Sunday, December 15, 2013

SPLM in Crisis: School Boys on the School Playground!

South Sudanese are becoming too simple-minded. Even worse, we’re starting to adopt a culture of ‘if you’re not with us then you’re with them.’ This Bushitic, Reaganitic and Thatcheritic political simplism wouldn’t be in anyone’s favor in South Sudan.
No! South Sudanese society is more complicated than that simplistic, scare-tactic sorry politicking.

The current wrangling within SPLM is not only an embarrassment to the current leaders and the ‘party’. It’s also a desecration of liberation history and abuse to the fallen heroes and voices of the liberation struggle starting from 1947.
Who is clean in the SPLM? Who has built and developed his/her constituency to raise any voice against anyone? Leaving the government doesn’t translate into being free of corruption! SPLM leadership is corrupt to the core.

Good leaders don’t whine; they initiate methods that lead to resolution of the problems in hand regardless of how such methods affect their lives. It’s time for the SPLM leadership to stop accusations and counter-accusations and come up with workable solutions to the country’s problems.
Stop telling us what we already know. We know what problems the country is facing and we know how incompetent SPLM leadership is! What we need to hear are appreciable strategies to solve the problems.

Riek Machar, Pagan Amum and Nyandeng de Mabior, among others, came out in force to accuse the party (mostly confused with the government) of failures of its leadership. The failure of the party (government) is apparent. We know it. But we don’t know of anyone who’s come out to clearly spell out the best way out.  We are sick of hearing complaints against Kiir and failures of the party by members of the same party!

Kiir Mayardit, Wani Igga and Kuol Manyang, in response to Riek and company, acted like schoolboys: “You abuse me, I abuse you! You tell me I’ve done this, I tell you you’ve done that!” How old are these people again?

If leadership is lacking in South Sudan, then what happened to the wisdom of tribal Africanness, of age? What happened to the integrity of the African elder man?
We all know 1991 was a disaster that almost derailed the people’s struggle. This is a historical fact Riek Machar and Lam Akol have to deal with forever; whether they are dead or alive; whether they like it or not. However, reminding us of 1991 all the time is political blame and grand irresponsibility we don’t need. We need history mentioned to improve the country not to destroy it, to divide it and win apologists!

And then president Kiir is talking of having never ever betrayed the people’s struggle! Really? Isn’t that same Kiir who was part of those sent by the Sudanese government to kill their brothers in Anyanya II in the late 70s and early 80s? Wasn’t it Riek Machar who convinced the same Kiir in 2004 to come back to the movement? Kiir almost betrayed South Sudan at the eve of CPA signing! The saddest thing is that President Kiir is doing exactly what he accused John Garang of in 2004.
Mr. President, we are writing history down so protect your legacy!

Riek is corrupt and so is Kiir! Riek once betrayed the aspirations of the people! Kiir is betraying the aspirations of the people now! Riek showed his incompetence in his handling of Nasir-group! Kiir has proven now beyond any reasonable doubt that he’s incompetent. So, gentlemen, we’ve seen you! Can you now sit and talk before you embarrass yourselves even more…and destroy the nation?

Mr. Wani Igga, you terribly failed South Sudan in your response to complaints raised by the 14 members of the Political Bureau. Instead of acting like a leader, you acted like a teenage boy in a school backyard. You need to show leadership!
We know Riek Machar and the group are not any better. They are equally corrupt and they publicly criticize the party they assume to be protecting. That we know is wrong! They need to seek internal avenues to solve the problem.

However, what they are saying is the natural truth. SPLM is a mess and things need to change! Small minded people are saying Nyandeeng de Mabior is spoiling her legacy by standing with Riek Machar. They see Riek Machar as dirty and untouchable.  Well, they are either too self-righteous to acknowledge the  problems, bigoted or they are those who see the world in black and white: “If you don’t agree with us then you agree with them.”
This is very common among the Jieng of Jonglei; especially the Nyarweng, Hol, Twi and Bor people. They are very self-righteous as if the world revolves around them. Okay, a number of prominent liberation leaders come from their tribes: Dr. John was Twi, Arok Thon was Twi, Akuot Atem was Twi, Kuol Manyang is Bor, Majier was Bor …and Nyandeeng herself being Twi…among others. However, that doesn’t make you better than anyone. Stick with ideas rather than personalities.

As much as we don’t like Pagan and company as they are, like Kiir and company, two sides of the same coin, we have to learn to acknowledge the truth. Why convene National Liberation Council (NLC) meeting before the Political Bureau (PB) meeting? Leaders don’t avoid problems, they solve them!
Those bashing Nyandeeng need to grow up and look at what’s happening in South Sudan. John Garang stood with Riek Machar in Nairobi and welcome him back after their bloody disagreement. He also made Riek Machar the third senior leader in the SPLM. Maybe we should blame John Garang for bringing Riek back to the SPLM. History is known, but it should not divide us!  


Kuir ë Garang is the editor of 'The Philosophical Refugee' website. Twitter: @kuirthiy

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