By Sabrino Majok Majok*
April 25, 2006 — When government of National Unity was formed on September 20, 2006, peace loving Sudanese especially citizens of the New Sudan were jubilant since the new government, through SPLM’s acclaimed vision and objectives, was expected to implement much needed, overdue reforms in Khartoum although many people were convinced that NCP/NIF was “too deformed to be reformed.”
To date, members of SPLM have been doing marvelous work both in National Legislative Assembly and GONU, except that a small number of SPLM ministers at federal level were either “lost” in the system or were absorbed by NCP; the current status of the latter is yet to be determined especially after famous Rumbek Meeting.
Lost and absorbed ministers’ deeds didn’t resonate comfortably well with members of the Movement. (Mentioning names of lost and absorbed ministers here is tantamount to unnecessarily repeating the obvious.)
Therefore, the discontented members of the Movement began to express their disappointments privately and public through the media. The populace’s uproars were often punctuated by powerful editorials by distinguished Southern Sudanese journalists at Khartoum Monitor, Sudan Mirror, and Juba post, just to name but a few.
Thus a recent meeting by SPLM Interim Political Bureau (IPB) from April 2-5 (inclusive) was one of remedying factors by the SPLM to address members’ concerns. The resolutions that were adopted at the conclusion of the meeting were adequate and timely. For example, IPB’s adoption of new rules and regulations to guide members’ activities was well received by rank and files of the Movement.
Even so, IPB leadership, especially its chairman and secretary General, shouldn’t be complacent, but should be watchful and closely monitor party officials’ activities, particularly the ones in Khartoum.
Furthermore, President of South Sudan, Lt-General Salva Kiir Mayardit, should vigorously also reinforce his party’s rules and principles in South Sudan to clamp down on previous offenders, if any, and/or to deter potential violators. For example, one of the contentious issue that almost severed SPLM and NCP relationship was reportedly triggered by our Minister of Finance and economic planning’s alleged lack of prompt reporting to the President Salva vis-à-vis the receipt of GOSS’s share of oil. It’s now believe that if accurate, up-to-date information was promptly channeled to the President of South Sudan, unwarranted accusations and counteraccusations that ensued between SPLM and NCP would have been prevented. With IPB’s guidelines and regulations in place henceforth, misapprehensions of similar kinds will unlikely occur, unless the parties intend to deliberately provoke one another by letting loose their respective officials.
Besides, with its latest financial regulation, IPB should augment it and employ appropriate hiring/employment measures throughout the country. This, if done correctly, would forestall nepotism-favouritism-corruption activities, which are the most dreaded encounters in South Sudan. Although, there aren’t any documented complaints about corruption, nepotism, or favourtism in the South Sudan today, the Movement should be proactively engaged before such ills are practiced or detected. It’s worth mentioning also that Nepotism, favouritism, and corruption are prevalent in old Sudan (NCP-led government), and so it’s impossible to suspect South Sudan to be an exception, considering the current composition of GOSS officials, many of whom had served in defunct, corruption-riddled governments of South Sudan or in successive governments in Khartoum.
SPLM should also pay special attention on performances of state officials since they are the frontline people. Due to circumstances under which they were appointed, governors won’t readily adapt the current policies to come to terms that they are in fact answerable to general public. Therefore, it’s imperative upon the GOSS to devise concrete, efficient monitoring mechanisms throughout its ten states.
Like their predecessors, officials in South Sudan, especially governors may be tempted to fill their respective governments with their kin and kith as a short cut for family enrichment or pride. A prevalent poverty might aggravate an already deep-rooted desire to loot citizens’ wealth under the pretext of “serving” people (there are numerous examples to prove this point).
Unless there are well-rounded policies on accountability and transparency, state officials will likely eat their way through public wealth, to detrimental effect on entire civil population who are now biting their lives for a bright, prosperous future. Yes, with CPA, people South Sudan are optimistic on what the peace will bring, and rightly so. This optimism also comes with fears of unknown as well.
For instance, recent records have proven that poor administration in South Sudan couple with inability to provide adequate products and services to stakeholders, have always been partially blamed for deteriorating or stagnate human development right from or beyond the so-called Sudan’s independence in 1956. If history is allowed to repeat itself this time round, then people of South Sudan won’t enjoy peace dividend promised and stipulated in CPA. Consequently, the failure to provide and carter for life-saving services might be a recipe for and an indirect invitation of NCP to politically invade South Sudan ostensibly to extend helping hands, and in the process to stealthily embark on reviving near death policy of Arabization and Islamization. When this ominious danger comes to pass, the hard won peace will have been tossed in trash bin, putting Southerners back to square one unfortunately.
Therefore, for a smooth and timely implementation of CPA, SPLM should step up its activities and exercise good governance in GONU, GOSS, and state governments particularly in the Southern Sector. To do this, it’s incumbent upon SPLM-led GOSS to launch a preempted strike against corruption, nepotism, and favouritism. While at the same time to vigorously pressure NCP to accept to finalize prerequisites for elections and referendum-including North-South border demarcation, National Election Commission, political party registration Commission, and Census Commission. Otherwise, there will neither be elections, nor referendum. Surely, there is an enormous task ahead of SPLM!
* Sabrino Majok Majok is a Sudanese resident of Canada, he can be reached via: [email protected]