An analysis of the ruling National Congress Party dirty tricks to shoot down the Comprehensive Peace Agreement
By Jervasio O. Okot*
June 8, 2006 — The civil war began in the Sudan in August 1955 and was led by ‘Anya nya’ reactionary Forces just a year before a disputed independent was attained in January 1956. This civil war lasted for 17 years but after a brief period of relative peace; another liberation struggle re-emerged in May 1983 and waged by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) for two decades. Since then, there has been a feeling that successive regimes in Khartoum have not been so fair to non-Arabs and embarked in the policy of extermination of the marginalized people in the Sudan. Those who bore the bran of the war such as arrest and torture say that the climax of the suffering reached it peak when a military junta called National Islamic Front (NIF) of General Omar el Bashir toppled civilian elected government of the then Prime Minster Sediq el Mahdi in 1989. The critics assert that although NIF regime camouflaged itself as a peace maker when it took over power in a military coup from Prime Minister Sediq el Mahdi, it later turned to be an escalator and a monger of war in the country. Over the years, there have been series of peace initiatives held in Nairobi Kenya, Abuja Nigeria, Addis Ababa Ethiopia and in many other countries but none produced tangible results; and the war took its height. In all these background of wars, the country experienced one of the worse catastrophes on earth where generations over generations had bleak idea of what the term of ‘peace’ meant for them. This became illusive because some of these generation were born in war, grew up in war and others died in war without seeing the downing of peace.
This unfortunate situation brought an outcry for peace from all corners of Sudan and Diaspora as mayhem ruined the country and affected social, political and economic set up of the people. The country has been devastated and claimed a lot of lives, property destroyed and unspecified number of people displaced from their ancestral localities and scattered all over the neighboring countries and beyond. Some researchers however conclude that every eight persons gathered around the world; one of them must be a Sudanese refugee. This is an indicator of the scenario of pains that the Sudanese went through during the advent of war. The suffering of women and children generated concern and sympathy from the International Community as such they mounted pressure for the parties at war to come to terms and find a comprehensive solution to this turmoil. In respect to this pressure, peace was negotiated in Nairobi Kenya for three years under the auspices of Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD’s) member countries. The IGAD member countries comprised of Kenya, Uganda, Eritrea, Ehtiopia, and Djibouti. The late Dr. John Garang de Mabior, SPLM Chairman and Commander-in -Chief of SPLA and the Sudan Vice President Ustaz Ali Osman Taha exhausted much of their time and energies in the negotiating table held in a Kenyan town of Naivasha. The SPLM Chairman represented the movement that advocate for the transformation of Sudan into a new basis and Ustaz Ali Osman Taha for the vision of the National Congress Party (NCP).
Throughout the negotiation in Machakos and Naivasha, there were mountains huddles, which prolonged the realization of peace in the Sudan. These huddles were all found in all the protocols. Thus; Machakos protocol that granted self-determination to the people of southern Sudan, Security Arrangement that allowed Sudan to have separate Armies; which comprised of SPLA and SAF for the six year interim period, Power Sharing that allows SPLM to take part in governance and participate in the status qua of the Sudan, Wealth Sharing that granted the sharing of oil revenue on equal basis and the protocols of the three transitional areas of Abyei, Southern Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains that granted popular consultation for these areas and the implementation modality protocol that became an accelerator of all the protocols. In all these protocols, none was sailed smoothly without meeting a snag and non-was either surmounted without deep reflections from all the negotiating chiefs. The verdicts given to these protocols by both SPLM and NCP had obvious connection to secrete political games of each party who became major partners of peace. In fact, SPLM probably did not know exactly an insight and reason why NCP succumbed to signing the protocols when it had been intransigent in many peace talks and even NCP did not know why SPLM accepted to sign this document when it had also been disagreeing with NCP in several rounds of peace talks. It’s widely believed that the SPLM accepted to sign the protocols with political meaning attached to it so as it pushes its objective through non violence approach and many asserted that the NCP say ‘Yes’ in a flattering manner to appease the international community who had labeled Sudan Government (GOS) as a regional threat for sponsoring ‘terrorism’ and of late committing ‘genocide’ in Darfur.
