The Sudan African National Union (SANU) issued a statement Saturday declaring the dismissal of its pro-unity position and the embrace of a separate South Sudan. The statement was issued and signed in Khartoum where SANU is still based. With this turn of heart there remains not a single organised political entity in Southern Sudan, apart from the NCP South, that officially calls for unity of North and South. In fact such a call has become an impossible, and only as such truly ‘political’, not purely an administrative concern. The SANU Chairman, Toby Madot, and the SANU leadership, is well excused to run away from a position that may well cost immediate political survival in the South.
The not so serious discussion on the possibility of unity has gone back to the pre-Machakos situation where sharia law and secularism where the terms of the polarisation between NCP and SPLM. In arguing implicitly for its version of secession the NCP cites the preserve of sharia law as a motive and justification, the SPLM thus argues that it is sharia law that precludes unity. In essence, no political party has conviction enough to shoulder the responsibility of partition without recourse to counter-blame. Lately the SPLM complained of NCP negotiators for refusing to thematise re-structuring of the state in the case of unity, and focusing solely on a secession scenario! The message being, it is them who want secession not us. The NCP of course makes even thicker claims to that effect, for instance Nafie Ali Nafie’s press conference outpourings on the SPLM’s boycott of the President’s unity ‘get-together’ last week.
Partition is a fate that the political class in North and South is surrendering to and trying to sell to a constituency basically wary of war. Conscious of the repercussions and consequences of their decision both are spreading blame all around. Ali Osman Mohamed Taha talking to a function of the long time NIF allies, Ansar al-Sunna, laid greater hopes in pulling the Southern Sudanese public towards unity admitting in effect that no ‘unity deal’ with the SPLM is currently on the table.
Particularly Ali Osman has all the reason to worry. Come partition the NCP needs a scapegoat to carry the toll of the whole episode starting from the promise of self-determination. Considered the NCP mastermind of the CPA he may well be the target of many an enemy in the party and more significantly in the military and the security apparatuses. As much as adhering to unity comes with a great cost in the South delivering partition in Khartoum comes with major historical blame. The propaganda campaign that the NCP is currently busy with for the sake of unity has to backfire in conclusion on those responsible. The NCP media machine is already spreading the grease: the SPLM is essentially secessionist, neighbours are conniving for secession, the Americans are involved; what it still misses is the man inside.