By Gai Mayen Luk
One of the finest scholars of South Sudan, Dr. Remember a.k.a Rpd Miamingi has recently authored and shared the advanced copy of a long article (27 pages to be exact) titled ‘The Provocateur’, as a well-intentioned attempt to carry out a surgical analysis on the Revitalized ARCSS.
Having read the article with a riveted interest, I must give it up to the fair-minded doctor that he has so far made the most painstaking dissection of the Khartoum Peace Agreement, thanks to his untiring efforts to keep vigilant and always provide a thought-provoking commentary on the affairs of South Sudan. I for one have followed his writings with keen interest over the last few years and I strongly recommend that all those who seek to understand the nature and the complexity of the South Sudan conundrum should also endeavor to give him their audience.
What particularly captured my imagination from his treatise is the over-riding argument that the heavy-handed IGAD has cut many corners in trying to achieve peace in South Sudan using a ‘peace-by-all-means’ approach. It has deployed arm-twisting of some parties to the agreement and also handed over the mediation to dishonest brokers whose vested interests in South Sudan precede their desire to see peace prevail in our country. He specifically points out that meddlers in the South Sudan conflict were at the same time passing for mediators. On that I couldn’t agree more with Dr. Miamingi!
He also passionately argues that the basis of peace negotiations was flawed from the word go in a sense that the mediators failed to acknowledge the non-exisence of an entity called a state in the contemporary South Sudan, which has never by all discernible indicators, been a nation-state since its inception in 2011.
The author underscores the point that the independence of South Sudan was more of a mere divorce from the Sudan and less of an engagement proposal to the potential new state that would then become a sovereign polity of its own.
He posits that for it to have transitioned to a nation-state, there should have been a consenual social-contract among all the nationalities (tribes) which happen to fall within the geographical sphere that was known as Southern Sudan.
However, the responsibility of forging statecraft was absconded by those who had been vested with the powers to do so by virtue of having been the bell ringers and leaders of the twenty-one year liberation armed struggle.
They instead chose to be a criminal cartel that opportunistically used the improvised instruments of a state to enrich themselves and seek personal aggrandizement using their respective communities, through polarization and enhanced sycophancy, as the leverage for political struggle. This rendered the implosion of 2013 but an inevitable reality.
To a significant extent, I still agree with Dr. Miamingi on those points since I have personally always fostered and echoed the idea of building the grand institution of a state as the point of departure for having a stable country.
One of the one hand, I tend to differ with Dr. Miamingi on his relative perception of the SPLM-IO position on the Revitalized ARCSS, which he seems to marry with the position of the incumbent TGoNU; that is of preserving the status quo in terms of what he refers to as being interested in collegial collaboration and power sharing arrangement among the personalities instead of engendering power sharing among the institutions, which could guarantee the advantage of minority veto to political groups and communities alike.
In the spirit of clarification to the learned doctor and indeed to the general public at large, I would like to reiterate that the SPLM-IO, rather than supporting the status quo, unambiguously demands for the radical restructuring of power in South Sudan in a way that would enfranchise the masses instead of centralizing and concentrating powers in the hands of individuals, through the clear policy of Federalism.
Dr. Miamingi’s view espouses the G10 and SSOA to a different position of demanding for a hybrid and technocratic government during the transition to the exclusion of Dr. Riek Machar and president Salva Kiir. In a sense, his view affirms that SSOA and the G10 were apparently the ones standing on the side of the people.
It appears as if it had probably escaped the notice of Dr. Miamingi that the G10’s stance on the negotiating table all along was not a genuine demand for the removal of both principals but a blanket policy of isolating Dr. Riek Machar alone, evident in their recent conspiratorial move to undermine the very agreement in which they tried to project themselves as a section of pro-people nucleus of peace partners. Need we waste time debating the hypocrisy of the G10 anymore? My Two Cents!
Gai Mayen Luk,
SPLM-IO Member of Political Bureau.