Tuesday, November 11, 2008

'Tents of Hope' Gathered in DC for Darfur

"It was a very powerful event brought together more than 300 cities and communities around the US to send a strong message of hope to our people in Darfur camps" said Dr. Mohamed Elgadi, member of the planning committee of Tents of Hope and a long-time darfur activist. Dr. Elgadi, a Sudanese-American and the coordinator of Amnesty International in Amherst, MA spoke in front of Sudan Embassy in Washington, DC with Voice Of America TV http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OGEHJdICbk

The 3-day events found lot of media coverage, locally and internationally.
The following article was published by Associated Press and posted on Sudan Tribune:

November 10, 2008 (WASHINGTON) – Activists set up some 350 tents on the national mall in front of the United States Capitol building this weekend, hoping to reenergize the U.S. Darfur movement and influence the president-elect.

Two tents pitched in front of the US Capitol, saying "Tents of Hope" (above) and "Love of peace" (in Arabic) Each of the tents was sent by a community somewhere in the United States, representing approximately 350 cities in 48 states.

Organizers envisioned that the tents, painted by congregations, schools and groups from around the country, would raise awareness and funds to address the crisis in Darfur.
The tents will be shipped to Darfur for use as classrooms and as symbols of hope.
The one-year Tents of Hope campaign culminated this weekend as part of a series of events in which activists gathered in Washington.

As part of the events, about 450 students from around the country traveled to the capitol for leadership training in grassroots mobilization for genocide prevention, said a student activist representative.

About 160 of them arrived on Friday for a march on the national mall before they split up to rally at the Whitehouse and the offices of President-elect Obama.
The crowds then joined up with Tents of Hope participants at the Sudanese embassy, where 250 people rallied, calling for the arrest of President Omar Al-Bashir, who is indicted on ten counts of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Five College Africa Day

a distinguished presentation from Africa Day conference held @ UMASS Amherst on Nov 1st, 2008
Post-CPA Sudan:
Is Khartoum and the National Congress Party Making Unity Attractive?
by: James Alic Garang
Dept of Economics, UMASS Amherst

Freedom as Natural and Divine
Equality begets freedom, which, is both human and divine. All of us want to be free. We seek freedom by all accounts when and if we not are free. Due to our disposition for freedom, all people and nations of the world seek freedom from the following: Political oppression, wants, ignorance and diseases among others. The essence of freedom is manifested in the equality before law, in opportunities, and access to life basics. Whenever these fundamentals are violated, people always do not sit back or look the other way; they find ways and means to right them. This is the basis, for instance, upon which armed resistance for independence was waged against foreign dominion in Africa in the 1960s.

Sudan: A nation Fraught with Unfreedom and Inequality
Sudan—the largest country in Africa— gained external independence from Britain on January 1st 1956 while ignoring regional equality, learned the importance of equality and freedom the hard way. It came to learn that when two people are supposed to share a cake and one person has it all, that is unequal. A 50-50 split is equal. The 1st civil war (1955-1972) and the 2nd civil war (1983-2005) drove home this moral. Like George Orwell’s Animal Farm Universe, some Sudanese were thought as more equals than others. That view of differential equality among Sudanese by small ‘club of dictators in Khartoum’ led the Sudan People Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) under prudent leadership of Late Dr. John Garang to fight for a full liberation of Sudan, on the platform of “New Sudan” philosophy based on Equality, Justice, and Freedom for all Sudanese.
When all is said and done, I would like to say a word or two respecting the cause of the war in Sudan. The conflict was caused by an amalgam of interconnected factors: uneven development, imbalance of power, lack of due process and misuse of religion by class elites in Khartoum. Some people outside Sudan who think that the war was fought purely on religious and racial grounds are wrong, big time. The main cause, in my judgment is economic in nature, making all other factors secondary. In an attempt to crush the armed rebellion, elites in Government, such as Dr. Hasan al Turabi, used religion as a recruiting tool and a wedge issue in denying mass due process and carrying out “Sharia law” such as the Infamous September Declaration of 1983 which angered Southerners and fueled rebellion by SPLA. In the hindsight which is always 20/20, the war was both dehumanizing and anti-development. Its consequences include but were not limited to:
Many innocent lives were lost ;
Property was destroyed;
People were displaced;
Local economy was crippled and;
Development was brought to stalemate while poverty, ignorance, diseases and squalor raised their ugly heads

