“I am not scared about you to lead, I am alarmed by your greed” – Said, Southern Sudanese poet in his poem - entitled “Sudan is My Country” (Name Unknown).
By, Gabriel Makuei Tor
The call for the Sudanese unity by Khartoum is the dirty truth, one need not to sacrifice for it. Unity of the Country is good anywhere in the world, but with who I am residing with – I don’t call for. The Sudanese Unity is lacking spirit of brotherhood, nationality, patriotism and mutual understanding but thronged with Jihads, Islamization, and Arabization – dogged by its kleptocratic behaviors, at gun point; is not the integrity which our comrades have been laid to rest for. This is a ground of no tolerance to any kingdom. The National Congress Party with its military wing - National Islamic Front; has made unity unattractive, and wanted to cling to the Sudanese power and wealth without sharing it amongst the Sudanese citizens. I have seen them having mouths to talk but no ears to lend.
Show me that article – which says all parties must support Unattractive Sudanese Unity and I will show you Hague’s criminal Lodge – ICC on the Desk. Stop crying for unity. Where were they; who cry for unity against Secession when the South burns for Over 50 years?
Is/was Sudan in unity? Definitely “Big No!!!”. The Sudanese government has fought the South for over half a century and Darfur for almost a decade now! Would you call that a united Country – in real sense, no unity exists but the possession of the name Sudan to all the Sudanese people and regions. Those who are calling for united Sudan must know there was nothing united before and that’s why the SPLM/A took up arms to defend and unite the Country. This idea have been put on ice and erased by the ruling NCP by using Jihad and Sharia law as law of the Land against non-Muslims - So where is the union and the unionists who kept silence by then, when the South was butchered for decades with no call for a cease fire and now they call for unity. Did you see that comrade – “Living Witness?” Leaders were assassinated; children abducted for slavery, innocent citizens were thrown to jails and rest murdered mercilessly.
No prisoners of war were returned, or exchanged when SPLA released Khartoum’s POWs to the North.
When the Sudanese government agreed to sit around the negotiation table, with the Sudan People Liberation Movement - with it military wing - Sudan People Liberation Army, for a peace talk that took 3 years of dialogue in Kenyan cities of Machakos, Naivasha and Nairobi among others. Behind 2.5 million lives lost due to war and related causes, according to UN – which those with Sudanese civil war experiences on the ground; claimed to be at a greater rate than 2.5 millions.
A Sudanese government of NCP with broken records of aborting peace, wealth and power sharing treaties; between their opposition-South and Khartoum-North, since 1940’s - sat to dialogue with the SPLM/A knowing if they have signed more than several treaties in the past and has broken them, knows too, even the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) is just a break from long wars, but could be dishonored, at its 11th hour.
NCP - Dispatching Misseriya Tribes against the Nine Ngok Dinka Tribes.
Even if there seemed to be a way forward; the NCP do comes in to twist the original stories. The recent report from Addis Ababa about the Misseriya Tribes claiming Abyei at this late hour and they had never been part of the Dinka Ngok, either religiously, natively and traditionally. What is the connection today? They have threatened to wage war against Abyei and the South, if they are not allowed to vote in Abyei Referendum or share power and wealth equally with the Ngok Dinka as said by El Bashir’s government and party (NCP) to SPLM few weeks ago as pros. These claims were not revealed during 2002 to 2005 peace talk in Kenya – until everything came to conclusion on Abyei only. Behind these claims by Misseriya Tribes. Is Khartoum government with intention to thwart or ruin Referenda for the South and Abyei regions, Popular Consultation to Blue Nile and Kordofan States. These fake grievances must stop now. The NCP’s weir is not going to catch anybody and the South shall wades through - tall and free.
Sudanese Disintegration today is Sudanese Integration tomorrow.
If South Sudan agree for the unity of the Country Sudan – she will be the first army to burn remnant villages of Darfur to ashes; Because the NCP will use its forces to destroy the little left of Darfur before Khartoum disarm them and you know the rest ……. To save the remnant few – make your vote of separation count and get your voice heard, forever peaceful Sudan.
Remember to respect your registration to vote for Referenda – anywhere in the world when it begins; where legible.
The NCP should know that – the SPLM/SPLA’s Flag; is a Flag of a Nation, which is not going anywhere! Khartoum must accept that a Nation is born for us to leave Separate than dying together.
