BY: Elhag Paul, RSS
[The tears of honorable Matur Maker shed on 2nd November 2011 in the parliament in Juba during the presentation of the report of the auditor general Mr. Steven Wondu calls for rescue of South Sudan from the claws of the felons]
JUNE 22/2012, SSN; The corruption that is eating away South Sudan like a terminal cancer slowly spreading all over a healthy person is not something new. This is a disease dating back to the inception of the movement. The infection started when the founders of SPLM/A failed to put in place the necessary instruments, mechanism and structures as pillars of a robust organization. The maxim invoked by architectural engineers that a robust foundation and corner pillars are a must for any sound construction was ignored here.
The fact that SPLM/A survived to this date against all odds as an amorphous organization beats my mind. No doubt a research study on it may come up with an interesting unique theory in management. Anybody studying for a higher degree in management may want to consider doing such a research. It would benefit the advancement of knowledge in that area for human kind.
HOW IT STARTED: SPLM/A was founded at a very critical time in the history of Sudan. Competing forces in late 1970s and early 1980s were violently trying to achieve their interests in the Sudan. The Arabs under Nimeiri wanted to totally subjugate, Islamize and Arabise South Sudan and their strategy to achieve this was to foment massive divisions in the South.
In the South, internally, the Dinka using their smooth relationship with the Arabs wanted to establish themselves as the elites forcefully via corrupt behavior such as nepotism and tribalism. Then, the government of Abel Alier Dinkanised the police force, and put it under the command of Reuben Mach as a tool to realize their already stated objective. The Equatorians on the other hand were fighting to resist Dinka abuse and domination. Internationally, America and Russia were fighting their cold war in the region using Sudan and Ethiopia respectively.
The dynamics of these forceful clashes led to the corruption in the Sudan army to give birth to SPLM/A. Major Kerubino Kuanyin Bol, the commander of battalion 105 in Bor and his superior major general Sadiq El Bana in Juba were involved in financial embezzlement and illicit deals involving the smuggling of ivory tasks, leopard skins and the like. Their disagreement over the proceeds of the loot as would be expected led both officers to use their positions and their forces to settle score.
The atmosphere by then was ripe for rebellion, especially given that Nimeiri had already repealed the Addis Ababa agreement of 1972 and ordered the transfer of the integrated 6000 Anyanya forces from South Sudan to the north. Kerubino seized this highly charged political atmosphere to ignite the war on 16th May 1983 because he did not want to be crashed by his powerful superior whom he double-crossed.
It was true that at the time many South Sudanese in the Sudan armed forces were agitating for action and it was only a matter of time for a rebellion to take place in the South. Do not forget that Anyanya 2 already was up and active operating in Upper Nile against Khartoum. So Kerubino was clever enough to use this sensitive period for his own benefit to cover up his illegal activities with his superior.
BORN OUT OF CORRUPTION: There you are, SPLM/A was born out of the violence of corruption and led by the very people who were major actors in corruption in the Sudanese army. Seeking support for its survival, SPLM/A turned to Ethiopia communist regime under Mengistu Haile Mariam and they adopted a Marxist management model which implemented an absolutist system generating an environment of terror within the organization. Nobody could dare to speak against any wrong being done lest you get lynched.
In absence of instruments, mechanism and structures, Dr Garang became everything: the leader, the finance officer, the preacher, mini-god and what have you. The fact that the management of the organization was a one man show, it meant that the necessary instruments for checking corruption like auditing and accountability were ignored. Kiir lamented during the Rumbek meeting of November 2004 by saying, “corruption, as a result of the lack of structures, has created a lack of accountability which has reached a proportion that will be difficult to eradicate.”
This led to the worship of Dr Garang and the setting of the scene for rapid development of corruption. Myint in his article in the journal of Asia-Pacific Development, vol. 7, No.2, Dec. 2000, titled, Corruption: Causes, Consequences and Cures, defines corruption as ‘the use of public office for private gain, or in other words, use of official position, rank or status by an officer for his own personal benefit.’ From this definition it is clear that the behavior of major Kerubino and his superior major general Sadiq El Bana were acts of corruption. Consequently they led the country into crisis.
GARANG’S ABSOLUTISM WAS CORRUPTION: Similarly, the absolute control of the entire SPLM/A by Garang constituted an act of corruption in that he used the organization to build himself and perpetuate a personality cult.
Professor Robert Klitgaard in his influential article on the vice of corruption, ‘International Cooperation Against Corruption’ published in the journal of Finance & Development in March 1998 argues that monopoly of power is the number one culprit in perpetuation of corruption. He defines corruption as C=M+D-A which stands for corruption equals monopoly plus discretion minus accountability. So the acts of Dr Garang fit in well with Klitgaards definition of corruption because he wielded monopoly of power in SPLM/A with full discretion to do what he wanted without any accountability.
Extending this argument further on Dr Garang’s person throws more light on his character. His acquired fame and status as a hero in the liberation war in itself is a product of corruption as argued elsewhere that he does not deserve to be called the “Father of the nation.” There can not be honor in corruption.
The first corruption in the movement started with brain washing and the disablement of the free will of the person. The consequence of this type of corruption was huge in that innocent lives of true freedom fighters were sacrificed on flimsy grounds without any serious legal enquiries being conducted.
Peter Nyaba in his book titled ‘The Politics of Liberation in South Sudan: An Insider’s View’, published in Kampala in 1997 by KPI, points out that Dr Juac Erjok, a veterinary doctor from Ngok Dinka, Mr Lokurunyang Lado, a leftist activist and member of the South Sudan Patriotic Front and a certain Yahyah, a trade unionist who joined the ranks of SPLA, were framed as agents of Nimeiri and executed by firing squad during the graduation of the first brigade of the Jarad division in 1985. There was no investigation carried out and there was no appeal against the death sentences before execution.
Lam Akol in his book, titled ‘SPLM/SPLA Inside African Revolution’ published in Khartoum in 2001 by Khartoum University Press goes further to explain that Pagan Amum, Nyachugak Nyachiluk and Lokurnyang Lado were members of one group led by the latter. Pagan and Nyachugak conspired against Lokurnyang, arrested him and handed him over to SPLA leading to his execution. According to Lam, Pagan was a member of the firing squad that executed Lokurnyang Lado. What a horrible injustice?
This was a shameful betrayal of comradeship and an unpatriotic act from people who call themselves freedom fighters. But we must not forget this was a consequence of corruption in action. Now that South Sudan is an independent country, it is only right that a truth and reconciliation commission is established to investigate the violations of human rights within its territory. The severe punishment meted out on these freedom fighters should be investigated and if found innocent they should be righted posthumously so they can rest in peace.
Imagine destroying your own fighting force based on falsity knowingly. With hindsight now, how can such people be taken seriously as freedom fighters? Kiir was right in his confrontation with Dr Garang in Rumbek to say, ‘there are people among us who are more dangerous than the enemy.’ Yes, even now as I write on this sensitive issue there are very dangerous people in SPLM/A. Kiir himself is one of these dangerous people. He supervised the dungeons of SPLM/A for 22 years under Dr Garang. He also appointed ruthless and dangerous opportunists who betrayed the South to the parliament and the cabinet to support him. It is a case of birds of the same feathers flocking together.
CORRUPTION GOT UNCONTROLLABLE: The lid came off the issue of corruption for the first time in SPLM/A publicly during the national convention of 1994. Then Dr Garang said the fish had grown too big meaning corruption was getting out of control. Garang being a suave talker, the issue was laid to rest without any further follow up. I suspect fear was a factor in people keeping quiet. It is unbelievable that Garang, a man of such formidable intellect could not have foreseen the seriousness of the problem. It is certain that Garang knew well the corrosive impact of corruption but chose to ignore it because he was the major beneficiary of the practice and therefore he saw no reason to curb it for the good of the South.
If it is of any help, I just want to remind you that Garang in his speech of 3rd March 1983 way back at the start of the movement diagnosed corruption as the cause of inequality in the Sudan and committed himself to fighting it by fighting the system in the Sudan. How could he eleven years later then not take action against it? It looks like there is utilitarianism in play here.
For 22 years until 2004, corruption existed in the bush with limited major players namely Dr Garang and his close confidantes like Deng Alor, Barnaba Marial, Wani Igga and late Dr Justin Yac mainly feasting on donations to the movement from friendly countries and aid coming in through SRRA. On the field, the officers appropriated captured materials in form of vehicles and trucks which they sold out to traders in Uganda and Congo retarding the progress on the war.
At the other end in SPLM/A United, Dr Riek Machar was at it squeezing every penny out of the Arabs and defrauding UN aid agencies operating in areas under their control. Talk about vultures, here you have got them.
Low level corruption in the fighting force was rampant too with officers selling things like petrol and diesel intended for operations. Even a bizarre form of corruption developed in Yei where the officers were selling prisoners of war (POW) back to the Sudan government through the Sudan embassy in Kampala. The poor soldiers on the bottom were left with nothing but to help themselves to looting and raping the unprotected civilians in the liberated areas. So in effect, SPLM/A was already a seasoned corrupt organization.
SPLM/A NOW CORRUPT ORGANIZATION: We now have a picture of corruption in the SPLM/A. Hold it for now and let us move on to the government controlled areas of South Sudan in order for us to form a holistic understanding of the subject and how deeply it has become part of our daily culture.
Corruption surfaced in South Sudan with the coming of Addis Ababa agreement of 03/03/1972 into force which granted South Sudan regional autonomy. The first president of the High Executive Council (HEC) Abel Alier initially started well in governing the South but gradually proved to be a tribalist sparking serious divisions within South Sudan that the Arabs (Nimeiri) exploited to repeal the Addis Ababa agreement. As South was completely dependent on the North economically, it was deliberately starved of funds by the Arabs. The only major employer in the South was the regional government.
Therefore, most of the people who lived in the towns relied for their survival on their employed relatives. With meager salaries not being paid on time and sometimes taking couple of months, civil servants were forced to use their positions to make money to feed their families and extended relatives. Bookkeepers, cashiers, store keepers and so on became corrupt. Bookkeepers fiddled the books to steal money. In some cases they collaborated with directors to include ghost names on the pay sheets. Cashiers set up hurdles in paying out money to legitimate payees in order to extract bribes. Store keepers stole materials from stores. Drivers siphoned out fuel from government cars to sell in black market and so corruption flourished like wild fire and any hope of minuscule development vanished.
The politicians went for the lucrative corruption in quota distribution which rations essential commodities throughout the country by region. They awarded quotas to their agents (Malakia boys and Arab traders) and relatives. The documents of these quotas were sold for huge amount of money to the Arab traders. In most cases the commodities concerned ended up in the North with citizens in the South going through painful suffering resulting from severe shortage of these essential commodities.
The South Sudanese political parties like Sudan African People Congress Party (SAPCO) led by Morris Lowiya and People Progressive Party (PPP) led by Eliaba Surur while using some of the proceeds from quota business, they also engaged in deals with the Northern parties where they received money in return for supporting Northern parties’ policies in parliament in Khartoum.
So the poverty in the South and the total economic strangulation of the South by Khartoum led to development of corruption for the sake of survival. Most of the politicians like Arthur Akuen and late Dr Justin Yac who experienced and personally participated in this new emerging culture went to join the SPLM/A after the re-division of the South into 3 regions. As the saying goes, people come with their baggage, Arthur and Dr Justin went to SPLM with their own baggage of corruption.
Those South Sudanese who continued to live in the government controlled areas had no way out but to live under this new culture, although there were changes of governments in the Sudan. The replacement of Jaafar Nimeiri by General Suwar El Dahab and Suward El Dahab by Sadiq El Mahdi’s and the replacement of Sadiq El Mahdi by Omer Bashir in 1985, 1986 and 1989 respectively. But this time the beneficiaries were the Malakia boys by virtue of their religion together with members of the new tribe of Muslim-Christians of Turbi and NCP who got themselves baptized by being branded with Quoranic versus in sensitive parts of their bodies.
The reason this group benefitted was simply because they assumed power as the new rulers of the South by proxy. The Arabs encouraged corruption to keep the South Sudanese politicians sweet and contented. Khartoum deliberately ignored corruption so long as it could promote its policies of Arabisation and Islamisation. To achieve this objective Khartoum intended to destroy and prevent any emergence of a distinct South Sudanese identity to develop. Development of South Sudan was not on the agenda and so the South Sudanese were allowed to destroy themselves in this vice.
