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Opinion: Al Bashir Deserves Nobel Peace Prize(巴希尔应当被授予诺贝尔和平奖)  

2011-07-19 16:22:59|  分类: 学英文 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Opinion: Al Bashir Deserves Nobel Peace Prize
The Observer  -  July 19
Moses Erongot
 
If I were president of the United States; if I were chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, and if I were in charge of the committee that awards the noble peace prize, I would lift sanctions against Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir, drop ICC criminal charges against him, and award him the noble peace prize, respectively.
 
His weaknesses not withstanding, President Bashir has demonstrated statesmanship in allowing the south to determine its own destiny. It was moving seeing him address Salva Kiir as "President of the Republic of South Sudan" at the inauguration. It was humbling to see Bashir enter Dr John Garang's mausoleum as president of the greater Sudan and emerging as president of a lesser Sudan.

 

This, for a man who has prided himself in being president of the largest country in Africa, demonstrated that however great a man can be, he can never be greater than his people. Prior to the referendum vote in January this year, US President Barack Obama promised to lift sanctions against the Khartoum regime "if the referendum went ahead peacefully and the results were recognised."

Well, President Bashir has done exactly that and much more. He was the first leader to recognise the results of the referendum early this year. Last Friday, July 8, 2011, he was again the first to recognise South Sudan as a sovereign state. Why the United States and the international community would remain averse(不喜欢的,反对的) to fulfilling their promise to a man who has honoured the Comprehensive Peace Accord to the letter remains a mystery.
 
While you cannot ignore the contributions of Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia which stood by South Sudan 'to the end' in the liberation struggle; while one cannot ignore the spirited fight of the people of South Sudan for emancipation(解放); while one cannot rubbish the contribution of the international community for its vehement(感情强烈的,热情的) pressure on Khartoum, the laurel for shepherding(带领,引导) the birth of Africa's 54th and the world's 193rd nation indisputably belongs to Bashir.

True, he wasn't happy at the way events unfolded. In his own words, he "hoped that the peace deal would result in unity."

Nevertheless, Bashir takes credit for choosing to be on the right side of history. Prior to independence in 1956, the south asked to be treated as a separate state given their religious and cultural differences, but Britain kept a deaf ear.

Bashir has humbled himself except the ICC's Ocampo and the rest of the world have not seen or just ignored his humility. Given the riots that broke out in Khartoum after the news of Garang's death in 2005, one would expect a man who had been suspected to have had a hand in Garang's death not to attend the burial. He did.

One would expect a man bent on frustrating secession of South Sudan not to accept the results of the referendum. He was the first. One would expect a man who has been accused of having a hidden hand in the Abyei and Kordofan saga not to even attend the July 9, 2011 inauguration. He was there in person. Ever since Ocampo issued a warrant(授权证) of arrest on him, I have seen the other side of Bashir.

He has reached out to his people in the South and Darfur. Whether it was the ICC warrant of arrest that had an impact on him or pressure from the international community, one thing is clear though, that Bashir has had a change of heart. And the world should take note of that change of heart irrespective(不考虑的,不问的,不顾的) of what precipitated(使发生,促成) it.

This is not to say we blind ourselves to the atrocities(暴行) that were committed against the South. As President Salva Kiir put it, "we will forgive but we will not forget." When a man deemed as a dictator shows such magnanimity(宽宏大量), logic dictates that we reciprocate(报答,酬答).

In spite of the many deaths that were meted out on the people prior to the 1994 general elections - just like we have witnessed in Abyei and Kordofan - South Africa' former president, F. W. de Klerk, was awarded a Nobel peace prize jointly with Nelson Mandela in 1993.

If the international community can ignore the atrocities committed against the black people in South Africa and award de Klerk a peace prize, why not do the same with Bashir who has actually done what Britain should have done years ago? The world has not been fair to Bashir. But history will.

The author is a teacher.
 
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