South Sudan, the fragile state


By Peter Owar Okello
Posted to the web on February 28, 2014

February 28, 2014 (JUBA) — South Sudan is home to 65 ethnic groups and had a rough estimation of 8.26 million people in population (according to population census of 2009-SSCCSE 2010a). Seventy-Eight percent of families rely on small-scale farming or animal husbandry as their primary source of livelihood. To give some perspectives on South Sudan, that is roughly one-quarter the population of Uganda spread across a land area that is approaching three times the size of Uganda.

South Sudan had suffered long civil war that lasted for over two decades. As a result, about 2.5 millions lives were lost and about 4.5 million people were displaced and many of them run and seek refuge in neighbouring countries. South Sudan had a highest number of people to 98% below poverty line and only few are above poverty line. Literarily, South’s economy is dominated by oil. Oil revenue accounts for 98% of the annual budget in the South. In term of literacy, 90% are uneducated and only few are access to education.

Comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) was signed in 2005 brought the 22-year civil war to an end and then comes the independence in July 9th 2011, had given some freedom of living to South Sudanese but since then, much and a lots of tribal’s conflict and rebels had so far been the biggest problem that the government of South Sudan had been facing. In 2012 alone, 2,500 were killed and 350,000 were as well displaced by these rebels and tribal conflicts.

In Africa, there are many reasons why people still hooked to culture of dictatorship. One of which could be low level of education, influence by other political figures and poor level of economics. South Sudan as the newest nation is facing all these. I want to base my argument on African leaders perspective. When Sudan gained independent in 1956, the Southerners where left under harmful environment because they where made as third class citizens. What happen then – the so-called Anya-nya I broke out, followed by Anya-nya II until the signing of 1972 Addis Ababa agreement which gave South local autonomy which in turn persuaded president Nimeri to cancel the deal of imposing sheria law to Southerners.

Just after 11 years, Dr. John Garang de Mabior the former vice president of Sudan and president of South Sudan formed SPLM/A to fight against the government of Omar el Bashir. SPLM/A was purposely formed to fight for the rights of all Southerners and these rights where – right to freedom of movement, freedom of Association, education, life, owing of property among others just to mention but a few. All these were ended in 2005 after signing of CPA in Nairobi. I therefore called this event as Dr. John Garang versus Omar el Bashir. The same case to 2007 – 2008 post election violent in Kenya. That was Mr Raila Odinga versus Mwai Kibaki.  In Uganda Yuweri Kaguto Museveni forcing the election and took it. That is Museveni versus Mr Kissa Besije. Robert Mugabe versus Twasagarai in Zimbabwe. Hosni Mubarak versus Mohammed Mossy of Egypt. I did not finish yet. Gadahfi versus his alleys in Libya and now Dr Riak Machar versus President Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan. I am not amused at all by these revolutions but are these practices injected in to the blood of all African leaders? Someone may ask.

AFTER THE INDEPENDENT

When South Sudan became an independent state in July -9th -2011, many people had hoped that the newly independent country numbered 54th state in Africa would be built on principles of ethnic equality, democracy, rule of law and federalism. There was a reason for people to be optimistic about the future of South Sudan. Those who had hoped that South Sudan would become a paradise of equality justified their argument on the belief that the people of South Sudan had bitterly struggled for equality in the old Sudan for over fifty years.

Common-sense has it that people who struggled for ethnic equality for more than five decades would be able to manage ethnic diversity in a way other African countries failed to do. It is true that people who struggled against the imposition of Arabism and Islamism in the old Sudan could not end up having a government that would behave like successive Khartoum regimes that treated ethnic Africans in general as second-class citizens and the people of South Sudan in particular as third-class citizens.

I guess the vivid reason why South Sudanese fought for liberation for all these many years was to look for justice, liberty and prosperity. What went wrong after independence achievement?  Is the question you may probably asked. Few months after independent, many rebels emerge due to poor leadership as late. Lt. Gen. George Athur putted it in an interview with BBC correspondence in March 2011. He turned against the government of South Sudan (GOSS) under the leadership of President Salva Kiir Mayardit claiming that the government had not represented members of parliament in right manner. Not later than that in earlier 2012, David Yau Yau from Murle community also became another headache to the government when he took up arms after failing to secure a position in the local government in 2010. Not forgetting also in upper Nile another rebellion existed. In lake state the Aggar community and the neighbouring ethnic group are sharing another hard life of traditional cattle raiding.

