By Bol Khan
June 3, 2017(Nyamilepedia) —– As you might’ve read in part one (1) of this opinion piece, Pres. Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar’s respective desires: ‘a policy of divide the nation (now into 34 tribal states) and rule it for life by mean of imposing military solution versus political settlement, peaceful and democratic solution to this civil war’ in South Sudan. Since 2013, Kiir and Machar have been striving to achieve these desires as ways of clinging or getting onto power, respectively. So, a question is, are these two opposed desires really achievable? Yes, the desires are achievable in some many countries in the region like in Uganda, Tunis, Gambia, Sudan, Kenya, UK…etc. However, given the nature of South Sudanese cultures, none of these desires is going to be achieved and won’t bring to an end this civil war in South Sudan. For, the present armed conflict has so far entered into different dimensions. Thus, it’s not practically reasonable to just say that this armed conflict in South Sudan will be brought to an end overnight using the two men’s aforesaid desires, as such. There are some important areas-stages that need to be considered first, before coming into such conclusion. Let’s read step by step as to why the two men’s desires won’t bring into an end the South Sudan’s flaring civil war; we start with Salva Kiir’s desire.
Is Pres. Salva Kiir’s desire achievable?
Salva Kiir’s elongated desire: “tribal hegemony, divide and rule the country for life policy by mean of imposing military solution to South Sudan’s current civil war” is un-achievable. Why? It’s un-achievable because:
1) As we speak, over ninety (90%) percent of the country’s population is opposed to Salva Kiir present leadership styles. Almost all South Sudanese people from East, South, North and West are in dire need of PEACE today not tomorrow;
2) The current political turmoil and economic crisis caused by the leadership in Juba has now led to an extreme increasingly hunger and famine countrywide. Half of the country populations are not in their homes or states of origin because of economic crisis and famine.
3) Apart from the armed SPLM/A-IO, the internal emerging oppositions voices are on the rise, more vehemently the military forces are increasingly taking up arms against Juba’s regime.
4) In Dec 2013, 2014 and 2015 this deadly violence conflict in South Sudan was only and mostly targeting Greater Upper Nile region, especially the Nuer inhabited areas. But since mid-2016, the violence rapidly escalated to other two regions of Eqautoria and Western Bhar El Gazal, which used to be somehow peaceful before. All these four (4) reasons imply that the crisis is not being controlled or melting away but instead increasing.
You can now see how Juba’s heavily armed militia (Mathiang Anyor) forces are hurting just like wild animals the people of Greater Equatoria, Pibor and the people of Greater Wau region. All on ethnicity! The regime imposed horrific situations have forced the citizens mostly from different small ethnic groups to and continuously leaving/evacuating, on daily basis, the Government vicinity in order to seek safety either in refugees’ camps outside the country or inside the country as IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons). The scale of the crimes committed so far have dumbfounded even Juba’s well-known commercial friends including the political and military leaders who have been with Juba during this four (4) yearlong deadly conflict, in search for blood money and food. Those leaders are now retreating and sitting back. The ongoing ethnic targeted killings against the South Sudanese people are spreading and will come to an end unless Slava Kiir is deposed from power. Currently, the truth on the ground is that everybody in South Sudan including the people Republic of Awan Chan and Gogrial West/Akon at home in one way or another can now physically see, taste and feel Salva Kiir leadership’s failure. Yes, they cannot directly face death because it’s their army Mathiang Anyor tribal forces which is maiming people in South Sudan. However, the regime created extreme hunger/famine situation can make them indirectly feel the consequences and bitterness of this civil war. Reportedly, so far, the hunger and famine has already displaced thousands of people from Warrap and Awiel states to Sudan as refuges in search for food. Unexpectedly in a recent past political developments, King Mayardit (the 1th) sacked King Malong (the 2nd) on the 9th of May 2017. As a result, King Malong would on the same night leave Juba “in fighting (an anger) mood” and heading to his home town, Awiel, before he could stop in Western Lake. Where he was convinced in Dinka and then returned to Juba, four days later. Without doubt though, all South Sudanese people from different works of life have now fully realized that the problem was neither Riek Machar nor the Nuer people as preached earlier on. But the problem instead has been the same slaughtering regime itself, in Juba. This plainly shows in one way or another, almost everybody regardless of ethnicity, age, gender, abilities, beliefs and political affiliations is coming to confess the fact that JCE-backed Salva Kiir’s regime is the one causing all these immense sufferings in South Sudan and that the regime is “too clannish, too tribally deformed to be’ nationally ‘reformed’ or totally failed ‘beyond repair”. On top is Salva Kiir’s desire ” of divide and rule the country for life, Jieng hegemony over other sixty-three (63) ethnicities by mean of imposing a military solution to South Sudan’s present violence conflict—civil war” which is not in South Sudanese majority’s interest.
