Archive for: September 2012

South Sudan: Underdogs always suffer from Injustice

BY: Dr. Anthony Lupai Simon, SEP. 30/2012, SSN; In every encounter involving two parties in this world today one is always labeled as the favorite while the other one seen as the underdog, a classification related to some disparities in their mental, physical, economical and military capabilities.

Today south Sudan and Sudan are in a ring that started a long time before the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement. The two sides have been rivaling over so many issues and each time the international community jumps in to control the situation, one party gets out smiling while the other one drops his head down with a gloomy face; crying out foul with a tone that is only heard by him and his people. And this side is none other than the south Sudan.

It has never scored any win against Khartoum since the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement apart from the referendum. Going a little bit backwards to some of the terms of the CPA which was under the international supervision, we heard of a wealth sharing provision. But unfortunately not a single item from Khartoum was shared instead south Sudan was forced to donate more than 50 percent of her oil production to Khartoum.

The arbitration of the international court on Abyei clearly defined the region as belonging to the 9 Ngok Dinkas chieftainship but again gave some rights to the Arab tribes that have nothing to do with the region; and the Ngok Dinkas that were supposed to hold a referendum on the 9th of January 2011 alongside the south Sudanese were not allowed to do that because of blockade put out by Khartoum.

South Sudan territory was being violated in the broad day light by aerial bombardment and occupation of some areas, yet it was the south that was blamed when it tried to hit back.

South Sudan shut down her oil because somebody was busy stealing it and using the money for buying weapons used against her, still the international community failed to condemn the thief but instead turned against the innocent south, citing that halting the oil production would crumble the economy of the two nations which in turn would jeopardize peaceful coexistence.

And after hearing all those kinds of talks Khartoum immediately chose to implement them and began attacking the south in justification of what has already been said. That act of aggression was not challenged by anyone but instead the voice of the international community was heard louder than necessary when the south forces tried to hit back at Panthou.

For the past gone-by-months following the outbreak of hostilities at the border areas, Juba and Khartoum were forced to engage in talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to resolve some of the post independence issues that were still hanging in the air including security, border demarcation and Abyei. The UN Security Council came up with a resolution 2046 and mandated the AU high level implementation panel to work with the two parties to reach to a deal for all the issues.

Unfortunately the officials were just in Ethiopia to talk on what Khartoum want but not to enforce the resolution. And in what could again be seen as a biased stand, the international body represented by Thabo Mbeki left everything and concentrated on how the south oil should be given to Khartoum in the interest of peace. It was just a way of forcing the south to buy peace with their oil from Khartoum.

Major problems like the border demarcation were undermined while at the same time Khartoum enjoys occupying south territories like Panthou, Kafia Kingi, and Hufra Nahas etc.. with impunity.

Why it is that little attention is paid to things that concern the south while the international body including the USA president Obama shout loudly to help Khartoum’s position?

Is it because we are seen as the underdogs as we are unable to secure our air space allowing continuous air raids from Khartoum, economically unstable and still lack many things? Nobody knows as so many questions still remain to be answered. Do we blame the outsiders for not helping us properly or we also have some defects in us.

Could it also be because we lack the abilities of convincing the outsiders to come into terms with our real problems? Or it is just the common cursed underdogs endure in this world that south Sudan has got her share from. The stigma planted in our veins is always robbing us of all rights we deserve in this word.

No matter how different we try to be, we are seen as the underdogs by the outsiders in relation to Khartoum. And by pleasing Khartoum the military might it has would be avoided and peace will reign between the two sisterly countries.

The international community needs peace in the region and at the same time more oil in the market. But they care less if this can be easily achieved at the expense of the underdog. Because the underdog always shies down letting his rights go. Our voices have gone low in giving more negotiating tone to the border issues than the rest of the items.

A clear border would reduce border tension and clarify who legally owns what in his territory. A clear border will be the set point where the buffer zone will be instituted. Again the border is the domain because it was the main cause of hostilities between the two countries that took place some months back. And Khartoum was the side to blame for all the failures because of her rejection to abide by all the treaties signed.

Having known all these, the international community tails down at Khartoum and barks at south Sudan to continuously reconsider her positions in more talks while Khartoum increases her demands and swells with our land and resources.

The international community guided by the AU allows itself to be directed by Khartoum all the time and there is no secret that it will again be used by Khartoum in choosing where the buffer zone should be erected.

As usual Khartoum will always convince Thabo Mbeki to abide by the de facto border drown by the barrel of the gun which includes south Sudan territory as the set point for the demilitarized area.

Yes, south Sudan is the underdog but until when shall it remain so, and until when will the international community come to its sense and say to Khartoum, please stop here with a clear tone than it understands?

People of south Sudan are sad about the deal signed because they see that it has not strongly addressed what concern them most.

Dr. Anthony Lupai Simon
(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and not those of the website).

Resumption of Oil Production signed: What’s next plan for new nation?

BY: Chier Akueny Anyithiec, JUBA, SEP. 30/2012, SSN; Good news, great smiles all over South Sudan, for the reason that the oil pipeline is reopened but it’ll only lead to the downfall of the economy of South Sudan. Our government is now in a fix, though it’s worthy to forward our sincere appreciation to President Kiir for his selfless negotiation even though these deals are seen as partial agreements.

The main problem is surely resolved, but citizens of South Sudan ask themselves with great muse of what’s the next plan for this nation?

Our big fishes have been moaning about lingering rumors of downsizing of ministries. The stress seems to have been eased by the resumption of oil production and this is good news because now more GXR, V8s and Hummers are going to flow into our impecunious young nation very soon.

In this agreement, the group most celebrating is that of President Bashir of Sudan whose government was experiencing continuous austerity protests while President Kiir with his group were just singing their songs of the movements in Juba since his citizens are at a quiescence because they have never ever experienced any better living conditions since creation of this world.

President Mayardit is a lucky man surely; he, who rules the uninformed population. Lucky you, Mr. President with your main group!

This is a nation whose citizens have been waiting to see any initial measure of economical developmental planning such as employment, agricultural development and control of their own resources.

