Contributor's Opinion

Opinion: Choose between peace and many States

By Zechariah Makuach Maror

South Sudan president Salva Kiir, left, meeting opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny in Juba (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)
South Sudan president Salva Kiir, left, meeting opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny in Juba (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

Feb 6, 20202(Nyamilepedia) — The issue of States has prevailed a big blunder not only to the formation of Revitalized Government of National Unity, but historically believed to be one of the factors that tear apart the 2015 Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS). It’s now rendered mumble of optimism among the peace thirsty citizens who are badly waiting to celebrate the egotistical reunion of a former playmate actors, though chances of service delivery are pessimistic, the enjoyment of tranquility is the hope of upcoming reunion. Now, the worry of the matter is not just a nonexistence of inclusive government in February, but the loss of relative peace people enjoyed for one and half year due to the intransigence of the two powerful peace signatories in addressing outstanding issues like stalemate in number and the boundaries of the States which is likely impeding the formation of the government in February 22. 

The crocodile tears of the two principals are immense to be described in summary notes like this essay, instead one would express his view without their rigor stories which sometimes shut patriotism’s appetite amongst peace-loving citizens. I think our leaders are motivated and pleased by the decision one has made without evaluating or assessing the impact of it. Some leaders are lacking clear political agenda making them to frame their political discontent on the track of already launched skirmish, claiming to be squealing on behalf of the marginalized people. This buys two questions, what is the use of 32 States? and the other is, why did the conflicts break out in 2013 when there were no 32 states?

To answer the first question, one thinks 32 States was one of the weapons which were used in the conflict like other war confrontations’ weapons viz; Spears, arrows, stick, firearms, boom, propagandas and diplomatic War all aforesaid weapon including whether 32 or 21 states deserve to be shunned now if we want to talk about real peace. 32 states have nothing to do with claimed hypnosis of being either popular demand or a method of getting service closer to the people. Because in the first niche, the popular demand of the people shouldn’t be advocated by the architect of that decision, but people themselves propose initiatives to legislatures [council of States] on the new division they want. When you observe the pro-32 States’ demonstration either in Juba or in newly created States, they are all government-sponsored exhibition that apathy the rights of anti-more division, even in some States, the seating governor can address the media calling amalgamation of the states a red line. This prove that more States is not popular demand but a demand of the people who may lost their jobs during amalgamation.

The hypothesis of getting the service closer to the people could have been a good argument if there has been a registered achievement since the inception of newly created states in the last three years. But 32 states came with a stresses and misery to the people due to scarce resources which make some State’s actors footing to their respective offices every day and some do not even have government premises making them to operate under trees. Up to date, I am still thinking of the service somebody operating in direct sunlight could render to the people since he/her is not accessing services too! The aforementioned arguments obliged some States actors to resort in unnecessarily introduction of surcharge taxes which are burden to local dwellers who should have benefited from the said services, the hypothesis cannot even win a single portion of sympathy let alone the honest and logical argument.

In my opinion, 32 States were the produce of six years conflict as a tools of encountering Dr. Riek Machar’s insurgency decision of creating 21 States as a method and strategy of struggle. As the two-opposing politico-military agreed to cede the War. Methinks all the tools of the conflict whether firearms, propaganda, 32 states, 21 States or any other produce of this senseless War, should be put to the store in order to restore permanent trust among the Warring factions as well as reconstructing the post-conflict period to prepare conducive environment for the said service delivery.

To answer the second questions, it proofs beyond reasonable doubt that Dr. Riek Machar and his teammates in the so-called damn struggle do not manifest political agenda, giving the fact that they just frame some of their political course on their way through the latest messing up of the government in some circumstances. There is no doubt, the aims of SPLM-IO are either getting power or topple the Kiir’s government regardless of who will succeed him. It is a movement with a clumsy agenda which is now centralized on questions of 32 States. Dr. Riek do not want peace that will keep Kiir in powerful position of ruling without the possibilities of overthrowing him whether legally or illegally in the short or long run. So, he is now digging some clasp that will eventually lend Kiir looseness of valuable landmark. Dr Riek last political game is to keep the government inflexible so that people feel pessimistic about their obduracy and resolve to repudiated or triggers civil uprising either against government or all parties to the Agreement which according to him is an attainment of the goal. 

Dr. Riek is believed to be the Genesis of any existing dilemma in South Sudan now, he first engineered rebellion on tribal grounds which he cleverly translated into what he claimed to be course of marginalized people. He increased the trouble by creating Kiir’s unthinkable decision called creation of 21States which I think Dr. Riek would have lagged political agenda now if President Kiir would have adopted that 21 States structures. In my view, those SPLM-IO combatants who perished before the creation of 32 State have gone in vein since the whole course of struggle is now being manifested and Centralized on 32 States created by President Kiir after their death in the senseless battlefield. 

In reality, Dr. Riek has not agreed to cede his conflicts’ weapon because the valuable compromise in any negotiations is when giving up some of your valuable rights for the sake of oneness, but if you’re insisting in what is not even your typical right, then there’s nonetheless hidden agenda in whatever you are explicitly doing. I mean, the issue of States is now typically the right of South Sudanese population according to the agreement, but as a result of confusion granted in the same agreement which possess contradiction to itself by mandating the parties to the agreement for further unanimity outside the deal. These wrong set of open-ended agreement has resulted to this endless stalemate or the race of decision between two begotten principals who are please of who will win the match.

For preferable solution to the issue of States and their boundaries, I have got two options;

One, the government should reverse 32 States and adopt their formerly structure of ten States for the upcoming transitional period as stipulated in the agreement. For the safest exit from the mess, the Reconstituted Government of National Unity due to come should carry out referendum to let the people exercise their rights. The disadvantage of this decision is that many politicians who are only motivated by the naked titles will lost their ghost position which will cause other uncertainties though need reasonable proof. 

Two, both oppositions and the government should abolish the system of the State and adopt new structure of District systems by promoting former 78 counties of ten state as 78 decentralized Districts of South Sudan headed by district commissioner or any other caption that win their motivations. This system is very huge but it is preferable because it will solve the issue of some politicians and bureaucrats who would otherwise lose the job should parties to agreement adopt the first proposal. This suggestion will also let the government of national unity consult the local people about the structural and system of the government they would want to have.

Technically, I am optimistic President Kiir is hunting for peace but fetching justifiable peace should be prioritized as per now. Citizens of this nation are not in any way impel by the name of peace but the peace that secure everlasting tranquility is what everyone is yearning for. And any attempt to downsize the number of current States to another structure contrary to the recommendation suggested above will not only deny other people’s rights to have State, but will likely trigger other uncertainties which will jeopardize the hunted peace. 

The writer is an activist and he could be reached via zechariahmakuach25@gamail.com or zeemakuach@hotmail.com

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