababa Agreement. Lastly with the Peace from within which culminated in Khartoum Peace Agreement. This agreement was initiated, safeguarded and monitored by the United States of America and the European Union. The agreement is still valid up to now but no one can tell the future.
The lack of confidence is no longer running along the dividing line of North-South. There is lack of confidence, which is North-North and also South-South. It is this situation of lack of confidence that has produced many peace initiatives. IGAD peace initiative, joint Lybian-Egyptian peace Initiative and now the activated IGAD peace initiative that is in due process now in Nairobi.
The Sudanese State:
We would like to stress the following in this regard:-
1. The Sudanese crisis is indivisible so is also the solution to the crisis.
2. The Sudanese state is 180 years old commencing with the Ottoman-Egyptian rule of 1821.
3. The Sudanese state was internationally recognized as a political and a geographical entity in 1898, time of the Anglo-Egyptian conquest of Sudan.
4. The Sudan is a united indivisible sovereign state despite the first civil war that continued for 17 years and the second civil war that has been going on for the last 19 years.
A state with such stamina and cohesiveness should remain united despite large-scale population mobility brought about by civil war, drought and desertification. This population mobility is another factor for unity and social fusion. This factor will continue even if the civil war were to stop. This is because the old division between North and South is more or less mitigated.. This is also true as regards the center and the west. This experience is not only peculiar to the Sudan for the nations in the old continents including the United States have been formed through the mingling of its peoples. Besides this, every national state has its civil wars before coming to formulate its unity. This is true for England, U.S.A, Switzerland, Italy etc.
5. The Sudanese state has accumulated a rich and a diverse experience in overcoming dictatorial and authoritarian regimes to parliamentary democracy, 1964 and 1985. This rich experience enables the Sudanese State to preserve its unity.
6. The Sudanese State experienced the regional autonomy of the South in 1972 despite the fact that it was federation with one wing. The federal bodies were only in the South. When Nemeiry abrogated the Addis Ababa Agreement, the Sudanese State remained united, it did not break down.
To conclude, the movement for unity is stronger and consequently the problems facing the Sudanese State are indivisible. That is to say the problem of peace, division of power and distribution of wealth, democratic transformation, self-determination, liquidation of dictatorial form of government etc should be tackled as a whole. That is why it is absurd to negotiate the question of peace in Nairobi and the form of government in Khartoum and South Sudan.
Once again we thank Dr. Rubiger Wolfrum for the alternatives he formulated and put forward. We hope we will give due considerations to the following observations.
1. The Dayton model or formula formulated to solve the problems of the Balkan states and the Yugoslav federation is not the adequate formula for the Sudan why?
a) The Balkan states are by-products of a long and complicated historical process due to the expansionist policies of the Ottoman Empire for the sphere of influence.They are also a by-product of the Versailles agreement after the First World War and in addition to the Potsdam agreement after the Second World War. Lastly they are by-product of the demise of the Soviet Union and its after math. That is to say the unification of Germany and the disintegration of the Yugoslav federation.
b) The boundaries of the Balkan states has been subjected to so many alterations to the extent that the geographical atlas was changed in order to redraw the boundaries. Considering the mounting tension in the Balkans, the borders drawn and redrawn by the Dayton agreement are temporary borders. That is why we think that the Sudanese State that has been united for 180 years should be united.
2. How to preserve the unity of the Sudanese State.
Before choosing between federal or confederal system we should first uproot the injustices that led to the first and second civil wars. Here are some of the injustices:
i. Superiority complex that makes some northerners see themselves as more superior than southerners on the basis of ethnicity, religion and culture.
ii. Unjust division of power and distribution of wealth. These long-standing injustices can not be uprooted in a day or two. But we should set the right direction and take the first step along a road which is not easy to tread. We think that the Asmara resolutions of 1995 formulated an adequate framework to tackle and solve these injustices.The resolutions tackled the issues of separation of religion from state, voluntary unity through the right to self-determination. There is also a need for an adequate transitional period in order to achieve democratic transformation, rectification of injustices and orientation of politics and events in such a way as to win over the majority in the south to decide for unity in a referendum. When these things are in place can we then choose formally between federation and confederation etc.
3. International guarantees and observers are part of the contemporary international situation. But the political and economic interests of the guarantor states change so is the regional situation. Even the guarantees, which are formulated in resolutions and passed by the United Nations and its Security Council, are not honoured. e.g. all the resolutions concerning Palestine, Western Sahara etc. Therefore we think that the most formidable guarantees depend on Sudanese unity based on equality, observation of basic human rights, of clarifying the political involvement so that unity can be achieved through self-determination etc.
4. We also take note of what is going on in our region Africa. Despite the gigantic efforts exerted by the international community in Somalia, Congo, Liberia, no tangible peace is achieved.
5. We fully agree with the list of rights and freedoms listed on pages 7 and 8 not with-standing the form of government.
6. We think that the structural form of a confederal state is rather complicated and sophisticated for an underdeveloped country like the Sudan. 3 parliaments, 3 council of ministers, 3 constitutions and may be 2 armies, 2 security organs, 2 police forces. Who is going to pay for these?
7. We think that the next stage after confederation is a separate state. i.e. confederation is a step to secession.
8. The most adequate orientation towards solving the Sudan crisis are:
(a) To nullify all laws restricting basic human rights and freedoms.
(b) Cessation of hostilities.
(c) Convening of constitutional conferences of all parties with the participation of regional and international observers.
(d) Crash programme of rehabilitation and resettlement.
(e) Self-determination to achieve voluntary unity.
Talking of free democratic elections and to be monitored by regional and international observers is acceptable in theory. But election campaigns cost a lot of money and every penny of the Sudanese wealth is monopolized by both factions of National Islamic Front.
Before I ask my Communist comrades to step down from the dock, let me introduce some further "evidence"- in the form of a link to an interview conducted between one of its members and the editorial board of Political Affairs the journal of the Communist Party, USA.