Some Human Rights activists and Civil Societies organizations had and still labeled the NIF which has transformed itself to a political party; from the past activities and claimed that the regime is a war monger which enjoys in creating chaotic situations inside Sudan and with its neighbors. This claim has been supported with some historical and situational facts which back analysts to put judgment across. In 1995 during an OAU summit held in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt was nearly assassinated by a Sudanese fundamentalist who was believed to be backed by the National Islamic Front regime in Khartoum. In 1998, Sudanese of Arab origins participated in the simultaneous bombings of American Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam and some have also been accused of sponsoring armed struggles to topple some neighboring countries such as; Kampala, N’Djamena, and Asmara just to mention a few. With these acquisitions, Khartoum often denies this as ‘baseless’.
On January 9th 2005, a change in the history of Sudan was witnessed worldwide at ‘Nyayo’ National Stadium in Nairobi where all the international bodies and dignitaries; ranging from the least nation to the giant one gave their verdicts to the signing ceremony. This was none other than an occasion of the signing of the long awaited Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). This ceremony was marred with jubilations, ululations and dances in disbelieves. Some people were in disbelieve for they could not trust the stand of the National Islamic Front government terming it a ‘Political and Peace Maneuvers’ aimed to restore international glory for their human rights dirty records. The wavering people were saying ‘lets see, maybe the future will give us a better window of this peace’. The critical minded people were concern on the security of the late Dr. John Garang de Mabior because of the antagonism that went for long with the successive regimes in Khartoum including NIF. At the course of this antagonism, SPLM/A under the command of Late Garang did not either spare any force dispatched by General Omar el Bashir to annihilate and exterminate the marginalized who were defending their rights as a people. The young brother of El Bashir who was a professional medical doctor was among those crusading for the total destruction of the marginalized; but due to this; he met his death in a confrontation with the SPLA forces on Yei-Juba road. The killing aroused El Bashir to grow furious and uttered offensive words for the head of Garang and I quote, “I will teach Garang a lesson that he will not forget”. General Omar el Bashir and his National Congress Party kept on dispatching the so called Holy War Fighters to the South and other Marginalized areas and many of his commanders and fighters in Kapoeta, Torit, and other frontlines were said to have been sent to heaven by the SPLA bullets. In tern, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) also killed Garang men under General Omar el Bashir’s command and this irked and troubled Garang and his high command. In this, one will logically analysis and assert that the hearts of the two parties who signed the CPA as is known for, had not been cleansed from all the pains and sorrows that they went through. The two had ‘forgiven’ each other but deep their hearts, they did not ‘forget’ all the tribulations committed. The NCP advocated for the total destruction of the SPLM/A through military option but this did not auger well. Perhaps, this is one of the reasons why they resorted to peace agreement, which in ‘NCP statue book’ could be out of vacuum but meant to untangle the pressure mounted on them for the involvement in the human rights abuses. These dirty records include; intimidation of non-Arabs in the Sudan through fierce and random bombardments of the villages; destruction and turning of churches to government and Islamic centers, sponsoring rebellions for other countries to advance their Islamic policy across borders, usage of toxic materials to innocent people, rape, miming, killing and enslaving the marginalized among many alarming issues.
The assertion of the foreseers of Garang security risk proved right when he (Garang) was sworn in and in twenty-one days in office as First Vice President of the Government of National Unity (GoNU) and President of the Government of South Sudan (GOSS), died in a Plane crash while traveling to his residence at New Site in South Sudan from Uganda where he was for an official visits. His death raised serious questions to a cross-section of the marginalized people in the Sudan and brought widespread demonstrations and riots in all major towns in the Sudan. The conclusion was drawn that the death of the Chairman as he was popularly known for, was part and parcel of NCP ploy to kill the CPA through Garang who was one of the architects in the negotiation.
