Opinion | Salva Kiir’s assault on political reforms

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit wipes his face with a pink handkerchief Photo: File/Thessherald)

July 20, 2020 (Thessherald)— Born a fighter, revered for his presumptuous good behavior during the struggle, worked his way up to the then Southern Sudan anti-Khartoum armed group, and his accidental rise to the helm of the now ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party. The man in question is President Salva Kiir. This is an attempt at how that Kiir’s main goal is not to reform South Sudan’s political system as the revitalized peace agreement demands but to maintain the very tyrannical system the people of South Sudan have been fighting against for nearly seven years.

Kiir is known for his mixed record. It is worth mentioning that Salva Kiir rose to the top leadership of the SPLM soon after the sudden demise of the founding father of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army Dr. John Garang de Mabior who died in a helicopter crash in July 2005.

South Sudanese are ready for lasting peace. Kiir is for a different peace—a peace that can still allow him to act authoritatively; meaning his mind glorifies dictatorship. He is addicted to seeing his autocratic decrees on the South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation television (SSBC). He enjoys changing people like bath-towels. For instance, he is good at using a person and dumps such a person when he no longer needs his or her service. He is only looking for people who are against political reforms in the country. Those who believe in reforms—people like those of Dr. Riek Machar are his number one enemy. His cunning mindset is so brutal that his brain has no room for opposing views. This is one of the reasons why he is consistently impeding the implementation of the September 2018 revitalized peace agreement. It is clear, based on logical grounds, that political reforms will only be fulfilled when Kiir’s regime is completely gone. It will be a good day for the people of South Sudan when old men who think with their bellies and eat with their minds are out of this nation’s political arena. The South Sudanese will be blessed when such a day arrives.

There are many reasons why Kiir is not about lasting peace. 1) He deliberately sabotaged the steps outlined in the agreement to fully execute the peace deal. 2) He violated the agreement many times. For example, he appointed ambassadors and central bank officials without consulting his political rivals, especially the SPLM-IO leadership. 3) Kiir’s mind is all about countering reforms through those who defected from the SPLM-IO and people who run brief-case political parties. 4) He is currently blocking the appointment of the SPLM-IO Upper Nile State nominee for governorship General Johnson Olony. This is a clear violation of the peace agreement. 5) Kiir wants South Sudanese to believe that Machar is not a good leader. 6) Kiir is the one who created the current turmoil in the country when he was too drank with power and wanted to rule south Sudanese with pure dictatorial leadership tactics he took from his regional ally, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, in 2012 before his political madness exploded in December 2013. 7) He needs to abolish the current parliament since the agreement calls for it. 8) Kiir must allow the ministry of finance to provide the necessary funding to all various institutions tasked to monitor peace implementation. 9) He must stop working against peace by allowing belly-politicians to wage their self-serving political careers in total disregard for the country’s future. 10) Kiir must trust his main rival, Dr. Machar if he wants peace.

Peace is peace. The people of South Sudan are globally known as “good people.” We have many stories of our own. But Kiir damaged our country’s image. It will probably take decades to regain our reputation. President Salva Kiir must not hinder peace by rejecting the appointment of General Olony when the pact strips him of such a power. He must allow political, social, economic, and military reforms to take place since it is the only way this nation will reclaim its tainted image. The Republic of South Sudan is ready for a reformist leader, not those who think they deserve everything even when they are given chance to rule and still embrace the same oppressive system, they once fought against during the liberation struggle. For this nation to have a promising future, reforming the political system in this country must be the number one priority for any leader who has a good vision. Kiir’s assault on the democratization of our polluted political system must be confronted in all directions. This country needs reforms now and the agreement stipulates it. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) must work hard to make sure the agreement is fully implemented. This country has enough of Kiir’s dictatorial tendencies.

Duop Chak Wuol is an analyst and editor-in-chief of the independent South Sudan News. He can be reached at duop282@gmail.com

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