EDITORIAL ANALYSIS: Infamously known best for his hollow rhetoric, empty promises and meaningless deadlines, South Sudan president Salva Kiir has remorselessly betrayed the people by blatantly corrupting the soul and vision of the nation including all those who sacrificed their dear lives for the freedom of the South Sudan nation.
As a consequence of his already failed leadership, President Kiir has adversely exacerbated the corruption of all facets of our national politics, the economy, education, society and, more importantly, the morality of its people, a situational crisis that is perilously driving the young country into an apocalypse in the not-so-distant future.
Not unsurprisingly therefore, that during the Second Anniversary celebration of Heroes’ Day in 2009, Dr. John Garang’s widow, Rebecca Nyandeng, boldly looked Kiir in the face Kiir in the podium and reminded him that, “Garang’s vision of equality and development in rural areas was lost.” With tears in her eyes, Nyandeng agonizingly lamented that all this is “killing her slowly.”
“How can one imagine dying for a liberation cause only to see one’s family, the widows of dead liberators or their orphans, live today?” Nyandeng arduously bemoaned during that occasion.
Perhaps what the ‘Mother of the Nation’ was referring to, for instance, is the aggregation and pauperization of disabled veterans and widows of ‘martyrs’ in some desert expanse of Juba to etch out a miserable life under the auspices of a well funded Commission for the Disabled and Widows. These guinea pigs could have been better settled in their respective villages in their various states and counties whereby their next of kin and their home environment would have greatly ameliorated their suffering that Mrs. Garang alluded to.
Now, whatever those ruling SPLM/SPLA panjandrums and other international Kiir’s apologists might want us to believe otherwise these days, the prevailing inference among the majority of South Sudanese citizens, given the preponderance of indisputable evidence on the ground, is conclusively that the failed leadership of president Kiir is “fastly” killing the very soul of the nation.
In all those years of war, famine and death, the gallant people of South Sudan, with a strong dose of nationalism, a justified sense of hope and great anticipation, had rightly contemplated a brighter future after the eventual liberation of their own country.
But see who has ostentatiously and unfairly benefitted…. Alas!! our patriotism and struggle were all about filling up the pockets and tummies of the SPLM/SPLA so-called comrades-cum-leaders only.
Nowhere has it happened except of course in South Sudan, that in the shortest time unimaginable, so-called ‘freedom fighters’ have emerged from the bush and instantaneously have become multi-millionaires by sucking up all the resources of the country like those ‘sheikhs’ in Dubai, whilst the majority citizenry wallowed in abject poverty.
Clearly, Kiir has wittingly or unwittingly created a disproportionately huge schism between the rich and the poor, between those who’re now obscenely rich in the SPLM/SPLA top hierarchy and the impoverished bottom supporters of the system.
SPLM/SPLA Economic Gangsterism:
When former deputy foreign minister, Professor Wako, once a staunch supporter of the SPLM/SPLA, finally couldn’t bear the corruption of the soul of the nation by Kiir’s rapacious SPLM/SPLA economic gangsters, he finally assumed the moral high ground and nationalistic bravado by telling the president in the face that he, Kiir inclusive, and his government were irremediably “rotten from the top to the bottom!”
Truly, the predation by Kiir’s Economic Gangsters of the limited national resources, in which Kiir is unapologetically toothless to curtain, is not only shameful but is the antithesis of the objectives of our long struggle for independence.
Recently, when very close tribesmen-cum-presidential aides stole millions of dollars from Kiir’s Presidential J-One (our own ‘White House’), it was one last straw that finally broke our national ‘soul;’ people on the streets of Juba rightly concluded that this daring theft in the most secure abode in the entire nation is the ‘climax of absolute impunity.’
The final report just released by the presidential appointed investigative committee on the grand presidential robbery is embarrassingly inconclusive, which in actuality, wasn’t unexpected, after all, our own ‘Obama’ could never contemplate incarcerating his chosen thieving cousins or family. Pathetic!!!