Last year South Sudan had been rated number 4 in term of Corruption and as a failing state due to increasing rate of insecurity and abused of human rights according to human right watch report released in Nairobi. South Sudan had significantly failed to protect her citizens against harsh and brutal scenarios that had so far lowered the level of development within the Country. The newest country is rich in oil which contributes to 98% of the annual budget. Natural resources, mineral and cattle’s are not yet accounted for. The government of republic of South Sudan contrary had done her best since independent but much have to be done if we want to attain the state of stability and for development to occur.

MAJORITY VERSUS MINORITY

The country is said to have about 65 language speaking group. Like in other countries in the world, South Sudan is dominated by Dinka being the majority followed by Nuer. Others like Bari, Shiluk, Lotuko, Pari, Anyuak, Murle and Toposa among others are the minority in the country. The country is bless with natural resources, mineral salt, oil, cattle, wild life making it the most beautiful country in Africa but the problem is “there is no leader to led the country” said a pastor who run and seek refuge in Kenya refugee camp.

President Salva Kiir issued the following decrees in appointment of ambassadors. The list below is the curtsey of Government of South Sudan (GOSS) you will get this on www.goss-online.org

The list of special Ambassadors above Grade (1) are:

S/N
           Name
Ethnicity
State

1.

Mr. Majok Guandon Thiep
Nuer
Jonglei
2.
Dr. Chol Deng Alak
Dinka
Warrap
3.
Mr. Mohamed Hassan Bakeit
?
Western Bahr el Ghazal
4.
Mr. Makelele Nyajok
Mundari
Central Equatoria
5.
Dr. Eluzai Mogga Yokwe
Bari 
Central Equatoria
6.
Dr. Akec Khoc Acieu
Dinka
Jonglei
7.
Mr. Sebit Abbe Alley
Kakwa
Central Equatoria

 2-    Presidential Decree No. 19/2012 for the appointment of Grade (1) Ambassadors in to the Diplomatic and consular service in the ministry of foreign Affairs and international Cooperation of the Republic of South Sudan. The Ambassadors are: -

S/N
           Name
Ethnicity
State

1.

Mr. Paul Macuei  Malok
Dinka
Lakes
2.
Dr. Andrew Akon Akec Kuol 
Dinka
Warrap
3.
Mr. Kuol Alor Kuol
Dinka 
Warrap

 3-    Presidential Decree No. 20/2012 for the appointment of Grade (2) Ambassadors into the Diplomatic and consular service in the ministry of foreign Affairs and international Cooperation of the Republic of South Sudan, 2012 AD.

The Ambassadors are:

S/N
           Name
Ethnicity
State

1.

