Justice and Equality Movement (JEM)By: James Okuk

I came across a great article from a great elder of South Sudan, Isaiah Abraham titled "JEM proposal for Sudan Interim Govt must be rejected." I read the article with relish from paragraph to paragraph as I found a lot of political wisdom in it. Let me confess that I have learned a lot of political analysis and clearer straightforward strategic presentation of South Sudan interests from this great son of South Sudan.

Indeed, Isaiah is a living African library with unwavering focus on the forthcoming African Republic of South Sudan. My thirst gets quenched whenever I come across a political masterpiece written by this articulate Professor of South Sudan politics, Isaiah Abraham.

Without hesitation, JEM proposal for a new system of rule in the Sudan (aimed to get its effectiveness after Al Bashir has been locked up behind bars in The Hague) must be rejected categorically by Southerners for a simple reason that "this proposal does mention directly the right of the people of Southern Sudan for Self-determination." The most important part of this proposal reads as follows:

- There can be no doubt that the ICC indictment of Albashir has created a new reality and political dynamics that have to be taken into account. The indictment erodes Albashir's legitimacy as a President and destroys authority of his ruling party (NCP) which has colluded in his denial of genocides, war crimes and murder alleged in the indictment.
- The erosion of legitimacy of the current Sudanese government obligates all political parties and forces to intervene in a responsible way and prevent the country from sliding into chaos, anarchy and constitutional vacuum.
- It is a duty of all to act courageously in order to preserve national, regional and international agreements that are crucial for maintaining peace and stability in the country.
- The current state of uncertainty and lack of legitimacy provide an environment conducive for escalation of ongoing corruption, lack of security, lawlessness and dictatorship.
- In order to overcome these challenges and save the country from an eminent collapse and disintegration, JEM proposes an immediate formation of a transitional government of national unity (TGONU) with the following objectives:


1. Institution of rule of law and preservation of citizens rights.

2. Preservation of unity of Sudan and its people.

3. Putting an end to war, compensation of war victims and initiation of reconstruction of war affected areas.

4. Institution of freedom and embarking on transition to democracy.

5. Restoration of good international and neighbourly relations based on mutual interests.

6. Implementation of fair division of power and wealth.

7. Commitment to international conventions and cooperation with international organizations.

Southerners know it very well that anybody or any political party or any rebel movement who attempt to temper with the right of Self-determination in the CPA (even if he/she is a southerner) will deserve to be leveled with a big warning ‘RED MARK' in front and at the back. They know how to erect a big Red Post at the border with the CAP spoilers to warn them of "INTOLERABLE GREAT ENEMIES OF THE SOUTH." With the above proposal, no doubt that JEM is a great enemy of the core interest of Southerners, which is greatly expected to come from the ultimate CPA implementation; THE UNTOUCHABLE SELF-DETERMINATION. Therefore, all the people of Southern Sudan who are convinced of the value of the CPA - be they in the SPLM, SPLA or in any other political party or as individuals - must unite and stand with President Al Bashir (like they did in Omdurman twin city) to prevent JEM from entering Gordon Pasha Palace in the confluence of the Blue and White Nile in Khartoum in an attempt to spoil the available CPA opportunities for the South.

Southerners should not let down the NCP in this moment, whatsoever the case, until the end of the interim period of the CPA era is over. The NCP is the only political party in the history of politics of the Sudan that admitted in Machakos in 2002 and in Nyayo stadium in Kanya on the 9th January 2005 that the people of Southern Sudan have the right to practice their right to Self-determination in an internationally monitored democratic Referendum, comes 2011. If at all there is something called ‘best devil,' the NCP leaders are the ‘best devils' the SPLM and Southerners have at this moment because of the unbeatable CPA deal with them.

Southerners are pretty aware that any other political party or rebel movement in the North (with an Islamization agenda like JEM or with secular Communist agenda like SLM) will not guarantee the inviolable right for Self-determination if the NCP regime is ‘short-changed' with the help from Ocampo's ICC double-standard-political-indictments under the cover of international justice to the victims of Darfur's crisis, and also with the help of ‘Franco-Anglo-American' pressure on the top NCP leaders. If this ill-motivated move for the Regime Change is achieved what will be the fate of the CPA in the unreliable hands of the strange new guards who had nothing to do with Machakos, Nakuru, Nyanuki, Naivasha and Nairobi where CPA was cooked and engineered?  Where will the SPLM get partners to work with in  implementing the CPA to its logical end in the remaining three years of the interim period if the NCP leaders are evicted undemocratically from Presidential Palace in Khartoum and taken to The Hague to be locked up behind the unfair international criminal bars?

