By: Buot Manyiel Buot, JUBA.
SEP. 26/2012, SSN; The Republic of South Sudan was ordained into the community of nations on 9/7/2011 after successful conduct of the referendum as sanctioned by Comprehensive Peace Agreement-CPA, and just like other budding
democratic Nations, it relishes multi-party democracy, through its constitution, based on the ideal of political pluralism in which all individuals are freely allowed to evince their views on issues connected to democracy, including good governance and political intercourse.
All legitimate political forces in this Republic, including Sudan People’s Liberation Movement- Democratic Change or DC become recipients of that universal political right.
Although the last elections are way back, almost three years ago, and that revisiting their impact is legally time-barred, I feel it worthwhile to assess them in summary. To begin with, DC was subsequently formed in Khartoum during the last quarter of 2009, an unmistakable culmination of the Kanena conference by adversaries of South Sudan and dissident politician in the person of Lam Akol, who contested a precarious sponsored quest for presidency in the elections of 2010 against the incumbent president of South Sudan Gen. Kiir, and he (Lam) was indubitably voted down prima facie.
His party –DC was doomed to failure in all constituency seats throughout the then Southern Sudan with the exception of hometown of Upper Nile, where they got some handful of parliamentary dockets. His misguided search for State palace
and the entire scheme of DC was/is no more than a foreign project, designed externally to perpetuate imperial political hegemony. At least that was the view of political analysts and social commentators, and even in the mind of an average citizen.
During the elections, DC presented to the electorates certain claimed political programs contained in the so-called DC Document which were meant to rule South Sudan if and when it wins elections, but the fact was/is such ideals only befit men who are domiciled in the utopian perfect society in an imaginary Island. In fact, such ideas are applicable to utopian world but not the Republic of South Sudan or any civilized nation.
In this progressive world, some peculiar truths appear like fictional drama and are too good to believe, and this fact renders DC’s political comedy in its document to be too good to believe, notwithstanding to the contrary. Moreover, some ideas in the same Documents are no more than petty political invectives reserved only for somebody fanatical about power. In certain issues with regards to ideology raised by DC, SPLM has got express and ready answers.
Generally, some other reasonable matters regarding governance propagated by DC were almost literal replica of the SPLM political programs inherent in its manifesto. Electorates didn’t buy anything.
SPLM was/is too big and popular to want to rig elections. DC ruffled feathers crying fault for alleged election fraud, but the cry was no more than misguided quest for power.
But the million dollar question begs itself that what were these political hopes in which DC was disappointed? What were these wishes in which it was frustrated? And what was that faith that was abused? Nothing.
Observing critically at DC political programs, there is but none new agenda or ideology that the SPLM failed to conduct experiment whether in the past or present. During the elections and its aftermath, all DC
did was to present a showcase in which it portrays itself as an angel of benevolence and provident of salvation, but the ostensible hope of rescue from distant horizon fell into deaf ears and blind eyes of the electorates.
Honestly, and without any remorse for this statement, there was no way DC could have won the elections under any circumstances. We know and DC knows. The “Party” SPLM has fought the war of liberation to free the peoples of South Sudan from social chauvinism and political subjugation by Arab fundamentalists. The party has had the capacity to
transform the political face of this country, deformed by Arab imperialism. It therefore develops certain visions of a better society in which human beings can achieve genuine emancipation and fulfillment of self-worth as free members of global community.
When the Party waged revolutionary war, it carried with it the aspiration of the entire nation, showing the world over that it is capable to achieve the unimaginable- that hard political expedition for Statehood to its realistic conclusion. Despite political backlash from various quarters, SPLM legacy will endure to be told to generations coming as long as history books exist on earth.
Now the ultimate objective is to model South Sudan to suit the specifications of the civilized nations. To those who wish to compensate SPLM, all you are asked to do is to honor the monumental feat, modesty, and valor of the Party and rally your support for it to achieve full potential of our aspirations. During the war, you expressed forbearance coupled with noble duties of patriotism, obedience, loyalty, comradeship and fidelity.
