SPEECH BY DR JOHN GARANG DE MABIOR: Nairobi Declaration, 2004

Posted: July 21, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Speeches
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(JUNE 5TH 2004)

The Genius of Dr. John Garang: The Essential Writings and Speeches of the Late SPLM/A's Leader, Dr. John Garang De Mabioor (Volume 1)

The Genius of Dr. John Garang: The Essential Writings and Speeches of the Late SPLM/A’s Leader, Dr. John Garang De Mabioor (Volume 1) ON AMAZON.COM

H.E. Excellency, President Mwai Kibaki, President of the Republic of Kenya and
First Lady Lucy Kibaki;
H.E. Hilde Johnson, Minister for International Cooperation of the Kingdom of
Norway and IPF Co-Chair;
H.E. The Ambassador of the United States and Representing Senator Danforth;
H.E. Ahmed Mahar, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Egypt;
H.E. Dr. Amra Musa, Secretary General of the Arab League;
H.E. Ambassador M. Sahnoun, Representative of the U.N. Secretary General, Kofi
H.E. Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe, A.U. Representative;
H.E. The Ambassador of Italy and IPF Co-Chair;
H.E. The Ambassador Alan Goulti, Special Envoy of Prime Minister Tony Blair;
Your Excellencies, Honorable Ministers of the Republic of Kenya and those from
the IGAD and East African Region,
Your Excellencies, Ambassadors and High Commissioners,

Distinguished guests and Members of the Press,
My Fellow countrymen and women who have come to witness this occasion,
Your Excellency President Kibaki, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me to make few remarks on this memorable day and in presence of such
an august gathering. The document we have just signed with Ustaz Ali Osman
Taha, the First Vice President of Sudan, represents a solemn declaration on our
part that war in Sudan is truly coming to an end. And I would say with
confidence that the six protocols enumerated in this declaration shall, if carried
out honestly, diligently and with unfailing political will, regenerate the Sudan and
settle its fate as a country voluntarily united in justice, honour and dignity for all
its citizens and for the first time since independence. The agreement will change
Sudan forever! Sudan cannot and will never be the same again as this peace
agreement will engulf the country in democratic and fundamental transformation
instead of being engulfed in war as it has always been up to the present.
Sudan’s fratricidal wars, you all know, have been going on for 38 years of our
forty eight years of independence since 01/01/1956. At certain points of time it
appeared as if the whole country – not only North and South, but also East and
West – was about to be engulfed in a bottomless pit of conflictual hatred. I must
at this point tell you, that nobody abhors war more than those who lived through
its horrors, ordeals, pains and tribulations. The civil war in Sudan not only
ravaged the resources of the country and sapped national strength they, if
continued wantonly, would have ended up impoverishing the nation’s soul and
causing a total national moral collapse and final disintegration of the country. All
these wars will now be behind us as a new era of peace is about to dawn in a
New Sudanese political dispensation.
Indeed, what makes this peace welcome is that it came as a result of a hurting
stalemate which made both sides realize that a win-win peace is attainable and
that the cost of the alternative of peace is far less than that of continuation of
the war. Peace became possible because both parties realized that the country
was dissipating, that the state seemed to be withering away without undergoing
the famous Marxian transformation and that the “Old Sudan” we have known
was heading blindly into an abyss of irreversible fragmentation.
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen:
The six protocols, for those who had the opportunity to read them, reflect an
intricate web of governmental institutions and mind-boggling calculus of power
sharing, wealth sharing and security arrangements during the Interim Period.
This intricacy is a function of the intricate and complex Sudanese situation. But
behind the architecture of power and the calculus of wealth peace has an inner
meaning. So what does peace mean to us in the SPLM? What does it mean to

