By Eng. Chuar Juet Jock
Oct 31th, 2016
Real federalism may save us from the evils of our own and send each of us to his/her paradise spot since we have proven beyond any reasonable doubt that we dearly love our clans, tribes, and hometowns more than our collective nation and country. Well, nothing wrong with that and particularly at this primitive phase of our nationhood development lifecycle. let us take it at ease, one step at a time, and accept the reality of nature instead of trying to jump the “must-pass” needed process that we must undergo to be a matured nation, with or without a supervision of a good mentor(s) (leader(s)) be that Salva Kiir or Riek Machar, however, our miserable situation reflects a troubled an infancy phase that might need a very responsible, smart and with a wide loving shoulder and truly skillful human mentor who understand and master the art of bringing up a growing infant such as South Sudan. Alas, our current mentor “leader” been hitting north and south in a rare confusion since 2005, when that giant named John Garang left us in a time we needed him most and adding salt to the wounds, he left us without preparing any of those used to be his close associates and subordinates to fill in his big shoes in a time of unexpected emergencies such as the ill-fated Hilocaptor that has cut his life short leaving the nation orphaned.
Well, don’t worry that much, because nature always takes its course, whether we decided to heed to it or we tried to out-smart its guts by avoiding ‘learning the hard way” journey through blood, skulls, and skeletons until we are convinced like it is happening now. Well, a good, learned and farsighted mentor could have avoided us all that before it did hit us this hard and still doing so. Our leaders seem to be ruling a nation they never knew anything about because if they do, from the very inception of the independence, precisely July 10th, 2011, they could have formulated a roadmap forward, or a working substance for this nation to live and co-exist in peace and harmony prospers and take its place among the nations of the world and particularly when it lacks anything but a right and responsible leadership. They could have forecasted ahead of time and saved us from the ton of tribal conflicts and fights since 2005 and predicted what it would be like the return of a nation traumatized by more than 23 years of bitter war, the suffering of all sorts, in IDPs and refugees’ camps, a nation that was shaped by all forms of survival techniques Nevertheless, one of the fundamental question directed before the independence to our current leaders and the SPLM/A who also undertook the liberation task and is yet to be a government, was whether they were ready to rule, build a state-nation from these diverse 64 tribes who has more in common, however, needed leadership and formula to either form the best homogenous nation on the soil of Africa or disperse in warring tribes should they meet their bad luck under a wrong leader and leadership. Their answer was a strong yes, condemning the doubts of the world as another conspiracy against Africans’ competency or the capability of ruling themselves.
Unfortunately, the doubts of the world were in place and the same liberation leaders and movement came to be the one proving them right and worse than that sinking and drowning deeper in the ocean of failed rule and failed nation-state building bid. Going back to the point on why I think like many others why federalism is our best hope and sorry if it takes a long U-turn. Real federalism, and not a manipulated one but a real fair and honest federal state of South Sudan, is the answer to our governance dilemma, resources distribution, wealth and power-sharing leave alone that it take away the fears of land occupation and grabbing by our very own the powerful strangers, people who concentrated the political, economic and military capabilities of our national country into their hands, acting as it is theirs, doing whatever they want under the slogan “we have liberated you and this country and we are free to do whatever we want and think” and I know that it is sickening to unbelievable extent knowing how we are cheaply wasting the country we have paid for so dearly, to have the same wrong concepts we fought North Sudan and hence coming around to marginalize and commit injustice against our very own this time in the name of tribe superiority and mightiness, that would be a total madness but again, let us accept the reality of growth in absence of right mentor and leader. We are part of Africa and Africa is not America nor it is Europe, where tribes are no more, but Africa, as a matter of fact, is the continent of tribe-structured societies and hence most if not all of our socio-economic, political, and cultural systems are based on our tribes’ norms and systems and accordingly, we can’t jump the growth process nor any of its phases, at least not overnight and not in South Sudan context since nations’ development and growth is like that of human being, it is a gradual process with many phases throughout its lifecycle, with each phase shaped by its own characteristics, behaviors, degree of maturity and of course degree of immaturity.
If the ruling elites fear federalism because they see it as an attempt to channel the control of power and resources of the state from the current center they tightly control and direct at their will then let them be ready to accept federalism forcibly and after the “the learning the hard way” because the reality about this country demand federalism as a system of governance and as a system that will ensure South Sudan and South Sudanese to live in peace, justice, and harmony. If some of us fear federalism because they lack adequate resources, then let them not worry, because, in the federal state of South Sudan, the weak in an actual sense will be the one having the attention of the federal government and the federal resources, what count is the way we will collectively design the federalism system for the benefit of all of us and to complete each other. Federalism will minimize the feeling of injustice currently engulfing our country due to fear; each one of us will feel less threatened by dinosaurs of power, tribalism, and corruption that compete to control a consolidated power, resources, and wealth in a tribally dominated center and where the national capabilities of the whole state are directed to be used by the dominant tribe(s) as of now.
Federalism will feed our unity and not the other way around as some claim that it will weaken our unity instead, in fact, it will minimize the tribal and communal conflicts and clashes in the absence of land grabbing, tribal competition, and greed. It will encourage development from one home village toward the center, however, the federalism that I mean here will need delicate work, done by all the stakeholders, in good faith and noble objective, far away from the tendency of manipulation, marginalization, and exploitation of other. Taking into consideration the long-term, sound objectives of the people of South Sudan which if worked out diligently and right, its long-term outcomes should be a strong united federal state of South Sudan and where the South Sudanese identity will gradually replace the tribal nature of this nation. Well, it is a matter of time and of course a matter of good leader(s).
Eng. Chuar Juet Jock
Originally Written on Oct 31, 2016
Author of the “In a Nutshell” Book Series