Adwok Nyaba Analyses Contributor's South Sudan Uganda

Museveni’s colonial ambitions in South Sudan

By Peter Adwok Nyaba

Museveni and his wife attends South Sudan independent day celebration in July 2014(Photo: file)
Museveni and his wife attends South Sudan independent day celebration in July 2014(Photo: file)

June 17, 2017(Nyamilepedia) —– The loudest chorus coming out these days from region is that of ‘SPLM reunification’ rather than ‘stop the war’ to end the suffering and negative migration of the people of South Sudan. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, not even on behalf of National Resistance Movement (NRM), has usurped the SPLM reunification process leaders of Chama Cha Mapenduzi (CCM) and African National Congress (ANC) voluntarily undertook to achieve in 2015 as a gesture of solidarity with the people of South Sudan. President Museveni himself has already conducted what somebody called two ‘consultative rounds’ without the courtesy of inviting the representatives of CCM and ANC. The third consultation is scheduled for 13 July.

The SPLM reunification and the so-called National Dialogue in Juba run parallel to but not speaking to the raging civil war and famine in South Sudan. President Museveni is pushing for the SPLM reunification as means of bring peace through democratic elections. I find this reasoning not only absurd but also highly suspicious to say the least. It is absurd because the SPLM as a political organization does not any more appeal to South Sudanese sentiments; its leaders have desiccated of its political and organizational context that linked it to the people and their cause. The attempts to reunite the warring SPLM leaders spurs suspicion and awesome feelings.

My suspicion of Museveni’s intention in South Sudan stems from two serious incidences: In January 2014, President Museveni sent contingents of Ugandan People Defence Force into South Sudan ostensibly to rescue President Salva Kiir. He acted without legal backing neither from the Ugandan Parliament nor from the people of South Sudan. The ‘Status of Force’ sanctioning the presence of Ugandan military in the Republic of South Sudan came into force latter in time. Following the SPLA (IO) ambush on an army convoy on the Juba-Nimule road in which some Ugandan traders perished, a representative of the Ugandan Business class requested President Museveni to send Ugandan troops to protect Ugandan business in South Sudan.

The poignancy of SPLM reunification and deploying Ugandan troops to protect Ugandan citizens in South Sudan smacks of European colonialism. Imperialism was all about control and supply of raw materials for a burgeoning manufacturing industry as well as the protection of markets for these manufactured goods, employing military prowess. In this enterprise, the colonial master represented the national economic and political interests of the capitalist class that owned the manufacturing industry. This episode, which occurred in our region about two centuries ago, strikes a chord with the role President Museveni has played in the Great Lakes region since 1994 including his political fallout with both presidents Kabila and Kagame over the natural resources in the Congo.

There is no sharp climatic differences between South Sudan and Uganda. Yet South Sudan is a market teeming with Uganda’s manufactured and raw agricultural produce including fish. This obtains thanks to the ignorant parasitic kinship oligarchy, which cares little about building South Sudan into a modern state. It failed to utilize the oil revenues to build in South Sudan a vibrant agriculture based economy as in Uganda. This has made South Sudan virtually an economic colony of Uganda.
Viewed in this light, President Museveni is not interested in SPLM reunification. He wants to buttress President Salva Kiir politically and to prevent an earlier collapse of his regime while Uganda syphons off South Sudan financial and economic resources. In this respect, President Museveni wants to use in the guise of SPLM reunification some influential elements, among the former political detainees [FPDs], with kinship relations with Salva Kiir to convince their colleagues to come back to Salva Kiir’s fold, and to abandon the opposition. One of the FPDs had the audacity to say this in another electronic forum; “without delving into too much guesstimate, the Entebbe SPLM second consultative round has ended on a positive note.” This reads as Salva Kiir and his ethnic based kleptocratic totalitarian regime assures of continuity.

As was in classical colonialism, where there were indigenous collaborators and beneficiaries of foreign plunder, President Museveni has those who voluntarily pumped stolen resources into Uganda economy over the last twelve years. President Museveni now believes Dr. Riek Machar and the SPLM/A (IO) do not count any longer; particularly after the failure of the 39th Extraordinary Assembly of IGAD Heads of State and Government to come up with a resolution to address the deteriorating security and humanitarian crisis in South Sudan. With a weak parasitic kinship oligarchy in Juba depending him in everything including international arms running, President Museveni has every reason and opportunity to whet his colonial appetite. He already is the auxiliary president.

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