The transience of power versus permanent effects of its abuse in South Sudan

By Wani Tombe Lako

March 6, 2014 (SSNA) — From 2005 to date, the current political and military leaders, in South Sudan, have been displaying themselves to the whole world, as a group of people, who have been taken by total surprise, by the trappings of political and military powers.  

From 2005 to date, the same people continue to expose their ignorance of the fact that, the powers they are enjoying; are extremely transient, regardless of the number of years they shall enjoy these powers. However, the negative and dangerous effects of these short possessed powers are going to last for a very long time, if not permanently; in the minds and lives of the peoples of South Sudan.

From 2005 to date, these political and military leaders have supervised over government institutions which did not protect the lives of many South Sudanese. Many state and non-state actors have murdered many innocent South Sudanese women, men, youth and children; and none of them have been legally questioned.

Right from 2005 to date, many South Sudanese, especially in Equatoria, have had their properties including ancestral lands, on which they were living, been forcibly taken away, at gun point, from them, by state and non-state actors, while these political and military leaders looked on unconcerned.  

Since 2005 to date, the current political and military leaders did not bother to provide the peoples of South Sudan with educational, health, security and all vital goods and services. During the same time, the same leaders and their children, relatives and so on, continue to enjoy these services in foreign countries because they have the money which the majority of South Sudanese do not have, because, they are poor, and because, they have been neglected by the same leaders.

Since 2005 to date, the majority of the peoples of South Sudan have been enjoying all the good life in South Sudan, by proxy through these leaders in South Sudan. That is, the majority of the peoples of South Sudan have been going hungry so that; the few leaders can have the best food, the best cars, the best cloths, the fattest bank accounts and the best multiple holidays and foreign weddings there are.

When in December 2013; these political and military leaders of South Sudan, quarreled amongst themselves, because of their greed, over the wealth and power in South Sudan, because they have succeeded in privatizing the whole South Sudan, they turned around, and asked the starving peoples of South Sudan, to kill themselves, in the name of something called sovereignty.

It is time facts are spoken. South Sudan as human persons and land; shall not rest in peace; unless we confront ourselves with the facts. Is it not true that the current murdering of ourselves in South Sudan, using public war assets is for personal and group interests of this tiny group of monopolistic military and political leaders?

Is it not true that, the politicisation, of inherent tribal raw human hatred; between the Dinka and the Nuer tribes of South Sudan is the lethal catalyst in the current bloodletting in South Sudan?

Is it not true that, the government is not fighting the rebel group, because the peoples of South Sudan are hungry, morbid, unemployed, illiterate and innumerate, but rather, so that, the government in the form of ministers and such like can continue to rule in Juba? Where are the comprehensive interests of the peoples of South Sudan in this war?

Is it not true that, South Sudan shall not be the same again however long this current war is going to last?

The peoples of South Sudan are now asking for a complete overhaul of all institutions of governance in South Sudan. The peoples of South Sudan are saying that, enough is enough, and we are not ready anymore, to be misruled by so called majority tribes in South Sudan.

The Dinka and Nuer tribes of South Sudan must know from now on that, all the other tribes of South Sudan are not going to standby and be held hostages because these two so-called big tribes want to run the South Sudan in accordance to their tribal sentimentalities.

The peoples of South Sudan, especially in Equatoria are saying that, their children cannot just be mobilised to fight Riek Machar, who is being projected as the total threat, to the wellbeing of these peoples of Equatoria.

The peoples of Equatoria are saying that, Riek Machar and his group are not the ultimate threat to their wellbeing in South Sudan. The threat to the wellbeing of the peoples of Equatoria is the gross negligence the the government of South Sudan have exhibited since 2005 to date.

The political and military facts in South Sudan are that, without, and before Riek Machar and his group rebelling against the government in Juba, the wellbeing of the peoples of Equatoria has already been comprehensively undermined and threatened.

This being the case, how can Equatoria mobilise its youth and men to go and fight somebody and other people, who are not a threat, and shall not be a threat, and will never be a threat against their wellbeing in South Sudan? The peoples of Equatoria in particular; and of South Sudan in general, must not concentrate on and spear the shadow of the elephant; go for the elephant; damn it.

For example, how can young men from Madi of Nimule, and other Madi villages, or Bari young men from Juba and other Bari villages, or Kakwa young men from Yei and other villages, and the list is long, how can these young men go away to fight Riek Machar and his group, while in fact, since 2005, their own parents and relatives, have been displaced from their lands, and they have been unemployed all this time; only to be called to die for a cause which is unknown?

The fact is that, these young men need to mobilise, not to fight Riek Machar and his group, but, to defend their villages and rights. They have to fight for a transformed South Sudan. They must fight for a South Sudan of human rights; so that; they can claw back their stolen land, villages, freedoms and rights.

While it is true that, the peoples of Uganda are our blood relatives, we do not want the Ugandan army to protect our constitutional rights. We have to access these rights as free citizens through our constitutional processes and associated institutions of governance. The argument that, Uganda must protect us from Riek Machar is politically and intellectually stupid.

We must institute a government which shall not allow us to differentiate ourselves according to our tribes. We need a government which does not provide us services according to our tribal affiliations. We need a government where all of us are represented not because we emanate from greater tribes or tribes that can create havoc if they are not a majority in government.

The fact is that, if we as South Sudanese refuse to live together as equal peoples; please, forget about a united South Sudan. From now on, if there are still others, who think that, they are here to rule the rest of us, please, forget the dream of a one united and loving South Sudan. If there are others; who think that, they are superior to the rest of us; please, forget the hope of sharing the South Sudan with everyone.

Wani Tombe Lako is a Professor of Social and Rural Development and Lecturer in Laws; and can be reached at [email protected] .

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