Archive for November 22, 2017

By Matai Manuoi Muon, Nairobi, Kenya

Malong in exile1

Gen. Paul Malong arriving in Nairobi, Kenya

November 22, 2017 (SSB) — In Africa’s model of democracy, serving longer equates to a higher level of democratic peace and stability. From Sudan to DRC, Equatorial Guinea to Uganda, Rwanda to Zimbabwe, the list is virtually endless, governments have stayed on for several decades without any transition. Rephrasing President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, the problem in Africa is not overstaying in power. It is what individual leaders do with power. Well, that statement remains controversial or bluntly, misplaced. It was tested in Libya, the Gambia, Burundi, Egypt and now Zimbabwe.

It failed all these empirical tests. There would be no better political lab to experiment this than in Africa itself. Strong evidence shows that overstaying in power attracts dictatorial tendencies. Even leaders who came through a democratic means become democratic hypocrites as they taste the flavors of power. The end results are often than not, popular revolutions as we saw in the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ or military coups as exemplified in the Gambia, Zimbabwe, Libya among others.

Before delving into the topic, it is imperative to understand some theories that guide transitions of governments in Africa and across different regions of the Planet Earth. The international law since the end of the II World War has remained an enthusiastic critic of military coups, revolutions or any other changes of government outside the dictates of the rule of law, and constitutional order. The United Nations, therefore, does not recognize any government that comes in through these illicit means. The African Union, on the one hand, follows suit and embed this policy into its governance programs.


By Wenne Madyt Dengs, Juba, South Sudan

National Dialouge Steering Committee

National Dialogue Steering Committee.jpg

November 22, 2017 (SSB) — Dialogue is not a recent discovery. Right through the past and in nearly all societies, getting groups together to overcome differences and solve problems has been a particularly prestigious assignment usually given to experienced individuals, elders or people respected for their good judgment and wisdom.

Elements of ‘dialogue methodology’ have been and continue to be applied in traditional societies, based on ancestral procedures and customs. Their validity is also recognized in transitional justice, conflict management and reconciliation processes but the national dialogue initiated by the government of South Sudan don’t fit the features of a successful dialogue; being solely initiated by the government without considering the opinion of political parties and civil society alliance justifies that its success is at risk.