Contributor's Opinion

South Sudan President Is a Tribalist and Incapable To Lead The Country


‘Sectarian violent, bigotry and marginalisation must be eliminated’ Said Dr.John Garang, in his first speech to the OAU (current AU) at onslaught of Sudanese war in 1983:

By Santo Manut,

South Sudan president, Salva Kiir Mayardiit, sleeping during a legislative assembly session at the national parliament (photo: supplied)
South Sudan president, Salva Kiir Mayardiit, sleeping during a legislative assembly session at the national parliament (photo: supplied)

Oct 07, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– When I read the speech of the SPM spokesman where he stated ‘we are capable of being stable without foreign interference’, what kind of stability he referred to in a country where over a million people have been displaced through war with furtive character ‘unknown gunmen’ and low in national interest although full of sectarian mischief which was supposed to be eliminated but pursuit of that dirty ideology caused disappearance of respect and unity for the people of South Sudan. How? Just through the rule of law and embracing diversity through democratic channels not through current violent means. For example, if ‘unknown gunmen’ was a tactic to suppress contrary view, then it has done the opposite but that uncivilised and intolerance action was engineered to cause failure of the nation, those engineers with that motive are on the right track because civilisation with lawless, injustice and no nation building remain a mystery during stone ages.

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Secondly,after premature death of Dr.Garang.president Kiir took over the rein of the SPLM and instead of continuing on ‘sectarian free vision’ in South Sudan, he teamed with similar sectarian ideologues and self-centred people who saw the rule of law and democratic process as a threat to themselves without consideration to the suffering of South Sudanese, and engaged secret militia in a heartless and brutal way just to re-introduce sectarian equations that the country fought against for many years. What the SPLM spokesman and other SPLM members if they still have a say on events dragging the nation down was to convince president Kiir to step aside and let technocrat government be installed with three chief technocrats for a year. These three technocrats will restructure the government especially tribal, security forces and associate militia harbouring unjustified violent ‘unknown gunmen’ that has threw fear in South Sudan communities,28 states issue and really peace implementation just for president to get his way in all without compromising at all in a diverse nation.

This sectarian behaviours need any who join that bandwagon to first find a solution to current tribal militia spearheading president’s sectarian war and ‘unknown gunmen’ causing and uprooting people of South Sudan in their home areas before confronting someone either resisting or confronting evil sectarian ideology which is full in colours since this war began. This technocrat government with help of region, international community and South Sudanese community especially, heads of those forces, grassroots chiefs to re-organise current SPLA government forces and associated militia plus other arms group to be South Sudanese Army, South Sudanese police, South Sudanese security and intelligent personnel base on ratio of ten states because even if the 28 states were double now, they will just remain as bones without flesh but poisonous. Any South Sudanese after ten months of that period who aspires to be the president of South Sudan except president Kiir and Dr.Machar or a governor for any each of the ten states will vie for the post of choice to avert current vicious uncivilised and healthy ways of settling national disputes causing unnecessary suffering to south Sudanese people.

That compromise action will bury current disunity and bring balances to these bodies which are always vital and critical to the success of any nation if people had trust in them and new SPLM party will have something to brag toward people of goodwill who stayed with people of South Sudan during their dark moments in history.SPLA lost that critical standing first for quickly inclining to the president to push for current war and secondly fought it in a way below national army which have mobilised all sort of arm groups now in the country. This restructuring after stepping aside will establish South Sudan army, South Sudan police and South Sudan intelligence and part ways with SPLA name in the army of South Sudan because maintaining it in pursuit of what resemble sectarian vision or selfish vision for benefit of few individuals will bury them in trenches for a number of years to come in which Kiir remains in power. Current tactics of the administration to make peace with any arm groups either to buy time or engaged them in pursuit of what appeared to be evil sectarian ideology has already shown symptoms of failing. Present divisive policies that were to be beneath the president’s belt made many people unsafe under him and elements like legitimacy, respect and trust in president Kiir remain at large now. Thus legitimacy, unity and respect for presidency will emerge when there is new broom because unnecessary behaviours such as ‘unknown gunmen’ and suspicion on president’s ideology are mistake of his own making and may never bring respect to his leadership as things stand.

