22 January 2014

South Sudan: Blunders At Bor's UNMISS Compound

South Sudan's government and rebels on Thursday signed a ceasefire agreement, pledging to halt fighting within 24 hours and end five weeks of bitter ... ( Resource: Rebels and Government in South Sudan Sign Ceasefire

opinion

Enter but with no guns and uniformed men, Minister Makuei was told. Now, this is being twisted by President Kiir and company!

I always believed that President Kiir is being misled by people around him. 'He's a nice uncle surrounded by bad people' as my brother would philosophically say. However, one has to sit back and think hard. Is President Kiir this clueless as to be completely blind to the realities of what is good and bad?

The government should avoid controversies and focus on helping civilians in Bor, Juba, Malakal, Bentiu and other areas. The senseless massacres and utter destruction we've seen in Bor and other areas should be our main concern as national healing will be next to impossible given the massacres, destructions and Minister Makuei's and president Kiir's attitudes. Riek failed as a leader and you are now failing civilians through mindless arrogance!

Stop making excuses for your own failures! The current mess was created by lack of conscientious leadership by President Kiir and exacerbated by callous thirst for power by Riek Machar and his forces.

Four UN soldiers were killed by SPLA forces when helicopter was shot down in December of 2012. And two more UN peacekeeping forces were killed by Riek's Rebels in Akobo in December of 2013 but the UN is still helping our people. Please blame the culprits and stop making excuses!

Riek Machar is a man who's distinguished himself as power-hungry even before he joined SPLA in the early 80s. The man has a dumbfounding mythic belief that can even have my daughter say: "Hey grandpa... don't you think that's a little naïve?"

With no doubt, Riek Machar inhabits his own world and he's a man who's predictable. This makes it extremely dangerous for Kiir and his trusted elements to use Riek as a pillar through which Kiir's goodness meter can be calibrated.

Riek has lost what he has to lose but Kiir is still the president of South Sudan. He has to act like one; not like a rebel on rampage; and certainly not like a child who doesn't care about the consequences of what he says. How can our president talk like some man on the street? Why would the president talk anyhow? As Jiëëng people from my home area would say, muuk yi yic (have self-control)

While Kiir is a leader of a sovereign nation, he needs to understand that we need allies, formidable allies... and trading partners. China alone wouldn't do!

"I think the UN want to be the government of the South [Sudan] and they felt short of naming the chief of the UNMISS as the co-president of the Republic of South Sudan." This is pathetic coming from our president.

President Kiir should be the one who should clearly understand the role of UN in South Sudan. Ministers don't just enter UN premises just because they are ministers! They have to follow UN protocols just as South Sudanese government has protocols.

Is Kiir being destroyed by his allies or is President Kiir completely a lost man in a role he has no clue how to perform?

Someone needs to rescue president Kiir's legacy; whatever is left, that is.

Michael Makuei Lueth, the current minister of information, is a man who plays by no rules. With no shame, the man swims majestically in ridiculousness. He says whatever comes to his mind.

I don't even know why Makuei wasn't arrested with the 11 political prisoners when he was present in the December 6 press conference. We know that conference is the center of the 'coup attempt' claim.

Why doesn't Makuei, a lawyer by profession, know that entry to the UN premises is governed by rules and regulations that need to be respected? Being a minister doesn't entitle one to forceful entry to UN premises.

Minister Makuei wasn't prevented from entering per se as claimed by President Kiir and his officials. The gentleman at the gate told the minister he could enter with no uniformed and armed officers (the video is here as proof). Lueth was allowed entry if with civilian entourage. Assuming that he's a minister, he wanted to be allowed to do whatever he wanted; that is, enter with SPLA generals.

Sorry, some people play by rules even if we, as South Sudanese, don't!

President Kiir needs to know who's destroying or has destroyed his legacy! We are a young nation and we can't afford isolation.

In all indications, President Kiir and his officials are sticking to the 'coup attempt' claim when the whole world hasn't seen enough evidence to declare it 'a coup attempt.' The world isn't saying there was absolutely no 'coup attempt.' What's being claimed is that there's no enough evidence to conclude that it was a 'coup attempt'.

Respect is only in proving what one claims not in just professing that such and such a thing is true.

I need the president to take the following issues very seriously:

Control the follow of information as ministers contradict themselves and reflect the president in a grim light. Makuei Lueth says one thing and Ateny wekdit says something else.

Let your officials research and double check facts from different sources before going to the media. The ministers say ridiculous things in the media and our country looks like a nation of idiotic men and women when that's absolutely wrong.

Let your officials know that the government is supposed to come up with solutions for the country's problems instead of whining all the times.

Remember that respect and integrity rest solely on what can be proved. Professing things emotively because they appeal to the majority without proofs is a folly not worthy of presidency.

The world has helped us gain our independence; don't spit on their faces with made-up claims like those of Makuei Lueth.

Makuei Lueth's actions at the United Nations' compound were shameful. Makuei wasn't refused entry for argument's sake. He was allowed to enter as long as he entered with unarmed people not in uniform. People like Makuei Lueth will bury you, Mr. President.

Mr. President, double-check everything you are told because your officials tell you things they don't research. You might be a president of a sovereign nation; however, sovereignty comes with responsibility and mutual respect.

Your legacy will be written tomorrow. Don't let it be spoiled by people you trust.

Kuir ë Garang is an author of seven books including "South Sudan Ideologically" and "Is 'Black' Really Beautiful?" For contacts see Twitter: @kuirthiy or his blog, www.kuirthiy.info.

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