Darfur Conference at United States Institute of Peace
Washington 15-16 November 2011
Mission Statement of the Sudan National Liberation Movement (SNLM)
for solving the problem of Sudan in Darfur
Splinter group say self-determination is "best tool" for peace in Darfur
November 17, 2011 (LONDON) — A splinter rebel group wrote to a workshop on the perspectives of peace in Darfur held this week in Washington that self determination remains the "best tool" to settle the eight year conflict in western Sudan http://www.sudantribune.com/Splinter-group-say-self,40756
Update on Darfur
Office of the Spokesperson
November 16, 2011http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2011/11/177279.htm
USIP Organizes Workshop on the Future of the Darfur Peace Process
Conversation Called "Frank and Constructive"For Immediate Release, November 17, 2011
Contact: Allison Sturma, 202-429-4725 http://www.usip.org/newsroom/news/usip-organizes-workshop-the-future-the-darfur-peace-process
By: Yahia Elbashir. Chairman of Sudan National Liberation Movement
||This paper represents the vision of SNLM for reaching a comprehensive peace in Darfur region of Sudan. The problem of Darfur is a product of the long term undemocratic nature of an Arab-Islamic rule in Khartoum, and this included widespread violations of human right, culminating in genocide.
This paper explores methods of a political settlement and concludes that the right of self-determination for the people of Darfur is the best tool to safeguard their welfare either in a secular democratic Sudan or, as independent state if the first choice is not possible.
First, on behalf of the Sudan National Liberation Movement (SNLM), I would like to commend the efforts and the noble intentions of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington for holding this Darfur conference at this historic juncture in the history of Sudan.
Secondly, I would like to take this opportunity to present the SNLM humble vision for reaching comprehensive and durable peace in Darfur.
The SNLM is deeply touched by the work of USIP for advocating and promoting peace not even only in Sudan but everywhere. Peace that ends violence and ends killing, and pace that ends destruction and ends genocide. “Peace that saves succeeding generations from the scourge of war” and from the “untold sorrow of mankind” that always accompanies war.
The talk has been divided into four parts. The first part explains the fundamental problem of Sudan. The second part looks at the possible solutions. The third part processes the methods of achieving possible solutions and the final part presents the vision of the Sudan National Liberation Movement.
Why Sudan has been at war with itself since 1956?
In the SNLM view all the previous governments and the incumbent government defined Sudan as an Arab-Islamic state in exclusion of Sudanese diversity. This is the fundamental problem of the Sudan which also triggered secondary problems.
The current National Congress Party (NCP) government is the most entrenched in this ideology and is exceeding by ethnically and religiously intolerant in the history of Sudan.
The upshot of this NCP ideology, executed with zeal and gusto, is the untold violations of human rights of the vast of Sudanese people. In Darfur these violations included genocide, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity.
Also, the waging of holy wars in South Sudan, the Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile further stripped bare the real intentions of NCP and obviously hastened the birth of the Republic of South Sudan as an independent state.
All in all, it is fair to state that since Sudan independence in 1956 several regimes have come to power and had been changed, the fundamental problem of Sudan hasn’t been solved yet. Therefore Sudan hasn’t reached peace, democracy and doesn’t belong to all Sudanese as should be the case.
The possible solutions to the fundamental problem of Sudan:
In this part the fundamental problem of Sudan are combined with the possible solutions in a simple model. The model containing four choices and will be briefly discussed.
Choice three represents the existing undemocratic Sudan under an Arab Islamist Fundamentalist rule. It is well known that this choice has led to the suppression of the diversity of the country and monopoly of power. War has been launched against any objector.
Choice two views an interim period following the present regime in Sudan and leading to choice one a free, democratic state based on recognition of the diversity of people of Sudan in equal citizenship, with complete disregard to race, religion, culture or gender. The overall arbiter will be the rule of law.
In the point of view of SNLM such Sudan interim government must be obliged to accept the right for self-determination for the people of Darfur. This should safeguard the unity of Sudan under democratic rule, or, if situation regressed then the right for self-determination must be enacted to allow for the emergence of an independent Darfur choice four by a process of peaceful disintegration of Sudan.
The SNLM acknowledges that a united democratic Sudan it is hoping for could be very difficult to achieve. Indeed many promises since 1956 hopes for a bright future of the country passed by without being realized with undemocratic, human rights violations, and lately genocide in Darfur, the enduring practices.