Historic Signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA)
After 21 years of fighting, ‘let them fight it out’ approach, felt out with the International Community and that enabled them to bring the warring parties to a common table for a peaceful political settlement which was reached on January 9th, 2005 at Naivasha in Kenya. And boy, despites its shortcomings, Sudanese from all walks of life appreciated the CPA and its architects such as Late Dr. John Garang, former Vice President of Sudan, and President of South Sudan, who referred to the CPA as a gift brought to the nation in a “silver plate”. The CPA has three main protocols that make its agreeable to both parties:
Wealth Sharing: each side would receive 50% of oil revenue;
Power Sharing: Alternation of presidency between Khartoum and Juba;
Security Agreements: Call for one National Army, Two Private Armies, etc
The CPA stipulates that South Sudan would decide in a referendum in 2011 either to vote for secession or unity. In the same vein, fair and open elections are supposed to be held in 2009. If the Bashir—National Congress Party (NCP) candidate wins presidency, Salva Kirr—Presidency of the South—automatically becomes his 1st vice presidency. The same is also true if Salva Kiir wins presidency. While referendum is just 3 years away, NCP feet-dragging implementing peace mandates is egregious. It makes one questions sincerity and credibility of NCP attempts to make “unity attractive’. Making ‘Unity Attractive’ is a metaphor for delivering social services such as health care, education, investing in physical infrastructure, creating jobs, bridging the gaps between haves and have-nots. Unity is conditional on delivering these pressing needs. But based on the apparent ominous writings on the wall, there is a reason to suggest that Khartoum and NCP are not making unity attractive. Unattractiveness of unity to all Sudanese may be a recipe for secession when referendum knocks on our door in 2011:

Differential Post-Conflict Economics Policies
Incentive Incompatibility: Immediately after the signing of the CPA, NCP allotted more attractive “Portfolios such as Ministries of Energy and Finance” to itself... Today, South is receiving shrinking share of oil revenue under the pretext of ineffective global demand; volatility in the global markets. Without adequate revenues, Juba can not function and that reinforces mistrust, hence unattractiveness of the unity;
Macroeconomic Goals: Any functioning government is charged with task of job creation, Price stability and Economic Growth. While these macroeconomic goals are being delivered in Khartoum, South Sudan and other marginalized areas are yet to see their standard of living improved. Lack of tangible peace dividends = unattractive unity= courting disaster;
Inequity: There is a persistent regional inequality. Worst still, there are no concrete attempts made to lessen this inequality in all measure of social indicators, health, per capita in come;
Regional Inequality in Banking System: Banks are crucial in making credit available, creating intermediation between savers and borrowers, and price stability; all major banks are concentrated in Khartoum with jus few sprinkled in the South Sudan. Such is a constraint on local entrepreneurship and may backlash against peace;
Lack of Economic indicators: Economic data on most important variables such as unemployment rate, GDP, inflation rate, exchange rate, and what you have is available in Khartoum and not elsewhere. What is worst, no effort is being made to collect data in South or other contested areas. Without these data, it is impossible to assess accurately the magnitude of misery and effectiveness of meager government services;

Political Stalemates
Abrogation of Important Agreements: NCP is proving to be not a creditable partner in peace to SPLM otherwise border demarcation would have been completed by now;
Pure Aggression: Time and again, NCP cowardly attacked SPLA soldiers in some areas such as Abyei, Muglad, and Malakal. These attacks under the pretext of militias are destabilizing and provocative. They do not make unity attractive;
Diminishing Prospects for Open and Fair Elections in 2009: Until now, census data has not been gathered in some areas of the country which are supposed to participate in the elections in March of 2009. The big question is: will elections be held or postponed? And what will be the repercussion of reneging on the CPA stipulation?
Lack of Freedom of Expression: NCP is constantly hell-bent in silencing any vocal SPLM members. Recently, the Secretary General of SPLM party, Mr. Pagan Amum was asked to resign from the cabinet position because of having referred to the government as anything but free. Is such act making unity attractive? It remains to be seen;
ICC Indictment of Al Bashir: U.S has called a spade by its name. According to General Colin Powel and Bush Administration, Khartoum under Al Bashir is committing crime against humanity in Darfur. This indictment strained relations between the NCP and SPLM. It is becoming a source of political instability that clouds the prospects of making unity attractive;

Concluding Remarks: Possible Outcomes in 2011
Judging from the above thorny issues resulting from feet-dragging in implementing peace mandates, one is left wondering, what is Khartoum thinking? Is NCP purposefully making unity unattractive so as to make separation possible or do they think that they will screw rest of the country up when times comes.

