Saturday, January 15, 2005

Distrust clouds peace euphoria in Sudan rebel town

A report out of Rumbek, Sudan via Reuters Jan 11 explains how, just days after euphoria greeted the signing of a peace deal to end 21 years of civil war in Sudan, murmurings of mistrust are surfacing in the rebel-held south. Excerpt:

Many locals are cautious about the deal ending the conflict between the north's Arabic-speaking Islamist government and the mainly Christian and animist insurgents from the south.

"These Arabs, you can't do anything with them, you can't trust them," said Patrick Deng, a former guerrilla who joined Garang's Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) in 1987. "It would have been better if the deal split the country," said the 36-year-old - who now makes a living as a builder in Rumbek - reflecting a desire among many in the town to break with the north as soon as possible.

Many hardline SPLA supporters say the northerners are not to be trusted and quote a local saying that reveals the extent of their suspicion and bitterness: "If you are faced with a Muslim and a lion, best to kill the Muslim first because he is more dangerous."

Youth leader Maluak Muorwel, 24, said Garang's appeal to make a united Sudan attractive to its citizens was wrong. "If I was the leader I would make separation attractive - convince the Western world that we are capable of ruling ourselves and having our own country," said Muorwel, who remembers the town being bombarded by Khartoum's Antonov planes. "That is in the mind of everyone - that we need our own country," he said.

His friend Adam Dut said he was worried the SPLA struggle would be forgotten in the six years before the vote on independence for the south. "We fear Arabs will use money to buy our vote and create divisions," said the 21-year-old. "Their interest is not in developing the south but to rule and assimilate us." Read full story.

A southern Sudanese crew repairs roads in the provisional capital of Rumbek. Reparing infrastructure is a priority of Sudan People's Liberation Movement.(AFP/HO-UNICEF /Ben Parker)

SPLM/A troops line up during a public rally in the southern Sudan town of Rumbek to celebrate a final peace agreement with the Khartoum government that was signed in Kenya 09 January. Many have promoted Rumbek, as the provisional capital of SPLM/A, but officials warn that the town may not even be able to host the region's new government. (AFP/Unicef/Ben Parker)
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Sudanese President gives speech in Khartoum

Black River Eagle, of Jewels in the Jungle blog, asks here in a comment if I know of any transcripts documenting President Bashir's speeches. I have not seen any. Today, I saw this photo at Yahoo pix where the caption says President Bashir gave a speech on Wednesday, promising to bring peace to Darfur and south Sudan.

Also, on Saturday, Jan 1, 2005, he addressed the national assembly in Khartoum . In his annual speech to the Sudanese parliament marking his country's independence from British rule, President Omar el-Bashir urged all Sudanese, particularly opposition groups, to both engage in a comprehensive reconciliation and work to end the Darfur crisis. (AP).


Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir gestures during his speech in Khartoum, Sudan, Jan 12, 2005, where he pledged to bring peace to Darfur. Speaking during a reception hosted in his honour by the ruling National Congress Party in Khartoum to mark the end of his tour of southern Sudan, Omar el-Bashir promised that peace will be realised in Darfur as it was realised in the south. (AP Photo/Abd Raouf)

1 comment:

BRE said...

I became really interested in Omar al-Beshir's Speech & Victory Tour through the south of Sudan, so I spent some serious time today trying to locate transcripts of his speeches from the last few days online. Sorry, but I keep coming up empty. Perhaps the speeches are available only in Arabic but I did read that some of his victory speeches were broadcast via radio.

One would think that the Government of Sudan official website(s) would have something on the January 2005 speeches by Omar, but nah, not yet anyway. I did find an interesting June 2002 transcript of a speech Omar delivered to the Conference of Islamic Foreign Ministers in Khartoum though. Here is the link to that speech on the Embassy of Sudan in Washington D.C. site:

It's worth a read since it really points out what Omar and his brutal regime are up to regarding the future of the Sudan as he speaks directly to the representatives from his true Masters. Note the references in his speech to the "11th of September", Iraq, rabid political propogandists (the West and Israel), and how "We" (Islamic states and society, etc.) must all stick together. He has good speechwriters, doesn't he?

No need to answer this comment yourself. It's just for your info and for your readers.