Sunday, April 11, 2010

US and West Support Elections in Sudan

Question marks still surround the political scene about the secret behind this international position in support of the line taken by the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) on holding the elections on schedule on the eleventh of this month. These questions are justified by the fact that the NCP gained international support for its policies only twice over the past 20 years. The first was during the signing of the 2005 peace agreement in Nairobi and the second was on the elections.

There is a logical link between the two events, for the elections are one of the basic obligations arising from the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. None of the recognized enemies of Salvation (Bashir's regime) was an exception this time. It was amazing that France should hasten to support the elections.

Success of Democratic Process
The French position was followed by the EU that did not limit itself to supporting the holding of the elections on schedule but hastened to provide appreciable material support to contribute to the success of the democratic process in Sudan. It continued to maintain continuous contacts with the opposition forces to urge them through its emissaries to participate in the elections. Why this unprecedented support for the NCP line? Has Salvation regained its sanity or has the world gone insane? Or is it that there is something behind the horizon that we still do not know?

It is known that the United States is the principal player in the war and peace story in Sudan. As evident from the course of Western policies, the Sudan dossier was left entirely to the United States to deal with. All the EU countries became supporters of the American policies and strategies toward Sudan. They gave their approval in advance to what is being planned and implemented. We saw how the envoy of US President Barack Obama, Scott Gration, became the head of the group of international envoys. He summons them when he wants to inform them about what is new in his inclinations and in US policies toward Sudan.
Why must we read the international position on the elections in the light of the American strategy announced by Obama at the beginning of this year, and the subsequent statements by Gration and the paper that was presented at the US Foreign Relations Council in March?

US Strategy and Approach
The US strategy gave an advanced position to the referendum process in the South. It focused on it in a principal way even though it did not announce the US inclinations on either unity or separation. But it called for conducting the referendum on time and for accepting its outcome no matter what it is. It went farther to announce its readiness to support the results of the referendum, or in other words to support the new Southern State, as we shall explain later.

The important observation here is that these statements were included in the strategy to the background of heightened importance given to holding of the elections. Thus, what Gration is doing now to support holding the elections on time is not surprising but is an agreed on and declared strategy. But the politicians do not read well. I was amazed that Imam Al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, one of the most widely-informed politicians, when they told him that Gration showed US concern to sticking to the schedule of the elections he replied 'then Gration has joined the hawks of the right who wish to fragment Sudan.' No. This is what is written in the book. There are no hawks and no nothing.

The secret for this limitless support to the elections and the referendum in order to reach the stage of an independent Southern State. Gration wrote to his friend "and Umar al-Bashir is the real problem. He received to his person and to his government many slaps from us but they did not finish them off. He even managed to surmount the latest issue of the International Criminal Court. In any event, we shall thank him if he went all the way and the South became independent from Sudan. He is surrounded by a group of intellectuals who are highly trained for confrontations of all types. They are mostly sons of farmers and herdsmen from the Northern Province who have experience in life.

The members of his party are linked by major interests that represent life for them. They draw their tenacity from what remains of the ethics of the Muslim Brothers organization that arose in Egypt. I believe they will perhaps lead Sudan for one or two more decades. Accept my greetings. I shall convey to you the rest of my analyses in future letters.'

Western Interests
The strangest thing in this letter is what Gration mentioned about the withdrawal of Yasir Arman and about the State of the South. He said "our friends on whom we rely in Sudan are the Southerners. Their personalities are close to the African breed the characteristics of which I mentioned before. But they differ from them in two things: Viciousness they acquired from their long wars with the North and some Arab characteristics that leaked somehow through their dealings with the Arabs of the North.

Despite their many detailed contradictions, they belong in the end to the non-Muslim black nationality that can be steered to the line of the Western interests if they establish their own State the features of which is beginning to crystallize these days. They listen to us well.

Embarrassing Movement
The best proof of this is their fielding of a rebel Arab--his name is Arman--and withdrawing his candidature after he insulted the Northern Government in the Sudanese and foreign media in such a way that was sufficient to tarnish its image. This burning of Arman does not embarrass the movement -- SPLM (Sudan People's Liberation Movement) in any way, for he is not a Southerner or a Christian.
We and the SPLM know that if he had gone to the end of the electoral battle with Al-Bashir he would have exposed all our calculations. Withdrawing him expresses our lack of interest in competing for the presidency of a United Sudan. Keeping the SPLM from withdrawing completely from the electoral race prevents Al-Bashir from carrying out his threat to prevent the referendum through which the independent State of the South will be created, despite the partial and useless solidarity with the other Northern parties". Wonder what are the calculations that will be exposed and that make them not interested in heading a united Sudan? Have you seen such transparency?

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