After DC lost elections, having been defeated with landslide and angered by such results, it embarked on a perilous campaign calculated to corrupt, interrupt, sabotage or delay the conduct of the referendum. Those calculated subversive maneuvers are expressly discernable from the utterances of its upper political echelon.
Dr. Lam Akol, the Director for DC, on Sunday 5 September 2010, published a notoriously lengthy article titled, ‘South Sudan Referendum’: First things first. (www.sudantribune.com and www.Southsudannation.com respectively). Lam with his political agility in the said article spoke his mind, adorning almost every phrase with political/academic jargon, but others are wiser that him and knew his mind.
As a matter of fact, his mental element on the Referendum was characterized by a mixture of indifference and double-dealing, usually acting in bad faith by pretending to entertain one set of intentions while acting under the influence of another ultra-motive. Every calculated move by Lam is unmistakably a relentless pursuit of power.
Although DC statements by its leader are not entirely frank or devoid of deceit and hypocritical motives, but the statements, however, portrayed the peculiar picture we shall probably ever have known of the mind of the Leader of DC.
For those who harbor political curiosity and wish to know the content of the article that I have alluded to above, you can follow the link as shown and read out the article for your satisfaction, but I quote some phrases here for our deliberation: Dr. Lam had this to say….”there would be no way for a free, fair and transparent referendum. Therefore it would be in the interest of the advocates of unity and separation alike to unify their ranks and join efforts to impose the favorable climate for the dissemination of their ideas about unity or separation so that they reach the Southern citizen, the voter in this referendum. It is also in the interest of both camps to ensure a free, fair and transparent referendum in order to make its result acceptable to all, hence, obtain recognition of the international community” Unquote.
This statement is an unwarranted expression of indignation about referendum, a typical case of apathy and political duplicity for a leader of a political party to harbor such ideas about referendum- the potential destiny for the peoples whom he purports to represent.To analyze it, one discerns that he told what Jalaba in Khartoum desired to hear.
First and foremost, parties to the CPA, which is the vanguard of referendum didn’t need to engage in any activities outside stipulations of the Referendum Act. It was of no need to unify the ranks of the advocates of Unity or
Separation to impose their interests. The regulating authority, i.e. the Referendum Act has to be adhered to strictly, and that was the position of the SPLM. And today we have the country with International
Recognition- thank God.
Here is also another quote posted under Lam’s Article by James Okuk, a quasi-ambassador for DC who sacrificed virtue
over egotism, he had this to say….”The crucial question I would ask Dr Lam Akol here is: What would be a guarantee that the environment may be made conducive by the CPA’s partners to conduct a fair, free and transparent referendum for Southerners as desired since the last five years and more months have offered some proves that those partners are
not interested in joint and full implementation of the CPA?
Also the critical question I may ask those who will not agree with Dr Akol’s position is this: What will be the use of unrecognized referendum full of quarrels and possibility of third war between Khartoum and Juba? Conclusion of another peace agreement with NCP and Northerners? I am looking forward to get some convincing answers here, otherwise I may consider viable, my position that advices for the postponement of the referendum until 9th January 2012 and then go for war of unilateral declaration of independence of South Sudan after that if nothing good comes out in regards to fair, free and transparent referendum with recognizable end-result.
This position is a middle-way compromise to allow the unionists to enjoy the status quo for a further one year only
of the CPA extended life-span but at the end of that year to also allow the separatists to start enjoying the dignity of the independence of South Sudan”. Unquote.
Read and reread such utterances, subject them to analysis and you will find atypical case of conspiracy on the part of DC stalwarts. Little did Okuk know that Dr. Lam was not a seer or custodian of the Referendum for him to know the conducive environment that guaranteed transparent conduct of the referendum, so the question directed to Lam was immaterial and rebuttable.
Little did Okuk know also that there were both internal and external dynamic which guaranteed to warrant the successful, transparent and timely conduct of the referendum, after all, the price and cost of non-implementation of the referendum clause was designed in such a way as to make it very expensive and a cost too much to pay. During the referendum, there was no need at all for a middle-way compromise for Unionists to enjoy the status quo as suggested by Okuk. Such a position would have been a direct contravention of the Referendum Act.
