Letter to President Kiir: There are Greater Incentives in Life than a Political Office

Posted: April 25, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Columnists, Junub Sudan, Mayen Ayarbior, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By David Mayen Dengdit, Denver, USA

Salva Kiir

President Kiir paying his last respect during the public viewing of the body of the late Gen. James Ajonga Mawut, chief of general staff of the SPLA

April 25, 2018 (SSB) — Last week, in reference to opposition demands that you step down, you responded that you would not do it because “nobody can do it.” You were quoted as saying: “what is my incentive in bringing peace if it is the peace that I will bring then I step aside? Bashir did not do it when we were fighting with him.”

The question that pops into our minds would be: can a lucrative exit package be an acceptable incentive? What of an internationally and continentally brokered guarantee of temporary exile (only during the interim period), head of state level covered expenses, and no prosecution agreement?

My motive behind writing this notes is not cynical by any means, I am my own master of my conscience.  My motive is to draw the attention of president Kiir Mayardit, who I would want to be proud of as a citizen of South Sudan, to the fact that: aside from the presidency there are many other incentives that have made other African presidents quit.

In case you are looking for examples of statesmen who rose above personal interest, Bashir is not good enough an example. Here are some from farther north: Husni Mubarak (Egypt) and Zein Aldin Bin Ali (Tunisia); from the east: most recently Haile Mariam Desalegn (Ethiopia) and to some greater consideration, Raila Odinga (Kenya), Mualimiu Nyerere (Tanzania), Daniel Arab Moi (Kenya). To the west: Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria), Geri Rawlings (Ghana), and Charles Tailor (Liberia, no matter the consequence). To the south: Nelson Mandela (South Africa).

There are concepts of “the greater good” or “something greater than myself” which have driven great men to take bold decisions with one incentive in mind: “peace for my people,” is that incentive.

Mr. President, the street in South Sudan beyond your myopic and selfish advisors may differ about many things, but one which is that “the possibility of peace in South Sudan is far much greater without president Kiir and Dr. Riek’s involvement in the coming government.”

 Whether you are a Dinka supporter of the president or Nuer supporter of Riek, or in it for the money and better lucrative job opportunities, you must accept it as an objective fact. The greater Nuer will not accept President Kiir and greater Dinka will not accept Dr. Riek. Two and only two solutions will present themselves: fight and destroy the country or step aside.

People don’t have to hate either of you, the two men, but just look at South Sudan’s current miserable condition. Massacres along tribal lines, mass exodus towards all directions out of the country, starvation and famine, mass rapes and killings, destruction of villages and pillage, economic collapse, social fabric shattered, you name it. All are in one country and suffered by one people.

Some of those names mentioned above quit presidency because of mass demonstrations in their countries. They might have thought to themselves: what if such demonstrations became violent and turned into a civil war? What would happen to “my people, the people”?

Mr. President, Beny, peaceful coexistence among “the people” is the greatest incentive for making the decision to step down. Please take it and make us proud of our president who quit for the greater good of his country. Maybe, for reasons beyond your intentions, things got out of hand. It’s no longer about you as a person.

Your advisors who are enjoying YOUR power more than you yourself enjoy it, have always said: “no one can bring stability to South Sudan except president Kiir.” Don’t listen to them because you are far much greater in our history books than all of them sycophants combined. That single bold decision to quit, in addition to your greater contribution to the liberation of South Sudan, will make “the people” remember you as a great man.

The author, David Mayen Dengdit, has a Bachelor Degree in Economics and Political Science from Kampala International University (Uganda), Masters in International Security from JKSIS-University of Denver (USA), and Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of London. He is the author of “House of War (Civil War and State Failure in Africa) 2013”. You can reach him via his email address: ayarbior@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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