By Mahmoud A. Suleiman
Sunday 13 October 2019
Sudan has been torn by Government waged wars against its people since its independence on Sunday the first of January 1956 from the Anglo-Egyptian Colonialism, better known as the Condominium. Thus, the establishment of an independent Peace Commission after the success of the December 19th 2018 Glorious Popular Revolution is absolutely necessary for the need of the regions plagued by absurd wars for so-long.
Doctor Gindoul Ibrahim Gindoul, wrote in the cyber journal Sudanese online (we raise our hats to all young men and women of Sudan and women and to the martyrs of the peaceful revolution of December 2018, which started its first spark on 13 and reached its summit on 19 of the same month of Damazin, and for their chants: "Freedom, Peace, Justice and We are all Darfur" This glorious revolution, which entered into conscience, shook the throne of the tyrants, removed its deposed head and sent him to the famous Kober Prison, accusing him of crimes of Forbidden wealth " and foreign exchange possession", although his National Congress Party (NCP) regime has not yet fallen and the three-decade-old deep state still exists. https://sudaneseonline.com/board/7/msg/1570578112.html
According to Eric Reeves, the man who extensively written about the war atrocities in the Darfur Region has recently doubted the chances of negotiations for a just and comprehensive peace in Sudan are likely to be very few, even with a nominally Transitional Government that is supposed to evolve into purely Civilian Governance. http://sudanreeves.org/2019/09/08/peace-in-sudan/
According to the Sudan Tribune Cyber Journal on September 5th 2019, indicated that the Prime Minister Dr Abdallah Hamdok has announced the formation of a committee to prepare for the peace process and to lay the foundations for the set-up of the Peace Commission. http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article68062 Furthermore, Speaking at a news conference on Thursday evening to announce the formation of his cabinet, Hamdok recalled that peace is a top priority for Sudan’s transitional government.
Despite the seriousness of achieving peace in Sudan by Prime Minister Hamdouk, this seems out of reach in light of insecurity in most regions of Sudan, especially in Darfur, where the killings of citizens continues and the return of mass rape crimes in most states of the Darfur region as it had happened in Tabet village where the Sudanese army forces (SAF) mass raped more than 200 women and girls in a coordinated attack on the town of Tabet in North Darfur in October 2014. At the time, the United Nations and the African Union were asked to take urgent steps to protect civilians in the town from further abuses. https://www.hrw.org/ar/news/2015/02/11/266730
The Darfur Union in the United Kingdom documented the horrific rape crimes recently committed in Darfur saying that: ( The cycle for violence against the civilians of Sudan in DARFUR continues. Two teenage girls in Central Darfur State, 6 kilometres off Niertiti, were on their way to collect some firewood fuel, in Um Hashaba to be specific (Saturday, 5th October 2019). Their journey was intercepted by Rapid Speed Force (RSF) or the former Janjaweed Militias, Sudanese Soldiers, the hats keep changing yet the rate of crime is the constant. The two teenagers were brutally raped. https://sudanjem.com/category/english/
At this juncture, it is appropriate to quote Professor Eric Reeves who wonders and poses the question as to whether the Military Elements of the Transitional Government really want peace and particularly when we exigently look at the records of the Sovereign Council Chairperson General Abdel Fatah Abdelrahman al-Burhan and the Sovereign Council member and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) Commander Muhammed Hamdan Dagalo (“Hemetti”). It is likely that over the past decade, Hemetti has accumulated more Sudanese blood on his hands in the conflict in Darfur and South Kordofan—as well as in Khartoum and elsewhere—than any other man in the country. Is he – Hamedti- now really ready to make peace, given that his conduct of the war has been by means of serial atrocity crimes, including genocide and crimes against humanity?