Turning away from my atheist pals, let us examine a little closer the critical perspectives of a prolific, Pakistani-born Muslim ideologue. Three days ago, Dr. Saad. S. Khan contributed an opinion piece to the online version of the Sudan Tribune. The article is titled, "Goodbye Sudan" and here is an excerpt:
"...Literally all the contentious issues remain unresolved and this is likely to trigger acrimonious disputes sooner than later, as would the simmering discontent among the various disgruntled segments all over the country who are uncomfortable with the concessions given to Garang and his allied warlords.
Sudan derives its name from the Arabic phrase Bilaad-us-Soudan (the regions inhabited by the blacks), as it was known by the Arabs inhabiting in the lower Nile, presently Egypt.
This unique country had the double distinction of being area-wise the largest country in the Muslim world as well as that in the continental Africa. A short time hence, this fact would be history, and debatable it is whether even the areas around Khartoum would like to remain being known as Sudan.
While celebrating what the peace agreement says the myopic leaders of the African Union (AU) and world leaders elsewhere are turning a blind eye to what the agreement does not say.
What the agreement says between the lines is also the writing on the wall. With their failures galore in state-building all across Africa and the Middle East, one shudders at the fact that the world leadership has yet to understand that fair and democratically elected leadership, subjected to the checks of independent judiciary, sovereign parliament, a vigilant press and a vibrant civil society is the only path to national integration. And that a pact between tyrants, war criminals and liars is not worth the paper it is written on.
Sudan is a chronic case of state failure, only that it was not suggested so in writing, which has been mercifully done now. Rich in oil and gold deposits, fertile in land and alluvial assets around the Blue Nile, booming in cotton and food harvest and a teeming enterprising nation, it missed in just two elements; democracy and the rule of law.
And this duo is the very thing that determines the fate of the state. Dictators disintegrate their countries: Said Barre broke Somalia, Yahya Khan broke Pakistan, Suharto broke Indonesia and the list awaits the inclusion of Bashir for being the last ruler of the Sudan with its present boundaries.
Sudan is a chronic case in many respects, but not an exception, as decency and democracy, not tyranny, is the exception in the developing world. From Morocco to Angola and Indonesia to Uzbekistan, autocracy is the norm, albeit in democratic façade.
One could wish that the G-8 leaders understand that the annual $50 billion aid projected to Africa will exacerbate the poverty and disparity in Africa to astronomical proportions, unless and until the era of ’sham democracy’, ’manipulated parliaments and judiciary’ and ’crony capitalism’ is shown the door.
On paper Sudan is a democracy, where generals rule by ’getting elected’ by killing, incarcerating and maiming all the prospective competitors. The SPLA and SPLM are putatively ’people’s movements’ where their only "relation" to people is that they have been killing their own people. The world tries to paint Bashir as an Islamist theocrat, although, to be fair to the devil, this is one thing he is not. He somersaults his ideological identity triennially on the average.
He rebelled against the constitution and law by overthrowing a democratic civil government through a military coup in 1989. Ever since, he is in search of legitimacy. First, he thought he was a revolutionary leader but then dissolved his handpicked Revolutionary Command Council, eliminating a few powerful generals in the process and became a self-proclaimed Third World hero, a la Qadhafi-style. When the US bombed him in 1998 he became an Islamist and adopted Sharia law.
And when this did not work as the anticipated Arab petrodollars did not flow in to prop his regime in the name of Islam, he started jailing and torturing his religious allies including his spiritual ideologue Hassan Turabi. He chose to become a democrat by holding farcical polls and trying to pose as elected president, as this sells easily with the donor agencies, but when parliament asserted its powers, he dissolved it on treason charges and these days the general is "busy" fighting the politically-correct war on terror. Under his rule one of the greatest genocide against Muslims is being religiously carried out in Darfur.
John Garang is as much a devout Christian as Bashir is a mullah. Garang, a PhD in agro-economics from the United States, is a graduate from Grinnell College, Iowa, and later Fort Benning Military Institute.
Much as he would now pose as champion of Christianity, he was born in 1945 in sky-worshipping Dinka community in the south. An officer in the Sudanese army, while on a mission to quell a mutiny in 1983, he himself mutinied against the lawful authority in 1983 and became an outlaw.
His ideological convictions, mercifully, he does not know. He was nationalist, then became a Marxist and these days is a Christian fundamentalist, exploiting his links with such groups during his sojourns in the United States, in channeling money for his militant activities.
And this aid from Christian extremist groups worldwide explains the swelling of SPLA/SPLM ranks to 50,000 plus, from the peak of 12 poorly equipped and loosely commanded units consisting of 12,000 men in all, in the mid-1980’s and the financing of his ’Voice of Hope’ clandestine radio station, operated by Christian extremists from neighboring Uganda.
The commonalities between the two great sons of Sudan, Bashir and Garang are their cunningness, opportunism and vindictiveness. Both have eliminated dissent in their ranks with ruthless murders, both survived many life attempts and both have killed countless of their own peoples.
The agreement between them has converted the de facto bifurcation of Sudan into de jure one. The south was practically independent and the dusty town of Rumbek, a combo of hundreds of destroyed hamlets with no electricity, water or sewerage, was off-bounds for Khartoum rulers from as far back as in early twentieth century.
Neither Bashir nor Garang was sincere in embracing the other. Bashir wants a breather to spare his troops for throttling political dissent in the north while Garang wants to cement his iron grip in the south. The arrangement has envisaged raising the 320,000 barrels per day (bpd) oil output to nearly half a million bpd by the next year, to be shared equally between the north and south.
With the oil prices soaring at sky-high around $60 a barrel, the accruing petro-revenues will make the two tyrants fight like hell.