So in effect corruption has been in operation in both the SPLM/A and the government controlled areas and this has gone on for 40 years (from 1972 to date). As you can see, this is a long time and certainly corruption has taken roots and spread to every nooks and cranny of South Sudan society. Look at the present government of Kiir which is saturated with felons from top to bottom.
CORRUPTION RAISED AT RUMBEK: Having now looked at corruption from a wider angel in the entire South Sudan, let us move back to pick the issue from the end of 2004, just weeks before the CPA of 2005. Those in SPLM/A who lost out in the corruption game within the movement like Kiir found the opportunity to raise the issue in the Rumbek meeting of November 2004 as a weapon to nail Garang in their power dispute.
This Rumbek meeting provided the opportunity to deal with the issue of this vice culture of corruption at a very unique time, just before the signing of the CPA in preparation for good governance during the interim period. But, unsurprisingly it was squandered when Garang argued against any changes to the status quo.
All the complaints against corruption and the demands for structures in the movement by the high ranking officers of the SPLA in this meeting came to naught with one simple sentence from Garang supported by Ambrose Ring Thiik. Garang wittingly argued that, “Our imperfect structures have brought us to the present day. Let us not throw away these structures now. Otherwise we will throw ourselves away.”
Ambrose reinforced the point by saying, “Most of the things done are imperfect, but they have served us.” What an excellent expression of collective self interest coded with threat of self destruction? Of-course as human beings, our instinct is always to survive and nobody wants to perish and thus Garang won the argument.
SPLM PEDDLING LIES: However, by arguing against positive change, Garang and his supporters failed the test of being true freedom fighters. Morally, freedom fighters go to war to improve the whole lot of society and not for self gain or interest. No wonder, we have chaos in SPLM and by implication in GOSS because the ideals sung are not driven by the right values. What is said is different from what is believed and done. Basically, SPLM peddles lies. They are the problems of South Sudan.
Just compare and contrast Garang’s passionate defense for corruption here with his speech of 3rd March 1983 in which he bashed Khartoum on the subject. This is what he said, “Nimeirism which was plagued by corruption is a regime in which a few people have amassed great wealth at the expense of the majority.” Is this not similar to what is going on now in Juba?
Ironically, our liberators (SPLM/A) of yesterday have truly turned out to be today’s Nimeirists in Juba. Is it any wonder honorable Matur Maker broke down in tears on learning the magnitude of the economic barbarity?
Garang’s argument against structures was not for nothing. He was aware of what was awaiting them in the interim period – exercise of state power greased by oil money. By this time he had already requested 60 million dollars from Bashir for rehabilitation purposes. Do not forget that during the period of the peace talks he and his cohorts had began to embezzle millions donated by the Troika and others.
Garang’s close friends were buying mansions in Nairobi, Kampala and even as far as Europe, America and Australia. Kiir in the Rumbek meeting was scathing about this behavior. He pointed out in relation to rampant corruption that, “At the moment some members of the movement have formed private companies, bought houses and have huge bank accounts in foreign countries. I wonder what kind of system are we going to establish in South Sudan considering ourselves included in this respect.”
SPLM/A DINKOCRACY NEEDED CORRUPTION: What poor Kiir did not work out was that Garang was intent on promoting corruption because having negotiated for himself the position of first vice president of the Sudan and president of South Sudan; he would need to use money to promote Dinkocracy.
SPLM/A strategy for promoting Dinkocracy necessarily needed corruption as a tool. So they set out to ensure during the interim period and beyond that Dinka:—
1) —- control the police and judiciary. The importance of these two organs in promotion of corruption can not be over stated. In all the states of south Sudan, all the legal officers responsible for state business and contracts are Dinka. Even in the 3 Equatorian states where Dinka are not inhabitants, the legal officers are Dinka in violation of the decentralisation policy in force. This strategic control allow people like retired Brigadier Martin Malwal, the former member of the Ingaz revolutionary Council of Omer Bashir turned businessman to get away with millions supposedly for supplying South Sudan government with vehicles. The vehicles turned out to be reconditioned second hand cars bought from Dubai not worth the contract.
It also allows for human rights abuses by Dinka to go unchecked. It also allows people like Arthur Akuen to be released from detention by his tribes mates without consequences to enjoy the millions he stole with impunity. It also allows people like Koul Athian to scheme with the justice department to defraud the state of over 4 billion dollars in grain contracts with impunity.
After having Dinkanised the police force, the ministry is now handed to a recycled non-Dinka NCP die hard whose business would be to oppress South Sudanese on behalf of the masters.
2) 2) —- Control mass media for continuation of indoctrination as well as to deprive others from voicing their life experience.
3) 3) —- Create a dummy Anti-Corruption Commission headed by powerless people. In effect a commission managed and controlled by apparatchiks for Dinka interest. The fact that this commission is toothless in the middle of sea of corruption is unbelievable, but true. Instead of going after the real big fish, it wastes resource and time by pursuing non urgent cases of small value. The truth is that this body was formed to deflect attention of the people from the real corruption.
Kiir who lamented corruption few months before he took over the presidency of the South Sudan after the unfortunate death of Garang was all talk without action. Under his watch, over 20 billion dollars disappeared from the government coffers into the pockets of his people in the last six years. Yet they go around the world asking for development money. What a disgrace! Michael Makuei Lueth, the legal brain of SPLM in Rumbek meeting was right to say, “The leadership is not committed to fighting corruption.” There you are. What more are we expecting from this lot and their SPLM party?
4) 4) —- Create a dummy Audit Commission. This initially was a joke until the diligent Steven Wondu took over and did a wonderful job of exposing the depth of corruption committed in only one year (from 2005 to 2006) amounting to over 1.5 billion dollars unaccounted for. Although Wondu’s report was clear when it came to pointing out who the thieves are president Kiir looked the other way and buried the issue. Having been exposed by this report, auditing for the subsequent years appears to have been abandoned. Since GOSS came to power, they have not shown us any tangible evidence to hold thieves to account.
Believe you me, in Juba expensive government vehicles are being stolen daily without anybody raising alarm. Would you believe it that 6 years on, most ministries have no idea what they own in terms of vehicles, machines, equipment and so. Yet, we are supposed to have something called Audit Commission. What a joke?
5) 5) —- Constitute a lame parliament packed with party functionaries and appointed, discredited, opportunistic, principle-less MPs who can not enact legislations against the interest of the masters. In effect a rubber stamp organ to facilitate poor governance.
6) 6) —- Control finance. In order to plunder the coffers, well experienced thieves were appointed to head the ministry of finance. Their function was to disburse millions of dollars to fake Dinka businessmen. In addition to that they created for themselves an exclusive limited welfare system under which favored tribes men would receive massive help. This system is something called ‘assistance’ in the circles of the government offices of South Sudan. Under this system, the ministers reserve the discretion to approve about 20 thousand dollars as assistance to anyone at any given time. I do not have to talk of the beneficiaries of this blatant abuse of public money. You can work it out for yourself.
7) 7) —- Do not allow audit. In the last 6 years of SPLM’s administration. No auditing of some government departments have been conducted simply because the Dinkocrats in these offices have bled the ministries dry. This deliberate negligence is calculated to allow its members who are employed en masse without appropriate qualifications to loot the government without accounting. The absence of auditing which is a clear sign of deliberate orchestrated poor governance leaves room for the record to disappear which then renders accounting impossible.
8) 8) —- Brain-wash the public by claiming that, ‘we are starting from scratch.’ This is a phrase well designed to divert attention of people, especially foreigners working with donor agencies from paying attention to details. This phrase is so widely used in South Sudan to the extent that people now believe it. When corruption or ill deeds are raised, it is immediately invoked and the matter becomes so minor.
Please see this YouTube clip: South Sudan Corruption Discussion hosted by Vincent Makori of Voice of America on 10th May 2012 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YnErNQalAw Also please see The Rape of the RSS by the ‘Oyee party’ published by South Sudan News Agency on 12th February 2012. http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/articles/the-rape-of-the-rss-by-the-oyee-party
The impact of corruption to our society and country has been destructive and corrosive. In terms of infrastructure development, we lost hundred of millions of dollars on the roads projects. The amounts charged per kilometer by corrupt companies for asphalting roads around Juba are unbelievable. Despite millions being paid out in the last 6 years, to date the total mileage of asphalted roads in the whole South Sudan is less than 100 miles. Moreover the quality of the work itself is substandard and shoddy. This is replicated in all the situation numbered below.
Lighting – the Sudan government had erected electricity poles around Juba made up of concrete. These poles were perfectly OK and the lines were in order. Without any good reason, the corporation decided to replace these good poles with wooden poles imported from Uganda costing millions of dollars. The life span of these wooden poles surely will not last as long as the replaced concrete durable ones.
Again, instead of purchasing good modern electricity generators, our officials for no good reason went and acquired second world war diesel generators that are not able to light Juba town. Today, receiving light in Juba is a lottery. Sometimes, one can stay for weeks on end without any light. As a result, Juba is like mini Lagos in Nigeria. A town run by numerous privately owned generators producing noise pollution detrimental to healthy living.
Renovation of government building. The entire renovation of the ministries is reported to have cost around 300 million dollars, yet when you look around, the work done would have cost less than 5 million dollars. Despite the renovation, some of these ministries are leaking and there is no running water for the lavatories. Go to Radio Juba and you would see the shock of your life. Ever since the British left the Sudan, that building remains the same. The only difference is that it is completely dilapidated. I am not an engineer, but one glance told me that this building should have been condemned as it is a danger in terms of health and safety. Nevertheless, it is still in full use.
Government properties. The Dinkocratic governor of Central Equatoria, whose own biological daughter is his official office manager, without any sound legal basis in law is Dinkocratically privatizing and distributing government properties to his masters and foreigners to gain favors. This action is being taken in the face of severe shortage of government accommodation.
It is worth mentioning that these properties were built by the former British colonial administration and they have rich history in terms of the personalities who lived in them and the role they played in the events that unfolded in South Sudan. Any fit administration would actually list these buildings as heritage sites as they are part of our culture. Proper planning would see these properties attracting visitors and tourists interested in the history of our country. Now, the Dinkocrats are destroying this rich heritage for future generation due to their ignorance, lack of foresight and greed.
Contracts – most of the multi-million contracts are given out to incompetent companies which do not deliver such as the companies that cashed in on the 4 billion dollars intended to supply grain to the 10 states. These companies are owned by none other than the family members of the masters. Today, the consequence has been eye watering. Our innocent and peaceful villagers in Warrap, Unity and Upper Nile states are paying the price in terms of thousands of lives lost due to hunger.
Loss of life. Due to deprivation, citizens are dying daily all over South Sudan. In Juba and other towns, patients in hospitals simply die due to lack of oxygen, medications and so on. Many people also die daily too due to lack of enforcement of building regulations. Buildings constructed hastily without rules being followed collapse on people with impunity.
Social relationship. Our social relationship is suffering because of the inequality, unfairness and the deprivation leading to bitterness in our communities. In Juba seeing angry people is routine and if you bother to listen to some of these people you begin to get the sense of bitterness harbored towards some sections of the society. This is understandable as the corrupt are living it large with their actions causing suffering all around. This is not good for South Sudan as it perpetuates ethnic hatred and causes unnecessary divisions among us.
Development. Corruption retards our development in the sense that it deprives GOSS of revenue, wasted time and resource necessary for provision of vital services such as health, education, employment, eradicating poverty and so on.
Image of RSS. Corruption demeans our image as a country and destroys our credibility. It no doubt has effects on our official documents such as passports, driving license etc.
These are just few examples and I could go on and on and on, but there is no need. To sum it up, the price we are paying for corruption is so huge that it is difficult to find words to quantify or express it.
Boris Begovic in his article, ‘Corruption: Concepts, Types, Causes and Consequences’ in the journal of Documentos, Year III, No.26, March 2005 highlights the huge damages corruption does to a society in both visible and invisible terms. What Boris highlights is visible in our country on daily basis.
Today walking around Juba or any town in South Sudan does not fill the eye with joy. One sees suffering all around. You see children in rags playing, others defecating in open on the streets; emaciated children collecting stones for sale. Empty plastic bottles strewn everywhere and garbage everywhere.
