Open Letter to S. Sudanese comrades and friends of South Sudan!
By Benny Gudo,
May 08, 2017 (Nyamilepedia) —— Events unfolding in South Sudan have triggered our attention, our deep emotional states and our insipid-sad memories, and it’s high time our continental body, African Union, in conjunction with United Nations pull up their socks live up to their billing and put down a full stop on the current atrocities, especially those fomenting anarchy and despondency must be shown the doors at Hague, without fear or favour. Let me underscore that the end is nigh for all war mongers ululating and plundering South Sudan national resources at the expense of ordinary South Sudanese wallowing in penury. Of late, AU and UN had been patient for quite some time by allowing President Kiir and his associates to solicit peace on their own but nothing materialized. His fallacy national dialogue initiative, which remained a pie in the sky, must be ignored absolutely by the international community as well as the African Union since other aggrieved parties were left out. In my view, mother of the nation, Rebecca Garang, gave Kiir a tip of an iceberg by denying his offers flat out.
On the same vein, a team of opposition leaders signed a circular a few days ago, criticizing the aforementioned. Why, because the idea to isolate key peace partner, Riek Machar, soiled the whole process. I wonder why our closest neighbors and friends, ANC-led government choose to keep the man in their country. This idea brought no fruition in South Sudan, instead, war intensified rapidly across the breadth and width of the young nation each day since the departure of one of the key peace partners, Dr Machar. This is because regional leaders misconstrued the spheres and instigators of the ongoing war.
What went wrong?
It’s pertinent to know that President Kiir and his Jieng council of elders are chasing the wind- the people of South Sudan sold them a dummy since they wanted to show the world that Riek Machar’s presence exacerbated war yet not. As l write, heavy fighting is ongoing in Wau, Upper Nile state, Unity state, Equatoria, and many more, without the presence of Riek Machar in the region. This vividly depicted that Riek Machar or Lam Akol or William Swaka, is not the problem but the chief instigator rests with President Kiir and his SPLM-Dinka, that deviated from the founding values of the original SPLM. The Dinka dominated
SPLM of this day lost the entire precepts and cannons of the original SPLM by sidelining other tribes. That was one of the greatest mistakes undertaken, which l appeal peace guarantors to address. Whether President Kiir submits or denies it is not what matters, my concern lies on the plethora of the current turmoil and what needs to be done to water down the fires. In order to achieve that, AU must take the bull by its horns. The Devil eating
away sons and daughters of the soil is known. So, can we give it a free ride? NO. Jieng council of elders and its grandmaster must be taken to task blatantly, despite the fact that, at every turn, they rubbished the allegations. But the actions of Gen. Paul Malong’s dogs speak volumes and we don’t need a rocket scientist to explain that to us.
For AU to address the current problems, it’s vital to let the cat out of the bag, that Cde Kiir has taken a wrong political trajectory to resolve the current impasse in his country. I think his toxic arrogance and tyrannical rule propelled him to ignore lucrative advice so as to create a free Democratic Republic of South Sudan. His vile and heinous idea was hard to sell. In fact, it had no takers at all in our contemporary times, hence the chauvinist, Salva Kiir reverts to violence as a coercive tool to forcibly foment his interests. Of which, it’s wholly wrong.
If what he is doing is the work of someone in the region or elsewhere, Cde Kiir, as a statesman, should abandon it, throw those delusional thoughts in the cesspit and allow dogs to eat. At times, bad friendships may soil one’s legacy. All statesman must display servant leaderships because leaders are subservient to the people who choose them to power. But recently, President Yoweri Museveni vehemently dismissed this assertion. Meaning to say that, leaders are supreme, cultists, demi-gods and so forth, according to Museveni; that’s why their insatiable desire for hero worshipping, bootlicking their kingdom intoxicated their minds and this culminated in using of force on all perceived opponents in order to force them tore the line.
Who to emulate?
In light of the latter, the likes of Salva Kiir chose to associate with leaders of that type. He failed to emulate shrewd successful leaders such as AU founding father, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, how the incumbent managed to put his nation together during the 1982-1983 tribal war, when the Zanla forces led by Robert Mugabe of the biggest tribe (Shona ) clashed with the Zipra forces, led by Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo of the Ndebele tribe (second biggest tribe). After almost two years of war, which robbed off at least 20 000 lives, the two man buried the hatchet, they signed the peace accord on 22 December 1984.
