Africa’s moment of reckoning, our Survival

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By Suzanne Jambo

5th November 2021

I promise to keep it succinct. I am neither a journalist, nor a professional writer. No I am not paid by any foreign powers! My 20 years old college-drop out son works 14-16 hours a day and helps me put food on our table, very occasionally some random low key community organization sources for my skills and pays me some copper coins. Yep, you got it right; “when South Sudanese politicians and military generals were looting billions, I was working almost on voluntary basis; ‘the public thievery memo bypassed me.’ And the UN, that classic organization which if you had any senior staff(s) become your enemy, they’ll make sure you don’t enter the UN! Factly! So, I am that woman who will never give up until men overcome their nonchalant attitude, stop dilly-dallying and act! Those women whom you (men) all have in your lives; “We shall nag with men over their slow or lack of [timely] action!” That’s also a summation moment by women, we are easily over 50% of world’s population. Equally, we are the direct victims of male war mongers action and male humanitarianists’ indecisiveness or inaction! In the absence of your ability to understand our ways, it is best you learn to accept our argument as is. This is also another women’s nemesis aspect. Briefly, topically, I will focus on South Sudan, Sudan and Ethiopia but I will touch basis on all of us Africans, democracy allies, too, keep reading.

So, today, a close Darfurian male comrade expresses restlessly; “the trouble with the west, their resolutions are without action, toothless. The internet is shutdown, both Burhan and Hemedti are killing us.” Hemedti was earlier on today bragging; ‘We will use delayed tactic, what will the Americans or Europeans do, with delayed tactics, the West will forget about us.” I reminded my Sudanese comrade, “The Sudanese are exemplarily resolved. It’s a matter of time, the People shall win!” But the ‘democratic world doesn’t act!’ He added. I am reminded by an all time favorite Martin Luther King’s quote: “Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war.” BEAUTIFUL. Practically put by MLK. We take note; Sudanese PM Dr. Hamdouk is the current IGAD chairman, illegally detained and gagged. Barely a few days later Ethiopia’s TPLF “we’re marching to Addis Ababa”. This New Flower City has been the AU HQs since it’s inception in 1963, now in 2021 it is not safe! I can’t help but lament; “In ONE MONTH, October 2021, IGAD’s chairman Sudanese PM Dr. Hamdouk unconstitutionally detained and a serious plan to attack the AU HQs in Addis Ababa.” This must be a James Bond script, a classic action fiction movie.” A close fellow Pan-Africanist humorously quipped.

The problem isn’t “South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia or….”, it is not a name of a country or her people, per se, but it is the bizarre, the unthinkable antics, we, especially the ruling class aka African rulers/useful idiots and the divided African elite alike on one hand, and the West’s democracy, lip service and rhetorics on the other hand. Wait. We also take note that there’s a new twist, Sudan being “an Arab nation”, join in the West’s dictions, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, interestingly, the two Arabic nations have their own non-democratic style leadership, I can only imagine the majority African Sudanese citizens’ (Darforians, the Nuba and the Beja) exclamation “where’s the AU?” We hope Nollywood, Hollywood and Bollywood film producers are jotting down scripts for an all time best movie.

Meanwhile, the likes of NCP’s Burhan, Hemedti, President Kiir, Tut Kieu Gatluak know how to organize well. Throughout 2020-to-date, The woman in me “nagged” publicly,
in writing about Dr. Hamdouk’s over patience at NCP’s par excellence schemes, NCP succeeding in distracting him to fall into a rat race thereby isolating him from the Sudanese people’s frustrations over a biting economy. Today, leaders don’t need to go on expensive dust/heat-filled political rallies (COVID19 is a factor too) to hear citizens’ complaints; use social media effectively, you will hear very detailed, articulate and even visionary lectures on what the people want. “Leaders who come through people’s revolutions, their strength is drawn from constant engagement with the people.” I jested upon observing Dr. Hamdouk’s confinement to ‘AC offices, interviewed by CNN tweets, while at loggerhead with the military who control politics and the economy …’ The military stole your power from you Mr. PM. The People mandated you! Similarly, Ethiopian PM Dr. Abiy, we all know what you have been doing since 2018 and your reforms frustrations by TPLF’s deeply rooted entrenched in their 30 grip on power. You inherited an entire Ethiopia mad at the TPLF. But you took it too far and forgot Ethiopians aren’t TPLF, all Ethiopians’ welfare must be always your focus. You should’ve also educated yourself on the colonial Nile water agreements’ history and how to walk with your brethren from the 10 Nile Basin nations to walk with you in togetherness. Military action isn’t the solution for reformists like yourself. You won a Noble peace prize, you’re not a war monger! Both prime ministers Hamdouk and Abiy are known for their courageous work towards peace, inclusivity and reforms. Clearly, reformists, peace lovers and inclusivity champs need to learn to work as effectively as warlords (MLK advised). We all watched in disbelief how South Sudan’s general President Kiir swiftly despatched both his top security bosses, Akol Koor and Tut Kieu who went with serious cash to boost their NCP military brethren in their coup. South Sudanese have had no peace since 2013 and hunger and diseases YET we never saw Kiir act this efficiently! The woman in me also watched the body language of how Burhan behaves when he is around the likes of Tut Kieu compared with the UN SG Representative to Sudan, German Mr. Volker Perthes.

So, all the political drama in both nations, Africa’s silence was LOUD! This must be a hybrid of “a James Bond movie” plus an additional
or another version of those who love wars are more effective than those who love peace. There is another mastermind, someone(s), silently has been lending our useful idiots African rulers huge sums of money on blank cheques [in collateral of our national resources and sovereign assets], this someone(s) halted any significant sub-Saharan African leaders’ outcry on the political bizarreness above. “We have rebuilt/renovated the AU HQs in Addis, we shall build another one in, umm, Juba, or Nairobi…plus a wholesome package”.

Naturally and subsequently, we Africa’s elites are divided; those pro our African rulers “our leaders know what they’re doing….stop being disrespectful to your elderly leaders…you’re sell outs…” since they’re more citizens than us, they repeatedly rebuke us.”
“We were betrayed by evil soldiers, they accused us of drugs and weed…inspite we gave them dates and roses, they gave us back hundred bullets, why??.” Soulfully sings Sudanese young artist Ahmed Amin. Undeterred, we Pan-Africanists align ourselves with our people’s suffering and aspirations, the masses, the citizens. We don’t sugarcoat our useful idiots, we’re neither sellouts to any foreign funds, we are firm on our untapped potentials to emancipate our people from abject poverty and the total elimination of our collective humiliation by all and sundry! We believe Africa has what it takes to unite in diversity, use our powerful unity to instill good governance systems while preserving our rich diverse heritage and common identity. We patriotically love our Africa.

Tonight we also applaud many activists from around East Africa in solidarity with the Ethiopians discussing openly to prevent crisis in that beautiful nation. These activists are not afraid of Africa’s rulers conspicuous silence. Africa may just be at crossroads inspired by the Sudanese Kandaka women and youth revolution since 2019 and again in 2021, the determined resolve of all Sudanese people whom we know right now are being hit hardest by live bullets, rape and kidnapping is unmatchable. The solidarity the Sudanese brought about us tell us we’re on the right path. Africa is rising to write her narrative on the world’s map. I urge us all Africans, activists, journalists, businesspersons, artists, singers, comedians, farmers and white color professional associations, men and women, youth and old, let’s join hands and remove our real obstacles instead of calling one another names!

Suzanne Jambo
A South Sudanese veteran civil society and political activist and leader of Steps, a pro-peaceful method political party founded in 2017

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