THE CURRENT CONFLICT IN SOUTH SUDAN IS THE CONSEQUENCE OF ILLEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT
by Gatluakz Khot,
Subsequent to horrible news of untimely death of Dr. John Garang De Mabior in July 2005, South Sudan surprisingly fell onto the hand of the opportunistic dictator whose anticipation for the leadership of the country had not been discerned from the word go. The SPLA Politico-Military High Command hierarchical criteria of selection took effect and favored Salva Kiir to succeed Dr. Garang as the President of the autonomous Government of South Sudan as well as the first Vice President of the Sudan. That was a move every citizen foresaw a risk taking as the current unrest in the country reveals today.
Days in days out, the Juba minority clique is being heard of preaching legitimacy of their government which every citizen questions based on the fact that the Republic of South Sudan did not carry out any general election. It should be made more explicit that there is quite a different between legitimacy of the Autonomous Government (self-governing government) and the Government of the Republic (government of the sovereign nation). That differential should be well understood as a cornerstone. Thus, the April 2010 general election took place in the Sudan and the SPLM risk took again entrusting the party chairman Salva Kiir to be the flag bearer for the autonomous presidency of the Government of South Sudan while taking in the post of first Vice President of the Republic of the Sudan. He was unanimously elected by the people of South Sudan and won the election.
In July 2011, South Sudan gained independent after seceding from the Sudan. And as a matter of compromise, the ruling SPLM politicians in the Government of South Sudan gave Kiir a further chance to preside over the affairs of the country till 2015. Apparently, it implies that South Sudan had not had any general election that would accredit the Juba government a genuine. Consequently, the insistence of the current government on legitimacy holds no water since it expired with the secession of South Sudan from the Sudan in July 2011.
Before the latter took place, the government began the depopulation mission right away in 2005 with the indiscriminative killing of the Lou Nuer in 2006 on what they called disarmament without prior mobilization. Subsequent to that was the killing of the Shilluk in 2010, the Nuer in Kaldak 2011, the Murle in 2012 and 2013, the Fertit and Balanda in 2012 and the Juba massacre of the Nuer in 2013. A legitimate president would resign given that vicious cycle of killings, if only he did not plan for them. In that case, legitimacy set to wear out and the people of South Sudan became liable to its dangers.
On December 15th, 2013, the salvacrats regime in Juba indeed revealed that they are illegitimate and it obviously stands to reason that they mercilessly resorted to the profound massacre of the innocent civilians of approximately more than twenty thousand at the pretext of the failed coup attributed to the former Vice President Dr. Riek who currently leads the fierce rebels’ movement. The regime proved beyond reasonable doubt that they could not manage affairs of the country. That was the reason for cooking a coup that the government put into the mouth of Dr. Riek, a move seen to advance the plan of getting rid of the reformists. Indeed, no one would relate the government‘s makeup of a coup and the ethnic massacre it committed against the people it now claims legitimacy.
The first observation of the government plan was the training of private army and the unusual appearance of the Uganda People Defense Force (UPDF) in South Sudan. The last minute of the observable disarming of the Nuer army in the Tiger battalion ignited the fire which was in the interest of executing the designed plan by the government. It later became more noticeable when the Warrap and Northern Bahr el Ghazal private thugs indiscriminately killed the innocent people in Juba between 15 and 18 December, 2013. From there, a shift of the political rift within the SPLM that the leadership failed to resolve slipped on another dimension of ethnic loggerheads which put the entire country in abysmal conflict. That total anarchy had later triggered the quest for the change of the government by the democrats.
It is also confounding that the government calls itself legitimate given the unconstitutionally sacking of the elected governors of Lakes and Unity States and the threatening to send onto the streets the elected legislators. Citizens in Juba, Bor, Malakal and Bentiu sought refuge in their own country because of fear that the government will brutally inflict on them more extermination. Where is legitimacy when the government is being feared by the people of whom it claims legitimacy?
The recent setting of redline by Kiir which rules out the formation of a transition government without him as stipulated in the IGAD proposal is a clear indication of his unwillingness to bring to an end the conflict in the country. Salva should accept himself out of the transition government just as Dr. Riek conceded during his visit in Kenya. That would show good will and patriotism to curtail the conflict which may continue for longer time and cause more deaths and destruction. In that case, the two and any other willing leaders will have to go back to the citizens so as to be voted for to determine who the people of South Sudan trust most to lead them.
There is no substantial point to chew the fat and resist change that the people want. Otherwise, one will need to change the constitution which guides the democratic system of governance to the kingdom where the governance becomes more of monarchy.
As a matter of appeal, the world needs not stand with their arms akimbo and watch the people of South Sudan being massively annihilated by the government whose legitimacy ceased to bear witness. This is the nick of time that they should back up the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) mediation to end the conflict in the country. The international communities should not only be verbally vocal, but also should in the interest of the people of South Sudan send off elements of dictatorship.
Hither and thither, the people of South Sudan need international support on the quest for federalism which the current government is extremely becoming critics of. We have fully decided to be federalists as opposed to the centralized form of government. It is our good will which in any case the legitimate government cannot turn down. But because of the illegitimacy of the isolated government, we are facing shortcomings in achieving the federal form of government.
We are equally calling for the elimination of the self-imposed government that has lost legitimacy. It is high time that the international well-wishers should promptly act to combat the infinite gross human right violations and crimes against humanity ensuing from the prevailing atrocities. The welfare of the people of South Sudan is paramount that one man must not be seen so detrimental to it.
South Sudan Citizen