The Southern Sudanese People can afford anything and anybody, but what they could not afford are 50 more years of Bashir’s cheat notes and generation in the bush.
By, Gabriel Makuei Tor
South Sudan Referendum is a reality by law. Orchestration of its destruction by anyone or party is unlawful and must be pushed.
While watching the Heads or representatives of world States’ 4 hours video (High Level Meeting on Sudan) on www.UNmultimedia.org - on the night of September 24th, 2010. On that same night – I was convinced that the world is united behind Southern Sudan’s painful voices of concern for Referendum make possible through fair and free preparations and votes; in regards to people’s will. Besides, the Abyei, Blue Nile, Nuba Mountains, and Darfur’s crisis concerns inside Sudan. All world leaders who met in Manhattan New York, were fully informed and understood decades of suffering endured by the Sudanese people and most importantly by Southern Sudanese – the representatives came to believe that, the Referendum with its issues; must be conducted as agreed and signed by the two governments of North and South – Sudan.
Even in this High Level Meeting: There were good and bad news for the world to take along their rocky path on Sudan problems. The bad news came with two Sudanese neighbors: Idris Debby of Chad asked question, do you think is Sudan going to be more peaceful when divided into South and South? His question was disregarding the call for Referendum timely schedule to be respected and proper credibility of its being run peacefully with accuracy on people’s will. The second man was the Ethiopian Meles Zenawi, who said, let me assure you (delegates) that Referendum will not happen on time nor conducted because of issues interconnected with separation (vote of independence); counting the oil and border demarcation items among many others attached. His point of concern was no enough time to deal with the claims dogging South Sudan Referendum votes on January 9th, 2011. Why no time now? What was the government doing during the last – almost 6 years of interim period? Conspiracy is not a passport to unity here. Let Zenawi be assured.
No one knows what Khartoum have said or paid to these two men, but Heaven knows!!
You wonder what happened to Debby and Zenawi – if the call of help is heard as far as Brazil in South America, North America, the European Countries, other African Countries and Asian Continent’s representatives who talked respectfully, in support of the Sudanese people and governments for Referenda, and popular consultations be done as scheduled almost 6 years ago now.
The other bad news was the Sudanese 2nd vice president; Taha’s 2 delegates (North) were thrown into jail for inappropriate behaviors - caught by New York police violating code of conducts, around Manhattan’s Hilton Hotel during an entry or exiting the place – the 2 delegates were later on released after the prove of their legibility to attend the meeting was found. Luckily, the 1st Sudanese vice president, Salva Kiir Mayardit’s delegates (South) whose his people are rumored to be incapable of ruling themselves, were found free of such violent argument or inappropriate acts accusation. Victory in another way around!
Is Ali Ahmed Karti a Time Bell?
Karti is running against red light with his own NCP wishes and proposals. In his interview, with Ali Salih of Asharq Alawsat – 09-23-2010 (Arabic Newspaper). “You signed the CPA, the CPA prefers Unity”, Karti said to the interviewer meaning the USA and SPLM on peace agreement. I can’t tell if Sudanese foreign minister, Karti got it right about the CPA articles he refers to. The article in its real contact mean that the people of South Sudan would opt - depending on their combined experiences of 22 years of second civil war plus 6 years of interim period if the North is accommodative in its administrative rules and laws in relation to South Sudan’s people, and norms, which is not. The CPA has two options in it: Unity and Separation depending on the attractiveness of one. Making Unity attractive is when all articles or almost all of them were implemented or applied to work. And making unity unattractive is when what have been signed in Naivasha is disrespected or ignored – which put the South on the fastest lane to Secession if North is seen using unacceptable behavior/s as Obama stated. Is the NCP going to blame the South or SPLM for taking side between Unity and Separation when Referendum comes on 01-09-2011? No! Because you are the leader and decide to undermine the law, no one is going to abide by what you have broken – So you don’t call CPA a law anymore.
“There are some unacceptable behaviors in the 21st century, like genocide”, said – by his Excellency US President; Barack Obama – 09-24-2010; in the “High Level Meeting on Sudan” in New York. Thanks God who ever initiated the meeting got a great idea of moving the world forward. This is true; the National Congress Party is shifting from calling South Sudanese abid –meaning slaves to niggers - according to recent comment, by the same Karti of NCP on the press in the capital, Khartoum. It’s a childish way of insulting a Nation and must stop.
