By Arop Madut Arop Gotnyiel
March 19, 2014 - In part one and two of this article, already published, I gave sufficient backgrounds to the environments in which the Government of South Sudan and its ruling party, the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) have been operating in, since 2005 and into the current crisis. In this article, I am going to discuss the remaining pieces (part three) of the exposition. Firstly, the harmonisation of the South Sudanese and their cultures after long separation in regard to peace and national buildings back home. Secondly; how the SPLM most influential leaders, may have neglected their oversight role over the executive, in order to implement the party declared policies and programmes of action. Thirdly, how Madam Nyadeng de Mabior may have neglected her role, as the matron of the party in effort to maintain the legacy of her late husband. I will conclude the narrative, with questions asked by the general public and which need answers and finally make an appeal to bring to a speedy end to this destructive crisis. I may now turn and discuss my third contribution.
Factor number eleventh, has to do with the efforts exerted for the reunification of South Sudanese as they converged in their newly acquired country, after two decades of separation, (1983-2005). It is worth to recall that, when the people of Southern Sudanese converged in the new found country they discovered that they were not the same people with the same culture when the war, which had separated them for twenty one years, broke out. once the war was over the people of South Sudan who emerged in the new country (2005), were all expecting to be harmonised, socially and culturally, by reconciling and reintegrating them as one people co-existing among themselves harmoniously as they resumed their normal lives back home. In fact, the new population in South Sudan after the restoration of peace fell into five categories. The first category was composed of those who attended the shooting war. The second category consisted of those who had been to the SPLA controlled areas, but did not go for combat, because they attended to other useful work as civil administrators: judges, doctors and other technical and social work. The third category consisted of those who fled into exile around the globe and who may have contributed to the liberation of their country, in one way or the other. The fourth category, were those who remained either in the government controlled areas in the northern Sudan, and in the three Southern Regions; as it was then called. The fifth category was composed of the members of the youth, who were born and reared in the internally displaced camps, in Refugees camps or in the Diaspora and now coming to the country for the first time. The harmonisation of these five categories did indeed need huge budget which the regional Government could ill afford without support from the international community; which had supported the restoration of peace and had pledged to avail funds for the timely, reconstruction and restructuring of various government institutions in the region, apparently through the multi donor fund. What affected the new population negatively and which would contribute to continuous instability and apparently into the current crisis, was the way in which the posts were distributed among the five categories in the post war South Sudan. When it came to employment, the positions were unfairly given in preference among the five categories. This also affected the administration negatively. Equally important to note in this connection, is that the harmonisation of five categories should have been given top priority and paid for by the Multi-Donor-Fund; because this should have been the beginning of national building and national healing. Even the funding for the restructuring of the government institutions and infrastructure destroyed during the war in post war period, left in the hand of the new administration alone, appeared to have been an oversight mistake on the part of the international community because the pledged money as per wealth Sharing Arrangement with Khartoum, was not forthcoming as desired (part one). But even if it did come, it would have covered only the huge inflated civil servants wages which included ghost names in the pay sheet of every ministry in the public service. As I have mentioned early, harmonisation of the five categories into one people to embrace one South Sudanese commonality and nationalism was indeed, an expensive job that need time and energies for a young government starting from scratch and with few resources.
As regard to the harmonisation of the people who had been exposed to or had acquired different cultures and perception in relating to one another, this could have been the noble start of peace making and national building, a difficult task but the one that was worth undertaking and given top priority. The gist of the matter was that those who came from the Diaspora and from the internally displaced camps in the northern Sudan, could not readily reconcile their new acquired ways of life, with the culture of the bulk of the people who had remained behind in the country; either in northern Sudan cities, in the Southern Sudan cities controlled by the government or behind the SPLA lines of defence. Those who came from the IDPs camps from northern cities fared better than those who came from the Diaspora, because they resisted being integrated into Islamic Arab Culture which was the object of the war that had displaced them internally and which had marginalised and categorize them into second class citizenry. Essentially the harmonisation of the returnees, back to their country of origin, should have had the backing and funding by the Multi Donor Fund. Instead, the international community left the burden on the fledgling nation that was surviving at the skin of its teeth. In brief, if the aid given by the donor countries fund was apportioned among the various civil societies, charities and the faith based organisations, it would have been used for conflict resolution; peace building, national reconciliation and national healing which should have been given top priority. Precisely, the work of peace building should have been directed toward effort to harmonise people who have long been separated by two decades of war.
