South Sudan: A Tumultuous Mixture of Raw Human Hatreds (part 3)

By Wani Tombe Lako

June 20, 2013 (SSNA) — Way back in South Sudan, on the 9th January 2007, in the football stadium in Juba, the then President of the government of South Sudan (GoSS), and the current President of the sovereign Republic of South Sudan (RoSS), said that, “…there are still elements who wish to wreak havoc in other parts of southern Sudan with the support of those who do not want the south to be peaceful. This will not be allowed to continue…”. This was during the second anniversary of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

Policies and politics ofhate and revenge,

Just like now, South Sudan was awash with all types of armed groups, waging various tribal and other wars, against the SPLM/A, which controlled the GoSS, and which still now control the RoSS. It appeared then, and still appears now that, the SPLM/A are hesitant, to take their histories into proper considerations. The SPLM/A leaders, operatives and general membership, always, consider their enemies, as those who do not belong within their organisation. Therefore, these others are always viewed as being bent, on wreaking havoc in South Sudan. There is always this “we” and “they” culture; in the selfish psychic of the SPLM/A, and yet, we are supposed to be a “people (s)”, who used the doctrine of self-determination, to establish the RoSS.

Those other South Sudanese, from outside the SPLM/A, are always and permanently, considered as being not nationalistic, thus, they are the enemies of South Sudan. For example, in November 2004, the former Deputy President of the GoSS, and the current number two men in the RoSS, Dr Riek Machar said that, “…I believe that unless something happens in Khartoum, the war is over. Unless the enemy causes us to split, the war is over. This requires us to expedite the re-organisation of our army…” (See page 20, para 2, of the confidential reports of the Rumbek meeting).

If one may ask the current nominal number two man in the RoSS; a very simple political question; when he lead his Nasir Faction against the so-called SPLM/A Mainstream in 1991, did he do it under the direct instruction of the enemy of the South Sudanese peoples? I think that, the peoples of South Sudan; and the entire world, demand a frank answer.

If the answer is that, no, Dr Riek Machar did not act under the directives of the enemy of the peoples of Sudan. Well then, why did he declare that revolt against the SPLM/A then? If the argument is that, he did declare the revolute because, he did not agree with the policies of the SPLM/A, and therefore, he was acting out of nationalism, within the remit of South Sudanese nationalism; fair enough.  

Well then, why do the leaders of the SPLM/A now, including Dr Riek Machar himself,  think that, if there are others, in South Sudan, who do not agree with the current policies and actions of the SPLM/A,  why are these others considered, enemies of the peoples of South Sudan? Why do the leaders of the SPLM/A, use this dangerous political equation, whereby, the SPLM/A equal South Sudan and vice-versa? The late Dr Garang is in record, in which, he publicly, said that, the SPLM/A, are the minority in South Sudan.

I can strongly argue that, The SPLM/A is not equal South Sudan and vice-versa. The SPLM is a political party in South Sudan, and it is made up of a very negligible number of South Sudanese. On the other hand, based on historical and current conducts of the SPLA, the SPLA is not the national army of South Sudan. It is the military wing of the SPLM, and with the same token, it does not represent the entire peoples of South Sudan. If anybody doubts this statement, let us carry out a head count of the SPLA officers and men, and then decide if they represent the peoples of South Sudan in their entire tribal groupings.

There are some very dangerous people in the SPLM/A, and in leadership positions, as well as some dangerous members and operatives in the SPLM/A. These people, collectively and wrongly, think in a very puzzling political fashion. They, absolutely believe that, all of them, in the SPLM/A, are Prophets and Holy men and women. Therefore, the harm to South Sudan, could, and shall only come, from non-SPLM/A South Sudanese. These non-SPLM/A South Sudanese, according to these SPLM/A Prophets and Holy men and women; are ordinary humans, who are rottenly sinful, and they salivate for wreaking havoc in South Sudan.

Well, look at the history of the SPLM/A. This history is unbelievably, saturated with countless processes of defections from; and equally, countless processes of rejoining of the SPLM/A. This seductive political and military dance of life and death, has been historically and contemporaneously, performed, by, countless; current SPLM/A leaders, and operatives. Therefore; why do these SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members, treat the processes of, rejoining the SPLM/A, as holy cleansing processes?

That is, whereby, those with hitherto, disruptive political habits, and tendencies, acquire political, and military sainthood statues, subsequential upon their rejoining of the SPLM/A? My dear citizens of South Sudan, we must wane ourselves from politics of emotions. Therefore, to understand and comprehend, the havoc, inflicted upon the peoples of South Sudan, by the leaders, operatives and members of the SPLM/A, read the book titled, Emma’s War A True Story, (by Deborah Scroggins, ISBN: 0-375-70377-2).

