By: Bol Khan
October 17, 2015 (SSNA) — Does South Sudan really strive to build democracy? Who shall spearhead as a leader, the building of democracy in South Sudan? Mr. Salva Kiir Mayardit? What an illusion! Is he honest enough still to be expected as a person who may transport democracy to South Sudan? Yes, before past six decades or so, Mr. Salva Kiir Mayardit was good at least for something. At that time when you talked anything with him or if anything was told to you by Salva Kiir Mayardit he accordingly lived up to what he said to the end. I am talking of the time of the SPLM’s reclusive vision of Secular, United Sudan and New Sudan Vision “the vision of no return” as they were saying, where we would find them almost everywhere chanting “From Nimule to Halfa and from Genena to Ameskhoref, in Eastern Sudan”. Personally, but not in their quest for United, Secular New Sudan, I was among those who termed him (Kiir) “a good, trustworthy and a man of few words who could only believe in action”.
Little did we know that, a year latter or less (that was) after independence, Salva Kiir would become number-one among the liars or most in-trusted President in the world. I am not abusive, this is the fact. Globally, it is a must and necessary for any head of state and Government to possess required qualities. Or know precisely, what it takes to lead a nation like South Sudan. So I was one of his unpaid fans. I can even still remember the fierce political and national arguments we made during the six-year interim period. We would strongly ague with the likes of Gordon Buay who were by then irrationally the arch-political opponents to Salva Kiir. Someone, a year ago wrote an article asking questions like “What had happened really to Salva Kiir Mayardit”? Was it sweetness or tatse of power that could drive him into the point of becoming a famous liar, a behavior which subsequently led to uncontrollable chaos on 15 Dec 2013? Or was it something else? I concurred with that guy or author! As a matter of fact, Salva Kiir would have become the most reverted President on earth and leave behind even a good political LEGACY. However, drastically, Salva Kiir changed his mind from a habit of building a nation to that of deceiving a nation at best. The recent past, current and present events make up my defend team convincing at this point. All those fatal events could be prevented if there was a political will in our country’s leadership.
Introspect without doubt, we all became familiar to the reason as to why Salva Kiir abruptly branched or deviated from his national-bound duties. I think there is no need for categorical vindication. Salva Kiir had since then became number one—among the most liars Presidents ever in the world. He is no longer a trusted top human being in South Sudan; for he changed the true sense of this famous adage “Words speak not louder but action does”. However, nowadays, Mr. Salva Kiir Mayardit, the South Sudan’s current President doesn’t practically implement what he says. In short the entire speeches he has been delivering right after independence had not been implemented as expected. Particularly the speeches which supposedly mean to strengthen and build a democratic foundation in South Sudan.
Now let’s go direct to the topic. As titled above, this piece is a critique of Kiir’s last speech (article), “South Sudan’s strives to build democracy” under his leadership. Whether or not, the article was written by one of the Jieng Council of Elders or Juba’s government Council of Ministers’ member; that is none of our business. Our concern for today is to shed light on Salva Kiir’s illusion. His article or speech was published in Washington Times, other several international news outlets as well as the national ones. The speech was full of empty promises and it might disseminate unfounded information which should not go unchallenged. In that article Kiir illogically tried to put across: Juba is ready to implement IGAD-PLUS Compromise Peace Accord. But the reservations he made on 26th August 2015 in Juba are still in the palms of his hands. This was the first intent and condition Salva Kiir places on the table. Second, he wants the world to sees him as peace lover and under him as President, South Sudan will strive to build real democracy. The latter is as easy as passing of the camel through the tiny hole of the needle! Does Salva Kiir revere rule of law—for him to build democracy? What was Salva Kiir’s hidden agenda when he signed peace Agreement in August? These are the two basic questions this critique is trying to extract!
Does Salva Kiir revere rule of law—for him to build democracy?
