June 17, 2014 (SSNA) — Now the “Guns and Bullets” the “Military Power” must totally surrender to a “Political Power” that is more superior fountain of our most valued societal unity in diversity, justice, progress and happiness. I cherish a strong belief that the full healthier Democratic Transformation we assiduously struggle for is long overdue – it should be here in better shape and form pleasing and benefiting quite rightfully our diverse citizens at this instant. Therefore, any Interim arrangement that will be born out of the Peace Talks mediated by the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, must strictly be cognizant of and focus on this most desired improved change and equally it must be a selfless John the Baptist organ for that long awaited loftier system and government. But IGAD and the interested members of the international community must not make mistake to militarily deploy in South Sudan because that will cause and risk infinite war and cycle of violence as in Iraq, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Central African Republic (CAR). After all, not all IGAD countries particularly Uganda and its president have no emulate model qualities to showcase.
Nonetheless, South Sudanese must halt utterances like “we are still a young nation” or “we are not yet prepared for federalism”, and relatives, for they are monotonous rubbish and must stop – let us get down to serious work now. Independence or sovereignty is an outcome of maturity. Mature people neither describe themselves as “Young” nor “Not yet prepared” nor can they be designated as such. If done, it tantamount to an affront to nature and nurture; notwithstanding, it is a treachery of our many years of the long-drawn-out revolutionary tussle that kicked off earlier than 1947. Thus, I have a firm faith that no one must make excuses to date; I make no excuse(s), no regret(s) – never either! Let us, above all those in the Talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, solemnly remember Cde. Chairman Garaŋ John De Mabior and what he stated on the SPLM/SPLA view and vision:
“As if independence has been a curse, from 1955 until 1972 we have been fighting … some of us were born in war, grew up in war and grew gray hair in war, ajashna fil harb. Nihna fi sena 83 we changed gears, nahna gaerna al itijah, … in terms of the answers we gave …; we said no it is not the Problem of the Sudan, in our view the problem, is the attempt by various Khartoum based regimes to build a monolithic Arab-Islamic State to the exclusion of other parameters of the Sudanese diversity that has constituted the Fundamental Problems of the Sudan … and this provoked resistance by the excluded, the neglected, the marginalized and the oppressed… Governance in the Sudan became chauvinistic and eventually fascist; … relaying on bruit force for the ruling NIF elites to maintain its power rather than by the consent of the governed through a consensual social contract … our vision our ideology of society is that nihna kuluna Sudaneen.” (Cde. John Garaŋ, Address on the Occasion of the Third Conference on Federalism, 2005)
Indeed, our innocent people agonize, bleed and die yet we firmly endure to believe our independence and Statehood is not a curse! The government, advertently or inadvertently, mates and unleashes that turbulence on our people yet we expect the Government in Juba not to establish any form of dominance based on exclusion in the Country at all. Stop the tortious hues and flamboyant cries of the people now, do something to end the citizens’ tribulation, do not become an enemy of the masses constantly oppressing, marginalizing and alienating them from their own Government and Country. Otherwise, a serious soul-search ensures; individuals and groups engage themselves in thoughtful discourse to find appropriate resolve to end once and for all the ineffable suffering of the people and halt the blatant destruction of the beloved Country.
We are robust people who are loyal to the best parts of our brains and we judge that a Country infested with oppression and domination syndrome demands a social change, an outstanding answer to the Country’s troubles. As politically mindful citizens, we attest that change is only possible through a revolution so an imminent engagement in a protracted struggle can anytime supervene. Indeed, as stated herein above, our history speaks volume: the “Old Sudan” has been dangerous so we chose to struggle for a “New Sudan”, for convenience, since 1955. We declared to dismantle the antique Sudanese system and substitute a better unique system whose cornerstone consists inseparably of unity, equality, progress and happiness for all the people. That well distinctive scheme is none but an appropriate federationthat must be implemented scrupulously but proficiently. So far, it is this current military power creation that must correctly but expeditiously be shepherded to metamorphose into a political power development. So far, the two aforementioned twins (SPLM/SPLA) are legally structurally detached – the former, a supposed political party; while the latter, a hypothetical national army– at least in name. That is one good move in one right direction that must be improved and consolidated further at the moment.
Normally, a Country is mutually owned by the collectivity of the citizens; the State, is both an abode and treasure of all the inhabitants who concede to a satisfactory social contract that legally confers upon them an unencumbered stake over it. If an order or government and its institutions that should belong to the people who dwell in it are turned against their popular will henceforth betrays the “Social Contract” therein; such system turns fascist and expectantly the people themselves will grow lethargic and rebellious against it. As a result, they can in solidarity skilfully and swiftly use the constitution that enshrines their rights and obligations to change it or in unanimity exercise their revolutionary right and obligations to takeover it even by a coup d’état. This securely falls under the realm of “origin and end of legitimacy” of any government or even sovereignty of any territory. For example, the erstwhile ascendant Sudan generated antithesis so dismantled its own territorial integrity and sovereignty and yes it fizzled and ultimately broke apart on 9 July 2011 crowned by a celebrated referendum conducted on the 11 January 2011; here legitimacy changes. Fellow Compatriots, when the objective and subjective conditions are similar, this changeability of legitimacy equally applies to the uninteresting song I hear today or any other time in the future: a legitimately elected government.After all, the Republic of South Sudan is yet to carry out her first ever elections since those wearisomely sang elections were of the previous already delegitimized monstrous political entity known as the Sudan moreover prior (2010) to its final disintegration as succinctly stated above.
Just to espouse further, a change-agent has its own unique prerequisites, chiefly: wisdom, leadership and dedication. Wisdom offers the revolutionist a meticulous justification of the cause; and equally, enables him or her to appreciate that there exists possibilities of failures inherent in any course of a fight, which fiascos should not bother him or her whatsoever. This explains why revolutionist does not degenerate into mountain of frustrations but disappointments; he or she soldiers on. A change agent is a leader; therefore, leadership in its part demands that each revolutionist rises to the occasion and takes responsibility not excuses. Finally, dedication squashes out evil temptations against infidelity to the cause so a change-agent stays the course in space and time.
Fellow Compatriots and Negotiators in Addis Ababa, when a change-agent chooses the Struggle; the Revolution, he or she means it. In that aorta, whatever the circumstances, a revolutionist embraces or subscribes to the noble cause and must do so conscientiously. He or she correctly salutes and answers the dictates of his or her conscience and patriotism. Further, a change agent remains a relevant vanguard to graduate eventually into a successful statesman or stateswoman not a criminal who strays away from people’s demands or national interests, as it were, and becomes only a guru of egocentricity. Such a statesman or stateswoman guarantees that the dead in the course of struggle do not die in vain but remain the cascade of the revolutionary objectives, principles and values. In addition, he or she safeguards that the resulting polity has a novel birth of actual freedom. Ultimately, a revolutionist ensures that democracy that is an undisputable guarantor of fundamental rights is earnestly and pedantically nurtured in the Country. Therefore, he or she is neither ignorant nor conscientiously stupid. Once again, no excuse(s), no dillydally – only real work for total change in Addis Ababa!
Perchance, much of our ugly quagmire sprinkles from our vague convoluted grasp of phenomenon or concept like government. For example, the Nuer defines government descriptively: “Nei te pel pel”. This translates into a group of people with conceited interests only to eat, and when threaten by any source; it will brutally avenge that perceived menace. That then sticks and agglutinates into our psyche that in turn influences our mentality hence our behaviours in this regard. As a link, see what people say of the initials – GOSS: some say it is Government of Selfish Southerners, while others Government of Self Service, contrary to Government of South Sudan now (or Government of Southern Sudan before). That is demonstrative of the horrendous predicament our State is plunged into and our attitudes and behaviours towards it. So, a speedy rectification of that within our “mental processes” will enormously lend a remedial measure now and in the long run. There are many more existent bad stereotypes of and attitudes towards GOSS and its institutions whose purpose in all practice seems exclusive grazing zones for top individuals in them.
Indeed, such ambiguous comprehension of social scientific concepts additionally trade, investment, land or others impact negatively on our applicable decisions and policies, which mainly become lopsided and inimical to public interests, or if you will, national interests. It as well distorts our enduring local and international norms. Unfortunately, since 2005, GOSS has been reckless so much so that people of South Sudan tended to dangerous habits. For instance, consumerism has been promoted above productivity sadly peripherized to an extent the differentials in consumptions among GOSS top and well-placed functionaries I am sure earned GOSS the discourteous sobriquets – “Government of Selfish Southerners” or “Government of Self Service”.