But worse, however, is that Juba has become a city with no water pipeline systems. We are buying our own water from foreigners who came with mounted water tank vehicles to sell us our own water from Nile River. Does South Sudan have a Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation really?

If we have any, what kinds of work are ascribed to this particular ministry or which ministry is responsible for conveyance of water pipeline system in the city?

The problems have never been with a single ministry but most of them; for example the Ministry of Public Service and Human Resources Development is also in bracket for it has failed to do its job. People failed to understand which kind of Human Resources Development is it doing since its set up.

The ministry totally failed to recognize the ways forward to develop Human Resources in new nation. Young people who’re graduates, school leavers, etc, are moving up and down along the streets because they could not meet the conditionality of 7-10 and above years work experience that’s always put in every job advertisement.

Here, whoever isn’t a 10 years experienced graduate will never be shortlisted either. When did South Sudan emerge out of war for people to get all those years work experience?
This makes all the opportunities go to foreigners who got their work experiences from heaven, when their nations got independent, as it is the thinking of our people.

Now foreign companies do come to this country with their own list of workers right away from their respective countries because South Sudanese graduates are termed to be inexperienced people. Does work experience fall on people from heaven?

What does the Ministry of Human Resources Development make of this? I think nothing because we are waiting for work experiences to fall from heaven for our young energetic graduates of South Sudan.

South Sudanese young men and women have totally forgotten the jobs that are being provided in the Private Companies. But this particular ministry failed us one way or another; you find all drivers, marketeers, managers, cleaners, the list is long; are all foreigners. Does this ministry of public service know this really?

We have made our nation to become a NO-rules state in a sense that most foreign or Private Companies think of any kind of unfair business to be carried out in South Sudan.

Since Juba became an erratically developing city, all the types of crimes being committed like bank robberies by armed groups and even daylight robberies have become widespread problems aggravating the security situations in Juba.

Even beggars come from foreign states and settle in South Sudan to do the job of begging; what of our poor beggars? I don’t know which methods do they use to convince the border securities that allow them to enter? What is the work of the Interior ministry at this point?

I am not against my brothers and sisters who are foreign beggars but just indicating problems facing this young nation generally. It is importantly good to cooperate but cooperation without control brings in unexpected evils; being citizens or whoever is affected will later complain but who is going to be accountable? Government of South Sudan is the one!

It is internationally known very well that borders should be protected, controlled and well secured even though we are brothers and sisters as these are the common words we use to term Ugandans and Kenyans, as well as they term us so too.

Well, it is OK, but the fallout we will experience surely and indeed will be shoddier than if our government would put control measures to allow only people with aims and investments programs they should be doing in South Sudan.

Take, for example, Rwanda is a member of East African Community but for it to control crimes within the country is to control the borders. A foreigner who wants to enter the county must state clearly the reason to why he/she wishes to enter, but not anybody who wishes to enter the country would be allowed as if we are providing asylum the refugees. Why don’t you think about future repercussions?

The population of Juba realized a lot of criminal activities including ID and money forgery, killing of boda-boda men at night are happening without government intervention. Desperate criminals find it an easy way of getting motorbikes in case they lack money to buy one.

It is obvious that no country would keep quiet when her citizens died in whichever way. That was why Kenya term Republic of South Sudan as a “no-go country” basing their argument on 24 people who died in South Sudan since. Some died in the prisons and some were killed by diseases or natural death. Did Kenya government not claim that her citizens are being killed in South Sudan?

Anyway, let’s wait with great trepidation to the future of this nation.

Writer is Agriculture Economics graduate by name: Chier Akueny Anyithiec, now in Juba and reachable at: chieryako@yahoo.com
(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are those of the author(s) and don’t represent those of the website),

Did Abyei paramount chief Deng Kuol Arop sell his soul

BY: Leon Nyerere, CANADA, SEP. 30/2012, SSN; Before I delve into the subject, I’d like to inform the readers that I’m using ‘devil’

Public accountability absent from new Sudan and South Sudan oil deal

GLOBAL WITNESS, SEP. 29/2012, SSN;
Sudan and South Sudan’s new oil deal fails to guarantee citizens the basic information they need to hold their governments accountable for the vast amounts of money involved, said Global Witness today.

After several years of negotiations, Sudan and South Sudan yesterday signed a series of landmark agreements, including one on the terms under which South Sudan will export its crude oil via Sudan’s pipelines and port. [1] Both countries are heavily reliant on oil revenues and have previously fought for control of oil fields either side of their common border.

While the new agreement establishes mechanisms for internal information sharing and auditing, it includes no requirements for transit and financial data or audit reports to be made public. This lack of public accountability is particularly concerning given the allegations of high-level corruption that both governments are facing.

“Sudan and South Sudan’s citizens are the ultimate owners of their countries’ natural resources,” said Global Witness campaigner Dana Wilkins. “Yet they have been totally cut out of this new oil deal, with no way to verify the amount of oil and money that will be transferred between their governments.”

The fees paid by South Sudan for use of Sudan’s processing facilities, pipelines, and port will range between US$9.10 and US$11 per barrel, depending on the route by which the crude oil is piped out. Juba has also agreed to transfer an additional US$3 billion to help Khartoum fill the gap in its finances caused by the loss of oil reserves now controlled by South Sudan.

The new oil deal establishes a Petroleum Monitoring Committee including representatives from both governments and an independent chairperson appointed by the African Union. This Committee will be responsible for monitoring the operational and financial implementation of the arrangement. [2] Sudan and South Sudan also agreed to appoint an independent auditor to report on the operating companies and identify any problems.

Though the Committee and the independent auditor are potentially very useful mechanisms for building trust between the governments, neither is required to publish anything. Unless their reports and the relevant production and payment data are publicly disclosed, it will be impossible for citizens even to check whether these oversight mechanisms are working.

The new agreement also includes an article on transparency. However, this only requires that the Sudanese and South Sudanese governments be ‘mutually transparent’; each sharing relevant information with the other.

“The absence of real transparency—meaning full public disclosure—in this new deal could have long-term consequences for democracy and stability in both countries,” added Wilkins. “South Sudan has included many strong public reporting and accounting requirements in its new legal framework.

