Home | News    Saturday 2 January 2010

Umma Party leader makes appeal to defectors to ‘reunite the ranks’

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January 1, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — The leader of the largest Northern opposition party in Sudan made an appeal figures who defected over the years to return in order to “reunite the ranks” and “open a new page in partisan reconciliation”.

Umma Party leader Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi (right) and the head of the Umma Renewal and Reform Party Mubarak Al-Fadil (left)

“The national situation requires unity of the ranks in all aspects of life to face the internal and external crises of the country,” Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi said in the statement.

The former prime minister noted that that despite the Umma party did not annul the membership of those who defected in 2002 which is a clear reference to his cousin Mubarak Al-Fadil who now leads the Umma Renewal and Reform Party (URRP).

“For everyone [who defected] they can resume their membership as long as they recognize the historical legitimacy, struggle and intellect of the parent institution” the Umma Party chief said.

Al-Mahdi revealed the creation of a commission to “house” those dissidents “in fairness and justice”.

The statement appears to be a softening of stance on the part of Al-Mahdi who has insisted in the past that those seeking to rejoin the Umma Party must first apologize before they can be taken in. Several mediation efforts have failed to reverse the position of the Umma Party chief.

The URRP issued a response saying that it has convened an emergency meeting in which they welcomed the call by Al-Mahdi reiterating their willingness to cooperate “with the beloved national Umma party president”.

The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) is likely to be concerned by any steps towards reconciliation between the two figures ahead of the April 2010 elections. Al-Fadil has been instrumental in forging an informal alliance between the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) and several powerful Northern opposition parties in the Juba conference held last September.

Al-Fadil left the Umma Party after differing with Al-Mahdi on the issue of participating in the government dominated by the NCP but al-Mahdi rejected the idea of joining a “non-democratically elected government”.

Later both men traded bitter accusations publicly and in private circles for failures and mishaps within the Umma Party and even went as far as personal and family matters.

Al-Fadil was appointed by Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir as a presidential adviser for economic affairs in 2002 before being removed in October 2004. He has became one of the fiercest critics of the NCP ever since.

This week the URRP leader accused the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) of formulating a plot through several members of the dissolved Umma Liberation Army (ULA), the military arm of the mainstream Umma party, to incriminate him in a plot to overthrow the government. ?

A statement by Al-Fadil’s office said that the ex-fighters refused to cooperate with the NISS in their plan. He also said that an unnamed senior Sudanese official earned him that his work is conflicting with the interests of the ruling NCP making him a target of assassination.

“My blood will be a fuel to peace and freedom in Sudan” Al-Fadil was quoted as saying but the party warned the authorities of any attempts to physically harm the leadership.

Al-Fadil was detained for four months in 2007 along with a number of retired army generals, and accused of planning a coup attempt. He was released after it turned out that an intelligence informant supplied inaccurate information to the government.

(ST)

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  • 2 January 2010 08:27, by mayor

    Saddiq, you are too old for politic man, you got lack two time for the post of prime minister and you didn’t proved your selfe at all.

    Get it like this.

    People of South Sudan don’t like you.

    Eduring people of Darur don’t like also.

    Other Sudanes politican don’t like including Bashir you supprted some time and opposed him don’t like by no means.

    We welcome the leader Mubark El Fadhul.

  • 2 January 2010 08:35, by Sala Gai

    DUE TO THE HAPPY YEAR I WISE ALL THE POLITICAL AND LEADER WHO ARE IN POWER TO IMPLEMENT GOOD GOVERNANCE WITH NO MORE TRIBLISM IN NEW COMING, NEW BORN.

    FROM TOP TO THE BUTTOIR OF THE GOVERNMENT AT THE BELOW POINTS.

    Thank to all of you and our President Kiir Mayadit.I have therefore decided to speak to you about some of the challenges that we face and the opportunities that we have and what we can do about them.

    I. The dominant political philosophy over the last 20 years And by way of background on how we can meet the challenges, and seize the opportunities, I will first say a few words about governance and our political system. The Lagu fell in 1972 in Adis Aba Aba. Since then, discussions on politics have largely assumed as axiomatic, that the ideal political system is the Liberal Democracy as practised in the Sudan, particularly the South. Every country and political system is usually compared against that as the ideal and is graded accordingly. Most discussions in the media, and the academia, proceed on this basis.

    II. Difference between Governance and the nature of the political system

    In this intellectual environment, there has not been a lot of focus on the relationship between two different but connected ideas: (1) Governance; and (2) A political system that is capable of delivering governance.

