A critique of SPLM Leaders [FPDs]: “A new roadmap to rescue and restore hope in South Sudan”
By Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba, Nairobi, Kenya
December 10, 2016 (SSB) — The SPLM Political Leaders [FPDs] released a 14-page document entitled “A new roadmap to rescue and restore hope in South Sudan.” The document analyses the IGAD brokered peace agreement on the resolution of conflict in South Sudan [ARCISS] to which they are signatory.
The document kicks off with a falsified narrative of the events leading to the eruption of conflict in December 2013. There is no ideological differences whatsoever, hence the struggle, between the different factions at the centre of the conflict. It was sheer power struggle driven by personal ambition. Salva Kiir, Riek Machar, Pagan Amum and Rebecca Nyandeng were members of the SPLM leadership [Political Bureau] and all of them belonged to political right. Therefore, power struggle among them was not ideological but personal.
The root causes of the conflict attribute to the SPLM failure to meet the expectation of the people of South Sudan for social and economic development leading to the transformation of centuries old condition of poverty, ignorance, disease, illiteracy and cultural backwardness. This failure now registers as a contradiction between the masses of the people on the one hand and on the other hand the burgeoning parasitic capitalist class comprising the SPLM political military elite and their collaborators in the NCP and other political parties.
The SPLM leaders in the GOSS spent the entire interim period [2005 – 2011] marrying and self-aggrandisement in what some of them called ‘payback time.’ They dolled themselves in corruption, tribalism and economic and political empowerment of kin, while Southern Sudan embroiled in insecurity and ethnic conflicts ubiquitous everywhere but more pronounced in Warrap, Jonglei and parts of Upper Nile..
By the time, South Sudan became independent [July 2011], the SPLM leaders and their collaborators had squandered opportunities for mitigating the impact of the war of national liberation. There was nothing to show for the 20 or so billions dollars GOSS had received during that period. The war with the Sudan and the shutdown of oil production  exacerbated the political and economic crisis.
The SPLM leaders now had to channel their failure into blame game and accusation of failure against President Salva Kiir who instead of depending himself politically opted for military confrontation against his colleagues and hence the civil war.
The fundamental contradiction underpinning the war is actually between the SPLM leaders in their different formations and the masses of the South Sudanese people. The fact that Salva Kiir [SPLM IG], Riek Machar [SPLM IO] and the SPLM Leaders [FPDs] stand apparently on different sides of the conflict is deceptive to say the least. They are the same ideological class – right wing politicians. Under the guise of SPLM reunification, the FPDs joined Salva Kiir in Juba [May 2015] before the signing of the peace agreement. Dr. Riek Machar had no qualms reforming the system to deputize Salva Kiir against the call in the SPLM IO for regime same.
The ARCISS recreates conditions for status quo ante 15 December 2013 i.e. going back in the government and it will business as usual. This explains why some leaders of the SPLM/A (IO) and SPLM Leaders (FPDs) have remained with Salva Kiir pretending to be implementing ARCISS notwithstanding the July events. ARCISS does not address the root causes of the conflict in South Sudan.
The FPDs analysis of ARCISS (page 4 to page 7)
While the analysis is an exposé of violations of ARCISS, it fails to show how power sharing and reforms in governance system particularly in the security sector would reign peace and stability in South Sudan. The ARCISS leaves in place the security sector dominated by Dinka ethnicity explaining the resistance to cantonment in Equatoria and Bahr el Ghazal.
ARCISS is untenable in whatever configuration. Salva Kiir – Taban Deng alliance, what the FPDs call pax Sylvatica, is moribund. The social, economic and political crisis of the regime has deepened; insecurity has heightened especially in Equatoria and Western Bahr el Ghazal with insurgents linked or not to SPLA IO have sprung up everywhere threatening to overwhelm the state with serious humanitarian consequences.
It is a fact that Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar cannot compatibly work together to bring stability and harmony to South Sudan. This obtains consequent to Dr. Riek Machar failing since 2014 to think beyond achieving and wielding power. This prevented the transformation of the civil war into a revolution that would have enlisted a wide coalition including the FPDs and other democratic forces in the country. South Sudan is living a national democratic revolution. The objective reality is ripe for revolution only that the subjective factors are still weak, dispersed and unorganized.
The national democratic revolution and the construction of a national democratic state in South Sudan is the way out. The revolution with the agenda for social, economic and cultural development is the only hope for South Sudan. It addresses the condition of poverty, ignorance, disease, and illiteracy as well as the social contradictions inherent in South Sudan diversities. This then requires the unity of and a commitment by all social and political forces to transform South Sudan into a modern state where politics is organized based on ideas and institutions instead of personality, ethnicity or region.
Accepting the idea of Regional Protection/Intervention Force provided for in the UN Security Council Resolution 2304, the UN trusteeship of South Sudan and the formation of caretaker hybrid administration the FPDs now tout, is tantamount to an admission of political and ideological bankruptcy. It is an attempt to save Salva Kiir and the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) from imminent defeat because of rising social awareness and political consciousness among South Sudanese people. The notion of existential threat staring the Dinka in the face is alarmist on the false presumption that all Dinka people support and rally behind Salva Kiir and the JCE
The Dinka people are integral part of South Sudan nation. Moreover, they have also suffered immensely especially in Warrap and Awiel under the watchful eyes of Salva Kiir. The targeting of innocent Dinka people on roads in Equatoria, orchestrated by Kiir’s security operatives so-called ‘unknown gunmen’ was intended to drum up hysteria against the Equatorian prompting Salva Kiir to declare taking up the command of the army in Yei. A Dinka backlash to the collapse of Kiir’s kleptocracy is just a pigment of imagination.
The FPDs, like the SPLM IG and SPLM IO, are part of the problem afflicting South Sudan and indeed a complicating factor in the power equation due to their vacillating political position. They cannot continue to ensnare themselves to be the regional and international community’s anointed alternative to Salva Kiir or Riek Machar. The only viable alternative to the decaying system is a revolutionary coalition of the social and political forces of South Sudan.
You can reach the author via his email: Peter Adwok Nyaba<email@example.com>
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