Egypt’s unease at another upper riparian state on the Nile with Israel’s obduracy to finance Garang on his Islamophobic antics, means that Sudan’s problems would have wider regional ramifications. Garang, with commitments of $4.5 billion from Christian groups already in his pocket, is prompting Islamic organizations worldwide to be sympathetic to Bashir.
Sudan is a big potential volcano and the civilized world needs to act now to preempt destabilizing and debilitating effects that loom large for Africa. The United Nations should launch a special non-military operation in Sudan, to assist the country in moving toward multiparty democracy, rule of law and free market economy. Otherwise, the signs on horizon are foretelling doom!"
This is not the first time for Dr. Saad to comment on the Sudan as you can see from the link to this August 2004 digital essay on Darfur and the war in Africa's largest country that was published by the Lebanese Daily Star
What of Egypt's Strategic interests in the contemporary affairs of Sudan? Could these have played a part in the ufolding story of Garang's death?
Well, read this erudite analytical overview by Mohammed Othman Habibullah from Al Siyassa al Dawlya which describes itself as "An Egyptian Quarterly Periodical Focusing on International Relations. A publication of Al-Ahram Foundation."
And speaking of likely assassins, why are we leaving out
President Omar el Bashir himself?
After all, he has been TRYING DESPERATELY to KILL John Garang for the last TWENTY YEARS at the very least!
So how come I am ruling out Yoweri Museveni, MOSSAD and the CIA as possible suspects in the death of John Garang?
Quite simply because they were ALL-in tandem with John Garang himself- working for the same side, the US IMPERIALIST side. The magazine Executive Intelligence Review is run by a bunch of far right kooks linked to the Lyndon LaRouche organization. Total wingnuts when it comes to ideology-but meticulous, even their adversaries concede, when it comes to intelligence gathering. Take a look at this article and tell me what you think. Over here is something else that tries to link Israel to the SPLA. Global Security runs a fairly sober, non-partisan web site that can certainly NOT be described as "left keeling." They have an article on how the US government used to channel military aid to the SPLA through Uganda, Ethiopia and Eritrea. A Southern Sudanese man, Richard Okot, calls the SPLA the "Contras of Sudan". A former CIA agent, Ralph McGhee reported in the 1990s that:
"... Another paramilitary operation, this time in The Sudan, recently
escalated and hit the news when in early December 1996 the New York
Times reported, a John Early, an American pilot - a four-year
veteran of the special forces in Vietnam, with a five-year tour
with the Rhodesian air force and 10,000 flight hours as a bush pilot
for the Red Cross in Sudan, Somalia and Rwanda, led a Red Cross team
that was captured by a rebel group in Sudan. He and his co-pilot
were returning five of (CIA-backed rebel leader) Garang's wounded rebels
from a field hospital in northeast Kenya to their base 60 miles northeast
of Gorgial when ambushed and captured. Congressman Bill Richardson,
bribed the rebel leader to release the group. The Red Cross said
it suspended its operations in the Sudan after the three workers
were captured. New York Times 12/9/06 A1,6..."
James Maclean who maintains a blog with a heavy dosage of Sudanese topics repeats the widespread belief that the SPLA was funded by the CIA.
A Ugandan anarchist blogger wonders loudly whether President Yoweri Museveni is working with the CIA.
Of course, the truth could lie elsewhere- but for now, I am ruling out Uganda, the CIA, MOSSAD, Ethiopia and Eritrea as culprits in any suspicious play that would have eliminated one of their most valuable assets in the East, Central and Horn of Africa region.
How about Mwai Kibaki and NARC or even Daniel arap Moi and KANU?
Excuse me while I guffaw.
That would just be HILARIOUS. No Kenyan-politician, businessman, activist, intelligence operative WOULD HAVE ANYTHING TO GAIN by eliminating the SPLA supremo.
All the same, and on a VERY SERIOUS NOTE, here is what a Ugandan was saying a few minutes ago in one online Ugandan forum:
From: "ssenya nyange"
Sent: Monday, August 01, 2005 11:44 AM
Subject: Re: [Ugnet] Helicopter Wreckage Found.SouthernSudanese on Rampage.
> Latest ive gathered.
> Garang has a daughter in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. Hundreds of
> Southern Sudanese are trecking there. From a very reliable source, I've
> been told that Garang flew from Rwakitura to Entebbe in Mu7's Presidentila
> plane. From Entebbe, he took Mu7's presidential helicoper to Southern
> Sudan's New site. When he arrived abouve the site, it was raining heavily
> such that they couldnt have a safe landing. The Ugandan helicoper pilot
> decided to head for Kenya. Kenya took long time to clear them for entry.
> So, the pilot decided to go back to Uganda flying over Imatong mountains.
> During this time, Garang talked to his wife telling her about the weather
> problem. The helicoper crashed into the Imatong mountains. These are the
> notorious Kony's hide outs.
> J. Ssenyange>
But those other rival Southern Sudanese militia war lords- they would not have minded taking a pot shot at Garang you know...
Another way of eliminating suspects is to ask the OPPOSITE of the question I posed in the immediate aftermath of the London bombings.
This morning we should ask:
WHO STANDS TO LOSE THE MOST from the death of John Garang?
Clearly it is first and foremost the Americans, the Israelis, the Ugandans, the Ethiopians, the Eritreans and those Sudanese forces that were part and parcel of a pro-imperialist agenda in Africa's largest country.
It is then easier to pose the flip side of that question:
WHO STANDS TO GAIN THE MOST, now that Garang is no longer in the picture?
First and foremost forces allied to Dr. Hassan al Turabi, internal foes of Garang in the SPLA, Pan Arabists who feared the balkanization of Sudan and elements in the Sudanese National Democratic Alliance who saw Garang carting off all the spoils of the negotiated peace agreement with the Sudanese government.
I want to argue that even though Gen. Omar el Bashir certainly had reasons for wanting John Garang dead at some point in time- by now the late Vice President had taken on the utility of a life-boat that would enable Bashir to neutralize the National Islamic Front internal adversaries and get off George Bush's bombing schedule for now.
