Are the warring parties ready to bring peace?
By Omuno Mogga Otto
The people of South Sudan are yearning for peace. All the opposition parties are also struggling to ensure that peace is restored in the country. The ruling party is also doing its best to end the war. The religious leaders are continuously spreading messages of peace so that the current political turmoil will come to an end quickly.
But there are some cliques inside and outside the country doing the best they can to ensure that the political crises continue to destabilize the citizens of this country. Currently many South Sudanese intellectuals, academics and activists are doing a commendable campaign for peace and democratic change.
But who are behind the misunderstandings and political disagreement among the Sudan People Liberation Movement [SPLM] comrades that started in the early months of 2013? When the Head of State removed some of his cabinet members in the early months of the year 2013, the system in Khartoum, the capital of the Sudan congratulated the move. Was it a good congratulation? Many voices have been saying that Khartoum and Kampala are indirectly participating in doing other things that does not encourage peace to subsist.
By this time the flame of the conflict in South Sudan would have ceased if the top ruling party cadres stood with one aim to develop a good political vision that would promote peace, unity and democratic change in the country in disregard to tribalism. The political weakness of the ruling party has allowed the emergence of tribalism.
When the SPLM first started its journey of liberation in 1983, its vision and objective s were clear and attracted many South Sudan nationalists and other cadres from Nuba Mountains and Southern Blue Nile region to join the movement. By that time, the objectives of the SPLM were justice, equity, freedom, and respect of the rule of law. But after the mission and struggle for liberation of South Sudan was achieved in 2005, the objectives and vision of the SPLM changed to ethnic hatred.
The SPLM has taken a wrong political path. The path which the party had taken was supposed to be renovated properly first before it would be readily accessed. Few days ago, the SPLM planned to set up a political school. The purpose of the political school was to train and educate future cadres of the party. But what will the political school achieve if the political vision of the SPLM is not longer focusing on true democracy, respect to the rule of law and justice and fairness in the distribution of power to all?
A political school with teachers and advisors who do not have a nationally clear vision for democratic change will end up graduating cadres who will work reluctantly for a good change to subsist. Peace alone without a clear change through federalism will not end the problem of South Sudan. Federalism will save South Sudan from more chaos and political divisions and political disintegration.
There is no need to establish a political school at the moment. The schools urgently needed are social and cultural schools that will help educate and convince all of us to believe in a fact that South Sudan will not be peaceful if tribalism is not uprooted out completely.
The SPLM is supposed to take big role in destroying the political ideologies which are encouraging the tendency of ethnic division. It is not difficult to put a meaningful political approach and useful strategy to abolish tribalism from our societies.
To change South Sudan from the current era of injustice, ethnic division and political marginalization to a new chapter of strong unity, peace and democratic change based on federalism, the SPLM must positively put much effort to bring peace immediately.
The demand for changing of the current ruling system to federalism is popular in the current political arena. The SPLM should contribute more positively to ensure that federal system is implemented after peace is signed so that the country will move in a right political direction without any future conflict.