What’s the crucial role for Equatoria in realization of New South Sudan?

BY: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, MAR/27/2014, SSN;

Is it really possible that the current war being fought in south Sudan’s Greater Upper region can be successfully cordoned out from returning to Juba, and hence the whole of the Greater Equatoria region after it was in fact started there?

At least that’s what some Equatorians are thinking and hoping it happens.

The point I want to make here is whether the war is successfully kept out of Equatoria or not, no Equatorian can escape the impact of this war.

As such should Equatorians think of this war in a more sober way, there are many options that they can chose in order to react at this particular time, but non-involvement is not one of them?

I know there are people out there who think that as long as the rebels keep to Jonglei or Malakal, or Bentiu or any other villages within the Greater Upper Nile region, a person in Juba, Torit, Maridi, Yambio, Wau or Raja is in fact safe and have nothing to worry about.

Sadly enough the reality says something completely different. For now where the war is being actively fought represents well over one third of the entire South Sudan’s territory. These places are also where the Oil fields are.

No wonder Oil being the government’s only source of revenue, all activities financed by the state are obviously going to be compromised sooner or later.

Many have already started feeling the pinch as productions fall down to around a quarter of what it used to be.

Could this possibly lead to the “real coup” that president Kiir, being conscious of his under performance, has continuously anticipated it all these years!

This brings us to the core purpose of this article and it is all about how much are the people of Equatoria involved in shaping the Salva Kiir’s government policies in relationship to the war and its root causes?

Or on the other hand, how much is Equatoria able to influence the rebel’s agenda for the country? Or how is

Equatoria influencing the agenda of the SPLM G-7 (former detainees) or that of the countless South Sudanese civil societies or that of the International Community, and its tools the AU, the IGAD or even that of Yoweri Museveni?

Still there’s another question: “How much has the Greater Equatoria equipped itself to contribute in finding a negotiated settlement to the current crisis and addressing its root causes besides the monotonous talk about elections, or Equatorians being civilized people bla bla bla.

In this country of wild untameable human beings elections only represent the superficial face of the real monsters that they harbour inside their sick and shellfish brains.

Elections will come and go, but unless the basic foundations of good governance is set in place, those in the government today will find themselves rebels in the bush not too long from now and vice versa.

I understand the positions being taken by the three Equatoria Governors, but they need to do more if they are to remain relevant to the ever changing situations both at home and abroad.

Especially that all government official serving under Salva Kiir are now expected to talk ill about the US administration, the United Nations, the European Union, the trioka countries, one wonders whether any of them are questioning where the country is heading to.

Practically speaking, my fellow Equatorians, the situation where we are now in, isn’t any more about supporting the rebels or being on the government side. The two are in fact nothing but the different faces of that single coin called SPLM – and it’s not taking the country nearer to anything good.

As south Sudan prepares to embrace yet another decade of a full blown civil war given every writing on the wall, it’s time that each and every matured citizen sees these developments for real.

The bottom line in the quickly unfolding events, whether you bought into the Kiir’s stories of his perceived coup or not, South Sudan will never be the same again.

It’s this bit that we need to take very seriously. From there we should and begin to actively participate in shaping the kind of country (s) we want for ourselves in the not too far future!

Dr Justin Ambago Ramba. A concerned south Sudanese citizen and a voice for the voiceless.

11 Comments

  1. Eli says:

    Very well said. The end result is we must resist evil and defeat it. We need to arm ourselves and protect our lands.

  2. Choromke Jas says:

    A friend whose people borders the Mundari told me a very interesting “saying”. Their people were dancing. Then someone saw red glow surrounding them and the circle of the glow getting narrower and narrower with time. A child shouted: “It is Fire”!. The grown ups countered: “No! It is not fire, but it is the Mundari, in their ochre colour (red colour seen on Mundari’s hair), who are coming to join us in the dance”. Eventually, they were consumed by the raging fire which the small child had correctly spotted. The rebellion is now lapping at the border of Equatoria. The Kiir supporters, like monkeys are playing on trees, crying “Nguek, Nguek” totally oblivious of the impending doom. The Arab hegemony took 60 years to end. How long with that of the Jenge take? The answer is blowing in the wind, my friend.

