By Onyi Itara, SOUTH SUDAN
Sept 25, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — It did not astonish anyone because it was hugely expected. Just on 22nd Sept, the media was awashed with the news of SPLA/M-In Opposition opening of a Liaison Office in Kampala [Uganda], the very Uganda directly involved in the battle-fields [in South Sudan] against the very SPLA/M-IO led by the visionalist, democrat & federalist Dr Riek Machar.
The public [Uganda] has not been/is not happy with this kind of thing – President Museveni intervention in South Sudan civil war [of Dec 15th 2013]. 99% Ugandans talked to, did say SPLA/M-IO is the big-sized & rightful government. This is because, if it were not of her intervention, things would have not been the same. Each of them said that Dr Riek Machar, a PHD holder [educated & experienced], would be the best to take South Sudan to the next level: in terms of federalism & democracy he tabled in Ethiopia! But the Museveni-led Uganda drive for ‘dollars’ could not and did not stop them from supporting the failed government! He once told parliamentarians that he will do anything, anything [even if it means committing a crime] as long as it benefits Ugandans.
What each of them said was that, “if the dollar-sente dries up, Museveni would turn its loyalty without a waste of time.” They said that the President of Uganda [who was chased/exiled by Idi Amin to Tanzania in 70’s] admits [close-door] he took a wrong decision, but wanted to “first absorb” the dollars extended to him by the SPLA-IG. That for the born-again to support a relatively weaker side was/is uncalled for, argued ex-spy chief David Pulkol & veteran journalist Andrew Mwenda.
In fact, after some time, the President denounced the alleged coup-d’état saying it was a misunderstanding within the Presidential guards [Salva Kiir’s]. Later, he was recorded as saying “I would hang myself” if Uganda’s security situation reaches the level of South Sudan’s. That, to depend on a foreign army to protect one’s people was unbecoming according to him. This was a direct slap on President Kiir face! It just shows, the big-unit does not back him.
Without doubt, He [President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni] has been an asset to South Sudanese. He hosted South Sudanese refugees in Uganda, had them treated well, Lord Resistance Army hostility notwithstanding! He offered support on South Sudan independence and cautioned Omar Beshir to stop burying the blacks’ color. As if this is not enough, he allows South Sudanese flow into his country to do books, seek medication, etc. In all, was supportive.
At a time South Sudan is faced with lots of challenges beginning with poor governance, tribalism [owing to empire-building], mass corruption, retarded economic growth & development, among other challenges, he could be nothing a distant to look up to. His direct [though commercial] involvement was to as reported prevent a looming genocide.
Museveni’s intelligence [though President Robert Mugabe doubts – after he told him his intelligence is quite exaggerated, Nov. 1998 Paris] changes his strategies every now. Could time have ripened with the official opening of the SPLA/M-IO Liaison Office in his country? Certainly. The highly numbered SPLA/M-IO supporters saw this coming [the opening of the SPLA/M – IO Liaison Office in Uganda] owing to his very nature – working with the majority.
And with the bullish David Otim [Principal Representative], SPLA/M-IO [broad-based] will thrive in Uganda; coordination of humanitarian affairs will be a success, continuous engagement with Uganda government will reward, among others. Will Uganda cooperation end?
The author lives in South Sudan. Kick him hard at email@example.com