By: Justin Ambago Ramba
March 10, 2012 (SSNA) — Of recent there have been a couple of articles and comments in the media supposedly addressing the system of government in South Sudan. However judging by the timing and the sub-intellectual qualities of arguments presented therein, it can be seen that compulsive tribal motives have largely diluted the project. All I can say is that the amateurish attempt to mislead the public opinion by dwelling negatively on the recent massacre of innocent civilians in Kōmiru, a suburb area around Juba Town and trying to maliciously portray it as a consequence of federal policies only proves the ulterior motives of the those behind the perpetuators.
Insecurity, banditry, and failures in law enforcement all over the country remains rife, and the question that poses itself is whether this dispensation can be attributed to the popular call for the adoption of a federal system of governance in the nascent nation or is it the direct consequence of the fact that the country continues to languish under the notoriously centralised unitary system with the powers squarely resting in the hands of the one powerful central figure known as the President of the Republic? Which is which?But the fact that failed attempts in themselves can provoke thoughts and initiate debate, I would sincerely start by stressing a basic fact by acknowledging that indeed democracy although nonexistent in South Sudan, it has been a topic of wider debate of late, and no different to the generally pathetic political exercises all over the underdeveloped world This further saves me the trouble of having to talk about multi-partyism which on the other-hand only exists in the constitution but never ever translated into reality beyond the equally questionable April 2010 general ballots.
The country under the tight grip of the totalitarian Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) remains a project or one can rightly say a proposal for nationhood. It will benefit the reader if they can acknowledge that SPLM as a party is suffering from both political and administrative ailments at every level of the establishment. And unless what has become an institution of dinosaurs is finally an electric shock therapy by the grassroots, it is set to impede any chances of democratic practice beyond the already compromised electioneering. Of all things, elections alone doesn’t actual replace the noble values entrenched in a holistic democratic practice.
The above set of paragraphs are meant to serve the purpose of a precise prelude to discerning the fact that South Sudan in its current status is a country under a one man and a one party rule. It is for this very simple reason that any attempt to present the current status quo as a federal system of government or even to equate it with the so-called decentralisation or devolution is in fact being an agent of disinformation and more so a servant to the propaganda outlets of the dominant ethnically driven political forces in the country. Is it not a mockery of decentralisation or say devolution when in actual fact the powers that are claimed to have gone to states, counties, payams or bomas are nothing more than political cosmetics? This is so and will remain to be so since no less than 90% of the national budget goes to the highly centralised government in Juba and there is every proof to support this.
Who doesn’t know that the new Republic of South Sudan[ RSS] has a central government with over 5 dozen ministers, a dozen or so-called presidential advisors, and an unnecessarily overstuffed 2 chamber parliaments, dozens more commissions headed by highly paid ruling party loyalists etc …etc. To say the obvious if there is a failure of governance in the country, it is due to its current totalitarian, non-inclusive, unitary, one party, and tribally dominated nature.So what do we say about those voices who want to blame the non existing federalism for being the root causes for the failure of a system that by design have been dominated by only two of the country’s over one hundred tribes. Do we consider a system centrally dominated by two tribes [1/3 of the population] in a widely ethnically diversified society and thus disenfranchising over two thirds of the total population a ‘Federal System’? Or is it a cunning attempt to cover-up for this political evil that is currently starring us right in the face?
One such a voice is the prolific propaganda writer and a self proclaimed prophet who has traditionally expressed views promoting the long term Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny in a fashion probably to do with preparing him for succession to the top office come the first opportunity – before, in or after 2015. But whether this dream will ever see light is left for that day. However there is everything to say that the ‘propagandist prophet’ is under an intense phobia of seeing the country’s top position go to any other candidate outside his list of favourites hence his compulsive opposition to the adoption of federalism in South Sudan despite the popular calls that this form of governance has enjoyed amongst South Sudanese since days immemorial. In a very characteristic tone our prophet of later days chooses NOT to see the rampant inter-tribal killings currently sweeping across the whole of South Sudan for exactly what they are. One such hot spot is the Jonglei state, governed by a strong former SPLM commander Kuol Manyang Juuk who hails from the Bor Dinka tribe. Jonglei state in the past two months was able to demonstrate to the entire world how vulnerable the nascent state is in the face of the underplayed tribal intolerance countrywide.
The unusual silence of this prophet and writer to display his personal position on the so-called White Army formed from young fighters from different Nuer clans and Bor Dinka with a fund raising office in the USA, is in stark contrast to the characteristics he is known for. A total sum of $45, 000 [forty five thousand US dollars], is probably a tip of the iceberg which represents one of probably several financial donations to reach this ultra-ethnic army [probably a movement]. Under normal circumstances this is not a thing of the type to be ignored by Mr. Prophet if they were to be in other states and not Jonglei or Unity states.
Let us see things for what they really are and the miscalculation that one can embark on by disinformation with the intention to rally support against something in absentia as some kind of firewall attempts are not always water-tight. The sarcasm of blaming a federal system which doesn’t even exist for the widespread anarchy the countrywide, while embracing tribally motivate political goals is no match to the high level of awareness which the general population now enjoys.
It is understandably that the “dead bodies” demonstration in front of the National Parliament Building in protest of the horrendous massacre of innocent civilians in the KōmIru suburb of Juba Town is a thing that signifies the wrath of the down trodden masses, however it cannot be down played by drawing the irrelevant connection to some non existing federal system in the country.
My condolence first goes to myself for being a citizen of this country in which human life is never valued. To the close relatives of the deceased and the morbid it is undeniable that no amount of consoling words can reverse their deep sense of lose, however they must continue to hold in the Lord who is the best consoler of all times. Pressure will continue to be exerted on the authorities to see to it that the culprits of this horrendous massacre are brought to justice and under no any circumstances should ill disciplined off-duty soldiers be allowed to keep guns in their houses.
All these said, it is extremely crucial to stress the fact that it is not true that the massacre in KōmIru is a result of federalism in the same way that the declared ethnic cleansing of Murle tribe as repeatedly voiced by the media campaigners of the White Army who operate from the comforts of the American Dream is unrelated to federalism.
Even the US law enforcement agents who undoubtedly have every details of the fund raising campaigns by their citizens which then goes to sponsor crimes against humanity in the remote swamps of Jonglei, state cannot blame this on some kind of a federal system gone wrong in Africa when they know that the true culprit is not only the total lack of capacity of our system of governance but probably a system which is in fact non existing. In short this is a state of tribal anarchy and nothing more.
South Sudan will be a better place under true federalism of no less twenty five  federal states. In Jonglei State alone it won’t be too long before new federal states are created since the centre in Bor Town can no longer hold, while things continue to fall apart along ethnic lines.
The author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. A South Sudanese citizen AND can be reached at: [email protected] or [email protected]