South Sudan: Where should the SPLM begins from?
By Samuel Reech Mayen, Kampala.
Sept 23, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — After stumbling, it is wise to look back at the stumbling spot and look at a road ahead to avoid such unusual occurrence. The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) has just stumbled badly and therefore needs to revisit this cause as its proceeds to serve the Nation. As it immediate task, the Compromise Peace Agreement (CPA II) provides the Movement with the opportunity to correct what it did not do well and continue to do what it did well.
First, the immediate task for the SPLM (SPLM-IG, SPLM-IO and the SPLM-G 10) is to reconcile at the top level as a priority. As people who are rowing one boat, it is not a good idea for each of the SPLM splinter group to row as it wishes. The boat can easily re-capsize if it continues to be rowed in three different directions. The three groups of the SPLM need to develop consensual ground and merge as one united body to avoid more misunderstandings.
Secondly, following the political crisis, the civil populace has been terribly divided and this division can continue to drain the nation off her stance if it is not corrected soon. The SPLM which is the ruling party needs to work genuinely for healing and reconciliation of the people countrywide. The existing National Healing Commission and other agencies should be fully supported by the SPLM led government to achieve a real permanent peace amongst the citizens.
Thirdly, Full provision of the security nationwide is one of the task the SPLM needs to get prepare for. Prior to the current crisis, the issues of insecurity had existed. Issues like cattle rustling across the borders of Unity and Lakes states, Warrap and Unity States and within Jonglei state had been disturbing the tranquility through the interim and post interim periods. Child abduction coupled with indiscriminate killing led to the abandonment of most villages which has terribly affected the economic activities of the citizens particularly in Jonglei state.
It is the responsibility of the SPLM to ensure that an extremely old woman whose son fell in the battle of Jekou sleeps without fear in the village of Anyidi at the extreme east of Bor County knowing that her son did not die in vain. The SPLM led government needs to ensure that a woman in Jur-man-angeer village at the east of Gokrial east whose husband died in the battle of Juba in 1992 is secured and appreciate the cause of her husband’s death.
That child in Maiwut whose father died in the battle of Heglig (Panthou) in 2012 needs to be assured by the SPLM that he will never again cross the border seeking a refuge in a foreign country for his nation has what it takes to be a nation. The SPLM needs to assure that old man in Atiriu in the deep villages in Rumbek East, south of Akot payam, who cannot till his land and his children are dying of hunger because he is being hunted by his fellow section men for unjustified reasons, that he will soon be secured to do what a father can do for his children.
Fourthly, the SPLM government needs to strategize on how to revive the national economy. The nation has plenty of economists who can support the government in addressing this issue. Since this author is not an economist, he would rather only give hint on agriculture.
Government needs to initiate agricultural projects in every state, down to the counties. The purpose for these projects should be to sensitize the citizens on the important of agriculture in the development of the nation. These projects should also oversee the tractors that are provided by the government. Laws that penalized those who misuse the agriculture facilities provided by the government should be enacted to ensure strict adherence to the productive principles. The maxim of taking town to the people should be adapted as a leading principle in promoting equal development from the grassroots.
Fifthly, the SPLM led government needs to establish strong legal system that doesn’t waver in the execution of justice. In the whole of the entire past, the justice had been shaky; specifically the Department of Public Prosecution has not been doing its work. The role of this department is to prosecute those who are suspected of committing crimes, but since this department could not understand their roles, the laxity resulted in serious miscarriage of justice in South Sudan. For instance, many officials have been alleged of diverting public funds into their accounts. It is an obligation of public prosecution department to prosecute these suspects. The role of the department is not political as they wait to be directed. It is an independence Directorate within the Ministry of Justice that has the discretion to prosecute all sorts of crimes.
In the coming time too, there is a need to enact laws so that people know exactly what they should be doing instead of pre-empting their roles. This should start with the CPA II proposed amendment of a national Constitution as anticipated by the public. This permanent constitution will help the nation to enact most of the missing laws that have created huge vacuum. The laws that were written during the interim period such as Penal Code, Criminal Procedure and many more were written under the umbrella of Interim Constitution of 2005, hence need to be updated in accordance with the new constitution. Like in the case of Penal code, there is no Section that defines and punishes defilement; the same punishment for rape is administered for defilement. But defilement and rape are two different crimes with different elements and punishments.
Sixthly, Education is also one of the most important instruments for change for its shape human thoughts. With clear policies toward the education sector, the nation therefore prepares to shape new generations into constructive assets rather than being tools for destructions as seen in the wars. The education being acquired in foreign countries is also expensive, hence cannot be afforded by all. It is therefore crucial to support private individuals who want to invest in education in addition to the public institutions that exist in the country. The public universities are not enough and can be supported by the present of private ones, not like the 2012 decision in which the private Universities where shut down by the Ministerial orders.
With education, a child from the village of Likuangole in Pibor administrative area, who studies on government scholarship in Bhar-El- Ghazal University, on return home for Charismas holiday, can condemn his father for illegal possession of a gun. This child whose mindset is disarmed by education can persuade his father to submit the gun to the government forces for he knows clearly such act is an offence.
Seventhly, the SPLM government should ensure that the nation is connected with roads from the South to the North, East to the West for these is one way that can attract investors. With good roads and security, the nation will fully exploit its vast wealth including the potentially rich sector of tourism. The indigenous and foreign investors are motivated by a secured atmosphere to put in their money, for instance, investors can build good hospitals hence no one will be toiling to get hard currency to go to India for what he needs is at the door.
Finally, this author encourages the SPLM leaders to unit and develops clear policies as assurance to the citizens that their party will never let them down again. The Movement should also exploit the reconcilable traits of the citizens to fully enhance peace and forgiveness amongst the citizens to avoid future crisis.
The author lives in Kampala and can be reached email@example.com or 0772 727 857