الاثنين، 1 ديسمبر 2014

To the elders of Sudan ... If any

Dear elders,

I will tell you my thoughts and how I perceive things. Who am I? I am nobody but a confused and uncertain person. I wish you get sometime in your super busy schedule of negotiation and photo shooting to read this.

I have heard in different occasions and news media that the ongoing negotiation is the one and only opportunity for Sudan to achieve long lasting peace. This makes me in doubts about what does long lasting peace actually mean.

If we considered the achievements of long lasting peace is only restricted to cease of causalities in war areas, I think this negotiation would be a chance to put the guns down. I perceive long lasting peace as a condition that includes achieving justice to the survivors and victims of war and treating the root causes of the conflict which were never highlighted in all your speeches neither in the code of principles signed by the Paris declaration group or 7+7 committee.

I am searching for the reasons making a salvation opportunity for Sudanese people out of the ongoing negotiations. The conditions that made this negotiation round unique; out of other 7 rounds since 2011, uncountable rounds in Abuja and Doha. The later two resulted in many peace agreements which never put an end to the war not to mention the people suffering. I get to know that Paris declaration and Umma Party involvement in the process was the magical ingredient to the long lasting peace, simply because it is the biggest political party in Sudan in terms of membership numbers. I found it needless to recount the times that NUP attacked the SRF, to remind the people of the disappointments and unmet promises by NUP leader.

The opportunity for Sudanese people to enjoy a lasting peace, justice and dignity begins with bringing the NCP regime down then collective efforts to heal the damages of war, tribalism, economic inequalities and achieve justice for the innocents who killed in a war they didn't fought. But the glimpses of opportunities in bringing the regime down were aborted several times by the (opposition leaders). I will restrict this to the recent disappointments;

In July 2012, people were gathered in Wad Nubawi, planning to pray for the souls of youth and school children being killed in peaceful protests in Nyala only few days ago. However, the Friday prayers speech focused on the fact that protestors are annoying the people who want to pray and they are no longer welcome. Regardless the lack of coordination of that day, it seems you never cared about those peaceful protesters being shot dead. Lessons learnt are not to spark protests from a mosque and never rely on untrustworthy leaders.

On September 2013, after masses of peaceful protesters being shot dead in the streets of Khartoum, and other cities, most of them were very young some as young as 12 years old. Those masses missed the political leadership and the guidance when the protests reached its peak 23-25 September 2013. On Thursday 26 September 2013, when people in Khartoum were trying to comprehend the reality of death tolls, It was even more frustrating to see Abo Isa, of the National Consensus and his peers speaking to the regional news channels saying that they couldn't hold a meeting in Azharis house because police denied them entrance to the building and pointed the guns.

What a turning off message he was trying to send to the Sudanese people who witnessed life shooting and killing of their beloved ones. After such a statement from a leading person; I could even understand my family concerns and excuses for giving me a hard time while trying to keep me away from taking the streets again. They have been listening to the 80 something years old man who announced quitting a meeting because a gun was pointed at him under the world sight and hearing. The protests momentum was dispersed by the too late, too little response to it and by the ongoing attempts to validate NCP regime through national dialogue and later the comprehensive negotiations.

It worth telling, that while each and every opposition political actor in Sudan was considering the national dialogue option or at least meeting with Thambo Mbeki of the AUHLIP except Girifna movement. Girifna members were being summoned, interrogated and tortured by NISS for rejecting the national dialogue and specifically for rejecting meeting Mbeki. This was the kind of dialogue that you were considering. A dialogue that shuts off all disobedient voices and I could see that nothing has changed that would make NCP more open to peace and democratic conversation, let alone the unmentioned justice.

I am wondering, how many times do we need to be betrayed by the unmet promises to be convinced that regime change ought to be our starting point? I wish I might be wrong and the negotiations and national dialogue would bring peace. I wish it would end the war, bring justice to the killed, the tortured and displaced persons. I wish it would heal the society that got damaged by inequalities and war. Please don’t forget that it has been 11 years of war in Darfur. The children who were born in 2003 know no peaceful life, and they have no home but the displacement camps. I hope it would succeed because I see no political will or power to bring NCP down to start up a construction process that might bring the long lasting peace.

I found myself in no position to judge or reject the ongoing collective deal of bringing peace between so called opposition and NCP. I am only an average Sudanese activist, a woman with a dream to make the world a better place to live. I want to go to bed without the images of outraged women, emotionally and physically broken down activists and striving children. I am in no better position than you to speak on behalf of the people, and with no power, similar to you to bring down the regime.

However, I will continue to record failures and disappointments for the sake of history, for the sake of millions who died, displaced, tortured; who sacrificed their life and well-being for a better tomorrow of the Sudanese people. I will continue to remind myself of that; so one day I would not consider shaking hands with criminals as a way to bring long lasting peace.

And I know I am not standing alone on this. 

There are many young persons, the housewives, the unemployed guys next door and the students which resistance is part of their daily schedule. Those are the recipe for peace and justice in Sudan and the missing component that never considered.