On the other hand, an old document written by Dr Bashar Sagur stated the following narrative:
Dr Bashar Sagur wrote: “After the pressure exerted by the rebel Sudanese people in the general command of the Sudanese army and all Sudanese cities and foreign countries and the bias of the honourable armed forces of junior officers and non-commissioned officers and soldiers for the peaceful popular revolution and protection of the protesters, and the widespread public and political rejection of the palace coup and the so-called High Security Committee and the Transitional Military Council the leader of the coup, General Awad Ibnouf, was forced to step down and hand over the coup authority to the racist and genocidal engineer in Darfur Abd al-Fattah al-Burhan, who was held captive by SLM / A forces in the Shaw Fugo area of Jebel Marra in 2003 after entering unauthorized territories after signing a ceasefire with the government in Abeche 2003 and ordered the movement’s leadership to release him in compliance with its agreement at the time, despite some protest. Military commanders, unfortunate One week after his release, Abdel Fattah Burhan recruited thousands of Janjaweed militias who committed the most heinous crimes against unarmed civilians, burned more than 85 villages, displaced tens of thousands of civilians within a month, and hundreds of women were raped in humiliation. The popular will and even named Abdel Fattah Burhan ordered his forces to use chemical weapons in the face of our valiant and unarmed civilians in Jebel Marra, which left thousands of civilian casualties, and famously said that he (the Lord of the Fur tribe), and will work to erase them from existence. He –Dr. Sagur continued saying: “We have been fighting for comprehensive change and building an equal citizenship state under a unified Sudan, but the Sudan we dream of cannot come through such racists as Abdel Fattah Burhan, Awad Ibnouf, Omer al-Bashir and others like their elk. https://sudaneseonline.com/board/500/msg/1555119151.html
Is it not awful? Is the Executioner Fit to be the Judge and a Member of the jury in the same murder case?!
On the other hand, the Continued repression, murder and heinous crimes such as rape in Darfur and other regions in Sudan are attributable to the fact that the nationwide state governors in Sudan are still the same military officers appointed by the emergency law announced on22 February 2019 by the ousted President al-Bashir before the military coup against him by his then deputy Awad bin Auf. So how do we expect the existence of peace and the rule of law while the same military junta ruling the States. Here, we question using the old adage that asks as to how the shadow can be straight while the pole is crooked; So to speak. What currently Sudan requires in the current political situation is the dismissal of military State Governors and the appointment of Civilian Governors in their place; noting that some military rulers in the states have demanded to be relieved of the positions they hold to return to the army barracks!
Despite the goodwill and sincerity towards the victory of the Sudanese people’s 19th December 2018 Revolution represented by the Transitional Government of Prime Minister Dr. Abdullah Hamdouk and the longings of the people of Sudan for Freedom, Peace and Justice, the Fifth Column Criminal and along with the remnants of the ruling regime of the National Islamic Congress (NCP) and the ousted the genocidal Criminal, the génocidaire Omer al-Bashir and the so-called” Deep State” continue working against the Sudanese people’s Longings, especially their aspirations for Democracy, equal citizenship, Decent living and their legitimate rights and duties as indigenous citizens in their own free democratic Sudan.
The reported crimes in Darfur have also occurred in eastern Sudan in Kassala and Port Sudan in artificial conflicts between people from the region of Nuba Mountains and other tribal groups from Eastern Sudan. However, the series of tribal warfare and genocide committed by the ousted government of Omer al-Bashir, though slightly have diminished in the Sudanese countryside, but the presence of the military in the interim government remains a threat to the glorious popular revolution.
The uncertainty of attaining just sustainable peace in Sudan remains widespread not only in the Darfur region but in other regions. An example of that is what has been reported happening in the Nuba Mountains where the public there are rejecting the use of cyanide and other chemicals in the mining areas. The Nuba Mountains and the north and the rest of the nearby areas, continue complaining as the chemical used in the Gold Mining are harmful to human beings, animals, contaminate water sources and lead to diseases such as foetal malformation, cancer and kidney diseases, miscarriage of pregnant women, mortality of cattle along with the destruction of tree plant and cover of the environment and consequently the displacement of citizens from their villages as a result of disasters.
As reported in the news, protests escalated in Talodi locality against mining or death companies that use environmentally damaging toxic substances demanding the departure of these companies. As a result of this rejection, the governor decided to stop the activities of all those companies; however, it was reported that a company by the name Jenaid refused to implement the governor’s decision to stop its activities and gunmen opened fire on unarmed citizens, which resulted in the death of (11) unarmed citizens, according to the statement of the Committee for Environmental Protection in the Nuba Mountains on 3/10/2019.