Karti’s bigotry-accusation to SPLM – saying that SPLM is using a terrorism tactics to avoid Unity campaign is a lie. If there are people terrorized, arrested or killed by Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM), why not mention their names and the locality of their residency or presence; if this is not unhappiness of those Khartoum have paid and sent to the South to destabilize the region and return to Khartoum without succeeding in their mission because SPLM did not give them any ground of incubation.
This same Ali Karti have called the International Community’s support-call, for South Sudan Referendum dateline and people’s will to vote on January next year, an “ill-intention to divide Sudan”. So is sending militias and government forces to kill Southerners and Darfurians a prosperous intention? Again the 3 billion dollars plan to develop the South/been developing the South is not a true statement – that was talked about this year (2010) just to turn the referendum scheme around for an empty unity of the Country – which has never been seen during the last five years of unity government.
Darfur is still burning to ashes – Sudan government is doing it!!
Referendum and Popular consultations are Refuge to the South and Abyei, Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains Regions. So they must be honored to be conducted according to the law, in which they were brought into book. The violations done and violations on the schedule to be done against Referendum success, are a bloody face all authorities of concern, must face without turning to the side.
My Identity is my Own and it is not Up for Debate, by Nam Kiwanuka.
By Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba, MD
September 13, 2010 (SSNA) -- Of a special interest is the fact that President Barack Obama will join United Nations Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon and representatives of the African Union, World Bank and other organizations for a September the 24th summit meeting on the Southern Sudan referendum in New York, as declared by Susan Rice, the U.S. envoy to the UN.
Obama “sees this as a very important vehicle for focusing international attention” on preparations for the referendum and implementation of its results, including decisions on border demarcation, Rice said.
However with only four months to go for the south Sudan referendum everything about the future of the country continues remains bleak. This pessimism is nowhere much expressed than in the US state secretary’s speech when she put it in a nutshell that despite all that the US and the international community are doing for the Sudan to have a timely referendum, there still exists a real threat of renewal to the south north war unless the north is won-over to peacefully accept the inevitable secession of the South.
Many may still have their say, but the reality on the ground attests to a fact that the anticipated referendum has been hijacked by party politics, while it should have been left for the south Sudanese grass roots to decide which way to go. The great danger today lies in the NCP’s intentional misinterpretation of the referendum bill, thus making it the regimes tool to maintain a unity which otherwise has become unpopular to the southern electorates who are overwhelmingly expected to vote for secession.
The politicians have several times failed the Sudanese people as witnessed by the five decades of warfare and the loss of more than two million lives. The people at all levels remain concerned that too short a time is left for the management of this potentially explosive plebiscite. On the other hand it is clear that the northern NCP is busy looking for ways to manipulate or right away derail the entire process.
The dominant NIF/NCP of president al Bashir is intentionally making everything appear difficult if not impossible, but of course in line with their declared policies. The members of a commission to organize the referendum were only announced in late June 2010, and its secretary-general appointed last week, after months of wrangling between northern and southern leaders. All these are bad omens, not to mention that the situation in the contested Oil-rich area of Abyei has altogether reverted to the pre-CPA era, with Khartoum resettling new Baggara Arab nomads in the territory ahead of the referendum.
Secretary Clinton who appears to play the role of a gap Bridger, declared in her address to the US Council on Foreign Relations think tank that it was "inevitable" southerners would vote for secession and that Washington, together with international partners, needed to work out ways to persuade the north to accept that result peacefully.
“The [north-south] situation is a ticking time bomb of enormous consequence," Clinton said.
"The south is not quite capable of summoning the resources to do [the referendum], and the north has been preoccupied and is not inclined to do it, because it's pretty clear what the outcome will be."
“If you’re in the North, and all of a sudden you think a line’s going to be drawn and you’re going to lose 80 percent of the oil revenues, you’re not a very enthusiastic participant” in the division of the country” Clinton told her audience.
“What are the deals that can possibly be made that will limit the potential of violence?” she asked. “The South needs “to recognize that unless they want more years of warfare and no chance to build their own new state, they’ve got to make some accommodations with the north as well,” Clinton said.
