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ANALYSIS-Sudan’s Bashir vulnerable despite defiant front

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ANALYSIS-Sudan’s Bashir vulnerable despite defiant front

Wed Apr 1, 2009 7:39am EDT

By Andrew Heavens KHARTOUM, April 1 (Reuters)

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir’s defiant response to international efforts to arrest him for war crimes in Darfur hides vulnerabilities that could embolden his enemies. On Wednesday, Bashir travelled to Saudi Arabia in another challenge to the arrest warrant issued against him by the International Criminal Court on March 4 over seven charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Bashir’s visits — he has now made five trips abroad in just over a week, showing the court’s inability to arrest him — have won expressions of support from Arab countries and a measure of public admiration back home. “If there was an election now, he would win it. The people admire a strong man and he has also managed to show himself as a victim of the West,” said Faizal Silaik, deputy editor of daily newspaper Ajras al-Huriya. Bashir has also closed down 16 aid groups accused of helping the court and addressed a string of nationalistic rallies. “All the Sudanese people have rallied around their leadership against these allegations,” Bashir himself was quoted as saying on state news agency Suna. But his stance has done nothing to resolve major issues that could eventually loosen his hold on power. Those include the festering conflict in Darfur, oil-dependent Sudan’s sinking economy, fears over a fragile peace deal between north and south Sudan, and relations with the United States and United Nations that have worsened since the aid expulsions. “He (Bashir) gives the appearance of a strong position. But that is more apparent than real,” said one Western diplomat in Khartoum. “The regime remains fragile. People are looking for weakness. If they see him falter they will throw him overboard.” DARFUR THREAT The most immediate challenge could come from Darfur itself. The rebel Justice and Equality Movement attacked Khartoum last year and has promised to return, threatening to arrest Bashir themselves if nobody acts to hand him over to the court. The rebels say their resolve will be sharpened if Bashir manages to remain at large. “It will show the only hope we have is through our guns,” JEM leader Khalil Ibrahim told Reuters by satellite phone. Sudan’s economy is another area of weakness. During the boom years of soaring oil prices, Bashir’s government was easily able to pay supporters, civil servants, soldiers and militias. But the collapse in the global oil price has emptied government coffers. “When the government stops giving them enough for their day to day life, will they stand with him? Surely not,” the vice president of Sudan’s opposition Umma party Fadlalla Burma Nasir told Reuters. The Umma party opposes the arrest warrant. It is still unclear which, if any, of Sudan’s political forces could stand up to Bashir and his power base in the Sudanese army. Opposition parties have weakened and splintered in the almost 20 years since Bashir seized power in a bloodless coup. The south’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) — in a coalition government with Bashir’s National Congress Party since a 2005 peace deal that ended two decades of north-south civil war — has so far stood by its political partner. But that could all change if Bashir shows signs of backing down on any parts of the fragile Comprehensive Peace Agreement, most importantly the highly-prized referendum on southern independence it promised in 2011. There are a host of other issues Bashir will have to face if he wants to keep the south stable and relatively on side — not least south Sudan’s own even deeper economic crisis, caused by the region’s near total dependency on oil revenues. INTERNAL CHALLENGE? Some Western diplomats and political analysts believe that a challenge from within Bashir’s own party is possible. Potential plotters could be spurred on by any sign of further sanctions from the U.N. Security Council, imposed over Sudan’s refusal to deal with the ICC or its aid expulsions. “He owns the aid problem now. If there is a cholera outbreak or a meningitis epidemic, it was the government that said it would take care of it,” said the Western diplomat. There is scope for the United Nations to expand sanctions against Sudan — its arms embargo currently only covers Darfur and it has the power to freeze the assets of Sudan’s political elite and restrict their travel. “That is the question — what are the Security Council’s next steps going to be, more sanctions?” said Hafiz Mohammed, Sudan programme coordinator for London-based campaign group Justice Africa. “Already some wise people are starting to come forward in Sudan saying this can not continue.” So far, there have been few signals from abroad to encourage internal plotters. U.S. President Barack Obama has yet to give details on how he will deal with Bashir’s regime. “Bashir is strong in the short term — maybe for the next six or seven months, maybe even a year. But in the long term we are all losers,” said one senior opposition figure. “If there is no change, if Bashir just goes on without settling the Darfur situation … then things are going to be very bad in Sudan.” (Additional reporting by Skye Wheeler in Juba; Editing by Matthew Tostevin)

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Written by torit1955

April 2, 2009 at 8:23 am

Alex De Waal response by proxy on Darfur genocide question

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Alex De Waal response by proxy on Darfur genocide question
Friday 27 March 2009.

By Steve Paterno

March  26,  2009  — I wrote an article published in Sudan Tribune on March
23rd,  2009  entitled  “Alex De Waal and Darfur Genocide Question.” In the
article,  I  stated and explained that Dr. Alex De Waal, a foremost expert
and  scholar  on  Sudanese  affairs has, of recent, been dismissive of any
claim  of  genocide  committed  in  Darfur,  skeptical  of the strength of
evidence of genocide that can be presented in court, and adamantly opposed to  the  prosecutions of President Omar al-Bashir on the alleged crimes he committed  in  the ongoing conflict in Darfur. The article also points out to  De  Waal’s  relentless  attacks on the prosecutor of the International Criminal  Court (ICC) Luis Moreno-Ocampo, and it as well exposes De Waal’s drastic shift of position over a short period of time on the same subject.

