A Vision of Failure

By Dak Buoth

South Sudanese Students in Kenya took a gruop photo with Minister of Higher Education Dr John Gai 2014

Dak Buoth and other South Sudanese Students in Kenya taking a group photo with Minister of Higher Education Dr John Gai in 2014

Sept 28, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — ‘’Without vision a nation perishes’’ this old religious adage applies virtually to all forms of human endeavour. Vision is essential to success in everything we do as a society or at individual level. No human achievement, no matter how trivial or great, is achieved without the persons responsible pursuing a vision that they hold. On the one hand, a vision on its’ own is worthless if it is not accompanied by right action (s).

It is now crystal clear that the advice I offered to the so call SPLM-IO a months ago has been defied deliberately. And I tell you, it’s sad. Partly, my reading of the intention why the advice was blatantly refused was not because it’s not applicable or timely, not at all. Indeed it is. But the reason is to make me feel that I’m inferior person who should not contribute in the governance formation and processes; that my ideas are invalid; and the inner objective of that motive is to discourage me completely from participating practically in the reform we are longing for; the cardinal aim is to convert me unknowingly unto passive political spectators and mere onlooker who will just be joyriding and celebrating any decision made without interrogating the blend.

Unbeknown to them is that, I won’t fall into such traps, and I will not be cowed by such autocratic tendencies. I won’t become aloof in the democratization process that started in earnest. I’m liberator and revolutionary by my own right. When I brought that opinion forth, I just feel we need to reduce the suffering of our people; I just feel we need to converge realistically not only in political rallies but also in minds and thoughts with view of bolstering and improving our plights and for the betterment of the next generation.

If each of us is given a chance to articulate or describe the vision for our country, all our visions will slightly differ, but the fact is, each of us can contribute to a common vision we all yearn for and that is; equality. We’re all equal before the law, we may differ in intellect, physical strength and wealth but the reality is; we share common thing and that is, ‘humanity’. Each of us deserve equal right of expression, right of participation and equal opportunity including the mental or physical challenge person so that they can enter the race of life on the same starling line as the rest of us.

I believe we can make it if we do it in good faith. When we allow and open windows for ideas from people of all status no matter how critical or cynical they may be, we can be better off, and I’m sure we can make it happen even faster unlike before.

There is no expert or pundit in politics who should be left to decides things alone without questioning the rationale of any decision he arrived at. No one owned the monopoly of ideas. Politics is progressive phenomena. There is no school of thought where one would enrol and eventually say he has graduated and that he now knows it all. Anybody who conceives or upholds the notion of ‘‘knows it all’’ is just speaking hogwash. It got to do with how you encumber the trends of the society.

The best formula to deal with it skilfully and effectively is to pay open ears to what people think about particular issue, so that you can examine the contend and test its application.

I subscribe to the notion that I’m human being first and foremost that have the inherent and inalienable right of dignity and to have a say in the making of my nation and the world at large. More significantly, I’m conscious of my right to respect others the way I do to myself even when I detest their thoughts, because our differences in thoughts and appearance constitute the very uniqueness of human society.

I’m also cognizant of the features or traits that distinguish a person from other animals on the planet earth. I’m conscious of who a leader is, In this present world of ours, any person who is consider a leader Is just a peoples’ delegator and mere political commissar, he ought to hear and implement what people say, and by large, he should respect and protect what people want, he develop and nurture the aspiration of the governed, as such he had no super natural right to dictate his ideas on others or disallow other people opinions pertaining the matter before hand.

With this repeated shenanigan, I wondered, is it to commiserate or what the word is, but as matter of fact, i find it very ugly for sure. I’m still grappling to find the theme of this later turn; has it now become a mere ‘will to power or will to transform?’’Unless you live in planet Mar or you’re very naive to think the theme is the latter.

The advice was; a couple of months ago, on the 13th July, I dedicatedly penned an article titled ‘‘Rebels versus Rivals, and in that excerpt, I passionately called for intra-SPLM IO dialogue, to iron out internal differences over the peace deal with the view to reconciled the rank and file of this people’s movement so that we can at least manage or expedite the cause of achieving the much needed socioeconomic-political reform in our nascent country against the beneficiaries of the status quo who have vowed to stay put.

I unambiguously underscored the necessity for tra-SPLM IO dialogue for simple reasons that; when Salva Kiir who has armed himself to the teeth decide to retract and dishonour peace accord as it is likely going to be the case soon, at least you can manage to resist and repel him with two hands when forces are intact. On the one hand, however, even if this peace holds successfully as highly anticipate and you have the 40 per cent granted to you in Upper Nile region, at least you can enjoy and manage it altogether and happily. That, at least you can clap your both hand because as they say, one hand does not claps itself’’

I really don’t understand why it is so difficult to partake such easy and noble duty; because you’re dealing with people who were once your comrades, who had rescued your life at one point. You’re yet enemies or arch rivals, it is just disagreement over how the objective can be achieved. So, I couldn’t figure out the big deal in this matter.

