South Sudan: The shame of the five-year old self-destruction

By Bol Khan


South Sudan at tank (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

February 17th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – The People of South Sudan succumbed to civil war—self-destruction and immense sufferings ignited by few South Sudanese over the past five (5) solid years. This has become an absolute disgrace, now, to all South Sudanese in the world over. Who was to be blame? During the HLRF last year 2018, we suggested that IGAD should first prioritize the interest of ordinary South Sudanese people in an R-ARCSS.

The common interests we wanted was a better peace deal with proper; well-placed security arrangements, a lean government that would have pave way for profound peace dividends or services delivery to our people in the grassroots. We also hinted IGAD should not only start staying vigilant right from the outset of pre-transitional period but also to pick up and use ‘a stick and carrot’ policy throughout would-be 36 months oftransitional period.

Instead, IGAD took its pillow and slept on all these suggestions. It would just facilitate only this flimsy “R-ARCSS” help signed on 12 Sept. 2018 and then threw it into South Sudan, where it is now hovering in the air without a guarantor. I am sure, the Son of Kaguta Museveni (SKM) upcoming defacto RTGoNU of Entebbe’s proposal is going to finish, in the name of peace implementation, salaries and allowances, the peace fund inject by international donors.

Look at how big the SKM proposed or Entebbe’s government will be in Juba. At executive and legislative levels alone, there will be 45 cabinet ministers and 550 MPs respectively. Let’s add an IBC would be determine Council of states members plus bureaucracies, heads of commissions and states government various structures. Where will the suffering ordinary citizens of South Sudan get the services needed? Anyways, “A bad peace is better than no peace”.

Albert, politicians and IGAD member states revitalized the agreement in their own
interests; we had to accept it because the sufferings have been so wild on our innocent people of South Sudan for a long time. What we are doing now is how to fully own, adorn and protect the R-ARCSS both from its known and clandestine enemies. In other words, the only practical quagmire about R-ARCSS, which I can see now, is that its implementation is moving but at very slow pace.

It is far behind schedule as I write. In short, the R-ARCSS is not in a healthy condition! At any time in the months to come, history may repast itself. A 35 years old whirlpool of the SPLM’s now fractured deep sea always at the top leadership level—lack of political will to implement the right things; may again devour up this R-ARCSS as it had happened
in July 2016 (God prohibit!).

However, who should allow the continuation of civil war again in South Sudan? Is South Sudan a politicians or individuals’ property? Is it good to have another J1 dogfight or the third R-ARCSS in 2022? Would the entire ordinary people of South Sudan have no decision then on how to cut off this long rope of continuous deaths and sufferings?

From a deadly demand for independence and then to a debacle state of self-destruction

South Sudan fought against Khartoum’s successive regimes for decades. The objective was to establish a self-rule or “a democratic country guide by justice, liberty, prosperity… and equitable share of national resources” among other items as opposed to Khartoum’s hegemony. In that long and deadly armed struggle for independence, (1955-2005) millions of South Sudanese people died on the way to freedom. Finally, in January 2011, independence was achieved which would then widen hope for a better nation building based on democratic principles as proclaimed during the war against Khartoum based regimes.

However, in December 2013 South Sudan dug its mass graves with knife and forks bought with its own oil money. This posed a question: “Is that the change and type of a country they wanted?”  South Sudan’s civil war completed its fifth year on 15 December 2018. In those five years, what do we think we have done to ourselves as South Sudanese? To me,

I think we had done nothing to ourselves but only a shame of self-destruction! Look at how painful it is, you fought somebody yesterday blaming him of mass maiming your citizens; raping your women and girls, of forced displacements and illicit uses of national’s resources but today you ended up exactly doing the same things to your own citizens.