Secretary Clinton is entitled to her opinion when she suggested that the South continues to split its Oil with the North as a panacea to avoid a possible return to war, or rather still win a peaceful recognition from the colonialists of the hostile North, however having that said I insist that all the responses that came from Khartoum should be taken into account and seriously. The NIF/NCP regime has now gone public to disapprove of the US policies on the Sudan in its totality. Two senior party officials have already slammed the US State Secretary over her comments.
In a tone typically of the Islamist fanatic institutions world-wide, the NIF/NCP have come out to tell the US administration that they really don’t care about what Secretary Clinton refers to a "ticking time-bomb” in the Sudan. After all what is a “ticking time-bomb” to a terrorist or a professional suicide bombers indoctrinator, which the NIF/NCP are.
"We do not need any incentives or temptations from the US, Europe or France ... There is no need to accept any interference," said Abdelati the top NIF/NCP official.
"We are working to achieve unity up to the last moment. We don't think secession is inevitable," a senior NCP official, Rabie Abdelati said. "Everything is going very smoothly. We don't see any sign that there will be a problem between the north and the south, that there will be war." He added.
In his own delusional state of mind, Abdelati even never hesitated to tell the Reuters and I quote: “most southerners are in fact in favour of unity with the North, but their voices are being drowned out by a few separatist leaders from the south's former rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM)”. To confirm that Abdelati is not alone in his criticism of secretary Clinton, he was immediately joined by Sudan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, the hard-line Islamist, Ali Karti who was cited by Sudan official news agency (SUNA) as saying that Clinton’s remarks were intended to give the impression that there are major problems in the Sudan. He further commented by saying that the U.S. top diplomat is exaggerating and attempting to portray the situation incorrectly.
"The U.S. Secretary of State if she visited Sudan and listened to the various parties she would have not said what she said and her forecast of events is not true," he said.
One head of the few Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) Missions in the western hemisphere was on the other hand quoted by the media when he said: “We would really like to send a signal to the world that we are willing to negotiate with the North and open to any discussion on sharing of Oil revenues,” the GoSS diplomatic said per the media. And he went on to add and I quote again: “It is not in our interest to see the north failing,” he said. “It should also be in the interests of the North to see us be viable.”
Going by the above statements which in fact can be traced back to several other senior SPLM, one is tempted to consider it as an official party line.
But truly I must confess here that I not only fail to understand the point that the SPLM senior officials are trying to make in portraying to the world stage that south Sudan is indeed keen to see a strong north at the expense of its citizens who continue to languish in destitution in their millions and I don’t even agree that the content is in any way sensible. This North which some of us think deserves the South’s sacrifice in order to continue to thrive while the South itself only barely survives, these people must be made to re-count and accept that the north had witnessed huge development even before the much talked about South’s Oil revenues. They have the Gezira Agricultural Scheme the largest of its kind in Africa together with the gigantic Kenana Sugar Factory and many others, so how does brother in the SPLM expect us to protect the North economically when we don’t even have clean water within our towns let alone our people who over 99% live at subhuman levels in the jungles and swamps of the improvised south Sudan.
Or can any one of these modern days philosophers attest to us why Sudan’s foreign debts now stand at the astronomical figure of 37.8 billion US dollars while there virtually exist nothing in the whole South to justify its share in this debt.
To push all the political incompatibilities that soared up between the SPLM and its peace partner, the NCP, as mere differences on Wealth Sharing, is in fact to inappropriately over simplify the current political stalemate in the Sudan. The North is more developed than the South and this is a fact that none can deny. However the NIF/NCP is driven by the so-called “Arabisation and Islamisation” agenda towards South Sudan and Africa beyond. To do this they will not only want to control the South’s recourses, but in fact to use it, land and people as consumables in attaining their holy dreams.
Given the fact that the North is adamant to buy the Southern public opinion into voting for unity, I am forced to a much extend to disagree with secretary Clinton because I believe that no amount of Oil bribery – call it Oil sharing – will ever win the NCP to the side of peaceful co-existence with the South. They are obsessively greedy, and while Secretary Clinton is suggesting oil spilt to bring them on board, they on their part expect the US administration to play a different role. NIF/NCP wants its “genocide regime” out of USA list of countries sponsoring terrorism so that they can continue their genocide campaigns with total impunity the countrywide.