In  what  seems  to  be a rather disguised reaction to my article, De Waal
made  a  very  weak  attempt  to refute some of the concerns I raised with
respect  to his position on the subject matter. His feeble effort surfaced
in  an  article  he  published, following my article, on his blog which he
later  forwarded  the  same  article  to  be  carried in Sudan Tribune the
subsequent  day with the title Genocide by force of habit? In his article,
De  Waal made endeavored to completely avoid any direct reference to me or my  article.  The closest he ever comes to making reference to me is where
<!–
D([“mb”,”\n\u0026nbsp;he \u0026nbsp;used \u0026nbsp;generic \u0026nbsp;pronounce such as “those” and “some.” Interestingly, he\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;instead \u0026nbsp;picked up on a likely target, Professor Eric Reeve who is similar\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;to him in some odd ways as his point of reference. He makes a reference of\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;Reeve’s \u0026nbsp;article written awhile ago, which pointed out that he has shifted\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;his position on the genocide question.\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;De \u0026nbsp;Waal \u0026nbsp;goes \u0026nbsp;in \u0026nbsp;his \u0026nbsp;article \u0026nbsp;to \u0026nbsp;charge that “those” pointing out his\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;drastic \u0026nbsp;shift \u0026nbsp;of \u0026nbsp;position \u0026nbsp;are “half-witted critics,” because though he\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;shifted \u0026nbsp;his \u0026nbsp;position, it is “a minor shift” that changes with facts. For\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;those \u0026nbsp;who \u0026nbsp;follow \u0026nbsp;De Waal’s shifting of position, the fear is that he is\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;trying \u0026nbsp;to \u0026nbsp;change \u0026nbsp;the \u0026nbsp;facts as he goes other than trying to allow facts\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;change \u0026nbsp;him. According to him, some of the facts, which make him shift his\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;position \u0026nbsp;include: \u0026nbsp;lack \u0026nbsp;of \u0026nbsp;evidence \u0026nbsp;on part of Khartoum regime for its\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;intention \u0026nbsp;to \u0026nbsp;commit genocide in Darfur; advice from lawyers who told him\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;not \u0026nbsp;to \u0026nbsp;use \u0026nbsp;the \u0026nbsp;term genocide when referring to atrocities committed in\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;Darfur; \u0026nbsp;the dropping down of mortality rate; the reduction of violence by\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;90%; and the bringing of humanitarian crisis under control.\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;Though \u0026nbsp;De \u0026nbsp;Waal \u0026nbsp;sought \u0026nbsp;to \u0026nbsp;address my article by proxies, I was in away\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;compelled \u0026nbsp;to respond to his article by posting my comments on his blog to\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;address \u0026nbsp;some \u0026nbsp;of \u0026nbsp;the \u0026nbsp;issues that he tried to refute. To my surprise, De\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;Waal decided to block my commentaries. He then wrote me privately, issuing\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;a \u0026nbsp;condition \u0026nbsp;that before he would post my commentaries, I “must apologize\u003cbr /\u003e”,1]
);

//–> he  used  generic  pronounce such as “those” and “some.” Interestingly, he
instead  picked up on a likely target, Professor Eric Reeve who is similar
to him in some odd ways as his point of reference. He makes a reference of
Reeve’s  article written a while ago, which pointed out that he has shifted
his position on the genocide question.

De  Waal  goes  in  his  article  to  charge that “those” pointing out his
drastic  shift  of  position  are “half-witted critics,” because though he
shifted  his  position, it is “a minor shift” that changes with facts. For
those  who  follow  De Waal’s shifting of position, the fear is that he is
trying  to  change  the  facts as he goes other than trying to allow facts
change  him. According to him, some of the facts, which make him shift his
position  include:  lack  of  evidence  on part of Khartoum regime for its
intention  to  commit genocide in Darfur; advice from lawyers who told him
not  to  use  the  term genocide when referring to atrocities committed in
Darfur;  the dropping down of mortality rate; the reduction of violence by
90%; and the bringing of humanitarian crisis under control.

Though  De  Waal  sought  to  address my article by proxies, I was in a way
compelled  to respond to his article by posting my comments on his blog to
address  some  of  the  issues that he tried to refute. To my surprise, De
Waal decided to block my commentaries. He then wrote me privately, issuing a  condition  that before he would post my commentaries, I “must apologize
<!–
D([“mb”,”\n\u0026nbsp;in \u0026nbsp;public” for alleging that he (De Waal) opposes the arrest of al-Bashir\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;and for questioning his motive for having alerted al-Bashir weeks prior to\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;prosecutor \u0026nbsp;of \u0026nbsp;ICC \u0026nbsp;officially \u0026nbsp;filing \u0026nbsp;for \u0026nbsp;the \u0026nbsp;arrest \u0026nbsp;warrant against\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;al-Bashir.\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;To \u0026nbsp;me, \u0026nbsp;it \u0026nbsp;was apparent that De Waal was attempting to blackmail me into\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;apologizing \u0026nbsp;to \u0026nbsp;him, \u0026nbsp;given \u0026nbsp;that \u0026nbsp;my \u0026nbsp;article \u0026nbsp;has \u0026nbsp;clearly impacted him\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;negatively. \u0026nbsp;It also became obvious that he was in away trying to suppress\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;my \u0026nbsp;freedom \u0026nbsp;of \u0026nbsp;expression \u0026nbsp;and limit my ability to exchange ideas by not\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;only \u0026nbsp;blocking \u0026nbsp;my commentaries, but also by threatening to deny me access\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;to \u0026nbsp;public \u0026nbsp;platform. \u0026nbsp;It \u0026nbsp;would \u0026nbsp;only \u0026nbsp;be \u0026nbsp;fair \u0026nbsp;if \u0026nbsp;he \u0026nbsp;would \u0026nbsp;allow \u0026nbsp;my\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;commentaries \u0026nbsp;to \u0026nbsp;be \u0026nbsp;posted \u0026nbsp;along \u0026nbsp;his \u0026nbsp;article, because his article was\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;attending \u0026nbsp;to \u0026nbsp;my \u0026nbsp;previous article by proxy. In addition, my commentaries\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;were \u0026nbsp;relevant \u0026nbsp;to \u0026nbsp;his \u0026nbsp;article. \u0026nbsp;But \u0026nbsp;instead, \u0026nbsp;De Waal chose the art of\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;blackmailing \u0026nbsp;and \u0026nbsp;power \u0026nbsp;of \u0026nbsp;suppression to deal away with me, though not\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;successful. So the concept of censorship is not only practiced in Khartoum\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;or by some dictators with big names. It seems to be all over.\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;Anyway, \u0026nbsp;on \u0026nbsp;my \u0026nbsp;part, \u0026nbsp;I \u0026nbsp;see \u0026nbsp;no \u0026nbsp;reason \u0026nbsp;to apologize to De Waal for my\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;article. \u0026nbsp;I \u0026nbsp;don’t \u0026nbsp;think \u0026nbsp;I can also be blackmailed or succumbed into any\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;threats. \u0026nbsp;And \u0026nbsp;I \u0026nbsp;am not in any way bound to have my freedom of expression\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;restricted \u0026nbsp;and \u0026nbsp;my \u0026nbsp;ability \u0026nbsp;to \u0026nbsp;exchange \u0026nbsp;ideas get limited by those who\u003cbr /\u003e”,1] in  public” for alleging that he (De Waal) opposes the arrest of al-Bashir
and for questioning his motive for having alerted al-Bashir weeks prior to
prosecutor  of  ICC  officially  filing  for  the  arrest  warrant against
al-Bashir.