It is truly a disheartening environment. Yet, you see the thieves in the most expensive cars driving around laughing happily. The sobering images coming out of Juba hospital daily and the wailing of the mourners seem not to say anything to this group of people. What a bunch of heartless people? People who have lost their humanity to greed and violence.
These thieves believe that by defrauding the South Sudanese people to construct for themselves high quality of life and live it, they will inevitably get away with it when they die and thereby passing the proceeds of the loot to their offsprings as inheritance. Since we the South Sudanese people are always forgiving we would forget and their families would remain established with vast economic and political advantage which they wrenched violently from the people.
To allow this situation to stand would be to endorse and accept Mafiaism. Since the process of accumulating this economic and political advantage was/is illegal, it follows that the South Sudanese people should have recourse to legal recovery of these stolen resources regardless of the farcical pronouncements of president Kiir; the woeful work of the rubber stamp parliament and the disgraceful work of the anti-corruption commission.
What we the South Sudanese need to do now is to forget the façade of Kiir’s administration on this issue. This government will not deal with this subject as it should because they are the beneficiaries. In the bush SPLM/A fudged this issue. During the interim period they encouraged it massively in presence of the dummy anti-corruption commission. As you know, no arrests made, no convictions handed down, no nothing. It is well known that SPLM/A has a well documented culture of resistance to investigation, accountability and good governance.
Peter Nyaba in his book mentioned above on page 127 tells us that Riek Machar, the current vice president is not only corrupt but he does not like to hear the words investigation or accountability. He writes, “When SPLM/A United was disintegrating, the Bahr El Ghazal called for accountability. Riek refused to investigate allegation of financial irregularities and misappropriation of public funds and protected his subordinates in defiance of the wishes of his colleagues. Riek’s lack of transparency and accountability annoyed the Bahr El Ghazal group which began to distance itself from the Nasir faction.”
What hope is there for a government led by people of such characters to address the problem?
Klitgaard argues and rightly so that corrupt officials at the top are monopolists unwilling to sacrifice their loot and the source of their ill gains. When corrupt rulers, corrupt civil servants and corrupt private companies gain with society being the net loser then a state of equilibrium in corruption has been reached.
This appears to be the case in RSS. In such a situation as South Sudan’s nothing can be done to tackle corruption except change of the “agents” promoting corruption. This has to be done root and branch for the good of the country.
So, the SPLM needs to be kicked out of power through the ballot box and a fresh blood brought in to address this cancer. Where the top leadership is infested with corruption as now there can be no hope of change with these leeches being on the driving seat.
As RSS is already a failed state saturated with corruption, our strategy should be to work together towards addressing this disease in the future. We need to do this with all the opposition parties, to work towards developing means by which to recover all the resources stolen from GOSS by these irreformable corrupt officials and feral politicians.
In the next elections, the public needs to be sensitised not to vote for any party that does not pledge to address the issue of corruption once and for all. So we expect the next government to enact a legislation setting up a commission for Economic Recovery and Rehabilitation (CERR) with wide powers. Such a commission in my view is to be led by a strong personality preferably by a credible and ethical judge or a retired army officer with legal background. This body is to be answerable to a parliamentary committee and the president and should have among others the following remit:
- — Investigate all forms of economic irregularities as from 2005 to date in South Sudan. Such investigation to cover everything ranging from individual activities to state transactions with individuals and other bodies
- — Investigate the near collapse or collapse of Nile Commercial Bank and its inability to perform in a virgin environment of a new oil rich country
- — In collaboration with ministry of justice, the commission is to prosecute offenders and recover assets of the state from individuals as well as other bodies; no matter where such assets are hoarded or stashed away in other parts of the world.
- — In collaboration with the audit commission, the commission is to pursue vigorously any irregularity discovered by the Audit Commission and to recovery any assets lost to the state.
- — Re-open and re-investigate thoroughly the disbursement of the 4 billion dollars budget for grain.
- — Review and where necessary re-open and re-investigate all the cases dealt with by the dummy Anti-corruption commission.
- — Investigate use of state resource by SPLM as a party which in itself is corruption giving one party advantage over the others. SPLM office bearers and officials of South Sudan government involved in this illegal act to be held accountable.
- — Any lobbying or obstruction of the work of this commission to constitute a crime. Therefore, the legislation giving it force must be robust.
- — Investigate any other acts deemed damaging to the economic well being of the country
SPLM/A as a product of corruption and a corrupt organisation is fond of claiming successful program to itself and this is how it rejuvenates itself time and again. Even in the battle fields when the SPLA won, the real commanders who commanded the battles, and were responsible for the excellent job got sidelined and the credit bestowed upon Garang or any Dinka officer.
Therefore to protect the idea of CERR from being stolen and watered down by SPLM, any negotiations on the subject should not accept anything less than a body with wide ranging powers and duties as suggested above. We do not want to see CERR in the political graveyard like South-South dialogue.
Resting this issue, let us get to sensitize our people and organize to recover our country from the thieves. This joint called SPLM is past its sell by date. It is already rotten to the core and therefore it needs to be demolished and cleared for the real South Sudan to emerge.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent those of the website.
By: Orphan Anynie, RSS
AUG. 08/2012, SSN; I remember when the “transition period” was negotiated into the peace settlement, many of us were aggrieved feeling we should get our vote for Independence immediately since we had already suffered for so long. At that time we were told we need the interim period to get our house in order and to grow up, to mature, as it were into statehood. It was a bitter pill to swallow but we eventually acquiesced.
With our immense capacity for patience and our seemingly endless ability to wait, we consoled ourselves with daydreams of the sweet Referendum to come and we busied ourselves planning ways in which we could help build a new nation. All we wanted was to be given the space to add our contributions.
Notwithstanding, for the last seven years the ruling party in RSS has been whimpering that it is a ”baby” (though, paradoxically, an obese and gluttonous one).
The first year after the CPA, the second year after the CPA, the third year after the CPA, the fourth, the fifth year…and even now at almost the end of the first year of Independence, citizens all over the country have all had to suffer this grating, immensely pathetic mantra that is used as a cover for the party’s intractable crudeness, theft and ineptness; it’s bumbling inability to get its house in order.
This brings me to a few questions. First, how can you claim simultaneously that you deserve to rule the masses because of your service during the Liberation Struggle and, at the same time, that you have no capacity to do so because you are a “baby”?
Second, do you think that Dr. John Garang, for all his own imperfections, would have sung the ”I’m just a baby” song? And for so darn long? Moreover, if you shuffle around grinning from ear to ear saying that you are just a baby whenever you get caught red-handed in some obvious dysfunction/pathology (such as stealing billions from the national treasury) or whenever you fail to perform the simplest of tasks, how on earth can you expect any respect or continued patience and understanding from the “International Community?”
My suggestion to the RSS Administration is this: If you want to be a big man on a big playground, GROW UP. Stop making excuses for yourself and stop bullying, abusing and robbing from your own citizens. It is not charming to see grown men who call themselves ‘’leaders’’ run around making excuses.
It is not charming to see them repeatedly ask others to overlook the dysfunctional systems they themselves have not only created over the last seven years but that they are also attempting to enshrine in order to stay in power via force and manipulation.
The “Thanksgiving” Campaign the Vice President led should be renamed the “Forgiveness” Campaign, and the ruling party should be begging the citizens of this new Republic for forgiveness for their crimes. They should ask for forgiveness for testing our patience with childish lies and excuses that even widows and orphans wouldn’t make. In the meanwhile, they have become morbidly obese and morbidly embarrassing.
Further, if the International Community really has any sense and backbone, they will issue a travel ban on ALL MEMBERS of the RSS Lootership until they repatriate every last pound of the money they have stolen right out of the mouths of ACTUAL babes.
This is the next lobby for the diaspora. Summoning again the networks it made during tireless campaigns for a just peace for South Sudan, the diaspora should knock on official doors all over America, the UK, Australia, etc. and demand that ill-begotten RSS money is returned home. Without this, this peace is not just.
As a lifelong supporter of the SPLM and a voter for Independence, I can truly say now that I would much rather have had a unified Sudan led by President John Garang (who at least had a vision) than an independent South Sudan run by a group of infantile (their own assessment) thugs.
It is exceedingly difficult for Southerners, yet alone foreigners, to take this bully administration seriously. It is exceedingly difficult to feign respect for those who obviously don’t respect themselves or their country.
Though we ALL had a birthday, these ghoulish infants ate all the cake. Now, mouths full and bellies bursting, they sheepishly request that we not scold or punish the ‘’Big Baby.”
However, just shy of a decade into the generous grace period which they were given, everyone’s patience has worn thin. It’s time the adults in the crowd had a word with these developmental sloths and told them to either GROW UP OR GET OUT.
The party and the cake are for us all.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent those of the website.
BY: Ayuen Panchol, JUBAAUG. 11/2012, SSN; For democracy, the real democracy “d-e-m-o-c-r-a-c-y” not just the written, sung or spoken democracy that frequently flies out of our politicians’ mouths, to be realized, enjoyed, seen, smelled, tasted, felt, drunk or even eaten by all the people of the Republic of South Sudan, including the mute, deaf, amputees, blind and the one-eyed, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement’s top leaders must be incited against each other.
A seed of discord must be sown amongst them now and quickly. Confuse them; Make them poke out each other’s eyes! Let a rain of political teargas canisters rain on their Headquarters at Juba’s Thongpiny area. With watery and itchy eyes, let them grasp for fresh air.
Like what little boys do in preparation for a fight, make them roll up their pants and sleeves to break each other’s jaw politically.
In a plain language, our educated uncles and aunts describe Democracy as a regime where the rule is determined by the people. A democratic government is a government for the People by the People and of the people, meaning that the people run the government and the government is made to protect the people.
Now be sincere to yourself and your country, does South Sudan fit in the above description? Is the government democratic?
On this planet earth, every child is born into some screwed up group and it is up to him or her to fight his or her way out of it or remain loyal, depending on the mindset and level of intellectuality, both natural and academic or even the borrowed brains, he or she attained during his or her transition from childhood to adulthood.
With my father being a member of SPLM/A Battalion 105 aka Ashara-kamsa or Koriom, and my mother pregnant with me during the civil war in the late eighties, I was automatically born into the SPLM. That means I am an SPLM by birth. And since none of the opposition parties has what it takes to win my admiration, and as a good citizen, I have only two things to do and they are, one, to remain in the SPLM and two, to fight it from within. And here goes my bullet.
Let me begin with the word that I loathe the most – sycophancy, a word beautifully tattooed on many faces in the country. You need an extra eye to see the tattoo though. A sycophant is a servile self-seeker who attempts to win favor by flattering influential people.
That’s it. The ruling SPLM party is a sycophant-fortified city. Back in the day, in the bush, sycophancy was a necessity. It was an air, a ticket for survival. This was because the movement’s leadership was debatably tyrannical, militaristic, and vampiric. It had no time to play with dissidents. It was zero-tolerant to criticism.
Those who dared object to any decision made by the Late John Garang and seconded by his loyalists were frowned at and frog-marched to frog-ponds for punitive drowning. Some rot in dungeons.
On the battle grounds, hardliners were ‘shot in the back of their heads’ after they compulsorily led their respective infantries to frontlines. You can put that together.
The SPLM members who are actually the liberators, the ruling elite or even the gods of life are suffering from two diseases, chronic ones: highly exaggerated sycophancy and empty loyal-ness. The two diseases are viral and hereditary and they are the root cause of the irresoluteness in the government, the very reason it is weak-kneed.
Being loyal is not bad. But the saddest part of it is that SPLM loyalists got addicted to their role until they transformed into sycophants.
Inarguably, the country is in the pocket of a cultish group of the much-hyped influential figures, namely: Salva Kiir, Riek Machar, Wani Igga, Pagan Amum, Kuol Manyang, Rebecca Nyandeng, Hoth Mai, Gier Chuang plus some underpublicized souls, most of whom are wealthy businesspeople. They are all SPLM.
What they agree on is final, regardless of its potential impact on the common man. What they do, or fail to do, unveils their real faces. It indicates the exactitude of their unspoken intentions – to rid the country of the poor, which make up to 70 percent of the total population. That’s why they hardly criticize each other publicly.
They are all indebted to each other. Since I woke up from the teenage coma a couple of years ago, I have never heard or read any of them engaging each other in a decent disagreement over any national issue in the media.
The Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan which was brought to existence by some of the clique’s learned members prohibits them from dealing in any profit-making projects, a trashy provision they seemingly smilingly dust off their shoulders. It decrees that:
“The President, Vice President, Presidential Advisors, Ministers, and Deputy Ministers of the National Government, Governors, state Advisors, state Ministers, and other constitutional office holders shall, during their tenure of office, neither practice any private profession, transact commercial business, nor receive remuneration or accept employment of any kind from any source other than the National Government or a state government as the case may be.”
Who amongst the senior civil servants is not running a commercial business, in or outside the country or both? The person who made that a law wasn’t foolish. He knew what it is like to mix civil service with personal business programs. When you’re a businessman, honesty flies out through the roof. You become vulnerable to cheating. Pillage becomes your hobby.
In February this year, a dubious written order exempting Vivacell, the largest mobile telephone company, from paying taxes for a period of about ten years got leaked:
“….the licensor hereby ensures to the licensee that the license is granted tax exemptions for a period of ten years at least, such tax exemption include custom duties, income taxes, sale taxes, etc. or any other taxes which may be imposed in the near future such as Value Added Taxes and the Licensor undertakes to indemnify the license in full in that respect. As such, the excise tax is not applicable on Vivacell.”
Why would the government free such an income generating company from taxes? Who owns Vivacell anyway? Is he an ordinary businessman or a senior government official, a South Sudanese or a foreign national?
On Wednesday, the Finance minister, after being fried, roasted and tossed around by the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee over misappropriated millions of dollars he disbursed to some company, rightfully snitched on His Excellency:
“Yes, the money was disbursed, no contract agreement, the disbursement was based on the strength of the letter of H.E the President,”
Very freaking unbelievable!! Did the President actually sign that paper himself or someone forged his signature? Or did someone lure the old man into such a self-degrading act?
In November 2008, a Lebanese paper carried a story about high-profiled SPLA generals on a visit to Beirut. The Generals, who are currently holding ministerial positions in the government, went to check out the progress of their 25 companies that they had created some years back. Beirut Business Weekly quoted a Lebanese official as saying:
“This significant visit will definitely help bring the two trading partners businessmen closer and also help strengthen the trading ties between Lebanese Businessmen and SPLA generals… Lebanese foreign trade with SPLA reached US 11.085 million in 2006 to 2007. There are 25 SPLA companies operating in Beirut and are registered with the Chamber.”
Are those companies public or private? Ain’t Lebanon the pit latrine where the SPLA soldiers’ salaries were intentionally dumped into, forcing the freedom fighters to become herbivorous, mango and grass eaters?
If SPLM wasn’t a group of Freemasons, who among them would need a degree in rocket sciences in order to see the deliberate violations of the law by his or her colleagues?
If the SPLM wasn’t an acephalous organization of hardcore official criminals whose members find pleasure in crimes they do without fear of rebuke and severe punishment, who among them would hesitate to condemn the crimes committed by his colleagues; crimes that crippled and continue to cripple the young nation and its citizens?
Unless an internal democratic war erupts within my beloved party, the SPLM, never shall the country get democratic. I don’t have an idea what would cause such a war but I am very hopeful that it will happen. If it does break out, each influential official with presidential aspirations will civilly walk away and form his or her own political party with a manifesto, aimed at attracting all South Sudanese, despite tribal marks, height, weight, belly-size and et cetera.Ayeun Panchol is producer of Sudan Radio Service, Juba
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent those of the website.
Isaiah Abraham is all over the place exerting unnecessary energy to shoot down Ayuen Panchol’s noble call to the ground with nothing but weasel words. This character who endlessly contradicts himself in his prolific writings is not worth paying attention to.
At one point he is a staunch supporter of president Kiir and at another point he is vehemently against the president calling for his resignation or overthrow. Then within a short period he would be back praising president Kiir and asking the people to rally behind him. Not taking long he would be back to his faithful support to Dr Riek as an alternative to president Kiir.
When he is in this mode, he advocates for unity of the Nuer and Jieng against all the other tribes of South Sudan to ensure power remains with the two groups. But for no good reason he would switch to lambasting the Nuer as violent people and should not be trusted with power.
He always forcefully without shame argues in the face of naked evidence that SPLM is not a failure. http://www.southsudannation.com/totearsplmbadidea%20isaiahabram%2078.htm What type of a character is this Isaiah Abraham? Even the term ‘political prostitute’ would not suffice to describe him.
His writings when analyzed reveal a person lacking integrity, values and credible ideology. He appears to have no clue of what is good for the country. He epitomizes the Oyee party – a confused 20th century organization without a credible ideology ruling the country. Their Bible was the concept of New Sudan. They shouted loud that they found a panacea for the country.
Ironically, in the then liberated territory under their control they could not even implement the concept of New Sudan. Life in the so-called liberated areas was devoid of law and order. Raping, looting, killings etc was the order of the day. What they produced was worst than the system they were fighting in the Old Sudan.
This project having been exposed by the poor behavior of SPLM/A as empty was rejected by South Sudanese on 15th January 2011 when they chose to secede. In effect SPLM was stripped of its only instrument that allowed it to sell itself locally, regionally and internationally.
Since the death of this ideology of New Sudan the organization has remained without any ideology or vision for running the country now. Ask any Oyee member what they stand for and what programs are they offering the country, you would be surprised to hear the err err err err …the vision eh the chairman eh…you know ehhhhhhhhhh……….like a child caught out in a mischievous act without explanation. Hence the chaos in the Republic of South Sudan.
Which brings us to the prophetic words of Ayuen Panchol, ‘Democratise South Sudan: Tear Down SPLM, please!’ Isaiah Abraham may fret, whine, whinge and psychotically strive to distract people’s attention from Ayuen Panchol’s clearly thought out solution to our country. But this will not work.
People are seeing the colossal failures of the Oyee party on daily basis. Its leaders are mercilessly squirreling away the resources of the country to foreign countries for safe keeping for themselves. http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/5776 They are irresponsibly sending soldiers to die in unnecessary wars like the Panthou war. They are failing to protect the interest of RSS in negotiations with the Sudan. They are constantly ceding land to the Sudan. They have antagonized the whole world and turned the country to an object of hate.
They have failed to provide services be it health, education, housing, creation of jobs etc and mismanaging the country. They drove the country into a status of a failed state.
The president is the only one amongst his equals in the world to be known as a lair. Mr Gerard Prunier, a former senior GoSS’ advisor described the rulers of RSS or should I say SPLM leadership as “idiots ……. rotten to the core”. With such damning comment, can anyone doubt Ayuen Panchol’s call really? To try to pretend like Isaiah Abraham that SPLM is doing well in power is tantamount to taking the people for fools. This is delusions of grandeur and it is best if he is left alone in that quasi-psychotic state to delude himself.
True South Sudanese like Ayuen Panchol and Ayeng Jacqueline Ajak who expressed her view in “Let’s try to reform our people. A Dinka woman’s point of view on Madi land issue” published in February 2009 by South Sudan Nation are leading the way in the Jieng community to do the right thing for the country. South Sudanese should stand up with them. They are caring of the country and its people. These are individuals who have demonstrated their human values. They say things as they are. If South Sudan had the majority of its population with the likes of Ayeng and Ayuen, the country today would be a different place to live in and Oyee would have been history.
SPLM Oyee has no mandate to govern South Sudan. They imposed themselves on the people fraudulently. The mandate that they got through the rigged elections of April 2010 technically expired with the break up of the Sudan into two countries on 9th July 2011.
However, shamelessly they cobbled together a shoddy constitution claiming that the expired mandate gave them the right to continue ruling the country for another five years. How can a mandate obtained in a dissolved country become the basis for ruling in a brand new country? This made no sense and still makes no sense now but SPLM Oyee is abusing the SPLA to maintain itself in power.
Instead of SPLA being the national army it has been reduced to a party militia. The refusal of the ruling party to legally outlaw the use of the name SPLA from being used on the army as demanded by the shoddy constitution serves to psychologically keep the people in check.
The message is this: SPLM and SPLA are one and inseparable. If you do not want SPLM it means that you do not want SPLA and therefore if you do not want SPLA you are an enemy and so both SPLM and SPLA are going to fight you. So, if you do not want SPLM in power, SPLA is going to fight you to maintain SPLM in power. This is a strong psychological disabler and it is the tragedy that RSS is locked into.
Where on this earth do you find a national army and a political party as interchangeable? It is only in South Sudan and this is an abuse of the institution of defense by the Oyee party. This arrangement should not be entertained because eventually it will lead into serious rebellions and destruction of the country. No party should have militia. Period. Only the state should have the monopoly of force and not anybody else.
Ayuen Panchol has correctly diagnosed SPLM’s continuation in power and through this power its abuse of state institutions and resources as the main obstacles to development and progress in RSS. SPLM remains a cancer in the politics of RSS and its continued running of the country is a sure way of sinking RSS and all its people. In this light Ayuen Panchol should be taken seriously.
He provides a bold prescription as a way forward. Being a child of SPLM – someone born to SPLM/A parents during the struggle and grew up in the bush and ended up as a player in the struggle gives him immaculate credentials to speak about SPLM as an insider. His knowledge of SPLM/A can not just be brushed aside. The very blood that keeps Ayuen Panchol alive is made of SPLM/A material. His DNA is SPLM/A.
So if Ayuen Panchol now says with confidence that the SPLM Oyee party must be torn down to give room for democracy in RSS, then this is worth taking seriously. The young man has envisioned a prosperous South Sudan without the Oyee party. Those Doubting Thomases’ in the Oyee party should wake up and listen to him. They need to do some soul searching on this issue. It is inconceivable that Ayuen Panchol could have called for the slicing of his party if he had not reached the conclusion that RSS is in danger of being destroyed by the Oyee machine.
The question then is: how can the Oyee machine be torn down? The simplest but complicated answer is for its dissatisfied members to vote with their feet and join other parties. This is not likely to happen for two reasons.
First as a tribal organization of gangs (please see http://www.southsudannation.com/thefirstannivofindep%20elhagpaul%2078.htm, the majority who make up the bulk of the party are not literate and they do not have the skills to read the situation correctly as Ayuen Panchol has done. Deserting SPLM means bringing down SPLM. To them this is seen as self destruction. They are unable to see the big picture which is a well governed country for the good of everyone. People in this category include Isaiah Abraham who is prepared to see the country sink as long as SPLM is on the saddle regardless of its incompetence and abuses of power.
The second problem lies with the opportunists – call them ‘eaters’. This is the worst group society can have. They have no allegiance to anybody but their tummies. These lost souls seem to have no idea why they are on this planet. As beneficiaries of the corruption they will continue to support the system until they are sure of its demise before they switch to side with the strong to continue on with their opportunism.
Examples abound. Think of those NCPs who devoted their lives under Bashir to fight the SPLM/A but soon after independence quickly wore the SPLM garment even though it is soiled and stinks.
This leaves us with members of the Oyee party who do not hail from the ruling tribe. This group is vital if the Oyee machine is to be torn apart as prescribed by Ayuen Panchol. They should vote with their feet to join other parties. Their joining of those parties must not be conditioned on tribe but rather on convergence of ideology and policies. They need to scrutinize the ideology and policies of the party they wish to join. If such party meets their aspiration then let them join it regardless of who the leader of that party is.
They must look at the personality of the person and not the outward characteristics of social groupings. It is that thing inside us (moral conscious) which makes us humans that matters and not the social group we belong to. It is that thing that makes us emphasize and feel the pain of others regardless of who they are.
It is that thing that gave us the feeling of disgust when Deng Athuai Mawir was abused that matters. It is that thing that revolted us when people in Warrap, Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei states were starving to death from famine that matters. And it is this very thing that also allows us to forge friendships and relationships across the board based on hobbies, ideologies etc.
What I mean here is that let us search for parties with good ideologies and skilful humane leaders who value humanity and the well being of all regardless of tribe. Let the social contract we have entered into with the creation of the Republic of South Sudan in the form of constitution and the law be the dispenser of justice and fairness to all instead of tribal bigotry as is the case now.
If we put our faith in the constitution and operationalise it as it should, then it should protect each and everyone of us thus eliminating fear and the need to seek clan or tribal safeguards and this would be the first step towards busting tribalism.
Further way of tearing down the Oyee party is for all of us to demand for a formation of interim government of national unity involving all the stake holders in South Sudan. The main function of this government should be to: 1) draft a truly democratic constitution which is not skewed to support one party or to pave the way for a one party state as now being done by the Oyee party. 2) arrange for credible free and fair elections to produce a legitimate government of South Sudan.