It is now all the more important that these are implemented without further delay. For its part, Khartoum should put in place public disclosure laws that enable Sudanese citizens to see how their leaders are spending their country’s share of the oil wealth.”

/ Ends.

Contact: For more information contact Dana Wilkins in the UK on +44 (0)7808 761 570, dwilkins@globalwitness.org or Mike Davis on +44 (0)7872600860, mdavis@globalwitness.org

Notes:

[1] Available at http://sites.tufts.edu/reinventingpeace/files/2012/09/Oil-Agreement-between-SudanSouth-Sudan0001.pdf

[2] The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement which ended the last civil war included a deal to split southern oil revenues 50:50 between the central government in Sudan and the semi-autonomous southern government. Though a Joint Technical Committee was set up to review the implementation of that deal, very little information was made available to the public.

September29, 2012

Cry for Justice, Will it be heard?

By: Daniel Abushery Daniel, (USA). SEP. 27/2012;
“We should surrender to the fact that life isn’t fair.” Source Unknown.
Many antisocial acts classified as crimes have their origins in the norms of primitive societies. Humanity has universally condemned certain types of behavior since ancient times. Acts such like murder, rape, robbery, just to mention only the few are considered “mala in se” which means inherent wrongs. Other acts that the modern criminal law regards as offenses, such as gambling, possession of marijuana “hashish” are merely mala prohibita; because they are defined by the law, and generally not regarded as offensive to universal principles, just to mention the least.

Indefinite number of voices around the globe appealed that death penalty is cruel and an unusual punishment, and should be abolished in South Sudan, despite the fact that the brutality began with the murder of an innocent.

In my humble opinion, by doing this we are giving a free ride to the criminals to let them continued committing their heinous crimes, letting their victims battling knowingly that there will be no serious consequences to pay, just a slap on the wrist.

Are you kidding me? What is cruel and unusual about the persecution of a criminal who cold-bloodily murdered an innocent person? Have you been in someone’s shoes whose loved one has been brutally murdered and the culprit was immediately released from custody, just because, of an influential figure or someone in the government, a Guru in the society, or a family member with a lot of money used to bribe some low esteemed personnel in the police, or in Judiciary system, to obstruct the Justice?

In a country like South Sudan with some bone-headed society members, where the retaliation is widespread, therefore, the death penalty in my opinion is the answer.

My dear friend, believe me, some of criminal Justice graduates, even law school students who didn’t finished the requirement syllabuses and who did not met the requirement to be a Judge or a lawyer, leave alone passing the bar test, are now installed on the benches in our court rooms in South Sudan as Judges and prosecutors with less or no experience, but with half knowledge.

And we always blame it on: We started it from scratch; like the whole population were nomads and we all came back from bush after liberation struggle. And you can read my lips, “little knowledge is……” I am not joking.
What a shame?

The toughest sheriff in the world, Sheriff Joe Alpaio of Tents city jail in Maricopa county in my home town Phoenix, once said; “that crime doesn’t pay”, and his philosophy is, if you commit a crime, you must serve the time, period!

No free ride for criminal’s, and the only way to deter the crime is to punish the defendant.

A group of criminologists asserted that putting criminals behind bars is punishment only, but also rehabilitation. But, for death row inmates, life without possibility of parole is the solution. And some argued that is only a portion, and not all of them can be rehabilitated.

Comrades, before we called for abolishing the death penalty in South Sudan, let’s first establish a good Judiciary system and a rule of law. Let’s first have a constitution that’s well–articulated, with meaningful thought of “the suspect is innocent until proven guilty in the Court of law”.

Honestly, we need to upgrade the quality of our law enforcement and the public attorney personnel, which is the key element of implementation of the Civil and Criminal laws procedures.

In a clear cut, Jury trial, transparency and freedom of the press are essential, otherwise there will be no fair trial. This is my prospective.

The author is a criminal Justice graduate, and can be reached at nyang19@yahoo.com
(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely of the author(s) and not of the website.)

Federalism is the only viable solution to South Sudan’s problems.

BY: Elhag Paul, RSS, SEP. 27/2012; Federalism, the democratic system of governance that is hated like a disease in South Sudan by some powerful members of the ruling party has come up like a rose flower blossoming in early spring sunshine. Indeed it is a lovely flower with sweet fragrance to most South Sudanese democrats. This fresh smell has been sprayed into the acrid atmosphere of South Sudan by non other than the person who challenged SPLM dictatorship in 1991 derailing the SPLM’s project of New Sudan and changing the course of history.

Dr Lam Akol’s call in the Sudan Tribune on 20th September 2012 “for a federal state in South Sudan to achieve ‘Unity in diversity’ and to promote peaceful coexistence between the different tribal components of the country,” is not only timely but a wise call proving the initiative to be a thoughtful act of a citizen who wants the best for the country. Any person coming up with solutions to address our failed state should be taken very seriously.

Dr Akol has been the subject of vilification for nearly 2 decades by the SPLM party even when he was their registered member. The leaders of the SPLM hate him for his supposed intelligence. The public should not receive Dr Akol’s call for federalism with suspicion for the simple fact that ultimately, if South Sudan is to be rescued it has to be governed by a federal system. The current centralized system of governance in South Sudan is a recipe for disaster and it is one of the reasons why South Sudan is a failed state today.

A country with a diverse population of over sixty tribes can not just be subjected to the whims of only 18 percent of its citizens who perversely call themselves a majority. How can 18 percent of the population be a majority over 82 percent? This is one of the twisted logic that is invoked time and again to perpetuate abuse by a minority bent on domination and siphoning the resources of the country without any accountability.

To do away with this abuse and corruption, it is necessary that the system of governance in the country is changed to a federal one as called for by Dr Akol.

Federal system will bring government closer to the people and it will allow proper scrutiny of government since local federal government agents will be judged by local people who elect them and not appointees as is the case now.

Additionally, federalism will do away with the current uneven distribution of resources and power between the various social groups in the country. The importance of this point is that as people participate in their government within their own localities (federal states) cooperation between the various localities will begin to build up leading into a healthy relationship and peaceful co-existence. This is what we want in our country and not domination by one group that generates constant instability.

