BY: Marial Mach Aduot, Melbourne, Australia, APR/01/2014, SSN;
The horrendous war that started toward the end of last year is the most barbaric act of our recent times as South Sudanese. It’s jeopardized our likelihoods as the destruction of lives in Juba, Bor, Malakal and many other parts of the country mounted to the grandest crime.
The affections of war are so great on our people, but what struck me the most is the hypocrisy toward trying to solve this problem. Pessimistic approaches on both sides epitomised by assertions of unsubstantial demands as well as uncalculated political decisions are hammering the peace effort.
It is truly undeniable that the death of civilians is a grand crime and someone is going to answer whether you live in an exclusive expensive hotel in Juba guarded by hired apparatus or running in our bushes.
However the ways to bring these perpetrators to justice had been shocked by those political morons who selfishly dwelled in brainless politics, while our people are continuously subjected to relentless and unwarranted suffering.
Yes, I would like to see someone punished for the crimes committed, but it doesn’t make sense rationally and in spirit to bring charges of treason against some of the people delegated to work on amicable solution to conflict while awaiting trial.
It is sensibly a bad political decision in Juba not because I disagreed with crime committed and charges, but the move is contradicting the chosen proceeding of peace.
Riek Machar, Taban Deng and the rest of their bush rangers or whatever they are called, as well as those trying to defend their colleagues who in one way or another, engage in crimes will keep dragging their feet to peaceful effort not because they don’t want peace, but because of charges hanging over their heads and the related fears.
It is obvious all human beings like themselves so much and no one can knowingly walk to the gallows.
Legend has it that the carrot and stick policy is bad strategy for peace. You can never possibly negotiate peace through a total partial stage.
Government and rebels’ failure to know this simple trick is the result of our political handicaps in which flawed ideas of a chosen few, and irrational assumptions clouded their sanity.
I will not be surprise in essence if the defenders of the Juba’s rhetoric swiftly rejected my argument in favour of the notion of anything goes in defense, but that has a blow-back.
Peace at current stage is impossible simply because the affections of charges mean no one of Taban Deng or the rest of his turncoats as they are referred, will not like to see others dying on their behalf.
Instead of signing the peace that will deliver them straight into the rat-trap, those who are already charged of crimes and those awaiting to be charged will work behind the scene in sabotage, unless government softens its stance.
This situation however will present the government with unpleasant choices. Soften its stance and run a backlash from the supporters who will truly accuse it of rewarding the criminality by letting those who killed civilians go unpunished, or declare a full scale war that will without any piece of doubt exacerbate the situation to the point of calamity and subject our people to uncharacteristic circumstances.
Regardless of any political stance, no South Sudanese of reasonable mind would choose the war because of its extravagant cost.
These predicaments lead us to a most hated and debated question, whether the rebels and government should come together in the same government of whatever form?
Answering this question depends entirely on the price the parties at war and all South Sudanese are willing to pay for peace.
With more than hundreds of deaths in my own clan alone, it will make sense to me to refuse peace instead of war or to sabotage any effort toward reconciliation given the pain of the losses I endured and that is a shared sentiment across South Sudan.
People would easily opt for or in support of war given the level of an antagonism. Revenge and avenging; slapping the face of someone who slaps yours and so on.
But with all due respect to fallen relatives, I curiously do think that strategy works. As long I can slap and others will slap in return and that hinders not solves the problems.
Continuing to burn down towns and villages would cause more harm exceeding what we already experienced and it will keep growing.
What we need at this particular time is peace and that would need tough choices. Saying this perhaps may warrant an accusation that I am implying rewarding those who commit crimes, but that is not the case.
Focusing on the larger goals, even though there are lesser ones surpassing the current deaths, it’s the only solution and that will take compromises from both parties.
I am not attempting to compare the cases in any sense, but the strategy of focusing on larger goals worked successfully between President Kiir and former militia leader, Matip Nhial and down to the recent offers of amnesties and responses unless the government has one more secret strategy in the bag.
Marial Mach Aduot is a South Sudanese political graduate with degree in Politics, Masters in International Relations and currently under training for the Masters of Politics and Policy at Deakin University, Australia. He can be reach for comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.