South Sudan: The Road to Civil WarMamdani, Mahmood, 1946-
This div will be replaced by the JW Player.
Video of a lecture by Mahmood Mamdani on international relations, African politics, and questions of crime and punishment in the case of mass violence in civil war situations such as South Sudan.
- Permanent URL
view transcript only
I'm Jim Glaser, I'm the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, and
Professor of Political Science.
And it's my great honor to welcome you to this, the first event
in the Mellon Sawyer Seminar series on Global Comparative Humanities.
I just have to
do a shout out to professor, distinguished professor Lisa Lowe and her colleagues
who have put together this lecture series in this series of seminars with so
much energy and integrity and vision.
And I know that they will educate us, and stimulate us, and
give us ideas, and lead us in unexpected directions.
And for those of you who have led this project,
I am so looking forward to these events.
And thankful for the invitation to come.
I understand that Professor Mamdani will be talking today about the Sudan, and
we have such need to have conversations like this about places and
people other than ourselves.
We spend so much time thinking about that, and especially now,
I'm a political scientist, we're spending lots and
lots of time thinking about that in the context of the election.
A couple of years ago, when the Scottish were voting to whether to stay in the UK
or to exit themselves,
I was tremendously interested in what was going on, I couldn't get enough of it.
But it was quite remarkable to me that the day after the vote,
when it was a very big event with very big implications,
the Boston Globe, on the front page, had above the fold,
the headline, Kane's Donuts in Saugus Widening Its Horizons.
And so here we had a momentous historic event, and
we were talking about the donut, expansion of a donut franchise in Saugus.
And as much as I like donuts, and as much as I like Saugus,
it bothered me that our focus was so parochial.
We need to expand our horizons, we need to think beyond ourselves, and
these events will very much help us do that.
I wanna say, the other thing I wanna say is that this is not a new phenomenon.
The day that Mao Zedong declared the People's Republic of China and
the Soviets had one of their first nuclear tests, and the West Germans approved a new
constitution, the front page of The New York Times was about the World Series.
So this is not a new phenomenon, that we don't look beyond ourselves very much.
I think that sometimes our vision is sometimes confined too much to ourselves,
and so I'm proud to be part of an institution where the global matters.
Where we stretch our students beyond parochialism.
Where we grow knowledge about other parts of the world.
Where we invest in many different ways in understanding international affairs, and
the study of the world, and the study of global comparative humanities
is a very important part of this effort.
And so, those of you who have helped to create this program, and
those of you who have sustained it, we in the administration are very grateful.
I wanna, also welcome Professor Mamdani and welcome him home.
I know that you started your graduate education here in this very building, and
I know that you have friends and colleagues in the area who value you and
are so happy to welcome you back.
And I just want to say from Tufts that we're very, very pleased to host you.
Thank you, and thank you all for coming.
And. >> [APPLAUSE]
>> And now for a formal introduction of
our guest is Professor Lisa Lowe.
>> Good afternoon.
I am the director of the Center for the Humanities at Tufts, and
with my colleagues, Professor of History, Kris Manjapra and
Professor of Persian Arabic Comparative Literature, Kamran Rastegar,
I'm convening the Mellon Sawyer Seminar in Comparative Global Humanities here.
The Sawyer Seminar builds on knowledge in comparative literature, religion,
history, anthropology, and the large range of human sciences to explore a humanities,
research project that goes beyond a former understanding of
a world order in which cultures, societies, and
states are conceived as bounded discreet equivalent or analogous entities.
And in which we consider global relations in terms of the asymmetrical encounters,
exchanges, and conflicts that have occurred in the long arc of world history,
including colonialism, slavery, decolonization struggles, and war.
Being concerned to rethink the humanities from such sites,
we invited the distinguished pair, Mira Nair and
Mahmoud Mamdani, to inaugurate our Mellon Sawyer Seminar.
Each of whom, in different registers and media,
speak from particular worldedness in histories that bring South Asia,
East Africa, the West Indies, Europe, and North America together.
Each examines, with a different eloquence, the consequences of crossing boundaries of
nation, culture, race, politics and economy.
And as many of you know, filmmaker Mira Nair dazzled us in April, and we're very,
very honored this week to host Professor Mamdani.
Professor Mahmoud Mamdani's visit is made possible by a grant from
The Mellon Foundation, and the support at Tufts from the Deans of Arts and
Sciences, Tufts Collaborates, the Touklin-Bullwell Fund, the Center for
the Study of South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies, and the Consortium for the Study
of Race Colonialism and Diaspora, and we are very grateful to these units.
Professor Mamdani is the director of the Makerere Institute of Social Research
in Kampala Uganda and he is the Herbert Layman Professor of Government at
the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and
Professor of Anthropology, Political Science and African Studies at Columbia.
He is a third generation Ugandan of South Asian descent,
who was born in Mumbai and grew up in Kampala.
He did his undergraduate work in Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh,
received masters degrees in Political Science and in Law and Diplomacy from
the Fletcher School, and he received his PhD in Government from Harvard University.
Throughout his doctoral studies in the United States, he returned to Uganda for
thesis research, only to be expelled in 1972 by the government of Idi Amin.
He went then to the United Kingdom, and was recruited from there to
the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, where he taught until 1979,
when he then returned to Uganda, after the change of regime, to teach at Makerere.
He became the Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences there in 1984.
Professor Mamdani then left Uganda in 1996 to take up appointments,
first at the University of Cape Town, and then Columbia University in 1999.
He's taught as a visiting professor at many universities across the world
including the University of Michigan Ann Arbor,
The University of Durban Westville in South Africa, and at Princeton University.
As you know, he specializes in the study of African and international politics,
the comparative study of colonialism, and the persistence of colonial violence
in post colonial states, and moreover the politics of knowledge.
In light of this colonial legacy,
how difficult it is to rethink the global from our existing disciplines.
His many works explore the intersection between politics and
culture, citizenship and identity, the history of civil war and
genocide in Africa, the Cold War, and
the so-called War on Terror, and the history and theory of human rights.
More recently he's focused his attention on political Islam and US foreign policy,
arguing that modern Islamist political terror
is a byproduct of violent covert wars in the final years of the Cold War.
He is the the author of more than a dozen very important books, including
Citizen and Subject, Contemporary Africa, and the Legacy of Late Capitalism.
When Victims Become Killers, Colonialism, Nativism and Genocide in Rwanda, and
Good Muslim, Bad Muslim, America, the Cold War, and the Origins of Terror.
In his lecture today, South Sudan the Road to Civil War,
Professor Mamdani rethinks our understanding of international relations
through the lens of African politics, and considers questions of crime and
punishment in the case of mass violence and civil war situations.
Please join me in welcoming our distinguished guest,
Professor Mahmood Mamdani.
Thank you, Lisa.
Thank you, Dean.
[COUGH] It's good to be back home.
Brings back a flood of memories, and I thought I should share one with you.
This had to do with the graduation event at Fletcher, 1969.
The graduation speaker was Paul Nitze,
the Under Secretary of State for Defense.
The times were hot, contentious.
The war was going on.