Sudan among other neighboring countries, is currently hosting nearly one (1,000, 000) million South Sudanese refugees that ran away because of you, the former warring parties. What a great shame! Can anyone among South Sudanese people say he/she does not include in this shame? I don’t think so, because being a South Sudanese by itself dives you into this shame including those of us who did not personally participate in setting South Sudan, ablaze in 2013.

We may be well aware internally here of as to who in person(s) ignited the South Sudan civil war and the destruction that followed but externally the whole world generally talks of ‘South Sudanese have fought among themselves’ not Mr. X, Y or so and so groups fought and destroyed South Sudan. Therefore, we are all included. What do we do to free ourselves from this chain of shame and blame put on all South Sudanese?

In 2015, one South Sudanese citizen put a question to one of the USA’s visiting diplomats: “How many people do you want to die first from South Sudan before you people (Americans) intervene to bring peace in South Sudan?” The diplomat began his answer by asking another question: “Who suppose to bring peace to South Sudan? Whoever started
the crisis or all South Sudanese must be must the ones to restore peace to South Sudan not Americans”.

The diplomat concluded his answer. In your own view, the reader, who was talking the right thing a fellow South Sudanese or a diplomat? One palpable item is true; an advanced world does not respect the citizens or sovereignty of any country, which is at war within itself for primitive, personal and trivial reasons. I physically met this fact late last year, in 2018.

Perhaps, other South Sudanese might have also witnessed the similar scenario either in a below country or in any other country around the world. One day I had a short trip with one of my fellow South Sudanese in Sudan, where we would encounter some sort of an embarrassment. His name is Mr. Manut Garang. He and I were traveling from Khartoum state to another nearby state by a car. At one checkpoint, the security personnel stopped us and asked us of where we were going.

We replied and told them the place. Then they asked, ‘Why are you here for? Don’t you know that it is prohibited for South Sudan citizens to move in Sudan? Where is your South, which you were last time, bothering us about it?’  I skipped the last question and replied that we would have heard on the media outlets if South Sudan citizens are not allow to move in Sudan. “You are not going anywhere, sit there,” they said. Then we sat.

After thirty (30) minutes, when they finally got what they wanted to show to the citizens of a failed nation then they let us go without narrating the reason why they detained us for all that long. We would then proceed. Soon we reached another checkpoint; where the same mistreatment was repeated. At this point, I would now detect that the total interrogations and all those spiteful things done to us were actually of a veiled meaning.

They wanted to show us that Sudan is still hosting South Sudanese people and a bit far better than South Sudan. On our last drive back to the capital, Khartoum, Manut asked me
a question. ‘Bol, why are these people mistreating us like this? Is it because we fought among ourselves as South Sudanese soon after we got our independence from them?’ Of course, I replied.

Then he would again ask, ‘now, haven’t we really caused to ourselves a very huge dishonor?’ He continued. I kept quiet, in disguise and agreement. Extensively, we could continue talking more about how the outside world is disrespecting South Sudan and its citizens because of self-destruction that has been going on for the last five years.

Take for instance, what had happened twice during President Salva’s visits to Egypt as well as the use of South Sudan’s flag as symbol of terrorists in an America movie. All these and many other disgraceful events demonstrate that the world has withdrawn valuable respect it initially had towards South Sudan and its people. In this state of affairs, question remains, what can South Sudanese do in order to wipe away this five-year-old disgrace of self-destruction.

Is unity of purpose and nationwide resolution a solution?

South Sudan, including its institutions, exists because of ordinary citizens who are majority then politicians and individual leaders. The country has had eight (8 m) million people, according to 2008 housing and population census. How many of this (8 m) have been mass-graved so far?

Why is it so hard for us, the living South Sudanese, to make a decision in favor of permanent truth?  The permanent truth is that South Sudanese people are not ENEMIES to each other! The fact that the country composes of regions, tribes, clans, sub-clans, sections all along down to individual level does not mean we are enemies. Such a structure exists in all countries not only South Sudan. It is God structure. Yes, there are wicks, self-interested and bigoted politicians who still believe in this adage ‘bullets are stronger than
the ballots’.

