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Khartoum-based government's interest in cheating.

By Zechariah Manyok Biar November 18, 2009 -- Many South Sudanese are frustrated by Khartoum-based government's interest in cheating. But North Sudan politicians do not seem to realize it. This is the reason why the Nation Congress Party's (NCP) reactions to South Sudan President General Kiir's advice to Southerners to vote for secession in order to avoid being treated as second-class citizens in their own land do not surprise me. Khartoum-based government may still be thinking that its interest in the cheating of marginalized people in both North and South Sudan goes undetected like it was in the 1950s to 1970s. The cheating of Southerners by Khartoum-based government started in 1947 in what is now known as Cairo agreement, in which Northern politicians excluded Southerners in the conference, calling them primitive and uneducated people who would just be informed about political decisions. Even though Southerners formed their political parties by 1947 after their disappointment in Cairo agreement, their voices were silenced by Northern politicians. That Northerners' attitude toward Southerners resulted in Anya-nya 1 war. When Northerners realized that Anya-nya 1 was going to be a challenge to them when Israel started supporting the Anya-nya 1 rebels, Northern politicians used Abel Alier as a means of luring the rebels back to Sudan. Both Abel Alier and rebel leaders like Joseph Lagu were deceived that Southerners were going to be given the right for self-determination. Even though that self-determination would have resulted in Southerners' choice of unity over secession, President Nimeiri thought that it was not a good idea to give Southerners that kind of respect to let them have a say in the affairs of the nation. Nimeiri nullified Addis Ababa agreement, saying that it was neither a Bible nor a Quran that cannot be broken. Having been dissatisfied by the way that things were run in Sudan, Southerners rebelled against the government again in 1983. Northern politicians did all kinds of tricks, including buying of Southerners, to destroy the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), but failed. When the war on terror became a reality in Washington, Khartoum accepted peace between the North and the South in order to buy time and cheat Southerners again when the time is right. Cheating started immediately after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). Although the sharing of government would mean the sharing of important ministries between the North and the South, Khartoum sat down and resolved that they would not allow SPLM and Southerners take any ministry that would be a threat to their cheating. So Northerners took the ministry of finance, the ministry of energy, the ministry of legal affairs (in case they are law-suited by Southerners), and the ministry of defense. You remember that there is oil sharing provision in CPA, and the oil is in South Sudan. Now Juba-based government does not even know what amount of money the oil generates each week. So 50% that South Sudanese get is artificial. Northern politicians thought the cheating that they are doing to Southerners in oil's money was not enough. So they stood against SPLM's idea that Sudanese outside Sudan should be counted during last year's census. SPLM gave in and never counted millions of South Sudanese living outside Sudan, shrinking the number of South Sudan' population. NCP also reported that Southerners living in the North were 500,000. NCP was not ashamed to show its intention by saying that Northern Sudan will now deduct oil's money that was "wrongly" given to South Sudan since 2005 because of the wrong estimation of the population in the South. However, for the sake of the upcoming referendum, Northerners never hesitated to say that Southerners living in the North were in fact more than one million. This strategy is meant to rig the referendum results in 2011. In a related development, NCP refused Abyei Boundary Commission's report because it awarded Heglig oil field to Abyei. When The Hague Court ruled that Heglig was not part of Abyei, NCP blessed the ruling without hesitation, hoping that they will still rig the results of Abyei's referendum in 2011. Now Northern politicians are saying that Missiriya will vote in Abyei even if they are not part of Abyei. That is a calculated cheating. For the upcoming elections and referendum, Northern politicians sat down and calculated how they would rig the results. So they resolved that Sudanese outside Sudan, regardless of whether they were counted during the census or not, would vote for both elections and referendum. But the countries that Sudanese are free to register include Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, Sultanate of Oman, Bahrain, the UK, Belgium (for all Western Europe) and Washington, New York, and Los Angles for the USA. This last cheating intention of NCP makes you laugh because it lacks any element of sophistication at all. Maybe Northerners think that Southerners are little kids that do not have the ability to distinguish falsehood from the truth of the situation. The above strategies beg questions at the surface level. You do not have to be a deep thinker to detect NCP's ill-intentions here. The question that comes to mind when you see the above mentioned countries is how the Electoral Commission came to such a decision that the aforementioned countries are the ones that Southerners are eligible to vote. The Chairman of Electoral Commission, Abel Alier, the one that Khartoum used to lure Anya-nya 1 rebels into Khartoum in 1972 has now hinted that the final decisions about elections are made by the presidency. How did the presidency come to the above conclusion, then? One theory is that Sudanese living in places like Kenya, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ethiopia do not have Sudan national identity cards. That sounds good. But the question is: Where did South Sudanese living in Washington, New York, and Los Angles get Sudanese identity cards and they were part of the people living in the countries rejected? Where is the provision in the policy for people like me, who live in Texas, but have all the needed Sudanese documents including Sudanese passport that was renewed in Sudanese embassy in Washington D.C. in November last year? I came to the US as an international student with the Sudanese passport and I will use the same passport in May next year to go back to Sudan after my studies, but I cannot register now because Texas is not among the approved list of states that Sudanese are eligible to register in the USA. Why would refugees who escaped the just-ended war in Sudan be barred from registering in the name of national identity cards? Of course, the Khartoum-based government is not foolish to understand that their choice of states and countries does not make sense. They know how ridiculous what they are saying is, but they think that they will get away with this type of dry cheating because they regard Southerners as kids who lack deep understanding of these kinds of issues. The choice behind the countries, including states of Washington, New York, and Los Angles in the USA, is a calculated intention for cheating. Let me give the example about the states chosen here in the USA. Washington, New York, and Los Angles are the most diverse states here in the USA. So Northern Sudanese feel at home in these states than they do in other states. Southern Sudanese, on the other hand, do not go to these states because their standard of living is beyond the minimum wage. Therefore, according to Khartoum-based government strategic intention for cheating, they have calculated that Northern Sudanese would outnumber Southerners living in these states. Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia do not qualify because they are full of Southern Sudanese and very few Northerners. The same trick applies to Canada, Australia, and more than 40 states in the United States. NCP agreed to add some countries when their cheating was detected. But that has little effect in mending the mistrust their first decision has created between Northerners and Southerners. All in all, Khartoum-based government's unceasing intention for cheating is a great frustration to Southerners, including General Kiir. That is one of the reasons why General Kiir advised Southerners to vote for secession in 2011. Is President Kiir wrong? My next, and probably the last of these articles, will examine the reasons behind the feeling of Southerners that they are being treated as second-class citizens in their own land. Zechariah Manyok Biar is a graduate student at Abilene Christian University, Texas, USA. He is pursuing a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and a Master of Science in Social Work, specializing in Administration and Planning. For comments, contact him at email:

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Publication:Sudan Tribune (Sudan)
Date:Nov 19, 2009
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