One of the students, Jeremy Rifkin, ran up to the stage.
And put handcuffs on Paul Nitze, and another on himself.
And proclaimed Nitze a war criminal.
Mayhem broke out.
>> [LAUGH] >> The police came in, and
decided to pull Jeremy Rifkin, but Paul Nitze was being
pulled along, and Rifkin had thrown the key away.
>> [LAUGH] I
was there, wearing something like this.
So the police thought I was a priest.
>> [LAUGH] >> And they asked me if I would mediate.
>> [LAUGH] >> I said, sure.
I said first thing to do is no violence.
Second thing to do is to take both of them to an appropriate person who will unlock.
>> [LAUGH] >> Anyway,
that was the first memory which came to me.
I'll go straight into the subject matter.
South Sudan exploded into one of the worst political
crises on the African continent on December 10...
on December 16, 2013.
Thousands were dead in two weeks.
December 30, when the African Union appointed a five person
commission of inquiry, I was one of the commissioners.
When the commission delivered its report the following October,
I wrote a minority view titled, A Separate Opinion.
My principal difference with my fellow commissioners was conceptual.
The majority report saw the violence as criminal.
I argued that the violence needs to be understood as mainly political.
The larger crisis, I thought, was not just a breakdown in law and
order, but a political crisis.
Criminal violence can be traced to the agency of individual perpetrators.
Political violence, however, requires more than perpetrators.
It addresses a constituency, and
constituencies are mobilized around issues.
To demobilize these constituencies,
one needs to address the issues around which they are organized.
So what I want to do is to take this particular event,
South Sudan, the extreme violence, to make a larger argument,
and to present it for your consideration.
So let me begin with the specifics, the violence.
The extreme violence unfolded in two waves.
First, from the 16th to the 18th of December in the city of Juba.
In a matter of days the violence spread to three state
capitals, covering over 30% of the country.
The violence ethnically cleansed the city of Juba
of its newer population in a matter of three days.
The motive was political.
Literally to separate the civilian population along ethnic lines to destroy
the middle ground, and thereby to polarize the society into us and them.
An IDP who interviewed at a UN compound told us quote,
they put a knife into what bound us,
turned the crisis from political to ethnic.
The violence followed growing tensions within the political class.
Exploding at the December 14,
15 meeting of the National Liberation Council in Juba.
That's the supreme decision making body of the ruling party, the SPLA.
The tension grew as three members announced their intention to contest
the top position.
In response, President Kiir removed the executive powers from his Vice President,
Dr Riek Machar, dissolved the government in July.
Soon after, he began a tour of his home province, Bahr al-Ghazal.
Giving public speeches that were televised on South Sudan television quote,
I have now decided to fight my enemies, my nickname is Tiger,
I have decided to scratch anyone who opposes me.
By the time Chairman Kean called for the national liberation council
to meet on December 14, the stage was set for a showdown.
On the morrow of these three days of ethnic cleansing in Juba,
began newer mobilization.
It took two forms, a rebellion and an uprising.
The rebellion followed a mutiny led by the commander of the eighth division of SPLA
but a more spontaneous response came from the county level
youth fighting formations known as the White Army.
The name White Army, refers to white ash from cow dung
with which the youth smear their bodies.
These youths were fresh from three campaigns,
against the Mulei militia in 2012.
When they heard their relatives were being killed in Juba,
the armed youth had comprised the White Army.
It's roughly 50,000 in all, began to move to Juba.
And the White Army is not an army, it's not even a collection of militias.
These are not soldiers, but they are civilians with arms.
The difference is in motivation and discipline.
Unlike with soldiers, members of the White Army lack formal
military discipline, command, or hierarchy.
The White Army is motivated by a deep sense of grievance,
even revenge, and the promise of plunder.
The White Army left a trail of pillage, carnage, and destruction in the towns and
Those they swept through as they marched, first to Bentiu, then to Juba.
And then the government army retook the same towns, there was more carnage,
more destruction leading to another cycle of revenge and counter revenge.
Two external forces contain the violence limiting its parameters.
The first was the Ugandan intervention, which halted the march of the White Army.
The second was UNMISS, the UN force.
Which opened its compound to protect IDPs from hostile forces
on the government side.
Both were initially credited with reducing the level of violence,
even preventing quote genocide.
Later, however, both were accused of prolonging the crisis.
The Ugandan army because it propped up the government.
Anonymous because it tolerated armed IDPs in the camps.
Now there are two explanations of the violence.
One points to the internal.
Tribalism, the tribes are naturally warlike, and it has been common for
neighboring tribes to fight one another over scarce resources.
The other points to the external.
[COUGH] Foreign interference, the decisive intervention of external powers.
Since the onset of colonialism, in the late 19th century.
I will argue that the challenges to understand how global and
local forces are articulated to produce this crisis.
I'll argue that we are presented with a false alternative
in terms of internal and external.
Let me first look at tribalism.
There are two major ethnic groups in South Sudan.
The Dinka, 3.2 million and the Nuer 1.6 million.
Together, they make up 57% of the South Sudan population.
The two groups share a common culture.
They have similar languages and both practice an agro pastoralist economy.
The idea that the Nuer and the Dinka, but the Nuer most of all are naturally
warlike was first advanced by British anthropologists.
Chief among them, Evans Pritchard.
European colonial discourse depicted South Sudan as a land inhabited by
an array of nomadic tribal groups Who competed over water and pasture.
The endless competition was said to generate
periodic cycles of violent attacks between them.
Evans-Pritchard described the Nuer as quote a wild offshoot of the Dinka.
The problem with the Nuer, he wrote, was that every Nuer,
the product of hard up bringing, deeply democratic, and
easily aroused to violence, considers himself as good as his neighbor.
Evans Pritchard was describing a deeply egalitarian culture.
But the problem was he was describing was less the Nuer problem.
Then the British colonial problem with the Nuer.
The Nuer were averse to centralized authority.
What if the Nuer did not listen to government appointed chiefs,
they had their own leaders, among them spiritual leaders now known as prophets.
Evans Pritchard saw more promise in the Dinka.
He found reassuring their belief that people even within the same family
are quote, not as equal as sticks in a matchbox nor
have the same height as the herds of giraffes.
The British political problem was how to administer and rule mobile,
semi pastoral communities with a tradition that combined
autonomy with coexistence in a multi-ethnic region.
The British solution was to draw hard boundaries around ethnic identities,
and then to politicize these, in a series of steps.
First, to define ethnicity as an exclusive group identity.
Second, to identify ethnicity with a bounded homeland.
Third, to put each homeland under the administration of an appointed
Fourth, to give that authority the right to administer land and
adjudicate internal conflicts.
Fifth, to legitimate the absolute power of this authority
to make it unaccountable by claiming unaccountable authority to be customary.
And finally, to insulate that authority from popular pressure by backing it
most uncustomarily with the power of the colonial state.
The result, politicization of ethnicity
Into a micro version of the nation state known as tribe.
Led to two consequences.
The first was a fragmentation of South Sudan along tribal lines.
In one local authority after another,
since tribe was now identified with a homeland.
