South Sudanese: Dialogue should trump militarism in crisis management

Posted: November 9, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël in Columnists, Commentary, Contributing Writers, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Martin Ariel Majak, Alexandria, Egypt

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November 9, 2017 (SSB) — I write this article against the backdrop of what is a fluid security situation being reported in Juba brought about by an apparent attempt to disarm and reduce Paul Malong’s bodyguards – something he outrightly refused.

Well, to be honest, I don’t know what really provoked the government to think of disarming Malong – who is literally under captivity – that led to the subsequent standoff between the guards loyal to Malong and forces loyal to the government.

What I do know – is that if there existed any problem that needed to be taken care of – it shouldn’t have been managed like the way it is being mishandled. It was just typical of the way we Junubin solve our problems whenever we disagree on anything.

Rolling tanks to the gates of Malong’s residence – in the hope of letting him surrender his arms or whatever is asked of him – doesn’t help solve the situation. It rather adds salt to the injury. Doing that should have been the last resort after all other avenues are exhausted.

It has become our newfound culture that we first gouge out our eyes before coming to the negotiating table to finally iron out our differences. Yes, it is conventional that people disagree on certain matters. Yes, we are not superhuman not to disagree. What is exceptional about us is how fast we run gun blazing to violence as the means of settling any disagreement.

What is just unfolding in our own eyes is reminiscent of the events that preceded the 2013 and 2016 outbreak of violence in Juba. It is everyone’s wish that it doesn’t actually go down that rough way.

Our leaders have to know that Dialogue trumps militarism in crisis management. History is replete with battles that were not only won on the battlefield but were settled through a peaceful resolution reached out on negotiating tables. One good example is how we achieved our statehood.

The tragedy is that the leaders we have, are the specialist in the art of escalation, but are lacking the skills in crisis management. In trying to put off fires of their making, they instead end up inflaming them – making them wild and wilder.

One of the Ministers particularly sucks, I have to say. He was asked of what is going on in the capital with the sighting of heavy armed presence and tanks all over the places. Guess what his response was. He said that it was normal as usual in Juba and that he doesn’t actually know why citizens were afraid. Tanks and soldiers have always been there, why fear them? He retorted.

Let’s our keep our fingers crossed, as for now, that the situation gets defused and that the standoff is brought to an end with no blood spill. The country is right now yearning for peace but not yet another violence on top of what we already have.

Peace is what we pray for, day and night.

The writer is a student at Alexandria University, Egypt. He can be reached on twitter @arielmajak93

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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