Opinion Peace Process

South Sudan Peace: Why Peaceful Resolution to South Sudan’s crisis remains elusive and precarious today


By Mathew Puoch,

Kiir, Machar after meeting in J1 (Photo credit: Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

March 11, 2021(Nyamilepedia) — Over the years, the SPLM/SPLA war veterans never enjoyed better living conditions. They spent most of their lives fighting, running and hoping for a better future. A state they would call their home; a state which will guarantee security for their children, access to modern Healthcare facilities and better schools for their children. With all these in mind, the growth monomania dominates the armed struggles with the Tyranny in Khartoum. 

In the year 2005, a comprehensive peace Agreement (CPA-One) was signed to bring about lasting peace in what the experts described as the “African longest Civil War” in the Horn of Africa. This peace Agreement also culminated in the independence of the world nascent state; the Republic of South Sudan. On 9th July 2011, the national flag, a symbol of national unity was hoisted in Juba making South Sudan a member of the community of nations globally. 

Upon the attainment of independence, a sound state would embark on institutions building. Institutions act as a ladder towards political stability and prosperity for every modern state today. The leadership of the young Republic didn’t embrace this crucial aspect of nation building ; something that continues to haunt this country until civil war in 2013.

The current peace Agreement may not be fully implemented, will be late if at all implemented in spirit and in good faith. It looks like there is a high hard-line stance which makes smooth implementation precarious. It’s now more about who gets what, when and how? a stumbling block towards finding an amicable solution. “Nobody wants to be left out as this would be an act of betrayal for the sacrifices made in the liberation struggles” . 

Properly functioning independent institutions helps in ensuring effective checks and balances in running the state. The national armed forces protect the territorial integrity of the country ; guarantee the rights of every citizen and provide security to citizenry. Besides, the judiciary administers justice to every citizen particularly women and children in penury. It ensures no men in grey suits exploit poor citizens. 

Furthermore, the parliament enact laws which then help  in governing the country. The constitution is the Supreme law of the land and any other laws must have their sources within the constitution. With this in mind, any head of state must operate within the confined of the law; not less than that. I do believe in the complexity of human nature. A normal man would make mistakes as many as hundred times. The constitution regulates these vices of human nature. This in turn helps minimize human sufferings (citizenry). There is a need for a constitution that must govern this country ; democracy must reign in lieu of militarism. 

The financial system must be inclusive in terms of loan provisions. It must not discriminate against poor women whose husbands perished in the battlefields. The culture of “Bring your husband” when applying for a bank loan must be abolished. This will help in financing small, medium enterprises needed for exponential growth and development in the Republic of South Sudan. When this sector is financed, entrepreneurship and innovation will begin to take shape. Thereafter, the resulting effect is that idle and jobless youth will be engaged in making money for their families. They will never be more engaged in the insurgency that engulfed our beloved Country. 

Education system needs to be modernized; it must be of good quality, nurture talents and equip learners with the skills and knowledge of high demand in the jobs market. When the learners finish university at least they think about starting small businesses ; but not fight. Illiteracy contributed immensely to the enormous challenges the Republic of South Sudan faces today. In fact, the illiteracy rate stands at 85% in South Sudan according to the statistics in 2014. This is disastrous for a least developing state that emerges from the Civil War. 

The politicians capitalizes on this 85% to instrumentalist it to position themselves; achieve their political ambitions. From the look of things the political economy seems to be more lucrative than doing business in the Republic of South Sudan today. In fact, More South Sudanese want to be politicians than doing business. And this  explains why more businesses are operated predominantly by foreign nationals in Juba. 

The fundamental problem facing the Republic of South Sudan today is never about hatred as people think; but dilapidated institutions and an ailing economy. These poor institutions and the few existing weak rubber stamps posed threats to nation building. It also widened hatred which is deeply entrenched in cultures of the people over the years. We must embrace institutions to develop our country. The existing institutions need to be transformed to international standards and do away with the weak rubber stamps we have in place. “Better fewer but better” because it’s never too late to get the job done. 

Mathew Puoch is a concerned South Sudanese citizen currently residing in Juba, Email : Mathewpuoch@gmail.com

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