Friday, October 11, 2019

The peace agreement belongs to the people not leaders



By Pal Chol Nyan*

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The people need servants this time not ministers and governors who think and consider themselves as masters or mistresses.
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It seems the partners to the peace process are forgetting that the agreement belongs to the people of South Sudan. They are so desperate to get appointed to positions of authority to enrich themselves and to impoverish the hoi polloi.

Having heard from various stakeholders, it is the SPLM-IO and NDM that have voiced their concerns about what is at stake when the government is formed before the number of states, their boundaries and the security arrangements are sorted out.

I think the concern is that the 2016 scenario does not repeat itself. South Sudanese have suffered enormously. They need to rest ya jamma! We need what Dr John Garang used to call "a just, honourable and a durable peace for a sustainable development”. Let it not be what has always been a contractual peace between and among the warring SPLM splintered groups.

Sustainable peace comes with the smooth implementation of the agreement in letter and spirit. We don't need peace that only divides positions but peace with dividends. The people need servants this time not ministers and governors who think and consider themselves as masters or mistresses.

To whom it may concern

When politicians campaign in an election, they tell the people, ‘give me your votes. I will build schools, roads, health centers, provide water and security.’

During the 2010 elections, we heard such political statements marred by hypocrisies such as ‘we liberated you.’
 After we were trapped into voting some of them into offices, nothing but war and destruction followed. Some won the election dishonestly. People had referendum to secede in mind; that was why most of the voters supported them.
I am writing to say that in case you form the government solo on Nov 12th or together with whoever, remember to bring people who will serve and are committed patriots for that matter.

Beware of the people who come only to sign pre-sale contracts with foreign companies to satisfy their material needs. That group of people prefer to use state resources to settle old scores with their opponents and would wish that the instability continues because war is their only source of income. They also find solace in political confusions because they mindless of the suffering of others as long as their bellies are full.

I cannot beat my chest and state with certainty that those in the government are or have been there because they are more loyal. It is not out of question that they may be pursuing their vested interests. The people of South Sudan need tangible services not personalities. Some of us were bodyguards and adjutants during the war. We know our commanders turned politicians well. I implore with you not to bring people who will come and confront the citizens with the constitution.

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The author is a concerned citizen and an opinion writer who has written extensively on South Sudanese political, social and economic issues. Email palcholnyan2016@gmail.com

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in the article do not reflect the views of "The Philosophical Refugee" but that of the author. 

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.