Archive for: October 2012

Aweil Petition to Pres. Kiir: Don’t cede our land to Khartoum

Ref: Do Not Cede Our Land to Khartoum

Petition Letter to H.E. 1st Lt. General Salva Kiir Mayardit
President of the Republic of South Sudan

CC: South Sudan National Legislative Assembly
CC: Africa Union High Level Implementation Panel
CC: United Nations Security Council
CC: SPLM Party
CC: NBGS
CC: South Sudan Negotiator team

OCT. 11/2012, SSN; Dear Mr. President:

Aweil Community, both at home and in the Diaspora, has received the 27 September Security Agreement on the 14- mile area with an indisputable displeasure and outrage. To our surprise, we have found out that the land that has never been a disputed area has now been made a disputed one. We are afraid, with your administration approving the 2011 AUHIP Proposed Map on such Security Arrangements, Khartoum is now in a celebratory mode, for it knows very well that it will soon lay unqualified claim to this piece of land and the negotiating team under your leadership will find it an uphill task to deviate from the agreement you witnessed should the final border be drawn.

It is always a common norm that those who will be potentially affected by any policy and decision should be involved and engaged by government officials in discussions, negotiations, and decision making processes. Irrefutably, Aweil Community has knowledgeable and well informed elders and veteran politicians who should have been involved and consulted to provide a valuable information and citizenry wisdom with regards to the 14 mile area. Yet, your leadership continues to ignore this vital avenue.

We are also deeply concerned that any agreement that deprives us of our well established ancestral and traditional connection to this land directly threatens the main pillars of peace and stability between Aweil Community and the Baggara Community. We are profoundly alarmed by the agreement that has made a land that has never been a disputed land a contentious land.

Mr. President, this situation has prompted us to communicate our well founded concerns and viewpoints to your administration with hope that they will be given a deserved consideration.

Mr. President, having been in this land for decades (if not centuries), Aweil Community cannot and will never accept this deal because we know better that this piece of land under the heated discussion has never been and will never be a part of Sudan or Darfur, for that matter. This is because the entire NBGS is inseparable from the designated 14 mile area.

Historically and customarily, Aweil and the Baggara Communities know that arrangements have been made long time ago in the 19th Century between the Dinka Malual and the Baggara nomads to allow the latter passage for the Kiir River waters and pastures. It did not mean then and it does not mean now that the land is disputed nor claimed by the Baggara people.

In the past, Aweil Community had only given access to the Baggara Community to bring their animals to the Kiir River waters and pastures for their survival. Gov. Malong and Aweil Community elders in their own efforts have had some traditional discussions and talks on how the Baggara Community would be allowed to bring their animals to the Kiir River. This hospitality has never been intended to make this particular area a disputed land.

Rather, Aweil Communitys hospitality has been intended to make the Baggara Community survive during the dry seasons. Aweil Community has never asked the Baggara Community to pay her for grazing privileges. Dr. Dhieu Mathok Diing Wol wrote a great article (The African Union Map and 14 Miles South River Kiir) on 23 August 2012, detailing who the true owners of the area are, NBGS.

In all these discussions, our outrage should be understandable. Our grievances are many, but this petition will exclusively focus on the 14 mile issue. While we are not here to condemn you or your administration, we have decided to bring our long-ignored outcry against the 14 mile agreement to your attention. Quite frankly, Aweil Community feels an appalling history of neglect and marginalization under your administration.

Aweil People military contributions in the course of the painful liberation struggle and unwavering political support for your leadership which had finally contributed to the attainment of South Sudan Independence has never been given a due attention. This implies that Aweil Community political support and military contribution has been taken for granted. To be clear on the 14 mile issue, the Addis Ababa negotiations on the borders began on a wrong footing because Aweil Community legitimate viewpoints and concerns were not considered by the negotiators. Now, it is very clear that the 14 mile agreement will have direct negative impacts on Aweil Community survival if implemented.

For this reason, Aweil Diaspora Community has decided to write this message to strongly confirm our unyielding and firm support for Gov. Malong and Aweil politicians rejection of the 14 mile agreement by outlining the following grievances and concerns. We honestly hope that your administration will seriously take our legitimate concerns into consideration.

(1) While the discussions about the Safe Border Demilitarized Zone (SBDZ) were on-going in Addis Ababa, no one consulted the residents of the area in question yet it was reported that Sudan Government consulted Misseriya people on issue of this magnitude. Tell us, how would you feel when people discuss your affairs without involving you in the decision making process? No matter how knowledgeable Mr. Pagan Amum and the team of South Sudan negotiators were, excluding the voice of the concerned people is unjustified.

(2) Aweil People also read an alarming tendency into this decision from the time of negotiating the CPA to the post secession issues, Aweil Community has been sidelined in the truest sense of the word in any meaningful discussions, yet we are among the border states and all these decisions immensely affect us.

