BY MALIAP MADIT MABIOR, KAMPALA, UGANDA
January 13, 2017 (SSB) —- Yes, when we talk of foreign policy, we are looking at a way a country relates with other states (in simple terms), but that can’t stop one from saying a word about our foreign policy as a nation – South Sudan. It’s worth mentioning that our diplomatic missions are doing tremendously as far as maintaining good diplomatic relations is concerned, but again there are situations when we feel our polices don’t earn anything in international games(politics) and the writer is of the view that our foreign policies be defined. We all or some of us know that a good foreign policy should be based on principles of; promotion of peace, respect of international law, treaties and obligation, settlement of international disputes, opposition of all forms of domination, and racism, oppression and exploitation and ex ce tra.
All these can best be achieved defending on a state’s foreign policy regardless of the form of governance used by that very country. During those years of our struggle for independence, Our polices earned us good reputation at international level even as gorilla (SPLA/M, 1983-2005) till the attainment of our independence on 9th July 2011. Shortly after our independence, we rushed into signing many international treaties not knowing that we have never defined our foreign policy which in turn would protect our interests in global politics in gloomy situations. Instead of setting good polices, we vault to those treaties forgetting their setbacks.
When the war broke out in 2013, we thought the whole region would support us but failed. In fact they aberrated and hassled. Why? Foreign policy. It sounds apocryphal that our policies don’t earn us good results. We must have an ideology for which our country would be striving for. For instance, the Ugandan president Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni always says that foreign policy must be based on ‘’Appropriate Response’’ this now serves as Uganda’s foreign relations guideline – [appropriate response]. Look, when Riek Machar caused us war in 2013 and 2016 respectively, the regional and international stand didn’t reflect any sense of nations on diplomatic relations. Why? Foreign policy, and this shows that we need to check our policies. In this case, I mean we lack a political ideology as a nation. Hence, we should have relevant diplomatic polices which would mean trouncing any form(s) of crises (political or economic).
In most cases our problems are attached to lack of good polices whilst our victories are God-given though we worked well somewhere. This means we have to come up with a policy framework that will guide our ambassadors in preaching our ideology and could be a ‘’policy of non-alignment’’ regardless of South Sudan being the youngest nation worldwide. With these, I mean we’ll have strategic reasons and political prestige in the eyes of our neighbors. Yes, during the war, many nations took different directions. For examples, Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya except Uganda, Angola, Egypt, Russia, Israel, China which took a bold stand in supporting us (Government, South Sudan). To me, it’s not so bad because we have now known who our afidus achates (good friends) are and we therefore, have to strengthen our relations with such countries. That means we just have to give them a ‘’Blanket Amnesty’’ – a policy of forgive but don’t forget.
Even our relations with United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), and other international agencies in our country needs our clear stand defined to them. As if political ideology is our challenge, economic policies are also guided by government – political ideology because there isn’t any nation that minds politics without economy. For our case, I don’t understand, why? Economic policies. Now given this queer, politics and economy are both necessary Scylla that must be carefully examined, revised, and improved otherwise having economic or political growth an heirlooms.
With the current crises (political and economic) South Sudan looks like a ‘’straw-country.’’ That’s country with no financial resources. Why? Corruption and lack of policies which would question those misusing national assets- finances, movable assets, and public positions for individual or tribal gains. All these happens due to poor or weak laws which don’t even question the culprits.
All we can best do is to novice from these challenges and move forward but only when we adopt appropriate policies. Take an example of The Republic of Tanzania where national policies are defined and owned by citizens. Now, Tanzania is more peaceful and prosperous. Why? Policies. This ideology was developed by former president Mwalimu Julious Nyerere. According to president Nyerere, “every policy is good if it can enable government to achieve what it wants.” As if that isn’t enough, look at Rwanda where if you bribe a police or traffic officer it’s a crime and automatically earns you a seven years jail sentence.
Conclusion; the real essence of good governance are; service delivery, security, achieving national peace and prosperity depending on the overall national policy used. What pains the ordinary citizens down here (us) is that most of the things are helter-sketched and hence don’t earn us anything nationally, regionally and globally. The recent political hoodlum and the entire plight taught or should teach us helluva of our poor policies with the top leadership being hoodwinks by neighbors (Kenya and Ethiopia).
Finally, we only have to avoid one thing – political drift when handling issues only through that shall we survive politically and economically. Hence, clear or defined foreign policy, better political atmosphere.
Oh God Bless South Sudan!
The writer is a South Sudanese and can be reached via; email@example.com +211(0)955 994 979, +256(0)784 297 377
The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address, city and the country you are writing from.