During the launch of his book on ‘The ideas and vision of Garang’ at the Woodrow Wilson Centre for International Scholars in Washington, in USA, Dr. Lual Deng, an SPLM Big Shot, in response to a question on the prevalence of corruption by the Kiir’s regime, rather bizarrely remarked that it was “culturally inappropriate or unacceptable to tell a Dinka or Nuer elder, for that matter, that he/she is a thief.”
It’s shocking that Dr. Lual Deng would insensitively invoke this tribal and political incorrectness in an international forum, but if that is the prevailing alibi in South Sudan, could it then explain why Kiir persistently baulks at prosecuting all the three former Dinka finance ministers (Akuen, Athian and Athorbei) accused of gross corruption?
Incidentally, one of them ex-finance minister-cum-thief, is allegedly hiding in USA or was an American citizen, and if Kiir had any real guts to fight corruption, the mighty US Justice and the Immigration departments, if asked to, would have willing apprehended and repatriated the alleged criminal and all his stolen millions, but, alas, Kiir is pathetically toothless!
Again, why is Kiir persistently and unreasonably refusing to reveal to the public the names of those 75 known thieves or the names of those among them who have “voluntarily” repatriated any amounts of stolen monies to that so-called secret account at the EQUITY BANK, Nairobi, only beknownst to Kiir himself?
Human Rights Abuses:
Despite the billions of dollars supposedly allocated every year to the Army (SPLA) and the Police and the other nefarious Security Organs (that’s nearly over 60% of the national budget), the security across the nation hasn’t improved very much, instead, as attested to by foreign and national organizations, gross human rights abuses are on the rise.
To many South Sudanese nationals across the country, the sight of an SPLA-uniform wearing man or the approach of those notorious special security personnel, only bitterly and emotively reminds them of the previous terror associated with the jellaba Arab regime.
In the Capital of Juba, one just have to look cautiously at the tribal scars on the foreheads of these security agents in that final moment of your predicament to know whether you’ll arrested ‘dead or alive.’
That’s what happened to Isaiah Abraham, he might have correctly recognized those assassins’ faces and that’s why they mercilessly and forever silenced him, a crime that remains unresolved till now despite Kiir’s hollow and empty promises to apprehend those security murderers even with some fake FBI dummies.
Giving Kiir more years to ruin not rule the nation and he might just beat jellaba Bashir’s record of killing South Sudanese!
Last year’s Christmas Mass at Kator Cathedral, one vividly recalls the young Catholic Bishop Santo of Juba who pointedly sermonized on the on-going human rights abuses being committed under Kiir’s watch and directly addressed an embarrassed-looking president, “how can our own brothers be doing these on us when we’re now an independent nation?”
Poor governance and Bad Leaders in South Sudan:
Apparently, South Sudanese so-called leaders from the ruling SPLM/SPLA have never learnt any lessons from decades of Arab North oppression and marginalization which severely propelled our peoples’ determination and resolution to fight for freedom for more than 50 years.
What’s happening in Jonglei State, for instance, which is needlessly costing innocent citizens their dear lives is basically a consequence of poor and bad governance on the part of those in Bor Town and the Kiir regime which has disappointingly evaded tackling the prevailing marginalization of others in the state by the domineering Mading Bor hegemonists.
If the SPLM/SPLA could so unfairly delineate for the Dinka of Lakes and the smaller Dinka of Warrap a separate state each, why don’t they justly accord the same fairness to the combined population of the Murle, Annuak, Kachipo and others, who truly deserved a separate state of their own?
Indisputably, injustice has been perpetuated on these people which is enigmatic of political marginalization and economic under-development – slowly, wilfully, the Kiirs and Kuol Manyangs are killing the innocent people of Pibor who are now simply fighting for their very survival in their own country.
