Dr. John Garang’s Speech on the Conclusion of the CPA, January 9, 2005.

Posted: August 8, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in History, Speeches
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NAIROBI, Jan 9, 2005 — Sudan People’s Liberation Army leader John Garang has said the signing of a peace deal on 10 January opens the way for united and pluralistic Sudan “in which all Sudanese are equally stakeholders”. Garang said the agreement provided for splitting the country if this could not be achieved, but that his movement would work to preserve Sudan as “a great nation that is voluntarily united in diversity”.

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John Garang

The following is the text of Garang’s speech at the signing ceremony in Nairobi on 9 January, broadcast live by Kenyan Nation TV; subheadings inserted editorially:

“Your Excellency President Mwai Kibaki, Your Excellency former President Daniel arap Moi, Your Excellencies heads of state and government, Your excellencies ambassadors and representatives of the international organizations, distinguished invited guests, ladies and gentlemen, compatriots, fellow countrymen and women, allow me at the outset to convey to you my best wishes for the new year.

2005 year of peace

The year 2005 will mark the year of peace not only for the whole of Sudan but equally throughout our sub-region and Africa as a whole.

On this joyous day and occasion I greet and salute the people of Sudan from Nimule in the far south to Halfa in the far north, and from Geneinah in the far west to Hamashkoreb and Port Sudan in the east. I greet and salute all the marginalized rural people in Sudan who have suffered in dignified silence for so long. I greet and salute all the farmers, workers and professionals who are the creators of wealth but who have no wealth. And who have seen their living conditions deteriorate over the years.

I greet you on the occasion of this peace, which we have just signed, all the Sudanese women everywhere. Women in Sudan, as everywhere in the world, are the marginalized of the marginalized, whose suffering goes beyond description. The Sudanese rural woman, for example, gets up at five o’clock in the morning to walk five kilometres just to get five gallons of water after five hours’ walk, spends another five hours working on the family farm and five more hours making the family meal and then she goes to sleep.

I greet and salute all our students on this occasion of the peace agreement, all our youths who have borne the brunt of the 21 years of this war, and to whom the future belongs, and urge them to invest in their future and that of the nation in the post-conflict period.

Compatriots, fellow countrymen and women, congratulations – Mabruk all mabruk alaykum. Your movement, the SPLM-SPLA, and the National Congress Party government have delivered to you a comprehensive peace agreement. A just and honourable peace which we have signed today and which you have all witnessed. This is the best Christmas and New Year’s gift for the Sudanese people, to our region, and to Africa for 2005.

Agreement signals “second republic of the new Sudan”

With this peace agreement, we have ended the longest war in Africa – 39 years of two wars since August 1955 out of 50 years of our independence. And if we add the 11 years of Anyanya II, then Sudan had been at war within itself for 49 years, which is the whole of its independence period.

With this peace agreement, the SPLM and the National Congress Party government have brought half a century of war to a dignified end – congratulations.

With this peace agreement, there will be no more bombs falling from the sky on innocent children and women. Instead of the cries of children and the wailing of women and the pain of the last 21 years of war, peace will bless us once more with hearing the happy giggling of children and the enchanting ululation of women who are excited in happiness for one reason or another.

At the political level this agreement affirms the right of self determination for the people of southern Sudan and the right of popular consultation for the people of the Nuba mountains and Blue Nile so that the unity of the Sudan becomes based on the free will of the people instead of on wars and the forced and false unity of the last 49 years.

This peace agreement will change the Sudan for ever. Sudan cannot and will never be the same again as this peace agreement will engulf the country in democratic and fundamental transformations, instead of being engulfed in wars as it has always been for the last 184 years – since 1821, when our country was first invaded by outside powers and exposed to the ravages of the slave trade and predatory commerce of all sorts, and since before independence from 1955 in civil wars.

This peace agreement coincides with Sudan’s 49th independence celebrations. And I agree with what President Bashir said on 31 December [2004] in Naivasha, when we signed the last two documents of the comprehensive peace agreement – that Sudan’s independence on 1 January 1956 was not complete because [word indistinct] south. The war we are ending today first broke out in Torit on 18 August 1955. Four months before independence. And so the south, like other marginalized parts of the Sudan were really not part of that independence. With this peace agreement we begin the process of achieving real independence by all Sudanese people and for all the Sudanese people.

The signing of this comprehensive peace agreement thus marks the end of what I will correctly call the first republic of the whole Sudan that has lasted 49 years from 1 January 1956 to 31 December 2004, when we signed the last two agreements on comprehensive cease-fire and implementation modalities. And at a personal note, exactly 42 years to the date when I first left Sudan for the bush on 31 December 1962 to join the first war. I hope I will not go to the bush again.

This peace agreement therefore signals the beginning of Sudan’s second republic of the new Sudan. From here on Sudan for the first time will be a country voluntarily united in justice, honour and dignity for all its citizens regardless of their race, regardless of their religion, regardless of their gender or else if the country fails to rise to this challenge of moving away from the old Sudan to the new Sudan of free and equal citizens, then the union shall be dissolved amicably and peacefully through the right of self determination at the end the six years of the interim period.

I call on the Sudanese people to join this peace agreement, to join the SPLM and the National Congress Party in the peace process, because this peace agreement belongs to them. I does not belong to John Garang or the SPLM leadership, it does not belong to [Vice-President] Ali Uthman Taha or President Al-Bashir or to the National Congress Party. This agreement belongs to all of the Sudan, to its neighbours, to Africa, to the Arab world and indeed to the rest of the world. That is why you see this big attendance today, because this peace belongs to all of them.

Although the comprehensive peace agreement was negotiated by two parties as a matter of necessity and practicality in order to end the war in the first place, and now that the war is ended, I call on all the Sudanese people and their political forces to build consensus around this comprehensive peace agreement, and use it to end war in other parts of Sudan and to relaunch the Sudan to the promised land of the new Sudan of progress and equality, of opportunity for all Sudanese citizens without distinction.

Tribute to “martyrs”; release of POWs

Finally and last but not least, I salute all our martyrs and all wounded heroes on both sides. I salute and congratulate all officers, NCOs and soldiers on both sides of the conflict for their heroic sacrifices. I pay tribute and thank our civil population who provided the logistics for the war, especially those in the SPLM-administered areas, for without their contribution this comprehensive peace agreement would not have been possible. It is because of the role played by our civil population in the long war that we have invited some 50 chiefs and traditional leaders representing our civil society at the grassroots. We have also invited the SPLM military band to represent the SPLA rank and file.

On this joyous occasion of the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement, as you will recall that the SPLA has always released prisoners of war, we have released so far more than 3,000 prisoners of war at various times over the last 21 years. I here as of today order the immediate release of all prisoners of war that are still under the custody and care of the SPLA.