In brief, it would be instructive to state that the harmonisation of people who had been exposed to different cultures; in Northern Sudan, in the South Sudan cities in the government controlled areas and those behind the SPLA lines of defence and in the Diaspora; in different parts of the world, did, indeed, demanded all the nursing: coaching, counselling and reconciling their newly acquired cultures, with the culture of their kin and kith they all had shared, before they were separated by the two decades old war.
The new administration of the Government of Southern Sudan led by President Salva Kiir Mayardit, established after the CPA (2005) charged with responsibility to administer people who have been long separated by the two decades old wars were not expected to make miracles within a period of six years. The international community and the Troika Countries that midwife the CPA were expected to shoulder the responsibility and paid for the developmental opportunities and peacekeeping as well as peacemaking. The multi donor fund should have also availed funds for the rehabilitation of developmental projects destroyed during the war and the new projects initiated during the interim period 2005-2010. The GOSS also expected expertise from the international community in various fields of disciplines, which was not even forth coming. The assumption that the post war Government of South Sudan’s administration could have made miracles without international expertise; was too much a proposition. Essentially, the people of South Sudan, who came from the Diaspora and those who were in northern Sudan fared better; because some of them did have opportunities; attending seminars; workshop and symposium and the mechanics of modern way of administering the new country. As for the members of the SPLM that became the Government of the South Sudan; they had spent the twenty one years; focusing all their energies and thoughts on the liberation struggle, while the world was rapidly changing with the adoption of new technology. In short, lack of harmonising the first four categories by the international community through counselling, reconciliation and national healing of people long traumatise by the long war, contributed negatively to the ongoing crisis.
Factor number thirteen has to do with the role the lead members of the SPLM Politburo, the highest organ of the ruling party, may have played, or not played, in effort to supervise and oversee the operation of the Executive. Unless the lead members of SPLM politburo, had lived up to their commitment to the party, they would have discovered that the country they were leading was heading against the rock. The appointment of members of politburo to the executive positions without leaving some of them in the politburo was very unfortunate because, they were all in their respective ministries, attending normal daily functions and rarely were they seen in the political office, in the party secretariat, where they were expected to guard and guide some of those given assignments in the secretariat with very little commitment to the party and inadequate knowledge about the policies of the SPLM party. The passage of the annual budget without going to through the politburo, for instance, was a factor in which the Government of the South Sudan failed to carry out its obligations to deliver services and provide sustainable economic development. Basically, the country annual budget is supposed to pass through four stages; administrative, political, executive and legislative, before it goes to the floor of the House of parliament for general debate and approval. These stages are: Firstly, the national country annual budget is describes as administrative, because it is compiled by the ministry of finance from various respective government ministries, spelling out, in the process, priorities in providing running cost; chapter one salaries, chapter two services and chapter three development programmes and fourth, capital expenditure. In the second stage level, the budget is described as political, in the sense that, after it has been compiled by the country ministry of finance from respective ministries and other public institutions, the budget is passed to the country, ruling party general secretariat, which is expected to have secretaries responsible for respective line ministries to consult with, in case there are discrepancies, after which the budget is scrutinised and passed to the Political Bureau, to view it, as to whether, it would conform with the party policy’s programmes of action and it is then approved. Thirdly, the budget is described as executive, in the sense that, it must then pass from the country ruling party general secretariat to the Cabinet. In the cabinet, the budget is vetted with the respective ministries, and then approved. Once it is approved by the cabinet, the budget, as a legislative, must now go from the cabinet to the ruling party’s parliamentary caucus to identify discrepancies and then draw the attention of the country’s President, through the Speaker. The President, in his capacity as the chair of the party and the head of the executive, will then call ministries for consultation as to whether it will conform to the ruling party socioeconomic programmes. After the President initials the budget, it is passed back to the party parliamentary caucus. Once the budget is passed by the party parliamentary caucus, it will become mandatory on all the members of the ruling party in parliament, to depend it without dissent when it comes to the floor of the House for general debate and approval. The budget will now pass to the House Committee for economy and finance for legislation. At this stage the committee for economy and finance will call on the line ministries to come to the House for vetting. This will also involve all the respective specialise committees to participate in the budget vetting with each relevant line ministry and institutions. According to reports the SPLM general secretariat appeared to have never bothered to draw the attention of the politburo which is the highest party organ to approve it before it went to the cabinet nor have it scrutinised the annual Budget throughout the last eight years in power. This can also explain why the wide spread corruption that plagued the country without being arrested much earlier and why many development programmes in line with the party policies could have not also been implemented.
