Opinion: South Sudan in its doom days

By Tut Kuany Kok

South Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) national army soldiers patrol the streets with a pick-up truck after capturing the town of Bentiu, on January 12, 2014 (File: Simon Maina /Getty Images)

August 5th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – Before the upheavals of political and ethnic compatibility in the Country: South Sudan. We were living peacefully in an excellence term while giving hands to one another, for we have enshrined in our lives the philosophy of fraternity, pluralism and brotherhood before the nation got haunted and plagued by the internecine civil war.

Hence, to retreats our minds back, during the era of struggle against Arabs north of Sudan, we the South Sudanese fought the enemy with all our might for us to be emancipated from the confinement of marginalization, deprivation and alienation of one from the government [Old Sudan’s government]. Within those fatal years of endeavor to achieve what was known to be an inalienable right, in another word, self-determination.

We were having only one whim and the whim was for us to fight against the common foes who kept us hostage for years without allowing us freedom of ruling ourselves and that spirit of unity within compartment bonded us together in the time of 21 years of vicious confrontation and ferocious battles that claimed many lives in the bush and it had also accompanied us hitherto when we were casting our votes in a referendum that made South Sudan the Africa 54th sovereign state in July 9th 2011.

On same very day during independence celebration, we [Citizens] with felicity received the independent with happiness which immerses us into chanting the songs of harmony and unity saying “Salam ja” which literally meant peace has come and, that was what in our minds before the country plunged to the midst of catastrophe.

Therefore to trim the long story short, within two years after we [the South Sudanese] settled at home as the citizens of the world’s youngest nation. therefore, with no time to squandered, our leaders developed the sense of identifying themselves as the brothers and sisters who once in the bush bonded by the quest for the self-determination which was successfully attained in 2011, whereas viewing themselves at home and at the same time through tribal lens as the Dinka, the Nuer, Chollo, Bari, Kakwa, Mundari and Murle as the list goes on, followed by the subsequent sinking of compatibility into political underdog within the SPLM/A; the ruling party.

While forgetting the fact that they all paid the pride for them to have the country which bear their names as well as the citizens who also by one way and another withstand the affliction and impoverishment they underwent over last two decades.

In this scenario it is important to note that our leaders consigned the vision of the Country which they fought for into the dustbin of the history which was truly unveil in the year 2013 when the country torn apart in their presence and this is one of the fundamental indicators which indicate that the leaders were back then united because of Arabs north of Sudan albeit decided to buried the hatchet, tribalism and hidden hatred in their hearts.

The instance, was the colluded pogrom and an extermination of the Nuer in December 2013, and this proved it right when President Salva Kiir in a Nation Media [SSTV] stood on the podium strongly instructed his ethnic militias who were baptized as Mathiang Anyoor and Dut-ku-Beny to purged the Nuer ethnic group out of South Sudan on the pretext that Dr. Riek Machar the now main protagonist who hailed from within the Nuer community wanted to overthrew his leadership.

However, the 2013 fratricidal killing through ethnic identity has sparked the ethnic prejudices and rivalries which simply denoting the poor standard of the leaders whose surreptitious aims is to eliminate one another from the government’s affairs, also an autocratic leadership style of Salva Kiir Mayardiit is the main character in this situation which open the door for preliminary recognition of ethnicity and contemporary diversity that the South Sudanese never long anticipated to happened in the country and this ideal of autocracy obstructed and, on other hand petrified other nationalities from expressing their wishes since the President is just there to protect his dictatorial tendency and for those who are very much dear and influential to him while using isolationism and despotism to steer away those who think that the Country should not be run like the way he is running it currently.

To their [leaders] distinctive doctrine on how the country should be fully guarded from collapsing like it is now, we [citizens], therefore, automatically become the victim of the hub of their ideological differences echoed by the fact that the phrase “this is my leader I must bear with him despite doing the wrong/right thing” has been the main driving force which led the fragmentation of the country into section where the love and unity that we long shared has began to disappeared and vanish into thick air simply because we imitated their wickedness and we adhered to eulogizing their wrongdoing in lieu of boldly telling them straight into their eyes that they have engineered division among ourselves and that they should quit and leave the power to those who are competent with the manoeuvre leadership skill in the heart.

This isn’t done. In August 2015, the SPLM/A under President Salva Kiir Mayardiit and the SPLM/A [In Opposition] with its core antagonist Dr Riek Machar signed the agreement or the pact which is commonly known as the Agreement on Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan [ARCISS] that aimed to assuage the crisis from spiraling down to another stage, but unluckily enough the entire entente was hijacked by the July 2016 fresh skirmish [J1 dogfight] which almost left Dr Riek Machar dead and those behind it were the one who tried to use clandestine approach to decamp into the leadership position with an illicit procedures. Moreover, this abrogation of the ARCISS in 2016 by power-greed politicians did not only dragged the whole process back, but also led to another bloodletting followed by rapping, maiming and torturing of innocent population in the country, with which, the international community that made up of the Troika, Africa Union [AU], Intergovernmental Authority on Development [IGAD] tried what they could to bring to the table more than eight [8] factions but all ended up with no availed and unsuccessful meddling.

