It Has Been Long Walk Yet To Freedom in the Republic of South Sudan

Posted: January 17, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël in Ariik Atekdit, Junub Sudan

By Ariik Atekdit Mawien, Juba, South Sudan

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The fruition of the CPA

January 17, 2018 (SSB) — It is now many years, the people of South Sudan have been characterized by wars throughout centuries in the then Sudan and now in South Sudan. Never, had we known that until today our country’s leadership would let its citizens’ crash into such a situation of bad coincidence in the history. Whether it was New Sudan or a breakaway South Sudan, it seemed very clear then in the words of the people who have assumed the positions at top of the nation that the country will be bright.

When we decided to break away from Sudan we were made to be pretty clear that the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) would stand strong in the words of their mouths that needed to be translated into deeds that the citizens want to see happening. In the beginning, the war in the bush was made to fight for a United New Sudan with the intention of liberating the whole Sudanese including some of the very Arabs and Muslims who seemed to have been cheated together like the South by the successive regimes in Khartoum.

However, indeed Dr. John Garang, who was a unionist himself, had no any fellow unionists to recruit to fight in the name of New Sudan, and so the separatists became his soldiers during the liberation period for 22 years fighting for the objectives of a united Sudan. In fact during the war and when Garang was alive the separatists within SPLM had their vision of creating a new nation in the South but became so much sidelined and had no room to play their cards.  Because there was no room for separatists in the bush, elites like Dr Riek Machar and Dr Lam Akol and Gen. Kuanyin Bol, Arok Thon and William Nyuon observed Garang in the bush and decided never to pursue a unionist war which was so much dictated. The Khartoum and Fashoda agreements became the first documents to re-introduce the nation again to the modern possibility of splitting the country.

However, the arrivals of the people from Nuba Mountains and Ingessana into the movement and the coalition of National Democratic Alliances (NDA) frustrated the separatists and empowered Garang’s ideology of New Sudan and therefore majority of South Sudanese fighters accepted to sacrifice their blood for the liberation of the whole Sudan from Nimule in the far South to Halfa in the north and from Tokar in the East to Genina in the West to satisfy Garang’s need. The Arabs refused to quickly join and support Garang’s idea because it was an idea from a black prophet in the south.  That was not yet a problem but other than that; the stay away of the northerners to join the New Sudan ideology gave the separatists in the South high hopes of success for their dream to come true.

When Dr Garang and Ustaz Ali Osman Taha negotiated the peace agreement, Garang became impressed that the two men were sure that the top won’t have difficulty for the realization of the New Sudan and so the agreement ran smooth and CPA became an extraordinary agreement between Khartoum and a South Sudanese fighting movement. Ustaz Ali Osman knew that Garang was not a separatist and therefore the deal was not any negative to anybody in Sudan because he thought they were making it for reforming a united country of Sudan, until when Dr Garang died the separatists captured the situation and buried the New Sudan’s file and we ended up campaigning for a South Sudan. This was not any mistake because even the British administration before decolonizing the Sudan thought of such and therefore the popular 1947 conference in Juba. The most important problem was and is still the fact that the South had never been prepared to lay out the principles of uniting themselves at their own boundaries and/or crafting objectives for governing a nation of their own that can challenge Khartoum or set their citizens in the freedom they claim to realize.

The SPLM still believed until 2011 that Khartoum was cleverer than they were and therefore, they feared of making a united New Sudan and surely without Garang, Juba elites were not anything in capacity comparison at all wings to Khartoum elements and therefore citizens assisted elites out to create a country through referendum vote in 2011.

While it had been a long walk to arrive at the referendum and to the independence of South Sudan, some people got relaxed and thought that the freedom was finally achieved, yet it was not the case. There was supposed to be a lot of home-works to do. It is still a long walk to arrive at promises of freedom and democracy in the country that we have created 6 and half years ago. Today the SPLM objectives cannot help us out because those objectives serve only to create a New Sudan with its administration in Khartoum and importantly in the presence of Dr Garang.

Today, it is substituted for the creation of South Sudan with its administration in Juba and more importantly in the absence of Dr Garang which had turned to be the very opposite of the intention.  Therefore the objectives don’t read South Sudan and consequently, we have regeneration of new wars. The SPLM objectives that run away with Dr Riek in the bush or left with President Kiir in J1 or in the briefcase of Mr. Pagan Amum can’t help neither of the group or the nation because they are so tricky and they need Garang for realization of dreams or else the group must design their own vision of leading the new country, they have created. The new methodologies with new formulations of good governance must be laid out with the participation of all the political parties, civil societies, and professional intellectuals.

When the elites established the beginning of a nation in Juba in 2005, people got embarked on looting the wealth and a lot of public resources got lost in the hands of individuals. GOSS elites refused to employ educated people but chose to first give the cakes to their illiterate cousins, nieces, nephews and tribesmen forgetting that the country belongs to all South Sudanese inclusively.

The business chances were only directed to individuals of benefits refusing people of capacity and therefore the nation was created a base on the accumulation of fits of anger in the hearts of many South Sudanese and therefore, the arrival of the current situation that no one can attempt to control or correct. Whether we blame the west, the question is why did we give west the chance in our own country? Refusal of the SPLM to recognize the South Sudanese professors in the establishment of South Sudan foundation is the reason for our today’s suffering.

When the SPLM came in 2005 the party didn’t care anybody. The Party assumes the phrase of: “We know it all.” The party thought of having knowledge of everything and they tried to push out many people’s ideas at the arm with embarrassments and scorns turning every contributor very low to produce any idea again until 2013, the ruling party got stuck and had nobody around them to give a push or a pullout from the mud. The SPLM in the boat was very slow to cross the river before the water got drained.

Now the river is reduced to a thick mud that the party’s boat couldn’t four-wheeled it out in the middle of the river and there they are. The factions that don’t want to remain in the boat caught in the mud quickly jumped out pointing fingers at every individual around at the riverside. What the SPLM factions don’t know is that: all South Sudanese are now convinced that various SPLM factions are responsible for the catastrophe we are now in.

Until today we are all convinced that it is still a long Walk yet to freedom. Unless we establish a peaceful South Sudan built on the promise of freedom and Dignity of every citizen regardless of their tribe, age or gender. Unless our brothers and sisters living in protection of civilians centres (POCs) in Malakal, Juba, Wau and Bentiu get convinced that the better living place is in the residential areas, unless we can travel freely across South Sudanese borders without fear of being targeted – then yet the country has a long way to go in search of freedom and democracy.

The promises of democracy must be brought back to survival. And again democracy can’t survive in South Sudan unless all the tribes in the nation get united and together craft the democracy and freedom principles of the real face, not the fake one. When Juba is unable to deliver services or control us in the country the issues of Abyei, Kafia Kingi, Ufor Nias, Panthou/Heglig, Kiir Adem and Kaka will not be attended to and that is and will be a great loss to the country, with Kenya encroaching at Nadapal and Uganda at Pajok border areas South Sudan as a country won’t be worth creation. Until today all of us are not free because our country’s politics is being controlled by individuals’ names, not policies.

Ariik Atekdit holds a bachelor degree in education in bio/chemistry from Upper Nile University. He has published many analytical articles on South Sudan politics.  He has formerly served as a journalist and a freelancer. He can be reached @ ariqdudic@gmail.com

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. PaanLuel Wël website (SSB) do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

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