October 20, 2019

Bits & pieces

I’m trying to stay offline as much as possible at the moment as I’m in self-imposed lock-down-drafting mode for the book. But a couple of things I can’t overlook.

1. Doha

First, a useful post from Julie Flint over on the Making Sense of Darfur blog about Doha, serving to remind me that I never followed up my last post on it. I was on an interesting phonecall with Dr Ali Dinar (a civil society participant in Doha who has written about the conference) where he explained his view that while the NCP did try to structure the agenda in their favor, the delegations from Darfur were well enough organized in advance to block this move. Moreover he felt that while there were NCP stooges there as part of the Khartoum delegation, most participants weren’t (he framed this aspect of the Khartoum delegation as having been the “price paid” for the conference going ahead at all – in contrast to what happened for instance with the Mo Ibrahim attempt earlier this year). Dr Dinar’s view of this is not unchallenged, and some U.S.-based Darfuri diaspora who did not attend the conference are deeply skeptical of what is an overall positive account. In the absence of having been there myself I’m inclined to follow the analysis of people who were there over people who weren’t, but one conclusion, common to both the positive and negative views of the conference, is certainly true: Right now Doha has led to a piece of paper. The question is what will happen in implementation.

2. Mounting tensions in Khartoum

I’m posting a press release below from the SPLM following arrests in Khartoum earlier today. Bloomberg is reporting that those arrested have since been released. We can expect to see more and more incidents like this in the coming weeks. In my view, the only real question is when (not if) the tipping point will occur and discrete incidents will overflow into sustained conflict.

Monday, 7th December 2009

Press Statement

Today, the Sudanese people in Khartoum are conducting peaceful demonstrations in support of their Members of Parliament in the National Assembly who demanded the National Assembly to urgently pass laws on:

  • Referendum for Southern Sudan and Abyei, Popular Consultations for people of Southern Kordofan and Southern Blue Nile
  • Repeal of security repressive laws that restrict individual and public freedom.

The NCP is using its majority in the parliament to block the passing of these laws.

As a result of the peaceful demonstrations in Khartoum, the NCP system of government has arrested the following SPLM leaders:

  • SPLM Secretary General, Cde pagan Amum
  • SPLM Deputy Secretary General, Cde Yaser Aryman
  • Cde Juma Abas, State Minister for Interior.
  • SPLM members of Parliament in the National Assembly, and members of SPLM Secretariat.

Although there is this provocation by the NCP, the SPLM requests the public to remain calm and peaceful.

The SPLM leadership is meeting now and will provide an update and guidance on the situation soon.

Yours in struggle

Bol Makueng

Secretary for Information, Culture and Communication

SPLM – Southern Sector

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