To  me,  it  was apparent that De Waal was attempting to blackmail me into
apologizing  to  him,  given  that  my  article  has  clearly impacted him
negatively.  It also became obvious that he was in a way trying to suppress
my  freedom  of  expression  and limit my ability to exchange ideas by not
only  blocking  my commentaries, but also by threatening to deny me access to  public  platform.  It  would  only  be  fair  if  he  would  allow  my
commentaries  to  be  posted  along  his  article, because his article was
attending  to  my  previous article by proxy. In addition, my commentaries
were  relevant  to  his  article.  But  instead,  De Waal chose the art of
blackmailing  and  power  of  suppression to deal away with me, though not
successful. So the concept of censorship is not only practiced in Khartoum
or by some dictators with big names. It seems to be all over.

Anyway,  on  my  part,  I  see  no  reason  to apologize to De Waal for my
article.  I  don’t  think  I can also be blackmailed or succumbed into any
threats.  And  I  am not in any way bound to have my freedom of expression
restricted  and  my  ability  to  exchange  ideas get limited by those who
<!–
D([“mb”,”\n\u0026nbsp;falsely \u0026nbsp;think \u0026nbsp;they \u0026nbsp;have monopoly of thoughts. I have not made any false\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;allegations \u0026nbsp;against \u0026nbsp;De \u0026nbsp;Waal, \u0026nbsp;but \u0026nbsp;my \u0026nbsp;points are all supported by hard\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;facts—the \u0026nbsp;facts, which mostly originated from De Waal’s own writings. For\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;example, \u0026nbsp;on \u0026nbsp;a \u0026nbsp;notion \u0026nbsp;that De Waal opposes the arrest of President Omar\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;al-Bashir, \u0026nbsp;in \u0026nbsp;an \u0026nbsp;Op-Ed \u0026nbsp;for \u0026nbsp;Washington Post, even weeks before the ICC\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;Prosecutor \u0026nbsp;Ocampo \u0026nbsp;could \u0026nbsp;file \u0026nbsp;a \u0026nbsp;request for the arrest warrant against\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;al-Bashir, \u0026nbsp;De \u0026nbsp;Waal \u0026nbsp;warned \u0026nbsp;that \u0026nbsp;bringing \u0026nbsp;charges “against the highest\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;echelons \u0026nbsp;of \u0026nbsp;government” in Khartoum is a terrible gamble. (This was when\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;De Waal had already a tip-off on the possibility of imminent charges being\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;leveled \u0026nbsp;against al-Bashir where in turn he alerted al-Bashir of it). Ever\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;since \u0026nbsp;then, De Waal continued to argue against the arrest warrant against\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;al-Bashir. \u0026nbsp;Just \u0026nbsp;months \u0026nbsp;prior \u0026nbsp;to \u0026nbsp;the \u0026nbsp;ICC \u0026nbsp;Pretrial Chamber making the\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;rulings \u0026nbsp;against \u0026nbsp;al-Bashir, \u0026nbsp;De \u0026nbsp;Waal \u0026nbsp;went \u0026nbsp;on \u0026nbsp;to \u0026nbsp;critique \u0026nbsp;the public\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;application \u0026nbsp;by \u0026nbsp;the \u0026nbsp;chief \u0026nbsp;prosecutor \u0026nbsp;of \u0026nbsp;the ICC for an arrest warrant\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;against al-Bashir where De Waal recommended that there should never be any\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;charges \u0026nbsp;“brought \u0026nbsp;against \u0026nbsp;the \u0026nbsp;Sudanese \u0026nbsp;President.” He urged the United\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;Nation \u0026nbsp;Security Council to invoke article 16 for “unconditional” deferral\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;of \u0026nbsp;al-Bashir \u0026nbsp;arrest \u0026nbsp;warrant. \u0026nbsp;The \u0026nbsp;facts that De Waal is opposed to the\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;arrest \u0026nbsp;of \u0026nbsp;al-Bashir \u0026nbsp;are \u0026nbsp;very \u0026nbsp;clear \u0026nbsp;and \u0026nbsp;can be inferred from all his\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;writings, \u0026nbsp;even way before the application of arrest warrant for al-Bashir\u003cbr /\u003e”,1]
);

//–> falsely  think  they  have monopoly of thoughts. I have not made any false
allegations  against  De  Waal,  but  my  points are all supported by hard
facts—the  facts, which mostly originated from De Waal’s own writings. For
example,  on  a  notion  that De Waal opposes the arrest of President Omar
al-Bashir,  in  an  Op-Ed  for  Washington Post, even weeks before the ICC
Prosecutor  Ocampo  could  file  a  request for the arrest warrant against
al-Bashir,  De  Waal  warned  that  bringing  charges “against the highest
echelons  of  government” in Khartoum is a terrible gamble. (This was when
De Waal had already a tip-off on the possibility of imminent charges being
leveled  against al-Bashir where in turn he alerted al-Bashir of it). Ever
since  then, De Waal continued to argue against the arrest warrant against
al-Bashir.  Just  months  prior  to  the  ICC  Pretrial Chamber making the
rulings  against  al-Bashir,  De  Waal  went  on  to  critique  the public
application  by  the  chief  prosecutor  of  the ICC for an arrest warrant
against al-Bashir where De Waal recommended that there should never be any charges  “brought  against  the  Sudanese  President.” He urged the United Nation  Security Council to invoke article 16 for “unconditional” deferral of  al-Bashir  arrest  warrant.  The  facts that De Waal is opposed to the arrest  of  al-Bashir  are  very  clear  and  can be inferred from all his
writings,  even way before the application of arrest warrant for al-Bashir
<!–
D([“mb”,”\n\u0026nbsp;was \u0026nbsp;filed \u0026nbsp;as \u0026nbsp;demonstrated \u0026nbsp;in the examples above. De Waal is a featured\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;celebrity \u0026nbsp;of \u0026nbsp;pro Khartoum regime Sudan Media Center, where his arguments\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;in \u0026nbsp;opposition \u0026nbsp;of \u0026nbsp;ICC \u0026nbsp;are echoed in that platform over and over for the\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;amazement of the regime in Khartoum and its supporters.\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;As \u0026nbsp;for De Waal complaints for being questioned on his motive for alerting\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;al-Bashir \u0026nbsp;prior \u0026nbsp;to \u0026nbsp;the \u0026nbsp;ICC \u0026nbsp;prosecutor \u0026nbsp;filing the application for the\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;arrest \u0026nbsp;warrant, \u0026nbsp;it \u0026nbsp;is \u0026nbsp;up to De Waal to explain his motives and for the\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;general public to interpret or even speculate on those motives.\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;Well, \u0026nbsp;the \u0026nbsp;last \u0026nbsp;time \u0026nbsp;I \u0026nbsp;checked \u0026nbsp;De \u0026nbsp;Waal’s \u0026nbsp;blog, Eric Reeve, the lone\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;respondent \u0026nbsp;whom \u0026nbsp;De Waal picked-on and allowed to comment on his article,\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;is \u0026nbsp;being \u0026nbsp;pounded \u0026nbsp;by \u0026nbsp;the \u0026nbsp;supporters \u0026nbsp;of \u0026nbsp;the regime in Khartoum. Those\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;supporters \u0026nbsp; of \u0026nbsp; the \u0026nbsp;regime \u0026nbsp;in \u0026nbsp;Khartoum \u0026nbsp;are \u0026nbsp;allowed \u0026nbsp;to \u0026nbsp;post \u0026nbsp;their\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;commentaries \u0026nbsp;at \u0026nbsp;the expense of those who disagree with De Waal. The most\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;shocking twist of events is that De Waal had no choice, but to forward his\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;article \u0026nbsp;to \u0026nbsp;be \u0026nbsp;published \u0026nbsp;in \u0026nbsp;Sudan Tribune as a counteraction to my own\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;article. \u0026nbsp;I hope this is not “counteraction on the cheap.” This is ironic,\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;because \u0026nbsp;De \u0026nbsp;Waal \u0026nbsp;could \u0026nbsp;privately threaten to deny me access to a public\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;platform \u0026nbsp;he controls while he would sneak around to go after me in search\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;of \u0026nbsp;another \u0026nbsp;public platform that I thrive on. After all, De Waal does not\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;control \u0026nbsp;public \u0026nbsp;platform at least that is what he found out. Now with his\u003cbr /\u003e”,1]
);