I would also want to argue, in defence of my Marxist-Leninist siblings in the Sudan Communist Party that we normally DO NOT DO ASSASSINATIONS, COUPS and other dastardly plots because the short term beneficiaries are normally the tribalists, the fascists, the zealots and other reactionary forces.
So who are we left with as the leading suspects?
(a)A disgruntled cabal within the SPLA leadership furious about Dr. John Garang's dictatorial decree of July 17th, 2005 to essentially liquidate the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement;
(b) Pro-Turabi members of the Sudanese government intelligence services;
(c) An internal Al Qaeda cell operating in Uganda and the Sudan;
(d) combatants of some of the Southern Sudanese rebel militias;
(e) I am NOT ruling out the Chinese;
(f) Surprise, surprise-NONE OF THE ABOVE. SIMPLE ACCIDENT.
I am getting slightly bored imitating Sherlock Holmes.
I wanna move on to something else.
Here is what the The International Crisis Group had to say about Sudan on the 25th of July, 2005 in a statement issued jointly from Nairobi and Brussels:
"©2005 Crisis Group - International Crisis Group
The Khartoum-SPLM Agreement: Sudan's Uncertain Peace
Africa Report Nº96
25 juillet 2005
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The January 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) formally ended war between the Khartoum government and the insurgent Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), Africa's longest civil conflict. Yet as SPLM Chairman John Garang was sworn in as 1st Vice-President on 9 July, implementation lags badly. The main obstacles are the old regime's lack of will to embrace genuine power sharing and elections, and ultimately allow a southern self-determination referendum after the six-year interim period and lack of capacity in the South to establish and empower basic structures of governance. To keep the accords on track, the international community must focus on broadening participation and transparency, particularly handling of oil revenues, promote SPLM dialogue with the government-allied militias and quickly deploy the UN peace support mission, whose monitoring operations will be key to breaking the links between Khartoum and those southern proxies.
The peace deal poses a real threat to many groups associated with the National Congress Party (NCP) regime, which signed the CPA under some duress both to deflect international pressure over Darfur and to strengthen its domestic power base by securing a partnership with the SPLM. Most members recognise the free and fair elections required in 2009 would likely remove them from power. Many also fear the self-determination referendum will produce an independent South, thus costing Khartoum much of its oil and other mineral wealth. There are signs the NCP seeks to undercut implementation through its use of the militias (the South Sudan Defence Forces, SSDF), bribery, and through the tactics of divide and rule. It actively encourages hostility between southern groups, with the hope that intra-south fighting will prove sufficiently destabilising that the referendum can be postponed indefinitely without its being blamed. These tactics will likely intensify if pressure over Darfur diminishes.
If the SPLM is to do its part in preventing an eventual breakdown of the CPA and return to war, it must make fundamental shifts in the way it operates. It has struggled, however, in its transition from a rebel movement to a political party, indeed to the point that its lack of inclusiveness and transparent decision-making has mirrored in some ways its long-time foe's approach to governance. It is far behind its timetable for converting its guerrillas into a new army and has made little progress in creating institutional structures of governance and changing overly centralised methods of taking decisions, weaknesses that have been compounded by lack of money. There is growing frustration as early expectations of the peace have not been met.
The SPLM leadership must begin to democratise its movement and empower the nascent civil institutions of the new Government of Southern Sudan. The South-South Dialogue with southern political opposition groups launched in Nairobi in April was a positive step, but the late June negotiations with the SSDF fell short of an agreement. The recently concluded National Constitutional Review Commission failed to bring in most of the main northern opposition parties -- they boycotted it as rigged in favour of the NCP and the SPLM -- as well as the armed groups from the east and west.
Recent deals signed by the SPLM to develop oil concessions in the South violate the CPA, have generated considerable criticism both from the government and within the SPLM itself, and should be scrapped. Given that Khartoum's approach to oil has long been even more problematic, it is urgent to create the National Petroleum Commission called for in the CPA's Wealth Sharing Agreement so it can review all contracts signed in the past year. The CPA has no mechanism, however, for rapidly resolving disputes that have arisen over North-South boundaries in the oil areas and that promise at least to delay disbursement of oil revenue the Government of Southern Sudan vitally needs to meet its CPA commitments. International actors, including the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the U.S. and the UK, should work with the parties to immediately form a commission to delimit those boundaries.
ON THE DELAYS IN IMPLEMENTATION
To the Government of Sudan and the SPLM:
1. Request the IGAD Secretariat to work with the Joint National Transition Team as a focal point for implementation of the peace accords.
ON THE OTHER ARMED GROUPS IN THE SOUTH
To the Government of Sudan:
2. End all support to South Sudan Defence Forces (SSDF) members who have not been integrated into the Sudan Armed Forces and stop directing misinformation to the SSDF regarding the peace accords.
3. Allow SSDF members to participate in the dialogue process with the SPLM.
To the Sudan People's Liberation Movement /Army (SPLM/A):
4. Seek internal agreement on the structures of the new SPLA army and speed up its reorganisation, in order to facilitate a transparent, participatory dialogue with the SSDF without pre-conditions.
To the UN, U.S., UK, Norway, Italy, Other Donor Countries and IGAD Member States:
5. Press the government to cease all efforts to recruit and arm new factions in the South and immediately stop inciting clashes there.
6. Give more technical expertise to assist the SPLA transition from a guerrilla force to a professional army.
7. Advance stability in the South by pushing for a reopened SPLM-SSDF dialogue, providing technical expertise and high-level diplomatic support to the efforts of the Moi African Institute to facilitate a swift agreement, and working with churches, women's organisations and other civil society groups to begin an SPLM-SSDF reconciliation process.
8. Establish a mechanism to hold all parties accountable for the actions of former SSDF officers integrated into their respective forces.
