Question: Of late, a near-constant tension between the Peoples Movement and the National Conference: the peoples movement held the Juba Conference together with the opposition forces, also the intense debates are being held and processions are being organised… This is despite the fact that the Peoples Movement is in power and not in the opposition. Further, the European and African visits by Salva Kiir Mayardit. Moreover the reports regarding the failure of the US envoy Scott Gration, and the parliament’s decision this week regarding National Security Law despite the opposition of the SPLM. Further, today, December 22nd, 2009, the parliament approved the National Referendum Law during its session which was boycotted by the SPLM. Can it be said that this is a real conflict is between the SPLM and the Peoples Conference? And if so, does this mean that the Peoples Movements loyalty has shifted from the US to Europe and especially tilted towards Britain? Or otherwise, this is a mere outward tension being stage-managed by the US?
Answer: The continued conflict between the SPLM and the Peoples Conference in Sudan is a matter prior to the separation wherein each party wants to put the blame on separation on the other party and free itself any blame arising out of the problems that will eventually result from this separation…
The Nevasha Accord is in fact an accord for bifurcation and Basheer’s claim that the referendum will have the option of Sudan’s unity is something that he himself does not believe. The mere acceptance of the concept of referendum implies that the bifurcation is a reality. Further, the attitudes of the parties strengthen the agenda of bifurcation.
Mohammed Saleh al-Qiyadi of the Democratic Unionist Party led by Mirghani says:”We are accustomed to what is comes out on the newspapers and what you hear these days… it is a mere repetition of the past in all matters where the parties differed, they rush to make public their differences through the media, but nevertheless, they soon come together to the negotiating table and reach agreement again”. He adds:”The two parties are like a school engaged in a common task of pulling the rope, each side pulls towards its own agenda”. He further stresses:”This method of organising the issues is not correct because it affects the Sudanese citizen and makes him apprehensive of his future”. Saleh points to his hope and says:”The two parties may be able to manage their differences by not making them public so long as they can reach an agreement on them through the agreed upon mechanisms. [Holland International Radio].
It is clear from Qiyadi’s statement, who has aligned his party with the US that the differences with the ruling party is that the matter concerns the Sudanese citizens who view that the differences should not be aired in public when it is likely that they can reach an agreement again.
These conflicts are on intent, and repeat differences between the ruling partners help make bifurcation as the more likely option in the referendum regarding the future of the Southern Sudan. If only were the two sides were in full agreement with each other, it was feared that the people from the south would have opted for unity. Therefore it was necessary a conflict between them be ‘manufactured’ so that the ‘desired’ result i.e. separation is achieved.
As for the Peoples Movement’s leading of the opposition and leading the demonstrations and holding seminars etc., and then sometimes objecting to the Deputies’ Council’s decision and boycotting the sessions at other times, is a strategy to deflect and avoid any blame or accusation of being in cohorts with the government and so that the option of separation is not rejected. The Peoples Movement led by Salva Kiir Mayardit and John Garang before him is totally subjugated to the US and there is no other effective influence upon it other than that of America, nor is there any indication that the Movement has shifted its stance towards Europe by abandoning the US.
As for the mission of the US envoy, it certainly has not failed; indeed the strategy was not to diffuse the tension which he regarded as necessary in order to move forward on the agenda of bifurcation.
As for Europe and the British, they are most effective against America in the Darfur region and not in the south.
Regarding Salva Kiir’s visits to African and European nations, they were aimed at preparing the ground for a new nation. Salva Kiir had visited Egypt before this and was accorded a reception befitting that of a head of state and Egypt signed a number of agreements as if the southern Sudan had already become a new state!