The Oyee party claims that it is a democratic government, but as you can see this is not the case. A democratic government is a government that comes to power through the ballot box. The Oyee party did not come to power through the vote; it rather imposed itself on the people waving SPLA as its militia to browbeat any dissenter into line. Its working module is totally divergent from the principle of democracy. In a democracy the separation of powers is clear and genuine.
It is not a matter of forcing some shoddy constitution enshrining few aspects of democracy and then singing about it as a democracy. No Sirs! That is not democracy. That is totalitarianism wrapped in democratic foil. In a democracy the separation of powers are implementable and are seen to work.
Let us look now at the separation of power in GoSS. Theoretically as in the shoddy constitution there is the executive, then the legislature and judiciary. Each of these is supposedly to be independent and powerful enough to call any of the others to account. If the president abuses the constitution then the parliament can hold him/her to account. If the parliament legislates contrary to the constitution the judiciary is to arbitrate on it to ensure the constitution is respected. If the courts abuse their powers, the appeal process in the Supreme Court can be invoked or parliament can intervene to right the wrong and so this is how the government is supposed to function.
In short, president Kiir and the Oyee ruling party are not only dictators in power unto themselves, but destroyers of the state.
Oyee is a disaster and as Ayuen Panchol has rightly said, let us tear it down. In this 21st century it is an affront to have an organization that mirrors 20th century organization such as the Dirge regime (that ruled Mengistu’s Ethiopia from 1974 to 1991) ruling South Sudan.
Ayuen Panchol has thrown down the gauntlet. Will South Sudanese now search their souls and respond with dignity to safeguard their country and humanity from being trashed by Oyee party.
BY: Chier Akueny Anyithiec, UGANDA
AUG. 18/2012, SSN; Dear readers, I am actually writing in response to Hon. Luka Biong Deng, concerning his article titled; “Why Juba should continue to be a national capital of the new nation.” Surely, Hon. Luka has said lot of things here but some of them contain none other than untrue arguments because people of South Sudan are absolutely expecting tangible change but not just matter of continuous loggerhead over non-essential things. I say so because Juba was meant to be national capital and it should remain a national capital but not a state capital, which is the contradiction between Central Equatoria Communities, particularly the communities who own Juba e.g Bari.
Wrong ideas are never condoned in intellectual world, however, it is like what is happening concerning the University of Juba, for example, whereby particular people based it as a State University instead of being a national institution. This example also exactly support my next arguments against that article in particular.
We should work for the future but not for chance of playing negative political showground about national institutions. Therefore, Juba is being taken as a state capital instead of regarding it a national capital city. When you hear any gunshot, that could be the problem of land, when are we going to stop fighting for lands?
Hon. Biong, I think solution is to shift the capital!
South Sudanese in particular did not expect such nasty behaviors concerning national capital of the new nation, South Sudan. If I say, that people around Juba, those who are owners of Juba have never recognized the importance of naming Juba a national capital city.However this has brought up lot of problems which resulted in too many criminal activities amongst tribes of South Sudan. We anticipate Juba as a capital city which belongs to nobody but not few who claim and always swear of some specific tribes who dominated and grabbed lands.
Once down the line, the government of Central Equatoria State was told to shift their centre to any other side, which is either Yei, Lainya or any other strategic place; the answer was nothing less than a big No.
The Central government South Sudan has taken decision since it is the government of all people and wants to care for all of us.
Ramciel as I write this article is the next new national capital city of South Sudan and nobody should manage to obstruct this idea. This is something so implicit, and even though it happens through referendum, it will remain positive due to the fact that it is a desire of the majority.
I hope after this article. Mr. Luka Biong will remain alone with some few who thought negatively for that matter.
I would like to say that shifting a national capital is vital because people know too that Ramciel might be having more problems but not to the extent , whereby people feel tetchy against particular tribes, who are part of greater nation South Sudan. Mr. Luka Biong can’t tell general public that capital vicinity as per we talk about Juba, should be controlled by that particular community that owned it. This is what is happening now.
But what do you think will prevent government of South Sudan from executing and planning a feasible shift of the capital city to any other convenient area because the struggle for the freedom, which all Southerners did heartedly with full patriotism wants to shrink.
I know very well that relocation of capital city is not to the interest of all people but major desire it because they have nothing to remain in Juba but few find it unproductive due to lot of resources they have used expecting Juba, to continue a capital but the communities restricted it and hence prevent capital from booming ahead. This is majority interest vs minority nosiness.
I would like to say too to people of South Sudan that Ramciel will be better because; the land of Ramciel is situated in centre between Greater Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bhar El Ghazal regions; so it will have that specified hospitality because they will both feel proud that land partly belongs to all.
Also, I hope the same spirit of Dinka community will remain in dignified recognition. For those who may deny this statement should not ask me but they should wait and see how progressive and prosperous will new national capital of South Sudan become!
Dinka and Nuer communities will never come into wrong view again as land robbers as it is the case going on in Juba now. Hence Dinka community will never dare tarnish the idea generated by South Sudanese to make their land the capital.
These people of Ramciel will seriously know the importance of making that part of greater jungle, the capital of South Sudan and also people of South Sudan have never been allowed in Juba as a national capital to extent freely per the law of this nation. So, the country capital city should be developing as per well planned conduit and city which is regarded for the people and it belongs to all people of this country.
Now, why should we stick to community capital city? I hope Hon. Luka knows every well the dirty political development happening always here.
When I read and ponder over Biong’s article, it reveals nothing but struggling to make non important ideologies to better ones. I see, the government of South Sudan decided and took this bona-fide decision because it requires people of this nation to participate equally and do whatever possible to realize their potential.
For those who are often crying for shifting capital might be having hidden special interest that is not related to nation building but personal, however they are fewer than decisive population of this new nation who desire new capital city; because they would like something better than this.
My brother, Luka may also know that working on capital without plans, made some other cities exist in mess and important example is Kampala of Uganda. I am afraid to say this but fact. It is better to decide too early that it becomes too late like what had happened in afore-said city.
Does it mean that having buried our great leader, Dr. Garang’s body in Juba prevent this nation from shifting capital if the government met some unfavorable obstacles? It is obvious that Juba is going to remain one of our ten states and it is too our important national town or a city and a part of South Sudan.
What I know so far, Juba will continue to be industrial and commercial town due to its proximity to both bordering States being Kenya, Uganda and DRC. Congo; even though I left Ethiopia in the eastern side not mentioned.
Finally, my brother, Biong also wants to forget slogan of our late visionary leader Dr. John Garang which says, taking towns to people is better than taking people to towns and that was his number one ideology. If Mr. Biong does remember; why should you oppose the idea of taking town to the people? Hitherto, Ramciel is accepted because majority shouldn’t be stymied for the chances of few. Thanks to the National Assembly and Council of Members for putting this idea viable.
Writer is called Chier Akueny Anyithiec, South Sudanese concerned Citizen, and Agri-Business Graduate, now a teaching Assistant at South Sudan Christian University, in department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Can be reached at email@example.com.
By Michael Ayuen Kuany, USA
AUG. 19/2012, SSN; My country, the Republic of South Sudan, is suffering from chronic depression over the killings of their own citizens. The liberation process of South Sudan had different fronts: physical warfare, international diplomatic engagement, and civil society advocacy. All of these led to the creation of this new country.
The 21 year-civil war between the Sudan armed forces and the Sudan’s People Liberation Army (SPLA) had paramount contributions of the grassroots from both sides. This article examines human rights abuses against civilians, the disarmament campaign in Jonglei and discrimination against the Diasporas.
Human Rights Abuse in South Sudan:
South Sudan was granted self-autonomy under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) with the Sudanese government for the period of six years before votes for independence could be cast in 2011. Regardless of this beautiful opportunity for South Sudanese to have full custody of their own internal affairs, citizens remain in fear.
Today the universal idea of freedom for which the South Sudanese have been fighting for is still a dream for them. Citizens are arrested and killed for expressing their views on whether our country is heading in the right direction.
I have lived in South Sudan’s capital of Juba and I have witnessed how civilians are being treated. There are no legal procedures being followed and any punishment for those found to have committed the crime is not defined by law. It is based on how politically connected you are. What makes our current leadership in Juba different from the government in Khartoum that used to deny us our rights?
Most of the crimes being committed in the Republic of South Sudan today are being committed by law enforcement agents and the government elites (those handling big positions in the government and in the military).
A democracy must respect all public opinions and worldviews. It is important for South Sudan to create a positive image on the world stage as it galvanizes international support. Every nation stands on its own records and it is clear that South Sudan has failed its first test as a country. It has failed in the respect that many human rights violations have occurred in this first half of 2012.
On many occasions citizens are arrested for voicing their own views. Early in 2012, Dr. James Okuk, a noted writer, was taken into custody by security agents for his writing against corruption within the new government. He was arrested with no legal charges made against him. He was only released because of public outcry.
Deng Monydit, another noted writer, was arrested in regards to an article he wrote regarding the marriage of the President’s daughter to an Ethiopian national. Whether one agrees with Mr. Monydit on his stance in the article or not, is irrelevant, he is entitled to his opinion as a South Sudanese citizen.
Disarmament Campaign in Jonglei:
Since the peace deal was signed in 2005, Jonglei state has found itself enmeshed in tribal warfare. Thousands of lives have been lost and hundreds of thousands of animals have been reported stolen. In addition to this, a large number of children have been abducted from their families. Little independent research has been conducted but there is evidence that the government of Sudan has been supporting local militias to destabilize South Sudan.
In March 2012, the President of South Sudan Salva Kiir issued an executive order to deploy 15,000 combat forces to collect local arms that were in the hands of civilians. This move by the president was received with mixed reactions. Some people supported the idea to conduct statewide disarmament and some people rejected the plan claiming it would leave them with no protection when others are not disarmed.
This executive order was put in place all over Jonglei state at the same time. There are indications that improvements have been made. According to the Governor of Jonglei state, Kuol Manyang Juuk, violence has been reduced by 90% which is a very big achievement.
However, since the inception of the disarmament campaign, there have been issues of torture, rape and killing by the SPLA forces. A woman was raped by two SPLA soldiers in Kolnyang Payam in Bor County. The victim was later notified that the culprits were arrested and they will face justice. But there is no trial scheduled and it is uncertain that the perpetrators are in jail. How can justice be served when the victims are not involved?
In Twic East and Bor counties respectively, many people have experienced torture in the hands of the SPLA. The SPLA were given mandates to collect all illegal arms from the people. Not everybody in South Sudan has access to weapons but when some individuals told the SPLA that they didn’t have any arms, they were beaten and tortured. It is not known whether there were instructions given to the SPLA on how to deal with those who didn’t have weapons. All of these issues have been raised and no action has been taken by authorities in charge.
In July 2012 when the nation was celebrating the one year anniversary of South Sudan’s independence, the diaspora were mourning the death of their brother, Mayol Kuch who died in the hands of the SPLA in Bor, South Sudan, while he was visiting his home village of Kolnyang in Bor County. Mr. Kuch was sleeping in a hut when the SPLA soldiers went to his village in response to the local disputes among groups of people in the village.
As soon as the soldiers got into his hut, they started beating him and took him to the army barracks where he was tortured throughout the night. After Mr. Kuch lost consciousness, he was released and taken to the hospital in Bortown where he was later pronounced dead.
Mr. Kuch is one of the ‘Lost Boys’ who walked for a thousand miles from South Sudan to Ethiopian and Kenyan camps in 1987 as the result of the 21 year civil war between the Sudan armed forces and South Sudanese. The lost boys have made an enormous contribution in the signing of the CPA and they have raised international support for South Sudan.
The United States is one of the leading countries that have played an important role in bringing peace to South Sudan. This has been done through the connections of the lost boys and many other South Sudanese Diasporas. Mr. Kuch suffered all his life for the country he loves and now he shamelessly died in the hands of his own people.
It is time for the government of South Sudan to make things straight and bring those who are responsible to justice. What good did the disarmament forces bring to the people of Jonglei state? Mr. Kuch was a naturalized US citizen from the state of Texas. The government of South Sudan must publicly explained how he died and what measures have been taken to bring justice to this injustice.