Following this fatal accident that occurred on 30th July 2005 involving the Executive Mi-172 Helicopter which claimed the life of Dr. John Garang and all the other twelve persons on board, the President of Sudan appointed the National Investigation Commission of Sudan chaired by the former Vice President, Abel Alier and the President of Uganda appointed the Commission of enquiry chaired by Hon. John M. Nasasira, Minister of Works, Housing and Communications. The two Commissions met on the 18th August 2005 in Kampala, Uganda and agreed to have full co-operation in the investigation and formed a Joint Sudan-Uganda Accident Investigation Commission to establish the probable cause of the accident of flight AF 605. Recently, the report was released blaming error to pilot and Sudan passed it without any query but Uganda critically looked at it and made some amendments which became part of annex in the report and this brought some differences in the two countries. There are some facts that Uganda wants to reason out about some points in the report and Sudan is opposing it and want the report to be adopted without any objection to it. According to Daily Monitor, the Ugandan team that investigated Sudanese First Vice president helicopter crash will conduct “internal inquiries” into why the flight crew did not act more in line with procedure after it was concluded that the crash was caused by a flight captain’s error. Though the Commission could not tell the press conference what direction those investigations would take, Nasasira, while responding to a reporter’s question, hinted that the continuing probe may investigate the psychological profiles and behavioral patterns of the flight crew. Presidnet Yoweri Museveni’s personal pilot, Col. Peter Nyakairu, who was known to be a highly trained and experienced pilot, manned the executive Mi 172 helicopter, in which Garang and 12 others were killed on July 30, 2005. Nyakairu was aided by the co-pilot, Col. Paul Kiyimba; the officer in charge of the helicopter, Lt. John Munanura; and the flight engineer, Maj. Patrick Kiggundu.
One year on after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and five months after the death of what people refer to as the ‘King of Peace’ on July 30th 2005, a little has been achieved. Maybe, the achievement is mainly on the formation of the Government of National Unity (GoNU), Government of South Sudan (GOSS), State Government and the enactment of all the constitutions. This could be treated as achievements but the implementation becomes somehow tricky, fishy and complicated to the extent that political games are inter-mingled in it to frustrate the implementation of the sweet parts of the CPA. It’s an obvious conclusion that the NCP is playing a ‘jump and push policy’ with the SPLM in the implementation of the agreement aimed at shooting down the CPA. The implementation does not give a logical satisfaction to the contents of the document signed before the eyes of the international body that thumbed up their fingers in approval of the CPA. This political game does not need much reflection because it’s obvious and does not require one to go to school to understand its connotations. It’s obvious because NCP blindfolds people at broad daylight. They have been accused of being so smart in turning the ‘world like a ball’ in order to buy time for a total dishonor of the CPA. The CPA was the culmination of the more than two-and-a-half year of negotiations to end Sudan’s 21-year civil war. According to the report released by the International Crisis Group (ICG), the implementation of the agreement has been an uphill battle, with the NCP exploiting the gaps within the CPA and the weaknesses of the SPLM to delay and frustrate the process.
The sentiment expressed by the ICG has been echoed by the voices of reason who believe that NCP does embrace peace wholeheartedly but sarcastically. They say that the NCP fear the world’s most powerful President who played a significant role in mounting pressure that culminated to them backing down for peace. But some Sudanese who know the NCP better say, indeed they are buying time to allow the second term of George W. Bush expires so that they can openly manipulate the content of the CPA and even kill it and resort to another military maneuvers. Because of this, a cross section of peace loving Sudanese have expressed concern to the people of America to give ‘George W. Bush a third term’ to free Sudan from the NCP tricks of continues marginalization. This sounds a hoax but some are speaking from the bottom of their hearts because they have learnt and unveiled some secrete documents of the NCP that perpetrate for the building of Islamic Fundamentalists Empire in Sudan and across borders.
