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Sudan Tribune

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What Sudan’s NCP can learn from Obama’s Victory?!

What Can the National Congress Party (NCP) in Sudan Learn from Barak Obama’s Victory?!

By Mahmoud A. Suleiman

November 8, 2008 — One would hope that the Government of Sudan (GOS) under the National Congress Party (NCP) to learn lessons from Obama’s victory and prefer the Sudanese public interest and justice to the endless demands of its minority selfish self-interests, and seize the opportunity to serve the Nation without prejudice or discrimination in order to keep the respect and appreciation of the people of Sudan and the world.

The outmoded policies adopted by the minority elites at the expense of the marginalised majority and prevailed over the last five odd decades, are no longer compatible with the aspirations of the people of Sudan in the 21st Century. The era of monopolization of power and exclusivity of sovereign ministerial positions for the minority and allocation of marginalised ministries such as Ministry of Veterinary and Animal Resources or the Ministry of Roads and Bridges or the Ministry of Tourism and Survey as ministerial positions for politicians from the Southern Sudan Region, Eastern Region, Nuba Mountains in Kordofan Region, Ingessena in the Blue Nile Region and Darfur Region and others and depriving them from approaching the power and wealth of Sudan should cease if stability and peace of this country is sought to be achieved.

The cancerous root causes of Sudan’s Civil Wars and the other chronic problems that continue to defy solution seem to rest mainly with the hegemony of the group that claims the divine right to monopolize power and wealth on the pretext of their belonging to a non-African ethnicity in addition to their alleged affiliation to the Arabic race beside their supposed Arab identity!

The policy of the Sudanese Government and the resulting discrimination against and marginalization of the people from Darfur, Southern Sudan, Nuba Mountains and elsewhere who internally migrated to al-Gezira, or “island,” the country’s largest irrigation project north of the Sennar/Kosti and between the Blue and White Nile rivers south of their confluence at Khartoum or those who live in the outskirts of the National Capital Khartoum, due to their IDP status, are in clear violation of the articles of the UN Declaration on Minorities (Articles 1.1, 2.1 and 2.2) which protect the existence and ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic identity of minorities and require promotion of that identity. Apartheid like segregation and discrimination policies still exist in many parts of the Central Region of Sudan where the Gezira and Managil Extension scheme which encompass an irrigated area of approximately 5.5 million hectares is Sudan’s principal agricultural area and the only large tract of land outside Egypt irrigated with Nile waters. People who have migrated internally to this region several decades ago from Darfur, Nuba Mountains and Southern Sudan will tell that policies of segregation and separation along racial lines are still practised. People are not allowed to live nearby and they have to live in camp-like settlements, referred to as “Combo/ Canabi”. Officially, those people who have been there for ages, they have no right to own or hire land to cultivate crops in spite of the fact that two thirds of fertile land remains neglected and disused. Worst of all is that children of the people in question are denied education in the local schools.

Several Rebellions against subjugation and oppression set about in Darfur since Sultan Ali Dinar was killed by the British in 1916 to resist colonial rule. A revolt erupted in 1921 by al-Suheini in Nyala followed by al-Faki Muhajir uprising in 1927 and the burning of the British flag in February 1952 in al-Fasher. Struggle for Civil rights in Sudan especially in the marginalised regions such as Darfur began in the early 1960s soon after the independence from Britain. Series of popular uprisings and protests Initially, it was in the form local protests against the arrogance, ethnic purity claim and tyranny of some civil service Sudanese officials, mainly by those from the Northern Region, popularly referred to as Riverain, who replaced the British. Local Darfuri movements emerged in the early sixties of the last century. They included the Red Blaze/ Flame and Suni Movements. The Glorious October the 21st 1064 revolution energised the emergence of the Darfur Renaissance/ Development Front as an urgent demand for legitimate rights movement in the Sudanese political arena. An armed movement under the command of engineer Daowd Bulad in the 1990s followed during the early years of the National Islamic Front (NIF) reign, the era known as the National Salvation Revolution (NSR) led by Omar al-Bashir. In its later years, the civil rights movement in Darfur took a sharp turn to armed revolt and the emergence of the fully-fledged Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).

News media reported that Dr. Khalil Ibrahim, the President of JEM has congratulated the President- Elect Barak Obama on his election victory for the presidency of the United States of America. JEM leader has been quoted as saying that Obama’s victory gave hope to all oppressed people who are yearning for justice, equality and democracy. Furthermore, the people of Sudan in Darfur felt that the spontaneous international celebration of Obama’s victory has left no doubt those American ideals are shared across the globe and that human destiny knows no national, ethnic and religious boundaries.

The marginalised people in Sudan see Obama’s stunning invigoration of grass-root power in the USA as an inspiration against apathy and a stark reminder to all oppressive regimes including the authoritarian genocidal government in Khartoum that their days are numbered, unless they return to their senses and give people their legitimate rights fully intact without delay, distinction or discrimination.

The people of Sudan in Darfur are very passionate about their country, Sudan, and hopeful that the long-awaited dream of prosperity, just and lasting peace prevail all over and that citizenship to be their identity as Sudanese.

Dr. Mahmoud A. Suleiman is the Deputy Chairman of the General Congress for Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). He can be reached at [email protected]