Once you finished reading this book, the inferno of raw tribal human hatreds, which traumatised thousands of South Sudanese, will make you understand the meaning of South Sudan, as a tumultuous mixture of raw human hatreds. Compare the acts and omissions of these SPLM/A leaders, operatives, and members, as narrated by Deborah Scroggins, by the genuine concerns of people like myself, based on these tragedies that our people have been subjected to, by some people in the SPLM/A.

This book, by Deborah Scroggins, is a true account of an eye witness, to some of the havoc created in South Sudan, by others in the SPLM/A, who are now pretending to be the Prophets and Holy men and women, in South Sudan. They are now blaming other South Sudanese, of wreaking havoc in South Sudan. It is unfair for South Sudanese, to be lead by other human beings, who ought to be under some criminal investigations, for crimes against humanity, and even genocide in South Sudan. There are living victims of these SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members, who are willing to come forward, to testify for crimes committed against them, and their love ones.

Now, I would like the SPLM/A leadership, operatives and members, to carry out a political and military soul searching exercises, to discover as to whether, the havoc that is being wreaked in South Sudan right now, just barely two years, into independence, is truly occurring as a result of outsiders’ conspiracy. I strongly argue that, others within the SPLM/A, and within the paradigms of politics of schism and vengeful revenge, within the SPLM/A, are busy, wreaking havoc in South Sudan. The SPLM/A, and through their rotten and corrupt officials, and generals, have wrecked, and continue to wreck economic and financial, plus other havocs, on South Sudan. They are literally strangling South Sudan with all of us therein.

The former President of GoSS, and the current President of the RoSS, Lt. Gen. Mayardit, is already in record, in which he confessed that, there are others within the SPLM/A, who are more dangerous than the defined enemy of the SPLM/A. Let the SPLM/A cleans itself of this intrinsic and self-made enemy from within, before they begin to hopelessly rummage for political and military hangers, to hang on their political and military debacles, and sagas in the SPLM/A, in particular, and South Sudan in general.

In South Sudan, the historical and contemporaneous political culture of personalising national issues is thwarting and frustrating, genuine national political debate, for the resolution of our comprehensive challenges. There is this dangerous political believe, within the SPLM/A, and government in South Sudan that, whenever, a South Sudanese, like myself, points out some governmental mistake, she/he is automatically, labeled, an enemy of the people. On the other hand, when one supports some positive act by the government, the person is accused of lobbing for an appointment to some constitutional position by the President of the RoSS.

There are many people within the SPLM/A, who erroneously believe that, some of us in South Sudan, cannot meaningfully, and beneficially, survive outside of tribalist tag. I strongly believe that, there are many South Sudanese, who have succeeded, as individuals, without tribal support and leverage. Such individuals ought not to be treated in subjective fashions, just because of their tribal identity. However, tribalism and nepotism remain the Scylla and Charybdis of governance in South Sudan; such that, avoidance of one increases the risk from the other. Tribalism and nepotism are our Sisyphus ordeals in South Sudan, under the leadership of the rudderless SPLM/A.

For example, the current Speaker of Parliament, in South Sudan, Hon.Wani Igga, who has been referred to, by the then Cdr. John Luk, and current Minister of Justice, in the RoSS; in their Rumbek discussions, in November 2004, as being politically weak, said, that, “…there are two examples to illustrate the issue of nepotism. One is the removal of Aleu Anyeng from his position and his replacement by the Chairman with an officer from his home village. Another is the appointment of Dr Lual Deng as an advisor to the Chairman. We all heard this in a meeting in which the Chairman announced Lual’s appointment without any official procedures followed. When I talk about regional imbalances, all I need to say is that no Equatorian was even allowed to be a signatory to any of the six protocols. We are making history and this history should involve all the people of New Sudan. The protocols are only signed by individuals from Bahr El Ghazal, Upper Nile, Nuba Mountains and Funj…”. (See page 19, para. 2 of the confidential report of Rumbek meeting).

In January 2007, in Juba, the current President of the RoSS, who was then, the President of the GoSS, said, “…As a man who affixed his signature on the Machakos Protocol, the Framework Agreement on which the CPA was based, I shall not dishonour it by keeping silent on any violation of the Agreements. Indeed I acknowledge that there are failures on our part that led to delays in the CPA implementation. We boldly admit those failures, but I shall not make the failures of others to be my own…”.

The President was addressing a crowd in Juba football stadium, but he did not elaborate on those failures attributed to the SPLM/A, and which failures had, and continue to have devastatingly negative effects on the general lives of the peoples of South Sudan. It is worth mentioning that, in 2007, South Sudan was enjoying the right of internal self-determination. That is, we were in fact running South Sudan, with monetary resources more than that of Uganda and Kenya combined, in terms of various monies, pouring in, into South Sudan from various sources, including the revenue from the sale of the crude oil.

Even though the President failed to mention those failures by then, it was already obvious to keen watchers of South Sudan that, things were not going well, and the comprehensive interests of the peoples of South Sudan were being compromised, and relegated to afterthought agendas.

