Joining the Arab League: An alternative political solution or just a political suicide?

Posted: March 11, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Is joining Arab League an alternative to South Sudan problems or just a political suicide?

By Akol Abiong Bol, Juba, South Sudan

March 11, 2018 (SSB) — I was shocked by the news that South Sudan in form of its leaders have decided to applied for Arab league membership. As the young nation many called it so, I believe that building our national welfare should be better than many memberships with nothing to gain. If choice is to be made I will rather prepared Arabs because of our binding principles but not to the extent of compromising our majority interest.

On 9 July 2011 South Sudan became the 54th independent country in Africa and immediately after less than a year, South Sudan became a member to many states as below:

On 14th July 2011, South Sudan was officially admitted to the world leading body.

The United Nations is an intergovernmental organization tasked to promote international cooperation and to create and maintain international order.  Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, promoting human rights, fostering social and economic development, protecting the environment, and providing humanitarian aid in cases of famine, natural disaster, and armed conflict.

The UN is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. In line with its objectives, United Nations has broker the long civil war in Africa between the Southern and Northern parts of the Sudan. The hope of international community was that South Sudan is going to be one of the potential growing young nations in some years to come. In reverse our leaders decided willingly to focus much on high corruption trend and other human right abuses. South Sudan became the topic of worse indicators in the world. Things which reflect national integrity have been compromise in all cases which have trigger human suffering.

In December 2013, a political power struggle broke out between President Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar, as the president accused Machar and ten others of attempting a coup de tata. Fighting broke out, igniting the South Sudan civil war. Ugandan troops were deployed to fight alongside South Sudanese government forces against the rebels. The United Nations has peacekeepers in the country as part of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to fostered security and other fundamental objectives of United Nations. Numerous ceasefires were mediated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IG) and SPLM-IO as the main parties to the conflict and were subsequently broken. A peace agreement was signed in Ethiopia under threat of United Nations sanctions for both sides in August 2015. Machar returned to Juba in April 2016 and was appointed First vice president. Following a second breakout of J1 dog fight in Juba, Machar was replaced as First vice-president by Taban Deng and he fled the country as the conflict erupted again. Soon after Machar left Juba many rebel groups emerged in Equatoria region, Upper Nile regions and some parts of Bhar el gazal.

Up to 300,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the war according to UN report including notable atrocities committed by both warring parties. About 3 million people have been displaced in a country of 12 million, with about 2 million internally displaced and about 2 -3 million having fled to neighboring countries of Kenya, DRC,Ethiopia, Sudan, and Uganda.

On 27 July 2011 South Sudan became the 54th country to join the African Union. Joining the above unions, South Sudan was having a hope that after a long civil war citizen will enjoy the true meaning of being a nation. The objectives of the AU include but not limited to: to achieve greater unity and solidarity between the African countries and Africans, accelerate the political and social-economic integration of the continent, to encourage international cooperation, taking due account of the Charter of the United nations and the Universal decal rations of human rights, to promote peace, security, and stability on the continent, to promote democratic principles and institutions, popular participation and good governance, to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights in accordance to African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and other relevant Human rights Instrument. And finally, to promote co-operation in all fields of human activity to raise the living standard of African peoples.

On 7 December 2011, The Republic of South Sudan has formally joined IGAD. IGAD has been a key partner and broker the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the Southern and Northern Sudan in 2005. Its main objectives include: Conflict Prevention, Management, and Resolution, and Humanitarian Affairs; Infrastructure Development (Transport and Communications); and Food Security and Environment Protection.

On 2nd March 2014, South Sudan has become a member state of East Africa Community (EAC). This body aimed to strengthen the ties between the members through a common market, a common customs tariff, and a range of public services to achieve balanced economic growth within the region among others. The hope was that given the fact South Sudan has less economic ability and educational constraints will benefit from its membership which is not the case.

From the above unions, South Sudan has been at the negative part seen it’s joining because they were not able to comply with unions objectives in principles that governing those international bodies. Instead base on negative issues like wars, conflicts, corruptions to mention few. The reasons being our hopeful stand has been compromise by our leaders who got an opportunity to lead in the Independence period era.

Therefore, joining Arabs league does not only dictate the will of South Sudanese majority but undermine the question of whether we are Arabs nation or not?. Conditions of joining the league clearly tell that we are not. A member state should be an Arab Muslim nation with its official language as Arabic. In a political point of view where do we (South Sudan) fit here and what do we need to gain more importantly when joining Arab league that will be seem unique and alternative in solving South Sudan problems? Are we Arabs nation or do we need to have two official languages in our country? There are many Arab nations who are currently in turmoil like Syria which take the lead in world worse indicator.

To have an account on a foreign policy perfectives and what we should do as a nation, have a brief definition of international relations: is defined as  the way in which two or more nations interact with and regard each other, especially in the context of political, economic, or cultural which is not reflected in South Sudan case. South Sudan after independent deploys semi illiterate to market its existent in the geographical world in the name of being the sons, daughters and relatives of the liberators. Without proper external policies South Sudan will be at war with every member state when its objectives are not fulfilled which will not happen even in heaven. External policy is reflected in internal policy and as long as we continued with liberation mind, our suffering will be eminence and therefore, we have to respect international standard norms and voices. Doing so, we shall have international recognition in joining more bodies which are far better than Arab leaguing when seem in comparison angle.

Last but not the least,, if we managed or fail to success, then our options will be either rejoining Sudan or ask God to give us an independent nation free from international community where corruption, nepotism, abuses of human rights, conflicts, etc. are permitted by law.

Finally, an average citizen of South Sudan in a month earns less than a dollar while government officials called it a “booming economy”. When I look at this one can conclude that we are at the belt-tightening stage period. Therefore, our leaders need to rethink of as to why we lose over 2 million people in the war. To me joining Arabs league is a political suicide that attracts international criticism from the close alliance of South Sudan like Israel that came up openly stating that South Sudan has the confusing stance in some issues.

The write is the graduate BSc in Statistics and Demography, college of Social and Economic studies, university of Juba, can be reaching @ email address:

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