BY: DENG LUETH YUANG, B.A., M.A. CALGARY, CANADA, JUL/16/2014, SSN;
One thing is clear in my crystal ball. It is that NOW OFFICIALLY I am aware South Sudan is at war with itself – seven months of civil war and mass suffering and displacement. Pres. Kiir is renewing his fight by buying billions of dollars worth of Chinese weapons and Mr. ‘Dhur-gon’, Dr. Riek Machar is waging a diplomatic war on Kiir’s regime and his Dinka tribe as the real cause of the war.
To Riek supporters and himself, not all Dinkas are mismanaging the country and killing Nuers! Take that to the bank and you can catch it today! We few Dinkas alive to the realities of South Sudan’s politics know and understand what transpire in you tribo-politicians.
Your actions have turned us against each other. Xenophobia based on individual tribes, names of authors and states of origin. That is why in June 2014, I wrote an article titled Not Yet Federalism for South Sudan highlighting fallacies of the so-called quest for federal democracy in South Sudan. Surf that on the internet to inform yourself about it.
We are killing our brothers and sisters; our mothers and fathers; our neighbours and peacekeepers with no sympathy at all.
Our country is thrown back to the dogs of yester-years, baying for the blood of the innocents to feast on. ‘We’ are their targeted prey to kill. The South Sudan we call home is being chased after to be caught, slaughtered and shared up by the prides of the Jungle. Their sharing formula of ‘catch and divide up the carcass’ has been practised by many before but no tangible results so far.
What are we the ‘innocent bunch of noisemakers’ going to share among ourselves? Our sh*t noises and bodies of our beloved ones? But wait, there are also mini dogs barking away from the shores of White Nile and Lake Victoria.
Oh, I forget! Others are on the other side of the Atlantic peering into the deep dark blue waters of its ocean across West Africa, and some are just north of the Mediterranean. The carcass would not be enough for all of us. It is rivalrous but non-excludable after all.
Quite recently, I have been following South Sudan news with disdain. Hilde Johnson, the UN miss head in South Sudan has just gone. She gracefully exited the door to gate of human rights watch tower. But I think her term was up anyway. Let me revisit the new UN mandate to protect civilians using “all necessary means possible”. It is going to be a daunting task to implement it in such a tribo-politically charged environment.
Moreover, I am optimistic – it will instill fear into current and future generation of ‘south Sudan war enthusiasts, war economists and war influencers’. So UNMISS M/s Johnson’s best bet out was to just call it a day.
Besides, I have not yet heard about the new head whether s/he is ably,and fully qualified in international diplomacy and peace building/making; hail from the neighbouring states of Eastern Africa, Central/South America, Middle East, Asia, or the West – Europe and North America as it is always the case. But above all, if the bottomline is keeping peace and promoting development through peace, then who are the contributing nations to these old and future peacekeepers coming to South Sudan?
Did I hear Ugandans, Kenyans, Ethiopians, Rwandans, Russians, Americans, Chinese or Indians? This is the greatest question to ask. In the meantime, rule out non-eastern Africans, and Ugandans who are partisan in this war. Let the focus stays with the Eastern Africans. I wish they were from Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi and not from Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, or Eritrea, and you name it. Discern the logic of that by your own brethren!
But why are there no active, visible ‘foot’ Western peacekeepers who hail from non-tribalized, professional, and democratized environments?
The Iron-lady is gone, what’s next for South Sudan and her people?
To pro-government supporters, her presence in South Sudan was painful, unthinkable and problematic. Her UNmiss administration was almost like the sovereign government of a country. It has never had so much influence which wracle nerves in any one country except S. Sudan. Whenever our Good Madam spoke, the government falls into a reckless situation to explain the exact scenario – think of Kiir’s utterance of UN parallel government; UN Cargo mislabeling; Bor UN Compound Nuers Massacre; Dr. Riek airlift by UN to safe haven in Jonglei State, alleged coup and so forth!
In such a way, this is like a great experiment for the United Nations—it often seems like a way to build up people’s Curriculum Vitae (CVs) rather than a way to do something positive for the affected. I don’t know what UN workers are up to, but one thing is clear – civilian protection and human rights at the expense of ‘certain hideous individual actions’.
Who is going to replace her?
