THE SOUTH SUDAN CRISIS & THE POLICY OF
FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE: THE NRF WAYFORWARD
27th November 2017
Hon Bidali Cosmas Worikojo
The Chairman and Commander in Chief of the NRF/A
The leadership of the NRF/A has the pleasure and honour to present to you our stand views on the South Sudan calamity and the wayforward.
NRF/A was born in January 2017 as a revolutionary movement for fundamental change. Its ultimate intension is to transform the general impeding and oppressive conditions which have clearly presented the entire governing regime of the SPLM as the key problem of the people of South Sudan. The NRF/A main mission is to create an enabling environment informed of the values of justice, equality, inclusivity and fairness. At its minimum, peace, security, good governance and general stability will characterise the expected outcome the realization of the mission will generate. Hence for that purpose, the NRF-A primary task of the revolutionary struggle is to bring the very SPLM governing system to a successful end by all resistance means. So in that respect and at this early stage of the struggle, the primary goal of the NRF is to restore peace, security and stability to install the basic requirement for persuing descent life in South Sudan.
The scenario of fundamental change in the post regime change:
Once the above mission is achieved, the next phase of the process of the fundamental change will roll on. But of course, the immediate challenge will be how the nation- building process can advance the course for fundamental change towards the fulfillment of the peoples’ dreams. However this will be addressed through availability of applied development programs that are people driven with clear and inclusive vision; and that are periodically evaluated. For that matter, the diverse participations of the people of South Sudan will be in the heart of the nation-building processes; and of course the integration of any good-will external support from friends and partners will be part of it.
Nevertheless, it must be announced that all successes will depend on effectiveness of collective leadership reignforced with an input of a robust organizational establishment. To realize that organizational strength, the National Resistance Front will be deliberately transformed from guerrilla to formal system of a mass political organization. After this process, the basic strength of NRF will be provided for by visible and well established offices, organs, structures and mechanisms of mass governance which can guarantee practical presence all over the grass root corners of South Sudan; and we will indeed ensure that the NRF becomes a spacious political vanguard that can accommodate all active and inclusive participations of all works of life.
The involvement of women and youth, persons with disability, communities, trade unions, farmers, chamber of commerce and business communities, faithbased groups, individuals and entities of all kinds will be characteristic of the active participations of all works of life. This means once NRF becomes people based, our programs will then be persued with patriotic and nationalistic moral commitments to:
1) Restore peace and security;
2) Establish Federal Republic of South Sudan (FRSS);
3) Exercise right to self determination;
4) Combat and eradicate corruption and abuse of power;
5) Restore rule of law and protecting human rights;
6) Build an independent, integrated and self-sustaining economy;
7) Consolidate national independence;
8) Build national cohesion and restoring social capital;
9) Restore, rehabilitate, and improve social services;
10) Restore regional and international relations & mutual co-operation;
11) Pursue an economic strategy of mixed economy;
It should however be added that the transformation of the National Resistance Front will simultaneously include that of creating new and consolidating any relevant existing government institutions and organs to establish and re-establish the next civil authority. That is, the federal government through which the Nation Resistance Front visionarily will provide the most needed strategic leadership and direction that can effectively lead in governing and serving the people of South Sudan in the second republic (i.e FRSS).
Brief insight of w hat went wrong in South Sudan?
It depends on where one is interms beyond time, location, experience and ideology. We are firm to voice on behalf of the people that the South Sudan crisis stemmed from failed governance; and which primary root cause is the inability of the SPLM to govern.
Notwithstanding any standards of governance, suceesful governance is often measured by ability of a governing system to formulate and implement policies. Till now, the SPLM has never reached that threshold. Despite the abundance of opportunities at its disposal since 2005, it has failed to generate viable programs with visionary direction. Sadly, the long list of the challenges which include the war-era-atrocities and injustices, the socioeconomic underdevelopment and backwardness, the intercommunal conflicts and tensions, corruption and abuse of power, the lack of visionary leadership and weak institutional capacities remained unaddressed. The worrying gap left by the very awful failure had created, to date, has proofed a practical obstacle against the bright future of South Sudan. And hence the destructive effect continued to frustrate, weaken, tear and threaten the country at the sights of many consequent to the out break of the ongoing conflict in 2013.