In one local authority after another those claiming to be indigenous to the land
fought those who they said lacked a customary right to natural
resources and who in turn demanded their own ethnic homeland.
This was tribalism.
The second was a structural tension between an egalitarian society and
a hierarchical administrative structure known as the native authority.
This gave democratic content to the tribal question.
This tension gave rise to periodic revolts.
If competition and rivalry marked relations between Dinka and
Nuer before colonialism, these intensified with fixed boundaries under colonial rule.
And yet, every step in the political development of the region was made
possible by a coming together of Dinka and Nuer in a common cause.
This was true in 1983, when SPLA was formed as it had been in 1924,
what is seen as the starting point of Sudanese nationalism.
Historians date the beginning of the Sudanese national movement in 1920s with
the formation of the anti-British white flag brigade
founded by two South Sudanese Muslims.
One Dinka, Ali Abd al Latif, and the other Nuer, Abd al Fadel al-Maz.
Both became known for
their role in the 1924 armed uprising against British rule in Sudan.
A similar story is told of how collaboration between a Dinka,
Kurbino Kuanyin Bol, and a Nuer, William Horn Benny.
Both former Sudan army officers led to the 1983 mutiny in Bor and
Ayod, and the founding of SPLA in the onset of the second
phase of the North-South struggle, which ended with the signing of the CPA,
the peace agreement In January, 2005.
I'll briefly look at this struggle and what was at issue.
Two demands above all,
drove the mobilization of political groups in South Sudan.
One was the call for ethnic solidarity and ethnic representation.
The other was the direction to be taken by the new power.
A new Sudan or an independent South Sudan.
The first liberation war of the Anyanya was organized around the demand for
an independent South Sudan.
For John Garang, who founded the SPLA and led it for two decades,
the demand for an independent South Sudan had made it possible for Khartoum to
isolate the south by rallying the rest of the country against secession.
Garang concluded that to succeed, the SPLA needed to define an all Sudan objective
around which to rally discontented forces throughout the country,
thereby to turn the tables politically on the power in Khartoum and to isolate it.
Events proved Garang right.
The SPLA's greatest victories were in the border areas,
just across the North-South boundary Southern Kordofan,
Blue Nile, Nuba Mountains and in the western part of the country, Darfur.
Where its example led to the formation of a parallel movement for autonomy.
Garang's great contribution was to inspire vision that made possible a single
rallying point around which to mobilize discontent throughout Sudan.
His single most important failing was to subordinate
this vision to the struggle for power and personal ambition.
Faced with the demand for reform, Garang moved to consolidate power.
The result was that, every major struggle, whether ideological or
personal, led to a spilling of more blood, and every subsequent
bloodletting was resolved through a cosmetic power sharing arrangement.
A sharing of positions and resources which turned out to be no more than an interlude
between bloody bouts, and yet the strategy seemed to be working.
The reason was external.
So long as Garang and those who followed him accommodated themselves to the demands
of external powers, whether during the era of the Cold War or more recently,
the war on terror, they could count on full support from the outside.
This was the other side of Garang.
Garang as a western proxy, belying his reputation as a leader beyond criticism.
Without unquestioned western support, neither Garang nor those who followed him
would have been able to act with a sense of impunity, impervious to reform.
This failure to build an institutional culture that would filter and
manage internal differences among leaders
contaminated all institutions, but above all the army.
Internal differences festered and exploded into massive bloodletting.
First in 1991, and then in 2013.
1991, erupted when two senior SPLA commanders, Lama Kol in Upper Nile and
Riek Machar in Nasir along the Ethiopian border, and a third,
Gordon King, called for the replacement of John Garang as leader.
The commanders mobilized around 2 demands: that Garang had tied
the SPLA too closely to the government of Mengistu Haile Mariam in Ethiopia and
that Ethiopian support was being used to forestall the demand for
an independent South Sudan and for internal reform.
In the fighting that ensued, Machar's forces are said to have slaughtered around
two thousand Dinka civilians broad based before the Boer massacre.
The Nasir group narrowed into a more or less exclusively Nuer affair
after the spilling of blood and
went on to sign an agreement with the Sudan government.
As more groups joined there was close collaboration with Khartoum,
making it possible for the Sudan government to pump
oil from South Sudan fields in Unity and Upper Nile.
The Khartoum peace agreement between Riek Machar and
the Sudan government broke down in 2001.
Machar and some of his forces returned to the SPLM, but
the rest led by Paulino Matip and
other generals stayed behind in Khartoum, and formed another army,
the SSDF (South Sudan Defense Forces), an organization that
grew into a formidable force under the patronage of the Sudan army.
In the decade and a half between 1991 and
2006, before the last of the rebel forces
led by Paulino Matip returned to the fold of the SPLA,
there was a pragmatic reconciliation between communities on the ground.
These multiple initiatives were driven by one inescapable fact.
Neighboring communities had no choice but
to accommodate one another sooner or later.
This ground level process took place both inside communities and
between neighboring communities.
The initiative came from local leaders, usually chiefs or religious leaders,
and involve the active participation of women and youth.
In the decade that followed, 1991, the best known organized effort at community
level reconciliation was known as Wunlit, named after the town in Bahr
el Ghazal where the Dinka-Nuer Peace and Reconciliation conference was held
27th February to 8th March, 1999.
Wunlit had three limitations.
And together these highlight the limitations of what is known as
The first was spatial.
Though it covered multiple communities and was translocal,
the Wunlit process did not cover all regions torn apart by the 1991 violence.
It affected only one side of the Nile.
It involved the Dinka of the Bahr el Ghazal, but not the Bor Dinka.
The second was structural.
Wunlit bore the hallmarks of the forces that drove it, churches and chiefs.
Each had developed as an ethnic institution during the colonial period.
Britain had divided South into zones and
distributed each zone to a different denomination.
Presbyterians got one region, the Upper Nile.
Catholics got another region, Bahr el Ghazal.
Anglicans got a third region, Equatorial.
It is only after the Sudan government passed the 1962 Missionary Act and
expelled all missionaries that the leadership of ethnic churches
got together to figure out how to respond to a common threat.
This history sketches both the sectarian beginning of church organization and
the imperative to transcend it in the face of government repression.
It also underlines the inadequacy of the church as a viable force for
The same can be said of chiefs who dispensed what was called
The third limitation was political.
The scope of traditional justice is limited to community-based conflicts.
Not conflicts that arise from state-defined constructs.
Thus, traditional justice has little to say about the relationship
between state and society, and thus about individual or
group rights in the framework of a nation state.
The situation following December 15 has highlighted the limitations of
traditional justice in the face of mass violence and large scale ethnic cleansing.
Including mass appropriation of property such as the grabbing of houses in urban
areas and land in the countryside.
As a pragmatic process Wunlit papered over deep divisions opened up by 1991.
The reconciliation that followed was driven by short-term considerations and
was unable to avert the disaster in 2013.
The impetus for these divisions came not from tribes in society,
but armed formations in the protostate structure,
as indeed had been the case in 1991.
Both in 1991 and in 2013, the impetus for
the fight began on formations.
When South Sudan became independent in 2011,
there was not one army but at least three armies.
The post-1991 SPLA, the Machar group which had returned in 2002,
and the Matip-led SSDF which returned last in 2006.
Now let me talk about the SPLA.
The SPLA is not a standing army,
even if its organization may suggest so.
Soldiers are mobilized for each operation and disbanded after it.
In its looseness of formation, the SPLA resembles the white army.
The only difference is that SPLA has a formal command structure and
some training, which make for minimum discipline.
In December 2013, the SPLA was said to comprise roughly 240,000 soldiers,
200,000 military and 40,000 reserves,
including those handicapped and retired but still on the pay roster.
But the SPLA did not have a full roster of its soldiers.
What the SPLA does have is a roster of commanders,
with each commander having his own roster of soldiers under his command.
But the central command does not have access to these individual lists.
In other words, the SPLA is not a single integrated formation.
A senior army officer summed up the situation for us.
Quote, bodyguards of Salva were mainly Dinka of Riek Paulino Matip, mainly Nuer.
Majority of ministers also had personal militias,
even prominent politicians like Lam Akol have their own army.
There's nothing we could do about it.
We wanted mixed units but we could do nothing about it.
The SSDF led by Paulino Matip was also like the SPLA,
a loose conglomeration of village-based militias comparable to the SPLA numbers.
With the merger, Paulino Matip became
the Deputy Commander of SPLA under Salva Kiir.
Whereas the number of soldiers in the SPLA can only be guessed at,
there is relative certainty as to the number of generals in the SPLA command.
There were reportedly 700 generals at the time of the December 15 crisis.
They included 4 four-star generals, 9 three-star generals,
100 major generals, and uncountable brigadier generals.
The ratio of generals to soldiers in the SPLA is reportedly higher than that in
any other army in the world.
So this is a general's army.
Salva Kiir's big tent policy maintained the SPLA as a collection of separate
militias and postponed any reform of the military sector.
The only thing they shared in common was that all drank from the same borehole,
the government treasury.
Though couched as a grand reconciliation,
the big tent policy encouraged a notion that peace had to be paid for.
It encouraged militias to bargain for peace and
turned rebellion into a bargaining chip.
Those with a grievance rebelled only to return with a reward,
seen by all concerned as the price for keeping peace.
The reconciliation policy turned into an incentive to rebel.
I give you one example of David Yao Yao, a former school teacher,
who led the Morley militia called the SPLA Cobra into several rebellions,
each time moving back and forth between Juba and Khartoum.
The most recent rebellion was followed by negotiations that
integrated this group into SPLA.
David Yau Yau it was made a general, commanding an area with a population
of 127,000 people according to the 2008 census.
The Minister of Defense explained the new status of David Yau Yau"s militia, quote,
it will be autonomous and under the office of the president, but not a state, and yet
it will have the powers of a state.
End of quote.
Brigadier General Mayum, SPLA Commander of the military camp in Bohr told
the commission quote, David Yau Yau has been given what he wanted.
His troops are under him, but nominally inside the SPLA.
We do not know where his troops are now.
This is not the first time he has joined Khartoum before and
come to us, not once, but many times.
A senior commander summed up the status of SPLA on the eve of December 2013.
Every time we integrate someone declares in Khartoum that we have a militia.
We integrate them and give them a rank.
Most of these militias are illiterate, led by illiterate major generals.
Even today we have not integrated them.
It was like dealing with NGOs, all with their own leadership,
each sponsored by a different country.
We tried to demobilize them, but that was difficult.
You cannot demobilize someone who has a gun.
You give him money under DDR, when the money is finished,
he will go back to the bush.
As small arms proliferated, the society got further militarized.
Most soldiers lived in civilian neighborhoods with their families and
their own guns, not in barracks.
Demobilized soldiers kept their guns.
The commander in the field was literally a dictator.
There was no appeal against a commander's decision.
Living among civilians, soldiers created detention centers for
civilians, and those two proliferated.
This factionalized army was called upon to provide
political leadership to the new state and society.
So convinced was the Troika and the international community they led,
that the primary contradiction in Sudan was between Arab and African.
And that the main danger for
an independent South Sudan would be war with Sudan to the north.
That all key decisions were taken with this single danger in mind.
Generals were cherry picked and installed as ministers, or governors, or
heads of civil service divisions.
Generals became top politicians.
The military commander-in-chief became the civilian president.
A general became the speaker of Parliament, and
brigadiers became governors.
My thesis is simple.
The problem in South Sudan did not spring from society.
Its genesis lay in the protostate created hothouse fashion in the throes
of the war on terror by a group of three states known as the Troika.
The US, the UK, and Norway.
The articulation between the internal,
the three different armed formations that comprise the SPLA.
And the external, being the three western states that formed the Troika,
reinforced the worst tendencies amongst internal armed groups.
Making them averse to internal reform and
prone to a military resolution of internal differences.
As with fish, South Sudan rotted from the head down.
There are two major examples of self-determination,
secession in postcolonial Africa, Eritrea and South Sudan.
Eritrean independence followed a military victory against the ruling Derg in
But there was no military victory in South Sudan.
The external factor was decisive.
More than any other state, South Sudan was a child of the war on terror.
The major reason explaining its creation was the real fear that Sudan
would be the next target of US aggression.
In a post 9/11 era that had begun with the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Why the government of Sudan agreed to hold an independence referendum in the south.
A secondary reason was the presumption among the Islamists rulers in the north
that southern independence would strengthen northern solidarity by getting
rid of a predominantly non-Islamic part of the country.
9/11 led both to deeper US interest in involvement in the Sudanese civil war,
and to greater Sudanese susceptibility to increased American pressure.
The combination led to the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement,
CPA in 2005.
The real force behind the CPA was the Troika, Norway, Britain, US.
The Troika preferred to be known as friends of IGAD,
IGAD being the Inter Governmental Authority for
Development comprising six countries in the east African region.
It is Troika that put resources and
muscle behind IGAD including strategic guidance for armed groups.
And it is the Troika that decided that the AK-47 toting soldiers and
their commanders be handed power in 2005,
even though they had not won the war and had no more than a slim civilian base.
The CPA was premised on a militarists assumption that only those
with the capacity to wage war had the right to determine the terms of peace.
Since the talks excluded the political opposition in both the north and
the south, they rendered the political opposition illegitimate
in both halves of the country.
Doubling as both army and movement the SPLA/M in the south
emerged as the precocious double of the National Congress Party in the north.
The CPA strengthened the armed dictatorship in the north and
introduced one in the south.
Following the referendum, South Sudan became an autonomous
region in 2005 and became independent in 2011.
The SPLA has long been used to basking in the halo conferred,
on those officially acknowledged as victims of terror.
In an era driven by the assumption that a victim can do no wrong,
the SPLA was coddled and absolved of any responsibility.
That this governing class should seem incapable of reform on its own
should not come as a surprise.
The double standards were evident to all, possibly even to those who applied these.
Whereas the ruling party in the north was rightly and roundly criticized for
electoral malpractice and fraud in the elections of April 2010.