“So, the New Sudan and the Movement now must be based on concrete production or real production; we must produce things, otherwise, we will have no future! By saying that let us start with nothing and get a lot, this can be done … Relief yawu hazu karbu Harka mini Itaŋ, mini mahlaat bita laajiin! We will organize our people from the Countryside. Zhol hazhu akil bita UN bita relief yemshi kun refugee – fi Kenya, fi Uganda, au fi ai dhoula wa relief yalghou hinak. Zhol yargud fi manatik al muharara, yazhrah. Al muathinin bitahna yazhrah, wa muathinin yau bi wodhi akil le jeish. Al jeish bordhu al mabi shakilah yazhra. Wa nihna na ghul le Kawajat: yaki janjaro taki de biga waskan, amshi, fut maou – we are going to do this!” (Cde. John Garaŋ, Garaŋ on the SPLM/SPLA Command and Leadershi, 1995)
I violently assert for the pragmatic inclusion of civility in our Government and politics to achieve real and civilized politic in South Sudan. Procedural debate and structured dialogue than senseless politics of position and control, denial, exclusion, rancour, tribalism, grabbing and destruction must be on the forefront especially in Addis Ababa now. We are aware “Personality Cult” has misfortunately snatched political centre-stage substituting thoughtful discourse between and among our rich diversities in as far as provision of alternative opinions are concerned nowadays. This avowal inspired by consistent observation that politics in South Sudan has continued the Ruritanian modus operendi inherited from old Sudan as such increment in parochialism and subject political culture than snowballing participant political culture most preferred by us. Ruritanian politics is an excessively dominant political actor upon whom all flatterer thespians scramble for political power and authority. Prior to our independence, the President in Khartoum was so sovereign that he dished out power and authority to bootlickers as he wished at that juncture. Those owe loyalty and legitimacy to the boss not the People for that matter. Why should South Sudan go that same ugly course?
Apparently, that center of power has merely shifted from Khartoum to Juba with the advent of sovereignty on 9 July 2011 hitherto. It is Juba or the President herein who decrees all political actors into GOSS including the supposed Party SPLM. “Legislators” alike have been decreed in (out) the two houses of the National Legislature (NL) – the Council of States (COS) and the National Legislative Assembly (NLA). This decree-syndrome is decentralized to the governors, commissioners, Payam-administrators, Boma-administrators and heads of institutions. In this circumstance, these individuals become larger than the State, states, counties, Payams, Bomas and institutions respectively and by extension larger than the law(s) of the corresponding administrative domain. Isn’t this a perfect capture of the widely claimed Decentralization in South Sudan?
This luckless precedence, Decreecracy or Decreetocracy, has produced an edgy situation of fear substituting respect or honour. Indeed, this experience of political or politics incrementally produces despots, puppets or stooges, sycophants, charlatans and villains hence the dirt of politics herein. This is patronage of political activity associated with worst forms of violence, acrimony and social disintegration. In my salient opinion, when class-struggles, racial disputes, regional rivalries and arguments between and among us are settled with ferocity or lethal weapons; we exit the domain of politics, we become barbarians. Conversely, Decreecracy or Decreetocracy undermines synthesis of correct societal myths, ideological conceptual frameworks including putting together virtuous governance policy or policies. No wonder, today GOSS is deficient of an elaborate domestic policy, which shortfall has extremely crippled the development of a burgeoning elegant foreign policy and consequently incapacitated the performance of most of our foreign missions. Absolutely, we demand a dexterous establishment of real participatory democracy in federalism to breed heroes, heroines and selfless leaders in, of and for South Sudan now.
Oil money has been more a curse than a blessing to us since we austerely betrayed our core objective(s):
“What peace means to us in SPLM is ‘Paradigm Shift’; in summary … we don’t want to repeat the experiences of other countries where they use oil money to build a ‘Consumer Society’ by just importing goods from outside. We want to use oil money literally to fuel agriculture” (Cde. John Garaŋ, Garaŋ on the SPLM/SPLA Command and Leadershi, 1995).
Surely, the net results of this abysmal deviation coupled with the despicable insistence on lack of transparency and accountability in the oil industry is catastrophic to the development of our agricultural sector. We will continue dependency on foreign food and other consumer commodities primarily from Uganda and Kenya hereafter endangering our beloved Society. Apparently, we are utterly failing to expand our revenue base moreover the little collections huge percentage is lost to individual pockets. We have taken to spending extravaganzas all around the world attracting all assortments of aliens mesmerized by the gravity of our deluded consumerism. They are duped to believe that we are exceptionally richer as such they come jostling into our Country to scramble for the little yet we have. This nature of profligate consumerism is debilitating and facilitative of us not to care a splinter of hair for our orphans and people, it is a grim peril to our posterity: “… the present generations have the responsibility of ensuring that the needs and interests of present and future generations are fully safeguarded” (UNESCO, 1997). If we maintain condemning ourselves into a “Consumer Society”, we vow on creation of a double tragedy for our Society. On the one hand, we will fail to meet the basic necessities of our own present citizenry and with the same measure nosedive in improvising and saving for our future generations; on the other hand, the government ill-conceived engagements in trade and investment with other States in the region when we are not producing even a tomato, in reality, is feeding the orphans and the poor of other countries thus enriching those societies moreover at our own aggregate expenditure. As a result, our People and Country will perpetually remain poor, weak and helpless.
“… a people that is poor, has a poor government; a people that is weak has a weak government, these are natural facts! Fa ile al nas yantoju, then they will have a strong government” (Cde. John Garaŋ, Address on the Occasion of the Third Conference on Federalism, 2005).
As if that is insufficient; our present decision-makers bend the rules of the game of trade and investment, distort the supposed practice and compounded with absence of “Political Morality” in their minds, hearts and souls, they make it nebulous and mysterious so a staggering proportion of what accrues end-up in their little known individual pockets. These unabated misappropriations further deprive our political Realm of real valuable wealth. Undesirably as a consequence, individuals have built business empires and have deficiently grown richer than the State South Sudan per se.
“Our concept of government has been a powerful thing, andu hajat, and people want to benefit from it, should be the other way round! It is the people who must be very productive in order to make their government strong! And this is the problem that is haunting many underdeveloped countries because the administration, al idhara, public administration has become the biggest industry” (Cde. John Garaŋ, Address on the Occasion of the Third Conference on Federalism, 2005).
The ongoing Negotiations in Addis Ababa must be acquainted with our failure to observe to the letter and spirit our written Law the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011; as dare and worrisome prevalence. For instance, the daily official usage of Arabic language in government institutions including the custodian of the Law, the Judiciary (Article 124 (7)), the National Police Service (NPS), the National Legislature (NL) the maker of the Law, in the Government media and in any official function, these are overt ugly breaches of the supreme Law of the Land (Article 6 (1 -3)). Or, shall I say, the drafters or legislators had shocking oversight to palpably ignore the substantial chunk of the population schooled in and speaking Arabic thus forgot inclusion of Arabic in the Law? When juxtaposed against the defense of the Constitution (Article 4 (3)), isn’t the usage of Arabic language equivalent to suspension or abrogation of our Constitution that must be resisted by all the citizens?
“We have been moving around in the New Sudan explaining and sensitising people – our aim is to explain and brief our constituency – all parts of … the South in the North, in the West, in the East and in the Centre … to explain what is it that has been signed in the Peace Agreement… How can we use it in order to affect Democratic Transformation of our Country…? What we want this peace Agreement unlike the Addis Ababa Agreement (1972) and other peace agreements that has been signed in the Sudan to be owned by the people … people to use it for their own empowerment because if the Peace Agreement is not owned by the people, then anybody can come around and dishonour it … So we want this Agreement to be owned and used by the people for their own benefit … That way they will be able to defend it and that way the Agreement can last…” (Cde. John Garaŋ, Garaŋ on the SPLM/SPLA Command and Leadershi, 1995)
In fact, obscure privatization of public goods and services ensuing from “Conflict of Interest” overtly associated with most government authorities, denigrates our Government and strips naked our Society. For example, our public utilities as schools, hospitals, health centers, ministries, worship places, government houses, police stations, public squares like the historic Freedom Square in Hai Malakal, Unity Gardens, sport-fields have been encroached on by selfish powers that be against the prestige of the great masses of South Sudan – a treasonous aberration. In other places with conscious citizenry, independent and effectual judiciary, when any public actor embroils in decisions and acts that amount to disrepute with the law, they responsibly resign, are censured or are ultimately impeached. The Prime Minister of Thailand Yingluck Shinawatra promptly stepped down from office in Bangkok on 7 May 2014. Can someone resign in South Sudan or we just don’t give a damn to our law(s) and public interests?
There is a visible manipulative hand of GOSS in most civil society organizations (CSOs). For instance, we have witnessed the ministers that have come and gone in the ministry responsible of youth and sports perpetually issuing decrees appointing executive bodies for associated organizations for youth, students and sports. As the founding father of the New Sudan Youth Association (NESYA) (1995) the only youth organ ever to exist in the SPLM/SPLA controlled areas (New Sudan), I am totally against the manner in which GOSS through its correlated agencies claim to organise both the youth and the students in our beloved Country; there is always a better way out.
