Not everybody will be pleased

by Nanne op 't Ende

The Netherlands
October 10, 2007

The interim political bureau of the SPLM is expected to announce its position on the implementation of the CPA any day now. According to an anonymous source from Juba 'not everyone will be pleased by the announcement'.

While Foreign Minister Dr. Lam Akol says the CPA will never die and Vice President of Sudan Silva Kiir is away from Juba to visit flood victims in the North, the heavy weights of the SPLM/A have been looking for the best way to voice their concern about the lack of progress on two crucial issues: the CPA implementation and the violence in Darfur.

Only two days ago Vice President Salva Kiir stated that a return to war is out of the question, but if you thought that loud voiced SPLM discontent about the lack of progress was just an attempt to put some pressure on partner in peace NCP, you could be in for a cold shower.

The SPLM concern with Darfur might come as a surprise to some. For a partner in the Government of National Unity, the SPLM remained remarcably silent on Darfur. It seemed to be unaware of the importance of peace for national census and national elections paving the way for a referendum on self determination. This has changed: the SPLM is now actually keen on solving the Darfur crisis. But what can it possibly do to alter the chaotic reality in the West of the country?

Juba is the centre of numerous rumours. There is no beginning trying to check them all, but one thing is clear: a return to war is far from unthinkable. The question seems not to be' how to make unity attractive'; not even 'how to avoid a return to war'; but rather 'how to avoid being blamed for a return to war?'

When the public is asked 'to remain calm' we can conclude safely that important decisions are being made. An ultimatum on CPA implementation and resolution of the Darfur conflict is a likely outcome of the long deliberation of the interim political bureau.

Ultimatums demarcate unnegotiable positions. They stake out moral claims and anticipate provocation. If this is indeed the course the SPLM is taking, there is little reason to be pleased for anyone.


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