Federalism is not new to South Sudanese. In 1950s prior to the independence of the Sudan in 1956, South Sudanese fearing domination by the Arabs, called for a federal system. Had the government in Khartoum heeded the call then perhaps Sudan today would still have been one country at peace with itself. But the Arabs refused it because they wanted to dominate and as a result they played a game with it until the South Sudanese got fed up and moved on to separation which now has happened.

Many tribes in South Sudan feel hard done by the dominant tribe in the SPLM. This is not new. There is a pertinent history which is threatening to repeat itself. The experience of Kokora was painful but the current system is even generating more pain than that of Kokora and it is only a matter of time before things begin to boil over.

In the bush, SPLM tried to minimize this kind of pain by accepting that federalism should be the system of governance in South Sudan. Thus, it sought to placate itself by holding a convention in 1994. In that convention it was unequivocally resolved that federal system would be the system of governance in the Sudan. This was in recognition of the diversity of the South Sudan.

When the CPA was born in 2005 the constitution governing South Sudan stipulated federalism as the system of governance in South Sudan. The SPLM was comfortable with this arrangement because it still had no absolute power and also fearing division in the South. So far so good.

After the referendum and secession of South Sudan the SPLM having obtained ultimate power they threw away federalism from the constitution in favor of a centralized government. As expected this was done to allow certain groups and ethnicities to dominate the government. The outcome of this arrangement is the total mess South Sudan is in now.

Rampant corruption, massive theft, tribal appointments of incompetent people, tribal police force, tribal prison forces, tribal judiciary, tribal wars, and rebellions capped with a failed state. Hence the certification of South Sudan by international bodies as a failed state and the measured description of South Sudan government by one of its former advisors, Gerard Prunier, as a government of “idiots …..rotten to the core.”

Now a centralised system of government that produces such destruction and rubbish surely can not be good for the country and it needs to be discarded in the interest of peace and unity. Here is where Dr Akol’s call comes in timely. We either have a ‘unity in diversity’ or we will self destruct and there is no knowing what the outcome of that will be.

It will not surprise me if the demonization of Dr Akol is upped now by the footmen of SPLM simply because he has touched a sensitive button albeit a life saving one for all of us. In light of this it is vital to briefly examine Dr Akol’s performance in SPLM objectively. Before doing this I would like to state categorically that I am not a member of SPLM-DC. My interest in this is only to be fair to him as his proposal transcends party and ideological bigotry.

Prior to 1991, Dr Akol was a rising star in the SPLM. As the face of external relations of the movement he ably represented the movement to the extent that he gave credibility to SPLM’s claimed stake as an alternative government to the rulers in Khartoum. His performance in talks with the Sudan government in Norway in late 1980s shone throughout the world raising the status of SPLM internationally. The press briefs he gave were measured and effective.

Unlike the current GoSS diplomats in Nairobi and Washington who embarrass us daily, Dr Akol carried himself in that portfolio with dignity lifting up the status of the movement. Even Dr Garang acknowledged his high quality performance.

However, the 1991 failed Nasir coup of which Dr Akol was a member changed all that. He became a target of demonization by the SPLM main stream and to a large extent this succeeded. The majority of South Sudanese pumped up with sustained negative propaganda by the SPLM over the years do not see Dr Akol from untainted glass. This is unfortunate because many people have been frightened, brainwashed and deprived of the chance to interact with his writings and his person without being biased.

Objective engagement with Dr Akol’s materials is illuminating and I have no doubt that history will have him as the person who changed the course of South Sudan history in the SPLM.

Although Reik Machar was the leader of that coup, it is known that without Dr Akol he would not have taken the bold step of rebelling against Dr Garang. And without 1991 Nasir coup, it would have been unthinkable for the wishes of South Sudanese for secession to come to light during that dark oppressive period of one-man rule (Dr John Garang). It is this coup with pressure from South Sudanese internally and externally that forced Dr Garang to sign up to the agenda of secession through referendum in Abuja in early 1990s and from there everything else was history.

This is a momentous contribution to the history of South Sudan that nobody can take that away from Dr Akol. This contribution no doubt threatens the position of those who want to construct Dr Garang as the ‘Father of the Nation.’ A widely misused and abused phrase in south Sudan without any credible grounds. Yes, Dr Garang fought Khartoum hard and nobody can take that away from him.

However it is important to note that he fought for a united Sudan. Dr Garang himself put pen to paper saying ‘our first bullets were fired against the separatists.’

Now how could a person who was a unionist to the core who executed separatists at will be the father of a nation he did not want to see born? People like Isaiah Abraham who tirelessly pursue the goal of glorifying Dr Garang through mendacity will later find out that their effort is gone to waste like dust or vapour.

Dr Akol as any other human being has his weaknesses. Writers like Dr Nyaba in his writings refer to him as arrogant. This maybe true but surely this is not a reason enough to banish someone.

If Dr Reik Machar, despite his destructive past and promotion of corruption in GoSS now can be reinstated in South Sudanese society, why not Dr Akol? If the former ministers of finance Arthur Akuen and Athian Mawen who mismanaged billions in the system can be reinstated and appointed into parliament why not Dr Akol? If former NCP diehards who fought the SPLM tooth and nail for two decades can be reinstated, why not Dr Akol?

There are many cases of people who have done terrible things in South Sudan and yet they have been reinstated in society and lavishly praised. But when it comes to Dr Akol, the siren is sounded as if the world is coming to an end. Let us be fair and treat people equally if we want to build a good society.

Those whose minds have been contaminated by SPLM propaganda need to rescue themselves by being objective. Individually the decision is ours whether we want to remain with the wool pulled over our eyes by SPLM or become free beings in thoughts and deeds.

Frantz Fanon (1924 -1961) argues that manipulation of the mind is not only destructive to the individual but is the very destruction of the community itself simply because the behavior of a manipulated person ensures his own demise and that of his community. When someone be they your friend or your enemy manipulates and colonizes your mind, they have full control of you and will exploit you as they like.