Nonetheless, it was then implemented as required by law, its results being recognized without quarrels or third war between Khartoum and Juba.Now we’ve a republic with international recognition, Thank God.Dr. Lam at the time prophesied that an independent South Sudan will replicate ungovernable Somalia, while Okuk advised for the postponement of the conduct of the referendum until 9th January 2012. Fortunately, the practical political realities
now are completely different from Lam’s prophecies, to his dismay and that of Okuk.
It was sad day for all of us and none is sadder than the betrayed homeland, given the fact that everything we’ve worked for, everything that we believe in during our struggle was just almost crashed into ruins by such emotional prophecies about the referendum. But we emerged triumphant notwithstanding, and now there is only and only one thing left for SPLM to do: i.e. to devote whatever strength and power at its disposal to forwarding the victory of the cause for which we have sacrificed so much too much. Indeed, 2.5 million died – killed for a dignified and honorable cause.
While DC may have failed to achieve certain motives about the referendum, it opened up another front to destabilize the nation and divert public attention, i.e. it embarked on a hazardous political adventurism to demonize and vilify SPLM almost in everything about public policy, almost everything- from democracy to good governance, foreign policy to press freedom, answerability to accountability, rule of law to administration of Justice, infrastructure to economy, education to health, and security to defense, just to mention but a few.
DC is attacking SPLM political records per incuriam, by disregarding tangible scores of the SPLM and assigns itself a behavior sort of quasi-veto over political strategy of the SPLM. Almost on every other issue, DC has a reason to assign blame and vilify SPLM conduct. But I wonder if ever DC will achieve any political breakthrough by politics of
blackmail and treachery. I supposed this path of political confrontation is a limbo too useless for DC, for this nation and indeed for the whole humanity which is set to achieve genuine aspiration.
I am also afraid that if such state of affairs continues unabated, DC risks fading into absolute political oblivion, unless it changes political behavior. I also suspect that this path of perpetual political conflict is a decision taken out of sheer wantonness without regards to conventional wisdom and political maturity. DC must mature.
Conversely, DC’s propaganda and vilification against SPLM are administered with such furious generosity and with such diabolic gusto that even the most ignorant members within our social fraternity would have a reason to infer that SPLM is being confronted not so much as to inculcate political responsibility and accountability, but rather to cow
it into blind submissiveness so as to forgo its programs and probably ideology, and this explains the bitter irony with which DC always depicts SPLM’s image, otherwise such sustained political blackmailing and unfounded propaganda are utterly foreign to our political anthropology, at variance to the most fundamental and secret principles of our
character, and totally at discrepancy with our traditional passion for loyalty, patriotism, respect and equality.
DC must mature. Political experiments indicated that any leaders who sacrifice virtues on the altar of inexpediency or relegate patriotism and loyalty into insignificance in relation to theory and practice of politics are doomed
to failure. DC must mature.
Lastly on a separate note, I’ve a message to opinion writers with regards to succession politics dominating our political discourse these past weeks. Succession politics, at least must be avoided now, because writers who seem to favor certain individual for next presidency propagate unhealthy opinions, some of which are reminiscent to the
horrifying events of 1991.
We detest the resultant aftermath of 1991 and do not need a repeat. Succession politics must be evaded for now or
else, the prophets of doom will swallow their ill-motives if the nation returns to business as usual even after 2015. History and political experience of the past convinced most of our citizens that many leaders of this nation tried to ascend to power by illegitimate means only to fail miserably.
Also experience taught us that politicians who took refuge under the guise of politeness and deceit, cant and flattery, cunning and duplicity were never forgiven by history, at least politically. To those opinion writers, I wish to forewarn you that invoking tribal sentiments and exploiting trivial invectives of regional connotation can’t ascend any president to power in our context.
Such leaders may have been highly educated, fought for aspiration of their believe and sacrificed their blood, but that doesn’t mean automatic destiny to presidency. It is only through harmonious political consensual intercourse that we can sail amicably.
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(The views expressed above are those of the author and don’t reflect the views of the website)