Moment for Tsunami victims

It is fitting, as we celebrate this momentous historical landmark, to pause to remember the thousands of fellow human beings who recently perished in both Asia and Africa in one of the planet’s worst natural disasters of the modern era.

Our hearts go out in grief and solidarity to the peoples of south east Asia in this their hour of tragedy in the hands of a merciless earthquake and tsunamis. As we share the pain and suffering of our fellow human beings in all the countries that have been devastated by the earthquake and the accompanying tsunamis or tidal waves, we also urge the international community, after it has pledged so generously to help alleviate the suffering and rebuild shattered lives in the affected region, to spare some resources to help post-conflict Sudan recover and develop. We therefore look forward to a massive turn out of donors with their pledges at the prospective Oslo donors conference for Sudan which is scheduled soon.

“An all-inclusive Sudanese state”

Excellencies, compatriots, fellow citizens. In order to understand and appreciate the present historical moment of the signing of the Sudan comprehensive peace agreement, I beg your indulgence to allow me to talk briefly about the problem that we are solving now and to which [Ugandan] President [Yoweri] Museveni referred to before as the problem of people with the turbines and people with ostrich feathers.

As I said before, Sudan has been at war within itself for the whole of 49 years of its independence. And as we end this war today, another serious one is intensifying in the western Darfur region while another threatens in eastern Sudan.

Why? What is the problem? Why should a community subject itself to generations of war and suffering in so many parts of the country?

In our view, the attempts by various Khartoum-based regimes since 1956 to build a monolithic Arab Islamic state with the exclusion of other parameters of the Sudanese diversity constitutes the fundamental problem of the Sudan and defines the Sudanese conflict. The Sudanese state hitherto has excluded the vast majority of the Sudanese people from governance and therefore their marginalization in the political, economic and social fields.

This provoked resistance by the excluded. There have been wars and there continues to be wars in the Sudan simply because the majority of the Sudanese are not stakeholders in the governance.

The solution to the fundamental problem of Sudan is to involve an all-inclusive Sudanese state which will uphold the new Sudan. A new political Sudanese dispensation in which all Sudanese are equally stakeholders irrespective of their religion, irrespective of their race, tribe or gender – and if this does not work, then to look for other solutions, such as splitting the country. But we believe that a new Sudan is possible for there are many people in northern Sudan who share with us in SPLM/A, including the National Congress Party, who believe in the universal ideals of humanity, the ideals of liberty, of freedom, justice and equality, of opportunity for all Sudanese citizens.

As is the case in the south, the events in Darfur, eastern Sudan and elsewhere have made it clear that we must have an all-inclusive state at the national level and full devolution of power to the various regions of the Sudan, for otherwise it is unlikely that the country would stand a chance of remaining united. But this all-inclusive Sudanese state which we have called the new Sudan must have some basis, for example in history, that makes us one country or one nation. The question is whether there is the basis for the Sudan as a country, and my answer has also been yes, there is. That is, this affirmative answer to this question has guided us and sustained the SPLM for the last 21 years until today. For this purpose I have always wanted to go down the corridors of history and I want to do this very briefly. Again, begging your indulgence, and taking it for that matter – I am guerrilla, I take my time you see.

Move forward with the momentum of 5,000 years

My presentation, our presentation in the SPLM is that we, the Sudanese, are indeed a historical people and that the new Sudan has an anchor in history. If we cannot find an anchor in history, then we either create one or dissolve the union peacefully. Sometimes it is necessary to go back in order to gain momentum in order to go forward. President Museveni called it something in his language. That is why you see sheep, you see rams moving backward first when they fight. They gain momentum before they lock horns. Recently, in southeast Asia, it was noticed that the tragedy of the earthquake and the tsunamis. First, the sea receded back, and then came forward with devastating force.

We very much need to do this exercise in the Sudan. To go back thousands of years so as to rediscover ourselves. Gain momentum and then move forward with the momentum of 5,000 years to propel ourselves and snatch ourselves into history once again. And we have a very long history indeed. Peoples and kingdoms have lived, thrived and disappeared in the geographical area that constitutes the present modern Sudan.

Many people will be surprised that in the Bible, in the Old Testament, the Sudan was part of the Garden of Eden, where it is stated in Genesis Chapter 2, Verse 8 to 14, that the Garden of Eden was watered by four rivers. One of them is the White Nile, it is Pessian in the Bible. The one is the Gihon and there is a Gihon Hotel in Addis Ababa. It is the Blue Nile. And to the east by the Tigris and Euphrates. So the Garden of Eden was not a small vegetable garden. It was a vast piece of territory. My own village happens to be just east of the Nile. So I fall in the Garden of Eden. It will surprise many of you that the Prophet Moses was probably married to a Sudanese named Siphorah, as narrated in the book of Numbers.

From the Biblical days, we move to the ancient Sudanese kingdoms of Awach, of Ritat, of Anu, of Maida, that are believed to be connected with the present day Dinka, Shiluk, Nuer, other Nilotic tribes and the peoples of central and western Sudan. And at the corridors of history we move to the Kingdom of Merowe [Arabic Marawi] that bequeathed an iron civilization to the rest of Africa. Merhawi got transformed into the Christian kingdoms of Nubia. Then followed the spread of Islam and Arab migrations into the Sudan and subsequent collapse of the last Nubian Christian kingdoms of Makuria, Alawa and Soba in 1504, followed by the rise on the etches of the Islamic Kingdom Sinnar, which was founded by the Fuinsh and Shiluk people.

The rest of Sudanese history is familiar to all of us from the Islamic kingdoms of Sinar to the Teko Egyptian occupation, to the first Islamic Mahadisi state, to Anglo-Egyptian condominium to independence in 1956 and the Anyanya movement to 1955 to 1972 to the SPLM/SPLA in 1983, to the second Islamic state in the Sudan of Ingas, with which we negotiated from 1989 and to the comprehensive which we signed today. This is the history of the Sudan and this is how we got here. It has been a long journey of more than 5,000 years to reach Naivasha and Nyayo Stadium today. It is important to know and appreciate where we came from in order to better be able to chart the way forward with the momentum of historical force. That was Sudan in history.

National unity through pluralism and democracy

As for the contemporary Sudan, we have more than 500 different ethnic groups speaking more than 130 different languages. We have two major religions in the country – Islam and Christianity, and traditional African religious. Our contention in the SPLM/SPLA is that the Sudan belongs equally to all the peoples that now inhabit the country and its history, its diversity and richness is the common heritage of all Sudanese. The comprehensive peace agreement that we have signed today is based on this historical and contemporary objective realities of Sudan. And by implementing the provisions of the comprehensive peace agreement that we signed today, we (?evolve) an all-inclusive form of governance that ensures that all Sudanese are equally stakeholders irrespective of where they come from and this is what will keep our country together.

