On recent events in Sudan
Sudanese President writes to Putin
By Vestnik Kavkaza
Two more naval ships have arrived in Sudan from Iran. A destroyer and a helicopter carrier are located in a Sudanese port, the BBC reports. This is the second recent visit of Iranian warships to Sudan. The first two Iranian ships anchored in Sudan in October, after Sudan accused Israel of bombing an factory in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. The Israeli authorities claim that Sudan has been supplying weapons to the Gaza Strip, controlled by Israel's enemy, the Palestinian group Hamas.
Last year, the southern part of Sudan seceded from the rest of the country. As a result of this event, a new state appeared – South Sudan. Despite this, Sudan continues to be one of the most important countries on the African continent. It has the second largest territory after Algeria and borders seven African countries, almost none of which have access to the sea.
The other day a Sudanese delegation came to Moscow, where it passed a message from its president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, to President Vladimir Putin. According to the Sudanese presidential adviser Nafie Ali Nafie, Sudan has "a long-lasting experience of fruitful cooperation with the Soviet Union and Russia." Nafie Ali Nafie stressed that at the moment Sudan wants relations between the two countries to develop qualitatively and quantitatively. He stressed the importance of relations exempt from any colonial perspective.
Nafie Ali Nafie gave an extended commentary on the situation around South Sudan. He stressed that "the first rebellion in the south took place in 1955 - a year before Sudan became independent. It was caused by the fact that at the time of the British rule, the southern part of Sudan was not yet fully administratively subordinated to the rest of Sudan. It operated based on its own laws. In accordance with these laws, South Sudan cooperated with the rest of Sudan in economic and other spheres, but on the other hand, such legislation promoted the deepening of the colonial dependence of the country." Nafie Ali Nafie said that it was adopted as a general rule that South Sudan was to obey North Sudan. However, this agreement was shaken after President Nimeiri retired in 1981.
"On the second or third month of its term the new government attempted to establish a national dialogue on bringing peace to the south. A special peace conference was held. It was decided that Sudan was to become a federation, and all the wishes of our southern brethren aboutgreater autonomy were to be taken into consideration. The same principle was to apply to all other states of Sudan. This was the decision adopted at this congress... The dialogue, which was held for many years, was addressed to all the people of Sudan. In 1989, direct talks between the Sudanese government and the Liberation Movement of South Sudan were initiated. Meetings between the then-Vice President of Sudan and Dr. John Garang took place. This direct dialogue lasted for some time, and then a peace agreement between the north and the south was concluded. It provided that the South was to observe the borders defined by the peace agreement signed in 1956, that is, borders that were established by the British in the pre-colonial period. The agreement concerned security issues, natural resources and many other problems. Garang was offered the post of the first vice-president of Sudan.
The problem of southern Sudan consisted of three disputed areas. It was very difficult for the Popular Movement to sign an agreement that wouldn't take into account the needs of these three regions, comprising the controversial Southern Kordofan, Blue Nile and Abyei. Protocols on South Kordofan and Abyei were signed. At the moment we are in a six-year transition period.
The central government has said that this agreement was intended to build trust between the north and the south. It was to ensure the unity of Sudan, but, unfortunately, the Popular movement could not overcome its distrust, could not overcome the influence of external forces that supported regime change in Sudan and the resignation of the central government. We wanted the Popular Movement to really care about the problems of the South Sudan after the separation of the southern part of Sudan and not to raise the question of Kordofan and other disputed issues, but to discuss them with the government of North Sudan, but that did not happen.
The African Union has come to play a mediatory role. Several months ago, a full agreement on all the issues between us and our southern neighbours has been reached. This agreement was called the Agreement between the North and the South. It consists of nine parts, all controversial issues are discussed there, such as the use of oil, borders and other issues that have arisen as a result of separation of the South... Naturally, we are interested in the full implementation of this agreement. We have met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and talked to him in detail about the situation. We encountered complete understanding on the Russian side, and Russia's willingness to contribute to the peaceful resolution of this issue," Nafie Ali Nafie said.