17 Nov 2018

 

Do I Hear South Sudan And Sudan Melting Into One?

"We dance to his tunes as if Abyei, Panthou and other areas in between have finally felt the breeze of peace blowing from the North".

Asks Raphael Abiem
Do I hear Rumors of South Sudan and Sudan embracing so hard as to be mistaken for one?
I thought only Abyei were South Sudan’s Isac, minus God’s timely intercession, but to hear faint voices sounding the alarm that reunification is a gathering momentum, numbs my heart, not when John Garang is not here to ensure we are not on the table but around it.
But if things are brewing underneath the festive season suggesting not only Abyei is strapped in a leash and pulled north to the service of the Master, the crafty Omer H. Al Bashir, but the entire country, then this is not the peace we should dance to.
I am by no means questioning our preparedness as South Sudanese to embrace one another in peace, although I remain circumspect of Al Bashir’s intentions until he can prove he has what it takes to bring peace to his own and to settle the disputes at the borders with South Sudan.
But why does the world seem to have believed him?
Al Bashir has the aptitude to keep up appearances enough to convince South Sudan he has peace to offer. This is despite the fact that his country is no less gasping for peace and in the throes of desperation due to long, negative publicity which include accusations of massive, systematic and systematic human rights violations and the tendency of his system to drift compulsively towards policies that have oftentimes landed the country in infamy.
Yet, Al Bashir never lost perspective that one day he will pull a surprising peace card, which would catapult him to the league of the peace loving. South Sudan offered him the opportunity to prove he can deliver on peace.
For those who propose South Sudan should reciprocate by offering to mediate peace in the Sudan, I say South Sudan does not have such confidence, certainly not the daring to face the world with duplicity adorned as a stance deserving of adulation. Besides, Al Bashir is aware South Sudan does not have such leverage. He knows his theatrics would not have worked but for the fact that South Sudan’s reputation has hit rock-bottom among nation states.
No matter how low grade his peace theatrics may be, no on-going efforts to have peace generating within South Sudan ever could compare, not even the famed national dialogue.
Thus, Al Bashir is able to look South Sudan right in the eye and pontificate a St-Paul-like stature—marching once as a relentless persecutor, Soul, the other, the worrier for peace the Author if Act of Apostles St Paul was.
All, including South Sudan’s high centers of learning, have been taken in by Al Bashir’s elaborate peace show. South Sudan nods approving as if Al Bashir has ceased violence in the Blue Nile, Nuba Mountains, Darfur among other devastated regions.
We dance to his tunes as if Abyei, Panthou and other areas in between have finally felt the breeze of peace blowing from the North.
And the world unquestioningly dawns the elusive peace weave Al Bashir has span and, Lo, business as usual.
How does South Sudan hope to call things by their names? From where does South Sudan master the courage and the temerity to call Al Bashir’s attention to instability in his own country? None whatsoever, not when the values that drove the struggle right to independence, have fizzled out and replaced by a riveting sense of guilt for the harm we chose to inflict on ourselves.
The helpless state South Sudan has fallen into justifies the moral superiority Al Bashir has assumed. After all, he is the architect of the peace South Sudan is now celebrating. South Sudan has no moral standing to ask why Al Bashir cannot offer peace to his own people. But where does charity begin if not within the household? If that is the truth, there is reason to believe Al Bashir is not being charitable with South Sudan but cold heartedly calculating.
That South Sudan is bereft of means and standing to reciprocate, is a given. But when I recall speeches during the peace celebrations, particularly the one delivered by Juba University Vice Chancellor touting Al Bashir’s history of peace, I cannot help but wonder at his courage. One of the wonders of his speech was ability to peak out notes packed with peace nuggets from what is a towering landfill of serious human rights violations, the background and hallmark of Al Bashir’s rule since 1989.
But then, through such speeches, South Sudan has managed to cloth Al Bashir with peace weaves when the world had long regarded him as one of the arch enemies of peace. The world marvels at the unusual fabric South Sudan has clothed him with, hide their scepticism but remain circumspect of Al Bashir’s next move. Soon, Abyei would prove the acid test. 

 

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