Friday, May 14, 2010

SPLM - NCP alliance: a "covenant with death" (Isaiah 28:15)

As was expected, the Arab, Islamist, dictatorial and genocidal regime of Omar al-Bashir won Sudan's totally compromised April elections.

Omar al-Bashir won 68 per cent of the presidential votes, while candidates belonging to al-Bashir's party, National Congress Party (NCP, formerly the National Islamic Front), won the majority of seats in the National Assembly as well as governorships in 13 of the North's 14 states.
See: Dream election result for Sudan's President Bashir
By James Copnall, BBC News, 27 April 2010

The southern-based Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM, a political opposition movement based in the South) retains control of Southern Sudan, having won 93 percent of the vote in the South. SPLM leader Salva Kiir, a former rebel army commander, was confirmed as leader of the South with 92.99 per cent of the Southern vote. He will be sworn in as Sudan's Vice President on 21 May.

According to the Financial Times, the National Consensus' presidential candidate, Yasir Arman of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), picked up 21.7 per cent of the vote, in spite of his having pulled out of the elections, allegedly in protest over electoral fraud. Who's to say what could have been achieved had the opposition stayed united?

(In the days prior to the elections, the SPLM betrayed and abandoned the National Consensus alliance of opposition parties to renew its coalition with al-Bashir's NCP. The deal involved the SPLM guaranteeing al-Bashir the presidency in exchange for al-Bashir guaranteeing the Southern Self-Determination Referendum. See my blog-post of 8 April 2010 entitled, Sudan's elections: already totally compromised. )

Western powers, including the US, while acknowledging the election was flawed, are accepting the results as legitimate, citing progress in the "process of democratisation". (In reality, the only "progress" that has been made has been in the art of cheating.)
See: Sudan Votes: Responding to an Electoral Travesty
Eric Reeves, 20 April 2010

The SPLM thinks it can guarantee South Sudan -- home to 80 percent of Sudan's oil -- a smooth secession by empowering, and entering into an alliance with, the lying, treacherous, oil-dependent NCP of Omar al-Bashir. What a travesty!
For background and analysis on the Khartoum-SPLM alliance, see: Southern Sudan: on the path to war By Elizabeth Kendal, 3 Oct 2007

In an article entitled, "How political prostitution might cost South Sudanese their hard-earned freedom", New Sudan Vision's John Penn de Ngong decries the fact that Khartoum has once again been able to use promises and inducements to divide not only the oppositional National Consensus, but the SPLM itself.

Further to this, according to Penn de Ngong, the South's "neighbours who once were our symphasizers have started stabbing our backs". Both Chad's President Idris Derby and Eritrea's President Isaias Aferwoki have now expressed opposition to Southern secession. Furthermore, Penn de Ngong reports that IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development), the UN and the AU (African Union) have likewise expressed reservations about Southern secession. (Egypt has never supported Southern secession on account of concerns over the possible impact on Nile water supply.)

"Why," asked Penn de Ngong, "are Kenyans, Ugandans, Congolese, etc. shifting their border posts deeper into Southern Sudan this time than last time? Why the military confrontation at our borders of Nadapal (Kenya), Moyo (Uganda), Bazi (Congo DR)? Now with the discovery of oil and other minerals in our land (South), be afraid, be very afraid! Or else be prepared, be very ready!"

In an article entitled, Many Sudans yet to come, in the 22 - 28 April 2010 issue of Al-Ahram (Cairo), reporter Ali Belail interviews Mansour Khaled, a member of the Political Bureau of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) and former advisor to the Sudanese Presidency; and Mubarak Al-Fadil Al-Mahdi, a former interior minister and the leader of the Reform and Renewal faction of the Umma Party, one of the opposition parties that boycotted the elections; and questions whether Sudan's elections mark a step forward.

According to Mansour Khaled, the last few decades could well be like a honeymoon compared to what could happen to Sudan in the next few years.

Belail reports that tensions are high and that while there are several issues that could trigger anger and conflict, "oil is perhaps the most potent factor". As Belail notes: "almost 80 per cent of oil is produced south of what would be the border between the two countries".

According to Mubarak Al-Fadil Al-Mahdi, revenue from oil represents nearly 95 per cent of Sudan's total revenue. "Oil has become the livelihood of this government," he says, "and they got used to lavish spending."

Al-Mahdi's fear is that because the regime in Khartoum has neglected the economy, he cannot see them willingly relinquishing their lifeblood. "Our information is that the National Congress Party [NCP] will not let go of the oil," says Al-Mahdi. He predicts that the government will not allow the south to separate. Rather, the regime will "stall as it has done before so that the referendum is not carried out".

Al-Ahram notes that such stalling could trigger a unilateral declaration of independence from the South, which would inevitably trigger a return to armed conflict. (For other scenarios see: Khartoum's strategic assault on Southern Self-Determination Referendum, By Eric Reeves, 26 August 2009 )

"Anyway," states Al-Mahdi, "there is going to be a confrontation between the south and the north again . . . back to the war." And, according to Al-Mahdi, if and when war does resume, Sudan -- with its heavily armed, poverty-stricken population -- risks becoming another Somalia.

"There were mistakes done by the elite," says Al-Mahdi. "They should have seen that Sudan was multi-coloured, multi-ethnic, multi-religious. Sudan should be taken back to the drawing board -- a civil state that recognises multiplicity. This is the only way if you want to keep Sudan together."

Indeed, that was exactly what the late Dr John Garang (SPLM war-time leader) envisioned. But, as Mansour Khaled notes: "The ruling elite in the north do not accept diversity."

There will certainly be war in Sudan -- only now, instead of being a war between a discredited and desperate regime in Khartoum and a united, encircling opposition fighting for a united, secular, democratic Sudan, it will be war between an empowered, enriched, confident Khartoum and disparate, disillusioned, embittered and divided minority peoples each fighting for whatever they can manage to get for themselves.

There will be a massive war for control of the oil fields presently situated on the southern side of the North-South border.

The SPLM's alliance with the NCP is nothing other than a "covenant with death" (Isaiah 28:15). May God have mercy on the Church in Sudan.