By Chuar Juet Jock,
Jan 20, 2016 (Nyamilepedia) —- Now that the 28 states issue became a dual red line; they are Kiir’s red line if Dr. Machar and base tried to ask or work on their revocation and they are red line of Dr. Machar and base if Mr. Kiir insist on imposing them on Machar’s camp and the rest of South Sudanese. Well, unless the red line in South Sudan politics has become politicized and became with less meaning than what we know but If the red line still means a point of no compromise, war and death, then Machar and Kiir has already declared war. I believe leaders and politicians whose lives of their innocent people hangs on the very words they echoed or actions they initiated should be very careful and cautious enough since every word they utter either can make war or peace or at most it can’t be used against their own credibility and trustworthiness. However, since we as country without accountability, where leaders can’t be impeached or required to answer for what they say or do, it is the norm and not the exception.
But why drawing red lines when there are still an enormous possibilities of political solutions and compromises? Don’t this negative notion in our politics reflect an acute political poverty in our politicians and leaders’ political capacity and philosophy in dealing with national issues of sensitive importance or are we a nation of sudden strangers who never lived in harmony and co-existed in peace and unity before? Since when did the blood and death become our politics and way of life and then only what we hear are red lines? Look at the geographical distribution of our people and tell me if there are any single ethnic group that is living in an isolated island without sharing a border or the same land with one or more ethnic groups. Go to our map and territories and see for yourself what beautiful diversity God has created and what lost humans are trying to destroy. South Sudan is one country and its nation was one and has been one and will again be one. The redlines, the 100 states are all nothing and this nation and land shall be as it was.
Now let us suppose that Dr. Machar called his advance team back to Pagak and decided to resume the war which means that we are back to bloody square one. That’s high likely but what is next? How are you Mr. president going to achieve development and your vision in the 28 states when there is an ongoing war that is burning the land and killing the people you want to take the development to as you have said? War means the death and destruction of the disputed people and the land respectively isn’t it? Within the war, there will be no 28 or 21 or even the 10 states that will be existing nor functional or populated since the remaining South Sudanese will be forced again to catch up with the already uprooted externally or displaced internally. The destroyed Greator Upper Nile and its uprooted and displaced people should be an example. Did the president ever visited Malakal or Bentiu or Bor since the war erupted? Did any development occurred during the war? I haven’t heard of that. The Greater Upper Nile is now a true ghost region, with land burnt down to ashes and people between dead, displaced and uprooted.
Kiir may not need a full rollback of his decision of 28 states, it is not that all bad neither Machar may not fully disagree with the 28 states decree. I believe there are certain areas of disagreement and these are areas that need to be identified, tackled and resolved as well as an increase or decrease in the number of states can also be proposed. It is very imperative that our politicians believes that one nation must not adapt the policy of war and blood rather than policy of compromise and consensus.
Let us be honest about the land of Chollo people that has been annexed. The Chollo people have been accommodating all South Sudanese in their Land, Malakal mainly and its surroundings and Mr. Salva should be very thankful to Chollo people instead of stabbing them in the back. Malakal has given Salva just like many of us, a home, a career, and a future he couldn’t afford if he grew up in Warrup. Annexing the land of Chollo to either Nuer or Dinka is a grave injustice and no matter whether they are a minority, Juba haven’t given them any other choice but to depend and bring back their grabbed land until the last man standing. My advice to Dinka of Akoka and other whose land and territories are overlapping with Chollo’s, is that they need to sit down, talk as a family and avoid themselves pools of blood. It is their children and future generations that will be still living there not Juba’s politicians.
The SPLM-IO has shown a keen and consistent willingness for peace while Juba has cheated the world and the South Sudanese as well. Because before the signature ink went dry, Juba initiated several presidential decrees, restructuring the country geographical and demographical distribution that existed in 10 states structure plus adding powers to the already powerful president. Juba could have waited until a government of national unity is formed and the transitional constitution in place and where there could be a national consensus on creation of more states or amending the constitution. That’s wasn’t the case. Well, Juba may see itself smart and powerful in her own eyes and whatever it has done after it signed the peace agreement on August 26th, 2015 was a well calculated plan to derail the peace process in which it accepted unwillingly. The SPLM/A-IO has all the options on table and this time and around trusting Juba must not be one of them.
The author is a South Sudanese entrepreneur and PhD candidate based in Omaha, Nebraska – United States, he can be reached through firstname.lastname@example.org.
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