July 25, 2011

Analysis: Bashir wisely let the south go

The flags have been waved, the anthem has been sung, and the new currency will be in circulation this week: the Republic of South Sudan has been launched, and is off to who knows where? Perdition, probably, for it is a "pre-failed state", condemned by its extreme poverty, 15 percent literacy and bitter ethnic rivalries to more decades of violence and misery. But what about the country it leaves behind?

It's telling that there is a South Sudan, but no North Sudan. What's left is still just Sudan. It's still the second-biggest country in Africa, and it still has four-fifths of the people it had before the south broke away. But it has lost a big chunk of its income: almost three-quarters of the old united country's oil was in the south. It's also an Arab country run by a dictator who has been in power for 22 years. So we know what comes next, don't we?

The dictator, President Omar al-Bashir, is unquestionably a Bad Man. He seized power in a military coup in 1989, and he is the first serving head of state to be indicted by the International Criminal Court. In 2009, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in his conduct of the war in the rebellious province of Darfur. It added three counts of genocide last year. But he's not all bad.

By promising stricter enforcement of Islamic law,
Bashir will alienate the north's remaining

religious and ethnic minorities.

He inherited a much bigger war, between the predominantly Muslim north of the country and what is now South Sudan. It was a squalid, dreadful affair that killed about two million southerners and drove another four million - about half the southern population - from their homes. Bashir has a lot of blood on his hands. But he eventually realised that the south could not be held by force, and he had the wisdom and courage to act on his insight.

In 2005 he ended the fighting by agreeing that the two parts of the country would be run by separate governments for six years, after which the south would hold a referendum on independence. He knew that the south would say "yes" overwhelmingly - in the end, 98.83 percent of southern Sudanese voted to have their own country - yet he never reneged on the deal.

"President Bashir and (his) National Congress Party deserve a reward," said Salva Kiir, now the president of South Sudan, after the votes were counted in February. And Bashir said: "We will come and congratulate and celebrate with you...We will not hold a mourning tent." His decision made him very vulnerable politically in the north, but he stuck to it for all these years, and as a result many tens of thousands of people who would have died are still alive.

That doesn't necessarily mean that north-south relations will be smooth after the South's independence. Most of the oil is in South Sudan, but the new country is landlocked: the oil can only be exported through pipelines that cross Sudan proper to reach the Red Sea. Yet there is not a deal on revenue-sharing yet, nor even on the border between the two countries.

Bashir's immediate problem is economic. The deal to split the oil revenue equally between north and south lapsed with South Sudan's independence, and he is bringing in harsh austerity measures and a new currency as part of a three-year "emergency programme" to stabilise the economy. But the price of food is already soaring in Khartoum as confidence in the Sudanese pound collapses.

Unaffordable food was a major factor in the popular revolts against oppressive Arab regimes in recent months, and Bashir is trying to insulate himself against that by promising stricter enforcement of Islamic law in Sudan. That may win him some support among the Muslim, Arabic-speaking majority, but by the same token it will further alienate the north's remaining religious and ethnic minorities. So more rebellions in the outlying regions.

On top of all that, Bashir will forever be seen, however unfairly, as the man who "lost" the south. His status as an indicted war criminal does him no harm with the majority population at home; his failure to crush the southerners by force is what really undermines him. So he may soon have to go abroad and live with his money.

He did one good thing in his life, and no good deed goes unpunished.

Gwynne Dyer is a London-based independent journalist whose articles are published in 45 countries.


July 18, 2011

Christians are praying for Sudan

 A couple of Christians from the USA are inviting people to pray for Sudan for 30 days during July. Each day they feature some tribe or outreach effort in Sudan. On July 18, they identified the Beja as the group of people to pray for.

July 17, 2011

Rally against central government

On Saturday July 16, the Beja Congress held a rally against the authorities in Khartoum in Port Sudan.

Salah Barquin, a Beja Congress spokesman, warned the regime that a revolution of the hungry in Eastern Sudan will spread to all states in Sudan. He said that the people of the East are willing to rise against the rulers in Khartoum, adding that they were running out of patience.