Thirdly, president Kiir made mistakes after mistakes with recent coup of Taban Deng to keep sectarian mischievous in the nation and president’s reluctant to address ‘unknown gunmen’ issue early on. Someone who joined with Taban’s egocentric just to keep the nation burning and has exhaust windows for him to bring south Sudanese together and allowing him to stay in power remain a recipe for endless wars in the country since all his teeth are already out with ‘unknown gunmen’ one example and dishonouring of agreements to bring violent under control in the nation another. As thing stand, Taban’s self-interest action appeared incapable of convincing the arm groups without more chaos and president should not have it both ways; initiated coup with Taban to keep his stealthily war on and talked peace on other hand such as using JMEC as a window dressing which will be a miscarriage and travesty of justice at international level if JMEC continue to believe there is one-sided peace to be implemented in South Sudan while reprehensible sectarian ideology is being advanced violently on another hand. There is no peace in South Sudan, period and anyone who lack knowledge for complexities of South Sudanese issues must began with July hostility which happened because the president wanted to translated peace agreement that he did not fully win on the battlefield in his own terms as well as establishing sectarian security forces in the country. When there is war, there is war and when there is peace, there is peace but current tactic of president not to ditch guerrilla warfare path just to advance demise ideology and to govern against the rule of law, diversity while arbitrarily or deadly cleansing those suspected of opposing views remain unwelcome issue in South Sudan. It is unacceptable and uncivilised in all forms, thus need comprehensive and critical respond from those pretending to be helping people of South Sudan. It is reform of critical institutions that have become sectarian such as national army, national police, national security forces and accountability something that will never happen under watch of current sectarian ideologues. Thank to the administration of US President George w Bush, UK former Tony Blair, Norway and their partners for their steadfast to rescue the black people of South Sudan from sectarian sufferings although their leadership seem to have found a window to drive them back to their dark and evil past unjustifiably. It is neither rhetorical threat nor following the direction of wind that will end South Sudan crisis but addressing fundamental issues such as accountable government, composition of security forces and addressing violent governing ‘unknown gunmen’ which appears impossible under current leadership. JMEC must quit South Sudan until there is peace to implement .Currently there is no plausible evidence to suggest appointing Taban will convince large grass root members except few individuals with selfish gains to keep division in the nation.Taban when he was governor of Unity state has a hand in issues which made him unpopular apart suspicion of the community toward president’s sectarian ideology and ‘unknown gunmen’ issue. President should have known that you mobilise people against yourself if you allowed violent culture but focus mostly to blame Riek but none of the duo is clean as of now. It is clear that violent culture in the president’s administration will not come to an end while he is in power and that create favour environment for his opponents from time to time. As thing stand now it is not going to be business as usual for the government with land grabbed, dishonouring agreement to buy time or attempt to implement peace agreement in one’s favour without compromising as well as sectarian mischievous evidenced through ‘unknown gunmen’ that displaced some thousand million people. The president and his closer ideologues appeared similar to slick salesmen that continue to push even if harmful effects of the product is known to be poisonous and no one is incline to buy it for now and it would be better for him to step aside to bring the nation together again.

Fourthly,South Sudan crisis has become a test on efficacy of UN and principal partner’s goals to promote civilised governing and peace globally. Did the UN and guarantors of civilisation forget about the failure of the League of Nations? I could not answer either if the UN and guarantors of civilization gave rooms to the engineers of evil acts of July 8, 2016 such as Taban Deng Gai, president and his warmongers and their uncivilized ways of ruling. If bribing of members closer to SPM-IO was to bring peace in South Sudan, it would have happened a long time ago because there have been many officials closer to SPLM-IO that have either being bribed or gave up opposition to uncivilized way of ruling and leading the nation and joined arbitrary and do nothing administration in term of national development albeit preoccupied with stealthily evil and unreasonable war at vicinity of civilised nations. It is building of roads, bridges, water, hospital and education infrastructures in those areas with people suspect of different views Mr. president that will earn you grassroots support of those people   neither bribing of few individuals at the expense of those communities nor continued creation of fear furtive war, extermination of opponents through ‘unknown gunmen’. These policies continue to divide the nation and current administration should have learned earlier on but showed no interest at all to change direction anyway in order to turn the country around. Incident of July 8, 2016 that began with ‘unknown gunmen’ assassinating SPM-IO security officer should have not happened if not lack of care for the south Sudanese of the leadership of the country. Currently, there is no reasonable excuse for JMEC to cover up atrocities of current government that there is peace to implement in South Sudan since the peace had collapsed unless JMEC was part of July conspiracy to bring strategy of recent international peace brokers to disrepute to settle disputes through peaceful means for various reasons and participating in bringing back sectarian ideology in South Sudan. Only UNMIS although slow to stop violent against POCs has sound reason to remain in South Sudan to provide protection of citizens who ran away from ‘unknown gunmen’ under the watch of their own leader and where civilians may run away from hostility of uninsulated dirty vision until South Sudanese, world body and international community found lost push for exemplary world governing which appeared absent in South Sudan. Thus the world explemary governing always spearheaded through the UN may be diminished if the US, UK, Europe and their partners condoned or participated in what appeared to be calculated inhuman governing if not indirect introduction sectarian in South Sudan and not stand with victim of calculated violent ruling through push for new leadership in South Sudan and accountability rather than following uncivilised and violent wind direction.