To the UN Mission in Sudan:
9. Deploy rapidly throughout the South to monitor and interdict supply lines and especially arms shipments from government garrisons to non-integrated SSDF.
10. Ensure that the peacekeeping force in the South has sufficient rapid response capacity to protect civilians and respond to outbreaks of violence, particularly offensive actions by rogue militias.
TO ADDRESS SPLM CONSTRAINTS
To the SPLM:
11. Broaden internal participation in decision-making processes and empower institutions of governance in order to help build the Government of Southern Sudan.
12. Prioritise a 2nd SPLM National Convention as the body to endorse the process of transition to government and support internal democratisation.
13. Address transparency and accountability in the new Government of Southern Sudan by establishing an anti-corruption commission and formalising in the constitution for southern Sudan an auditor general position, a code of conduct for officials, and a requirement for ministers to declare assets, as in the Interim National Constitution.
TO ADDRESS PROBLEMS IN THE OIL SECTOR
To the SPLM:
14. Deregister the deal granting White Nile Ltd. an oil concession in Block Ba, sign no new deals until the National Petroleum Commission is established, and clarify the legal status of Nile Petroleum Corp. with respect to the Government of Southern Sudan.
To the Government of Sudan:
15. Cease new activities in the oil sector -- including contracts and operations -- until the National Petroleum Commission is established.
To the Government of Sudan and the SPLM:
16. Establish the National Petroleum Commission quickly and use it to review contracts signed since conclusion of the Wealth Sharing Agreement and otherwise provide transparency and civilian oversight of the sector.
To the SPLM, the Government of Sudan, the UN Mission, the IGAD Secretariat, and Other Capable Parties:
17. Establish a border commission, similar to the Abyei Boundary Commission, to determine the North-South borders in the oil producing areas..
To the U.S., UK, Norway, Italy, Other Donor Countries and IGAD Member States:
18. Urge the SPLM to cancel the deal granting an oil concession to White Nile Ltd.
ON THE NEED FOR BROADER POLITICAL PARTICIPATION
To the Government of Sudan and the SPLM:
19. Take steps either to empower the inclusive Constitutional Review Process called for in the Machakos Protocol to function as a genuine national dialogue or re-constitute the National Constitutional Review Commission after the 2009 elections, with each party represented as determined by election results and provisions in place to protect key terms of the peace accords.
20. Include women in all positions, including as ministers and members of commissions and as administrators and employees in the civil service of the government of Sudan and the Government of Southern Sudan."
Nairobi/Brussels, 25 July 2005
So where does this leave us, I mean, we the Kenyans?
We were an integral part of that peace process, with former President Daniel arap Moi shaving off some demerit points in an otherwise sordid public record because of the time and energy he put into the process. Would be LDP Presidential aspirant Kalonzo Musyoka won all round respect when he was still the Foreign Minister in both Kenyan administrations. Raila Odinga-going back to his stint as energy minister in the KANU government got caught up in the whole New Sudan back and forth. According to one of my Deep Throats who is embedded very high up within the NARC provincial administration, Kenyan tycoons see Sudan as full of business potential. I was told that Kenyan businessmen allied to Nicholas Biwott as well as upstart future billionaires from Southern Sudan have been buying up property in Lokichoggio which they see as the next Kenyan boom town.
So the most immediate effect, for the Kenyan elites, would be to make these fat cats rush to their lavatories to relieve themselves because it is after all wakati wa kuhara na kutapika wakipapatika na kutetemeka fretting that their well-oiled future investment plans in all those natural resources of Sudan may go up in smoke- just like that.
For the ordinary Kenyan mwananchi we are seeing up close and personal what happens when you ignore people's historic, democratic and national aspiration- you end up with a volatile cauldron like the Sudan.
That is why those NAK parvenu schemers who are busy preaching the politics of regional and ethnic isolation and alienation had better think twice to confirm if this is really want they want for themselves in particular, and the broader Kenyan public in general.
If we do manage to get our act together though, the vistas for regional, South to South cooperation and Fair Trade are just incredible.
Kenyan progressives and democrats must start working together now to lay down the kind of structures that cannot be scuttled merely through the assassination of a single political leader.
I will pause for now- been writing for quite a while- and it is supposed to be a civic holiday in these here parts...
PS: FULL TEXT OF PRESS STATEMENT ISSUED IN NAIROBI BY SPLM COMMANDER REGARDING THE DEATH OF JOHN GARANG:
The following is the text of official statement by Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLA/SPLM) first vice-chairman of the SPLM/SPLA,
Commander Salva Kiir Mayardit
broadcast by Kenyan KTN TV on 1 August
Kiir: South Sudan and indeed the whole Sudan has lost its beloved son, Dr John Garang De Mabior, the first vice-president of the republic of Sudan and the president of the South Sudan, who was on an official visit to Uganda during the period from 29 to 30 July 2005 when the helicopter he was travelling in crashed near south of New Kush on his return last Saturday 30 July.
I take this opportunity to assure the southern Sudanese, in particular, and the Sudanese people, in general, that we in the SPLM/SPLA leadership will continue the vision and the objectives of the movement that John Garang De Mabior has articulated and hoped to implement.
We also want to assure everyone that the leadership and the cadres of the SPLM/SPLA will remain united and strive to faithfully implement the comprehensive peace agreement, CPA. In this I have ordered the former members of the SPLM leadership council to assemble in New Site, Kapoeta County, for an emergency meeting.
I am now on my way to New Site to join the rest of the leadership and the family of Dr John. I call upon all members of the SPLM and the entire Sudanese nation to remain calm and vigilant.
Monday, August 8, 2005
Exclusive: The meeting that nearly split SPLM
By A Correspondent
In the build-up to the signing of of the Sudan peace accord in January, tensions emerged within the leadership of the SPLM after rumours spread that Dr John Garang had decided to arrest his number two man, Commander Salva Kiir Mayardit.