On the same important issue, the Cabinet directed the immediate cessation of the use of mercury and cyanide in mining. In its regular meeting today, October 9, 2019 under the chairmanship of Dr Abdullah Hamdouk, the Council of Ministers directed the immediate cessation of the use of Mercury and Cyanide in Mining Operations, as well as the amendment of the agreement with mining companies to allocate a percentage of their profits to the development of local communities as well as the establishment of a fund for development in mining. This came during the deliberations of the Council on the events in the city of Talodi, South Kordofan state recently. On the other hand, the Minister of Culture and Information Doctor Faisal Mohammed Saleh said in press statements that all the available information confirms that No One was killed but there were injuries. Dr Faisal also added saying that the responsibility lies with the government for the slowdown in dealing with this serious issue as the sit-in of the citizens of the region extended for quite a long time where it was supposed to have been intervened by the local authorities in this case earlier. Moreover, Minister of Culture and Information said that the Council of Ministers has suspended the work of these companies and decided to appoint environmental supervisors from the region to monitor the work in the field of mining and to report any violations of the environment to the competent authorities, noting that the Council also directed to review the mining policies in the country so as to be a unified and binding policy for all companies.
On the other hand, Sudan as this article touched on at the outset, has suffered from neverending wars waged by the successive military regimes against its compatriots. Thus, the civil war between the governments Sudan and its southern part Sudan before its secession has left more than 2 million people dead and many more that have fled their homeland. At the end of 2003, the Sudanese government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) reached a peace agreement mediated by the US, Britain, Norway and Italy. The agreement aimed for a ceasefire sets out conditions for power-sharing and creates a mechanism to determine the future of the South. However, the strategic interests of outside powers and escalating violence in the Region of Darfur in Western Sudan have rendered a quick conclusion on the peace deal impossible. In the then Southern Sudan Conflict, Sudan’s large oil reserves were the central to the then ongoing violence, as foreign governments and companies vie for lucrative concessions. As the North-South conflict eased, rebels in the western Darfur province challenged the government and were met with savage repression. In July 2004, UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1556 endorsed the deployment of a protection force by the African Union (AU) to monitor the April 2004 ceasefire in Darfur. In November 2004, the Security Council held an extraordinary meeting in Nairobi, but the efforts of some Council members to impose sanctions on Khartoum were thwarted by China and Russia, veto-wielding members with significant oil interests. On January 9, 2005, the Sudanese government and the SPLA signed the Naivasha peace – aka-the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) protocols, officially ending the North-South conflict. Yet many obstacles continue to block implementation.
Following months of discussion, the UN Security Council (UNSC) adopted three important resolutions in March 2005. To oversee the implementation of the North-South peace agreement, Council members decided to deploy a UN peacekeeping mission to Southern Sudan (UNMIS). The Council further agreed to refer perpetrators of human rights abuses to the International Criminal Court (ICC) despite Washington’s long-standing opposition to the Court. In response to armed parties’ failure to comply with previous resolutions, the Council also ordered a travel ban and a freeze of assets for human rights violators. But human rights violations continue to take place in the National Congress Party (NCP) arbitrarily ruled Sudan and violence rages on in Darfur. The conflict has spread across Sudan’s western border with Chad. The AU peacekeeping force - called the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) - has proved as an insufficient mandate and inadequate international support, and has been left undermanned, poorly funded and ill-equipped to respond to the rapidly deteriorating conflict. As a result, the then (UNSC) Secretary-General Kofi Annan decided to seek the integration of the AU peacekeeping mission in Darfur (AMIS) into UNMIS to form the United Nations-African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). Progress in this effort has lagged, however, as the plan has encountered opposition within the Security Council and as expected from Khartoum.
We are still in the never easily achievable issue of the most needed Peace in Sudan in general and the war-affected areas in general. On September 5, 2019, and from (KHARTOUM) – the Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok has announced the formation of a committee to prepare for the peace process and to lay the foundations for the set-up of the Peace Commission.
The Sudanese Revolutionary Front says we are ready to achieve peace by 2020
According to the leading member of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front, Yasser Arman. (Anatolia).
