Friday, November 24, 2017

The Cardinal Sin of the SPLM

By Pal Chol (Guest Writer)

"When President Salva decreed them out in 2013 for massive corruption and failure to deliver, the war broke out. The results are the ongoing rebellions and the culture of becoming a general in the army one does not command."
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The Cardinal Sin of the SPLM started since its inception where the late chairman gave too much leeway to his commanders. They were emboldened and empowered by the SPLM/A Penal Code and Disciplinary laws to execute soldiers, dismiss and sentence others to life imprisonment. There was no accountability and transparency.

They were abusing their powers maximally. Because there was a war being prosecuted, the chairman did not pay much attention to how the fines imposed on the locals were spent in kind or cash. He was hard on them only in few stances of insubordination and mutinies.

The friction between the liberators and us, the people of South Sudan, did not start in 2005. We came with issues and thorns/ wounds in the hearts all the way from 1983.

The scars are still present. There were moments when the revolutionaries would get into conflict with the UN relief agencies over relief items. They, without any exception, put much of their energy and efforts on wealth creation and self-aggrandizement. The peace of the people was secondary. There was no plan on how the state would be built once the war is over. All these narrations explain the situation we are in now.

The fact that Dr. John Garang and Commander Salva Kiir did not devote their times to holding the commanders responsible for the crimes they committed, was seen as a sign of weakness. The taking of civil populations properties not based on legal procedures was the order of the day.

The lives of volunteer innocent SPLA soldiers were even at their mercies. With the signing of the agreement in 2005 and following the untimely passing of the late chairman, Commander Salva took over the helm of power, the commanders found themselves holding public offices without adequate political experiences and the technical know-how in civil administration. It then became a public knowledge that the commanders mainly those who were close associates and confidants of the late chairman did not get along with President Salva. They were doing things as their whims dictated. I cannot blame President Salva because the commanders were already spoilt beyond reproach.

It was a big and a challenging task for Commander Salva to reform an already indoctrinated group towards non-existent and impractical ideologies. During the liberation days, he, too, had no time to rein in on them as most of his time was spent in the field commanding and directing military operations.

What could have been done before their appointments as commissioners, ministers, and governors, was to train these commanders on state and nation-building. But after the agreement, they just rushed to jockey for positions to acquire wealth. They did not put into practice the little they learned in South Africa. Dr. John Garang instituted CANS (Civil Administration of New Sudan) in 1994; the move and the goal were meant to change the mindsets of the commanders from liberators to rulers and institutionalize the system but they failed to get transformed. 

Commander Salva has not been on good terms with the group allied to the late chairman. Observers said his political and administrative differences with Dr. John Garang were the machinations of those who became popularly known as ‘Garang's Boys’; a jargon coined to refer to the bodyguards of the late chairman and his cronies, who are most of the times accused of influencing the decisions of the late chairman.

When Commander Salva became the President of the Republic, he appointed most of them in many constitutional posts, but they failed to deliver the services to the people and perform the task for which they were assigned. They chose to enrich themselves. The corruption is in the blood of the commanders and should not be expected to get eradicated overnight. When President Salva decreed them out in 2013 for massive corruption and failure to deliver, the war broke out. The results are the ongoing rebellions and the culture of becoming a general in the army one does not command. The cause of the current conflict is because the former comrades quarreled over their wealth and power-sharing with blames and counter-blames over the maladministration.

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*Pal Chol is a concerned South Sudanese. He has written extensively on various South Sudanese websites and in newspapers on social, economic and political issues.  He is reachable atpalcholnyan2016@gmail.com


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.