There was not even muted criticism when it came to similar practices
by the SPLM in the south that same year.
When the referendum on self-determination returned a 99.8% yes vote in the south,
the international community lauded the result,
when they would have pooh-poohed a similar result anywhere else in the world.
But when the SPLA split in nearly two halves in December 2013,
each determined to devour the whole,
both the western press and western governments were at a loss.
The fallback explanation, tribalism, evoked the conventional wisdom
that Africans may be quick at learning the arts or war, but
seem genetically resistant to learning the arts of peace.
The CPA reinforced the most negative of the legacies of the liberation war,
the aversion to internal reform, and laid the seeds of the present crisis.
Compare the CPA ushered in by the troika in 2005 with the Addis Ababa
agreement concluded by the Numeri government in 1972.
A leading opposition politician in Juba contrasted 2005 with 1972 and I quote.
The agreement in 1972 was negotiated by a party called SSLM
which did not carve out for itself all the power.
We had a vibrant but
plural power even though there was a single party in Khartoum.
But SPLN got power through an agreement, not through elections.
After excluding everyone else, they began to exclude themselves.
If the CPA, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement,
gave birth to a political dictatorship of all armed groups,
the society it commanded rapidly turned into an international dependency.
Just as all divergent political forces were excluded from the political life
of the country, so were all those in society without an SPLA
allegiance marginalized in the state-controlled administrative sector.
In the absence of a functioning civil service,
ministries were occupied rather than run by generals and their relatives.
A participant in the caucus of women explained to us.
Employment in the ministry,
from the director general to the cleaner, is only for one tribe.
When a minister is appointed,
his first question is how many people from his tribe are there in the ministry.
If he thinks them not enough, then some others are dismissed without due process,
and tribespersons are appointed.
The same reasons are given each time.
Quote, we fought and you did not.
You were with the Jalaba, we were with the SPLM.
We were with the Red Army, you were not.
More and more trained and experienced cadres were denied employment in the state
sector, on grounds ranging from not having participated in the struggle
to having worked in the North, to speaking Arabic but not English.
The result was an artificial scarcity of human power.
Donors filled the gap.
The result was a total disjunction between a donor-directed technical Qatar and
the political leadership of South Sudan.
On the one hand, lots of people were trained.
On the other, few were integrated into government structures.
So the shortage of trained human resource became even more acute.
In charge of shepherding the transition from CPA in 2005 to independence in 2011,
UNMISS put forth both an agenda and
a rationale for institutionalizing South Sudan as an international dependency.
As UN paternalism fed South Sudanese dependence, the UN gave
itself an all-embracing mission, state building and nation building.
Leading the UN team was a former Norwegian minister, Hilda Johnson,
formally holding the title Special Representative of the Secretary General.
In charge of state building and nation building, Hilda Johnson commanded
10,000 UN personnel, 7,000 military and 3,000 civilian.
She was the equivalent of a colonial governor.
So what then is the problem and the way forward?
This was at the heart of my disagreement with the majority of the commission.
The disagreement focused on two issues.
The first concerned the question of criminal justice and the demand for
Is criminal accountability equivalent to the rule of law?
The second issue concerns the relationship between political reform
and the rule of law.
I'll talk about both, first criminal accountability.
The response of the AU and the UN to extreme violence in South Sudan
was to broker a patchwork agreement that redistributed official
positions among those responsible for the carnage that began on December 16th, 2013.
The initiative evaded both the question of accountability and the question of reform,
how to create a viable and accountable structure of power in South Sudan.
This question has been at the heart of South Sudan politics since 1991.
More than any other event, it is 1991 that has
shaped the collective psyche of the present generation of South Sudanese.
It is noteworthy that this source of national
trauma did not originate from the struggle against Khartoum, but
from the failure to handle internal conflicts within SPLA.
1991 was not resolved, it was deferred.
A member of the caucus of women urged the commission to acknowledge
the meaning of 1991 Bor massacre.
Quote, a big number of Dinka were killed, there was no accountability.
Efforts for reconciliation, but no truth.
The wound is still there in the hearts of many Dinka.
The violence now is for me a continuation of the 1991 massacre.
1991 is an argument against a power-sharing arrangement at
the expense of truth and reform.
It is an argument against impunity.
Let us pursue further the question of impunity and accountability.
Who should be held responsible for the extreme violence that has destroyed tens,
maybe hundreds of thousands of lives in South Sudan since December 2013?
In my view, two groups above all.
First, the troika for its decisive role in framing an agreement, the CPA,
that set up a politically unchallenged armed power in South Sudan.
Second, the pre-July 2013 cabinet of the government of South Sudan for
the political crisis that led to the political meltdown on December 15th, 2013.
Now, why is it that no one is talking of holding the troika
accountable for the devastation of life in South Sudan?
Let us take an analogy from the marketplace.
The law of competition in the market is that just as you reap the benefits of
a profitable investment, so you must pay the price for a loss making investment.
But in the era of monopolistic competition,
this law does not apply to the biggest enterprises.
It is said that some are too big to fail.
Does the same hold in the political world,
that some are simply too big to be held accountable?
Rule of law is about holding the rich and the powerful accountable for
In the absence of equality before the law,
rule of law turns into a mask for the rule of the strong.
In short, warlordism.
Because the same rules do not apply to all states,
the contemporary international legal order reinforces the rule of the rich and
the powerful, not the rule of the law.
The interminable talk of the need for rule of law in Africa is remarkable,
for the absence of any reference to equality before the law.
Take for instance the proposal to create a hybrid court.
To hold accountable, those charged with responsibility for
mass violence that began December 13, 2013 in South Sudan.
Why should this responsibility be limited only to South Sudanese?
Why not the framers of the CPA,
given that the culture of impunity was entrenched during this failed transition?
Why not SRS J Johnson, who had command over 10,000 UN personnel,
of which 7000 were military, during those fateful three days in December,
when anywhere up to 20,000 civilians were slaughtered.
Ms Johnson opened the gates, or gave the orders to open the gates of the UN
compound in Juba to civilians fleeing their killers.
But did not intervene to stop the killing outside those gates.
The killing of US civilians began after the armed confrontation between soldiers
in the presidential guard had ended.
After Nuer soldiers had left Juba.
Should we not understand the failure to intervene,
to stop the slaughter of civilians, it is a latter day Srebrenica.
3,166 deaths were documented in Srebrenica.
There is no documented tally of those killed in Juba.
From fifteenth to eighteenth December, 2013.
But the estimates go up to 20,000.
What if anything, has the UN learned from Rwanda and from Srebrenica,
if the demand for criminal accountability is not applied to international officials,
there is no hesitation in applying it to the highest elected leaders within Africa.
In how many countries in the world can you try an elected president?
Or even try elected officials?
In the US,
you have to impeach an elected president before putting that person on trial.
In other words, you cannot try that person as a president.
You can only try that person as a civilian.
The assumption, is that to try a sitting president,
is to put the sovereignty of the country on trial.
This is no less true of Africa.
The demand to try elected African presidents,
is a direct challenge to Africa's sovereignty.
In the absence of equality before the law.
