South Sudan: Looking for Incentives in the Bare Land

Posted: April 30, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By Malith Alier, Perth, Australia

April 30, 2018 (PW) — It is not only bullet battles being fought in South Sudan but also words and phrases are at the front and end of the political soul of the nation. Political leaders including the president are wrongly or rightly quoted by media wherever and whenever, they attempt to explain themselves to the sceptical, traumatised masses.

While visiting Khartoum late last year, president Kiir said something to El Bashir and social media went frenzy. He murmured to Bashir that the vote to separate was imposed by the majority in 2011.

This time round it’s what will be my “incentives” if I sign myself out of peace agreement as the opposition demanded. To put this in context, I should define the term incentive as in Merriam Webster dictionary:

INCENTIVE: something that incites or has a tendency to incite to determination or action

Wow, so, nothing incites the president and his government to action at this depressing time. This means that the president has no determination to bring peace to South Sudan as he contrarily claimed in the past.War, destitution, refugee/IDP crisis, cattle rustling, child abduction, clan feuds, corruption, hyperinflation and public servants going on for several months without salaries are no incentives to incite anyone in government to genuinely engage in peace pursuits.

We had been falsely made to understand that this year and that year was the year for peace. 2015 was the year to bring peace as was claimed.

Under the above definition, the president should have been incited by the suffering of the people. However, under another definition the only thing that incites the president and the current dormant parliament is staying put in power come rain or shine.

The South Sudanese leader and his government have taken advantage of the populace, traumatised by longest war in Africa and oblivious of their political rights.

Jaffar Neimery of the Sudan, less than this time into the war had already fallen on his political sword in 1985. War started in the south on June 1983 and by April 1985 Neimery was deposed regardless of his attempts to fight on.

Another thing that is troubling about the incentive speech is that, Bashir has become a role model for Kiir hence he said that by the time the 2005 peace agreement was signed the Sudanese dictator did not resigned.

Bashir didn’t polarise his country the way Kiir has done South Sudan. Dinka and Nuer have been torn apart by Kiir and Riek. Over the years, other tribes have followed suit.

The third problem was how the detainees were spared, something he regrets. This is an issue for the former detainees because they knew what became of their love affair. They were partakers in the love triangle of Kiir-Riek-FDs.

It is sometimes misplaced to blame external forces while leaving behind the culprits at home. The international community was not there when you started quarrelling over the spoils of 2005 peace agreement and long-term power prospect.

In the event of war as it eventuated, it is the people who have nothing to do with power who suffer. Children, women and other vulnerable folks bear the brunt of the conflict. Neighbouring countries are partakers in our manmade disaster.

It is about time the belligerents begin to identify incentives to bring the war to an end and make way for the new generation free from the baggage of the so-called liberation era. This generation of liberation knows nothing a part from war-making and endless negotiations as is the case at the moment.

Gradually, the citizens are beginning to realise that the long-term interest of the country is not tied to Kiir or Riek or any other unresponsive autocrats. Former members of parliament, army generals and other citizens now call upon the president to go for the sake of peace.

Recently, we witnessed Jacob Zuma of South Africa and Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia leave power. This is the honourable thing someone in the position of trust authority do when they no longer rule effectively. If you are no longer having trust of half of the country, it’s a good idea to call it quit.

Hailemariam in his private new life is calling on president Kiir to go just like he has done in February. This is something he couldn’t do during his time in office as Ethiopian PM and also as IGAD Chairman.

So much political ground has been lost and there is no way it can be recovered. Its difficult to rewind the political clock and those who read well can move with the clock.

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