    Good governance would mean the delivery of benefits to the people: (1) Rule of Law (2) Maximum opportunities (3) Housing (4) Economic well being (5) Healthcare (6) Safety and security (7) A civilised environment which allows the individual to be free. And so on.

    A political system is the means to deliver good governance. Often, in the past, there was not enough public understanding even now of the fact that the two concepts are different. One was merged into the other, and there was an unstated presumption that if you had the formwork of democracy, then you will get good governance.

    Much discussion which passes for political comment usually started and ended with a critique of the political system, without an adequate analysis of the need for governance. But the two concepts are different. We see increasing acknowledgement internationally, that the difference between two concepts should be understood. I have made the point elsewhere. This week, the Dr John Garang Times carried an interesting interview, with a political analyst in the time entry to Sudan Government by the agreement, who made the same point.

    iii. Political System If we agree that good governance is the goal of the Southern not you by wish of Dr John Garang, then we need to ask: can we automatically assume that the political system as developed say in the South, will also deliver good governance to all other societies?

    To answer the question, I would quote Abel Alier. He said: “The political system has to be tailored as closely to the country as a coat to a man”. Before I go on, let me make one point clear: I am not entering into the “Eastern versus Northern values” debate; nor am I making the point that Eastern societies do not value human rights.

    My point is more basic: Political systems are essentially systems for delivery of governance. And while some values are universal, nevertheless a political system will work best in a society if it is designed to fit that specific society.

    If we accept that political systems have to be tailored to suit the needs of each country, then the debate must really be on how the political system should be structured for a specific country, rather than whether the system approximates the US or UK or any other model.

    V. Southern Now let me turn to Southern. I am not going to repeat points I have made elsewhere on Southern’s exceptionalism. In essence, in my view, there is a clear difference between how interventionist and activist our Government has to be, and how the Government and the people have to act together, compared with larger and more secure countries, which can take a more laissez faire approach.

    Our size, geography and strategic situation have imposed limits on us. There are more natural resources nor any strategic space or large pool of manpower. We survive on our wits.

    To succeed we need to:

    (1) get investments into South (2) encourage local entrepreneurship (3) become a sophisticated service centre; and (4) ensure safety, security and stability.

    To achieve this: (1) We need a Government that formulates policies for the long term with the main party SPLM; (2) A talented population which can deliver world class performance; and (3) Collective effort between the Government and the people to implement the policies that have been formulated. This formulation, with its emphasis on activist Government is somewhat different from the classic laissez faire approach. I don’t think that the laissez faire approach will deliver the most optimal results for us. What does this model mean in philosophical terms? One strand of liberal theory would suggest the State can intervene to protect society from an individual. But, it should not intervene to require the individual to act in his own good or for the benefit of society. That could work if there is no real need for Government to act to ensure the survival or the economic success of the State. But would that theory hold, in a small city state which has to react quickly to externalities and which may need to mobilise the population for such action? Many other countries are not as finely balanced as us – few are as small and dependent on maximizing the opportunities in the external environment as we are. Kenya,Uganda is not a real comparison on our interest – it has a dependable hinterland. China will look after Norther Sudan due to our oil flied. With this background, on the essential need for good governance for us, I will outline a couple of external challenges.

    VI. Challenges We have several challenges. I will only mention a couple of challenges, both external. Security The first challenge I will mention is security. If you look at the map of Southern Sudan, you will see several countries which have had political instability in recent years now. Such political instability allows militancy to take root and flourish. There are also insurgencies in a number of countries. These insurgencies are long running and are based on ethnic or religious differences. These insurgencies may attract more militants to their cause. There is a risk that the militant cause could spread wider, causing even greater regional instability. They may also serve as breeding grounds for terrorists. There have also been reports of extremist groups using religious schools as a means of recruiting potential militants in some of these countries. That provides them with captive recruits.

    These threats cannot be taken lightly. So if you look at the map of Northern Sudan, the situation is not pretty. In fact it is a troubling picture. The potential for the situation to get worse and for that to spread exists, if the underlying issues that have led to the insurgencies and militancy are not tackled effectively. We do not have to be alarmist. But we must work on the basis that we could be a high profile target. And in any event we will be affected in one way or another by what happens in the region.

    Our responses cannot only be kinetic. We have to also build real bonds of trust within our society, across racial and religious lines, so that our community responds cohesively in the face of such threats. A laissez faire approach will not work, as some Western countries are finding out.

