Our National Security and External Policy: South Sudan decision Makers MUST think twice

By: Aken PanKon N.Tong, North Sudan

November 27, 2011 (SSNA) — My analysis may excite bad or good feelings amongst the decision makers in RSS or in our neighboring countries, but it is not what I really intend to do.

The aim of this analysis is to try to put into context, perspective and perhaps deeper analysis the strength of our National Security amidst the continual provocation couples with invasion by the North Sudan and the future for South Sudan.

Prior to the attainment of our Independence, South Sudan suffered enormously, one of which is the persistent provocations engineered by Khartoum to disrupt our independence day scheduled on 9 th July. With perseverance and steadfastness, our leadership in Juba stood firm and ruled out going to war with the north despite having massacred our civil population in Abyei and its vicinity.

This wise decision taken by the president to avoid going to war with the north despite inflicting huge losses onto our population was for the sake of sub-guarding our independence celebrations, thus, gracing our country by the world nations. This is something South Sudanese at every walks of live applaud Mr. President Kiir and his men and women in the echelon of leadership.

Thanks Mr. President for wisdom you have been exhibiting in most of the decisions you always take. Henceforth, that is the long gone. Khartoum still in pursuit to annexing many resources-rich areas within the South Sudan’s territory.   It began with allegations that South Sudan supports remnants of SPLA-N waging their freedom war against oppressors in Khartoum.

Khartoum faced them (SPLA-N) head-on and managed to penetrate into most SPLA-N strongholds. Apparently, the war is between the SPLA-N and the (North) Sudanese army call SAF, needless to say that it’s the war between the Sudanese people without any external involvements. Khartoum, in recent past continued its aerial bombardment inside the ill-defined territory of sovereign country of South Sudan.

To this effect, UN issued its usual rhetoric of “ we condemn it in the strongest term ”   while a nation of South Sudan with its known altruism , as been left to ponder and call for peace that Khartoum always rejects. Now, the question is, do we still “ vow to protect our nation ” as emphasized in our National Anthem since our hands are folded in the name of diplomacy and request for external support which is no longer useful at this stage?

Abyei and its endless negotiations

The ongoing negotiations between the North Sudan and South Sudan should have been peace centered ones based on the sovereignty of either nation.   The items under negotiation should have been discussed on the principle of factual supported by historical testimonies of the would-be two sisterly nations. Anything short of that will not be compromised.

Has South Sudan team done that so far?   Let’s face it below!

The negotiations in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa between the NCP led government in the north and SPLM’s in the south brought a lot of miseries to patriotic South Sudanese since it’s all about “ buying and selling strategy” s ort of negotiations. To be clear; Pagan Amum who is the SPLM’s chief negotiator made series of press releases about a proposed financial package offered to Khartoum   for persuasion to give back Abyei, huge discounted prices on oil,   plus forgiveness of all arrears of oil sharing that Khartoum has been milking before independence. You see, this is where it starts and it’s where it shall end. For the sake of saving its legitimacy and credibility amongst the south Sudanese, the SPLM lead government must decease selling or buying any inch of our country.

Buying back Abyei using billions and billions of South Sudan’s money from Arab immigrants in any case is not wisdom or patriotism. To be precise, it’s a cowardice which is not good for any leadership at the face of the earth to continue cowing away however much it is provoke. The money should have been given to those patriotic soldiers’ families who are always killed by thugs in the bushes of Upper Nile in order to save our country better than throwing it to bunch of thugs in Khartoum in disguise that peace will reign and Khartoum stops harboring militias and bombing our country.

SPLM’s team should know that the peace did not come as a matter of buying or negotiating without sacrifices. NIF regime knows only pressure but not appeasement. Look! The NCP always cracks jokes about the possibility of financing the process of releasing Abyei, putting themselves at the epicenter of history making them owners of Sudan. The deadly numerous revolts before and after independence of the Sudan would have used “buying mechanisms” to solve the fundamental and logical differences between the Sudanese people if they were interested to pursue shortcuts to peace, but not SPLM of 2005 (under the current leadership) who now purport to have acquired divine wisdom to solve half a century long conflict of Sudan through the use of our resources as means to buying the invisible peace. The people of South Sudan sacrificed for long to bring peace in 2005 and will continue doing so to maintain peace and defend their territorial integrity from Arab’s invaders.

