BY: Marial Mach Aduot Mach, AUSTRALIA, JAN/27/2013, SSN;
Like all other South Sudanese reading the news of our president firing all the generals deputizing the SPLA chief of general staff and more others in the regular army as well as the dismissal of Lakes State governor, it greeted me with mixed feelings.
Firstly, I was amused and dismayed given the analysis I made in my mind. The greater joy was that our president whom I have been assuming to be politically brain-dead was showing some signs of recuperating, and like a child learning how to walk, he slowly learns the courage to make tough choices. He needs to have that in the first place anyway.
Secondly, I also agree with the president that our army needs reform, hence reserving more than twenty generals is still too little though, but it is long overdue. Given the conventional transformation of military across the globe, it is not only necessary for a country to have a minimum, well trained and armed forces but it is a pre-condition of a supposedly capable modern army.
Feel free to call it an exaggeration, but the tendency in our country where everybody wants to be a soldier would eventually make this young nation another North Korea in Africa.
As a person born in the age of SPLA, I am holding no doubts about its effectiveness, but in contrast to the current state of our economy, a gigantic army is costly to manage financially and judicially.
People can count the events which took place in South Sudan between the army and the people it’s supposed to protect, such as rape, torture and looting and murder, you name them. These are the results of the army which was trained and still being trained to shoot but not to uphold the rule of law.
Reducing the size of the army in my view can be on the card; hence more is needed to be done than just demoting generals and promoting some. That is not change! It is called a recycling of waste, if I may give it the name.
Demoting and promotions general without a proper proceedings of how the general army is going to move forward shows undoubtedly that our leader is not fully recovered from its long-term political concussion it suffers as he rose to the rank…?
Don’t get me wrong! Presidential political medics are doing a great work bringing back the man we assumed critics pronounced political dead, but more is needed to be done especially in the government. The men and women who are holding the ministerial posts need some sophistication or perhaps polishing.
Some of them are too rusty, including the nation’s foreign minister which I assume because of his defects or rustiness, has chosen to mute the South Sudan in international arena. It is disgraceful of course.
Not only that, what have dismayed me very much is bestowed in two events– the promotion of recently dismissed general Pieng Deng Kuol as the South Sudan police chief and the sucking of Lakes State elected governor are very disgusting.
Gen. Pieng Deng is a gentleman of course, and very a decorated war hero, but seeing him as the chief inspector of South Sudan police is like seeing a dog on a roller-skate. The guy is a military general who may perhaps know little or nothing on how to deal with policing aspects. God help us! He may have a good military experience, but I doubt if he can even understand the role of police and its technical work.
This means that in the next four years, as they said, our internal security well being will continue to be looked through the toilet-paper roll like the previous years. That is not a change, it is simply a recycling of waste.
Finally, the striking event on my part and a delusional decision on the part of president is the sacking of Lakes state governor. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying Chol Tong is an exceptional leader, but people elected him. The reason of his sacking is not said publicly, but it is assumed that the demise of Chol Tong has something to down with security situation in the state.
Well, that maybe the case, but if he is dismissed because of that, question would that, is he the only governor that actually failed that duty?
Prove me wrong, but if people were to be fired for mishandling state’s security, I would have guess that our failed delinquent general in Jonglei should have been sacked three times already. What we have in Jonglei is beyond imagination and the reason why Gen. Kuol Manyang Jok remains in his post until today comes as another weak point of president Kiir. He is so naïve or feels inferior to some of his former army generals counter-parts, now in charge of States; it’s obviously ridiculous and horrendous.
People wonder why the removal of a governor concerned me a lot. Well, first it is an assault on democracy. Issuing presidential decrees, (very idiotic, by the way) to dismiss an elected official does not reflect well for the meaning of elections and the function of electorates who ordain the governance. It is the holiest move by the president pueblos’ dogs, but it a tragedy to the people hoping for public voices.
In fact, people of Lakes State are being bullied and disrespected by the president who is running the country with an expired transitional constitution. RIP!
Secondly, it shows that leaders in our country are not psychologically well, and intellectually impeded to understand that the responsibility of removing an elected official can only took place in a competent court of law, which we don’t have anyway, and through the people who elected them. These two organs are empowered by a clear margin of law and that is simply breached by our commander in chief, sheep, cheap or shift, whatever.
I would have not been yapping or even dreaming of doing that, if the Governor Chol Tong was shown the door by the citizens of Lakes State by converging to the polling stations and substitutinged him or if he was impeach for a supposed crime of stealing a quarter of our missing four billions dollars. That could be in correlation with the constitution.
So, is the act of our president justified at all? How and on what basis?
Marial Mach Aduot is a South Sudanese residing in Australia, Melbourne. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org