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Sudan Tribune

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South Sudan front condemns SPLM for endangering peace accords

South Sudan Democratic Front (SSDF)

Public Statement


Oct, 19, 2007 — Since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) on January 9th, 2005, the Sudanese people have been enjoying relative peace despite the ongoing instability in Darfur region. Since the independence of Sudan on Jan, 1st, 1956, the CPA has been the only agreement which not only addresses the North-South conflict but also the problem of marginalization in Southern Blue Nile, Southern Kordofan and the status of Abyei. The previous accords such as the 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement, the Khartoum Peace Agreement of 1997 and the Fashoda Accord had never concluded the North-South conflict while addressing the problems of other marginalized regions of the country.

Although the implementation of the CPA is on the right track despite delays caused by natural calamities and lack of capacity building in South Sudan, the Sudanese people were flabbergasted by the SPLM’s pullout from the Government of National Unity (GoNU) on October the 11th. The Sudanese people could not believe that the SPLM, which is the major partner of National Congress Party (NCP), would prefer paralyzing the peace it signed by avoiding institutional mechanisms setup under the CPA to resolve any dispute which may arise between the main signatories.

The country called Sudan has suffered war for most of its existence as an independent state and the Sudanese people—particularly Southerners—had hoped that the CPA would not only end the North-South divide but also provide the momentum and serve as a model for resolving other conflicts in the country. However, the immature decision taken by the SPLM’s Interim Political Bureau (IPB) to withdraw the party’s ministers from GoNU indicates that the very survival of the CPA depends upon the existence of a government in the South which completely abandons the culture of violence in order to allow the Sudanese people to live in peace, promote democratization, nurture peaceful conflict resolution mechanisms through reconciliation and dialogue and protection of basic human rights.

A part from the SPLM’s propaganda which alleges that the Movement pulled out of the GoNU for the concerns of the CPA’s implementation, the people of South Sudan need to know that the fundamental reason for SPLM’s withdrawal is the failure of the Movement to democratize itself and incorporate in its organs good governance, rule of law, respect for human rights, transparency and accountability. The smooth implementation of the peace in Sudan requires the SPLM and the NCP to demonstrate respect for the institutions setup by the CPA to resolve pending issues through dialogue without creating a situation that could lead to mistrust between the major partners. Unilateral withdrawals from the GoNU without consulting the other Sudanese political parties, or resort to the use of force by either SPLM or NCP as the means of implementing the accord, are totally antithetical to the spirit of the CPA and the need for dialogue as the basis of implementing the Naivasha Peace Agreement.

Given the recent pullout orchestrated by the SPLM to create an imaginary crisis in order to relieve the Movement from being blamed for corruption in Juba, the Sudanese people may wonder whether the SPLM has intellectual capacity to continue implementing the peace. Despite the rhetoric employed by the Movement to try to justify its withdrawal which is unjustifiable, the attempt of the SPLM to paralyze the CPA could be attributed to its failure to transform itself from guerilla Movement to a modern political party that shall rely on legal mechanisms to address misunderstandings.

From the perspective of the South Sudanese who have experienced institutional paralysis of the GoSS due to rampant corruption, the SPLM, as the ruling party in the South, has failed morally, spiritually and intellectually to be regarded as a competent party that would smoothly implement the CPA. The people of South Sudan believe that a party which shall work with the NCP to implement the CPA is a party which upholds constitutional democracy, basic human rights, culture of peace, pluralism and reconciliation through dialogue. Tragically, with the current rhetoric for going back to war, the SPLM is not a democratic political entity which can secure the smooth implementation of peace as the Sudanese had hoped for.

The South Sudan Democratic Front condemns, in the strongest language possible, the attempt of the SPLM to deny peace to Sudanese people by rejecting peaceful means and ways of addressing the delays of the implementation of the CPA. The warmongering language being expressed on a daily basis by the First Vice President Salva Kiir and his lackeys is disturbing to the minds, hearts and souls of the Sudanese who are yearning for peace because it demonstrates, beyond reasonable doubt, that the Movement is still harboring the rule of the jungle it specialized in before the conclusion of the CPA in 2005.

The SSDF’s leadership urges and appeals to the Sudanese people NEVER AGAIN TO GO BACK TO WAR. We particularly appeal to all Sudanese holding arms to refrain from any use of force, but to work earnestly and assiduously to ameliorate any conflict through political and peaceful mechanisms. Most importantly, the Southern Sudanese should be advised that the current imaginary, manipulative and deceptive tactics of the SPLM are ways and means of avoiding the forthcoming democratic election where SPLM would be terribly punished at the polls for promoting corruption, institutional tribalism, nepotism and organized embezzlement of public funds.

