Kampala must not be allowed to use Juba to unsettle Khartoum

By Wani Tombe Lako

February 10, 2013 (SSNA) — The United Nations Charter (1945), at article 4(2) maintains that, ‘All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations’. The place is awash with news that, Kampala is providing sanctuaries, and various moral and logistical supports, as well as various infrastructures, for the assorted groups of armed rebels, as well as SPLM/N, fighting the government of the Republic of Sudan (RoS).

The intention here is not politically emotional defense of the RoS per se; however, my concern here is about the long term regional peace, as well as the peaceful coexistence of the three countries, that is, the Republic of South Sudan (RoSS), the RoS, and Uganda. I do not think that, it is in any anybody’s interest, if the acts and omissions of Kampala, turn the entire territory covered by the said three countries, into a region of war.  

The government of Uganda, like any other government on earth, is a mere transient political organism, it is here today, and tomorrow it is gone. The fashion of its demise is none of my concern here now. However, the fact that, it shall go, one day, is a given truth, and no one can deny that. Since it started, it shall end. That is given. For every beginning, there is an end. That is given too.

So, what next, when the current government of Uganda, runs out of its steam, and collapses, because the peoples of Uganda wanted so? The peoples of Uganda shall remain there, as the sovereign body. The women, men, and children of Uganda, are, Uganda; not the current government in Kampala. This being the case, it is in our best interests in South Sudan, to identify the comprehensive economic, religious, financial, political, human, cultural, social, moral, technical, and the many variables, which represent our common interests, aspirations, futures and happiness. That is, we in South Sudan, and our sisters and brothers in Uganda.

The racial and religious crusade the current leadership in Kampala is waging against Khartoum ought not to be our business in Juba. Ugandan does not have any common borders with the RoS. We in South Sudan have more than common borders with the RoS. We in South Sudan have historical common positive and negative memories that bind us together with the RoS. Notwithstanding Kampala’s political rhetoric and polemic against Khartoum; Juba and Khartoum need one another; that is a fact. 

Notwithstanding the intentions of some individuals and groups in South Sudan and elsewhere, there must not be, and shall not be, established permanent enmity as between the peoples of the RoS and the peoples of the RoSS.  In fact, the bare objective truth is that, we in South Sudan and the peoples of the RoS have some blood-ties and blood-relations that, the current leadership in Kampala cannot just write-off in a very whimsical political fashion. There are some current governors in some States of South Sudan with such common blood running in their veins, and they stand as concrete testimonies to these facts.

Those of you in South Sudan, and elsewhere, who doubt these commonalties, between we in South Sudan and the RoS as peoples, and human beings, do go and investigate the demographic variables in Greater Upper Nile, Greater Bahr El Ghazal, and Abyei, and even Greater Equatoria.

We in South Sudan want to come to our senses, because, we are now running a sovereign nation, and not a rebel movement. We must not just cling to anything that sounds and looks like an opportunity for more arms and money as well as moral support, through and from Uganda and elsewhere. We are now a sovereign nation with posterities’ interests at stake.

If there are groups in the RoS, who want to create permanent instability in the RoS, through the involvement of the current leadership of Uganda, we in South Sudan ought to wash our hands of such an enterprise. We must not see our stability through the instability of the RoS. This is a very dangerous foreign policy. If there are issues of political misunderstandings between us in South Sudan, and the RoS, there are always various diplomatic and legal means of resolving such issues. We in South Sudan cannot resolve such issues through hostile actions, or condoning hostile actions against the RoS.

We in South Sudan want to cultivate international and regional friends, and we cannot effectively do that by being agents of other sovereign nations, in their international and regional schemes, of creating havoc in other African countries. It is wrong for us in South Sudan, to even imagine that, we have the racial, moral, and religious responsibility of policing and cleaning Africa, of other races and religious. This is such a ridiculous idea to entertain.

This continent has been a host to various races and religions for the last one thousand and more years, and if Kampala thinks that it is her due and responsibility, to clean the African content, which is home to these other races and Heavenly religions, we in South Sudan must have nothing to do with such dangerous project, which smacks of national, continental, and international criminality. The religious and racial purification of Africa is the idea of current leadership in Kampala, and it reminds humanity of Europe of the 1940s, and the various consequences of such dangerous and foolish actions.

Racial and religious hatred is a crime at all laws including international law which governs relations among nations. We in South Sudan have our hands full with our own human and political challenges, and we do not really have the time and space, to entertain such dangerous games that the current leadership of Uganda appear to be entraining. If the current leadership of Uganda has racial and religious problems, with other races, and religions, in the African continent, let him sort that out alone, and not through us, and using our human and political histories as proxies.

We have nothing against our Ugandan sisters and brothers, but we do not want to be dragged into such dangerous international conflict, by the leadership in Kampala, which appears to be committing same mistakes, normally committed by dictators who have run out of political theatricals, to politically anesthetise their restless peoples, as ways of diverting their attentions away, from their national political and economic ordeals.  

The region of East Africa is home to various races and religions. Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya are homes to various races and religions to the extent that, the mere thought of capitalising on race and religion, as the corner stone of a country’s foreign policy, as what is being done by Kampala, in its crusade against the RoS, is just unimaginable. Many historical developments have taken place in many coastal regions of Africa. The East African coast of Africa is one such region. Does Kampala really know what it is playing with?

Regime survival ought not to be synonymous with peoples’ survival in amity with others in the same space and time. Regime survival is characterised by immediacy and as I mentioned earlier on, regimes which revolve around personality cult are based on temporary climax of power. Kampala cares about the present. We in South Sudan care about safe and positively productive future. This beneficent future is in fact a number of harmonious futures. That is, a composite of advantageous futures, for our own posterities in South Sudan and the RoS respectively.

We have suffered enough, and we are not going to bequeath our posterities the same curse of sufferings, hurts, agonies, and cruelties. We want to prepare the political, economic, and human templates, on which, our posterities shall live in harmony with the rest of the humanity, including the peoples of the RoS. Not a country in the world, not even the current leadership of Uganda has the right to interfere with such long term strategic ambition of our peoples in South Sudan.

The Author can be reached at [email protected]

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