Leaders of the movement called a meeting to thrash out the differences. Below are excerpts of the minutes of the three-day meeting which took place in Rumbek from November 29 to December 1, last year.
John Garang: This meeting has been called to address the following accusations and rumours;
* That there was a meeting held in Nairobi under my chairmanship where it was decided that Salva Kiir be replaced by the chairman with Commander Nhial Deng.
* That I went to Kampala and met with Commander Pieng and ordered him to arrest Salva Kiir.
* That commander Malual Majok went to Ramciel to collect forces to go and arrest Salva Kiir at Yei.
|Mr Salva Kiir, left, with Dr Garang. Picture by Joan Pereruan.|
Salva Kiir Mayardit: The rumours came from Nairobi and around the leadership of the SPLM/A. The second message I got was through Commander Pagan Amum, who was visiting the liberated areas with friends from friendly countries.
The rumours implied that I will be arrested at Ramciel where the chairman was. When I received that rumour, I called the security personnel in Yei and discussed the issue at length. I also asked them to find out where the sources of the rumours from Nairobi were coming from.
I assure you that the allegation that I am against peace is not true. I am really for peace so that the international community can rescue our suffering people. There are those who want to create confusion in the movement and fabricate rumours. I don't have personal problems with the chairman.
If we are national leaders, which I don't believe we are, because we have no cohesion within our leadership structure, let us be sincere with ourselves. After meetings are concluded, we run to foreign countries.
There is no code of conduct to guide the movement's structures. When the chairman leaves for abroad, no directives are left and no one is left to act on his behalf. I don't know with whom the movement is left; or does he carry it in his own briefcase?
The chairman killed the National Executive Council by creating the Leadership Council. But there is no provision in the convention for a leadership council.
Does he want to revive the political military high command? The Leadership Council creates a situation where all are directly reporting to the chairman, including SPLM county secretaries. When I mention these facts, they should not be construed to be my personal problems. Those around the chairman don't tell him the opinion of the public.
The chairman is everything, from a finance officer to one at the lowest level. Corruption, as a result of the lack of structures, has created a lack of accountability that has reached a proportion that will be difficult to eradicate.
In fact, there are many outstanding administrative problems that require our attention. These include failure to follow the SPLM chain of command by allowing specific individuals to directly communicate with the chairman. If the responsibility of governors goes directly to the chairman, what will be the work of Commander Daniel Awet?
The chairman should not make appointments of SPLM county secretaries.
I would also like to say something about rampant corruption in the movement. At the moment, some members of the movement have formed private companies, bought houses and have huge bank accounts in foreign countries. I wonder what kind of system we are going to establish in South Sudan considering that we have ourselves indulged in this respect.
Garang: I will give the floor to the national leadership to comment on what has been said by Salva Kiir. I don't want this to be a debate between me and Salva Kiir.
Elijah Malok: I support what Salva Kiir has said. We need to take collective decisions. The leadership council should address and resolve these outstanding issues and get back on the right track. Let's form committees to reorganise the army.
Garang: I will give my contribution to what has been raised. We need to dispose of rumours.
In the whole of South Sudan, there is a general concern from the citizens, that there is a danger facing the movement. We have to clear the danger and give our people assurances.
Salva Kiir and I have been together in the movement for 22 years, and have been close friends, and we will continue that way.
Twenty-two years of friendship can't be thrown away by rumours. Salva will be with me now until the end of the interim period and beyond.
The allegation that I will be replacing Salva with Commander Nhial Deng Nhial was also a bad lie; it would mean that I would have dismissed all those senior to Nhial, who include Riek, Jarnes, Daniel Awet and Lual Diing. So, this allegation is a lie.
This rumour has caused commotion everywhere in Southern Sudan, Khartoum and the Diaspora; so I will assure our people everywhere and send a strong message to the Khartoum government that they will not divide the SPLM/A.
Salva and I are innocent of the situation and four of our leaders will appear in a press conference telling the whole world about our unity and that there is no problem among SPLM/A members.
Secondly, I want to assure you of my confidence in Salva Kiir. My relationship with Commander Salva goes back to 1983.
Garang Mobil: Facts must be stated now in order to solve them once and for all. The question I want to discuss today is that there is a problem, but the chairman keeps saying there are no problems, only a "gap" between him and Salva Kiir.
He will not accept there are problems in the New Sudan. But if the problem is not solved, there will be no peace. I also want to say that the movement is in the hands of a few and many are alienated. National resources must be shared by all, no matter how small.
The structures are controlled by a few minority groups, and this must be sorted out now in Rumbek.
Agassio Akoll: There is a problem because many people ignore Commander Salva as deputy chairman and Chief of the General Staff. The governors and deputies bypass Salva Kiir and correspond directly with the chairman. This is not the procedure. Salva Kiir has raised specific issues which need answers. The Chairman has not responded adequately.
Justice Ambrose Riny (SPLM's Chief Justice): The chairman dissolved legally instituted organs of the movement as contained in the national convention of 1994 and unilaterally established illegal institutions which are not supported by any legal provisions of the convention. The chairman was supposed to establish a constitutional committee to draft our constitution. It has not been done.
Commander Pieng: I have not been happy with our meetings because they end without resolutions. I am a revolutionary soldier. I am not happy with the response of the chairman. There are problems to be addressed, and these problems must be solved now.
There must be committees to reorganise the movement. I agree with Commander Elijah Malok's call for a system of committees. When the chairman goes away on a visit, he never leaves anyone to act in his place.
Lt Gen Oyai Deng (Chief of Staff SPLA): (Addressing Garang and Kiir). When you started the movement, you were seven people. Today, it is only the two of you. Someone said that you conspired against those who died and now you are conspiring against yourselves. I strongly agree with Commander Salva that when the chairman goes away, he locks the South in his bag.
