Seek Ye Sustainable Peace in South Sudan and the Rest Will Naturally Follow

Posted: November 1, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël in Arop Madut-Arop, Columnists, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Hon Arop Madut Arop (MP), Nairobi, Kenya

RSS coat of ARMS

South Sudan’s coat of arms, in which the eagle symbolizes vision, strength, resilience and majesty, and the shield and spear the people’s resolve to protect the sovereignty of their republic and work hard to feed it.

November 1, 2017 (SSB) — A as a tradition, I do routinely read news coverage daily; and more importantly, opinion articles from various media outlets; particularly the social media. However, before I discuss what I intend to share with readers I will, as a reminder, that any writer of any article has something he would like to convey to the general public and his intended readership.

Fundamentally, people who write opinion articles; fall into the following category of writers. The first category consists of writers who write sensational news reports and sell them to Media Houses that will enable them eke a living, regardless of the impact their writings would bring to bear on the society in which they live.

The second category of writers, do write in order to lobby for a cause they feel, must be corrected or rectified by the policymakers for the general good of the concerned society and the country. The third category of writers is composed of those who write opinion articles in order to destroy things; either out of sheer frustration and malice or personal phobia.

The fourth category is composed of writers, who write to correct things by giving advice as to how issues are handled constructively for the public interest. As a journalist, I tend to fall into the last category of writers. It will be in this context that I will comment briefly on two very important petitions I have come across recently, in Paanluel Wel bloggers. I will later offer suggestions about what I see as the way forward.

In the first petition, the authors called upon the president of the republic to dismiss immediately, Hon Deng Alor Kuol from the country foreign affairs portfolio. Because; they alleged, he had been campaigning consistently against His Excellency, President Salva Kiir Mayardit. I will only comment specifically, refer to the three important conferences which were attended by H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his entourage including Hon Deng Alor: at the AU heads of state and government conference in Addis Ababa, the AU summit in Malago capital of Equatoria Guinea and during the recent UN General Assembly annual meeting in New York City, which was attended by the First Vice President Taban Deng Gai with official delegation which of course included Minister Deng Alor Kuol.

The second petition by a lone individual urges His Excellency President Salva Kiir to resign with immediate effect. But while I am not going to dwell on criticisms brought against Hon Minister, Deng Alor Kuol and His Excellency President Salva Kiir Mayardit as they have experienced specialist experts who could answer on their behalf; I will rather comment generally on the two petitions; separately.

On the first Petition, one wonders how reliable the sources of their information brought against Hon minister Deng Alor is and where the authors obtained that information. Normally, the most reliable and authoritative method of obtaining such information could come only from the country national security advisory source, or from South Sudan Embassies, in the countries, visited by the president.

Such information could have also come, however, from any member who was in the presidential and First Vice Presidents entourages. My other concern has to do with why the authors who wrote the petition did not append their signatures and their postal mail addresses, so that, they could be reached for comments by concerned individuals or by people who stand accused.

One would also ask the authors as to whether there is such a practice that allows presidents and prime ministers to appoint or dismiss members of their cabinet through the recommendation from concerned individuals.

Arguably, the only occasion where presidents or prime ministers dismiss their ministers, apart from the normal routine government reshuffle, is when the activities of certain government ministers affect public morals and treasonable activities.

If for the sake of argument, the authors of the first petition had compelling reason which made them write; and assuming that the national security personnel were not aware of such allegations, the reasonable thing to do by a concerned citizen is to bring to the notice of the concerned presidential staff confidentially in accordance with our time honoured African tradition.

The allegations brought against Minister Deng Alor Kuol by the concerned authors could have, apparently, been investigated by the national security agency. The result of that investigation would have allowed President Salva Kiir to dismiss him in accordance with the law of the Republic of South Sudan; but not otherwise.

Furthermore, it is a known fact that Hon Deng Alor Kuol was one of the SPLA officers under the Command of General Salva Kiir, from the launch of the SPLA/SPLM and during the twenty-one years of the war just ended albeit temporarily. As such President Salva Kiir does not need to be told about Hon Deng Alor, let alone recommending him for dismissal or appointment.

As regard to the second petition, which urged President Salva Kiir to tender his resignation with immediate effect for whatever reasons known to him, one would only draw the attention of the lone author that, democratically elected leaders lose their positions only through the same electoral processes and procedures which bring them to power. Even the leaders who come to office through the military coup de’ tat, could only lose their jobs by a counter military take over.

Generally speaking, the only known practical method where the democratically elected leaders maintain or lose their position is through a constitutionally approved treasonable gross misconduct brought against them. Even so, such treasonable charges will automatically subject them to impeachment by the national parliaments. Once presidents and prime ministers are impeached, the country Supreme Court would legally and immediately order for their removal from office.

Seek Ye Peace in Your Youngest Republic and the Rest Will Follow

As many of our youths who often write an abusive language, in the social media about the impact of the current man-made senseless conflict, which we all know, has brought the country to the brink of the abyss, are not domiciled in the country. It would appear that some of them do write without assessing first, the general feeling inside the country.

Specifically, South Sudanese in exile should be made aware that the general feeling of the people inside the country is for urgent restoration of peace and stability in the country. And if we manage to restore peace and by extension stability, by The Will of Allah, the rest will naturally follow.

In my humble opinion, I think it should be the duty of all South Sudanese compatriots, wherever they are, to sit back, reflect and collectively plan the way forward for the future survival of this great nation. This is important, particularly, for the interest of our youths as the future leaders of our great nation.

Importantly, our urgent concern as citizens of this great nation is for every one of us to contribute positively through our African conflict resolution mechanisms. And in order to bring about the restoration of peace and stability to our country, all of us those affected by the war and the warring parties must take the following steps.

Firstly, the guns must be silenced. In doing that successfully, pressure must be brought to bear on those holding firearms to accept cessations of hostilities and permanent ceasefire.

Secondly, we will then seek financial supports from well-wishers to assist the transitional government to act fast and resettle the millions of our destitute citizens in the IDP, POC, and refugee camps, back to their original homes and help them rebuild their lives.

The third move will be the writing of a permanent constitution and adopt the type of governance which is suitable to our peculiarities.

The fourth step would be to conduct a national wide census to know who we are and how many we are. Following the result of the national census, the next move will then be to divide up the country into Equitable, proportional geographical electoral constituencies.

Sixthly, the national election commission will then be formed to conduct credible, fair and free elections.

In my opinion, it would only be through the above processes that our youths at home, in diaspora and those who would like Hon Deng Alor Kuol not to be in any Cabinet and those who do not like President Kiir Mayardit, the incumbent president, not to remain in office, could then vote them out through the ballot box but not through character assassinations or barrel of guns.

Hon Arop Madut Arop, currently an MP for Abyei at SSLA and an international media consultant, holds a Diploma in Socialist journalism – International institute of journalism (East Berlin); Advanced Diploma in Liberal Journalism International Institute of Media Studies (West Berlin) and Masters of Arts Degree in International Journalism (City University of London). He is the author of two books: Sudan Painful Road to Peace, a full story of the founding and development of SPLM/SPLA (2006) and The Genesis of political consciousness in South Sudan (2012). He is also author of a number of unpublished books. He can be reached at gotnyiel122@hotmail.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, city and the country you are writing from.

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