June 18, 2013 (SSNA) — In part one of these series of articles, I said that, “if David Miliband and Ed Miliband were South Sudanese brothers; the Milibandfamily would have been destroyed for good. Thanks God, these young men areBritish nationals, whose society knows the meaning of self-determination andassociated freedom of expression. This means that, these Miliband brothers, donot suffer from herd mentality and herd morality. In fact, their supporters didnot, and do not suffer from the same problem. South Sudan can only be saved ifwe despise raw human hatreds. You cannot want to kill another South Sudanese just because the way he/she thinks, does not make you happy, or, it is toocomplicated for you to understand, its various dimensions”.
For the interest of clarity, these Miliband brothers, are Labour Party politicians in the UK. When the leadership of the Labour Party fell vacant; after the defeat of the Labour Party British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, in the last general election in the UK, the two brothers, put their names forward, as candidates for the leadership of the Labour Party. David Miliband is the older brother. At the end of the contest, Ed Miliband emerged as the new leader of the British Labour Party, and now, the Leader of British Opposition, in the House of Commons. The two brothers are still alive, they have not killed themselves because they held different political opinions on how best to run the Labour Party, in the best interest of the British peoples. This is the true meaning of freedom of expression within the ambit and remit of self-determination.
Emotional policies and politics in South Sudan
In the UK’s types of politics, you hate the ideas of your political opponents, but, you do not plot to kill your political opponents, nor do you hire others, to brutalise them. In fact, in the UK, political differences between two politicians do not become the cause for communal mobilisation for a total communal warfare. However, in our emotionally charged politics in South Sudan, complete with our primordial and parochial herd mentality and associated herd morality, such political differences become the kernel, and the cardinal reasons, for tribal mayhem, and human carnage.
Just go through various articles, in various electronic websites, and you will have the feel, and know the intrinsic meaning of herd mentality and herd morality, fueled by raw tribal human hatreds. Go to Juba in South Sudan, and you will come away with a shattered political and human heart, because, the country is being torn asunder by raw politicised human hatreds, masquerading as political manifestos, in sovereign South Sudan. The human, legal, moral, and constitutional paradoxes are that, today’s South Sudan is purported to be, the offspring of the sacred doctrine of self-determination, as the ultimate driver and dynamo of universal human rights.
Alas; in South Sudan, the supposed self-determination’s gift to humanity; herein, there is the entrenchment of the culture of particular human rights, and the catering for the interests of a particular people; within the peoples of South Sudan. This is where, the doctrinal definition of “people (s)”; within the remit and ambit of the doctrine of self-determination; has gone bonkers and dangerously soar in South Sudan. Raw human hatreds, dangerously delivered via the conduits of herd mentality and herd morality, has left the regional and international friends, of the downtrodden and subaltern peoples of South Sudan, trembling with rage and incredulities.
Nowhere in the whole wide world, are human persons, condemned and criminalised, for discharging their constitutional rights, duties and obligations; as do happen in South Sudan. No where in the whole wide world, are human persons, expected to behave, and think uniformly, as we are expected to do in South Sudan. Thanks to herd mentality, and herd morality as the operationalisation of tribal, primordial and parochial folklore culture. This folklore culture is, forcibly and unconscionably, being rammed down our enlightened and intellectual political throats and consciences; as genuinely palatable and nutritious political diet, of the nascent sovereign nation of South Sudan. God Almighty, we are dangerously constipating in South Sudan.
Many of us in South Sudan have been refugees in many continents. For those of us who were in Europe for example. Therefore, the very Refugee Convention of 1951, and its Protocol of 1967, these documents, were purposively written, by mainly white Europeans, for the protection of political, linguistic, racial, ethnic, religious, and conscience differences. Europe became Europe, as we Africans in general, and South Sudanese in particular, love it today, because, the Europeans, allowed themselves, to peacefully differ continuously; for the perfection of human reason. That is the essence of the doctrine, of this moral/legal animal; called self-determination, which, we are misusing an abusing in South Sudan.
