The Camel has gone through the Eye of the Needle!

BY: Tongun Lo Loyuong, EUROPE, AUG/01/2013, SSN:

Now that what hitherto seemed impossible, risky, unimaginable and atypical of the modus operandi of the President has taken place and the camel has gone through the eye of the needle, what next for South Sudan?

Now that not only the government’s exit door was pushed wide open to accommodate a camel or two on the way out but the door that also seemed open for a stormy wind to blow in, have been firmly closed and will perhaps dictate the outcome of the formation of the new cabinet, what must our leaders do?

Could this be a turning point and an end to the “open tent” or “appeasement policies” that have been identified as the menacing seal of the President leading to the fateful July 23rd, 2013 day? Could this be a game changer in the race to the next presidency of South Sudan come 2015 general elections?

Most importantly though, where does this leave us going forward, in terms of the making or unmaking of South Sudan?

Breathtakingly, as we continue to keenly observe the political unfolding in the land with intrigue and anxiety, there are several catchphrases around which a consensus seems to have been built thus far.

Almost all South Sudan’s stakeholders are unanimously agreeable in the wake of these latest political developments that the promise lies in political prudence and staying calm; expeditious and transparent formation of a new ethnically representative and accountable cabinet; and the upholding of democratic principles and human rights and the delivery of social and economic services.

On the ground, the current political situation and the race to the formation of the new cabinet is, however, complexified by what looks like the blurring of lines between that which is opposition and that which is loyalist. Who exactly is what, is anyone’s imagination.

In what can be credibly described as a “nyakama” (a scramble) for a piece of the pie in the upcoming lean and hopefully clean new cabinet, the opposition seems to have awfully turned into presidential loyalist. Some Juba based analysts have sarcastically characterized the scramble for office in the upcoming new cabinet as a daily formula 1 race to the presidential palace, where some had to change their car wheels and refuel in the process!

Indeed the current unprincipled sham that we are witnessing where the President’s friends and foes alike are indistinguishable at the moment and are both seen to be padding the President on the back for his latest political move of cabinet dissolution must be taken with caution by the presidential advisers.

This is a decisive make-or-break moment not only in the President’s political career but in the direction that will determine the future of South Sudan. No more belly politicians in the new cabinet, please. The President must begin to listen to those who make him cry rather than the clowns that make him laugh.

He must choose carefully and wisely, however long the consultations take and preferably give chance to new, young, vibrant and competent faces in the final setup of the new cabinet.

If the rumors from the corridors of presidential palace are true that the President’s new political agenda is to go back to the drawing board and revisit the vision and direction of the liberation struggle to empower the meek, the orphans and the widows and deliver basic services of clean drinkable water, health care, quality education, bread on the table and infrastructure development more generally, then what better place to reflect these intents and purposes than in a new people-friendly and policy-driven cabinet?

Be that as it may, the change agents including the international partners have been dumbfounded and caught off guard by the rapidly evolving political terrain in South Sudan. We are all left scratching our heads thinking the President has got big balls to pull this off!

But this is now an opportune moment for the President to show the whole world what he is made off in terms of moral consciousness, and promoting the widely implored democracy, human rights, liberties and freedoms, and impartial rule of law enforcement.

The world eagerly anticipates seeing the President defy the rhetoric of totalitarianism that is seen to have closely accompanied his every step in recent times, imagined or real. One way of restoring confidence on the President’s good faith is to revoke the Chairman’s order that banned the Secretary General of the SPLM, Mr. Pagan Amum from traveling and curtailed his freedom of expression.

There should not be anything to hide any longer even on the corruption front. It is time to come clean. Such a symbolic political gesture should bode well with the transparency personnel and those who are currently confused and paranoid about some looming appeal to authoritarianism in the land.

The party documents must urgently be passed, and the convention to elect a new Chairperson or re-elect the existing one be convened at the earliest convenience, in time for a timely conduct of the 2015 general elections.

On his part Mr. Amum must agree to exercise his freedom of movement and speech responsibly in a manner that will not be interpreted as violating previously signed confidentiality contracts if any, nor be seen as stirring tribal hatred or inciting political violence in the country.