“I salute your initiative to found this organization for the most dynamic sector of our Movement. The youth constitute more than 95% of our fighting force. You have a longer time to live. On behalf of the SPLM/SPLA and the New Sudan, I salute NESYA and declare it the national youth organization now on. … Propagate NESYA mission and objectives throughout liberated areas. I direct all CANS, SPLM/SPLA commands and all NGOs in areas under our control to give you all the necessary facilitation and support.” (Cde. John Garaŋ, Address on the Occasion of the Third Conference on Federalism, 2005)
On the contrary, they should observe and encourage the exercise of independence by such societal bodies relative to their missions and visions. Unfortunately, the CSOs situation in South Sudan is also made worst because most of their leaders or individuals therein are in hot pursuit of egocentric ends – quick wealth instead of service. Therefore, the sum total of all these scenarios asphyxiates vibrancy in our Society hence in effect concedes the opposite of democracy in our polity, debilitating Government itself. Perhaps, this explains why GOSS has been so particular about the CSOs which should partake in the ongoing Negotiations in Addis Ababa, something already objected by the SPLM/SPLA in Opposition as stated in their Press Statement dated 15 June 2014.
To date South Sudan lacks political parties in the strict sense of the word political-party; we have, as they are famously known here: “Briefcase Parties” that only promote individual selfish interests and “Personality Cult”, not national priority. The SPLM, famous as the “Ruling Party”, is not spared this decadence either. For example, because of betrayal and neglect of and subsequent failure to transform it to suit the noble mission and vision in time and space, the SPLM intention to dismantle the dangerous forms of the “Old Sudan” and substitute a “New Sudan” was abandoned and in its place it presided over a more chaotic system. It perpetrated indiscipline dearth of patriotism, revulsive hatred, gory insecurity, tribalism, nepotism, incessant corruption, misappropriation of public funds, exponential illiteracy, menacing land-grab, the rule of the jungle rather than law, dreadful insubordinations, social injustices, increasing poverty, poor health statuses plus and plus. All these bubble burst on the 15 December 2013 causing the most pernicious civil war yet to be witnessed by our nascent independent State with deaths estimated at over 3,000 and millions internally displaced and forced to refuge with 800,000 alone in UNMISS Camps around the Country in matter of three months alone!
“… more serious and complex project — that of evolving and developing a political entity, a new Sudanese political dispensation and union arrived at through consensus to replace the present Sudanese state, … the majority of Sudanese do not identify…, a Sudanese political dispensation that belongs equally to all its citizens irrespective of race, ethnicity, religion or gender, something which we have not done before and which lies at the root of the wars we are now seeing afflicting our country all over…” (Cde. John Garaŋ, Address on the Occasion of the Third Conference on Federalism, 2005)
The People of South Sudan deserve stability, prosperity and happiness. Moreover, the above descriptions prove that our future is at stake; South Sudan State is threatened. So, as a nationalist I am promptly postulating, in non-impulsive and cool-headed manner with jingoistic goals and objectives as catalyst that political parties must be made abundantly present and vibrantly active in decisions, choices and actions that determine this Country South Sudan now. Together let us work for, sustain and prosper multiparty democracy in a federated South Sudan. Political part ism is fundamental for nation building process since political parties normally form governments the world over. For example, the noticeable factual absenteeism of the SPLM famous as “the ruling party” in Government makes it “not ruling party” at all. That enormously explains why issues including governance went haywire throughout South Sudan, which brutal raptured on Sunday, 15 December 2013, is a disqualification of any so called leader who has been since 2005 hitherto. Ups, poor Comrade Peter Adwok Nyaba, with all the novel rationales, tender goodbye to a demolished house; who will acknowledge?
I believe all political parties should freely under the law popularly mobilize their supporters throughout the Country busking in freedom. Members should participate in party activities hence make contribution in the decision-making process on an equal basis especially wherever their interests are affected. Further, members should access information and have analysis through a media that is under diverse ownership and underpinned by effective freedom of information legislation. Because knowledge is power, I expect strong and vibrant political parties in South Sudan to form government and by extension political parties through their legal and formal organs will be responsible for recommendations and appointments of their respective members into government as functionaries.You are either a member of a political party thus enjoy the legitimacy to take part in party decisions, choices and activities; or you are a member of a community that must stop meddling in affairs of a political party. The stupid fallacy that all members of communities belong to, for instance SPLM, must cease forthwith or else it is pausing a serious threat to political and politics in South Sudan yet.It then follows that political parties’ secretariats should insist on appointing civically competent people to discharge their functions. These civically conscious party officials should be able to observe periodic consensus-building meetings around party and national issues so as to sustain party-members cooperation and trust.
Furthermore, I believe when regular sessions of political party organs are convened in accordance with their respective party constitutions can only then will political parties become true vehicles for political action in which political process exist specially for articulating difficult choices like the ones that confronted the SPLM around December 2013 so as to gain a fair political entity in South Sudan.Yes, regular sessions will definitely ensure that political parties are in dynamic activity and control of political situations thereby providing leadership of government as well as guard against betrayal and opportunism in political parties. So to speak, political parties must ensure efficient and transparent government institutions in South Sudan hence warrant that competence and patriotism should be the habitual basis of appointments in Government.
The rampant culture of impunity can be eliminated when all political parties should ably sermon and punish none delivering and wayward party officials anywhere anytime.They should ensure that joint and national principles such as unity, equality, progress and happiness are mirrored in the laws and institutions of South Sudan and its international relations. One cannot pretend to be a democrat at government pedestal when you’re a nemesis of the same at your own party flat. All should ensure true intra-party and countrywide democracy by guaranteeing fairness in political competition at all levels. Justice in political contestation fits and augurs well with orderly and peaceful transition of power and authority.
So, fairness is in effect rule of law in practice that guarantees responsive, transparent and accountable public institutions at both local and national levels. Last but not least, I believe all political parties must work in tandem to guarantee community solidarity and strengthen cooperation and collaboration with all stake-holders in nation building process in South Sudan. In the same vein, they should ensure that all citizens are entitled to universal access to public services such as education, health care, workers’ compensation, and other services including child care and care for the elderly in order to create a good quality of life for all citizens.Finally, it is my commitment that political parties should foster an efficient and competitive public sector operating in an open mixed economy that is responsive to consumer needs, generating and maintaining quality employment and sustainable environment. Besides, they should ensure that the government they establish should efficiently regulate markets and offer a fair taxation system for the public good.
The most enormous failure is to claim to have established an army, in this case, the SPLA, moreover it is devoid of distinctive national character but a wobbly and awkward army or militia, disjointed and tribalized. The manner in which our supposed Army, the SPLA, has been structured makes it precursory to violent instability and genocide. It must be born in mind that one valorous and successful military commander during wartimes does not necessarily equal to an effectual leader, manager or administrator in public service; the SPLM/SPLA experiences since 1983 till now offer opulent illustrations: “I have found many gallant fighters but I am yet to find one excellent honest divider of food!” (Cde. John Garaŋ, Garaŋ on the SPLM/SPLA Command and Leadershi, 1995) Similarly, the setting up of the National Police Service (NPS), the National Prison Services (NPS), the Wildlife, the Fire-brigade, and other supposed organized forces in the Country is by the same token a serious threat to our national security and peace, and above, all our national union or Statehood. Therefore, a radical total overhaul is demanded here; I am aware there are splendid SPLA patriotic officers who can ably measure up to deliver this gallant demand.
The absence of accountability, inefficiency and lack of transparency inherently pervasive and uninterrupted in all institutions of GOSS are fuelled by among other factors: disparaging and manifest culture of impunity; the inseparable tribalism and nepotism (which is both a tributary and distributary of the former); recruitment of unskilled or phoney human labour resources; lack of supervisory activities by top administrators (most of whom are the perpetrators of these bad vices); no focused regular or periodic inter and intra-institutional meetings; no set standards for performance and production including dearth of tools to measure these preceding variables; no write-ups related to specified responsibilities and roles; and worst still, is the sum total where the best is punished while the worst is rewarded. Unless deliberately reversed and ultimately eliminated, these nuisances and putrefactions provide a fertile ground for corruption and corrupt practices to endure. In the final analysis, the saltiness of GOSS is undermined hence reduced to a rabble of poor governance, the final conspicuous characteristic of failed States.
Tribalism like ethnicity and nepotism are sources of conflict in society including our own as such they must be avoided at all cost. Tribalism and ethnicity are the negative excesses resulting from the behaviours of one individual(s) from one tribe or ethnic-group relative to the other accordingly. The two can be used interchangeably depending on the user because both mean the same. The third concept that is used in equivalence of the two is community. Therefore, tribe or ethnic group or community is affirmative and natural description of human classification – these are not sources of conflict but sources of pride. In this context, one must be proud of ones tribe or ethnic group or community at all time and space.