Sixthly, what is going on in the diverse society of South Sudan is that the president wanted to tame these different personalities through unjust means such as war and ‘unknown gunmen’ but all these tactics put the president in mistrust position further. It may tarnish image of anyone who still use rhetorical threat and appeasement for a president who clearly put himself in that position either inadvertently or with wanton mindset many times. For example, it does not mean if someone wanted to bring Taban on his side, then it needs to be done in a bloody way instead of influencing Taban Deng Gai just to resign one side of politics to another without igniting July 2016 bloodshed which has confirmed all current three top leaders of South Sudan had old century mindset that may not never bring South Sudanese society together while they are in power and so on. Current strategies such as corruption, throwing fear in the society through ‘unknown gunmen’ and bribing few individuals have been tried in the past but most did not succeed in nations that tried them unless the objective of undertaking those tactics was more convincing to that society and not being perceived as dirty tactic as in the case of South Sudan. Therefore many nations turn to democratic not dictatorial channels to resolve societal disputes through rule of law. John Austin defined law as ‘a rule laid down for the guidance of an intelligent being by an intelligent being having power over him’. Are the president and his terror style groups aware of intelligent of those being guided but just kept to slide the nation to self-destruction through shallow sectarian strategy? That issue of ‘unknown gunmen’ which has root from Uganda and dishonouring agreements may put fair-minded person and other civilised nations to question the administration which has displaced more than millions people with death unaccounted for through an unjustified war. This present strategy may only achieve it aim in old centuries environment especially in countries where barbaric engineers once has capacity to fight on one hand and deliver service to citizens on other hand which appeared improbable in South Sudan under current president given associated violent style ruling in his administration, for example, ‘unknown gunmen’ and uncivilised arbitral and extra-judicial activities.

Seventhly, if there was peace on the ground as administration sometime claimed, why was there continue fear in South Sudan as of now forcing youths who had either witnessed lost of love ones or escaped ‘unknown gunmen’ to resist in their ancestral home areas. It is only when peace guarantors of ‘ARCRSS’ get serious for accountability including call for resignation of the current leader because he had already forfeited his standing through his violent style governing all these years that is similar to Uganda and shutting door to deal with bloody coup planner vice president and conspirators in July this year because the UN credibility to bring warring parties together through peaceful means may be diminished if far from the League of nations irrelevant. This is because rule of law is what contributed a lot to civilization and if peace guarantors failed to protect that method which lured few forces of SPM-IO and their members to Juba to be slaughtered without punitive respond to penalise engineers of July, 2016, then that will remain alarming for the world. There has been dumb explanation like empty coup theory against incumbent president but that theory would not add up because few forces are incapable to engage in similar claims. The question that ‘ARCSS’ guarantors would have asked is if Khartoum managed to respect CPA period why not Juba this time? It is very clear at this point that sectarian free vision of for liberation is sliding away in South Sudan and is very unfortunate for people of South Sudan.