If things remain they way they are it is possible that average “Joe” not “Joe the plumber” in the South will vote for separation. Khartoum will think twice before waging any war because the international community is watching. Besides, SPLA is well equipped and would mount strong fight. Unity has yet to be made attractive. While I do not know for sure what is in store for the future of Sudan, elites in Khartoum should be ready to face the consequences of having not made unity attractive and as to whether the price of unattractiveness of unity will be paid in another Civil War III or peace separation?

Friday, November 7, 2008

أمر اعتقال بحق المتهم عمر حسن البشير

“Deliver a People’s Arrest Warrant for Omar Al-Bashir”
When: 2-7 p.m., Friday, November 7, 2008
Where: Embassy of the Republic of Sudan2210 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC

أمر اعتقال بحق الرئيس السوداني عمر حسن البشير
التاريخ: 7 نوفمبر 2008
المحكمة: محكمة مواطني العالم المنعقدة لأجل السودان
المدعي: مواطني العالم ذوي الضمير الحي
المتهم: الرئيس السوداني عمر حسن البشير

نحن الأشخاص والمنظمات الموقعون أدناه, انابة عن أهالي دارفور - الذين قتل منهم مايربو على الثلاثمائة ألف شخص, وشرد منهم ما يفوق 2.7 مليون شخص من ديار آبائهم, بالاضافة الى مئات الألوف ممن تم اغتصابهن من النساء والبنات بدارفور ومئات الألوف من الأيتام من الأطفال – باسم كل هؤلاء نصدر هذا الأمر باعتقال الرئيس السوداني عمر حسن البشير المتهم بارتكاب الجرائم التي نصت عليها مذكرة الاتهام الموجه له من المدعي العام للمحكمة الجنائية الدولية السيد لويس مورينو أوكامبو والتي تحتوي على التالي:
ارتكاب جريمة الابادة الجماعية حسب المادة 6 (أ) من معاهدة روما حيث قام بالتالي:
قتل جماعات من قبائل الفور والمساليت والزغاوة وبعض القبائل الأخرى.
التسبب في الأذى الجسيم سواء أكان جسمانيآ أم عقليا لمجموعات من هذه القبائل.
فرض ظروف معيشية على هذه المجموعات بقصد تحطيمهم وانهاء حياتهم في آخر المطاف.
ارتكاب جرائم ضد الانسانية حسب المادة 7 (1) من معاهدة روما حيث قام بحملات منظمة وواسعة النطاق ضد المدنيين من مواطني دارفور الذين تمت ضدهم الأفعال التالية بعلم المهاجمين وقصدهم: (أ) القتل (ب) الإبادة (ت) الترحيل القسري للمدنيين

(ث) التعذيب (ج) الاغتصاب )
ارتكاب جرائم حرب حسب المادة 8 (2) (ج)

(ذ) من معاهدة روما حيث قام بالهجوم على المدنيين بدارفور مع سبق الاصرار و كذلك (م) نهب المدن والقرى.
نتقدم بأمر الاعتقال هذا تضامنا مع أهالي دارفور الذين ظلوا ينشدون العون الذي لم يأتهم طيلة خمسة أعوام. اننا نصدر هذا الأمر بغرض تحريك ضمير المجتمع الدولي للقيام بدوره في اعتقال مرتكب الإبادة الجماعية هذا. آن الأوان لعدم حماية القادة الذين لا يعرفون حدودا لسوء استخدام السلطة, أيضا آن الأوان لمحاسبة عمر البشير على ترويعه المواطنين السودانيين.
عليه, فاننا نود أن نحيط السيد جون أوسيك لويث - سفير السودان بالولايات التحدة الأميريكية – علما أمر الاعتقال هذا بوصفه تدبيرا مؤقتا لحين صدور الأمر الرسمي من المحكمة الجنائية الدولية يغرض مثول الرئيس البشير أمام العدالة للنظر في جرائمه التي لا يزال يرتكبها ضد أهالي دارفور.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

أمر قبض شعبي للمتهم عمر البشير

Contact: Mohamed Elgadi MohamedElgadi@yahoo.com 215-870-7809
Tragi Mustafa TragiMustafa@yahoo.com 905-317-4149

Tents of Hope Announces Vigil for Darfur at Sudanese Embassy:
"Deliver a People’s Arrest Warrant for Omar Al-Bashir"
منظمة "خيام الأمل" تعلن عن الإعتصام من أجل دارفور أمام السفارة السودانية"
رسالتنا أمر قبض شعبى على عمر البشير"