//–> was  filed  as  demonstrated  in the examples above. De Waal is a featured
celebrity  of  pro Khartoum regime Sudan Media Center, where his arguments in  opposition  of  ICC  are echoed in that platform over and over for the amazement of the regime in Khartoum and its supporters.

As  for De Waal complaints for being questioned on his motive for alerting
al-Bashir  prior  to  the  ICC  prosecutor  filing the application for the
arrest  warrant,  it  is  up to De Waal to explain his motives and for the
general public to interpret or even speculate on those motives.

Well,  the  last  time  I  checked  De  Waal’s  blog, Eric Reeve, the lone
respondent  whom  De Waal picked-on and allowed to comment on his article, is  being  pounded  by  the  supporters  of  the regime in Khartoum. Those supporters   of   the  regime  in  Khartoum  are  allowed  to  post  their
commentaries  at  the expense of those who disagree with De Waal. The most
shocking twist of events is that De Waal had no choice, but to forward his
article  to  be  published  in  Sudan Tribune as a counteraction to my own
article.  I hope this is not “counteraction on the cheap.” This is ironic,
because  De  Waal  could  privately threaten to deny me access to a public
platform  he controls while he would sneak around to go after me in search
of  another  public platform that I thrive on. After all, De Waal does not
control  public  platform at least that is what he found out. Now with his
<!–
D([“mb”,”\n\u0026nbsp;article, \u0026nbsp;which \u0026nbsp;he \u0026nbsp;denied \u0026nbsp;me \u0026nbsp;to \u0026nbsp;comment on already published in Sudan\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;Tribune, \u0026nbsp;I am in a liberty to comment on it as much as I want, but out of\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;respect, \u0026nbsp;I am not going to. I leave it for those who agree with him to do\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;the commentaries.\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;If there is any lesson learned, it will be that my article affects De Waal\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;negatively and exposes his contradicting positions on the ongoing conflict\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;in \u0026nbsp;Darfur, \u0026nbsp;though \u0026nbsp;it \u0026nbsp;is difficult for him to openly admit the obvious.\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;Another \u0026nbsp;lesson \u0026nbsp;learn \u0026nbsp;is \u0026nbsp;that \u0026nbsp;knowledge \u0026nbsp;is \u0026nbsp;independent of any single\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;individual \u0026nbsp;regardless of their race, region, class or what have you—there\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;is \u0026nbsp;no one in charge of monopolizing knowledge—no matter how many times he\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;or \u0026nbsp;she \u0026nbsp;is called “expert.” The search for truth, which is independent of\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;any individual human being or a race, is left to all. The good thing about\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;the truth is that it will always prevail in the end and set one free. With\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u0026nbsp;that, this must be the lesson of today.\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\nCopyright © 2003-2008 SudanTribune – All rights reserved.\u003cbr /\u003e\n–~–~———~–~—-~——\u003cwbr /\u003e——~——-~–~—-~\u003cbr /\u003e\nYou received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups \u0026quot;JFD info\u0026quot; group.\u003cbr /\u003e\nTo post to this group, send email to \u003ca onclick\u003d\”return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)\” href\u003d\”mailto:jfdinfo@googlegroups.com\”\u003ejfdinfo@googlegroups.com\u003c/a\u003e\u003cbr /\u003e\nTo unsubscribe from this group, send email to \u003ca onclick\u003d\”return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)\” href\u003d\”mailto:jfdinfo%2Bunsubscribe@googlegroups.com\”\u003ejfdinfo+unsubscribe@\u003cwbr /\u003egooglegroups.com\u003c/a\u003e\u003cbr /\u003e\nFor more options, visit this group at \u003ca onclick\u003d\”return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)\” href\u003d\”http://groups.google.com/group/jfdinfo?hl\u003den\” target\u003d_blank\u003ehttp://groups.google.com/\u003cwbr /\u003egroup/jfdinfo?hl\u003den\u003c/a\u003e\u003cbr /\u003e\n-~———-~—-~—-~—-~–\u003cwbr /\u003e—-~—-~——~–~—\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003cbr /\u003e\n\u003c/div\u003e”,0]
);

//–> article,  which  he  denied  me  to  comment on already published in Sudan
Tribune,  I am in a liberty to comment on it as much as I want, but out of
respect,  I am not going to. I leave it for those who agree with him to do
the commentaries.

If there is any lesson learned, it will be that my article affects De Waal
negatively and exposes his contradicting positions on the ongoing conflict
in  Darfur,  though  it  is difficult for him to openly admit the obvious.
Another  lesson  learn  is  that  knowledge  is  independent of any single
individual  regardless of their race, region, class or what have you—there
is  no one in charge of monopolizing knowledge—no matter how many times he or  she  is called “expert.” The search for truth, which is independent of
any individual human being or a race, is left to all. The good thing about
the truth is that it will always prevail in the end and set one free. With
that, this must be the lesson of today.

Written by torit1955

March 27, 2009 at 8:43 am

Challenges of Nation-Building, and Democratization in Africa

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OPINIONS & COMMENTARIES
POLITICS | Omar Kalinge Nnyago
Challenges of nation-building, and democratisation in Africa

The first challenge is in the definition. There is no agreed definition of nation-building. A 2003 study by James Dobbins and others for the RAND Corporation defines nation-building as “the use of armed force in the aftermath of a conflict to underpin an enduring transition to democracy.

