By Deng Simon and PaanLuel Wel
By Elijah Deng Simon
Instead of incriminating Emmanuel Jal, Jok Madut, Ajak Chiengkou or Deng Elijah, we should be incriminating the system. It is this system that instructs us to do what we are doing; sorting the truth from different perspectives.
It is the system that creates and exploits these perspectives to turns Mabior against Dau , Puljang against Koang, Olony against Ogat, Wanni against Lado, tribes against tribes and regions against regions because the system is reaping these [regionalism, tribalism, nepotism, corruption, and divide and rule] for its own gains; to reign for 100 or 1000s years as long as we remain in our narrowed comfort zones.
Your incriminations and selective praises nurture the crippled system while reaping your intelligence and respect. A bad system would reduce you to believe that Ajak is your hero and Jal is your enemy and vice versa, when there is no profound ground to prove that the two can’t work together for a collective interest instead of your interest!
–Way forward —
Since the coup allegation has collapsed, divide and rule has failed, regionalism as well, and war won’t bring a sustainable solution. Instead of defending “status quo” we should defend the nation and to defend the nation the perpetrators must be held accountable. It is unreasonable to end a presidential term prematurely but it is highly irresponsible and illegitimate that over 4 millions people re in a food shortage, over 1 million displaced and over 10,000 (well above 30,000) people died. So there must be a trade off and the best trade off is to teach the upcoming leaders that they will be forced to step down prematurely should they imitate Salva Kiir and his crooks.
Our lives as citizens can’t be traded off for any other gain(s). The short term solution is for Kiir to step aside and the long term solution would be to elect a patriotic and visionary citizen to reconcile and rebuild the nation after this interim government. Dr. Riek has a constitutional right but does not have to lead South Sudan as a president, however, the country has to be transformed and reconciled for the next generations to enjoy freedom,justice and equality!
By PaanLuel Wel (Response to Deng Simon)
Elijah Deng Simon, I absolutely concur with you that “Instead of incriminating Emmanuel Jal, Jok Madut, Ajak Chiengkou or Deng Elijah, we should be incriminating the system” because, as you rightly pointed out, “It is the system that creates and exploits these perspectives to turns Mabior against Dau, Puljang against Koang, Olony against Ogat, Wanni against Lado, tribes against tribes and regions against regions…” But while you may take the system to be President Kiir and his henchmen who seem to know nothing about what is going on in the country, some people would go further and say that the system in question includes not just the President, but Dr. Riek Machar (who had been no. 2 in that very system for 9 years) as well as the 11+ political detainees who are currently presenting themselves as better alternatives to the bloodied hands of President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar.
Therefore, if indeed the system is the stumbling block to the realization of long lasting peace and political stability in South Sudan, and there is no reason whatsoever to doubt that postulation, it entails that the best way forward is not just to get rid of President Kiir, but rather the whole system which include, in addition to the President, Dr. Riek Machar and the 11+ political detainees. Bearing in mind that there was no coup in Juba and that the 11+ political detainees are already out of power, the next people to go from power are President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar. The logic is simple: neither President Kiir nor Dr. Riek has been able to decisively defeat the other notwithstanding over 4-month of continuous fighting. Therefore, to paraphrase your statement, the short term solution is for President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar to step aside from their respective power bases and the long term solution would be to elect a patriotic and visionary citizen (say Dr. Marial Benjamin or Wani Igga, for example) to reconcile and rebuild the nation after this interim government.
Whereas it is certainly true that President Kiir and Dr. Riek have constitutional rights to contest the ‘next election’, they should not necessarily be part of the interim government if fighting has to stop in South Sudan. Of course, such course of actions in which both President Kiir and Dr. Riek would be barred from being part of a transitional government is an anathema to their respective supporters, and few avenues abound, barring international military intervention, to bring about such course of event as they are the ones wielding Kalashnikov in the entire country. Of course, the government of President Kiir is wishing for a swift military victory over the rebels, akin to the decisive defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka. On the other hand, the rebels under Dr. Riek Machar are entertaining the thought that they would ride into Juba like Paul Kagame in the 1990s while Presient Kiir is taken to the ICC for killing the Nuer in Juba.
Well, both are wishful thinking, for the government will never completely defeat the rebellion even if they were lucky enough to kill or capture Riek Machar, and neither will the Rebels realize their conjured up triumphant march to Juba for the best the rebel can achieve is a Somalization of South Sudan.
–Way forward —
But for us South Sudanese to have meaningful, serious and constructive dialogues, the best and only way forward other than an outright military victory as wished by the government and as dreamed up by the rebel is two-fold: (1) Going back to the status quo–an interim government with both President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar, in their respective pre-July 23rd positions and seniority or (2) charting a new course–a transitional government without President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar, back by international military forces. But of course, my pro-rebels friends Deng Simon and Jesus Deng Mading-chuai would prefer an interim government without President Kiir while my pro-government friends Simon Yel and Gordon Buay would want nothing more than the blood-dripping head of Dr. Riek Machar.
And thus, stalemate–political and military–set in and Addis Ababa talks are treated as a necessarily evil to be tolerated but never taken seriously. The government is wishing, and the rebels are dreaming, for a decisive military victory!! The conversation is yet to commence because there are no genuine conversationalists, only Kiirists and Machariists rule the air, the web and the field!!
Till then, the present carnage in Bentiu might soon get replicated in Bor and Malakal and over again as it has been the case. President Kiir is majestically unperturbed, Dr. Riek is boyishly excited and their supporters are marching, cheering on and wishing and dreaming while the DREAM “for the next generations to enjoy freedom, justice and equality!” is being stymied!
Junub Thudan in the hands of the same monkeys in different forest!