So far it is known that the CPA is only owned by the political parties and people who believe in its value. It is not every Sudanese who is in love with this historical document. The JEM, the SLM, the Communist, the Umma Party, the Popular Congress, and the etc.. do not feel good about the existence of the CPA and are ready to spoil it if they get a chance to enter the Gordon Palace by any means.

It is known that the CPA almost collapsed after the news of the unexpected departure of the unforgettable Dr. John Garang from the mortal world when he boarded the evil Ugandan Presidential Chopper, which took him to the immortal realm of no-return, and leaving his scattered burnt body to be put in state casket covered with SPLM Flag of honor (the flag of Sudan was thrown away later) and laid to rest in a mausoleum near Southern Sudan Parliament in Juba. The whole world had to run up and down to get the Lioness Rebecca Nyadeng Garang, and use her courage of ‘no-tears-for-death-of-my-husband' to convince the mourners that they should get calm and refrain from returning to war and chaos because their beloved hero is still alive in the CPA. Not only this, but the Lioness said clearly that she will not mourn nor avenge for the loss as long as the CPA remains alive and kicking. Indeed, the people got calmed and allowed Dr. Garang to be alive up to now for the past three years and a half of the CPA implementation period. The Garang's case is a lively lesson which should not be repeated so easily - with weak memory and short-sightedness - in the form of the current case of the ICC General Prosecutor with Mr. President Al Bashir. We don't want again any burnings and killings in Khartoum or any part of the Sudan as a result of the ICC action on the sitting President of the Sudan.

I am sure that the future of the CPA lies with the SPLM-NCP cooperation, and not really with any other Northern Political parties who have been tasted but failed to acknowledge the destiny of the South. Southerners do not have and will not have any other best alternative than the CPA. For them, the CPA is and will always be the Bible, the Quoran, the Dengdit, the Ngundeng, the Nyikang, the Magic, the Wizard, the Rock, and (name it....) for the six-year interim period (2005 - 2011). They will never accept any compromise on this hard-earned document from their beloved hero Dr. John Garang de Mabior Atem even if the Savior Jesus comes back together with the Prophet Mohammed in one flight to make the fundamentalist Muslims become Christians and live according to God's law of love and peace in the Sudan.

James Okuk is a concerned Southerner and a PhD student in University of Nairobi. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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  • I have not read the article by Mr. Isaiah Abraham to really see the insight straightforwardness analysis of South Sudan strategic interests. I must say I am somehow puzzled by your analysis.

    Firstly, I don’t think that we should attribute the historic agreement between South and North Sudan to the National Congress Party (NCP), which ended the hostilities by signing of Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005. It doesn’t matter whether you called it comprehensive or inclusive; it’s ended the mother of civil wars in Africa, our people struggle for independent has no parallel in African history in that it was long and completely spontaneous. The war has ended in victory of our people’s national dream for independent; historically, the South is triumphant.

    Secondly, I think this would be your second article about the International Criminal Court (ICC) indictment of Hassan Omer Al Bashir in which you seemed critical of the indictment and what it will mean to the future of the CPA. Hassan Omer Al Bashir and his many accomplices must pay for the war crimes they had perpetrated to the people of Sudan. If our memories of the past events are short and barren, our anticipations of future events will be short and barren; strange as it might seem is that one is left with the impression that you want to portray Hassan Omer Al-Bashir and his accomplices as the good guys simply because they had signed the CPA. Let us be extremely cautious here not to forget that we are talking about enemies.

    Thirdly, your article conveys a general believe prevalent in most of our political literature that SPLM needs a partner or the South to be precise in the North that will guarantee the Self-determination. Certainly, the states are high and the situation is precarious but to go that far and call on the Southern Sudanese to rally behind the NCP and its leaders is mind boggling. What happen to our instincts? The North Sudan will continue to be a potential adversary even after the referendum. In the last analysis the outcome of the war was due neither to Mr. John Garang exaggerated role nor to ‘best devils’ [lesser evil] of the North but to the phenomenal staying power of the brave young men of South Sudan, who kept the issue in suspense until they turned the tight of battles into one of the most decisive route in the history of the conflict. Only blind compliance admirer would ignore this crucial fact.

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