The claims presented by General Gadet and Gathoth are legitimate, more so, they are also trying to be consistent with the initial cause which people deemed rescuing and justifiable; their demands and appeals include inter alia;

THAT President Kiir should step aside, and if need be, the two embattle SPLM politicians that is (Riek and Kiir who are privy to 2013 war should stand down for the entire interim period if possible;

THAT the duo and other ambitious politicians from SPLM and other parties should just come later and contest freely in the forthcoming poll after all machinations for the administration of justice have ripe and put in place and after the communities have been reconcile.

THAT the Interim administration or unity government should be superintended and lead by an inclusive military council or neutral member of the academia.

THAT they also express discontent and decried the way IGAD had made the problem look like the central problem of SPLM party alone while the effects of the war has ate the breath, width and length of the all country;

In my view, I consider this as easy and manageable issue that can be control if we have a able and democratic leadership that is interested in seeing his house intact, and with a vision to succeed.

You just need to sit, and bring all the dynamics together, say look General Gadet, Gathoth and Changson, let’s be sober here, let’s put into perspective or consider the position of the region and by far the world. That if this goes like this, it consequences are like this…et cetera et cetera. You can just sit down and educate each other as people with common cause.

But here we’re, seeing a situation coated by intolerant, everything is consider to be a myth. No question, no analysis. No compliment. I can’t comprehend it at all. Gadet was just kicked below the belt and they continue to provoke him by saying hoo, these are disgruntles gentlemen who have no military support on the ground. Since when did Gatdet and Gathoth have no supports?

The so call promotion of army generals which was announced last Friday 26th September 2015 was a counter strategy against General Gadet. But I see it is shambolic. It is meant to exchange loyalty, so that nobody could decamp. I asked myself, where on earth, a military officer or soldier promoted for exhibiting loyalty rather than performance. A soldier is only promoted when he became victorious in the battle not when he is too lenient or loyal. If you analyst, you will find even the chief of General staff doesn’t deserve a promotion leave alone others, what plan did he devise and execute for him to be elevate as 1ST Lieutenant General? I remember when he was ferried on head by Panyijiar youth all the way from lake state to Ganyliel Town together with General Lado Gore and Tanginye. They were found half dead, and they only regain consciousness after they were given some brews and other substances. After one month later they were airlifted and brought to Jonglie state. Since that time or even after he was appointed as chief of General staff, I never heard him attempting to retake Bor town or other territory beyond where he sleep in areas of Waat and Lankien etc. The logic is that they want to appease the Lou Nuer youth with aim to derail their minds completely from joining any other military faction.

If at all, they promote people on the bases of performance, then officers like Tap Puot, the military commissioner of Panyijiar should have been the first to have his ranks elevated greatly because his area was the only remaining rebel stronghold in Unity State. Who fought countless battles and manage to repulse the forces of Salva Kiir.

Notwithstanding the aforementioned, I hope generals Gadet and Gathoth are willing to dialogue with you, and it is because of this ‘willingness’ that they haven’t yet launch an attack either against your forces or against Salva Kiir. Unfortunately, because some people are born insensitive to reason, they simply rush and misconstrued Gadet and Gathoth’s patient as lack of forces loyal to them, which I don’t believe. I can tell you for fact, that view is just an imaginary. They says seeing is believing’’

The attempt you made recently to make that reconciliation was really very vague and a move that only add insult to injury, it was so belittling, and attempt to assassinate Gadet’s character and reputation as an accomplished revolutionary soldier. How could you send junior members from his Bul Nuer clan to be the one facilitating the dialogue? Was that not humiliation from the word go if you judge that from its superficial perspective.

Procedurally and formally, I would expect you to dispatch high level military delegation which must encompasses the Chief of General Staff, Gatwech Dual, Dau Atorjong, Martin Kenye and other senior military officers to be the one brokering and bridging the existing feud and squabble. From there, General Gadet and Gathoth will lengthily and meticulously narrate what they hold in as far as justice and the struggle to oust Salva Kiir is concern.

You could at least send a group with national face to march and reflect his stature, not just mere political greenhorns such Captain Kang Matip Nhial and others who will go and discuss subjectively without according him the respect he deserve as military doyen, redeemer, rescuer and anti-dictatorial figure of our times.

And unless that is done, General Gadet and company will definitely and certainly organize, reorganized, reinvigorate his troop to continue with the quest for justice against victims of 2013 war, which was his initial reason for revolt against juba tatters regime. It is immaterial at the moment to know when will that happen or what impact will that forces brought on the so call Unity government that is due to be constitute next year. But the bottom line is that it must happen for everyone to see.

It doesn’t matter how big the impact of Gadet forces will make, but the surety is that it will unavoidably have negative impact on the SPLM-IO temporary government in Upper nile region. They would be denied a chance to construct any structure, because the war will still be fought in Upper Nile. Even though Gadet‘s target remain Salva Kiir but by virtue that they are now going to be one entity starting this December, they will all be kept on their toes until the time the so unity government tenure comes to close.

This is what I’m foreseeing and it can be prevented if my call for intra SPLM IO dialogue is heeded with immediate effect before the matter run out of hand.

