The Imperative Of Internalizing True Spirit Of Democratic Transformation

The Case of SPLM/A-IO as the party and in the government,

AWAPISS Press Release.

Dr. Riek Machar's SPLM-IO delegation, posting for a picture during consultation with Kenyan president in Nairobi Kenya(Photo: Nyamilepedia)

Dr. Riek Machar’s SPLM-IO delegation, posting for a picture during consultation with Kenyan president in Nairobi Kenya(Photo: Nyamilepedia)

April 30, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and Army – In Opposition, SPLM/A-IO like any other reforms political typologies that came in response to popular demand and fizzled out due to failure to live up to such demand is composed of membership from all different walks of life.

Be it ethnicity, race, religion and political creed with an aim of divorcing self-seeking and ego-eccentric traits from normal revolutionary practices of selflessness.

Some of these members who come and join the movement are double – edged sword that cuts both ways. For they can either be a blessing or a liability to the very objectives and goals the movement so adoringly cherishes.

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The said paid up membership now growing ever rapidly in both leaves and bonds is currently made up of five individual categories as namely:

Those who went to bush for personal convenience either to increase further the ill-gotten wealth or upgrade their social status in terms of political leadership and military ranks.

Individuals who joined the movement out of fear for their lives forms second category.

Others being elements who joined the movement lest they are isolated by ethnically targeted communities.

While others are ones who turned up from hiding or from within to partake in what has already been achieved in desperate attempt to live in two opposing worlds.

This category doesn’t include people who remained in United Nations civilian protection sites and in the government with exceptionally extra-ordinary and much riskier roles in pursuit of the same goals the movement aimed for in its external armed and political struggle.

All the four above mentioned categories are self-seeking with likelihood of perpetuating what the Movement desires to change. With unbecoming behaviors to dangerously paint the Movement’s quest for democratic reforms as hypocritical in public eyes, leading to the loss of public trust and the general elections after the post-interim period.

Those who mean well to supplant the status quo with the new order makes a fifth and last group. These are the types who have fed up with the system whether in rags or in riches and sacrificed their lives, personal positions and resources for a better tomorrow for all and sundry.

But the difference and that which poses challenge to the way SPLM/A-IO may be run both as the resistance movement as well as coalition partner in TGONU is two-fold. Generally, there are those who narrow IO’s membership to the attendance of one or all Pagak’s consultative conferences or being at the battlefields. Without being cognizant of other members contributing best to their abilities for an IO’s success everywhere in South Sudanese communities locally and abroad.

Another challenge is the fact that the Movement while still in the bush could not politically orientate such varied membership towards a single goal aimed at bringing about democratic reforms in the system, part of which is diametrically stood opposed to these much talked about the reforms.

From which therefore, arises the eminent challenge of first reforming the hypocritical reformists before taking on the sworn anti-reforms factions. By truly reforming themselves, first and foremost, to be the change they seek, it is only then they can manage to reform the anti-reformists.

Failure to adhere to this highly required necessity and getting back onto the previous fold that beset the old order they want to reform, then it will just be the automatic endorsement of what that has been, the old rudderless, tribal, nepotistic and corrupt regime. A continuous cycle of political decadence the country wishes to ride of itself.

Followed by subsequent failure to compensate both human and material resources already lost to devastating civil war through public services delivery. That is besides the accumulative wasted time and energy previously devoted to armed opposition in expectation of commonly beneficial sub and supper structural democratic reforms.

And without considering the said categories of membership before sharing out positions with which automatically come material rewards among them as the products of the armed revolution, it is only incumbent that there is bound to be ill-feelings of internal marginalization that can lead to restrained relations between the considered favored and dejected comrades that will not be easier to be on the mend afterwards.

The same as they won’t remain internal but implode beyond the confines of the divided house with many frustrated lots joining the rival camps or setting up their own functions in pursuit of objectives and vision they think can truly bring about the desired meaningful reforms.

Should these negative dynamics happen within as well as replicated in the rival camps, then the general political will to reform the country may evolve into regrettable cycles of status quo of continuous political disorder and economic suffering in the plenty.

In sharing out the expected goodies among the deserved, the priority must be predicated on who first joined the struggle, how each of whom suffered and the competencies they have. Also that can be handled with in the objective realities that SPLM/A-IO has too many cadres with very few jobs at hand. Which requires a policy of one man one job so that those who crave to deserve can’t be left out in the cold lest they cause unnecessary internal revulsion.

This eminent struggle for the sharing out of spoils is just normal and shouldn’t be considered as farfetched. Since according to the law of nature, anybody does something in expectation of future gain, which in the spirit of the revolutionary struggle be must rightful and reasonable.

Monopoly of what are collective benefits by a sizable few is the very thing that caused this ongoing conflict about to end now in South Sudan like is an everyday issue the world over. That is worth remembering if forgotten too soon.

Again than just rewarding, those the movement wants to represent it in various institutions of government should be internally vetted against their past performances previously in the government and presently in the movement. In order to ensure they are measuring up to the task in order to avoid policy contradictions to what the movement stands for.

This must be done without the spirit of witch hunt and neither personal vendetta nor scores settling. But to reserve them for ethical indoctrination and the next phase of reshuffles in the government to replace those who fail to match the vision and mission of the movement therein.

Similarly, to avoid conflict of interests, overlapping of roles and overloading with responsibilities that slow down one’s ability to perform better, the movement should as the matter of necessity classify its cadres into two clusters.

Those that will serve in the government and ones to remain in the general secretariat under the Secretary-General within the policy frame work of one man one job except members of National Liberation Council, NLC and Political Bureau, PB whose positions in these decision-making organs are horary and not gainful employment.

Self-seeking political indispensability, if tolerated, will lead to social injustice in which some members can be more equal than others.

Similarly, employment of some individual members because they hail from prominent families as the bait to win votes and not their competence and commitment like any others, should it happen at no time, will not only be unhealthier spirit to usher in reforms aimed at establishing new political order based on social justice, but also lead to bourgeoisifcation of the movement for the haves against the have nots.

Affirmative action or positive discrimination should not be devoid of meritocracy. For after all leadership is about one ’s ability to timely deliver the goods and services to those who need them. This affirmative action is in reference to women, youth and minorities including the social groups and physically challenged whether in politics, civil service or in the organized forces.

Especially in the organized forces, the promotions should be hinged on the first – come – first -served basis as well as for those who have done exemplary works in the field. While commissioning of officers from minority ethnic groups to give SPLA-IO a national face should as well follow their military training first before giving them fancy military ranks over the heads of their supposed senior officers.

All said but not yet done, SPLM/A-IO which prides itself as champion of much talked about reforms must therefore, act exemplary towards the achievement of such reforms agenda.

Last but not least, a million of thanks go to the office of the Chairman, C-in-C of SPLM/A-IO and First Vice President of the Republic, Dr. Riek Machar Teny – Dhurgon for forming a regionally and ethnically 12-person balanced cabinet ever in South Sudan’s history.

The Anti-War Alliance for Peace Implementation in South Sudan, AWAPISS.

AWAPISS is a political think tank aimed at offering expert advice to influence positively the policy of all stakeholders in the country’s governance for peaceful implementation of Compromise Peace Agreement, CPA.

To be reached at: awapisssouthsudan@gmail.com


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