Editorial Analysis: DEC/27/2012, SSN;
Evidently, the killing of political commentator, Isaiah, followed by the ruthless gunning down of peaceful protesters in Wau by the blood-thirsty National Security agents, and the deadly shooting down of a clearly marked UN helicopter killing all four Russian pilots by a trigger-happy and unrestrained army, are acts of a regime that’s desperately sliding downhill on the road to dictatorship and failed governance.
What kind of nation have we become when tens of dead bodies are literally popping up every night with decapitated heads in Juba wrecking fear on poor civilians, and yet the president unfairly fails to fire for incompetence neither the inspector-general of police nor Juba police commissioner but yet he had the Wau police commissioner fired after the deadly protest?
And compounding it all, we’ve a president who confoundingly declared in Wau on Christmas eve, that, “if he himself was in Wau, he would have even fought against the demonstrators,” instead of publicly exuding leadership tact, empathy for the dead, sensitivity and sensibility, and leaving the whole episode to the rule of law while personally seeking reconciliation among the warring tribes.
With a president with such a mentality of vengeance, there is great trepidation in the country and among citizens wondering about the utter subversion of the norms of conflict resolutions and the rule of law, things that the UNMISS and the US government have being desperately but without success trying to inculcate into the leadership in the South.
In normal circumstances, however, after the blunders made by governor Rizik (he’s no true Rizikallah), president Kiir should have immediately constituted a high-level judicial commission of inquiry (since citizens were gunned down by state security) to carry out the legal investigations starting with proper scrutiny of the governor’s decree to arbitrarily order the transfer of the headquarters, a move that was widely opposed by the citizens.
Furthermore, as in more civilized nations, this judicial commission constituted would explore all views and grievances raised by all sides and the roles played by the state authorities in exacerbating the situation but more importantly, the commission’s mandate would be to re-examine in its entirety the so-called ‘taking-the-towns-to-the-people’ concept.
Undoubtedly, this contentious and badly misunderstood SPLM/A doctrine has greatly engendered a lot of opposition and controversy for the simple fact that the ruling tribalists in the Kiir’s regime with the passive or active support of the president himself, took advantage by exploiting this policy to aggressively embark on massive land grabbing.
What happened spontaneously in Yei and Wau are just the tips of a political volcano which might inevitably reignite with greater deadliness in Malakal, Maridi, Magwi, Mvolo and other parts of South Sudan, for example, if the issues of illegal mass migration of people and animals and illegal land occupation are not immediately addressed and fairly resolved by Kiir and his stone-deaf hegemonists in power.
Ominously, Yei is a simmering microcosm of political ethnic volatility that had similarly taken place in 2008 in Kenya’s Rift Valley, whereby non-native migrant settlers (land grabbers) from the ruling Central Province tried to surpass and suppress the native population and whereby these aggressive migrants tried to deliberately alter the political demographics to suit their majoritarian advantage of political domination.
Kiir’s often vocalized lame-duck argument after the Yei incident that ‘any citizen of South Sudan is a citizen anywhere he settles,’ shouldn’t be cynically misinterpreted and abused by some tribes; yes, any southerner can legally live and work anywhere across the nation, but he/she must abidingly live by the rules on the ground in those places.
Moreover, learned legal brains in the SPLM now tell us that when this policy of ‘taking-the-towns-to-the-people’ was initially formulated, the interpretation would eventually be that upon liberation of the country and contrary to the former jellaba rule now overthrown, this policy would mean that the SPLM would be taking services that previously only existed in towns to the people in the villages or rural areas, so that these people won’t unnecessarily migrate to the towns, such as Juba, Wau or Malakal, to seek the same services.
This, unfortunately, is what you, Mr. President, has miserably failed to achieve in the long seven years of your rule and with the billions of dollars stolen under your watch which would have provided these services and transformed those villages into towns and provided those services so that your ministers’ houses in Juba, as you recently lamented, won’t be overcrowded with ‘more than twenty’ idle relatives.
Candidly, when the president and his fellow commanders/victors liberated Yei and then liberally without any challenge carved out for themselves large chunks of land thereupon to build their mansions, it was because the natives were damned scared to raise any objection or else they’d have been shot immediately, that was an undisputed reality of life in those so-called ‘liberated’ areas.
Which vanquished Kakwa or Pojulu in Yei at that time would have dared tell commander Kiir or any SPLA then to get off his father’s land at the cost of his miserable life? Let’s be humble and learn to adhere to the rule of law by publicly accepting that now is the right time for you to genuinely redress the injustice inflicted in the war of liberation and bring peace among the people of South Sudan.
Mr. President should ever remember what His Lordship, the Bishop of Juba, sermonized during the Christmas mass, about how more painfully it is to see ‘our own sons and brothers’ now using the same weapon and style of mis-rule of the jellaba Arabs to inflict heinous brutality that southerners thought they’d forgotten with the disappearance of the jellaba from their new nation.
Indisputably, it’s now the president’s own security apparatus appointees, many of whom are closely or distantly related to him, who are slowly but surely killing our new nation, it’s now his unpopular MIS-ruling party, the SPLM, that is blatantly and massively wrecking the country’s political, social and economic foundations.
In the end, the biggest tragedy that is visibly and painfully rocking and shocking the nation would be directly attributable to the dysfunctional style of government now in the country.
Seriously, it’s time the president and his party solemnly abjured all the nefarious policies and repudiated some of those decrees dictated by cronies-cum-governors like Rizik or ministers who’re but totally ignorant or oblivious of the ramifications of their hastily promulgated laws or pronouncements.
The constitution specifically stated that the land belongs to the people, meaning that the native people previously and resident on the land in perpetuity are the legal owners of the land; it doesn’t mean that the government, state or national, can unlawfully override the solemn property rights of entitlement of the people and proceed to expropriate with absolute impunity these people’s land.
Inscrutably, our nation is visibly turning into another Kenya, whereby, the president willfully allows corruption to fester, and the corrupt leaders to become more powerful due to illegally acquired financial powers and the government becomes a web of patronage for very powerful tribal insiders, these so-called leaders will only be in power enjoying the fruits of their exploitation of the nation than being agents of national unity and change.
Finally, if president Kiir has already seriously lost the personal stamina and zeal to rule and rescue our nation from falling apart or breaking into pieces, it would only be timely prudent for him to voluntarily cede power instead of keeping hopelessly entrapped in power while slowly killing the nation.
By SSN Website Editor.