Mr. Anthony Louis Kon
Dinka
Warrap
2.
Mr. Ajing Adiang Mariik
Dinka
Warrap
3.
Mr. Alier Deng Rual
Dinka
Jonglei
4.
Mr. Akuei Bona Malwal
Dinka
Warrap
5.
Mr. Majak Philemon Majok
Dinka
Lakes
6.
Mr. Baak Valentino Wol
Dinka
Warrap
7.
Mr. John Andruga Duku
Madi
Eastern Equatoria
8.
Mr. Mariano Deng Ngor
Dinka
Warrap
9.
Dr. Francis George Nazario
Acholi
Eastern Equatoria
10.
Mr. Joseph Moum Majak
Dinka
Warrap
11.
Mr. Parmena Makuet Mangar
Dinka
Lake
12.
Mr. Philip Jada Natana
Bari
Central Equatoria
13.
Mr. Arop Deng Kuol
Dinka
Warrap
14.
Mr. Michael Majok Ayom
Dinka
Jonglei
15.
Mr. Gabriel Gai Riak
Dinka
Jonglei
16.
Mr. Bol Wek Agoth
Dinka
Warrap
17.
Dr. John Gai Yoh
Nuer
Upper Nile
18.
Dr. Daniel Peter Othol
Chollo
Upper Nile
19.
Mr. Ezekiel Lol Gathouth
Nuer
Upper Nile
20.
Mr. Samuel Luate Lominsuk
Kuku
Central Equatoria
21.
Mr. Awad El Karim Ibrahim Ali
?
?
22.
Mr. Adam Saeed AbuBakr Kabawa
?
?
23.
Mr. Mustafa Lowoh Walla
?
Western Equatoria
24.
Mr. Aban Yor Yor
Chollo
Upper Nile
25.
Ms. Sittona Abdalla Osman
Dinka
Jonglei
26.
Mr. Pidor Tut Pul
Nuer
Upper Nile
27.
Mr. James Ernest Onge
Acholi
Eastern Equatoria
28.
Mr. Jwokthab Amum Ajak
Chollo
Upper Nile
29.
Mr. Paul Malong Akaro
Dinka
Northern Bahr el Ghazal
30.
Mr. Deng Deng Nhial
Dinka
Warrap
31.
Mr. Lazaros Akoi Arou
Dinka
Jonglei
32.
Mr. Ruben Marial Benjamin Bil Lual
Nuer
Jonglei
33.
Ms. Abdon Terkoc Matuet
Dinka
Lake
34.
Mr. Dhanojak Obongo Othow
Anyuak
Jonglei
35.
Mr. Jokwen Yukwan Ayiik
Chollo
Upper Nile
36.
Mr. Michael Nyang Jok
Dinka
Jonglei
37.
Mr. Michael Mayiel Chuol
Nuer
Unity
38.
Ms. Abuk Nikonora Manyok
Dinka
Jonglei
39.
Ms. Nyandeng Joshua Dei Wal
Nuer
Upper Nile
40.
Mr. Chol Mawut Unguec Ajonga
Luo
Northern Bahr el Ghazal
41.
Mr. Darius Garang Wol Mabior
Dinka
Northern Bahr el Ghazal
42.
Mr. Joseph Ayok Ayok
Dinka
Northern Bahr el Ghazal
43.
Mr. James Pitia Morgan
Kakwa
Central Equatoria

It you look closely at the above table of Ambassadors, you will find out that Dinka and Nuer had dominated the list leaving out the rest of other tribes not presented. My argument is based on the level of corruption and tribalism within South Sudan.

Relief of the Vice president.

Republican decree No. 49/2013 issued on July 23rd, 2013 relieved Dr. Riak Machar Teny as the vice president of the republic of South Sudan from office. The decree was issued under the article 104(2) of the transitional constitution of South Sudan and took effect immediately.

Relief of National Ministries

Republic decree No. 50/2013 issued on July 23rd, 2013 relieved all the national ministers of the Government of the republic of South Sudan from office. The decree was issued under article 112(1) of the transitional constitution of South Sudan and took effect immediately.

When Dr Riak Machar Teny was relieved from his position as a vice president, he immediately organized himself to buy for a seat for 2015 coming election which Mr President also wanted. That couldn’t happen because both where from the same party – (SPLM).

To give a glimpse of reality for instance, Jonglei State consist of 11 counties with Bor being the capital town. The total area is 122,479km2 with a population of approximately 1.36 millions people(approx. 55 percent male/ 45 percent female) 51 percent of the population is below the age of 18; the illiteracy rate for people aged 15 or above is 84 percent according to UNMISS website.(hhtp:/unmiss.unmissions.org /portals/UNMISS/referendum/Jonglei). Jonglei State is one of the least developed in South Sudan and the state most prone to violence and inter-communal tensions. Many parts of Jonglei state are faced with severe threats that hamper sustainable development.

Political tribalism in South Sudan is much more than in any other countries in the world. Dinka and Nuer are well known in the country not because of the level of their education but due to population. As a result, they dominated the higher governmental institutions.

On Dec-15th-2013, a fighting broke out in Juba leading to splitting of soldiers in to two, others to Dr. Riak Machar and the president Kiir. The fight first started in el- queida and later in military based in Bilpham. Later it was realized that soldiers loyal to Dr. Riak Machar where all Nuer ethnic groups but for Salva where still the SPLA.

This according to sources became a tribal conflict. Why do you two have to fight? The answer is “power and money” is the cause of these. I remember people say, “When two bulls fight, the grass will suffer” I mean the minority ethnic group will definitely be the victim of this fight.