No offense intended but the SPLM has via crude methods managed to colonize minds of its members as well as a large section of our society. In a sense SPLM has locked into the minds of their supporters the idea that anybody opposing them is pro-Arab and therefore should not be tolerated (although the Arabs are long gone) even when the person has good ideas for the country. What SPLM does not say is that they too are in daily contact with Arabs.

Having come this far, what is needed clearly is free thinking people in the SPLM who can question things and argue objectively in favor of good ideas.

For example, on this proposal of federalism objective SPLM members should be able to say although Dr Akol raised the issue it is good for South Sudan and they should be able to support it. After all this would not be the first time that SPLM adopts Dr Akol’s proposals. In Abuja they accepted self-determination of South Sudan.

Thus on the issue of federalism, let objectivity for once reign. Let us concentrate on the message and not the messenger. If what is being proposed can offer a solution to our failed state and can stop the world calling us ‘idiots ….. rotten to the core,’ then what is wrong with that? After all Dr Akol is resurrecting something that once was in our constitution before SPLM vandalized it in July 2011 (Independence day).

Federalism is the only viable solution to our problems. It offers solutions to the problem of domination. It offers solutions to the problem of poor governance. It offers peaceful co-existence. It offers solutions to the politics of exclusions. It offers solutions to political instability. It offers solutions to totalitarianism and so on. Moreover this is a system that has been tested in the advanced countries: United States of America, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, and Australia.

For those who say federalism is not good for South Sudan the burden of proof remains with them. They need to tell us why it is not good by arguing and making a credible case for such a position. They need to bear in mind that centralized power as now in Juba dominated by one group has failed and caused the current instability. If left unaddressed it may lead into disintegration of the country.

In summing up, now that Dr Akol’s call for federalism in South Sudan has coincided with the review of the constitution, the members of the constitutional review and the members of the parliament should pay a particular attention to this.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul, RSS, elhagpaul@aol.com
(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are those of the author(s) solely and not of the website)

Kiir’s boondoggle in Addis: Only a partial deal to sign?

Editorial Analysis; After serious haggling since last Sunday and six face-to-face meetings, the presidents of Sudan and South Sudan, Omar Bashir and Salva Kiir, have finally signed Thursday, September 27, 2012, a partial deal, basically, to resume oil exports from South Sudan through the Sudan and a security arrangement.

1. OIL DEAL: Since President Kiir unilaterally shut down oil production and exports through the north last January, and briefly blundered in the occupation of Heglig (Panthou) oil refinery, the South has been under continuous international pressure to reconsider restarting the oil production, especially in the light of its dismal failure to secure any international financial assistance.

South Sudan is almost 99.99 percent dependent on oil revenues but the Sudan is the main beneficiary of any resumption of oil exports through its territory. Besides paying the Sudan transit fees, South Sudan will unconditionally bear the entire responsibility of repair and rehabilitation of the oil facilities. Experts predict the entire process will take several months before we see oil flowing again and will cost millions.

Now, Kiir has voluntarily and politically surrendered and ceded the South back to the jellaba North, who, given the not-so-long-ago history, will be tightly holding South Sudan at ransom. The oil exports will be at their mercy– any time we disagree, they shut off the pipeline for a million pretexts!!!

More importantly, however, what will now become of the LAPSSET accord that President Kiir recently signed with Kenya and Ethiopia to export South Sudan’s oil southwards, since he will now be deeply entrapped with paying the Sudan in the new Addis Accord?

2. Security Deal: This accord, again, unfairly favours the Sudan than South Sudan, as it encompasses demilitarization and mandatory one-sided withdrawal of South Sudan army (SPLA) 10 miles from an undefined 1200 miles long border not yet demarcated completely. In the event of SPLA supposed retreat beyond the so-called demilitarized zone, would the Arab Sudan be in any more hurry to embark on any negotiations on North-South border demarcation?

3. Disputed territories: Clearly, President Kiir severely lost on this since those disputed areas of Hofar el Nahas, Mile 14, Kaka, Goda, and others, have been conceded as they will continue under Sudan’s firm control.

4. Abyei loss: This is President Kiir’s greatest blunder and loss. Predictably, the proposals of the African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP) were a non-starter for jellaba Sudan and at the same time, the intransigence of the prominent Abyei sons in the South Sudan side was a complicating factor. For the first time ever, the Arab Sudan is now pushing for complete division of Abyei region into two parts, one for the Dinka Ngok and the other part, northwards, for the Arab nomads. Apparently, all South Sudan inducements to the north Sudan, be it oil money or unfettered grazing rights, are no longer attractive anymore. The Arabs, like the Dinka Ngok, are gunning for the most precious and lasting asset, the land.

Will President Kiir push the South into another war because of Abyei impasse, therefore scuttling the entire peace process? Alternately, how effective will resorting, once again, to international arbitration at The Hague be advisable?

5. The Four Freedoms: These entail the right to work, to move, to reside and to ownership of properties on both sides of the border for citizens of the two countries. Unfortunately, these freedoms are heavily and unfairly in favor of the jellaba and other North Sudanese, who under President Kiir’s dubious policies of accommodation, have allowed South Sudan trade and commerce to be almost completely strangled by the Sudanese who come and go unfettered in South Sudan. They own more businesses in the South than South Sudanese owning any in north Sudan. Conversely and unarguably, South Sudanese in north don’t enjoy any freedoms freely, whatsoever, a fact seen in the numbers of South Sudanese migrating en masse daily back home in utter misery.

HIGHLIGHTS:
*The summit between President Salva Kiir of South Sudan and President Omar Al Bashir of Sudan, which began Sunday, was supposed to last just one day to meet a deadline set by the African Union and U.N. Security Council.

As of Thursday, September 27/2012, the two presidents sign a partial deal.

*An economic deal that would include revenue sharing between the two nations of South Sudan’s oil wealth is desperately needed by both economies.

In January, South Sudan shut off its oil supply — which is shipped and exported through Sudan’s infrastructure — saying that Sudan was stealing oil revenue. The South got around 70% of the formerly united country’s reserves when it became independent last year.