Furthermore, by adapting and applying the form of governance and wealth-sharing arrangements stipulated in the comprehensive peace agreement to other parts of the country with similar afflictions as the south such as Darfur, eastern Sudan and other parts of the country, we can once again become a great nation that is voluntarily united in diversity rather than divided by diversity and forcibly kept under a coerced and fake unity.

This is the context and the value of the comprehensive peace agreement we have signed today. It provides the Sudan with a real and perhaps the last opportunity to make a real paradigm shift from the old Sudan of exclusivity to the new Sudan of inclusivity achieved not through force but through the exercise of the right of self-determination.

Viewed this way the right of self-determination, which is one of the cornerstones of the comprehensive peace agreement, is a blessing rather then curse as many northern Sudanese fear. I want to assure you that we will all work together with the National Congress Party and other political forces in the Sudan so that we develop a new paradigm so that we keep our country together.

Excellencies, distinguished guests, compatriots, ladies and gentlemen, bear with me. I am almost finished. The transformation which shall be engendered by this agreement, which I have alluded to shall be reflected first and foremost in democratic (?mutation) and to which the SPLM is fully committed. Surely by democratic we do not mean return to the sham procedural democracy of the past, which was a camouflage for the perpetuation of vested interest. In that sham democracy civil rights were subject to the whims of rulers. The majority of Sudanese regions remained peripheral to the central power and was treated as an expendable quantum only to be manipulated through political trickery and double-dealing.

The transformation envisaged in the comprehensive peace agreement puts an end to all that since it represents a political and socioeconomic paradigm shift which entails the recognition of political diversity by guaranteeing full freedom for political pluralism. The entrenchment of human rights and peoples’ rights in the constitution, the upholding of the independence of the judiciary, including the creation of an inviolable constitutional court and commitment to the rule of law by the government and the governed, and the establishment of a truly independent and competent civil service at all levels of government. It also conceptualizes and seeks to realize a recreation of the legislature in a manner that shall ensure rigorous checks and balances and guarantees powers to the government of southern Sudan and to the states powers which can neither be withdrawn nor impaired by other centres of power.

Eventually, the comprehensive peace agreement ordains that within a maximum of three to four years governance at all levels shall be mandated by the supreme will of the people through internationally monitored free and fair elections.

Economic and social development

Excellencies, distinguished guests, compatriots, ladies and gentlemen, the long war to which we have put an end to today impoverished our citizens and reduced our country with tremendous resources to destitution. Without claiming that the new economic paradigm shift, which I have alluded to, is the ultimate panacea for curing the nation’s ills, it provides at least a vision and modalities to address the problems besetting the nation in the here and now – while I leave the world hereafter to those who claim to have divine qualifications.

In southern Sudan and other war-affected areas, as well as in the slums of our major cities, the baseline from which we shall start development is shocking and I will not bore here with the statistics of the status of these parameters such as prevalence of child malnutrition, primary education, mortality rates among children, rate of maternal mortality, rate of births attended skilled health staff, access to improved water sources. These statistics in southern Sudan, in particular and other war-affected areas are among the worst in the world. To combat this pervasive and humiliating poverty and political disenfranchisement, a general policy framework has chartered out and published in a booklet entitled SPLM Strategic Framework for War to Peace Transition.

In summary, the SPLM shall articulate and implement a social, political and economic development strategy and programmes that include the following highlights:

First, the SPLM shall adopt an economic development paradigm that emphasizes growth through rural development and transformation of traditional agriculture that is integrated with agro-industries. We must transform the present subsistence traditional agriculture in southern Sudan and other areas through technological innovations, making agriculture the engine of growth. And agriculture as the engine of growth will literally be fuelled by oil – the building of dikes for flood control and canals and underground water development for irrigation will be priorities to guaranteeing crop production.

Secondly, the SPLM will change the urban-based and centre of focus development paradigm in favour of rural and decentralized development. The SPLM vision, policy and slogan shall be to take the towns to people in the countryside rather than people to towns, where they end up in slums as happened in many countries with the consequent deterioration in their quality of life. Rural small town planning and rural electrification will therefore be priorities.

Thirdly the SPLM shall emphasize and develop new ways of delivery of social services. As we move to the new era of peace, the people of Sudan, particularly the war-affected communities, face formidable social and economic problems and also tremendous opportunities. The major problems there require immediate attention fall in the areas of health, education and water. We must find new ways to rapidly and efficiently deliver these services. For example, constructing windmills all over rural Sudan to provide clean drinking water and build micro-dams for generating small scale hydro-electric power for rural towns as well as the use of solar, wind and bio-gas energy sources.

Fourthly, the SPLM shall exert all efforts to build physical infrastructure – roads, rail and river transport and telecommunications. There has never been any tarmac road in the new Sudan since creation, since the days of Adam and Eve, and this is an area the size of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi put together. The SPLM’s vision for transport infrastructure is at three levels – to develop regional linkages within southern Sudan and with the neighbours and with northern Sudan and to involve the state and local communities in this infrastructure building.

Fifthly and finally, in terms of social and cultural parameters, the SPLM shall adopt the strategies and programmes that shall restore and achieve dignity of people of the Sudan through social and cultural empowerment. Programmes will include information and media, radio, TV, print, promotion of new Sudan art, songs, dances, theatre of new Sudan, sports, development of local languages and cultures by the various communities of the Sudan, archives of the struggle and modern history of Sudan, archaeology, antiquities and ancient history of Sudan, Africa and the Middle East so that we can find our rightful place in the world.

“Building national consensus”

Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, to conclude, the comprehensive peace agreement and safeguards, full compliance with the requirements of the agreement, the SPLM will work in partnership with the National Congress Party. The objectives of this partnership is to ensure a sincere implementation of the comprehensive peace agreement in both letter and spirit and to provide, within the parameters of this agreement, permanent solutions to the problems inherent in Sudan’s cultural, social and political diversity.

Failure to appreciate the wealth in diversity was another cause of national crisis. For diversity, viewed positively is a mutually [word indistinct] phenomenon and ultimately a source of national cohesion and strength. Viewed otherwise, that is as a source of dissimilarity or distinction, it shall lead inevitably to the ultimate disintegration of the country as threatens today and which at all costs we must avoid.