In doing so the President will appear to be equally subject to the Supreme Law of the Land and respects individual rights and liberties, including that of freedom of expression as enshrined in the South Sudan Transitional Constitution, a constitution that many see him to be violating at will nowadays.

Separately, it is encouraging that the former Vice President has led the way in providing the promising and reassuring signs that this political storm in South Sudan may well come to pass without wrecking and sinking the ship.

Credit to him, Dr. Machar was the first to quell any lingering fears on potential eruption of violent carnage in the land by urging not only his political support base to remain calm and that the situation will be resolved politically, but he also warned the army on more than one occasion in the past few days, to stay away from current political developments in South Sudan.

Not only that Dr. Riek went on to publicly heap some morale and confidence boosting praises on the national army by commending the army discipline as crucial to the current prevention of violence and the relative peace and stability that many were not expecting.

If this remains the case, this is turning out to be a healthy non-violent political battle indeed, and may serve as a measure of how far democracy and non-violence culture is being rediscovered in South Sudan.

Of course this does not mean that the current storm has been entirely withered just yet. Much hinges on the exercise of self-restraint by all stakeholders from the President to the foot-soldier. But that Dr. Machar has at least publicly acknowledged the constitutionality of his removal by the President though not necessarily the removal of the elected governors of Unity and Lake States, may serve as a platform for managing South Sudanese political differences with civility and peaceful dialogue.

Mr. Amum seems equally on board by reiterating that he will examine the constitutionality of his suspension in the party’s constitution before engaging discussing with the President.

What most people seem to be oblivious to in the former Vice President’s avid stance on peaceful resolution of conflicts is that he continued to be unjustly haunted by his violent political past. But with the way he has conducted himself in recent times, the man must be given a break.

For those who seem to forget, Dr. Machar also has some remarkable records as a man of peace, and has brokered several regional and local peace and reconciliation agreements whether between LRA and the government of Uganda or between the President and the late Dr. John Garang in 2004.

Nonetheless, building on the current peaceful dialogue as the only amicable manner by which the present political differences and challenges must be addressed in the land, three recommendations cannot be overstated enough moving forward in peace and civility in the land: reconciliation, reconciliation and again reconciliation.

With every challenge comes opportunity. What is needed in South Sudan at the moment is exploring the window of opportunity in the current political fracas. The national healing, peace and reconciliation seems to provide that window to permanently address past and present political, social as well as economic issues and arrest any potential fall into political violence.

But first the political rhetoric must be toned down. We must refrain from stretching it.

Most importantly, current political crisis cannot be seen in isolation from past political beef mainly resulting from the eruption of South-South inter-communal violence in 1991, which was precipitated by similar political power struggle over contesting claims of vision and direction of the liberation struggle that had developed in the SPLA high command and structure, between Dr. Riek Machar, and the late Dr. John Garang de Mabior, the SPLA Commander in Chief.

It is conventional wisdom that the 1991 deadly rift in the liberation movement that left thousands of self-inflicted tragic deaths in South Sudanese ranks is yet to be amicably resolved.

The church which tried only managed to forge a semblance of reconciliation between belligerent parties to the conflict on the grassroots level through the people-to-people peace and reconciliation process, but fell short on reconciling the top-level political leadership in the land.

The result was a fragile patchwork assembly of unity but differing ideologies in the political leadership of South Sudan. It was understandable because the aim was to ensure the navigation of the struggle to the shores of an independent South Sudan. But the plastered upon wounds of that crisis remains and will continue to re-open unless healing through a genuine reconciliation process is taken seriously.

As the veteran professor Peter Adwok Nyaba is recently cited to have forcefully admonished, “I don’t think the problem is between Salva Kiir and Riek Machar struggling for power. It is much deeper than that. It is a problem that is as old as the SPLM. It characterized the split with Anya-nya II in 1983/84.

The SPLM/SPLA did not learn a lesson from that split in order to create space for reconciliation and reunification in 1988. This led to the Nasir Declaration when Riek and Lam Akol declared that ‘Garang must go now.’