Mr. President and the team should know that the history is not ending in 2011. They should consult the history books to know the reason why south Sudanese began rebelling against the Arab regimes.

Those who sought for freedom of South Sudanese in particular and African Sudanese in General paid dearly for the cause of our freedom. They pasted this solemn struggle to the generation after them. Anya-Nya I and II got it right and poured to the bush for the same mission of freedom searching.

Many of them perished and were able to torch on the light for freedom where SPLM/A got it shining. All these journeys for the same mission had never been a short one.   To be frank, any inch under the south Sudan’s boundary shouldn’t be compromised or buy from the immigrants, the northern Sudanese for the sake of peace as most of the leaders keep on telling us. Abyei in this regards shouldn’t be put on sell.

If the present government wants to pursue shortcuts as a matter of tiredness and buying peace, it’s unacceptable.   In fact, you have done commendable job in the history of South Sudan to bringing us to independence stage, that’s your achievements, but the complete liberation of our territory will be accomplished by the next generations if NCP shows persistence of claims to areas with oil and grazing lands as evidenced with bombing and constant use of mercenaries in the south to disturb peace amongst the peace loving south Sudanese.

The said episode echoed by the SPLM ruling government to buy back Abyei from NCP/NIF’s government is disheartening   and it doesn’t show only the weakest side the SPLM lead government is in negotiating with NCP regime, but also   puts legitimacy of our ownership of Abyei and other areas which the NCP government claiming to question.   The leadership in Juba must not mince words to protecting our sovereignty. Calling for international assistance for nearly everything won’t help us much.   It was so painful to partition our Ancestors’ land call Sudan with the immigrants and again still asking for more.

Abyei is not in their Arab’s vocabulary, neither do river Kiir, Balballa, Orfurniash, Kafiagenji and Iglige (Thou) do exit. The hidden truth in these areas is Uranium, gold, Water and Oil. This is the point of incontinence between North Sudan government which uses threat as means to sabotage people’s quest to own their territorial boundaries and the loving Republic of South Sudan. There shouldn’t be compromise ever to give either money or whatsoever to buy back any area.

The liberation of Sudan must go on after this era by the next generation if the current RSS’s leadership doesn’t have the capacity to protect and defend its sovereignty from aggressors. We would not be in peace when our enemies regard themselves superior and civilized than the ordinary Sudanese.

We know the boundaries of South Sudan and of the Immigrant north. SPLM must know that liberation didn’t begin with them and end with them to use the resources to buy or sell any area in the south to the Arabs of north Sudan.

Sudan Debt:

The talks on Sudan debt and oil money have not been good though. I can’t imagine that South Sudan would be at the soft side like it is to be cornered by the NCP on issues of national concern. Sudan debt shouldn’t have anything to do with south Sudan.

Khartoum engaged in massive laundering of money from financial institutions to fund its Jihads against the South Sudanese for many years. No tangible develobpment has been done in the South.

How can the money used for buying weaponry and building northern cities be a burden on south Sudan?   How can the oil be shared (proposed proportion is like sharing anyway) since North Sudan government was using the oil in the south solely for their development? Can’t we call for compensation of Oil money since they began exploiting oil without South Sudan concern? How about number of developmental projects they executed in the North Sudan using the wealth of the South? Don’t we ask for our shares there? Why do we put ourselves to the soft sides while we have ground to corner them (north Sudan)?   There must be a vacuum here in the side of our team.

Rebels in south Sudan and the Amnesty deal

Mr. President, you have issued quite a number of amnesties to the rebels in our country. If these amnesties could negotiate peace, we would have been the peaceful country in the world.

Mr. President, revisit your amnesty. Indeed, this amnesty brought us more arms which are nasty to our lives. In military, there is nothing call amnesty without showing commitment to ending atrocities in the side of rebels. This terminology call amnesty is bringing our country unclassified wars characterized with the war of greed for power and wealth.

