Article written

  • on 27.08.2013
  • at 07:00 PM
  • by Kevin Hind

South Sudan: A new vice President 0

Last friday, the news was spread that South Sudan has, at last, a vice president. We are talking about James Wani Igga who’s taking Riek Machar Teny place, the controversial protagonist in an open challenge started a couple of months back, against President Salva Kiir Mayardit, in the long and already turbulent race to the elections of 2015.

Igga belongs to Bari ethnic group, whose territory surrounds the South Sudanese capital Juba. One thing is certain: the tug of war between Salva Kiir, who belongs to the group and Riek Dinka, Nuer leader, is far from solved.

Moreover, the ethnic issue is central in South Sudan, both politically and culturally, if only because during the war of liberation against the Khartoum regime (1983-2005), Dinka and Nuer were often in disagreement and even confronted militarily. The basic problem is that even in the new South Sudanese executive, in which Salva Kiir has reduced the number of ministries from 29 to 18, it is clear the predominance of ethnicity Denka in the management of the central government. Sufficient is to say that there are only four new ministers of ethnic Nuer, while many come from ethnic groups Equatoria, the southern area of the country, which has always penalized by the exuberance of the Dinka.

There was, however, still some time to build a new “state” worthy of the name in Southern Sudan. The risk is that the local party formations, over time, take on an increasingly ethnic connotation, as it happened already, in many countries in Sub Saharan Africa. That’s why the peaceful coexistence of these components will depend very much on the ability to manage equally the aid that the international community has committed itself to lavish and invest in foreign companies.

It would really be bad if these actors did the “missteps” that could jeopardize the credibility of the emerging nation South Sudanese. Among other things, national unity necessarily imposes itself if the country wants to avoid going out with broken bones in the “cold war” with the North. Until, for example, in the area of Jonglei, there will be conflicts between the Lou Nuer and Murle, the Khartoum government will be free to do the good and the bad times. To paraphrase a famous saying attributed to Massimo d’Azeglio, we might say, “Done the South Sudan, now we must do the southern Sudanese.” This is the great responsibility of Salva Kiir and his ministers.

By Giulio

Translated by: Irene Crivellini Eger 

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