Opinion: South Sudan at the carrying capacity and the survival of the fittest
By Yien W. Mayuak
Sep 28, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — In an ecosystem, organisms survive because resources are continuously generated by the availability of different factors like water, soil, air and sunlight. Therefore, deficit in any of those factors depletes the resources in the environment and lead organisms to go through what Charles Darwin described as the “survival of the fittest.” Carrying capacity is the condition of an ecosystem whereby production is stopped or far lower than the consumption; it happens when the environment is affected by factors like drought. Hence, the environment becomes completely depleted and void of production. The plants cannot grow and the absence of plants in the environment affect other organisms depending on them. In situation like this, life is always difficult and diminishing in the environment.
Now the question is whether South Sudan has reached the carrying capacity or not? The answer is predominantly yes because South Sudan is currently a country where the agricultural sector, livestock sector, fishery sector, industrial sector, business sector and infrastructural sector are non-functional. It is only the oil that is generating money and the fittest has directed the oil budget to their pockets, hotel accommodations, sending their children abroad and buying V8 leaving the majority of South Sudanese about 90% in absolute poverty.
South Sudan is like a land hit by a drought for seven long years. What happens in such a land is the loss of all living organisms. Both plants and animals perish because without rain plants cannot grow which leads to the collapse of every lives. The war which has been going on for seven long years in South Sudan has caused insecurity in different dimensions. Food insecurity has been prominent and life has become way worse in the country.
Who are the fittest in the country?
The fittest in South Sudan are the people who are still very loyal to the regime of Salva Kiir despite its arrogance. They are those who have given a blind eye to nationalism for the sake of being given dollars while seeing their fellow country men and women in absolute poverty, having no access to healthcare, clean water and modern means of transportation.
The fittest in the county have maximized the unfair consumption and extremely impeded the production of goods except the production of oil, which is a natural process. The richness of South Sudan that everyone wants to witness becomes a nightmare because richness is characterized by prosperity; richness is not characterized by poverty. I can only say that South Sudan is currently not rich but will be rich. The motherland where we grew up with joy with abundant resources is deteriorated by the greed of merciless old men whose intention is to be at the top of everything in the country.
The fittest in the country are the few people who are getting their fair share from the country’s only income sector, the oil sector, due to their ‘yes man’ ideology. Without having this ideology of saying yes to everything, one cannot tolerate being intimate with the merciless old men. Things in South Sudan are getting worse than they used to be during the liberation struggle against the Arab in the North. As the saying goes, “the enemy within is far more tragic than the enemy outside.” The people of South Sudan during the liberation struggle united themselves against the Arab. And the martyrs died knowing the it was the enemy killing them and that their death was not in vain. Their death was for a reason and they had the hope that one day South Sudanese may maintain their independence. And their hope came to fruition on July 9, 2011. Our disaster is seeing brothers killing brothers; our ancestors were united throughout decades and, had they not been united, we would not have a country called South Sudan today.
Our ancestors from all 64 tribes of South Sudan resisted the oppression from the Europeans and Arabs because they were united; they moved together when the hardship dislodged them. Take for example Khartoum which was the Nilotic inhabited land before the coming of the Arab came. When the Arabs used their powers against our tribes, they all moved together to the southward to today’s South Sudan. If our ancestors were not united, there would not be a country called South Sudan today. The Europeans and the Arabs had a thirst for our blessed land, which led them to do all the inglorious modalities they could to get our land. But with the power and unity our ancestors had, they resisted the oppression and now, the blessed land is still ours.
What puts South Sudan in crisis?
The crisis of South Sudan which deteriorated the country, and still does, was perpetrated by President Salva Kiir and his puppets. Salva Kiir instead of compensating the loss the South Sudanese went through, was only prompted by the ambitions to stay longer in power and to do so. He planned to look for dictatorial advisors and the one he found was Yori Musiveni of Uganda. Then, the first things Salva Kiir did to maintain his arbitrary rule were tribalizing politics and saving money for war.
Kiir knew that he would not make it if the election was conducted in 2015, and hence, he tribalized the politics so that he would have people who would support him on a tribal basis. He turned Dinka against Nuer and imparted to Dinka an ideology that led them to think that if anyone is against Kiir, that person is opposing Dinka. As a result, the regime became Dinkanized, and president Kiir did so to get support from the Dinka community because he did not have the ability to the win election with his own political capabilities.
Kiir politicized the Dinka community as a means to turn them against anyone who may oppose him politically. This paradox led the majority of the Dinka community to have hatred against individuals who were questioning the regime for losing directions and visions. Only a small portion of the Dinka community who were aware of Salva Kiir planning his dictatorship stayed away from the tribalized regime.
The thirst for dictatorship and tribal power is what caused the South Sudan civil war. The tribalizing of the politics was predominantly the trigger for the first bullet in the country on the 15th of December 2013. Furthermore, Kiir surrounded himself with the “yes men” and fired all those he knew would not be dragged or lured by hotel accommodation and impetuous dollars. This was the rationale for the dismissal of people like Pagan Amum, Dr. Riek Machar and more.
