BY MARGARET AKULIA, CANADA
August 24, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — “The present catastrophic crisis in our country has exposed in ugly details the monumental wrongs which afflicted our country long before the events of the 15th of December 2013”, began a Preamble to a position paper by Lawyer and Politician Peter Sule. It is the official position of his United Democratic Front Party (UDF) about how to resolve the ongoing carnage in South Sudan. However, the position epitomizes what the majority of the masses of South Sudan are thinking but unable to verbalize because of fear. In conversations with Lawyer and Politician Peter Sule about a Blueprint for South Sudan, we unveil the issues that have brought South Sudan to the brink of total collapse, along with solutions to the issues.
Conversations with Lawyer and Politician Peter Sule will include in depth discussions about the best system of government suitable for meeting the aspirations of the multiethnic groups of South Sudan in order to avoid future conflicts. These conversations will undoubtedly be very difficult but they are necessary.
To set the stage for the conversations, this is what Lawyer and Politician Peter Sule had to say in response to a question postulated to him about a reference he made to the great mistakes of miss- governance and the excessive crimes committed against the people of South Sudan in his position paper. He was referring in part to the conflict between Salva Kiir Mayardit and Riek Machar and their cohorts which degenerated into the mass murder of innocent South Sudanese from the Nuer tribe under the direction of Salva Kiir Mayardit beginning on December 15, 2013.
“To understand this piece properly, you have to view it from a historical perspective”, began Lawyer and Politician Peter Sule before elaborating.
“During a more than fifty-year freedom struggle, our fore-fathers and ourselves had committed ourselves to a struggle for liberty, dignity and the welfare of our people. This in a nut shell is the concise vision statement of the broad objectives and aims of our struggle against a savage and brutal Arab imperialist dictator. However, immediately after the SPLM/SPLA took control of the reins of power in the South, it shocked the people by what it really was: a dictatorial, brutal, kleptocratically corrupt and bankrupt system of government. Soon enough the SPLM elites began to make themselves rich by looting state coffers. Tribal centers of power started to be formed at the top echelons of government, critics were arrested and many disappeared and their property coveted. The rule of law and due process were thrown to the rubbish bins. Nobody is beyond the gaze of the ubiquitous Military Intelligence or safe from the nightly break-ins, armed robberies and killings every night. Life and property were no longer sanctified and inviolable, leave alone being considered as indefeasible rights. Entire villages and tribal lands were violently displaced and the villagers terrorized, shot and chased away from their ancestral lands which were seized by the SPLM/SPLA elites and the armies of commanders, officers and men who quickly built tribal colonies for themselves in the looted lands. They were joined by many others migrating en mass into cities like Juba, Wau, Yei, Kaya and Nimule, to mention only a few; displacing the original inhabitants in the process! The stand of the Murle tribe was a case in place against an attempted brutal genocidal displacement by the combined forces of Dinka and Nuer. The Judiciary is no longer independent and impartial, filled with tribesmen most of whom are unqualified and all lacking capacity and training. Judges take sides against the victims whose lands and houses are looted by the gun totting soldiers. The Civil Service is almost wholly recruited according to tribal considerations with the senior positions filled by men ill-qualified for their posts. If these are not crimes against the people of South Sudan, then what are they? Indeed, they are not only crimes against the majority of South Sudanese, but are crimes committed against the many innocent Dinka and Nuer in whose names they are committed”.
In conversations with Lawyer and Politician Peter Sule about a Blueprint for South Sudan, the following themes will be highlighted among many.
Miss-governance and excessive crimes committed against the people of South Sudan including but not limited to torture, looting state coffers, robbing properties of minority ethnic groups, murder, rape and maiming with unprecedented and imponderable impunity.
The need for a national army as opposed to the tribal armies that have currently divided the country into two warring camps of Dinka vs Nuer.
Misusing the most dire coercive machinery of the state leading to grievances that will undoubtedly boil over and explode the same way they did on December 15, 2013.
Lack of confidence in the government and total erosion of trust among the people of South Sudan.
The threat of total anarchy when communities such as the communities of the Equatoria region of South Sudan realize that their survival, and in fact their very existence in the country is in peril, unless they also move into the business of acquiring and possessing arms like the others, for their own self defense.
Lawyer and Politician Peter Sule has been consistent in asserting that the current calamitous ethnic war with its dire consequences felt country-wide, together with the mistakes which had led to it, have transcended and gone beyond its main architects: Kiir and Machar; that it has now become a national concern and not limited only to Kiir and Machar.
Lawyer and Politician Peter Sule has asserted that the ethnic war that has pitted South Sudan’s Dinka tribe against the Nuer tribe can be brought to an end through an all-inclusive negotiated settlement by all South Sudanese stakeholders on the basis of a Federal system of governance, founded upon the values of justice, democracy, good governance, respect for fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, mutual understanding and tolerance of the diversity within the realities of South Sudan.
Stay tuned for more conversations with Lawyer and Politician Peter Sule about a Blueprint for South Sudan and becoming fully involved in crafting the best “system” of government for South Sudan which will satisfy and live up to the aspirations of the people of South Sudan in the share of power and wealth and the proper governance of their own states, in the long run.
Conversations are intended for all South Sudanese and not just Kiir and Machar’s SPLM in government and SPLM in opposition as they want to have it.
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Margaret Akulia is co-author of the sequel Idi Amin: Hero or Villain? His son Jaffar Amin and other people speak. She brings to the South Sudan dialogue a multidisciplinary professional background including but not limited to “grassroots activism”.
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