20 Oct 2021


Good Leadership, Not Whining Over Independence Dividends, Is What South Sudan Needs.

"Nations which cease to run on ideas decline considerably and eventually fade away. Nevertheless, we cannot regret becoming independent."

By: Aken PanKon

Nations spring up as ideas and what fuels ideas is a continuous innovation and evaluations. Nations which cease to run on ideas decline considerably and eventually fade away. Nevertheless, we cannot regret becoming independent.

However, the generation of budding thinkers will have to work harder to make sure geo-strategic interest of South Sudan is not diminished by prideful, looting lieutenants that continue to evoke nationalism and racism to justify independence. The issues leading to South Sudan's independence are leadership deficiencies.

Since the independence of Sudan in 1956, the leadership of that country instituted a mix of racism and religious fanatism in shaping policies which would govern a diverse Sudan. The first mistake was the sidelining of the educated class of Southern, Western and Central Sudanese, only to be represented by informants, the riverain elites and some remnants of the Mahdi state which became the Umma Party, respectively.

The first shootout in Torit in August 1955 was the protest of what was going to come. Managing the euphoria of the independence needs meticulous leadership which is fair and forward looking. Ismail El Azhari, Mohammed Mahjoub and their various cabinet members predominately from among the riverain elites had the world view which was not any better than the one offered by the colonial British Generals.

If you dissect the alternative offered by Anya-Nya before the 1972 peace accord, you will see that nobody was really prepared to usher in leadership which would put Sudan on the map. The HEC club which was based in Juba in 1970s and 1980s contributed into the fracturing of South Sudan along ethnic and clan lines. You see, a foundation poorly built cannot withstand the test of time.

SPLM too was a well-structured military leadership which was wheeled into the temperament of its leaders. John Garang and his juniors ran the movement on dictatorial platform. The movement, though guided by ideas, lack rapport and only one man—Garang could make unchallenged decisions. His passing would later bring his under resourced, unprepared bunch he kept around as leaders, and such is why instituting a functional state, or a semblance of it, could not work.

This, and many more, are the central issues for which other narratives must be constructed from, not this lazy, racist Arab hegemony claim which has always been blamed for partitioning of the Sudan and the growing culture of scapegoating the leadership failures by Juba.


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