22 Jul 2019

 

Donor: The Scapegoat For Irresponsibility In South Sudan

"Do we fold our hands and wait for Europe and North America to come to the rescue, at the risk of them not coming? Whose peace is this after all, European or South Sudanese?"

By Dr Jok Madut Jok*
Of course we all want this South Sudan peace pact to work, to stop the war, to work towards the goal we all desire: peace and stability in our country. We are all doing our best, individually or communally, to see that it succeeds.
What disheartens us, the citizens, is the sad and puzzling mantra we keep hearing from our leaders that there is no money to make it work, that the donors have refused to support it!
It is really misguided that national leaders worth their name should go on claiming that the whole of South Sudan, a country that came into existence as a middle income country - what with oil and everything else - would go on crying to the so-called donor countries that the country has no money to give meaning to its own peace endeavour, a peace only its own citizens are most desperate for.
All the while, every citizen knows that oil production is up, that the price of oil on the global market is up and that a few of our leaders, above all those in Petroleum Ministry and in Finance, are being fattened, just as the citizens of Yei are fleeing their homes to Uganda, people in Jonglei still get attacked in tribal-inspired enmity, Western Bahr el Ghazal communities are still living in the bush, 4 million are still IDPs and 2 million in refugee camps.
I am not saying that it is easy to tackle all this problems at a go, but I see no sign any one is working to address all these issues, even as the bank accounts of a few cats in the government are swelling across the border, and as we keep hearing that “oh the donors don’t want to support the peace implementation.”
What if they don’t come to support it? Do we give up and go back to war because the donors are not supporting the agreement? Or do we start doing our own best with our meagre resources and see how far that gets us? Do we fold our hands and wait for Europe and North America to come to the rescue, at the risk of them not coming?Whose peace is this after all, European or South Sudanese?
All I am saying is that we should be seen doing our own part so that anyone who wants to support our efforts can only add to that which is our own project. I am beginning to think that the constant remark about donor refusal to finance peace implementation is really aimed at escaping responsibility, rather than a genuine call for help. It’s aimed to deflect the blame should the implementation fail, a refusal to take responsibility for South Sudan’s demise. This is disingenuous. When you are dedicated to solving your own problems, you start, and then show where you need assistance.

You might say President Kiir’s “peace Tour” in Bahr el Ghazal is to this effect, but I disagree! He should have started this tour in Upper Nile. But that’s just me and I am no body, so go figure! 

*Dr Jok Madut Jok is a South Sudanese, lecturer at several universities, founder and Director of the South Sudan-based Sudd Institude. 

 

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