What are the pillars of Foreign Policy in South Sudan?

By Wani Tombe Lako

February 9, 2013 (SSNA) — We South Sudanese want to know very urgently; as to what are the cardinal pillars of our foreign policy, on the basis of which, our comprehensive international and regional interests are realised, with the least costs and inconveniences respectively. I am very concerned by the fact that, we appear to be allowing our own life issues to become the text of other people’s internal political affairs. There are some people in Washington; London; Paris and elsewhere, who appear to have entrenched their personal and group survival on internal affairs of South Sudan.

Many of these people, for some funny reasons, are being presented to us as being experts on us, and we also, in turn, and in a very gullibly pitiful fashion, also, accepted this ridiculous idea, and then, we begin to spend millions of dollars, on these redundant so called experts on South Sudan.

Some of these so called experts on South Sudan are international war mongers, arms dealers, agents of international mercenary organisations, religious fanatics, and others are just fame seekers, who want to improve their personal curriculum vita, and by writing on South Sudan, and using material looted from South Sudan, and then regurgitating these materials to us, as being scientific discoveries, based on some scientific analyses, of raw data on South Sudan.

It is becoming clear to many keen observers that; there are several groups and institutions, based in some foreign capitals, and who have stealthily and cunningly, established themselves as South Sudanese movers and shakers overseas. This is very apparent in the never ending pilgrimages performed by our elites, who seem to have equated prudent leadership, with total reliance on foreign advisors and fortune seekers.

It is also clear how the government of South Sudan, has fallen into this old African trap, of inviting in a white man; whose mere presence, in the minds of some people in Juba, shall just produce miracles in South Sudan. This is very bad. It does not matter if such people were prime ministers in Europe.

This is tribal South Sudan, and things are just different here. These foreign advisors come with assumptions which do not exist here. These foreign advisors need myriad of infrastructures which do not exist here. The absence of all these factors make their stay here in South Sudan meaningless, and mere squandering of millions of dollars, for useless advice.

Some in Juba shall argue that, the presence of these European and other advisors is good for international and regional publicities, and for attracting more foreign aid, and hopefully investment, as it is being hoped for by our Ministry of Finance in Juba. All such assumptions are wishful thinking, and an exercise of building castles in the air.

There are clear well know methodologies, and conditions, of how Third World countries like South Sudan, access foreign aid, from various financial institutions, and governments, and such like. On the other hand, investors are business people. Investors are not philanthropists, who roam the globe with their money, looking for poor countries with the most appropriate foreign advisors and such like. Investors are shrewd profit maximisers, who think on their feet, and who speak and think in profitable figures. Investors have no time for some economies which are run on the basis of economics of moralities, sustained by inward looking tribal priorities; and dependent on nature complete with fatalistic mindset and outlook; like the economy of South Sudan.

Ordinary, or special advisors; from over the oceans; do not miraculously; put food and medicine on tables; so to speak; in South Sudan. What is there that the people of South Sudan do not know how to do for themselves; to the extent that; they are made to spent a fortune; on hiring some idle talks as professional advice; for the development of South Sudan?

What the peoples of South Sudan need at the moment, are not a plethora of idle minds; imported in from the United States of America and Europe. What the peoples of South Sudan need; at this moment of their political metamorphosis; are agile and honest political leaders; to lead and manage their various economic, financial, political, legislative, judicial, security, religious, and socio-cultural institutions.

The peoples of South Sudan do not want leaders; whose minds negatively change continuously throughout the days, weeks, months, and years, in a very volatile fashion; like a piece of cloth; on a drying line; that can blow at any direction; subject to the direction of the wind. The wind in this sense, are the useless foreign advisors, employed by the government of South Sudan, either resident in South Sudan, or overseas. These kinds of leaders are useless; hopeless; and they are waste of space and time.

Too much reliance on foreign advisors explains many issues about such leaders, who depend on, and spend fortunes on foreign advisors. These are invariably leaders, who have no confidence in themselves, or leaders who do not trust their own nationals, or leaders who want to institute some kind of personality cult culture in the countries they lead. Do we have the same situation in South Sudan?

If we have such kind of leadership in South Sudan, then our fate is sealed. Leadership via personality cult; saturated in anthropological myth, and customary adorations; are best suited for the management of African societies; before the discovery of agriculture; whenever that discovery took place is immaterial.