me personally not as a leader but as a brother, an uncle, a father and a child of
God? There are many – here and elsewhere – who think that peace is about job
allocation, is about apportionment of positions of authority, is about lining
pockets through misuse or abuse of public assets, or is about lording it over
others. Those who thus think must be reading from a different script than mine.
We have more supreme goals and loftier ideals and alternatives. My script reads
that peace is what people think and believe peace should hold for them. Peace
to my mind and in the depth of my soul is a promise of better living to the
young, the middle aged and the aged, to each individual, to the unemployed and
the destitute, to the sick and the unlettered, all over Sudan. It is also a promise
to the men and women of Southern Sudan, the Nuba Mountains, Southern Blue
Nile, Abyei, Eastern Sudan and other marginalized areas of Sudan who suffered
in dignified silence the loss of their dear ones in the war of liberation or who felt
and still do feel a sense of helplessness and hopelessness, a promise that we
shall never betray the cause for which those martyrs have made the ultimate
sacrifice. And theirs is a cause for better and more honourable living. It is also a
promise to martyrs and to those who lost their dear ones on the other side, a
promise that just and honorable peace shall heal all the wounds that we have
inflicted on ourselves on both sides.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I cannot up to now erase the image indelibly marked in my mind: the spectacle
of the young boys and girls from Kakuma Refugee Camp who sang praises to
peace before me as part of the celebrations by our Kenya-based community of
that occasion when I briefed the Sudanese community in Kenya at the Kenyatta
International Conference Centre here in Nairobi last Saturday on May 31st 2004.
Peace to me is what peace meant to those youngsters as it was reflected on
their glittering eyes and expressed in their words that pierced the hearts. This is
the peace for the achievement of which I shall employ all my wit, will and energy
and for which we have all sacrificed for the last 21 years.
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen:
Please give me leave to briefly illustrate to you the contours of this promise and
the vision that guides it. At the national level we shall articulate a development
strategy that shall:-
1. Address the root causes that foster recurrent civil wars, so that these wars
end in peaceful and just resolutions of conflicts all over our country
including Darfur and Eastern Sudan.
2. It is a strategy and vision that recognizes the diversity of Sudan as a
resource for social and political transformation and development and thus

a source of strength rather than of division, conflict and bloody
generational wars.
3. It is a strategy and vision that builds confidence and trust among all
people of Sudan and at all levels of governance, and combat poverty and
the sense of marginalization and exclusion in all regions of Sudan.
4. It is a strategy and vision that shall meet the Millennium Development
Goals through development plans articulated and owned by us, and
enhance economic growth through rural development and transformation
of traditional agriculture that is integrated with agro-industries.
5. It is a strategy and vision that shall effectively deliver social services
through devolution and decentralization of power and empowerment of
6. And finally, it is a strategy and vision that shall give the unity of Sudan a
chance during the Interim Period by making it attractive, while at the end
of that period giving the people of Southern Sudan and Abyei the option
and choice between session (i.e., an independent Southern Sudan) or a
new Sudanese unity in which we are equal stakeholders and which New
Sudan we shall put in place during the Interim Period; a strategy and
vision which also affords the people of the Nuba Mountains and Southern
Blue Nile viable options for determining their destiny through the exercise
of the democratic right of “popular consultation” through their
democratically elected parliaments.
Within the South and the war-affected regions, the real test in the post-conflict
phase is how to devote our efforts to address the centrifugal forces that have
fostered conflict. This is one of the primary commitments that we have set for
ourselves during the liberation struggle and which we shall relentlessly pursue
during the Interim Period and beyond.
However, on the threshold of peace, the people of the Sudan, particularly the
war-affected communities, face formidable social and economic problems and
also tremendous opportunities. The major problems that require extensive
attention fall in the areas of physical infrastructure, health, education and water.
For example in the area of physical infrastructure, there has never been any
tarmac road in Southern Sudan since creation, an area the size of Kenya,
Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi put together, while in the area of education, the
net enrolment rate in primary schools is only 20% with about 80% of those
having no benches to sit on and only 7% of the teachers are trained. Besides, at
least three out of every four adults are illiterate and one of every ten female
adults is literate. In the field of health, the level of access to an improved water
source is only 27% and there is only one medical doctor for every 100,000