Is this the nation we dreamt for where injustice spreads like a wild fire? Lord prints our national identity in our hearts and changes the mindset of those who think they are the supreme owners of our land and that we all belong to South Sudan. In the name of freedom, peace to South Sudan and to the world!
-Michael Ayuen Kuany holds a master’s degree (MA) from Eastern Mennonite University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin. He is the founder, president and CEO of Rebuild Sudan. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
BY: JOYCE JOAN WANGUI, 8 AUGUST 2012AUG. 20/2012, SSN; Phostine Anyango tossed and turned in her sleep. She was unable to sleep. She agonised the whole night about her future. The mother of four beautiful children was about to make a decision that would dramatically change her life.
Was she willing to abandon her nine-year marriage in search of riches in Juba, South Sudan?
She was jobless. Her husband was a casual labourer. Life in Kibera, one of Africa’s largest slums was unbearable. She recalled almost tearfully the days she used to sell doughnuts. Those were hard and tough times. Today, her children were out of school. She had to end their poverty-stricken life. Her elder sister Auma resides in Juba where she engages in prostitution. She had put up a major argument for Anyango to join her.
For days, Anyango tearfully agonised. But each day she stared at the empty stove and looked into her children’s hungry eyes, she got lured. Eventually she decided to travel to the newfound land of opportunities.
Auma, a seasoned prostitute, had perfected the art. She was even constructing a stone house at her rural home in Kisumu from her proceeds. Prostitution in Juba, says Auma, is very lucrative. She is able to target the crème de la crème with absolute ease.
Anyango joined hundreds of East African girls flocking into Juba daily to trade in flesh. Since South Sudan gained its independence in July 2010, its capital city Juba became a fast growing metropolitan city. It attracts investors, tourists, NGOs and sex workers from neighbouring countries.
Kenyan girls have outsmarted the rest in the world’s oldest trade. Cathy Groenendijk, head of a Juba-based NGO, Confident Children out of Conflict, says: “Kenyans are street-smart. They are considered the top of the ladder in this trade.”
After several days of research and reading, I found out that Kenyan girls are taken to Juba by traffickers who include relatives, friends, recruiting agencies and South Sudanese men. My research led me to a house in Nairobi’s Ngumo estate. The house, occupied by South Sudanese nationals, operates as an agency that takes women to Juba. Their list of jobs ranges from bankers, hoteliers, waitresses, teachers among others.
I met five girls waiting for their documents to be processed. They each had to part with a registration fee of Sh3,000, a valid passport, a KCSE certificate and a medical certificate. The entire process which takes one month eventually costs each applicant Sh60,000.
Once complete, two employees of the agency take the girls to Juba by bus. An inside source who strictly spoke on condition of anonymity says the girls are taken to brothels and oriented in the sex market. This particular recruiting agency liaises with brothel owners in Juba, mainly owned by ex-military South Sudanese officials. The girls find themselves trapped into sexual slavery with no means of escape.
A further probe on the legality of this agency could only land me in murky waters. I decided to check with the Ministry of Labour’s National Employment Bureau only to realise that the agency is not registered and none of the officials know of its existence.
Though prostitution is illegal, it has grown rapidly, causing sleepless nights to Juba authorities. They fear the city could soon degenerate into a sex tourism destination. It is estimated that the population of sex workers in Juba stands between 3,500 and 10,000. They are spread out in major sex hot spots namely Jebel, Gumbo, Customs and Gudele markets.
These spots are characterised by numerous brothels, commonly referred to as ‘sex camps’ which masquerade as ‘lodges’. A first time visitor would be tricked by the term, only to end up in the hands of prostitutes. Interestingly, the demand for sex trade here is as high as the supply.
In many UN organisations, NGOs and other foreign owned companies, work policies have no family package; hence most male clients relocate without their wives. In a bid to quench their sexual thirst, they are forced to have sex with the variety of prostitutes scattered in Juba. A spot check by this reporter within Jebel and the Queen of Sheba Hotel spotted many UN vehicles at the exact time the sex work commences.
Jebel is the most preferred sex spot. Located 8km west of Juba City, it is by far the cleanest and most organised. It is home to all types of prostitutes.
Customs, located in the heart of Juba town, is a heap of dilapidated sex camps built from decrepit structures made of papyrus and tin and old plastic sheeting.
According to CCC, the Juba-based NGO that rehabilitates street children and sex workers, an estimated 400 to 600 sex workers live in this congested makeshift brothel.
I visited these places severally and discovered that some prostitutes, particularly Congolese, women live with their children. Many of the children were born inside the sex camps. With no proper upbringing, there is fear of the young ones ending up like their mothers.
I marvelled at the women’s ability to endure the stench of rotten garbage that hangs around the camps. Their clients, some rich and affluent, are not bothered by the filth that abounds: “Well, if a man wants sex, he can have it anywhere,” explains Miriam Kasonga, a Congolese woman.
Prostitution in Juba brings with it bondage, crime, involuntary servitude and even human trafficking. Women face unique challenges such as scarcity of condoms, inability to access ARV drugs for those infected with HIV, refusal of some clients to use condoms, and harassment by police.
Ironically, some girls have eschewed these challenges. They are making a killing out of the sex work through certain survival skills: “I came here to create wealth, so I target rich Dinkas (tall, dark Southerners) and Arabs from Khartoum, who pay me in dollars,” explains Ruth.
Ruth will never live in a sex camp and has managed to get a ‘steady boyfriend’ who pays her rent in an up-market residence. “I make close to $300 (Sh25,200) per night because I follow rich men in their hotel rooms.” She calls herself a self-made prostitute who is not under the mercy of pimps, like numerous others. To excel in Juba, says Ruth, you must strive to package yourself.
Gut-wrenching decisions: Prostitution in Juba is multi-faceted. Some women enter into the trade voluntarily while others are lured or coerced into it. Others who are gainfully employed in Juba supplement their income through prostitution.
Majority however are trapped into sexual bondage. They endure violence and humiliation. Another section engages in transactional sex, a common trend among Kenyan girls. While women admit that they make quick money in the trade, the dynamics force them to make gut-wrenching decisions.
One Fatuma Abdallah admitted that she had to share a used condom which rotated among three sex workers: “In our brothel, we are so poor and desperate. We cannot even afford to buy condoms. The little money I make out of selling my body is only enough to feed me,” she confesses.
Fatuma is a 17-year-old school dropout who hails from Nairobi’s Eastleigh area. Her aunt, who travelled with her to Juba in 2011, introduced her to prostitution. Cathy Groenendijk of CCC notes that when the body becomes the only asset for a woman, prostitution becomes an option.
In Juba, sex trade is mainly fuelled by foreigners although some young South Sudanese girls have learnt the tricks. It occurs in sex camps. Ethiopian sex workers are scattered around big hotels like the famous Queen of Sheba and Juba Bridge Hotel. Some even engage in sexual acts on the road side or on the hotel corridors.
“We always want to be unique from the rest. We act as strip dancers, escort girls or waitresses, where we solicit for sex from our clients,” said a young Ethiopian who could neither disclose her name nor age.
The girls complained that most male clients refused to use condoms. This exposes them to STIs (Sexually-transmitted infections) and HIV/Aids.
An Ethiopian veteran sex worker told me: “Here, one has to make life and death decisions so as to survive. The locals who are our main clients will never agree to use condoms. Some know they are very sick and all they want is to spread their HIV to us,” says Afeworki Hailu.
She is still nursing a knife stab on her thigh which she earned from a client when she insisted that he uses a condom, “He nearly killed me but I managed to escape. When you tell men to use condoms they draw knives or guns on you.”
HIV in Juba a time-bomb: Phyllis Jones-Changa, of Family Health International, an NGO funded by the US Agency for International Development that works with most at-risk populations, describes HIV in Juba as a time-bomb. A study conducted in 2011 in four main states – Eastern, Western, Central Equatoria and Western Bahr el Ghazal – placed HIV prevalence at 8 per cent.
This is a sharp increase from the 3.1 per cent recorded in 2009. With the rise in HIV comes the agony of inaccessibility of ARVs, ill treatment of prostitutes in hospitals and the subsequent death of many girls who can’t even be transported for burial in their home countries.
The government of South Sudan is desperate to rein in sex trade. The paradox here is that most brothels are owned by ex-military officials, police men and the affluent. According to the girls, a remarkable number of GOSS officials also engage in sex with the prostitutes, albeit discreetly.
The government physically demolishes the brothels but they’re soon reconstructed. An official from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports terms the new ‘cultural revolution’ sparked by foreigners and scores of Southerners who returned after the secession as a catalyst for prostitution.
“South Sudanese cultures which are embedded on good morals have been corroded by foreign influence. Most women and men are exporting their prostitution and crime skills to Juba and inculcating them in our people.”
Underage girls too are engaging in prostitution, causing a major headache to the ministry of Gender and Child Welfare. The growing numbers of prostitutes aged between 12 to 14 is catalyzed by the new wave of street children in Juba. “This is the price we are paying for peace,” says an official from the ministry who declined to be named.
Noting that the secession of South Sudan from Sudan was a huge accomplishment, he adds that the country is overwhelmed by a huge number of returnees, most of who are jobless and end up in all manner of crimes.
But neither Auma nor Anyango is concerned by the stigma attached to foreigners and sex trade. Neither do they care if the authorities are destroying the sex camps. They are hell bent on making ends meet and finally returning to Kenya with loads of money.
“I had to make a brutal decision. I abandoned my husband and children for quick money here,” admits Anyango. I met Anyango and Auma at Jebel market; one of the biggest markets in Juba.
Girls flock this market to trade in sex for any price. They charge anything from South Sudanese pound (SDG) 10 to 100 (Sh315-3,145). Some have rented small rooms within the market. Others convert their business premises into lodges at night. Jebel has an estimated 600 to 800 prostitutes.
“Here, we sleep with anyone that looks like a man, including young boys; as long as they can part with the pounds,” says Anyango. She has no remorse for abandoning her family. On a good day, she can make 100SDG (Sh3,145) which she considers a radical departure from the Sh100 she earned daily in Kibera.
In Juba, however, Anyango’s earning is considered meagre owing to the high cost of living. An ordinary meal of white rice, beef and a cool drink costs 30 SDG (Sh945). In other sections of Juba, one needs at least 600 pounds to enjoy a decent meal. Anyango and her sister rents a room for 50SDG per day which means that they have to work extra hard to break even.
Failure to pay rent would compel them to move deeper into the compound, past the garbage heaps, to very dilapidated shanties, which is difficult to attract clients. Noting that daily rent might be hard to come by, the sisters strategise by having regular clients, so called ‘steady boyfriends’ who in turn pay their rent and food. “This means we have to remain attractive to our clients, lest they find other meat elsewhere.”
Most women I interviewed blamed poverty for their plight: “No one would want to leave their families and come to sell their bodies here,” says Mary Wangui, a bar operator who rents space at night for sex clients. She says the high rate of poverty, especially among Kenyan women has forced them to ‘diversify’.
“Most women who rent my rooms are over 40 years; some have families back home but prefer to do prostitution in Juba.”
The bar owner introduces me to three women who are ailing from HIV complications. “We are waiting to die and be buried here. Since we got this disease from local men we have to spread it here,” says one.
At the Juba Teaching Hospital, the major government hospital, some sex workers decry harassment by local nurses and negligence by doctors. Those with no local ‘God-fathers’ or whose visas have expired bear the heaviest brunt as they are mistreated.
In my routine checkups, the nurses discovered that my CD4 count was so low and all they could tell me is to go and die in my country,” confesses Margarita from Uganda. Brothel areas have no proper health facilities save for pharmacies that over-price the drugs.
The Child Act of South Sudan 2008 prohibits child prostitution but poverty, homelessness, and lack of a defined family unit encourages the vice.
Achan is a 14-year-old Dinka girl who lost both parents during the war. She has no recollection of where her siblings or other relatives are. She sleeps in the cold, just outside Konyokonyo market, one of the oldest markets in Juba and the dirtiest of all. It has since been demolished to pave way for new, cleaner structures.
Though shy and naïve, Achan looks older than her age. She is inured to the cruel life. She agrees to tell me her ordeal through a translator. “I exchange sex for food, water or soap. Sometimes a group of police men who make night patrols rape me till morning and do not offer me anything.”
When lady luck befalls her, she is invited by other street girls to service truck drivers at Gumbo, a major transit point for many long distance truck drivers.
