April 12, 2014 (SSNA) — Federalism is without doubt the best system of government for a multi-ethnic country like South Sudan. This isn’t just an academic debate after all. In fact the academic debate on the best system for our country has long passed this stage.
As I intend to keep this article simple and discernible, I see no point in not stating the obvious and just conclude a long story by saying that our future as south Sudanese lie in a federal system of governance.
In fact it is the only option left on the table if our country is ever to experience any true stability.
But then if that is indeed the case, why then is federalism being extremely an issue of contention between the different ethno-political groups in the country?
It maybe be a good idea at this stage of the national dialogue to point out those who are indeed in favour of federalism as a system of governance. And why? Of course we may also want to know something about those who continue to oppose it. And why?
Without having to waste your time unnecessarily on a long introduction, just hear this from me. It’s an open secret that a handful of South Sudanese communities have since long wanted to rise above the others. Not in a good way.
A clear example is how the Dinka communities of Warrap, Northern Bahr Ghazal and parts of the greater upper Nile region have forged a union to take up the same abusive roles played by the “Mudukurat” i.e. the Northern Sudanese Arabs during the bitter history that once connected the South and the North Sudan together.
What is currently unravelling in South Sudan, stands to prove that, it is not uncommon for victims of long standing abuse to turn around and become abusers once the optimum conditions avails itself. If you ever doubted this, be reminded that it’s now happening in the nascent state of south Sudan.
Characteristically of this emerging trend non Dinka citizens in south Sudan are continuously being bombarded by all kinds of weird statements.
Any drunken Dinka can jump from nowhere and tell a non Dinka that, “we liberated you” or “we died for this country more than anyone else”. Of course this is not true. But does any oppressor really need a true story to justify his/her actions?
The Dinka have indiscriminately used all kinds of abusive statements to generally refer to themselves as the rightful owners of South Sudan to the exclusion of the sixty or so other ethnic groups.
They, the Dinka are unarguably the single largest ethnic group in South Sudan, quantitatively. Qualitatively they are nowhere. And this they know or should know!
So existing in a country with an ethnic perspective where members of one particular ethnic group would want to laud it on the others for the shear reasons of quantity and not quality, South Sudan without the least doubt has rightly become a laughing stock of Africa!!!
Dinkocrats want to be looked at as the sole liberators of South Sudan, when they have not yet even liberated themselves from very backward cultures of cattle rustling and child abductions!!
The 1947 Round Table Conference took place in Juba, Equatoria, and it was the first ever conference to recognise South Sudan as a unique entity compared to North Sudan.
Again the first uprising against the Northern Sudanese Arab rule begun in Torit, and was fought under the Anya Nya liberation movement in Equatoria from 1955 to 1972.
And yet again the two decades of the SPLM/A led liberation war though begun in Bor Town, Jonglei state, it was at the end largely fought in Equatoria.
But with all this long history of liberation wars and decisive battles being fought in Equatoria and often so by the Equatorians, combatants and civilians, yet in the post-independence South Sudan, Equatoria is not yet Uhuru.
Where our country is now, it will not be an overstatement to say that that an oppressive group is rapidly emerging from the rabbles of the five decades liberation war, to deny the other South Sudanese their rights to a better life.
A new monster has indeed evolved from what was naively expected to lead to an egalitarian society.
Because it was left unchecked from the very beginning, the current SPLM/A, leadership has fast undone all that was collectively achieved as South Sudanese independence. Unfortunately for everyone, independence is no more to be.
Maybe many never thought that any South Sudanese who suffered decades of marginalization under the successive abusive Northern Arab regimes would ever turn around, and become a tyrant, butcher and target killer, massacring his people left and right!
To prove this point, many people were already told that if they want to remain alive, they have tolerate the new masters (Dinkocrats) the same way the tolerated the Arabs! This is independent south Sudan for you.
Dinkocrats are now imitating Jallaba as the new rulers in the Republic of South Sudan. They have exchanged the SPLM core ideologies and replaced it with the expansionists, exclusionist, chauvinistic, self-enrichment philosophy, typical of the NIF/NCP.
The Dinkocrats are in every way copying the Jallaba in their quest to have the absolute power and wealth in South Sudan. These things are well demonstrated in the daily and the very basics of how the country is governed. All you need is an eye and you will see it.
Is it not true that, it has been the Dinkocrats’ dream to dominate the top political and executive positions in South Sudan to the exclusion of other better qualified “Others”? Is it not their dream come true when they got a free hand to the nation’s wealth in exclusion of the “others”?
Maybe someone want to lecture us on how the Dinkocrats develop the brute tendency to bully others. Or why they have no shame in taking over other few citizens’ ancestral lands, infamously known as “land grabbing”?
In Juba, Wau, Bor , Rumbek , Yambio, Aweil,… etc., right from the day South Sudan gained self-rule, Dinkocrats have often resorted to criminality and militarism, committing countless crimes with a presidentially approved impunity !!
But when we are told that South Sudan is a failed state, the Dinkocrats seem happy to share that with everyone else. Why do they want Dinkocracy’s failure to be synonymous with South Sudanese failure, when many brilliant non conformists and non Dinkocrats could have saved the country?
Almost on every occasion when Salva Kiir or his dinkocratic system fails, which unsurprisingly is often the case, Dinkocrats are wickedly happy to see it as south Sudan’s failure.
On the other hand it is indeed mind boggling how Dinkocrats see Salva Kiir as the only alternative in spite of all his shortcomings?
This complete state of mental darkness which can easily be referred to as the total eclipse of the Dinkocrats mental faculties, have gone to set them against federalism in the country.
If I say that, he who is against federalism, is indeed against the very spirit of an independent south Sudan, it won’t be an exaggeration in any way. But there you will see a Dinkocrat in a full attire putting all obstacles in the way of a system which only a no brainer or an exploiter can choose to oppose.
But then why are the Dinkocrats now against federalism, when they in fact supported it during South Sudan’s long struggle? The answer lies in the missing $ 20 billion dollars!
In a centralised system, like what we now have, all you need is to scare off free press, bar free speech, and send your lynch men after every big mouth in town, and you and your followers can proceed to loot and grab at peace.
Hence in spite of all the benefits federalism is set to offer in the form of a future peaceful coexistence between the different ethnicities, Dinkocrats blinded by free money will die fighting against it.
Are these guys not mirroring the typical position of the Jallaba and their blood sucking National Islamic Front/ National Congress Party (NIF/NCP)?
The bottom line is that South Sudan is now at a very advanced stage in its journey to a destiny that is yet to be declared. However you will be a naïve if you expect a quick fix to the myriad of governance issues that must be set right before normalcy can be attained.
I say federalism lies in the very centre of any negotiated solution that South Sudanese may finally converge at. This is so if the country is to ever remain united and at peace with itself.
Nonetheless no one should expect the Dinkocrats to easily give in to a new dawn, federalism included. Should that become the case then the only short cut to peace and stability is more war and more instability.
At the end it is all about, how the sixty or so other ethnicities can come together and make or force the Dinkocrats into seeing the relevancy of federalism and cooperate with others to adopt what is rightly the best form of governance for our country.
In a nutshell, federalism must replace the current Dinkocracy for South Sudan to regain its position among nations.
Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba is a concerned citizen and a voice for the voiceless. He can be reached at [email protected] .