(3) Loyalty is a two-way street, remember. We have been loyal to the leadership of the SPLA/A due to the just cause of our liberation from day one; we will continue to be. Nonetheless, despite having paid so much (in blood and treasure) for the liberation of South Sudan, Aweil Community is now being asked to give up her territorial integrity to seal agreements off with Khartoum. Such is a double jeopardy or sellout of Aweil land for unknown that we cannot afford, buy into or entertain any longer. In other words, we have not fled away from this 14 mile area during the war and should not desert it now under the term of the agreement you signed. We would rather join wherever our land goes.

(4) Since Aweil Community rejected the 14 mile agreement, your administration has never publicly come out to tell the entire Aweil Community how this issue should be handled. Although Gov. Malong and other state high-profile politicians have openly come out in the condemnation of the Aweil Community exclusion in the negotiations, the presidency has not responded. Yet, particular individuals under your leadership continue to denote the 14 mile area as an international border, this has not only angered the greater Aweil Community but it also reflects the bullying the stakeholders in your government harbored against NBGS. Thus, your deafening silence makes us feel that River Kiir was intentionally made a disputed area by your administration.

(5) Mr. President, Aweil Community knows very well that you are 100% aware that the part of the Kiir River that is currently targeted by the recent agreements in Addis Ababa has never been and will never be a disputed land. Aweil Community has been tremendously alarmed and shocked by the statements that some of your administration officials have recently said regarding this land.
First, the Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Paul Mayom Akech, has publicly stated that Kiir River is a no mans land.
Second, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Michael Makuei Lueth, has openly stated that Kiir River is an international border.
Third, the Minister of Information, Dr. Marial Benjamin, has also publicly mentioned that a select committee will be formed to educate citizens who are criticizing the Addis Ababa agreements.
In spite of all these condescending comments from your officials, the presidency is shockingly tight lipped about it all. These kinds of comments from high ranking politicians, your silence over Aweil Community outcry against the Kiir River relinquishment and the exclusion in the negotiations imply that the 14 mile area was intentionally planned to be a demilitarized border zone (DMZ). And finally,

(6) Aweil Community was astonished to hear that part of her land was included in the negotiations of the contentious areas between South Sudan and Sudan. Mr. President, to the best of our knowledge, when the CPA terms were negotiated in Naivasha, Kenya, the 14 mile land was not included as a disputed area. The only contentious areas that were discussed by Dr. John Garang and Mr. Taha were Abyei, Blue Nile, and Nuba Mountain. Now, what made the Kiir River a disputed land under your administration?

We are aware that the package of agreements, including this issue, was passed by the Council of Ministers and that it awaits parliamentary approval on Wednesday. Mindful of the situation at the moment, Mr. President, you can avert this crisis by not requiring the parliament to rectify it but instead returning to the negotiations with Khartoum and have this issue taken off the table.

And when you do go back to Addis Abba to the drawing board, we demand that you make sure that at least a son or daughter of Mading Aweil is included in the negations. After all, the AU or UNSC knows perfectly well that 14-mile area was never part of the outstanding issues left off during the CPA signing. You can talk them out of it, and in the process, still come off triumphant.

However, if it so happens that our concerns and peaceful protests are ignored such that this agreement is shoved down through our throat, then the following scenarios cannot be ruled.

(1) That our unquestionable support to the party will waver upon ratification of the agreement by the national assembly.

(2) Aweil citizens, as a protest, may consider blocking the Baggara from accessing Kiir River this season.

(3) Many Aweil citizens who fought the war were prompted to join the SPLA/M because of the Baggara encroachment on their land. If the SPLM is not a party that protects our land, we will reconsider our participation upon the withdrawal of our military from Mile 14. And lastly,

(4) We will not be in a position to blame any of our citizens who maybe in readiness to interfere if all our demands go unheeded.

In sum, Mr. President, Aweil Community supports all other 8 post-secession agreements from oil production resumption to trade normalization to Abyei Referendum. The only area where we are not supporting you and are requesting for immediate reversal is the 14 mile area. Our border with Sudan lies 36 miles North of Kiir River. Even heaven knows that 14 mile area belongs to us and any attempt to talk us out of it will fail. Because we have it within power to control our destiny, not Khartoum, we thus hope that you will do the right thing.

Singed by

Mr. Lino Machir Akok,
Chairman of Federation of Aweil Communities in Canada (F.A.C.C.)
Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Mr. Santino Atak Chimir Deng,
Chairman of Aweil Community in United States of America (ACAUSA)
Dallas,Taxes, USA

Mr. Martin Garang Aher,
Chairman of Mading Aweil Community in Australia (MAC)
Perth, Western Australia

Mr. Anyoun Deng Kuol, Secretary General
Helsinki, Finland, Europe

On Behalf of Aweil Community in Diaspora

Sincerely Yours

The Status of our Legal System calls for Urgent and Major Transformation

BY: Juma Mabor Marial, Kenya, OCT. 10/2012, SSN; My recent trip to the Republic of South Sudan enabled me brainstorm with few legal minds in the area of legal system in our country and when I coupled these deliberations and compared them with the ones that I got from some big persons at the concerned institution, I came to the conclusion that there is a lot more that need to be done in order to establish an effective and efficient legal system in our country.