She has never used a condom because she has no access to it. Her peers are lucky enough to be employed as part time bartenders at night, where they also sleep with men for as little as 3SDG. Her wish is to work as a brothel prostitute because this will assure her of a bed, toilet and bathing water.
CCC’s research also revealed that women pimps take advantage of underage local girls by forcefully taking them and selling them to male clients.
No love in Juba, only sex: Sex workers in Juba have one mission – to make money. No one has time for love. At Near Bros ‘Lodge’, home to a mixture of Kenyan, Ugandans and Congolese sex workers, I meet Stella Njeri. Stella does not even look at the faces of her clients: “I cannot even tell the colours of their underwears,” she says. All she cares about is how much she can make in each encounter.
Another Congolese quoted by CCC in their 2011 Action research says that she has never enjoyed sex, “I do it without any emotions. It is like the way you use your computer in the office or a cup to drink water.”
Another Kenyan girl told how she shares her men with her girlfriends, if they are unlucky to get clients. “I usually have a steady client and when he finishes with me, he is free to sleep with my three other friends while I watch.” Is she not jealous? Jealousy does not count here. She says they all came to get money and not love.
In this lodge, I discover that Kenyan girls distinguish themselves from the rest. They will never agree to sleep with a man without protection, unlike their Ugandan and Congolese counterparts. They reveal that most Kenyan girls are educated and exposed and will never agree to stoop low, at whatever cost.
“Even if it is about money, one has to think of the dangers involved. We buy our own condoms at 5 Sudanese Pounds or sometimes get them for free from UNFPA and other NGOs.”
Damaris Umutoni is a beautician by day and a sex worker at night; a situation replicated by many girls in Juba, as a means of supplementing their daily income. She left Uganda in 2010. Her parents had died leaving her with the burden of catering for her siblings: “We literally foraged for food and I couldn’t stand by and watch my younger ones dying while I could do something to change the scenario.”
Umutoni left Kampala for Gulu, Northern Uganda. She started selling her body. She would later befriend a South Sudanese man who took her to Juba and took full advantage of her. “The man enjoyed all manner of sex with me without even caring to use a condom.”
He even acted as her pimp by soliciting sex on her behalf from other men and never bothered to pay her a single dime. Her sexual freedom arrived when she discovered Customs market. Customs is a major sex hot spot located along the main road from Yei into Juba town, between the Dr John Garang Mausoleum and the Juba University roundabouts.
Here, she was able to network with fellow Ugandans who showed her the tricks of trade. She can now negotiate her own price and send money to her siblings back home.
When a Juba girl tells you she works for the ‘UN’, she means she can offer service to any man, anywhere and at any price. Auma and Anyango admit that the trade is surrounded by many risks: “You are either worrying about the wrath of the police or being infected with the deadly HIV or the amount of money you need to send back home,” says Auma, adding that at any given minute, one has to be worrying about something.
The current political situation in South Sudan, termed as precarious by the international community, has done little to deter the efforts of sex workers. Police patrols have been intensified in major hotspots, including Jebel, and even though many foreign girls are nabbed for lack of necessary papers, majority walk their way to freedom by offering free sex to policemen.
Ajok Deng, a social worker, descries the double standards that some police apply when dealing with prostitutes, “Why would a police demand for sex and at the same time pretend to be offering security?”
Trafficking for sex
The Counter-Trafficking Act, signed into law by President Mwai Kibaki has been touted as a milestone in curtailing the trafficking in persons. It offers protection to trafficking victims in Kenya. The law gives a 30-year jail term or a hefty fine of Sh30 million for convicted traffickers. This notwithstanding, traffickers are still engaging in the act despite the penalties.
Scores of women I interviewed admitted that they were victims of trafficking. A simple internet advertisement that read, ‘Waitress jobs available in Juba, attractive salary, accommodation offered, visas & work permits organized for you’ landed Beatrice Mugambi in jeopardy.
She fell into the scam of an unscrupulous recruiting agency that once had offices in Nairobi’s River Road area. “I parted with Sh150, 000,” she says. This caused a financial dent in her family as her father had to sell a huge chunk of land to ensure that her daughter would be gainfully employed in Juba.
On the material day, Beatrice met with her agent at the Kampala Coach Bus terminus where she would be introduced to five other ‘beneficiaries’ of the waitress job.
The agent accompanied them to Juba and ensured that all border regulations were complied with. “She was very good to us and ensured that we had meals and drinks at every stop. On arrival at Nimule, the border of Uganda and South Sudan, they were each given $50 to pay for their visas.
Upon arrival in Juba the woman took them to Gumbo brothels near Juba Bridge hotel. This is when it dawned on them that they had been duped.
“We started as cleaners and laundry women around the brothels. The woman later oriented us into the prostitution job. She lied to us that we would work as waitresses when the completion of the ‘big’ hotel was done. The woman (agent) could use derogatory words, often telling the girls that what they couldn’t do with their hands, they could perfect it with their genitals. Soon Beatrice and her co-workers were immersed in prostitution.
Evans Kimoni, director of employment at the National Employment Bureau cautions Kenyans to be wary of fake recruiting agencies. In the wake of the sufferings that domestic workers undergo in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kimoni says that people should be extra careful.
“The ministry is aware that some of the recruitment agents purporting to recruit workers are not genuine. They are exploiting Kenyans. No worker should agree to pay any fees as such; expenses are paid by the employer,” he says.
He adds that anyone planning to seek employment abroad should ensure they have a valid contract. Most people, he says, are ignorant and travel without knowing which job they are going to do. “Some do not bother to inquire about the salary or duration of contract.”
“When an agency claims to offer larger than life employment packages, put a question mark,” he says, adding that his ministry is open for all inquiries from people seeking employment abroad. His department has availed a list of all legitimate recruiting agencies. The list is posted on the ministry’s website which was created with the help of the International Office of Migration.
So what measures has the ministry taken to crack down on rogue agencies? Kimoni says his department works together with the National Security Intelligence Service and the police to net rogue agencies and ensure they are arrested and charged in court.
In worst case scenarios, these agencies are de-registered and its members forced to refund any money they might have taken from unsuspecting clients. “We de-register them and circulate the information in our websites that these agencies are fake and no longer exist.”
The ministry is working on modalities to ensure that foreign embassies accredited to Kenya, including Juba, have labour/employment attaches who will intervene on behalf of workers who are exploited by their employers.
“We need to have government to government bilateral agreements as this will ensure that Kenyans seeking employment abroad are guided under clear terms and regulations,” says Kimoni.
Kimoni says plans are underway to have a security bond introduced that would compel all employment agencies to deposit a certain amount of money to an insurance company as bond. This bond, to be signed between an employer and the government, will serve as a guarantee for anyone working overseas, so that in case of repatriation, the bond (money) would be used to transport the worker back home.
“The purpose of the bond is to enable the repatriation of the employee in the event of unforeseen circumstances. The agency will also be required to execute a separate bond with a reputable bank or insurance firm for wages assessed at the equivalent of one month’s wage for all employees engaged in the agency.”
Kimoni decries human trafficking of any form but is optimistic that his ministry, in conjunction with Foreign Affairs, ILO and IOM will curb the vice.
(All names of sex workers have been changed, to protect their identities.)
P.O. Box 41, Juba, Sudan
Cell: +249 (0)955255586 | 0477220542 Fax:-
BY: Kuir ё Garang, CANADA
AUG. 26/2012, SSN; I was preparing my second novel (The Pipers) for publication so I had no time to respond to Elhag Paul’s response (SSN, July 29th) to my article (SSN July 19th). This article will be superficial given the angle and the manner Mr. Paul has taken to handle the issue; and that is, he’s mentally fixated on the fact that the problem in Juba is squarely a Dinka-engendered problem.
So every Jieng person has to bear the responsibility of the insecurity and economic mess the country is facing. Now, each and every Jieng person has to keep in mind that Elhag Paul is holding ALL of you people responsible for the problems we are facing. I bet the Jieng people have to change to make Mr. Paul pacified and respectful of Jieng’s humanity.
Well, Mr. Paul will have to tell us my conjectures above are wrong and that he means something different. However, I like literary, political and analytical discourses that are handled with emotional maturity and political realism. I’m glad Mr. Paul has emotional maturity, well, not so much political realism.
I’m writing not because I’m a Jieng man but because we have to scour our political landscape for solutions so that Nyoka in Kaya can take her kids to school in peace and also find a job relevant to her education and experience. We need to remind the government that Nyakong in Akobo needs a secure home, school and well-equipped clinics for her children.
We have to write because we are solution-focused. We shouldn’t allow ourselves to be hate-filled reservoirs motivated by our tribal allegiances. Every single corrupt soul should be exposed for who they are; and not protected because they are from one’s tribe. Anyone familiar with my commentaries over the years knows that I don’t spare anyone. Whether it was Dr. John Garang or Salva Kiir or Pagan Amum or Riek Machar; I give them their dues. So, enough of that!
Definition of Dinkocracy
How about what Mr. Paul says about Dinkocracy? Mr. Paul defines ‘Dinkocracy as
“a system of rule that can be found in South Sudan based on tribalism whereby parliament is either wholly or partially filled by appointment of corrupt members. Institutions and structures that are presently in place are just for face saving purpose. In this system consultation and citizen’s rights are not respected. The views and opinions of citizens also do not mean anything. Looting and corruption is accepted as a method of wealth gathering with the façade that the government is working to address it. The police force is predominantly illiterate and come from the ruling tribe. Their job is to administer brute injustice. Violence is routinely exercised freely by members of the ruling tribe (in the organised forces) with impunity. Government officials are guarded and protected by their kith and kin as opposed to agents of the state.”
Now, if that is the definition of ‘Dinkocracy’ then Mr. Paul is either trying to be clever or he doesn’t know what he’s actually saying. The definition and his actual application of the word are different. I’m not trying to be ‘subtly abusive’ here. For the term ‘Dinkocracy’ to make any sense, the word Dinka has to appear somewhere in the definition. I do understand the ‘ruling tribe’ being alluded to is Jieng; however, the definition has to be unequivocally clear; otherwise, what Mr. Paul is defining is a general ‘Tribocracy’ or tribal tyranny (dictatorship/totalitarianism/fascism). The given definition can apply to any tribe given the ‘ruling tribe’ of the time. So Dinkocracy, Nuerocracy, or Bariocracy are all subsets of Tribocracy.
What makes the system in Juba Dinkocracy, as per Mr. Paul, is because the ruling party majority is Jieng (Dinka). Would the system of governance still be Dinkocracy if the ruling tribe wasn’t Jieng (Dinka)? The answer is No in honesty. The rulers in Juba are not all dinkocrats; they are tribocrats of different tribocracies overshadowed by one tribocracy.
Bari, or Nuer, if they are in power, wouldn’t want to belittle themselves by adopting, or adhering to, a different tribal system of governance. Nuer, Bari, Acholi, Azande and what have you, have their own rich, and grounded tribal systems of government. They’d want to brandish their tribal heritage. Mr. Paul will convince us that the ruling tribe would adopt the instituted system based on the rule of the former power tribe; the Jieng.
I’ll therefore ask Mr. Paul to give us another definition because what he’s defined is just Tribal Dictatorship with no tribal specificity; only sinister allusion.
Jiengcenterism vs. Dinkocracy
Mr. Paul assumed I misunderstood the meaning of Dickocracy. No, I didn’t; he’s just given us a term that is loosely defined. Dinkocracy is a system of governance in Juba as he says, but is that system of governance based on which tribe’s tribal thoughts? The thought informing the governance in Juba, as per Mr. Paul, are from the ‘ruling tribe’. So the government is driven by self-centered thoughts from Jieng (Dinka) making South Sudan a land informed by Jieng’s ways of life, supposedly. I’m not saying this is true; I’m just working with Mr. Paul’s line of thought.
You can’t have a system of government controlled and informed by the thinking of a given tribe and maintain, at the same time, that that system is not that tribe-centered. That sounds oxymoronic at best and pointless at worse.
Just to make things clear, I admit, Jiengcenterism might not be Dinkocracy, but Dinkocracy in all its essence, if I understand it well, is Jiengcentered. Jiengcenterism might not be Dinkocracy because Jiengcenterism isn’t restricted to the system of governance or government. However, Dinkocracy is Jiengcenterism because it’s derived from it. It’s one of the subsets of Jiengcentered spectrum of ideas.
