President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan along with former head-of-state Thabo Mbeki of the Republic of South Africa. Both nations have sought an independent foreign policy towards Africa and the rest of the world., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Monday 20 June 2011
SPLM figure lambasts Mbeki over Abyei, South Kordofan
June 19, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The former intelligence director at the Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) and the leading SPLM figure Edward Lino has sent a strongly worded letter to the former South African president Thabo Mbeki who heads the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) that is mediating between the North and South.
The letter which was seen by Sudan Tribune is fiercely critical of Mbeki’s stance on Abyei and South Kordofan which are currently the scenes of military clashes between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and SPLA.
Lino accused Mbeki of siding with Khartoum in the conflict.
"Yesterday 18th June 2011, the war in the Nuba Mountains took a dangerous turn! That Khartoum regime, whom you desperately hope to salvage from drowning, has decided to wage chemical attack on Kadugli, Kauda and other areas throughout the Nuba Mountains! Days ago we alerted the world of the pending catastrophe. The world is keeping quiet, expecting the ‘miracle’ you may bring from those impossible Islamic fundamentalists," Lino said.
"On 14 of the current month, the UN Security Council was supposed to have meet on Abyei. But we were told that the meeting was deferred “because of your interference”, until you finish with meetings in Addis, while the war is going on unabated, between the Government and its citizens! Now it has taken time as Khartoum wanted and you did not report back to the Security Council,".
"I am sorry to say that all your plans are pro-Khartoum, otherwise how can you defer UNSC meetings indefinitely? Khartoum has long decided to “use you” properly and you accepted willingly, letting our people in Abyei and in the Nuba Mountain to be exterminated!".
On May 21st the Northern army overran the contested region of Abyei in retaliation to an ambush it blamed on SPLA.
Furthermore, heavy fighting has raged across South Kordofan since June 5 between the SAF and northern troops aligned to the army of the south that Khartoum has vowed to crush using all available means, including air strikes and heavy artillery.
World leaders including US President Barack Obama and UN chief Ban Ki-moon have called for an immediate ceasefire in South Kordofan.
Sudanese church leaders and activists say the army’s campaign forms part of a government policy of "ethnic cleansing", targeting South Kordofan’s indigenous Nuba peoples who fought with the SPLA during the 1983-2005 civil war.
Lino claimed that Mbeki sought with the backing of the former U.S. special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration to give concessions to Khartoum on Abyei.
"Of course, you have seen the disaster which they did in Abyei, following your suggestion that “some specified parts of ancestral Abyei Area to be conceded to Khartoum”, through the Misseriya to solve the problem".
"It was from then precisely, when Khartoum went arrogant after securing your two weighty voices with H.E. Gration, which made them disregard the decision of the Hague Tribunal. Meaning your two voices has became more superior to that of the International Tribunal".
In 2009, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) Abyei’s award confirmed that the boundary of the nine Ngok Dinka chiefdoms transferred to Kordofan in 1905 are part of southern Sudan based on tribal understanding of the Abyei Boundary Commission (ABC) panel of experts.
It also said that their eastern boundary in 1905 does not extend to line of Upper Nile border and attributed the oil rich area of eastern Abyei to northern Sudan.
A referendum was supposed to be held in January in which the people of Abyei would decide whether to be part of the North or join the independent state of the south.
However, the plebiscite has stalled over disagreements on who is eligible to vote between the Dinka Ngok and the Arab Misseriya tribe.
Lino pointed fingers at Mbeki’s aides saying that they are serving Khartoum’s agenda.
"Please, look around and you will find yourself surrounded by people who tried their luck long before to take part in our problem in different ways. They struggled hard to find a loop-hole to enter into Sudanese affairs, but they utterly failed! Some of them even tried through indulging themselves in human rights violations in the South, the Nuba Mountains and Dar-Fur. Some attempted to break-away the Nuba people from SPLM/SPLA, which did not take place, because it was timely discovered"
"The fact that they are accepted by Khartoum to accompany you, is not because they respect you, but because they have full knowledge about all of them and what they could do for them. You are surrounded by a bunch senile horses!"
"There are stories about you and specially, about the group around you. But the most important thing is, whenever you delay and defer other important dates, is the more people are killed, because you insist to equate the side defending itself with the attacking government of the day, which decided to fight the people in their land".
The SPLM figure said that Mbeki "shall be held responsible for every blood spilled in Abyei and the Nuba Mountains after the 14 June 2011 onwards".
"You either report to the UNSC or simply resign, when failure becomes success! You should not be seen as a person supportive of genocide committed by a religious-racist junta, which opted to disregard the whole world. The theory of supporting totalitarian governments in Africa opposed to the popular will of the people, shall not be accepted in this disintegrating Sudan".
Mbeki was mandated by the AU last year to implement the recommendations he drafted when he chaired the AU Panel on Darfur (AUPD).
But the AUHIP chair has slowly shifted his focus away from Darfur and instead chose to concentrate on helping the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the SPLM reach an agreement on key outstanding portions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
Darfur rebel groups and Northern opposition parties have been critical of Mbeki saying that he is adopting Khartoum’s point of views in his mediation efforts.