BY: Deng Lueth Yuang, CALGARY, CANADA, MAY/15/2014, SSN;
Everything we do, whether deliberate or accidental intentions, reveals that time is the essence. That is to say, time will tell if in the first place we were wrong or correct in choosing those actions.
And to refer to the famous three words from former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (2009-2013) and former ambassador to Kenya (1999-2003), Mr. Johnnie Carson – choices have consequences.
Without doubt, we have seen, and still witnessing consequences of our two leaders’ actions in South Sudan currently. President Salva Kiir Mayardit (Army General), and former vice president-rebel-turned leader Riek Machar Teny (PhD Holder) have taken us to the days of demise of the Kingdoms of Sodom and Gomorrah (Bible – Genesis chapter 13-19) in the days of Abraham when God punished them as a retribution for their sinful society.
We are heading for unimaginable colossal destruction of young nation’s future potentials – the young generations born in the two decades civil war, and those born during these trying moments of Dinka-Nuer schism and power struggle conflict.
Not only are we now losing these precious people but also what we had built and accumulated since the war ended in 2004 through inception of Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA 2005) has just vanished beneath the surface with a blink of an eye, especially in the states of Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity commonly referred to as Great Upper Nile Region by politicians who want to use them as political vehicle for carrying their strongholds in one truck and driving them to secure prestigious political positions in the Government of South Sudan.
I presume the Nuers and Dinkas of this vast region are agonizing over their haphazard and unfathomable behavioral conduct to wage war on their own turf rather than somewhere else or not doing it at all.
It is going to take decades plus something to rehabilitate and forget what has occurred there.
Remember the “1991 Bor Massacre”, in which Bor citizens lost about 2-3,000 lives of their loved ones especially the elderly, sick, disables, young ones, and property, took about 15 years or so to heal the wounds and start to live with trust with the culprits.
This war which has taken various dimensions of life from losing lives to property destruction will take ages for memories to pass away.
Here we are: Are we really searching for Democracy in South Sudan or what we are made to believe is tribo-political camouflage situation in the country? That is the big question!
As the title of this piece of writing suggests, it is seemingly controversial and that is what it is at least to inform and enlighten the population that has been mentally occupied with tribal outfits to fight physical or mental wars on both sides of the split.
This is because the two words constitute each other. There is no democracy or free will society of the people without order of peace in their hearts.
And without order of peace like what South Sudan is currently undergoing through, it becomes a challenge to exercise democracy at will.
But let me open up this argument a bit further so as to give you, the reader, an appetite to sharpen your critique-ness.
I am one of those who was caught down by the atrocities of the alleged coup d’etat in December last year in Juba, S.Sudan. After seeing it all, my natural instinct started to tell me that South Sudan leaders do not have their own people at heart – they kill in order to hold onto power without providing service to them.
Mind you, the leaders of the Opposition are all former cabinet ministers, advisers, and technocrats employed in some capacity to work with the president. Does it mean they were out of touch or knowledge when they were together serving the same administration?
Perhaps they were intimidated to serve the people; to develop South Sudan; to rid S. Sudan of corruption and human rights abuses; to lift the lives of young people strolling or hustling and bustling around government ministries and NGOs complexes in Juba and state headquarters to get jobs using their hard-earned certificates, and to build the infrastructure needed to spur the economic growth, social system and political dialogue?!
I am certainly not the only person on this planet to call the quest for South Sudan Democracy a farce – Quest for ‘Demo-crazy’ in South Sudan.
We as South Sudanese, are fanatically becoming crazy with our leaders, being fooled around to accept they are orchestrating ‘good’ for us and imagining they are as clean as heaven, and to accepting to spread lies to our brethren in the villages who don’t understand how politics work in the world of Western Civilization.
By the way, they say ‘politics is a dirty game’ and ‘birds of the same feathers flock together’. This story is for another day.
Anyway, I am not a political scientist or purist to go into details, but that is how I have learned from my intellectual experiences through the academic paths I have walked in this world.
South Sudan has young brilliant brains that don’t rely on ethnic and/or tribal affiliations to advance their causes and dreams, but on know-how and performance-dependent affiliations to empower the state of affairs in South Sudan.
