By: Justin Ambago Ramba
June 1, 2012 (SSNA) — It comes so natural that South Sudan and its former colonizer the republic of the Sudan are again dominating the regional news after they have stolen the spotlight from Somalia with its al Shabab or the Malians with their Tuereg Azawad or Nigeria the African giant with its struggle against the Buko Haram terrorists. Of course the two Sudans have just gone back to what they do best – killing one another.
The Sudanese as a fact have always been fighting among themselves at least for the past one hundred years or so. And all the indicators suggest that the situation will not change very much for another one hundred years to come. However this said, the common citizen is more than fed up with this vicious cycle of destruction, insecurity and blood-letting.
So what is it that has terribly gone wrong to enslave whole generations after generations in a setting where human life is worthless and even hope which normally energises the lowest soul is in short coming. In a nutshell the root cause of this plague is politics – a crude type of politics where people not only talk sense when not in power, but they can also put their lives on the line and lead liberation movements and seek justice for all.
The sad bit is once they get to the throne of power even the most out spoken amongst them are willing to do just what they had fought against. And today the nascent state of South Sudan stands tall as a typical example of freedom fighters turn oppressors. Power corrupts and too much of it is definitely hallucinogenic detaching its victims from the realities of their surroundings.
A report released by the US Bureau of Democracy, Human Right and Labour documents a series of extrajudicial killings, torture, rape, and other inhumane treatment of civilians that allegedly occurred in South Sudan between the months of January to December 2011. It also talked of the wide spread corruption, non-delivery on government promises ………… and the list goes for ever, but never too long for any ordinary South Sudanese citizen to follow and recall exactly when and where each event took place, except maybe for some of the ruling top SPLM brass.
The South Sudan minister of information was very much infuriated by the report. And It could be that he thought under the current war-like situation imposed on the country as a result of the political and military escalations with its northern neighbour, every ‘government failure’ should be considered as a thing of the past, This is understandable on the assumption that reminding the people at these tough economic times about how badly their government has failed them could possible result into resentment especially when the economic down turn is already beginning to bite. That far we understand – but to go out there and flatly deny that all such reports are fabrications is in fact to take everyone for an embicile.
It is indeed mind bogging, first to the South Sudanese citizens themselves before the foreigners for the spokesperson of the government of South Sudan to completely refute the report in its totality and call it unauthentic. Of course to further describe it as a “mere concoction” intended at tarnishing the image of the country is even more begging for a justification. I mean why would the US of all countries want to tarnish the image of its ally (the Republic of South Sudan) and why at this particular moment in time?
“We have seen many of these reports claiming that people have been raped, killed and abducted. Others have blamed the police, army and the security organs of human right abuse. But I want to tell you [that] our government is truly committed towards protecting the lives of its citizens,” the government spokesperson stressed (Sudan Tribune Julius N. Uma- May 30, 2012 (JUBA).
What one sees as an utter naivety is when the minister had to say this:
“As a government, we are more than willing to facilitate whoever is interested in visiting any part of this country to collect information. The government is mandated to protect its people, not abuse their rights,” said the official. (Sudan Tribune – Julius N. Uma- May 30, 2012 (JUBA).
Well for argument sake one may say that the government of South Sudan may genuinely want to help foreigners who are keen to write reports about the country. However I don’t think that these international quarters would really want to bother our government which is struggling even to inform its own departments given its limited access to modern information technologies and the latest state of the art.
If George Clooney a friend of South Sudan and no SPLM or SPLA can chose to deny that when this Hollywood star set up the Sentinel Panel in order to monitor and document the evilness and the countless war crimes and crimes committed against humanity by the Khartoum regime in its third wave of genocide against the marginalised Nuba people and the Darfuris of the Sudan and the Ngok people of Abyei. So far so good, then can someone volunteer to tell us who has the information and who should be facilitating for who to get it?
The US administration or any of its institutions for that matter don’t really need any assistance in the art of gathering information especially so about a country with the most porous borders in the whole world – the republic of South Sudan. After all how many US nationals are there in every square kilometer of the country! (Only God knows). And is there anything that can stop them from carrying out interviews if that is what they want? It was long coming that it won’t be too long before the ruling SPLM looks in the mirror and sees NCP. The same way of rampant mistreatment, indifference, lawlessness, corruption, favourtism ……….. All these are committed on daily basis and with the highest degree of impunity.
Another “concoction” maybe! When Pag’an Amum the SPLM Secretary General and Arthur Akuen also a senior SPLM cadre and ex-minister of Finance landed in the Court of Law – who opened the case? And how on earth did they both come out claiming victory? Can a genius out there explain this for the benefit of public since it wasn’t mentioned in the US Report?
The other thing is about the performance of the Anti-corruption Commission when it would hibernate for a whole season and then from nowhere dungs a ‘Breaking News’ that it has recovered so and so million dollars of the embezzled public money. Yet the whole process is done in secrecy and lacks any transparency. Is it not another corruption in its own right?
Who are those offenders in the first place and where have they ended up? Which methods were used to trace them, catch them and bring them not only to pledge guilty but also to allow for the recovery of the booties? And where are they now – Imprisoned? Executed? Dismissed? Demoted? Promoted? Cautioned? Where are we my fellow countrymen in the Anti-corruption commission?
So ‘konkoc’ Mr. Spokesperson for the government of South Sudan, neither is the US Report nor is anything that is jotted in this piece of writing a “Concoction” in any way. Our war with the northern ‘Jallaba’ may take no less than another century and for this very reason our people are not too naïve to allow being captives under a poor system of governance in the assumption that the ‘House’ can only be put in order when the ‘Jallaba’ are finally done with.
This very deception was what you people sold to us throughout the past seven years and we bought into it for the sake of the referendum. But now for God’s sake the rules of the game must change, for it is only through good governance that we can collectively protect our hard won independence from the northern Arab Islamists.
Before I pen off I would really like to be fair with RSS government spokesperson and all those who share his view point – so I suggest that they re-read the US Report carefully and for any number of times and then based on evidence let them come up with what they think is disputable in that Report . Do that and we are all yours, for on the other hand a wholesale condemnation only tells how defensive and ‘intolerant to criticism’ the system in Juba is and thus actually confirming each and everything said in that Report and even more. For otherwise to add another dimension where we would be regarded as “a nation of liars” to what we are already portrayed as, would be totally unpatriotic.
The author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. Secretary General – United South Sudan Party (USSP). He can be reached at: [email protected] or [email protected]