Of course, it should be noted that we too are humanly touched and concerned beyond measure of the daily pains this very crisis is inflicting on the innocent civilians in the eyes of the World.
It should be explained one of these challenges of destructive effect. Naturally, South Sudan is a diverse state. Any successful ability to govern and serve its people on equal basis will automatically be measured by implementation of policies of inclusive nature. Since 2005, the SPLM failed to catch up with that level of mark in governance. The point is immediately after 2005, the SPLM elites opted to discard the persuit of the envisaged unifying liberation vision of the South Sudan state of inclusivity. Instead, they snatched and redirected the vast opportunities of the country to install South Sudan state of exclusive identity (i.e the SPLM hidden agenda). And consequently, the ensuing differences fuelled the disintegration of the country. And therefore it should be stressed that the failure of the SPLM to deliver on the unifying vision of the inclusive identity left the country too fragile and hence added to its final fall into the present pieces.
Therefore from the above analysis;
1) the South Sudan conflict is a negative outcome of a clash between oppressors portrayed as the SPLM in power at one hand and the oppressed represented by the victims of the oppression on the other. While the interest of the oppressor is to conserve the status quo to safeguard their interest including the interests of their loyalists, as it is the case now, the oppressed is resisting to restructure the status quo for the interests of inclusive dimensions.
2) beyond failed policies, several factors contributed to the accumulative heaps of dissatisfactions, disagreements and the frustrations which predicted the current crisis before 2013; and hence, the violent events of 2013 and 2016 exposing the SPLM internal conflicts only transformed latent conflicts to the existing armed conflict. Therefore, the build up to the full extent of the war outbreak must never be understood from the SPLM perspective of its internal factional conflicts as other sources might have believed so.
3) it is grave and an awful failure of an approach to resolve that any solution to the conflict where striking a compromise deal amongst the SPLM factions means a resolution to the crisis as in the case of the IGAD’s ACRSS.
4) ) beyond 2013, the rapid emergence of the different fighting opposition groups under various cirscumstances of time, locations, experiences and ideologies expresses evidence of multiple grievances and challenges demanding assurance of clear answers in their own right — a serious signal to any mediating actor.
Given all the above understandings, any durable solution to the conflict in South Sudan, in the view of NRF-A, must preserve free unity of the country in diversity. And besides, it must have the force to advance fundamental re-structure of the country’s sovereignty into a spacious governance arrangement to peacefully accommodate, equally serve and assure all the citizens to freely enjoy their rights to the fullest. Lastly, it should also have the compulsion to assure the people with workable prevention of another rise of oppressive regimes in South Sudan.
To achieve that goal, NRF stands on the peoples behalf that:
1) South Sudan should be transformed to the Federal Republic of South Sudan structured into three layers of institutional infrastructures of governance: 1. the federal 2. the state 3. and the district. It must be noted that operationally, we deliberately aim to deliver on the long awaited state of The Federal Republic of South Sudan where by specific terms:
a) The institution of presidency is constitutionally set rotational among the three greater regions of Upper Nile, Equatoria and Bahr-el-Gazal. This is to assure the people of South Sudan with the hope that the institution of the presidency must never again become an avenue for domination and oppressive ambitions by any South Sudanese entities from the six four (64) communities of the country.
b) The states are guaranteed to have constitutional right to institute and own state based law enforcement and judiciary services. While this design is intended for the central government to enjoy oversight with limited excutive responsibilities, its meant to empower the states to ensure that the visible task of developing South Sudan will be people driven by the communities of the respective states. We must experience national development with shift of power, resources, skilled manpower and responsibilities from urban to communities at the grass-root.
