By Dr. James Okuk
February 6, 2010 (SSNA) — It is really a pity for some South Sudanese to be busy day and night trying to manufacture democracy-despot in an illegal SPLA uniform to keep ruling the poor Southern Sudan even when so many good things are falling apart at the watch of his face and echo of his ears. In my opinion, Dr. Lam Akol should never go back to the SPLM and rally behind the failed incumbent GoSS President, Salva Kiir. Why?
Because, Mr. Kiir wants to exercise liberal democracy in a dictatorial undemocratic manners that suits and satisfies his egoistic sentiments of the so-called South Sudanese liberator who want to rule the South forcefully with the threats of SPLA AK-47s and pistols. That is why goes around the contradictory talks of retiring the retired SPLA 1st Lt. General and allowing Independent elections candidates to maintain their SPLM membership. What is the meaning of multi-party elections if it is prohibited by Kiir and the company that someone else should elbow them in the competition for the top job in the South?
It is never correct in democracy sociology and political science to define elections as a one-man show. If you allow Kiir to run for elections without a competitor, then that is not going to be fair as far as democratic transformation is concerned. Human change cannot happen by a miracle; people have to work for it by challenging what needs to be changed. The SPLM is so vague on separation and independence of South Sudan, and therefore, it would be a misplaced attribution to persuade the voters that whoever is competing with Salva Kiir and other SPLM nominees in the elections is anti-secession of South Sudan.
When did Kiir and the clique turned separatists when it has been known in our history that they are unionists who killed their own brothers who demanded for separation and independence of South Sudan?
In their desperate attempt to mislead Southern opinion, Salva Kiir and the clique around him are going around claiming that they are the champions of the separation of southern Sudan and accuse others of being the Unionists. Can they be believed? Not at all! What a shameful opportunism!
Mr. Yasir Arman, in Khartoum in April 2008 said the following: “We stand for the unity of Sudan. The practical proof for that is that the first bullet of the SPLA was shot at the separatists. It is the NCP which embraced the separatists when they ran away from us in the nineties”. The separatists he referred to in his speech as having been embraced by the NCP are Dr. Riek Machar, Dr. Lam Akol and others who signed the Khartoum and Fashoda Peace Agreements of 1997.
Also in a public rally in Kadugli, Southern Kordofan, which he visited on the 7th of July 2009, Salva Kiir said the following: “I will vote for the unity of Sudan in the referendum of 2011 and I will make the southerners vote likewise”.
Further, in Cairo in 2008 when he met President Husni Mubarak, Kiir said he was for the unity of the Nile Valley. This means that Salva Kiir is a unionist par excellence. Not only this, but also Salva Kiir and his coterie of Northerners in the SPLM have succeeded to forge an alliance with the Northern Opposition parties which are opposed to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and self-determination provision in it. But can Mr. Saddiq El Mahdi, Dr. Abdullah El-Turabi, and Mr. Ibrahim Nugud, the traditional political dinosaurs of Northern Sudan who are finding it hard to die old and leave politics to the young, be trusted after all the mess they have created in the Sudan?
The people accused by Kiir and the clique as being unionists have undeniable facts to their credit. For example, Dr. Lam Akol was the first Southern politician to bind the Government of Sudan to accepting the right of self-determination for Southern Sudan. This was in January 1992 when the Frankfurt Agreement was signed. Again, it was Dr. Riek Machar and Dr. Lam Akol through the Khartoum and Fashoda Peace Agreements of 1997 that put this inalienable right of Southerners firmly in the Constitution of the Republic of Sudan 1998. This Constitution and the CPA were the basis of the current National Constitution. Also when Senator John Danforth in 2002 pointed out to the SPLM its contradictory position of being a unionist party and at the same time calling for self-determination that includes separation, the only thing the SPLM did was to produce the Khartoum and Fashoda Peace Agreements as evidence to the NCP/NIF regime’s acceptance of the right of self-determination and separate army for Southern Sudan.
Further more, it was Dr. Lam Akol who watered down the so-called “Principles of the Libyan-Egyptian Initiative” of 12th July 2001, an attempt to abort the IGADD (later, IGAD) mediated Declaration of Principles (DoP) of 20th July 1994 between the Government of the Republic of the Sudan (referred to as the GoS) the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement/Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army and the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement/Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army-United (referred to as the SPLM/A and SPLM/A-United respectively) for: 1) recalling the previous peace talks between the GoS on the one hand, the SPLM/A and SPLM/A-united on the other, namely Addis Ababa in August 1989, Nairobi in December 1989, Abuja in May/July 1992, Abuja in April/May 1993, Nairobi in May 1993, and Frankfurt in January 1992; 2) affirming the right of self-determination of the people of South Sudan to determine their future status through a referendum; and 3) constituting the basis for resolving the SPLM/A and GoS conflict in the Sudan through negotiations which later led to a great breakthrough in Machakos-Kenya, where the Mother protocol called July 20th 2002 Machakos Protocol became the core reference of all the protocols and agreements that constituted the document of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement singed on 9th July 2005 in Nyayo Stadium, Nairobi. Contrarily, the Egyptian-Libyan memorandum was intended to advance principles for dialogue in light of what they called historical responsibility to preserve the unity, security and stability of Sudan.
Salva Kiir and Clique are not genuine converts to the cause of the separation of the South. They are just using this desire among Southerners to bail themselves out of the mess they have thrown the South into in the last five years of mismanagement, and inept and weak leadership. This is the last throw of a desperate group who have mismanaged and misused the 50% of oil share of the GoSS (amounting to about 8 billions US$) if the 2% oil share of the Unity State and of the Upper Nile State is added to make up the total transfer to the South [Cf: A summary of the reports of the Joint Technical Committee (GONU/GOSS) for Monitoring Net Oil Revenue for the years 2005 – 2006 – 2007 – 2008 and up to December 2009].
With all dishonesty he has shown to the public and to the true colleagues who have been advising him correctly, what guarantee is left for savvy politicians like Dr. Lam to waste their time rallying behind a deformed demagogue like Salva Kiir who is not a man of his words?
Truly, if Dr. Lam and his team manage to take over the top leadership of the South, the free public thieves and corruption beneficiaries roaming to and fro between Juba and abroad will end up locked up behind bars for their crime of killing peace dividends by gearing-down the communities’ development wheel and forcing the villagers to flee into towns as five years went without the GoSS and SPLM taking towns deep down into villages as promised. That is why these days, shouting “SPLM/A Oyee!!!!” even to the maximum of the voice doesn’t appeal to most people any more even in the very village, houses and backyards of Salva Kiir.
So please SPLM and the company, leave Dr. Lam alone in his determination to effect a genuine democratic change in the South or go to inject him with a lethal substance if you don’t want him to be a challenger of Salva Kiir even in undemocratically free environment that has been created by Kiir and his supporters like you in the South, right now. It is known that the victory of truth is always certain whether accelerated of delayed. Backward Never, But Forward Ever!!!!
Dr. James Okuk is a University of Nairobi PhD graduate of Political Philosophy reachable at: firstname.lastname@example.org