By: Justin Ambago Ramba
March 17, 2013 (SSNA) — Change is indeed needed in South Sudan and this is a fact which no two should differ on. Equally concerned compatriots have made this very observation earlier on though in a bit of a sarcastic way.
“Now we have got the South Sudan state that we fought for, but still we have to create the people that we can proudly refer to as the South Sudanese”, they said.
So who are we the current people to whom South Sudan is a home? Are we not South Sudanese in any way? Of course we are. We are indeed South Sudanese in every sense of the expression. If so, then where does the problem lie? It is the answer to this question that will form the main theme of this article.
We are all South Sudanese, however our problem lies in that there are others who look at themselves as being more South Sudanese than the rest. For in South Sudan there are no less than seventy or so different ethnicities, all of which have the same equal rights to citizenship of our beautiful country. And for any one or a certain group of ethnicities to assume more rightful ownership of the country is in fact to call for a total dismantling of the country itself.
It’s now time that we face our own problems and accept them the way they are. For in reality they are all of our own makings. What we have now is the legacy of the over five decades of war that shaped our collective destiny as a nation. This legacy extends to include the Comprehensive Peace Agreement [CPA] between the north and the south, for it is this very CPA that paved the way to our independence.
Today South Sudanese both at home and in the Diaspora are concerned and indeed disturbed about the rampant condition of misrule and poor governance that the SPLM is busy administering on our people. But what is this organization referred to as the SPLM supposed to mean to all of us?
Some of us had ever since found it difficult to identify with the SPLM in as far as its ideology of the united Sudan was concerned, but then then the gap even widened on further, when the movement became a sole political instrument which was constantly abused by a particular ethnic group in its quest for dominant power over South Sudan.
Now, eight years after the end of the war, South Sudan continues to suffer under this corrupted institution of self proclaimed liberators. There is indeed much to support the existence of ethnic Sinisterism within the SPLM [ A Secular Religion of the Lie: The history of those who were Marxists, others who were Fascists, and others who were Cannibals and others who were Leftists]. It is a party that hardly ever existed except where there is feasting, embezzlement, looting and corruption.
And to put it right, the SPLM party is in fact a political tool being used by the the so called liberators turn rulers, to tighten their grip on power and never has it in any way been the ruling party of South Sudan. Sincerely speaking our country is being run by a totalitarian ruler who gives no any damn to any institution including of course the SPLM itself.
To tell the truth besides its nostalgia for the bush war, SPLM actually lacks any of the basic programs and no wonder that it remains imprisoned in the outdated mentality of mob politics. Amazing even the more is that people who went on and subscribed to this party have on several occasions suffered in the hands of their so-called comrades in a way no any different from that suffered by the majority who prefer not to subscribe.
Back in the pre-independence days it was an open secret that the majority of South Sudanese in a tactical move accepted the SPLM leadership following the legacy of the CPA. And it was also a sure way to approach the self determination referendum as a united people, yet deep inside everyone knows who is who. This one off move should not in any way be misinterpreted to mean an overwhelming support for this ailing party.
The core issue here now is that we have an independent country to run, and it can only be run as a peaceful and stable state if, true multi-party democracy, and freedom of expression is guaranteed to all. And to expect this ethnically propelled SPLM to deliver the above mentioned dividends is in fact to day dream.
Indeed naïve is s/he who underestimates the fact that the country is living this chaotic moment as a calculated policy of the current SPLM leadership and its hand picked inner circle in a bid to create a bourgeois class that can set them and their families apart from the rest of the south Sudanese proletariat for generations and generations to come.
The majority of those who initially embraced the SPLM in South Sudan as a party for realization of their long held dream for a well developed agrarian country that they could pride themselves with, are now one by one appreciating the one fact that such a dream is virtually impossible to achieve under the current ill fitted leadership.
Since last December 2012, the wave of running back into exile has doubled especially so among the most outspoken of the so-called South Sudan’s “Lost Boys”. These are the ones who will rightly reflect to the outside world how hostile the political environment in the new country has become under president Salva Kiir’s leadership. Welcome back to exile my fellow patriots and at least now you can call a spade a spade after you have learnt to do that through the hard way.
Today in South Sudan there is widespread optimism that oil will soon again flow to the Sudanese port for export after a 14-month break since Juba turned off the tap. However although Oil exports may restart but the economic problems will not end.
It is already perceived that foreign Aid, investment and trade will help, especially the Juba elite. But there is no wonder that President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s government will again prioritize security, focusing on managing ethnic conflict and relations with Khartoum. All these will undoubtedly continue to be at the expense of any true development all across the country.
Yes President Salva Kiir Mayardit will pour all the Oil money in securing his position as the head of state. He will also use the oil money to win over vice president Dr Riek Machar who is now more prepared than ever to contest for the top job. Ethnic conflicts will undoubtedly increase in the coming few months especially towards the election year – 2015.
And whether we are all together done with Khartoum or not, the truth be said that South Sudan is no longer going to accept Salva Kiir Mayardit’s candidacy in the forthcoming election, and even much so of any of his kitchen cabinet candidates for that matter. It’s here that the much talked about change will have to come, with the next president coming either from the Greater Equatoria or the Greater Upper Nile regions. As bluntly as I put it, it may be this country’s only way out of the imminent implosion ahead.
Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. Secretary General – United South Sudan Party (USSP). Can be reached at: [email protected]