Both countries, especially South Sudan, have seen hyperinflation and a squeeze on incoming foreign currency, which has hurt their economies.

*Under the agreement, the demilitarized zone along the border will mean the militaries of Sudan and South Sudan and other armed groups will not be allowed in a prescribed zone on either side of the border, creating a buffer between the forces.

*The deal as signed is described it will be at best a partial victory, analysts say,

*The status of disputed areas along the border and the fate of Abyei — a border region claimed by both countries — are crucial security issues that will need to be addressed if the two recently divorced countries are to have lasting peace.

In April, Sudan and South Sudan slipped close to all-out war with a series of tit-for-tat air raids and ground attacks that prompted the African Union and Security Council to push the two sides to act.

*The Security Council had given the sides until Sunday to come up with a deal or face sanctions. But the negotiators say that has been informally extended until the end of the talks.

*The status of Abyei has been a matter of contention since the South declared independence on July 9 of last year.

Under a 2005 peace agreement that ended Sudan’s two-decade civil war, Abyei residents were to take part in a referendum on whether to join the South or remain a special administrative region within Sudan. The vote was to take place in January 2011, at the same time as the referendum that led to South Sudan’s secession. But disputes over who was eligible to vote prevented the referendum from going forward in Abyei.

*Sudan and South Sudan have been under increasing pressure from the African Union and Security Council to resolve the matter peacefully.

SPLM is Too Big to want to rig Elections

By: Buot Manyiel Buot, JUBA.
SEP. 26/2012, SSN; The Republic of South Sudan was ordained into the community of nations on 9/7/2011 after successful conduct of the referendum as sanctioned by Comprehensive Peace Agreement-CPA, and just like other budding
democratic Nations, it relishes multi-party democracy, through its constitution, based on the ideal of political pluralism in which all individuals are freely allowed to evince their views on issues connected to democracy, including good governance and political intercourse.

All legitimate political forces in this Republic, including Sudan People’s Liberation Movement- Democratic Change or DC become recipients of that universal political right.

Although the last elections are way back, almost three years ago, and that revisiting their impact is legally time-barred, I feel it worthwhile to assess them in summary. To begin with, DC was subsequently formed in Khartoum during the last quarter of 2009, an unmistakable culmination of the Kanena conference by adversaries of South Sudan and dissident politician in the person of Lam Akol, who contested a precarious sponsored quest for presidency in the elections of 2010 against the incumbent president of South Sudan Gen. Kiir, and he (Lam) was indubitably voted down prima facie.

His party –DC was doomed to failure in all constituency seats throughout the then Southern Sudan with the exception of hometown of Upper Nile, where they got some handful of parliamentary dockets. His misguided search for State palace
and the entire scheme of DC was/is no more than a foreign project, designed externally to perpetuate imperial political hegemony. At least that was the view of political analysts and social commentators, and even in the mind of an average citizen.

During the elections, DC presented to the electorates certain claimed political programs contained in the so-called DC Document which were meant to rule South Sudan if and when it wins elections, but the fact was/is such ideals only befit men who are domiciled in the utopian perfect society in an imaginary Island. In fact, such ideas are applicable to utopian world but not the Republic of South Sudan or any civilized nation.

In this progressive world, some peculiar truths appear like fictional drama and are too good to believe, and this fact renders DC’s political comedy in its document to be too good to believe, notwithstanding to the contrary. Moreover, some ideas in the same Documents are no more than petty political invectives reserved only for somebody fanatical about power. In certain issues with regards to ideology raised by DC, SPLM has got express and ready answers.

Generally, some other reasonable matters regarding governance propagated by DC were almost literal replica of the SPLM political programs inherent in its manifesto. Electorates didn’t buy anything.

SPLM was/is too big and popular to want to rig elections. DC ruffled feathers crying fault for alleged election fraud, but the cry was no more than misguided quest for power.

But the million dollar question begs itself that what were these political hopes in which DC was disappointed? What were these wishes in which it was frustrated? And what was that faith that was abused? Nothing.

Observing critically at DC political programs, there is but none new agenda or ideology that the SPLM failed to conduct experiment whether in the past or present. During the elections and its aftermath, all DC
did was to present a showcase in which it portrays itself as an angel of benevolence and provident of salvation, but the ostensible hope of rescue from distant horizon fell into deaf ears and blind eyes of the electorates.

Honestly, and without any remorse for this statement, there was no way DC could have won the elections under any circumstances. We know and DC knows. The “Party” SPLM has fought the war of liberation to free the peoples of South Sudan from social chauvinism and political subjugation by Arab fundamentalists. The party has had the capacity to
transform the political face of this country, deformed by Arab imperialism. It therefore develops certain visions of a better society in which human beings can achieve genuine emancipation and fulfillment of self-worth as free members of global community.

When the Party waged revolutionary war, it carried with it the aspiration of the entire nation, showing the world over that it is capable to achieve the unimaginable- that hard political expedition for Statehood to its realistic conclusion. Despite political backlash from various quarters, SPLM legacy will endure to be told to generations coming as long as history books exist on earth.

Now the ultimate objective is to model South Sudan to suit the specifications of the civilized nations. To those who wish to compensate SPLM, all you are asked to do is to honor the monumental feat, modesty, and valor of the Party and rally your support for it to achieve full potential of our aspirations. During the war, you expressed forbearance coupled with noble duties of patriotism, obedience, loyalty, comradeship and fidelity.

After DC lost elections, having been defeated with landslide and angered by such results, it embarked on a perilous campaign calculated to corrupt, interrupt, sabotage or delay the conduct of the referendum. Those calculated subversive maneuvers are expressly discernable from the utterances of its upper political echelon.

Dr. Lam Akol, the Director for DC, on Sunday 5 September 2010, published a notoriously lengthy article titled, ‘South Sudan Referendum’: First things first. (www.sudantribune.com and www.Southsudannation.com respectively). Lam with his political agility in the said article spoke his mind, adorning almost every phrase with political/academic jargon, but others are wiser that him and knew his mind.

