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Female leader criticizes S Sudan’s “misleaders”

Author: Ayuen Panchol | Published: Wednesday, June 24, 2020

PHOTO: A recent picture of Sarah Nyanath Elijah | Credit | Nyeduel Yong - Date: June 24, 2020

A woman leader has written an opinion article critical of the government of South Sudan.

In the article titled, “Dilemmas Bedeviling South Sudan: The Dysfunctional Institutions Dragging the State unto Downfall,” Sarah Nyanath Elijah points out the weaknesses of the government.

As the title suggests, some of the problems she highlights include corruption, weak institutions, power abuse, gross human rights violations, and the general collapse of the government at all levels – both local and national.

Nyanath mentions the three branches of the government – executive, legislature, and judiciary – as having hand in the collapse of public institutions.

She says the “misleaders”, mostly ministers, undersecretaries, and commissioners are unconcerned about the people, but their individual matters.

Several reports show that senior constitutional post holders have engaged in corrupt activities, especially embezzlement of public funds.

Also read: Poorly paid but wealthy army generals – report

This has left no room for development activities, with the common citizens still unable to have access to healthcare, piped water, security, and food security.

“How shameful it is to see people busy, when in actual fact, none is being produced for all these years,” Nyanath, who participated in the peace talks, writes.

“To whom should South Sudanese turn to, since these office bearers are busy-scheduled as such, whilst, having nothing to do with attendance to the service to the citizen as mandated by-laws?”

Despite South Sudan being an oil-producing state, the government has little or nothing at all to show for the riches.

Currently, South Sudan reportedly has a road network of over 17,000 km, but only 200 km of paved road.

The Juba-Nimule Road was built with the help of USAID, the humanitarian arm of the US government.

With the conflict, which was triggered by power wrangles among the former guerrilla fighters, people lost livelihoods, most of whom are sheltering at UN camps.

They have been receiving support from UN agencies and humanitarian groups.

“People are made to marvel as to which government wing is functional and operative; Legislative, Executive or Judiciary? Which one is serving the country faithfully mirrored and reflected by the state laws?” She continues.

“Should South Sudanese, as celebrated for, turn and direct their concerns to IGAD, UN, Troika, etc.?”

She suggests that it’s about time for those who have been unable to deliver to leave the government for capable citizens – a popular opinion among youth, who feel that the state governors should be run by youthful leaders.

“They have turned public offices into personal properties; an act which equates betrayal of the trust bested upon them and equally a violation of the mandate provided for by the ethics and public mores,” Nyanath argues.

“We need citizens with integrity to serve the nation. The inept must go home where they shall continue to enjoy idling and sleeping as it pleases them.”

Read the full piece here.

Sarah Nyanath Yong is a veteran SPLM politician who hails from Longichuk County, Upper Nile State. After her return from Cuba, she served in SPLA as a nurse from 1988-1991.

Nyanath then worked in the humanitarian sector in Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Sudan for over a decade before the formation of the unity government after the signing of the 2005 comprehensive peace agreement.

She was later appointed MP in Upper Nile State’s Legislative Assembly and later as Minister of Social Development in Upper Nile State.

During the April 2010 elections, Sarah vied for the position of governor in the state as an independent candidate.

Lately, the woman leader represented exiled – civil society groups in Ethiopia in the peace talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, under the umbrella of Gender Empowerment for South Sudan Organisation.

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