For example, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of 2005, which ended the non-international armed conflict in the hitherto united Sudan, became the main source of the Interim Constitution of hitherto united Sudan, during the interim period 2005-2011. This CPA, commanded the peoples of South Sudan, to vote in a referendum, in 2011, to decide whether, they wanted a separate sovereign state of their own, or they wanted to remain in a united Sudan. The peoples of South Sudan voted overwhelmingly for secession, from the rest of the Sudan, and the creation of their own sovereign State of South Sudan. This was, and is, a constitutional, and legal right, which is to be respected and protected.
However, emotional politics got the better of some South Sudanese, to the extent that, they individually, and as a group, interpreted the CPA, as meaning that, all peoples of South Sudan should have, on the day of referendum, voted for the secession of South Sudan, from the rest of the Sudan. Not only that, for those South Sudanese, who openly voted for unity with the rest of the Sudan, for perfectly objective reasons, this group of South Sudanese, in accordance with this kinky interpretation of the CPA, must be criminalised and labeled traitors. This is the meaning of emotional policies and politics in South Sudan. They are dangerously value loaded, evilly subjective, and self-destructive. This is where the notions of herd mentality and herd morality come in to play their dangerous roles.
Emotional policies and politics saw to it that, champions of self-redetermination as external self-determination, for the establishment of the sovereign Republic of South Sudan are mistreated and tortured with impunity. For example, Justice Peter Abdel-Rahman Sule is languishing in Juba dungeons, for standing up against the abuse and misuse of the doctrine of self-determination, by some of the rulers of South Sudan. These rulers of South Sudan, are filled to the brim, with raw human hatreds, sustained by herd mentality and herd morality.
Not only that, but, there are senior SPLM former, and current ministers, who spoke openly against the secession of South Sudan from the rest of the Sudan, and they are being rewarded with membership of Parliament of South Sudan, and others, being assigned to UN posts, representing South Sudan, while champions of secession like Justice Peter Abdel-Rahman Sule, are maliciously, categorised as enemies of the State. These are emotional policies and politics in dangerous operation in South Sudan.
The State of South Sudan, which interests have been culpably married, to the interests of specific individuals in South Sudan, is becoming a dangerous place for the majority of South Sudanese. This means that, if you politically, annoy this particular group of people, you automatically annoy the State of South Sudan, and thus, the instruments of violence, owned by the State of South Sudan, are unleashed against you, because, the State of South Sudan is angry with you. This is reminiscence of the statement by Louis XIV of France, in which he said, “I am the law, and the State, and the thing is right because I said so…”
Justice Peter Abdel-Rahman Sule is languishing behind bars, in Juba dungeons, because, the rulers of South Sudan, decided to apply the political amnesty, proclaimed by the President of South Sudan, subjectively, influenced by raw human hatreds, sustained by herd mentality and herd morality. There is no objective consideration, for the comprehensive interest of South Sudan as an amalgam of heterogeneous tribal groups, who are supposed to coexist within the framework of reciprocal human communities, in multicultural and multi-tribal South Sudan.
For example, when President Salva Kiir, was still Commander Salva Kiir, and during the Rumbek Meeting of November 29th to December 3rd 2004, he said: “If we are national leaders, which I don’t believe we are because we have no cohesion within our leadership structure, let us be sincere with ourselves. After meetings are conducted, we run to foreign countries. There is no code of conduct to guide the Movement’s structures. When the Chairman leaves for abroad, no directives are left. And no one is left to act on his behalf. I don’t know with whom the Movement is left with; or does he carry it in his brief case?” (See page 2 of the confidential minutes).
The then Commander Salva Kiir, and the current President of the sovereign Republic of South Sudan also said that, “…The Chairman is everything, from a Finance officer to one at the lowest level. Corruption, as a result of the lack of structures, has created a lack of accountability which has reached a proportion that will be difficult to eradicate”, (see pages 2 and 3 of the confidential minutes).
The above quotations from the speech of the then Commander Salva Kiir, and the current President of the sovereign Republic of South Sudan, raise several fundamental issues related to the then, and current integrity of the SPLM/A; as the ruling political party and army in South Sudan. Issue one is connected with the fact that, the then Commander Salva Kiir and as the then number two man in the SPLM/A, lacked confidence in the leadership of his political part and army. Alas, this same lack of confidence in the current SPLM/A has also invariably been raised by the current number two man in the SPLM, Dr Riek Machar.
