July 21, 2014 (SSNA) — Let’s not kid ourselves! South Sudan is a completely tribalized country. We can pretend that only a given section of the society is the problem but history will soon show that the sooner we acknowledge it and find a way to get rid of it or reduce it the better things will be for all of us.
President Kiir Mayardit has ushered in a culture of dirty nepotism and Jieeng-centeredness in his administration, an unfortunate tribonationalism. Regrettably, the leadership will pretend that the administration is not Jieeng-dominated. Even when this kind of behavior and attitude is leading the country nowhere, senior officials still believe nothing is wrong with both the administration and the country as a whole.
If one section of the country isn’t safe in the same city the president lives in then you got to ask yourself: What’s wrong with these leaders?
Instead of devising ways aimed at bridging the tribal divide and possibly use it to bring long-term inter-tribal understanding, the senior officials either further inflame tribal tensions through their careless rhetorics or through lies that easily flash on their faces.
Not only have the officials succeeded in making South Sudan gain number one as the most fragile state, they’ve also brought the country to a new low.
The only head of state who was able to attend South Sudan’s third anniversary ‘celebrations’ was President Museveni of Uganda for obvious reasons. The president of Kenya, Prime Minister of Ethiopia and the president of Sudan didn’t show up. This is a clear indication of how bad the leadership has failed. But they still think everything is okay. Beats me!
And even worse, they still think there was a coup attempt when the world (even our neighbors) sees no evidence.
Non-Jieeng officials in Kiir’s government are either puppets or self-interest driven folks. If the likes of Dr. Riek Gai and Dr. Lomoro have any true sense of self and care for South Sudan, how come they allow South Sudan Television to be used for divisive politics by the President and people like Malaak Ayuen of SPLA? Such educated people should advise the president regarding the value of different opinions. Instead of using his TV show to instill discipline in SPLA soldiers and to show Nuer people that SPLA has a national face and intent, Malaak has politicized the show and uses a language that discourages Nuer from the government. How good is that to the president and the country?
Rebellion as I’ve always maintained, is bad for South Sudan and I’ll never endorse it come what may! However, Dr. Gai and Dr. Lomoro, being the bootlickers they have become without any personal integrity left, should nonetheless let the president know that being criticized or being told that such and such a thing is wrong is not only good for the president, but also, for the nation; because it gives the president an avenue to evaluate his performance.
Riek Machar on the other hand is not doing any better. How can a leader rely exclusively on a unitribal fighting force? Riek’s failures, leadership fantasies and dictatorial tendencies in 1991 are well-documented by Deborah Scroggins, Dr. Lam Akol, Dr. Adwok Nyaba…among others. This means that Riek needs to do more to be seen as a national leader. His administration is overwhelmingly Nuer and his fighting army is made up of the same. I know some people will cite Dau Aturgong! Go ahead! Yet Riek is accusing President Kiir of being a tribal leader. Duh!
While Riek Machar didn’t start the current crisis, he’s not done any better than President Kiir. Like President Kiir, he relies on his tribesmen and civilians have been killed in thousands under his leadership. I’ve not seen the national character of Riek Machar! He needs to translate his ‘democratic’ ideas into actions.
While Riek boasts of having supporters from other tribes in South Sudan, one has to realize that all these non-Nuer men are categorically ‘jobbists’, to use Dr. John’s term. You’ll agree with me that all the men with Riek Machar are men who either lost their jobs or didn’t find any avenue to land well-paying jobs in Kiir’s government. Not a single one can boast of having quit Kiir’s government while still a minister or a senior official. This still brings their national character to question.
President Kiir is both a failure and a tribonationlist but citing that as a reason for joining an armed resistance when one’s primary reason for leaving is the the loss of jobs, isn’t honorable!
Besides, Riek knows that South Sudan is tribally divided; however, he’s not put down any clear modalities that would help bring about inter-tribal understanding. We don’t even know the official policy or political position of Riek Machar and his group. There’s no document except constant and vacuous call for ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom.’ The same Riek now calling for democracy was the one who wanted to ban SPLM-DC of Lam Akol when he (Riek) was Vice President. You can also check the list of his employees when Riek Machar was VP and you’ll be convinced that Riek is as tribonatonalist as Kiir
Both Riek and Kiir are killers, incompetent leaders, care only about remaining or ascending to power at the expense of South Sudanese civilians and they surround themselves with mostly their tribesmen.
These two leaders are a disgrace to South Sudan. I wish their consciences get awakened to give South Sudanese a chance for peace.
While Riek has a better case diplomatically speaking, he risks, again, becoming a greater failure if he doesn’t put tribal issues between Jieeng and Nuer into serious consideration. Imagining military victory is mere delusion.
Kuir ë Garang is the author of ‘South Sudan Ideologically.’ For contact, visit www.kuirthiy.info