BY: Malith Alier, RSS, APR/02/2014, SSN;
How will the President Sell Division of Jonglei agreement (DoJ) with SSDA – Cobra Faction to the people of the three Counties of Bor, Twic East and Duk?
Jonglei State is the sick man of the Republic of South Sudan like the 19th century Turkey used to be in Europe. The damp squib status is directly attributable to the sons and daughters of that State.
The Endemic conflict characterised by cattle raids, child abductions and the present wider conflict that has cracked cleavages for disintegration is too late to halt.
The long awaited march towards emancipation has indeed begun in Pibor County, the home County of a two-time rebel leader, David Yau Yau.
The rest of the restive Counties of Akobo, Ayod, Nyirol and Uror can’t be part of problem/solution because they are involved in a different quest altogether. The ball is now in the court of the staunch supporters of the government in the three Counties of Bor, Twic East and Duk.
There are uncountable instances of the prodigal son in South Sudan since signing of CPA. The rebellions for good and those for no good reasons were staged but all of them ended up in re-integration.
Rewards for high ranks and cosy V8s. And a chance of a lifetime to be part of those who enjoy protocols in ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of South Sudan (BSS).
However, this was no longer the path for the second generation of rebels like David. He had to fight for a State for his people and the vulnerable neighbours.
The Division of Jonglei Agreement (DoJ) was inked in Addis Ababa on the last days of March 2014 and it is the right time now to sell it to the people of Bor, Twic East and Duk Counties who have never asked for anything at gun point yesterday or tomorrow.
Last Saturday, the people of the three Counties rushed to Nyakuron Cultural Centre in Juba to hear the good news of DoJ from the President himself. However, the President was not well prepared to deliver the news of the coming back of one of the prodigal sons in the country.
Here is what the President will tell the people of the three Counties. The gathering will also be attended by people from other States, diplomatic mission ambassadors, MPs from the concerned Counties and their well wishers. Here we go.
Ministers from State and national governments,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Your President has received on the 31st of March, 2014, a copy of a preliminary peace agreement with rebels led by one General called David Yau Yau. The agreement reached between government delegations led by the Church leaders is called Division of Jonglei peace agreement (DoJ).
You know in 2010 just one year before the vote for secession, an election was held in April of that year. Many people expressed disappointment claiming that the SPLM rigged it. David Yau was one of those kinds of people.
From theology to elections and to armed rebellion he is a tough man indeed. He was made a “General” in the SPLA when he returned shortly after first rebellion but this was not enough for him.
Some people incited him to leave for Nairobi and into the bush to demand a whole State from the largest State in South Sudan.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The above is the background of David’s rebellion and first steps your government took to make peace with your brothers who disagree with you and me on minor things. George Athor was also in the bush for the same reason as David. They joined forces and the late Athor gave a Faction led by David a name ‘Cobra – Faction.’ That was how he got the name. They were all under SSDA/M or South Sudan Democratic Army/Movement.
As you gather today particularly you the people of three Counties of greater Bor, I have for you and Yau a peace agreement on a silver plate. This peace agreement is for you. It’s for your welfare.
You have been devastated in the past years since commencement of the rebellion. The abduction of your children by the people of David, the cattle raids and the senseless death in the process of those raids will be a thing of the past.
People of the three Counties,
My Government in the past resisted formation of new states and counties on the ground that they will require new line of budget, borrowing from World Bank and IMF included.
Had it not been because of the current Riek Machar’s rebellion, the government would have fully lifted the regime of austerity imposed on the country in 2012. Luckily enough, our oil still flows to the world market but not at 100% like before.
You are the first people in the whole of the country to accept this agreement. I sell it to you before the whole country. Now the new political dispensation gives you more opportunities and freedom you have your own state as well.
This means that Jonglei will be divided in to three states like this. Number one Pibor County makes a State of its own. Two, your three Counties form another State and lastly the greater Akobo which is now occupied illegally is another State. All of this is designed to bring peace to Jonglei and the whole nation.
In specifics, Pibor will have six Counties headed by Commissioners. The six Counties will be headed by someone appointed by the President and is only answerable to the appointing authority i.e. the President of the Republic. You can see now how my powers expand.
What is more important for Pibor is a creation of a special fund to develop the Eastern State. You all know that there is syphilis there which is a major cause of childlessness. Did you know that child abduction and trade thrive because of this?
Pibor County has suffered for centuries and it is now time to rectify that. Your prosperity and justice starts in Pibor.
Great people of the three Counties,
I personally acknowledged that you are the only ones in this State who staunchly support the SPLM Party and government wholeheartedly. This position you have taken has its drawbacks because you will always be the ones who welcome home the prodigal son as in the old Bible. Things like promotion in rank and elevation to Statehood will come last to you. This is the sad fact.
You see the power center is shifting away from you lately. From the beginning the first two State Governors came from you. This has changed in the face of this rebellion. The Governor comes from one of the Counties which are not under the government.
I thought he was going to appoint someone from your sons and daughters but I was wrong. He has appointed Medan from the newest State. Yours now is the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.
There are some people who say that my government employs a policy of appeasement. This is not true. It is the poverty in the country that has caused some of these rebellions and chaos.
So what my government does is to give the disgruntled ones livelihoods and comfort… full stop. This is the most effective tool since 2005. The foreign countries approve of it. This is what keeps the country united except this new scenario of David Yau Yau. This is no appeasement.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am about to conclude this speech with the following;
1. Receive the prodigal sons with level-headedness
2. Open up more space for future prodigals
3. Accept the movement of the centre of power away from you
4. Your State will follow the Pibor lead
5. What you see is one way of more decentralisation and eventual federation in the country
6. Continue your support to the government of the day
7. General elections are coming up in 2015, each of you South Sudanese like I who aspires to become president should get prepared for them.
Thank you all for coming here and God bless you,
President of RSS