The Genesis of South Sudan Post Independence Crisis

By: Deng Mading Gatwech

A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on an installment plan by Martin Luther King Jr.

April 11, 2014 (SSNA) — The Republic of South Sudan became the most nascent state on the planet-earth on July 9, 2011 when South Sudanese vehemently voted for self-determination in free and fair conduct of the REFERENDUM achieved through Golden Plate, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed on July 9, 2005 between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M) and National Congress Party (NCP) led government based in Khartoum, under the auspices of Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

However, the CPA was founded on the following KEY ISSUES; Conscious that the conflict in the Sudan is the longest running conflict in Africa; that has caused tragic loss of life, destroyed the infrastructure of the country, eroded its economic resources and caused suffering to the people of Sudan; In Pursuance of the commitment of the parties to a negotiated settlement on the basis of a democratic system of the governance which, on the one hand, recognizes the right of the people of Southern Sudan to self-determination and seeks to make unity attractive during the Interim Period, while at the same time is founded on the values of justice, democracy, good governance, respect for fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, mutual understanding and tolerance of diversity within the realities of the Sudan.

The prelude in this article is the main projectile motion on which many assumptions on how the government in question runs it’s informed policy decisions and affairs unwaveringly based. However, the government after the public put so much trusts and hopes in it was proven ineffective and inefficient. The culture of intimidation started long ago right after the inception of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M) on May 16, 1983 and the first bullet was fired on Gajaak section of the Nuer instead of the Arab north. The aspirations of many South Sudanese dissipate when the incumbent president of the then Southern Sudan government (GOSS) took over after the tragic death of the visionary leader Dr. Garang De Mabior on the plane crash. Million of South Sudanese perished in the liberation struggle that ran for more than 50yrs where hundreds of thousands people internally displaced and more than half a million took refuge in the neighboring countries and the diaspora. The following episode characterizes the government of the Republic of South Sudan eventually run the risk of collapse.

Economic development: is the sustained, concerted actions of policy makers and communities that promote the standard of living and economic health of a specific area. Economic development can also be referred to as the quantitative and qualitative changes in the economy. Such actions can involve multiple areas including development of human capital, critical infrastructure, regional competitiveness, environmental sustainability, social inclusion, health, safety, literacy, and other initiatives. Economic development differs from economic growth. Whereas economic development is a policy intervention endeavor with aims of economic and social wellbeing of people, economic growth is a phenomenon of market productivity and rise in GDP.

It is paradoxical that in this time of great prosperity in the rich nation of the Republic of South Sudan in the contemporary world there should still be a substantial part of our population particularly the marginalized and disadvantaged ones with incomes far below what is thought of as the standard dollars a day. Whenever social institutions malfunction like the case of South Sudan, the incidence of damage will usually be distributed unevenly over the society. Dinka are simply not exposed to the abject poverty and have the skill and the wherewithal to escape it. More significantly, the rules that govern the society’s operation may determine the extent to which some members are affected by the institutional failure. In South Sudan, we can squarely say that, the incidence of poverty is disproportionately high among the Nuer, where the petroleum extracts from their motherland, which contributes 98% to the national revenue and 70% of the national GDP.

Ostensibly, income inequality is high, and the country has yet to transform its natural endowments into improved on poor infrastructure and livelihoods equal to none. Against this backdrop, the primary drivers of poverty in South Sudan include exclusion of the other ethnic group from sharing the national cake, corruption, depletion of assets and limited access to social services by the Dinka led government of president Salvatore Kiir Mayardit. The perpetuation of poverty exacerbated among different ethnic group in South Sudan is through direct domination of markets by ill informed Dinka businesspersons purportedly in the name of foreign companies. More importantly, the banking sectors (formal and informal) where financial intermediaries plays role have gotten heavy hands of the Dinka top echelon.

Good governance: the quality of public administration is important for economic competitiveness and societal wellbeing. At a time when Member States are facing increasing pressures on public budgets where South Sudan is not an exceptional, the challenge of ensuring high-quality public services requires technological and organizational innovation to boost efficiency. This applies both in public administration and in delivering public services and quality public investment. At the same time, good governance and legal certainty are necessary for a stable business environment but South Sudan go opposite as judicial system appears inept that give room for unstable business environment.

It is essential that the institutions that govern economic and social interactions within a country fulfill a number of key criteria. These criteria include the absence of corruption, a workable approach to competition and procurement policy, an effective legal environment, and an independent and efficient judicial system. Moreover, strengthening institutional and administrative capacity, reducing the administrative burden and improving the quality of legislation underpins structural adjustments and fosters economic growth and employment.

However, the Republic of South Sudan experience quite number of challenges with respect to weak institutional capacity culminate corruption that led to the loss of $4 billion in the government coffer where the president Salva Kiir led the team of 13 SPLM top officials allegedly to have stolen the money but the list of the corrupt officials was extended to 75 in pretext as a cover up. In the same tone, the public was left in anguish when Chief Justice Chan Reec Madut brushed aside the petition filled by 75 legal practitioners on behalf of the SPLM Secretary General Pagam Amum who was banned from speaking with the media and travel to other countries on unfounded charges to have accused the president of violating country and party’s constitutions when he (Pagan Amum) was suspended. It further argues that “… weak administrative and judicial capacity as well as legal uncertainty constitute key impediments in addressing economic development challenges.”

Political freedom: is a central concept in Western history and political thought and one of the most important features of democratic societies. It has been described as a relationship free of oppression or coercion; the absence of disabling conditions for an individual and the fulfillment of enabling conditions; or the absence of lived conditions of compulsion, e.g. economic compulsion, in a society. The concept can also include freedom from "internal" constraints on political action or speech (e.g. social conformity) The concept of political freedom is closely connected with the concepts of civil liberties and human rights, which in democratic societies are usually afforded legal protection from the state.

