The leader of one of the biggest youth movements in South Sudan has claimed that the ongoing clashes in the world’s youngest state is being fuelled by foreign forces, some of whom have since been pitching camp in the capital, Juba for months.
In an interview with the Daily Monitor last week, Mr Samuel Okomi, the Director of South Sudan Youth Participation Agency (SSYPA) alleged that several foreign companies are apparently poised to exploit the country’s natural resources (oil) amidst the ongoing political confusion.
It also emerged that at the time the country was fighting for its independence from Sudan, several ad hoc deals were cut with foreign companies on understanding that when the South gets independence it will grant mostly European companies uncontrolled access to its oil resources.
“Some of these deals were cut with several commanders and other influential leaders then. It now appears that there is pressure to have some of these promises fulfilled yet the government is not aware about them,” Mr Okomi said. He added that; “and as a result, an ungovernable situation is trying to be created so that these deals can be realised with the foreign powers.”
According to Mr Okomi, some of these foreign organisations are based in Juba and United States with others calling themselves friends of South Sudan/Juba. He also blamed the chaos in South Sudan on Ms Rebecca Nyandeng, the widow of John Garang, a fallen hero who led South Sudanese rebel forces against Khartoum government for nearly two decades before his sudden death.
According to Mr Okomi, who is also a political activist, all Mr Kiir wanted was one more term to finish his developmental agenda for South Sudan before passing over the mantle to the next leader. But given what he referred to as overzealous ambitions of Dr Riek Machar coupled with alleged manipulative tendencies of Ms Garang, that plea fell on deaf ears resulting into tension and the subsequent clashes that is quickly threatening to plunge South Sudan into abyss. “Dr Riek Machar has amiable administrative skills. But he is being misguided or better still he has fallen in the trap of Ms Rebecca Garang,” Mr Okomi said.
Mr Okomi further claims that Dr Riek Machar was misled to believe that an alliance between the Dinka (Bor) and Nuer tribes will deliver them South Sudan leadership yet the terrain has since become more complex than that.
However in recent press reports Ms Garang did not only deny a role in the clashes but blamed President Salva Kiir for what is happening, saying he no longer listens to the voice of reason. And that explains why she jumped ship to concentrate on her private business. She argued that the tenets of the revolution has long been abandoned by the current government, something she seems to attribute to betrayal of her husband’s legacy and what he spent all his life fighting for.
In another interview with Mr De Mabior Garang, the son of the late SPLM leader, it emerged that the clashes are as a result of President Kiir selfish ambitions to block other worthy contenders from taking him on in elections.
And for that the President fired all senior government officials who not only participated in the struggle but those who would question his excesses. On tribalism, he said there would have been worse ethnic violence if his mother, Rebecca Garang, had not decided to restrain herself from fuelling the tribal sentiments.