My take on the current political situation in our country!

By: Deng Riek Khoryoam, South Sudan

July 11, 2013 (SSNA) — From the look of things, and given my assessment of the current political situation, I think it would be good; and even more prudent, if Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit abandons his second-term presidential ambitions for the sake of peace in this country. There comes a time when a man who brought his people to the ‘Promised Land’ makes a difficult and equally critical decision saying ‘I am retiring to my farm in the village’ and let someone else carry the stick and take over at the helm in order to finish the remaining unfinished business.

Nelson Mandela did exactly that after he spent almost 30 years of vicious struggles against the Apartheid and for better conditions and better treatment of ALL South Africans regardless of race, colour, creed and or religion. He served for only one term from 1990 and retired officially and peacefully in 1994. Many South Africans had wanted him to seek another term in office given the personal sacrifices he made but he refused and chose early retirement from active politics and gave way to the fresh blood/crops of leaders.

Today, Nelson Mandela is one of the most respected persons in the whole world, let alone in South Africa. He has a very good legacy in history and the nation regards or holds him in high respect!

I tend to think that our founding father, General Salva Kiir Mayardit, should emulate the footsteps of Mandela, who is now an international icon. If he abandons his second-term presidential ambitions for the sake of peace in this country, then history in our nation and in Africa and the world over, will favour him pretty much like Mr. Mandela. He will be most adored/respected by all South Sudanese as somebody who did not only liberate his people but oversaw the hoisting of the flag in their life-time and saw them through the transition period across the bridge. In a nutshell, he is our founding father!

But he risks losing this honour and respect should he push ahead and seek re-election that results into violence and instability given the current squabbles within the power house of the SPLM. I am saying this not because our president does not deserve a second term in office or that he is not capable; he is pretty much capable and does deserve another term in office, but I am saying this because I know that the future of this country is now hanging in the balance and so rests squarely with whatever my president decides now before 2015. The current political squabbles in the SPLM should worry you as a concerned citizen of this country, who cares much about its socio-economic and political survival. South Sudan cannot afford to go to war with itself over the issue of leadership: who to lead now and who not to lead!

We should be mindful about the future posterity of this country and what we should do now in order to set the records straight for the future.

It should not be Nuer vs. Dinka fighting over the top leadership, leaving the other 61 tribes as mere spectators of this ‘succession-or-no-succession’ politics. Why should a country like South Sudan with 63 tribes be a monopoly of two tribes only: Nuer and Dinka? Don’t they have the heart to say that let other tribes lead and we follow? How can the Nuer and Dinka be so greedy that they cannot even think about the future of the country they helped liberate from the common enemy – the Jallaba, which still threatens our very existence?

I know there are extremists on both sides of the political divide/spectrum who are not helping matters in any way. Everybody thinks only about what to get and not what this country can get in terms of peace and stability it badly needs at this critical juncture of our nation building process. Stakes are so high and anything could happen anytime soon. I need not to remind the leaders of their individual and collective responsibility to prevent any worse kind of situation from happening in this beloved country of ours!

God bless the Republic of South Sudan!!

The author can be reached by email: [email protected]

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