Eigthly, the peace and security body should know that appeasement policies will never bring peace in South Sudan under incumbent president with plenty of evident available to the UN anyway. When in trouble or has achieved his aim, there is always empty media blitz that these SPLA and security officers have been arrested and will be punished but for how long is this way of settling political disputes through violent at J1 is going to end? Since the administration’s agenda is incongruence with that one of civilised societies in general due to converting security forces to push unnecessary agenda through sectarian style tactics to handle any issue he may lose politically. They should have known that violent breed violent and this is the loop South Sudan is in until current trends of furtive war and ‘unknown gunmen’ is addressed. It is that violent culture which is setting up South Sudanese against own regime anyway but shallow vision failed to grasp it. South Sudan need somebody who is prepared for competitive politics not somebody with tendencies of creating wars within wars such as July 8 2016, issue of 28 states introduced not on good policy grounds but to establish endless chaos since annexing of ancestry land from right owners remain a burning issue with no bloody end apart from 2013 old century strategy that ignited present chaos. It would be good if civilised international partners begin to establish road blocks such as having a clear distance to those who engineered July, 8 2016 acts and other calculated inhuman acts of incumbent president because they will never take this beautiful nation anywhere. There is ample evidence that bribing few officials, ignoring grass root population, land grabbing, henchmen and other marginalisation tactics have great chances of failing nations and so do South Sudan. Handling of complex political issues violently used to succeed in nation where clear defined national interest objectives was convincing to majority people of the nation not current objective with only sectarian support.

Ninthly, South Sudan will be on track only under a leader who is considerate to the needs of all citizens regardless of backgrounds and comfortable and understand that people who expressed their contrary views openly are better than those expressing contrary views underground. Current violent governing style with some borrowed from uncivilised neigbour is not going to bring peace in South Sudan. Many citizens have witness these barbaric acts either through target of innocent people, force-full destruction and displacements, arbitrarily arrest, extra-judicial killings and so on. The World through the UN is in trouble if the US, UK, France and their partners condoned or participated in what appeared to be calculated inhumane governing if not ethnic cleansing from divisive and old century mindsets. Another factor that requires new broom is strange lawlessness. One of the chief reasons to have government is to maintain law and order but current trend showed lack of control over crimes or lack of seriousness in fixing it. This problem evidence through ‘unknown gunmen’ to opponents and innocent civilians, dishonouring of peace agreements even those brokered by international community, land grabbing to advance evil ideology made it hard to achieve peace in South Sudan under president Kiir. And the best things civilised international partners must do is to push for technocrat government without president Kiir plus coup engineered vice president against his own people, shadow vice presidents and Riek Machar. There are many reasons for these. This president had been given enough room to change trajectory of events in the country but his evil mind with some borrowed from Uganda gave him impetus and attempted to convert the country to something else but fair-minded and civilised people will take that as forfeiture of that room and will have himself to blame. Secondly the worst part of his presidency is oversight of violent culture on the ground through ‘unknown gunmen’ which has caused those who survived to revolt plus dishonouring of agreements just to convert people to his barbaric vision but all made unity of the country him questionable as ‘once bitten twice shy’.

Lastly, present furtive war and militia style behaviours causing large displacement without service delivery that the current leadership may never engage before barbaric state is established should raise many alarms due to lawlessness associated with it. There is now more evidence that bringing communities together under current leadership with ‘unknown gunmen’ factor and sectarian mischief is a great dilemma. Nations that respect international covenant on civil and political rights should approach current uncivilised design and turn of events in South Sudan with caution. It would make sense for president to retire because his current scapegoat status for pursuit of divisive and unnecessary vision should have been below the belt of his presidency. Current Taban Deng conspiracy to trick more fund to continue uncivilised and stealthily warfar need careful scrutiny before funding establishment of evil sectarian ideology again in South Sudan which has made peace elusive and is unfortunate for a country which was to be established on non-sectarian basis anyway.

And therefore those condemning arm groups to continue with war that did not stop since 2013 anyway need to face their failures, lack of accountability and enforcement mechanisms. For example, a number of few SPM-IO forces went to Juba for peace with guarantors of those with current rhetoric but did nothing to push for accountability for Taban and President Kiir conspiracy to abrogate peace agreement where innocent life were loss in July. It is Kiir who is not willing for peace in South Sudan while having furtive military solution in mind and that is Kiir kept on encroachment on rebel held territories that always ignited hostility but since peace has collapsed JMEC need to stay from current government evil and uncivilised engineering already collapsed peace because of Taban and Kiir coup in a mischievous way.

The author is a concern South Sudanese. He can be reached at santomanut@yahoo.com.

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