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Are south Sudanese governable in the present situation?

Are south Sudanese governable in the present situation? By Lokonyen Aldo September 5, 2010 -- Are the people of South Sudan governable at this time? What are the democratic elements that aid smooth governing of the people in a democratic society? Are these basic elements present within the people of south Sudan at present time? What impact and/or consequences, if any, could the absence of these elements have on the governing nature of the south Sudanese people? And finally, what could be done to make citizenry of south Sudan governable should they opt for secession of south Sudan comes January 9, 2011? This article looks at democratic elements that make any democratic society governable, and try to see if these elements are already there in South Sudan that would make the people of south Sudan governable should they chose to separate from the North of the country in the next coming 3 months. In a word, the article examines the present of the Infrastructure of Democracy in South Sudan as people gear toward the historic day in their country since time memorial. Like any other kind, democracy rule requires, as first and sin qua non condition, that the ones to be governed (ruled) be governable! That may sound like a statement of the obvious, but it is not; because the foundations of a people's governability are far less obvious as people might think. And even if they were, they are nevertheless more than commonly overlooked or forgotten. And because of these, it has happened many times in history of humankind that rulers have been rendered incapable of maintaining their rule by a people who have become ungovernable. The first more or less obvious foundation of people's governability is that they be of healthy and sound body and mind. They must be both mentally and physically fit, not only so that they may be able to do what the rulers tell them to do (to obey or comply with orders, instructions and command), but also so that they can be in a position/state to understand those orders, instructions and commands, and the need to obey or comply with them. It requires no special feat of intelligence or imagination to know what it takes to make a healthy body and mind. It is nothing more, and certainly nothing less than those things that are necessary for human's social and material life-the wherewithal to meet and satisfy the so-called basic human needs: biological or physiological needs i.e. the needs for the sustainers of life: food, shelter, clothing; security needs: freedom from danger, fear, anxiety; affiliation and/ or belonging to certain ethnic groups or political organization. Without going into the controversy as to whether there exists a "propotency" or a" hierarch" among these needs as advanced by Abraham Maslow and without worrying whether some are fundamental and others secondary, the fact is incontrovertible and failure to meet these needs lead to a state of physical and/or mental un health which can go as far as death. The best evident of this is the current civil unrest in Mozambique which arises as a result of a high food prices in the country. Therefore, anything that contributes to the betterment of a people's material and social welfare contributes toward making them governable and to that extent must be regarded as one of the surest foundation of any rule in a democratic society, and South Sudan is no exception! Based on aforementioned democratic elements that make people to be governable in a real democratic society, and given the present reality and experience on the ground, it is very clear that the governability of southerners is both delicate and quite unpredictable should they opt for Independent of south Sudan, comes the 9th of January 2010. It is, therefore, imperative that the aforementioned elements (security, food, health, and shelter) need to be in place prior to referendum for smooth governing of the people of south Sudan. Furthermore, and obviously speaking, a society satisfies most of its needs through the economic production of goods and services. The infrastructure of democracy therefore lies in the economy-the system of production, distribution and consumption of material goods and services. To this extent, democracy serves by the existence of a healthy and prosperous economy. The reverse goes without say: a week and badly functioning of economy is a mortal danger for democracy. Therefore, as a first requirement, the solidly anchored democratic system should enable the people to get in quantity and quality, an adequate supply of goods (food, shelter, and clothing) and services (education, security, entertainment), to meet and satisfy their material, social, and other needs wants and desires that make them governable. Again, when we juxtaposition the aforementioned elements with the current status quo in the south Sudan, we would find most of these basic elements, which make people governable are, conspicuously absence. What is abundantly visible in south Sudan is the opposite: Rampage insecurity, Corruption, lack of food and shelter in most part of the country, lack of basic health services, harassment, intimidation, and arbitrary arrest of members of other political parties. That being said, and base on the fundamental requirement of a people's governability, it is therefore, save to argue that the people of south Sudan are not going to be easily governed by their rulers. Much need to be gone (especially the issue of security, food, and economy) by Juba-based government in order to render southerners governable. Failure to do so, it would be virtually impossible for GOSS to exert its rules on its citizenry smoothly without violent and public unrest of any kind. Moreover, empirical evidence in this regard is overwhelming. Among a thousand and one other examples of a time-honoured pattern, one needs only recall the direct link between the Great Depression of 1929-33 and the rise of fascism, and Nazism and the Gulag Archipelago. Globally, governments become destabilized and are quite often overthrown altogether in times of insecurity and economic adversity. At such times people tend to "loose their head" easily and become virtually ungovernable, unless their respective rulers resort to "iron fist" type of government. This again has it greater consequences. That being the case, the government of south Sudan needs to put all the necessary arrangement in place prior to referendum date to eschew falling into similar scenario aforementioned herein. Succinctly put, GOSS needs to level the ground for further governability of its people through provision of security, food, shelter, freedom for all, and most importantly, through provision of economic sustainability. In conclusion, and based on outlined elements herein, we can therefore say, figuratively that democracy is founded on full bellies and peaceful minds! And the "proteins" or the building blocks of democracy are such things such as a stable currency, security of the citizenry, better employment opportunities, food security, Shelter, education, freedom of speech and peaceful assemble for all, regardless of their ethnic and/or political affiliation, etc. And therefore, as a young and newly created nation to be, the GOSS must start sowing the seeds of aforementioned elements if it wants its citizenry to become more governable. The author is reached @

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Publication:Sudan Tribune (Sudan)
Date:Sep 6, 2010
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