Furthermore, the partnership does not mean abandonment of political allies by any of the two parties. However, this partnership, once safeguarded in the new political dispensation, shall in effect nurture the democratic transformation and political multiplicity, which by their very nature may lead to diverse alliances. But so long as those alliances are based on commitment to the letter and spirit of the peace agreements that will put an end to the longest war in Africa, alliances become assets not liabilities. It is our submission that political struggle in the Sudan shall henceforth translate into competing visions of peace, progress and development and never into the use of force or the threat of the use of force.

The SPLM, ladies and gentlemen, will ensure that the new political dispensation is wide enough to accommodate all legitimate political and social forces in the country. It is therefore our hope to achieve popular consensus on those agreements. As the movement that has been fighting against the marginalization of others, we shall not tolerate the exclusion of anybody from this process. The parties to the comprehensive peace agreement share this conviction and we have included in the agreement inclusiveness. In this regard the SPLM will play its role at the national level to work with the National Congress Party and other political forces to ensure full inclusiveness.

While the SPLM and the National Congress Party shall be major partners in the initial interim government unity, our understanding of partnership is well rooted in inclusiveness, which means to bring on board all political forces in the Sudan, chief among them the political parties within the National Congress Party umbrella and the political parties within the National Democratic Alliance, which we call upon to complete negotiations with the government of Sudan based on the Jeddah agreement that are holding negotiations in Cairo and so that they get their share in the government of national unity and participate and participate fully in all the national commissions stipulated in the comprehensive peace agreement, especially the national constitution review commission.

Finally, on issues that concern southern Sudanese, I want to say a little on south-south dialogue. On building national consensus, the SPLM will also spearhead the south-south dialogue. This dialogue, above all, is to heal wounds and restore fraternity and mutual respect so as to create a healthier political environment that is accommodative all southern Sudanese political forces, both at the level of southern Sudan and at the national level. But south-south dialogue is not only about power. It is about all and (?enviable) democratic exercise based on mature and selfless political discourse among southern Sudanese with a view of galvanizing all our human material resources for the service of our people.

Democracy, whether in the north or south, should no longer and solely be a struggle for power but rather as a competition on providing good governance, development and delivering social services for our people and restoring the dignity and wealth of every man and woman. Yet in terms of power-sharing in southern Sudan, I want to assure all that there will be enough room for everybody, including those who have not beenassociated with theSPLM/SPLA. Even those who for one reason or another were opposed or against the SPLM, there will room for everybody.

I want in conclusion to quote, in terms of this inclusiveness, the gospel according to St John, that says in St John Chapter 14, Verse 1 and 2: Do not be worried and upset, Jesus told them, believe in God and believe also in me. There are many rooms in my father’s house and I’m going to prepare a place for you. I would not say if it were not true. So I say to all southern Sudanese on the occasion of this signing of this comprehensive peace agreement, that there will be many rooms in an SPLM-based government in southern Sudan and all are welcome.

I also want to assure southern Sudanese in general that the comprehensive peace agreement will not be dishonoured like other agreements that Able Aliao [phonetic] has written a book about entitled: Too Many Agreements Dishonoured. The biggest challenge will be implementation of the peace agreement but we, both the SPLM and the National Congress Party, are committed, fully committed to the implementation of this agreement. There are both external and internal guarantees, organic and external guarantees that will ensure the implementation of this agreement.

I want also to assure the SPLA that the experience of Anyanya I will not repeat itself because there are many SPLA soldiers that are worried they will be left by peace. This regards the issue of funding of the armed forces. We solved the issue of funding of the armed adequately. The joint integrated units, component of the SPLA, shall be funded by the government of national unity, not as a separate army from the mother SPLM but as part and parcel of it with the same wage and living conditions.

The mother SPLA, on the other hand, will be funded by the government of southern Sudan and the government of southern Sudan has been empowered by the comprehensive peace agreement to raise financial resources from both local and foreign sources and to seek international assistance for that purpose. So there is no reason for concern or alarm.

As for those who in the Diaspora, I would like to address them and assure them that the government of southern Sudan as well as the government of national unity will their skills and I take the opportunity of this forum to appeal to all our Diaspora to return home and build our country. As I said before our house has many rooms and Diaspora are welcome to return home and fully participate in the development of southern Sudan, the two areas – Abiey and the whole of Sudan.

Tributes and acknowledgements

Last but not least, I would like to pay tribute to our fallen heroes and martyrs who sacrificed in order for us celebrate this day on both sides of the conflict. Those, ladies and gentlemen, are the objectives for whose achievements I have exerted all my faculties and energies and efforts, and for which we will cooperate and work together with the National Congress Party. We move in a new direction and achieve the cohesion and the unity of our people and the unity of our country.

Finally, let me pay tribute and salute the courage of the party to reach this agreement and in particular President Umar Hasan al-Bashir and Ustadh Ali Uthman Taha, with whom I sat for 16 months and negotiated this agreement. I salute and congratulate them. I also congratulate the two delegations of the SPLM and the government of Sudan and of course Gen Sumbeiywo and before him Ambassador Daniel Mboya, who was the special envoy, also before them, Zachary Onyango, Bethwel Kiplagat, and foreign minister then Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka and now Minister [for Regional Cooperation John] Koech and other ministers in the Kenya government, who have contributed so much; and to the IGAD [Intergovernmental Authority on Development] envoys of the five countries of IGAD, the facilitators of IGAD, the secretariat. I thank them and congratulate them for guiding the peace process to this successful conclusion.

I would also like to thank and commend the IGAD heads of state, ministers, peace envoys and indeed the populace who have been with us through thick and thin, guiding, advising, cajoling and sometimes threatening to abandon the process. They deserve praise. Our thanks go to them and also to the bravery of the people of east Africa, the Horn, the Arab world and the wider international community, who on numerous occasions either volunteered to bring peace to Sudan or did encourage in meaningful manners the ongoing peace process. In this connection, the Nigerian efforts of Abuja I and Abuja II, the joint Egyptian-Libyan initiative, the African Union and the Arab League efforts, who exerted efforts for post-conflict reconstruction.

I must also mention a few of the very many names to thank for their contribution to the Sudan peace process, among them are eminent people like President Obasanjo, President Babangida of Nigeria, President Kaunda, Masire, Machel, Nujoma, Chissano, Rawlings, who is here with us today, Mandela of South Africa, Mubarak of Egypt, Qadhafi, Bouteflika, who is here with us today, Jimmy Carter, the late James Grant, and OLS, that has saved millions of lives since 1989, President Bush and his Secretary of State Colin Powell and his special envoy Senator Danforth and Andrew Natsos of USAID, both houses of the US Congress, Prime Minister Tony Blair and his envoys, ambassadors Allan Gulty and McFell, the UN secretary-general and his envoys, ambassadors Sahnun and Pronk, who are here, and a special friend of the Sudan peace process, the Norwegian Minister Hilder Johnson and finally, last but not least, the leaders of this region, led by then President Daniel arap Moi and now by President Mwai Kibaki, President Museveni, [Ethiopian] Prime Minister [Meles] Zenawi, [Eritrean] President [Isayas] Afewerki and the wananchi [citizens] of Kenya and east Africa mzima [as a whole].

