Why She Wants me to Re-publish my Old Republic Here…
One of my blogophiles (blog readers) asked me to publish one of my old flames, which was published online in 2007. I accepted it without ‘why’, and leave the task to you guys to discover the applicability of publishing this post in 2012. One of the reasons to me is that I have got no time to write out new ideas since I am now on the peace caravan move in Jonglei State. My heart is also bleeding upon the bleeding of my new country, contrary to my/our expectation. Please, find out from the post and join me in appreciating Deborah for her request to post this piece of thought on the status quo of the Sudan (now South Sudan and Sudan), as in November, 2007
The Three-Eyed Watchman (November, 2007: http://www.newsudanvision.com)
By John Penn de Ngong
We, Sudanese, have learned nothing and forgotten nothing from our past experiences
I am not comfortable with those who define history as just the “past records”. They think history dies with our ancestors; but have they died, anyway? If we still rename them in our children, worship them as spirits, and live with their blood running in our veins, then how dead are they, and how long ago is history?The title of this piece is adapted from the history of the French Revolution in which the Bourbon Monarchy that reigned before and after Napoleon Bonaparte is described as “having learned nothing and forgotten nothing” from the experiences of the French autocratic kingdom of Louis VIX and his predecessors and successors. When Napoleon overhauled the whole system in 1789, the subsequent regimes seemed to have learned no lessons and forgotten nothing from the past corrupt, nepotic and despotic monarchs and their systems. They redid all the amendments and plunged their country back into oblivion; hence the description of them having learned nothing and forgotten nothing, meaning they offloaded the changes brought by Napoleon and downloaded the challenges created by the pre-Napoleonic regimes.
In this column, firstly, I want my readers to look at our current issues in three dimensions, say, with three eyes: the first eye on Yesterday, the second on Today, and the third on Tomorrow of the Sudan. Secondly, my readers, whom I assume not only readers but also critic of the status quo of our present Sudan, should cut across history and not read but share whatever I put on this webpage, lest they are misled or they mislead. If so, then please, place the forgetful Bourbons, the French dictatorial kingdom overthrown by N. Bonaparte, and Bonaparte himself, into the current context in Sudan.
I, for one, do not believe there is something called ‘history’, especially in the case of Sudan. I only believe there is a word, not an event, called history. What is historically different in my ancestors (past) giving birth to me, and I (present) giving birth to my son, and my child (future) giving birth to his or her child? That is why we call it – not production but – reproduction. History is the recycling of events, the hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal, annual recurrences; in short it is the replica of yesterday over today and tomorrow. This is my perspective, as a traumatized and dramatized citizen of Sudan and critic of the Sudanese (South Sudanese after 2010) exotic brand of politics.
They say what comes around goes around; and I complete the saying: what goes around also comes around. Yes, of course, if our chiefs were not bribed or intimidated in that night of 1947, when the Sudan, in general, and Southern Sudan, in particular, were deciding in the Juba Conference, whether to be under the ‘care’ of the British or of the Arabs, the 1955’s Anya-nya I liberation war (yesterday) would not come around. And if the 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement was not trashed by the Nimeiri’s Bourbon sort of…, the 1983’s SPLA liberation struggle (today) would not come around. And if the 2011’s Self-determination referendum (future) would not be rigged or not reached, the 20XX liberation war would not go around. In short, if we learned something from such past experiences and forget nothing from them, then our future is determined.
Now, let’s remind ourselves of the recurring events in our liberation history that we have forgotten and learned nothing from.
1- The CPA
The Sudanese Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed between the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement/Army in Kenya in 2005 was to bring an end to the two-decade, two-century, two-millennium misery, slavery, oppression, etc. of the Black person in the Sudan, but has it? Has it given us equal sharing of power and poverty (call it property or wealth)? Has it indicated where and when the north and the south meet (border) as signed? Has the CPA removed the Arab occupation army from the South (oilfields) as agreed? Are the original Dinka folks of Ngok (Abyei) Africans or Arabs according to the CPA? Do we, Southerners, know how many we are when the census is being sabotaged by our current colonial masters who assumed being majority in the Sudan? Has the CPA…, now, why waste this space and time with what you even know better than I write. But one important experience we might, and should not, have forgotten is, “is it for the first time? Is the CPA immune from any other micro or macro rebellions when the Khartoum Bourbons fail the peoples of South Sudan, and their allies?” Answers to be evaluated after January, 2011.
2- The DPA
The Darfur Peace Agreement (or I should say agreementsss) was signed between the same sort of monarchy and the Sudan Liberation Army (Movement) or SLA, not SPLA but its replica, to end the genocidal suffering of the Black people of Darfur in the same old hands in the euphemism of Janja-Weeds. But has it ended the daily multi-death of the Darfur people? Has the DPA given them equal distribution of power? Instead, it has given them, just as to Southerners, equal or greater share of poverty, not property. Yet they are signing more, and creating additional DPAs when nothing is implemented of the Addis Ababa, N’Djamena and Abuja agreement signed recently, just after the CPA. What bothers me just as it does anyone is why and why the signatories of the DPAs are not learning or forgetting what’s being done to the CPA by the Khartoum regime? They seem to have learned nothing and forgotten something from the past agreements.