The SSDF warns the SPLM to refrain from turning South Sudan into another Katanga and Biafra because the people of South Sudan are granted constitutional right of self-determination. The issue of unity or secession in Sudan could only be decided by the people of South Sudan in a free and fair referendum under international monitoring. Let it be known to all parties concerned with the issue of the right to self-determination that the SPLM could not unilaterally determine the terms of secession of South Sudan as Lt. Gen. Salva Kiir wants the World to believe. There is no political party in the South that can abrogate to itself the right to decide how the people of the South will determine their destiny. It is only the people of South Sudan to determine the verdict of the referendum when the time comes as stated in the Naivasha Peace Agreement and enshrined in the Interim Constitution of Sudan.

It is the duty of SSDF to educate the people of South Sudan about the dangers of SPLM’s attempt for Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI). The SPLM is falsely propagating to ordinary Southern Sudanese that UDI would bring peace. The Movement went as far as claiming that the declaration of independence of Southern Sudan would be recognized under international law. Unless the SPLM has its own international law different from the rest of the World, the Unilateral Declaration of Independence is most of the times regarded illegal. If the SPLM declares independence as Salva Kiir Mayardit wishes, nothing would prevent the Sudan Armed Force (SAF) from marching to Juba. Under international law principles, President Omer Bashir would be justified for going back to war if the South is separated illegally. Independence of the South would be regarded internationally as de jure if it comes about as the result of the exercise of the right of self-determination in 2011.

The Sudanese people, particularly Southern Sudanese who suffered from wars for fifty five years, should understand that the SPLM’s pullout from the GoNU was a political agitation rather than a presentation of genuine political grievances of the people of South Sudan. According to the report of the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), the implementation of the CPA is on the right track. Most of the commissions mandated in the CPA have now been formed at the national level to secure the smooth implementation of the agreement. The Ceasefire Joint Military Commission (CJMC) was setup to monitor the implementation of the Ceasefire Protocol. The CJMC is answerable to the Ceasefire Political Commission (CPC) which met in August. The meeting was postponed to 8 September due to the absence of some of the SPLM/A representatives.

The CPC is mandated to supervise, monitor and oversee the implementation of the permanent ceasefire and security arraignments implementation modalities. It reports directly to the Presidency. The CPC is expected to settle deadlocks referred to it by the CJMC and provide disciplinary measures for violations. It can propose amendments to the ceasefire arrangements and refer any deadlocks over implementation to the Presidency. The chairmanship of the CPC is rotated between parties. In addition to the parties themselves, membership of the CPC includes the UN, IGAD and the IGAD Partners’ Forum.

The UN attributed the delays of the North-South border demarcation to weather and other natural calamities that inflicted Sudan this year. The Technical ad hoc Border Committee started work in January 2007 on mapping the January 1st, 1956 border between the North and South. It has made a number of field trips to discuss its work with local officials and communities to collect data.

On the issue of withdrawal of forces, the UNMIS confirmed that 79.5% of SAF forces have been withdrawn from South Sudan as of October 1st, 2007. The rest of the SAF will be withdrawn after the flood along the border subsides. On the other hand, the UN reported that the SPLA Units in Southern Kordofan (Sector IV) have not yet been withdrawn to Southern Sudan. The same thing is true for SPLA forces in Nuba Mountain and Abyei. The GoSS claims that the process of withdrawing the SPLA forces from the North is slow because of logistical problems associated with heavy rains.

On the issue of Abyei, the UN experts confirmed that both the SPLM and the NCP referred their disagreements over Abyei Boundaries Commission (ABC) report to their political sub-committees for consideration. Former Minister for Cabinet Affairs Deng Alor (SPLM) and State Minister Idriss Abdel Qadir (NCP) were in May 2007 tasked with studying the Abyei archives of the Ministry of Federal Governments and submitting a comprehensive report to the NCP-SPLM Joint Executive Committee.

The SSDF is keen to alert the Sudanese people that the SPLM’s pullout from the Government of National Unity was not because the CPA is not being implemented as the Movement wants the people of South Sudan to believe, but it is because of the followings:

1. The SPLM has failed in its attempts to transform itself from violent guerilla movement to a modern political party, which shall nurture culture of peace in the Sudan and promote respect for basic human rights.

2. The Movement lacks the capacity of micro and macro management skills, qualified man-power and the scientific and methodological know-how of implementing the CPA.

3. The SPLM extremists are busy day and night to find means of obstructing the smooth implementation of peace by relying on the politics of scapegoatism, rejection of democracy and the desire to promote the SPLA army as a negative force to paralyze the rule of law in South Sudan.

4. The SPLM’s pullout was brought about by the vicious cycle of historic vendettas against Dr. Lam Akol by the so-called Garang’s orphans who abhor civilized politics and democratization of Sudan.

5. Historically, the SPLM has been morally and intellectually bankrupt. The Movement started corruption since its inception in 1983 by lynching prominent Southern politicians who questioned the policies and the direction of SPLM’s leadership.

For contact
Mr. Gordon Buay
Secretary Ad Interim
South Sudan Democratic Front

Khartoum, Sudan
Tel. 249-121889606

Email: [email protected]