By: YEL DENG AJOOK CHOL
With pleasures of happy 8th Independence Anniversary of our lovely nation ,The Republic of South Sudan which attained her independence when our beautiful flag with meaningful flying colors was hoisted in the sky of the Young Republic on 9th, July 2011 which marked the new beginning in the history of our Nation and in the lives of South Sudanese. The Orphan of our Homeland, H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit became the president of the young Nation. Two years after the independence, the disastrous civil war broke out claiming the lives of thousands of South Sudanese and drained the resources of the country which led to the economic depression and shattered the peaceful coexistence among the people of South Sudan. The former opposition groups (peace partners now) spent sleepless nights and restless day sabotaging the government of the young Nation at the international level and stirring the violent in the country with overall purpose to fail the President whereupon they will present it as a testimony that the Nation cannot move forward without their presence in the government.
As a result, the Nation experiences severe economic hardship coupled with competing priorities because the Nation started from scratch. People need standard roads, standard schools, standard hospitals, clean drinking water, decent accommodations, employment opportunities among others which are unquenchable simultaneously within this shortest time from 2011 to date and the war at the other hand. Despite all these, our President admitted in his 8th Independence Day Address to the Nation that yes there are failures in the government but not because he failed personally to do something but because there was nothing to be done to salvage the situation due to the known factors as stated earlier. President stated three issues which are weak governance system, failure of government to pay the salaries of civil servants and weak governance system in revenue generating institutions in unequivocal language that need no interpretation and I’m obliged to repeat them here.
“I recognize that from the time we earn our independence in July 2011, our desire to develop credible governance system for the management of our institutions has been interrupted by the abrupt outbreak of the internal conflict, as a result, our country continues to suffer from the weak governance system which has undermined the effective services delivery and development while the Re-vitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan provides us an opportunity to establish strong governance system before the conduct of the elections in 2021”.
This means that the government and the people of South Sudan have never had any amble time to strengthen their institutions and to define their national future. The CPA signed in 2005 provided six years interim period, nothing could be done in this period because it was an egg at hand, if it allowed to fall down it breaks and can never be restored. For that the attention of all South Sudanese was set on CPA implementation, the Referendum and Secession. Indeed H.E the President and the people of South Sudan secured their independence after which we were supposed to sit back and decide of how to build our country. But two years immediately after the Independence all the eyes of those who were suppose to join hands with the president to propel our nation forward became on the seat of the president and after they failed to grab the presidency, which subsequently led to rebellion in 2013. The bloody civil war raged on and again there was no time and opportunity for institutional reforms. Now that the peace agreement has been signed, the president believes that if all parties to the Agreement sincerely and honestly agreed in good faith to work together for the interest of our Nation then within this transitional period of three years, the strong governance system shall be devised. Vividly, in fact there had never been any governance system in South Sudan since the time immemorial [in which I agree with the dissenting opinion in African Commission of Inquiry’s Report that challenged the constant report that South Sudan is a Failed State where it is argued that there is nothing to fail since it is a nation that started from zero] and the little thing that was recently founded on scratch need a lot of work to be strengthened and there was no time to do that and therefore let not victimize our president because of his admission that there is weak governance system, i.e. should not be seen to be the one failing. There was a desire to develop strong governance system but there was no chance given to do that.
The other thing that dominated the headline was the president’s admission of the weak governance in revenue generating institutions in which he clearly stated that he and his government have taken the measures to address those weaknesses as evidenced by the improvement in the non oil revenue collection achieved through the establishment of the National Revenue Authority as the Ghanaian contractor is waging drastic reform in that sector. The minister of petroleum is also directed by the president to sell the crude oil of South Sudan in accordance with the international standard which indeed the minister had complied with and accordingly and there is an improvement as to that regard. The statement of the president was from the sincere heart to the people of South Sudan. And therefore, there is no reason to misquote the president when he spells out the weaknesses, the steps taken and the measures put forward to address those weaknesses.
The President is sympathetic and feels not comfortable when he views the situations the civil servants are facing in their living conditions. Our president is a humble man, God fearing and has a sense of humanity and must acknowledge the crying of and share the pain with his people. It holds no degree when he said that my government failed to pay the salaries of the government employees. The president made it clear as to why the government failed to pay out the salaries of the civil servants. The visible factor to that delay of salaries’ payment is the civil war in the country but since the signing of the Revitalized Peace Agreement, the country witnessed relative stability. As a result, the government is now able to payout all the outstanding arrears to the civil servants.
The President’s address to the Nation was a superb one, it touched all the corners of concern and carried the information that the citizens need to hear and as such we the people of South Sudan are satisfied with that address. Mr. President, carry on with the implementation of the peace agreement; the people of South Sudan are behind Your Excellency.
The writer is the 4th year student of law studying at the University of Juba and
The Interim President of South Sudan General Students’ Union
Is reachable via; +211916861683, +211925383776 or
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