Again there were no lessons drawn and they came back in 2002 and 2003, they’re just welcomed into the fold. Political contradiction don’t dissolve, they must be resolved….”

As South Sudan commemorates the selfless sacrifices of its martyrs, only honest reconciliation and peaceful dialogue to resolve current disagreements and political challenges in the land can ensure that South Sudan’s fallen heroes and heroines can rest in eternal peace.

tongunlolyuong@gmail.com

17 Comments

  1. Gatkuoth Lok says:

    Good article, the logic behind President Kiir’s move has been the undeniable implementation of Jieng conference resolution in the name of greater Bahr elgazal conference resolution, which our good governor Paul Malong and Kuol Manyang orchestrated to support the president from now to 2020 and beyond.
    It is not so bad to come up with such a courageous decision but am afraid that many south sudanese are aware of their grand social contract which says that this country should be ruled by any south sudanese regardless of his or her political affiliation, geographical location, ethnic groups and religion etc.

    Such compact embodies federal system as our government system so to speak. It implies that president kiir is working harder to actualise his tribesmen resolution in the name of doing away with corruption, fighting insecurity, bringing into existence development, yearned for for years.

    Have you ever heard him talking of democracy? No, why? Because of being there our president for life, a serious option, expensive. What is at issue in the country is outocracy whose features are shown in the formation of the cabinet without appointing first his Deputy president leave alone taking the proposed names list to the legislature for vetting. Will Hon. Igga or hon John Luk accept vice-president offer, a position with no powers at all? Their free choice works most.

    • Keat rut says:

      This is the importance of our military rule in our country, we have all witnesses what ever wrong or bad happening every time but still not a case if the situation is going to change otherwise the new nation will calm and no peace for next generation.

  2. WAU NAR says:

    GOOD BOY, GOOD ARTICLE, YOU ARE THE MAN OF THE CITY

  3. Kong Puok Tongluot - Finland says:

    Dear, Tongun Lo Loyuong
    Perfect, a camel has gone through a needle. I am unreserved of my country’s failure done by cde, Salva Kiir a shameless man, has taken us back during the SPLM’s foundation in Bilpam while Anynya two and it’s vision was first priority for South Sudan.

    Tongun, did you remember, what was happened? My brother, the same deprived behaviours had happened in Bilpam as follows below—– Nepotism, tribalism, killing, genocide, divisions, misorders, instigations, and soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. all caused by Salva Kiir and John Garang. Now all ways happened again. I am worried! thanks

  4. Itikwili says:

    Tongun,
    From the look of the position of this camel, it is about impossible for the camel to finally emerge out, it seems; but all the same it has made a half-break through as per my observation. thanks for the in depth observation made here. the very disturbing thing about our politics is as if the country is a pierce of cake to be shared between dinka and nuer, plus other ethnic group; that of course seems to be the reality of Africa’s politics, but must it be that way? what if you get about 15 selfless and capable-beyond-doubt lou nuer appointed to these cabinet positions, assumed their duty in the very missionary manner, with nationalistic determination to serve and uplift the conditions of the murle and a group like the kachipo who perhaps deserve services much more than many?
    people have reacted to this cabinet line-up in various way, with some lamenting the missing out of some names as if such names are the missing saviours the country badly need. the president has done a great job to reduce the massive 58 to a good 31, could even be leaner. i am happy you have given a credit where Dr. Riek deserves, there is no reason why we should always refer to the past.
    how else any of these leaders could control a situation in communities where people are eager to go to battles because they will also be coming home will cattle and booty. who is now being held accountable for the ongoing massacre in our bushes, may be much more than ever? my only concern with Dictor is sometimes the cosy way with which he behaves toward the jellaba; i wish he moves away a bit. but all the same, he has proved to be a peace maker with the ability to ruffle feathers in the international arena; he indeed deserves a respect.

  5. Tongun Loyoung,

    Your article is very interesting to read and it is based on realities. You have mentioned the facts that the SPLM party members need to know and considered. I also agree with Peter Adwok Nyaba citations as well that referenced back to 1983 and 1984 as the root of causes of current SPLM top leaders power struggle. SPLA never learnt a lesson for all the destructions it has done to people of South Sudan.