The fatal and dangerously low level of political morale, exhibited by then number two man in the SPLM/A, is now being shown by the current number two man in the SPLM. This sent out, and is sending out, the most glaring signals that, the SPLM/A was, and is, overwhelmed, and riddled with internal feud and disorientation. It is therefore, extremely questionable, as to whether, the top echelons of the SPLM/A, are capable of maintaining the SPLM/A, as viable political and army, machineries, for the positive administration of the sovereign Republic of South Sudan?
It is obvious from the above quotations that, there was no cohesion, and in fact, and indeed, there is now no cohesion within the SPLM/A. Therefore, if the SPLM/A lack the necessary cohesion how do they positively enthuse the peoples of South Sudan, with the prerequisite culture of socio-political cohesion, which is badly needed, by the peoples of South Sudan, to remain as one people; for positive coexistence and development? I submit that, emotional polices and politics, within the SPLM/A created dangerous fractures in the past, and are now creating more dangerous factures within the peoples of South Sudan. I further submit that, now, it is impossible for the SPLM/A, to act as the symbol of South Sudanese unity; given their own disunities.
Issue two, within the remit of the above quotes, is the fact that, there appeared to be a total lack of culture of order and procedural exercise of authority and discipline within the SPLM/A. Alas, it is also ubiquitously clear that, there is now, no procedural exercise of authority and discipline, within extant structures of the SPLM/A as the ruling political party and army in South Sudan. I can strongly and validly argue that, this chronic and entrenched absence of functional structural formations, within the SPLM/A, and within the governance of the sovereign Republic of South Sudan, by the SPLM/A, is also entrenching political, economic, financial, socio-cultural, security, moral, and administrative chaos in South Sudan.
I am also justified to worry as to whether; the SPLM/A have the necessary political wills and moral capacities, to govern the sovereign Republic of South Sudan, along democratic principles. I can argue and adduce comprehensive variables to the fact that, the SPLM/A themselves, do not believe in structural formations, and variables of order and rule of law, that are the bedrock of democratic institutions worldwide.
Issue number three, within the narratives of the above quotes is that, there was, and, in fact, and, indeed, there is, a dangerous culture, and insatiable love, for absolute and zero-sum monopoly of political, security, military, economic, financial, tribal, socio-cultural and administrative powers, by the managers, and operatives of the SPLM/A, to the exclusion of other South Sudanese.
For example, commenting on the same problem of monopoly of the SPLM/A by the late Dr Garang, the then, Commander Jadalla said, “…you think you are the founder of this Movement and as such, that you can do what you want without consulting people? The public is not ready for more problems’, (see page 10 of the confidential minutes).
I am sincerely justified in arguing that, this cancerous culture, and insatiable love, for monopoly of power and wealth, has dangerously spread, to all other members of the SPLM/A as a political part and army. This being the case, I can strongly and confidently argue that, unless the peoples of South Sudan reclaim their rights, via the ballot boxes, they are doomed to comprehensive eternal instabilities in South Sudan. It must be said loudly that, running governmental institutions, is extremely different, from controlling some rebel movement.
It is true that, many rebel leaders become presidents and ministers. However, they then continue to run their governments and ministries; as though they were still pursuing their revolutionary wars. The tumultuous end results are that, the country falls to pieces, and /or is turned into a privatised property, for a few individuals, at the expense of the bulk of the citizenry. This is exactly the situation in South Sudan.
For God’s sake SPLM/A, do not let the peoples of South Sudan down, as a result of your internal political feuds, and personal bad blood. Please, do not aspire to turn, these murderous feuds, into national feuds and bad blood. We want a South Sudan that is inclusive; and where participation by all peoples, is the byword, in all its governmental structures. We do not want anybody, to lock South Sudan in her/his briefcase, when she/he leaves for medical treatments abroad, or, when she/he tours world cities, checking on her/his foreign bank accounts, and children, in various boarding, and other schools, because, South Sudan lacks good hospitals, and good schools, and because, the banks in South Sudan, are not secured enough, for his million/billions of foreign currencies.
