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ICC NOTE: Reeves explains in great detail about how the NIF (National Islamic Front) is bringing destruction to Darfur , Chad , Eastern and Southern Sudan . Posted below describes how the NIF directly affecting the South.

As the International Community Postures, Sudan ‘s Many Crises Deepen:
Darfur , Chad , Eastern Sudan, Southern Sudan —all remain victims of National Islamic Front tyranny and brutality

Eric Reeves

For the full article go to: http://www.sudanreeves.org/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=92

THE SOUTH

“The former southern rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) threatened to take its northern partners to the constitutional court if they forced controversial presidential decrees, known as provisional orders, through parliament without consultation. ‘Those provisional orders are violating the constitution and the peace agreement,’ Yasir Arman, the head of the SPLM’s parliamentary bloc, told a news conference.”

“He said if no solution was reached the SPLM would vote against all the presidential decrees, issued before the coalition government was formed, and would take the matter to the constitutional court. The laws include an armed forces act which allows any policeman to open fire at his own discretion and provides criminal immunity to officers in the armed forces when dealing with citizens, SPLM lawyer Ghazi Suleiman said.”

“The decrees also include a law governing the work of non-governmental organisations in Sudan , which would require them to put funds into bank accounts run by the government and allowed authorities to eject any NGO which publicly disagreed with government policy.” (Reuters [dateline: Khartoum ], February 2, 2006)

Since the National Islamic Front (which has innocuously re-named itself the National Congress Party) guaranteed itself a 52% majority in the supposed “Parliament,” we have a spectacular example within the Government of National Unity of the “tyranny of democracy”:

“‘These are just bad laws,’ said Suleiman. Under the deal the northern ruling National Congress Party has 52 percent of government and the 450-seat legislative. The SPLM has 28 percent. Presidential decrees cannot be amended by parliament and need only a 50 percent majority to pass. But Suleiman said the National Congress Party could not use their majority to force the laws through. ‘If so, the peace agreement would collapse,’ he said. ‘This is not a majority-minority government, it is a marriage and it needs partners.'”

But “Presidential decrees” are only an especially conspicuous example of the National Islamic Front’s efforts to renege on meaningful power-sharing. A report from the UN Integrated Regional Information Networks (January 9, 2006) offers a more comprehensive assessment, citing in particular the assessment of distinguished and courageous Sudanese journalist Alfred Taban:

“In the new Government of National Unity, the National Congress Party (NCP) retained the key ministries of energy and mining, defence, interior, finance and justice. ‘In terms of political power and the economic sector, the NCP kept full control over the key ministries, and this is creating a credibility problem,’ said Alfred Taban, editor of the Khartoum Monitor, an independent newspaper. ‘The SPLM/A and many southerners were very disappointed and lost faith in the intentions of the NCP.’ Other observers in the region believed the NCP was still firmly in charge. Besides retaining key ministries, the party dominated the presidency and its advisory council. The NCP was also able to exert a degree of control over ministries they had handed over to the SPLM/A through shadow bureaucracies comprised of NCP loyalists.”

Moreover, there is growing evidence that the NIF is refusing to share oil wealth with Southern Sudan as it promised under the terms of the wealth-sharing agreement ( Southern Sudan is supposed to receive 50% of revenues from southern oil production). Instead, the NIF is stonewalling on the formation of a boundary commission to determine the north/south border in oil-rich Upper Nile Province, and thus the location of key oil production sites (now all claimed by Khartoum as “northern”).

The NIF has also reneged on its commitment to abide by the terms of the Abyei Protocol, which represented a key compromise in the final negotiation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). The Protocol (Article 5.1) provides that “There shall be established by the Presidency, an Abyei Boundaries Commission to define and demarcate the areas of the nine Ngok Dinka Chiefdoms [the Abyei Area].” The findings of a distinguished international panel that made up the Abyei Boundaries Commission were submitted to the new Government of National Unity last summer (the full report, dated July 14, 2005, is available in PDF format at The Sudan Tribune, http://www.sudantribune.com/article.php3?id_article=11633).

Instead of accepting the report, el-Bashir and the NIF have refused to release or act on its findings and recommendations. This, in turn, has contributed to a highly unstable situation in the Abyei area, which remains a potential flashpoint for resumed war in the south. As a recent UN “Sudan Humanitarian Overview” (January 1-February 1, 2006) reports, Khartoum ‘s actions have left Abyei without a civil administration, thus forcing humanitarian organizations and the UN to operate “without appropriate interlocutors and access to populations. Added to this, [NIF] national security has been severely limiting movement, and humanitarian access is being denied in areas north of Abyei town” (page 6).

Reneging on signed agreements, obstructing humanitarian relief, pitting ethnic groups against one another (in Abyei, primarily the Ngok Dinka and the Arab Misseriya)—these are the staples of National Islamic Front policy for all of Sudan . It is deeply unreasonable for the international community to expect that the SPLM will be able to take meaningful part in a “Government of National Unity” when it receives so little support in holding Khartoum accountable for its refusal to honor the terms of the CPA. Whether it is wealth-sharing, power-sharing, boundary demarcation, or the terms of the security protocol, there is nothing but bad faith on the part of the National Islamic Front. The SPLM is powerless by itself to enforce the terms of the CPA—it requires international assistance of a sort that is nowhere in evidence. The only leverage the SPLM possesses is military strength, and consequently the prospect of resumed war has grown terribly distinct. There could be no greater squandering of the diplomatic efforts that went into the forging of the CPA, from the initial breakthrough at Machkos ( Kenya ) in July 2002 through to the final agreement in Nairobi (January 9, 2005).

It is cynically expedient to expect Darfur, Eastern Sudan , and the other marginalized areas of this tortured country to be able to resolve their various crises alone. Unless there is vastly increased political, diplomatic, and economic pressure on Khartoum , the NIF will simply calculate that occasional international bluster and condemnation is the only real price it will pay for genocide as an ongoing domestic security policy. Whether in the Nuba Mountains , the oil regions of southern Sudan , Darfur, or soon in Eastern Sudan , the NIF has repeatedly shown itself willing to destroy groups on an ethnic and racial basis to further its ends—the arrogation of national power and wealth.

This is abject moral failure that leaves the people of Sudan betrayed in deepest consequence.

Eric Reeves

Smith College

Northampton , MA 01063