Nonetheless Clinton’s suggestion that the South continues to pay ransoms to the north has already provoke resistance from the community of U.S. activists who work on behalf of the Christian South, as highlighted by Stephen Morrison, former director of the Africa program at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “Southern Sudan has hurdles to overcome, Morrison said”.
“The south has done very little to get itself internally organized. It seems to think that the West and the U.S. in particular is going to rescue them as the situation deteriorates as opposed to making accommodations to the north as of now.” he added.
I hope President Baraka Obama will understand per Abdelati’s statement that the Omer al Bashir regime isn’t asking for incentives, but they are out there to challenge his leadership in the international level. Although the US administration might want to persuade the northern Arabs into a peaceful recognition of South Sudan’s independence, the fact remains that these Arab fanatics only understand the language of force – obviously not threats or incentives.
It is the wish of the author of this article that the international community acknowledges its short comings in observing the implementation of the agreement in conformity with the wordings and the spirit, before undertaking new obligations towards the holding of the referendum. The people of the Sudan were disappointed by the Obama administration which failed to live up to pre-election rhetoric on the Sudan. The CPA came and will go without ever brining the much expected democratic transformation to a people who badly yearn for it.
However given the sensitivity of the stage we are right in now, we all look forwards to the New York meeting. The US administration and its counterparts in the international community must realise that it might be their last opportunity to consolidate peace in the region. Should the SPLM and NCP delegates as represented by their top leaderships fail again as they did previously in Washington, then the world must be prepared for a new human misery of an untold magnitude.
Unless South Sudan is to meet the North’s fire by fire, which means building the South’s defensive military capabilities, the destabilization threats from the greedy North will continue to be of concern even if we were to surrender to them our last drop of the Oil. The forth coming meeting should take this into consideration that the North will never ever act or negotiate in good faith unless it is made to understand that its military planes would be brought down not by the US only, but even by the South Sudan military might, should it (North), ever attempt to disturb the South’s air space any time from now. I am afraid that this Oil sharing which Secretary Clinton suggests, if not coupled by a strong and deterring military build up of the southern army, the whole project may turn out to become another blackmailing which will go on and on even to involve other practices.
I seriously dissent any further consensuses before putting an end to the North’s bulling attitudes lest it continue to misinterpret the south’s generosity for weakness. Did the North treat the South any different when it had the 100% control over the South’s Oil before the 2005 peace agreement? The truth be said, when they (the Islamist) had 100% over the Oil, they actually mistreat the South more. The situation only slightly improved following the 50% -50% Oil spilt that was brought about by the CPA; and it can only get better when the south uses all its wealth to develop itself as rightly should be. A bully only grows stronger and stubborn when the victim gets softer.
I would prefer that the New York meeting stresses on the timely holding of the referendum, then the issues of the borders to determine where the Oil Fields strictly lie. The Oil relationship between the South and the North should be strictly business and limited to how the Independent South will continue to use the pipelines that pass through the northern territory to the northern port of Port Sudan, all entirely on rental basis, until such a time that the East African pipelines are ready to alternatively transport south Sudan’s Oil through Kenya to the world market.
But still my question is why does Secretary Clinton want South Sudan to buy its recognition from the colonial North? Is this not akin to the days when slaves were made to pay their masters in return for freedom?
By Mabior Philip www.borglobe.com
Parliament – Juba (Borglobe)....The Leader of Opposition has appointed the Opposition Chief Whip yesterday to check discipline of the opposition members of the assembly.
Onyoti Adigo Nyikwec of the SPLM-DC appointed Andrew Okuny Ayom the opposition chief whip, granting him the status of a chairperson of a Standing Specialized Committee, in a step that confirms two members of the SPLM-DC in the Assembly Business Conduct, the highest decision making organ of the assembly.
The appointment is days after the Speaker James Wani Igga announced nomination of the Opposition Leader in a hailed democratic manner.
“You can see our assembly is totally democratic”, Igga said. The government Chief Whip, who disciplnes members on behalf of the rulling, is yet to be appointed
Okuny was one of the SPLM-DC members suspected of taking part in a horrendous killing of seven persons including a paramount chief in Panyikang in state last May.
The immunity of the members was waived and they were subsequently arrested. The legislative House restored the immunity after the Minister for Legal Affairs, John Luk Jok, said that the investigation found insufficient evidence implicating the members in the alleged murder.