واشنطون دى سى - ينظم السودانيون ومنظمة "خيام الأمل" إعتصامآ أمام مبنى السفارة السودانية فى واشنطون من الساعة 2 الى الساعة 7 بعد الظهر وذلك يوم الجمعة الموافق 7 نوفمبر 2008 . يجمع هذا الاعتصام السودانيين والامريكان على هدف واضح: تحقيق العدالة والسلام فى دارفور وذلك باصدار أمر قبض شعبى ضد الرئيس عمر البشير قبل أن يقتل من جديد. هذا الاعتصام جزء من " لقاء الخيام" التاريخى والذى ينعقد من أجل دارفور فى أيام 7 - 9 نوفمبر 2008 www.TentsofHope.org سيلتقى السودانيون والامريكان فى هذا الاعتصام كى يقولوا بالصوت العالى ( كفاية) هجمات على مواطنى دارفور فى قراهم ومدنهم ومعسكراتهم ، وسيطلب اللقاء انهاء جهود السلام الدولية البائسة و التى لم تفعل شيئآ يذكر لوقف هذه الهجمات. " أنا مذهولة من سلبية المسلمين فى أمريكا وعلى نطاق العالم تجاه الابادة الجارية فى دارفور حيث يقوم مسلمون بضرب وتعذيب واغتصاب وقتل واذلال مسلمين آخرين" ، صرحت بذلك شابانا ستيشنوالا ، مديرة مشروع نور التابع للمؤتمر الاسلامى الأمريكى.

لقد آن الأوان لتأييد القبض على البشير بواسطة المحكمة الجنائية الدولية لمحاكمته على جرائم نظامه فى دارفور التى تسببت فى مقتل اكثر من 300 ألف شخص، كما تشهد المجازر الأخيرة فى معسكرات كالما وزمزم وبيرى للنازحين، إضافة الى حوالى 3 مليون مواطن فقدوا بيوتهم ولا يزالون يعيشون فى معسكرات منذ عام 2003. يجب ألا يمنح البشير أى مهلة يزعم دبلوماسيوه فى الأمم المتحدة أنه يحتاج إليها لتحقيق السلام فى دارفور. يجب أن يحاسب البشير على جرائمه كافة، مثلما قالت مواطنة دارفورية لأحد عمال الإغاثة فى معسكر لاجئين فى تشاد: " تأجيل محاكمة البشير لن يكون فرصة لإحلال السلام، ولكنه سيكون فرصة للبشير لمزيد من القتل ". وكانت مذبحة معسكر كالما للنازحين فى جنوب دارفور دليلآ مأساويآ على نبوءتها. " لقد حان الوقت كى يعاقب الرئيس البشير على كافة جرائمه"، يقول محمد القاضى ، أحد الناجين من التعذيب فى بيوت الاشباح فى الخرطوم. " لن أنسى ، ما حييت، تصريح البشير فى التلفزيون للعالم أجمع - أن الحديث عن التعذيب فى السودان كذب - وكنت أنا فى تلك اللحظة ضمن 171 معتقلآ يتعرضون للتعذيب فى واحد من بيوت اشباحه العديدة فى الخرطوم."
لقد جمعت منظمة ( اوقفوا الابادة الجماعية الآن) تعليقات وأقوال عديد من اللاجئين الدارفوريين التى تسجل مأساتهم وتعبر عن صوتهم الشجاع فى الوقت نفسه. وقد ظهر هذا الصوت واضحآ وقويآ فى هذه الرسالة الخطية القصيرة من أحد اللاجئين: " على المجتمع الدولى أن يدعم العدالة والمحكمة الجنائية الدولية فى موضوع البشير." وعندما سئل لاجئ آخر عما إذا كانت حياته ستتعرض للخطر إن صدر أمر بالقاء القبض على الرئيس البشير، أجاب قائلآ: " العدالة فوق الجميع. لن يتحقق السلام دون عدالة." كما تساءل صبى دارفورى لاجئ بفصاحة: " لماذا يمنح البشير 12 شهرآ لاحلال السلام، فى حين أننا لم ننعم بالسلام منذ 5 سنوات؟"." ليس لدينا وقت لتضييعه. لدينا كل الادلة والبراهين المطلوبة لمحاكمة البشير على الفظائع التى لا يزال يرتكبها. " قال داوود صالح رئيس منظمة ( تحالف دبنقا). وأضاف قائلآ " يتعرض عمال الإغاثة السودانيون للسجن والتعذيب والقتل بسبب تقديمهم العون للمواطنين الذين أجبروا على النزوح من جنوب السودان وجبال النوبة والنيل الأزرق ودارفور. تعرضت حياتى أنا شخصيآ للتهديد، وأجبرت على الهروب عام 1990. نظام البشير يقتل الابرياء العزّل. إننا نتطلع لليوم الذى يلقى فيه القبض على هذا المجرم وأعوانه."