Why do I have these convictions, to lawyers and other legal trainees, the answers here are obvious. For instance, I graduated with a bachelor of laws degree recently and because I intend to practice Law, I must undertake specialized legal training such that I can obtain an advocate-practicing certificate and be relevant in the market with professional authority to give legal service to the clients that may desire my legal advices.

This training is realized through established institutions like School of Law where Lawyers go for specialize and practical training after obtaining their first degrees in Laws.

For Example, closer Home, Uganda had established an institution called Uganda has established an institution called Law Development Centre (LDC) where their graduands of Laws goes for training so that their enrollment into the Roll of advocates is guaranteed. This enables the country in question enhance competency in the legal profession as well as minimizing unnecessary influx of unqualified personnel into the profession.

In Kenya, graduands go to Kenya School of Law for advocate training after obtaining their bachelor degrees and one year into the training, they again go for a pupilage for six months after which, they can petition the Chief Justice of their Judiciary so that they are enrolled into the Roll of advocates and becomes full time trained and practicing advocates that are qualified to give legal service to their clients.

The same is the situation in the United States of America where getting to the bar in order to practice law is even very restricted so that for any advocate to practice law, they must take three years of training beside their initial attainment of Laws degree and this makes it more longer than the two East African countries that I have given as examples above.

This is the common procedure followed in most if not all of the countries all over the world and the whole policy behind this bureaucracy in the profession is to ensure that the qualification as advocate and service delivery are not compromised.

Now, after seeing the above examples and contrasting it with our own legal system in the Republic of South Sudan, then one must be assured and convinced that we are not an inch closer to the said systems let alone trying to be in the same level to qualifications with the countries that I have mentioned above.

Why do I say so, my conversation with the few legal minds and the leadership that is supposed to establish and facilitate the admission of advocates to the bar conclude that: one, if one graduated with a law degree like myself, the procedure is to present my degree to the ministry of justice which will in turn attaches me to a practicing advocate and after six or nine months, the said advocate will recommend me to the ministry of justice and I will be issued with a license to practice.

Two, that there is a proposed Legal training institute where legal personnel will be trained after their first qualifications and this would be equivalent to the school of law in other jurisdictions where the bar exams will be given. The same institution will also be a center for training judges and other legal personnel. However, the only problem with this institute is that it is still just but in the paper and it has not been established for the reasons best known to the policymakers.

Third, that one can study for six or so months, be given bar exams, and after passing them, then he/she can be given the license to practice but the puzzle about this and my colleagues did not tell me is, which exam body gives this bar examinations?

With the above three options of venturing into practice in our country, I came to the conclusion that we do not have a legal system in place because take number one where you are recommended by a practicing advocate after being attached to his/her law firm, this is not a good procedure because, legally, one does not go for pupilage before training which is what the intention of the first option tries to portrays.

This option is likely to be abused by those who want their relatives to practice by taking them into their law firms and recommending them for practice even when they lack the necessary skills and knowledge to do so.

Secondly, the ministry of justice only recommends the enrollment of an advocate to be enrolled by the chief justice to the bar and does not have any legitimate powers to give licenses to the advocates to practice, thirdly, the issuance of license to lawyers who are untrained but only attached to law firms for purposes of pupilage or favors is an upside down procedure and is tantamount to producing sub standard legal services to the country and an abuse to legal profession.

On the other hand, the second option of establishing legal training institute is a viable one although the name needs to be reviewed and a very straightforward legal framework put in place to hurry up its establishment. This is the only institution where efforts will be made to downsize the unscrupulous advocates who are the beneficiaries of the first option and usher in the crops of qualified advocates.

The question of studying for six months and sitting for bar exams needed to be qualified and efforts made to associate the same with the Legal Training Institute such that an examination body is known directly as an institution and not to keep the Lawyers in suspense as to which body offers them examinations to enables them practice.

Surmounting these challenges:
The only mechanisms through which this quagmire can be overcome is by promptly establishing a Law Training Centre where some of us who intend to practice can go for specialized training, secondly, the ministry of justice as an institution within the executive should only be limited to the powers of recommendations and the final enrollment of advocates be left to the prerogatives of the Judiciary, thirdly, the question of giving lawyers licenses before they have undertaken an advocate training should be discouraged or in fact, cancelled if the country intends to have a strong, vigorous, competitive and viable legal system among other family of nations.

