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Analyses Politics Simon Elhag Kulusika South Sudan

South Sudan “Marching on Together” Again ~ Part B

By Simon Elhag Kulusika,
Associated Professor,
South Sudan President, Salva Kiir and opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)
South Sudan President, Salva Kiir and opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

May 10, 2021 — There are media reports that indicate the UN is presenting a report about South Sudan (SS) to the UN Security Council.  The UN has made such reports before, but no tangible results or impacts have emerged.  There are several reasons, two are notable: failure by those covered in the reports to adhere to, and implement recommendations contained therein.  No positive actions taken in response to non-compliance.  Secondly, in-effectiveness of UN Security Council sanctions imposed on selected political and military leaders who continue to amass wealth by looting public assets.  Even the armed embargo declared by the UN Security Council was easily evaded due to lapses and failure of robust mechanisms of enforcement and monitoring.  Now it is hoped the UN Security Council will invent more effective measures in dealing with Juba and the ever increasing armed groups; to restore peace and allow people to march on together.

The number of movements and fronts opposed to the government of South Sudan keeps on increasing.  All of them have military wings to wage warfare against the State.  They have publicized well-articulated Manifestoes.  (The most enduring is the Communist Manifesto).  So far, the government has failed to contain these movements or fronts.

All armed groups have huge challenges: internal frictions resulting in dismissal or defections; hostility against one another; lack of assured financial resources; lots of obstacles in recruiting fighters; difficulty of acquiring advanced weaponry; failure to court neighbouring countries  to offer them secured sanctuary in case of need; and incapacity to mobilize youths for revolution.  They have to rethink their strategies to encourage people to march on together to stage revolution.

Land Grabbing

It arises as a result of X ethnic groups taking Lands belonging to Z ethnic groups.  The Lands are taken by force, or without permission of the owners or the local authorities.  Lands grabbing has caused frictions between the owners of Lands and invaders.  Clashes between the two sides resulted in many deaths and massive destruction or damage to property.  The victims in most cases, have been farmers.  The perpetrators are Cattle Keepers.

Emphasis:  Clashes between farmers and Cattle Keepers have continued as no concrete measures have been put in place by any levels of government, to resolve the problem.  All appeals to remove the invaders have remained unanswered.  Inactivity is bound to prevent people from “marching on together”.

Revolution of dismay.  Advocates of change in South Sudan, mostly militant groups, claim that a change in South Sudan can best be brought about by revolution – forcible or peaceful.  They are calling on the masses – youths, farmers, herders, workers, and so on, to rise against the government in Juba, describing it as ethnically based, corrupt and run by despots as personal business.

Many observers have expressed some doubts over the calls for Revolution.  Their main contention is that South Sudan is not a place where the Revolution may be successfully staged. Partly because of ethnic divisions and rivalry among elites who tend to pursue conflicting purposes, that militate against unified actions against the government in Juba.  Moreover, the revolutionary vision is parochial, centered on removal of persons.  This type of thinking will result in a Revolution of dismay.  Because, they claim, a true Revolution requires “a forcible overthrow of a government, or social order in favour of a new system”.  If this is not possible, South Sudan will see a Revolution of dismay that cannot inspire people “marching on together”.

UN Security Council (UNSC) has mandates under the UN Charter – Uniting for Peace – to take punitive actions Against member states, if the behavior of the state in question threatens international peace and security.  Provided, the resolution(s) has not been impeded by veto(s).  Situation in South Sudan warrants taking such actions.  The actions must target government, armed groups (movements and fronts) and political entities.  The aims must be to eliminate violence, terrorism and use of force against the state.  To abolish multiple armies.  To establish an inclusive and balanced armed forces for South Sudan.  To prevent ethnic warfare and communal violence.  And to revive the economy and restore stability and peace in South Sudan.

Measures taken by UNSC should culminate in a new system in South Sudan.  Under it, people must command a new constitution that military power, violence or force shall not be used as means or ways to usurp or ascend to power.  They also must pledge, in a binding Charter, to themselves and posterity never to use violence or force to resolve differences and disagreements between and amongst themselves.

Central opinion is “Marching on Together”.  It is a novel to South Sudan.  It has varyingly been employed by President Kenneth David Kaunda (KK) to unify, people of Zambia, and build one nation.  KK’s “Tiyende Pamodzi” was a song known and memorized and recited by everyone, including school-going pupils.  It has worked and broken ethnic barriers, rivalry forever.  It is normal to find in Zambia, a child with a name Banda Musonda, today, but not 40 years ago.

If “Marching on Together” is accepted, propagated and practiced consistently over a period, it will have an impact on ethnic division in South Sudan.  Obligations to make “Marching on Together” succeed lie with political, traditional and youth leaders.  Let people march on together again to build South Sudan.

You are considering discourses about South Sudan.  A State that has lost some attributes of sovereign State.  All its institutions are ineffective, including RTGoNU.  It has more than two armies and several armed groups, each opposed to one another, and suffering from internal divisions, aroused by ethnic rivalry, animosity and struggle for power.  Politics has become the game of defection and witchcraft.  The economy is in ruins.  Corruption and crimes are rampant.  Poverty is pervasive.  Sad indeed.  Can South Sudan march on together again?  This question has no valid answer(s).

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PROFESSOR SIMON E KULUSIKA ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF LAW

Professor Simon E Kulusika is an Associate Professor of Law based in Lusaka, Zambia. He can be reached through email through sophie.chibale@zaou.ac.zm


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