These kinds of politicians do not want the war to stop because they benefit from it at the expense of ordinary citizens. These politicians in question have had polarized and indoctrinated the quarter of our nation expecting everybody to think regional, tribal, clannish…, so on, and so forth. To me, they have already ‘smelled the soil of their own graveyards’ that is why they are destroying the future of South Sudan. Is it perfect for us to allow them continue destroying this great country calls ‘South Sudan’ for how long?

The last time I check, I found out that South Sudan has one common history, background and has one common future, too! When I checked again, I have also seen that the material resources, generations and the leaders that we have today; shall ALL inevitably disappear tomorrow but South Sudan, as a country will still exist forever. Thus, I cannot conceive any substantial reason as to why South Sudan should continue fighting within itself over personals’ interests.

We need to find a solution to this five-year-old shame of self-destruction. Is there any viable solution to this ‘vicious circle’ or shame of self-destruction? To me, UNITY of purpose and nationwide RESOLUTION is only viable solution. All or majority of South Sudanese people need to agree and collectively declare a nationwide resolution as proposed below:

1 – We do hereby purposely unite and declare to work together as South
Sudanese people regardless of economic conditions, social and
political affiliations because these immense sufferings and
self-destruction has now become an absolute disgrace to all citizens
of South Sudan, without exception.

2 – We therefore resolved to do whatever we can, to help protect the
September 12 2018 signed R-ARCSS or support all steps leading to its
successful implementation during would-be 36 months of transitional
period until the time that free and fair general elections are
conducted at the end of transitional period, in 2022.

3 – Further resolved with all our hearts, souls and strengths that we
shall act at the best of our capacity against any South Sudan’ peace
spoiler/obstructer or any individual leader (s) identifies as person
(s) who would want to take South Sudan back to civil war once again in

My dear readers and fellow South Sudanese should we, the patriotic
majority and pure hearted South Sudanese approve these three (3)
points then South Sudan could be peaceful just like any other country
in the world. It would have definitely witness so many developmental
progresses after or even during the implementation of this R-ARCSS.


Is it feasible for South Sudan to move away from this state of debacle and ruthless shame of self-destruction to a rapid self-development? Yes! ‘The gang of four’ countries (Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea) would fast evolve into an industrial revolution states, witnessed unexpected and enormous economic growths. The United States of America, a nation that welds the world’s super-power nowadays, had one time (in 1861-1865) fought within itself, to mention but a few.

In the said American civil war, the country incurred vast losses both infrastructures and human lives. However, when they (Americans) realized that their primary goal was not to destroy themselves after deposing the colonizers, then they could immediately change the tune. All of us are eyewitnesses; today the ‘gang of four’ and the USA have now gone very far in term of technologies and developments. Likewise, it is not too late for South Sudan to correct itself in order to move forward.

It is just a matter of Nationwide’s determination to say, “Enough is enough” of this useless civil war or self-destruction. Why did we wage war against Khartoum? If all what we had been struggling for (since 1955 apart from separation) was to bring about real freedom, justice, equality, stability, democracy and development then the time is now for practical implementation.

Dear South Sudanese citizens let’s use this R-ARCSS to bring back our country back to life, albeit it is not sort of a better pact that we all yearned for. The civil war has completely reduced us (tainted our sovereignty and image) to zero level in the eyes of the whole world.

Therefore, we unanimously need to endorse the above-proposed three (3) points as South Sudan’s New Year; 2019 RESOLUTION and implement them forthwith! Otherwise, the immense sufferings and the shame of five years old self-destruction that our leaders (or we) have brought to ourselves shall still be on us forever.

I hope this piece and peace finds a space in your heart(s).


The author, a concerned South Sudanese works for the Standard Action Liaison Force (SALF), a South Sudanese Organization. He can be reached via: khanrom8@gmail.com

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