  3. Kwickkwajo says:

    Dr Ambuga
    I could not have agreed more with you although I do not believe in compartmentalization of our people in Equatorians, Bahr el Ghazal -ians or Upper Nile-ans. As soon as we begin to think that way then we have lost it. South Sudan is in the shit it is in because our own agency. I believe it us to clean it up but only when the ‘us’ encapsulates all the ethnic communities in South Sudan.

    We must admit we have been over sumptuous in our pride to govern ourselves. The political elite at the helm since 2005 belaboured the ruralisation of, instead of building a modern, state in South Sudan as the highest point of their economic and political power. This was a complete departure from the liberation ideology of the SPLM at least if there was an ideology. This is a direct consequence of two decades of shunning political education and organisation of both the SPLM/SPLA and the mass of our people in the ‘liberation areas’. Otherwise, how can we explain the reference to ‘region’ and ‘ethnicity’ in our political and social discourses?

    The CPA (2005) indeed ended the SPLM liberation struggle. The ensuing socio-political environment was now enjoying the fruits and no, sooner than 2008 Juba resembled what it was in 1981/2. The political elite were only eating, and in the course of that divided themselves. They quickly forgot about equality, justice, freedom and prosperity, which constituted their vocabulary during the armed struggle. Soon we heard ‘we liberated you’ or ‘where were you when we were fighting’ suggesting the emergence of an oppressive psychology in the former combatants. The clutch slipped and revolutionary gears disengaged. Southern Sudan was free for those with the right connections. The criteria was either blood, ethnic or regional for acquiring government or civil service positions. People brought back home their relatives from the Diaspora to occupy senior government positions without the least qualification and experience.

    I admire the way the Equatorians identify with each other and try to work out political things their way. The problem with that of course is misleading and does not help resolve the crisis simply because the crisis cannot be resolved piece-meal but holistically. I believe the first Equatoria SPLM conference took place in 2007 bringing together the three states of Equatoria. Dr Riek Machar opened it. I was in Khartoum representing Upper Nile State in the Council of the States. I smelt a rat and asked myself what is it in the SPLM or South Sudan for that matter, which the Equatorians alone can discuss without the compatriots from other states? That was the exact confirmation of the compartmentalization I referred to above.

    The Greater Bahr el Ghazal conducted their conference in Wau in December 2012. Some of us resisted the concept of Greater Upper Nile as divisive and unconstitutional. The SPLM blindly adopted the NCP states system in 2005 and rejected the three regions, which existed in its political literature constituting for the time being the New Sudan. Little did some of us appreciate that the concept of Greater this or that had sinister overtones. What we hear these days is that Greater Equatoria must join Greater Bahr el Ghazal to destroy Greater Upper Nile and as long as the war remains there the better. But if you look at the political economy of this talk in terms of net beneficiaries you will find that it is only Warrap and Northern Bahr el Ghazal. In Greater Equatoria, it is only Juba City, which got a lion’s share of the wealth and that was by virtue of its geo-political consideration as the capital city of South Sudan.

    Let me come back to the point that aligning ourselves as ethnicities or regions will increase our problems and will not resolve the current civil war. We differed as members of the SPLM not as people from Equatoria, Bahr el Ghazal or Upper Nile. The main differences centred on democracy in the SPLM and good governance in the country. One would expect all those for democracy and good governance on one side and those who favour autocracy, impunity and lack of transparency on the other side and would understand and accept if the civil war between the two sides erupted along those fault lines. On the contrary we are being told that its was Dinka-Nuer war or Upper Nile versus the rest of South Sudan.

    When I rejected the idea of Greater this or Greater that, it was out of the conviction that the bad things happening in the country could be stopped only by all those opposed irrespective of their ethnicity or region to unite against that bad system. The time has come for this to happen. We must bring ourselves back to the fundamentals of liberation that ‘no one liberates the other’. One liberates oneself through dialogue with others and together you liberate yourselves. Liberation entails changes of attitude and perception of reality. Liberation is a process of re-humanization of the individual and the society submerged in an oppressive reality. It takes all means to liberate oneself but the most important one is organisation and self-education that permits one to see a compatriots other citizens from other cities or states.

