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Sudan Tribune

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South Africa’s Mbeki and the inappropriate domestication of Darfur conflict

Prescribing Same Medication of the former Apartheid South Africa to address Sudanese Crises in Darfur is waste of time at best and unattainable at worst!

By Mahmoud A. Suleiman

November 29, 2010 — The root of the problems in Sudan is resistance to change that the Islamist regime, the National Congress Party (NCP); old habits die hard. News media reported that the government of Sudan (GoS) seemingly wants to favour an initiative launched by the former South African president Thabo Mbeki calling for the domestication of the peace process. Political analysts thought that the (GoS), by saying so, was trying to surf on the contradictions of international community and rivalries between the different actors and organizations. This may be a fact but has been calculated for falsehood by the clique in the National Islamic Front/ National Congress Party (NIS/NCP). Yes, at times, it is the “Too many chefs are scrambling in the same kitchen” phenomenon which results into negative outcomes and consequences. Nevertheless, the primary guilty party remains the génocidaire ruling National Congress Party (NCP) led by the fugitive Marshal Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for his heinous acts against the victims of war crime, crimes against humanity and genocide.

The Chairman of the AU High Level Panel on Darfur (AUPD), former South African president Thabo Mbeki continues to be a complicating factor of the problem of Darfur rather than a facilitator of its solution/resolution. Thabo Mbeki was reported to have been inviting the NCP president Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir to attend the upcoming AU meeting. Thabo Mbeki’s impartiality has been tainted beyond repair. The status of the Wise Elders of Africa does not apply to him now and even not in the future. He chose to become a full member of the ‘Association of African Dictators ‘.

Thabo Mbeki needs to realize that his recipe of prescribing the same remedy used in the Apartheid South Africa as an antidote for the complex conflict in the region of Darfur is inappropriate at best and counterproductive at worst . Moreover it will not work and already the “Domestication of Darfur Peace or the so-called the New Strategy or the Mbeki-Ghazi Formula” has sustained abject failure; having been rejected by the stakeholders in the people of Sudan in general and people of Sudan in the regions of Darfur and Kordofan specifically. The means Mr. Thabo Mbeki and his country people used to counteract the Apartheid legacy in South Africa might have been suitable for them. It is true that the Apartheid ruling was despotic entity. Nevertheless, the crimes committed by the current NCP regime in Darfur are far beyond the authority and ability of “Truce and Reconciliation” to decide on the Complexities of the crisis affected the lives and livelihood of the people of Sudan in Darfur during those lean seven-odd years or so which witnessed all sorts of horrors and brutality. Temporary solutions, compliments cajolement and tapping on the back would not help to resolve a complex issue like the Darfur crisis. The conflict in Darfur defies such quick fix attempts, Mr. Mbeki! South Africa was under a notorious White Apartheid colonial power dominating over majority black citizens while the situation in Darfur is different in that the members of the abhorrent ruling regime are all Sudanese. Moreover, there are very crucial unresolved outstanding issues need to be met such as the returns of the lands (Hawakeer) that have been occupied by the mercenary militias from the neighbouring countries and allied to the NCP government. This is in addition to individual and collective compensation for those who have been affected by the Darfur conflict. Of great importance and requiring to be fulfilled are power sharing, wealth sharing, and Security arrangements. The demands of the Darfurian also include return of Darfur, administratively, to one region as it used to be prior to dismantling it into three unrelated states. The one region of Darfur should retain its Geographical borders known at the exit of the British colonial power on January 1st 1956.

One would wonder whether Mr. Thabo Mbeki has any recollection of the fact that the Sudanese government said it would not resume talks with the rebel groups Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Abdel Wahid Sudan Liberation Army (SLAAW) who refused to sign it in 2006 after the signing of the infamous Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) at Abuja (Nigeria) with Minni Minnawi faction of Sudan Liberation Army (SLA). But under international pressures and efforts exerted by the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan the NCP regime gave in and accepted to negotiate with the non Abuja signatory rebel groups. As those are the volatile positions of the NCP regime due to the lack of credibility of its policies Observers feel certain that Al-Bashir will be seen back to the peace talks in Doha, Qatar. It is a matter of time and the NCP government will submit to the might of a stern threat. That is the only language which this autocratic entity understands. Nevertheless, the conflict of interest-driven inaction of some players in the International Community has been hampering progress; sadly at the cost of more suffering to the People of Sudan in Darfur and Kordofan. Darfur IDPs and refugees want Mr. Thabo Mbeki to take his hands off Darfur conflict and refrain from further meddling in it. Will Mr. Mbeki listen to the voice of reason and make an exit? That is another Sixty Four Dollar Question ($64 Question), the answer stays with Mr. Thabo Mbeki!!

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]