Ambassador Mayen; you are both a positive gift and a blessing to the Republic of South Sudan (RoSS) diplomacy at this early and critical stage of our history. I have followed your various statements in the media; and in various gatherings that you attended; and I am overwhelmed with pride and positive human emotion that; you are my; and our Ambassador in the Republic of Sudan (RoS). I must sincerely tell you that; the northern public; at least in Khartoum State is pleased with you; and you represent a rear candle light; in the frightening tunnel of darkness that was almost engulfing and blinding as well as suffocating the relationship between the RoSS and the RoS. I pray to Allah that; He guides your steps and enrich your youthful wisdom; with more constructive ideas and foresightedness with which you shall lead the RoSS Mission in the RoS; towards more brotherly and sisterly positive and sincere relationships imbued with trust and love as between the two sisterly nations.
You are very right and correct when you said that; the secession of the RoSS is only a political one! You have in fact summed up the feelings of many true sons and daughters of the current RoSS and RoS; and former United Sudan. You are spot on. The two sisterly and brotherly peoples of the RoSS and RoS do not hate one another in the true sense of the word hate. There have been prolonged political misunderstandings; and the civil wars that characterised the life history of the former Sudan are not due to the fact that; the two peoples hate themselves. The wars have been prolonged by lack of political good will to resolve the cardinal issues that made the two parts of hitherto United Sudan to go to war. Now that the very two parts of hitherto United Sudan have resolved the issue; and thus the birth of the RoSS; there is no logic why the two peoples should not resume their brotherly and sisterly relationships which bonded them for many centuries even before the advent of the foreign element into the Sudan.
Your Excellency Ambassador Mayen; the burden of smoothening the rough edges of comprehensive relationships between the RoSS and the RoS have now fallen upon your youthful shoulders; which carry your mature brains and wisdom; and the contemporary and future happiness of current and posterity South Sudanese is now your duty of care so to speak. Your speeches and comments represent rare spices of words and sentences in the soiled relationship between Khartoum and Juba. Your ideas represent torrents of cold spring water; falling on dry political mouths and throats; that have yearned forever; for such cooling effects; since the secession of the RoSS. You are on the right path towards the crucible of great diplomats; carry on; and I must declare right here and now that; I am one of those human persons in the world who shall support you; in your attempts to build solid human bridges between the RoSS and the RoS; because that is the right of the two peoples of the RoSS and the RoS; and nobody ought to deprive them of this God given right to love one another.
I wholeheartedly stand with your objective support of the agreements signed in Addis Ababa between the RoSS and the RoS. The prudent implementation of the economic and trade agreements alone is a mammoth step towards the rejuvenation of the economic and financial expectations of the two economies and peoples. The resumption of crude oil exportation via Port-Sudan is another major stabilization of the two economies; and the lifting of social and life burden from the peoples of the two countries. Critical analysis of sectoral trade between the two countries entails considerable positive returns to the two peoples; and the creation of new jobs and employment as well as developmental opportunities as between the two countries.
Your Excellency Ambassador Mayen; I think it is right to argue that; it is time we stopped mimicking one another’s mistakes; and also stop our indulgent in tit-for-tat kind of behaviour. I am not saying that the RoSS must not claim its due rights. I am simply saying that; some of the issues which create challenges as between the RoSS and the RoS demand cool heads; and thanks God; your approach is productive. For example; critical analysis of the retail sub-sector within the remit of the private sector in the economy of the RoSS indicates that; the pivotal infrastructures in terms of the cognitive processes; and human as well as other forms of logistics is intimately tied to the retail ethoses of the hitherto united Sudan. The South Sudanese entrepreneurs in this point in time; run their private businesses all over the South Sudan along these ethoses. The consumption patterns of the consumers of various goods and services in South Sudan are influenced by these ethoses.
I am not saying that; we in the RoSS ought not to trade with Kenya and Uganda for example; I am simply saying that; our traders could not profitably compete in Uganda and Kenya for many social and cultural reasons. However; our businessmen and women could profitably compete in the RoS and within the RoSS; and using the RoSS as a spring board towards Kenya and Uganda and beyond with mixed goods and services form both RoSS and the RoS. This creates a competitive advantage that no traders in both Kenya and Uganda could match. This is fine for us in the RoSS without necessarily affecting our sovereignty or identity if that is the fear. The dollar has no fixed identity as it were. It is a liquid value; but our traders can make more dollars while trading with the RoS than with the rest of East African countries combined. If you critically examined the number of states in the RoSS which share common borders with the RoS; and at the same time you evaluate the cost-benefit analysis of all these states trading with East Africa for example; that is the whole of Greater Upper Nile and substantial part of Greater Bahr El Ghazal; the picture becomes more clearer; and the argument for encouraging trade with the RoS more objectively compelling.
Your Excellency Ambassador Mayen; you eloquently stated that; the RoSS shall become the hub for the RoS’s goods and services in terms of the rest of Africa; south of the Sahara. This was well put and it makes a huge economic/financial; and security senses. Just imagine the hundreds of goods and services that could flow through the RoSS to these other African countries and vice versa; these are opportunities which only peoples who do not want to see themselves flourish could work hard to destroy. However; the two peoples of the RoSS and the RoS are willing to cooperate; and with the correct guidance from you people in charge; can actually greatly benefit from theses opportunities.