And finally I pay tribute and thanks to my dear wife Rebecca and the wives of all my colleagues and comrades in the struggle for their patience and contributions, for without their help the bush would not have been bearable. My sincere thanks to all these people. I pay tribute finally to all the Sudanese people, to whom this peace belongs and I say to them and I say to them mobruk ol lekum [congratulations].

Thank you very much.”

Dr.john Garang Speeches On CPA 
Splm Chairman’s Address on the occasion of the Third Conference on Federalism in Brussels, Belgium March 5, 2005
Click Here For the Schedules Of the conference on Federalism which ended yesterday.
(March 5, 2005)
Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement and FederalismYour Excellency, Mrs. Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck, President of the Conference;

Your Excellencies; Honorable Delegates; Distinguished Guests; Ladies and Gentlemen;

Allow me to sincerely thank the people and the government of the Kingdom of Belgium for having honored the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) by inviting me as the Head of the organization to attend and address this important international conference on federalism. To us in Sudan, this conference is timely because it is taking place a few weeks after signing of the Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), an accord that has brought to an end one of the world’s longest civil wars. The theme of the Conference, Federalism or some cousin of federalism, is the bedrock of the CPA.

I said a cousin of federalism because I am not sure what to call the system of governance in the CPA. We have not used any formal word in the entire CPA to describe the type of governance that we have negotiated and agreed on. Perhaps we were guided by the African saying not to name a child before it is born. The CPA took us ten years to negotiate, from 1994 to 2004, and before this we had two years of negotiations in the Nigerian Capital of Abuja. Interestingly in Abuja the SPLM tabled confederation, which the Government of Sudan (GOS) rejected, while the GOS offered federation, which the SPLM rejected, and to add more confusion the Nigerian mediators recommended “true federalism”, which both sides, the GOS and SPLM, rejected. However, although the Abuja talks collapsed, they provided valuable experience for the subsequent negotiations sponsored by the countries of Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

In the IGAD peace process and after eight years of frustrating negotiations the SPLM and GOS sat down to business in Machakos and Naivasha with the resolve to negotiate and solve the serious problem of war and peace, instead of being bogged down in whether we should have a federation, a confederation or true federalism. Now that the child has been born researchers can give the name that they believe best depicts the arrangements the Sudanese have agreed in the Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

In the literature on federalism, analysts identify two processes of federalism: So-called “coming-together” federations formed by independent states for the sake of common goods otherwise unattainable, and “holding-together” federations, which develop from unitary states as governments respond to mitigate threats of secession. In the Sudanese situation both processes are involved as the Sudanese seek to “come together”, perhaps for the first time, and as they try to “hold together” to preserve a union that was imposed on them by colonialism.

While trying to “hold together” to preserve a union which was not of their making, the Sudanese are thus involved in an even more serious and complex project — that of evolving and developing a political entity, a new Sudanese political dispensation and union arrived at through consensus to replace the present Sudanese state, which some Sudanese inherited from the colonial regime and with which the majority of Sudanese do not identify.

I am not here bemoaning the colonial experience. Nations or nation-states are the product of the historical movement of peoples, even of historical accidents. People move for different reasons — in search of better opportunities, escaping religious or other forms of persecution, or even out of curiosity — what is behind the hill? And they often do not come back to their original home. They end up making a home behind the hill with different peoples who also ended up there for similar reasons. Overtime these different peoples interact and a new socio-political entity emerges, an entity organized at present by humanity in the form of “nation states”. The colonial encounter and the historical movement of peoples are thus some of the historical events that have contributed to the making of the present country called Sudan. The real task facing the Sudanese is therefore to build a Sudanese “nation-state” out of these circumstances, a Sudanese political dispensation that belongs equally to all its citizens irrespective of race, ethnicity, religion or gender, something which we have not done before and which lies at the root of the wars we are now seeing afflicting our country all over — in Southern Sudan, Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile, Eastern Sudan and Darfur.

What we really need to do, which we should have done 50 years ago at independence, but which I am happy we are doing now in Sudan, is to go back to appreciate the classical justification of the State as based on a “social contract” between the people and the State. I am aware of the controversy over the notion of the “social contract”, yet what should make the State legitimate is if it is the result of an agreement by the people who are subject or subject themselves to the State.

The question then is whether the present Sudanese State would be the object of an agreement if the Sudanese people were asked? The conventional wisdom is that Northern Sudanese would answer the question in the affirmative that the present Sudanese State is the object of an agreement and that Sudan exercised the right of self-determination at independence in 1956. Southern Sudanese on the other hand would answer in the negative, and instead argue that they have never been part of any agreement on the present Sudanese State before, at or after independence and therefore demand the right of self-determination. To compound things even more, the legitimacy of the present Sudanese State is not only being challenged by Southern Sudanese, it is also being questioned by the people of Darfur, Eastern Sudan, Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile, the far North and other parts of the country. Many Sudanese are asking a serious question, whether the present Sudanese State as inherited from 1956 at independence represents their interests in their various groupings and regions. The present crisis and wars in the Sudan spring from the fact that many Sudanese do not associate with the present Sudanese State, although many identify with a Sudanese entity or homeland.

In fact, the present Sudanese State was originally contrived as a result of the colonial encounter and its initial objective was to achieve interests that were particular to colonialism. It was therefore not based on any social contract or agreement by the Sudanese people. It can even be argued that the colonial encounter shifted and distorted the trajectory of indigenous nation-state formation and that this continues to haunt Africa today.

It is this type of state that Sudanese elites in Khartoum and the adjacent Riverian areas of Central Sudan took over at independence. Sadly, there was no conscious attempt by these elites to recast the State, to base its legitimacy on a social contract and consensus of the people. These elites took over the colonial state and looked at it as if it were a magical tree that perpetually bears and gives to them fruits of all kinds. In Africa the colonially inherited State became like the proverbial goose that lays golden eggs. Unfortunately for them as the elites fought and continue to fight over custody of the goose, they killed the goose along with millions of innocent people. One sees the death of the goose in the collapse of the colonially inherited State from Liberia to Sierra Leone, to DR Congo, to Somalia, and the death of the goose threatens in my own country, the Sudan. This may be a blessing in disguise, unfortunately a terribly expensive blessing! With the collapse of the colonially inherited State, or the threat of its collapse, this may or should sufficiently challenge Africa to conceptualize a correct and sustainable form of State that is based on the notion of a social contract that represents the interests of all the people in that State. This approach could result in a possible redrawing of the colonially inherited boundaries in Africa so as to be better able to face the realities and challenges of the 21st Century and beyond, to forestall unnecessary and costly wars, and to promote development and prosperity for the peoples of Africa and the world using Africa’s vast natural resources.

