Addressed to: Gen Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan, Juba.
date: March 15th, 2018
Dear Mr President,
Ref: South Sudan’s Application for membership in the Arab League of Nations: Is it not a voluntary Return to Arab Islamic bondage.
For those who closely follow political developments in the new Republic of South Sudan, it may not have come as surprise to learn that the country has formerly applied for membership in the 22-nation regional organization of the “Arab League of Nations”. The application, according to media outlets, including the Middle East Monitor (MEM), 7th March 2108, the Sudan Tribune of March 6th, 2018, and the Egyptian Independent newspaper, Al-Masry al Youm of 7th March 2018, was submitted on 6th March, 2018, with the facilitation of Egypt, which is a permanent member of the Arab Islamic organization. Al-Masry Al Youm quoted an Egyptian diplomatic source as saying that “the meeting of the 149th session of Arab League of Nations is likely to discuss South Sudan’s request to join” the regional organization. It is to be recalled that the primary mission of the organization is to “safeguard sovereignty of all Arab Islamic member states and, protect the affairs and interests of these Arab nations” in accordance with the basic tenets and values of Islam.
There rests the core of the matter for the Republic of South Sudan, whose short history is nothing more than one of continuous struggle against Arab Islamic domination and enslavement. Given this clear mission of the Arab League of nations, a number of critical questions come handy in the minds of many concerned South Sudanese, particularly those members of my generation who either lost their loved ones in the hands of the same Arabs or are wounded victims in the course of fighting for justice from the very Arabs the government in Juba wants to please. Why should South Sudan make such a request to become part of the Arab League of Nations at this time, especially when common knowledge reminds us that the same Arabs enslaved, oppressed, massacred, subjugated, exploited and marginalized the people of South Sudan for over 100 years? What is the rational for making such a foreign policy decision? Is Arabism creeping back into the heart of the country? What is Egypt’s interest in facilitating South Sudan’s change of direction from being naturally African to seeking membership in an Arab Islamic organization that was responsible for her own destruction?
These developments have not only perturbed the minds of many South Sudanese, particularly the survivors of Arab Islamic colonialism, but also rekindled enduring memories of the suffering of the people of South Sudan in the hands of the very Arabs you now wish to embrace. Such a government foreign policy in Juba amounts to committing an act of betrayal to the honoured memory of the victims who paid the ultimate sacrifice to liberate South Sudan from the same Arab enemies. This is especially so when thousands if not millions of South Sudanese are still mourning the losses of their loved ones who perished in that liberation war from the Arab enemy. For South Sudan to request membership of the Arab League of nations, your government is effectively reversing the gains of the revolution which culminated into the attainment of independence by the people of South Sudan in 2011. That be the case then, why did you take part in the fight for justice and freedom in the hands of the Arabs? Why did you campaign for many to participate in the war of liberation against Arab enslavement and domination? Were you only pretending to seek justice from the Arab rulers of Arabia or how much have you been promised that is much more worth than being free from enslavement? Clearly, something somewhere is not right in this foreign policy gamble.
This kind of policy contradictions reveal a lot about your ill-advised intentions to deny the sovereignty of the country as expressed in your regrets against the independence of South Sudan in Nov 2017, when you voluntarily offered an unreserved apology to President Omar al Bashir of Sudan, for an unintended separation of South Sudan from the northern Arab enslavers. In your meeting with Bashir on 1st November 2017, you claimed that “The fact that South Sudan broke away from Sudan was not really the most choice of everybody, but when the majority decide in a democratic situation, people have to go with it”. This in effect, meant that you were not enthusiastic about the independence and freedom of our people but, rather you were dragged into it by the majority people of South Sudan.
Such behaviour brings into question all the assertions you made, Mr President that you sacrificed in the war for independence and is now working for the interest of the people of South Sudan. It also puts into question why in the first place, you invested your time in a cause for which you did not believe in if only to end up in regrets for the freedom obtained as the very reason for the liberation war.
How would you account, Mr President, for all the sacrifices made by millions of South Sudanese who died in the course of that war? How could you, all of a sudden, forget our heroes and heroines who fell in the cause of the struggle for justice, liberty and freedom of our people?
Are you telling us Mr President, that great patriots such as Comrades Nyacigak Nyashuluk, Cde Ager Gum, Capt Naomi Arrona, Cde Akol Akol, Cde John Akot (Mangook), Cde Peter Pannom Tanypiny, Cde Apukich Madut, Cde Martin Kenyi Samson, Capt Deng Leek, Capt. James Jada Wani, Cde Mabior Ajot, Cde James Kailek, Cde Gwuido Mori, Cde Gordon Gau, Cde Mosses Lubari, Cde Majok Mac, Cde Ajuang Malou, Cde Deng Aguang…and, all the millions who died in the war, did so to end up having their spirits handed over to the very Arabs who murdered them in first place?
Do you, Mr President, honestly believe that God will approve your evil plans? I strongly doubt that the good Lord agrees with such a satanic act from your part, Mr President.
When many of us all joined the SPLM/SPLA struggle in the 80s, it was because we all felt the oppression of the Arabs to our core, and out of conviction, we decided enough was enough, we were going to fight to liberate our people. In the course of that long and costly struggle, many comrades never made it to the end, on top of whom was our Founding Father, Dr. John Garang de’ Mabior Atem Arwai. We owe it to them to ensure that South Sudan remains an independent African, sovereign and free country.
