By distancing itself from the Northern opposition parties (including opposition within the SPLM Northern Sector with Pagan Amum’s Secretariat), Kiir’s new alliance with the separatists has saved the CPA from collapse and Northern conspiracies.
It is the best idea to conduct the referendum under a competent government of Dr. Lam Akol in the South. Nevertheless, if things continued to go from bad to worst, it would be a lesser evil to conduct the referendum under Kiir’s rule than not having it al all. But whether Mr. Kiir or Dr. Lam passed the post, the core unifying factor between them should be the insurance of the independence of South Sudan from all angles. When either of them passed the elections, the next step should be formation of government of national unity of Southerners immediately for the sake of better preparation for the 2011 referendum by thick or thin.
Nothing will be urgent as a priority after the elections than the unity of Southerners on the referendum exercise. All Southerners should forget what transpired during the elections in order for them to get into the referendum successfully. The elections have come and will go soon but the independence of South Sudan from the referendum will only come once; and if missed it shall be so hard to make it come back again.
The SPLM Northern Sector has nothing to do with the Southern Sudanese referendum and so Kiir was right to disvalue it when Yassir Saeed Arman and Pagan Amum tried to play a dirty game with the Northern opposition parties for boycotting the elections so that the next government could remain illegitimate. Now these two gentlemen have been disowned by the Chairman so that whatever they say in the media remains their individual opinions; they don’t speak for the SPLM any more even with their so-called spokesman. Yassir and Pagan’s conspiracy against the referendum has been diffused. It is now up to them to run abroad if they feel outraged with the right stand of their bosses, Mr. Salva Kiir, Dr. Riek Machar, and Mr. Wani Igga.
In conclusion if Kiir became declared as the winner of the GoSS presidency, he should swallow all the bitterness he harvested during the elections campaigns and call in Dr. Lam Akol to help him with the executive management of the new elected government in the South for the rest of few months before the conduct of referendum in January 2011. Also if Dr. Lam got declared as the elected new GoSS president, he should also form a government of Southerners unity with some competent SPLM cadres in his cabinet and commissions as all Southerners shall direly need each others to achieve their independence from referendum as a united people. If this kind of understanding becomes the rule of the game after the April elections, then there is going to be a great hope for a better South Sudan than the current one. It is time for genuine change in the South for the South and with the Southerners. So God help us!!!
*Dr. James Okuk is a concerned Southerner for genuine democratic change in the beloved country-in-the-waiting, reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org