Starting from 2005, when Salva Kiir became the first vice president of Sudan and the president of Southern Sudan, he didn’t do anything for the people of South Sudan who endured a long period of suffering during the liberation struggle. Instead, he saved the money for his dictatorial modalities. Salary delay was a prominent phenomenon even before the civil war. Doctors and teachers were not paid well which led to the ignorance of the health and education sector. The only people that were paid, but with almost two to three months’ salary delay, were the soldiers. And he paid them so that he could use them to protect his arbitrary regime.
The money he saved for all those years is the money he used to bribe the Ugandan troops and to buy the ammunition from different countries like Egypt so that he could dislodge any rebellion that had risen in the country. He used the same money to blindfold so many politicians through bribery so that they could tell as many lies as they could. Those who cannot boycott self-benefit for the national interest are the one intimate with Kiir. They have adapted themselves to the system of not exposing the atrocities committed in the country for the sake of being given a blank cheque.
How can South Sudan be ameliorated?
South Sudan will go back to normalcy only when peace is considered as the only option for the reconciliation to be maintained in the country. Peace is something that cannot be forced because it only dwells in the minds and hearts of our people and it is something that cannot be taken for granted. The regional and the international bodies like IGAD can only so much like bring the warring parties together. But forgiveness, maintenance of peace, tolerance and development will only be achieved if South Sudanese realize that war cannot take them anywhere. For peace to be achieved in the country and for the country to be ameliorated, South Sudanese should pursue the following steps as of my philosophy.
Forgiveness is the first step towards the achievement of lasting peace in the country. But forgiveness cannot be imposed on South Sudanese, be it IGAD or any other bodies. Forgiveness will only be the will of South Sudanese when they think big about the country. South Sudanese will forgive themselves only when they realize that Gatluak and Chol engaged in a fight not because they were enemies, but because the politicians tribalized the politics leading into tribal hatred among them and then killed themselves.
Forgiveness will be the only threshold for the complete silencing of the guns, and there we will see who the politicians will use to turn against each other for the sake of their political power. If the South Sudanese forgive each other, they will be able to see beyond the tribal power and this will lead to the identification of who the problem is, who likes peace and who doesn’t, who cares about the country, who only cares about personal interest and who benefits from war and who doesn’t.
Without peace, there can be no progress like economic progress, because in a country like South Sudan engulfed by war and insecurity every citizen struggle for his/her life and there is no time to think about what to do for the country. With the prevalence of peace, citizens should be busy working in different sectors for their income whereby poverty can be minimized and Gross Domestic products (GDP) augmented. Peace is the only thing that will lead the citizens to pursue their dreams by moving freely throughout the country, doing what can make them earn some income.
Peace will come when each and every citizen is busy with his/her own schedule and only think about what can earn him/her and his/her family an income. Peace will not come by force, but it will only come from the citizens when they learn to forgive themselves, and as a result, there will be no one to be used by the politicians.
If peace is achieved, it will only prevail when citizens tolerate their differences. Diversity without tolerance is a tragedy; diversity can be religious diversity, ethnic diversity and so forth, but without tolerance within diversity, people will not be able to live together amicably.
The vast diversity of South Sudan should be match with a tolerance that should be the option for the maintenance of peace in the country which should lead to the abolishing of tribalism. Without tolerance, citizens will not be able to live together and no one will feel secure without being surrounded by his/her tribesmen. Tolerance of our diverse cultures is the threshold for lasting peace in the country.
Since the independence of South Sudan, development has never been in the minds of the leaders of South Sudan. Development can be measured by the country’s GDP; surprisingly, there are people who call themselves leaders in South Sudan but don’t know the GDP of South Sudan. Those counterfeit leaders do not know the value of the GDP to the country, the only things they know is the looting. They are not ashamed at all because they are looters, they don’t think about building roads, hospitals, schools and companies.
Those counterfeit leaders loot the money and send their family to other countries without being ashamed by the fact that the countries they consider safe for their children were not built by God but by their citizens. South Sudan is a country whose GDP can double within a short period of time. What the South Sudanese need now is a president who knows the value of the GDP to the country.
They need a president who can create employment opportunities for them, a president who can build schools, hospitals and roads. They need a president who can establish companies so that the citizens can be employed which in turn will contribute to the escalation of the Country’s GDP.
South Sudan is a blessed nation, the fertile land we have, the wildlife resources, the fishery resources and the livestock resources we have in abundance is an indication that South Sudan can develop at a fast rate, but the old men don’t like that. South Sudan is a country that can export most of its renewable resources to other countries, but the country today depends on foreign aid for food, what a tragedy.
I would like to conclude my small article by pointing out to you all, country men and women, that our country is at the carrying capacity where there is only consumption without production. Killing becomes the daily routine in our country where brothers are killing brothers for no reason. Most of our people are facing hardship in other countries while Salva kiir and his puppets are enjoying themselves. I want to reach the farmers, soldiers, intellectuals, policmen, IDPs and refugees and tell them that Salva Kiir has no power other than the power of our sons he uses as his military and security personals. Tell our sons who may be your relatives and serve Kiir that Kiir is using you to destroy the country and let them know that Kiir has no other power but your power.
Tell them that it will be an hour-long task for him to fail if the tribalism inculcated to South Sudanese by himself is abolished in their mind. Tell them to think beyond tribalism and put South Sudan first. Yes, I say South Sudan first.
~ Reviewed by Teressa T. Deng, Ontario, Canada.
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