Why Kiir Must Work with the Opposition to Salvage the Nation From Total Collapse
By Apioth Mayom Apioth,
Feb 20th, 2018(Nyamilepedia) —— The opposition representatives and the majority of South Sudanese populace want Kiir and his deputies to pack up and leave the leadership mantle once and for good. There is no denying the evidently-seen crisis that is commonplace all over the country. Millions of South Sudanese have been reported to be food insecure for the second year in a row. Another two million people are taking refuge in our neighboring countries. It is only two percent that receives tape water in the capital Juba. The only remarkable road in the land is the Juba – Nimule Highway. What Salva Kiir has been great at for the past twelve years is to issue decrees week in and week out without presenting any factual rational to back up for why he sacked Mr. or Mrs. so and so.
In the just-concluded second round of the Revitalization Forum, IGAD proposed a 36-month transition period for both the government and opposition to iron things out and form one unity government. Even though we have seen numerous shortcomings of Kiir and his entourage, we would be better off for him to lead us to the next phase of governmental formation. The three-year transitional period would give us a window of opportunity to see who is better suited for the top seat in the land comes election time. None of this progression could happen without a lenient thinking on Kiir’s part. Salva Kiir has been the president of South Sudan for six years now and it is time to realize that every country in the world adopt a certain kind of leadership succession order for its to remain relevant in any international dealing. When 2021 comes into being, he would have been our leading figure at the helm of the presidency for ten years. The constitution of Kenya allows its Head of state to serve two 5-year terms. History suggests that in one way or another, we would eventually adopt some form of a presidential succession system.
Since the outbreak of the current malaise engulfing the nation in December 2013, we have seen the proliferation of rebellion from one region to the next. Riek Machar, Lam Akol, Thomas Cirillo Swaka and Joseph Bakosoro have all taken up arms against the government. In the Revitalization Forum, the opposition parties may be diverse in their outlook, but they are united in their faith to bring peace back to the country. Salva Kiir must put the interest of the South Sudanese people first before anything else this time around. We are in the fourth year of the crisis and our leaders need to act fast to avoid creating an addictive culture where the barrel of the gun runs the society. They say there are no permanent friends, only permanent interests. Right now, the United Nations is requesting $1.2 billion in funding to assist our needy populace whether they are residing in Uganda or within South Sudan. We have Donald Trump who called African nations ‘Shithole countries.’ There is Theresa May who is advocating for the economic interests of her people first before handing out any international assistance. The Troika countries have been with us during our needy days of the second Sudanese civil war. It is high time for Salva Kiir and everyone involved with politics in South Sudan to realize that nothing stands still in this fast-paced globalized world. A Syrian crisis might divert attention from anyone who may be in a better position to lend a hand. A flight of Rohingya people from Burma to Bangladesh might be seen as more serious and disastrous than a South Sudanese cause. South Sudanese have been international nomads since the 1980s; our cause is known the world over. We must tread with a shrewd speed to avoid the international community from labeling us a failed nation and a bunch of warmongers who constantly loves to fight among themselves.
When I asked a Congolese counterpart some three years back about the population of the Democratic Republic of Congo, he blatantly lied to me that it is 15 million when in reality it totals to 85 million. That story alone reiterates to about how much the quote by Napoleon Bonaparte which goes,”In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.” My Congolese friend felt uncomfortable in telling me the truth about why the second largest country in continental Africa, which is totally blessed with lots of people and resources is still mired in a total quagmire of poverty and conflict. Mobuto Sese Seko whose reign caused the current malaise used to divert state resources for his personal pleasures leaving the vast and expansive land for dogs to scavenge on. Laurent and Joseph Kabila inherited a totally corrupt system where every person has the right to fend for himself/herself just to see another day. Mobuto was used by the CIA to get rid of a remarkable leader called Patrice Lumumba, who had a much greater potential to put the nation on the right course for eternal prosperity.
Similarly, the Kenyans inherited a total corrupt patronage system from a 24-year reign of Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi whereby the top brass leadership finds it easy to buy their way into the State House. Raila Odinga has become the laughing stock of the Kenyan electoral system. He was cheated on three successive occasions; first by Mwai Kibaki in 2007, then twice by Uhuru Kenyatta in 2013 and in 2017 respectively. The Kenyans find it easy to relapse into the old corrupt channels of the Moi’s bygone era.
South Sudanese in a similar fashion would end up just like the Raila Odinga and my Congolese friend if our leaders don’t have a change of heart to salvage the nation from becoming the laughing stocks of the world. Salva Kiir was on the winning side of the liberation war, however, the leadership changed him into a different character altogether. It is as if he changed into Omar al Bashir overnight. Just like when our people took up arms to right the course of history against the northern Sudanese who were blatantly refusing to give us our fair share of development; he continually wears his stupid cowboy hat and does nothing to implement the right policies to steer the nation toward the right direction. Just like how the culture of the electoral system is hard to break in Kenya and the power vacuum left by the total neglect of Mobuto Sese Seko in the Democratic Republic of Congo has caused a big shameful circumstance, our leaders much must put their heads together to avoid a similar fate from occurring.
The author, Apioth Mayom Apioth, has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA USA. He currently works as an Admission Counselor at the University of North Dakota. He can be reached via his email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org