The call for an end to impunity has been politicized.
Turned into an instrument of Western power to subordinate African sovereignty.
Let me go into the question of political reform.
The demand for an end to impunity, is today at the forefront of the call for
an international regime of criminal justice.
Besides the fact that its application is not consistent, but
is politicized, there are two further problems with this demand.
The first, is that it turns the call for a universal norm,
to a one-size-fits-all prescription, regardless of context.
The second, is that it reduces all violence to criminal violence,
making it a matter of strictly individual responsibility.
As is well known,
the one-size-fits-all dogma began in the sphere of economic policy.
And was enforced as a series of structural adjustment programs,
by the Washington consensus in the 1980's.
Its destructive effects, are now both well documented and widely acknowledged.
Next, the single formula application moved to the domain of politics,
calling for a single standardized institutional agreement,
regular party based elections, as the sum and substance of Democratic politics.
Today, that same single formula remedy rules the roost,
in the field of conflict resolution, and transitional justice.
Prescribing the single across the board remedy, criminal accountability.
Criminal justice is today heralded as the gold standard.
The antidote for all manifestations of extreme violence.
In the field of justice, the single formula approach makes a single
decoration, a simple declaration, a crime has been committed and
its perpetrators must be identified and punished.
The question of justice is reduced to an issue of crime and punishment.
The rationale is that justice, like economics,
must be based on universal principles.
But, there is a difference between following universal principles, and
adopting single formula solutions.
That difference is one of context.
Context is not the opposite of a universal value or standard.
Context is an understanding that any concrete event is an outcome of multiple
causes, historical, political, moral, and economic.
The decisive issue here is the political.
The mainstream tendency that identifies justice with criminal justice, and
criminal justice with punishing individual perpetrators, even in cases
of mass violence, fails to distinguish between criminal and political violence.
In neoliberal fashion, It individualizes both the explanation,
and the responsibility for mass violence.
Whereas criminal violence may be linked to the agency of individual perpetrators,
political violence needs more than perpetrators.
Above all it needs a constituency.
The link between political violence and constituencies mobilized around it,
is based on issues, and calls for political reform.
It is common sense, that conflict takes place at not just the individual, but
also group level.
Just as courts that try individual perpetrators need to apply the same
rule to all, thereby ensuring equality before the law.
The political ground over which group contests are played out,
needs to be defined by commonly accepted rules.
Even if this is not a level playing field,
its rules need to be accepted by the principal contestants.
In colonial contexts, these rules were most often formulated by the colonial
power, but were discussed and debated in constitutional conferences.
One example of such a conference,
were the Lancaster House Conferences, in the case of British colonies.
The CPA was not even comparable to the prototype Lancaster House conference, that
half a century ago prepared the ground for the independence of many a British colony.
The closest development to a Lancaster House conference in the South Sudan case,
was the 2010 All-South Sudan political
parties conference, held in October of that year.
The All-South Sudan political parties conference, ended with a call for
a transitional government of national unity, composed of all political parties.
Headed by Salva Kiir, it included agreement to hold a constitutional
conference, and another election in two years.
But after the referendum SPLA revised the constitution, and
gave themselves the right to rule until 2015.
Before independence, SPLA was open to negotiations with internal forces,
whose cooperation and support it needed.
After independence SPLA saw these forces as a handicap to exercising power,
a formality it could dispense with.
Now that it enjoyed firm support from the Troika.
Let us keep in mind the fact that South Sudan has never had an election.
Salva Kirr was elected vice president of Sudan.
But never a president of a state called South Sudan.
To think of South Sudan as a failed state is to overlook the simple fact that
the very political foundation for the existence of a state, either as
an administrative technical and legal infrastructure, or as a political compact,
defining its foundation and direction has yet to be forged,
either within the elite or between the communities that comprise South Sudan.
Rather than a failed state, South Sudan was a failed transition.
South Sudan does not need another quick fix response to a growing political
crisis, it needs a political transition.
The political process that was cut short after
the 2010 meeting of political parties, should be given a new life.
At the same time, those South Sudanese politically responsible for
the violence that unfolded in 2013, the cabinet that was dissolved in July 2013,
should be ruled out from participating in any transitional authority.
What should be the content of this transition?
Under whose authority should it unfold?
And who should ensure order during this period?
These are questions for further reflection.
Questions with which I would like to close this talk.
>> Can I sit down or
do I have to stand up?
The question that was on my mind at the end of your last sentence,
which is should South Sudan be a state or is that the only alternative and
you have to make it function like a state?
Even if it? >> Great question.
I think the answer to that question requires us to throw up a larger issue.
[COUGH] The entire institutional arrangement under
the moral of colonialism which is the arrangement of the nation state.
Faced with visible problems with this arrangement,
the Organization of African Unity resolved that they
will stick by the arrangement come heaven or high water.
And, no secession will be allowed, no changes, nothing of the sort.
No between self-determination and sovereignty, they will go for
sovereignty of the states themselves.
In a strange way, both Eritrea and South Sudan raised this question.
And I think the question needs to be faced and
I'm not willing to face it right now but I am willing to say
it is a real issue and we need to think it through.
The only thing I would say is that the question cannot
just be posed about South Sudan.
It has to be posed more broadly.
If it is simply posed about South Sudan,
then it will not have much support inside South Sudan.
But if actually there is an attempt to think through alternative arrangements,
South Sudan could be one of the first places where these could be given a try.
But the justification has to be broader.
I know, this is not a good enough answer, but it's a provisional answer
>> On your argument,
relating to [INAUDIBLE],
I wonder if we should see the issue,
either the political or
the criminal or we actually
have hope [INAUDIBLE] and
whether the question is
how we didn't respond
to both the political and the [INAUDIBLE].
[INAUDIBLE] One of your proponents, at one time,
was more [INAUDIBLE] than that of the other
members of the of South Sudan,
was that, there was a need of some kind
of external administration of South Sudan.
And in the course of your presentation,
one of the points that you raised relates to the question of sovereignty,
and you link that question of sovereignty only with the criminal argument.
I thought that that question [INAUDIBLE] Thank you.
>> So I go back to my discussion of [COUGH] how
these issues are handled, where the political and
the criminal are mixed together, and
how they are handled, for example, in the US.
Procedurally, one distinguishes between the two, one separates them.
The process of impeachment is a response to the political.
Criminal trials can follow, once the person in question has been impeached.
Relinquishes public office, doesn't have to be a president, whether they are.
Politically is primary, you have to step aside or you have to be made to step
aside and then you assume an individual role and take individual responsibility.
I mean one of the big resolutions of
Nuremberg was that of individual responsibility.
I think now we have to revisit Nuremberg and question the assumption
that it's exclusively individual responsibility.
One needs to revisit the whole the de-Nazification process in Germany.
Was de-Nazification equivalent to the removal of former Nazis from positions
of power, authority, to jailing them to holding them criminally accountable or
did Nazification lead to a certain kind of a system.
What about larger reform?
What kind of larger reform?
These questions need to be posed.
So, the question of sovereignty, I know you're
trying to put me on to say that which I didn't say [LAUGH].