Gier Chuang: I understand what is happening. I didn't believe that Garang will sit near Salva Kiir again today. I am happy to see this conference. People have died due to internal differences and I refer to what had happened in the 1991 crisis.
James Oath : (Addressing Garang) When the movement started, you were seven. Now you are only two. All the five died having problems with you. Why do you have problems with your colleagues? It has become very difficult to meet the chairman. A committed must be formed now to sort out our problems.
Oboto Mamur: The chairman always has problems with his colleagues. Now you are two and you are turning against yourselves. Mr Chairman, you have been telling lies since 1983. A chairman should trust his deputies because there is a big problem here. There must be a committee to follow up on all resolutions agreed here.
Santo Ayang: I thank the community leaders of Bahr el Ghazal zone who went to Yei to speak with Salva. Without them, things would have got out of hand. The chairman must tell us the truth about the source of these rumours. All that was circulated was not rumours, and no one was bribed by the enemy.
Those around the chairman only please him and do not tell him the truth. I support the formation of the committee as suggested by Taban Deng Gai.
Elias Wai: All are not convinced with the response of the chairman to issues raised by Commander Salva. The chairman is placing his relatives in key positions, including Alija Majok, who is too old to be the governor of the central bank.
Biong Ajang: Salva has a right to blame the Leadership Council. Dr Garang has no powers to dismiss Salva because the national convention elected both of them. I support the formation of committees.
Lt Col. Mathiang Rok (Speaker of the National Leadership Council): This meeting has saved the lives of many people in the South. I would like to quote from Francis Mading's book: "Things that are not said divide people." People still doubt whether what the chairman has said is satisfactory. Our main concern is whether the structures will be functional.
Arthur Akuien (Minister for Finance): I am being called the secretary of finance but without any finance. I want to point out that the rumours have been destructive and that the leadership style encouraged them. The chairman does not delegate powers to his deputies. He is responsible for creating this crisis in the movement. After appointing someone to a position, he does not work with him but will depend on someone else to do the work.
Dr Justin Yac ( SPLM representative to Igad): The chairman is good for external contacts but within his own institutions, he is not good. He is good at talking but not at doing things. The chairman should not think that he is always right. He must admit his mistakes and work with a team.
Kuol Manyang: I think this meeting is historical. As we enter a new era, we are going to be more united. You differ with someone and you reconcile. Differences are natural. I was informed through unofficial channels that Salva had been removed. I called Commander Deng Alor and we were joined by Commander Awet and we went to Salva and told him that the rumour had no basis. As for structures, the only problem is how to manage them effectively.
Nhial: People should be judged by what they have contributed to the movement. We should address our issues. I am absolutely prepared for the proposal to dissolve the leadership council.
Malik Agar: The differences between the chairman and Salva Kiir have been around for 10 years. Whenever they are about to be resolved, each of them tells us that there is no problem. We need systems which work. I have been working as a governor for 10 years. Has the chairman called me any day even to give me advice? There are no systems in this movement.
James Wani Igga (SPLM secretary general): When the rumours started, I was in Nairobi on my way to Kampala. When I reached Kaya, I was being asked by the people to tell them what happened. We have several problems, one of which is corruption. Some time back, the chairman told us that Deng Alor had brought some money from Nigeria. We never heard about it again.
Nepotism is also a major problem and I will give two examples. The removal of Aleu Anyeny from his position and his replacement by the chairman with an officer from Dr Garang's own village. The other is the appointment of Dr Lual Deng as an advisor to the chairman. I suggest that an investigation committee be appointed by the chairman to find out the origin of these rumours. Let's avoid kitchen cabinets and corruption.
Riek Machar: The SPLM must retain an independent national character. Serious rumours have been spreading in London. While I was there, there was talk of a change of guard and replacement of Salva Kiir with Nhial. The lack of dialogue can be a source of disunity.
Salva Kiir: I have no more to say. The issues which brought us here have been raised and you have all expressed your views. I must thank those who came to talk to me in Yei. Rumours must be treated us rumours, but there is no smoke without fire. There are people among us who are more dangerous than the enemy.
Garang: Thank you for allowing me to talk while I am sitting. Greetings to all in the hall. Because of this meeting we left a scanty committee to continue with the peace talks in Kenya. ·I appreciate how the meeting has been conducted. I am thanking the delegations that contributed to resolving this unfortunate problem, but above all, I sincerely thank Commander Salva Kiir for his patriotic stand to avert this situation.
Monday, August 15, 2005
Garang probe: factors experts may consider
After the burial of John Garang and the swearing in of his successor, attention has shifted to the investigation on the cause of the crash of the Ugandan presidential MI-172 helicopter that killed Sudan's former first Vice President and 12 others.
A team of 10 experts from the US, Russia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda is already at work. With speculation having gone into over drive, and the the air rife with rumours and unsubtantiable claims, The EastAfrican has – from discussions with experts – pieced together some of the facts, which the investigation team will be looking at as they try to unravel the cause of the tragic journey of the ill-fated plane from Entebbe to New Site in Southern Sudan.
The MI-172 has been continually developed and improved and is currently undergoing commercial certification with the Russian Civil Aviation Authority. Parallel to the Russian certification effort, the helicopter is currently being evaluated to show compliance with the latest version of FAA regulations.
It has two engines, each generating 2,200 hp with a take-off weight at maximum-13,000kg.
It can reach a maximum speed of 250km/h but a cruise speed of 230km/h. It can hover at a ceiling of 3,980m and go up to a height of 6,000m. The standard version has a range of 715 km, cabin crew of three and 36 seats. However, it is expected that the crashed chopper had been modified to have enhanced features above the standardised version.
The flight path:
A straight-line flight path to New Site is a distance of about 480km, which gives an estimated flight time of two hours at a cruising speed of 230km/hr. However, due to terrain difficulty, the pilot could have gone north, east of Lira and turned east towards New Cush, getting into Kidepo Valley immediately the helicopter got into Sudan airspace. It could also have gone further east before Lira through Karamoja territory, briefly into Kenyan airspace, then entering the Kidepo valley from the south. Either of these paths could have been achieved within the altitude and range capacity of the chopper.