c) The national security sector is transformed to professional & a diverse sector to be meaningfully structured through proportional formulae or quotas that must be constitutionally safeguarded. Intentionally, the transformed future security institutions must create an image of security sector reflective of the country’s diversity; and with allegiance oriented to serve impartially and professionally within the limits of law. Finally, we aim to have manageable sizes of man power across all the institutions of the security sector in South Sudan.
d) The remaining Federal powers and wealth have to be fairly and equally shared among and by all the citizens of South Sudan;
From the first three above points (a,b,c), it is an emphasis that while the allocations and distributions of the other aspects of the South Sudan sovereignty are negotiable, the above three points are crucial given the need for genuine solution is a shared goal.
2) The exsiting states of South Sudan including the local governments must have to be scrutinised and re-established in accordance to scientific and universally acceptable criteria or best practices. While it’s imperative that the process must restore the ten (10) lawful states of South Sudan, it has to assure their viability simultaneously with the viability of the any local government establishments.
3) ) Transitional justice and accountability must be fully administered against any acts of crimes committed before and after 2013 to promote justice, rule of law, healing and reconciliation across South Sudan; eventually any resolution to the conflict must transform South Sudan to a just and fair society.
Right to exercise of self determination:
In case any resolution to the conflict of South Sudan fails to address possibility of another oppression and preserve the unity of the country in diversity, then the people of South Sudan in their respective communities must determine their own future. Hence as part of any solution, there must be right to exercise of self determination to be affirmed by law for those who seek to be free and peaceful people. We must be aware that irrespective of the country’s diversity, there are entities having demonstrated tendencies of domination; and may resist call to change the undesirable South Sudan status quo. The right to self determination will be the safeguard of any oppressed unit.
The anticipated benefits of the transforming proposals:
Therefore through fundamental change of the undesirable South Sudan status quo, we expect the respective communities of all the diverse people of South Sudan to enjoy:
I. a free rise of any qualified South Sudanese citizens to the seat of presidency in a culture free from presidential domination;
II. an end to any further oppressive life in the Republic of South Sudan;
III. a constitutionally safeguarded self-autonomous right in managing sub-national affairs without interference by central government;
IV. decentralisation of taking adequate powers and responsibilities to the people for determining and delivering on their own development choices but not that of “taking towns to the people”;
V. a spacious governance arrangement that accommodates diverse participations and serves all diverse needs of the diverse people of South Sudan irespective of their diverse identities;
VI. an end to the failed unitary system of governance employed under use currently by the SPLM regime;
VII. viable sub-national governments (states) that are scientifically established based on universally acceptable criteria or best practices;
VIII. viable local government establishments that are scientifically established based on universally acceptable criteria or best practices.
There is a point to note from items number three and four (111, 1V) above. Currently, South Sudan is lacking meaningful decentralisation. Conventionally, decentralisation is ascertained by arrangements where institutions of governance are descended to grass root levels with reasonable and constitutionally safeguarded powers and responsibilities. South Sudan is experiencing the opposite. In reality, the South Sudan decentralisation is visibly deconcenstration where institutions and structures of governance dispersed to the grassroot levels are controlled from central government. This explains why the SPLM decentralisation of “taking towns to the people” failed. In practice, it is just an arrangement of stressing the authoritarian arm of the centralised administration from the centre to meddle in the affairs of the sixty four (64) communities of South Sudan. Its an arrangement to only achieve the domination ambitions of the SPLM ruling elites.
In conclusion, any solution to the conflict in South Sudan must unite its diverse people based on an acceptable aggreement framework. It must also promote and support collective its implementation. It must have the force to fundamentally transform South Sudan to federal state with governance arrangements that is pactically accommodating and serving all. It must have the power to prevent rise of another oppression. Or, any failure to arrive at a solution with that effect then South Sudan must separate and break into three independent sovereign states through peaceful exercise of right to self determination.
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