Fourthly, the Law Society of South Sudan has a critical role to play by ensuring that all the lawyers, advocates and any legal practitioners have their names and any necessary details about themselves recorded with the society such that it can be able to check and supervise their activities and qualifications, in fact this is an institution that should be in charge of issuing, renewing and even withdrawing advocates licenses and give safeguards on other ethics of the profession.

In conclusion, an effective legal system in any country is the cornerstone of nation building because with it, principles of the rule of law, democracy, human rights, constitutionalism, checks and balances, transparency and accountability are guaranteed and therefore the realization of these great principles is anchored squarely on having qualified and professionals in each institution and most particularly in the institutions concerned with the interpretation of laws like the judiciary.

It is therefore my utmost believe that the concerned authorities will heed to these opinions and do what is necessary with regards to the question of establishing an effective and efficient legal system in our nascent country.

Juma Mabor Marial just graduated with a Bachelor of Laws Degree from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Kenya

Addis Ababa Agreements are Not New in the Sudanese Politics!

BY: Dr. Justin Ambago, UK, OCT. 9/2012; The Obama US administration can now congratulate itself for finally bringing Omer al Bashir, better known as a wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) sitting head of a state to seal a deal with his southern neighbour none other than General Kiir Mayardit of the new republic of South Sudan, in spite of the bitter tastes the two still have for each other.

As for the two Generals on the political divide it is a hard task to sell this Agreement on the streets of Juba or Khartoum and it is everyone’s knowledge that how much this Addis Ababa Agreement might have been whitewashed by Thabo Mbeki’s African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP), the fact remains that the masses at the grassroots in the two countries will remain sceptical of it for obvious reasons.

It is not the first agreement to be signed between the two parties with one party well known for systematically dishonouring them in a compulsive repetitive manner, probably a deeply entrenched behaviour ingrained by religiosity and social misconceptions.

This latest Addis Ababa Agreement between presidents Kiir and al Bashir is even seen as a continuation of the former Naivasha comprehensive peace agreement, often referred as the CPA African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP), the fact remains that the masses at the grassroots in the two countries will remain sceptical of it for obvious reasons.

For the NCP aka NIF this agreement will provide president al Bashir with a breathing space and maybe win for him the love of the US administration. This is necessary for al Bashir in a hope that it will also neutralize the urge of the international community to implement the ICC arrest warrant on his head, at the same time it is also hoped that the economic package that comes with the agreement may also reduce the general discontent in the streets as a result of the collapse in the economy following the secession of the oil rich South. All these are yet to be seen!

In Juba the picture however remains unclear and the news of signing an agreement between SPLM and the NCP is not really seen as a breakthrough in the new countryproblems given the real nature of the multifaceted challenges in interplay. The SPLM-led government cannot praise itself on this occasion because the agreement in its totality was signed out of desperation borne of a purely self-inflicted economic collapse.

The new country is 98% dependent on revenues generated from its only industry which is the Oil. And when president Kiir in a clearly knee-jerk reaction decided the abrupt shut down of the Oil production without a clear set policies as to how the country was going to survive in itself was and still remains a sign of immature leadership.

President Kiir and his colleagues in the SPLM-dominated government are no doubt desperate to put their hands on oil money otherwise their days are numbered. The dream to take foreign loans or get huge packages of financial grants from the so-called the Republic of South Sudan friends both faded out in the first week that followed.

The US and Europe are both in their worst economic situation and cannot afford to splash out money especially so to a government best known for public corruption and embezzlement of funds. How much proof that the international community needs more than the public admission by the South Sudan Head of State General Salva Kiir Mayardit that officials in his government have stolen well above $4 billion of public money before it is put off from lending money to Juba .

The ambitious and luxury dream of building a new capital city in the marshland of Ramciel coupled with the hope to construct an alternative Oil pipeline to the port of Lamu in neighbouring Kenya and another to the port of Djibouti through Ethiopia are all but how Juba intends to distract the citizens from criticizing its chronic financial mismanagement and misappropriations. A government that has categorically failed to bring to book its top officials which the President have identified in name as public thieves, can hardly be trusted to embark on any development schemes, let alone when the cost goes beyond $15 billion.

In this Addis Ababa Debacle, South Sudan in its efforts to reclaim its occupied territories of Kafia Kingi, Hufrat el Nahas, the Megainis Mechanized Scheme Area, al Joda, the Commercial Kaka and the Abyei Enclave, sadly ended up creating a new Abyei in the so-called Mile 14 which is now being ethnically contested by the nomadic Baggara from the Rezeigat tribe.

The flow of oil from fields deep in South Sudan may resume to flow through the pipelines in the northern neighbour though often seen as an enemy. And of course, it is hoped that economic strangulation will be relieved in favour of President Salva Kiir administration. Nonetheless, it is no longer a secret that unless there is a proper disengagement between the different political and military groups across what is now two Sudans, and hopefully to be followed by a healthy neighbourly relationship, no sound-minded human being can expect that this latest Addis Ababa Agreement is actually going to translate into peaceful coexistence in the region.

