Kerry is Wrong; It's About Power Not Religion in South Kordufan and Blue Nile; The Rebels are Fighting, Not the People
WASHINGTON, May 27, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan in Washington DC would like to refer to the statement of the Secretary of State John Kerry in Addis Ababa on May 25, 2013 that the Government of Sudan is "trying to press on them through authoritarian means and through violence and adherence to a standard that they simply don't want to accept with respect to Islamism." Such accusation is unwarranted, misleading and harmful to the people intended to be helped.
1. The people of the South Kordufan and Blue Nile are not fighting the GOS. The GOS is fighting for them against the rebels who destroyed their lives and kept them hostage to advance their own political interests.
2. It is a well-known fact that the conflict in these two states was initiated by the rebels of the South Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) and the non-signatory Darfuri rebel groups, against the GOS. The leaders of SPLM-N, (Agar & Alhilo) were the governor and deputy governor of Blue Nile and South Kordufan states. In an internationally monitored election witnessed by the Carter Center, Alhilo lost the election in South Kordufan, the SPLM-N immediately turned the militia they were supposed to integrate into the national army against the same people they were supposed to protect and serve. It was at this point that the GOS interfered to protect its citizens.
3. It is a power struggle simple and plain—not a religious one. Islam was never and never will be a dividing factor in that area, it has long been there beside Christianity and other believes. Nobody, including the rebels leaders, has ever made such wild accusations. For Secretary Kerry to take that path is completely unacceptable, especially from a man expected to relieve tension, not to increase it.
4. It is worth recalling that the government has repeatedly extended an olive branch to the rebels, who have consistently spoiled it. This is demonstrated clearly in the last round of talks hosted by the AU when the rebels declared that their objective is to change the government in Khartoum, not to address the problems in Blue Nile and South Kordufan.
5. Kerry called on the GOS to respect what the people of South Kordufan and Blue Nile are trying to achieve stopping short of addressing or pointing to the real perpetrators (the rebels). What had happened three weeks ago in Um Raoabah and Abo Karshollah, where the GOS has no military presence, shows who really needs to respect the will and right of the innocent people. Up to this moment the rebels there are spreading terror, looting, killing and destroying the lives of innocent people—using women and children as human shields.
Such statements will never help the people of the two states. It will only send the wrong signal to the rebels. The people of South Kordufan and Blue Nile have suffered enough at the hands of the rebels. They deserve better than what they are hearing. The Government of Sudan will continue searching for a peaceful settlement for the conflict through negotiations while fulfilling its duties in protecting its citizens.
Embassy of Sudan Press and Information Office, phone: +1-202-338-8565, or fax: +1-202-667-2406
SOURCE Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan