March 3, 2014 (SSNA) — It was obvious, however, to some learned national thinkers that this present crisis would happen even after independence. Because, there was no clarity on leaders tendencies struggle since from day one. Principally, when those of Anya anya Two and the SPLM were emerging in early 1980s. This was started from the name, objective and leadership of the movement.
Again in 1990s the same political differences had appeared. Where the lack of clear objective, basic signs of democracy and human rights issues were reported to have had caused the spilt among the ranks and file of the movement. The former was declared over when South Sudanese people overwhelmingly voted for total separation in 2011. While the later, i e, Democracy, Human Rights and Rule of Law questions remained unaddressed. That was why 2013 incidence could not be avoided.
In his book titled ‘’The politics of Liberation in South Sudan: An insider view ‘’ Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba (Is he around and safe? He should continue supplying us with ideas as usual for the public to know whether he is safe or around) posted some questions regarding, the crisis that were/are on and off right from the beginning. Here we start. If it were true that there was an attempt to capture Juba and take over the Southern regional government by then, what was the agenda? How many members of the clandestine movement eventually joined the insurrection? Why is it that many senior Any any(2) officers elected not to join the SPLM/A? Were there really some collective, progressive, clear tendencies established to make both political and military voices to agree upon?
These and many other questions cast serious doubts on the claim published in the SPLM manifesto 1983. Alternatively, if that version remained true, then that clandestine military organization trailed behind the political events in the South.
The SPLM emerged spontaneously. It was not something the people of South Sudan has prepared themselves for and it had no acceptable leadership. This manifested itself in struggles mentioned above; absence organizational structure capable of mobilizing, galvanizing and transforming this mass anger into a political force; and a concrete political agenda and ideology capable of being translated into social and economic realities for the people in South Sudan. This omission was to be/is the source of the initial conflict and power struggle and friction between the military officers in the infant movement in July 1983 which precipitated the break with Any-anya 2, in 1991 as well as between politicians in 2013.
Unlike many movements the world over, SPLM/A formation did not pass through a period of political incubation of considerable duration. This would have allowed for the evolution of a clear political line and ideological orientation. The political leadership would have been determined in a democratic manner according to the wish and will of the people. The structural organization of the movement capable of leading the struggle and absorbing all the various political and ideological hues would have emerged without the pains of bitter military confrontation with Anya-anya two, which marked its birth in 1983 and perhaps which may mark its death in 2014.
Just like that war of 1980s/1990s the current struggle is also waged for position in the system, articulated as a ‘sharing of the national cake’ that obviously has a link with the destiny of the people of South Sudan in their Republic. Peaceful transformation of power! However, the political elite did not want to call those who have had expressed ambitions to participate in building a tower to come on, instead it sow seeds of hatred among tribes or regions.
The point being emphasized here is that the SPLM/A’s birth was spontaneous and many of its early political ailments can be attributed to those factors and more. The spontaneity of the insurrection has been emphasized only to underline one fact regarding the leadership question or the subjective factors. This has its roots in our recent and contemporary history where organized political activity and discipline has been alien and wanting in South Sudan. Because, it should be a time for South Sudanese young generation to have acquired better political skills necessary for leading the nation next.
Why is it that they have fallen into the footpath of the ‘old school’ politicians? Furthermore, there is a replication of this phenomenon in the SPLM/A, emerged with a political ideology, which was not a summation of the political struggle in the southern region. It looked like the leaders of South Sudan came from another planet unfamiliar with the reality of South Sudan. They fought for democracy, talked of term limit and unconditional transformation of power in those old days. But once the powers descended into domestic hands, unrecognized side has been turned up against a system they set to implement. The Democracy, Human Rights and Rule of Law!! Perhaps this current war shall be the last one where real interests and aspirations of the South Sudanese people would be reflected. Independence was attained in 2011 after deadly and internal wrangling in 1983/1991 all along in the Movement respectively.
Again, no doubt that the needs to bring Democracy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law in the Republic of South Sudan have already taken human lives. Nevertheless these needs will also be prevailed sooner or later once this bloodily conflict is over. Hopefully in mid 2014/2015 onward! Power influences people and it let one to implement what may shape his/her legacy either negatively or positively. This is the background and the only reason to current crisis.
The author lives in Juba. He can be reached at [email protected].