It’s not morally fit for the government to apologize and beg rebels to lay down their weapons and join the government rather than the rebels themselves doing that.   George Athor   and his colleagues are national terrorists given their recent records of mass killing in Fangak, Pigi, Korfulus, Mankien, Mayom and the recent confession by Athor that killing people in large numbers is another way of seeking one’s rights.

Bentiu rebels too are constantly bombarding civilians with series of press releases and silly claims of seizing towns and SPLA soldiers. The objectives of their declared war don’t meet any rationality of genuine war. Today they are fighting against the corrupt government in Juba, tomorrow they are toppling Taban Deng Gai in Bentiu for he has rigged election and the next— they are fighting against Dinka Dominated government.

Now, the question that begs itself is, are all those ones contested April’s gubernatorial election too?   If not as I know it, who are they fighting the war for? Are they not sympathizers to Angelina Teny, the wife of the Very Important Man in our Republic who contested last year’s election and claimed that Governor Taban Deng rigged his way back to the seat?

In light of the above claims, we need Angelina Teny to talk to her supporters to stop fighting against her government, otherwise, it’s hard to distinguish who is rebel and who is not between Angelina Teny and her supporters who are now threatening to capture Bentiu.   Please Mrs. Angelina Teny, talk to your sympathizers, we need no more killing in the south. April election is a gone case.

Your supporters who turned rebels must know that you fail election miserably and your husband won since they were twin candidate with the President. If they are eagerly wanting you leader, they should be comfortable with your current status as the First Wife among others to the Vice President and stop senseless war.

George Athor and SSLA rebels have no mercy to be pardoned. Unless SPLM lead government does not have a will to protect civilians under areas of its jurisdiction, you can’t always issue endless amnesties while rebels continue arming themselves to kill. Athor and the pockets of rebels in the bushes of Upper Nile must be cleared out. No more pardon/ amnesty or am-nasty will be allowed if we mean protecting every south Sudanese at all costs.

Mr.John Kong Nyuon and SPLA

26th of August was at least the happiest day to me and some south Sudanese. The third in the list was Mr. John Kong Nyuon, the Minister of defense whom my ‘Google search’ told me he’s an experienced Soldier. Starting serving Sudan in general and south Sudan in particular in all wars starting from Anya-Nya to SPLA. Our happiness wasn’t only because he was soldier enough or experienced enough or tall or short, but because he has known what it takes to protect the country and her people from external attack and internal incursion. Having fought the war against the Arabs Sudanese and traitors-south Sudanese, we expect him to manly protect our country at all costs. This expectation still awaiting moderation!

Mr. Minister, the ongoing senseless killing in Upper Nile by rebels of George Athor and SSLA forces is the test to your leadership.   I can’t believe the person of your gentry who fought many wars to protect successive generations could now fold his hands and become a spectator to the butchering game in Upper Nile by the rebels. Is it a curse to become a Minister of Defense and becoming defenseless even to oneself—the case of SPLA who are constantly killed by militias unprepared?   Your predecessor did nothing to wipe out rebels in the south since military means is the best way to discipline the rebels there than unwarranted amnesties.

Another thing which I think you will despise is your attire. Before you became a Minister of our National Army, you were always been in full military uniform, lifting hope that our national army is prepared at all times, but becoming a minister brought new style altogether. I don’t know whether your post changed you or you changed the post since we all know a person in your current post should be in military attire on a military mission. But I may not expect you to emulate the former Minister who was neither a soldier nor a committed citizen given his records in that Ministry. It was not wise to address National Army in the capacity as Minister of Defense in civilian’s attire as if you are a Minister of Finance or Foreign Minister.

Your recent tours to all the states with civilan attire are a disgrace to our national army. Of course, you may say military dressing can’t change anything, you are dead wrong on this Mr. Minister! Soldiers need to be fired up not only by salary’s increment but also how a person representing their wishes looks.   You know what! Soldiers are now beginning to talk politics by speaking against corruption and accusing anybody in government which begins with how different their leaders may look, of which, your dressing style might deviate their attentions away from their profession.   Mr. Minister, south Sudan is behind you, and wishes to see you upholding the aspirations of our national army to protecting our sovereignty.

