By Dr Justin Ambago Ramba, M.D.*
June 16, 2009
Posted to the web on June 16, 2009
Read below and this is what CPA says:
IN PURSUANCE OF the commitment of the Parties to a negotiated settlement on the basis of a democratic system of governance which, on the one hand, recognizes the right of the people of Southern Sudan to self-determination and seeks to make unity attractive during the Interim Period, while at the same time is founded on the values of justice, democracy, good governance, respect for fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, mutual understanding and tolerance of diversity within the realities of the Sudan;
The above is the core theme of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that was signed between the government of Sudan (GoS) and the Sudan People’ Liberation Movement in Naivasha in 2005.
I am completely convinced that what is happening between the two SPLM factions of Salva Kiir Mayardit (SPLM) and Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin (SPLM-DC) should have been an internal affair within the party. Unfortunately it is no longer the case as the issue has come into the public and some other acts taken by both sides is in one way or the other violating the spirit of the CPA which is stated above.
We south Sudanese must be reasonably enough to understand what constitutes a good political practise. These six years which is the life spun of the CPA; every single thing is to be done in the country (Sudan) within the context of this agreement and the permanent constitution.
The war is now over, in fact four years ago, and even some of those who fought the war are now willingly disarming so as to integrate into the civilian life. All that they did in the bush is now left behind them as a history for the coming generation to draw lessons from.
I for one, I do recognize the CPA knowing well that it is an agreement between southerners and the Jallabas. And as stated in the agreement (read above), its is a negotiated settlement, meaning that no single side won the war, but it was the Sudanese people who won because they succeeded to stop the crazy blood shed and the lose of lives.
Reflecting on the picture that shows the late SPLM leader Dr. John Garang de Mabior holding the CPA document in hand and with the other hand holding the hands of both the Sudanese President Omer Al Bashir and his Vice Ali Osman Taha in fact to me demonstrates how those who signed the agreement wanted it to proceed.
Today the SPLM’s vision seems to have been hijacked or even arrested and people who are completely alien mentally to the CPA are now in the driver’s seat. Given what is now happening between the NCP and the SPLM in the government of national unity, one can without any slightest doubt conclude that if it were not for the Late Dr. Garang, the current SPLM leadership that have inherited him wouldn’t have arrived at any peaceful settlement to the two decades’ war between the north and the south .
Garang had always preached the engagement of the enemy and he used to call those entirely unilateral announcements that came from Khartoum in an attempt to address the war as a political naivety and useless as long as SPLM/A is not a party to it.
It was this philosophy of engaging the enemy that brought about the current CPA. Thus it remains a negotiated settlement and should be implemented in a negotiated manner away from the old culture of political bulling be it between the SPLM and the NCP or between SPLM and the other south Sudanese political forces. And as no single group won the war, it would be very arrogant and too naïve for a single group to boast of the CPA. It is a collective achievement of the Sudanese people both in the north and the south and this inclusiveness is the only guarantee to the survival of the agreement if we real understand what the agreement actually stands for.
Read the extract above. No where has the CPA stipulated that those who carried guns in the bush should become masters to enslave others, or boast of having liberated the south. We all know that the south is going to be a nation through the ballot at the referendum day in 2011.
And it can only be liberated by the spirit of the CPA which is our only road map to liberty as it is “founded on the values of justice, democracy, good governance, respect for fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, mutual understanding and tolerance of diversity within the realities of the Sudan” These are what will liberate the people of south Sudan and any one who is alien to these principles is also alien to the liberation of south Sudan.
Today south Sudanese are suffering from the lack of tolerance of diversity within the realities of the Sudan contrary to what is expected of them in the CPA.
Or can our new masters pride themselves of practising justice, democracy and good governance? Do they actually show any respect for the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual? These questions have to be asked and answered by every concerned south Sudanese, be them cattle herders, farmers, workers, intellectuals, students, businessmen, politicians, lawmakers, or members of our new ruling clique.
The current controversy brought about by the break away of Dr. Akol to form his new party that he calls the SPLM-DC and the way the ruling party of south Sudan, the SPLM has responded to it, brings onto the surface many fundamental issues in the implementation of the CPA. It even to a greater extend shades light on how other people have chosen to misunderstand the CPA, thus making the deliverance of the peace dividends virtually impossible.
My aim of writing this article is to draw the attention of the public to the fact that there is a need for all of us to stick to the CPA. And it would be a good thing if all of us live our lives the way the agreement stipulates and incorporate it into our political practices to guide our political aspirations. The CPA will never go wrong unless we ourselves go wrong.
Secondly South Sudanese must come to know the value of money and I appeal to all the south Sudanese political forces to use their monies wisely as it is part of good governance. As such I don’t see any logic behind those who want to spend money on taking the SPLM-DC to court over the use of the name SPLM. It is obvious that they will loose the case.
If I were to be a member of the jury in this case, I will just ask the accusers as to what they make of the presence in the government of south Sudan (the GoSS) of parties like USAP 1 and USAP 2; or still what do they make of the existence of the three or so factions of the Arab Baathist parties and the four or so Umma parties which are all officially registered as separate Sudanese political parties to run for the coming elections.
There are still many examples of parties breaking into two or more which is a normal exercise that exists throughout the political history of this country called the Sudan, from which the SPLM takes its name. Even the ruling National Congress Party itself is not immune to splits where the break aways continue to call themselves a congress party with some few added/ substituted words
I understand how painful the SPLM finds it to have a split at this particular time in its history, but then this is exactly why the CPA calls for respect for fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, mutual understanding and tolerance of diversity.
However now there is a need to take our focus back to Khartoum and in particularly to the Presidency for sorting out the Census stalemate, and the National Parliament so that we have the new Security Bill passed as well as the Referendum Bill both of which must be tackled by the sitting Parliament whose life spans is almost running out.m
The citizens of south Sudan want to have the elections conducted and preferably within enough time before the referendum which they want to face with a good government in the south, not what our beloved President H.E Dr. Salva Kiir Mayardit has currently re-cycled for us.
But before I end, I would like us all to ask ourselves given the fact that the relationship between the NCP and the SPLM, which we all know is vital to the timely implementation of the CPA to the letter and spirit; this relationship is now tenacious and really rough. So coming to the delays in the implementation of the CPA, which is actually which? Is it the strained relationship between these partners that is the cause of the delays and slow implementation or is it the slow implementation of the CPA that has resulted to this bitterness between the two sides?
The Obama administration is very keen to see that south Sudanese vote in the referendum in 2011 and in time as stipulated in the CPA. He like us wants also to witness the birth of this new African state that is in the making. And possibly this month in Washington DC, the US administration and other countries will do their best to revitalize the CPA.
The Sudanese FVP and president of the semi – autonomous south Sudan Dr. Salva Kiir Mayardit for the SPLM and Sudanese 2nd Vice President Ali Osman Taha for the NCP are possibly expected to sign a new deal so as to resuscitate the spirit of the agreement and keep it on track and hopefully all the other standing issues shall also be addressed once and for all.
To wind up, I invited all the south Sudanese to keep their eyes on the CPA and while some of us do the rhetoric, we also need a diplomatic team to engage the north and make sure that they also abide by the agreement to the spirit and letter.
The cost of having our independent nation in the south is less so through the CPA than otherwise and hence comes the importance for those in offices to engage the enemy wisely and diplomatically in order to get to our goal.
Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba
United South Sudan Party (USSP)