Sudan Holistic Peace Agreement& Right of self-determination for Darfur
By Yahia El-Bashir (Bold):
I strongly support unity of Sudan, but on the basis of full equality and a shared sense of belonging to the nation, with pride and dignity as citizens. I also support the right of self-determination for Darfur, not because I wanted Darfur to secede, but in order to motivate the national leadership, specifically in the central government in Khartoum, to create appropriate conditions that would make unity appeal attractive to Darfurians in a self-determination referendum.
The stance for conditional unity has deep roots in the background of Darfur been a victim of marginalization; war crime, crime against humanity and genocide. Darfur, whose bridging role of Sudan with Central; West, and North Africa. It is indeed ironic that an area which has played and is playing such a vital role of bridging and connecting the Atlantic Sahel countries with Red Sea it became a victim of genocide.
Root Causes of the Wars in Sudan and the Solution:
People do not go to war to kill and risk being killed without a compelling cause; fighting is a measure of desperation, based on the assumption that all peaceful efforts have failed to remedy an intolerable situation.
The critical questions that therefore need to be asked and answered are:
1- What were, and are, the wars in the Sudan all about?
2- To what extents have the Sudan Holistic Peace Agreement (SHPA) would address and resolve the root causes of these wars?
The Root Causes of Sudan’s War(s):
The marginalization which means is that the Center has monopolized power and national wealth to the exclusion of the peripheries. The identity factors of one race; one ethnic, and one cultural group, the Islamic Arab North, have been used to provide a national identity framework and discriminate on those grounds against both the Muslim, but non Arab, and non Arab, non Muslim groups in the marginalized regions.
The proposed solution is the Sudan Holistic Peace Agreement (SHPA):
1. The (SHPA) will address the national identity crisis by granting Darfur autonomy during the interim period and the right to opt out of unity through a referendum to be held at the end of that period.
The unity to be made attractive; by redefine the national identity of Sudan to be genuinely reflecting the full equality of opportunity in the political, economic, social, and cultural life of the diverse country, irrespective of race, ethnicity, religion and gender. It can be only through mutual recognition, respect among Africans and Arabs populations as a Sudanese and play our role as a bridge between the Continent and the Middle East.
3- During the interim period the effort should be intensified to make unity attractive by evidence that it has to be seen. Which will let the aspirations for national unity on the right basis continues to rise on both sides. The unity should not be seen as an end in itself or as the only option in the pursuit of human fulfillment and dignity, a vote for Darfur independence also to be seen as another option at the end of the interim period
4. Although the SHPA was intended to provide not only a framework for
the democratic transformation of the governance system in the country, but also principles for resolving the regional conflicts such as South Kordofan / Nuba Mountain; Blue Nile and Eastern Sudan to enjoy decentralization of self rule as they are short of the right to secede. It will lay a foundation for the democratic transformation of the governance system in the whole country.
The Challenges to be addressed:
Making unity attractive requires action on both material and moral grounds.
Material action would require making peace dividends immediately visible: Such as security, peace and stability for refugees and IDPs to return to their original lands. Disarming pro-government militias and implementing international justice accountability by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide that will create conducive environment for genuine peace. Embarking Darfur on massive construction of roads and other infrastructural projects; providing housing, social services to the people, particularly in the areas of health and education; generating rural development project and compensation. And sending messages of good will, genuine change of heart and readiness to address the grievances that have divided the country since independence and later followed by genocide.
Moral areas of action call for sending a clear message that Sudan is embarking on a genuine and sincere search for the common ground, based on what unites us rather than on what divides us. Which it will reflects more in common and provides a sound ground for a uniting sense of national identity as Sudanese. Proclamations by national leaders in that direction could immediately create a climate conducive to a sense of a common cause and a new ground for prospective unity.
The question the Sudanese must answer is:
Is it continuation of the one side identity diverting from the realities of the country and dividing the nation which has waged wars and genocide is the only ongoing option. Or searching for a common ground and restructuring of a uniting national identity which would promote peace and economic development should be only the OPTION?
If the latter is agreed to be the case, then action needs to be taken immediately to not only open a new era, but to also make it credibly and conspicuously evident for all to see as a facts on the ground.
Although, the Sudanese and the world would prefer the Sudan to remain united, but only if unity has been made attractive beyond the reasonable doubt during the interim period. Sudan is confronted with an extraordinary scenario and lessons needs to be learned to make unity attractive:
The Sudan Holistic Peace Agreement & Right of Self-determination for Darfur is a means to make unity attractive and the dividends of peace to be to the nation at large rather than to the elites the movements and parties leaders. More important, no returns to war again, if the (SHPA) hasn’t been implemented as the previous dishonored agreements were proved been the case, war shouldn’t be an option. Let peace be the only OPTION. We want to inherit the existing and coming generation not wars but peace, development and prosperity.
Yahia El-Bashir (Bolad),
Chair of Sudan National Liberation Movement, London 12 .11. 2015