As a matter of fact, his mental element on the Referendum was characterized by a mixture of indifference and double-dealing, usually acting in bad faith by pretending to entertain one set of intentions while acting under the influence of another ultra-motive. Every calculated move by Lam is unmistakably a relentless pursuit of power.

Although DC statements by its leader are not entirely frank or devoid of deceit and hypocritical motives, but the statements, however, portrayed the peculiar picture we shall probably ever have known of the mind of the Leader of DC.
For those who harbor political curiosity and wish to know the content of the article that I have alluded to above, you can follow the link as shown and read out the article for your satisfaction, but I quote some phrases here for our deliberation: Dr. Lam had this to say….”there would be no way for a free, fair and transparent referendum. Therefore it would be in the interest of the advocates of unity and separation alike to unify their ranks and join efforts to impose the favorable climate for the dissemination of their ideas about unity or separation so that they reach the Southern citizen, the voter in this referendum. It is also in the interest of both camps to ensure a free, fair and transparent referendum in order to make its result acceptable to all, hence, obtain recognition of the international community” Unquote.

This statement is an unwarranted expression of indignation about referendum, a typical case of apathy and political duplicity for a leader of a political party to harbor such ideas about referendum- the potential destiny for the peoples whom he purports to represent.To analyze it, one discerns that he told what Jalaba in Khartoum desired to hear.

First and foremost, parties to the CPA, which is the vanguard of referendum didn’t need to engage in any activities outside stipulations of the Referendum Act. It was of no need to unify the ranks of the advocates of Unity or
Separation to impose their interests. The regulating authority, i.e. the Referendum Act has to be adhered to strictly, and that was the position of the SPLM. And today we have the country with International
Recognition- thank God.

Here is also another quote posted under Lam’s Article by James Okuk, a quasi-ambassador for DC who sacrificed virtue
over egotism, he had this to say….”The crucial question I would ask Dr Lam Akol here is: What would be a guarantee that the environment may be made conducive by the CPA’s partners to conduct a fair, free and transparent referendum for Southerners as desired since the last five years and more months have offered some proves that those partners are
not interested in joint and full implementation of the CPA?

Also the critical question I may ask those who will not agree with Dr Akol’s position is this: What will be the use of unrecognized referendum full of quarrels and possibility of third war between Khartoum and Juba? Conclusion of another peace agreement with NCP and Northerners? I am looking forward to get some convincing answers here, otherwise I may consider viable, my position that advices for the postponement of the referendum until 9th January 2012 and then go for war of unilateral declaration of independence of South Sudan after that if nothing good comes out in regards to fair, free and transparent referendum with recognizable end-result.

This position is a middle-way compromise to allow the unionists to enjoy the status quo for a further one year only
of the CPA extended life-span but at the end of that year to also allow the separatists to start enjoying the dignity of the independence of South Sudan”. Unquote.

Read and reread such utterances, subject them to analysis and you will find atypical case of conspiracy on the part of DC stalwarts. Little did Okuk know that Dr. Lam was not a seer or custodian of the Referendum for him to know the conducive environment that guaranteed transparent conduct of the referendum, so the question directed to Lam was immaterial and rebuttable.

Little did Okuk know also that there were both internal and external dynamic which guaranteed to warrant the successful, transparent and timely conduct of the referendum, after all, the price and cost of non-implementation of the referendum clause was designed in such a way as to make it very expensive and a cost too much to pay. During the referendum, there was no need at all for a middle-way compromise for Unionists to enjoy the status quo as suggested by Okuk. Such a position would have been a direct contravention of the Referendum Act.

Nonetheless, it was then implemented as required by law, its results being recognized without quarrels or third war between Khartoum and Juba.Now we’ve a republic with international recognition, Thank God.Dr. Lam at the time prophesied that an independent South Sudan will replicate ungovernable Somalia, while Okuk advised for the postponement of the conduct of the referendum until 9th January 2012. Fortunately, the practical political realities
now are completely different from Lam’s prophecies, to his dismay and that of Okuk.

It was sad day for all of us and none is sadder than the betrayed homeland, given the fact that everything we’ve worked for, everything that we believe in during our struggle was just almost crashed into ruins by such emotional prophecies about the referendum. But we emerged triumphant notwithstanding, and now there is only and only one thing left for SPLM to do: i.e. to devote whatever strength and power at its disposal to forwarding the victory of the cause for which we have sacrificed so much too much. Indeed, 2.5 million died – killed for a dignified and honorable cause.

While DC may have failed to achieve certain motives about the referendum, it opened up another front to destabilize the nation and divert public attention, i.e. it embarked on a hazardous political adventurism to demonize and vilify SPLM almost in everything about public policy, almost everything- from democracy to good governance, foreign policy to press freedom, answerability to accountability, rule of law to administration of Justice, infrastructure to economy, education to health, and security to defense, just to mention but a few.

DC is attacking SPLM political records per incuriam, by disregarding tangible scores of the SPLM and assigns itself a behavior sort of quasi-veto over political strategy of the SPLM. Almost on every other issue, DC has a reason to assign blame and vilify SPLM conduct. But I wonder if ever DC will achieve any political breakthrough by politics of
blackmail and treachery. I supposed this path of political confrontation is a limbo too useless for DC, for this nation and indeed for the whole humanity which is set to achieve genuine aspiration.

I am also afraid that if such state of affairs continues unabated, DC risks fading into absolute political oblivion, unless it changes political behavior. I also suspect that this path of perpetual political conflict is a decision taken out of sheer wantonness without regards to conventional wisdom and political maturity. DC must mature.

Conversely, DC’s propaganda and vilification against SPLM are administered with such furious generosity and with such diabolic gusto that even the most ignorant members within our social fraternity would have a reason to infer that SPLM is being confronted not so much as to inculcate political responsibility and accountability, but rather to cow
it into blind submissiveness so as to forgo its programs and probably ideology, and this explains the bitter irony with which DC always depicts SPLM’s image, otherwise such sustained political blackmailing and unfounded propaganda are utterly foreign to our political anthropology, at variance to the most fundamental and secret principles of our
character, and totally at discrepancy with our traditional passion for loyalty, patriotism, respect and equality.