    Ministry Home Affairs Luka BIONG, Mr. Gier Chueng and the other Ministries put in a lot of effort into this and work with our people: an example of what I had earlier referred to as the need for the Government and the people to work cohesively together. We have, for example, a variety of continuous Community Engagement Programmes, to inter alia, build inter ethnic confidence.

    We have other projects as well as Legal project which are not fitting the communities need, these are the Ministry of Home Affairs. Many countries come and look at how we are doing this – and realize that what we do is worth learning from. There are also countries in the region where questions of ethnicity and religion have been raised with increasing intensity in political discourse. Our own ethnic and religious mix somewhat mirrors that of other countries in this region. Thus we have to therefore prepare our population actively, to try and ensure that there is no automatic reaction here, along ethnic or religious lines in response to events in the region. We have been doing that. Thus we have to be constantly alert because while the region is making progress, it still has serious governance issues.

    And we need to ensure that our own Governance is of the highest quality – to deal with the challenges. As a financial and services centre, servicing, inter alia, this region, we will feel the impact of events in the region. I will now deal with a second external challenge. Big Power Relationships and Interests in this region This region is of interest to major powers, including the US and China, Egypt, Arab countries. They are likely to chart a path of peaceful co-existence Unity. But at the same time, we can’t have to recognize that both countries, as well as other powers, we have interests in which may always be coincidental. The , Egypt Pacific Fleet navigates through the waters in South. The Northern has substantial economic interests in , Egypt. China’s economic and diplomatic interests are also growing rapidly. History shows that big powers will seek to influence smaller countries. And where big powers compete, their desire to influence smaller countries could sometimes be quite strong. All of this is natural. China also has claims in the Paracels and the Spratleys. Other regional countries make competing claims. Countries in this region and the regional entities (like South) have to deal with all these issues. South has to be aware of the way these issues evolve and are dealt with. And South has to be very clear about the direction it wants to take, in its own sovereign interests, in a dynamic, fast changing environment. That will require nimbleness and long range thinking. On that note, I will now turn to the opportunities.

    VII. Opportunities I have spoken about a couple of external challenges. But on balance, the opportunities in our external environment far outweigh the challenges that we face. If you combine the populations of China and South Sudan, you get nearly 2 billion people. A substantial number of this 2 billion people are hardworking, smart and want to make a better life for themselves. Thus this vast area will progress. And China will progress rapidly. That can have very positive economic consequences. Thus I am optimist about South – strongly so. We are in an unique position to be part of the progress of East and South East as well as the dynamic progress of India. We have a real opportunity to be a leading, dynamic city, servicing a region of tremendous wealth, albeit that wealth might be unevenly spread. We will not be the only city doing that, but we can be among the leading group. And we have some unique advantages that many others do not have. But to get there, we must be able to tap into these opportunities. That goes back to good Governance and cohesive society: with a clear idea of our interests, our abilities, what the opportunities are, and how we can be part of the regional growth. I will also emphasize another point, which I see as being important to our continued success – our openness to talent inflow. We have succeeded so far because we have been liberal on talent inflow. To continue to succeed, we need to continue with that policy. Businesses invest in Singapore because they know that they will be able to bring in the talent they need. The financial services sector employs several thousands of Singaporeans. It also employs many foreigners. If we told the banks that they cannot bring in foreign employees than we put the jobs of Singaporeans at risk as well. Let me illustrate with a concrete example. This week I met a BOSS of a major blue chip foreign bank. That bank employs nearly 600 people in South. Many are in high paying jobs. 100 of them are foreigners on Employment Pass.

    The other 5,000 or so are Southern or PRs. He told me that the great advantage Southern had, (for them), compared with almost any other place they operated in, was the ease with which they could bring in employees from all over the world. He told me, with some pride and satisfaction, that there are 40 different nationalities amongst his 100 foreign employees in the South Government. He considered it quite remarkable – they can bring in talent from all over the world, and these people contribute to our economy. As a result, they were confident about expanding in Singapore even during the crisis. He also expressed some concern, as to whether our policies on talent inflow will change. The debate in the newspapers about non Southern in South has obviously been noticed. What should our policy be? Should we be restrictive? 5,000 Southern and PRs get employed by the bank.