On Wednesday the 9th of October 2019, Arman announced their readiness to achieve a comprehensive peace, and end the war in the country by 2020, in the "interest of the displaced and refugees. He continued saying: ”We believe that peace in Sudan can be reached in a short time," said Arman, the deputy head of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement / North (SPLM / A). These are the last wars in 2019. He continued: "The war must end for the benefit of the internally displaced people and refugees, and those affected by war, and contribute to the resolution of land issues and security arrangements, and resolve issues of the economy and normalization of external relations, and we must go to build a new system of governance." "We are new to the interests of all the Sudanese, so we are in the Sudanese Revolutionary Front fully prepared to reach peace. We believe that we have partners now to achieve this. The revolution in Khartoum has provided us with partners for peace."
He noted that "the meetings in Addis Ababa (the Ethiopian capital) provided international support for the peace process in Sudan after this process found regional support from Sudan’s immediate neighbours and African and Arab countries."
He pointed out that "the workshop held in Addis Ababa came with the direct participation of the Office of the US envoy, the US State Department, and we met with the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations Nicholas Haysom." We will meet today (Wednesday) with the European Union envoy, Alexander Rondos, and we have also received a message from the British. A regional movement has shown wide support for the Juba Declaration, from Kenya, Eritrea, Ethiopia and (South Africa). The international community and the region have their responsibilities, and they are directly benefiting from ending the war in Sudan."
The Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa is currently witnessing meetings between the Sudanese government and the Revolutionary Front to discuss the implementation of the Juba Declaration and confidence-building arrangements between the two parties, before the start of peace talks on 14 October 2019.
On September 11, the Khartoum government signed separate understandings with the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement / North (SPLM / A), led by Abdul Aziz al-Helu, which included preliminary confidence-building measures to prepare for negotiations by mid-October, to expire on or before December 14.
The document signed with the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) , the importance of involving the African Union and the countries of Chad, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, IGAD, the troika and the European Union as important parties must be involved in the stages of peacemaking and building.
The Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) comprises three armed rebel movements: the Sudan Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi (SLA/MM, the Sudanese Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) both of which from Darfur in the (West) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement / North (SPLM / A) in South Kordofan (South) and Blue Nile (Southeast) states. Three armed rebel movements in Darfur have been fighting government forces since 2003, leaving more than 300,000 dead and 2.5 million displaced out of about 7 million people in the region, according to the United Nations. It is of importance that the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) has elected Dr Al-Hadi Idris Yahya, Head of the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army, Transitional Council as its President, Malik Agar, head of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North faction in Blue Nile state was selected as deputy, and Dr Gibril Ibrahim, leader of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), as Secretary-General.
The Sudanese people hope that the current transition, will contribute to Peace throughout their country, after the army leadership, on April 4, removed Omer al-Bashir from the presidency which reigned the lengthy period (1989 - 2019); but ousted under the weight of popular protests condemning the deterioration of economic conditions. The transitional period began on August 21, 2019, and will last for 39 months ending with General Elections, during which power is shared by the military junta and the Forces of Declaration of Freedom and Change, the body that leads the protests movement. The Declaration of a formation of the hard-won transition to civilian rule after three lean decades of authoritarianism rule is a major step in the current history and avenue for a just and sustainable peace.
Speaking at a news conference on Thursday evening to announce the formation of his cabinet, Hamdok recalled that peace is a top priority for Sudan’s transitional government.
Taking into consideration Dr Hamdok’s stress that the armed groups are an integral part of the Sudanese revolution and that this partnership created a favourable circumstance to achieve peace in the country, one feels that achieving peace is underway despite the obstacles trying to rail the process by the ruminants of the ousted regime. This is despite the report by the Sudan Tribune on October 8, 2019 (KHARTOUM) that Sudan’s peace talks may not begin next Monday as scheduled by the signatories of the Juba Declaration, Sudan Tribune has learnt on Tuesday. http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article68264
Nevertheless, people of Sudan are hopeful with the statements of the Prime Minister Hamdouk who has been reported as saying: “We started preparing for the peace process and in consultation with the Sovereign Council; we formed a small committee including members of the Sovereign Council and the Government on this respect. The mission of this Committee is to lay out a general framework for the structure of the Peace Commission". http://southafrica.shafaqna.com/EN/AL/2053063
"Peace is the top priority of the transitional period."
He noted that his government will work to achieve justice and transitional justice as part of its engagement with the peace process.
