Opinion: Dr John Garang’s Vision: The Only Game in Town for the Two Sudans
30th of July marks the 12th commemoration of the departure of Dr John Garang and his absence is felt in the two Sudans. Many would agree that if Dr Garang was alive today, the course of action in history would have taken a different path in both Sudans.
Dr Garang’s vision of the New Sudan, in essence, is an international vision. Its basics would work everywhere. It is a vision that calls to celebrate diversity and embrace social justice and democracy. The fundamental of this vision is truly what the two Sudans and Africa need; it addresses the nationality and the religion questions, calling for a new socio-economical political dispensation in the interest of the poor and marginalized, who constitute the massive majority of our country and elsewhere.
Dr Garang was a true revolutionary and a great Pan-Africanist who left no doubt of his commitment to the unity of Sudan on a new basis, and the unity of Africa as a fundamental issue for Sudanese, and Africans too to face the stormy world and its injustices, as well as for the African continent being the master of their resources and destiny.
After 12 years of the painful departure of Dr John Garang and after 35 years since the inception of this great vision in July 1983, the fundamentals and basics of this vision remain useful to address many questions of our time on nation building. Yet, this vision needs to be revisited, addressing many new realities and failures out of our own experience and gain insight on why we failed to achieve our main objective of a new, united secular Sudan, as Sudan is still neither united nor secular.
It is equally important to depart from the slogans and into solid programs that will address the issues of daily life and governance. The greatness of this vision shall be measured by its ability to bring food, clean water, health, education, housing, "taking towns to people not peoples to towns" and respect of human rights and dignity, bringing people together against the course of dichotomies.
Those who believe in this great vision, especially in the SPLM/N and others too, need a process of renewal to rebrand themselves and look critically into the failures of the past and the need for new ways to do things to allow for a second rebirth of this vision. This was the essence of my contribution in the debate the leadership of the SPLM/N opened to renew our organization in a new fashion and revisit important issues. In my paper title "Towards Second Rebirth of The New Sudan Vision: Issues of National Liberation in The Contemporary World", I touched on more than 40 areas in our efforts to address the issues of renewal of the SPLM/N.
The vision of the New Sudan drew its importance from its ability to bring unity in diversity and offer a correct blueprint for nation-building and national formation. Therefore, unity on a new basis and the New Sudan vision are synonymous.
I still believe, among many, that this vision can still reunite Sudan in a "Sudanese Union" between two independent countries, each of them managing its own affairs yet having a union between them, as the relations between the two countries can only be strategic. This union can also include many of our neighbouring countries in a wider regional arrangement. It would add great value to enhance internal national unity and economic cooperation, offering a common agenda, to face the injustice worldwide. Who would have imagined in 1945, at the end of the Second World War that France and Germany would one day be in one European Union? If Europe could need a union, what about us?
Dr Garang remains a hero of all time, shared by both Sudans and a true representative of a freedom fighter who worked for equality, justice and freedom, leaving a huge impact on our modern history. We are forever grateful and indebted to him.
Thank you very much Dr Garang De Mabior for your immense contribution!
The author is the Vice-Chairman of the SPLM-N faction led by General Malik Agar.
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