    Nyanya II fired the first bullet in Akobo in 1974 and that marked the beginning of the war between Sudan government and the rebels. Nyanya II created BilPam in 1975 as a training camp for Southerners who sought military training and erected Bongo in 1979 after Biel Pam was full with young men who sought military training.

    In May 1983, Keribino, Dr. Garang, Salva Kiir etc rebelled and went to Itang but refused to cooperate with Nyanya II which has been in Itang since 1975. In 1984, Dr. Garang went to Addis-aba and had a secret meeting with the former president of Ethiopia, Megisto Meriam. The results of their meeting was the killing of Nyanya II politicians including Bol Kur deputy chairman in Addis aba, the capital of Ethiopia. The leader of Nyanya II Benson Kuany Lajor was arrested by Ethiopia government and later handed over to SPLA.

    All the military supply brought by Nyany II and which were ceased by Ethiopia government were released to John Garang and then Garang armed his Miya Harbaa and Miya Kamtha battalions . In addition, Dr. Garang combined his forces with Ethiopia government forces and attacked both Itang and Bill Pam in 1984. The SPLA won the battle against Nyany II with the help from Ethiopia Government soldiers. The SPLA and Ethiopia government killed the freedom fighters Nyanya II like slaves from Ethiopia all the way to Sudan. After the fall of Nyanya II, John Garang and Salva Kiir changed the history of the movement which was already created 8 years before their rebellion from 1975 to 1983. May of 1983 was the year that both John Garang and Salva Kiir joined the movement while so many tribes of South Sudan have been in the movement since 1975.

    The SPLA leaders such as John Garang and Salva Kiir never felt sorry about too many damages the SPLA has done to Nuer and minority tribes but they always feel very sorry and sad when someone has done something wrong to their tribe, Dinka. This is true, for example, Lou Nuer and Murle killed themselves recently in the eye of government and the South Sudan government did not want to separate the war. I believe if the war was between Murle and Dinka or Dinka and Nuer the South Sudan government will not let them fight even for 3 hours.

    Between 1983-1987, the SPLM’s political deployment took shape on tribal line where the Twich Dinka were given imperative preference for a reason to join and attain military’s strategic places, with a purpose to defense themselves against the neighboring tribes such as Nuer, Murle, and Mundari. As it was clear when John Garang gave speeches in Pinyido Refugees in 1988 and 1989, eighty five percent of his speeches were about Late Samuel Gai Tut Yang, Nyanya I, Nyanya II, and their wicked belief for South Sudan independence.

    Furthermore, I have witnessed John Garang was preaching Dinkanization. Dr. Garang used to address crowds in Dinka. I have seen him address SPLA soldiers in Jokow, in Bill Pam, in Pinyido Refugee Camp, and Pinyido military training camp in Dinka.

    This deadly betrayal of Nyanya II by John Garang and Kiir Mayardit to Ethiopia government made me become suspicious that Dr. John Garang and Kiir Mayardit were tangible Arabs proxy who tried to stop Southerners from achieving their goal of South-Sudan independence. As the story indicated, Dr. Garang was not part of revolution, he first tried to stopped it when things got tough he followed them any-way to keep his dirty secret of making sure South-Sudan independence will not be achieved. This translates that in heart-beat his death was a great blessing for Southerners.

    • Bentiu Ramaran,
      God bless you abundantly. Truth hurts but it is liberating as Elhag Paul puts it. Conservative Dinkas think that any tribe can not manage the leadership of this Country. Until they reverse this parochialism South Sudan will continue to recycle 1991 events. Riek like any other South Sudanese should freely vie for the top job without intimidation. After all whatever dissolution of the cabinet still the majority goes to Dinkas. Even if Riek becomes the leader still he will appoint Dinkas possibly majority. So why develop Riekophobia and Lamophobia?