“… Let us also drop this crazy idea that we must all be Arabs, even God will not accept this. In his infinite wisdom it is this same God that made the Arabs, that made the Nuba, that made the Fur, that made the Dinka, that made the Nubian, that made the Beja, that made the Shilluk, that made all the 500 different ethnic groups in the Sudan; and who is this to amend God’s creation? De munu ali bi amulu amendiment de?”
For that reason, tribe or ethnic group or community cannot be made to disappear on the surface of the planet earth because its existence is a fundamental right, if not, any attempt to upset it is genocide, a serious crime against humanity. So, in this context, when South Sudan burst into violence on the 15 December 2013, carnage of one precious nation of this State was executed – heinous crime were committed. Nevertheless, it has to be underscored here that all tribes or ethnic groups or communities whatever their sizes are equal – that must be observed and revered habitually. For that reason, the presence of the diverse tribes or ethnic groups or communities in South Sudan is one of our major sources of blessing, wealth and superiority hitherto. And so, let us together in solidarity promote our tribes or ethnic-groups or communities but diligently check on the excesses hence totally reject tribalism or ethnicity or communal violence in South Sudan. Then, nepotism, which is a consequence of and has the potential to fertilize tribalism or ethnicity, will diminish in our Country.
“That at all does not mean … we will drop our Arab cultural heritage because it is a major contribution to the … culture and to the … identity: Let us promote and accept ourselves as Sudanese; this is what can unite us. …, Islam cannot unite us; Christianity cannot unite us but Sudanism can unite us because it is a common factor. (Cde. John Garaŋ, Address on the Occasion of the Third Conference on Federalism, 2005)
There is yet another intricate concept similar to these above that deserve a serious space herein below; it is the concept “Nation”. The concept Nation as federalism, has in most cases, especially here in South Sudan been misused because of the web of problems surrounding its definition. It is necessary therefore to make some brief clarification. A Nation is a community or a group with all the conditions for a common life giving rise to natural sentiments of loyalty and identification but not limited to specific purposes. Nation as opposed to alien inhabits common territory, shares common language and tradition, has memory of a common history and looks forward to a common future (goals and aspirations). Other common factors include geography, strategy, religion, economics and statesmanship. In this respect, a nation is equal to a tribe or ethnic-group or community, for example, Nyepo, Zande, Kachippo, Nyikarith (or Topos) (or Toposa now), Murle, Nuer, Boŋgo, Luwo, Othuko, Bari, Jieŋ, Balanda, Anyuak, Giye, Keresh, Pori etc. The subtlety of nation arises in its application vis-à-vis the Concept State. A modern State such as South Sudan consists of several nations. All those and these common factors as a result of a consensual “Social Contract” by the several nations therein will begin to submerge and a common sentiment emerges around the territory and the symbols of State such as a flag, a coat-of-arm, an anthem and a government will materialize as well. These resultant cyphers gradually will transcend those of the original smaller communities. Then the artificially forged political union results into a common “Nationality”, in our case, South Sudanese.
Whereas it is easy to stay obedient to the unit nation – tribe, ethnic-group, community – because of the naturalness, it is delicate and costly to sustain loyalty to the innovative “Nation” because of its sophistications. Therefore, it is mandatory that government must constantly be on its toes to remind the constituent nations of the commonalities that have emerged and resulted into the new nationalism hence nationality. Therefore, GOSS should have energetically committed to its socialization and resocialization functions of the citizenry so keep an eagle eye on those elements that can bring closer together Nations in South Sudan. For instance, GOSS must effectively utilize its institutions such as radios, televisions, school system, business, and entertainment industries for this calculated outcome. Conversely, GOSS should meticulously ascertain that political parties and informal contacts like marriages and religious functions under it gear the populace into the new forged union. Above all, GOSS should determine that the rule of law prevails at all times in all places of the Country. The Supreme Law of the State that enshrines the “Social Contract” of the nations therein must be fully observed both by GOSS, organizations (endogenous or exogenous), and the People in whose will it is based. Surely, I believe that the social degradation including the impediments on the supposed “Social Contract” between and among the Nations of this polity largely because of miscarriages in governance in our Country can still be reversed addressed, stabilized and sustained. For instance, the ongoing Transitional Constitution Review by the National Constitutional Review Commission (NCRC) offers yet another preliminary window of opportunity to make us consummately real South Sudanese. It is only judicious and sufficient enough to demand cautious and duteous exercise of maximum meritocracy by NCRC to produce a balanced good draft constitution respectful of the desired “Social Contract” therein for the Country… But what is this fuse about a “Constitution”?
A Constitution, the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan (TCRSS), 2011, and what will be the permanent constitution henceforth; when seriously followed is a basic requirement for peace, order and progress in the State, in South Sudan. It establishes central principles and rules which define and regulate respectively the various interactions on the one hand among the people and between the people and the government on the other – “Social Contract”. It is the fundamental Law of the Land of our birth South Sudan. As the supreme Law, it must be selflessly People based as emphasized thus: “Sovereignty is vested in the people” (Article 2) and “derives its authority from the will of the people” (Article 3). While we have so far decreed a NCRC, it must be recalled though that as a rule, a Constitution is supposed to emerge from the deliberations of an assembly called the “Constituent Assembly”. In this respect, I strongly suggest that this Commission should, as I mentioned herein overleaf, be considered as part of the stages of constitutionalism. Therefore, we should eventually pave the way for a “Constituent Assembly” that would ultimately synthesize the enduring Constitution, needful of a popular national referendum. Done this way, the resultant constitution will finitely and squarely represent the entire body of principles by which the organized communities of South Sudan wishes. Otherwise, it will merely be a recipe for further daunting problems for us to suffer and grapple with in the future.
Among others, our ultimate Constitution should clearly and selflessly allocate powers to government; define the rights and duties of citizens; regulate interactions between the two (government and citizens); define the formal structure of government and the extent of their various jurisdictions; prescribe formal institutional structures; prescribe informal processes through which the dynamic processes of government and politics are conducted; create positions within each institution and allocate appropriate powers to each position; define how important ruling positions would be; define the terms of tenure in every such position; and reflect the concerns of the individual herein since the structures are created so the individual may participate in politics. Nonetheless, it must be born in mind that a constitution in itself is not the law; when illustrated, it is like a wall of a building that creates rooms for the owner and family to eventually live in. Therefore, our final Constitution must create equal rooms for us People of South Sudan to live in amicable unity, equality, progress and happiness – that will be a palatable and sustainable “People’s Social Contract”.
Given our prevailing circumstances, then, what type of Constitution will befit South Sudan and her people? Globally, there are four types of constitutions, namely: Written or Unwritten; Rigid or Flexible; Unitary or Federal; and Monarchical or Republican, let us explore a bit.
In the past, for reasons of inability to write, African societies including South Sudanese Society have no single document named constitution. Rather, it depended on traditional leaders and wise elders’ enactments and immemorial customs and traditions or legends orally passed on from one generation to another. As such, we the people of South Sudan as the British can pride ourselves in our ability to observe unwritten constitution (political rules) even when breaching such rules may yield advantages to one of the competing group in society. Hence, even after we became “formally” literate, still we have been reluctant to reduce our indigenous mythical rules into a single document that we can call a constitution. Absurdly enough, we took to untenable habit of imitating written constitutions of other cultures or polities, something that has complicated our political stability to date – the intricacies of unoriginality; we have been more academic than practical. Remember that in that primordial manner, we were able to establish our Bill of Rights, which forms the basis of citizenry civil rights. This is still widely so in our non-metropolitan or rural settlements.
In the categories of constitutions that I inspect herein bellow, all principles, institutions, processes of government, the rights and duties of citizens are contained. Individuals or groups of citizens may point to specific provisions to stake claims against the State. Equally, the courts have statutory powers to interpret specific provisions of the constitution whenever there is a dispute between claimants.
First, a Rigid Constitution carries special provisions all of which must be complied with in order to amend any of its provision. As a rule, most written constitutions are rigid. Second, the South Sudan pre-literacy constitution is a nature of a Flexible Constitution; it may be amended through the process of settling issues or problems with time. Our community village meetings, for instance, are consciously aware of the dynamics of social and political preferences and relationships which demand that political arrangements should anticipate and accommodate anxieties for change if only to ensure the stability and survival of the system for which they are designed. In this respect, every system, indigenous or modern, embodies procedures for Orderly Change. Orderly change through informal or formal amendment procedure, customs or conventions and interpretative judicial decisions is essentially indispensable and should be encouraged to take precedence in South Sudan at all cost. Thus, it is cardinal that we properly develop our institutions especially the legislature and the executive for it is through these that amendments by prolonged customs come and rarely imperceptibly through usage.
