(Hustin Luku SR, South Sudan, MAY/27/2017, SSN;) - Overview: Several points should be made regarding
“Republican Order for the Reconstitution of the National Dialogue Steering Committee” and Membership composition. The data collected on each individual member shows that Membership composition is not inclusive, but exclusive and dominated by one ethnic group mostly from two regions of South Sudan (formally Upper Nile and Bhar Al-Ghazal) currently, Warrap and northern Bhar Al-Ghazal, Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile States. It is not a national dialogue; rather it’s a dia-state dialogue.
In addition, some members are from one family, for instance; Lt. Gen. Pieng Deng is a half brother of Dr. Francis Deng, as well as Ms. Lily Albino is a daughter of Rtd. Maj.Gen. Albino Akol Akol. Data collected when analyzed on key positions, ethnicity, political parties, gender and professional association affiliations etc. leads to the conclusion that it’s not a national dialogue, but a fraud and a scam to manipulate the current situation to benefit Jieng council of elders (JCE), buying time, mislead international community as well as insulting to the intelligence of South Sudanese citizens and friends of South Sudan.
The objective of a dialogue is not to analyze things, or to win an argument, or to exchange opinions or to pre-determine the outcome of dialogue or pre-written dialogue resolutions. Rather, it is to suspend your opinions and to look at the opinions of other parties into dispute, to listen to everybody’s opinions, to suspend them, and to see what all that means in resolving political crisis, peace without justice, land grabbing, marginalization and exclusion from administration of the country, mono ethnic politics and centralization of political, economic, administrative and military powers in the hands of few or two ethnicities.
SSND in its current status will not achieve everlasting peace, but rather it will create more division, suffering, killings, and political instability in the region. The call for dialogue is short on details of how the country would be secured for the oppositions to attend a national dialogue convened by Kiir, when he was the one who led South Sudan to the present Quagmire”.
How would a tribally dominated Government be impartial in addressing the problems it created of bad governance, exclusion of majority of non-Dinka people in the national political process, and the country’s collapsed economy and dysfunctional, illegitimate political institutions?
What South Sudan requires is political settlement through peace talks that includes all parties into the conflicts, but not mono ethnic dialogue or dia-state dialogue. Why mono ethnic dialogue? because it excluded 48 ethnic groups in the refugee camps in the neighboring countries who would love to participate.
The solution to South Sudan man-made political and humanitarian crisis is not mon dialogue, but reforms of government institutions and deliver justice to the victims of land grabbing; rapes; marginalization and exclusion; favoritism; tribalism; lack of promotion of non Dinka public servants; limit President Powers; division of powers to three levels of government; human rights crimes and held criminals and public servant’s thefts who stole 4.5 billion dollars from government coffer accountable.
The solution to South Sudan bad governance is for the current and future government should reflect 66 ethnic groups at all government levels specially security, police, customs, army and public services as well as division of powers to all levels of governments.
The solution to South Sudan political crisis is when South Sudanese is treated equally not based on his or her ethnic groups and employed based on job merits, not of favoritism.
The solution to South Sudan political crisis is encouraging opposition groups whether it armed groups or not they should participate in any national issues. Government’s argument of preventing them is has no logic to it. During the CPA talks, If Khartoum regime would put forward similar argument of “preventing armed groups from peace talks” South Sudanese would be fighting the north today.
What should be done?
If Juba regime still maintains its position of resolving political crisis through dialogue, than the SSND should be under the auspices of an independent international organization such as Initiative of Change Swiss (IofC). IofC has credibility, expertise, experiences, and skills to select members from all parties in the conflict, conduct fair and impartial process in neutral location and submit final report with recommendations.
African Union should replace IGAD lead in negotiation with both government and opposition groups, because most IGAD Members have vested interests in South Sudan and they are not impartial.
African union should encourage and support opposition groups to unite their objectives, and speak in one voice.
Kiir’s government should release political and non-political detainees, because it is key towards political settlement. The current list of detainees is exclusively non-Dinka which raises alarm. Please, see attached detainees list for full picture of injustice and discrimination.
South Sudanese politicians and senior public servants are well known for their high level of corruption. They have sticky fingers that have been implicated in the disappearance of public funds, and development money which more often than not ended up in their private accounts in banks overseas. To combat, financial corruption in South Sudan, it is very important that Western governments should pass law that will prohibits transfer of money from South Sudan to western banks without proper transparency; also the law must force, and persecute the international financial institutions (IFI) and other banks or bankers who fail to disclose any private accounts from South Sudan, and specially if the account is related to statesmen. Failure of the Western governments to act means that the West is encouraging, and abetting the endemic corruption in Africa.
AU,UN,EU and Western governments should find legal mechanism to recover the stolen $4.5 billion from South Sudan and repatriate the fund to pay public servant salaries, development programs and project such as health care, schools and others
Finally, President Kiir’s should put the interest of the nation first, before his personal and tribal interests. Kiir should give peace a chance by consideration stepping down to provide positive environment for political settlement and move South Sudan out of political, economic, humanitarian crisis. The longer Kiir stays in power the worst people suffer in refugee and IDP camps as well as the country suffers economically.
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