Recognition of the long-rejected opposition has seemingly smoothen the path to the referendum after the Opposition Leader said upon his nomination that, since the government recognizes the opposition and the opposition itself recognizes the government, the task is to direct collective efforts towards the independence of the region. Okuny was not reached for comments by press time.
The Chairman of Peace and Unity in the National Assembly, a leading member of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, Hassan Ramadan Lako, affirmed that the SPLM is keen in sustaining peace and dealing with the adverse movements, considering them to have additional opinion on unity that is left at the choice of southern voters.
August 30, 2010 (Washington) --Sudan Minister of petroleum Dr. Lual Achuil Deng, a Southerner, was interviewed by Al-Awsat newspaper and said he prefers unity over South Sudan secession, casting doubt in the minds of most Southerners about the position of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).
Read the full text of the interview bellow:
Q & A with Sudan’s Minister of Petroleum, Dr. Lual Deng
By Mohammad Ali Salih
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat in Washington, Dr. Lual Achuil Deng, the new Sudanese Minister of Petroleum, and the first Southerner to be appointed in this position, after years of disputes between Northern and Southern Sudanese over the production of oil wells that are mostly in the South, said he has started “an era of transparency.”
He added: “We will put everything on the Internet, for the Southerners, the Northerners, and the rest of the world to verify. We will put up daily production figures and daily revenue figures.”
Describing himself as a “long-standing unionist,” he acknowledged that the amount of time left before the scheduled referendum in the South, in January 2011, might not be enough to convince Southerners not to vote for Southern secession. But, he stressed: “I am an optimistic person.”
Deng (61 years old), was born in Bor, in Jonglei State in Southern Sudan. He holds two degrees from American universities: an M.A. in Economics from the University of Iowa, and PhD in Economics from University of Wisconsin. In Iowa, his colleague and close friend was John Garang, who studied there and obtained a PhD in Economics. Later, Garang established and led Sudan’s People Liberation Movement (SPLM), Sudan’s Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA), and fought in the struggle that culminated in the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which ended half a century of civil war between Southern rebels and the Sudanese army.
Deng, after completing his PhD, joined the World Bank, then the African Development Bank, and later rejoined his friend Garang as an economic consultant, and participated in the talks that culminated in the CPA. When the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) was established, in accordance with the CPA, Deng became Minister of Finance in Juba. Later, he moved to Khartoum to join the Government of National Unity (GONU) as State Minister of Finance.
After the national elections in April 2010, and the reshuffling of the National Government, Deng was appointed Minister of Petroleum, the first Southerner to take the post.
Last week, he visited the US, for the first time in his new position.
Q: What is the purpose of your visit to the US and what were the results of your discussions with American officials?
A: I am visiting the US as a private person. I did not meet with any American officials.
Q: Do you believe that the US officials support the continuation of Sudan as a united country, or prefer that the Southerners vote for separation?
A: I haven’t participated in any discussion with American officials on this subject. Of course, the US has repeatedly declared its support for the full implementation of the CPA, including the scheduled referendum in January; and also its strong desire that the Southerners vote freely and fairly for either unity or separation. I understand this position and strongly support it. But during private talks, it seemed that the Americans would prefer the continuation of a united Sudan. I believe that is the case because, according to their interpretation of American national security and strategic interests, a separate South would not be a viable state. It would face many internal problems; and would endanger the unity and stability of neighboring countries; in the overall region of the Horn of Africa, to the east of Sudan, and the region of Equatorial Africa, to the south of Sudan.
Q: Do you think General Scott Grasion, President Obama’s special envoy to Sudan, supports Sudan’s unity or the secession of the South?
A: As I said, I didn’t have any official discussions with any American official on this subject, but my [previous] private talks with General Grasion led me to believe that he was in favour of unity.
Q: How about President Obama?
A: I have never met him. But, I believe he also prefers a united Sudan. If for no other reason, because instability in the South, the North, and in the wider region, would not serve US interests. Now, you work and live in Washington, and you know the complications surrounding US foreign policy. As for the US policy towards Sudan, you know there are different lobbying groups that, at least during the last few years, have played important roles. I don’t want to name names, but you know the organizations and the lobbying forces that prefer Southern Sudan’s separation. You and I know this is how US foreign and domestic policies are formulated. I would say: let us make use of the freedom of the American system and present our views as strongly as we can.