As to how the ongoing crisis was triggered, one would reiterate that, following the independence of South Sudan as described previously, all the existing political parties in the country became illegal because they were registered in accordance to the Sudan constitution. After the passage of the country’s transitional constitution by the national assembly and assented by the President, all the existing political parties, the old and the new, were expected to register in effort to make them legal entities before they begin to function as legal political organisations. After the National legislature passed the political parties regulations and the procedures were adopted in 2012, all the political parties began to prepare for registration. This would demand that every political party in the Republic of South Sudan must produce a list of 500 card holders from all the ten states (maximum eligibility) or 500 card holders from at least six states (minimum eligibility).
It was perhaps against this background that, when the SPLM secretariat general was reviewing the party programmes and in effort to revise the party basic documents, after which the party would be registered, as a legal political entity in the country and in accordance to the new constitution and political party regulations, when the lead members of the SPLM party began bickering among themselves, before the party could have even been registered as an official political party. It was this party internal wrangling which set the centre stage for the recent crisis, described in part two of this article (already published). The disenchantment and continuous bickering did not only turn the party from being a giant to a dwarf, but also threw the country headlong into crisis which painfully need all the efforts to salvage it from falling into abyss. But that also needs the reunification of the party after necessary reconciliation had been successfully made. Meanwhile, observers of the SPLM party are of the opinion that, in the environments where the members of one party are at variant, only outsiders can advise them, to cease bickering, retreat and reconcile in order to avoid what befell some of the liberation movements before them like in Ghana and Nigeria, Central African Republic and other countries in the continent, when military rule took much of the post independence time before becoming true democracies. The latest experience the SPLM leaders should have revisited and which is still fresh in the mind, in this connection, is the experience of Kenyan African National Union (KANU/KADU) which brought independence to Kenya.
Another factor somehow related to issue that as to do with the expected role the widow of late John Garang the historic leader of the SPLM may have played skilfully, her late husband card constructively. It is worth mentioning that, diehard supporters of the SPLM party, and some close family members of late historic leader of the giant party, Dr John Garang de Mabior, are of the opinion that, had Mama Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior kept away from politics of convenience and remained the Matron of the Party and advised the party to keep the legacy of her late husband going; had she exerted more efforts and sought funds from the former donors from which her husband used to finance the SPLM during the liberation struggle; had Mama Rebecca Nyandeng, took SPLM as her own orphan and nursed it by all means available, she would have stolen the show during this crisis, when she could have been the moderating chief and an accelerator of the party unity and cohesiveness, particularly, this time around, when the SPLM needs all the nursing. However, it may not be too late and Mama Nyandeng could still play a vital role in the party, if she can invite, during this trying time, all the historic SPLM members and new arrivals to the party, for a retreat to the New Site, the previous SPLM administrative and strategic centre. There and acting as the Matron of the Party, she could still call upon the historic leaders of SPLM party and advise them, to think of the future of the party first, rather than bickering and, fighting among themselves for individual interests, which has brought disrepute on the once mighty party. In any case, it is hoped that, once the storm has settled and peace and tranquillity has returned to our country, Mama Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior could still use some of her resources not only contributing to the rebuilding of the party, SPLM (her supposed Orphan), but very importantly for the training of her children and particularly her elder son Mabior for leadership rather than herself. Nonetheless politicking might have consciously or unconsciously escaped this important fact for Mama Nyandeng to coach her beloved son Mabior Garang de Mabior, a talented young man who spends much of his time chatting and communicating with most of South Sudanese youth in the electronic media, on the top the Face Book. What this talented young man, Mabior Garang de Mabior Atem, needs, precisely, is further studies, guidance by a caring mother and he could, arguably, become a leader of the South Sudanese youth population, whom he encounters almost on daily basis in electronic media, when their times come to take over the reins of power in the unforeseen future like Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya.
