Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Juba Republic: South Sudan Reduced to a CITY STATE

Photo: UN.ORG
South Sudan is beyond the question of whether or not it is a FAILED STATE. It is, unequivocally, a Failed State; and it would soon collapse completely if nothing is done by the regional leaders and other well-wishers. The then promising new country in the Nile Valley has been reduced to a City State. There is no order in South Sudan and there is no South Sudan as a cohesive state. There’s only the Lawless Republic of Juba. Even at the suburbs of Juba, lawlessness reigns infinitely. In the countryside and in other towns, people are living in a different, disjointed universe: Death, Famine, Insecurity, Diseases, Hopelessness…

Humanitarian agencies now say that about 1.4 billion dollars is required to help South Sudanese civilians. Over 3 million people have been displaced and many more face starvation as relief workers cannot reach them because of impassable roads or insecurity. The UNICEF recently reported that over 70% of school-aged children aren’t in school. So, not only has South Sudan’s present being destroyed, her future is already under complete destruction.

Towns in South Sudan are disconnected by impassable roads, insecurity and targeted tribal killings. Still, despondent civilians brave death on these insecure roads as they flee fighting. David Shearer, the head of UN Mission in South Sudan, recently said “that Government forces are now approaching the town of Maiwut, 25 kilometres north-west of Pagak. I’m gravely concerned by this ongoing situation.” This is sad because President Kiir, during his speech on the 6th anniversary of South Sudan’s independence, declared a ‘unilateral ceasefire’ and emphasised the need for the National Dialogue, which he created in December last year.  As Juba talks peace and ND, it continues to pursue war, thereby prolonging the suffering of the people.

When South Sudanese officials say that ‘things are calm in the country,’ they mean that things are calm in Juba. As long as Juba is safe, then everything is presumably okay. Even when you get reports of 40 people dying of hunger in Amadi State, things are still considered okay and no condolence messages go to the affect families. These people died of hunger because they’d fled their homes due to insecurity in the area as a result of the fighting between government’s and rebel’s forces.  And around the town of Torit in Imatong State, over 250 orphans were caught in the battle between the warring parties and the UN had to ask the warring parties to give UN officials some access to evacuate the orphans.

There is no longer a country called South Sudan because everything the leadership in Juba is doing is to safeguard the security of Juba not the security of South Sudan. The leadership in South Sudan is confined to the capital with the least interest in the welfare of civilians in other parts of the country.

Unless the African Union comes out strongly with sticks and carrot methodical action, South Sudan would soon be a collection of small tribal states that are belligerent to one another. It would indeed take time and money to make South Sudan a viable state again if nothing urgent is done. The AU, IGAD and the Troika countries [Norway, UK & USA] are watching the horrible happen and not doing much. The country has been reduced to a mere City State as civilians suffer or flee. 

The City State is taking care of itself and its elitist rulers. But then there is no end in sight. 

While some opposition forces are calling for the revitalization of the Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS), others are calling for a completely different political process to bring peace to the country as they consider ARCISS to have collapsed.

There is no leadership in Juba but madness. Recently the president sacked 12 judges because they were striking in favour of the judicial reforms, [two months'] pay and the living conditions. Speaking against the dismissed judges, Akol Paul Kordit, the deputy minister of information, sadly said that “These judges, who were supposed to deliver justice obstructed justice themselves. They denied [sic] our people justice for reasons that could be resolved through administrative channels.” Considering the fact that these judges have not been paid for 2 months, the minister's charges are ridiculous. This is the classic victimisation of the victim.

And regarding the July 9th declaration of the cease-fire by the president, the minister of information, Michael Makuei, argued that the ceasefire excludes the rebels under the former Vice President, Riek Machar. The minister knows very well that such actions lead to increased suffering of civilians.

People have nothing to eat; they cannot travel because of insecurity; the pay doesn’t come for months and when it comes, it cannot buy anything because of nearly 1000% inflation; people cannot speak up for fear of reprisal; there is no national cohesion; different tribes are killing one another daily; officials don’t visit the suffering civilians; and the president hardly leaves Juba unless he’s traveling abroad.

The situation is grim and we are watching it unfold. After Rwanda, the world said, ‘not again!’ But it’s happening again in South Sudan. The once promising state in the Nile Valley is not only now the abode of insecurity and suffering, it has been reduced to the area around the vicinity of its capital.

Follow the author on Twitter @kuirthiy 




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.