The euphoria is over, and South Sudan is facing an urgency in problematizing the state, and hopefully mapping out a plan that would sustain the state for the next couple of years- Atleast that is the gist of the article written by Christopher Zambakari, an African scholar from South Sudan. In his article for Pampazuka, he states that the citizens are waiting for a dream where “freedom from oppression and domination, justice and equality, democracy and economic prosperity, peace and tranquillity” would be the norm. He further articulates the urgency for the state apparatus to find a way to reconcile the past, by finding the reasons behind the violence. To the author, expressing the opinions of scholars before him, there is no moving forward without find the reasons behinds the actions. Hence, being that the state is young, keeping an eye on the process would be a crucial element in critiquing the development of the young state.
The article off course, like his suggestions, offers a few of the problems. The lack of unity, thus divided in citizenship, the land disputes- and the list could go on. Perfectly so, South Sudan comes into statehood with many challenges ahead. Leadership might be one that is sidelined by the need to focus the dividing lines between those who “belong” and those who “don’t belong”- One can imagine that lines between the two have blurred over the ears.
While this article brings about many good points, and possible solutions to the problems indicated, the author devotion on problems seem to take away from a real problem that needs to be addressed: Leadership. Zambakari touches on Garang and the work of this leader. Respectfully so, the man was a great leader in his own sense- although his relationship with Museveni might be considered an error in his judgment. However, South Sudan needs to realize that Garang is dead. It seems that most scholars, and idealists would focus on a leader much like Garang, and leave no room for new blood in leadership. Otherwise, the South Sudanese will find themselves facing the stagnation of the past- much like the Lumumba situation in Congo, the Che Guavaras- and the Nkrumah issue in Ghana (if not the rest of West Africa). Bottom line, South Sudan needs to get over its romance with Garang, move on and upwards(hopefully)
The politics of leadership in this new state have to be so that they is careful intergration of all aspects of society. This means that in the elevation of spirits in finding freedom, South Sudan needs to set an example to the rest of Africa, by the inclusion of both gender, race and age in the new leadership bloc.
Much to the sentiments of the author, there is an urgency for South Sudan to form a strong state. There problems are many, and they come into statehood in very confusing times as far as world politics go. The good news is that there is really no way to go but up- for they have at a point, hit rock bottom. But let the scholars, politicians and activists be advised: South Sudan is not an exception to Africa’s problems. For as they fight for recognition, they have neighboring countries that are fighting the same problems, with the same unrealized dreams. Let them be advised that the rest of Africa is still fighting for the dreams of “freedom from oppression and domination, justice and equality, democracy and economic prosperity, peace and tranquillity.” Their expectations should be that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but before that, there are dark days ahead.