In brief the mediators of the ongoing crisis in the SPLM which came about as a result of the party internal bickering are encouraged to try their level best to convince the SPLM leaders who are at variant to stop disenchantment and schism in their party which has already plunged the party and the country as a whole into worst crisis ever. Arguably, the only solace is that, the recently released SPLM leaders are reported to be seriously interested in the reconciliation and the reunification of the party in which they had sacrificed so much their youthful life to help it shaped, to the extent of liberating their country so as to become an independent state. There are already signs on the political scene that the released SPLM leaders will hopefully agree to reconcile and unite the party. Apparently, as historic leaders of the SPLM, they may not like to see it collapses and may be ready to be reconciled with their Party Chairman. To be continued the concluding part (part four).
Background to the ongoing crisis in South Sudan (Part Four)
In the previous published three pieces, I have given sufficient backgrounds about the environments in which the Government of South Sudan and the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) had been operating into the current crisis. Indeed, those who were not adequately informed about this analytic background from an insider may have benefitted much to extent of making right comments when they try to know what went wrong in the world youngest nation, that all wished to grow into a viable state with sustainable socioeconomic development and truly organised politically structured institutions. Hopefully, the mediators in the ongoing crisis may like to benefit from my analysis as a person who claimed to be an author of South Sudan politics. According to the popular opinion, many people in South Sudan, are of the opinion that, any future well studied proposed political option, suggested as a way forward by the mediators to end the ongoing crisis, should have the backing of the UN, EU, Troika countries and African Union that may generously contribute funds for the reconstruction, national reconciliation and national healing, which was missed out during the implementation of the (2005) comprehensive peace agreement, a move which is, in part to blame for the outbreak of the current crisis.
Last but not least the IGAD countries; having already taken up the initiative to mediate peace in the South Sudan current crisis should double up and provide very quickly, and provide a workable solution, that would convince the stakeholders to accept it, in the interest of their country and their long afflicted people who are terribly yearning to live in peace among themselves and enjoy collectively the fruits of freedom brought about, by the independence of their country.
Concluding the last part of the article, I would like to have a flashback on the issues discussed in the narrative and the questions raised from it, in effort to enable the readers to judge for themselves and apportion blame on, whoever they think, is responsible for or has contributed much in part or in whole in the ongoing crisis that has plagued our young nation. These questions that have summarised the narrative and which are being asked by many SPLM cadres, the members of the general public and readers are hereby enumerated below.
Firstly, who holds the biggest part of the blame, for the failure to deliver during the last eight years SPLM was in power, the veteran of the two long wars and who had never had the chance to obtain academic excellence, where things connected with the new technology and modern mechanics of good governance and democracy were being discussed or the lots that he had appointed into the government after having obtained the best academic degrees in various disciplines in the best world academic Institutions and attended various seminars and workshops?
Secondly was it the lack of democratisation and transformation of SPLM that is responsible for the crisis or something else to blame?
Thirdly, why were most of the lead members of the SPLM Party, appointed to cabinet positions, when their role should have been, in the Party Politburo, to organise and oversee the smooth running of the party and its led Government?
Fourthly, has President Salva Kiir Mayardit two five year terms in office as an elected President expired; and therefore, the reason for his comrades to compete desperately for the grab of the incumbent Party Chairman’s post, to the extent of forgetting the future of the Party and what it brings to the country, comes what may?
Fifthly, should President Kiir Mayardit, be applauded for having held together the South Sudanese nationalities, all living in primordial era of individualism, all at each other throat; and have brought representatives of most of the nationalities into the country parliament and executive; and was it, this fact, which made it possible for him to move forward and successfully fought and finally obtained independence, the object of the two decades of continuous war; or should President Kiir Mayardit be crucified for having not turned the barely three year old country; destroyed by war and its traumatize people; into a democratic and modern system overnight?
