By Makneth Aciek
Feb 12, 2018(Nyamilepedia) —- History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives; but this reality seems not to be in conformity with the wisdom of South Sudan government’s delegation to High Level Revitalization Forum.
The government’s delegates to the HLRF protested to sign the declaration of principles (DoP), their reason being that they are not in good term with the Text’s article 28 that calls for punitive measures to be taken against the violators of the revised deal. Another protest; that is a hat-trick now since 2015.
This has left many South Sudanese pondering; asking questions about the intention of Juba government toward the future of South Sudan.
Observing people and societies in the past conflicts assures us of one thing: the parties to the conflict only honor the agreement if the consequences of their action are visited upon them either Individually or collectively.
Something is going very much awry when one of the parties to the conflict rejected the provision which hold accountable those who would deprive peace deal of its dimensions of actions and implementation. This tells the world and people of South Sudan that the government is not ready for peace. They want the High Level Revitalization forum to be another empty occasion.
South Sudan is now, unlike any time before, at a chaotic and hungry period; and worst of all there is no any sense of hope for better future under Salva Kiir. If the region continue dancing according to President Kiir’s tone…..if consequences are not visited upon those who violate the agreement, then we can expect the carnage to continue.
Before leaving Juba for Addis Ababa, these gangs of old folks- the custodians of Salva Kiir’s gerontocracy were harangued by the king himself to go and negotiate the way he wanted, or better still, to go to Addis and play along! They are there simply to set up the scene, choreograph the means of making a yet to be agreed negotiated settlement unworkable.
President Kiir is doing all these because he fear the oppositions. Over past five years, the oppositions, in principles, have never been a failure! They are trying real hard to tear up a status- quo; through their influence, the youth and middle age had begun to become political. Out of the oppositions, particularly the SPLM(IO) the new political class is emerging, a one that’s capable of forming the demands of civilization, including the rules of civilized politics.This group is a tremor unsettling enough to make cracks appear within J1, exposing the fault lines under the regime. So the best the regime can do is to secure in the minds of badly informed South Sudanese an impression that anyone opposing Salva Kiir’s regime is a traitor, betrayer, rebels ………
In principle these government delegates were not going to Addis with the intention of bringing peace back home, they are there for an experiment. The manner in which they talk about the issue of peace is shocking! Their words are derogatory and their tone is mocking; In fact they don’t see oppositions as their partners in the peace process. They think that the right to determine the country course is their entitlement and as a consequence, they won’t for one stop thinking like tribesmen who need to protect their territory from usurpers and aliens. Sad!
One would ask why Salva is perpetually refusing to give genuine peace a chance…….. Yes the Country is bankrupt; the currency is devalued and the saving of the middle class decimated; but to them, they have learnt how to live in the country where everyone else is drowning!
To get a glimpse of why the government is fighting teeth and toe to maintain the statues-quo, it is important to know the following facts:
South Sudan is a natural resource society- the state feeds herself from oil revenues. This resource is not structured for the benefit of all citizens, instead funds are distributed to government institutions and as salaries to fraction of the population working for the government. Basically, the power of the central government and state government is the power to direct the flows of money coming from the sale of this resource; literally politic in South Sudan under Kiir’s regime, is the competition to divert these flows.
The core of economy had never been a market! The economy entirely depends on crude oil and this is under direct control of president. It is the president who decide who or what part of society to benefit from this resource. What look like a government in South Sudan is just a system of distribution. As long as their is a budget to be distributed, the country is normal…peaceful! Nothing matter more to the regime than their network and ability to maintain them.
Anyone who challenge this style of running the State, is summarily ranks as traitor and it is the very reason which set South Sudan to current predicament.
Salva Kiir always know that the best way to maintain the status quo is to destroy the links that tie the country together( party, functioning institutions and media). Everything that ties South Sudan together between regions and ethnicities has been shattered and destroyed.
The SPLM, a party that United South Sudanese and delivered the the right of self-determination was mutilated. Those who challenge how the state affairs were being ran with in the party got fired and replaced by sycophants. The yesterday outsiders and losers now form Salva Kiir government. The memory of nothingness made their teeth grab onto the new status-quo.
On national army, president Kiir brought in his clan to the centre of power. These people were not ready for national duties by any standard, but they are the only people he felt he could trust. The national army became an abusive institutions where state apparatuses are use to carryout ethnic cleansing.
The regime in Juba have established a sectarian system to protect the status quo; this system is engineered to only suck tribal champions into it orbits; the current government is more of a mafia than an administration. Very venal and lucking ideology!
It is on the basis of the control of resources that the Army generals, the cabinet ministers and other regime top officials relate to the president; anyone who dare question things within the system faces a dramatic defenestration, executed through presidential decree.
This is the reality of what government’s delegation to HLRF refusal to sign DoP reveals. To them, the status quo must continue. A status quo that’s fixated on tribe, that’s at the mercy of the egos of a few; still depriving the nation of the opportunity to unite under a common purpose and deliver peace to the innocent citizens.
The IGAD and the world should somehow demonstrate that they are wearied of Slava Kiir’s tricks and perfidy. Peace is honored by observance to the articles; by sticking to what they are tasked to uphold. If the region care for peace in South Sudan, it shouldn’t this time be a business as usual; the government of Salva Kiir must learn to respect codes created to regulate behavior.
It would be upon the IGAD to use the experiences of the past failures to avoid the “history-repeating-itself” scenario. The IGAD must stop trying to rub south Sudanese wounds with salty fingers while pretending to bandage them. They are expected to caution the regime’s delegation to participate with honesty and alacrity. Otherwise ignominy awaits.
Makneth Aciek is a South Sudanese and can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org