Talk of the Hour: East or West Home Is Best

Ahmed Ibrahim Ballal

The African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) had recently wrapped up consultations with the Sudanese parties on the revision of the Roadmap Agreement without meeting the Sudan Call forces. The suspension of the consultations by the AUHIP was taken due to the presence of non-signatory parties to the roadmap in Addis Ababa- a move that contradicts “the objectives of the meeting”. However, the whole issue of AUHIP revolves about the peace of Sudan which on its part has done all that should be done to see it engulfing all its territories nationwide, especially in Darfur and the two areas, no matter how expensive the price is.
The meetings of the government of Sudan with the armed groups in Doha, Juba, Addis Ababa and Berlin, are but the good illustrative example.
Recently, and in the Berlin of Germany, the two armed factions -the justice and equality movement of Jibreel Ibrahim and the Sudan liberation one of Arco Mini Minnawi- have expressed willingness to get affiliated to the Doha agreement that is concerned with the peace of Darfur.
Indeed, the issue of peace has become the demand of all, internally and externally. For instance, now there are many quarters that have been pressing to make the peace of Sudan a tangible reality on the ground. There is the South Sudan which sees it as much imperative to reward Sudan for what it has generously done to it-to live presently in broad peace nationally. President Kiir has pledged to unify the ranks of SPLM/N to negotiate with the Sudanese government as one entity instead of separate scattered groups.
Now, SPLM/N (Al-Hilu)was noticed to go to Johannesburg of South Africa to negotiate peace with the Sudanese incumbent government. The good news is this; the delegation of Al-Hilu considered the crises of Sudan are purely of a political nature, stressing that they would work vigorously for the unity of the country.  Here, there is a big shift in the stance of SPLM/N (Al- Hilu) from calling insistently for self -determination to surprisingly jumping to a unified country.
Actually, the self -determination of SPLM/N (Al-Hilu), is not without a precedent. During the struggle of the mother SPLM/A, led by Dr. John Garang against the present government, there was a tendency to have something as such-self determination. Because Garang was very intelligent, he realized that adoption of a trend as such would jeopardize their stay in Ethiopia, the host country. So, he made it publicly that they were with the unity of Sudan. The sensitivity of the subject matter emanated from this; Eritrea happened to have demanded to become a separate state from Ethiopia-something that was totally rejected by it.
The same thing applies to SPLM/N (Al-Hilu) which is well aware that adhering to self determination is quite an impossibility. Because AUHIP and the African union as references for negotiations, do not allow such a pattern since it is at loggerheads with the already set agendas.
In this regard, there is a question that poses itself vehemently here; why does SPLM/N (AL-Hilu) behave like this? The answer to this is that the move is a mere tactic, nothing more, nothing less. It raised the slogan of self determination in the face of the two main comrades, Agar and Arman, so as to install itself militarily as the mere leader of SPLM/ N. After realization of its aim, now SPLM/N-al Hilu reveals that it sides with the main trend- the unity of Sudan.
The pattern of SPLM/N in the sphere of peace, is not far away when it comes the rebel groups of Darfur. To the exclusion of the faction of Abdul Al Wahid Mohamed Al Nur of the Sudan liberation movement who sticks to make it only violently, the other two of Jibreel and Minnawi, have publicly adhered to the peace of Darfur. Their acceptance of the Doha document is not without logic- it addresses the following; equal division of power and wealth, human rights, reconciliations, compensations, voluntary return of IDP to their original villages, local dialogue; and finally the security arrangements.
On its part, the government of Sudan has done the miracles to make peace nationally, especially the two areas and Darfur, a tangible reality. For example; unilaterally and repeatedly engaged in numerous fire truces; sending of humanitarian aids to the war stricken areas continually, and transportation of school books, anywhere in the country, especially to the areas of conflicts, on condition that the Sudan curriculum should be taught; because the teaching of any other syllabus affects badly the national supremacy of the country.
It goes without saying that, engagement of the rebel groups in the mainstream of peace is not without real guarantees. The incumbent government had applied such a method during the previous National dialogue’s sessions and now it has been pledging to behave in a similar way concerning the ones who will be laying down arms and therefore to get incorporated holistically in the civilian life. Such a pattern will enable them to participate in many tasks, such as the drafting of the constitution, the election law and the competition in the forthcoming elections of 2020.
It is noteworthy that the current momentum for peace, does not just come out of the blue, but should utterly be attributed to many factors, conspicuous among them are these; the unlimited contribution of; Qatar, AUHIP, and president Kiir of South Sudan.
One final point should be mentioned here; the trend to oppose the country, internally and externally, has been proven as the very futile approach and will lead to nowhere; deprivation of the chance to act freely at home, especially politically and socially. This situation is well expressed by Imam Al Sadiq Al Mahdi, chairperson of the Sudan Call. ‘Being far away from home to just living abroad, is associated with huge adverse effects, especially socially and politically. I have lost playing vital roles in the activities of the Umma national party. I have lost the participation in the social occasions, happy and sad. And I have lost the chance to tour the country nationwide to sympathize with and console our people there who are plagued hugely by the rains and the floods’.
Because of this; Imam Al Mahdi had decided to desert his exile voluntarily and to come back to the homeland, the Sudan. The current December 19 is set as the date for the arrival.

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