Home | Comment & Analysis    Monday 23 April 2007

Why does Sudan’s peace lumber an uphill track


By Peter Lokarlo Marsu

April 22, 2007 — A probing observer might wonder why China in cabal with the National Congress Party (NCP) freely invests so much and liberally in Sudan’s quandary at the very nose of the international community without being called to order, and whether Beijing is in effect on the verge of setting up a new imperial arrangement in Sudan under the hegemony of the repugnant National Islamic Front regime in the country.

Connoisseurs who are conversant with the contemporary Sudanese political realities would definitely concur on the palpable verity of the Chinese factor alongside the tetchy and homicidal National Congress Party (NCP) of Omar Hassan Al Basher, as being perceptibly, key to Sudan’s volatility and predicament. Plainly the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) is at a precarious juncture, hobbling on an uphill path, deliberately sanctioned by the forces of doom in both Khartoum and Beijing.

An insightful analysis of this regrettable scenario is worthwhile, forming a crucial ingredient to discerning the intricacy and motives behind the uphill trek of the CPA. Probably there are a number of underlying issues to ruminate upon at the moment.

First: A broad-spectrum political opinion in the Sudan are unanimous in accord that the National Congress Party went to Naivasha not to conclude a genuine and lasting peace Agreement with the SPLM, but to cunningly craft a breathing space or to buy more time for the government in Khartoum to alleviate its precarious political shape at that time. We should jog our memory that since early 1990’s up to 2001, Sudan had become a bastion and safe haven for various international terrorists clusters, offering those groups red-carpet treatment and all forms of support.

With the 9/11 tragedies in the USA, and being apprehensive of colossal backlash by the American government against all terrorist entities in their sanctuaries and citadels across the globe, as demonstrated by the devastating pummel on the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, Omar Al Bashir was evidently out of options. He had no choice, but to cringe and indeed got ready to flirt with the USA.

To prove the government’s loyalty and anti-terrorist commitment to the Americans, Al Bashir was quick to denounce the “despicable” acts of the 9/11 attackers and quickly rounded up his political opponents, branded them terrorists and threw them behind bars, to cajole Washington into believing that certainly Khartoum meant business of being uncompromising in the fight against terrorism.

It was apparent that Al Bashir had won the dramatic show; his trick had worked when to everyone’s consternation, the Oval Office declared that Sudan was a real partner to do business with. Hence to maintain the cordial tempo of the counterfeited relationship, with the world’s sole superpower, Sudan’s Vice President Mr. Ali Osman Mohamed Taha was despatched to Naivasha to reach a “short-lived” Agreement with the invincible SPLM/A.

An identical scenario was replicated last year when Khartoum insisted that it would put on trial its own soldiers and militiamen accused of committing monstrous atrocities in Darfur. The well-publicised trial turned out to be a sham and mockery of justice. The same previous tactic of rounding up political opponents was used to convince the ICC that the country could handle such cases single-handedly. Some soldiers who had fallen out of favour with the regime had to manage the stage role.

As Al Bashir still believes that the war against the SPLA is not yet over, the National Congress Party government has always barefacedly undermined the cardinal articles of the CPA by:

- Adamantly refusing to redeploy its reprehensible armed groups and regular forces to the north of the January 1956 borderline as stipulated in the Peace Agreement;
- Rejecting to adopt and implement the Abyei report as documented by the panel of experts and;
- Firmly supporting other bandits, holding them as pawns to be used in proxy wars in accordance with its nefarious agenda, both against South Sudan and a neighboring government.

The NCP is petrified that the north would incontestably part with the oil fields if the January 1956 colonial partition line were established; consequently, shifting the border further southward is one of Khartoum’s most cherished strategies.

Second: Al Bashir’s obstinacy and lack of will to implement the provisions of the CPA may have stemmed from the direct Chinese prop up of his regime as mentioned earlier. Beijing has massed qualitative weapons in Khartoum’s arsenals to the extent that Al Bashir is fully convinced that emasculating the CPA document would just be fine.

Khartoum is persistently sounding a high-pitched clarion call and warning Beijing that China’s interests in Sudan would be compromised, if the NCP were out of business as a result of UN or Washington’s unilateral punitive action against the Sudanese government, and that China would definitely forfeit its multi-million investment in Sudan for failing to back up Khartoum’s cataclysmic policies. Such warnings have made china to turn a blind eye to Khartoum’s appalling Human Rights dossier that also perfectly matches China’s own horrendous records.

What could be more disgusting and outrageous than executing hundreds of prisoners in Chinese jails and harvesting their organs for sale? This is forlornly a standard practice in China and highly lucrative business managed by the government in the country. The Falun Gong followers have taken a heavier toll since 1999 for what Beijing termed “illegal activities” – a cryptic reference to the group’s inexorable spiritual beliefs, commitment and practices. The Tibetan spiritual leader the DALAI LAMA is banished from China for his beliefs. Beijing does not condone ideological aberration and any sort of religious worshipping is abhorred and could attract severe penalties. It is easy to see why Beijing is not alarmed by the genocide that occurred in Darfur.

Third: The Mullahs in Tehran have a share of the culpability for the uphill march of the CPA. Iran has always attempted to shape Khartoum’s philosophical and ideological outlook to tally with its own vision of the 7th Century universe. Iran had shipped tons of war materials to back up Al Bashir’s military campaigns in South Sudan throughout the two-decade long Africa’s longest war in Sudan. Though less accurate, and with an error margin of 2 kilometres, Iranian missiles had mowed down villages, schools and Churches in South Sudan. Today The National Congress Party still counts on the Iranians for any future war in the country. Both Al Bashir and his loutish defence minister had been to Tehran to talk mainly on military matters.

The Docile position being adopted by the International community especially the United States of America which was instrumental in bringing about the Peace arrangement in Sudan, must share a hefty portion of the blame, for failing to call Khartoum to order to respect the CPA alongside the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1706 on Darfur.

Such timid position has partly contributed to the Uphill lumber of the CPA document as Khartoum has already been groomed by China to defy any international appeals for order in Sudan.

As the National Congress Party does not possess a template for resolving the country’s problem, it would be in the interest of world peace and security to immediately stop the government of Sudan from its sadistic practices in Darfur and also from pushing further the government of South Sudan to the brink of another war in steadfastly refusing to abide by the terms of the CPA document.

The IGAD members in their forthcoming meeting must strongly stress to the National Congress Party the importance of preserving Peace, security and stability in Sudan and the entire region.

* The author is based in Australia, he can be reached at ptr_lok@yahoo.com.au

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