Nevertheless, some abnormal changes including orderly changes are arbitrarily effected through violence; for example, a ruthless individual or family or community may chose violence regardless of the verdicts of the community or village assembly. What occurred in the Sudan from 1955 – 1972 and 1983 – 2005 were legitimate violent efforts to establish change – this is what I call a “Legitimate Rebellion” as there is a legitimate government. Changes can be results of coups or forcible seizure of power as it was in the Sudan in 1958 (Gen. Ibrahim Aboud), 1985 (Gen. Suwar El Dahab) and 1989 (Gen. M. A. Hassen Al Bashir). All the same, constitutions have in most cases been flouted rather than observed even by the very originators or drafters including traditional leaders, wise elders and legislators of government functionaries; he-e, a cursor to endless alertness!
Like Kenya with a written, flexible and republican; alike the British with unwritten, flexible and monarchical; and resembling USA with written, rigid and federal constitutions; correspondingly South Sudan Constitution may also fall in two or more of these categories. Some believe that TCRSS, 2011 is unitary; let us briefly examine it. Apparently, in a unitary constitutional arrangement, habitual exercise of supreme legislative and executive authority by one central government with powers over the whole country and one legislative authority makes laws for the country. The central executive authority creates sub-units for the administration of the State. In recent years, considerable power has been given to the sub-units of administration – a policy generally called Decentralization whose aims are: to enable people in far-flung areas to assume responsibility over basic social amenities locally; to enable the locals to learn the rudiments of popular rule; and meaningful applications enables the locals to elect their own representatives into councils for taxes, for management of schools, health centres, markets, water supply, electricity, etc. Thus far, it can be concluded that the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan (TCRSS), 2011 exhibit some traits of a unitary constitution.
However, as South Sudanese, let us first pay keen attention to the concept Decentralization mentioned above, which is neither a form of constitution nor a form of governance but a policy that can be part of any form of constitution or system of governance. Clumsily yet the powers that be have tricked us to believe that it is a form of constitution or system of governance by agitating its noticeable insertion in the TCRSS, 2011 (Article 1 (5) and 36 (1)). In any case, Decentralization may be for the better or for the worse. It is better when central power (like in Juba) is used only in gazetting bye-laws and appointing technical personnel to the sub-units. But in our South Sudanese attempt to apply Decentralization, central power is worse since it has been misconstrued and used manipulatively as the actual decision-maker for the decentralized units and as such local enthusiasm has been thwarted and made wry and nothing has changed for the better in the local government units such as Counties, Payams and Bomas.
Escapist and outlandish contentions have been brandished nowadays by various personalities and groups about type of system fit for South Sudan. For example, some Akol Paul Kordit an imposed lifelong “SPLM Youth League” chairman lashes out on Equatorians for demanding federalism claiming that that demand is “Kokora ist” and if so then they [Jieŋ or Dinka] will part with “their oil” and leave the Equatorians with what he called their “bafura” or cassava; he adds, “and the Topossa will say: “the gold is theirs”. Others like Professor Moses Machar lament that South Sudan should not rush to implement federal system of government at this time because the Country is too young for it; while the likes of Savio say federalism is difficult for us so far; what a mind chemistry and ambivalence!
Any virtuous mind, heart and soul recognizes that in our typical case, the question is not “what type of governance or system” but rather “what do we name our system and how do we better apply and consolidate it” as our long enduring historical choice? On the contrary, we must make them crystal clear and operational at this instant! The child is born; the parents (like the Equatorians and Upper Nileians) are just naming the child: “Now that the child has been born, you can decide what to call the form of governance that we have agreed …, whether it is a federation, confederation or true federalism or some other ism. Whatever one calls it, it is an agreement that was negotiated …” (Cde. John Garaŋ, Garaŋ on the SPLM/SPLA Command and Leadershi, 1995). Yes, a Federal Constitution or a federal system of governance is so far the imperative though not panacea for South Sudan State and has to be accorded a serious consideration by GOSS, South Sudan’s citizenry and their necessary constituent assembly forthwith.
This political order is a product of a Federal Constitution, its self a product of tough inclusive negotiations (as expected in Addis Ababa), which establishes a central government and smaller governments of somewhat larger units (states), if you will, with varied degrees of decentralizations as policies. It has principles such as rigidity; it spells out powers and responsibilities of the centre and states; it provides for the procedures of legitimate amendments and establishment of a supreme court with powers to interpret the constitution in case of disputes between the components. Because the components (states or call them regions or provinces or nations) have been autonomous before the union (the Republic of South Sudan), it is necessary to declare in clear terms what limitations on their powers they (the components) are willing to concede in the interest of the union (the Republic). In this perspective, a Federal Constitution or federal system serves as the most needed social contract (originated by Jean Jack Rousseau) among the units and between the units as a whole and the federal Government of South Sudan in particular.
It should be underscored further though that a federal constitutional option doesn’t only guarantee rights to the citizenry of South Sudan as in unitary system like in Ghana, for example; but it also serves as a protector of the separate groups or ethnic groups or nations – tribalism or ethnicity or nepotism are mitigated – that constitute the federation or union. Therefore, by all standards, the TCRSS, 2011, as its predecessor the Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan (ICSS), 2005, is by and large a Federal Constitution irrespective of its Article 1 (4) and 36 (1) since the concept Decentralization arguably is an inherent sub-element or policy as accentuated upstairs.
Discernibly, the descriptive rather than legal usage of the word “Decentralization” in the TCRSS, 2011 should be viewed as one of the many mistakes in legislation vis-à-vis the principal of “letter and spirit” of the law – legal drafting demands that you chose words whose meanings include all that is intended and exclude all that is not intended. Regrettably, most of our South Sudan legislators currently acutely lack such legislative capability hence most of our South Sudan laws together with the supreme Law of the Land are bad laws so far; much synchronization and amendments are called for in the nearest future. In this case, the diction and practice of our laws present obscure greyness hence obscurity in the law and the system established thereof. So, most of the populace including some Equatorians cannot be liable for their varied or subjective ignorance(s) of the actual situation that we are a Federationsince 2005 hitherto. As such, the hues and cries by certain sectors of our Society demanding for the establishment of a Federal System become repetitious though justifiable. Otherwise, South Sudan largely is a Federation as demonstrated by the structures of her current law(s).
For instance, the TRCSS, 2011 has invariably established a Supreme Court (Article 123 (a) or 125), not to make or alter the law, but to declare what the Constitution is, on a particular point at a given time. The Court is only an immediate not a final arbiter on the Constitution. If We the People of South Sudan, in whom the sovereignty of TCRSS, 2011 is vested (Art. 2) and in whose will the authority of TCRSS, 2011 is derived (Art. 3(1)), having learnt from the Court what the Constitution is, and if we do not like it, we are the final arbiters. Indeed, by acting in the prescribed manner, we can change the Constitution from what it is to what we think it should be. This is one advantageous feature of a Federal Constitution.
Second, Federal Constitution customarily establishes two chambers one on the basis of the population (universal adult suffrage) and another on equal representation of the units (state assemblies) constituting the federation. That is exactly what TCRSS, 2011 has done as evidenced by its establishment of the National Legislature (Articles 54 (1)), comprising of National Legislative Assembly (Article 56 (1) (a)) and the Council of States (Article 58 (1) (a)). The equal representation is normally to balance up the under-representation by the less populous units (states or nations). This is yet another trait of a federal constitution. In theory, the second chamber or the Council of States (equal representation) should perpetually share concurrent powers with the federal government in the appointment of higher officers to the state in conduct of foreign policy, matters related to defence, and general security of the federation (Article 59). However, the concept of universal adult suffrage or equal representation has been broadly misjudged in South Sudan because instead of emphasizing on capability the appointing power(s) and authority or authorities of GOSS and the respective members of communities with connections to GOSS have been handpicking kith of kins, relatives, wives, cronies, sycophants, opportunists moreover with acute famine of skills, something which has added-up to the general dysfunction of GOSS institutions through and through.
Third, Federal constitution attempts to set out the details such as the function of the federation and the units and powers of the federation and the units. For instance, the TCRSS, 2011 attempted to outline the details of the Federal Republic of South Sudan in Article 55 (National Legislature), Article 96 (Executive), Article 109 and 110 (National Council of Ministers), Article 122, 126, 127, 128, (the Judiciary), and Article 162 – 168 (the States, Local Government, and Traditional Authorities). That is surely another third characteristic of the federal-ness of TCRSS, 2011 and South Sudan.
