The outlook remains distressing for South Sudan. Bloodbath, vulnerability and seeming freefall - nightmarish stuff widely experienced during the protracted struggle to extricate South Sudanese from Khartoum’s yoke – now recur most hauntingly. Civilians die in untold numbers, wantonly slain by neighbourhood gangs and soldiers turned rogue. Multitudes fleeing conflict reside in appalling conditions in camps within their homeland and abroad.
Defectiveness of African politics in general is often compounded by impulsiveness of political players; individuals who thoughtlessly stir up mayhem, usually masking their own shortcomings, striving to nullify existing political processes altogether - thus shrouding entire populations in anarchy.
The astonishing loss of control in South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, is a manifestation of failure to implement measures that enhance prospects of fair electoral outcomes or peaceful transfer of power. Power-sharing, fast becoming standard relief measure in conflict resolution across Africa, is being considered amidst the county’s unrelenting political quagmire.
In its current diminished form, President Salva Kiir’s government is incapable of guaranteeing security. Accordingly, therefore, argument that denying Kiir lead role in a proposed interim administration would “undermine his government’s mandate” or “reward rebellion” is inherently flawed; it basically elevates personal considerations above pressing needs of South Sudanese.
The reasoning is unsustainable either, since any interim arrangement, by composition and mandate, ought to be essentially distinct from today’s government.
Both Kiir and Riek Machar, key protagonists in the on-going conflict, need to be resolutely called to order by the international community and made aware of their responsibilities towards immediate and meaningful cessation of hostilities, as well as attainment of enduring peace and security in South Sudan. Political maneuverings should not be permitted to undermine effort to lay a firm foundation for democratic governance in South Sudan.
And, people of goodwill worldwide must not spare effort to help South Sudanese take full advantage of return to peaceful co-existence, and pursue far-reaching reforms that guarantee getting back to, and sustained presence along progressive paths.