      We non-Dinkas and Dinkas alike must develop a positive thinking that we own South Sudan and SPLM collectively and any person can lead this country as we LIKE. So as Kiir becomes incapable of leading all, let us randomly look for another person to do so. The real enemy to all South Sudanese now is no more; Corruption, Tribalism, ….., but kiir! He puts together on the same bed with 75 thieves who are loyal to him but fire the two thieves who criticize him to the extent of delaying politburo as disowning process is under way. If he thinks first to disown Riek and pagan before convening the politburo then he only delays his stay till 2015.

      So all Dinkas, do you know that other south Sudanese hate you because of Kiirdom? Wake up all Dinkas, get for us someone else, we are bored of Kiiruption, Kiirisis, Kiirinisation and Kiirism. But should you neglect this advice until all Southerners say no then Yau Yau will employ all of us. God FORBID!

  6. Aj says:

    Tongun Lo Loyuong,
    Kuol Manyang’s appointment as defense minister is an insult to entire people of South Sudan. Kuol had failed to curb Jonglei violence miserably and I am actually now questioning the ability of Kirr giving him that position. Kuol could have been given different portfolio such as transport but what he was given is worst.

    I also think that, the current crops of ministers appointed would be worst than the formers. Mark my ward and I really hoping that Kirr should let Riak and Amum to exercise their freedom but if Kirr tries to silence the two, the worst will come.

    Aj

    • Aj:

      In fact, the appointment of Commander Kuol Manyang Juuk as defense minister was indeed the wise choice that President Kiir has ever made in his political life. The former Governor of Jonglei State, Commander Kuol Manyang Juuk has not failed to curb the violence in Jonglei State. However his political and military capability or hands are restrictedly tied behind his back by the presence of the United Nations forces and observers in Jonglei State. Believe me, my beloved sister, if Kuol Manyang Juuk was granted the opportunity and authority to decide what to do with the violence in Jonglei State on his own will and accord, Jonglei would have been the most peaceful State in the Republic of South Sudan.

      Commander Kuol Manyang Juuk is an Engineer by profession, however war or violence is one of his areas of expertise, therefore president Kiir has brought him back into the defense ministry. Kuol Manyang Juuk was one of the well known and feared commanders in the SPLA Liberation movement. I assure you that having Kuol Manyang Juuk in our defense ministry is a long lasting blessings for the people of South Sudan. The recent appointment of Kuol Manyang Juuk and Dr.Barnaba Marial Benjamin are the best choices for the government of South Sudan. The two gentlemen Kuol and Marial fit very well in their ministerial portfolios. The old toothless British Bulldog (Kiir) has now sharpened and dusted off his old teeth and is now biting on his political opponents. The big bite that he had taken on Dr.Riek Machar and Mr. Pagan’s deaf ears was good enough to show the world of political opponents that he is alive, sober and still in charge of the Country. He (Kiir) has done himself a big favour to get rid of Riek Machar and Pagan Amum.

      Having enemies or working with the people who are constantly plotting to humiliate and overthrow you is as scary and painful as having a venous snake in your Bedroom. Dr. Riek Machar and Mr.Pagan Amum were precisely the venous snakes in President Kiir’s political Bedroom. President Kiir has done the right thing to get rid of them. Let them go and form their own independent political party to challenge whoever is elected to represent the SPLM in the upcoming national election. I’m so delighted that the Moron and serial killer Riek Machar is out of the Vice President Position. The man is now free to revive his former SPLA United/SSIM and turn it into the political party in order to challenge the SPLM and other political parties in the next coming election.

      I don’t speak for President Kiir, however I assume that he is ready and willing to accept and bear the consequences of this political crisis between him, Riek and Pagan Amum.

      • Thank you Lukudu Gatkuoth for your comments. It is good that pres. Kiir has got rid of him to go and fulfil his heart’s needs. He always claim to be a good leader, let him challenge Kiir in up coming election. Bor massacre of 1991 is so simple for a man who carried out that to claim the good leadership. Shame on Dr. Riek to think that.