3- The DRA
This is not any other agreement between two parties like the CPA and the DPA. It is the mother of all those agreements, the father of all wars in Sudan. The DRA is my own abbreviation of the Divide-and-Rule Assimilation policy. It is the Arabs all-season old tactic that is as old as their recent history in the Sudan. It is the policy we, African Sudanese, seem to have learned nothing and forgotten something from.In the South, the DRA policy prolonged our war over two decades. We started in 1983 with one voice, one objective, one heart, one song, one movement and one everything, but a few years later, what happened, especially when they, the political foxes of Sudan got into contact with some of our liberation fighters? We ended up ‘Somalianizing’ our movement into movements based on clans, tribes and regions. Half of the estimated 2.5 million lives lost was not in the frontline with the real enemy, but in a war between Southerners and Southerners. The whys and hows of the puzzle are decoded by somebody who called himself King of Apartheid, the late P. W. Botha, former president of South Africa, in his national address published in the Sunday Times in South Africa on August 18, 1985, reappeared in the Daily Monitor, Uganda, on November 28, 2006, and also used by J. Penn de Ngong (this author) in his anthology of poetry, The Black Christs of Africa, which (guess it) is what Nimeiri and his clique of colleagues might have said when he dumped the Addis Ababa Agreement into the rubbish pit of history.
“Secondly, most Blacks are vulnerable to money inducements. I’ve set special fund to exploit this venue. Money can do anything for you, so, while we have it we should make the best use of it.”
According to Botha also, other tactics of imposing divide-and-rule and assimilation policy can be found in: “The old trick of divide-and-rule is still valid. Our experts should work day and night to set the Black man against his fellowman. His inferior sense of morals can be exploited beautifully. And here is a creature that lacks foresight. There is a need for us to combat him in long term projections that he cannot suspect.” And if you think this statement is bad enough to spoil your day, have a look at more:
“The fact that Blacks look like human beings and act like human beings, do not necessarily make them sensible human beings. Hedgehogs are not porcupines, and lizards are not crocodiles, simply because they look alike. If God wanted us to be equal, he would have created us of uniform colour and intellect. But he created us differently. Intellectually, we are superior…
“It’s our strong conviction, that Black is the raw material for the White man, so let’s join hands to fight against this Black devil. You’ve seen that Blacks cannot rule themselves. Give them guns and they will kill each other. They are good at nothing but making noise, dancing, marrying many wives, and indulging in sex.
“The Black man is a symbol of poverty, mental inferiority, laziness, and emotional incompetence. Isn’t it plausible therefore that the White man is created to rule the Black man? Come to think of what would happen one day if you woke up and on the throne sat a Kaffir? Can you imagine what would happen to our women? Does any one of you believe that the Blacks can rule this country? Hence, we’ve good reasons to let them all – the Mandela’s – rot in prisons, and I think we should be commended for having kept them alive.”
And if you, dear reader, are shaking your head and burning pale with rage, do you think our colonialists are wrong to say so? Why then did we turn guns against each other during the Anya-nya movement, SPLA movement, Darfur movement and even in our current Government of Southern Sudan? What is the meaning of Militias and who are they in the South today? We just refuse to learn, and even if we learn, we tend or pretend to forget as soon as we sigh and sign the so-called agreements.
If you cannot understand my point theoretically, then please do it practically, thus. Dissolve a black colour in a white or red colour, and watch the reaction. What is the product, and do you like it? Can it paint any clear picture? Do this sooner before you cast your vote in the elections and referendum ballot boxes later.
To the Darfurians of the SLA and JEM, and their more than 20 factions which the Khartoum ambassador to UN was boasting of the other day, I thought you have learned and not forgotten anything from the SPLA’s chaos. You should have known before why the SPLA war lasted decades. It’s not because the minority regime in Khartoum was militarily powerful. No, it is because it is economically powerful. Yes, powerful and influential enough to ask one poor and ill-willed freedom fighter to make a project out of his people’s liberation movement and have it founded and funded by Khartoum’s Banki-el-Khasara or the briefcase bank of losses. For the sake of our unity being made attractive, I would not list some of these militia projects that were used for their fellow ethnic cleansing, but God and you and they know their names vividly. It’s not history; it’s a reality whose scars are indelibly inscribed on the minds and skins of Southerners. Yet we force ourselves to forget it.
According to P.W. Botha, money can do anything for you (or to you), but I doubt if it can erase the memories of oppression and suppression of the black man by the disguised or veiled kings of apartheid of Sudan. And if at all it can, why? And with whose money, by the way? Imagine our own oil from our own soil, with our own toil!
To put this topic in a nutshell, I need not repeat of what we all know. Just refer back to your mental notes and compare them with the above Botha’s speech, which I cannot believe it is Botha’s. It is actually and accurately Bashir’s. For those who have attended Bashir’s speeches, or his colleagues’, from June 1989 to date, haven’t you ever come across such statements in Botha’s speech above? If not, then we can still summarize and derive them from their actions since actions speak louder than words.
Look critically at our history, with three eyes. And do not learn nothing and forget nothing from the Hai Yousif Slums or ghetto life at the suburb of Khartoum (watch out for those Southerners who are still clinging onto the arms of the Arabs and buying houses for residence in Khartoum!), the giving of imaginary big titles on behalf of your people whom you desert in the bush (Minni Minawi, take note and consult with Riek Machar, Lam Akol, and other disappointed Black leaders who once signed ghost agreements with Khartoum and re-redefected). Really I harbor every reason to convince the Darfurians that Minni Minawe’s mini-government under Bashir, that appointment into the imaginary second vice president’s post, will soon turn into a disappointment, hence another defection back into the desert for re-liberation of the black people of Darfur. Let’s wait and see. There will be more liberation struggles upon the birth of our new nation. Inshallah! And then let’s learn something and forget nothing from our past experiences.