Is Dr. Riek Machar’s desire achievable?
Dr. Riek Machar’s elongated desire ‘Political settlement, democratic and peaceful solution to South Sudan’s current violence conflict—civil war’; too is un-achievable. It’s un-achievable because:
1) Dr. Riek’s rival, who is none other than Mr. Salva Kiir Mayardit, is an uneducated tribal-military dictator who cannot and won’t accept any democratic norms based approach, political and peaceful solution to this conflict in South Sudan.;
2) Pres. Kiir won’t allow too any smooth negotiation or implementation of any peace (be it this slayed CPA II or CPA III) agreement that shall talk of bringing Dr. Riek Machar back to share one government with him. Salva Kiir’s intention still is to block Dr. Machar completely from becoming a unified SPLM’s Chairman, forcefully ban him from South Sudan’s political affairs and subsequently bar his participation in any feasible Presidential election in South Sudan. This intention shall not change unless a divine super power is set to axe off Salva Kiir’s head or if the citizens of South Sudan have unanimously determined today to stage all sorts of coordinated upheavals against himtomorrow. The trine upheavals, like what the people of Tunis, Yemen, Egypt, Gambia…Etc. had determined and did when they finally fed up with bad systems imposed upon them by their respective former rulers not leaders!;
3) Salva Kiir and his cronies in crimes are not in good term with any agreement that could establish any court of Justice or Hybrid Court for South Sudan (HCSS) as stipulated in August 2015 Agreement. What is easy here is for “a horse to go through a tiny hole of a needle” than for Salva Kiir to accept a democratic, inclusive political and peaceful solution to current South Sudan’s civil war that can include Dr. Riek Machar. Why, because the former knows very well that he and his cronies would never have come back once they reached and stood trails in a credible Court of justice;
4) Dr. Riek Machar has too much install in him a peaceful democratic life,’ a life worth live in the USA, UK and other developed first world countries. It’s in only those developed countries where peaceful and democratic norms become part of everybody’s daily lives. Not in this cursed-like continent calls Africa where most sitting Presidents/leaders are military dictators and power grabbers. They do not buy democratic transformations and peaceful (bloodless) transfer of power. So, there is nothing calls nonviolent revolution; pacifists’ leaders can hardly survive assassination attempts.
The lives of peaceful and democratic leaders in the third world countries especially in Africa are certainly all at risk. For them, the African sitting Presidents/leaders (military dictators) to talk about free and fair general elections held or to be held; how to save innocent lives in term of food (resources) and better security, how to stabilize their countries socially, politically and economically. They instead shamelessly comparing much of how many decades each President has spent in power, how many oppositions leaders he/she killed or detained, how many ordinary citizens killed or displaced, how much resources looted, infrastructures destroyed per tenure. There is an adage that goes ‘ If you want peace prepare for war’. With this, I have now realized one thing: If you want to live a political life or have an ambition to become President in Africa prepare to speak a language the dictators fear the most. Currently, Riek Machar speaks a very soft language which instead fans Salva Kiir’s intransigence. Dr. Riek Machar did not prepare himself to speak a language Pres. Kiir fears the most and can easily understand: Fight fire with fire! In other words, he did not prepare to launch a fierce military reaction with no compromise that should have physically reduce Gogrial West’s County of Salva Kiir into the ashes as Mathiang Anyor forces did in Leer. This is only tactic/language which would have brought Salva Kiir down to his knees or to his humane senses. Dr. Riek Machar should fight fire with fire as a last resort if he indeed needs peace and quick solution to South Sudan’s current civil war. Otherwise, as long as Salva Kiir continues living in J1 as South Sudan’s President in Juba, Riek Machar’s desire ‘an inclusive political settlement, democratic and peaceful solution to the conflict in South Sudan’ will continue to be just a complete waste of time and/or be un-achievable altogether.
I would like to conclude this piece by saying that there are only twin-track strategies if instantaneously done can stone and kill Pres. Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar’s opposed desires mentioned above with one stone as well as the current South Sudan’s devastating civil war.
First, If the people of South Sudan have plan or embark on a Nationwide Bold Action taking Initiative strategy(BAI),’ the social uprisings. This should involve not only the true South Sudanese citizens in opposition controlled areas (outside Juba) but also those citizens/patriots who are still within the capital city, Juba.
Second, If the SPLM/A-IO’s field military commanders/soldiers decide on their own without informing Riek Machar (a pacifist), unite potencies with other South Sudan’s oppositions forces and depose Juba current regime through military means. These above twin-track strategies if collectively planed, adopted and implemented now, particularly the later would completely mark the end of Pres. Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar’s current long opposed desires for once and for all!
The author is a concerned South Sudanese freelance political commentator. He can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org