Monday, July 21, 2014

Riek and Kiir are two sides of the same coin: failure, incompetence and tribonationalism


Let’s not kid ourselves! South Sudan is a completely tribalized country. We can pretend that only a given section of the society is the problem but history will soon show that the sooner we acknowledge it and find a way to get rid of it or reduce it the better things will be for all of us.

President Kiir Mayardit has ushered in a culture of dirty nepotism and Jieeng-centeredness in his administration, an unfortunate tribonationalism. Regrettably, the leadership will pretend that the administration is not Jieeng-dominated. Even when this kind of behavior and attitude is leading the country nowhere, senior officials still believe nothing is wrong with both the administration and the country as a whole.

If one section of the country isn’t safe in the same city the president lives in then you got to ask yourself: What’s wrong with these leaders?

Instead of devising ways aimed at bridging the tribal divide and possibly use it to bring long-term inter-tribal understanding, the senior officials either further inflame tribal tensions through their careless rhetorics or through lies that easily flash on their faces.

Not only have the officials succeeded in making South Sudan gain number one as the most fragile state, they’ve also brought the country to a new low.

The only head of state who was able to attend South Sudan’s third anniversary ‘celebrations’ was President Museveni of Uganda for obvious reasons. The president of Kenya, Prime Minister of Ethiopia and the president of Sudan didn’t show up.  This is a clear indication of how bad the leadership has failed. But they still think everything is okay. Beats me!

And even worse, they still think there was a coup attempt when the world (even our neighbors) sees no evidence.

Non-Jieeng officials in Kiir’s government are either puppets or self-interest driven folks. If the likes of Dr. Riek Gai and Dr. Lomoro have any true sense of self and care for South Sudan, how come they allow South Sudan Television to be used for divisive politics by the President and people like Malaak Ayuen of SPLA? Such educated people should advise the president regarding the value of different opinions. Instead of using his TV show to instill discipline in SPLA soldiers and to show Nuer people that SPLA has a national face adn intent, Malaak has politicized the show and uses a language that discourages Nuer from the government. How good is that to the president and the country?

Rebellion as I've always maintained, is bad for South Sudan and I’ll never endorse it come what may! However, Dr. Gai and Dr. Lomoro, being the bootlickers they have become without any personal integrity left, should nonetheless let the president know that being criticized or being told that such and such a thing is wrong is not only good for the president, but also, for the nation; because it gives the president an avenue to evaluate his performance.

Riek Machar on the other hand is not doing any better. How can a leader rely exclusively on a unitribal fighting force? Riek’s failures, leadership fantasies and dictatorial tendencies in 1991 are well-documented by Deborah Scroggins, Dr. Lam Akol, Dr. Adwok Nyaba…among others. This means that Riek needs to do more to be seen as a national leader. His administration is overwhelmingly Nuer and his fighting army is made up of the same. Yet Riek is accusing President Kiir of being a tribal leader. Duh!

While Riek Machar didn’t start the current crisis, he’s not done any better than President Kiir. Like President Kiir, he relies on his tribesmen and civilians have been killed in thousands under his leadership. I’ve not seen the national character of Riek Machar! He needs to translate his ‘democratic’ ideas into actions.

While Riek boasts of having supporters from other tribes in South Sudan, one has to realize that all these non-Nuer men are categorically ‘jobbists’, to use Dr. John’s term.  You’ll agree with me that all the men with Riek Machar are men who either lost their jobs or didn’t find any avenue to land well-paying jobs in Kiir’s government. Not a single one can boast of having quit Kiir’s government while still a minister or a senior official. This still brings their national character to question.

President Kiir is both a failure and a tribonationlist but citing that as a reason for joining an armed resistance when one’s primary reason for leaving is the the loss of jobs, isn’t honorable!

Besides, Riek knows that South Sudan is tribally divided; however, he’s not put down any clear modalities that would help bring about inter-tribal understanding. We don’t even know the official policy or political position of Riek Machar and his group. There’s no document except constant and vacuous call for ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom.’  The same Riek now calling for democracy was the one who wanted to ban SPLM-DC of Lam Akol when he (Riek) was Vice President. You can also check the list of his employees when Riek Machar was VP and you’ll be convinced that Riek is as tribonatonalist as Kiir

Both Riek and Kiir are killers, incompetent leaders, care only about remaining or ascending to power at the expense of South Sudanese civilians and they surround themselves with mostly their tribesmen.

These two leaders are a disgrace to South Sudan. I wish their consciences get awakened to give South Sudanese a chance for peace.

While Riek has a better case diplomatically speaking, he risks, again, becoming a greater failure if he doesn't put tribal issues between Jieeng and Nuer into serious consideration. Imagining military victory is mere delusion.  

ON CULTURAL IDENTITY & BELONGING

Dear Melbournians, the South Sudanese people to be precise. Do you think we have seen it all? Do you think we have seen that: I mean in the aftermath of yesteryears, in regard to our culture and the notions around identity and belonging? Do you think we have seen the true reaping of what we sowed years ago? Do you really think so? After all, did we really sow anything like seeds and that there’s something to be reaped? Did we really live it out well to be seen today?

I am sorry to have bothered you, my potential readers, with questions regarding our social, economic, and political location in our host society: Australia. I think we have not seen it all and as a whole: The idea that people are bound by certain values and beliefs of significance to them. This requires cooperation and role-specific obligations on the roles of every man and woman across a given people and their society.

TOLERANCE & INCLUSION


While it is possible for us to racially discriminate or judge people we know, the chances of judging people we know diminish significantly the more we know them. An easy example of the importance of understanding others is the attitude people develop when they want to harm others or when they want to deny them something valuable. Essentially, before you fight someone, you insult them. Insults are attempts at diminishing the value of people, an attempt at estranging them, as Toni Morrison argued in The Origin of Others. It is easy to discriminate against strangers or make others strangers or dehumanized in order to discriminate against them.

Transformational Leadership, Inclusive Institutions and Service Provision

Leadership, given what is happening now in South Sudan, and generally in Africa, fascinates me. And it fascinates me not in a good way but because of the sociopolitical and socioeconomic ills facing the African continent and most of the so-called 'Third World.' To me, South Sudan, now, is a classic case.

Rebellion by disaffected politico-military leaders and repression by the government of South Sudan in Juba have stunted institutional development and leadership growth. This has made service provision almost irrelevant as political survival has taken primacy and supremacy. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

‘Black’ as an Identity Oversimplification and Mockery

Black as a universalized cultural identity of the African Person (AP)* is a residual effect of slave and colonial mentality; a racial/race paradigm. It is a malady I call, conservatively speaking, stuck-in-the-past syndrome of color constraints. Black could be an on-the-street ‘social identifier’ of race figures not a meaningful phenomenon of deep cultural identification on a universal scale.