Editorial Analysis: JAN/06/2014, SSN;
However much one might want to twist the reality of our current national shame, especially in an attempt to deceive the foreigners, the fact unfolding on the ground in South Sudan tells of a real senseless but well-planned fratricidal war taking place between the so-called majority Dinka tribe and the second largest Nuer tribe.
Whilst foreigners might naively and mistakenly presume that this is a political crisis, we South Sudanese nationals know it very well that what is evolving is a bloody struggle between these tribal leaders for dominance and also of greed for power and the country’s petrodollars.
What national interests are at stake here in the current tribal war? Why should any non-Dinka or non-Nuer die for a country that has been callously misruled by tribally thinking ‘leaders’ who have been steering the nation in a tribal direction over the last eight years?
If one was to ask any Equatorian or Fertit from Western Bahr el Gazel, if he or she was willing to needlessly sacrifice his or her life for either the Dinka or Nuer side fighting the current internecine war or alternately, for either a murderous Kiir or Machar, the answer without any hesitation is an emphatic NO.
What have they, these Equatorians and Fertit will ask, have these two leaders or these two tribal warriors, done for the country besides only impoverishing the nation?
Palpably, there is obvious but unspoken trepidation among the other tribes of what the future holds for them and the nation, regardless of the outcome.
For Equatorians and the other minorities living in Dinka-dominated states, the real worry is that should the Dinka crush the Nuer in this ongoing war, they the Dinka would be more oppressive and more domineering against other tribes, any opposition or criticism from them.
Will the Madi get back the forcefully occupied land or will the Shilluks of Gen. Johnson Uling recover their ancestral land which the same have taken?
Anyway, in as much as they don’t like it, those other tribes had always perceived the Nuer as a ‘buffer’ against Dinka’s feral rule, so should or if that buffer is eliminated, these people will be even more vulnerable to perpetual oppression of the Dinka.
Is it any wonder that today the foreign-prescribed solutions aren’t working or being acceptable, simply because the two warring tribes still feel they have to keep killing each other until they ‘achieve their revenge quotas?’
Quoting from the ‘Economist’ magazine, “Whole areas of Juba that were once home to South Sudan second largest ethnic group, Nuer, are now looted and empty.’
Furthermore, according to the Economist, whilst the UN is asking ‘where are the bodies,’ it reported ‘the killed bodies of the Nuer were removed in a clean-up operation under the cover of a dusk-to-dawn curfew and dumped in the river Nile.’
Aggravating our predicament is the hidden but stark fact that the country’s president is an alcoholic addict whose decisions are generally taken during that drunkard stupor and as such, these decisions are emotional, irrational and of course detrimental to our national interest.
Unfortunately president Kiir is surrounded by hard-headed Dinka tribal bigots who are just preoccupied with the goal of sustaining Dinka stranglehold on the presidency so that their looting, domination and criminal activities are forever safeguarded.
Conversely, if Riek Machar had his way or dreams miraculously fulfilled, he would just be replicating what the Dinka so-called majority has been perpetuating.
After all, when he was vice president, was he any different from Kiir in selfishly sustaining his tribal interests?
Disappointingly, National independence has only quadrupled their appetites for more power and more looted dollars, and combined with their massive and predominant enlisting in the national army, they have rapidly transformed their tribal animosities into a permanent military-political rivalry and antagonistic co-existence.
Retrospectively, introspectively and prospectively, the tragic events of December 15 and the subsequent horrific and deadly manifestations have exposed the deep schism between the two tribes which makes further future coexistence in a one nation very untenable and unsustainable.
South Sudan is a doomed nation as we have fallen victims of the ‘Natural resource curse.’ Whatever happens or might not happen in Addis Ababa peace talks between these two warring tribes, (aka delegations or negotiators), South Sudan Nation is irreversibly collapsing as a State, with very little prospects that things will be back to normal ever again.
In hindsight, the nation might just as well recall Dr. Lam Akol’s prediction about the ‘Somalization’ of South Sudan that would one day happen. It has come true, in just two years of independence. You wonder what this crafty politician, now a party to Kiir’s delegation in Addis Ababa, is now prescribing as a medicine to cure our national malaise!!!!!!
Legend going around popularly affirm that in the cultures of the two protagonists, the words ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I apologize’ do not even exist in their vocabulary. How true that might be is left to the reader, but when have we ever heard Garang or Kiir, Kuol or Machar, Makuei or Salva Mathok… ever once said ‘sorry’ for all the egregious acts of brutality, savagery, animalism and inhumanity commissioned or committed by them or on their behalves against fellow citizens…..????
Coming to the nitty-gritty of the on-going negotiations in Addis, one can only speculate on the futility of the entire exercise, because, importantly, the perceived Kiir Dinka-government and its twins arms, the SPLM party and SPLA, have to first genuinely transform themselves before any peace can come to the nation.