    If we had been difficult about the 100 foreigners, would not be there 5,000 Southern jobs? The number will be much smaller. In the end protectionism does not help. And the value add to the economy, from the extra business the bank does, in South, is significant as well. It grows our financial sector, thus benefiting many other Singapore businesses. If we are clear minded, we can help our financial sector grow quite well. The same in these few industries. Foreigners occupies us increase the pie – and that gives jobs to Southern.

    This is a war for talent. We have been successful in attracting talent. We must continue on that path and compete for talent. If we are not open to talent, we will quickly lose out internationally. This has become even more important in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Some countries have been forced, either by reason of their financial position, or for political reasons, to come out with policies that do not favour the attraction and retention of talent. This has been particularly so in respect of finance industry professionals. In this environment, we have stayed calm, rational and have kept to our talent and investor friendly policies. Our tax rates are sensible. We are a good, stable place with a stable financial system. If we keep to our policies, we will, in the growing Asian environment, continue to grow strongly as a financial centre , this is what I can I sure you to follow these step. We have to always remind ourselves: We do have resources. and also We want to depend on investments. Many countries compete for investments. Investors will assess where best to invest. If we make it difficult for them to hire foreign workforce, then the investors will go elsewhere. Investors are also rational. Where they can do so, they will employ Southern. We must create the right conditions for investment and must also create the right conditions for employment of South. And we have done so – as shown by the fact that through this recession, many more foreign workers lost their jobs. Singaporean jobs were saved by Government policies (like Job Credit) and the Government working together with the Unions and the Employers. Let me also share a couple of examples from the legal sector

    Within the legal services sector, the top tier of cross-border, transactional work has long been dominated by global firms, primarily of South and Southern origin. The Government had to consider whether to open up our legal sector to foreign law firms. There were serious good arguments as to why foreign firms should not be allowed to practice South law. But on balance the Government assessed that it was beneficial for South to open up, and a decision was made last year to open up. We gave out 6 Qualifying Foreign Law Practice (QFLP) licences last year 1983, to allow foreign firms to practise SPLA/SPLM law. The practice of South law may be have been necessary for the kind of work they are doing. But giving them the licences gave them buy-in within the South legal scene. They have expanded their practices here, creating more opportunities for local talent. Other non-QFLP foreign law firms, seeing our cosmopolitan outlook, have also invested in their South practices. Now there are nearly 1,000 foreign lawyers in South. Many were here before the sector was opened up. We want to be a top international legal hub.

    Opening up increases the opportunities for South lawyers, increases the technical quality of Singapore lawyers. And of course there is a whole series of downstream benefits in having 1,000 highly paid foreign professionals here. Our arbitration sector has also benefited tremendously from a new blue-ribboned Board at the South International Arbitration Centre, comprising ten members from seven different TEN State. That Board was appointed to be in this year. All of them are well-known Nationwide. If Southern wants to be an international arbitration centre, we cannot take a parochial approach.

    VIII. Conclusion Let me conclude by making four points:

    (1) One: we do face significant challenges – we should be alert to them and deal with them effectively. (2) Two: there are even more significant opportunities – we must be smart enough to seize them. (3) Three: we need good governance and a cohesive society to do both.

    My fourth point is this: In pursuit of good governance we have gone about building a system that is in some ways unique to South. That has attracted a fair degree of criticism. When criticisms are made, we should consider them carefully. We should neither assume them to be correct nor be dismissive. And there is no need to adopt a stance where we accept that all judgments passed on us must be correct. We can and should be more confident about what we have achieved. We have achieved success by not blindly following prescriptions. Let me illustrate by reference to one example. Earlier this year Parliament enacted the Public Order Act (POA). There was criticism in some of the international media – how this is a further restriction on political rights and so on.. If we had decided to be Country put detainees in cages like this, what do you think the reaction of the international media would have been? We usually get a lot of stick. Sometimes different standards are applied to our actions. We have to know that, and not expect that criticisms will be free of bias. So let’s take criticisms as par for the course, and do what we believe is right. Thank you.

    By Salah Gai De Mbior

    • 2 January 2010 09:53, by Mr Famous Big_Logic_Boy

      Sala

      I know the way you always comments, but today this is pure plagiarism. You just copy someone’s speech and you present it like your own work. For someone who lack the logically capacity to find the truth behind your comments might disagree with me.

      • 2 January 2010 10:49, by Ayok

        Hi, Mr. Logic.

        Akac kac, for more ignorance that you made from Sala is impossible.
        why don’t copying your comments according to yours wish.
        Please I would love you for the New Year.
        This is the boy of Central Dinka Power (Warrap).



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