At the beginning of his press conference, the Prime Minister congratulated the armed groups under the banner of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) for the reunification of the Front and the success of its recent meeting in Juba.
He also expressed his delight at the statements of Abdulaziz Al-Helu, head of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, describing them as positive and supportive for the Revolution and preparing for Peace.
Speaking after a meeting with President Kiir, al-Hilu announced they will negotiate a peace agreement with the Hamdok’s government.
"The new government is a de facto government that has found recognition from the Sudanese people and therefore we will negotiate with it," he said.
Speaking about the benchmarks that his government plans to establish the peace process, Hamdouk said that joining the negotiating table would be different this time for the government and the armed opposition groups because they would not sit as disputing parties but as partners in this revolution.
"The model of power-sharing and wealth (of the previous peace talks) has caused many distortions in Sudanese politics. I think it is very important to move to another box and seek to create a climate that makes the peace process a focus to address the root causes of the crisis including marginalization, unbalanced development, need for positive discrimination etc..."
He further pointed to the need to develop a Marshall Plan for the war-affected areas to address the destruction caused to the infrastructure, to provide basic services to the people including health, education and to create a suitable environment for production in these areas.
One would like to end the issues of peace as a priority in Sudan; I would like to paraphrase the words of a member of the Sovereign Council on the topic. Member of the Sudanese Sovereign Council Mohamed al-Hassan Ta’ayashi said that the government is committed to moving forward to achieve peace because peace is not an option imposed as much as it is a priority of the glorious popular Revolution of the Nineteenth of December 2018 and stipulated in the constitutional document and is the peace that we express and intend to go It is not a peace that is based on political quotas, not based on superlatives, not peace, which repeats the experiences of peace that did not achieve peace and did not stop the war and peace in the eyes of the Revolutionary Government is to address the roots causes of war and on issues of power and wealth and issues related to Justice and as well as to Transitional Justice and related to land issues, addressing conflict over resources and the return of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees to their original lands after the removal of settlers. This kind of peace will address the roots of the problem of Sudan, which has been in its place since the departure of the British Colonization Sudan on January 1, 1956, which was characterized by the epidemic of successive military coups that delayed the country and put it in the back of the world nations and at the forefront of the countries characterized by corruption and dictatorship, and therefore the Revolution this time reassures the people of Sudan that this time peace is not only sustainable but as well just peace in which all the peoples of Sudan will enjoy it at equal footing without discrimination.
Asma Jilani Jahangir the Pakistani human rights lawyer and social activist who co-founded and chaired the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has been quoted as saying:” When there are oppression and dictatorship, by not speaking out, we lose our dignity”. https://www.google.com/search?q=Asma+Jahangi&oq=Asma+Jahangi&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.1706j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
Albert Camus the French philosopher, author, and journalist and who won the Nobel Prize in Literature at the age of 44 in 1957, the second youngest recipient in history, has been quoted as saying: “Peace is the Only Battle worth Waging.”
On 12 October 2019, the good news came at last, in that the Sudanese Transitional Sovereign Council has chosen Dr Suleiman Muhammed Al-Dabailu, as a Chairman of the Peace Commission and Rapporteur of the Supreme Peace Council. Furthermore, the President of the Transitional Sovereign Council, Abdel Fattah El-Burhan, chairs the Peace Council, which comprises members of the Sovereign Council, the Prime Minister, Minister of Council of Ministers, Minister of Justice and the Minister of Federal Government as well as Three relevant Competent experts.
Moreover, the Council is interested in working to address the issues of comprehensive peace contained in chapter 15 of the constitutional document for the transitional period and is responsible for the development of public policies related to addressing the roots of the problem and addresses its effects, to achieve a just peace. "The Council works to consolidate the principles of peace, raise national sense, enhance security and stability, lead initiatives to build confidence and seek to continue dialogue on core issues with all parties to complete the peace process," the statement said.
Martin Luther King Jr, the American Christian minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968 has been quoted as saying: “Peace is not merely a distant goal we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal”-
Albert Einstein, the German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity and one of the two pillars of modern physics ; his work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science, has been quoted as saying: “Peace cannot be kept by force, it can only be achieved by understanding”-
Dr Mahmoud A. Suleiman is an author, columnist and a blogger. His blog is http://thussudan.wordpress.com/