Forth, do we doubt that our National Government controls defense, foreign affairs and basic economic matters (Articles 151 (1), 155 (1), 156 (1), 157 (1), 158 (1), 160 (1), 161 (1) to date? Is that not a rule of a federation? It goes without statement that our ten constituent states “should” control social services such education, health, housing, building of roads and infrastructure, provision of water and electricity and provision of sundry local government. That is a classic attestation to the degree of our federalism stipulated by TCRSS, 2011.
In a nutshell, the debate should not centre on what “form of constitution” but rather how can we better synchronize and consolidate our Federal Constitution now – or else, talking about decentralization as a form of constitution or system of governance is utterly stupid! The practical application of our federal system of laws is the born of contention; we must make haste and fix this up sooner rather than later before further crumbling of our new found Union whether it is both coming-together federation formed by independent units for the sake of common good otherwise unattainable; or holding-together federation, which develop from unitary units as our government responds to mitigate threats of secession. Having witnessed the bitter pills of the former Sudan’s epoch before 1956, the 50 years of its so called independence, the six years of semi-autonomous governance (2005 – 2011) and our own about three years of independence as well as other state-formations around us in the region, we should sustain extra precaution and appreciate the classical justification of the State founded on a social contract between the people and the State. Surely, if we are not vigilant; then, we may risk series of cessations of this wonderful treasure, South Sudan – we must unite her voluntarily by consensus of its peoples. Let the consensus commence in Addis Ababa, be authenticated and adopted in Juba and in the final analysis it should masterly walk throughout the Land of South Sudan amen!
“I am aware of the controversy over the notion of the social contract, yet what should make the State legitimate is if it is the result of an agreement by the people who are subject or subject themselves to the State.” (Cde. John Garaŋ, Garaŋ on the SPLM/SPLA Command and Leadershi, 1995)
Therefore, let us have a severe laser scan on our overindulgences enumerated herein that constitute grave betrayal hence have paused tremendous vulnerability to our State of South Sudan hitherto. Additionally, there is proliferating abuses of office power and authority with impunity throughout the institutions of GOSS so much so that, I am afraid, such cruelties are being established as the correct norms rather than the felonious rupture of the law, a painfully terrifying precedence for our risen generation and our posterity henceforth. Accordingly, public assets and inventories are either looted by persons deficient of political morality and are on ego trip or are misused for private or personal aggrandizement not for the institutional or public interests. No wonder, that enormously elucidates, perhaps, why specifically the purchases of luxurious or ostentatious fleets and flotillas of vehicles and squads of heavy duty generators have been set with appalling frequencies as top priority every fiscal year since 2005 until then.
The establishment of GOSS as a social welfare for some, clandestinely I suppose, strategically placed in the top echelons of power and authority in GOSS at this stage of our economic growth as distressingly illustrated by the popular “Dura Saga of 2009” and similar others is a despicable antecedence to be totally undone or else it continuous to suck our government empty of all her dear energies for self-sustenance and progress. In this line, the few roads in the Country have been jettisoned to the dogs and a few lucky of them that are supposedly for reconstruction or construction like the Juba-Kajokkeji Road have been irrationally and recklessly given out to fake or quark individual companies with broad connexions to those in power and authority hence their works have been gauchely ignored in as far as thought strict supervision is concerned. In fact, the rapidity with and shortest period in which the washing away of the calved-bridges and gravels along this particular road (and many others I presume) is an indelible indictment of the capacity of the engineers and engineering involved. Ridiculously enough, because of the intent to scoop public funds for selfish satisfaction, the peripherals in Society and her great people have been denied road construction and maintenance equipment since 2005. In Central Equatoria State the few bulldozer-caterpillars, loaders and graders are used only for demolitions. Furthermore, all projects of public physical infrastructural constructions and reconstructions predominantly of schools and primary health centres throughout the Country have been awarded to those bogus individualistic companies alluded above – a proof of the exposed existence of the conflict of interest in the Republic.
The availability, management, accessibility and exchange of foreign currency in South Sudan are poignant failures of the regulatory plus fiscal policy function of the Central Bank in the Country. For example, foreign currency mainly US dollars are blatantly only in the black market. Strangely enough, these currencies are with individuals who mostly belong to one ethnic group who moreover neither speak English that is the official language (TCRSS, 2011 (Art. 6 (2)) nor Arabic that by default has become the lingua franker in the Country but their indigenous dialectal. When a certain amount is allocated to the various official foreign exchange bureaus in the Country, an open door policy to sell and buy those currencies is not practised but a select group nepotistic-ally are in a closed door dolled these money that then find their way into the black-market for profiteering purposes. What a stinky lucrative business looming and being conducted by those with high connections in government, the Central Bank and the foreign currency bureaus? They racketeer at the detriment of the public good. As such, genuine seekers of foreign currencies loose out perpetually. Can you believe me, even when one has a dollar account you cannot freely walk in and withdraws dollars your own in the first place? Incredible – the reason and logic of central bank, commercial bank and legal foreign exchange bureau is defeated in South Sudan under the very watch of this sitting Government; applying the thumb-rule?
The educational and learning standards at all levels have shockingly plummeted in the entire breadth and length of this Country excruciating and grimly detrimental to our Society. We are constantly flattered that our children, for instance, in Comboni Secondary School Juba (CSSJ), Juba Day, Supiri and Juba Commercial; St. Joseph’s, Juba Modern, and Usratuna basic schools 100% pass exams! Notwithstanding those repeated proclamations by GOSS and the respective state governments of splendid schools and individual pupils’ performances in examinations since 2005 up till then; on the contrary, what is projected by those graduates themselves leaves a great deal to be desired and pondered; a vigorous remonstration against those declarations.
Many doubtful indicators of those Government claims abound. For example, a careful inspection of our children skills in writing, reading, speaking, and application of knowledge, and general discipline is relatively very bad as compared to abilities those same schools conferred in the mid-1990 downwards. Today, a senior three pupil at CSSJ is practically equivalent to a junior one pupil of former St. Joseph’s Junior (or Intermediate) School; and Juba University graduate student today correspond to former senior two CSSJ pupil of 1995. Further, an eighth year basic pupil in Juba in South Sudan is most likely to write a wrong spelling of his/her name let alone an informal or formal letter when compared to a primary five pupil in either Uganda or Kenya rural school. No wonder the powers that be take all their children, close relatives and cronies to schools yet on concocted scholarships even to nursery schools in Uganda and Kenya, which qualities of education are even pondered while forsaking the majority children of the State to languish in those theatrical schools they setup in the Country, which they are looting and impoverishing. Tell me, why select senior four (Ordinary Level) not six leavers (Advanced Level) from Uganda for universities in South Sudan when obviously the latter is eligible for university matriculation in the previous Country? Are we mindful of the repercussions? Why do you ignore our domestic schools but continue siphoning our own money away instead of investing it in developing and prospering education and learning in and for the Country? Why and for how long must we lose such huge national money or resources to the wealth and development of foreign economies and countries moreover at our own total expense? Do you know that the Country’s problems are exponentially on the increase hence indispensable necessity to develop human labour resources capable to cope with such upsurge? What mindset, heart and soul contents have you; are you a builder or destroyer? How can you promise growth, development, progress and happiness for South Sudan People when on divergent you are actually detonating it? Where is your altruism; do you love or loath your country? Are you not a mercenary only looting the Society? Won’t our great people rise, combat and reject you at all cost one day!
Reminiscences of what the oppressor Omer Al Bashir and his National Islamic Front (NIF) or National Congress Party (NCP) did to debilitate our education and learning by his unpopular “June 1991 New Educational Policies” that triggered the Popular Juba Students’ Uprisings (1991 – 1992) subsequent to his earlier forceful relocation of Juba University away from her original cradle and later, for political expediency, decreeing additional universities (Bahr El Ghazel and Upper Nile) at an superfluous time are still vivid and ripe. They highly politicized the universities with sectarian politics of “Oyee” rather than politics of nation-building or jingoism, in effect, disabling nationalism in the cream sector of our Society. Did GOSS devote to engage reverse this social morbidity in our Society since the CPA Interim period (2005 – 2011) and independence (2011)?
Therefore, GOSS would be enthusiastic on demands for robust critical reform and revamp of our education and learning system at all levels. It would be resolute against pointless proliferation of non-bonafide schools including universities in the Country. Further, it would concentrate on quality advancement of the five public universities sufficient enough for our senior school output. Equally, GOSS would engage in a comprehensive affirmative action to rehabilitate the 13 year old victims of NIF or NCP education and learning mess so they become appropriate resources of production in of and for the Republic of South Sudan. Yes, it would zoom in on face-lift crisis management team(s) with special focus on scientific research. Unfortunately, GOSS went non-functional creating “Crisis Management Committee” that caused more disaster in this regard. Indeed, it proved its own mess by detesting its own make and in shame preferred foreign creation of Uganda, Kenya thus their children, wives, close relatives and sycophant associates end up licking on their knees a foreign educational establishment. They in numbers trek to and tramp back from foreign schools including kindergartens yearly; for how long? Most awful still, an over-speeding foreign Ugandan bus overturned killing mostly returning South Sudanese school children from such foreign schools at Nesitu Junction sometimes in December 2013; what a tragedy? I demand that our children criss-cross our own Country, one state to another; one county to another; a Payam to another, or a Boma to another in search of education and learning. By the way, we are doing a grave disservice to our own Country and her future; God forbid, we are prospering other countries, Fellow Compatriots!
