Wake-Up Call: Eleven Landmarks Shaped Sudan – 1989-2011
In the first part of this article, I cited eleven landmarks in the history of Sudan since 1885 to 1989, which greatly affected the shaping of the present Sudan. As I promised I promised 1 list in the part the other eleven landmarks since 1989 till now which justifies the present condition of the Sudan.
* The first landmark is the take-over of rule by the Sudanese Islamic Movement on June 30, 1989 through a successful and easy without resistance by the smart timing and full utilization of the state of alert in the army following the army memorandum of 20/2/1989 to the government. This memorandum was a fellow card - armies in the third world never use it, they usually and promptly give the red card – signaling for a quick reform in governance and army conditions in the South. That time the army failed to quell the insurgence of the SPLA led by army Colonel, John Garang which inflicted heavy casualties and enormous damage on army weaponry. The situation was aggravated by the lack of stability of governance and the deterioration of economic conditions. Three coalition governments were formed by Sadiq Al Mahdi in less than three years, plus the reluctance and foot-dragging tactics of El Mahdi in blessing and endorsing the Mirghani-Garang agreement of November 1988 in Addis Ababa. The agreement, if ratified, could have saved the country all the losses including Sudan itself.
* The second landmark in the first 10 years of the Salvation Rule in 1989 – 1999: This decade started by very aggressive and wide arrests of all leaders of political parties and trade unions. A state of fear and anxiety prevailed and no body dared to resist or confront the early iron-grip of the new regime. Only one coup trial happened on April 1990 led by Major General Pilot Khalid El Zein and managed to seize power for a few hours. All 28 officers in the coup were tried and executed in the evening of the same day of the coup. After this the Salvation Rule gained full control by the dismissal of thousands of military and civilian staff – replacing them with die-hard members of the Islamic movement. In this period the army conditions in the South greatly improved by the first rehabilitation and new combat weaponry enhanced by the infusion of loyal and strong popular defense forces of the religious warriors (mujahideen). The army then regained control of all the big cities in the South.
* The third landmark was the famous split in the Islamic Movement when Dr. Hassan Al Turabi was ousted from his posit4ion as a leader of the Salvation Revolution in the late 1990s. The immediately established a quasi party, the present Popular Congress Party which started and continued to be hostile and inimical to the governing National Congress Party. Dr. Al Turabi was arrested several times and for long periods. The Popular Congress Party established opposing alliance of SPLM, UMMA, Communist, Baath and other parties.
* The fourth landmark was the ratification of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) on 9/1/2005. The CPA stopped the protracted civil war since 1955. it stipulated in its most important articles: -
- SPLM leader Dr. John Garang to be the first vice president
- Referendum for southerners to vote for separation or unity after 6 years.
- Equitable, fair to the north, distribution of oil exports proceeds.
- It also included two volatile, ambiguous and risky protocols covering three soft sports, Abyei, South Kordofan and the Blue Nile areas. They were calculated time bombs which exploded just few months after secession.
- The CPA stopped short of detailing muddy issues in the event of the referendum resulting in secession.
In my opinion, the engineers of the CPA worked the text considering secession as an unlikely event and emphasized the slogan of making unity attractive. This was mainly due to their confidence in the charisma and resolve of Dr. John Garang whose rhetoric was conducive to unity. His rhetoric turned to a belief at the onset of his unprecedented well reception and warm welcome at Khartoum after the ratification, especially from the northerners. This event could be the most important drive to his killing in the mysterious plane crash few days later. This was plotted to block all roads leading to unity and opening all channels of weakening the north in all directions; economy and stability. Definitely and considering the circumstantial evidences, the above plot and the place, the same power which killed Dr. John Garang killed George Athor Deng last week.
- The fifth landmark in the killing of Dr. John Garang after two weeks from his assuming the duties of the first Vice President. His killing obscured from the SPLM any sharp and balanced thinking and belief targeting unity and at the same time cleared the way for the secessionists who are driven by the grievances of the past which were transcended nobly by Dr. John Garang. The relieved secessionists worked in calculated steps leading to ship of secession to their goal after planned times of turbulences throughout the 6 years of the CPA.
