Free Sudan Essay Sample
On 30 June 1989, colonel al-Bashir ousted Prime Minister Sadiq al-mahdi from office in a bloodless coup. After Al-bashir took office, he suspended all political parties and created a regime that has maintained a firm domination of power. Al-bashir's government does not share the country's wealth nor does it allow local control over its vast boundaries. He first formed the revolutionary command council for national salvation (RCCNS) and appointed himself the chairperson. The RCCNS had executive and executive powers. Al-bashir gave himself all the top posts; he became the head of the armed forces, the prime minister, head of state and most importantly, the chief of the armed forces. He introduced the Islamic legal code nationally. He further began working with Hassan al-Turabi in institutionalizing sheria law especially in the northern part of the country. Mr. Hassan was then the head of the national Islamic front (NIF) which had assisted Al-bashir in the coup. The party was changed from NIF and was transformed to the national congress party (NCP) (Bureau of African Affairs, par 5). Mr. Al-bashir banned various associations and independent newspapers. He imprisoned political opponents and journalists.
The provisional government of Sudan was established in January 2005.This development culminated in the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement that provides for sharing of power. Subsequently, the national constitution review commission drafted the Interim National Constitution (INC) as mandated by the agreement. Southern Sudan also has a constitution that it adopted in 2005. The ministry of justice certified that it conforms to the INC. The National election took place on April 11-15; 2010.the government has three main organs. These are executive, the legislature and the judiciary. The president holds the executive authority. He is the head of state, prime minister and commander in chief of the armed forces. Other branches of the executive include the first vice president and the vice president. The legislative comprise of National Assembly with upper and lower houses.
The upper house made of the council of states. The country is divided into 25 states with each state contributing two representatives and two more from the Abyei area. The lower house has 450 elected members and 46 more who are appointed through apolitical agreement with the dual CPA parties. Finally, the judiciary comprise of high court, civil and special tribunals. There is also the minister of justice and the attorney general. There exist further administrative bodies within the 25 states. Each of the 25 states has an elected governor, state cabinet and state legislative assembly. There are so many political parties found in both the north and southern parts of the country (Williams, Par 2). However, the main parties are the NCP, which is popular in the northern part, and the SPLM, which enjoys the southerners support. These are the two signatories to the CPA. More than seventy of these were registered to take port in the 2010 elections.
Activities of the regime
The Sudanese army initiated a campaign advancing towards the south and went as far as reaching the borders of Kenya Uganda. The battle raged for more than twenty years. The army thus successfully took control of the southern part of Sudan. One of the main opponents of Al-bashir, Mr. Riek Machar signed a peace treaty with him. Mr. Reik was appointed the Vice President. Military planes and helicopters bombed villages leading to loss of lives and property.Mr. Al-bashir has continued to hold an iron grip on the government and all its major segments. These include the economy and military, thus resulting into great poverty. This is worse particularly in the south and eastern parts of the country. The regime is not only corrupt; it uses huge income from oil to buy support. Most of the public finances are directed to private coffers.
The regime reacted violently to any rebellious groups particularly those on the southern parts of Sudan. The battle got worse and many Christians and other minorities in the south died or got injuries injured. The war displaced more than four million people and over two million people died. It damaged the economy and caused many negative effects such as food shortages, lack of employment opportunities and starvation. Therefore, many people were sick and malnourished. During this period, development was hampered and no investments took place especially in the south. This resulted in lack of basic services such as health and education.
After the army took control of the south, the SPLA requested for assistance from the west. They accused the Sudanese government of using the war to impose Islam and Arabic language on the southern people. United States thus facilitated Discussions between the two main parties. The SPLM and the NCP subsequently signed an agreement, which paved the way for implementation of the CPA.
Comprehensive peace agreement
Establishment of the government of national unity in 2005 culminated with the interim government of southern Sudan calling for sharing of power and wealth between NCP and SPLM. The agreement was the beginning of a ceasefire that resulted in the northern side withdrawing its troops from southern Sudan. This created room for repatriation and relocation of refugees. After the July 2005 elections, Al-Bashir was sworn in as president and the charismatic SPLM leader John Garang became the first Vice president of Sudan. After the inauguration, the interim National Constitution was ratified. This led to the declaration of Sudan as a democratic and multi lingual, ethnic, religious, cultural state (Bureau of African Affairs, par 3). After the demise of John Garang, Salva kiir who was garang's deputy became the first vice president and the President of southern Sudan. A National population census conducted in April 2008 paved way for the National elections, which took place in April 2010.
The Sudan's defense is divided into five branches, includes a small air force, the Sudanese navy, Border patrol, popular defense force and the Sudanese armed forces. The armed forces have an estimated 100,000 military personnel. Former rebel militia groups and defense forces supplement the army. The forces have the responsibility of maintaining internal security. The war fighting capability of the army was eroded by the ruling Islamic regime by purging the professional officer corps. This came to light after the government admitted its incapability to carry out war.
The government required assistance from former rebel groups to fight against southern Sudan. Historically the army has been having inadequate and old-fashioned equipment. Before the military coup, the United States assisted the Sudanese government with upgrading the equipment particularly on the airplanes. All these efforts were terminated after the coup of 1989. However, Sudan has huge reserves. Thus, she is able to purchasing modern weapons with the revenue obtained from the sale of oil. The latest equipment bought includes Antonov bombers, hind helicopter gunships, fighter aircrafts and assault weapon. Currently Sudan purchases equipment from Russia, Libya and China.
Due to the devastating effects of war, many sectors are affected negatively. One of the severely affected one is the health sector. Very few health centers are available thus medical services are on the decline. Last year, doctors went on strike asking for better pay and improvement on the working conditions. This action was a result of the government failing to pay them for several months. The insensitivity of Al-bashir's government caused the south to vote unanimously supporting separation with the north in the January 9-15 referendum. After the southerners made a resounding agreement to separate with the north in the republic January 9-15 referendum, the establishment of the republic of south Sudan is expected to take place in July later this year.
The northern government said that it would respect the outcome of the referendum. The north will lose control of about 33% of its land, over 25% of its population and most of its oil reserves. Many issues remain to be resolved. These include border demarcation, division of oil revenue and the side that will take Abyei. Abyei has great oil reserve and both the north and the south are fighting to posses it. In accepting the outcome of the referendum, the NCP seeks concession from the United States government. They expect the U.S. to remove it from the list of states that sponsor terror (Williams, Par 2). The north also demands that its debt, which is around US$38 billion be cancelled and that, the international bodies should provide it with aid.
The north and the southern states will continue to rely on each other since the south has the oil while the north has the necessary infrastructure to export the oil. President Al-Bashir hopes that his name will be removed from the list of leaders required to appear before the international criminal court (ICC). From the meeting between Sudan's foreign minister and US secretary of state on January this year, it become obvious that the US wishes to proceed with its oil interests in Sudan. Southern Sudan is improving all the sectors of within to become a sovereign nation. It requires assistance, especially financial aid from international bodies in order to achieve this. It is transforming critical sectors such as health, education, defense and industry. For illustration, the Sudan people's liberation army is transforming from a guerilla force and is aiming to become a professional military organization.