Sixthly, what would have happened if President Salva Kiir Mayardit did not bring all the militiamen, including the leader of the ongoing antigovernment war, into his government after pardoning them without fair trials for the crimes they had committed against their country and its people, when they fought in alliance with the enemy that was fighting tooth and nail, trying to move heaven and earth to keep the lost paradise, South Sudan, as to remain forever, in its Islamic Family of God?
Seventhly, were the released political SPLM leaders and their supposed association in the December saga, real alliance that would continue to hold together in their sworn campaign of SALVA KIIR MUST GO, or was it a marriage of convenience and expedience?
Eighthly; have all the AU member states agreed during one or all of their summits; on the principle that, if any citizen revolt against his elected government, all of them as leaders of their respective member state; will to try to stop the rebellion through collective action or that, they would hold conferences after conferences in effort to reconcile the rebels with their government and failing to do that, gang up and crucify the leader of that Government for refusing to reconcile with the rebels fighting against his elected government?
Having given sufficient background to the environments in which the GOSS and SPLM were operating, and having posed vital questions that needs satisfactory answers from the narrative, I will now turn and answer some of the questions raised in the narrative and which concern the SPLM party, in which I am a member. As I have stated at the beginning, that I would not apportion any blame on any of the leaders involved in the ongoing crisis, as that would enable me as a journalist to provide an informed and educated analysis in order to give chance to the general public and readers to pass the verdict on whoever they believe is to blame as responsible in part or whole, for the ongoing crisis. But as a long time committed member of the SPLM party since its inception, a keen observer of the party administration and, as a journalist who have written a book about this party, I will try to answer questions which only concern the SPLM to the best of my knowledge and as much within my capacity; in the hope that the giant party that brought freedom and independence after sacrificing 2.5 millions of its citizens for its birth and survival; should not be allowed, to be thrown into the dust bin of history by its own historic leaders. Needless to emphasise further that, the narrative is a soul searching effort, exerted in order to share it with my committed compatriots and comrades in the Party and in the Government. Essentially, when peace has been restored hopefully by the efforts that are now being exerted, the rejuvenated SPLM will be launched once more like in November 2005, when it was first launched as a highly profile party.
On the first question, about who to blame the Chairman of SPLM party, as the team leader or the lead members of his team for failing to deliver during the eight years of the party at the helm of the state machine? I will try eventually to give an answer to the best of my knowledge. But first let me take the party chairman and his team separately. On the one hand, the Party Chairman, Salva Kiir Mayardit, is a veteran of two wars, when he abandoned, at his delicate age, further educational studies and the-would-be high profile profession and joined the Anya Nya Movement. After his successful graduation from the prestigious Sudan military college, Salva Kiir could have gone for further studies in military sciences and war studies in higher military academies; when he was again forced to join the SPLM rebellion in 1983 and fought the war until he successfully led his people to the Promised Land. Undoubtedly, he had indeed concentrated all his efforts during the three decades of war, focusing only on the liberation of his people till he brought them peace and independence to his long afflicted people. Again during the interim period (2005-2011) Salva Kiir Mayardit, had also focused his attention, how and what to do in order to keep peace among the people reported by Winston Churchill: hunting, dancing, marrying and dying (The River War) and more importantly by bringing all the militias, who he thought, would hamper or abort efforts to peacefully conduct, the long awaited referendum, into his government and the army. On the other hand, the members of the team he appointed into his government and entrusted them for the organisation and the administration of the party and the government, consisted of highly professional cadres who had had higher educational opportunities and had obtained higher degrees in the top universities of science and technology, and who had, during their course of academic studies, attended seminars, workshops symposium where new technology and the modern mechanics of governance were being discussed and analysed, and which qualified them ready to assist in the administration of their new country once given the chance to do so. Once placed on the top of their respective ministries in the government and the party, this highly calibre team, was expected to educate their president and chairman in advisory capacity by analysing the trends of events nationally, regionally and internationally and also in their respective institutions on daily basis and giving him synopsis of what they believed could have helped the president in the modernisation of the their country turning it into a modern state. Naturally, the head of government and state, of any given country, do not be a political animal ready to steer the wheel of state machine against all odds to the right direction, assuming that he is assisted by sincere, disciplined, committed and highly qualified team of experts in various fields of discipline