In the aftermath, peace and stability prevailed in our country, Zimbabwe, for quite some time, let alone economic growth and development, to the extent that our country was regarded as the bread basket of Southern Africa. Also, of significance, the peace accord is still binding and valid up to this day because the parties signatory honored it to its fullest. That’s what we expect from an esteemed person, a devoted Christian, and liberator, Cde Salva Kiir. regardless of the shortcomings of Dr Riek Machar, Kiir should put the people first and try by all means to find a lasting solution to the crisis in order to save lives of his people whom they purported to liberate from perceived despot, Omar al-Bashir. Otherwise, the birth of South Sudan will be of no significance at all.
Whether his sycophants will tacitly rubbish my propositions is not what matters, my greatest concern rests on achievable peace with his perceived foe, Machar not his relatives and friends. I know the journey might not be like walking in the park, whether it will be like walking on egg shells is not what matters, but PEACE. Sometimes, people sacrifice their lives for the sake of PEACE, like what John Garang, Salva Kiir, Riek Machar, Lam Akol and others did, why not at this stage? I urge all aggrieved parties to come to their senses for the betterment of South Sudan. The two traveled a long journey together in the bushes of Great Equatoria, Darfur, the Nile state, etc. In that respect, the two must seek common ground again, for there are no permanent enemies in politics.
Personally, I neither know Salva Kiir nor Riek Machar, nor intended to know them all, nor visited their country but I care for one’s life whether African or non-African. Above all, from my understanding, President Salva Kiir and myself hailed from the same school of thought religiously, so by that virtue, I appeal him in his supreme power to consider the lives of his people- silence guns. Even if it means his death, President Kiir should carry the cross and save his people. South Sudanese traveled a long horrendous journey and I’m sure they suffered enough. So, it’s prudent and wise to put their wishes first the same way he (President Kiir) did during the liberation struggle.
It is incontrovertible to lay bare that Riek Machar showed his remorsefulness, compassionate and emphatic attitude at every turn. I’m sure many South Sudanese agree with me that the man lost a number of relatives and friends in this war but his desire for a peaceful South Sudan never ever lapsed. As such, Africa as a whole owe him an ovation, which the writer appeals to all concerned members to give him and her wife thumbs up, otherwise, it’s taboo in ourAfrican culture to wine and dines with your devil. We pray that the Almighty God continues to provide him strength, love and magnanimity.
The cost of the current war.
Unlike the barrel of the bullets that robbed off innumerable and enormous lives, the ongoing war breeds severe famine that puts the lives of close to 4 million South Sudanese at risk. Relatively, regional countries also felt the heat as South Sudanese refugees incessantly flooded into neighboring countries, a situation that might cost them big time, socially and economically. Of late, several Ugandan traders lost their lives and valuable goods from militia arm bushes along the major highway which connects Juba and Uganda. The same applies to Kenyans working in South Sudan most importantly as aid workers. Many of them were killed in cold blood.
Recently, rebels threatened to halt oil production in South Sudan in a way to paralyze government revenue collection base. On the rebels side, the latter idea proved monumental.
But on the economic bracket, that covers the public, it sounds bad. At this moment in time, the young nation’s economy is teetering on the brink. It’s inflation rates is skyrocketing day by day. While on the other hand, civil servants went for months without being paid save for a few earning paltry salaries. Even Kiir’s foot soldiers strive to make both ends meet.
In some hottest spots, learning WaE heavily disrupted, schools shut down because parents, teachers and children ran for their dear lives. Whereas, other young ones were turned into child soldiers fighting in all opposing groups.
To mention just a few, the aforesaid are some of the ramifications of war in South Sudan. Now, can the world give the war mongers a free ride? If yes, l want to ask, for how long? If no, we want to see action, not those useless condemnations, threats and toothless peace monitors in form of Festus Mogae’s JMEC and David Shearer’s troops.
Lastly, in today’s edition, it’s deplorable to note that there is no single AU combat team stationed in war-torn South Sudan, let alone IGAD. Their eyes are on UNMISS, Troika countries and so on, yet at various forums the current crop of our leaders clamoured for African solutions on all African problems. But where is such African solution to save the livelihoods of our brothers and sisters.
Last year, there was stampede in Africa to withdraw from ICC owing to perceived bias towards Africa. Fine, what about their own bias in their own member state, South Sudan. Is that acceptable? This is the mammoth question, a thorn in AU’s flesh. Please Honourable Maharat, we want lasting solution in South Sudan not hiccups.
The author is a Zimbabwean PHD student based in Zimbabwe, writing in his personal capacity. all comments should be directed to: email@example.com
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