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement that the Sudanese negotiated voluntarily and signed on January 9th is based on this fundamental paradigm shift, the shift from the colonially inherited elitist State of the Old Sudan based on the hegemony of a few and marginalization of the vast majority, to a new Sudanese political dispensation of a plural Sudan in which political power, wealth and sovereignty are equitably shared, and with special security arrangements for the armed forces and other security forces, so that they protect rather than use their physical force to take over the state as has often happened in many countries.

During the negotiations, we took each problem and solved it pragmatically and with the aim of ultimately evolving a new Sudanese State, so that we have a Sudan that is united voluntarily by consensus of its peoples in a social contract, or otherwise failing to achieve such a voluntary and new union then we dissolve the colonially inherited Sudanese State amicably and peacefully.

Your Excellency, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen;

I would like in summary and conclusion to present the CPA in the context of this paradigm shift from the Old Sudan to the New Sudan by briefly illustrating how we resolved five of the most difficult issues in the negotiations – the right of self-determination, Sharia Islamic Law, power sharing, wealth sharing, and security Arrangements,

The first problem addressed by the CPA is how to accommodate the Sudanese diversity within the context of one country; how to keep people of diverse backgrounds together. The Sudan has over 500 different ethnic groups, speaking more than 130 distinct languages. These ethnic groups fall into two broad categories, indigenous African Sudanese, those whose mother tongue is some African language other than Arabic constituted 69% of the population at independence in 1956, while Arab Sudanese, those who have Arabic as their community language, were 31% of the population. Ethnicity is thus one major form of cotemporary diversity. The other form of contemporary diversity is religion. The Muslims are mostly in the North and constitute about 65% of the total population, while Christians and followers of Traditional African Religious constitute the remaining 35%. Sudan also has a rich and long historical heritage. Civilizations and various forms of the State have flourished and perished in the geographical area that constitutes the present modern Sudan, from ancient Cush of the Biblical days to Christian Nubia and Merowe, to the Islamic States of Sennar and Darfur, to the Turko-Egyptian and Anglo-Egyptian regimes of recent years.

Yet, and despite the richness of Sudan’s historical and contemporary diversity, the current and previous rulers of Khartoum present a false picture of the country. They based the Sudanese State on a poor mixture of a dysfunctional colonially inherited State and two exclusionist ideologies of Arabism and Islamism. They insisted that Islamic Sharia must be the supreme law of the land and even waged Jihad to impose it. This poor vision of Sudan by the present and previous regimes has been the fundamental problem of Sudan responsible for the many wars.

The CPA addresses the problem of diversity in the Machakos Protocol, signed in July 2002, by making two bold compromises. Firstly, the Agreement gives Sudan an Interim Period of six years to make unity attractive, at the end of which the people of Southern Sudan shall exercise the right of self-determination to choose between continuing in the unity framework that shall be put in place during the Interim Period, or otherwise opt for independence. Secondly, the Agreement accords the people of Northern Sudan their right to Sharia Islamic Law, confining Sharia to the North, and leaving it to Northerners to reconcile their demand to be ruled by Islamic Sharia in the public domain while at the same time sharing the same public domain with others. As for Southern Sudan Sharia Islamic Law will not apply during the Interim Period; instead there will be established a secular democratic state. The CPA thus establishes a “One-Country-Two Systems” Model, a secular system in the South and a theocratic system in Northern Sudan.

The Machakos Protocol has handled the two most contentious issues of Islamic Sharia law and the right of self-determination courageously and with the aim of accommodating diversity. One does not need to be a biologist to know that biodiversity is a good thing. A multiplicity of species of plants and animals on our planet increases every one’s chances of survival, and ensures that life continues on earth. Finding appropriate ways to accommodate diversity in Sudan will likewise ensure the survival of the Sudan as one country.

Your Excellency, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The third issue addressed in the CPA is that of power sharing. To reflect the “one country two systems” model there will an asymmetric system of two Governments, a Government of National Unity (GONU) at the centre for the whole country, and a largely autonomous Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), that shall have under it ten of Sudan’s 25 States, while the 15 States of the North will be under the GONU. There will also be strong local governments under the States in both North and South. The GOSS is linked to the GONU mainly through the constitutional Court, the Central Bank, the Joint Defense Board and the office of the 1st Vice President, who is also President of GOSS, otherwise Southern Sudan shall be largely autonomous in all its three branches of government: the executive, legislature and judiciary including a Supreme Court of Southern Sudan. The State Governments in both North and South also have considerable degree of autonomy. Power and sovereignty are truly shared between North and South and with the Sates. This system has a great potential and advantage of preserving and protecting the rights of all people belonging to different ethnic, racial, religious and linguistic groups who live in diverse parts of the Sudan.

Your Excellency, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen:

The fourth problem addressed by the CPA is the issue of wealth sharing. The CPA would not work if the GOSS and the States are not afforded the necessary resources. Accordingly, the CPA provides the GOSS with three organic sources of revenues: 50% of oil revenues generated in Southern Sudan where most of Sudan’s oil lies; 50% of national non-oil revenues generated in Southern Sudan and GOSS own taxation. In addition to these three organic sources of revenue, the GOSS shall be entitled to engage in some international relations including “the initiation, negotiation and conclusion of international and regional agreements on culture, sports, trade, investment, credit, loans, grants and technical assistance with foreign governments and foreign non-governmental organizations”.

One of the most contentious problems in the wealth sharing negotiations was the status of the Central Bank of Sudan. The SPLM had demanded a separate Central Bank for Southern Sudan to reflect the “two system one country” model prescribed by the Machakos Protocol especially as it relates to Islamic banking in Northern Sudan. The compromise reached at the end was quite innovative: to have one Central Bank with one door and two windows; one window for Northern Sudan operating an Islamic banking system using Islamic financial Instruments, and the other window for Southern Sudan operated by the Bank of Southern Sudan (BOSS) using conventional financial instruments. It was also agreed to have one currency that shall be agreed by the Parties, but in the meantime the Parties shall use the currencies they have in their respective areas as legal tender.