Issue number four emanating from the above quotes, from the then Commander Salva Kiir, and the current President of the sovereign Republic of South Sudan is the insatiable appetite, within the SPLM/A, for public funds. One shares the worries of the then Commander Salva Kiir that, no peoples want to see their leader doubling as the finance minister, director for finance, booker keeper and cashier at the same time. It is bad for the nation, and bad for the money in question.
I can then objectively argue that, this SPLM/A propensity to privatise South Sudan, has got its precedents, in the fashion in which, the current rulers of South Sudan, privatised the affairs of the SPLM/A, in the bushes of South Sudan, to suit individual interests, and which almost, made them, to annihilate themselves, in the said bushes. Thanks to the CPA, it rescued many of the current SPLM rulers in Juba and elsewhere.
For example, regarding the danger of individuals enriching themselves at the expense of the peoples of South Sudan, using the resources of the SPLM/A, the then, Commander Salva Kiir, and current President of the sovereign Republic of South Sudan said, “…I would also like to say something about rampant corruption in the Movement. At the moment some members of the Movement have formed private companies, bought houses and have huge bank accounts in foreign countries. I wonder what kind of a system are we going to establish in South Sudan considering ourselves indulgence (sic) in this respect’, (see page 4 of the confidential minutes).
On the same issue of corruption in the SPLM/A, the then Commander Wani Igga, and the current Speaker of our Parliament in Juba, said, “…. Corruption remains rampant in the Movement. Corruption must be fought for example, some years back the Chairman in a meeting informed us that Commander Deng Alor brought some money from Nigeria, but how that money was spent had never been explain to us again. I ask the question where is the transparency and accountability we talked about?” (See confidential minutes page 18).
Therefore, this ridiculous and dangerous culture of individuals, enriching themselves, at the expense of the poor, and the subaltern downtrodden peoples, of South Sudan, is not new then? So, therefore, these SPLM/A rulers, in Juba, and elsewhere, came to town, complete, with their moral arsenals of corruption. This means that, they did not learn it from the Jallabas in Khartoum, during the CPA interim period then? What about this, political rhetoric, and polemics of emancipatory language? I mean the language, employed by the so-called liberators of the SPLM/A; who appear to worry more, about their own happiness, than the overall welfare of the peoples of South Sudan.
On the issue of privatisation of the SPLM/A, the then second in command, Commander Salva Kiir, and the current President of the sovereign Republic of South Sudan, said, “…The Chairman seems to have taken the Movement as his own property. As we leave Rumbek after this meeting, I would like to see that all our administrative issues be addressed and implemented following this meeting’s resolutions’, (see page 3 of the confidential minutes).
These worries expressed succinctly by the then Commanders Salva Kiir and Jadalla; have in a nutshell, turned into our comprehensive nightmares today in South Sudan. Reading between the lines, all those who spoke in that meeting, invariably, accused the late Dr Garang of some degree of selfish attitude, to put it mildly. It can be strongly argued that, these worries expressed by these former commanders of the SPLM/A, as regards the possession and ownership of the SPLM/A, by the late Dr Garang, were some of the very reasons that, kept many South Sudanese away, from joining the SPLM/A, and they were the very reasons that, made many South Sudanese to leave the SPLM/A.
The fundamental worry is that, those who survived the late Dr Garang, transferred the very attitudes they were complaining of, to the governance of the sovereign Republic of South Sudan. I can painfully argue that, if the SPLM/A continue, with these attitudes, in their management of South Sudan, then, there is no doubt that, the SPLM/A shall be the main reason for the demise and undoing of the sovereign Republic of South Sudan. These attitudes shall also be the comprehensive factors of disharmony of the peoples of South Sudan.
It is so unfortunate that, for some of us, who have been watching, and studying the SPLM/A for a long time, it is sad to say that, the leaders of the SPLM/A, assumed the leadership of the sovereign Republic of South Sudan, without waning themselves of, as well as cleansing themselves of, all those counterproductive notions of owning the place, to the exclusion of others.
These issues must be pointed out and discussed, so that, the current leadership of the SPLM/A know that, South Sudanese are very concerned about this type of leadership style. The leadership of the current SPLM/A have abysmally failed, to demonstrate to the general public of South Sudan that, the SPLM/A is there for all the peoples of the sovereign Republic of South Sudan.
The author is Professor of Social and Rural Development and Lecturer in Laws. He be reached at [email protected]