What Future Holds For an Intransigent Kiir Refusing To Vacate And Reluctant Machar in No Hurry To Step In?
By Deng Vanang,
August 10, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– Commendable public revolutionary greetings have been cordially extended to Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin for having seen the light at last that political struggle – not an armed one – more often doesn’t remove from power an ethnically inclined and even more an entrenched totalitarian dictatorship.
This civil rights movement as he rightly saw is on the wane in South Sudan body politics and more of an oppressive instrument that rather legitimizes dictatorship which disguises itself into none other than established fake democratic institutions.
So much engendered in semblance than reality of democracy as a facade chorographically designed by Kiir to fool the international community, local simple minds and pathological opportunists more interested in subservient positions and ill-gotten wealth that South Sudan is indeed a democracy.
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Those who still, on the contrary, entertain the obviously unattainable idea of politically dethroning Kiir’s dictatorship are likened to people who unwittingly seek to cut off the baobab tree with a razor blade. That do not only play into the hands of his kleptocratic, totalitarian and no system rule, but the very worst thing [Kiir] they have sworn to see his back.
The sentimental phrases as mentioned above can nevertheless be uttered without pointing an index finger at 8th July grisly executed incident when Kiir regime renewed the conflict full scale at J -1.
Followed by his installation of General Taban Deng Gai led IO junta in toppling an IO democratically elected First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar.
The move as sad as it may appear has truly created new political dynamic in an already slow motion kind of pushing this peace or that war which is certainly bound to cause more harm than can be imagined in human and material terms on both warring sides. Since such an injurious political move is enough to take a considerable number of years to reverse and heal long after each principal opponent, in case of Kiir and Machar, deals another a body blow.
This observation is not peculiar to an individual observer, but rather more oblivious to all and sundry South Sudanese citizens following close monitoring of events on front and in the media. These events of catastrophic humanitarian proportion have undeniably enveloped the whole country and resultantly caused immense deaths, maimed and displaced countless others internally and externally.
Than simply being unfortunate on the surface, these sad events are rather more soothing news to hear inside the hearts and minds of diehard opponents to Kiir. One notable person among them is Dr. Riek Machar who leads the armed rebellion and in joyous mood to see his arch-rival, Kiir a total failure in governing the country that is helplessly falling apart like a knocked file of dominoes.
In his relentless expedition to expose Kiir’s negatives, Machar on the other hand may not get out of the hook completely unscathed. Some sceptics don’t see him as a radical agent of an armed revolution to seize the tempo of the moment. For he is somehow miserably failing to capitalize on Kiir’s series of blunders and weaknesses that in the past and at presence endeared him [Machar] to the long suffering South Sudanese masses.
His obvious fault is simply not aligning himself to popular demand of the day, which is violent overthrow of Kiir many see as a clear obstacle to peaceful resolution of the dilapidating civil strife given the untold violations on peace agreement he has gravely committed. There is no any an iota of vagueness in the minds of these agonizing masses the burning desire to see the final fall of Kiir’s regime as the only reprieve from suffering.
Among most disappointed masses are women, already dog tired and miserable for continuously and wastefully giving birth to numerous children that are more destined to perish in what has become furnace called unnecessary and never ending South Sudan’s civil wars than anything else. Closely smarting with rage behind them are the elderly who see their children untimely dying due to an acute lack of medical care.
While the tiny surviving seeds of destruction continue to grow into non-promising future of no education and general absence of economic development in largely hunger stricken and deserted villages, deplorable IDPs and refugee camps. Besides the disillusioned youths who have nothing to show for except killing fellow brothers and sisters as the only profession into which they are born and have known in the world.
This combination of frustrated social groups up on whom war has taken its heaviest tolls has taken a hardline stand, laying blame squarely on Machar for tactically delaying an end to the conflict for unknown reason his field Generals and gallant soldiers are greatly appreciated for conducting with unsurpassed display of professionalism, patriotism and gallantry as opposed to government ‘s undisciplined fleeing troops that leave in their wake gang raped, mercilessly looted, summarily executed, and ethnically cleansed civilians.
Although they may not be right in their blame game and judgement since they are not anywhere closer to what is exactly taking place at the bloodiest battlefields, Machar and his army of pressmen’s pronouncement after pronouncement that IO forces have surrounded capital Juba and capable to match on it if East African regional intervention force doesn’t arrive has given these groups rightly placed excuse and heightened their hope for a new dawn with likely dethronement of an intransigent Salva Kiir.
Machar and his team of pressmen’s empty threats have instead emboldened government and its supporters in their objection to the purposed East African regional intervention force to turn up in Juba, if South Sudanese people and members of the international community can recall similar threats Machar had uttered back in January,2014.
Additional trouble to that popular impatience and Machar’s invariably unfulfilled promise of a military takeover is his mass support having undoubtedly reached its limit. That popularity is solely hinged on an intended straight forward removal of the man [Kiir] that proves to be a pricking thorn in the side of everyone in living memory politically, economically, socially and spiritually. And not about the much needed public services he promised and he is yet to deliver.
Which by law of nature whatever [popularity] has reached the highest peak either stagnates or slips down. Only response to such worrying political trend is for the leader to be more dynamic in aligning himself to ever shifting popular expectation whichever way it turns.
And to which he is not currently aligning if his insistence on calling an intervention force to weigh in is anything to go by as a trait uncharacteristic of a military General who is in the upper hand in the war against the weak rival.
Since it is only the vanquished that calls for an interventionist, not the victor like him based on the current turn of events and least of all not a Machiavellian strategy by a shrewd and seasoned politician who believes the end justifies the means.
That it is not the way one takes power that matters, but the objective of seizing power and swiftly at any opportune time that presents itself regardless of dire consequences that can be surmounted with normal political strategies and tactics in foreseeable future.
His call for an intervention force if he is truly stronger than Kiir militarily has rather trapped him in the latter’s political intrigue of continuous power retention.
Kiir having successfully created a buffer and a puppet in Taban Deng Gai with whom he has to negotiate power once he returns to Juba, the intervening force will extend the illegality of Kiir’s Presidential tenure for more years by reinvigorating the ever dying peace accord.
While his reluctance to step in, makes him Kiir’s equal and more willing partner in the blood stained venture of elongating the suffering of the South Sudanese masses much to the furry of sympathetic international observers.
Not to mention the overwhelming delight of the third force in favor of its much touted UN’s trusteeship that can likely deny him [Machar] leadership at presence and in future.
Deng Vanang is a political scientist, journalist and author. To be reached at:firstname.lastname@example.org