The best fit should be a strategical thinker, problem solver, uniter and caring person, not the war zealot who trumpets the drums of war and cause confusion among locals. . There should be no ‘test-tube like diplomats’ for the United Nations by bringing in a person who wants to explore adventure or a researcher searching for information on human rights and democracy, rather than a very qualified one who can do something positive for the people of South Sudan.
When I always look at how the UN operate, especially when it comes to third world countries, things just fall apart. There is irony. Why do you send in soldiers from countries with no proper democracy to keep peace in countries at war? Why do you send soldiers from tribalized countries like Kenya, Rwanda or Ethiopia?
Why do you send in soldiers still suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) 1994 Rwanda genocide to come and keep peace in a land facing same genocide? Are they not going to be just other bunches of bystanders looking aimlessly?
Why are you sending in soldiers from countries with abject poverty who themselves are suffering from so many chronic issues, leave alone their questionable professionalism as some of these are just school drops out, delinquents, ill-educated, joined the army because of mass conscriptions, others joined because of poverty and hunger, and to revenge past historical injustices?
Which peace are they going to keep if they don’t even know the peace or the law of protecting civilians? There will be always two world apart in the United Nations – Big 5 Permanent Members with their stooges, and the rest are weaklings who will be experimented upon for any policy designed in the West to suit their likings.
Methinks South Sudan is undergoing renaissance. Although often times, human rights, national development and humanitarian assistance are always top priority for the UN, we do not all know what the different motivations of UN personnel are. Perhaps we are facing another Haiti in the making where the Nepalese peacekeepers brought cholera to the poor citizens. When they shouted and cried, no one listened. Even the UN in New York was in state of self-denial but everyone knew it was imported.
Perhaps we are going the Congo DR way where two decades of failed peacekeeping mission made them ran out of patience and ideas after witnessing numerous deaths of civilians caught between the cross fire of local and regional militias, and the weak Congo DR army. However, South Sudan does not need ‘the minerals warlords of Katanga, North Kivu and Goma and the transnational rebels from Uganda and Rwanda’.
Perhaps we are going the Ivory Coast way where president History Professor Mr. Laurent Gbago was over-ran humiliatingly with the help of the UN forces. Or perhaps South Sudan will be under the trusteeship of the UN like the East Timor where it ruled the country for close to two decades till recently in December 2012 when it relinquished ‘autonomous power’ to the locals hitherto.
According to Fund for Peace (FFP FSI June 2014), South Sudan is No. 1 in the most fragile state ranking, and hence, we are already now in the Central Africa Republic way where ethnic and religious schism have galloped and partitioned the whole country into Christian West, and Muslim East. We are staring agonizingly at South Sudan’s ‘somalization’ when these power hungry and thirsty goons dressed themselves in names of political ideologies mooted in the Western World laboratories for centuries.
And finally perhaps we will go the Serbia-Kosovo way where S.Sudan will be split into Nuer, Equatoria and Dinka Nations IF this trend of tribal rebellion, power seekers ‘hyenas’ do not stop, and current debate on tribally aligned federalism goes through!
For UN to be accorded with due respect and credence, it must not belittle ‘the inferiors.’ I mean nations it deems junior or subordinate partners in the United Nations. Treat them as equals. Lead by example rather by weakening the already fragile situations. Solve problems long-term by stepping into the deep waters with both legs, not one. End South Sudan problems now, not dragging it on even if at a painful cost to any tribe.
South Sudan needs an effective learning paradigm from great democracies with tolerance, role model, understanding and civilization like India, South Africa, Brazil, the US, Tanzania, the UK, Germany and Ghana among others. UN activities must be undertaken as a self-service sacrifice, and not a profession to earn a living.
To UN Security Council, UN Secretary General Mr. Ban ki Moon and U.N. peacekeeping Chief Hervé Ladsous, please be truthful in your occasional peacekeeping authorizations. Otherwise one day, one time, the UN peacekeeping missions will be another lucrative business for getting more funding and offering provisions for the troops from the third world countries and your top Western CVs builders.
Deng Lueth Yuang, B.A. (Econs); M.A. (Bnkg/Fin) contributed to this piece from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He comments only on topical South Sudanese issues and is the Founder and Chair of CEFA, a public think tank on economics and financial issues. For more comments, send in to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author. Agok Takpiny is a concerned South Sudanese in Melbourne Australia. He can be reached on email@example.com