POLITICAL ACTIVISTS FORUM JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN
Compatriot Bramatali Wani Lo-Lipo Lo-Lisi
Political and Foreign Relations Committee (PoFReC)
The Council of States (COS)
Juba, South Sudan
22 April 2015
April 24, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — For Mercy has a human heart; Pity a human face, and Love, the human form divine, and Peace, the human dress –
William Blake: “The Divine Image” Songs of Innocence
South Sudan, born in the ruins of the longest protracted civil war in Africa, by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and ultimately by popularly supported referendum for the right to self-determination, is a cherished but unfortunate child.
Sadly, South Sudan swiftly witnessed a rapid slide to catastrophic bloody confrontation from the night of Sunday, 15 December 2013 hitherto due to serious fiasco of leadership and stupid battles for personal ambitions within the so-called ruling “party” – Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) that hasn’t ever since distinguished itself as a political party from the Government but particularly from the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). As a result, thousands were killed, hundreds of thousands internally displaced in United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Camps, additional hundreds of thousands more fled as refugees into the neighbouring countries and the rest of the population left to trauma and despair. Alas, these all happened in a blink of an eye relative to the previous civil wars.
Subsequently, because of the fairly quick “intervention” of the regional and international community, peace talks began in earnest shortly after that in the neighbouring country of Ethiopia in 2014. Unlike the previous Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) (2005) presided over by Peace Mediators per se, these current Peace processes have been oversee-red by “Peace Envoys” from Inter Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD), a conceptual deviation important to underscore here. This IGAD eccentricity has convoluted further the peace talks in Ethiopia with many violations recorded putting the lives and livelihood of the innocent South Sudanese People in grave peril hence more barrels of their innocent blood being brutishly claimed in Upper Nile, Unity, Joŋgolei, Lakes, Eastern Equatoria states even in the State Capital Juba daily hitherto.
All in all, peace is yet a distant conundrum yet to be pursuit at all effort and cost. And particularly, all the diverse citizenry including the body of intelligentsia, the civil society, the Church or Religious bodies of the Land of our birth genuinely supported by the concerned nonpartisan international community must involve and do so now to save, develop and prosper life. In such participation, all must remember that this Country has been deliberately plunged into this violent chaos by our current crop of “politicians” who practice menacing politics in our Society hence making politics putrid and devilish. Therefore, since politics has proved as the mother of society, then fundamental reform of politics to be played by morally responsible citizens imbued with patriotism is the best way to go.
I belief that this awful debacle on the night of Sunday, 15 December 2013 that befell our cherished State South Sudan is not an accident as Franklin D. Roosevelt said “In politics nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.” We saw it coming and alas indeed it arrived. Come what may though, we must deliberately yet robustly engage in bringing peace, sustaining peace and advancing peace with true social justice or accountability now.
In context, I will attempt to describe the Current Situation in South Sudan – politically, economically, and socially or perhaps religiously. In addition, I will endeavour to trace the causes and effects of the conflict, state the efforts and hindrances for peace, and suggest possible role by the body of the citizenry specifically including unpretentious political activists like us. Finally, in this presentation, I will state our honest speculated Way forward.
The current situation in South Sudan is undeniably dire chiefly on the innocent majority citizens. Therefore, oratory and monkey-shines from extant politicians are unacceptable – no speech-making but action now: “Rhetoric is a poor substitute for action and we’ve trusted only to rhetoric. If we are really to be a great nation, we must not merely talk; we must act big” (Theodore Roosevelt). In summary, politics is all wrong as a result the economy, if any, is pathological; surely, essential commodity prices in the Country are alarmingly sky-rocketing and social realm is frightfully putrefying.
With assurance, my People the People of South Sudan are excruciatingly suffering from none other than the madness of their so-called leaders today. “In countries where innocent people are dying, the leaders are following their blood rather than their brains,” (Nelson Madiba Mandela). In this brilliant light, I will attempt to trace the causes of the conflict in South Sudan. Nevertheless, we delimit the concept “conflict” before all else:
In our milieu South Sudan, conflict is abuse of power by the powerful ruling minority to acquire individual interests, capabilities, and wills at total expense of the larger public good; or it is limitation of what the majority want, can get, and are willing to pursue. In this case, conflict, whether hostile actions, violence, or war, becomes a means and manifestation of this ugly process.