The chopper could only have encountered a slight elevation if it took the Karamoja path, the higher Dinga hills were almost 100km away from the location of the crash and the much higher mountain ranges were further to the North West, almost 45 degrees from to the north of New Cush. However, ground activity indicates a heavy presence of LRA to the west of the straight line flight path, especially after Lira and the presence of Karamoja cattle rustlers (who have been the target of demobilisation by the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces in the recent past).
However, further north on this straight line path, UPDF has a wide and strong presence that extends to the Sudan border. Beyond the border, the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army has a strong presence along the road leading to New Site which mirrors the flight path within Sudan.
Satellite pictures capture some clouds and rain within and near New Cush and within that part of the Kidepo Valley, but no thunderstorms that would stretch the capability of the chopper. The helicopter left Uganda at about 17.30 hours and would have reached New Site at 19.00 hours, after the onset of darkness in Kampala but still within daylight in New Site, due to the difference in time zones.
The chopper was carrying a VIP, would normally have a pilot, co-pilot, flight engineer, Signaler and flight commander. In this case, the number of people inside the chopper is a subject of debate. The flight manifest from Entebbe, indicates 14 persons, while the UN reports 17 casualties at the scene of the crash.
When it was first reported that the chopper carrying Garang had crashed, the first theory was it had crashed into one of the mountains (Dinga Hills) due to poor visibility and bad weather.
First, it did not crash into the Dinga Hills since the crash site is almost 100 km to the south of the hills and the chopper was well past the much lower hills in the south.
Secondly if it had crashed into the hills, the wreckage would have been found against the hill and not 100 km away in the valley
Thirdly, poor visibility and bad whether could only have led to a crash into the mountains, i.e the chopper veering off its intended flight path, but only if its navigational equipment had failed. Still, if there was an attempt to crash land, there should be "skid" marks and debris would not have scattered over a long distance.
Was the chopper shot down?
According to experts, there are only two weapons that could bring down a chopper of that magnitude. But first lets discuss what could not have brought it down. Its fuselage is re-enforced and has an electro-magnetic field around it that would make bullets from an AK47 harmless. Besides, its hovering range of 3,900 m is well beyond the reach of such bullets or any hand-held bazooka.
However, a 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun mounted at a location or on the back of a pick-up truck would have enough fire power to reach the chopper. The Lord's Resistance Army may have that gun mounted at a site but not mobile. The Karamoja cattle rustlers don’t have such a gun. Now LRA are very active within the Lira area which is on the straight-line flight path. However, they are not near the border of Sudan further north of the flight path. If the chopper was shot at by the LRA, then it would have to be near Lira, the chopper would then have to limp for over 250km to the crash site, without attempting to crash land in the friendly areas within the Sudan and Uganda borders. This is not mechanically possible. It would have crashed within the Uganda borders.
Also, if it was shot at by the 12mm, gun, the bullets would pass through, since they normally don’t have explosive heads. This passage might cause a spark that would light up the plane. Remember that almost 20 per cent of the chopper volume is actually carrying its fuel. The subsequent fire would cause an explosion in mid air and the chopper would not have been found crashed at a particular site.
It is important to note that this type of gun is very heavy and difficult to move around, unlike the lighter surface to air missile (SAM). Nomadic rebels do not have this kind of machine, whose weight is nearly equivalent to the weight of the chassis of a saloon car. You would have had to pre-position it, which implies that the killers would have known that the chopper was going to pass there. The theory does not hold water.
In any event if the LRA shot it down, the chopper would have exploded mid air and scattered debris over a wide area with no particular crash site.
From the foregoing, any surface-to-air shooting would not be possible nor would have any air-to air-device, since a mid air explosion did not take place.
The possibility of a hostile passenger (s) within the chopper causing enough damage to bring down the chopper. This possibility presupposes a suicider (s); that the pilots were over powered and killed and the chopper went into a spin and crashed. However, this would have left skid marks as the plane crash landed. This theory has been fed by reports that the bodies within the crashed chopper were bullet-ridden.
Even if that is so, we must remember the chopper had 14 people. The only person without a gun would been the VIP and the single hostess. That leaves 12 people armed. Normally, in the passenger cabin there would be 10 people armed with a minimum of an AK47. Each AK47 magazine has 30 rounds of ammunition, the armed men would also carry a minimum of 30 rounds in their packs on both sides, i.e 60 rounds in addition to what is around the waist.
Thus, the passenger cabin had a minimum of 900 rounds of bullets combat ready. In addition, these armed men could have had additional pistols and some hand-held grenades. When the chopper crashed, it was inevitable that the bullets would have been triggered by the impact causing them to fly around. Thus, the bullet-ridden bodies should not surprise. However, it remains for the pathologists and forensic experts to establish the nature of these wounds because there is a difference between an accidental bullet wound and a premeditated point-blank shot.
That the chopper had a mechanical failure, the propeller stopped and the chopper came down, not in projectile motion but in a path where g= 9.8m/s, i.e direct path. That would be supported by preliminary evidence indicating that the bodies had compressed lower limbs, reflecting the direct nature of the impact. This points to the possibility that you are dealing with a mechanical failure
The other possible cause of the accident is the possibility of the chopper running out of fuel. The chopper has a minimum flying range of 750km (without enhanced modification). The straight path distance is 480 km. If it did make some curves, there could be an additional 250km. The pilot would still have enough fuel to reach New Site and in any case the instruments within the chopper would give him early warning.
All said and done, several mysteries remain.
*Why was the usual entourage of the late Garang not with him?
*Why do we have discrepancies in the passenger manifests and count of the bodies?
*Why did the chopper have to fly in bad weather and at night? Why leave Entebbe if it was already 17.30?