The term nation-building is often used simultaneously with state-building, democratisation, modernisation, political development, post-conflict reconstruction, and peace-building. While this definition centres around the building of democratic processes, many argue that the use of the military to bring about democracy may be inherently contradictory.

Whether nation-building can be imposed from outside is one of the central questions in this regard.
Nation-building as a normative concept therefore means different things to different people.

However, the latest conceptualisation is essentially that nation-building programmes are those in which dysfunctional or unstable or “failed states” or economies are given assistance in the development of governmental infrastructure, civil society, dispute resolution mechanisms, as well as economic assistance, in order to increase stability.

Democracy, on the other hand, is what W.B Gaille called some years ago, an “essentially contested concept”. He noted that “there are disputes, centred on such concepts which are perfectly genuine: which, although not resolvable by argument of any kind, are nevertheless sustained by perfectly respectable arguments and evidence. Democracy, as an idea and as a political reality, is always contested. Until now, the world is not universally agreed on what democracy is or what it should be. North Korea asserts that it is a democracy just as the United States.

In the current global context, most who advocate democratisation still do not recognise democracy as a contested concept.

As a result, they view people with different interpretations of democracy as perverse. Thus, they are open to the risks of underestimating the strength of the alternatives.

This is especially true of advocates of the styles of democracy found in western Europe and the United States, who believe themselves to be the true heirs to the only legitimate democratic tradition and thus view any other effort to create democracies as false and undemocratic ( Esposito, 1996).

Because democracy is a contested concept, it is important to understand the perception of democracy within different African communities. However, among the most representative definitions of democracy is one by Larry Diamond, Juan Linz and Seymour Lipset. It says that democracy “denotes a system of government that meets three essential conditions: competition, participation and political liberties”.

Interestingly, the demand for increased popular political participation and empowerment takes place alongside another demand, that for recognition of special identities or authentic communities, which could be contradictory when trying to build strong states.

The African state must be strong to build more unity within society and to create legitimacy by providing security and other services. Yet, the political leadership does not have the resources to accomplish these tasks. In order to obtain them, it resorts to predatory practices or plays upon and exacerbates social tensions between groups in society- which only adds to these tensions and further erodes loyalties.

The weak state is thus caught in a vicious cycle. Everything it does to become strong actually perpetuates its weakness. Closely related to legitimacy is the personalisation of the state, a phenomenon Weber called Patrimonialism, in which the objective interests of the state are indistinguishable from the subjective interests of the ruler of the regime in power. Earlier, Mobutu and Moi and currently Bongo, Mugabe and Museveni are typical neo –Patrimonialistic identities.

Such leaders can only have a short-term political perspective because their security and their physical survival depends on the strategies they pursue for the moment. Consequently, it may be ‘rational’ for such regimes to adopt policies that, for example, utilise scarce resources for military equipment, and manpower and to perceive opposition groups demanding greater participation as security threats.

If democratisation aims at strengthening civil society, then it ought to threaten the leadership of a weak state. Civil society aid in the past fifteen or so years has been a central component of democratisation. But there are a few problems.

Many active civil society organisations have stayed or at least pretended to stay out of politics mainly for fear of state reprisal. So, they don’t contribute directly to democracy. Others, the elite kind most favoured by the donor community, those directly involved in promoting multiparty democracy often have weak roots in the community without a real social base.

It is also true that some of these NGOs cannot serve as agents of democratisation as some are internally undemocratic and are forced to be more responsive to donor than to any local constituencies.

Democratisation, unfortunately, remains a concept that can better be described than defined, leaving the door wide open to varying, often contradictory interpretations. More debate on democratisation may be necessary if the donors, civil society and African governments are to move in the same direction.

omarkalinge@gmail.com

Written by torit1955

March 24, 2009 at 12:33 pm

Posted in Opinions

Omar Al Bashir: To Travel or Not to Travel

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Sunday 22 March 2009 05:00.

March 21, 2009 (KHARTOUM) — The highest Islamic authority in Sudan issued an opinion today saying that president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir should not travel to attend the annual Arab summit in Qatar this month.

The move came as senior Sudanese officials today left the door open for Bashir to cancel his scheduled appearance at the summit despite earlier assertions that he will attend.

On March 4th the judges of the Pre-Trial Chamber I at the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir on seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, which include murder, rape and torture.

Yesterday Reuters reported that the ICC’s prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo was in New York to urge countries to act on the ICC arrest warrant against Bashir.

“As soon as he travels through the international airspace he could be arrested. Slobodan Milosevic and Charles Taylor show that the destiny of Mr. Bashir is to face justice” he said.

“Two months or two years will depend on the state and how they act. But his destiny is to face justice” Ocampo asserted.

The pro-government Sudanese media center website published the findings of the board which has the power to issue Fatwas [religious opinions] and make the final say on any disputed topics from an Islamic perspective.

“This is an appeal and fatwa from the Islamic scholars board presided by its council and its general secretariat on the forbidding the president of the republic to attend the Arab summit in Qatar in light of the current circumstances where enemies of Allah and the nation are surrounding him” the statement read.

“Fearing for the sake to prevent danger is following orders of god and the prophet and forfeiting chances of the enemies of Allah by staying inside Sudan with your people and angering the infidels”.

The Sudanese president said in an interview with Egypt’s independent Al-Isboa weekly published Saturday that he will fly to Doha to attend the Arab summit for which he received an official invitation a week ago.

But today the presidential press secretary Mahjoub Badri told the pro-government Al-Rayaam that no final decision has been made on Bashir’s trip.

Government sources told the London based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper that there is division within the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) on the issue.

The newspaper quoted the sources as saying that some officials say the trip as necessary to prove that Bashir is not affected by the ICC ruling while others believe it is not worth the risk.

The Sudanese defense minister Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein said that discussions are still ongoing on Bashir’s travel and if agreed on will be surrounded by “security and military precautions”.

Sudan had previously announced that it is making special security arrangements for the travel of Bashir to Doha which reportedly includes fighter jets guarding the presidential plane.

Khartoum is particularly worried by prospects of foreign fighters intercepting Bashir’s plane and forcing to land in a country where he can be apprehended.

Sudan summoned the French ambassador this week over statements attributed to Eric Chevallier, spokesman of the French foreign ministry in which he suggested that his government will support any operation aimed at arresting the Sudanese president through intercepting the plane.

The French government said Chevallier’s was misquoted by the London based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper which interviewed him.

This week the Sudanese former president Siwar Al-Dahab urged Bashir to exercise “patience and wisdom” and not risk travelling to Doha “for his safety and the safety of Sudanese people”.

