War and tribalism can encourage corruption

By Omuno Mogga Otto

Recently the government of the United States of America (USA) urged the Kenyan and Ugandan governments to seize all the properties of South Sudanese leaders who have become rich with looted and embezzled public fund. The US said the war is being used by the political and military elites as an umbrella to misuse and embezzle public money.

It is true that the current war has given opportunities for corruption to exist since accountability is minimized. From 2005 up to date, accountability is less than ten percent. Perhaps the US might have concluded that the people of South Sudan are not benefiting from the oil money. They have seen and monitored lack of accountability and transparency in the governance system.

If any ordinary South Sudanese is asked to speak about the cause of political misunderstanding in the country, I am sure the main or fixed answer that will come out from the mind is tribalism and war. But what brought the war? If some people are saying what brought war is the issue of struggle for power alone, I will definitely not agree with the idea. The problem is mainly created by tribalism. Why should some leaders in the country love and put the issue of self-interest which is associated with tribalism first instead of building a nation that is free from ethnic hatred?

If tribal policies were not allowed to exist in the country right from the time of the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005, by this time the country would have progressed much better in peace and harmony. Peace and harmony in South Sudan would have supported maintaining good infrastructure projects, should the leaders who have been in power prioritize the interest of keeping the nation above their interests.

South Sudanese were very excited when they proudly voted to break away from Sudan. But the excitement had been interrupted by another terrible war, the war of politicians driven by self-interest. It encouraged the corruption to remain high. The ongoing war in South Sudan has created more humanitarian crisis. It has made many people to live in poverty and famine. It has forced people to live in unbearable economic situation due to the high inflation in the country. But it has made and is continually making very few elites rich and happy. Sincerely, the main reason which is prolonging the war is the bad deeds of our leaders.

The reason which is hindering the path for the success of permanent peace to come easily and very soon in the country is clearly understood. It is directly connected with an objective of keeping the chaos to continue in order to loot public money to buy houses and invest in Diaspora.

In South Sudan, there are categories of people who do not have any kind of complaints about the ongoing war and the current economic crisis. They are very happy with this situation. They are just silent.  They are not wishing for anything good to do with peace in the country simply because with peace there would be accountability and good system of governance.

The current political situation in the country will not be permanent. One day things will change in favor of the majority of South Sudanese who are frustrated and angry with what is happening in the country. The choice of separation from Sudan was a good choice. But the ruling system have not made good use of the choice of our people who voted to stay free from oppression, injustices and political marginalization by telling the elites and all intellectuals from all the ethnic groups in the country to live together in good spirit and building a modern, social and political interaction among themselves without tribalism.

In Africa the countries where corruption is less such as Ghana and Swaziland, their leaders are not interested in the politics that divide the people on the basis of either ethnicity or racism. Peace without tribalism will be a genuine peace to our people. Most of our politicians are the ones dividing our people. They are the ones who love ethnic affiliation.

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