There are already some tricks and political games that the world must not be kept aloof. These tricks are both economic and political. It’s rather fundamental to expose some of these tricks for a better understanding of what NCP is all about so that it allows an appropriate action to be applied with ultimate justification of the problems. This will somehow salvage the staled implementation of the CPA. In the CPA, the SAF forces and SPLA soldiers are supposed to honor the movement of troops northwards and southwards respectively. To the contrary, this is not happening as expected. Instead, the SAF is consolidating their positions in the south, especially around major towns of Juba, Malakal, and Wau. For instance, when one pays a visit to Juba, the seat of GOSS, one wonders why SAF still massing-up troops on the outskirts of Juba town. It has been reported that a big contingent of soldiers of SAF are in ‘Bilinyang’ east of River Nile. There is also another big contingent of SAF in Lafon and the surrounding of Juba town. The present of these soldiers in such a big number is dangerous to the status of peace and security of the people in the south. The time for the movement of troops as per what had been stipulated on the CPA is about to elapse. The big question is what is the relevant authority in the government of southern Sudan doing on the movement of these troops who are creating a mood of war to the civil population in villages? It’s believed that these military outstations are used for executing and raiding of villages on the periphery of the towns under the pretext of safeguarding the villages. This has been proved beyond reasonable doubt when some group of SAF on January this year camouflaged and terrorized the residence of ‘Gumbo’, a residential area east of River Nile. Some of the SPLA soldiers took personal stand and laid an ambush and managed to catch a number of these soldiers who posed themselves as gangsters. They confessed they were SAF who were commissioned by their senior officers to frequently destabilize the inhabitants’ in order to create an impression that the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) was raiding the people of Gumbo. They said this had been going on for quite a long time immediately after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement on January 9th 2005 in Nairobi, Kenya. Evidence indicates that one of the significant policies of the NCP is to destabilize and create insecurity in the SPLM administrative areas so that it makes things difficult for SPLM to discharge their duty in the south and other marginalized areas commonly known in the CPA as transitional areas. These areas include, Nuba Mountains, Abyei and Southern Blue Nile. However, the spokesman of the SAF Brigadier Osman M. al-Aghbash affirmed that Armed Forces were committed towards implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) with regard to the security Arrangements. Speaking at the regular Press Forum of the official SUNA, Brigadier Al-Aghbash said the Armed Forces decreased the number of its troops in the South, explaining that there were some 46403 soldiers in the South upon the signing of the CPA and that 16699 soldiers out of them were withdrawn, saying that 16704 others will be withdrawn by the 9th of July 2007 to leave about 13000 soldiers represting the government’s share in the joint forces. The Brigadier said that the Armed Forces have nothing to do with the problems facing the implementation of the CPA, pointing out that the CPA stipulated the withdrawal of the troops of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement from eastern Sudan and Hamshkoreib area, a matter which has not yet happened. But in January this year, the former rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) said 3.000 Sudanese army troops and four tanks rolled into the Hameshkoreb province on Wednesday and set up camp just 200 meters from their trenches, threatening to take over SPLM positions. Elias Waya Nyipuocs, acting SPLM military spokesman said that there was a joint team that was heading with United Nations to eastern Sudan to verify the claim in Hameshkoreb. Elias said, if the problem was not resolved it could damage the peace deal and will compel people to go back to war. Under the southern peace deal, signed on January 9th 2005, the SPLM were supposed to redeploy their forces in the east back to the south withing a year. It has been reported that the SPLM delayed this due to logistical reasons. But the top UN envoy in Sudan, Jan Pronk, said the SPLM’s slow redeployment was a major problem for the peace deal.