The SPLM, since its guerilla days, has persisted in a tribally-dominated ideology whereby non-Dinka members are cynically looked upon as ‘intruders’ and relegated to second class members.
This plainly explains the stubborn refusal of the likes of Kiir, Kuol or Makuei to even countenance the near possibility of the likelihood of non-Dinka top SPLM leaders like current vice president Wani Igga ever becoming the next Chair of the party.
In all frankness, unless the SPLM is completely transformed into a truly national party, the crises within its leadership will persist forever.
Thus, when Kiir and Machar and the SPLM blatantly embarked on gross misrule, corruption and utter disregard for the rule of law, we clearly foresaw the inevitability of the collapse of the country and the probability of a Dinka-Nuer crisis.
But more importantly, however, the national army, the SPLA, since coming the war ended, has remained a totally primitive and tribally-factionalized army (still singing tribal songs), that’s characterized by war-lordism.
Sporadically, since the nationhood was achieved, there were persistent uprisings and rebellions by south Sudanese guerilla movements against the Kiir government.
However, instead of the Kiir-Machar leadership resolving these crises holistically, they opted for myopic solutions, making separate agreements and reintegration of the individual rebel groups into the national army and these are the armies now fighting on Machar’s or Kiir’s behest.
In essence, the SPLA has been frozen in a state of immaturity, thus portentously endangering the very security of the country despite consuming more than half of the yearly national budget.
From President Kiir down to those tribally-orientated Dinka and Nuer generals, by recruiting willy-nilly only their tribesmen as freely as they like, they all duplicitiously ensured their ethnic balance of power in the Army.
Subsequently, the SPLA national army remained very tribal, disorganized and cynically anti-national; the soldiers, to the best of their interests, paid more allegiance to their ethnic commanders than to the proper chain of command.
Is it any wonder, therefore, that the national army is spontaneously and fatalistically splintering on the Dinka-Nuer ethnic axis?
Why have we not seen the Shilluks, Zande, Bari or Latuko, breaking off? This answer ominously amplifies the popular, widely accepted presumption that the prevailing conundrum is entirely a Dinka-Nuer impasse.
What is the way forward then for the already collapsed and failed state of South Sudan?
First: Both Kiir and Machar armies both must immediately accept a ceasefire and cessation of hostilities. Kiir’s presidency and legitimacy have been irreversibly wounded, he’s just a murderer as is his opponent, a genocidaire as the other, and presumably he’s a likely candidate for the ICC as is his nemesis.
Second: Because this is a national crisis of utmost magnitude, and since the State has legally and constitutionally collapsed since it is at war with itself, the president must dismiss the current government and form a transitional government from non-partisan persons, to run the affairs of the government.
Third: A National Reconciliation mechanism must be instituted and presided by others or even a foreigner, but excluding a Dinka or Nuer chairmanship by all means, which as surely as possible will ensure absolute impartiality and controversy.
Fourth: Since this crisis was initially precipitated by internal crisis in the SPLM between the so-called ‘disgruntled’ members and Kiir’s supporters, a National Constitutional Conference must be initiated and speedily convened to iron out all the outstanding issues of constitutionality, constitutionalism and others. For instance, term limits must be set and clearly defined modalities and eligibilities for the presidency and other top jobs in government.
Fifth: Since the current crises are mostly due to the carried-over of the former ‘Bush mentality’ enjoyed by the SPLM/SPLA, there must be total reorganization of the army where recruitment is based on educational background and not on tribalism and ethnicity as sorrily manifested in the infamous so-called Kiir’s home-town boys dominated ‘Republican Guards.’
Sixth and Finally: When the war started in 1983, the South was controversially being divided and fractionalized into self-governing separate regions as a result of the attrition and incompatibility among us, Southern Sudanese, who failed to live in harmony among ourselves.
In response to popular demand by Nuer and Equatorians and Bahr el Ghazal Dinka and non-Dinka, Nimeiri imposed the regionalization of South Sudan. Many supporters of this policy of decentralization, then, believed the SPLM/A creation was a jittery tribal counter response to that.
Today, and taking into account the current collapse of our nation and the unforgivable misrule and mismanagement of South Sudan by the SPLM and the kleptocrats around Kiir, a newer modality of ‘redivision’ and political devolution is imperative.
Finally, without any new comprehensive political dispensation, especially given the underlying apprehensions and grave concerns of many non-Dinka populations, and given the current abuses of the rule of law by those thugs in the current government, the situation in the country will be moving from one crisis to another.
If the pretentious Catholic adherent and regular church-going president Kiir hasn’t sincerely forgiven Machar’s involvement of 1991 Bor incident and forgiven those involved in the December 15 incident, or even yet to apologize for the murders committed by his presidential guards brigade, what hopes are there for peace and coexistence…..??? END