And that's connected to part question also, and,
you know, the questions that I ended with.
so if South Sudan is going to have another political,
the transition it didn't have, a political transition.
The transition which would make it possible for different political forces,
whether armed or unarmed, transition which would make it possible for
society, to take sort of the front seat in a way.
However long the transition be, who is going to provide the protective umbrella?
Who is going to make possible this transition period,
because it's no longer part of Sudan?
So, does it go back to Sudan?
I don't think that's an option right now, it's not an option.
So my only response as part of the commission was to say, that really
there should be an African authority.
But not an authority which includes these neighboring states who have
the highest individual stakes in what's going on.
Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, Eritrea all of these, not those.
It will need forces from outside Tanzania, South Africa, and Nigeria,
whatever sending our forces from outside, and we'll need to have a credible
authority, which is not simply credible but also knows the scene.
And I had made a particular suggestion.
Of course, that would compromise the sovereignty of this thing called
the state of South Sudan, but that state is only so juridically, in a sense.
That's a risk I think worth taking, in the absence of any other alternatives.
The only other alternative is to let it fester until it blows up.
>> [SOUND] [INAUDIBLE]
At the end of the talk,
when you were speaking
order that emerges
from the [INAUDIBLE]
a single formula.
That may be kind of the connection between-
in what you're saying between the colonial period and
the neoliberal period akin to [INAUDIBLE] And so
I guess my question is if in fact part of the problem is the international system,
like the UN model, which imposes this type of single formula or has thus far,
to what extent do you see a possibility of operating,
somehow outside that system, or finding corners within the system.
How does that happen if [INAUDIBLE] categories [INAUDIBLE].
If the problem is really within the, in some ways within the logic of
this neoliberal order, how does one resolve that problem?
>> Okay, so let me first take this question of tribalism.
[COUGH] I'll say a little more about it, because,
So my main work has been on
a particular form of colonialism,
known as indirect rule, colonialism.
So, what I would like to clarify is the logic of tribalism.
So we all know that ethnic difference has existed, it's not a colonial invention.
I mean in some cases yes, but it has always existed.
So what does one mean by tribalism?
Now, if you take the logic of ethnic difference, prior to colonialism.
The logic of ethnic difference was assimilationist.
Take a place like Ethiopia, you have Amharazation.
You can become an Amhara, you don't have to be born Amhara,
you don't have to be descended from an Amhara family.
The logic of Swahilization is the same, logic of Hausaization the same,
the logic of Arabization the same, it's an expansive logic.
It's not segregationist, it's assimilationist and
in some cases aggressively assimilationist.
Has its downside, but I want us to focus on the fact that it's not segregationist.
Now, the system that is introduced with colonialism is segregationist,
it's the opposite of what existed.
Because what colonialism does is, in its first phase
it introduces one level of segregation, race, racial segregation.
But it's very clear that this will not stabilize the system,
because it excludes the vast majority.
And that majority gets a self-consciousness of being an excluded
So by the middle of the 19th century,
it has become clear with Morant Bay in Jamaica,
with the Indian uprising in middle of 19th century.
And British intellectuals- legal anthropologists led by Henry Maine come
together to say, Maine says, 1857 was an epistemic failure.
Failure of understanding.
How do we do this.
The end result is to introduce a second system of discrimination, besides race.
One which will be a system of discrimination amongst the ruled,
that is called tribalism.
That is introduced by creating a governing structure,
which pushes each tribe into its homeland.
And if you're not living in your homeland you are disenfranchised.
You don't have customary rights.
You don't have right to land.
You don't have equal rights in terms of adjudication of conflicts.
So, it introduces in each native authority,
a tension between those indigenous to it, those not indigenous to it.
All of them excluded from colonial privilege.
But all of them now, either with access to petty privilege or not.
This is what stabilizes the system, and this is anointed as customary.
And this continues today and
is defended as Africa's custom.
That's the big challenge as I see it, okay, so now, neoliberalism.
I don't think we should equate neoliberalism with the existence of
the international community.
Neoliberalism is one possible logic by
how that community makes decisions and
brings itself together.
There have been different visions of international communities.
60 years ago, Ban **** was another vision, okay, today maybe Ban ****
may not be an adequate vision because those who were part of a Ban ****.
China has become a big power, India is trying to be on its way to being
big power etc, but alternate visions have existed.
It's just a book which has come out about African American thought on international,
forgetting his name, although I should remember his name.
But there are, I mean I think we should be talking of alternate visions
rather than saying that this is the only way to exist, and if we say no to this,
then we have to say no to any international order.
Any living together, we just return to
a narrow claustrophobic order now.
let me go back to Paul's question, so
question was should South Sudan be a state?
Now, if we retain the logic of the existing world order,
the only alternative to not being a state is being a colony.
Those are the only two alternatives, there is no third alternative, okay.
The historical imagination of peoples in the region
is not limited to those two alternatives.
Okay, there is a historical imagination which goes pre-colonialism.
And which is about the existence of political power and
authority, but not the existence of a state,
not a centralized fist, an armed fist, that you confront so.
That's the first question, historical imagination of people, so
that links with your question of what other visions.
>> And I think I should [INAUDIBLE] other visions
of sovereign are not bound to idea of modern nations.
>> Hey, but sovereignty is bound to the idea of,
sovereignty was failure, sovereignty is, well,
it has to be because the- I'll tell you why I think it has to be.
I mean I understand by sovereignty sort of this
Weberian idea of the centralization of all means of violence.
Legal, okay, it may be something out there, and to that extent.
Sovereignty is deficient, but this centralization,
the new modern state which promises peace within its borders, and
wages war outside its borders, I mean, the US is the perfect example.
Okay, in the present election,
Trump's objection is that you brought the war home,
should stay there, not here, okay?
So this- I mean, I think, there are two
alternative ways of thinking.
But one, the international lawyers,
those who support the international community court,
those who want trials, etc, their vision is that of a world government and
a global court, a global court and a global rule of law.
Now my problem with it is that the lawyers have to recognize that unless
they have a global political order, they cannot have a global legal order.
And the global political order they have today is not defensible,
because it's [INAUDIBLE] a mirror reflection of power.
I mean, the political order cannot be a mirror reflection of power.
I mean, it, of course, will reflect power in some ways.
But it can't just reflect it in an unmediated way, law,
if it does not mediate between power and society, law is worthless.
So this thinking, this debate, I mean and lawyers are constantly
talking about law for social change, etc, all of this.
Then the other side of this thinking are those who are saying no, no, no,
you take the Cambridge political theorist Richard Tuck and all these other guys.
Tuck is at Harvard now, but
the Cambridge school which is, let's go back.
Let us look at the period before Westphalia,
let us look at roads not taken.
Let's revisit our rich political imagination and
not just tailor it to the single outcome that came to be, right.
And let's rethink community state aesthetics without
becoming communitarians, right.
So that's the other sort, it goes in multiple directions,
but I think there are these two modes of thinking.
I'm not going to satisfy you, because all
I can trace for you is the field as I see it.
