Title: South Sudan and the strategy of armed struggle By Mayor Angong Panther
Author: Mayor Angong Panther
Date: 02-05-2014, 05:30 PM
South Sudan and the strategy of armed struggle
By Mayor Angong Panther
The word strategy by definition means a method or plan chosen to bring about a desired future such as achievement of goals or solution to problem (according to Wikipedia). Based on the title above and coupled with the definition of the word” strategy”, the people of South Sudan has chosen armed struggle long time ago as a strategic means to achieve independence.
Here one may ask some questions; is armed struggle the most widely accepted means for the people of South Sudan to achieve their goals? Are the mechanisms that have been used during the past fifty years fit again after we achieved our independence?
The thorny questions I have raised are just for debate and maybe I am not able to provide answers in a convincing way, but I should leave it for you the readers to contribute and put adequate answers to these questions.
In fact, after clogging the prospect of the dialogue between Northerners and Southerners where the latter were resorted to the option of armed action before the declaration of independence of Sudan from the Condominium Governing Arrangement (Britain and Egypt) mainly 1955 to 1972 and their demands was only representation and more regional autonomy resulted to half a million death over the 17 years of war.
Another South Sudanese armed struggle erupted again from 1983 to 2005, where 2.5 million lives were lost as a result of 21 year war and four million people in Southern Sudan region were displaced. Note that the civil death toll during this war is one of the highest of any war since 2nd World War and has marked a large number of human rights violation by the regime in Khartoum which was the main reason among others for the sympathy of the international community with the people of South Sudan.
The sacrifice and steadfastness of the people of South Sudan was an inspiring factor for the international community to work for our preferred option which was the achievement of independence of the Republic of South Sudan with the hope that this brave nation will be able to govern themselves successfully but our friends and partners have suffered from our ugly mistakes since we achieved the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 that pave the way for our independence.
Before the tears of joy and happiness had dried up for getting our independence in 2011, some of our country’s leaders with personal agenda began to launch rebellion after another against the new state in addition to the spread of ethnic conflicts in some part of the country. It does not seem likely that these rebel groups can topple the SPLM (ruling party) including Riek Macar’s rebellion, but of cause they are causing difficulties for the leadership in Juba plus the destruction of what was built from 2005 till now.
The two wars fought by the people of South Sudan against the central government in Khartoum at that time and South Sudanese rebelling against each other with renewable ethnic violence has shown to the world that the dominant culture in South Sudan is violent and that the dialogue is not part of our literature but a minor concept. Therefore the attempted coup led by Riek Macar recently against his ruling party’s government, the SPLM and in which he leads the rebellion with unclear goals, confirms no reason to doubt the depth of the armed struggle ethic even in a wrong situation because the call for political reforms within the party cannot be the main reason for the killing and destruction that is taking place in the country!!
Let us say that if the liberation wars have left about three million people and fought for more than fifty years with total destruction of infrastructure, how much time and life will be wasted through senseless wars that our leaders intended to accomplish their desired goals?
May be some leaders of this country are trying to create history for themselves, otherwise what’s the meaning of too much rebelling against the state? If we count the number of rebellions that took place in the South Sudan since 2005 to 2013, will be twice than similar rebellions in all African Countries, starting with the George Athur mutiny, Oluny, Tang Nyang through Peter Gadet three times then David Yauyau insurgency, Peter Abdurrahman Sule and finally and maybe not the last the Riek Macar coup attempt and rebellion in 2013. Sure such leaders they are burning their political cards rather than building the ground, the proof in this aspect is that when they rebelled, each of them resorted to his own ethnic group to back him with no real support from the majority of South Sudanese.
All had hoped after the declaration of our independence that our brave leaders will engage themselves in the study of history (past administrations and governments) to benefit from the experiences of other states but most of them engaged in destabilizing the government and making wealth for the coming election which led to the involvement of some in corruption cases.
In conclusion, South Sudan despite its political complexities, does not need any rebellion or armed struggle as we have experienced it, but we need to pursue dialogue as well as peaceful transition as an alternative strategic means for addressing any political differences whether within the party or between different political entities in the country because as tested, violence or armed struggle was much destructive than using the diplomacy and peaceful means. Some great leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi of India and Nelson Mandela of South Africa both have achieved their country’s freedom through nonviolent resistance to tyranny therefore; their new generations have inherited coherent and stable states. Not only that, they have become the most hopeful nations on earth.
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