In the field of health care for example; within the remit of curative and preventive medicine; and with the kind of acute shortage of medical doctors in the RoSS; with the right infrastructural arrangements; the RoSS could greatly benefit from medical doctors of all specializations from the RoS; and cheaper than those brought in from East Africa. In fact medical doctors from the RoS have more value because there shall not be any language barriers between the patient and the doctor. There will not be any time in the history of the RoSS when there shall be no patients in the RoSS who do not speak the Arabic language however rudimental. Just look at the various human generations in the RoSS; and that shall inform you how medical planning ought to be done in the RoSS. The RoSS could benefit from other Arab world countries and this shall be done by being engaged with the rest of the Arab World. The RoSS has a lot to gain by concretizing these agreements with the RoS; and we need safe hands and minds to manage these agreements from this end in the RoS.
These agreements shall also benefit the two peoples greatly in terms of social and cultural exchanges and development. For example; within the remit of Higher Education (HE); there are others in the RoSS; who think that; in terms of HE; the RoSS could not benefit anymore from the RoS. These people think that; East Africa is the new source of cooperation in this field. However; with due respect to all East African HE institutions; but the Sudanese HE infrastructures were developed long before many HE institutions in East Africa were developed. If it is the English Language; there is an erroneous believe that; the place to go is East Africa. This is difficult to sustain as an argument because the facts speak for themselves. Almost 98% of South Sudanese lawyers were educated in the Sudan; by Sudanese and others; as well as other specializations long before the Arabisation of the HE. Even after the Arabisation of the HE; it is difficult to sustain the argument that; East African HE institutions are better equipped to teach English than Sudanese HE institutions.
|South Sudanese Peoples|
Your Excellency Ambassador Mayen; there are many more qualified Professors and various PhD holders in the RoS; who; with the right arrangements; are willing to work in South Sudanese universities than migrating to the Gulf and such like. This will be far cheaper and easier for both students and faculty. These issues of cultural exchange and development ought to be given a proper attention and assigned to specialized body that ought to plan for it for the benefit of the RoSS in most cases. For example; if you consider the thousands of young men and women who graduated from Sudanese universities up until 2012; and the many thousands who are still studying in the RoS; it becomes clear then why I insist that; the futures of these young women and men should not be jeopardized by some political decisions. These young men and women could be encouraged and supported to pursue their post graduate studies in the RoS; and they shall do so with some efficiency and cheaply in all aspects.
We need many young men and women from the RoSS to specialize in the Arabic language; which is now a strategic language; internationally; regionally; and nationally. Again; there are many uninformed voices in the RoSS who seem to think that; we in the RoSS ought to forget the Arabic language; because according to them; it reminds us of some historical issues. This is a dangerous emotional thinking; and it does not contribute to nation building in all aspects. Look at the size of the Arab World; consider all political; security; military; economic; financial; cultural; social; technological; and philosophical influence of the Arab world in international political; financial; economic; and other fields. It is only those who do not know what they are talking about; that they continue to argue that; the Arabic language ought not to be taught in the curriculum of our educational system in the RoSS. We need diplomats who are fluent in the Arabic language; we need educationalists who are fluent in the Arabic language; we need military officers who are fluent in the Arabic language; we need medical doctors who are fluent in the Arabic language; in fact; we need all our educated people to be fluent in the Arabic langue because that adds net positive value to their intellectual and cultural agility at national; regional; and international levels. What is wrong with a South Sudanese speaking his/her native language, plus Arabic; English; French; German etc? What is just wrong about this? How does this hurt our national pride?
Your Excellency Ambassador Mayen; you have not only broken the ice between the RoSS and the RoS as it were; in my sincere and genuine feelings; you have also broken the ice between hitherto hesitant South Sudanese intellectuals and others; who have not taken up arms against the peoples of the RoSS; but those who have some opinions in terms of general development issues in the RoSS; but there were not ears ready to listen. The human and diplomatic you presented to the world has heralded in new dimensions of engagements between South Sudanese Diaspora and the government of the RoSS. If the RoSS is ready to do practicable business with the RoS; it is then right and fitting to assume that; the RoSS shall be able to open its arms wide to all sons and daughters of the RoSS who genuinely want to help using their knowledge and skills to promote development in the RoSS. Opinions do not kill nations; especially those opinions made in good faith for general communitarian benefit. Criticism of conducts of senior personnel in government of the RoSS should not amount to a death sentence. Voicing an opinion about issues of paramount importance like secession of the RoSS; without doing practical harmful actions against the will of the peoples of the RoSS ought not to amount to political witch hunt. At any rate; your ideas and genuine concern Ambassador Mayen is a refreshing moment in the discourse of South Sudanese polity; politics; and policies. Ambassador Mayen: you are a blessing to South Sudanese diplomacy.
By Prof. Wani Tombe, 8 hours 8 minutes ago
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