Sudan Deserves a New Peace Process that Prevents General Bashir from Buying Time and Brings Back the Humanitarian Crisis as a Priority
The SPLM-N, being committed to the African Union resolutions and to the UN Security Council Resolution 2046, has exerted a tremendous effort, together with its alliances in the SRF and the Sudan Call and in full cooperation with the AUHIP, IGAD, the Troika and the German government, to achieve a peaceful comprehensive settlement through a one peace process with two tracks that is organically linked to the National Constitutional Dialogue process. All the effort exerted by the stakeholders, the AUHIP and the international community, has been aborted by the Sudan government including the September agreement between the AUHIP, the Sudan government represented by the 7+7, the SRF and the Umma Party. The tireless work by the AUHIP and the international community, in particular the German government’s effort resulting in the Berlin Declarations, were aiming to shift the focus to the National Dialogue and to ensure its success. They were disregarded by the Khartoum government, which used the goodwill of the Sudanese opposition and the regional and international communities to continue its policy of buying time into the election. By now and after 26 years of genocide and dictatorship, it is clear to everyone that Khartoum has a master’s degree in buying time and that General Bashir used the process of the National Dialogue to elect himself for another 5 years in order to rule Sudan for 31 years. He bought time by lying and making broken promises to the Sudanese people, the AUHIP, and the international community, who should, at least, learn not to believe him any longer. We need not to remind anyone that General Bashir is indicted and wanted by the ICC, and extending his rule does not give him legitimacy.
The strategy of the National Congress of continuing to buy time is known to us in the opposition to use negotiations and national dialogue after extending their rule through false partial elections of a one-party system, which is completely isolated and its results are known before elections are conducted. This strategy is expensive and it is based on genocide, human rights atrocities, denying humanitarian access, arresting opposition leaders and activists, repression of the media and civil society, raping of women, and aerial bombardment against civilian populations in war zones. From March last year to March this year, more than half a million civilians were displaced in Darfur, South Kordofan/Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile. In over 15 years, more than 6 million civilians are displaced internally and externally and this is a United Nations’ statistic.
In the last four years in the two areas, Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan and Blue Nile, more than 25,000 civilians were either killed or wounded by aerial bombardment. More than 700,000 are internally displaced. More than 300,000 are externally displaced in South Sudan and Ethiopia. Villages are burned, women raped, and water points, hospitals, schools, mosques and churches are targeted by the air force and destroyed. Religious and ethnic discrimination are the practice of the day by the government.
National dialogue and negotiations are being used by the National Congress government as cover to disguise its war crimes and human rights atrocities and to continue to deny humanitarian access for 4 years, which is a war crime in international humanitarian law. The SPLM-N has reached a framework agreement in 28 June 2011, which was denounced by General Bashir. Again, we have signed two agreements to address the humanitarian situation and to open access on 18 February 2012 and 4 August 2012, which were both sabotaged by the Sudan government. Given these hard facts and knowing that General Bashir and his government have never taken a strategic decision to end the war and to accept transformation, the SPLM-N leadership has reviewed this situation carefully and resolves the following:
1) The SPLM-N will never accept a piecemeal solution and it will not sign a partial deal. It will remain committed to the SRF Charter and programs, the Paris Declaration, and the Sudan Call Declarations and programs of action.
2) The National Constitutional Dialogue: The SPLM-N, as part of the Sudan Call, is committed to the Berlin Declarations together with its allies in the Sudan Call forces and is ready to attend the pre-National Dialogue meeting in Addis Ababa anytime before the elections; and as it has been agreed by the Sudan Call forces, this meeting can only take place before the elections to agree on the postponement of the elections and to pave the way for a credible National Constitutional Dialogue by meeting its requirement. The SPLM-N, as part of the Sudan Call, is not going to attend any pre-National Dialogue meeting after the elections. It is worth mentioning that this meeting is an event to agree on the requirement. It is not a process.
3) Negotiations with the SPLM-N: The leadership of the SPLM-N has noted seriously that the Sudan government has used political negotiations to cover up its policies of denying humanitarian access, continuing the daily aerial bombardment against civilian populations, and to subject and condition the right of the civilian populations to humanitarian assistance to a political agenda. Therefore the SPLM-N leadership decided that, and in accordance with international humanitarian law, the rights of the civilian populations for humanitarian assistance should not be subject to any political agenda from either side. The SPLM-N is ready to negotiate a humanitarian cessation of hostilities on purely humanitarian grounds and it should not be mixed with any political agenda. The political agenda should be negotiated after fulfilling the unconditional rights of the civilian populations for humanitarian assistance, unrestricted access and ending aerial bombardment of civilian populations.
The SPLM-N will continue to engage the AUHIP, IGAD and the international community in pursuing its new approach, which will give the rights of the civilian populations to humanitarian assistance and protections maximum priority.
15 March 2015