Address before the USA Presidential Envoy
& Accompanying Delegation
Wednesday- November 14, 2001
04:30 PM- Omdurman, Al Mulazimin
On behalf of the Umma Party, the Ansar, and a board mass of the Peoples of the Sudan, it gives me great pleasure to welcome Mr. John Danforth, Special Envoy of President G. W. Bush to the Sudan and his delegation.
The Sudan is at an important crossroads. There is a National opportunity, which if buttressed by Regional and International levers could deliver on a Comprehensive Political Agreement, which would result in the twin aspirations of the Peoples of the Sudan, namely, a Just Peace Agreement and a real Democratic Transformation.
The Prophet (P. U. H) said: “In the unfolding of Time, there are moments of Grace, EXPOSE yourself to them”. Put in a secular context in the words of Shakespeare: “There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat”. The following points outline this opportunity.
Firstly, the Sudan witnessed three coups of political usurpation. The first two were uprooted by popular uprisings. For the first time, a Sudanese Regime established by coup d’etat has recognized political plurality and sought to negotiate with political parties a comprehensive political agreement. Consequently, there is now a political literature, and a set of principles, which, in theory, could lead on to fortune.
Secondly, ideological and cultural exclusiveness, has always preceded National conflict and lead on to it. In the Sudan, colonial policy sought to shut out Islam from the South and reserve it to Western Christian Missionary activity. After Independence, the succeeding Sudanese administrations sought to reserve that advantage. Later till, Islamic assertion, which reached its zenith with the June 1989 coup further, polarized Sudanese political opinion on the matter. A phenomenon of polarization, which reached full circle under the current Regime. The steepness of polarization prompted thoughtful Peoples to reconsider the whole issue. Today there is a Sudanese consensus, unthinkable a decade ago, over the issues of Religion and Politics, Religion and State, Religious Plurality and cultural plurality.
Thirdly, the political scene in Sudan today is no longer an isolated debate between political elites. Sudanese public and popular opinion in the whole country is fully mobilized for ending the war, establishing peace, dismantling totalitarian shackles, and proceeding towards Democratic Transformation.
Fourthly, the Sudanese aspirations are not Regionally nor Internationally isolated. The stampede for peace making in Africa has gathered momentum so that most of the armed conflicts have been resolved. The Democratic stampede bestrides Africa and the International theatre.
Fifthly, the tragic events of 11th September 2001 and their consequences have been described by some as a manifestation of a Clash of Civilizations. Nothing can be more untrue. Even in open warfare, Islam prohibits targeting civilians. To the extent that some Muslims have been involved in the atrocity, their deeds are as much an attack upon their chosen targets.
However, there are real points of conflict, which may bread and have bred damaged militants, who engage in acts of terrorism, which actually produce counter productive results for their perceived aims.
Perceived as a Clash of Civilizations, the events would lead to an unfortunate polarization, which would fulfill all the prophesies of doom. Properly understood, the events would be an eye opener, a call for sensible Humanity to rise up to Terrorism and to mobilize all effort to dry the sources, which feed it. This attitude would line the Sudanese crisis among others for prompt attention.
It is incumbent upon World Statesmanship to seek, justly, to blot out pestering conflicts towards a more peaceful and just World order.
Sixthly, in sum:
- What it takes to clinch an Agreement is, theoretically, in place.
- An African, an Arab and an International lever, is required to help the Sudanese help themselves.
They are required to fridge the confidence gap between the Sudanese, to support a follow- up mechanism, and to mobilize support for reconstruction and Development, when Peace and Democratic stability have been established.
In this vein, we welcome American concern for our country’s problems and its support for a Comprehensive Political Agreement for the Sudan. In the words of Jesus (P. U. H): “Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God (Matthew 5; Cf. Luke 6)”.