Elitism and Aristocracy in Juba
I didn’t say we have elites in Juba per se. What I said was that these guys are building a society of elites to remain on top as untouchables. If Wani’s son and I go to President Kiir now in search of a job, Kiir would not prefer me because of my tribe or qualifications. He’s going to prefer wani’s son over me even if Wani’s son isn’t qualified for that given job. He’ll identify with Wani’s son on the basis of the elitist system they are building. They see themselves as important aristocrats of the country. That’s clear. And by the way, an elite doesn’t have to be an important, moral person, as Mr. Paul wants us to believe.
Besides, Mr. Paul, your understanding of aristocracy is anachronistic. You wrote:
Aristocrats are land owning ruling people who the masses accept as rulers because they believe them to be superior. The notion of aristocracy has its origins in feudalism, nation state and the theory of chain of being.
This is what I call copy-and-paste-to-dazzle. Would you call the government in the USA democracy? Maybe Cleisthenes’s intention when he instituted ‘democracy’ in Athens isn’t what is being practiced in the world now. His intentions and methods are different but we still call our electoral processes ‘democracies.’ What I’m saying is things don’t have to be understood in their primordial sense. Yes, history has to be kept in mind for meaningful comparison and discourse.
This is another unhelpful anachronism. You wrote that
A nation is a society of people who share the same cultures and more importantly speak one language such as the French in France, the English in England, the Germans [sic] in Germany or the Swazi people in Swaziland in Africa etc. In RSS we are a society composed of different tribes with different cultures and languages.
Granted, but this is not 19th century! Part of understanding of a given idea is to apply it to the existing realities, not to adhere to out-of-place and archaic understanding of the concept. It’s unfortunate to say that because we no longer have ‘feudalism’ and land ownership in the 19th century feudal understanding, then we can’t apply it now whatsoever.
Now, contextualized, we can say we have this systems now only to a different degree and in a context. We have leaders in Juba who have a feeling of superiority and who are grabbing lands from Equatorians. Some leaders are doing that in other parts of the country. You will be surprised to understand that some people still regard these commanders as respectable leaders who shouldn’t be questioned.
This is partly an imposition of their aristocratic intentions. They would want to wield their power and wealth and subjugate the poor. If you understand feudalism, you can apply it appropriately and intelligently to existing realities. This is the difference between going to school and getting educated.
All in all, some concepts have to be contextualized to fit in with contemporary realities. Saying that South Sudan is not a nation given your archaic understanding, then many countries wouldn’t be nations. No country would be a nation if we go by strict application of linguistic and cultural homogeneity. Mr. Paul, you have to apply old concepts with an air of contemporariness; otherwise, you’re only reading and not understanding.
Who’s benefiting in the South
You wrote that “People like Wani Igga, Alison Magaya, Kosti Manibe and even Riek Machar are powerless cogs but important for the smooth running of this Dinka juggernaut machine.” However, these men are intelligent and if they have the interest of the country in heart, they’d have confronted the systemic thugs. They are quiet because the system favors them. If their tribes are being subjugated and they keep quiet, then what does that make them? Why aren’t they speaking up? Why are they supporting that rotten system? It’s because the system is favoring them. And that is why I say the top brass (the self-professed elites) are the problem because they are benefiting while ignoring the suffering of the average person.
And you are wrong to write that “For some time now, few among us have been duped to believe that the problem in Juba is created by elites. The use of this concept is again more of a distraction and does not help in addressing issues.” It’s not a distraction but the real path to solutions. If the elites see the problem and sleep on it, then why aren’t they the problem? Are they afraid of Dinka? Are they afraid of Kiir? You seem to belittle these people more than necessary.
Well, these people (the ruling class) don’t care about their tribes that much. They care about the status quo being built in Juba. Mr. Paul, open your eyes. You are so fixated in finding faults with Jieng that you are losing sight of the main problem. Wake up, the Iggas, the Machars, the Kongs, the Dengs, the Amums, the Kiirs are building a claque whose intentions will surprise you.
Again, it’s not the average Jieng (Dinka) who is benefiting. I smiled smugly when you wrote that
I have passed through some Dinka villages and I was dumbfounded by what I saw. Deep in those bushes surrounded by Muras I saw hundreds of V8 vehicles parked with GoSS number plates looted from the ministries in Juba. The sizes of Muras and herd have expanded beyond believe. Cattle are now transported from Jieng villages to all over Equatoria in trucks in violation of Equatoria way of living with impunity. The Jieng cattle herders are well armed and they freely terrorise others with impunity.
I thought you were more sophisticated than that. Do you want to say that the average Jieng elder with his cattle, who cannot read or write and cannot drive a car owns an V8 vehicle? These vehicles are owned by the same Jieng elites who look down on the average Jieng people you think are benefiting from Juba loot. The average Jieng is dying of hunger and disease just as the average Nuer and Equatorian is dying of the same. People are dying of hunger even in the President’s home state. Wake up Mr. Paul and part with your 1980s mentality.
Those Jieng civilians who wield guns haven’t been afforded a proper system. It is you and I who will pressure the government to make sure that those guns are gone and be replaced by an enduring and sustainable economic and social system.
I cited in the previous article that there are some Jieng people who are actually benefiting from the loot and that we should see them for who they are: thieves not Dinkas or Jieng. You seem to ignore that. You victimize the average Jieng person for reasons I don’t know. The average Jieng person (like me) should be your ally in the fight but you sideline us with insensitive tribal generality. You seem to have a point only to belittle your discourse with tribally motivated ‘invective’ and ‘diatribe’ against the whole tribe; most of whom are suffering like everyone else.
Why don’t you stand up for the oppressed poor in general and not Equatorians only? You’d be better a person if you stood up for the poor in every tribe. Stand up for the poor and don’t localize yourself as an Equatorian. You are better and bigger than that, I believe. So stand up to the government on behalf of the poor generally, not Equatorians only. I’d want to believe that you are not a tribalist. Prove me right!
Kuir ë Garang is a South Sudanese novelist and poet living in Canada. For more information visit www.kuirthiy.info
Yet its origins tell of a much deeper story, one in which America’s newest friend in Africa has turned out to be far less friendly than hoped, and international efforts to create a reliable democracy in an unstable region are faltering badly.
The author of the letter detailing South Sudan’s corruption wasn’t a South Sudanese but an Ethiopian-American who previously had been an advocate for South Sudan in Washington and had very recently taken a job with the United Nations. Ted Dagne also had been appointed by South Sudanese President Salva Kiir as a special adviser.
Because of his anti-corruption work, Dagne was forced to flee South Sudan for his safety soon after the letter was released, and for now he isn’t allowed back into the country. The United Nations says Dagne remains on contract with its mission in South Sudan.
“He’s obviously very affected, very distraught,” said a friend who requested anonymity in order to speak freely. “I don’t know what kind of impact this is going to have. He was obviously very influential in Washington.”
U.S. officials declined to comment on the record or to officially condemn the incident. The South Sudanese minister of information, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, wouldn’t discuss Dagne and his role in the corruption letter. Kiir’s press secretary, Chaat Paul, also declined to discuss Dagne.
Dagne, who worked for 22 years at the Congressional Research Service as an African specialist, was part of a tight-knit group of U.S. officials with close ties to the southern Sudan rebel group, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement.
Advocates in Washington call Dagne the movement’s point man in Congress. He traveled frequently with the late Democratic New Jersey U.S. Rep. Donald Payne to Africa, where they often met with the southern Sudanese rebels. Dagne was known to play a personal voice mail from John Garang, the movement’s founder, to visitors.
His efforts and those of other American officials who were pro-Sudan People’s Liberation Movement paid off in a 2005 peace deal that led last year to an independent South Sudan. But Garang died six months after signing the peace accord, and Kiir took over as a consensus replacement. Unlike Garang, who had a Ph.D. from Iowa State University, Kiir had little education and had been a guerrilla fighter his entire life.
This January, Dagne left Washington and moved to Juba, South Sudan’s capital, on a U.N. contract to advise Kiir directly and work on curbing a plague within the nascent government that even friends of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement realized could prove fatal to their cause: a free-for-all looting of South Sudan’s oil revenue by the movement’s officials.
Besides his anti-corruption work, Dagne advised Kiir on international relations and at times wrote government news releases.
Dagne played another less official job: He served as an embedded go-between, and source of intelligence, for the U.N. and U.S. diplomats trying to make sense of South Sudan’s decision-making and direction. At no time was that more important than in April, when South Sudan advanced north and captured the disputed Heglig oil field. Kiir later ordered his military to withdraw, an unpopular decision domestically.
Dagne was brought into the mission by Hilde Johnson, a former Norwegian minister of international development who heads the U.N. mission in South Sudan. Johnson was backed for that position by Ambassador Susan Rice, the U.S. representative at the U.N. in New York. Dagne, Johnson and Rice all developed close ties to the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement during their careers.
Johnson has referred to Dagne in conversation as a close friend and her best contact in Juba.
The public disclosure that South Sudan was missing $4 billion shocked South Sudan’s politicians, who’d spent years denying the scale of the problem.
According to a South Sudanese official who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution, Kiir didn’t consult his ministers before signing Dagne’s corruption letter. An official government investigation afterward found Dagne responsible for then leaking the letter to reporters through one of Kiir’s press officers, the South Sudanese official said.
South Sudanese Vice President Riek Machar, who’s a political rival to Kiir, has publicly disputed the $4 billion figure, and his spokesman said Dagne was responsible for picking that number.
“The $4 billion was not based on an investigation. It was an estimation,” said James Gatdet, the vice president’s press secretary. “It was this guy Ted. There was no other source.”
In response to emailed questions, the U.N. said it “is not familiar” with how the $4 billion figure was calculated.
Some in the South Sudanese government were also upset that Dagne, as a foreigner, held such a senior position in the president’s office.
Fearing for his safety, Dagne fled to Nairobi, Kenya, soon after the corruption letter was leaked. Kiir then passed a message to Dagne that he should remain outside South Sudan. Dagne later tried to return, but was refused entry.
McClatchy spoke with more than 10 people who are familiar with Dagne’s situation – friends as well as U.S., U.N. and African officials – none of whom were willing to speak on the record about his case because of the sensitivities around it.
Dagne’s fierce partisanship on the Sudan issue has made him a polarizing figure in Washington. His critics describe him as naive, or they say he hurt the reputation of the Congressional Research Service, whose website says its analysis is done “without bias.”
“On the Africa side, there’ve been researchers, and they’ve been pretty unbiased, and then there was Ted,” said a U.S. official who’s worked on Africa for years, who wasn’t authorized to speak on the record. The official described Dagne as “very smart” but as someone who “had an agenda and knew how to work the system.”
Dagne’s wide circle of loyal friends praise him for his tenacious commitment to the cause.
Eric Reeves, an English literature professor who worked with Dagne closely in pro-Sudan People’s Liberation Movement advocacy, said his friend had made enemies in Washington because “he was too direct, too determined and not sufficiently bound by State Department or congressional protocol, especially on Sudan.”
McClatchy interviewed Dagne in April in his Juba office – a prefab container inside the president’s open-air arid compound. Dagne vigorously denounced the international response to the ongoing border conflict between Sudan and South Sudan, which he viewed as one-sided in favor of Sudan.
Dagne said he wrote news releases on behalf of the government and was frustrated with U.S. policy on the two countries, which he said he was trying to change to be more pro-South Sudan.
Near the end of the interview, he turned pensive and gazed out his window. He spoke of the country’s corruption, the internal tribal wars, the lack of development outside Juba.
“I’m not even South Sudanese, but as someone who waited a long time to see the benefits (of independence), it is frustrating,” he said.
When reached by phone last week, Dagne declined to answer any questions, saying only that he was out of the region and with his family. According to a friend, Dagne is now back in the U.S.
“What he gave up to go to South Sudan, the danger he endured, the emails I received about his life there,” his friend Reeves wrote in an email. “I hope you at least understand – as Ted most certainly did – what a target he was by virtue of his role in helping root out corruption. Think of who that made his enemies! A lot of guys, with a lot of money, with a lot of followers, with a lot of guns.”
Boswell is a McClatchy special correspondent. His reporting is underwritten in part by a grant from Humanity United, a California-based foundation that focuses on human rights issues. Email: email@example.com; Twitter: @alanboswell