Selfishness Is The Root of Why Democratic System is Weak in South Sudan

By David Lony Majak:



South Sudan's minister of defense with president Salva Kiir Mayardiit(Photo: supplied)
South Sudan’s minister of defense with president Salva Kiir Mayardiit(Photo: supplied)

July 30, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — Today 30th July, 2014, the only easier way is to let the free minds and hearts understand the meaning of undemocratic system and weak solutions in south Sudan. The root cause of corruption is due to lack of ethical behaviors by the leaders. Collectively selfishness, disregard for others and dishonesty. In mere introduction of why democratic systems are weak with their causes and solutions in most countries around the world. It widely has been in quest for stable democratic system from its very inception. The process of its democratization has been slow and passive. Its nature has remained fragile; it has been showing high vulnerability towards non democratic interventions. Besides, it has been easily falling prey to non civilian forces when political ground is opened to everyone in South Sudan. As a result, South Sudan has been continuously failing to offer what a democracy promises country should do Such as pathetic scenario has various reasons behind it at all three levels: State, government and society.

This Essay attempts to pin point and analyze the reasons behind such fragile and weak nature of democracy in our Nation the Republic of South Sudan and extends recommendations along with identifying various means and players especially youth for strengthening democratic process in South Sudan to make it promising and delivering of services in next coming future generation in decades to come.

The simple clue of this article is just from very its start, South Sudan as a Country has choiced democratic form of government for itself but never worked out based on the general perceptions of its people and this was the reason we first fought for self-determination. Fighting for self-determination and democratic system which may be use for challenging weak institutions took us many decades to achieve it. Its founders had ardently supported and emphasized for democratic system that could ideally permeate the governance structure and body politic of South Sudan but still as a game of self actualization between the politicians; The uncounted south Sudan’s martyrs and heroes has lost their lives just because of what we failed to understand after successful self-determination where we longed for freedom, justice and prosperity. Almost 80% of south Sudanese citizens have clearly witnessed the staunch support for democracy as corresponding structure for the polity of South Sudan to make it people friendly and welfare state.

Frequent intervention of Non civilian forces into political domain

Failure of bureaucratic regimes created space for army which was more organized than even civilian bureaucracies to intervene into political domain of country .formal involvement of army into civilian matters begun from first Sudan civic war before the independence of Sudan in (1956) to control the riots between Southerner Sudan and Sudan. Thereafter from 1957 onward army has ruled the country with short sighs, as short as of new born baby, of so called democratic regimes which resulted to the now generation of South Sudan.

All four military regimes have remained characterized with impositions of Marshal Law, ban on political parties, censorship on media, dissolution of assemblies and abrogation or suspension of constitutions. Thus, they destroyed political institutions and frustrated the forces via media, political parties that support and channelize consolidation of democracy.

Why can’t we go as per Sudan Politics of independence 1956?

Sudan’s flag raised at the independence ceremony on 1 January 1956 by the Prime Minister Isma’il Alazhari, in the presence of opposition leader Mohamed Ahmed Almahjoub. Sudan achieved independence without the rival political parties having agreed on the form and content of a permanent constitution but in south Sudan all civilians got united to achieve self-determination of today during the referendum exercise of year 2011. Instead, the Constituent Assembly adopted a document known as the Transitional Constitution of 2011, which replaced the governor general as head of state with a five-member Supreme Commission that was elected by a parliament composed of an indirectly elected Senate and a popularly elected House of Representatives. The Transitional Constitution also allocated executive power to the president and his deputy who was nominated by H.E the president after 2010 general elections while confirmed in office by the Supreme Constitution of the republic of south Sudan upon the given powers to the president.

Selfishness is the Main Cause of undemocratic system

In my own country south Sudan, nothing exists without any reason in universe: creation of everything carries reason with itself. More ever, According to principle of “Cause and Effect” unless the root causes of any problem are not accurately identified and thoroughly diagnosed in regard to this pending issue, absolute solutions shall be coincidently find, problem can’t be solved on sustainable basis when majority shareholders enjoy the fruits of instability of South Sudan like the case of IGDA Inter-governmental Development Authority. Therefore, let’s find and discuss the causes behind such weakness, vulnerability and dented face and status of democracy in South Sudan which achieved its independence just three years ago and try to reach at a workable solutions when time allow.

In south Sudan of today and yesterday, why all of these broken homes, so called weak institutions in south Sudan? There is no simple answer when asked questions relating to what caused ongoing destructions in South Sudan today. I can simply acknowledge my readers of this article that God beats united community by placing wrong weak leaders to lead them. But it appears to me that there are some obvious reasons that account for a very high percentage of these problems in our country. I say this out of experience in dealing with such tragedies life stories. I find selfishness to be the root cause of most of this current crisis of Southerner Sudan.