The conflict which is said to be Dinka and Nuer had claims over 10,000 lives of innocent civilians and about 770,000 have fled their homes for seek for refuge in neighbouring countries. Since then, many have crossed to Uganda, Kenya and other countries. The ceasefire between the representatives of President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riak Machar was signed last month January 23rd but some of its terms have been fulfilled and small fight still continued. The peace talk that was scheduled for February 10th was postponed due to some demands from Riak Machar claiming that his seven members released to attend the session in Addis Ababa to which President Kiir rejected.

The outcome of dialogue in Addis Ababa between President Salva Kiir and Dr Riak Machar Team will or not will defend the rights of innocent citizens who where killed and murdered during the conflict. The two leaders should not look for their interest in this, but rather to put the rights of the Southerner first. Let me tell a short story, John and Tom where great friend. One day John took Tom’s Bicycle and disappears with it. After several years, John came back and asks Tom for reconciliation which Tom informed him to bring back his bicycle but John told Tom just forgets about the bicycle lets reconcile.

The story tells us that despite reconciliation, I think what is important in any conflict or war zone is not the solution but what course it.  If we look at the root courses of conflict- we achieve 90% of the solutions and 10% is for the specific genuine reasons. Doctors or a chemist knows it right! When a sick person comes to you, the first thing to do is to find diagnosis for the disease not the prescriptions because that comes next.

STOP FIGHTING! LET’S BUILD THE NATION

Why are we fighting! And we have all the sort freedoms in our country. The results of the recent clashes in south Sudan had lead to evacuation of more than 770,000 to neighbouring countries. Currently UNHCR in Kenya for instance had recorded a high influx of refugees entering in to the two camps of kakuma and Dadaab. South Sudan is loosing manpower and human labour which will in turn reduce the economic level of the country.
           
 The destruction of the basis for existence, serious Psychological damage and physical injury to victims and high individual and economic costs are the direct consequences and outcomes of the recent conflict in South Sudan. For us to attain a state of stability for instant, we need to know why a certain community practices cattle-raiding, child abduction or common disputes over land issues. They could have reasons as to why they do that, may be because of poverty, conflict of interest or could be a culture.

For South Sudan to prosper and achieve the state of peace, they must develop their economic growth, the government must lead a participatory political system, an active and responsible civil society, human rights must be observed, social equity, a sustainable natural environment should as well be utilized fairly and transparency should be revealed, and effective, legitimate government institutions must always be at the stake of practice. These elements do not occur simultaneously; but a nation may be progressive in economic policies while retrograde in popular participation in government.

To achieve peace and stability it is a duty of everybody. First we must use Local leaders (chief or Headsmen or Kings) because they are essential to address the rights and needs of community to stop conflicts and have a way forward to address their issues in a reasonable way, The rule of law is a critical part of transition which will affect the establishment of a capacity to support activities by police, judiciary and corrections in ongoing operations. In post-conflict societies such as South Sudan,  judicial system—legal frameworks, courts, judges and prosecutors, prisons—must be able to render independent and fair justice at an early stage. Crises are also opportunities for change and reform, the concept of “Build Back Better” seeks to avoid simply rebuilding what existed before, and places a premium on rehabilitation of services and institutions through the application of better standards and methods of reconstruction and the adaptation of improved policies, e.g., providing new water and sanitation facilities, new policies for human right protection.

The United Nations Millennium Declaration made it clear that “development and peace” are inseparably connected and that their achievement will depend significantly on whether conflicts are ended and peaceful co-existence is possible. So development and peace are two ways traffic, without which, it can’t never prosper. “To achieve this Republic of South Sudan must advance the causes of security, development and human rights together, otherwise none will succeed. Humanity will not enjoy security without development, it will not enjoy development without security, and it will not enjoy either without respect for human rights”. I therefore define “ensuring peace and human security, especially by promoting Democracy, rule of law, human rights and good governance” should be one of its three main goals if we want to attain development. South Sudan must practice democracy and that democracy is not that President Salva Kiir from Dinka should rule the Country for good but to give a room to other political parties so that they can exercise those freedoms which they fought for because Democracy they say “is for the people, by people and of the people”. If that is the case then let’s stop fighting and start to live in peace and develop our beautiful country South Sudan.

Peter Owar Okello is a South Sudanese who used to lives in Bor, Jonglei State, and can be reached at okello17art@gmail.com

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

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