Opinion

Disgruntled Elites: Embrace Politics of Peace!

By Christopher Sebit

sebitomini@gmail.com

Failure to foresee the intricacy and the volatility of post-referendum, politics turned out disastrous. Capitalizing on the disaster, is the persistent lack of a nationally shared vision for good cultural, political and economic governance based on a transparent and accountable administration which is key to building a politically and economically viable unified state capable of articulating the vision of national unity across ethnicities and providing the much needed peace dividends, prosperity, justice and permanent stability to the citizens.

The author fears if the dominating politics of war may suddenly come into a halt and give room for perpetuation of a federally democratic system of governance that allows the beleaguered ethnic communities elect government leaders and hold these leaders accountable for mismanaging public affairs. Increasing the author’s fear is the changing political colours of the ruling elites who adamantly hold on power despite losing credibility from the majority people of South Sudan. Changing colours like chameleons, these uncompromising and shameless elites have jumped into the wagon of national dialogue and riding it in the direction of their interests.

What can one expect from elites who were serving the oppressive Jallabas’ regime for nearly four decades and suddenly shifted allegiance to post-referendum government earned through the precious efforts of the suffering patriotic citizens? I strongly believe that none of the patriotic citizens will waste a minute to listen to the manipulative politics of those power-hungry elites, who with the help of the so-called liberators, have deprived the country from the services of honest, integral, competent and qualified citizens. The time for embracing and comforting hijackers of the liberation dividends has run out. Likewise, the time for entertaining inefficient and unproductive personalities because they are relatives or friends of those in position of authority is speedily coming to an end.

There are indicators of zero tolerance to hypocritical behaviours of the long-serving political elites. The concerned leaders and intellectuals of the aggrieved communities are seriously advocating for rigorous institutional reforms. They would like to see that new blood of talented and patriotic reformists be pumped into our staggering institutions. Let the politics of peace predominate our winds and by all means we must avoid the politics of war whose beneficiaries are disgruntled political elites running the affairs of the country.

The politics of peace are positively linked to truth telling. Politics of peace cease to exist in the absence of truth telling.  National dialogue will not achieve its intended objectives without acquisition of greater truth. Unless the management of the national dialogue is entrusted to individuals who have the trust of the aggrieved citizens, the probability of its success is extremely very low. The lower the probability of success of the national dialogue the greater the likelihood that the country will continue to linger along the trend of the disastrous politics of war. Equally true, the decision to hold elections next year while a good number of the important issues of the ARCSS are outstanding is nurturing the politics of war.

Is it difficult to acquire a nationally shared vision for peace and socio-economic development? Are we unable to set up a transparent and accountable administration capable of articulating a vision of national unity across ethnic groups? It is easy for us to acquire a nationally shared vision for peace and stability if we can relinquish the majoritarian politics excluding minorities from participation in key institutions of central government. Secondly, it is simple to create a transparent and accountable administration if our people exercise the constitutional right to choose their leaders in a fair, credible and transparent election. Furthermore, allowing our institutions of governance to be managed by qualified, competent and integral technocrats increases administrative transparency and accountability, leading to emergence of a nationally shared vision for sustainable peace and socio-economic development. Putting the right persons in the right managerial positions of the civil and military services is a reform that does not only rescue our country from total disintegration it also restores the trust of international community in our ability to administer our own affairs.

If we fail to go for transitional justice and initiate urgent administrative reforms as provided in the ARCSS, the national dialogue will not see the light of the day. It will die naturally, and the significant consequences of its dead are very grave, and are likely to have a far reaching effect on our relationships in the long-run. Nobody among the suffering citizens is advocating for the failure of the national dialogue process. The governance behaviour of the disgruntled political elites is incompatible with the politics of peace.

For the sake of peace and unity of our people, the author appeals to those disgruntled elites to drop down the politics of war, and instead embrace, in unwavering and consistent manner, the politics of peace. The success of the national dialogue depends on the genuine politics of peace, not war. God bless those citizens working hard to embrace the culture of peace! God bless the disgruntled elites who are now in the process of embracing the politics of peace! Amen.

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