To start with, Salva Kiir began his speech by January 9th 2011 and how difficult it was for South Sudanese to have a country of their own. Read what he said“Just five years ago, as dawn unfolded on January 9, 2011, millions of South Sudanese took the final steps on our seventy-year journey to independence. In our own country, we said, our government would act for us and not against us. It was our friends in the international community who helped shape those feelings into words. “Accountable, representative institutions;” “the Rule of Law;” “inalienable and equitable rights” – for many in South Sudan, the institutional vocabulary was new. But we all had known their meanings by their absence”. Thus, I, Bol Khan, would like to say now and again that Salva Kiir Mayardit is a BIG liar I have ever seen! Does he really know that the very country he leads came as a result of ordinary and millions South Sudanese’s votes in 2011? Also in his speech he said and I quote “The IGAD-PLUS Compromise Peace Agreement undermines the South Sudan’s democratic institutions” end quote. Does Salva Kiir really respect South Sudan’s democratic institutions, elected positions and the constitution? Of course not! If he does, Mr. Joseph Bakasoro, WES’s former Governor, the former Governor of Upper Nile state, Simon Kun… Etc would have not lost their elected gubernatorial positions. Because, you cannot claim to build democracy or respect democratic institutions while you’re not a best friend to rule of law! Rule of law in nature, is basically to implement what the law of the land says and the constitution as it had been stipulated. I doubt Salva Kiir’s intention, because if he reveres the rule of law he would have not trained those boys from his own regional states. The boys—Dotkubeny private forces that would then, by Presidential orders, blocked the national road to democracy as it had happened in 2013. He would have not fired either elected officials as he has been doing all along! Additionally, he should avoid separating South Sudan on ethnic basis.
The second window of an opportunity for Salva Kiir to make democracy a reality in South Sudan was that failed SPLM’s Third National Convention in 2013. It is known to many: SPLM’s National’s Convention in December 2013 came to a standstill in December 2013 due to the following:
A) A traditional practices “show of hands” against the the modern one“secret ballot”.
B) Salva Kiir wanted to nominate five (5) percent of the membership of the congresses to the National Convention…Etc.
C) Kiir’s intransigent against all democratic principles.
But he (Kiir) deliberately refused to swallow the modern democratic norms—compared to old traditional practices. He later on admitted, in Arusha-Tanzania the above modern democratic issues as grave mistakes he had made in December 2013. And as true obstacles in building democracy in South Sudan! Though he did admit his fault, after thousands innocent South Sudan people had already miserably pass on due to the SPLM-Kiir’s intransigent against democratic principles. Now, who can hoodwink who that Salva Kiir will ever succeed in building democracy in South Sudan? I think, even the IGAD-PLUS imposed Salva Kiir on South Sudanese to lead the nation during the upcoming transitional period of thirty (30) months not because Salva Kiir will ever demonstrate democratic spirit in South Sudan. Perhaps, IGAD-PLUS wanted to end the war peacefully by re-installing Salva Kiir to the country’s top seat so that he can stop maiming Africa’s younger nation! That might be the case!
What was Salva Kiir’s hidden intention when he signed IGAD-PLUS compromise Peace Agreement?
Are you already familiar with Salva Kiir’s way of doing things? If not, you should now begin to access Benydit’s true internal cunning way of handling the issues. And what he was intended when he signed IGAD-PLUS compromise peace agreement. Mr Salva Kiir’s inner intend towards IGAD-PLUS Compromise Peace Agreement he signed on 26thAugust 2015 was totally different compared to peace lovers’perspectives. President Salva Kiir didn’t sign the Agreement with all his heart and soul; he forced himself to act against his determination. In another words, he was just bluffing—deceiving the nation, the region and the world! His was but a naked tactic of “let’s buy time”! Take this simple truth from me my dear reader if you don’t have it already! Look at what he says “I recently signed an internationally brokered peace accord to end an insurrection against my government that has plagued us for almost half of our young nation’s life. I did not accede to this deal because it is perfect—indeed, the plan undermines the sovereignty and democratic institutions of our nation in key, unfortunate ways. Despite our misgivings, last month I committed our people, their nation and their government to the Compromise Peace Agreement. But let my reasons be clear: I did not sign the accord because of threats or intimidation. I signed because leadership is the art of the possible and choosing between difficult, imperfect options. I signed because a government must lead”.