South Sudan to Join East Africa Community

Recently, President of the Republic of South Sudan Let. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit along with his entourage hit the ground running in his first head of state visit to IGAD Nations, specifically, Kenya and Uganda. In no time, this visit, followed by unilateral pronouncement of South Sudan joining East Africa Community block is a contradiction to the issues at stake.

I thought the stake-holders in RSS will review the membership’s trait before stressing one’s desire to join— such a block of luminous nations without studying the benefits this might bring to the young nation rule by liberators.

Joining this block, while S. Sudan has nothing raw to export apart from money exported from our coffers to foreign banks is a massacre of our local markets. Tell Mr. President that joining any block like EAC at this time will not bring good to S. Sudan.

We first need to have our own production base, our industries which are competition-free from any foreign industries; our local market needs to be strengthened and free from East Africa’s advanced markets. After all these get done, we will be free to join any block on the continent including Arab League if the need be.

Mr. President, we are too young please! Avoid ambitions without substance. Remember Chief Chier Rehan’s wise quotes " a child can’t eat Kisera at 2 nd year, milk is the best meal for such a child of that age " Joining EAC at this time is by itself, a political suicide.

Remember its recommendations—"Free market and free work force flowing throughout member states".   Will South Sudanese with illiteracy rate showing 80% find job markets in South Sudan amidst the highly educated counterparts of East Africa leave alone finding jobs in those countries which have unemployment erosion and poverty threatening their progress? No! Don’t risk our future Mr. President. Step-by-step we will make it whole.

Mutual Benefits

East African countries of course yearn to seeing Juba joins them. This is not on mutual benefits as theologized by them, but a way to win Juba’s favor to join as soon as possible before our leaders get exposed to the International stage and learn disadvantages of integrated nations crippling the emerging and underdeveloped nations. South Sudan when joining stands to lose; this will even increase potential conflict between south Sudanese and East Africans particularly Ugandans and Kenyans   who may become our 2 nd Jalaba since south Sudanese with their manners of “ Hena Bithala Diinak Hasa echoed by these hot temped generations” may threaten our integrations. Those countries think they are foxy to charm Juba into this block since Juba had already made it a business and employment ground to their education residues which had perhaps reduced the crime rates in their countries and export thievery and robbery to south Sudan because many, if not all thieves have flocked into South Sudan in an uncontrollable way.   Our leadership should know that liberation and protection of sovereignty is not centered on war between the north and south or between Juba and Khartoum’s mercenaries (rebels).

It’s larger than that. The war in-fact is far from over. Economics war stands supreme among all the wars we fought since 1955. In this case, East Africa nations want to relieve themselves from domestic burden by hijacking or persuading Juba to join their block, so that its virgin economy and land will benefit them the most, leaving south Sudanese in desolate form and certainly in wars, since majority will be in abject poverty due to persistent excuses of education credentials many south Sudanese never had, which may eventually give east Africans an upper hand to work in our government and private sectors as they had already did.

Way forward

South Sudan should sign as many Trade Agreements as possible with any nation including east African as possible without committing a fatal mistake of joining their wacky block. Our African-ness is not a pretext to making us join any block while at this stage. We know that in the   entire East, Central and Southern Africa, South Sudan is the only country endowed with vast natural resources than any nation in the regions stated above, this will, in no time developed   if some people’s thirst to acquiring wealth dishonestly ground to a halt. South Sudan was not meant to be shared neither can part of it be given away to buy favor across the region.

Our leaders too need to be independent and avoid being driven by the policies of other nations who even fail to develop their own countries despite having been in peace for more than 65years and now purport to defile the young nation.   Leadership is not about how many agreements you sign or many associations one joined, but how much one has delivered, protected national resources meant to the inhabitants and lives of its populations. So, we will not be sinned if we have not joined east Africa of ‘Kitikidogo’ since nothing than fake cultures and endemic corruption shall be the benefit south Sudan stands to acquire. South Sudan will soon in future join EAC when our economic indicators pointing prosperous and able to stand in their own feet.

Aken Ngor Tong (Aka. Aken PanKon) is a south Sudanese residing in North Sudan; he edits blog at www.akenpankon-africaunite.blogspot.com he can be reached at [email protected]

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