Through the same cheap bullets, President Kiir, either knowingly or unknowingly, is killing the very soul of the nation; how are the Murle to supposedly have the equanimity to live as equal citizens in the Republic of South Sudan when they are being massacred by fellow citizens?
COMING POLITICAL ARMAGEDDON:
Since vice president Machar recently publicly expressed his interest, once again (first time in 2007), to vie for the presidency against Kiir and by intent, to usurp the post of SPLM party chairmanship, the relationship between the two has greatly deteriorated.
Rightly, given the traumatic past history of the SPLM/SPLA, and given the lethal rivalry between the Dinka and Nuer, there is palpable apprehension across the nation that a repeat of the 1991 fratricidal war might possible recur with unimaginable consequences.
Between the two and despite his current political posturing as a better president, vice Machar is equally morally complicit in the aggravation of the misrule and failed governance in the country as his boss, Machar can’t possibly so easily and quickly exculpate and exonerate himself from all the bad things egregiously commissioned by their government.
Moreover, like his boss, Machar, at best and all times, hasn’t visibly opposed the rampant exigencies of corruption, be it theft of monies, tribal appointments, over-bloated government expenditures or the vagaries that has tainted the ruling SPLM/SPLA as the most and newest corrupted regime.
Like his undeclared potential rival, again, Machar has knowingly partaken in the slow killing of the soul of the nation as no excuse whatsoever he gives, can be an acceptable reason to make him a lesser demon in the political decapitation of the nation.
Reportedly, the modus vivendi et operandi was that if Kiir requested from the finance minister a million dollars for his office, Machar would likewise request the same for his office; if Kiir anointed his own Bhar el ghazel Dinka as chair of a commission, Machar would duplicate the same by pushing for his own Nuer as deputy to the same or chair of another hastily created commission or whatever is synonymous.
In his own Unity State, Machar hasn’t done much while fantasizing about becoming the president. The Chinese National Petroleum Company continues to be the biggest polluter of the region as the oil exploitation has evidently devastated the environment and the lives and souls of the Nuer and permanently distorted the politics in the area.
Why is Machar’s leadership not felt significantly in his own backyard instead of grabbing Mundari and Bari lands in Terekeka and Komiru, respectively?
Apparently, given the evolving conundrum, the two have now locked horns, and perhaps with deep concern is the predicament of the non-participatory Equatorians and others like the Western Bhar el ghazal Fertit. Will they just quietly acquiesce being the “grass that will suffer” in the coming Armageddon?
There is urgency by the majority of citizens of the new nation to seriously avert the looming Armageddon. The two announced opponents of Kiir for the SPLM chairmanship, that’s Machar and Pagan, each has questionable record which implicitly negates their announced desire to grab the party chairmanship and possibly become next president of South Sudan.
Moreover, neither the party nor the nation have learnt much about what changes are anticipated from each of the aspirants, like what kind of government changes, war against corruption, devolution or federalism as modality for better government, etc….
Perhaps the Nuer Nation is way advanced in some devious plot to crown their own son on the high seat but certainly for Pagan, who doesn’t even command his Shilluk tribe or any particular regional or national group, it’s just a spoiler game for either Kiir or Machar, or conversely, perhaps to preserve his secretary-generalship, a post for which he had been accused of gross incompetence.
Both Pagan and Machar, including their common rival, Kiir, are reportedly and allegedly very rich individuals, with known and undisclosed businesses or co-business interests across the world but to our chagrin and against all moral codes and the laws of the country, each one of them, including current president Kiir, has cleverly and persistently dodged disclosing to the public their financial assets.
When such leadership isn’t premised on civilized norms, on transparency, honesty and morality or accountability, the end result is that we are all complicit in supporting criminality and terrorism in the national government.
If South Sudanese again are therefore coerced and thereby acquiesced to vote for potential or real criminals and murderers into power, then we might as well better write the obituary of our nation, a nation that cost the blood of more than two million martyrs, precious souls who died for our freedom, before the coming Armageddon.