It is becoming clearer, by passage of time that, we South Sudanese do not want leaders who want to rule us by surrounding themselves with senile; semi-illiterate; and dangerous aggregation of quasi military officers and others; used as threats against other competent and politically viable South Sudanese. There are many more better qualified south Sudanese, who are very competent to advice the government of South Sudan on all matters that have direct bearing on the lives of the peoples of South Sudan. 

The leadership of South Sudan, must come to its senses, and ought not to depend on those South Sudanese, who has the most ruthless; and armed to the teeth human automatons; that can kill any innocent human person at a click of political and military fingers. The more the government of South Sudan depends on such people, the more it shall also depend on its foreign advisors, who claim to be able to bring in more arms, for the government of South Sudan to defend itself against its people and others.

The peoples of South Sudan are in a dire need of a politically mature leadership; to lead them in such a fashion that,  the sons and daughters of South Sudan, have the space to participate in the administration of their country, without being cut off by the plethora of foreign advisors that are now competing with nationals in South Sudan. The peoples of South Sudan want their comprehensive freedoms back, they want to have some choice; so that; semblance of peace; amity; positive development; human love; and good neighbourliness can return to South Sudan; in this era of universal jubilation; with the doctrine of self determination.  

The people of South Sudan need a prudent and humane leadership in South Sudan. The peoples of South Sudan want to feel and touch the meaning of freedom. The peoples of South Sudan do not want the minimisation of the costly task of liberation; to a mere renaming of places in South Sudan; as the most important sign posts of liberation. The peoples of South Sudan want to see proper representation of their country in international and regional settings, as a mature State, not a conduit for other states to wage wars, and advance their foreign policies, against other states, and then, it is us in South Sudan who suffer. 

Above all; the people of South Sudan do not want a leadership; which appears to endorse the renaming of other people’s villages; as a symbol of liberation of the South Sudanese from the jallabas. This is extremely important to avoid permanent civil strife in South Sudan; among South Sudanese themselves. Some of the foreign advisors operating in South Sudan know this fact, and they appear to encourage the leadership of South Sudan to continue along this dangerous political path.

If some political parties want to rule forever in South Sudan; as it is rumoured in South Sudan, and if this is the wish of many of their supporters; then, these political parties have to find themselves good leaders; who love all the peoples of South Sudan; and not their current leaders, who see South Sudan; through the lenses of tribal leadership, and through the lenses of their foreign advisors.

The various security and political developments that have taken place in South Sudan, in the last few weeks, point to a situation which is not stable herein. The names of the many retired army officers point to various issues. The nature of this South Sudanese army, which many foreign advisors want to entrench, as the army of South Sudan, is problematic, if it is not properly reformed.

The reformation of this army ought to be done in such a fashion that; the army reflects all the multiculturalism of South Sudan. The security of South Sudan must be the concern of all peoples of South Sudan, not just a fraction of South Sudanese. The military and war assets for defense of the sovereignty of South Sudan must be controlled by all peoples of South Sudan, not just a minority of them. There are many foreign advisors who want this status quo to continue for their own foreign interest, and not for the interest of the peoples of South Sudan.

It can be argued that, the way things are being managed here in Juba, resembles some informal institutional management, despite the myriads of foreign advisors herein. Leading human beings on the basis of informal rules; principles; and guidelines cannot amount to a leadership within the framework of a modern government. While kitchen cabinets can resemble informal governance style; what is befalling the government of South Sudan in Juba, is worse than the informality of kitchen cabinets.

At times; the SPLM government of South Sudan, here in Juba; resembles packs of antagonistic hunting wolves. Each wants to tear as much meat for survival sake. This is very dangerous; when you think in terms of the poor peoples of South Sudan. The factions within the ruling SPLM does not allow the peoples of South Sudan to benefit whatsoever. The factional nature of SPLM is characterised by the dependency of the government of South Sudan on foreigners. Each faction within the SPLM is loyal to particular group of foreign advisors. This is the tragedy of South Sudanese.

I sincerely think that, the rulers in Juba, appear to be a group of a people who have been misled; misinformed; deceived; and made to relay on other purported political leaders; who literally delivered them nothing; but economic; political; financial; security; social; and moral chaos, made to masquerade as the climax of human liberation.  

I think we in South Sudan need a leadership which has the capacity to use constitutional and other powers constructively. We do not want a leadership which is saturated with humanity that becomes so easily overwhelmed by intellectual and other weights of political powers and authorities. We need the type of leadership which is not always on the defensive due to lack of self-confidence. Being permanently aggressive and mistrusting does not mean that one is a successful leader of a people.

The Author can be reached at [email protected]

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