Long awaited Integration under way in South Kordofan

by Nanne op 't Ende

August 24, 2008

recent developments in South Kordofan show how hard it can be to make sense of the area. While various voices could be heard warning for a breakdown of stability in South Kordofan, political rivals NCP and SPLM seem to have reached a breakthrough in the long dragging process of administrative and security unification of the state.

Earlier this month, on August 4, a large delegation of Federal and Southern Kordofan State officials, NCP, SPLM, SAF, SPLA, National Security and others, traveled to Kauda for a ceremony marking the opening of SPLM administrated areas. Leading the delegation was Bakri Hassan Salih, Federal Minister for Presidential Affairs, with Southern Sudan 3rd Vice President and Blue Nile State Governor Malik Agar as senior person on the SPLM side. Participating also was Ahmed Mohammed Haroun, State Minister for Humanitarian Affairs.

In Kauda the delegation delibarated for hours on various details of security arrangements for the SPLM areas, discussing important issues like the absorption of the SPLM police into the government police service and JIU deployment to areas vacated by SPLA and SPLM police personnel.

This session was followed by a mass rally with speakers concentrating on peace, stability, development and unity of all Sudanese. Governor Omer Suleiman Adam (NCP), pointed out the benefits of integration and development for the SPLM controlled locations. One of the things he promised was that the state Red Crescent society would stay in Kauda for three months to repair the water system, initiate construction of roads and a TV station

The official representative of Kauda County (SPLM) said that the people in the SPLM administrated areas had been waiting too long for integration to take place and called for the state government to rebuild war torn areas and finally start providing social services and development programs.

Not attending was the state Deputy Governor Daniel Kodi who was abroad for medical treatment. In his place Blue Nile Governor Malik Agar adressed the crowd. He stressed that South Kordofan has only one Governor and that there is one state budget from where all things good emerge such as a fair share of the oil revenues.

Similar Ceremonies were held in Kadugli and in Julud. Since then delegations of a newly formed Civil Service Integration Committee have visited several areas, including Kauda, Kurchi, Julud, Tima and Koalib, to interview SPLM candidates for integration into the state civil adminsitration. In Kadugli hundreds of SPLM police officers have started a training that will prepare them for service in the state police force.

Deputy Governor Daniel Kodi, now back in Sudan, acknowledged that the recent developments are a real breakthrough. Unification of the state adminstration and state security forces is an important step towards realising the gains from the CPA. He pointed out that South Kordofan has remained a rather isolated area where rehabilitation and development have been very slow to be implemented.

It would be too optimistic to believe that administrative and security integration in South Kordofan will be a smooth ride from here. Kodi is concerned about what he called shortcomings in the integration of the police forces and he beliefs they should be addressed first to ensure a just implementation of the security arrangements. He did, however, express his confidence that the process would go ahead to the benefit of the Nuba people.

Unification of state adminsitration and security will likely enhance stability in South Kordofan. It cannot immediately take away all the tensions in the area, nor can it miraculously solve the lack of development. Neither will it address all worries of the Nuba people concerning their future. But, hopefully, integration will improve the working conditions in South Kordofan, allowing reconsiliation, rehabilitation and development to finally gather momentum.


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