South Sudan was born out of a devastating war of liberation against the present Sudan. Liberation trajectory was very long, starting in Torit by 18 August 1955, through Bor on 16 May 1983 and ended up in the Republic of Kenya on 9 January 2005.Thus concluding unprecedented “Comprehensive Peace Agreement, CPA,” which was signed by John Garang and Ali Osman for the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, SPLM, and National Congress Party, NCP, respectively. The negotiations, sponsored by Intergovernmental Authority for Development, IGAD, was fully supported by the African Union, AU, United Nations, UN and Troika (USA, UK and Norway) and all Sudanese people, North and South by then. It was a difficult task to easily reach a settlement and a reconciliation between two extreme ideological adversaries: Islamic Religious Authoritarianism Regime and a Revolutionary Socialist Democratic Secular Movement committed to change the regime and transform the country into a “New Sudan.” Nevertheless, they managed to implement the CPA by charing the Interim Government for six years. Based on our strong will and unity, we were able to gain the independence, resulting from the unanimous vote of 98.83 percent for separate South Sudan.
The referendum was a worldwide success. Our independence came by way of democratic free vote, not through violence. The ongoing violence in South Sudan, does not conform to our traditions and cultures, especially for the Nuer and Dinka. Nuer and Dinka could fight when necessary. But less they burn houses, kill children, women, elderly or rape mothers and sisters. What is happening now is a new wave of culture and it is a surprise phenomenon to all elders of the two communities. We must restore our culture because it is the noblest recorded tradition and culture which we should retrieve and promote. It was through it that we were able to create and run our own nations before and throughout the nineteen century (1820-1899.) Why not now?
Now and since 15 December 2013, our own violence has killed over 80,000 sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers, through violence, hunger and related diseases. This violence and war, have physically uprooted 5 millions from their homes and deprived 6 millions more of livelihood facilities. This “senseless” war has now pushed the Republic of South Sudan to the top of human made disasters-hit countries of Syria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Nigeria, Mali, Central Africa Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo. Our country leads the worst of the worst out of 193 member states of the United Nations, UN, and 54 member states of the African Union, AU. Does our country really deserve such a degrading name?
No, never. Simply because we are great people who fought for the freedom of a great nation, for a complete half a century; the longest war in the world. And for our standing pride in the eyes of the world with their acknowledgements that we had been fighting against our national enemies together: as Anya Nya and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and Sudan People’s Liberation Army, SPLM/SPLA, led by General Joseph Lagu and Dr, John Garang de Mabior, respectively. our historical and present SPLM leaders must get back and re-embrace the believe that “unity is strength.” Unity is strength because it reclaimed our country back, as a result of our collective power of gun and vote.
The present warring leaders should reconsider their refrain from abusing the legacy of their historical fundamental achievement: “freedom and independence of South Sudan.” They must get their share and place in history of the struggle for this beloved land of their ancestors. It is time to uphold our greatness and the unity we truly upheld throughout the fifty years of the liberation struggle. We are, therefore, bound together and obliged to finding a lasting peace and security for ourselves now and for generations to come.
We should now ask ourselves a simple question whose answer is apparently easy: “what are we up to? Since we are aware, in a nutshell, that this war is about the power struggle within the top leadership of the SPLM, fighting for and against the democratic reforms. It is about political centralisation and the rule of law, law enforcement agencies, independence of the Judiciary, check and balances overall, inclusive political and economic institutions, basic rights provisions, equality and democracy. It is about corruption and niavatism. It is about provision of essential services. It is about social and economic development and financial growth. It is about eradication of poverty in favour of prosperity. It is about our share values, citizenship rights and their national duties. And it is our collective responsibility to agree and incorporate these basic principles in the national constitution we promised to make after achieving peace and before elections. These issues are very familiar to us and not difficult at all, to be handled and reconciled.
Since we are all capable of understanding the foregoing issues, it is necessary to reassure people who supported SPLM throughout the war that ” the SPLM is back here, in peace with itself and ready to restore the loss confidence and fulfil their neglected people’s expectations.” This attitude could generate a new political sympathy for the SPLM. The people of Sudan, north and south, had high hopes, expectations and overwhelming assumptions on the SPLM/A when it came to political power in 2005. People of the Sudan and South Sudan had hopes that the SPLM would change their immediate livelihood and future prosperity for good. The fact that the SPLM led a very difficult and deadly war, negotiated an unprecedented strong “Comprehensive Peace Agreement, CPA,” strengthened people’s expectations and hopes “for the best” future.
Who believed that the SPLM would make peace with Islamic authoritarian regime of the Sudan? The revolutionary ideological divide between the SPLM and National Congress Party, NCP, was too wide and politically parallel that it was unexpected and an unanticipated by the Sudanese on both sides that, the two worldly extreme left and right would every agree to come together and share a government for one day, let alone six continuous years of governance. There goes the statement that “politics is an art of the possible,” thus they made it possible to agree share an interim government that lasted for six years, culminating into independence of South Sudan. President Bashir of Sudan, was the first ever to recognise the independence of South Sudan. South Sudan then was instantly unanimously recognised by the world with its immediate acceptance into UN membership. Is it not a shame for leaders of such a country to continue supporting war, chaos and humanitarian disaster in detriment of their people and the country?
These are lessons we have learned through our actions and experiences, which we could use to solve our ensuing problems of war and peace. It is crystal clear that the destruction we have incurred on this country, in terms human lives, properties (public and private) and the country, has effectively demonstrated the evils of our personal ambitions and lusts for wealth and power. But anything destroyed by human can be repaired by human, except the dead humans cannot come back to life. In the light of the national disasters we have contributed to, there are no more options left for us to stop the ongoing hostilities. We are therefore, nationally obliged to embrace an enlarged peace, national dialogue and conciliation, within the frame-work of IGAD, AU, UN Troika (USA, UK and Norway) coming revitalisation and ceasefire forum scheduled to place on 13 July, 2013, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This should not prejudice the President Museveni’s initiative to reconcile and reunify the SPLM.
- Please treat this article as my personal opinion. Note that I can only response to positive comments. I shall fully ignore the negatives and unprofessional. I am looking for ideas and initiatives that may bail us out of mess.
AldoAjouDengAkuey, www.nilexplorer.net/ and firstname.lastname@example.org