- The sixth landmark is the five-year era 2005-2010. It is a landmark. It is a landmark because it witnessed smooth years of political and economic stability which paved the way for a relative affluence and development. Dollar rate dwelled at SDG2.0, market was full of commodities, services improved to the extent that made Sudan receive an exodus of people and businesses from many countries. Big buildings shot up in the sky of Khartoum, cars of all brands and latest models filled the streets. Banking – foreign and local boomed. One of the clear manifestations of this era as a landmark is the inauguration of the Meroe Dam. It is considered the biggest Dam in Africa built in Hamadab, 40 kilometers from Meroe. Work started in 2004 and opened by the President Al Bashir on 3/3/2009, cost $1.2 billion, designed and supervised by Lahmeyer International of Germany. Civil work by China International Water and Electricity Corporation. Power turbines by Alston – France. Distribution lines and transformers by Harkin Power Engineering Co. China. Cost Distribution 45%, civil works 25 %, Turbines 30%, Transmission and system upgrading. Finance of the $1.2 billion
China Import, Export Bank - €400million
Arab Fund for Development - €130million
Saudi Fund for Development - €130million
Oman Fund for Development - €130million
Abu Dhabi Fund for Development - €80million
Kuwait Fund for Development - €85million
The remaining €400million financed by Sudan.
Total power generated 1200MW (40% of all power generation)
- The seventh landmark is the warrant of arrest of President Al Bashir in March 2009 issued by the ICC. It is a landmark because it is the first precedent to summon an incumbent president by a warrant of arrest. It allowed the western leaders and groups to openly practice their enmity to Sudan and it also greatly affected the movement4 of the President.
- The eighth landmark is the referendum which resulted in the secession of the South and the declaration of a new country – the Republic of South Sudan on July 9, 2011.
- The ninth landmark is the explosion of conditions in South Kordofan and the rebellion of Abdel Aziz Al Hilu and his defection to the borders with South Sudan after the by-elections in the State of April 2011.
- The tenth landmark is the ratification of the two crucial agreements in one week in Addis Ababa. The first about Abyei provisional Arrangements signed on 20th June 2011 by Ustaz Idris Mohamed Abdel Gadir for Sudan and Ustaz Pagan Amum for SPLM witnessed by Thabo Mbeki and endorsed by the African Union (AU) and the UN. The second about South Kordofan, Blue Nile and SPLM in the North, singed on 28/6/2011 by Dr. Nafie for Sudan and Pagan Amum for the SPLM witnessed by Mbeki and endorsed by African Union (AU) and UN. One of the major articles of this framework agreement states the acceptance of an immediate ceasefire in South Kordofan by midnight 30/06/2011. This framework agreement was completely aborted by the speech of President Al Bashir on Friday 1/7/2011 after the Prayers in El Nour Mosque when he ordered as supreme commander of the army to continue fighting till capturing or killing El Hilu and suppression of the insurgency in the region. Few months after this, Malik Agar rebelled and his forces were subdued making him to flee to Kurmuk which was conquered in October 2011 on the eve of the Eid Al Adha. Agar then fled to the South Sudan Country with mopping up operations by the Sudan army till now.
- The last landmark is the formation of the broad-based government after painstaking negotiations with the opposition parties for more than four months. Only one new party agreed to participate. It is the Unionist Democratic Party (UDP) led by Mohamed Osman El Mirghani. This participation hard hit the UDP and created a dangerous rift which can hardly be bridged and will lead the party to more fragmentations and weakening. Also an unexpected killing of Dr. Khalil Ibrahim, leader of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) of Darfur last week. This event adds to this last landmark as nobody knows the consequences of his killing and it remains a precarious landmark….
From the Editor:
Due to the omission of some sentences in the typesetting of the article which are necessary to make the landmarks complete, we repeat the article after inserting the missing words.
By Omer Bakri Abu Haraz, 04/01/2012