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GOSS Leadership, Please Read the Writing(s) on the Wall

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Complaints against GOSS raised by Bari community continued to to mount by the day and the likelihoods of GOSS and the leaders of this community to iron out there differences seems to be remote. Lasu Losowa is warning that if GOSS leadership fails to show leadership, the situation may sip out of hands.

GOSS Leadership, Please Read the Writing(s) on the Wall

By

Lasu Losowa

lolosowa@yahoo.com

In an earlier commentary on the Bari Community press release demanding the relocation of the capital of the Southern Sudan away from Juba, I cautioned that the grievances of the Bari should not be swept under the carpet. Now, in the Khartoum Monitor of Saturday 3, 2009 the same community has served President Salva Kiir Mayadit with an official memo asking GOSS to transfer its capital to another town of their choice in Southern Sudan. Again, I want to sound my warning to the GOSS authorities in Juba that these demands should not be treated lightly.

Dinka and Bari Conflict likely to degenerate to another Kokora War in Juba

Dinka and Bari Conflict likely to degenerate to another Kokora War in Juba

Some leaders of GOSS might think that these are just trivial issues which do not require the attention of the authorities. But let me remind them that great events normally start as small issues. In the Southern Sudan we have plenty of such small beginnings, which in the course of time culminated into great events. The calls by Equatorians for further decentralization (Kokora) of the South started in such a manner. Those in GOSS who have short memories should consult our learned lawyer, Abel Alier or better still they should speak to Mr. Makuei Deng, the Inspector General of Police, for both men were in the center of what led to Kokora.

In the late 1980s when Equatorians started complaining about Dinka domination and marginalization by Abel Alier’s government nobody paid attention. Peaceful demands for redressing the situation were met with brute force. Equatorians were harassed by the predominantly Dinka police and their political leaders and activists were arrested and detained without due recourse to law. Abel Alier’s government refused to allow any public discussion of or debate on the grievances raised by the people of Equatoria. Dinka leaders categorized Equatorians as cowards who would never wage a fight against the Dinka. People like the late DR. Justin Yac (God rest his soul in peace) had the guts and arrogance to make inflammatory statements to effect that it would take Equatorians one hundred years to get rid of Dinkas from Equatoria. Well, it did not take 100 years for Abel Alier’s Dinka dominated government to be dismantled. It is needless to restate here the unfortunate and tragic events which took place during those days of Kokora because that part of our history is now common knowledge. But the point here is that it is important to pay attention to issues in a timely manner, however insignificant they may seem, for it will not be in the interest of the South to have a repeat of Kokora.

Today, the Bari have boldly come out to ask not only for the relocation of the capital from Juba but also for non-Equatorians to leave Juba and indeed Central Equatoria. They have clearly stated the reasons why they think it would be better for the capital of the South to be somewhere else. It must also be noted here that in the recent past and even as I write this piece the people of Yei, Kaya, Yambio, Maridi, Kajo-Kejji, Tombura and Nimule  have all asked for the Dinka to be repatriated to their home areas. People in these areas have expressed similar grievances as those of the Bari against the conduct and behavior of some Dinka elements, chief among these grievances are issues relating to land grabbing, killings, rapes, harassment, domination, marginalization, corruption, destruction of crops by Dinka cattle etc., etc. These grievances were exacerbated in 2008 by the cold blood murder of three high ranking Equatorian police officers in Yambio by some Dinka elements in the SPLA and the recent killing of four young Equatorians in Juba on the eve of the New Year. This is besides the continuous daily killing of innocent Equatorian civilians in Juba and other towns in Equatoria, which killings GOSS has paid a deaf ear and a blind eye. To date, and to the dismay of Equatorians in general, the killers of the three police officers have not been brought to book.

One does not have to be a rocket scientist or a political maverick to figure out that there is a tide building in Equatoria against what they consider to be a Dinka dominated GOSS. As we all know Equatorians are generally very patient and loving people. They love their brothers and sisters the Dinka, the Nuer, the Chollo, the Anyuak, the Fertit and others in Southern Sudan. But, for them now to react the way they are reacting demonstrates very clearly that they have run out of patience and love for their brothers especially the Dinka. It is said that if you push a cat into the corner it will fight with all its might to protect itself. This now seems to be the case with the Bari in particular and the Equatorians in general. It may, therefore,  just be a matter of time before these sentiments of frustration and anger are galvanized and transformed into a solid region-wide (Equatoria) movement which will fight against the ills being perpetrated against their citizens in Greater Equatoria.

But, as stated in my previous article on this matter, the solution to the grave problems obtaining in Juba and in Equatoria does not rest on the transfer of the capital to another place or the expulsion of Dinkas from Equatoria. The solution to these problems rests on GOSS exercising leadership and adopting stern measures to protect citizens and their property. President Salva Kiir and the GOSS leadership must take the lead in speaking out against the ills being perpetuated against the citizens of Equatoria. President Kiir must act in the same way he acted when problems erupted in Warrap, Aweil and Rumbek. His Excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit and his government must put in place concrete and practical strategies and policies which will eliminate the problems of land grabbing, insecurity, harassment, wanton killing of innocent citizens, raping of women and girls, domination of key institutions by the Dinka and so on and so on. All of these problems are solvable if and when GOSS rises to the occasion to lead and govern. The long standing lazier-faire attitude of GOSS with regard to serious  issues of national or regional concern must come to a stop or else we can kiss the unity of our people goodbye. It would appear that the citizens of Equatoria are not happy with President Kiir’s continued silence on the issues of insecurity, land grabbing, killings, tribal domination etc. which have gripped Juba and some areas of Equatoria since the establishment of the Southern Sudan government.

If GOSS really has the ability to read, it must read the writing(s) on the wall NOW and take the necessary steps to prevent what is looming in the horizon. Another Kokora is not needed at this critical time as we prepare our people to decide their fate in the coming elections in 2009 and the referendum in 2011. Finally, it is the hope of this author that GOSS will take this piece as an honest and constructive criticism  of its performance coming from a committed member of the SPLM who wants the government to succeed in governing our people and providing them the needed protection and services.

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Written by torit1955

January 8, 2009 at 5:17 pm

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