Thabo Mbeki: The Wrong Man for the Job

By Abdelhadi Margan
Aerospace Technologist

From the time of the Second Sudanese Civil War in 1983, Sudan has not been left to rest or thrive. Hundreds of people are still dying by the day, and many have been displaced or dramatized by the war that was inflicted upon them. The people of Sudan have no proper leaders to direct them in the right direction. When Thabo Mbeki was appointed to investigate human rights violations in Darfur by the African Union, he was thought to be the one to help change Sudan. Yet, Sudan is still at war with its own people, and Thabo Mbeki has not done anything to approach the issues that Sudan faces. Instead, he has become a lobby for Omer Al-Bashir and the Sudanese government.
Thabo Mbeki has failed his people in the past. He put his opinion above the facts that lay right in front of him. Around the time of April 3rd, 2000, Mbeki sent a letter to President Bill Clinton, explaining his views on the AIDS/HIV epidemic. He denied the scientific research and believed that the Western medicine was not the solution. Researchers at Harvard believed that his viewpoint denied his people from the access of these medicines, which resulted in about 300,000 deaths in his country.
In April, 2012, the officials in South Sudan called for the dismissal of Mbeki from his duties as the mediator in the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan. However, he still remains and is attempting to reason with numerous groups and individuals. Just recently in April, 2015, Mbeki led a panel in which he invited several parties who participated in the national dialogue process initiated by Omer Al-Bashir, as well as non-participants that included rebel groups. The African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) announced that it would suspend the pre-dialogue preparatory meeting.
Thabo Mbeki has proved that he cannot be trusted in mediating the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan. He is not worthy of the position, and he has further disappointed many people in Sudan, as well as Southern Sudan. Mbeki has neglected his obligations and has sided with Bashir. Sudan needs someone who will understand the complexity of the country, including its political and geographical structure, as well as someone who would be able to bring diverse solutions to the country and build healthy institutions to govern. The African Union should find someone who will uphold their responsibility and bring positive changes to the conflict in Sudan.

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