With Insecurity and Tribalism the SPLM Will Not Lead the South to Independence
By: Akic Adwok, UK
has been hard to believe that a virgin region like Southern Sudan could get worst in
committing untold atrocities in the time of peace than it used to be in the
time of war.
It has been
heart-breaking to see this nation of more than 10 million people convulsed by
political violence and tribalism that its government seems increasingly
incapable and unwilling to halt the mounting vices. I believe it's the insecurity
and tribalism that scares some of our potential leaders and keeps them awake at
night more than other things else.
increasing localized tribal conflicts and instances of insecurity are
progressively eroding the relative stability in South Sudan. Many people have been
forcibly displaced from their villages by tribal conflicts.
under Mr. Salva Kiir has primarily failed its responsibility to protect and
secure its citizens. This government has become disabled to professionalize its
security and judicial system in order to increase the chances of stability of
A lot of
communities are complaining that they do not see the government protection and
security in their areas, and that it is better if they arm themselves for
worry, however, is the continuous infighting between South Sudan communities, which of
course is not a new phenomenon, but has only reached the alarming rate of mass
murders and massacres.
the Dinka of Ngok and Dongjol did in the villages of the innocent peaceful
Shilluk people of Anakdiar and Abanimo this year in UpperNileState. Look at how these Dinkas
used SPLA guns and ammunitions to kill their neighboring tribes with impunity
and stop them fishing in SobatRiver.
be the future of UpperNileState and of Southern Sudan if the same situation
continues to recur time after time? Anarchy, Chaos, Wounds and Deaths!
vices of tribalism and ethnic infighting are not occurring in isolation of other
important factors. They are seriously related to land and cattle ownership. The
cattle had been the main source of tribal tensions and clashes in the past and
this is still going on today despite the SPLM/A that claims to have liberated
the people of South Sudan from the burdens of oppressions.
proliferation of modern machine-arms from SPLA stores, these tribal fighting
have become more lethal and destructive than they use to be in the past when
the fighters used local traditional weapons.
doubt, the mounting insecurities and tribalism in the South could delay or even
jeopardize the long-awaited independence of South Sudan. So far, so bad, these
social evils have hindered freedom of movement and settlement for the people of
these continuous vices are damaging the prospects for any successful
reintegration and integration of the communities of South Sudan into a one nation that is a
sine qua non for qualifying for an independent country.
If the GoSS
and the SPLM are really for the interest of the people of South Sudan, then they should become
serious to develop clear and coherent security strategies all the citizens of Southern Sudan, irrespective of their
in security measures as is the case of the GoSS and the SPLA today is not
something to ignore or take for granted with an expected miracle from I
do-not-know-where. It is a question of valuable lives of the citizens. As much
as the GoSS, SPLM and SPLA leaders are so sensitive to surround themselves with
security bodyguards, the same sensitivity should also be applied to the
Southerners need security as a priority for him or her to live in peace and
contribute to development functions. Even the relief organizations need
security in the first place before they could distribute whatever they intend
to help the people of Southern Sudan with.
One day I
raised the lack of a security strategy with several officials of SPLM/A here in
the United Kingdom, and I discovered with
dismay that for them the security meant mainly monitoring, identifying the
patterns of abuses, detecting the killers, and reporting and sharing the
information among the citizens.
sets of activities are important but they represent just the beginning the
ultimate goals: responding to human rights violations, working with the
competent authorities, addressing impunity, and redressing the loss. Tribal
tensions could get eased pro-actively through greater support for local
authorities to organize joint peace-building meetings on the basis of
reconciliation after identifying the bad elements and punishing them for the
should take a more proactive stance to provide physical security to all the
civilians under imminent tribal threat of violence. There should never be any
discrimination between communities in this regard.
current status of SPLA forces and their equipments, the mission should focus on
conflict prevention and tension diffusion initiatives rather than too-late
reactions. Some time
found it very disturbing that the GoSS funds for many years did not allocate
resources for protection and security at the grass-roots levels. Everything is
budgeted and finished up at the high level that is often detached from the real
situations on the ground, except when things have fallen apart. These high
level security officials are fond of investigating the already-committed crimes
with irreparable damages rather than preventing them.
security is about prevention of losses in life and properties more than
investigations of what had gone wrong and evil in the society. The GoSS needs
strong preventive police who are well trained in law and order, and in
counseling for the victims and potential criminals.
SPLM-ruling party has failed to understand that lack of peace dividends in all
States of Southern Sudan have far-reaching implications that could threaten the
success of the CPA and independence of South Sudan.
SPLM leadership has proven that it will never ever lead Southerners to
independence. Thus, a swift change is needed if the pathetic situation has to
improve in the South.
words, President Salva Kiir must go home with his kitchen cabinet to pave the
way for betterment of the South. International engagement is urgently needed
here to rescue the South Sudan from the brink of the unfolding leadership
crisis in the South under SPLM dominance.
perilous situation is being ignored amid the focus on the indictment of President
Al-Bashir by the International Criminal Court. Yet this situation is more
dangerous than the ICC case as far, as the condition of the common citizens on
the ground is concerned.
So far, the
social services and livelihood opportunities for communities have remained
minimal while tribal tensions and localized conflicts are on the rise.
is also facing an economic crisis due to the drop in oil prices. This is
creating a potential for new economic insecurity in addition to the social one.
If these threats are not addressed urgently, they will block the bright
prospects for independence of South Sudan as well as peace in the whole Sudan.