Seeing it from another angle, the more we send our children to those foreign countries the more we deny them from being taught their own culture their own history. History and culture are the roots of a country like ours; they anchor its statehood thereby conferring nationalism to its natives. The all times maxim states: any nation without roots is like the tree without the roots – dead woods. When you are ignorant of your own Country’s history and culture(s), you become the dreads of society; therefore, the system must liberate you – we must emancipate them now.
“… we as Sudanese have a concrete … anchor in history … iza ma indak anchor in history, then you are a no body and whatever you are doing will come to nothing; lakin indina hujut hagigi fi tarik.” (Cde. John Garaŋ, Address on the Occasion of the Third Conference on Federalism, 2005).
Besides our recklessness in handling our education and learning schemes, health is yet another very important sector in South Sudan terribly botched. For example, GOSS routine financing medical treatment even common cold of select groups abroad monthly and annually is short-sightedly dreadful. Moreover, most recommendations are based on fictitious medical referrals simply to achieve short-term money benefits. To date, I have been looking for SSP 15,000 (US$ 3,333.3) from both GOSS and Central Equatoria Government (CEG) to no avail to complete servicing an outstanding debt of labour cost for the construction and renovation of an accommodation facility for CEG Kansuk Primary Health Care Centre (PHCC) and in Gaderu Primary Health Care Unit (PHCU) respectively both in Nyepo Payam in Kajokkeji County, thanks to money courtesy of the French Embassy in Juba. Moreover, we know that gargantuan sums of money habitually exit public coffers into individual pockets outside public interests domain. In this way, our health care facilities throughout the Country dilapidate and rot – no medicines, no equipment, and no nothing! There is a famous adage in Juba today: “Referral to Juba Hospital is death sentence guaranteed”! This situation opened the health Pandora-box so all quack medical practitioners from those foreign countries rush into South Sudan to overwhelm us with all sorts of “hospitals” and “clinics” with hysterical names at high costs and replica medicines complicating infections or ailments thus increasing death of our poor people every year.
One wonders if South Sudan is an extension of some countries like Uganda or Kenya. Ridiculously, schools and housing companies of those countries freely advertise in our local spaces – local radios, televisions, newspapers, billboards that litter our streets as if our Country was part of their territory, an utter breach of our sovereignty, cultures and laws. One day the Speaker of the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) carried an advertisement of a Ugandan university in the very august House even snubbing an attentive Member who protested by a point of order! Why is the Museveni army known as Ugandan People’s Defense Forces or UPDF in our territory moreover killing nobody but our own citizens, People in whom the sovereignty and in whose will the authority of the Supreme Law of this Land South Sudan rests? For geostrategic and political as well as patriotic reasons, I am vehemently objecting to that – period! Therefore, I cherish relationship with the Ugandan people not individuals. Now that Museveni is beginning to read our situation from the correct slit and getting to terms with the true story of the alleged “Failed Coup of 15 December 2013”; equally, I advise that Museveni and UPDF should see the validation to leave with urgency deserved the soil of South Sudan now. Then subsequently the Ugandans should relate with the great people of South Sudan, not individuals in South Sudan. Such a bond between neighbours will be healthiest and most stable.
Further, the monopoly of our economy by aliens chiefly from Uganda, Sudan and Kenya to name but a few is already too early an evil omen for our independence. What is more, record common crimes have been committed by those very aliens. For example, forgery and faking currencies, robberies, prostitutions, illicit trade, impersonation, fake-drug supplies, name it. These aliens go to extremes and crook access to exclusive rights of the citizens as nationality certificates, a prerequisite for citizens’ admission to their Country’s opportunities. Now then aliens scramble together with the natural outright candidates, the citizenry, for such opportunities in the Country – over 900,000 jobs and over US $ 800 Million worth of income for Ugandans! The circumstances are made worst by alarming and exponential swelling of the unemployable, unemployed and unproductive citizens, recipe for a criminal habitat. It embarks with a shameful educational system like the one described overleaf incapable of moulding mature human labour resources. The next stage of failure is a dysfunctional government without abilities to socialize or resocialize available youthful population towards law abiding and self-employment. In addition, a government that lacks the leverage and entrepreneurial skills to create employment for a growing young population is precarious to its people and future. They say history repeats itself; will not immigrants dominate us as we were by the Arab settlers in the old Sudan in the future once again?
“And this is the problem that is haunting many underdeveloped countries because the administration, al idhara, public administration has become the biggest industry in many African countries … It absorbs a very big portion of the Gross National Product. Administration should facilitate production, it should provide a conducive atmosphere, it should provide a situation for production” (Cde. John Garaŋ, Garaŋ on the SPLM/SPLA Command and Leadershi, 1995)
There is a wrong and disheartening notion being sprinkled around that South Sudanese are “a lazy lot” as a result most are being denied jobs including casual works moreover in their own hard-won Country. Disappointingly, we see growing number of Martians taking up occupations even cleaning and driving what one would consider as local preserves for inhabitants. Remember, the primary responsibility of governments everywhere in the globe is to first and foremost take care of its respective citizenry not foreigners. That is the supreme cornerstone of national interests – providing for your citizens; feed and enrich your orphans and destitute before others’!
“Because there is no meaning of Revolution unless it makes our People happy, … prosperous, they go ahead, they advance – they get shelter, they get food, they get clean drinking water, they get education, they get health services; … unless the Revolution provides these to our people … Then, the people will prefer the Government of the NIF that provides salt to the Government of the SPLA that does not provide salt. This is simple arithmetic. If the SPLA cannot deliver anything – and we just shout: “Revolution” – and the cattle of the people is not vaccinated, their children are not vaccinated, there is nothing to eat, there is no basic necessities of life, mafi gumash fi suk, mafi ibra, mafi mus, the bare minimum of things are not available; the people will drive us into the sea, even if there is no sea here, they will find a sea to drive us into” (Cde. John Garaŋ, Garaŋ on the SPLM/SPLA Command and Leadershi, 1995).
The dysfunctional GOSS give rise to undesirable mentality and/or attitude that inadvertently encourage rural urban migration or RUM as opposed to the reverse. This is menacing to the very survival let alone the anticipated prosperous viability of our Government. The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLM/SPLA) became the majority party that formed GOSS in 2005 in the Interim period; the SPLM become the ruling party following the 2010 Elections; and it received the blessings as the majority party to form the Transitional GOSS after attainment of independence on the 9 July 2011 till now. Of significant interest is the SPLM/SPLA exudes and professes the objective of “Taking Towns to Villages”; resources should concentrate in the rural areas. In other ward, it aims to ensure against RUM. Alas, since 2005 we have witnessed unprecedented waves of populations flocking into the already established urbanite centres for all the wrong reasons imaginable, misconstrued concept as capital city, liberation, the constitution and government all broad reasons for such “Pull and Push” factors:
“…Hakuma is considered to be something that has a heap of resources, a heap of money … and then people want to take min Al Hakuma; people want to loot, people auzin i silu, i silu, i silu min Al Hakuma, and … see, Hakuma … where else will it get things from? It is from the people, it is from production … a people that is poor, has a poor government; a people that is weak has a weak government, these are natural facts! … Where else will things fall from? Fa ile al nas yantoju … It is the people who must be very productive in order to make their government strong; there is no any other way” (Cde. John Garaŋ, Garaŋ on the SPLM/SPLA Command and Leadershi, 1995)
Strangely enough, some particular known communities are mainly infected and affected by RUM disorder. Many more secondary troubles then ensued: chiefly land and property-grab, robbery, assassinations, nepotism and corruption etcetera. Most places affected include Juba, Wau, Nimule, Yei, Kaya, Maridi, Kapoeta, Yambio and Bor.