Always in life, they say, ‘History repeats itself.’ Most of our old leaders, I am talking about those who fought liberation wars from the 1960s-2000s in the Greater Sudan, have history on their side to judge them.
If you are one of those who tracked these leaders’ performance, you will immediately realize that all are not clean as we presume to be. Their hands are tainted with the ‘bloods of the innocents’.
No one, never a single person will have to deny that fact. But in the world of Junub al Sudan, everything is possible by playing tribal/ethnic card as literary icon late Chinua Achebe once put it: ‘The history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter until the hunted, the lions, have their own story tellers.’
We will never be satisfied with reality until we the citizens with watchful eyes tell the truth.
However, good news has just come out of Addis Ababa last Friday on May 10, 2013 when our two leaders, one claimed to have been forced, signed framework for a Peace Deal in South Sudan which stands on four pillars: Transitional government, cessation of hostilities, humanitarian access, new constitution and presidential elections.
It is good news since ‘any news is good news.’ This document is good at face value. It seems to serve the aspirations of all South Sudanese. But do we know the contents. No!
There is nothing like that. I know the first two are very complex. It will somehow take 6 to 12 months to formulate their contents.
Look at what has just happened when the rebels and the government soldiers accused each other of provocation around Unity State.
For me, I could have tasked the two leaders to sign and swear to the ‘Order of Peace’ as a precondition to iron out most of their fundamental differences on the ground.
By virtue of its significance, an Order of Peace is a peace-loving nation that thrives on law and order, prosperity and understanding that human being is a sacred animal.
We deserve to live our lives in decency and trust with one another, and in the way we wish. We need unity, justice, peace and development to prevail on our land. We don’t deserve to die for useless war pitting one tribe against the other, and the war that will return status quo on to the table.
We need total freedom, just liberation from the tribal mindset to global thinking based on standard ideals and equal opportunities for all. This will enable each and every one of us to do what s/he can do best with less demand.
An Order of Peace requires us to work towards our country’s future; with our leaders in amicable ways in order to make big difference in our lives.
It needs us to work within the system in order to effect changes; not to fight wars. Who is not tired of war in South Sudan? No one, unless you are coming from another Planet, and you are one of those who has never experienced the consequences of war.
What we are now yearning for is an order of peace which will make our Constitution with its institutions strong and functional – to be free from: mediocrity, corruption from any sphere of the country, inference from any arm of the government, and to recognize human rights charter.
We need merit to prevail anywhere in South Sudan so as to bring the change the Republic of South Sudan needs.
I envision, if both Kiir Administration and the Disgruntled Groups (Riek and released alleged coup plotters) could have avoided direct confrontation (international mass media campaigns, politically demeaning statements, 14th Dec.2013 mass demonstration threats and forced disarmament of presidential guards), and hence settled for political expediency and negotiation within the SPLM systems, all of them could have gained support from international community and South Sudanese of all walks of life.
But presently, both the Regime and Opposition look very desolate. It is emphatic the ongoing peace conference in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa will return them to the positions they were either holding previously or now craving for, and therefore nothing much will change.
The new elections are a distant thing to contend with. For instance, the president has just announced this week that the elections are to be moved to 2018 in order to allow time for transitional government to reconcile the nation!
Oh my God! What if it does not turn out to be the formidable settlement we were all looking for? I think this will take us back to square one and keep on demanding for more time.
Majority of our young nation citizens are longing for genuine greater rights although the country’s elite keep resorting to extortion, and human rights violations to assert their power and influence.
They have ensured that the unfair systems that serve their interests stay in place, even at the expense of rising insecurity and violence in Upper Nile Region, polarization and faltering democracy.
In brief, we all saw these scenarios coming but no one said we were right; but now they are saying “NO”.
As a repercussion, it is time for the young generation with brighter future to “diagnose” South Sudan current crisis, and save her from being a failed state like Somalia, DR Congo and the ilk in the region. God save the people of South Sudan!
Deng Lueth Yuang contributed to this piece. He currently lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He has a Master’s degree in Banking and Finance, specializing in Public Financial Sector Policy, and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Calgary. He is also the Founder and CEO of Centre for Economic & Financial Affairs (CEFA). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for commentaries and complaints.