    The present reality in South Sudan is so oppressive and therefore must be transformed into its opposite. This requires relentless struggle by all united by their political objectives of restoring democracy, justice, equality and freedom. It us not be swayed by minor issue that can be resolved once we have good leaders that will steer the country in a better ways. Good leaders emerge in the context of the political struggle for change. In this way South Sudan can be salvaged from the pangs of barbarism.

    FROM EDITOR: EXCELLENT COMMENT, MR. KWICKKWAJO, ESPECIALLY YOUR INFERENCE TO THE EMERGENCE OF AN OPPRESSIVE PSYCHOLOGY AMONG THESE RULING EX-COMBATANTS AND ALSO YOUR REFERENCE OF THE COMPARTMENTALIZATION.
    HOWEVER, TO REALLY SAVE SOUTH SUDAN FROM THE PANGS OF BARBARISM AS YOU ALLUDED TO, HOW ABOUT BRINGING BACK KOKORA, THE POLICY OF THREE FEDERAL STATES THAT SHOULD BE SEMI-INDEPENDENT?
    WITH TIME, IF WE CAN’T CONVERGE THEN WE DIVERGE AND FORM THREE INDEPENDENT STATES INSTEAD OF ONE DYSFUNCTIONAL SOUTH SUDAN.
    THEN, TRULY, WE WOULD HAVE EVEN GOT RID OF THE ENSLAVING NAME OF SUDAN FOREVER….

  4. Agumar Lojing Rugang says:

    Your Contribution Ambago is viable and strategic, inviting Equatoria to step in with sober durable Political Solutions that would keep south Sudan a peaceful and stable nation.
    First, Equatoria must actively participate in the constitutional writing process to produce a sustainable legal document that would make south Sudan a country governed by law.
    Second, Equatoria must stop following the SPLM whether from right or left and form an alternative national party and choose a contender to run for election in 2015; other than that, Equatoria would not impact the way how the country is run.

  5. Eli says:

    I would like to write here not as a tribalist but rather for my native people the Ma’di people, so far we are one of the most affected groups, whether being it in South Sudan or in Uganda by the influx of the either the IDPs or the recent refugees who have chosen to be settled on our ancestral soil. This is an urgent matter that our leaders need to respond to the call of mobilising our youth into the opposition side either of Dr. Riek Machar or of GRECOR. This call is to both the Madi of Uganda and of South Sudan to wake up and not allow others to dance on our soil without dire consequences. Time for begging the IDPs to move is over and no more negotiations with Dinka Bor or invaders on our soil, on both sides of the two countries in this matter. I hope to see you Ma’di brothers and sister in the frontlines, as I speak I have chosen the side to fight and liberate our land and please join me, at present I am heading to Ethiopia and from there we march to battlefields and to home again.

    FROM EDITOR: GOOD LUCK AND ALL SUCCESS, KEEP US INFORMED AND MY GOD BLESS YOU AND ALL OTHERS.

    • bolabokdit says:

      Eli
      I hope you cease fighting on internet once and for all then join the real one. Again I hope this is your last comment. in my experience fighters have no chance to write during a war situation.
      Thank you.

  6. Eli says:

    Again I would like to reiterate that, this not a tribal call but rather we need justice and equality and peace in our land. We Ma’dis endured so much from 1850s to this date we demonstrated our peaceful nature to coexist, we lead by examples during Anya nya one movement, as Hon. (Ret. Gen.) Joseph Lagu never encouraged us to go to Bor or any other tribes land to rob their ancestral soil, but now our people are being called cowards and useless in our face, our women raped, our youth are in jails for speaking out, insults after insults are piled on us all over the internet. We Ma’di are alive and well, and we fought the Turks, the British, the Arabs and now we will fight the invaders to our last breath. At the moment we don’t have enough guns, but Dr. Riek Machar is ready to supply us, let Moli boys the Lukai boys the Nimule boys and the West Nile boys across the river arise, and this time let the two Presidents Museveni and Kirr be reminded of our talents and our unity ans strengths, when we unite we shall no more be the minority as they always think, the British divided us because we gave them hard time and this is recorded in history books. May God bless us and give us the upper hand over our enemies, Amen.

