Opinin | By Gwado J. Ador
July 17, 2020 (Thessherald)–All options are open as long as the situation remains fluid and volatile. With President Salva Kiir still obstinate refusing to recognize the rights of others to have an equal political share or denied to exist in their ancestral lands, it is likely that they might fight to create a nation of their own.
The issue of land is central to many people who are currently fighting because it is the source of their livelihood upon which they existed for centuries. It must get justice and the attention it deserves.
The land dispute could be peacefully addressed if there is political will, but, the fear is that the current revitalized peace agreement would no longer be respected if President Kiir remains violating its covenant from its interpretation, through political appointments and ending with security arrangements. He would surely defy it and the country will go back and fight another protracted conflict.
It was evident in the power-sharing among parties that Kiir had the upper hand in deciding who should join and who shouldn’t join the government of National Unity. He seems to have free will in deciding everything singlehanded. Was that what they have agreed upon in the revitalized peace agreement?
There were still some wide gaps existing among the parties because Kiir’s side wasn’t ready or willing yet to back down on fundamental issues of political interests, especially in the question of Upper Nile State!
As a result, the SPLM-IO nominee in the person of Gen. Johnson Olony Thubo for the governorship of Upper Nile was rejected swiftly by President Kiir on the ground that Johnson Olony isn’t his ideal candidate. To him, Olony still retains army defying and fighting his government on the ground.
He insisted that if Dr Riek persists on his nominee, then Olony should first ‘report to Juba’ so that his appointment is effected or otherwise, Riek have to look for a replacement and not necessarily from ‘Agwelek forces’. He implied!
The message was clear, ‘Riek should now look for an alternative as a solution and the preferred candidate mustn’t be Olony or there will be a political vacuum in Upper Nile, period!’ This game is masterminded by Apadang following their numerous petitions regarding the ownership of Malakal rejecting Olony’s appointment as the Governor of Upper Nile State.
Apadang conditioned saying, in case if Riek insists, they would prefer if Collo could have a separate administration from the rest of Upper Nile components, which was suggested by Joshua Dau, one of the Jieng elders in his latest message to President Kiir!
However, many people of Collo community are asking genuine questions whether President Salva Kiir really represents everybody in South Sudan. Why is he always bias towards Jieng against others in everything, including the quest of land dispute across South Sudan?
Over majority is regretting Kiir’s attitude, his unjust treatment against them in all aspect of representation. In sharing political and natural resources, they believed there is no fair play on the levelled ground across South Sudan. Always his Dinka fellows take the lion share of everything leaving nothing for others.
They asked genuinely, why have they separated from the North in the first place? was it not because of unfair treatment and political subjugation?
Was it not because of such attitudes which led everybody to pull together and opt-out as one people from the North?
Why some communities in South Sudan still being oppressed and forced to fighting bitter conflicts among themselves despite the fact that we have had our own separate entity for almost a decade now?
The answer was obvious that they don’t want to be together! They were never together in the past; they had no shared values or objectives until recently when they identified themselves incidentally as people who could jointly form a nation. With that spirit in mind, they went to the referendum to attain independence which was achieved in July 2011.
The referendum was the only occasion where all the ‘64’ tribes who colluded against the ‘Arab’s North’ made themselves come voluntarily together to explore whether they could form and create a nation of their own to build future for themselves and their children.
There was no shared heritage or culture among the people of South Sudan, nor unity of purpose or even future prospects. Again, had there been any form of shared unity among them, there wouldn’t have been such unnecessary suffering and prejudices in the country. They would have strived to live in peace and harmony and to coexist as brothers and sisters.
Similarly, it wasn’t enough just to say the people of South Sudan are one people, because of their characteristics or racial features, neither the brief legacy under which these people were bound together fighting against Arabs, nor origin of shared history would qualify them to become one people as some might.
The author is a concerned South Sudanese citizen.