What is entailed in a failed State?

By:  Butrus Ajak

Is the country (South Sudan) effectively already a failed State? Zeinab Badawi asked Hilde Johnson, UN representative in Republic of South Sudan.

February 12, 2012 (SSNA) — For those who have watched the BBC hardtalk must have heard Zeinab Badawi speaking to the UN head of mission for South Sudan, Hilde Johnson and calling Republic of South Sudan a failed State. It wasn’t a good show to watch.

The discussion was all about how Republic of South Sudan (RSS) failed to administer her issues effectively. It is to be known Zeinab was born in the Sudan and has lived in Britain since the age of three; she is a pure Arab hiding behind journalism. Given her Arab’s background, she has been pushing Arab’s agenda this was seen from the way she argued her case when coming to North-South War. She has always been biased when it comes to African and Arab issues in the Sudan. This YouTube clip says it all (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ch1JT95UFUw). She did a horrible and infamous interview with the late Dr. Garang where she could assign all blames of screwing up the Sudan on Southerners. Zeinab and her like need to comprehend Southerners have outlived their conspiracies no matter their firm and futile sabotage during the liberation. They got to leave us alone to sort ourselves out.

Back to the topic, declaring State as a failed State is controversial whatsoever, but in essence, Republic of South Sudan (RSS) is surely a failed State but those of Zeinab deluded with ill ideologies about Southerners shouldn’t capitalise on it. She has been backing everything and anything bad about Southerners. Her political affiliation with NCP made what she said less effective and at best gimmick, making her the worse journalist of all time.

Why RSS is seen as a failing State? According to some sources, the term failed State is often used politically to describe a State perceived as having failed at some of the basic conditions and responsibilities of a sovereign government. In order to make this definition more precise, the following attributes amongst others will be examined vis-a-vis Republic of South Sudan (RSS) failing.

1. Loss of control of its territory.

2. An inability to provide public services.

3. An inability to protect its civilians.

1: Loss of control of its territory:

Regarding loss of control of its territory,Abyei’s territory is gone and I am not sure what RSS thinking about this. Nobody seemed mindful about Abyei’s citizens who are made IDPs in their own country, come to Juba and it is business as usual. Secondly, NCP is expanding its territory grabbing RSS bordering areas day and night and RSS regime is calling for no return to war with North. Thirdly, the RSS has no restrict border control security apparatus in place; anyone can make it into our country with anything ranging from drugs to lethal weapons. Is this not a failed State?

2: An inability to provide public services.

Public services tend to be those considered as so essential to modern life that for moral reasons their national provision should be guaranteed by RSS. They may be associated with fundamental human rights such as the right to water, right to health, right to education and right to self expression and etc. All of these services are essential to people’s lives improvement. My RSS provision of such services in the past six years or so isn’t that very good. In my RSS talk your opinion and you get thrown into a dungeon. Common village man still walks long hours in search of health care and water. Schools are rarely seen in villages.

3: An inability to protect its civilians.

Every Southerner was hoping the first thing first our RSS could execute right after secession was to invest in very strong and contemporary military equipments and other basic needs. That wasn’t the case. Extreme political corruption was order of the day, leaving civilians protection susceptible. And I was impressed the other day when I read the erstwhile finance minister (Arthur Akuein Chol) was threatening to go public on those who had been looting the embryonic nation with him. It is a high time for Uncle Arthurdit to disclose them so as to make his dossier clearer, or else he will always be associated with the thieves.

Firstly, RSS failed to protect civilians when NCP was invading Abyei; our men in uniform were cleared off without much resistance. Recently NCP was bombing parts of Bhar-al-Gazal and Unity State, the Anti-noves could hazardously hover around and no sophisticated guns to shoot it down. It was the most nauseating shame of all to RSS Sovereignty. Instead of getting busy buying lethal weapons and train our men in uniform to protect our territory from external aggression, like this one, 13 most senior RSS officials were busy siphoning of large sums of money (billions of US dollars if you like) into their foreign bank accounts. If this not a failed state what’s it then?

Secondly, my RSS has miserably failed to protect her civilians in the recent tribal fight both in Jonglei, Unity and Warrap States where numerous civilians were slain. This issue has taken global perspectives questioning the legitimacy of RSS by international bodies, why it allows cycle of killing amidst her populace under its watch and has so far so bad put nothing in place to mitigate the brewing and boiling tension.

In Jonglei Murle of Pibor had been terrorising neighbouring communities for many years raiding cattle and abducting children from Anyuak, Dinka, Nuer, Jie and Kacipo. The neighbouring communities have been complaining for nagging behaviour of Murle and RSS chose not to intervene. The Murle invaded Nuerland and killed over 600 civilians and made away with thousands of cattle. They as well assaulted Dinka Bor killing dozens of people and drove away with herd of cattle. In spite of this repetitive killing, RSS chose to look away. Where is the legitimacy of RSS here? However, this conduct has triggered resentment and resulted into a bloody tribal war.

In the aftermath of recurring killing, coupled with RSS indecisive action, it resulted in a gory retaliation by Nuer where more than thousands Murle are believed to have been killed and taking with them captives and thousands of cattle. However, as I write, plans and promulgations are underway from both side for many attacks, and if at all my RSS means business, it shouldn’t waste time this time round. It has to protect civilians’ lives whether in Pibor, Bor and Akobo so as to reserve its failing and tainted reputation internationally.

Lastly, in order to protect civilians’ lives in Jonglei and to avoid RSS failing many more, RSS must summon Murle Sultan and the former NCP Jonglei governor Ismail Kony and urge him to talk down his people (Murle) to change their mentality.

In my opinion, this is the very chap behind all these mess in Jonglei. He vowed in my present (2009) the time he was campaigning for Jonglei gubernatorial position in Cathedral church at Leudier in front of two to three thousands congregation, he insinuated, if given governorship position, he would bring an end to killing, cattle raiding and child abduction in Jonglei. Looking at current predicament, he was then talking from his knowhow. This is the right time for RSS to commission Kony to champion peace in Jonglei. In a final note, Murle needs to read between lines, Anyuak has given up cattle rearing and I am not entirely sure whether or not Nuer or Dinka are ready to let go the cattle.

Butrus Ajak is a Jongleian who resides in Australia. Reach him at [email protected]

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