South Kordofan State full of positives elements….  But!

Interview with Deputy Governor of Southern Kordofan State, Daniel Kodi, in Ajerass al Huriyaa (Freedom Bell), 31 August 2008.

(A bit of a rough translation but it should be correct.)

"Our problems come from Khartoum, because of the absence of co-existence between the two governing political parties"

South Kordofan State or Nuba Mountains, as some like to call it, this state suffered from civil war which continued about two decades; the people of the state formed real support to SPLA, and hundreds of their sons were combatants with SPLA.  After CPA, there was special protocol for South KordofanNubaMountains due to complicated problems in the state.

Agras Elhuria sat with the Leader Daniel Kodi, the deputy governor of South Kordofan, and the well-known leader in SPLA, in hot long interview, dealing with all problems and concerns of the state.  At last, the answers on security situation, landmines,, and insecurity were suspended  to a later interview.

Question: How does the situation seem in Nuba Mountains, although there are some voices criticized the situation there?

Answer:  To all who criticized the situation in Nuba Mountains through the press, I respect all of them and I said in truth, there are some constructive and true criticism, and from this forum I call all the multimedia to visit South Kordofan State to see the reality on the ground; South Kordofan State has its unique qualities, especially concerning CPA implementation (Nuba Mountains protocol ) In the period after the 9th of January 2005, the state’s citizens did not feel with peace or change, truly the state’s citizens were disappointed from the whole situation they were living, because  all their huge hopes were suspended after the signing of CPA, the dream of the state’s people about a better livelihood situation, creative development, and safe security, deeply sorry till now the  state’s citizens did not found what they dreamed about .

Question: Why this situation, with the presence of clear agreement?

Answer:  This situation is due to several reasons, and from the main reasons, specially in the first period (2005-2007), the state suffered from the rotation of power between the governor and the deputy governor, and we were involved in arguments, without any need of it, especially the state constitution was legalized one year after the Republic of Sudan transitional Constitution.  Even the article which deals with the periodic rotation of power between the governor and the deputy governor-- it is not important for the citizen who is the governor or who is the deputy.  The other reason is the subject of development.  Development is the duty of the central government and international community, and they did not commit to their promises in the donor’s conference; all the development projects for South Kordofan state until now, they are projects on paper.  The other important reason, is the insecure situation, which is an obstacle for development projects’ implementation, due to insecurity because of tribal conflicts.  Briefly, all our problems came from Khartoum, from the center.         
Question:  How does Khartoum (the Center) create problems to you?

Answer: Our problems come from Khartoum because there is no coexistence between the two political partners’ parties – NCP and SPLM.  This is very clear, for they have contrary visions.  Thus, shared ground is absent.  CPA came up with the national government based on NCP and SPLM.  South Kordofan State situation is totally different from Khartoum’s.  We don’t have national government which allows the other political parties to participate.  Only NCP and SPLM are ruling the state.  Let me say a very important thing.  A workshop was done at the Ministry of Local Governance in Khartoum.  I was asked to represent a paper for the parliament bloc.  That workshop discussed two things:  First. Peace steps.  Second: Partnership.  I spoke about peace since the beginnings up to the signing of the CPA.  When we came to partnership topic, I asked a question to the participants as follows: What is the concept of partnership? Most of the answers I received were disappointing.  All the responses I received were saying: Implementation of CPA on the ground in reality.  Which ground and which reality they were talking about?  On which ground CPA could be settled?  What does partnership mean from your own point of view?  Partnership in concept means getting rid of the previous events that caused the war.  Partnership to me is that the two sharers have to participate in solving all Sudanese problems: social, cultural, political and developmental problems. So partnership to me means study of the reality of Nuba, Arabs and Misseriya in South Kordofan State and how conflicts appeared among the tribes as NCP and SPLM conflicts.  In short, social coexistence is very jumbled.  In accordance with this, the partners have to learn this new situation in the State and find solutions.  Also to invite peaceful coexistence, so that the peaceful status can be recovered for the state

Question: What about return of South Kordofan state IDPs and refugees?

Answer:  South Kordofan state has its own precise statistics about the returnees and refugees of the State.  They are all known in names, numbers and locations.  They want to come back to their State.  They will be assisted when they are coming back to South Kordofan state.  The problem is that IOM of UN in Khartoum is waiting for the returnees and refugees lists.  IOM in Khartoum asked the returnees who want to come back to write down their names at the office of the organization in Khartoum.  Some returnees and refugees have been sent back to the State.  However, these returnees were faced with some troubles in the state as follows: suitable dwellings, shortage of services such as health, water and education.  Eventually security problems.

Question:  How many are the State population?

Answer:  I can’t remember the amount specifically.

Question:  Has census taken place in the state?

Answer:  No, I haven’t found specific statistical number...yet I instructed people not to participate in the last census operation, which happened recently.

Question:  Did all the State people refuse to participate in the census?

Answer:  Some accepted to participate.  Anyhow, census operation failed in South Kordofan State.

Question:  How do you say: Government is unstable and you are the Governor?

Answer:  When census was taking place there wasn’t national government in the State.  There were three Governments; which is very strange.

Question:  Were there three governments, or three authorities that make decisions?

Answer:  It is strange.  Isn’t it?  Some people may consider this as madness.  But the reality says after CPA was signed SPLA/M was governing in SPLA/M controlled areas.  It was a powerful government and its capital was Kauda.  The Second government is to be called the government whose capital is Kadugli .  The third government is the prevailing rules in the State which are old laws that are opposed to the transitional constitution and even the State constitution.  Those laws were stipulated in times of the Comprehensive period [early NCP dictatorship period].

Question:  Despite all that, you mentioned still there are some criticisms against your government?

Answer:  South Kordofan state   is very lucky state in many things.  Yet we are in need of exerting more efforts to enhance this state.  And we have a motto says: Raise the Family Standard of Living.

Question:  What does this motto mean?

Answer:  Simply this motto means people of this State who have migrated must help improve the situations of their poor families.

Question:  Have people responded positively to this call?

Answer:  Yes, very widely.  Now Nuba people who are on abroad are facilitating this issue. 

Question:  By the way, how is the educational situation going in the State?

Answer:  It is strange because of geographical position of the State.  Up to now there are no clear geographical borders for the State.  Due to war reasons, we have now two different curriculums in the State.

Question:  About security issue, clearing of mines, security problems that are happening in the State from time to time, what do you say about it?

Answer:  This is a very big topic and complicated, let us have another interview.



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