By Kuach Tutkuay
January 6, 2015 (SSNA) — As calls for peace and stability by the international community intensified, Kiir’s government, in contrary, is working on some other priorities alongside peace efforts. Peace restoration and stability has been a major concern for all South Sudanese citizens—whether in government controlled areas or rebels controlled areas—as well as the world at large. However, Kiir’s government prioritizes election and military hardware for whatever reason. This has always been a leadership culture in South Sudan since 2005, the priority of the citizens and that of the government are never in synch. One would wonder whether leaders prioritize their interest or that of the populace.
The slogan of the “legitimate government” that the government sings has its end looming in July this year, this concerns the government in no comparison to the peace we all sings. In a bit of rationale provided by pro-government analysts, they argue that “election will bring peace”. The sixty-four thousands dollar question is, “how will it bring peace?”This remains an illusion that no one dares answer. Well, the proposition of this argument is quite a logical fallacy, and the idea in itself is a logical red-erring—seeking to draw people’s attention from peace process to election. I think this argument can be valid had it been put the other way round, as in, “peace will bring election”.
Legally speaking, the election prerequisites have all not been met in accordance with South Sudan interim constitution (2011) as well as the SPLM constitution (2008). These are the two supreme documents that are supposed to govern the country’s decisions. In the SPLM constitution, there was supposed to be a convention of the National Liberation Council that would decide the flag-bearer of the SPLM party who would run for presidential seat, this was to be conducted somewhere towards the end of the first quarter or the beginning of the second quarter of 2013. That did not happen, it is not clear who will be the flag-bearer of SPLM. Equally, the South Sudan Interim Constitution says that the election will be preceded by national census that will determine the division of constituencies. This, too, did not happen. This left many South Sudanese—including myself, as well as the international community wondering which document is being used by the government that grant them the power to conduct election.
A number of scenarios explained beyond doubt that the government cares much about the power than the people they leads. The humanitarian situation is quite appalling, notwithstanding, the government spent a lot of money hiring a US based international relation firm, a Nigerian prophet, purchasing military hardware worth billions of dollars from China and many other insignificant projects that benefits only the government leaving the populace, tormented with hunger, at the mercy of donors. To add injury to an insult, the harsh treatment, by government, of humanitarian workers who are sacrificing everything to help its very citizens is quite unbearable. A person who knows what it means to lead a country will begin to raise some concerns over the kind of leadership that exists in South Sudan. The ultimate question that identifies a leader is “what has he done for others?” this has missed it place in South Sudan as the ultimate question in here is “what has he done for himself?”
The author of this article was a polling station manager during the 2010 election and base on this experience, the election, if it happens, will be a dramatic scene in which voters will vote on gun-point to vote for Mr. X. Had I acquired Oscar Wilde’s aptitude, I would put it literary in a fiction where the cat is the presidential candidate with rats as the voters. You can now fancy a cat, in his campaign, telling the rats “And you know damn well what I’m talking ‘bout. Ya’ll Niggers, if you vote for me I won’t punch you anymore with my paws” could they believe him? The election, if it happens, will present South Sudanese with five more years of hardship, intimidation, torture, maiming, and all the vices the citizens have ever suffered since 2005. After the election, thinking about peace will be a mere absurdity as peace will have been oblivious and civil right will have been an imaginary thing that never exists. The loosened chains of slavery from the Arab will soon be tightened and we will be handcuffed, but this time, by our own brothers.
A true leadership that will bring back together this so disintegrated South Sudan will not be the kind of leadership we are seeing today. Not the kind of leadership that keeps some people at bay while doing their own things assuming people will be contented. Not the kind of leadership that turns his guns of some citizens. Not the kind of leadership that cares about power more than people. And most importantly, not the kind of leadership that cannot take responsibility for their mistakes and seek remedy, not the dissonant leadership that is so poor to rob from the destitute.
As Reverend Dr. King put it, “in the end we will not remember the words of our enemy but the silence of our friends”. This is a very critical time the friends of South Sudan need to speak up. The election, oh my God, has nothing to salvage the already ravaged country; it will only perpetuate the humanitarian suffering. Why would a leader, in his right senses, channel all country’s resource into organizing an insignificant election when nearly half the population is food insecure and the country is, Oh, so divided?
Many world leaders are not contented with Kiir’s administration but at the same time did not buy in the idea of arms resistance because they believe this would have been done in a non-violent way citing that of Mahatma Gandhi in India and Nelson Mandela of South Africa, but well, there is a difference. Non-violence moment is only for the white colonialists, it doesn’t work with African leaders. Can you imagine Nelson Mandela succeeding in his non-violent fight for equality in South Africa had the president during the apartheid been Museveni or Muammar Gaddafi? Choosing non-violence revolution in African is as good as choosing death. Let’s call spade a spade!
The author could be reach on [email protected] or follow him on twitter @kuach444.