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South Sudan's Tribes Must Look Ahead by JAIME P. MONFORT

02-01-2020, 06:04 PM
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South Sudan's Tribes Must Look Ahead by JAIME P. MONFORT

    05:04 PM February, 01 2020

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    South Sudan is potentially extraordinarily rich and wealthy with arable land, water resources and mineral wealth. Yet it not only remains extremely poor but miserably governed, reason why extreme poverty is in fact likely to perpetuate.

    South Sudan is a landlocked nation with an area of 644,329 km2 and a population of circa 11 million in 2020 which will increase to 32 million by 2100 according to Population Pyramid. Per capita income which was that of Sudan until 2010 has since then dropped from PPP $3,286 in 2010 to $1,653 in 2012 and $1,920 in 2014 according to World Bank data, then $1,700 in 2016 and $1,600 in 2017 according to the Central Intelligence Agency, making of South Sudan one of the World’s ten poorest nations in 2020. Wealth is very unequally distributed, in addition, with a Gini coefficient of 0.46 in 2010 according to the Central Intelligence Agency. South Sudan has continued to operate since independence with outside donor assistance, to which it is likely to become perpetually dependent, a dramatic outcome. Donor assistance is necessary for take off, that should be it. A country badly governed and managed has no future, and society, no matter how disconnected it might be must dump a malfunctioning leadership, or leadership itself must choose to regenerate what would be a contemporary miracle. I am certainly not very optimistic about South Sudan’s prospects and if I was for instance a hedge fund investor I would choose to short South Sudan as a stock. I have, quite the opposite, been actively involved in building up South Sudan’s new governance since its independence in 2011 as many can in fact attest. Far from improving, the context in South Sudan (regarding governance and corruption to begin with) has only worsened since I started building the South Sudan Presidential Team in November 2017. And analysts think it will continue to deteriorate.

    The governance problem in South Sudan has the same roots as in Libya and is summoned by a Spanish proverb which says “el que parte y reparte se lleva la mejor parte”. There is no doubt the rival tribes, clans and ethnic groups in many nations including Libya and South Sudan do not reach agreement they consider fair and instead, engage in endless fighting temporarily interrupted by peace deals and peace agreements. The issue at stake is that nobody –so long as there is conflict- perceives an arbiter, mediator or referee to be strictly neutral and even more difficult fair. I am ready to step forward in South Sudan in order to convince all the stakeholders post-politics and the South Presidential Team are the most optimal way to move ahead. In the absence of good governance there is little that can be accomplished.

    In Economist Intelligence Unit democracy index 2019 South Sudan is not ranked. In Global Peace Index 2019 South Sudan ranks #161 out of 163 nations. In Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2019 South Sudan ranks #179 out of 180 nations. Finally and although South Sudan is not included in the Global Hunger Index 2019, its neighbor the Central African Republic is the only country suffering from a hunger level considered “extremely alarming”. Africa’s alarming governance crises from the Central African Republic, to South Sudan and Somalia must be resolved before the phenomenal demographic growth ahead multiples population by a factor of three to five. What is in 2020 an extraordinaly difficult to resolve context may in 2050 be simply irresolvable.

    I have asked President Salva Kiir Mayardit ([email protected]) to become non-executive President of South Sudan and contribute to the peaceful transition in South Sudan, this time a transition once and for all to a century of peace and prosperity. The first step is to accept Texas AandM University’s invitation to meet with Andrew S. Natsios in College Station, Texas, a meeting which I will also attend. I have encouraged TAMU President Michael K. Young mailto:([email protected]([email protected]) to endorse the effort. I know some if not many in South Sudan would not agree with this roadmap. I am afraid it is the only possible one to begin with and I am personally not a friend of compromise. I propose the immediate appointment of Rector Julia Aker Duany mailto:([email protected]([email protected]) as Acting Prime Minister an appointment suggested by an insider with decades-long involvement in South Sudanese affairs. In 2019 South Sudanese News Agency devotes a piece to Sudan’s President “A master of deceit”. Another Spanish proverb reads “A todo cerdo le llega su San Martin” meaning every protagonist has a moment of truth. This may be in fact South Sudan’s President’s moment, opportunity to redeem his vision for a broken nation, a vision of peace and prosperity I am confident he once must have had. I have also asked former U.S. Ambassadors to South Sudan Mary Catherine Phee ([email protected]) and Susan D. Page ([email protected]) to persuade President Salva Kiir Mayardit to accept the invitationi to visit TAMU. This is not a political effort but a post-political one, so all current political authorities in the countries involved (namely the United States in this very instance) must step aside and by no means show up in the narrative. The narrative’s purity must be preserved at all times, as semiconductors are preserved in a vaccuum chamber, and politicians have shown time and again that they are dominated by an extractive agenda that prioritizes their self-interest prior to that of citizens as explained in my 2013 piece “Why Spain Sucks”.

    I have also invited American diplomat Michael K. Morrow ([email protected]) who between 2017-2018 was Charge d’Affairs (Acting Ambassador) for the U.S. Embassy in Juba. In 2019 he was appointed Senior Diplomatic Fellow in Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington. Jane Harman ([email protected]) is President of the Wilson Center. Thomas J. Hushek ([email protected]) was appointed U.S. Ambassador based in Juba in 2018. The Wilson Center must, accordingly, be actively involved in the peace process and the signature and approval of South Sudan’s new constitution I have encouraged South Sudan’s leading attorneys led by Ajo Kenyi (Harvard Law alumnus) and Chorima Daniel (University of Southhampton alumnus) to structure. I have encouraged the Deans of Harvard Law John F. Manning mailto:([email protected]([email protected]) and Southhampton Law Brenda Hannigan mailto:([email protected]([email protected]) to participate in the process. I have finally asked my classmate from Columbia Peter Epilla, Chairman of the Uganda Presidential Team (introduced in Chapter 15 EastAfrica) based in Kampala to be in communication with all the relevant stakeholders in order to mitigate any differences and resolve any emerging conflict.


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