It has been disclosed that the NCP is tirelessly planning day and night to infiltrate all the State Governments in the New Sudan with an aim of planting NCP strong personalities from these areas to implement the secret document and dirty trick of this Islamic party. In Damazin, a document was unveiled in a room that was intended to be occupied by NCP loyalist but to the contrary an SPLA die hard happened to be allocated the same room and found this booklet written in Arabic, stating a clear policy of NCP to frustrate SPLM and rule Sudan for the next half a decade. This is an aggressive document intended to sabotage the implementation of the CPA and tow Sudan in a full swing to the ‘Arab League’. In the recent Arab League summit held in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, President Omar el Bashir clearly confirmed this when he said there ‘is no Africa without the involvement of Arab League’. This is an obvious conclusion and evidence of NCP policy whose influence comes beyond Africa’s waters and walls. The NCP is working hard in order to change the image of Sudan and build an Islamic Empire through the revenue collected from the South. There is a serious exploitation of oil revenue in the South by the NCP for political and religious maneuver to kill the CPA and take Sudan back to Stone Age era of oppression and discrimination. The Sudan monetary currency ‘Dinnar’ is floating around for buying and confusing people while the Wealth Sharing revenue is being twisted and hardly released to the GOSS. This is an ‘Economic Sabotage’ to frustrate the SPLM administration in the South and the transitional areas. The NCP is training and recruiting people in full gear and labeled and installed all the State Government with ‘point men’ to work in cahoots with them to implement the building of Islamic Empire in the Sudan.
In Eastern State, some personalities have been spotted and are already enjoying ‘Dinnar’ from the NCP treasury. Paul Longok, a Didinga from Budi County is an NCP point man in Didinga Hills. His primary objective is to influence the community to support Islamic policy of NCP in exchange to money and a few dates and ‘Tahania’. And, others will go beyond changing their names and allow themselves being stamped in some private parts as a sign of allegiant to fundamentalism.
Akudo is a Toposa point man planted to influence the people of Toposa so that they disassociate themselves from supporting the SPLM party.
Merisia, a Minister of Social Affairs in Eastern State is to perpetrate the policy of NCP in Boya land.
Mohammed Oting, a Lotuko and some key personalities who were accused by the UN monitoring of communicating with insurgents to create havoc in the area.
Mr. Akudo has been seen distributing money in the Toposa villages for them to change side and leave the support for SPLM for NCP but a woman militia humiliated him. She blankly told Akudo to wait a bit and give the motives of distributing this cash to them. “What is this money for?” and Akudo replied her that the money was a gift from El Bashir for them to support their party. The woman retorted that “I don’t want to receive this money and I remain an SPLA die hard and no single cent will change my heart and support for SPLM”, and she immediately left the scene. Akudo then asked the group if they were sharing the same sentiment and feelings and everybody shouted in support of the woman. “We are SPLA and no one will deter us from it and we are tired of this game of intimidation, no one will cheat our people again after so much blood shed has been poured for the freedom of our country”. Akudo’s morale came low and returned a disappointed agent of NCP. The militia he commands are said to be numbered to 300 men but this number shrinking because the entire Toposa humiliate them as traitors and opportunistic seekers without clear direction.
In the recent weeks, Merisia, had held meetings with Hon Peter Longole, SPLM strongman in the Boya land on why he (Merisia) confuses the stand of the Boyas to support a wrong party of marginalization that destroys the status qua of the people. But Merisia argued it out that ‘where do you think I will get my food if I don’t implement the NCP policy which I was mandated to do for our people. With what Merisia is stating here indicates that the support given to the NCP by those point men is mainly for personal interest and greed where politicians want to score their political survival.
Recently, NCP witch hunted for military people who served as SPLA soldiers to execute military objective of creating havoc in the respective areas and secretly aided by the NCP. Because of the economic frustration created by the NCP to make things difficult for SPLM to implement governmental obligations they have managed to shop some frustrated SPLA soldiers like Peter Lorot. He was picked by NCP at darkness from Chukudum area and flown to Khartoum and promoted a senior officer in the rank and file of NCP. He was brought back to organize his soldiers so that NCP will include them on pay sheet and diligently serve the interest of NCP in the area. This is another way of preparing people to destabilize the entire international borders for their policy to be achieved. They have created Janjaweed militia in Darfur Western Sudan to indirectly implement their policy along Chad-Sudan borders. The Janjaweed are now spread all over the borders raping and killing the African race. The Janjaweed are now linked with Ambororo whom they are aiding on Central Africa Republic and the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) is reallocated to shield Congo-Uganda borders and the frustrated SPLA soldiers along Kenya-Uganda borders.
