BY: Beny Gideon Mabor,JUBA, DEC/23/2012, SSN;
The world youngest country called Republic of South Sudan has now successfully passed over one year and five months since independence on 9 July 2011. Although seven years have passed notwithstanding the said period after independence from rest of the Sudan, the task of nation building for establishment of a vibrant, stable state and an all-embracing homeland for its people realistically remains a big challenge. Yet, there are potentials for change and needs a lot of commitment to implement the task of nation building.
Surprisingly, both ordinary citizens and the relevant stakeholders in governance are aware of these challenges that impacted our progress as seen in several opinions and resolutions for the former and the later but nonetheless without implementation. After one year of full control of our own affairs in Juba and state governments levels respectively, we have fully observed the records of our government at all cost in its constitutional duty as a democratically elected government of the people for the people and by the people.
The most worrying question is what can the government and its law abiding citizens remember to crossover to the New Year 2013? It is certain that the youngest state is significantly prosperous but with surmounting difficulties.
The second question is how can these challenges be reduced so that Year 2013 is different from 2012? First to the citizens, we must take with us a message of peace, love, unity, understanding, forgiveness, tolerance and hope for change in our aspirations from the government.
Second, the government must redouble its efforts to create a conducive environment and tirelessly listen to the voice of the people to make this call a reality. In other words, I always say and it shall remain my motto that the will of the people is the best law. The government must work according to the will of the people which is a core element of democracy.
However, it is only through collective responsibility as government and good citizens that such huge aspirations can be achieved. The government is not ruling in the vacuum to do or continue doing what is narrowly observed this year 2012, where the prioritised duty of the government to provide security of its citizens, their properties and territorial integrity was almost at stake.
The continuous inter-sectional clashes in some states like Jonglei state, Lakes State, Warrap State and Upper Nile State; politically motivated violent crimes like Wau incident in Western Bahr el Ghazal State; the Madi-Acholi civil unrest over a contested piece of land in Eastern Equatoria State, all are clear points of security instability in South Sudan.
The rampant killings in South Sudan and Juba in particular, robbery and to larger extent the presence of rebel groups in the bushes of South Sudan are things we must collectively pay attention to put them to rest.
In fact, if such situations persist, what would be the reason for liberation struggle to attain an independent South Sudan if the
government is not capable of protecting the very citizens and other elements of a living state? This young generation and the coming ones must grow up in a peaceful South Sudan where their liberators have dearly paid the price for freedom instead of a bad historical repetition.
In reality, it is not a Pandora box at least to say that insecurity in general and violent crimes in particular have risen up to immeasurable stage over the last six months in South Sudan and in Juba than ever before.
According to a research data released by my senior colleague, Mr. Zachariah Diing Akol , a Ph.D student of political science at the London School of Economics and a Director of Training at the Sudd Institute under his article entitled Juba’s Insecurity: A Challenge to state authority and credibility, he said the violent crimes in Juba are organised into three categories: “organized crimes that target individuals for commercial reasons, organized political assassinations and random killings both directed against South Sudan nationals and foreigners.”
It is true as all killings for the first target are well calculated against individuals of financial capacity. A case in point is Dr. Alemayehu Seifu, Ethiopian national and Country Director for African Medical and Research Foundation AMREF-South Sudan Office who was killed outside his residence in Malakia, Juba on 14 January 2012, and the assassins ran away with his car. Another case is the broad day light shooting of an employee of the Mountain Development Bank in Juba Town market on December 12, 2012. And other similar attacks in the in Juba city.
Alternatively, the government must rise up to this challenge and address it without delay or else be declared similar to a failed state.
Second, on accountability and transparency, it is very unfortunate that we are crossing over to the New Year 2013 without bringing to justice the accused senior government officials allegedly said to be behind the painful loss of 4 billion US dollars.
The year 2013 is expected to be a year of a just developmental state with serious business of nation building and zero tolerance to many evil thoughts of underdevelopment including corruption, incompetence to do the job, diseases, hunger and illiteracy amongst others.
One may wonder and courageously direct a question to the President, General Salva Kiir Mayardit, who has written notice to the said individuals and institutions responsible for alleged corruption, when will he bring them to justice?
Mr. President ought to know that justice delayed is justice denied. The non-appearance or non-prosecution of the accused individuals discredits President’s declaration of war on corruption and a countdown to zero tolerance remains very high in South Sudan.
Third, on legislative development, our country has magnificently done its best compared to the old Sudan when it got independence from colonial masters. In one and half year now, South Sudan has legislated over 50 pieces of legislation apart from laws enacted during the interim period. This achievement is due to the Ministry of Justice and other line institutions to the national legislature for enactment.
Yet, there are important areas that are not governed or provided for in any legislation namely: insurance, intellectual property, national security, firearms and ammunition, public and animals health, to mention a few.
In conclusion, this message is just intended to wrap-up what is noticed to have gone wrong in the year 2012; the expectation of the year 2013 and what is progressing or achieved or observed with potential to archive and finally the proposed middle ground for us and the elected government to solving the challenges of nation building.
The government once again must adhere to its constitutional principles vested with will of the people under the Transitional Constitution 2011.
Last but not the least, this country is ours and none ever will rescue it from likely destruction by enemies of peace and stability, be them from within or outside, but only through unity of our internal forces regardless of political color, ethnicity and interests. The public interest represented by the Republic of South Sudan must prevail over any self-sponsored interests.
Beny Gideon Mabor, lives in South Sudan and can be reached at