SOUTH SUDAN: RUSH HOUR TO PREVENT ETHNIC CLEANSING.
Long Terms –solutions Lies In Military and Power Sharing!
Written by Deng S. Elijah
(British Columbia, Canada) – Sudanese and their well-wishers have seen these dark days engulfing the youngest nation and many have tried to mitigate it. But since it has happened the critics, Ngundeng, Bashir, the prophet of doom, the West, Jesus or whoever prophesied it must be legitimate. However, the most appealing theory would align with Sir Isaac Netwon Law; “An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an unbalanced force. An object in motion continues in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” The object is on motion because it was inevitable to keep it at rest. Perhaps, we didn’t apply a sufficient force to prevent the “Somalia-zation”, “the Rwanda Genocide” or ethnic cleansing, as predicted. However, we still have another chance as South Sudanese to mitigate, change the discourse or prevent the next stage unfolding. It requires collectivism, patriotism and sacrifices to prevent another genocide, using the national efforts. Unless we fail, any international or regional intervention would be a last resort. Without wasting your time, I will walk you through my recommendations.
Military Solution: In order to prevent the worse from happening, South Sudan Army, must seize the power with immediate effect from the current regime. The Chief of General Staff must save the nation and prevent the Juba Massacre from escalating. This would be the toughest but the quickest and the least costly retaliation to the ongoing crisis. If James Hoth Mai and his cadres are patriotic and loyal to the nation instead, and would want to sacrifice for a nation, then they must act, and act now. The ongoing crisis, has no difference with a foreign attack, and shouldn’t be ignored. The army must exercise their legitimate duty; they must seize the power until trust and confidence are restored in the country.
We understand that the current regime was elected by the people, however, it the same citizens they are indiscriminately butchering. They have failed their current mandates to protect the civilians, and they are incomparable to David Yau Yau. They are no longer unifying and if nothing is done, the civilians will take the law into their hands. If this happens, the army will divide instead of containing it, and the next civil war would cost more lives from both sides. This is the most effective mechanism and should be exercised to prevent further ethnic cleansing. It is an obligation!
Should this option be preferred, the army must share the power between the two factions, otherwise, we would only be spreading the same virus. We hope the negotiation for power between the two factions would be smooth, if the current regime is out of power.
Consequences: We believe that this decision would still cost lives, however, it would much underestimate the scores than the alternatives. This approach would benefit the nation more than any of its completing alternatives. It is beneficial in the sense that it would give these politicians a chance to dialogue with the nation in heart, without vested power, fear or intimidation. It would bring these politicians to their senses. Most of these politicians are currently dishonest trying to cover the truth and to please the authority in order to maintain their positions. Without any power, the politicians will be honest and would compete to please the masses, which may or may not be possible. With limited selfishness, this alternative would lead the nation into a more promising election, we hope! So far, both sides, have shown willingness:
“We are for a peaceful solution, we are not for conflict, we want this country to catch up with the rest of its neighbours,” Machar.
“I will sit down with anyone who want to talk but I don’t know what the results of the talks will be.” Kiir
This would give citizens another opportunity to intellectualize the crisis and prepare them for the 2015 (or whenever appropriate) election without intimidations or fear of violence.
Political Solution: On the other hand, the citizens from the ten states could rally and mourn with the victims of Juba Massacre. This would calm down the victims and the tension would ease. This would conform with what is currently referred as “political rather than ethnic division”. If done, it would ignite nationalism and unify the nation. However, who would organize such public rallies in the states? No one. Majority of Kiir supporters are instead celebrating or still butchering the remnants in Juba. Many politicians are still inciting the inter-tribal conflicts, calling it a “coup” when the president has already established the facts denying it, saying: “shooting started in the head quarter of the presidential guards unit and that thing did not stop there”. Thus, we lack evidence to support the “coup” press but even if this were a coup, still, certain ethnic groups, could not have been targeted. Therefore, the public rally would still subdue ethnic bathe.
Consequences: This alternative is unachievable because of the politically insubstantial ethnic abomination. Some individuals, civilians or security agents may take advantage and take law into their own hands. In the worse case scenario, the rally may turn into further skirmishes. Also, it is base on a loose assumption that the victims may take heart and instead support the national cause. This is just a possible world, among many others.
Mediation, when one side has powers: First of all, the politicians do not trust one another at this stage. They have worked together but failed to solve their differences before all these madness. Therefore, they must share power because whoever possess it, may misuse it against his/her opponents, as we have seen. The politicians would be trading countless grievances in expense of the current challenges facing the nation. If they couldn’t solve a few discrepancies before the attempted “coup”, “assassinations” or “arrests”, will they solve the aftermaths? This would be a waste of time and resources, and may even incite further massacres. The nation is tried of this. The politicians would be stuck in deadlocks, writing books of grievances. Utmost, the government sides would still intimidate the other side and no solutions would be reached. This spirit – “”I will sit down with anyone who want to talk but I don’t know what the results of the talks will be” [Kiir] – is weary, per se. Why would we waste resources and time on these politicians after the massacre?
Consequences: The utilitarian calculus dictates that this option would only complement military [not UPDF] intervention. It would be unachievable, on its own, if one side has powers and the other doesn’t. Dr. Machar declares that “We want him to leave, that’s it,” … “If he wants to negotiate his leaving power… we can talk that over, but he has to leave, because he can’t unite the people when he kills them like flies and tries to incite inter-ethnic fighting.”
In case of a dialogue, however, South Sudanese politicians should only accept to be moderated by renowned mediators. Not Mugabe, Museveni or any Northern Sudanese. The world has witnessed Museveni’s “dirty hands” in South Sudanese politics, both in July and in this crisis. The Ugandan army, UPDF has to leave Juba to allow mediation. Ugandans troops are not the solution. Above all, long term and sustainable power sharing must be assured; and needless to reiterate, that there would be no dialogue if the arrested politicians are not released and if the current incidents continue in Juba.
Mitigation: To reduce the consequences of the current crisis, the politicians must refrain from inciting inter-tribal conflicts. Terminologies that incite hate crimes, will account for further violence or ethnic cleansing. There was no coup and the governors should be warned to refrain from mobilizing the armies in the states. Hate speech is a crime and therefore governors should not follow the madness in Juba.
Furthermore, Dr. Riek and Kiir must encourage the warlords in their respective areas to protect and calm down the civilians instead. The commanders and/or politicians would be held accountable for the massacres, sooner or later. Unlike the past, we are independent and must adhere to the transitional constitution.
Army: The Chief of General Staff must call for dialogue with those of Maj. Gen Peter Gatdet Yakka, however, the army chief would have to expel the Ugandan army from within South Sudanese territories. The two sides must know that further confrontations are not necessary if the situation would be managed through political dialogue. It would only intensify the situation and provoke a full-scale civil war. This must be treated differently from amnesties. The army must share the power to hasten the process; otherwise, civil war is inevitable.
The author, Deng S. Elijah, can be reached at dengsimon2000 at yahoo dot com