Loudest and solidest dynamism, I call for a Political Rebirth because politics is mother of the multifaceted fields that solve conflict in Society. Otherwise, no real peace, growth, development, prosperity and pursuit of happiness will ever flourish in this Country. Let us engross in politics that concerns with objective and peaceful resolution of competing claims. So, we harmonize our relations and ensure our core values, basic organizations and processes are protected from disruption. Often my compatriots consciously or involuntarily say: ‘I don’t want politics’, ‘I am not a politician’, ‘leave politics’, ‘politics is bad’, or ‘I am neutral’. These are dereliction of patriotic duty. Then, I urge a detour and revisit of this mind-set so wake-up and see the light now! You are without a single clue such attitudes never extricate one from putridity of others’ political mishap in society in which one is a party. Otherwise, meretricious charlatans, burlesques swindlers, unscrupulous liars and dictators would not get away with their crimes against the State and People if scores of law abiding masses like you insisted on the right to be conscious, critically assertive and vibrantly proactive especially on issues of national interests. This is a revelation that “Freedom is not free”; wake-up and be politically active and responsible, Fellow Countrymen and Countrywomen.
I have ever stated this and will do so over and over again – and I will never tire reiterating the same here – South Sudanese unity, equality, progress and happiness will never occur by spontaneity but sustained resolute sacrifice, resilience to suffering and noble struggle. Our tireless, effervescent and committed concern as zealous individual citizens of this Republic shall bring them about. Even when peace is attained today in Addis Ababa and the gun go silent the soldier gets into the barracks and the interim government is well in place and the permanent preferred political arrangement call her federalism is perfectly enshrined thereafter; you shall continue to exercise everlasting vigilance and ceaseless struggle in order to enjoy real unity, equality, progress and happiness and in a Country you will proudly continue then to call your own!
Hypothetically, if Riak Machar is the bad guy, or if the Nuer is the spoiler tribe as it is the current dominant propaganda and shenanigans thereof; or if the Jieŋ (famous as Dinka) is the mischievous spirited ethnic group, and if all are causally blameable for our excruciating tribulation including the latest one that started tormenting us on 15 December 2013 up till now; then, how about you, what has been your role yet? The person or tribe or ethnic group or community that claims decency and righteousness that has been mead-yorking sitting on the fence with appalling and deadly silence with no morality while fellow brothers and sisters are consumed in the disparaging furnace of death; in my judicial judgement, you are the worse arsonist in this context. As an auxiliary, one may periphrastically question: since the end of our war against the autocratic, oppressive and domineering regimes in Khartoum and our subsequent accomplishment of independence through the eminent referendum vote, are there yet traces of oppression and marginalization that you can explicitly point out? Don’t tell me ‘no’!
Comrade Riak Machar is one of the principles in the SPLA/SPLM, the concomitant bloody factional politics of 1991 and GOSS until the recent fall-out with Kiir Mayardit and regime on 15 December 2013. Any inquiry of him in this respect vis-à-vis his decisions, choices and actions, if or not, they give rise to recovering political, social and economic changes both in the system and in the Country, should be in seen in context of a whistle-blower and the “Prodigal Son” in the Holy Bible. Given mounting evidence, we have known for a fact: Cde. Riak Machar did not initiate the bloody episode of 15 December 2013 and what followed. Therefore, it is needless to dwell and enumerate his political barbarisms alone but the sane populace will also see the other image of him and tell his tells with unfettered objectivity. But, why are the sung wise of the Society silent; or are they complacent in those cruelties or are they concealing their own self-seeking opportunism calculating to snatch power and authority by decree – beneficiaries of Decreecracy or Decreetocracy? Fellow Compatriots, you are either transparent towing the illuminated pathway of ingenious South Sudanese altruism or you are continuing in the umbra of egocentrism hence remaining on the venomous trajectory to extinguish the Country and her potentialities thus deny it greatness as a State in the region and on planet earth. As a patriotic revolutionist please analyse, decide, choose and act unswervingly now and onward!
Therefore, as the body of citizenry with rights and obligations in the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan (TCRSS), 2011, (Articles 9 – 34; 45 – 46) so far, all must unite in solidarity and purpose to break the shackles and bondage of oppression and domination so that all will enjoy real freedom as a result. Otherwise, the oppressor-man or oppressor-woman will continue unabated to deny you liberty, justice, progress and happiness forever. Never, never and never will they give you these and those in a silver-platter, demand it now!
As stated herein above, and after the Talks in Addis Ababa are successfully over and the process of authenticity kicks off in South Sudan, our laws must rapidly and tangibly move away from perilous structures of injustices into an abode of impartialities, integrities, reasonableness … that cleans the smooth flow of social prosperity in our beloved Country. And if you are yet living in a state of denial or yet to know the evil in our current polity, I am afraid; you will permanently impair, and by extrapolation, never discover the reason(s) for decorum of life and never will you ever know a country you will call your own heritage!
With regard to elections, a key ingredient of democracy, we must desist – yesterday, today and tomorrow – from tyrannical and hazardous practices of elections as imposing against the real say of the electorate then lie that voting public undecided something and use repressive coercion to decide something thus manipulate the electoral body to determine and legitimize everything in favour of the authoritarian dominion. No, that democratic sham must cease without delay in South Sudan today! Politics and elections must not focus on mere elections and naked power; let us ardently clothe them with truth so they get tasty to the entirety of the citizens.
Egocentrism has been propelled and made to surpass public interests by the status quo in South Sudan; individuals not people have become more powerful than the State and law. However, the foundations of this egotistic attributes began much earlier before the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was achieved in 2005. For instance, assets as vehicles, houses, equipment captured in the battle fields or purchased by public resources during the War times in the previous New Sudan are privatized and nowhere to be seen to date. The defacto regime (SPLM/SPLA) had dominion over public resources and wealth: huge teak forests (Loka, Kogulu, Maridi, and Kajokkeji); businesses set-up for profit purposes (NEC, NITTCO, PUBSENT, IMATONG, Link Hotel in Lokichoggio in Kenya); Civil Authority for the New Sudan (CANS) collected taxes (US$ 135, 000 daily) all over the SPLM/SPLA control areas ( Kaya, Awarwar and Nadapal); Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Association (SRRA) in Nairobi, Kenya and Kampala, Uganda collected revenue as well. Where is the cash collected in 1998 allegedly to purchase an anti-Antinov missile? Imagine a wider revenue base that time. Where are the collections nowadays? Gone into discrete personal pockets not the public coffers?
There are voluminous other traceable conspicuous examples of this ugly vice of selfishness and conflict of interest in South Sudan. Public power and authority have been grossly abused to misappropriate public resources as land for individuals; public projects have reverted to personal ownership; bank loans (the Nile Commercial Bank (NCB) case is memorable) have been solicited unpaid back and most debtors, senior actors in GOSS, unpunished to date. Furthermore, Public employees are coerced to open accounts in the foreign banks chiefly Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and Equity Bank for apparently exchange of huge kickbacks for individual bosses. Also, our forests, minerals, rocks on our Lands are enclaves of individuals then leased out to so-called private developers yet unspeakably exploited at environmental costs. Furthermore, satisfaction of personal egos traverses almost all known major business companies including telephone companies such as Gemtel and Vivacell are linked to individual economic oligarchic empires moreover huge public funds are ploughed into them. In fact, sundry business companies are on “public funds life support machine,” no entrepreneurship displayed by owners. I am afraid, when Government is overhauled and become straight, those companies will wither away in thin air – dangerous to our national economic.
Let us especially Government of the Republic of South Sudan (GRSS) and the SPLM/SPLA in Opposition as the key antagonists in the War must categorically commit to the peaceful resolution of the recent Country’s troubles. Therefore, any product of their mouths and tongues are central. For example, recent statements attributed to GRSS Vice President are disturbing:
‘He described as “unwise” any decision by government to share power with rebels, further arguing that it could spur more rebellions among the maginalised in the country. “As a government, we are committed for peaceful settlement to South Sudan conflicts. If the other side are faithful to the negotiation, why not us taking bold decision to use it, or buying the same way to reconcile our people?”’ (http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article51339&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter, 2014)
First and foremost, the Vice President, my Comrade Wani J. (Teresio) Lo-Igga, could have spoken with better responsibility not contradictorily as illustrated by the extract above from his address in Kampala. It is very important that we trust the Peace Talks in Addis Ababa. Thus, we must be cognizant of favourable environment thus confidence building measures as necessary prerequisites for real negotiations. Rejecting sharing power with rebels is rejecting peace talks with rebels, for instance. What is “unwise” than rejecting sharing? Besides, what is wrong for the marginalized to rebel even further? Or, is Wani Lo-Igga suggesting that the marginalized must capitulate to marginalization? Stop marginalization to stop spur of more rebellions?
In Addis Ababa, Ethiopian, and majorly so within the Country; let us energetically and adroitly build a secure foundation stone for this treasure South Sudan. This is the real securitized priority for us in solidarity to grapple with now. Together, we have to unravel this annihilating pathology and eliminate pursuit of selfish ends especially among public actors. When well done, we will have edified and consolidated with political morality our adored State thus have guaranteed opportunities and pursuit of happiness to our People; God Bless South Sudan!
The author lives in Juba, South Sudan. Reachable at [email protected].