The leadership debacle in South Sudan caused conflict. People are classed as the leader and the led as an index of human inborn and irredeemable inequality. The former decides and the later class bows without demur. This defeats formation of a superior class of free thinkers hence exposing our Country to intimidation incapable in the quest of truth. Unless our human instinctive life is subordinate to the dictates of reason, no durable peaceful union between South Sudanese will be attained, and as such, unscrupulous politicians would continue to limit liberty of thought in South Sudan – a serious recipe hence fountain for violent conflict in this Society.
Our wrong understanding of political systems, institutions and processes is another cause of conflict in our Country. Surely, we have depended on inappropriate foreign – the Turkey-Egyptian, the Mahdiya, the Anglo-Egyptian and the Arabicite – systems, institutions and processes periodically imposed on our benign people for ages. In the aftermath, we fail to distinguish a political party from a government, an assertion able to blaze why an intra-SPLM-party struggle easily turned into a protracted national blood-letting episode. Now we seem to drift, right in our stare, into one-party – SPLM – state system. This concentrates unchecked power and interests in the hands of an elitist sovereign and cronies – in fact, tribal-dom.
Excessive corruption in the public sector, which is measurably extrapolated to the other sectors of the Country, is a glaring cause. Indeed, public wealth has been looted with unparalleled impunity by select individuals in this South Sudan tribal-dom, for example, the eminent 75. In my notion, this is privatisation of the independent State causing untold woe to the balk of my People the true owners of this Country.
Tribal majoritarian politics constitute a formidable cause of conflict in South Sudan today. At any rate, how has the will of the majority, who are the endless losers and casualties in war, been manipulated to serve personal ambitions of a small ruling clique? Our tiny uncivilized elite that by natural luck seized the trappings of power and authority with excessive lust for hatred and destruction is dreaded to control the press, the schools, the health facilities, even sometimes the Church as well is under its thumb. This way, it controls the psyche of the majority to become tools for their egotistic gains. Assuredly, humanity is a toy; just imagine how we the majority People the sovereign Land can afford huge sacrifices even life for these remote elite narrow interests. This crux of complex cause may escape your grasp as a paradox but only adept in the lore of human disposition; I believe you are proficient enough.
Ethnic groups including the Jieŋ or the so-called Dinka (alleged majority) and Nuer (alleged second majority) have involved in various survivalist battles for long. To date, these fights have escalated due to abuse of power and proliferation of weapons. When we engross in brute force as we now do seem to borrow from Albert Einstein: “Thus, under primitive conditions, it is superior force – brute violence, or violence backed by arms – that lords it everywhere”. Perhaps, we sometimes intend to retract a claim or refusal of dominance or competition by effectively gain by putting out of action the opponent, or kill the challenger to eliminate renewal of hostility and deter similar examples by others. Could this psychology explain why some Jieŋ and some Nuer plus others engross in this perpetual yet gain-less violence? Can they be made to appreciate in the affirmative the good, peaceful and peaceable will of the other citizens in this Country than merely exploiting it to boost their own brute force to achieve their own limited calculated outcomes? This is our inescapable national duty.
Civic and literary ignorance are enduring causes of conflict in South Sudan. A pertinent question perhaps: how possible can South Sudanese regulate human mental evolution to deter psychosis of hate and destructiveness? We can through our schools, but I mean good schools, as elements of socialization engender suitable attributes that overcome hate and destruction to the youngsters and make them intellectuals who are not natural but encounter life in its easiest, synthetic form upon the printed page.
I contend that human instincts are major psychological causes of conflict in our Country. For instance, Sigmund Freudian theory on how death instincts explain war corroborates this contention. Human psyche, for instance, has some degree of aggression relative to the environment. When aggressive persons control power and authority, the gravity of abuse upsurges. Couldn’t this explains why people have been murdered in cold blood in cattle wrestling, land grabs, night rubbery, and senseless military melees throughout South Sudan and no single perpetrator has been brought to book and if fortuitously captured, let loose? Chilling impunity has been the order of the day in the Country since 2005 till now. In this regard, we should in deliberate effort deeply devote to internal and external liberation of humanity from such evils of war – let’s emulate morally and spiritually revered leaders such as Jesus, Goethe and Kant. Therefore, take society and government away from the hands of wholly irresponsible political leaders now.
Effects of our conflict are immediate, short and long run. Consequently, among others, the effects include but not limited to: the total rape of the Country, increasing burlesque political actors, ineffective government institutions, engrained poor governance replete with hollow decrees and tomfooleries, setting up of morass political officialdoms deficient of real national vision, incremental corruption, zero productivity and celebrated consumerism, rewarding the worst and punishing the best, encouraging of wrong mass orientation that politics is all bad or negative, heightened crime, mushrooming of commercialized religious or Church groups all these are accumulation of our looming conundrum – a Vampire State.