As the victims of senseless feud, our perennial crisis now is the core failure and concomitant dilapidation of economic catastrophe followed by the death of hundred souls with little interest shown by the government to deliver us from grinding and abject poverty that we have been encountering for half of a decade since the inception of the conflict in 2013. All in all, we have suffered enough and our suffering is beyond what an ordinary human being can dare to persevere or withstand. And this is engendered by the leaders for they have revamped an ideological principle, vision, and common driving force of having the country of our own.

Moreover, we long knew that our leaders plagiarized the political system of our neighboring countries that lack democratic credentials and strength of bringing unity within diversity, since then all the rule of law as well as the constitution that they’re using in killing us are being copied from those neighboring countries that I earlier mentioned and pasted by the parliament under the supreme power of the President through autocracy system of governance and this plagiarism has given rise to dictatorship and it also denoting that we are not capable of doing our things, which in turns is an intense affront to the people of South Sudan because our leaders use an egregious laws and the constitution from other countries for their interest, ethnic and political gain. And for this case, we the people of South Sudan need to stand up and proclaim back our lost freedom and pluralism because the leaders bungled the country to her knees.

Nevertheless, the leadership of Salva Kiir continued soliciting funds in the names of the citizens and in the name of peace implementation while using that hefty money to buy military tanks, machine guns and helicopters to turns them against innocent population thinking that by doing so he is going to silence their voices through killing and he is doing all those despicable acts simply because he know that he bribed some international peace partners to retains him in power though leading the country to its final and total ruin.

Therefore, for us to cease his bloody leadership we need to move with one goal rather than proceeding with the same tribal mindset which aptly described us as the Wright [creators] of our misfortunes. In fact, South Sudan is bigger than tribalism and it is also bigger than any individual who try to ruin it to dust, in that case, we have to rescue ourselves from the sinking ship of the current government under Salva Kiir Mayardiit for our own prosperity and reconciliation.

Last but not least, our innocent people are dying both in the country and neighboring countries as refugees. And if we do not react vigorously there is high apprehension and premonition of another peril calamities which might happen compared to what we are going through, and for this to stop we need to act as fast as we can before thing spiral out of hand by calling upon the international and regional intervention or through organizing rallies and demonstrations in order for the international community to exert more pressure on both warring factions to come on the table to sign the pact which can emasculate the crisis.

Though, the failed ARCISS was renovated to a Revitalize-ARCISS which was signed last year on 12-September-2018 still with no spirit and letter, there are symptoms of intransigencies from the government side since the first eight [8] months of pre-interim period elapse without any visible signs of understanding and peaceful atmosphere among the warring factions.

In spite of another Extension of the ongoing pre-interim period for six [6] months which will elapse on 12 November 2019, still there are high probabilities of another violation because the government is not demonstrating any seriousness. For instance, the issue of security configuration, constitutional reform, number of states and release of prisoners of war [PoW] and political detainees encompass Dr Riek Machar who went through double confinement from South Africa to Khartoum’s political restriction. These factors are fundamental if they are implemented in spirit and letter but Salva Kiir and his confidants are too reluctant to expedite the process as well as in implementing these key factors.

In this quagmire state that we are excruciatingly living in, it is in this particular moment that we ought, as the people of South Sudan to understand our potential and ability to stand tall with one objective to escape the ongoing destitution because all the efforts rendered on the peace process got frustrated in which there is no sign of breakthrough…..it’s time to look beyond, since starvation, war-related diseases and hunger are still intact while claiming many more lives, let alone rapping young girls and women as it is being use by the government forces as the weapons of war while none was done to suppress this heinous act that robbed South Sudanese women and girls of their self pride and dignity. At this junction it will be through our power to free ourselves from the shackles of despair and destitution in order for us to recover ourselves as one people and one nation but not as the Dinka, Nuer, Chollo, Murle, and Equatorians.

In conclusion, I would want to persuade my fellows South Sudanese that let us think beyond tribal line and works collectively behind what can vehemently bring about peace, harmony and reconciliations among ourselves, as it surely stand that tribalism, nepotism and cronyism will neither help nor alleviate our suffering in fact it will only fan the flame of hatred and division in our beloved country that we long cherished while the leaders who instigated the fight are sitting comfortably with their children in western-world. So as a pacifist, the core of my sermon here is to call for South Sudanese to refrain from tribal mindset and works hand in hand toward bringing unity within diversity, in order to cease the deadly calamities the leaders engulfed them with for a half of decade.

The author is a concerned South Sudanese and can be reached via: tutkuany7@gmail.com

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