By: Dr. Riak Gok Majok
“Some East African community members states, apart from Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania have no respect for our country’s sovereignty. They too often oppose laws that are meant to improve the livelihood of our people.”
I painful persevered to watch until half way on YouTube a debate in East African Parliament about our country failure to meet its financial obligations.
It was extremely heartbreaking to hear those guys shamelessly abusing our country.
I was one of the people whose opinion was sought by the team, which was sent to our country in 2012 to assess its readiness to join East African Community.
I told my friend Francis from Rwanda whom I am sure will be reading this post in an uncertain term that South Sudan had nothing to gain in joining the community at this stage.
Although I took him to meet some very important people in the country, I did it for a different purpose.
If I was close to the center of the decision-making, I would have persuaded the leadership to put on hold the process of joining EAC.
Some East African community members states, apart from Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania have no respect for our country’s sovereignty.
They too often oppose laws that are meant to improve the livelihood of our people. We fought against domination and we now must stand new masters, who have actually undermined our country’s traditional integrity.
Take for example, when the cabinet approved the memo presented by Hon. Minister of Labour and Human Resource Development into law, our country was vilified in the neighbouring countries press until South Sudan succumbed that such a massive pressure.
In fact, you hardly find a South Sudanese national employed in the UN agencies operating in their countries.
I am sure South Sudan is not the only country that have failed to pay its membership fee, but our country is a soft target, a situation in which we have deliberately put our country into.
In deciding to join too soon many international and regional entities, we have to bear the burden of our hasty action. We either meet our country’s financial obligations or we withdraw honourably from some of these institutions.
South Sudan is us and we are South Sudan. Nobody wishes to be accused of dishonesty. If South Sudan is being name called in East African parliament, we are the ones directly targeted as a matter of fact.
What do we gain in return in giving them our money? No single South Sudanese national is employed in the secretariat of the community.
They want us to pay their people as they have forced us to allow the United Nations Agencies and international organisations operating in our country to give job opportunities to their nationals, including drivers and cooks.
In fact, these jobs can be easily handled effectively by our young people who are sometime more qualified than their people.
As a matter of fact, our country is a potential economic power house if we solved these crazy and senseless conflicts once and for all.
We have a significant economic sway on their countries, we shouldn’t be intimidated. We must not allow this bullying attitudes to become a culture.
Withdraw South Sudan from EAC Mr. President. We can always construct bilateral relations with every member state of the community, based on mutual interests.
We have a sharp sword. Let’s not behave like that fish.
God bless South Sudan.