The fifth and final difficult issue in the CPA was that of security arrangements during the Interim Period. The question was the existence of two armies: that of the Government or Sudan’s Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), and what to do with them. The Parties took a bold decision for each side to keep its armed forces during the entire six years of the Interim Period. The Parties further agreed to form Joint Integrated Units (JIUs) from the two armed forces. The main SPLA and some JIUs shall be deployed in the South, while the main SAF and some JIUs shall be deployed in the North. The Parties also agreed to develop a common military doctrine for training of the JIUs as well as for training of the two armed forces. The JIUs shall serve as a symbol of national unity and sovereignty of Sudan during the Interim Period and shall be commanded by a Joint Defense Board (JDB) that shall be co-chaired by the Chiefs of Staff of the two armed forces. The JIUs shall form the nucleus of the future unified army of Sudan should the referendum on self-determination confirm unity, otherwise they would be dissolved and melt back to their mother armies.

Your Excellency, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The CPA is a unique Sudanese achievement that I believe shall forever change Sudan as well as have fundamental and positive impact on our Region and Africa. At the onset, the CPA can be adapted and applied to solve the tragic situation of war in Darfur and Eastern Sudan, for it would make no sense to achieve peace in Southern Sudan and make war in other parts of Sudan. I also believe that the Sudan CPA can be adapted to solve similar situations in Africa and elsewhere. In particular the models of power sharing and security arrangements in the CPA can be used to achieve bigger governance entities in African. The 17 countries of our Region for example, from Sudan to the Horn to East and Central Africa, including DR Congo, have a combined population of about 300 million and an area of about 12 million Square Kilometers. By surrendering some of their sovereignty to a central political authority and retaining some sovereignty and state identity, the peoples of these countries can achieve tremendous development and prosperity using their vast resources, building physical infrastructure, viable markets, power generation and free movement of people goods and services instead of the inter and intra-State wars and instability that have afflicted our Region. This would be good for Africa, and it would it would provide lucrative markets and investment opportunities for Europe, America and the world.

Your Majesty, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

At this juncture, and before I close, I would like to bring to the attention of this august conference that the task ahead of us, the task of implementation of the CPA, is daunting and requires the commitment and participation first of all the Sudanese people and assistance from the international community. I therefore take the opportunity of this podium to ask the EU, Belgium and the individual countries of Europe to assist us translate the CPA into action so as to fulfill the expectations of the Sudanese people and achieve peace and stability in the Region and Africa.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have only presented a synopsis of the CPA as it relates to the theme of this conference. It is a long and detailed document of some 241 pages. I give a copy of the CPA here for the perusal of the conference. Now that the child has been born, you can decide what to call the form of governance that we have agreed to in the CPA, whether it is a federation, confederation or true federalism or some other “ism”. Whatever one calls it, it is an agreement that was negotiated by the Sudanese to end a war that had lasted 21 years with very high cost.

I thank you very much for inviting the SPLM and for your listening. Thank you.

Dr. John Garang de Mabior

Greetings from Khartoum!

Read what I have written and give your views regarding the same.Thank you all – NDM


South-South Dialogue is it Division of Power in the South?

By Nichola Dominic Mandil, Khartoum, Sudan

The central idea that dominates debates among Southerners these days here in Khartoum and abroad is the so-called “South-South Dialogue” to convene in Rumbek/Yerol on the 15th March 2005. The temperature in Rumbek will rise three times than ever as a result of tempestuous debates that will take place!

Why I say this is because Southern Sudanese from different walks of life will be present therein. Different professions, different specializations, political leaders, intellectuals, technocrats, youth, women and students will give their own views on the future of the South, and how they want the South to be like in the coming period. This is how I for see the Rumbek-South-South Dialogue will be all about. I hope it will be what Southerners want not what other people want it to be!

Apart from deliberating on the future of the South, yet, some of our people in South still are still pregnant with the spirit of animosity against their fellow Southerners! Their hearts are full of aversion towards others! These are the people who will most likely cause hullabaloos and turmoil in the South when the South gets it full autonomous status.

There are some tribes also complaining that since the war broke out in the South in 1983, they did not rule! Look at these poor people! They are thinking of ruling in state of thinking of now peace has come, what are we supposed to do in order to render quality services to our destitute people? They have no minds that think in this absolute manner!

I am speaking here specifically of Western Bahr El-Ghazal State (WBGS) with its capital Wau! There are some tribes in Wau who complain that they want to rule, because they have not been ruling for the last 21 years of civil strife in the South, they say now time has come for them. Is it that the war is over and they want to cause chaos again in Wau apart from what happened in 1980s when Wau became a scene of carnage? Let these people think twice before they act!

My concern is not who to rule Western Bahr El-Ghazal during the Interim Period or after, but rather who is qualified, ready and humble enough to render qualitative services to all citizens of Bahr El-Ghazal and South Sudan without discriminatory attitude? Those who are thinking of ruling, this is a lesson for you to learn.

Even though some of your leaders talked to Dr. John Garang the Leader of SPLM/A that during this Interim Period they want to rule Wau, I believe Garang in his capacity as a Leader of SPLM/A has no authority to choose who becomes a Wali (Governor) for any state in the South, it is the people of the state to choose who are capable of the positions of leadership in their regions. This is my understanding of what leadership in the South must be.

Let us know that New Sudan does not need people who practice ethnic politics and use their tribal system for ruling people! The South belongs to all of us together! We have the voice to say how the South must be ruled and administered, all the sons and daughters of the South must be accorded equal opportunities for positions of leadership, but mindful that people are selected based on merits, qualifications, professionalism, experiences and faithfulness to public funds and goods.

I am making these points because in the South we have the experiences of embezzlement of public funds by people in the government, who enrich them selves with the money that supposed to serve all the people, but only for growing their stomachs, building nice houses and for sending their children to study in the best schools in Khartoum and abroad, while the people in whose name they act in the government suffer! This is a very sad experience in the South! This must stop this time!

To the SPLM/A and all those who fought in one way or another and the result of their struggle is felt today in terms of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed on Sunday, January 9, 2005 in Nairobi, Kenya and hopefully autonomy for the South after Six-Year-Interim Period. I would like to urge that let the issue of division of power not confuse us at the moment, especially during the Rumbek- South-South-Dialogue, where vital issues pertaining to the joie de vivre of the South supposed to be discussed.

In Khartoum now a days however, there micro debates among politicians, tribal leaders, intellectuals and even women that what will be the division of power like in the South? This is a crucial question, which needs people of rationality to cogitate upon it before making baseless judgments, and the result will be futile so to speak!

The wise question I grasped from one of the Southern intellectuals during family talks on some topical issues was, “now that the South is ours, why because we fought together and we have brought peace together, the remaining issue is how division of power, wealth is and resources- the 52 % of the South stipulated in the Peace Protocols going to be divided among the people of the South”? I was some how puzzled when that elderly man talked with sense of humor. I thought he was creating a joke, but I came to realize that he was meaning his words!