  7. Tongun Lo Loyoung:

    What is wrong with our president Salva Kirr Mayardit in his mind?! He appointed Koul Manyang Juuk in defence post without taking him first from office from being a state governor?? He is now totally clearly broken the FOUNDATION INTERIM NATIONAL CONSTITUTION of the country of the South Sudan Republic! What he is doing now in the government, he will bring CATASTROPHE in the South Sudan to people!

    Now, I can believe for what took place in 1991 in the bush in the movement! The movement was setback because there was no good harmony among big people in the SPLM/SPLA leadership! SPLM-DC, was created because of mistrust among SPLM politicians in the party because Kirr is having his own AGENDA in the government in the administration! People right now are waiting until in 2015 because they do not want to beat drums very soon!

  8. Dear contributor Aj:

    I read your respond to Tangun Lo Young. My Dear, if you believe very much that Dr.Riak,and Pagan Amun were troublesome to Kirr Presidency in the government in the administration in office, then your tongue will bring TSUNAMI HURRICANE to people in the South, believe me! We will see Kirr new government with a new ministers if there is going be any change for the better in the government in the country in the South Sudan Republic in administration! It is early right now to judge president Kirr for the new government of 19 departments. There are two years still ahead of election in 2015.

    Anyway,let people Southeners themselves give democracy OPPORTUNITY TO AVOID GUSHING BLOOD FROM BODIES in the country! Thank you

  9. Lual Nyanthon says:

    Kiir is out of his mind by appointing Kuol Manyang as the minister of defense, what a joke? Jonglei under the governorship of Kuol Manyang Juuk ranked the number one failed state among the ten states that formed the nation of South Sudan. Kuol Manyang has blood on his hand and he is responsible for all crimes committed against civilians in Jonglei. Under Kuol Manyang’s leadership, Murlie tribe was massacred indiscriminately by SPLA soldiers. George Athor rebelled against the government due to him and the Athor rebellion claimed hundred thousand lives. Kuol will never transform South Sudan army instead he will destroy it.

  10. mayual says:

    president Kiir is a primitive who will not learn from his mistake, how come you can bring the genocidal Kuol Mangaar, to be defence ministry, while thousand lives lost because of him. Why he stopped the war between Lou Nuer and Dinka Duk-Padiet and he could not control the war between Nuer and Murle? I know the man is first criminal In south sudan. But any way I like the way he’s doing because he will give the opposition good credits. being thieves, corrupted and no respect of constitution, and you are above the law, then you become Bashir.
    It took 22 years for him to correct the Injustice Of Arabs and now it took him two years to destroy it. Lol, Yeay, that was not is vision. the vision of Kiir is a village mind that knows only his clan. the man will not produce any things to South Sudanese, only to starve them.

    • Mayual:

      It was very unfortunate that the liberation of South Sudan was left in the hands of primitive Kiir Mayardit and many others when the intellectuals and PHD holders betrayed the movement and fled to Khartoum in 1991. What a shame on those intellectuals and PHD holders, Dr. Riek Machar and Dr. Lam Akol! They both owed the people of South Sudan and the SPLA/M an apology. Commander Kuol Manyang and not Kuol Mangaar deserves the right to lead the ministry of defense. He is a nationalist, liberator and more qualified to lead than those PHD traitors, Riek and Lam.

  11. Monydit says:

    Go to hell, president! Your days r numbered. U r weighted on scale n found weightless. Let new leader come!

    • Monydit:

      Dear Oldman:

      I totally agreed with your comment. We surely need a new leader to take over from president Kiir Mayardit, however, we have to take it gradually and cautiously otherwise he (Kiir) would fall down on you and take you to hell with him. Please learn a valid lesson from Riek Machar and Pagan Amum. President Kiir is taking them to hell with him.

      In fact, the president is politically dead but he is still in charge and kicking harder like a Giraffe and I’m so worried that he might kill or knock off some teeth from those lions and Hyenas(his political opponents) in Juba before he eventually falls to his death. Please take it easy and let the president take his last political breath. He surely deserves to take his last breath because he contributed heavily for the liberation of South Sudan. I’m glad that he is getting rid of big thieves before he falls to his political demise. Bravo Kiirdit Mayardit!

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