The Addis Agreements: The Litmus Test of South Sudanese Political Integrity

By Wani Tombe Lako

October 21, 2012 (SSNA) — The recent agreements signed in Addis Ababa under the direct supervision of their Excellencies President Omar El Bashir of the Republic of Sudan (RoS); and President Salva Kiir of the Republic of South Sudan (RoSS); are the boldest and bravest decisions taken by the two leaders; of the two sisterly countries. However; I have elected to concentrate on the RoSS as the title of this article indicates; not because the RoS is of least importance in this issues; but, I did so because, I have the constitutional and legal right to comment on the RoSS, as a legitimate national and citizen of the RoSS. I am also discharging my duty of care; as a certified journalist; to explain to my people in the RoSS, as to why we must all stand behind our brave President; H.E. Salva Kiir; and support him in the implementation of these agreements.

There are emotional voices in the RoSS who think that, these agreements are a sell out to the RoS; by the gallant negotiators of the RoSS. These RoSS politicians did a wonderful job; and they have proven to the whole world that; the RoSS has some heavyweight political guys to reckon with. These RoSS negotiators; under the direct supervision of President Kiir; have done what refine statesmen do. Issues of nation building; and especially nations still very delicate like the RoSS; are to be handled with extreme political prudence and diligence. Politics are concentrated comprehensive interests; and good negotiators must always take into reasonable consideration, the comprehensive interests of the other negotiating parties; so that; they do not reach a deadlock which is detrimental to all parties. This is what our negotiators have done in Addis Ababa; and they did take into serious consideration the positive comprehensive interests of the RoS; and that is why the prudent negotiators of the RoS also agreed to sign the deals. That is a win-win scenario for the peoples of the two sisterly countries; and we must all rejoice for that; in the two Sudans.

The political leaders in both countries must now then settle down to sincerely implement the terms of these agreements that they have signed on behalf of the peoples of the two Sudans. The current political leaders of the two Sudans have got the experiences of the implementation of the CPA, which they need to take into account so that; those conducts that made the implementation of the CPA rather problematic ought not to be repeated here; within the remit of these agreements which have opened windows of hopes; and made the peoples of the two Sudans to take in deep sighs of relieves as it were. The two Sudans are but, Siamese Twins; whose political surgical separations can only be successful if they continue to use the joint and common circulatory tubes which still link them to their inherent common destiny. The last few months after the secession of the RoSS has clearly shown that, the two Sudans cannot meaningfully; and efficaciously pretend that; either of them can exist without the other. The peoples of the two Sudans cannot just negate their intrinsic and inherent common destiny by mere political decisions such as plebiscites and such like. The reactions of the majority of the peoples of the two Sudans tell it all to the whole world, and also the reaction of the world community tells it all as regards the common destiny of the two Sudans.

Therefore; why are these agreements the litmus test of South Sudanese political integrity? Well; critical and comprehensive reading of these agreements indicates that; they are saturated with delicacy which cannot withstand political panic and political mimicking as regards foreseeable and unforeseeable political developments in the future. The leadership of the RoSS must maintain a solid; and reasonably flexible political character; imbued with good faith political patience during the demanding implementation phases of these agreements. There shall be many spoilers; who shall and will want to derail these agreements in both Sudans; and to return the two Sudans to yester days of animosities and mistrust. These spoilers must not be given a chance by the political leadership in the RoSS. Therefore; there is a foreseeability of spoilers; and we in the RoSS ought to become proactive. Let us show the world that; the RoSS is politically mature, and it shall not be the cause for the deterioration of sisterly and brotherly relationships between the two Sudans; post these agreements. 

These agreements must not be implemented in socio-cultural and religious anger; or under the influence of political anger. The structures; contents; and textures of these agreements are humanitarian in nature; and this means that; we in the RoSS ought to approach the implementation processes of these agreements in a humanitarian fashion. Many lives in the RoSS depend on these agreements’ success; and it is a very heavy duty of care on the political and moral shoulders of the political leaders in the RoSS; to see to it that; this duty is discharged efficiently; effectively; and beneficially on behalf of the peoples of the RoSS. 

Notwithstanding the fact that these agreements came about as a result of political moves; however; the letters and the spirits of these agreements are human in nature; and they sought to reinforce the human rights of the human persons in the two Sudans. With this in mind; the political leadership of the RoSS must then open new chapters of comprehensive relationship between the RoSS and the RoS; and the recordings in these new chapters must be in letters and spirits of withholding the human rights and human dignities of the peoples of the RoSS; by giving them spaces they badly need; so that; they can fruitfully gain from these agreements.

The RoSS must immediately declare another political and criminal amnesty; to cover all those sons and daughters of the RoSS; who intellectually and militarily opposed the ruling party in the RoSS; and concomitantly the government of the RoSS. This kind of an amnesty shall also allow the government of the RoSS to come into these agreements; within the remit of the RoSS; with clean hands as it were. The government of the RoSS ought to extricate itself from the web of bloodshed by showing the current rebels in the bushes of the RoSS that; it has no intention of fighting them offensively. Let the government of the RoSS show those who opposed the SPLM intellectually that; there is nothing personal; and bygones are bygones; and the world is the witness. This shall lay the foundation for peaceful environments in the RoSS; whereby; the practical implementation of these agreements shall not be bogged down by insurgents’ activities and such like. The RoSS must succeed in peacefully cleaning the bushes of the RoSS of any kind of armed groups that pose serious danger to the implementation of these agreements; especially the export of oil via the RoS.