Q: You are a leader in the SPLM; do you support the separation of the South or a united Sudan?
A: I am indebted to John Garang, my colleague, friend, boss and teacher. I was initially in favour of separation, but he convinced me that it is in Southern, let alone Northern, interests to keep Sudan united. Garang used to say: “Look at the Americans. They fought each other and their country was almost divided into two or more [countries] during the 19th Century. But, they succeeded in ending the Civil War, and agreed to peacefully solve their problems and maintain a united country. Now, the Americans are a shining example for the whole world in terms of plurality, and racial and religious tolerance.”
I also support Sudan’s unity because I have been a strong believer in Pan-Africanism, as pioneered by Kwami Nkruma, Ghana’s first president, and in Negritude, as pioneered by Leopold Senghor, Senegal’s first president. Therefore, wouldn’t it be logical that I also support the unity of Sudan?
Q: What do you say to your fellow Southern Sudanese who support the separation of the South?
A: What I just told you. On one side for me, it is a matter of principle, that unity has more advantages than separation. In other words, one hand can’t clap, but two can.
On the other side, there are tangible advantages as far as the Southerners are concerned. Take my example. I used to be a member of the Southern government, and am now a member of the National government. Not many Northern Sudanese have this advantage. Right now, the Southerners rule themselves and share in ruling the North at the same time. What else do we, the Southerners, want?
Q: What do you say to the many Southern Sudanese in the US who clearly support the separation of the South?
A: First, I believe those who live in the US, this free, democratic and highly developed country should learn a lesson or two and try to apply some of the American achievements in Sudan.
Secondly, we all might complain about the conditions in Sudan, but we know that once we leave Sudan and live in foreign countries, we tend to miss our native country, and tend to appreciate it despite all its problems.
Thirdly, as I said, I was in favour of separation, but became older and wiser and changed my mind. I hope this young generation of Southerners in the US will grow up and become wise. In the meantime, I would say to them: “Don’t sit here and make judgments about the far away Sudan. Don’t talk about the possibility of the renewal of war if you are not ready to go there and fight. Don’t enjoy the air-conditioning here and think you can express the feelings of your brothers and sisters in the forests.”
Q: Some Southerners severely criticize, and complain about, the policies of the National Congress Party (NCP, led by President al-Bashir and the ruling party of Sudan); and say that its Islamic Civilization Project (ICP) is the reason they support separation?
A: I don’t want to defend al-Bashir and the ICP because they are able to defend themselves. But I want to defend the Sudan, its unity, heritage, hopes and aspirations. The Sudan, throughout centuries, has seen rulers come and go, and projects appearing and disappearing.
Q: Some of your Southern colleagues say you have abandoned “Sudan Jadeed” (New Sudan) slogan that was pioneered by John Garang?
A: John Garang raised the “Sudan Jadeed” slogan. Also, he raised “Sudan Wahid” (One Sudan) slogan.
Also, how can the Southerners establish a new Sudan, if they want to leave Sudan itself?
Furthermore, I strongly believe that the new Sudan is simply the old Sudan. I believe that Kush civilization (before Islam and Arabism) was a pure African civilization. I will tell you a story: recently, my daughter, who was born in the US and is a US citizen, visited Merowe in northern Sudan and saw the pyramids that were built by early Sudanese civilizations. She came back and told me that I was right in opposing Southern separation, and in saying the new Sudan is indeed the old Sudan.
So, if the North is indeed the South [i.e. a united Sudan], why would the Southerners want to leave it to the Northerners [laughs]?
Q: There is a leader in the SPLM who is clearly against Southern separation, Pagan Amum, SPLM Secretary General. Yet in an interview with “Asharq Alawsat’ two months ago, he said the SPLM shouldn’t declare whether it supported unity or separation, and should let the Southerners decide for themselves?
A: First of all, Amum, sometimes, says things that reflect only his personal views. Secondly, why are we leaders if we do not want to lead? Thirdly, Silva Kiir, Vice President of Sudan, President of the GOSS and of SPLM, has said many times that he supports a united Sudan.
Q: Some Southerners accuse President al-Bashir’s government of cheating the South out of oil revenues, since most of the oil wells are in the South.
