New Year's Resolution: Let's help President Kiir lead us

Category: Writing aboard the Kenya Airways: A story on coming to Rwanda for the first time
Published on Friday, 13 January 2012 05:17
Written by James Adiok Mayik, The New Sudan Vision (NSV),
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JUBA, South Sudan- Politics aside, every time people differ, quarrel, and fight over an idea or resources; someone must pay dearly for it. The substances of this pay always involve ultimate loss of life. Let’s stop wars and settle down to rebuild lives, wealth, dignity, and the kind of future we had always fought for to be Arabization-free people. Although the wars in Jonglei, Unity, and upper Nile States are caused by cattle rustling and cattle culture dynamics, they are mostly fueled by local politics and elites who sit somewhere where there are air-conditions, better food, cleaner drinking water, and better hospitals either in Juba or abroad. Sadly enough, those who bear and buckle under the weight of any brutal confrontations are always mere villagers who own nothing and gain nothing at the end of it all. The ultimate sufferers of the physical violence involved are always vulnerable civilians who languish in poverty on daily basis, lack financial capacities to escape dangers, and lack the kind of literacy needed to receive new ideas through appropriate modern media.

This note seeks to rebuke elites and privileged members of South Sudan communities to stop fueling ethnic tensions through politicking around. 2012 should be a year in which a lot of learning to be free citizens should take place since almost all of us had never experienced freedom. We must undertake responsibilities to learn to be responsible citizens. Let’s stop cynicism of the situation we have before hands and make security of our nation a collective responsibility in order to protect the vulnerable population from ethnic violence. We must understand that not everybody can have all the needs, wants, and desires at the same time.

Security of all lands and villages in South Sudan will open up the whole country to international development assistance and makes all people accessible to government efforts for reconstruction. To avoid polarization of social, economic, and political capacity development, it is imperative that citizens of every community in South Sudan should seize the opportunity to end hostilities in their localities. A peaceful South Sudan will attract donors, investors (local and foreign), and maintain the integrity of the growing capability of our government to lead us.  

It is undeniable that South Sudan as a young country which has only been independent for less than a year has tremendous challenges and lacks many things a viable country must have. That implies gaining independence was not a ticket to overnight riches for everyone. Although, as we understand, millions of US dollars had been siphoned to foreign bank accounts by selfish individuals during the interim period, we should not be weakened to succumb to situation of anarchy as we had had enough of it over the previous 21 years of war with the north. Let’s count rampant theft and looting of public resources as part and parcel of the lacking capacity in many government institutions. If we do not find immediate solutions to this we should hope it will change with time as attrition of the government workforce is a natural and an inevitable phenomenon.

As members of an emerging country, we must understand that overnight utopia is a fantasy. We must learn to manage these too high expectations in order to avoid overwhelming and overstretching the leadership of our government. Our leadership is struggling with capacity in every corner and dimension of service spectrum. This was expected of a young independent nation. What people out there should know is that Juba is working around the clock to try to fix things that are fixable and build systems that are buildable. All the citizens do need is patience because fixing and building systems in a new nation must take time. It is a reality no one can avoid. Let’s be fair and should take the good citizen’s responsibility to help Kiir Mayardit lead us until 2015 when general elections are due. Like the rest of us, Kiir had never been President of any country before. All of us are beginners as we have just become free this past July, 2011.

Since democracy was one principle of our civil struggle, Kiir Mayardit must step aside through the ballot boxes but not through the bullets of guns and violence as we are witnessing. Nobody must wish to see Somalization of South Sudan. It is not our culture as some individuals wish to impose it on us. Let’s make it a responsibility of every citizen to suppress ideas that seek to cause ethnic, regional, and political violence through mature civic education.

When someone picks up arms and starts to kill, he no longer remains a politician but a national and community security threat. It is advisable that government puts in place laws that define and outlaw treason. This will prevent people working in the government and abroad from causing anarchy through naïve politicking around. 2012 should be time in which small politicians find themselves some constructive tasks to do in order to stay engaged and stop engaging in destructive politics that cause wars they themselves don’t physically get involved.

James Adiok is a citizen of South Sudan living in Juba. Any questions should be directed to him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..