Also Sudanese newspapers reported that a one day sit in is scheduled on Sunday by pro-Bashir supporters to ask for cancellation of appearance at Doha summit.

Written by torit1955

March 22, 2009 at 9:04 am

Posted in ICC and Darfur Crisis

Tagged with ,

The ICC Indictment of President Bashir – The reverse side of the theatricals.

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The ICC Indictment of President Bashir – The reverse side of the theatricals.

Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba, Khartoum MAR. 10/2009, SSN;

The singular announcement of President Bashir’s indictment has come and gone but the country has been left struggling with its political and diplomatic underpinnings bordering on a comedy of the theatres. A situation bound to continue ad infinitum as long as it serves the political strategy of those peddling it. Because of this, President Bashir will trot the breadth and length of the Sudan, which he has already started with Dar Fur, drumming up support from all sections of the Sudanese society. There is real risk of the NCP transforming this drama into an electioneering campaign in anticipation of the General Elections whose date they have refused to announce. Perhaps this was the unintended consequence of the president’s indictment. The weeks preceding were full of benevolent premonitions that the Sudan would be plunged into chaos; that the NCP would abrogate the Comprehensive Peace Agreement like the Addis Ababa Agreement, and that the country would return to war as soon as the Pre-Trial Chambers announced the indictment. The scenario of chaos and violence vocally orchestrated by the NCP operatives and puppets played by the so-called ‘sons of Southern Sudan’ in the celebration of the promotion of Lt. General Salah Gosh Abdalla (Security Chief) culminated in the tragedy of Malakal and the Saturday farcical display of solidarity with the President of the Republic by the same group in front of the Friendship Hall in Khartoum. What is special, if I may ask the obvious question, with the promotion of Salah Gosh Abdalla that only Southern Sudanese, who have suffered immensely at the hands of his men, had to celebrate it? It is really an irony or rather the malice of fate that we are being treated to such absurdities given that the major speakers on both occasions hailed from the NCP or parties affiliated to it. The organizers should have been courageous enough as to identify themselves as NCP members rather than operate under the umbrella of ‘sons Southern Sudan’. The fighting that erupted in Malakal on the day the Presidency assembled in Juba was perhaps a litmus test of the political stratagem of dismantling the CPA we are constantly being reminded of should the president be indicted. So Southern Sudanese should celebrate the promotion of such a person who is busy day and night strategizing to scuttle the agreement? Major General Gabriel Gatwich (Tang-ginye) went to Malakal on orders from Lt. Gen. Salah Abdalla on instigation by some NCP politicians who wear in disguise the SPLM overcoat. Tang-ginye acted efficaciously as an agent provocateur and had the crisis escalated into open war between the SPLA and SAF, the purpose – hoodwinked the SPLM into supporting the NCP against the ICC ostensibly in protection of the CPA – would have been served. I want to look at the episode from a different perspective. I don’t endorse the ICC indictment of the President of the Republic at the same time however I don’t accept impunity. We should be held accountable for our actions. The responsibility exponentially varies with the degree of responsibility. When one has power of death and life over others one carries huge responsibility and this what the international law says. I recall vividly when on May 2006 the National Legislature was recalled to debate the UN Security Council Resolution 1509 in respect of deployment of UN Peace Keeping Forces in Dar Fur. I read the SPLM position which defined protection and how the responsibility for protection of civilians reverts to the UN Security Council when the state fails in its responsibility to protect its citizens. The Sudan Government has been served with such resolutions in order to do something about protecting the civilians in the displaced camps and in the villages but to no avail. The indictment therefore comes as a logical consequence of the failure of the Sudanese Government to protect the civil population in Dar Fur. The SPLM position has been consistent and this came out succinctly clear in the Press Statement released by its Chairman, Comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit. This position was reflected by the silence of the SPLM Presidential Advisors, Ministers and State Ministers in the enlarged meeting of the Council of Ministers on Thursday. They did not see any sense of displaying ‘empty talk’ or ‘rhetoric’ in the Council nor even participate in the demonstration and processions called for by the Government of National Unity. The sensible way to tackle the situation is through diplomatic channels. We may avoid these channels now but sooner than later the wave of protests must wane, people will be exhausted or disenchanted with the whole thing, and we will be forced back into square one of international relations. But this will come after much harm has been done to our relations with one another. It will not be possible to resurrect those senselessly butchered in Malakal at the highest pitch of anti-ICC campaign. I strongly believe that Sudan will never witness foreign troops coming into the country to arrest and take to The Hague President Bashir. The ICC indictment has brought to the surface the internal contradictions within the NCP, thus the public shadow boxing of Ocampo we are watching is indeed the power struggle between the different factions of the NCP. It is a struggle whose resolution will determine whether or not Sudan will realize democratic transformation; whether or not there will be midterm elections; whether or not the North- South borders will be demarcated as they stood on January 1st, 1956; whether or not the people of Southern Sudan and Abyei will ever exercise their inalienable right to self-determination in an internationally supervised referenda and the people of Southern Kordofan/Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile will exercise their respective Popular Consultations in implementation of the CPA protocols. I believe this is the bottom line whether or not President Bashir is indicted. Leaders and political parties come to power and go but the people continue to exist. The future of the Sudan or the full implementation of the CPA, peace and stability in the Sudan should not be tied to one individual called the President of the Republic. The war in Dar Fur must be brought to an end, the displaced persons returned to their homes, the LRA activities in Equatoria should be curtailed, and impunity halted, corruption in government combated, human rights protected and the reign of the rule of law throughout the country. This would be our response – the reverse side – to the ICC and the indictment of President Bashir. Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba, Khartoum

Written by torit1955

March 12, 2009 at 10:41 am

Posted in Opinions

Tagged with ,

Malakal Clashes:South Sudan won’t taste peaceful co-existence with this illusive mentality

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By: Reverend Daniel A. Odwel, Malakal

JAN. 17/2009, SSN; Tribes in south Sudan seem unaware about their true
enemy, many people think that their enemy is the Arab (Jallaba) but the
truth of the matter is that our enemy is our illusive mentality of
tribalism disease that is more destructive than the liberation war we
fought for a period of more then fifty years. To me all lives which were
lost during that devastating war were lost for nothing, because history
seems to repeat itself.

Why, during Addis Ababa Agreement Dinka brought division in Juba which
was called Kokora that resulted from their mismanagement, nepotism,
discrimination, favoritism, and claim that they were born to rule?

The same problems which occurred in the eighties are happening today in
South Sudan. People fought the liberation war with hope that Dinka would
have learnt from previous mistakes but that assumption was in vain.
Therefore, the question which needs to be answered is this: did we fight
the deadly war with the so-called Arabs from the North so that Dinka can
have control over every piece of land in south wherever they wish?

