New South Kordofan governor launches reconciliation initiative

May 14, 2009 (ST)

The newly appointed governor of South Kordofan, Ahmed Haroun launched today an initiative for reconciliation and tolerance in the forgotten Nuba homeland since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

The South Kordofan state, which is the geographical centre of Sudan, encompasses Nuba ethnic group accounted for approximately three quarters of the state’s inhabitants and the Arab Baggara from the Missiriya and Hawazma tribes.

Both the National Congress Party (NCP) and SPLM are resorting to ethnic mobilization in preparation for the upcoming 2010 elections, a matter that made difficult ethnic reconciliation between the two groups.

Ahmed Haroun, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Darfur crimes, was received by important number of local leader and dignitaries from the NCP as well as the SPLM. He arrived to Kadogli accompanied by Presidential Adviser Ali Massar and Governor of Blue Nile Malik Aggar.

Addressing a public rally of some thousands of Kadogli population, Haroum said he wants to work with all the political and social forces in the state to establish security in the region, create favorable climate for the organization of upcoming elections and to boost the unity of state groups.

He further said he had agreed with his deputy governor (SPLM) Abdel Aziz Hilu to enforce a true partnership for the short remaining time, stressing that the situation in the state is very critical and all the political forces should work together to overcome differences.

More than three years after the CPA was signed, integration is not a political reality in South Kordofan. While a joint government has been established at the state level, the administration of government and SPLM-controlled areas remains separate.

Two local government systems currently operate in parallel, with separate policies for education (two languages, two systems), judicial and security systems, and local government structures. "Passing from one area to the other involves passing through armed checkpoints," said Small Arm Survey in a report issued last year.

The Deputy Governor Hilu, reiterated his full commitment to strengthen partnership and to develop the region. "We came with a new spirit and we agreed to work together in order to provide the best services in this limited time, and we agreed that the priorities will be to establish security, political and social stability."

Hilu also was appointed last month following divergences between the SPLM members in the state.

Bleu Nil Governor, Aggar, told the welcome rally that everyone has a role to play to implement the CPA. He also praised Haroun and Heilu saying he worked with them in the past and he knows they are honest and truthful.

He encouraged them to work together for the benefit of the region.

Haroun who was state minister for humanitarian affaires worked with the SPLM officials to end Abyei and to Blue Nile row as well as recent Malakal troubles.

The CPA gave the Nuba limited regional autonomy and a ‘popular consultation’ on the CPA—devoid of enforcement mechanisms. Many Nuba considered this inadequate, fearing for their fate in the event of South Sudan separating following the 2011 referendum.

Many also accused the SPLA leadership of compromising the political rights of the Nuba and Southern Blue Nile State in order to get self-determination for Abyei, which was the only one of the three border ‘transitional areas’ to be granted a referendum to determine whether it would be part of North or South Sudan after 2011.


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