27th November 2020
Make a Donation

Fiery Beda pulls no punches, castigates failed SPLM leadership

Authors: Woja Emmanuel | Daniel Danis | Published: Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Angelo Beda, Co-Chair of the National Dialogue Steering Committee addressing the delegates at Freedom Hall, Juba on Tuesday November 3, 2020. Courtesy| https://Twitter/@SSNatDialogue

The Co-chair of the National Dialogue steering committee has issued a series of damning statements that are critical of the performance of the SPLM since assuming power in 2005.

Angela Beda who set the tone for the final national conference of the delegates in Juba accused all former and current leaders of the SPLM of corruption, impunity and failure to deliver services.

“Corruption became the whole mark of the SPLM-led government and South Sudan, and what is worse [because] nobody is arrested,” the retired politician told the delegates, “Impunity is worse because somebody will fear being arrested and taken to court and be imprisoned.”

The national dialogue conference commenced in Juba yesterday under the theme: “Come lets dialogue, come let’s heal our nation.”

Over 500 people representing various communities, political parties, religious organizations, civil society and other groups are attending the event at Freedom Hall in Juba.

They are discussing issues raised during the regional and diaspora conferences after the launch of the initiative in 2017.

These include; security, governance and rule of law, corruption, the system of governance, land, resource allocation, healing and reconciliation, among others.

Speaking during the opening session, Angelo Beda urged the participants to speak freely and truthfully.

He started by criticizing the leaders for condoning corruption and ignoring the needs of millions of the citizens in the country.

“All these thefts, nobody is being imprisoned for,” he said.

In January this year, Transparency International once again ranked South Sudan as the world’s second most corrupt country.

It comes just one point below Somalia.

Mr. Beda maintained that the leaders have squandered the most crucial resource the country has by not using the oil money to develop the economy.

“From 2005 to 2011, South Sudan was only lucratively from the 50% of the oil revenues the north was getting 50% we were getting 50%. Earning more than half a million in a month. These financial resources were wasted and squandered,” he asserted.

Beda insisted that the public has not benefited from their own resources after the SPLM “walked away” from Dr. John Garang’s famous ambitions of “using oil money to fuel agriculture,” and “taking towns to villages.”

“Estimates show that South Sudan collected more than $20 billion in oil share during the interim period yet there are no permanent roads, Juba still lacks clean drinking water, Malakal and Wau and electricity -not to speak of the rest of the counties,” he stated “There is nothing significant to show for these amounts. Where did the money go?”

Since 2011, South Sudan has ranked at the bottom of Global Peace indexes, quality of life and Human Development indexes, Press Freedom index, among others.

In July this year, South Sudanese told Eye Radio that the political leaders are to blame for dragging the country into an unending circle of violence and continued political instability.

They argued that for the last 9 years, South Sudanese leaders are yet to move the country towards sustained peace and development.

Experts also agree that the liberators have continued to mismanage the affairs of the country, with a population now dependent on humanitarian assistance and development aid.

In his remarks, Angelo Beda said the SPLM of today -where most leaders subscribed to – is a complete opposite of the democratic principles it envisioned during the liberation struggle.

“Civil liberties are violated daily, Freedom of speech, freedom assembly, freedom of the press and even freedom to associate politically have largely been curtailed by the state,” he said.

“People are arrested arbitrarily and detained, forced disappearance, as well as intimidation of journalists and political opposition figures, are a common occurrence in South Sudan,” Beda added, “These actions are a far cry from what the SPLM-A fought for and what it envisioned through its new Sudan vision where all are equal, where justice reign, prosperity is shared across the country.”

Mr. Beda hopes the current process will rectify the mistakes made by the leaders since 2005.

“The government of South Sudan derailed from its democratic commitment a long time ago…it is our belief that the resolutions will be objective and will lay a foundation for more peaceful and stable South Sudan.”

Officials of the National Dialogue initiative

The national conference is expected to end in two weeks.

The participants are also expected to deliberate on some issues affecting the grassroots communities – including communal conflicts, cattle wrestling, and revenge attacks.

President Salva Kiir initiated the national dialogue in December last year, saying it was a means to unite and reconcile the people after years of a brutal conflict since December 2013.

Support Eye Radio, the first independent radio broadcaster of news, information & entertainment in South Sudan.

Make a monthly or a one off contribution.