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Sudan: Is Unity Still a Strategic Choice?

Writing in Arabic, Sudanese blogger Ayman Hajj discusses his country's politics and why many Sudanese people are losing faith in unity.

The actions of the Sudanese government and the southern Sudan Popular Movement, says the blogger, are being seen as a farce:

لماذا يظل الشعور متزايدا بأن الحكومة السودانية وشريكها في الحكم الحركة الشعبية لايقومان بشئ غير اداء مسرحية باهتة الملامح امام اعين الشعب السوداني.
Why is the feeling increase that the Sudanese government and its partner in governance, the Popular Movement, are not doing anything other than performing a play which is dull, in front of the eyes of the Sudanese people?

Such a charade, writes Hajj, puts the unity of Sudan on the line:

الشئ الذي لم اعد اشك فيه أن الاثنين شبه متفقين علي تقسيم السودان بحدوده الحالية الي دولتين ولايعدو الحديث عن جعل الوحدة خيارا جاذبا مجرد ذر للرماد في العيون فطيلة السنوات الماضية لم يقم احد منهما بعمل يقودنا الي ذلك فقط يتخاصمون ويتصالحون ويقوم البعض منهم بالشتم والسب والبعض الاخر بالتهدئة والمغازلة وتكون المحصلة الاخيرة ان لاشئ يجعلنا نؤمن بأنهما يحاولون ايجاد شئ ما يجعل الوحدة امرا جاذبا.
What I have no doubt about is that the two are almost in agreement to the splitting up of Sudan under its current boundaries into two countries. Talk about unity as an attractive option is empty. Throughout the previous years, neither have committed to any action that could lead to that – unity. They have been fighting and making up. One of them would curse and swear at the other and the other party would try to pacify the situation and continue with the courtship rituals. The end result is that nothing they do makes us believe that they are trying to create something that would make unity an attractive option.

Citing a recent development, the blogger notes:

اخيرا الاسبوع الماضي تخرج الحركة الشعبية في مسيرة يتم قمعها بواسطة الحكومة ويعتقل فيها بعض القادة الذين يصرحون علي اجهزة الاعلام بأن الحكومة دكتاتورية وقمعية وينسون انهم شركاء اصيلين فيها، ثم تأني الحكومة لتعلن بأنها اتفقت مع شريكها علي مجموعة من القوانين الداعمة لأتفاقية السلام والخيار الديمقراطي ثم يتصافحون وتطبع الحركة قبلة علي خد شريكها وكأن شئ لم يحدث.
Finally, the Popular Movement last week organised a rally that was suppressed by the government. A number of leaders were arrested. They were among those who have been giving statements on television saying that the government was an oppressive dictatorship, while forgetting that they themselves are original partners in this government. The government then turns around and announces that it has agreed with its partner on a number of laws which support the peace agreement and pursuing a democratic option. They then shake hands and the Movement imprints a kiss on the cheeks of the government as if nothing has happened.

In conclusion, he says:

اخيرا بهذه الافاعيل يدفعون المواطن يوما بعد اخر بالكفر بالوحدة التي هي في الحقيقة خيار استراتيجي بنسبة له لما يصورونه له بعدم امكانية التعايش المشترك تحت مسميات الاختلافات العرقية والدينية والاقتصادية.
Finally, it is those actions that force citizens to lose faith in unity, which is in reality a strategic option. They no longer believe in it because it is being portrayed as an impossibility to coexist with ethnic, religious and economic differences.

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