persons. Moreover, the prevalence of HIV among male adults is 2.6% and 3.1%
among female adults, while it is more than 5% among Sudanese refugees in the
neighbouring countries, and as refugees return home one of the imports shall be
HIV. Those are frightening statistics that must inform our priorities.
Those, ladies and gentlemen, are the challenges that shall be met by both the
Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) and the National Government. As
regards the GOSS, it is our intention to devolve power to the maximum so that
decisions shall be taken at the lowest possible level of governance. We have not
wrested power from a hegemonizing national centre to allocate it to another
centre that is based on the political elites of the South. Power shall be exercised
by the states and indeed by local governments within the states. Armed with the
necessary powers and equipped with the needed resources, this style of
governance shall ensure a more efficient delivery system of development and
services. The principle of decentralization of power is a time-honored principle
since it responds to local social and economic situations, not least amongst which
is the neutralization of the centrifugal forces to which I have just alluded and
which are generally the consequence of failure by Central Authority to address
local problems and concerns. Such local problems and concerns cannot be
effectively addressed from the Centre since such Authorities are far away from
the people; they can only be effectively addressed by empowered local
authorities that have both the necessary power of decision making and the
necessary resources to implement such decisions. In the words of Alexander
Hamilton: “There are certain social principles in human nature from which we
may draw the most solid conclusions with respect to the conduct of individuals
and communities. “We love our families more than our neighbours; we love our
neighbours more than our countrymen in general.” “The human affections”,
Hamilton says “like the solar heat, lose their intensity as they depart from the
centre and become languid in proportion to the expansion of the circle on which
they act.” This is the vision that, has guided one of the foremost proponents of
government decentralization. As you can see the principle of decentralization is
common sense, but unfortunately common sense is not common.
As regards our role at the national level, the only way for us to move forward is
through full inclusiveness. While the SPLM and the National Congress Party
(NCP) shall be the major partners in the initial interim government of national
unity, our understanding of partnership is well-rooted in inclusiveness which
means bringing on board all political forces in the Sudan, chief among them the
political parties under the umbrella of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
To that end we have proposed a social contract, based on national consensus,
that shall be faithful to the peace agreement and that shall clearly define
parameters of good governance and bench marks and targets for social and
economic development during the interim period. It shall also delineate ethical
codes of conduct for all political players. We, together, shall call upon all parties
to discuss this social contract and national consensus with a view to adhering to

it. Neither we in the SPLM, nor the National Congress Party own the Sudan or
have a monopoly over its governance. So, without losing sight of the objective
realities that place us at the helm of governance today, we shall always be
conscious of the existence of others. At the same time, we wish to challenge the
others to face the realities of good governance, development, nation-building
and national regeneration. We should also be reminded that politics is not only
about power, but first and foremost about people, their concerns and livelihoods.
We believe also that we can not talk about peace and development in the Sudan
while some regions in Sudan are bleeding with civil strife. Darfur is a case in
point and the situation in that region is a classical case of marginalization and
exclusion. The parties must denounce and avoid the use of military force in
Darfur or any other part of our country for no amount of military force shall be
enough to address such problems, as we have seen in the case of the South.
Only through political dialogue can the problem in Darfur be resolved. Indeed
this is the meaning of the preamble to the declaration which we have signed
today that the Parties: “reiterate their determination to continue resolving the
root causes of conflict and violence in Sudan which inflict hardship and suffering
on the people and seriously hamper the prospects for economic development
and the attainment of social justice in Sudan”.
The protocols and agreements we concluded, if they are faithfully implemented,
have the possibility to provide a basis for the resolution of conflict in other
regions of Sudan, particularly Darfur and Eastern Sudan. Indeed they provide a
model of resolving problems emanating from marginalization and exclusion in all
of rural Sudan. In this connection, I want parenthetically to say something
important about implementation of these protocols. I must forewarn of the
difficulties we shall face in the implementation of the peace agreement. As I
alluded to before, we are reaching this peace agreement because both parties to
the conflict are convinced that the alternative of peaceful resolution of the
conflict is far better than continuation of the war. Similarly, for the parties to
faithfully implement the peace agreement, the price of non-implementation must
be made much higher than the price of implementation – So there must be
found ways of making the price of not implementing the peace agreement
prohibitively much higher than the price of implementing it, and that way both
sides will implement the peace agreement faithfully.
Finally, let me pay tribute and congratulate Ustaz Ali Osman Taha, and perhaps
myself, and certainly the two delegations of the SPLM and GOS, and of course
General Sumbeiywo and the IGAD envoys and facilitators for leading the Sudan
peace process to this final lap. In our tortuous journey toward peace for the last
nine months there were ups and downs. Like the weather the atmosphere of
negotiations sometimes changed suddenly and drastically, sometimes becoming
very cloudy and dark, and sometimes clearing up and becoming very bright;
there were moments of despair and spells of hope and there were occasions of