    • bolabokdit says:

      GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR MISSION BUDDY I HOPE MADI COMMUNITY WILL SET YOUR REMEMBERANCE DAY IN ADVANCE. OR FAKE YOUR DEATH TO SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE GOING TO SAY IN YOUR FUNERAL.

      • Lavina Lual says:

        Congratulations Eli-

        Nothing will harm you as you are going to fight for your right to leave and be respected nothing will harm you.

        The bagandans and Northern Uganada shouls also arise against the monster M7 in Uganda.

        Time for crying fault is over… … …

  7. Nyeri says:

    I do that Equats have to step up and bring a real solutions to RSS. The 1972 peace agreement brought peace for at least 11 years, while the golden CPA brought some peace for 2 years. Is this what is called peace? No one in Juba can sit in his compound past 6 pm, and no one can dance in his compound enjoying the summer or christmas eve. Kiir has caused us a great pain, and is causing us more pain. He is the man that must be taken to ICC and hanged to death by his neck.
    Equats should support their interest, and take the lead, if not, we need to bring kokora and flash out the jenge period.

  8. Kwickkwajo says:

    Dear Dr. Peter Wankoma
    The concept of ‘kokora’ is different from federalism although some people believe they are synonymous. ‘Kokora’ is synonymous with Bantustanization practised by the Apartheid regime in South Africa and Nimeri used it effectively to divide South Sudanese along regional and ethnic lines. It was antithetical to ‘Southern nationalism’ built into the struggle of our people since 1955. Let tell you my friend, compatriot, countryman and young brother that the problem in Sudan has always been the contradiction between the ‘Centre’ and the ‘periphery’. South Sudan like other parts of the Sudan outside the Hamdi triangle constituted the periphery. ‘Kokora’ was turn one periphery against itself to give the ‘Centre’ respite.
    Transposing that historical episode onto our present reality, Juba, which was part of the ‘periphery’ has become a ‘centre’ and the ‘kayan al shamal’ has disappeared to be replaced by a social class that catapulted from the oppressed and the deprived classes by virtue of their linkage to the state and its resources. The oppressive class is now made up of our own people who have used the state power to accumulate wealth. Juba is now inhabited by,in addition to the indigenous Bari, Dinka, Nuer, Shilluks, Murle, Mundari, Otuhos, Toposa, Azande. Balanda, Ndogo, madi Acholi, etc., linked to the state of South Sudan. They have become the new oppressors by virtue of their linkage to the state. They protect their class interest against others. So the ‘kokora’ formula will not work in such an environment without the risk of another round of civil war.
    In order to change this sad situation it requires some deeper thinking not the divisive manipulative jargons of ‘kokora’ or ‘federalism’, I would call cheap politics. Constructing a just society is a conscious action by all those ready to transform that reality. What has defeated us in Juba is the emergence of social awareness and political consciousness simply because the people are afraid. The regime has succeeded by brute force to turn our people into a docile mass. It will require time to change this situation for a critical mass to emerge.
    The rebellion in Upper Nile may assist only if it departs from the SPLM modis operandis ante, It should transform from armed rebellion into a social revolution engulfing South Sudan. In this way the evets of December 15, 2013 would have been a blessing in disguise.
    Sorry, but Peter let you remind you about the fallouts of ‘kokora’ implementation in 1984/85, the elite of Eastern Equatoria (encompassing what is now Central Equatoria) petitioned Nimeri to be separated from Western Equatoria become the Azande monopolized everything. In Upper Nile the Governor had his slogan Upper Nile without Bor and Bahr el Ghazal the Fertit has their stories that led to the formation of militia against the Dinka and the Luo. The memories of ‘kokora’ in such a highly politically inflamed environment would not do us any good.
    Kind regards

Leave a Reply to Choromke Jas Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.