The Dinka slogan that said they were ”born to rule” is a great
obstacle; if it isn’t going to be buried nothing will make the South to
progress and achieve any development. The unity will be impossible and
separation will be more impossible. Many ethnic communities in South
Sudan now become more skeptical about the behaviors of Dinka. Others may
decide to join the common enemy to let instability to continue, for
there is no point to remain under Dinka yoke. We are all aware that
every family had paid a price in liberation war. How come one ethnic
community dominates the affairs of the south?

The problem in Malakal goes back to early eighties, when the
commissioner of Jongelei Province, Michael Mario, claimed that his
border with Upper province is in the middle of River Sobat. This
aggressive ambition fuelled up Dinka to think that all Collo land in
west side of Sobat belonged to Jieng.

In order to avoid clashes between the two communities who’ve lived in
peace for long, I wrote an open letter in 2006 to the President of
Southern Sudan Government to defuse the tension, which was caused by
commander George Athor in refusing Collo not to construct their houses
while he allowed Dinka to build in Collo lands. But up to this moment
the President of GOSS, Salva Kiir, did not take any step to resolve the
problem.

Dinka who migrated to Collo land during the war era refused to go back
to their home areas because of misinterpreting the article in the
interim constitution of Southern Sudan, which says ‘any citizen has a
right to live wherever he or she wished.’ But critically, the article
did not allow any citizen to confiscate the land or displace the
original owners of the land.  Indeed, the wrong interpretation of the
laws brings conflict and war.

For your information, the Collo communities west side of Sobat River and
east side of the White Nile south of Malakal were denied to go back to
their homeland, with the ill-intended argument that these places were
still military zones. But the question which needs to be answered is why
did Dinka community build in those places under protection of SPLA?

The described locations now are claimed by Jongelei state to be part of
their territory. Does it mean Dinka have their own border demarcation
given to them by GOSS which is not known to other communities ?

Now, what is the logic for Dinka to claim ownership of Malakal and ask
Collo to leave, “if not they will face the consequences?”

Another evil ambition practiced by Dinka is that on 22th December 2008,
Kurfolus and Atar Dinkas signed an agreement in Malakal indicating that
their County shall be renamed as Canal County and its headquarters will
be in Apew (Adhyithaing), a Collo land fifteen miles south of Malakal.

Up to this moment no government official challenged this move and this
decision was made under the watch of an MP from Juba Legislative
Assembly. Has he been mandated by the Assembly to do so? If answer is
‘Yes’, then the Legislative Assembly will be accountable for instability
and insecurity in Collo land, but if the answer is ‘No; then this MP
must be summoned by the House to give details about that agreement and
their decision of transferring their County to Collo land which is not
part of Jongelei territory.

What is happening now  in Malakal proves the hidden agenda of
transferring all Collo soldiers in SPLA in Upper Nile state to different
places and replacing them with Dinka soldiers to accomplish the goal of
confiscating the Collo Lands. It becomes very clear that the liberation
war was fought for Dinka welfare and not for the whole South benefit.

Ironically, during preparation for the Fourth CPA Celebration in
Malakal, Dinka were told by the organizing committee that they will lead
the procession. Politically, this implies that Malakal belongs to Dinka.
This ideology fueled up the tension that made Collo uncomfortable. When
the governor of Upper Nile state discovered that, he warned the
preparatory committee and cautioned them that this idea will jeopardize
the celebration, arguing that Malakal belongs to Collo and that they’d
lead the procession, but Dinka were not ready to admit that.

Indeed, before the celebration began the tension mounted up that forced
police to dispatch these two communities and prevent them from
participation in the celebration to avoid riots in stadium.
Nevertheless, police reaction brought more confusion, and many people
were injured. Both communities were banned from participating in the
celebration and, after police dispatched them, the celebrations went on
smoothly.

Shocking news emerged at 2:00 am on 10.1.2009 when Dinka slaughtered
Collo in cold blood in Anakadiar, where around 1800 houses were burnt
down and twelve people were killed and three people were injured. The
following day many people were rescued on their way to Malakal by the
army which was sent to search for missing people in nearby bushes.

Consequently, Anakadiar people have become homeless and displaced. This
human atrocity forced the government of Upper Nile to resettle displaced
inhabitants of Anakader in Malakal. Again, last Sunday Dinka burnt down
600 houses in Abanim and Lul killing three people.

By killing Collo, Dinka want to confirm that they’re the masters of
south and they can do whatever they wish, and they did it in the eyes of
the President of GOSS. They want to affirm that Malakal belongs to them
and all Collo on Eastern side of White Nile must evacuate as they
indicated in their memo, which they wrote last October, 2008.
Presumably, the President of Southern Sudan is aware about that claim.

Collo community has full right to revenge, for they have been keeping
quite waiting with hope that the government will intervene to defuse the
situation, but the waiting seems to be in vain. The Collo will take
position of defending themselves from Dinka aggression.

Mr. President of southern Sudan government, your silence may imply that
you’ve sided with your community, which is toxic to co-existence in
southern Sudan. Surely we would like to assure you that the CPA is going
to be in danger, and you will be blamed for that.

There is no way other communities protect the CPA and Dinka dismantle it
with their assumption that they are people who liberated those lands.
This claim is untrue because all families participated in that
liberation war. Collo is going to retaliate for the great lost of lives,
Collo were so keen to keep Malakal in peace despite the fact that they
are still displaced in their home lands by Dinka community who murdered
them in cold blood.

We’ve been protecting the CPA since it was signed but Dinka thought we
were not sensing what they’re practicing at national, regional and even
at state levels. War in Malakal will affect everyone whether in
Khartoum, Juba or abroad because this war will be between two elephants
and ‘the grass’ is going to suffer.

To prevent the escalation of the war in Malakal, the President of the
GOSS must act immediately without wasting more time. The instigators
must be brought to justice, and the government must announce that
Malakal belongs to its original inhabitants who’re Collo. Any community
living within Collo lands must leave to their home towns without any
condition.

Disarmament of all communities must be ensured to avoid further blood
shed of innocent people. All soldiers who’re involved in that killing
must be punished, and people who lost their lives and property must be
compensated.

Written by torit1955

January 17, 2009 at 9:53 am

Dinka Ideology: Is South Sudan Becoming Another Lawless Somalia?

with 3 comments

BY: Jwothab Othow, USA

JAN. 15/2009, SSN; Since the Dinka took the majority rule in the GoSS,
insecurity has increased and land grabbling of tribal lands by Dinka has
become a widespread phenomenon. The whole trouble started in Madi and
Acholi lands in Eastern Equatoria State, and then spread to Maridi land
in Western Equatoria State, and now it has reached the Shilluk Kingdom
in Upper Nile State which borders Northern Sudan. By no means are tribal
conflicts nothing new in South Sudan. Perhaps what are new are the scale
of the conflict and the involvement of SPLA in it.

