Nuba keep all options open in case the South secedes

by Nanne op 't Ende

November 9, 2007

How has the SPLM in South Kordofan handled the first two years following the signing of the CPA? What is the present situation of the Nuba in SPLM? How should they move forward? All the Nuba representing the SPLM in South Kordofan State and in the National Govenrment and legislation gathered in Kauda (South Kordofan) on November 1 for a workshop 'behind closed doors' to discuss these issues.

Among the participants of the seven days' workshop, led by Neroun Philip, were Deputy Governor Daniel Kodi and previous Governor Ismael Khamis. Looking at the past two years, many people were critical of the results. The SPLM had held the Governorship for two years and there were too many issues, like integration of the SPLA and SAF forces, or getting SPLM police recognised, that had not been resolved.

Very little progress is made in the development of South Kordofan, and here too, the participants were critical of the way the SPLM had used the time it held the Governor's office. Ismael Khamis defended his record but met little sympathy. However, there was recognition for the importance of his recent appointment as state minister at the Ministry of the Interior.

The appointment of Daniel Kodi as Deputy Governor has revived hopes among the Nuba: they believe Kodi will be able to create more momentum for the SPLM in South Kordofan. As co-signer to the Protocols for South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Abyei, Kodi will put much energy in explaining to the Nuba people what the CPA actually means and how they can best benefit from it. More than Ismael Khamis, Daniel Kod is believed to be able to unite the Nuba.

The most important question discussed in the workshop was: what will the Nuba do if the population of South Sudan would vote for secession in its 2011 referendum? After a long debate, the outcome was simple: the Nuba in the SPLM demand the right to keep all options open. They want to have the right to decide as Nuba where their future lies: in North Sudan, in South Sudan or even in their own, independent state.

In a story picked up by the BBC yesterday, Akhir Lahzah said that the Nuba in the SPLM had decided to joint the North in case the South would cesede. Kamil Kuwa Mekki - brother to the late Yousif Kuwa - was one of the participants in the workshop. Speaking from Kadugli he comments:

"The story that we would want to remain in the North in case the South would cesede is nonsense. It is probably brought into the world by Telephone Kuku, who is a member of the SPLM but prefers the Nuba to remain in the North. He did not attend the workshop by the way. He was invited but he did not come."

According to Kuwa the workshop had been very succesful in discussing all issues openly and determining a clear strategy for the 2009 National elections and the following years, in which the future of the Sudan will be determined.


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