Category: Opinions Written by News Desk
By Kuyang Harriet Logo Mulukwat
Prophecies can come from the most unlikely sources sometimes. Before South Sudan’s independence and the days leading up to it, El Bashir, the President of the Sudan had stated that Southern Sudanese cannot rule themselves. His statement carried little meaning at the time and we all scorned at the message. Yet now, I am beginning to rethink what he said. Had he made that projection form traits exhibited by regions emerging from conflict or had he studied South Sudanese traits and came to the conclusion that internal squabbles are imminent? Several post conflict states, have in their quest for democracy and the rule of law had to face challenges, one of which has been civil wars. Terrible civil wars, like the one in our backyard.
The current situation in South Sudan is worrying and for obvious reasons – but questions remain as to what the problem really is. The conflict is escalating amidst cease fire agreements which never hold and peace agreement strategies that are continuously rejected by both parties to the conflict. The ethnic dimensions to the conflict are getting worse and the latest events in Western Equatoria are troubling not just for South Sudanese, but the international community and friends of South Sudan.
Not sure if the squabbles are about resources, ethnicity or heterogeneity - But the situation is bad and it is becoming extremely difficult to pinpoint the exact causes – I think that extreme inequalities, a high amount of sub cultures are unfavorable for stability and democracy. The extreme differences is also fuelling even the smallest of fights (I know so). The many and diverse cultures have been politically transformed into severe polarization between the antagonistic groups – just take Western Equatoria as an example. The issues on the ground are quite simple – the co- existence between pastoralists and agriculturalists is problematic. In fact the interaction between the two groups is characterized by an arrogant disregard of the livelihoods of the agriculturalists. The agriculturalists on the other hand must rise up against the pastoralists who they perceive as a threat to their livelihoods.
How the government has failed to see this beats me. The politicization of a mere clash of livelihood traits is indicative of the nature of a divisive regime, whose actions will further lead to the disintegration of South Sudan. At a slight inter-ethnic problem, the government deploys heavy military forces – the outcome is obvious!
Heterogeneity in South Sudan is perceived as a challenge to democracy, social advancement and has the potential to destabilize even mature democracies. Therefore a predominant dimension of heterogeneity in South Sudan relates to the unequal distribution of power, resources, income, gender inequalities and ethnic fractionalization - and this is extremely dangerous and requires government’s commitment and efforts to change the trajectory of things – yet on the contrary government is seen as relaxed or in fact exacerbating the situation by always deploying military forces, of one tribal group to suppress the voices and issues of others.
The prevailing self-identifications – usually on the basis of tribal groups or regionalism is beginning to fragment a country born purely out of the yearning to fight for justice, freedom and equality. How then do South Sudanese explain the constant killings, and the ever worsening humanitarian situation to the world? How then do South Sudanese explain that, the past wars which had been fought on a secessionist agenda and to liberate the people of this nation – is perhaps back firing in the face of the same people who have been central to the cause of South Sudanese? Now these are not easy questions, but the dire situation in South Sudan is very bad – the country disintegrates daily and for now very apparent reasons. If it is not lives lost during cattle raids or revenge killings, then it is an inter- ethnic fight getting very bloody or the gallant sons and daughters of this land dying at the battlefield.
We are just basically dying by the swords of our own hands – not such a good thing after fighting hard to attain freedom. The lives of the heroes who shed their blood for the independence should have been the last blood and a memory of what truly cements our national foundation (just like our national anthem states).The message that our constant wars and squabbles is sending out there is grim and has reinforced El Bashir’s prophecy that we cannot govern ourselves. If I were the leadership, I would do my best to make things right to trash El Bashir’s prophecy. But I am just a common woman and at best I can put my opinions here which I hope might reach the leadership and a section of our society who might agree with my candid opinion.