In our own analysis based on the above sentences, Salva Kiir was deceiving the nation, the region and global community when he signed that agreement. He wanted to free the knot or a looming loop which was about to be tied around his neck. In August if you can still remember, the world media houses were so much dominated by this sad news that “South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir, refuses to sign IGAD-PLUS Compromise Peace agreement, meant to end twenty one (21) months civil war and the suffering of his own people”. In another words, it was only panic of the looming regional and international’s isolation as well as the possible military intervention. All those contributed immensely in one way or another to the reasons. For that reasons, he lately changed his mind and signed peace accord nine (9) days late but in Juba, South Sudan. Therefore, the original plan was to illogically put pen on paper and then blocks the implementation as time goes, then by putting forward the reservations.
Secondly, he would worry less, since the IGAD-PLUS compromise agreement states: He (Salva Kiir) must remain head of state and government for the next upcoming period of thirty (30) months—transitional period. This is the art of leadership he meant. Kiir’s government idea, directed by the Council of (Elders/from) his own region was to buy time. Government’s offensive in the war fronts and unilateral creation of ethnically-based Twenty Eight (28) new states was the real symptom that Salva Kiir has already started assassinating for good the implementation of the Peace Accord. Contrary to IGAD-PLUS Compromise Peace Agreement—an agreement which is only supporting ten (10) states and as stipulated also in South Sudan’s transitional Constitution, 2011.
What is so strange is that, Salva Kiir expects everybody to just believe in what he says not in what he puts in action. In another words, Salva Kiir wants to use the constitution as his personal thing: that he has a legal right to smash the country’s constitution and nobody should blame him because he is the President. He considers himself as above the law of the land! For instance, if Salva Kiir delivers a speech today outlining how elected positions must not be touched in accordance with the country’s constitution, he would tomorrow surprisingly without fear fired an elected official. While the officials he removes were democratically elected just like him and by the same people of South Sudan. However, if you question him as to why an elected official is removed, Salva Kiir and his sycophants would stand tall saying “I/we know there are people who are working against the constitution, the government and the nation. People do not know that I am (he is) the Republic of South Sudan’s legitimate and a democratically elected President”. Now in such contradictory behavior, what kind of human being Salva Kiir and his cronies are? How do you handle such a messes? Should Salva Kiir be considering a kind of South Sudanese leader who must continue leading a nation?
It was indeed surprising for one to read the following sentences from Salva Kiir. “Foreign governments and un-elected bodies will never revere the South Sudanese vote as we do because they did not sanctify it with their blood. They cannot treasure our sovereignty as we do because they did not suffer to establish. They will not cherish our freedom as we do because they did not taste our oppression. Of course we – the elected government – voiced our objections. We were told, however, to keep quiet”. What a degrading diatribe! He even ended his speech by saying: Mr. Salva Kiir is the elected President of South Sudan. When was he elected as the President of the Republic of South Sudan? The best part of all is that, all the elected officials he removed in South Sudan as well as other constitutional’s blunders he made are there automatically proving Salva Kiir’s impractical language invalid. FYI, dear readers, there must be a strange spirit in Salva Kiir Maryardit! I am sure; that same spirit in him definitely makes it also impossible for democracy to become a reality under Kiir’s leadership in South Sudan, comes what!
I would want, therefore, the public and the world to seriously take the following facts into action as we continue receiving empty promises from Salva Kiir’s Government. Salva Kiir’s Government is neither ready to implement the IGAD-PLUS Compromise Peace Agreement nor it is ready to build democracy in South Sudan. In addition and more importantly, the powers he (Salva Kiir) has now in his hands were delegated to him not by the people of South Sudan. He rob them—the powers by himself, because no Presidential elections held in South Sudan since independence and subsequently after 9th July, 2015. Therefore, if you hear today from Salva Kiir Mayardit that “South Sudan’s strives to build democracy”; then he and his group must be clandestinely striving to act, as usual, not in accordance with the law or what is agreed upon by the world. Without exception, we all know how self-appointed and un-elected Presidents work. So, don’t say you are dumbfounded on that day!
Bol Khan is a concerned South Sudan’s civil society activist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org