Notwithstanding the ubiquitous affluence that was attracting many peoples from various corners of the world to South Sudan, the native peoples of South Sudan were groaning under abject and chronic poverty. These were instances of gross violations of the trust, and gross negligence, in the discharge of the fiduciary duties, that the peoples of South Sudan, entrusted in the hands of the SPLM/A. We are now harvesting the cumulative effects of those violations, which are not being corrected by the SPLM/A.

By 2007, it was very obvious to anyone who cares about the ordinary woman, child, and man, in South Sudan that, every SPLM/A cabinet minister, and state minister in the then government of national unity (GoNU) in Khartoum, was very busy, amassing liquid and fixed assets, in a frighteningly quick tempos. Political Khartoum almost turned a blind eye to what these South Sudanese ministers were doing.

Many diplomats in Khartoum were also privately wondering about the free for all attitudes of these, supposedly freedom fighters of South Sudan, who came to town, to emancipate their peoples from gross marginalisations by the Jallabas as it were. These conducts were taking their political negative effects in some of us, who were, and are still genuinely concerned, about the downtrodden peoples of South Sudan. It was obvious to discerning eyes and brains that, the majority of these SPLM/A GoNU ministers, were behaving as if, they were carrying out a revenge on somebody.

These ministers in Khartoum failed to understand that, they were indeed, letting down their own peoples in South Sudan. By this time, the current laisser-faire attitude, prevalent, in the RoSS, as regards the ubiquitous gross lack of duty of care, towards the peoples of South Sudan, by the SPLM/A led government, was already taking shape. Just barely two years into the implementation of the CPA.

By this time also, for example, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Khartoum, which was allocated to the SPLM/A, it was already awash with familiar names, from particular tribes in Upper Nile, Greater Equatoria, and Bahr El Ghazal. These were names of the relatives, sons, brothers, daughters, and such like, of those leaders, operatives and members of the SPLM/A only. Therefore, what were we, and are we, the rest of the downtrodden peoples of South Sudan, supposed to think, in terms of an independent South Sudan?

Within the GoSS, in South Sudan, in 2007, the political environment was already chaotic. All public and private assets were up for grab, by anybody in government and out of government, who was associated with the SPLM/A. All such SPLM/A associates, were claiming their dues from everybody and everything in South Sudan. Their dues which they claimed, they did not get during the period when they were liberating us in the bushes of South Sudan. That attitude of free for all is still hurting us today in 2013, thanks to zero-tolerance of corruption by President Kirr of the RoSS.

Therefore, was this not, and is it not now, blatant violation of the rights of the peoples of South Sudan? This was the attitude, and is still the attitude, which the SPLM/A brought into the governance of South Sudan, during the period of internal self-determination, or the Interim Period, according to the CPA, and which is now, being used, in the governing of South Sudan, during the era of external self-determination, that is, a seceded South Sudan, according to the CPA.

On the same day, that is, 9th January 2007, the President of South Sudan said, in Juba, “…Need I to tell you, dear countrymen, that the man who stands before you now wears three hats-the hat of the First Vice President of the Republic, that of the President of the Government of Southern Sudan as well as the hat of the SPLM Chairman, the party signatory to the CPA. My responsibilities therefore, diverge and intertwine and in taking stock of what were achieved, or not achieved, I shall wear those hats interchangeably…” 

That was a dramatic statement, from almost the most powerful person in the Sudan by then, if not in the African region. For those who did not know, it is fair, for historical reasons, to state that, during this period, the chair of the First Vice President in the Republican Palace, in Khartoum, was almost, perennially vacant. The supposed occupant was always in Juba. It was commonplace knowledge that, many Sudanese; international personalities; international institutions and organisations were, genuinely baffled, and politically dumfounded, by the perennial, and entrenched absence of Lt. Gen. Mayardit from his Vice Presidential office in the Republican Palace in Khartoum.

This conduct negatively affected us, and issues like the Abeyei and the border problem remained unresolved, because, our leaders were always in Juba, in a more familiar environment. Not only that, continuous absence of the SPLM/A First Vice President from cabinet meetings in Khartoum, contributed to SPLM/A ministers not being keen in performing their jobs, in the best interests of the peoples of South Sudan.

It was obvious to some of us that, the SPLM/A leaders wanted to be in Juba not because they wanted to develop South Sudan, but, Juba was, and is, where the loot is, and Juba was, and is, where they can actively protect their interests, from their yester years rivals, who would like to settle old political and military pending scores. These cumulative negative conducts of the SPLM/A leaders, contributed to the abysmal performance of the GoSS, during the period of internal self-determination, and this failures were carried forward into the era of external self-determination from 2011 to date. (See you in part 4).

The author is Professor of Social and Rural Development and Lecturer in Laws. He be reached at [email protected]

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