To compound the South Sudanese worry is the fact that government in Juba has now been internationally established as not only tribalistic, but it is also corrupt and kleptocratic in every meaning of this expression, these are based on the declaration by the country president, and his letters to other heads of states where he sought their help to recover the stolen funds.

To further confirm how deep the new country is in an administrative vacuum and widespread mismanagement, you only need to read the reports of South Sudan Auditor General, Hon. Steve Wondu a diplomat and a world class economist of high calibre. No doubt that this is a well-placed gentleman in his job.

South Sudan probably is the richest country in natural resources in the region, maybe only second to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. However, just like the DRC the people remain entrapped in abject poverty. Plagued with extremely weak and corrupt government institutions and almost non-existent transport network. It is extremely sad that, our country is rapidly sinking in the sea of abundant resources.

At this moment in time it is hoped that the people of South Sudan should learn their lesson, though, through the hard way. The sudden, unplanned and abrupt decision which led to the oil shutdown and what followed thereafter was one disaster after the other. Yet all want not negative though.

This particular period with all its upheavals prompted the South Sudanese politicians and masses alike to revisit their stands in as far as the ruling SPLM party is concerned. Today even the blindest SPLM supporter begins to see the intolerable corruption within the party ranks and files. The Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA), South Sudan national army is no exception to this self-discovering.

When the President came out openly to declare that he is leading one of the most corrupt governments in the world with identified 75 top embezzlers of the public funds, hell was let loose and now we are reading the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNIMISS) Human Rights Violation Report in Jonglei. The Report categorically describes in a lengthy detail how the SPLM misconduct during the infamous Jonglei Ethnic Cleansing Campaign (a genocide orchestrated to exterminate the Murle ethnic group from the surface of the Earth).

The UNIMISS Report has received a wide condemnation from the Jonglei State Governor Cdr. Kuol Manyang and he was also supported by South Sudan Chief Human Rights Commissioner Hon. Lawrence Korbandy who went even further to describe the entire report as 100% nonsense(Sudan Tribune). However, those who know how close Ms Hilde Johnson is to the SPLM leadership since the days of signing the Naivasha Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) to date would have seen no reason why such an ally suddenly not only abandoned her friends, but even went an extra mile to discredit them.

Oil has become the single factor that pushes things around in South Sudan, and between it and its neighbours and especially with the republic of Sudan ( North Sudan ), this is crucial to understand. The concerns are that the South Sudan Oil Industry must undergo an overhaul, MOT. It is badly in need of overhauling with the introduction of a third party that can guarantee transparency and accountability.

Indeed, there is what one can call a national crisis when a hand picked elites who have turned the country, of size even bigger than states in Europe, into a totalitarian state. The common citizens in South Sudan do not understand how the Oil industry operates and how the money is spent. This has resulted in the general feeling amongst the populace that NOT only is the country only National Capital is being stolen by the government in Khartoum which controls the pipeline to Port Sudan and the oil refineries well placed deep in the north, but there is also a growing concern that the SPLM cadres have also behaved like vampires when it comes to Oil Revenues in the face of a completely neglected development projects and the absence of basic services, e.g. Health, Education, Security, Food and Transport.

Addis Ababa Agreements are Not New in the Sudanese Politics. And dishonouring them is also a common phenomenon. Its obvious that in the absence of real democracy, freedom of speech and expression, free press that can bring to light wrong policies and expose corruption, one agreement will go and another will come, but the status quo will remain the same. As a South Sudanese or friends of South Sudan, who reads this article, you need to come forward to champion a proper nation building. All agree that the real change can only come through the people of South Sudan . The challenge that faces the nation is how to create a people centered state where the people are enlightened and empowered and not just taken for granted. It thus needs no over-stressing that the resumption of Oil Industry under the same corrupt structure only makes things worse. Some will understand the argument, while others may need a while to appreciate it.

However, in a few weeks time we will all see that a badly managed Oil industry will NOT only drive the new republic of South Sudan into a political chaos, but it will as well likely set a precedent to anarchy and precisely ungovernability. Do not ask me how, better ask our neighbours in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the DRC.
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Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba, Secretary General of the United South Sudan Party (USSP). He can reached at: justinramba@aol.co.uk or justinramba@doctors.net.uk or ambagoramba@ hotmail.co.uk

Objection presentation on the Partial Agreement on Post-Secession Issues between the Republic of South Sudan and the Republic of Sudan

Co-authored by: Beny Gideon Mabor and Dr. Thuoi Loi, Commentators on Politics and Governance, Juba, South Sudan, OCT. 3/2012;

We are honored and privileged at this roundtable to have been asked for a comment on the post secession issues agreement reached on September 27 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and we do not represent any level of government nor political color but purely personal views in accordance with public interests. We substantially object the protocols of the agreement as follows:

1.Framework Agreement On The Status Of Nationals Of Other States And Related Matters (Four Freedoms).

