“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.” ― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
January 21, 2014 (SSNA) — In a wakes of the Holy month of December that many Christians respects the most, and the month that many Christians came together to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. It was a shock to the entire world that the Holy month turned horrible in a nation whose occupants are over 90% Christians. Many people worldwide received the news with dismay and wondered why it was the case with a nation that fought for over 21 years in order to have their freedom. The incident made it really hard for the world to understand the ‘causality’ of south Sudan struggle which is the longest civil war in Africa. In the best interest of history, I am compelled to account for this kind of relationship between south Sudan and Uganda which I termed as a "mono-lateral relationship" in which only Uganda benefits in all cases.
During the struggle, south Sudan had had a good catches of bosom friends some of which are empathizers and others are sympathizers, and yet some friends were dormant–they supported neither in spirit nor in kind. Among the Eastern Africa Countries, the key player who worked day and night in support of south Sudan during the civil war was Ethiopia. They contributed military equipments and food staff for the freedom fighters. They also accommodated the war displaced women, children and the elderly. Another country that follow suit was Kenya. This country under the leadership of its wise democratic leader Mwai Kibaki hosted the venue for the CPA that gave birth to south Sudan, moreover, they also contributed in kind by supplying military equipments and accommodating the war displaced in the northern part of Rift Valley province.
Not long before the CPA was signed than the Capitalist Ugandan came in with their ideology of "gain-everything-but-give-nothing" relation. President Museveni, in his capacity knows very well that he will not get along well with the wise leader Dr. John Garang who was believes to have in mind the idea of "spend-a-new-coin-on-old-friend" that is, he will not forget those who supported him during the struggle. President Al-Bashir in the other hand wants to get rid of Dr. Garang because he does not want to see the southerners as they departed, so the two teamed up. They together planned a very confidential assassination plan to eliminate Dr. Garang. The third person who had a glimpse of what is going on was Lt. Gen. Salva Kiir whom they conned with the golden chair of presidency that he will take over as the plan succeed. The plan did succeeded as they had wished and we heard the most terrible news about the death of our hero in an helicopter crash, the helicopter crashed immediately after it flew from Entebbe as Dr. Garang was escorted on board by President Museveni–unbelievable!
As President Kiir was announced the successor of Dr. Garang, Ugandan did not know whether to weep or to celebrate, but all they did was to shed lion tears to hide their intention. Museveni came in to swindle his counterpart President Kiir by fabricating a bilateral relationship with south Sudan. President Kiir without having to look at the pros and cons of the plan agreed and that was perhaps the beginning of their ‘gentlemen agreement’ which granted Ugandan free movement in south Sudan. The Ugandan stormed into all parts of south Sudan importing a lot of agricultural products and clothes, some came empty-handed to be manual workers, waiters and waitresses, motor-cyclists (boda-boda), taxi drivers, beggars, prostitutes and streets robbers–this, they took over any job the unskilled south Sudanese youth could do. This is true, in the word of one of the prostitutes interviewed by the Juba Monitor, an independent daily newspaper, "one come from Uganda a poor prostitute and return to Uganda a millionaire" she said. This is the first objective of Museveni in forging a bilateral relationship with Kiir–to boost Ugandan economy.
The second objective of Museveni which he realized lately was to establish a ‘dictatorial hub’ where democracy is but an imaginary nonexistence system of government. This, he thought, will raise his status quo in the regional bloc of IGAD, that he will be regarded as a de facto president in any country of IGAD membership and will masterminds its activities in any way possible. This was obvious in the recent intervention of president Museveni in south Sudan’s internal armed conflict when he dictated what IGAD had to say. President Bashir had this objective too, so it makes it difficult for the two to find a common ground in any matter related to IGAD decisions. The other IGAD members are being regarded as a ‘yes-boss’ fellows who always have to agree on what is being said, hence, a decision takers not decision makers.
The third step was Museveni wanting to con Kiir into accepting to join the East African Community (EAC). The condition for this body is that import duties will be eliminated, employment opportunities are the same for all its member countries irrespective of the country you comes from–meaning that Ugandan would have right to be employed in south Sudan and vice-versa. Looking at the literacy rate in south Sudan in comparison to that of Uganda and Kenya would bring further insight, this would mean that all south Sudanese would pack their belongings back to the villages where life is cheap and where they can cultivates like what they have been doing in the past. The towns and cities will be left to Ugandan and Kenyan. The oil money will soon find their channel to Kampalla and Nairobi leaving the country as dry as it was during the Arab rule.
As the old adage says, "a friend in need is a friend in deed" I would argue that the countries who have been helping south Sudan all the way through the difficult times need not be forgotten. The other similar mistake south Sudan made is in relation to USA and China. Chinese did nothing during our struggle for freedom but United States and UK have really been with us through our difficult times giving us humanitarian assistant, military equipments and broker the CPA negotiation and as well USA was the midwife of the new born south Sudan. This made it clear that south Sudan lost track of a meaningful international relations by abandoning her longtime allies and creating new allies who were not there when we need friends, and whose interest is more of materialistic perspectives.
My message to these friends is that south Sudan have not forgotten you, you need not turn your heads away from south Sudan. Let’s all be optimistic and be hopeful that a good time will come when your unreserved support will finally be recognized and will be proportionately rewarded. Sometimes when incapacitated leaders comes to power, many opportunist takes advantage. We knows that change is bitter but it is as inevitable as death. The change we are seeking will finally find it place and we will celebrate it all together.
The author is south Sudanese currently working with the United Nation in South Sudan. The views are not representing that of the UN but my personal views as a citizen of this country. You can reach me on [email protected]