I call it intra-SPLM Dialogue because both sides are claiming the ownership of the faction. If this dialogue wouldn’t take place, it will have grave consequences on Machar’s side because he will have nothing to show at the end of the unity or interim government. But if he will have peaceful and cohesive government, it would be good for him because in the end and or during the campaign trail, he will say to the people, this is what I had manage to do within this little time, but if you entrust me with the big cake, I will do much greater development.

It is common knowledge that one of the SPLM-IO Member will contest the said plebiscite after their marriage tenure lapse in three or so years. Their strongholds will still remain Upper Nile regions, and in the other regions it will just be gambling game, predictably, there would be nothing like people voting according to manifesto, the voting pattern will purely depend on tribal lines. And for SPLM –IO, the story will likely starts as follows; that we will put into effect the federalism, that there would be development in the grass root levels. But I can tell you for free, the results of this forty percent share will count most. I find, refusing to initiate this dialogue will do disservice to themselves and the people of Upper Nile who suffered long enough. At least they expect calm and peaceful environment within this interim period, so that they could go about their farming without interruption. To me, that is the only favours they could get from SPLM-OI.  

Historically, in 1997; he entered into peace deal commonly known as ‘Khartoum peace agreement’ which was also witnessed and monitored by several international authorities similar to this recent one of 17th August 2015 in Addis Ababa. As a result of that peace agreement, he was made an Assistant to President Bashir and overall representative to Southern Sudan states for few years. He knew what happened thereafter, when he realized Bashir and his monolithic regime were reapplying the tactics used against Gen. Joseph Lago after 1972 peace agreement, he decided to vacate quietly as if he was going for normal government functions in Europe. From there, he declared his second defection leaving all his comrades in Omdurman unaware; it was unfortunate many of them were fried like chicken following his declaration. In my view, it was grave political blunder on his side.

To shade light a little bid, from the remotest perspective, everybody knew that 1997 peace agreement was not meant to hold from the onset, because there was no way it could materialized when Dr. Garang and company were not ‘amicus curie’ to the deal for how would the purported referendum for self-determination which was provided for in the accord be carried out if southerners were still fighting each other then? In short, we can say, it was just a half-baked agreement so to speak.

Relatively, in the previous article, I fervently expressed fear that history might repeats itself as it is clearly said that ‘’those who do not learn from history are likely to repeat the past mistakes of the past’’

Dear comrades in the struggle, it is an open secret, and the writing are on the wall for to everyone to see. Since you decided to ‘‘rock the opposition boat within’ through these uncalculated and intolerant political strategies, you could hear and see with your naked eye that Juba leaders and their stalwarts have since begun dancing on the graves of south Sudanese; celebrating in advance how this infighting will lead to your defeat.

You do not need a rocket scientist to believed that Salva Kiir is not going to respect this deal to the end, try to counts his steps when he signed this peace, if you do, you will definitely come to term that he will dishonoured it in the end. Now, he has refused to attend the on-going 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly, instead he has just delegated James Wani. In the past, he refused to sign the deal in Addis Ababa on 17th August 2015, and then later decided to call people to witness his signing of the same deal on another venue.

Some of you may be blinded fooled that he is doing all those wayward tricks in pretext that he was avoiding some extremist Generals in his camp who are opposed to the peace and could probably stage coup against him. The truth of the matter is that he is not willing to sign the deal, but after testing the waters and realized that Sanction could be imposed on him immediately, he signed it late but on condition that IGAD and its partners should reconsider what he termed as reservations.

On this latest move that he refused to attend a world submit on South Sudan in New York, I predict that he want to used his absence as an excused later in event he restart the war.

If he choose to violate the agreement, nobody will quote him as having promised the world that he would never continue with the war, he will just say, you know, I have send my deputy president to you last time, and he has explained to the Assembly that we have some reservation on the peace, why didn’t you consider them et cetera et cetera.

In view of the forgoing, Salva Kiir can decided to let IGAD or UN choose to do what they feel like as long as he knew they wouldn’t arrive to the action they did against Colonel Maumar Gaddafi. He can just say, If it’s about travel ban or sanction on me let them come, so long as I have no interest attending global forums, I will join the league of Mugabe, and Isiase Afarwaki of Eriteria, Omar El bashir and Yaha Jameh of Gambia, and still I can attend my local and regional forums, and if it’s about Armed Embargo, Uganda will buy weapon on my behave, let them come, if it’s about my account or bank freeze, I know how to deal with them. Moreover, it is not going to affect me directly and so on and so forth.

With the way I have seen Kiir playing his card currently, I can tell you for free, war is likely going to be South Sudan’s dominant feature for the entire near future. The only win he could listen was the win coming from the ground, if he felt there are inevitable and possible chances on the ground that would topple him and not external threats, I tell you, you could see him thinking twice and wisely.

He will try and make sure he exhausts all his chance to completely purge the divided armed oppositions, and truly, if he tries his luck once again, he would make further strikes ahead because even the SPLM IO know the old adage saying ‘divides we fall and united we stand’  

The writer lives in Kenya; he can be reach for comment via eligodakb yahoo.com

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