Perhaps, statement of the efforts and hindrances for peace in South Sudan can be more wide-ranging and idiosyncratic. Thus, any counter suggestions thereto are entertained pursuant to the maxim: “To announce that there must be no criticism of the President … is morally treasonable to the American public”. This brings to memory the controversial South Sudan Security Bill, 2015” that by default is deemed to have become an “Act” or law.
Any degree of intransigence and lust to cling on to power hook or crook hinder achievement of peace in South Sudan. No wonder, Government of South Sudan (GOSS) had been obstinate to stage some elections in June 2015 to win what it calls “Constitutional Legitimacy of Power”. Nevertheless, the National Legislature passed an amendment bill on the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan (TCRSS), 2011, thereby extending the tenure of the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) that graced itself as the Government of the Republic of South Sudan (GRSS) nowadays. To them, I can rationalize; being in power and authority is paramount to the life of the great citizens of South Sudan. Such political expediencies in other polities where the political culture is participant would generate irreversible antithesis and eventually thesis to replace the status quo. At any rate, this crop of leaders should appraise John Morley: “You have not converted a man because you have silenced him.” And to accentuate, the hues and cries of the great people of South Sudan is real peace – real peace – and real peace now.
External interferences including Yoweri Museveni and his Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) partial involvement in the current violent senseless war hinders peaceful settlement of our Country’s cataclysm. Are there foreign national interests in the event to negotiate peace for South Sudan? Or is it the coalescence between foreign policy interests, business organizations, and well-funded think-tanks or research organs drive? If so, it is menacing for it attracts free-market economic lusts and the hegemony of foreign control making the sought peace quite partisan – peculiar from our South Sudanese demand: comprehensive, selfless and sustainable real peace!
Contrary to philosophy, we should explore the loftiest peaks of our abstract thought – settlement through peaceful method. The majority people should constitute a well-organized, stable and enduring union to overborn the brute force of the current strong individuals now more isolated giants than ever before. There is necessity to evoke the right of the citizenry enshrined in the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 as the might of a community that has its way not the individual violence.
The citizens, civil society or the Church/religious bodies including political activists like us are part and partial of this Country now riddled with vicious cycle of conflict, thus staining the pages of its history with blood. Let’s have our proportionate and resolute share of transforming South Sudan social order now.
Fidel Castro states that “The revolution is a dictatorship of the exploited against the exploiters”, then, we and all our practical edifice should absorb in ending any form of exploitation by non-violent revolution. Will people of South Sudan fight forever? Surely, I believe not. Will Christ ever become the Prince of Peace in our beloved State? I believe we must probe our conscious and souls and contextualize Jesus in our realm. Otherwise, the Bible helps us answer these fundamental three questions.
In Christ’s kingdom, “nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Isa. 2:4).
In Christ’s kingdom, mankind will be taught righteousness and peace and they will be brought back into harmony with God. In this kingdom Christ will be “the Prince of Peace” and He will teach peace to the people. — Isa. 9:6
I believe my presentation “The Dire Plight of South Sudan Now” well may illuminate the trail for renewed and fruitful means of choice and action by us as national political activists, the entirety of the citizenry and the whole international community. The Paper fully demonstrates my stance on staying on the true peace course hence truthfully expediting it as I believe it is the only option paralleled to none. With conviction, real peace will make the great people of South Sudan live happily and comfortably; tangible peace will be the fountain of order, discipline, prosperity and benefits in our State. Above all, actual peace surely will make all the amazing people of our Land of Birth to feel safe. In the final analysis, as we probe our conscience, let us recall the cherished axiom of Collins William: “Peace rules the day, where reason rules the mind.”
Therefore, with this mind-set, we opine the following honest speculated Way forward, or humble commendations inter alia:
That the warring parties – the Government of the Republic of South Sudan (GRSS) and the SPLM in Opposition – stay the peace course, negotiate in good faith, and above all, revere the immaculate interests of the well-meaning people of South Sudan in whose will the Constitution (TCSS, 2011) vests and in whom power and authority rests;
That the resultant government inculcates in itself political morality, now void, so it embarks to enact good rules or laws that are observed by all the citizens and all time to mitigate repetition of the current revolt and the ensuing horrendous violence so that the Country be an abode of perpetual safety for all; and
That the citizenry including honest national political activists like us should synthesize a new political thesis of national scope sufficient enough to recognize community of interests and celebrate excellence so as to engender in the Society a sentiment of true unity and fraternal solidarity that will constitute the Country’s real forte.
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