Fundamentally, the office of a head of state and government, of a given country, derives his knowledge to run the country effectively from a highly equipped think tank; experts in various disciplines. It is an undisputed fact that, various advisory experts, in various socio economic, political and technical disciplines, do make analytic synopsis for the head of government or state. I remain to be convinced whether the office of our president has such think tank establishments or has ever received synopsis from any one official in his government and I stand to be corrected. If my statement can be given credence, then one may conclude that, the failure lie squarely with the team he recruited to his government, to assist him in effort to deliver. This may also explain why all the projects and schemes that were initiated before the war in addition to the newly initiated projects, which are beyond this narrative, and which would have provided employment opportunities to the youth particularly those who came from the Diaspora, were not rehabilitated. Consequently, many members of the youth who had returned home, in the aftermath of their country independence were expecting to get employment opportunities in their newly born republic. Disappointed for getting no employments while highly qualified in various disciplines acquired in their long stayed in Diaspora, many of them went back into self imposed exile, and may be, forever. In a nutshell, I have provided this background in attempt to enable the readers to apportion blame on whoever they may think hold the responsibility not only in the ongoing crisis but all the new nation’s shortcomings on the top lack basic socio-economic development. Please bear with me to give hypothesis on this very important issue. If the shipmates who are knowledgeable about various technical parts of the ship and its operation, revolt against their captain, for any reason at all, before reaching the intended port of destination and the ship got wrecked, how would the blame for the shipwreck be apportioned, on the captain or the shipmates? This synopsis may be relevant to the reason explained in the previous part of the narrative, when the lead members of the SPLM party, started prematurely, fighting for the top position, before the party could be registered as a political entity, in accordance to the new constitution of the new republic. In a nutshell, it would be unfair to put all the blame about the shipwreck on the pilot alone. The technical team on the ship should shoulder the larger part of the blame for rebelling before the ship could reach its destination. Would you agree?
On the second question as to whether it was the lack of democratisation and transformation of SPLM that is responsible for crisis or something else; is directly to blame for the outbreak of the ongoing crisis....... The majority of the SPLM members in the politburo, nearly three quarters, were reportedly to have been very angry with their Chairman for having unjustifiably and untimely dismissed them in the government they deserve. Consequently they were apparently breathing fire and may have dismissed their chairman by their large majority, if the politburo was convened; an analogy of the South African’s NCA when they replaced the party chairman Thabo Mbeki before he completed his term in office as an elected President. In fact the failure to hold the SPLM political Bureau in the atmosphere, in which there were no lead members of the party sober enough to moderate and, reconcile in their dispute with their Chairman, is directly attributable to the failure to convene the politburo and not the resistance to transform or democratize the SPLM party. I stand also here to be corrected by my comrades who have better explanation to offer as what actually went amiss in the SPLM. In such a situation where the chair and the members are at variant, it would have not made sense to convene the Politburo as requested by the apparently angry team in the Politburo without first addressing the issue that brought about the party internal wrangling.
About the third question as to whether President/Chairman Salva Kiir Mayardit, two five year terms as an elected President expired and therefore, the need for the lead members of the party to begin fighting to replace the incumbent chairman of the party, the answer may be as follows. On the one hand, some members of the party are of the opinion that, the period of 2005-2010, was supposed to have been an interim period for the people of the South Sudan to conduct a referendum for the secession of their region from the old Sudan. According to this group President Kiir Mayardit, first five year term as an elected President of an independent South Sudan, is supposed to have started in 2010 to 2015 minus one year when the region was still a part of Sudan before independence. Consequently President Kiir Mayardit, first five year, term should, accordingly, have commenced from June 2011 to June 2015. Mayardit second five year term would run from June 2015, if elected, to June, 2020. On the other hand, one group, within the party feels that, President Kiir Mayardit had had his fair share as the ruler of South Sudan (2005-2015. They argued further that Mr Salva Kiir first five year term should have started from 2005-2010. President Kiir Mayardit second five year term should have commenced from 2010 to 2015; therefore the chairman seat is vacant for grab, therefore the need for hopeful presidential candidates to hurry up and announced their intention to compete for the party vacant position to be decided during the upcoming party congress. It was in this light that the SPLM leadership aspirants commenced their campaign of Kiir Must Go. In normal circumstances, the quarrel which has plunged the country into its first independence period, the current crisis, would have not arisen. Unfortunately the aspirants mixed their cards, announcing their intention to compete for the supposedly vacant presidential position on the one hand, and accusing the incumbent for failing to have delivered on the other hand. The stage was thus set for the regrettable party internal wrangling which plunged the country headlong into the current crisis.
