Avoid scapegoating Gen. Malek Ruben for the war and deaths in South Sudan?

Posted: June 2, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda

opinion matters

June 2, 2017 (SSB) — What is corrupt in South Sudan is not individual but the whole system, which means that there is a need for the reformation of the whole system. I am making this comment in regard to the recent released Sentry report, which seems to blame Malek Ruben for the war and mass of South Sudan.

 The Sentry Report of May 2017 was solely intended to investigate General Malek Ruben Riak, which is unfair because where the crises are in everywhere it is unjust to blame one person among everyone who is at fault. What I therefore need to say about this report and approach is that it was wrong not because I am supporting General Malek but because it is not the solution to our problems.

As I have stated above that it is the system which is corrupt, there is a need to approach the issue of South Sudan with the aim of reforming the system rather trying to apportion blame to the individuals. This is because as we continue blaming individuals now we may prolong the war and people continue suffering.

If we need to blame people for crisis of South Sudan  then all South Sudanese must be blamed because they destroyed the system for their own benefits and they have to come together to find a solution, which is through the National Dialogue.

As I understand it, what pushes the Sentry Team to take this approach based on individual responsibility is that they are only looking at crime is individual responsibility and this is why they are trying hard to select individuals in the crisis of South Sudan to blame and if possible to be prosecuted in the international Criminal Court.

Therefore, what I need to tell Sentry team is that such approach is not applicable in South Sudan and if we push the country hard to adopt the approach of crime based on individual responsibility, then, I am afraid, the war will never end as those in the bush and in the government will continue waging war for the fear of prosecution which will further put the country into more crises.

In actual sense, what is needed in South Sudan is not criminal justice as understood in the Western World but South Sudanese need traditional or restorative justice that will help the country to remain united. This means that we need the real national dialogue and what we should therefore be advocating for is inclusive national dialogue rather fighting for typical Western Criminal Justice based on individual responsibility that will never bring solution to the conflict of South.

Therefore, selecting individuals like General Malek Ruben and others to be blamed for the war, hunger and crisis happening in South Sudan is narrowly intended to achieve certain purpose but not to bring peace in the Country, which is wrong. Thus, for that reason, I recommend to Sentry Team that it should change its approach from individual oriented understanding of the war in South Sudan to the system reformation oriented approach.

Hence, Sentry Team should engage their government, which should in turn engage the president of South Sudan to bring more reform and also work on true national dialogue which must be inclusive.

However, it is unfortunate that Sentry Team solely blames General Malek Ruben for the war, hunger and famine yet the major cause of this crisis is on both rebels and the government. What Sentry Team should know is that both rebels and the government are not genuine in seeking for peace.

This explains the fact that the war in South Sudan is not war for reform per se but it has taken a tribal dimension as extremists on both sides need the absolute exclusion of others from the management of the country. This is why rebels want the destruction of the government in totality and the government is refusing for reforms to accommodate rebels. Therefore, the whole situation becomes confused and threatening.

Whereas, the hunger, famine and starvation are bad as they kill citizens rebels will never need peace as they will keep on provoking the government so that the government respond, which makes the crisis continue and hunger and killings go and then after that they blame the government or individuals in the government and appeal to the international community for support blaming the government as not being for peace.

In summary, as we have decided to take approach of national dialogue we must seek the solution that must be provided by all South Sudanese. This means that we must stop the activities of projecting individual leaders as if they are the only cause of the war yet all South Sudanese have hands in the present crisis.

We should also be fair in dealing with issues of accountability because where everyone is wrong then they must either be blamed or not blamed all.  In order to live in harmony and peace in South Sudan, there is a need for restorative justice not justice based on individual responsibility.

It is true that many injustices are committed in South Sudan but such injustices must be approached through restorative justice. In addition, we need political settlement like what happened in South Africa in 1990s not settlement based on individual criminal responsibility and punishment.

The author is concerned South Sudanese Citizens and can be reached through: juoldaniel@yahoo.com

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 paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

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