Barquin said that they demand the restoration of occupied Halayeb (by Egypt) Alvagasha (by Ethiopia). They also call for the prosecution of those responsible for the killing of 23 Beja victims, who got killed by government troops in 2008 [sic].

[Editor's comment: probably they are referring to an event in 2005, see story from 2006, 2010.] .

This story was sourced from borglobe and Radio Dabanga

July 14, 2011

Kiir's speech at the SS celebration

photo from Gurtong
President Kiir addressed President Bashir of north Sudan, and Mr Moon, of the United Nations.

First couple of paragraphs.

Your Excellency, Field Marshal Omar Hassan Ahmed Al Bashir, President of the Republic of the Sudan, Your Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, Your Excellency Mr. Teodoro Obiang Nguma, Mba- sogo, Chairperson of the African Union and President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Your Excellencies Heads of States and Governments, Your excellencies heads of delegations, Your Excellencies Sudanese political party leaders and leaders of the three branches of our Government, Distinguished members of the diplomatic corps and invited guests, the friends of South Sudan, and most importantly the people of South Sudan,

I welcome you all to this historic event in the name of Almighty God and in the name of the glorious revolution of the people of South Sudan.
Before I proceed with my address, may we rise up to observe a minute of silence in honor of our fallen heroes and heroines who paid the ultimate price for our freedom and dignity.
Download a pdf copy.

Original at Sudan Vision

July 12, 2011

Website offers Beja language primer

The Beja Cultural Studies Center has opened up a website that features an entire language primer online. Readers can develop their vocabulary of the Bedawiet tribal language. Some audio samples are included that go with various words and phrases.

In addition, about 10 academic articles about the language are available, in English and French. This is a great resource for the Beja people. Make sure you visit the site today!

The Beja Cultural Studies Center is located on the campus of Red Sea University, in downtown Port Sudan, just a few blocks from the corniche and the harbour.

July 11, 2011

South Sudan a new nation state

See a photo essay of the celebrations on Saturday July 9, 2011, at TIME magazine.

The Big Picture at Boston.com features 36 pics, going back to the referendum in January, 2011.

Al Jezeera reports. 1 minute 35 seconds.

July 4, 2011

Beja Congress calls for regime change

An unsubstantiated report?, press release?, news item?, calls for political change in Sudan.

As the Beja Congress and as the "Front of Sudan to change" I call on the masses of the East, and all the nationalists, and the Democrats, and lovers of freedom, peace and organize themselves and engage in the national program to overthrow the ruling regime, which develops solutions to address the crises of Sudan in all directions, especially in the east, and west, and the Nuba Mountains, Kordofan and stop the bleeding, because the solutions and partial agreements has proven its failure and futility.
My loyal fans of the Sudanese people:
The exit from the crisis of Sudan (Eastern Sudan, Nuba Mountains, Kordofan, Darfur), the treatment is not only dropping the regime to bring democracy and freedom.
Lived free, independent of the Sudanese people the glory and immortality to the martyrs of democracy and freedom

Zeinab Issa Kabashi
President of the Beja Congress, England

باسم مؤتمر البجا وباسم "الجبهة السودانية للتغيير" أدعو جماهير الشرق، وكل الوطنيين، والديمقراطيين، ومحبي الحرية، والسلام بتنظيم أنفسهم والانخراط في البرنامج الوطني لإسقاط النظام الحاكم والذي يضع الحلول لمعالجة أزمات السودان في جميع الجهات وخاصة في الشرق، والغرب، وجبال النوبة، وكردفان ويوقف نزيف الدم، لان الحلول والاتفاقيات الجزئية أثبت فشلها وعدم جدواها .
يا جماهير الشعب السوداني الوفية:
إن الخروج من الأزمات السودانية ( شرق السودان، جبال النوبة، كردفان، دارفور)، ومعالجتها لا يتم إلا بإسقاط النظام الحاكم لتحقيق الديمقراطية والحرية.
عاش الشعب السوداني حرا مستقلا المجد والخلود لشهداء الديمقراطية والحرية

زينب كباشي عيسى 
رئيسة مؤتمر البجا بإنجلترا
Sourced from facebook