In the Central State, Governor Clement Wani Konga is planted to work with others to influence the Bari and the Mundaris. He has just been elevated as Chairman of NCP in the South. He plays a significant role in drumming up support for NCP through some local politicians from the South. Most of these politicians have been given huge money to acquire property in Khartoum and use some for influencing people to give allegiants to NCP.
In Jonglei State, Bor town and incident happened on December 27, 2005 and January 2006, there was a serious ploy by the militias of the government to kill the governor who is an SPLM. There was also an incident that happened when a soldier from SAF was told by the administration to move to the barracks after having misbehaved in the market causing havoc to the civil population. This turned sour when this soldier turned his bullet and killed and SPLA soldier. On January 2006, NCP loyalist was found beating a woman who was innocently receiving food aid. The report reached SPLA who rushed to quell the situation and this NCP soldier tuned his gun and shot two SPLA officers. This situation created continues friction among the SPLA and the SAF.
On the other hand, the Nuer was reported refusing to be disarmed by the SPLA because Gordon Kong who is NCP militia influenced them that the disarmament was meant to annihilate all the Nuers after guns were removed. He alleged that the Dinkas were plotting to disarmed the Nuers and use their excessive force to annihilate the Nuer. This sentiment influenced the Nuer who had some rooted problems with their neighbors; the Dinkas. But to the contrary, it was some Nuers who refused to be disarmed in the area because the Dinkas, Shilluks and the rest accepted the policy of disarmament.
In Wau, the SPLA battalions of Joint Integrated Unit (JIU) clashed among themselves when salaries were given to one battalion and the other one was told to be given later. This generated friction and the battalion which did not receive the money was influenced by the outsider to go on rampage. The finger was also pointed to the NCP dirty economic trick to friction the SPLA soldiers so that the forces are divided. They are accused of trying to create mutiny within SPLA barracks.
The Spokesman of the Sudan Armed Forces, Brigadier Osman M.Al-Aghbash has categorically denied support to the Uganda’s rebel Lord Resistance Army (LRA), saying these claim were refuted by the geiographical reality and all its operations occur at area where the Armed Forces were not present and that the LRA has moved its operations to Western Equatoria and the border strip with Congo. He said, the LRA was an enemy which has been pursued by the Armed Forces in order to drive it out of the area but its nature prolonged its presence in the south.
This is an open plan to destabilize the region so that the NCP achieved its long-term plans. The Governor of Eastern Equatoria State, Alesio Ojetuk Emor, received complements from south Sudanese for his tough stand on the betrayers of the cause of the people of the State. To shun this dirty trick by NCP and its cahoots, SPLM party must re-organize itself and stop carrying the CPA in a naked form because NCP has already striped its beautiful dress. The party Secretary General Pagan Amum must campaign vigorously to popularize SPLM to the people who can be easily taken by the wave of NCP proxy policy. The party should not allow NCP to overshadow it through its open policies and activities. In my opinion, SPLM must call for party election to strengthen the party or else reestablish the defunct leadership council in order to speak for SPLM on matters of party building. The SPLM must work very hard to re-emerge the “New Sudan” policy to all the marginalize Sudanese. Unless SPLM is sensitive to NCP dirty tricks then peace can be salvaged but otherwise it seems that there is no hope for the future of the implementation of the CPA.
The Author is a Sudanese Journalist working as Civic Education and Communication officer of Relief Organization of Fazugli (ROOF). He is also Managing Editor of the Kakar Newspaper for Blue Nile State. The view express here is personal and does not reflect the view of ROOF. Mr. Okot can be reached on the following contact address: Cell Phone: +254 (0) 721454527, Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org