However, the SNLM views of the right of self-determination by the people of Darfur to either achieve unity of the Sudan based on secular democratic country or lead to the independence of Darfur, which is a clear practical road map for a better future. Thus, right of self-determination is the freedom of choice of the people by the people for the people. We are all masters of our own destiny.
Methods of achieving the possible solutions:
The possible solutions can be achieved either by negotiations, international pressure, resistance struggle or popular uprising. These methods are interrelated, integrated and interconnected to each other.
On negotiations the SNLM welcomes the idea of the workshop on Darfur, because Darfurian are fighting for a cause, and if the issues involved can be settled by talks, we see why not agree to talk.
The current Darfur Peace Agreement is the product between one resistance movement and the government in Khartoum. The outcome doesn’t constitute full participation of the other resistance movements. For negotiations and peace agreements to be successful there must be participation by the majority of the resistance movements. Therefore, the mediators, facilitators and all concerned parties must commit themselves to reopen the negotiations for wider participation.
Consideration needs to be given to the immediate establishment of the necessary mechanism to ensure that at least the majority of the resistance movements will be represented in coming negotiations and the conflict can be resolved by peaceful means.
Despite our massive struggle, we haven’t been able to defeat the regime in Khartoum. Therefore, the need for negotiations as an alternative theatre of struggle is urgent.
Undoubtedly, we must allow differences of views, differences of opinions and differences of thought, because SNLM is neither dogmatic nor does it claim the monopoly of wisdom. SNLM recognizes the fact that there is other liberation movements are entitled to exist and have a right to formulate their own vision as SNLM does.
We must, and should allow the debate to continue between all the resistance movements to reach one concrete crystal clear vision that unite us before we sit on negotiations table. Unity of the resistance movements constitutes the first condition for victory and history will judge us harshly if we fail to do so.
The second method is the international pressure. The government of Khartoum will continue its genocide policies, because it is based on fundamentalist extremist Arabic Islamist vision. International pressure is one way of discouraging such practices and should be mounted on the Khartoum government.
Civilian protection is not base on nationality or skin colour and no lives are more important than others. Therefore the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) must exercise its mandate fully and unconditionally for civilian protection.
A significant point is that a no fly zone over Darfur is urgently needed and the embargo on arms importation must be tightened in parallel with economic and diplomatic sanctions. Any type of pressure on the Khartoum regime will help in push for a political settlement.
This regime is headed by a president who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes, and for genocide in Darfur. No concession should be given to this regime and if the genocide in Darfur is not enough, wars have recently been waged on Blue Nile and the Nuba Mountains. Perhaps the graves are not fully yet.
Must I remind you that this is the same regime that carried out the first genocide that the U.S. Congress ever declared while it was in progress and that it is still going on, let us remember also this is the same regime that welcomed with open arms and harboured the terrorist Osama bin Laden during the nineties.
The third method is the resistance struggle, which also plays an important role to liberate our people. The Khartoum government chose this method to confront the resistance movements by refusing to reopen negotiations, putting only two options: either to submit or resist. Thus, our resistance should be seen as self-defence and the only way in the absence of negotiations.
The fourth method is the popular uprising, which also played a significant role in the history of Sudan in 1964 and 1985. Our people have experience of it. In addition changes in the region also have an impact on Sudan.
All these fourth methods must initiate the demand for the right of self-determination. People of Darfur have been victims of genocide perpetrated by Khartoum government, so it is only fair for them to be granted the opportunity to choose independence if their right cannot be guaranteed by Khartoum.
It is desirable that the four methods should go hand in hand towards a settlement. However, the SNLM believes negotiations are the most effective means, supported by the sheer struggle of the people in Darfur and the international pressure. Of course opportunity of any uprising against Khartoum regime must be looked as of an advantage to a settlement in Darfur.
The vision of Sudan National Liberation Movement:
The SNLM define the fundamental problem of Sudan and formulate possible solutions, and present methods of achieving the possible solutions that represents its vision, its manifesto and its strategy for reaching a comprehensive peace for our people.
The SNLM regard the expected outcome of this conference at USIP in Washington not as the end, but rather as the beginning of the process of debate to formulate one comprehensive vision to be presented on the negotiations table for achieving a single goal; the complete freedom of our people in Darfur.
Let there is be a democratic Sudan abide by rule of law or secession of Darfur by peaceful means via the right of self-determination for the people of Darfur. Never, never and never again shall it be the Sudanese experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the inhuman treatment of one by another.
Attached: one page represented problem and possible solutions by diagram.
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