Various groups along the political spectrum naturally differ on what they believe constitutes "true" political freedom. Indeed, the quest for political freedom in the Republic of South Sudan culminate the political wrangle within the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) degenerated into full scale rebellion pitting Dinka of president Salvatore Kiir Mayardit against the Nuer of ex-vice president Dr. Riek Machar Teny claiming lives of nearly 20, 000 people and nearly 1000, 000 internally displaced persons and refugees in the neighboring countries. The theoretical part of political freedom as the new model in the nascent state of the Republic of South Sudan blinded Dr. Riek Machar without scrutinizing the empirical implications of political freedom, which president Salvatore Kiir Mayardit in his limited school of thought coached by his Godfather the blue eye of Africa Yoweri K. Museveni of Uganda, took the new model to the test on December 15, 2013.

By and large, the grip on power couples with the privileges of resources use at will by the president made him so powerful listening to none other than old village boys in either Kuacjok or Aweil of Greater Bahr El Ghazal region. A simple question one would ask, what type of the government South Sudan as a nation state follows? For the sake of time, the author has chosen three types of government that the readers would be walked through.

Liberal democracy is a form of government in which representative democracy operates under the principles of liberalism, i.e. protecting the rights of minorities and, especially, the individual. To define the system in practice, liberal democracies often draw upon a constitution, either formally written or un-codified, to delineate the powers of government and enshrine the social contract. After a period of sustained expansion throughout the 20th century, liberal democracy became the predominant political system in the world. The liberty of different social group in the Republic of South Sudan has been infringed so much to the extent that the freedom of speech tempered with and if anything goes by he or she gets himself/herself behind bars or either cost his/her life; a living example is the assassination of Isaiah Ding Abraham on December 5, 2012 on his critics of the poor performance of the government.

Hegemony ("leadership" and "rule") is an indirect form of government, of imperial dominance in which the hegemon (leader state) rules geographically subordinate states by the implied means of power, the threat of force, rather than by direct military force. More to this, hegemony denoted the geopolitical and the cultural predominance of one country upon others; from which derived hegemonism, the great power politics by extension meant to establish Ugandan hegemony upon South Sudan. It is apparent in the 21st century, Yoweri K. Museveni (2005–present) developed the philosophy and the sociology of geopolitical hegemony into the theory of cultural hegemony, whereby Dinka can manipulate the system of values and mores of other society, in order to create and establish a ruling class, a worldview that justifies the status quo of bourgeois domination of the other social classes of the society in South Sudan. In the praxis of hegemony, imperial dominance is established by means of cultural imperialism, whereby the leader state (hegemon) dictates the internal politics and the societal character of the subordinate states that constitute the hegemonic sphere of influence, either by an internal, sponsored government or by an external, installed government. This is where Yoweri Museveni plays a predominant role masterminding the current conflict in the Republic of South Sudan supporting the Dinka led government of president Salvatore Kiir Mayardit who is nothing but just a stooge spectating the heinous crime committed against his own country men and women by the serial killer Yoweri K. Museveni of Uganda.

Moreover, in the field of international relations, the Italian Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci developed the theory of cultural domination to include social class; hence, the philosophic and sociologic theory of cultural hegemony analyzed the social norms that established the social structures with which the ruling class establish and exert cultural dominance to impose their world view— justifying the social, political, and economic status quo—as natural, inevitable, and beneficial to every social class, rather than as artificial social constructs beneficial solely to the ruling class.

Authoritarianism is a form of government characterized by absolute or blind obedience to authority, as against individual freedom and related to the expectation of unquestioning obedience. As the true reflection of dominant strategy, racial and ethnic "democracies" cropped up and are those in which "certain racial or ethnic groups enjoy full democratic rights while others are largely or entirely denied those rights," as the case in South Sudan Dinka dominance on other ethnic group. Some academic thinkers (Prof. David De Chand, uncle Edward Lino Abyei and lecturer Oyet Nathaniel of Juba University) among others have pointed in their academic contributions to South Sudan explicitly or implicitly as another example of "democratic" authoritarianism. The far-reaching implications of denying different group republican privileges can contribute to the typically highly polarized political discourse in the Republic of South Sudan, which is now a focus of the world but pay less attention to the untold suffering of the voiceless people of South Sudan.

South Sudanese are the best judge for the type of the government they vehemently voted for during the conduct of Referendum in 2011 for the succession of South Sudan as a sovereign state.

The post independence crisis in South Sudan is fabricated by the incumbent president Salvatore Kiir Mayardit by curtailing the economic development, good governance and political freedom of the public. As quoted by Martin Luther King Jr., a nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death. To the author of this article, president Salvatore Kiir Mayardit is no exception to the assertion by Martin Luther King Jr., to have planted the seeds of his own destruction much as he has proven to be weak president of the Republic of South Sudan. The principle of democratic system of governance, which recognizes the right of the people of Southern Sudan to self-determination founded on the values of justice, democracy, good governance, respect for fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, mutual understanding and tolerance of diversity. However, the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011 was driven out of Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan 2005 on which the principle of democratic system enshrined. But the Transitional Constitution appears to have vested powers on the president next to God; a situation that intoxicated the president above everything else to persecute everyone at will. Nonetheless, the lack of comprehension in the international politics South Sudan is just at the crossroad loggerhead trading accusations with the international community; the same body yesterday devoted much of its time for the benefits of the entire South Sudanese but hijacked by few senseless Dinka led government.

Deng Mading isa South Sudanese exiled in East Africa and researcher in the area of “Democracy & Good Governance, Local & International Politics and Strategic Security Studies”. He can be reached at <[email protected]>.

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