As you have already heard the items of the agreement from the Pag’an Amum, SPLM Secretary General, please allow us to definitely refute item per item through social media as the only forum for individuals to express our views in accordance with press freedom guaranteed by the constitution and the law. First, on the framework agreement on the status of nationals of other states and related matters or generally the ‘four freedoms,’ part II of the Framework Agreement that is freedom to reside, move, undertake economic activity, acquire and dispose of property which is the intention of the whole agreement.

The legitimate questions here are as follows: (1) where do we benefit as South Sudanese in these freedoms considering our level of poor private sector development, trade and industry? (2) If such freedoms were
original desires of the Sudanese people before independence of South Sudan as stipulated in this agreement, why South Sudanese overwhelmingly voted for separation by 99.83 percent if peaceful co-existence was a voluntary will of the Sudanese by then? (3) We’re confident that nothing binds us anymore or any common interest between the Republic of South Sudan and Sudan with exception of few mutual interests governed by international law.

The four freedoms that exist between Sudan and Egypt are that they are both Arabs and Muslims and they share many things in common, unlike South Sudanese whose majority without any denial are Africans, Christians and animists. Therefore, the question is if there are advantages or well being of such freedoms, why not the Government of the Republic of South Sudan enter into such agreements with sisterly East, South and Central African Countries that have no conflicts of interests in politics, governance and religious beliefs with the Republic of South Sudan?

To our fear and the rest, the framework agreement will be a silent driving force toward potential unity of the country at any time should political leaders score their game. Germany did the same and South Sudan cannot be an exception if we don’t watch out. This potential unity project was also cemented by Ambassador Francis M. Deng three weeks ago before he left to go and take up South Sudan Embassy in the United Nations in New York.

With these so-called four freedoms, if the agreement is ratified by the Assemblies of the two States as the National Assembly in Sudan already ratified the agreement, then Sudanese spy agents will immediately thrive in South Sudan under disguise of the agreement on trade and trade-related issues stipulated under Article 3(v) of the Cooperation Agreement. Worriedly, they will do homework of collecting information across all sectors including strategic ones and send them to their masters in Khartoum Administration that may possibly jeopardize our national, economic and security interests.

Generally, those who supported the so-called four freedoms are the few ones with properties in Sudan and that is an ugly face of always advancing personal interest over public interest. We dismiss it and there is no
reason to have the four freedoms.

2. Outstanding Negotiations and CPA Commitments (Disputed & Claimed Boarder Areas and Abyei Referendum)
The above items are the focal point of all misunderstanding of the post-secession issues between Juba and Khartoum. The African Union High Level Implementation Panel and South Sudan Delegation were mishandled by Khartoum Delegation and President Bashir in person arrogantly rejected the agenda on Abyei Referendum and the disputed and claimed areas to be worked out.

The question of who is a resident of Abyei became a stalemate and the parties in presence of the AUHLIP mediating team failed to reach amicably a solution. From where do we expect further understanding on the final status of Abyei, disputed and claimed areas through AU Peace and Security Council as agreed under Article 4(2) of the Cooperation Agreement? And whether by law it is acceptable for the Permanent Court of Arbitration to entertain the same case of Abyei which was before it four years ago and its ruling was outrightly rejected by Khartoum government?

Legally speaking, we are not aware of other Arbitration Court than the Hague-based PCA whose its judgment on Abyei was final and have no jurisdiction to retrial the same. The AUHLIP, Ethiopians Government and the United Nations in ignorance of this bad faith from Sudan, yet have pressured the Republic of South Sudan to sign the soft agreements that were selectively worked out under the influence of Khartoum.

Therefore, where is the independence of the mediators and the best will of the agreements in such situation where a party in dispute has upper hand and conflict of interests in resolving dispute in question? Why the headache viability of the two states is only a major burden on the Republic of South Sudan and Khartoum does not care about it?

The tyranny government of the National Congress Party so far violates the principles of the African Union Constitutive Act and the United Nations Chapter concerning relations and cooperation between states and respect of each state sovereignty and territorial integrity. In fact Khartoum government even further violated the agreement on Article 2 (2) of this very Cooperation Agreement long time ago since the coming into force of the said agreements. Otherwise, they would have not entered our air space, encroached onto our lands and continued supporting militant groups to destabilize peace and security in South Sudan.

Indeed the Cooperation Agreement is of no use but a tactical delay in the best interests of Khartoum. It must be rejected and we seek other means of demarcating our boarder with Sudan and any means the voice of the Ngok Dinka people be heard even without referendum. The young men and women of 18 to 45 years know this more than anybody.

