By Suzanne Jambo
22nd September 2021
We’ve talked endlessly about our leaders failures. Namely President Kiir and his first VP Dr. Riek Machar and others in their direct contributions towards the seemingly insurmountable endless suffering of our People. We shall always do until justice and history will do us our justice.
In the coming days and weeks, via a series of short articles, I’ll begin to address the seemingly aiding and abetting international “partner in crime” of President Kiir and his first VP Dr. Riek Machar, aka Troika. For history sake, we did this 20 years ago when we, a group of concerned citizens joined hands and formed the first such pressure group, NESI Network, marking it the 1st civil society in South Sudan. NESI was formed in 2000 to address gaps by both international humanitarian agencies, Operation Lifeline Sudan, OLS and the local authorities then, the SPLM/A. OLS was formed by over 40 international agencies lead by both UNICEF & WFP on one hand whilst the SPLM/A provided local authority and protection back in 1989-2005. However, as indigenous people, we identified clear gaps as lack of local capacity building and empowerment as well as local institutions building by the UN OLS, similarly, as NESI we noted that the SPLM/A lacked the political will to include civil society and civilian voices into any political processes—-so NESI became the voice of the voiceless in the years of 2000-2008. I was a founder and the coordinator of NESI Network, New Sudanese Indigenous NGOs, the first umbrella network of civil society in South Sudan. NESI was diminished as they co-opted all our badly needed trained skilled staff into various government posts upon the CPA of 2005, I was the “last casualty” having being co-opted in 2008.
Its been 16 years since we, South Sudanese began self-rule in a semi-autonomous government of Southern Sudan under the “liberating” SPLM’s chairperson President Kiir. We had a 6 year interim period, and we gained our independence in 2011. Its been ten years since becoming the world’s youngest nation, the Republic of South Sudan, RSS.
So, the country became the world’s youngest nation ten years ago. But did the South Sudanese people become independent? NO!!! Genuine independence has not arrived. Kiir took power and manufactured conflict to keep the Troika focused on him and away from anything that might benefit the people in the villages or on the streets of Juba, Wau and Malakal. So, the Troika of the USA, UK and Norway have enabled Kiir’s tyranny for the last decade. There is a sick and twisted co-dependency between the Troika and Kiir. Peace talk “mediators” spend more time over dinner arguing which of them will deserve a Nobel prize more than another than Kiir and Machar argue over who gets to be the dictator.
Kiir is no less the enemy of South Sudanese than the callous indifference of the US, UK and Norway. The members of the Troika are NOT, repeat NOT, friends of our people. They have all the patience to do Kiir’s bidding who manipulates them shamelessly, but we have no more patience. We no longer have the patience to indulge Kiir and the Troika as they slow walk the years going by. Change will come soon. The Troika can be on the right side of history or be branded forever as the “all talk and no walk” presence they seem to be. They have the power to choose. We’ll discover soon who our real friends are.