The conflicts between the Shilluk and Dinka started before the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed. History tells us that
Dinka Ngok migrated from Bahr el Ghazal to Upper Nile during the reign
of Reth Abudok Nya Bwoc around 1660. The land the Dinka Ngok currently
inhabit used to belong to Anuak tribe. They came to the area in search
of good grazing lands that resulted in many fights recently in Nakdiar
and Lul areas between them and the Shilluk.

The current problem between Shilluk and Dinka Ngok started when the
latter wrote letter to late Dr. John Garang in 2004, claiming the
ownership of Malakal town and many Shilluk lands. When Salva Kiir took
over the Presidency of South Sudan after the tragic death of Dr. Garang,
this issue was immediately brought before him.

However, President Salva Kiir made no attempt at resolving the matter.
His argument was that the war is not yet over and, therefore, there is
no way for the Dinka to return to their original birth places. This is
nonsense.

The current feud between Dinka and Shilluk flared-up during the fourth
anniversary of CPA celebration held in Malakal, the capital of upper
Nile State, on Friday 9 January. The Dinka agenda was to seize and
occupy areas that historically belong to the Shilluk on the banks of the
Nile and Sobat River. The attack, which was alleged to have been carried
out by Dinka SPLA soldiers, killed dozens of Shilluk in Nakdiar and Lul.

It is an undeniable that the ethnic conflicts in the post-CPA era are
the most influential destabilizing forces in South Sudan which will
destroy the unity of Southerners and hold back southerners from
achieving their aspiration for an independent state. For the Dinka
politicians, this is the only legitimate source for exercising their
non-democratic rule over other minor tribal groupings.

The act of evil ideology of the Dinka is widely viewed as an expansion
and occupation with catastrophic consequences similar to that of
Somalia, not to mention Rwanda. The Dinka Ngok massacred dozens of
Shilluk in their Villages who have nothing to do about the celebration
of the CPA taking place in Malakal. So many peace-loving people among
the Shilluk like Uncle James Ogilo Agor and Rev. Daniel Amum wrote
several letters to Mr. Salva Kiir before to resolve the issue of land
dispute and claim of ownership of Malakal by Dinka Ngok. However, Mr.
Salva Kiir ignored the matters altogether.

It appears President Salva Kiir and his government is trying to adopt
same methods used by the current brutal regime in Khartoum to
marginalize minority tribes and decimate them as well. Like the rest of
the world, we have to respect our diversity, to establish healthy
coexistence, and to maintain the existing boundaries that separate
different communities in South Sudan.

This is proving that the Dinka have a hidden agenda. Mr. Salva, as a
leader, has a definite hand in all of these. This is evidenced in his
handling of the earlier conflicts between the Dinka and Madi, Acholi
tribes in Eastern Equatoria State. Now, the whole thing is spreading
like wildfire in Shilluk lands of Malakal, Upper Nile State. This seems
to be the same behavior that shocked the world in 1994, when the Hutu
extremists in Rwanda carried out an organized genocide that killed more
than 800,000 Tutsis minority in a matter of weeks.

This kind of brutal act by the Dinka Ngok could set back South Sudanese
aspiration for self-determination in 2011. This fact gives many
Northerners a strong argument that we Southerners cannot govern
ourselves. Four years have now passed since the semi-autonomous South
Sudan was given a chance to prove to the whole world that it can govern
itself democratically without alienating and humiliating other minor
tribes.

In pursuing their control over all units of government, the Dinka have
virtually proved the contrary to the world that left alone we can’t rule
ourselves in a civilized way. Dinka can not rule the South alone and
neither can the other minority tribes rule the South without the Dinka.
We need each other in order to have a viable independent state.

The Dinka are ethnocentric people who promote intolerance and
dehumanization of other minorities in South Sudan as seen by the
massacre of the Shilluk people in Upper Nile State. The ethnic hatred
has not been provoked and channeled by the ordinary Dinka, but by the
Dinka politicians whose aim is to strengthen their hold over power.

The Dinka seemed to have used the article in Semi-Autonomous
constitution of South Sudan, which states that the citizens of South
Sudan can live anywhere in south Sudan, for their own political gains.
The correct interpretation of this article is that the citizens of South
Sudan have the right to live in anywhere in South Sudan provided that
they do not occupy the lands that already belong to others.

The political domination by the Dinka over other minorities in the South
appear to be most obstacle to the realization of Peace in South Sudan
and true enemy of the South Sudanese aspiration for an independent state
in 2011.

Many people from various minority tribes in South Sudan have, because of
what happened in Madi and Acholi lands in Eastern Equatioria State and
Shilluk Kingdom in Upper Nile state, doubts about the honesty and
integrity of the Dinka. If the behaviors of the Dinka go unchecked and
the perpetrators who carried out the massacre of dozens of Shilluk and
land grabbing are not brought to justice, South Sudan will be extremely
very unstable for all of us. It will be impossible for South Sudanese to
achieve the goals for an independent South Sudan from North Sudan in
2011.

The Dinka should recall history: Whether militarily or politically the
Dinka stand no chance against the other minorities in South Sudan.
History had shown this: When Mr. Abel Alier of Dinka tribe was ousted
from power as the President of the High Executive Council when the
minority tribes in the Regional Assembly united and elected General
Joseph Lagu. In cohort, the minorities in the assembly selected Mr.
Joseph Tombura from the Zande tribe to lead instead of a Dinka. I’m of
the strong belief the Dinka domination will be a short-lived one because
of backlash from the very people they want to dominate.

Dinka should get it right that Shilluk will never allow anyone to occupy
their land. The Shilluk will do anything within their power, including
the use of military means to defend themselves and their existence.

God forbid, I hope the current conflict between Shilluk and Dinka will
not escalate into full scale war that will impact negatively the outcome
of the 2011 referendum for self-determination for the South. It is
therefore important for the South Sudanese to have peace, harmony, and
coexistence among the diverse ethnic groups prior to attaining
independence from North Sudan. These are both necessary and sufficient
conditions for the attainment of an independent state for the South.

Let us be vigilant and not be sidetracked by issues among us as Southern
Sudanese because the Arab North is working hard day and night to defocus
us from our main goal of getting our own independent state by exploiting
any differences among us for its own benefit

Written by torit1955

January 16, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Posted in Opinions

Tagged with , , ,