A: On my first day as Minister of Petroleum, I declared my policy of transparency in Sudan's oil sector, and promised that I would start publishing figures regarding the daily oil output on the Minsitry’s website, on the Internet.
I strongly believe that it is this lack of transparency, or the perceived lack of transparency, that has fuelled mistrust between partners. We want to enhance trust between the North and South.
Q: Some Southerners say it is not enough that you declare transparency. You should compensate the South for the al-Bashir government’s deception since the CPA in 2005.
A: Like I said, I will publish daily production figures. Also, I will conduct a full independent audit regarding the oil industry since 2005, to prevent future conflict over oil.
I hope to comfort all the Sudanese by stating that there will now be transparency, even if it did not exist in the past.
The audit will basically look at oil production since 2005 - it will be conducted by an independent firm. Our preference is to accelerate the process so that the results are made available before the referendum.
Q: The international non-governmental organization Global Witness said last year that there were inconsistencies on the part of the Sudan government, regarding the exact figures of oil production and revenues. Furthermore it claimed that roughly six billion dollars, supposed to go the South since the CPA in 2005, were missing?
A: I don’t think this is true. And you can ask Global Witness. Recently, Global Witness participated in a landmark transparency seminar in Khartoum, which we organised. Global Witness said it was impressed by the openness with which all sides participated in the event. They emphasised that the discrepancies uncovered did not mean that six billion dollars were missing, but only about 10 percent (about 600 million dollars). Anyway, I assured them of my new policy of transparency.
Q: What are the prospects of oil production in Sudan?
A: We expect to increase oil production by up to one-third by next year, reaching as high as 600,000 barrels per day. Current average output is between 450,000 and 470,000 from the two blends - Nile and Dar.
Recently, we and the Finnish firm, Fenno Caledonian, signed an oil and gas exploration agreement for the north-eastern part of Sudan, in the states of Gadaref, Kasala, River Nile, and Gezira. The company also works in Dongola.
As you can see, this indicates the influx of European investment in Sudan. French oil giant Total, which has a huge untapped reserve in south Sudan, asked us about guarantees to keep its concessions after the referendum. I assured them of this, whatever the result of the referendum. As you know, Western firms mostly pulled out during the North-South civil war and the sector is currently dominated by Asian companies. But, I want to open the door for every company, from every country.
UN News Centre
13 September 2010 –Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today he has convened a high-level meeting at the United Nations to discuss the situation in Sudan as it prepares for a vote on the self-determination of the south of the country. The meeting will be held on 24 September on the sidelines of the annual high-level segment of the General Assembly, Mr. Ban told reporters in New York.
“We have to ensure that the two referenda, regardless of what the results may be, should be conducted in a transparent and peaceful manner. This will have larger regional implications,” the Secretary-General said. “This is almost the last opportunity for world leaders to discuss how we can make sure that this referendum will be successfully and transparently conducted.”
The referenda are provided for in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which was signed in 2005 and formally ended two decades of civil war between the northern-based Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) in the south. Following the agreement, the SPLM formed the autonomous Government of Southern Sudan.
Inhabitants of southern Sudan will vote on 9 January on whether to secede from Sudan or remain united with the rest of the country. On the same day, residents of Abyei area in central Sudan will vote separately on whether to retain Abyei’s special administrative status in the north or become part of southern Sudan.
In response to a reporter’s question, Mr. Ban said he was happy that United States President Barack Obama “has made it clear publicly that he’s going to participate in the high-level meeting on Sudan.” In a related development, David Gressly, the Regional Coordinator for Southern Sudan for the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) has concluded a two-day visit to Warrap and Western Bahr El-Ghazal states by inaugurating the peacekeeping mission’s office in Kuajok, the capital of Warrap.
During his trip, Mr. Gressly met with Warrap Governor Nyandeng Malek and Western Bahr El-Ghazal Governor Riziq Zakaria Hassan, as well as members of the two states’ referendum high committees and assured them that UNMIS will provide robust logistical support and technical advice on the referenda.
“In an effort to strengthen UNMIS presence before the conduct of referendum, I am happy today to open officially the Warrap Team Site,” said Mr. Gressly, adding that the facility in Kuajok will work closely with the referenda support bases that the mission plans to establish in all of the state’s seven counties.