By the way this is a very question that needs the contributions of every Southerner, the answer to this question must come from all of us (we who are Southerners) who suffered humiliation and marginalization in the hands of the Arab-Muslim-North! This time let us not allow those who are Arabs-in-Black-Skin again mistreat us! Such issues raise above could give rise to another bloodbath in the South, which will so to say be an over-the-top reality in the history of the New Sudan we are dreaming of living happy life in!

Let us jabber less and do more for the profitability of the South, let us stop disagreement amongst us, and work for the construction of the New Sudan with new understanding of fraternity, solidarity and “the right man or woman in the right place to do the right things at the right time” be a philosophy that will guide us along as we triumphantly re-build our beloved South Sudan that was dilapidated by the war, leaving us like orphans!

What I have written here is a reminder to all of us, let us start thing seriously and acting on the questions raised and give our views with respect to the same. It is my hope that the Rumbek-South-South-Dialogue will be a reality and strong resolutions that will come out from there should be for the well-being of the South. Let us give our support to it, and encourage our brothers and sisters who will be coming from USA, Canada, UK, Europe and Australia to join in, make substantial contributions during the deliberations and think of coming back home to help re-construct the South. Long live Rumbek Conference, Long Live New Sudan, Long Live South Sudan and Long live SPLM/A the Liberation Struggle Movement! With homage


This article was published on bitterlemons-international.org; an internet forum edited by Ghassan Elkhatib, a Director of Jerusalem Media Communication Center, and Yossi Alpher of American/ Jewish Center. Hope you find it and interesting reading..

The Naivasha enigma

Robert O. Collins

On January 9, 2005 the government of Sudan and the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) signed a peace agreement in Naivasha, Kenya, after 22 years of violent conflict that killed over two million southern Sudanese and displaced another six million. Make no mistake, this is an historic achievement concerning inscrutable and imponderable differences, the result of long and tortuous negotiations that could have failed at any moment without intense international pressure from the troika of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the stalwart Norwegians.

It was the vindication of Dr. John Garang, leader of the SPLM, who envisaged a new Sudan of unity in diversity in 1983, a conviction from which he has never deviated during two decades of military victories and defeats, revolts against his authority, and interminable negotiations with disingenuous Islamist members of the National Islamic Front (NIF). His consistency, determination, and patience have been rewarded. He is now on paper the most powerful man in the Sudan as first vice-president, president of the Southern Autonomous Government, and commander-in-chief of his own army.

The new Sudan will no longer be an Islamist state but a democratic “one Sudan regardless of race, religion, or tribe” in which the new South will have autonomy, retain its own army, receive 50 percent of Sudan’s oil revenues, and have the right to vote for secession after six years. Those who have worked so hard for so long to achieve this triumph deserve our heart-felt praise, but they have had neither the time nor the energy to realize what they have accomplished or how they achieved it. After the celebrations in the sober light of day the participants awoke to the fact that, in their focused determination to complete the Naivasha Agreement they had little or no understanding of reality in the southern Sudan.

What are the realities? No amount of rhetoric can overcome the fact that today the overwhelming numbers of southern Sudanese are open or “closet” separatists, including some within Garang’s SPLM National Leadership Council. This should come as no surprise after 150 years of slavery, discrimination, and racism by northern Sudanese and, since independence, too many promises broken and millions dead or driven from their homes. Moreover, there is a large body of silent northerners who are quite prepared to let the South go its own way. For, indeed, southerners are different, often despised, and not about to become Arabs and Muslims, so it’s time the two million unwanted southern refugees milling around Khartoum went home.

Among the European and the United States governments there is an accepted folklore that the southern Sudan does not have the necessary educated and experienced individuals to administer the new South. This is undoubtedly true, but it is a situation the international community has pledged to rectify by massive infusions of cash and personnel to help. And if the past is any prophet of the future, after winning a measure of autonomy at Addis Ababa in 1972 the southern Sudanese enjoyed themselves immensely managing or mismanaging their affairs, and see no reason not to try again on their own. During the six years before the promised referendum this enthusiasm for independence will be hard to contain despite the anticipated attempts by any northern government to subvert it.

The key to the success of the unified new Sudan, however, is not the evolution of a separatist movement in the new South, but the reception and acceptance of a large number of hitherto despised southerners by the northern Sudanese. Naivasha guaranteed that southerners would receive 30 percent of the executive and legislative seats in the government of north Sudan, 12 percent more than in the elected central government of 1958.

In 1958 the southern representatives were ill-educated, inexperienced, and naive. Some were fooled, most were bought. It is doubtful that the southern Sudanese veterans of war, political infighting within the SPLM, and years of negotiations with Islamists, supported by the educated and successful southern elite in the diaspora, will be bought or betray their constituents a second time around. The new southern politician, however, will soon perceive that his future lies in being a member of the independent government of the South and not as “minister of cows” in Khartoum.

Perhaps the greatest enigma of Naivasha is the seeming willingness by the leadership of the National Congress Party (formerly NIF) to abandon the Islamist state and the ideology upon which it was founded of converting all Sudanese into Arabs and Muslim fundamentalists. Many have long wondered at the incongruity of the professed policies of the Islamist government to transform multi-ethnic, multi-linguistic, multi-religious Sudan into an Arab nation run by Salafist militant Muslims, a policy whose current manifestation is disaster in Darfur.

Are the Sudanese Islamists ready to abandon their ideology, their mission, and above all their power in return for a united, democratic Sudan, or is it to be just more of the same tactics of give-and-take, stonewalling and prevarication that have characterized their governance during the past 16 years? That is the Naivasha enigma.- Published 10/2/2005 (c) bitterlemons-international.org

Robert O. Collins is professor of history emeritus at the University of California Santa Barbara. He first went to the Sudan in 1956 and has since written extensively on the Sudan, the Southern Sudan, and the Nile.

More Dr. John Garang’s Speech on You-Tube











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  3. […] texts. The late John Garang, who negotiated the peace deal between North and South Sudan in 2005, noted: “We have not used any formal word in the entire [peace agreement] to describe the type of […]


  4. […] texts. The late John Garang, who negotiated the peace deal between North and South Sudan in 2005, noted: “We have not used any formal word in the entire [peace agreement] to describe the type of […]


  5. […] texts. The late John Garang, who negotiated the peace deal between North and South Sudan in 2005, noted: “We have not used any formal word in the entire [peace agreement] to describe the type of […]


  6. […] out in the texts. John Garang, who negotiated the peace deal between North and South Sudan in 2005, noted: “We have not used any formal word in the entire [peace agreement] to describe the type of […]


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