complete lapse of faith in any peace prospect. But always at the end wisdom
prevailed. If that was not to happen, we would have become a monument of
derision before the world, and even worse before the Sudanese people in both
North and South. Nine months is the period it takes to make and deliver a baby
and we have now delivered a healthy robust baby, but this baby needs proper
nurturing to grow.
But let us also give due where due is deserved. At this juncture, I would like to
point out that the IGAD countries and their Heads of State, Ministers, Peace
Envoys, and indeed their populace, who have been with us through thick and
thin, guiding, advising, cajoling and sometimes threatening to abandon the
process, deserve praise! To them let us give a warm applause. Our thanks also
go to those brotherly countries in Africa, the Arab world and the wider
international community who, in numerous occasions either volunteered to bring
peace to Sudan or did encourage in manifold manners the on-going peace
process. In this connection, I wish to single out the Nigerian efforts (Abuja I &
II), the Joint Egyptian-Libyan Initiative (JELI), the African Union and the Arab
League efforts for post-conflict reconstruction or rather construction of Southern
Sudan. I must also mention a few of the very many names to thank for their
contribution to the Sudan peace process; among them are imminent people like
Obasanjo and Babangida of Nigeria, Kaunda, Magabe, Masire, Njoma, Chisano
and Mandela of Southern Africa; Mubarak, Gadafi and Boutafilika of Northern
Africa; Jimmy Carter, the late James Grant and OLS that has save millions of
lives since 1989, President Bush, his Secretary of State Collin Powel and his
Special envoy Senator Danforth; both Houses of the United States Congress;
Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Special Envoy Ambassador Alan Goulti; The
United Nations Secretary General and his Special Envoy Ambassador Sahnoun;
and a special friend of the Sudan peace process, the Norwegian Minister Hilde
Johnson, who is here representing the Troika or Quadroika, and finally, last but
not least, the leaders of this Region led then by Daniel Arap Moi, Museveni,
Zenawi and Aferwoki, my sincere thanks to all these peace-makers.
Finally, a word of tribute to my fellow neighboring countries of Eastern Africa, to
their leaders and people, you have done a lot to accommodate our people … We
envisage continued cooperation in many fields … My special thanks to President
Mwai Kibaki who is hosting this occasion and to all the IGAD leaders for leading
this victory of peace and sanity in a turbulent. Finally, I pay tribute and
congratulate the Sudanese people to whom this peace belongs. Thank you very
much and God bless the Sudan and Africa.
Dr. John Garang de Mabior
Chairman and C-in-C, SPLM/A.

  1. Deng says:

    The leader was really great


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  3. maguet says:

    we miss you uncle


  4. Juach deng marol says:

    Dr. John Garang, was ze only African that represented ze image of black 2 ze white pipo


  5. […] is from a speech given by Dr. John Garang on the occasion of the signing of the Nairobi Declaration, June 5, 2004. Dr. John’s words […]


  6. Deng Adeng says:

    I am really proud of our late hero.


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