The ambition playing the devil part; the lead members were not patient enough to wait for the revision of the party basic documents and the registration of the party as a legal entity but hurry up for the launch of their campaign to replace the party incumbent chairman. Another important aspect to point out, at this stage is that, the lead members of the SPLM party did not raise alarm bells, pointing out, during the deliberation of the transitional constitution, as most of them were members of Assembly, why the presidential two five year terms was left out of the transitional constitution while it was mentioned in the interim constitution of Southern Sudan. Expressed briefly; either the lead aspirants of the SPLM did not notice this was an oversight, or may have been, too pre-occupied with their own individual personal problems or did not read the situation correctly. Regrettably the SPLM party aspirants, decided to act prematurely while preparations had just started to revise and approve the basic party documents and the registration of their party as to become a legal entity in their barely three year old republic. Instead the SPLM lead members, consciously or unconsciously and without delay, joined the bandwagon which was already in motion speeding down the road to the creeping revolution that had long been gestating!
On the fourth question as to why the lead members of the SPLM were appointed into the Executive positions, instead of leaving the most influential members in the party politburo to act as an oversight authority; the answer may just be a reasonable effort to give an answer to a complex situation. In case, the guessing is correct, it may mean that President Salva Kiir Mayardit; being very conscious about the role many of his comrades had played during the liberation struggle, as committed members of the Party, some of who had never waver in their faith and commitment to the liberation of their country; and as a just reward for their faithful voluntary contribution; appointed most of them, into the government; apparently, to afford them opportunities to enjoy the fruits of their contribution to the liberation of their country, after twenty one years of voluntary contribution; which indeed, led to the successful declaration of their country, as an independent state; a fact which was appreciated by many citizens in the young republic. In the face of the above analysis, one can safely state that, Chairman, Salva Kiir Mayardit, apparent good intentioned decision to include most members of the politburo in his Cabinet, an oversight mistake perhaps, but the one which he may have done in good faith and apparently in the hope that his comrades, would keep the discipline in the party and remain faithful to him as the team leader, and who they knew during the war and had elected him to lead the party to the promise land. Unfortunately instead of being appreciative and remained faithful to their chairman, abused the good intention of the Chairman when they, without remorse, turned against him, a move which has sadly contributed much to the ongoing crisis. About the remaining five questions I leave them as food for thought for any subsequent general constructive debate free from innuendos and the devil may care uncharacteristic African culture.
Finally please allow me to give, a piece of warning and that is that; once the Ugandan forces; which have brought relative peace to the larger part of the country, protecting, in the process, key and vital installations, leave the South Sudan without effective replacement, as being advocated in some quarters, apparently with hindsight vested interest and without clear knowledge about the makeup of the country and the consequences that would follow; and considering how the three capitals, were totally razed to the ground, during the three months old fratricidal crisis; without first providing a peaceful settlement in the country; what has been happening in the sister Central African Republic; will be worst than what will happen, as a matter of fact in the Republic of South Sudan. The Experience had already explicitly been shown that, even with the huge presence of UN/EU and France’s (the former colonial master) forces; that did not deter the combatants on both sides to stop fighting savagely, the ongoing senseless sectional killings, and accept the international efforts to bring peace to the embattled sectional ravaged Central African Republic, regrettably. In brief, the confusion and mass sectional killings in the CAR, should be avoided by all means to happen in the world newest nation, for fear of more towns to be razed to the ground and the already looming revenge killings, God forbid.
Arop Madut Arop Gotnyiel is a Member of Parliament at South Sudan National Legislative Assembly representing Abyei. He is also a veteran journalist and author of two books: Sudan’s Painful Road To Peace and the Genesis of Political Consciousness in South Sudan. He is also and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org