I am satisfied that a well brainwashed civilians goes farer than the one born with natural hurter in the community, Selfishness in south Sudan is not so much a matter of romance as it is an anxious concern for the comfort and well-being of one’s companion. Selfishness so often is the basis of money problems, which are a very serious and real factor affecting the stability of Country. Selfishness is at the root of adultery, the breaking of solemn and sacred covenants to satisfy selfish lust. Selfishness is the antithesis of love. It is a cankering expression of greed, it destroys self-discipline, it obliterates loyalty. It tears up sacred covenants. It afflicts both men and women with leaders.

Selfishness of Abbud military government in Sudan (1958–1964)

Early 1 January 1956 saw the former Anglo-Egyptian Sudan become the independent Republic of the Sudan. Before 1955, however, the government under Ismail al-Azhari had temporarily halted Sudan‘s progress toward self-determination, hoping to promote unity with Egypt. Despite his pro-Egyptian National Unionist Party (NUP) winning a majority in the 1953 parliamentary elections, however, Azhari realized that popular opinion had shifted against such a union. Azhari, who had been the major spokesman for the “unity of the Nile Valley“, therefore reversed the NUP’s stand and supported Sudanese independence. On December 19, 1955, the Sudanese parliament, under Azhari’s leadership, unanimously adopted a declaration of independence that became effective on January 1, 1956. Azhari called for the withdrawal of foreign troops and requested the condominium powers to sponsor a plebiscite in advance.

When the so called coup removed political decision making from the control of the civilian politicians. Abbud created the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to rule Sudan. This body contained officers affiliated with the Ansar and the Khatmiyyah. Abbud belonged to the Khatmiyyah, whereas Abd al Wahab was a member of the Ansar. Until Abd al Wahab’s removal in March 1959, the Ansar were the stronger of the two groups in the government. The regime benefited during its first year in office from successful marketing of the cotton crop. Abbud also profited from the settlement of the Nile waters dispute with Egypt and the improvement of relations between the two countries. Under the military regime, the influence of the Ansar and the Khatmiyyah lessened. The strongest religious leader, Abd ar Rahman al Mahdi, died in early 1959. His son and successor, the elder Sadiq al Mahdi, failed to enjoy the respect accorded his father. When Sadiq died two years later, Ansar religious and political leadership divided between his brother, Imam Al Hadi al Mahdi, and his son, the younger Sadiq al Mahdi.

Non Democratic Social structure

The nature and structure of society translates itself into nature and structure of political institutions in south Sudan. Political institutions south Sudan does not emerge in vaccum of political ideals; they are expression of social institutions. Political and societal compositions interplay and influence each another. That is why; it is said that democracy is not external but internal Phenomenon of political satisfaction in any third developing country. You cannot plant it like an artificial tree but can set up it through a particular process of democratization.

Feudalism and democracy are two quite controversial norms: Feuldlism is driven by principles of one person show, oppression, bondage, slavery. Whereas democracy is driven by principles of participation, peace, equality, pluralism and freedom and that is why we in wrong direction today South Sudan. Owing to this, the nature of parliaments and political parties has remained non democratic in South Sudan. One among the reasons which has made India to emerge as democratic polity is that it has abolished feudalism from very its inception. But Muslim Leauge perpetuated and consolidated this system because it was party of feudal itself where as Congress owing to its class question orientation has been anti feudalism. Lastly; it has been obstructing free and independent choice of public in elections which is basic and indispensable component of free elections.

Weak political Party System.

Why weak political parties system in south Sudan, unfortunately Party system in South Sudan shall always remains very weak nothing is done the ruling political party (SPLM from 1983-2014). Resultantly, it has created space for nonpolitical forces to emerge into political arena. It is proven fact that, apart from other reasons behind the overt and covert rule of dictators in South Sudan, absence of strong party system has remained one of the potent causes in the SPLM party. Such non democratic orientation of political parties has weakened the culture of competition, bred nepotism and created incompetency which has obstructed the democratic process of parties’ as well.

Political parties play indispensible role in strengthening democracy in various ways. Parties translate various values and aspects of democracy into reality; they work to institutionalize the diversity of opinions, the beauty of democracy; translate ideological strength of masses into organizational shape; work as channel to elect representatives; serve as mean whereby power is peacefully transformed; serve as platform to mobilize, sensitize and educate public and stand as bridge between public and government. In order to do all these tasks in letter and spirit, Political parties need to be systematically networked, united, deeply rooted into masses and internally democratic and operationally efficient, immune to internal divisions, sustaining worst times and outliving the death of its founder(s) the first south Sudanese martyrs and heroines who fought for our identity, freedom justice and prosperity. Time has courted SPLM leaders without finding a place of political understanding among themselves until current misunderstanding in the party erupted lately of last year 2013.

