Why is Kiir running for southern Sudan presidency?


Salva Kiir Mayardit cuts the ribbon to open the newly renovated Cultural Centre in Juba, Southern Sudan, with the governor of Central Equatoria, Clement Wani Konga, looking on, May 22, 2008. (Photo: Kait Holt website)

He’s just responded to that question in-depth today, for those of us who don’t attend his rallies–you guessed right—I mean those of us in the diaspora.   

On Tuesday, President Kiir’s elections manifesto miraculously appeared on the official website of the Government of Southern Sudan.

There isn’t much in it that you don’t already know. However, a sneak peek at Kiir’s “to-do-list” reminds everybody of the magnitude of underdevelopment in Southern Sudan.

With that said-- since he’s a politician-- one wonders how he intends to deliver those noble objectives he’s promising southern voters? Most importantly, when?   

Mr. President can’t possibly be asking for a blank cheque --as has been the case in the last five years.

I have read the President’s manifesto (read more like a “wish list”) and I like it—but it lacks a strategy to implement his vision. He also needs to put some meat on some of the following policy priorities he’s identified:   

·         Freedom, Peace and Prosperity

·         Women and Youth empowerment

·         Right of self-determination for Southern Sudan

·         Justice, Equality and Progress

·         Better life for all

·         Political stability

·         Efficient delivery of services

·         Economic transformation

·         Welfare of war heroes, heroines and orphans

·         Better education, health and clean water

Finally, one would have loved to see Mr. Kiir focus on jobs, jobs and jobs in his blueprint!

Maybe that’s asking too much in a short time or it's too premature. Maybe.

For now, however, the elections are down to the wire and one hopes that our young semi-autonomous country will emerge stronger after the elections, and rise beyond ethnic schism.


*In Victoria, Canada