>> Hi Professor, we can see the last month and
the continued lack of reform With the for last month and
the continued lack of reform in the national army, to what extent do you think
the mistake of deferring the 1991 issue is being repeating again today?
Or do you think there is some potential lasting legacy in the peace agreement
of last year?
>> Well, last year's peace
More of the same, right?
But that's not holding, so
another 1991 is no longer an option.
And these guys seem to have run out of ideas or
they're scared of the ideas that are there.
One of the two, right.
So it's just festering in a way, but this kind of a problem is also a challenge.
It forces people to consider that which was unthinkable yesterday.
But there are people here who can answer that question better.
They are closer to the seat of power.
[LAUGH] But they are silent.
[LAUGH] >> [LAUGH]
>> I can coax them into
making a statement.
[LAUGH] >> So
not to be boring by circling back to the discussion about sovereignty, but
I was wondering if I could link it to what I presume was a very
casually chosen anecdote that you saw at the very beginning of the talk.
Where, you know, your friend represents a political claim, the police represent
the attempt to individualize criminality and you're the accidental priest.
And I wonder whether,
to the story that you're going to tell is basically about how do we find a new set
of institutional arrangements that can provide the [INAUDIBLE] of sovereignty
whereby we can have this sort of political discussion [INAUDIBLE].
And I wonder whether you might reflect a little bit on your own role in South Sudan
and whether you are an accidental priest.
Or whether their institutional arrangement is working in the background by that
umbrella that you talked about in response to another question.
What do those institutional arrangements look like?
Does it have to be a case of
misrepresentation of the people working background and what might it look like?
You know the anecdote was not carefully chosen.
>> [LAUGH] >> I had actually thought about it
when I sat down here, and I wondered if this was the place because there
was a place with a stage, but it was not as large as this.
>> It's a new auditorium. >> It's a new auditorium.
>> Okay it's a new auditorium.
So I would love to visit that auditorium right away, just as a pilgrimage site.
Anyway but, so
wasn't carefully chosen when the Dean welcome me home and I said, yeah.
I have many homes and this is one of my homes.
And what happened here?
Hey, this happened, right.
So it was just sheer generosity on my part.
To share that [LAUGH] anecdote.
It wasn't planned, it wasn't planned at all.
So what kind of institutional arrangements?
I mean look, the trend on the continent is very negative.
The trend in the African continent is
that every difference must be settled militarily.
That's the trend, okay?
And it has gathered pace because the U.S. has put its power behind it,okay?
This is this is the preferred American solution, okay?
The U.S. distinguishes between different kinds of wars.
The wars they want to be settled through discussion,
negotiation,the wars they want to be settled through power.
And those wars become part of the war on terror.
So Somalia will always be part of the war on terror, okay.
And there are other places.
So we are in a very difficult period because of that.
South Sudan, because at least under the Obama regime,
Obama administration, Obama government and
Sudan was being seen as the next possible, next step to Syria,
not Syria, Iran, to the kind of settlement, possible settlement.
Okay, which is why the South Sudan thing is not part of the war on terror but
it could be.
It could become very easily.
And if it does, we'll have real problems.
I mean we will have worse problems, we have real problems right now.
So step one is simply to ask oneself,
what would it mean to look for an alternative?
And South Africa provides a very good alternative model.
Very good alternative model in terms of,
because the existing model is that those
alleged of terror, criminal responsibility
are disenfranchised politically.
South Africa is the reverse model, which is not enemy but
adversary and the solution lies in the franchising
adversaries not in disenfranchising,
not in moving them out of the political domain.
It's completely opposite,
it runs totally counter with a grain of things today.
And it is interesting to me that that that is not celebrated.
South Africa is dismissed by being celebrated as
the genius of Nelson Mandela, and that's it right.
See, the downside of South Africa of course, no social justice.
But, the upside of South Africa was that there was no criminal trial.
There was no criminal law.
Even the killers of Steve Biko, known killers,
were not put on trial because it was clearly seen if
you had criminal justice you couldn't have political justice, political reform
which was simply end of legal and political apartheid.
Not socialist apartheid, but legal and political apartheid.
So the entire question of, because it's a question
of decolonization, is a question of decolonization.
What is decolonization?
We haven't decolonized.
We have remained within the broad rubric of the colonial imagination I mean,
the colonial officials are not there anymore.
Yeah, but we run that show.
So what does it mean to decolonize, these are the questions that have to be asked.
What does it mean to decolonize?
At the risk of sounding incredibly simple minded,
I'd just love to basically bring some of
this home to American voters in 2016 [INAUDIBLE].
>> I mean, there is a [INAUDIBLE] price confidence
in the new Imperial [INAUDIBLE].
War on terror regime and the American life
following somewhere pretty well vary in this.
And the third one is [INAUDIBLE] pressure on Hillary Clinton.
How would you want us to think about this?
You utilize the weakness of the American campaign?
>> Okay, I'm not gonna say, I'm not an American.
I'm not an American, but I spend a lot of time,
and a lot how I think today is
very important ways shaped by the time I spent here.
I mean I learned my first political
lessons in the civil rights movement,
pre-Selma In Birmingham, Alabama, and
antiwar movement etc., all of that.
So to me, that period
early 70s and the defeat in the in the China,
the US defeat in Indochina and and this remarkable
cultural revolution in a way it's just this opening up
that took place of which I was one of the beneficiaries here in in in this country
in that in the late 60's early
70s etc and then the closure, right?
Closure with Reagan and post Reagan and what you're describing now today and
in the fact that this political system can bring to us these choices.
I mean it's shocking, disheartening, everything.
So I don't know if I have an answer to To your question.
The election process opened up some possibilities.
Especially the primary process in the Democratic Party
opened up some possiblilities.
Now, of course, everybody has been broke in line with their two choices.
And everybody's voting not for anybody but against.
One group is voting against this candidate,
the other group is voting against that candidate.
They're voting for the result they don't want.
I don't seem, maybe if with Trump there's some excitement about the result,
some with Trump there's some excitement about the result they want something.
Maybe some hope some illusion.
I don't know, but
it's this- being led by a fear.
It seems to me,
the vast majority are being
led by their worst fears.
>> [NOISE] current crisis as you presented it,
I"m just curious about your thoughts of the utility or
lack thereof of the UNMISS missions as it's currently deployed?
Is it something that is potentially useful but just under-resourced,
is it a moot point, does it do more harm than good [INAUDIBLE] your opinion?
Well the African states
don't have the resources to fund
a military force or anything.
But now, we are in a situation in a country where
certain identifiable western states the troika have not only the resources but
actual responsibility to
finance an alternative, but not to be in charge of it.
I would like a solution whereby they don't dictate the outcome but
they're responsible for financing it.
And it may just take them to that point because
everybody I mean it's not that difficult to figure out
what kind of role they played Pendergast and company may try and hide it.
This or that or that but African states, well,
I mean the question I was asking myself is where is the kind of breed of leadership,
that can take on a challenge like this.
And there are a few but only a few.
>> So- >> We do the best we can.
I don't mean
we but we.
>> Final questions.
Please join me in thanking [INAUDIBLE]