Such moves by the RoSS in general; and the SPLM/A in particular; ought not to be considered as political or military weakness. On the contrary; such moves shall demonstrate the strength of the SPLM/A; and they are brave; prudent; humane; and nationalistic characteristics and conducts of a leadership that loves its peoples; and a leadership that wants to manage a peaceful and positively productive country; within the remit of national; regional; and international socio-economic, financial; technological; religious; political; and cultural development.

The promises exchanged between their Excellencies; President Bashir of the RoS; and President Kiir of the RoSS, as regards peaceful coexistence of the two Sudans are critical litmus test for the RoSS. H.E President Kiir shall be making us in RoSS walk with our heads raised up high in national pride; by proving to the world that; we in the RoSS mean no harm to the brotherly and sisterly peoples of the RoS. As we do not want rebels in our bushes; creating comprehensive instability in our country; we are not also going to be a cause for instability in the RoS; and let the world be the judge. This is a mammoth contribution towards the solidification of our political integrity. The peoples of the RoSS want to rise above petty political squabbles by a few others in both the RoSS and the RoS; and squabbles which, if not tackled with political prudence; could lead us to square one in our political parlance; in the two Sudans.

The relative peace that we continuously see in some continents did not happen by mere chance and/or accident of histories. A continent like Europe use to be a massive human slaughter house; that is; reflecting on the gruesome narratives of the First and Second World Wars; as examples of such sad human histories. Therefore; the relative peace that we see in Europe now; and the Europe to which many of us in both Sudans run to; for exile; refuge/political asylum; medical treatments; and for depositing our money for safekeeping; do not just received these characteristics of peacefulness and security as gifts; falling on them from Heaven. The Europeans contemplated on their histories; and miseries; and decided that; those human agonies ought not to be repeated in their life time; nor in the life time of their posterities. Let us in the RoSS copy this positive human learning processes; and work together to make the RoSS the crucible for peace and peaceful coexistence as between the two Sudans; and let us also infect the rest of the region with this peace; and hopefully the whole of the African continent. Let the birth of the RoSS be a new positive beginning; for the continent of Africa. These agreements signed in Addis Ababa could be the beginning of this new dawn of hope and human love in the RoSS. The leadership in the RoSS must therefore capitalize on these agreements for brighter tomorrow.

The peoples of the RoSS must know that; many of them in the RoSS; and myself included; are hurting very much because of the unstable situation in the RoSS. I am saying all these things because I love the RoSS. The peoples of the RoSS must understand me. I should not be hated for loving my country the RoSS. The integrity that I am on about is not for personal reasons, but rather, for communitarian reasons. I want to be buried in a peaceful RoSS; so that my bones rest in peace with themselves. I am sure these are the wishes of many of us in the RoSS; and who love the RoSS for its peoples. This is the selflessness that I want our political leadership to be imbued with, so that, everything that they do, they do them for the current peoples of the RoSS; and posterities to come. These are the cumulative elements of political integrity I am on about.

These agreements are part of the political journey that the peoples of the RoSS must make towards the future positive development destination. We cannot establish a new nation dependent on handouts from global friends. We must stand on our own feet by positively exploiting our wealth of comprehensive resources that nature has endowed us with. We cannot lock ourselves into permanent hatred with the peoples of the RoS. Prosperous nations become rich because they open their trading doors to many other nations as markets; and sources of other raw materials needed; while they too become markets and sources of other raw materials for those other nations. All these we shall do with our political integrity intact; and our solidarity unshaken. However; we shall only be able to do all these if and only if; we benefit from human history. This continent is awash with evidence of ruined nations around us; and nations ruined by their own peoples; not by outsiders or enemies. The peoples of these nations turned into their own enemies due to their own political and economic, plus financial greed.

I do not think that; the peoples of the RoSS shall be doing themselves any good service if they comprehensively indulge in plots and counter-plots to kill and murder themselves in their palaces; hotel-rooms; offices or in their villages. All these murderous actions shall only pull us down towards our holistic doom. Personal competition and feud must not be exploited by us to ruin the RoSS for all its poor and innocent peoples; peoples who are looking up to some of us for guidance and salvation. What do some of us want any more from the RoSS? Some of us are extremely rich and satisfied with this earthly life, but yet, they want to kill and maim the peoples of the RoSS; just to reach the seat of power; not for any good reason; but for purely egoistic reason. Some of us form political parties not for the real purposes of serving the peoples of the RoSS; but as conduits for further wealth accumulation and other jingoistic purposes. It is time we in the RoSS agreed together; to despise political unreasonableness so that; we can safeguard our political integrity. No amount of assassinations of ourselves in the RoSS shall positively contribute to comprehensive socio-economic development of the RoSS. We cannot all become presidents; or ministers of the RoSS. Let us be sensible political adults.

The Author can be reached at [email protected]

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