Therefore; one among the major forces which counter the military interventions into political domain and extra constitutional steps are genuine political parties with mass based support. But unfortunately Republic of South Sudan has been lacking strong and efficient party system which is very vital ingredient of Democracy to boost the capacity of SPLM political wings before these ongoing crises in the country. Democracy can neither exist nor can consolidate its process without strong, vibrant, vigilant and efficient political parties.

For South Sudan Political parties:

South Sudan’s Political Parties should develop a well defined people friendly ideology, political dialogues, expand their organizational network, perform structurally and operationally democratic, develop strong coordination between their lower and higher tires, train their staff and impart democratic education to masse to give outlook of political entities which could generate the atmosphere of democracy within and outside of them. They should also counter the supremacy of non political institutions; trust amongst south Sudanese people after peace does return in future but hardly may be initiates through public support mustered by restoring their trust in political parties first.

Roles to be play by South Sudan civil Society organizations in peace deal.

Civil society organization should impart democracy education to general maseess, youth, political workers media persons and writers while monitoring sure peace deal in Addis Ababa and to present clear neutrality in peace negotiation process. South Sudan civil society organizations must enhance capacity of political parties and other stake holders in order to make them vigilant, vibrant and responsive towards questions and issue of democracy. They should also impart liberal, progressive and political education to masses in order to create political society to create conducive atmosphere for democracy;

The civil societies must lobby with the lawmakers to pursue them to take concrete initiatives for consolidation of democracy such as incorporation of democracy education in syllabus, allocation of funds for political parties if peace does restore in the country.

South Sudan youth has great roles to play in peace building.

Youth is the most significant part of any human society and the forth future hope of the Nation. They have played indispensible role in emancipation of human being .With fresh and hot blood, youth is always inclined towards activism, dynamism, change, and novelty. Populations of South Sudan constitute almost 25 percent of youth.

Therefore, they also share the onus of enhancing democracy in South Sudan, their indifferent attitude towards democracy in particular and towards politics in general will counter product rather produce constructively for consolidation of democracy in the country.

Youth of South Sudan involves in politics and has joined political parties after academic education because what execute plans for democracy most effectively are political parties but should raise the issue and question of democracy in print and electronic media.

Short analysis reveals that weak political institutions, frequent military interventions, frequent dissolution of civilian governments, Engineered and flawed election process, weak party system, lack of constitutionalism and lack of rule of laws has been obstructing way for promotion of genuine democracy in South Sudan which would be characterized with sovereign parliament, free, fair and regular elections, supremacy of constitution, independent Judiciary, rule of law, civilian control over the armed forces, political life free from military involvement, safety to minority rights, provision of basic human needs and guarantee of freedom of movement, expression, association and assembly. Only this backdrop, Onus lies on State institutions, political parties, civil society organizations and youth to play part of their role as enumerated in recommendations given above to create space for democracy to entrench itself firmly in South Sudan as it could be delivering and substantial.

Recommendations and suggestions.

If south Sudan government and its Parliament should be made sovereign. A specific channel should be launched in parliament that air proceedings to make masses aware of what is going into it. It will make legislatures serious and responsible in their conduct and will push them to chalk out people friendly policies which in turn will make governance efficient and will build trust of masses in democracy. In this way, space and need of call to army to intervene in political domain will dwindle largely.

The problem of democracy is solvable in South Sudan, if genuine steps are taken with cohesive and integrated approach. Let me extend few suggestions for strengthening democratic system, process and culture in South Sudan.

Promotion of national unity among citizens of south Sudan and should stop tribalism.

Feudalism should be immediately abolished to enable elections genuine instrumental of people’s wishes; to create participatory culture; to develop democratic values and to transform social stagnancies into dynamism which all together help consolidation of democratic process.

Free and fair election should be ensured through independent Election Commission in order to prevent the rigging.

Judiciary should be made Independent so as to enable it to ensure implementation of rule of law; to undo and stop all legal and constitutional transgressions.

Supremacy of constitution should be ensured. Drafting of permanent national constitution should be practiced in letter and spirit to check all constitutional abrogation which has been by and large affecting democratic process in South Sudan.

The author is a great concern citizen of South Sudan, columnist and can be reached at delonymajak@yahoo.com

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