People driven solutions are the only way for South Sudan
By Suzanne Jambo
(Monday, 18th Oct 2021) We have learned many lessons during the last ten years, among which is the need for the separation of liberation struggle, peace dividends, and service delivery. We appreciate our ancestors’, fallen heroes’ and former liberators’ sacrifices for our struggles since Anya Nya One and SPLM/A liberation movements. They will be a major part of our national narrative and history books as a legacy for generations to come. A few of those heroes and liberators, unfortunately, betrayed those they fought along side and their fellow citizens. These lessons abound globally, and in a few African nations where liberators have turned into tyrants. South Sudan has provided the latest example. Unaccountable, self-entitled, self-awarding, self-serving all in a bid to compensate for ‘their sacrifices’ during the struggle. It is no wonder that some former liberators often make u-turns away from the very liberation values of justice, equality, liberty and prosperity they claim to have fought for. Instead, self-enrichment for themselves, their families and associates becomes paramount, ignoring and forgetting their constituencies. It is wiser to swiftly transition from liberators’ control and move toward elections, meritocracy, professionalism and consolidating the peace won in the struggle. A new, non-military governmental structure would be necessary to elevate the nation as it rebuilds; a new type of leadership in a post-liberation era. It is both logical and effective to value competence during statehood and nationhood building stage, the best to manage people’s expectations and realizing their dreams.
It’s been ten years since our independence, but we are nearing the end of 2021 with no sign of peace or stability, let alone freedom and prosperity. The world considers us a failed state, and we agree. We are in a coma in the ICU, in need of resusitation. We have been badly damaged by our current rulers. We are not even certain who are our real rulers are. Most people think it’s Kiir and his cronies, but might it actually be the Chinese? Or the NCP and Hemedti? Damaged, yes, but we haven’t lost our will to overcome and prevail. We wasted ten years of patience, ever thinking Kiir might be moved to think and care about his people. He has shown himself, however, to be a souless kleptocrat and murderer. We are ordinary, gravely concerned citizens; a group of dedicated, committed patriots who have no blood on our hands, no looted public funds, and are totally committed to transparency and accountability to ensure no corruption. We represent our diverse communities of We64. We unify, restore hope, peace, reforms, civic empowerment of citizens, education programs, everything to achieve the South Sudan We Want. We demand and expect a permanent constitution which expresses our need for democratic rule and protection of basic rights and liberties. In it will be instilled our values to reinforce our ancient traditions of solidarity and community and to create a new RSS better able to reach out to our neighbors and fellow Africans. We want to build bridges, not barriers. We know that the Troika nations would rather support a peaceful democracy than continue to tolerate a dripping blood tyrant. We want to be a respected, even admired member of the international community. There are three ways to go through life, and they apply equally to individuals, communities and nations alike; we can turn our backs to each other in isolation, be face to face in confrontation or shoulder to shoulder in cooperation. We have decided which will be our path.
In two previous articles, we shared our vision that a people driven peace is the most viable and desirable outcome. And that our solutions are drawn from lessons dearly learned at the hands of once heroic bush fighters, now corrupt traitors. For our solutions address the root causes of our seemingly endless strife, abject poverty and anarchy. We patriotic citizens and opposition groups are committed to work in unison to air differing views on the grave issues of trust building, ethnic divisions, tribalism, regionalism, compromised ethics, corruption, justice, and eliminating impunity. We have fostered dialogue amongst us and reached many agreements that the status quo is intolerable. Our focus is on an alternative leadership structure for our young nation. From these exchanges we have come together in an unshakable stand. We want African and global support in our efforts to free ourselves from the chains that have weighed down on us for a decade. They shall help us to rescue our people from the endless suffering and pain. We know the challenges ahead of us, however we have designed an achievable plan for a 2-years transition into a civilian government. Kiir just announced that he needs two more years, to 2023, in order to prepare for an election, but we ask what can he do in two years that he should have already done during the last ten, 16 years? A transition government can be set in place before the end of 2021. Can we? Just ask any South Sudanese. All the issues that have been left to fester and rot can be addressed. Our lives improved, our spirits lifted and our breaths deeper. We South Sudanese are about to embark together on an adventure to our nation’s rebirth and rediscovery of our vast potential. With the smooth handoff from the transitional government through a fair, free and monitored election to a civilian administered government, the world will witness what is possible when people are the driving force.
Our plans are complete. We are prepared. We are ready
*Suzanne Jambo is the 2017 Steps “We64, peacefully” Founder and Chairperson, a founder in the Red Card Movement’s planned 16th May 2019 protests, an affiliate in the 30th August 2021 nation-wide people’s peaceful protests and a founding member in 2021 CoTOPP, a coalition of “coming together of opposition”
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