Sudan president should not resign on his own, but must be forced to leave

Category: Commentary
Published on Friday, 05 December 2008 00:00
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Garang Ayang Kuoi

(Vermont U.S.A ) - As the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been slowly but surely making its case against Sudanese president Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Bashir, the arrest warrant against him seems to be looming and coming closer to Al-Bashir’s backyard than ever before. Mr. President’s future is looking more gloomy and somber than ever before. It looks like the president’s days are in a shadowy bracket with unpredictable future but grievances, imperative justice to be done and the sorrow surrounding his national Congress Party (NCP) palace. The world has been acknowledging the suffering of not only Sudanese people, but the marginalized from the South, West, North and the East. The fact that the Sudanese head of State has not only been an anti peace for the people of Sudan is becoming the reality of one being an anti peace against oneself. The president has been a rogue and a weapon of mass destructions against himself so unknowingly.

The world, which has been a bystander for so long as it has been watching Sudanese innocents being indiscriminately killed by Al-Bashir’s Khartoum based government is finally standing up to speak for the poor, famed, the dead and the living Sudanese people. The ICC indictment against Al-Bashir on war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide should have taken its place long time ago; he was supposed to go on this quest by the time he committed genocide, war crimes, and crime against humanity almost twenty years ago, but because we live in a world of the “strong must do what they will, and the weak must suffer,” president Al-Bashir had a nerve to kill; he had a nerve to stay in power, and he had a nerve to wait until this very moment to be charged, put on trial and finally face the justice which he denied the people of Sudan for so long. The world and Sudanese people know that this is only the beginning of justice process to be pursued against Al-Bashir; however, the optimism is that late justice is way better than never justice. There is a hope that justice will finally prevail as the world is ready to say enough is enough. Long time ago, right after the inception of Sudan People Liberation Movement and Sudan Liberation Army (SPLM/SPLA, 1983), the call was made by the SPLM/SPLA founder, late Dr. John Garang de Mabior who was killed in a plane crash on July 30, 2005, just two weeks after he was inaugurated as first vice president of the Republic of Sudan, and the president of autonomous government of South Sudan which was brought about by comprehensive peace agreement (CPA); signed between

Al-Bashir’s government and Sudan people liberation movement in Nairobi Kenya on July 9th, 2005 after more than two decades of bloody war over religions and self identity between the South and Khartoum. John Garang then called for a “search for dialogue among the equals.” As a warrior with compassionate vision, and a well defined mission around common purpose, John Garang argued that in order “to end present and future crisis in Sudan, there must be unbiased, honest and serious discussion by all Sudanese political forces on all the nation’s challenges in order to find significant mechanism on how to tackle the outstanding issues.”

In away, John Garang had a vision for unlimited bright future of our nation in which he believed the road to democracy in Sudan was uneasy, and it is a task which needs collective Sudanese effort to bring a just peace and freedom to all. He had foreseen the consequences of mismanagement, dictatorship, human imparity, and divided political ideals and theories of a failed nation.

As a soldier and a politician, John Garang knew that in order for Sudanese to overcome the odds, there has to be a military pressure to protect the marginalized while on the search for solutions, but there also has to be a political willingness to pave the way for discussions which could lead to possible reconciliations among Sudanese people. His called for war against Sudan government meant the determination to prove that the SPLM/A meant the business of freedom for unfortunate Sudanese who have been denied justice for so long and to pave the way for those who have been seeking justice and peace; a called for political dialogue among the equals meant the determination to proved to Sudanese people that the South took arms against the government for the purposes of what Sudan out to be, that is a diverse, multicultural, multi lingual and multi religions nation. He made his argument loud and clear to Sudanese government and Sudanese masses that his defection from Khartoum government was something bigger than what Khartoum had once called “Southern problem,” but a vision in which a well educated young John Garang with PhD from Iowa State University believed that it must be address at national levels because Sudanese from all walk of life were marginalized. This called however, was simultaneously ignored by Khartoum elites who were in power before Al-Bashir came into power in 1989. Again, when Al-Bashir came into power by force, Garang renewed his called for a dialogue among the equals in Sudan to address outstanding issues, like his friends in Khartoum;

Al-Bashir had refused the path to dialogue and chooses to kill Sudanese people. This dialogue among the equals was the SPLM/SPLA strategy as a way forward to attain the so called “New Sudan,” which the movement had defined in no certain terms that it is a diverse nation with multi cultures, religions, ethnicity, languages, and socio-economic as well as political status. John Garand had predicted that our nation is an isolated State from its people, and that it was never too late to rescue the country from what was tearing it apart. This SPLM vision which was mysteriously ignored and still ignores by Khartoum government has been slowly but surely an emerging political realism and prospective that has been finding its way to national and international stage; no matter how long it has been taking to have negative impact on bigots and positive impact on Sudanese citizens. During the South-North war in Sudan, more than two million citizens were killed, both at gunpoint, hunger, diseases and other war related circumstances. More than four millions of which I am one of them were forced to flee their homes and became refugees especially in East Africa and other countries in the world.

During two decades of civil war between the South and the North, the Sudanese government was busy killing innocents people without knowing that one day one time, the world will say wait a minute, somebody has got to do something about Sudanese government atrocities against its people. Unfortunately, the Khartoum government did not have a nerve to caution itself over massacre and evaluate its political activities in the country. As a result of a lack of vision, the war began once again in western Sudan region of Darfur in 2003, between the rebels groups and Khartoum government. Instead of solving Darfur problem, Al-Bashir had once again refused the “dialogue among the equals” to address Darfur problem and other marginalized regions in Sudan. Darfurians were forced to leave their homes, innocently kills, women and girls being rapes in daily bases, yet these folks in Khartoum are busy drinking their tea, and developing war strategies on how to kill in Darfur, and how to dodge the international community.

