South Sudan independence and the corrutpion challenges to overcome

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  • 1. Africas Newest Nation:Fresh Challenges to Overcome BT Costantinos, PhD Professor of Public Policy, School of Graduate Studies, Department of Public Administration and Management, College of Management, Information and Economic Sciences, AAU Lecture Notes Series IV, Addis Abeba, 2011 The Perils of and Trajectories for Resolving the Impact of Corruption on South Sudans Independence PhD Lecture and Seminar
  • 2. 1. Introduction South Sudan became the 193rd member of the United Nations on 15 July 2011, six days after it became an independent state. After a tumultous half a century war, Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) Negotiations held under thh suspices of IGAD, South Sudan is the newest state in the world. The story is long and trying. The January 2005 the CPA formally ended war between the Khartoum government and the insurgent Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), Africas longest civil conflict. Yet as the late SPLM Chairman John Garang was sworn in as 1st Vice-President on 9 July, implementation laged badly. The main obstacles were the ancien regimes lack of will to embrace genuine power sharing and elections, and ultimately allow a southern self-determination referendum after the six-year interim period and lack of capacity in the South to establish and empower basic structures of governance. The members of the Security Council welcomed recognized that Sudan is in a critical pe- riod as it prepares for historic referenda in Abyei and Southern Sudan. Council members underlined their appreciation for the support that the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) is providing to assist the parties, especially noting that fewer than four months remain. The members of the Security Council called for the parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement to take urgent action to facilitate peaceful and on-time referenda that re- flect the will of the Sudanese people, to respect their results, and to resolve key remaining post-referenda issues. The members of the Security Council look to the Secretary-Generals 24 September high-level meeting to focus international attention and support on Sudan dur- ing this time. They also welcomed the Secretary-Generals intent to create a referenda moni- toring panel, in response to a joint request by the Government of Sudan and the Sudan Peo- ples Liberation Movement, and requested that all parties provide full assistance to the panel once formed. UN Security Council, (2010) It is no secret that one of the outstanding political changes in Africa which more than not is attributable to the post 9/11 US foreign policy shift is the coming of South Sudan into the central stage of the world politics. Nobody knew that the fate of this people who led one of Africas longest liberation struggles in the modern history would change so dramatically as it did soon as the US changed its polices and alliances in the Arab and Islamic region. As a fact of history, the way to South Sudans independence wasnt any easy. To put it mildly, it was in defiance of many old regional political traditions and negatively held views about se- cessionism in the African continent that the new Republic of South Sudan (RSS) deservedly made it to become the worlds newest state. But as we follow some of the stories as they un- fold, one is left with the impression that there is more to this new nations politics than that meets the eye. In situations where public officials are seen to be using their positions to advance paro- chial interest and self-aggrandisement, a general loss of respect for authority and the law oc- curs and despondency in the general population develops. It is apparent that as the nation enters this new era of political pluralism, there is a need to overhaul the administrative ma- chinery and develop institutional alternatives to the hierarchical organisational structure. Nonetheless, the solutions, like the problems, can be seen in large part as elements, features and effects of political ideological leanings; taking shape and come into play as operation of a particular power doctrine. The article presents the methodology and research questions, Challenges to South Sudan Independence, Brutal lessons from Eritrea, East Timor, Kosovo for South Sudan, Kiir vows to fight corruption in South Sudan government, corruption and its impact in SSs develop- ment, Stemming threats of Corruption to good governance, Best practices in stemming the tide of Corruption and Conclusion1 | overcoming corruption challenges to SSs independence
  • 3. 2. Statement of the problem South Sudan ceases to appear young when it comes to how it creates multi-millionaires overnights. Still classified as one of the worlds poorest state though oil producing, the coun- try surprising against all odds has the highest rate of freedom fighters turn public fund loot- ers. One may ask how come that such things be allowed to go unabated in an age where good governance and accountability are not only the dominant slogans of the new world order, but are in fact being taught on regular basis by the countless Western NGOs and their local counterparts to all management levels in the developing countries who heavily depend on USAID and EU development funds and partnership. In poverty ridden SS, a former soldier who is keenly diplomatic, cannot say if the gov- ernment is spending its money wisely. I dont know, he replies. We never see it. Their in- come doesnt reach us. Still, he has hopes for independence. Maybe the government will see us now, he says, because we are suffering. Back in Juba, the scourge of corruption in South Sudan is plainly visible for anyone who looks for it, and ultimately it will determine how quickly this nation, now among the worlds poorest, develops. The countrys secession from Sudan, against which it fought two civil wars over five decades, will do nothing to change this fact. President Salva Kiir and his deputy forever Dr. Riek Machar both continue in their silence as the debate on the 13 top corrupt South Sudanese boils. Sadly though, this worrisome silence comes against a background of a series of inter-communal killings dubbed as cattle rustling. (Justin Ambago Ramba, 2011)3. Methodology and research questions 3.1. Hypothesis While it is of fundamental importance that SS itself defines approaches to, and processes of, participation, democracy and good economic governance, it is also nec- essary that such approaches be synthesised with universal principles, which assure both peaceful political contestation and policy participation. Without this, the process may well result in varying degrees of political and economic liberalisation, but not in a functioning market driven economy and democracy, which again raises some funda- mental questions. 3.2. The research questions focused on what brought about the current non-democratic dy- namics in SSs recent history, viz. 3.2.1. Why is this poor nation promoting corruption? 3.2.2. Do market economies and democracy have indigenous SS roots? 3.2.3. What are the strategic options for fighting corruption that enhance sustainabil- ity of the growth and human security? Hence, a series of literature review and interview instruments that reflect the range of questions were developed and administered to collect a wide range of views from key informants and knowledgeable civic personalities of varying lifestyles and the interna- tional community. This think piece is a teaching material and dialogue starter article based on the various assessments undertaken in the recent past by the author princi- pally and by other scholars. While permission will be requested for the lengthy quota- tions, the conclusion remains that of the author4. Challenges to South Sudan Independence A Troubled Divorce (NYT, 2011) Conflicts remain over how the two sides will share the souths sizable reserves of crude oil and what to do about the Abyei region, which straddles the north-south border and is claimed by both. Less than six months after South Sudan broke away from Sudan, tensions between the neighbours have crystallized into fears of direct confrontation. While the two nations continue to discuss how to split lucrative oil revenues and the fate of the contested region of Abyei, a spreading rebellion inside Sudan prompted the Sudanese government to accuse the south of providing military support to the rebels. Salva Kiir, the president of South Sudan, rejected accusations by the Sudanese government that his country was arming2 | overcoming corruption challenges to SSs independence
  • 4. Sudanese rebels as utterly baseless and malicious. In November 2011, Mr. Kiir denounced the Sudanese government for threatening what he called a military invasion of South Su- dan. Mr. Kiir has accused the Sudanese government of bombing the South Sudanese area of Guffa, killing at least seven people and potentially moving insurgencies on both sides of the border closer to an international conflict. Many residents in the Sudanese provinces of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile fought alongside the south during its civil war with the north. But the 2005 peace treaty placed the two provinces in Sudans territory, leaving South Sud