Mr President, the events of March 6th, 2018, caused great sense of disappointment to many South Sudanese when you decided, in your twisted wisdom to drag the country into the Arab League. You took the decision because you think the Arab League might shadow you at the UN Security Council, in order to avoid sanctions, given your acknowledgement that the economy has collapsed, you obviously want to seek loan from the Arab Monetary Fund in addition to attracting Arab investors. These are actions of a desperate and unthinking man caught between a rock and a hard place.
Such a momentous decision to take South Sudan into the Arab League without parliament approval, is contemptuous and makes a mockery of your claim that South Sudan is a free and democratic state. First, as a sovereign state, membership to any regional or international organizations should be sufficiently scrutinized and deliberated upon by all relevant legislative apparatus of the state. Secondly, South Sudan is not an Arab country, nor do South Sudanese subscribe to the Arabic culture. South Sudanese are 100% Africans and will remain so.
That some of our people speak or write Arabic does not equate to being Arab in as much as those of us who speak and write English make South Sudan part of England. It is therefore, our passionate belief that even if your decision was to be subjected to the rigour of an independent parliamentary scrutiny, a parliament whose members are elected by the people, and not the rubber stamper of your appointees; or put to the people of South Sudan for a vote, I can assure you that, the decision to join the Arab League of Nations would never ever see the light of the day.
This is precisely Mr President, because the honoured memory of our fallen martyrs is still fresh in our minds and in our hearts. Indeed, the martyrs and all those fallen heroes and heroines in their graves, must have furiously turned their eyes in dismay and anger in response to this act of betrayal by such callous decision.
Your decision to join the very Arabs whom you fought against for over 100 years should not come as a surprise to many of us. This is because overtime, you have consistently shown lack of ability to discern between what is morally good and evil, between prudence and misjudgement and, between wisdom and absurdity, even when such matters cost human lives.
While I do recognize that regional integration is necessary for economic development, what a prudent leadership should have done first, is to begin by building a solid foundation upon which that regional integration takes root. South Sudan should not have started by venturing into joining the unknown world of regional bodies such as the East Africa Community (EAC) or the Arab League of Nations for that matter, without initiating its own economic production process. The country should have by necessity begin by reactivating our existing economic development projects, including the Wau Fruit canning factory, the Anzara weaving factory, Mongila (Mangalla) sugar scheme, Melut sugar scheme and Upper Talanga Tea production scheme, all of which were established in the 1970s, thanks to the autonomous regional government of Southern Sudan. Our agriculture is yet to take off, there is no single tarmacked road to link our major cities and towns, and the forest with all its timber products is still intact. As a consequence, the country cannot feed its own people, leave alone joining competitive regional markets that are already established and developed. Even the simple Mafao Dairy Farm at Gandu-kuru (Kondokoro), across the River Nile in Juba should have been restored first before the country dreams of joining regional markets with nothing to sell in those competitive markets.
The regional organizations that exist today are nothing less than market places where members sell goods produced in their respective countries. You should have known that if a member state cannot have its own products to sell in those markets then, the country ends up being a net importer from those other states which have the ability to produce and sell goods in regional markets.
You need not be reminded that in South Sudan today, everything from consumables such as tomatoes, beans, cabbages, hot chilli to building materials, including cement and brooms, all come from the neighbouring countries. Our regional partners export to us, making us their consumers while we export absolutely nothing in return! This is not regional integration of equals Mr President; this is economic looting of the country by foreigners if not dumping of the highest order. This type of parasitic economic relationship is detrimental to the future prosperity of the country for which we all fought and sacrificed millions of lives to liberate it.
Mr President, It is now clear that the decision to join the Arab League of Nations is driven by your desire to sustain control of your failed regime and remain in power for as long as it takes, even if that means millions more lives are lost. Having captured the state, you and your cronies are not bothered by the suffering of the people in the protection of civilian sites (POCS), the Internally displaced persons (IDPS) as well as the refugees in the neighbouring countries, instead, you intend to exploit regional dynamics for the benefit of a few.
Egypt’s interests in South Sudan are not any secret. Apart from the desire to restart the excavation of the Jonglei canal, Egypt’s strategic agenda is to dominate politics of the Horn of Africa region. It is in this regard, that you are being lured into the Arab League for easy control and exploitation. We are closely watching your steps Mr President, especially issues to do with the Jonglei canal.
In a democratic society, such a decision to join any regional organization would have earned you serious scrutiny by all relevant legislative apparatus to explain yourself as to what will benefit South Sudan in joining the Arab league. But in the absence of democracy in the country and, given your dictatorial style of rule, you are above the law and therefore, unaccountable to anybody, hence the unilateral decision to surrender the hard earned country to its traditional adversaries. Thankfully this will not happen, Mr President, as long as we live, South Sudan will not be sold out for chief favours from Arab colonial powers.
In conclusion, I elect to make this recommendation to you Mr President; in order to avoid inflicting more suffering on the lives of the people of South Sudan, it is only prudent that you make the right decision to have an honourable exit from power and retire to your family ranch. Do so first by repenting to God for your sins to be forgiven after offending the souls of our martyrs and then, step down peacefully instead of handing the country we fought so hard for, to the very enemies of our people.
Gen Lemi Logwonga Lomurö, PhD (Cand)
Centre for Citizen Interface in South Sudan (CISS).
Disclaimer: All views expressed here are solely mine.