3. On Oil Agreement
This item is an agreement signed hurriedly by South Sudan Delegation knowingly that it is not good decision. They also know very well that it is not the popular will of the people of South Sudan whose Peoples Assembly endorsed the oil shutdown six months ago and whose civil population went on street across South Sudan in support of the same wise decision.

Compulsorily, the agreement was easily agreed by South Sudan Delegation or both parties with only option to survive and recover the economic bailout the governments are facing in the two countries. But is that the best decision? What is different now and before the war broke out in Heglig (Panthou)? This is clear evidence that there is nothing new about oil agreement. Khartoum has stolen our oil and the Government would have learned the lesson that catch a thief and take care of yourself. There is no reason to allow oil flow through their facilities again.

Second, the Republic of South Sudan gave up its economic interest and undertook to provide hostile Khartoum government with what is so-called transitional financial assistance (TFA) worth 3 billion US Dollars, the largest economic package ever given in the world in total defiance of our lowest gross domestic product upon which oil receipts account for 82% of the GDP according to the World Bank Economic Report in March 2012. The 3 billion US dollar to date in the minds of many stakeholders and the citizens is not clear and has no legal basis to pay it.

Therefore, the question is why we pay Khartoum such money including acceptance of oil to flow through Port Sudan again when in fact we did not reach agreements on two strategic issues of border demarcation and the fate of the people of Abyei? Is it not clear that Khartoum will increase their military position with this very money and will not listen to us nor reach any agreement on the outstanding issues of the CPA and commitments?

Nevertheless, it is finally clear and of course undeniable that our government has terribly misused the oil money for the last eight years as salaries and other dubious businesses engineered by corruption. The reason why we are where we are today. Do you know why the government was under pressure to sign the oil agreement? It is simply because the government failed to revitalize non-oil revenues and finally failed to build alternative oil pipelines through other friendly countries for the last eight years.

It is evident that we are running out of reserves to run the government. Ironically, whose fault is that between the citizens and the government?

With this oil agreement if mistakenly ratified by the South Sudan Assembly, will the Government of South Sudan and our President Gen. Salva Kiir promise to form a government of accountability, transparency and the rule of law where the suspects of corrupt offences accused to have stolen 4 billion USD are weeded out?

We are afraid when the SPLM Secretary General said that they have brought the agreement but that the effective management of resources is not his responsibility but of the government.

In conclusion, we are of the opinion that the South Sudan National Legislative Assembly, pursuant to Article 3(2) of the Cooperation Agreement not to ratify these agreements. This is in consideration of the above implications surrounding the partial deal that the Republic of South Sudan incurs double losses in its resources and security interest.

The renegotiation of the CPA 2005 is a clear negation of our sovereignty and integrity. The people of South Sudan have suffered so far and it is not new to us to continue suffering until the Government of the Republic of South Sudan secured a good deal on its oil transits mechanism through other means in order to safeguard our total sovereignty and territorial integrity as the foundational principles of our constitution which we are ready to defend and abide by it.

(Thanks you moderator Gabriel Joseph Shadar, Philip James and Radio Miraya dear listeners.) The authors can be reached thru: benygmabor@gmail.com
God bless South Sudan
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are those of the authors and don’t represent the website)

Beny Gideon Mabor,
Tel:+211955812788/+211928879891

Better than nothing: A deal between the two Sudans is a first step. But a lot could still go wrong

THE ECONOMIST, OCT. 05/2012, SSN; IN THE next few days chemicals will be pumped at high pressure along the two oil pipelines that run northwards from landlocked, independent South Sudan across its contested border with plain Sudan (which encompassed both countries until a year ago) to Port Sudan on the Red Sea (see map). Known as “warming the pipes”, this step should begin to restore life to the two Sudans’ clogged economic arteries. Whether it will lead to real peace and harmony is another question.

Nine months ago South Sudan shut down oil production in a dispute over the fees that the north charged the south to use its export route. The two countries nearly went to war. That threat has receded since the two presidents signed a deal in neighbouring Ethiopia on September 27th to get the oil flowing again. But various other differences, especially over where to draw the border between the two countries, still dog relations. The leaders agreed to just enough to fend off the prospect of international sanctions that the UN Security Council had threatened to impose on whichever side was deemed to be dragging its feet. Diplomats called it a “minimalist deal”.

The two sides did, however, agree to be separated by a demilitarised buffer zone. It was also agreed that southerners living in the north and vice versa will have the right to reside, work and own property on either side of the border. As trade resumes, the rate of inflation that had begun to gallop in both countries may now slow down.

Executives from Dar Petroleum, a Chinese-Malaysian company that is the biggest operator in the south, where two-thirds of the Sudans’ oil reserves lie, say that production will get back to 180,000 barrels per day (b/d) “before the end of the year”. That may be optimistic. Several oilfields were damaged by fighting that peaked between the two sides in April. Some of the pipes may have suffered during the time they stood idle. Officials in Juba, the south’s capital, say it may take another year to restore production to its pre-crisis level of 350,000 b/d.

