South Sudan: Faces Four Debilitations

By Mayian Tot

February 4, 2014 (SSNA) — South Sudan current predicament which constitutes a host of complex problems shall slowly come to rest only when a broad-based inclusive political dialogue is table and that a constructive and comprehensive reform is accepted and swiftly undertaken. Thus principally, a race-based visionary and nationalistic leaders with programmable blueprint ascent to assume the leadership of the country.

Theoretically this bleeding nation faces four major debilitations. At the outset, the main centrifugal force, that fragment this fragile nation-state according to this analytical approach are four core fundamental debilitations, that is; constitutional paralysis, ethnic ideological hegemony, dysfunction weak institutions and leadership failure. Simultaneously all these national debilities usher in ruthless destructions that gradually erode national unity, peaceful coexistence and retard meaningful growth and development.

Utterly, so long these chronic national issues persist there shall be no cohesive political stability, national security, progressive development and nation-state building.  

Constitutional paralysis

A constitution of a country entails a series of an integrated legal arrangement, framework and agreement that structure, organise and regulate the very core foundation of nation-state’s government, institutions and its political systems. In the other words a constitution is a body of fundamental theories, principles, and rules that must be adhere, obey and respected by the governing and the governed with no one over it.

But contrary to the above theoretical definition in the Republic of South Sudan the main debilitation come from the transitional constitution itself. The document was crafted to allocate bulk of unregulated, uncheck and unbalance power to one man thus making it a personal constitution to the point that it had paralyse the function of government and nation-state’s institutions.  ‘’Decree after decree’’ the president of decree Salva Kiir had repeatedly violated this document and ultimately rule the nation with iron fist making himself ‘a president, a chief justice, a finance minister etc. [He] fire two elected governors at will, dismantle the whole cabinet, form a personal army, allowed security apparatus to decimate innocent Nuer civilians, violated the national sovereignty by bringing in foreign army to killed his country’s citizens. What else…… you name it.  

Yet the country’s lawmakers seep some cool Cooley and praise the president Bany Mayardit as if nothing happen. Where are the functions of the so-called constitution of the land? None whatsoever.

Ethnic Ideological Hegemony

According to this analytical viewpoint, the ethnic ideological hegemony firmly seeks to dominate, control and regulate all avenue of nation-state’s power and wealth in order to influence major political, economic and military’s policies to their sole ethnic advantage thus marginalising others ethnic groups to the point of exclusion whereby few individuals are hand-pick and awarded second-hands positions which wield no effective power and ultimately are given a very limited say in what appears to be tribal policies-formation processes. These second-hands leaders are branded as true patriotic while the latter are not. Simply put it, a divide and rule cunning tactic.

This ethnocentric further advance a destructive nationalism which held various high false pride and ego-massaging ideology including the so-called ‘’born to rule’’ the liberators etc. which foment the core problem to which the nation is set ablaze and that no one should rule this country unless the later hail from this ethnic.

Such is moral dilemma we are force to confront which had ultimately decimated many innocent live.

Dysfunction weak government institutions

In nation-state building processes, government performance, military strength and political life among others are shapes and influence by institutional performance. If weak and dysfunction the system as whole growth and strength is retarded but when effective the institutions induce growth and gradually entrench reforms and change. As James G. March and Johan P. Olsen argues; ‘’institution affect the ways in which individuals and groups become activated within and outside established institutions, the level of trust among citizens and leaders, the common aspirations of political community, the shared language, understanding and norms of the community, and the meaning of concepts like democracy, justice and equality’’. More importantly, most institutions grow out of challenges and institutions are instrument for achieving common ends. In South Sudan you have institutions that are dysfunctions weak and are constituently manipulated by ethnic cards. Employment opportunities, scholarship, developmental projects and investment opportunities are channel through relatives, clan, tribal mate and whole bit. This is where grand-scale corruption takes roots and thrive unpunished. Brilliants brains are wasted; you have a nation with professional doctors, lawyers and potential leaders with no employment opportunities being consume by psychological stress.

Fail leadership

Leadership in South Sudan is problematic, their bitterness and competitions over control of national resources and power is a real living nightmare. After independence they quickly abandon the decades’-old struggle and instead of battling against odd to liberate the masses form chronic starvations, diseases and the recurring insecurity but alternatively they felt insecure constantly switching side as if they were on a melting pot. Their primary objective is two things that are wealth and position.

The new approach thus far called for new breeds of leaders to replace the old regime and insofar jumpstart a new beginning and thus in its wake draw a thick lines between the destructive traditional leadership modality of the past and adopt a more humane, analytical and multi-dynamic modern approach that surpass the traditional lines so as to formulate ways forward which would enable the nation-state to breeds a new generation of leaders unique and different in all front, with more analytical political capabilities

Constructive and comprehensive reforms

Broad-based inclusive and constructive political dialogue with comprehensive reform is imperative in ending the ongoing crisis and would subsequently lead to a coherent nation-state building. The comprehensive reforms should foment national reconciliation, constitutional, army and institutional reforms, and on the other hand established transitional government of national unity and/or power sharing agreement.

Therefore implementing this drastic reforms would implies establishing a government of the people which shall ensure a constitutional rule of laws, democratisation of state with transparent inclusive institutions, and devolution of state’s power.   

The new government would be governed and rule by patriotic nationalistic leaders which are so bold and authentic in their approach to the degree that they are fearless in action to thwart tribalism, frustrate corruption, and overthrow subtle foreign political and economic control.

Moreover given the multi complexity of these issues these leaders must centre their national’s policies on nothing else but service deliveries, protecting and unifying all black-Sudanic South Sudanese on racial, cultural and historical lines aimed at cementing one cohesive and coherent nation-state. Furthermore they are tasks with people’s empowerment and their ultimate uplift, these leaders are to drastically confront numerous challenges head on at the vanguard positions to salvage the disadvantage, poor and less privilege from bottom up.

The constitutional power vested on these political, civil and military leaders must gear at achieve and glue a solid national unity and cohesion which will imply nationhood, national identity, populace well-being, equal protection and equitable wealth allocation. Therefore the citizens’ em masses are the sine qua non.

Mayian Tot is researcher and concern South Sudanese living in Australia contactable at [email protected]

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