Why SPLM-IO’s Strategy Of Putting The Cart Before The Horse May Backfire: The Case Of 28 States And The Advance Teams
By Chuar Juet Jock,
Jan 16, 2016 (Nyamilepedia) —- The SPLM-IO need to come to the term that they are an opposition movement and whatever military power they have got doesn’t give them a constitutional power to enforce their decisions and agenda no matter how good they are and that they need to be a government first to act as a government. Yes, we have an illegitimate government, a corrupt and misguided one in Juba but let us admit that it is the government of the day regardless of what we or the world think about it. It is the one that executes the daily business of the state of South Sudan and it is the one representing it internationally and regionally despite its bad image, poor performance and the worse of them all, being the killer of its own people.
Yes, it is a failed and a bad government but it is the de facto government of Republic of South Sudan. With that in mind, let us not forget what is in the capacity of Juba as a government to decide and do in the name of government of South Sudan, for example; It still within Juba’s capacity and responsibilities to expel foreign diplomats, UN representatives, borrow money and all that but the worse we could expect is what if Juba went crazy as it does always and decided not to deal with the Chairman of JMEC and regarded him as persona non grata? Then rounded up the members of advance teams and the rest will be a tale of the tongues. Well, I know many of us think that it is not possible or is the worse and the craziest decision Juba can ever take, however, as a matter of real prediction, it is likely in any time through the troubled road of CPA2 Implementation.
Sending hundreds of SPLM-IO members as advance team including high ranking leaders such as Gen.Taban Deng Gai, Gen Koang Chuol Ranley and the rest, and then deciding that the leader of opposition Dr. Riek Machar will not go to Juba if Kiir won’t roll back his decree of 28 states is a very risky decision and it could have a dire immediate implications. We expect by now that the SPLM-IO must have known what type of government and regime they are dealing with and hence, they should have a better approach and strategy since half of their trunk is already in Juba and only the other half remain in Pagak, Taban and other high ranking SPLM-IO leaders are in Juba, I see no difference, which means Dr. Riek is already in Juba.
But didn’t Mr. Kiir created the 28 states before the advance teams could even travel to Juba? If the creation of 28 states was a red line and a clear violation of CPA2 as many of SPLM-IO supporters has argued, then it should have been resolved before any advance team could have traveled to Juba. Now, the decision of leadership of SPLM-IO not to let their chairman go to Juba as a pressure to Kiir to revoke his 28 states decree is clearly putting the safety of all advance team into a clear risk and danger and you can’t rely on the UN and International community for protection either, recent history and events around us do emphasizes that.
On the other hand, deciding to pull out the advance team from Juba is also a clear declaration that the next thing to it is a resumption of war. Then why would you think that the regime would let heavy weight and high minds of the movement get out of its own eyes to wage a war on her? In fact, this is an additional card they will use to the maximum to achieve some of their anti CPA2 goals. Hence, the SPLM-IO’s leadership either is just kidding or still not getting the game right. Realistically, the SPLM-IO possible option is to negotiate with Kiir and find a common ground on the 28 states and act in a way that doesn’t put the lives of its advance teams in jeopardy.
The parties to the agreement need to admit that there is a need for more states but its highest purpose shouldn’t be tribal allocation rather than to achieve socio-economic, cultural, political development and integration of South Sudan and hence a solution to the disputes to the current 28 states can be negotiated out with direct involvement of those who claim that their land and tribal territories have been annexed and where the international community, presented with documentation, maps and references can help in judgement to resolve these issues and grievances.
The author is a South Sudanese entrepreneur and PhD candidate based in Omaha, Nebraska – United States, he can be reached through email@example.com.
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