Fortunately, the ICC prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo has been also busy in his office, filling three counts of genocide, five war crimes against humanity, and two murder counts against president Al-Bashir and his boys. So who is to blame now as the ICC and the international community are making their case against Al-Bashir? I think there is no one to blame but Al-Bashir should blame himself because his government has been a big failure of Sudanese society, and he has brought shame on to himself and the entire nation. Therefore, the Sudanese rival political parties against Al-Bashir’s party should and must seize the momentum and opportunity by pledging their full support to the ICC to carry out its work and allow justice to prevail. The ICC indictment against Al-Bashir is the most valuable opportunity the Sudanese people have ever had. Al-Bashir’s trial will unite the country and achieve the goal of New Sudan through meaningful “dialogue among the equals.” He and his Gangs in the NCP palace must not scare the Sudanese people and the world over false vision that the ICC indictment and possible arrest warrants will complicate the comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) in the South, and the conflict in Darfur. In fact, this is a totally political propaganda meant to scare marginalized Sudanese people; but the reality is that Al-Bashir’s absence in Sudanese government will mean two things. First, it will allow the nationalists in the north two think twice, and consider the realism of John Garang his dialogue among the equals strategy, which shall enable them to convince the South by creating attractive unity among Sudanese people which Al Beshir has been unable to accomplish. The other marginalized regions will therefore follow the path to a new change which will create the window of opportunity for Sudanese people to work hand in hand and solve their differences, work together to find a political mechanism that should bring us to gather and have our nation undivided over religions, ethnicity, and cultural differences. Secondly, the politicians in the South will have a new faith in term of reconsidering the idea of New Sudan within the framework of smooth transition which rests within the dialogue among equals with a theme of tackling the nation’s problems because the South has not only been interested in separation, but chooses separation over the unity of Sudan because of what seems to be perpetual of leadership in the North.

Furthermore, Al-Bashir is a one man, and his absence will not mean the end of the system that allowed him to emerge and dictate the nation; instead, there are northern elite with the same kind of mentality, and of course who will try to lobby against the ideology of real dialogue among Sudanese people. But at least the moment he will be gone, the Sudanese masses will have an opportunity to immediately elect their chosen leader such as the SPLM party which is a party with the vision of keeping our country to gather. Those are the benefits of letting Al-Bashir go through international due process as he faces justice. The reason why I think that the ICC must be allowed to carry out it international obligation and duty on international figure who has breached the international law by killing millions of people in his own country is because I am sure that there is no any Sudanese who is afraid of federalism, power-sharing, and freedom of religions in Sudan.

The problem is that the people have never had a chance to politically persuade each other around common purpose without dictating each other as it was once said by John Garang. Hence, now is the time for Sudanese people to do everything they can to push Al-Bashir into hell as fast as they can so that freedom will come at last. I also believe that there are Sudanese who thinks that Sudan is bigger than one man with blind ideals, and that Sudanese people themselves ought not to divide their nation, but they have no ways and means of uniting the nation since the system is monarchy and tyranny, dictated by one man and few selfish and narrow minded politicians whose vision is dominated by religion and corruptions.

I also think that the African and Caribbean leaders who are attempting to stick their noses on Sudanese affairs are wrong, and must be warn both by the international community and Sudanese people to refrain from backing Al-Bashir; and allow the justice to prevail. Those who are claiming that the ICC indictment against Sudanese president is politically motivated are plainly lying to international justice system; and as someone who was born and raised in war in Sudan, I find it very selfish of those leaders to ignore the suffering of Sudanese people and trying to fulfill their political ambitions by pledging their supports to one of the world notorious menace and the most brutal leader of our time. Al-Bashir’s indictment and possible arrest is in Sudanese national interest, and I see no one to object to millions of voices in Sudan which are crying for justice, and need international collective effort to grand them their freedom.

One reason why African people are still behind is because we fail not to condemn wrong things, instead, we encourage them and that is why we are victims of bad governance. This is a good example of what happened in Rwanda in 1994, when Rwandans were committing genocide against each other over ethnic differences, those African and Caribbean countries were there but did nothing. No one condemned or event committed troops to go and rescue Rwandans from killing each other. Where were those African leaders when Sudanese government was busy bombing Sudanese children and elderly persons during two decades of civil war between the South and the North? This kind of ignorance has to stop, and one way to stop it is through international justice which shall be allowed to carry out its obligations. The Sudanese people have suffer in the hands of tyrants for so long, therefore, they deserves every possible opportunity they can have to get rid of current leadership and allow themselves to redefined their destiny. This is why it is crucially and even critically important for outsiders to remain vigilant and allow the ICC to prosecute the president. It is really amazing sometimes when you see weak and poor countries like Sudan rules by realists; the mentality of realism is what is been making our continent unfruitful, greed and selfishness are made priority by African leaders whose theme is to get by with life but not to produce for the future. You consider yourself realist when you have a better nation with quality life for all, but not only when you powers and prosperity in your backyard while millions are suffering. To summarize, if the Sudanese people really need to be free and have a united Sudan, they must stop looking at all aspects from point of fear because fear in God do not occupy the same space. Hesitation not to unite against the common enemy of peace is what has been killing us innocently for many years. It is therefore necessary to get rid of what seems to be an obstacle to peace and unity in Sudan: Bashir.

*Garang Ayang Kuoi is a student of history and political science at Southern Vermont College Bennington Vermont, U.S.A. Could be reach at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.