A neutral leader can rescue this country

By Omuno Mogga Otto

I passed through certain interesting news in Juba Monitor newspaper about a female candidate from South Sudan who has expressed her intention to contest for presidency in the next presidential election in the near future if elections would take place. Dr. Suzan Jambo, an SPLM member, who is actually a daughter of Equatoria, has a high ambition to become the next leader of the Republic of South Sudan.

Last week, the United States (US) Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Nikki Haley gave a statement pressurising the government of South Sudan to end the conflict by all means. The speech, which she delivered during her ten-hour visit to Juba Sudan, was seen by many as something that will possibly produce a fruitful outcome.

When Ambassador Nikki arrived at the Protection of Civilians Site (POCs) where thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) gathered hoping to meet and listen to her, some of these IDPs demonstrated and chanted slogans and raised banners criticizing the government for what the IDPs described as failure of the government to stop the conflict.

The conflict that erupted in Juba in December 2013, gave an opportunity for the anti-change cliques to play ethnic politics. Before the conflict occurred in December 2013, the SPLM was by then preparing to conduct a general convention. The aim of the convention was for reformation and election of a new leadership to lead the party and eventually contest an election.

Dr. Riek Machar Teny, the leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM/IO) who was by then the Deputy Chairman of the SPLM was very confident that if the convention was freely held, he would become the next chairman of the ruling SPLM party and the flag bearer for the elections slated for 2015.

Unfortunately, the convention did not taken place due to some reasons that the writer cannot elaborate in this article. From 2005 to 2010, when we were struggling to break from the Sudan, the vision of the SPLM was one. But now the vision is divided. It is no longer there.

Tribalism seems take root in many parts of South Sudan. This is very dangerous. Its consequence will lead to something that will not favour the unity of the three greater regions of South Sudan. A nation which is a multicultural, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual group can easily break apart if the cultural norms of each and every one are not recognised politically.

The politics of tribalism is the main cause that brought the conflict in South Sudan. Before, the tension was characterised by ethnical rivaling mainly between some communities.  Now the political problem has become a national one.

Conduction elections will not be possible in 2018, because the political atmosphere is not favorable. If there is a need for holding elections, it should come after the process of revitalisation and the national dialogue are successfully achieved or accomplished.

Sincerely, South Sudan needs such kind of independent personality to rule the country for at least three or four years. The role of such a person will absolutely focus on reuniting and reconciling the two rivaling SPLM camps by opening and creating a new system to accommodate not only the ones who are at loggerhead, but to bring a solution that will not tolerate them to fight again.

If we want South Sudan to come out from the current situation of political conflict, I think an Equatorian should be allowed not only to rule the country, but also to establish a system of federalism. Peace without federalism will not end the political problem of South Sudan.

If there are still some political figures questioning or trying to know about the system or the type of federalism, I am definitely saying the one that allows the system a rotational system of leadership amongst the three greater regions of South Sudan; Bahr El-Ghazal, Equatoria and Upper Nile is the one wanted.

South Sudan is not a nation of one region. It is a nation of three respectful greater regions, regions that are bigger than the combination of Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. Leadership of this country should be on rotational basis for specific terms as well.

I believe that a neutral leader will save South Sudan from political disintegration. A neutral leader should not be from Greater Upper Nile or Bahr El-Ghazal regions in this particular time of political challenges. I endorse the interim leader for the country in the future to be from Greater Equatoria region.

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