DC must mature. Political experiments indicated that any leaders who sacrifice virtues on the altar of inexpediency or relegate patriotism and loyalty into insignificance in relation to theory and practice of politics are doomed
to failure. DC must mature.

Lastly on a separate note, I’ve a message to opinion writers with regards to succession politics dominating our political discourse these past weeks. Succession politics, at least must be avoided now, because writers who seem to favor certain individual for next presidency propagate unhealthy opinions, some of which are reminiscent to the
horrifying events of 1991.

We detest the resultant aftermath of 1991 and do not need a repeat. Succession politics must be evaded for now or
else, the prophets of doom will swallow their ill-motives if the nation returns to business as usual even after 2015. History and political experience of the past convinced most of our citizens that many leaders of this nation tried to ascend to power by illegitimate means only to fail miserably.

Also experience taught us that politicians who took refuge under the guise of politeness and deceit, cant and flattery, cunning and duplicity were never forgiven by history, at least politically. To those opinion writers, I wish to forewarn you that invoking tribal sentiments and exploiting trivial invectives of regional connotation can’t ascend any president to power in our context.

Such leaders may have been highly educated, fought for aspiration of their believe and sacrificed their blood, but that doesn’t mean automatic destiny to presidency. It is only through harmonious political consensual intercourse that we can sail amicably.

Reach the author via: buotmbuot@yahoo.co.uk
(The views expressed above are those of the author and don’t reflect the views of the website)

Wise up, Isaiah Abraham: Riek Machar can’t get a Democratic Nomination

BY: L.L. Reuben, CANADA
SEP. 24/2012. SSN; Let’s remind ourselves of what democracy is and make sense of its impact and how it affects the process of choosing of a leader in this case. Let’s refrain from a presumptuous wishful thinking driven by the perception that those who have higher education (PhD) will somehow make good leaders if ever they get chance to lead.

We should also be very mindful that democracy is mostly about a freedom to choose what each of us desires for ourselves freely without any interference or intimidation from anybody else.

I see democracy as a menace when talking about a country like the Republic of South Sudan not because I am an anti-democracy but an enormous illiterate population like the South Sudan has allowed democracy to operate from the opposite side – it has been perceived wrong by semi-illiterates and as a result democracy help created rebellion, a path that true democracy cannot not lead to. Those who revolt do so because they had thought about democracy from a different perspective.

The militias calling themselves rebels in the jungles of the Republic of South Sudan see democracy as a tool of fudging their own way to leadership, they don’t view it as fair system of governance that everyone should abide by. So when they lost elections during the 2010 Election they failed to understand that in democracy no one is exempt from loss.

In another word, they should have embraced the loss and wait for the next wrestle match. But because they were not prepared in case of a lost – this is what prompted them to pick up their riffles and begin to negotiate using their riffles to achieve what they think can still be considered democratic had they succeeded.

There is so much to democracy these days even those who know better bluntly chose to ignore the true meaning of the word (system) itself and instead hide behind by punching a hole through it in order to carry out their interest.

Isaiah Abraham has done this right out-of-the get-go from the inception days of the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS). He’s desperately doing this to cleanse his idol, Riek Machar (vice-president), from the sins he shares with his colleagues (the corruption boys) in the SPLM.

An example of how democracy is misrepresented and its meaning gravely distorted for the purpose of achieving a concealed interest.

In a true democracy, Riek Machar has zero chance of winning a democratically-held election. Riek has a better chance if he is appointed by his President Salva Kiir; a scenario Mr. Abraham had written articles shedding tears for the possibility of its occurrence but nothing guaranteed that from Kiir’s deportment himself and to his credit Isaiah knows that very well which explains why he constantly preach an imaginary capability possessed by Riek that not very many know of except Mr. Isaiah Abraham himself.

Both Machar and Kiir are allegedly at the top of the network of organisms that had embezzled the infamous “4 billions” dollar that even Isaiah talked about sometimes in his articles. It is a complete nonsense that Abraham detached his godfather (Riek) from Kiir. Whilst in the eyes of all South Sudanese both are money embezzlers at worst; no lesser evil between the two in that regard.

Riek himself has minimal credentials to preach to Southerners other than his own doctorate (PhD), nothing more than that. Khartoum Peace Agreement (KPA) was a sham and in no approach did that bogus agreement had brought the so-called Self-determination.

The Comprehensives Peace Agreement (CPA) brought the independence of Republic of South Sudan without any doubt from the sane – so again no credit to Riek on there. Salva has a signature in the Naivasha Peace Accord, Riek can share the pride of that with his President Salva.

When I looked at the demographic of the Republic of South Sudan I see chances of Kiir triumphing on another election higher than Machar’s or anyone else in that matter but only unless Kiir handed his throne to his deputy. We have a huge rural population with less or no education. This population votes based on who they know – their tribesmen/women. Convince me how Kiirdit will not win that vote.

This style of voting fits perfectly within the principles of democracy- by the way, it is not tribalism because a person chose who they want—- simple democracy. Now how do you like this kind of democracy-or- isn’t? Those who think they know democracy better than others will have tough times accepting this side of it.

Riek, on the other hand, if he wants to go head to head with his boss President Salva Kiir Mayardit, he has to convince millions of Southerners he offended during the liberation war. His association with Omar Bashier as he too deputized Bashir after the signing of his KPA also will diminish his chances.

I should‘ve forgotten this but true democracy can be achieved by electing clean leaders. In the end, a pretentious democracy will still be the same to a belligerent type of governance we have currently.

Leader without achievements to present and campaign for cannot pass the democratic election either. Singing along to the tune of western democracy is not good enough. He has to have something to show for, that something is missing from VP Riek Machar himself.

The Republic of South Sudan is not an experiment where murderous and human rights violators are given second chances to be seen if they can redeemed themselves. We have thousands of PhD holders in South Sudan of which some don’t even have jobs. We should start the experiment of choosing right a leader if this is all we have to do to bring true democracy. Those who have never broken human laws and obviously not part of the self-serving gang in Juba and Khartoum (regarding Lam Akol) should be first in line.

LL Reuben is a concerned South Sudanese in Canada reached him at lokinei@hotmail.com