Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Is President Kiir's National Dialogue (ND) Another one for the Garbage Can?

The recent call for a national dialogue by the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, is a welcome initiative. While those of us who've been following the trend of political issues in South Sudan will remain skeptical until tangible results are seen, it's always a responsible thing to welcome any initiative that insinuates peace and nonviolent way of solving our problems. 

Since the president has set up similar committees in the past, it would be a good idea for the president to make sure that this initiative is broad-based and well-tasked to its logical conclusion.

One of the problems with Kiir's ND, however, is the exclusion of the IO as IO forces are causing inconveniences and suffering to civilians in the Equatorias. Since South Sudan is still at war, the president would benefit from the inclusion of Riek Machar's faction and all the fighting forces in South Sudan. We tend to complain that westerners want a regime change but when local initiatives are started, they tend to be politicized and geared towards face-saving instead of being used to actually solve the problem. 

Dr. Riek Machar is part of the problem in South Sudan so he should always be included in any process leading to peace and togetherness. Since Riek Machar has a sizeable number of supporters, their inclusion in the ND, though hard, should be tried for the sake of the country. No one has ever said that peace was easy!



Instead of using ND as a political tool meant to show the world that 'we are doing something' as Joseph Mum Machar recently did at the United Nations, it would be wise of the president to actually use this initiative to end the war hard as that might seem. It's not only the government supporters who are expected to 'dialogue.' It's those who find it hard to come together that should be brought together through this ND.

South Sudanese are not only suffering, they also are tired of war. Whether these civilians support IO or they support IG, they are suffering and tired of war. This is why it'd  be  ill-advised to use this ND as a smokescreen to tell the world 'we are doing something.' 

Since every government initiative since 2005 has never been followed in the way it was intended, the leadership in Juba should understand why people would be skeptical about ND. Good things have always been uttered but no good deeds have ever followed from the utterance of such good deeds.

In his independence speech on July 9, 2011, the president had this to say: 

"Let all the citizens of this new nation be equal before the law and have equal access to opportunities and equal responsibilities to serve the motherland. We are all South Sudanese. We may be Zande, Kakwa, Nuer, Toposa, Dinka, Lotuko, Anyuak, Bari and Shiluk, but remember you are South Sudanese first!" 

The president and his cabinet didn't respect such good words as the country is more tribalized than ever before. It's therefore crucial for the leadership to make sure that this ND doesn't become another failure for the history books. 

"Transparency and accountability is pivotal.  Official corruption has been one of our major challenges during the interim period.  In order to develop our country, and deliver on the important goals of our National Development Plan, it is critical that we fight corruption with dedication, rigour, and commitment," the president had said. 

Unfortunately, corruption remained rampant; transparency became a taboo and the National Development Plan was just another useless book initiative on the shelf. 

For the president to be taken seriously, he has to produce results. Good words don't equal goods until the latter is realized. It's time for the president to prevent this ND from becoming another one for the garbage can.



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.