By Makneth Aciek, Kampala,
Dec 18, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —— Democritus; a Greek philosopher of 360 BC said, ‘honest people and dishonest people are recognized not only on what they do , but what they dream about’. When you analyst the president speech to the parliament in which he called for national dialogue, you will realize that it is not only comedic, but also the punch lines are characterized by meaninglessness.
After the speech many south Sudanese, particularly the intellectuals are coming to the feeling that Kiir’s dialogue process is going to be much of sound and fury! It signify nothingness and confirm the fact that President Kiir and his inner-circle are political con artists. It’s an issue that has raised the feelings of shame to the toxic levels.
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Political dialogue is teleological, it is a collective effort that require all the waring parties’ participation . It is suppose to address conflict drivers and foster reconciliation, build a greater national consensus and social cohesion; it has to address a shared vision of the future.
Not long ago, the regional body initiated the process that brought the top leadership of all contending sections of South Sudanese population to table. The road map in the nature of ARCISS was realized. It was an indispensable aspect of planning for peacebuilding, state building and development; but president Kiir undermined it and did everything to brought the ARCISS to its knees.
Why is the president calling for a dialogue now after grinding to a halt the ARCISS? Many can’t tell how his enthusiasm is, but majority are convinced that his intentions are dressed in a passion of anonymity. The whole thing is being use for connotation of advancing his political dominion rather than specific national content.
Pursuing dialogue in inappropriate manner and at a wrong time may be harmful to the already polarized communities, because it reduces confidence, increases cynicism and perhaps contributes to the existed dialogue fatigue.
Dialogue without Dr. Riek Machar is essentially a declaration of disbelief in peaceful resolution of conflict in South Sudan. Who ever nursing this idea is preparing to strike South Sudan with the force of disintegration and death.
If president Kiir really wanted national dialogue to take place among communities, he has to be inclusive; the phenomenon of inclusivity is very important, because exclusion was the major cause of conflict in the first place. South Sudan leaders must be aware that corruption of political dialogue could be very terrible.
Attempts are being made to render Dr. Machar irrelevance politically, but would it work? Abba Eben said, “history teaches that men and nations to behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives”. Since 1991 campaigns were carried out among communities to put Mr. Machar out of political space, but he remained a popular political figure until the signing of comprehensive peace agreement in Naivasha, Kenya.
He was fired as Vice President,but his popularity never declined; coup was faked with intention to have him complicated, but it never deterred him. He came back after signing the ARCISS, but again like any other times attempts were made to have him killed, but he miraculously survived. The president joyfully replaced him with Gen. Taban Deng as first Vice President , but is South Sudan peaceful now?.
The future of South Sudan national dialogue lies in president Kiir stopping being susceptible to fall pray to errors that lead country to conflicts and embrace Dr. Machar as partner in peace building. The negative tribals sentiments that have become a chief wares that are sold in presidential palace will neither resolve conflict in the country nor putting Dr. Machar out of South Sudan political space.
The president should admit that he has mutilated and adulterated ARCISS by appointing Taban as FVP. Whatever being done in juba after the July incidences is inconsistent with the will of people and can not motivate genuine dialogue to take place across the nation. The genuine national dialogue will be realize only if the president and regime accept to brook dissent and stop brutal suppression of political pluralism.
Meanwhile, as the president theorize his national dialogue, he need to be reminded that those people in tents are still south Sudanese. The Strong, proud and hard-working people that have been forced to live like animals and rely on the goodwill of donors for their survival will not find dialogue attractive in their present conditions. The most immediate priority is to address the alarming indicators of possible genocide; thing might be calm in J1 but it doesn’t mean tranquility in the whole country.
The incidence of July revealed many fault-lines lying beneath the surface of South Sudan society: hypocrisy, injustice, incompetence, greed and intolerance. President Kiir can ignore those fault-lines if he like, but the earth will soon shake again beneath South Sudan.
Makneth Aciek is a south Sudanese and can be reached via email@example.com