A permanent border between the Sudans has yet to be drawn. Nor could the leaders agree on the final status of Abyei, the chunk of land that straddles an oil-rich bit of the border; the north rejected a compromise proposed by mediators under the aegis of the African Union. The leaders also failed to find a way of ending armed rebellions in both countries that each side blames the other for instigating.

Optimists think the document signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, has created enough momentum to push the two countries towards a full-scale agreement in the next few months. Pessimists think that, after a breathing space of three to six months, the crisis will resume as viciously as ever. The precedents are worrying. Talks have dragged on for ten years, invariably punctuated by rows, accusations of betrayal, fighting, and then more talks.

Abyei alone could cause a resumption of hostilities. It is the homeland of the Dinka Ngok tribe which has links to the south. But the area is visited for several months every year by semi-nomadic Misseriya herders from farther north. Mediators want Abyei’s residents to vote on which country they would sooner join but the north is loth to accept this, especially if the Misseriya herders are denied a say in the matter. In the meantime Abyei is overseen by 4,000-plus Ethiopian peacekeepers, paid for by the UN. Ethiopia’s government is keen to get them home.

South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, and his northern counterpart, Omar al-Bashir, have taken to calling each other “brother”, but there is little trust between them. The north is still thought to be arming rebel militias operating in the south’s vast and volatile Jonglei state. The UN confirmed that a white Antonov transport aircraft with false markings to make it look like a UN plane had been seen dropping supplies in an area where a rebel commander, David Yau Yau, has been operating. Western human-rights organisations say that both northern and southern soldiers have committed atrocities against civilians.

On the northern side of the border, rebellions in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states are worsening. Mr Bashir blames South Sudan for helping old allies from the decades-long civil war that eventually led to southern independence. The government in Juba insists that the rebellions, in particular by Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLA-N) in South Kordofan, are beyond its control. Since the newly agreed buffer zone may make it harder for the south to send arms and supplies across the border, hawks in the north may believe they have a chance to crush the rebellions. But if the military tide were to turn against the SPLA-N there would be fierce popular pressure on the southern government to help it wholeheartedly. Nearly 200,000 refugees have streamed into the south. Despite the peace deal in Ethiopia, they will not be packing to go home just yet.

A year after the divorce from the north South Sudan’s outlook is dismal. Oil that was meant to pay for both countries was switched off by the southerners in January during a row over transit fees demanded by the north, for use of the pipelines and ports that take the oil to market. The shutdown has crippled both economies. In the south inflation has climbed from 20% to 80%. Devoid of industry and wholly reliant on imports, the country is keenly feeling the impact of a slide in its currency. The UN, a big employer, is to start paying its local staff in dollars in view of the crisis. The government has so far ignored calls to adopt the dollar. Making matters worse, a border conflict with rump Sudan has sent 170,000 refugees into the south, where they are struggling to survive.

South Sudan is stuck at the bottom of global development indices and, by most measures, still going backwards. A look at a UN map of the country shows 30 simultaneous emergencies—mostly areas where international aid is needed to keep people alive. More than half the country’s estimated 9m-plus people need food aid.

If no deal is struck to restart oil production, the new state could start to collapse. By some estimates, by October the government in Juba may be unable to meet its payroll. The incentives for both sides to compromise, perhaps at face-to-face talks in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, scheduled for early next month, are strong. But the gap between them is big. The north is demanding $10 billion over four years as compensation for the loss of southern oilfields. The government in Juba is ready to offer $3 billion. That leaves mediators, led by Thabo Mbeki, a former South African president, scratching their heads. China, which trades with both sides and would lose a lot from a new conflict, offered to bridge some of the divide in February by buying oil at above-market rates.

Dinka Malual betrayed: Going North or Going it alone?

The devil is in the details of South Sudan and Sudan oil agreement for Dinka Malual

Martin Garang Aher, AUSTRALIA, SEP 2/2012, SSN; September 27, 2012 will be reminisced by Dinka Malual of Northern Bahr el Ghazal as the month which brought back to life the dark history over the control of the frontiers with Rizeigat Baggara of Southern Darfur. On that day in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, presidents Bashir and Kiir swapped the rhetoric with brotherhood; a new cowboy-hat-on-the-bald amity; and together they signed oil agreement which is courteously wrapped in throngs of other subsidiary agreements to form an angel in the framework.

The entire deal, which comprised of nine bilateral agreements, included the diabolical insertion of Mile 14 pasture-land between Dinka Malual and the Rizeigat into the national frame of both countries, thereby making it a bitterly contested border zone.

Panthou is already a thing of the past and Abyei referendum, always used as a winning bargain or peace mantle by South Sudan, remains as elusive as ever.

To Dinka Malual, nonetheless, Mile 14 situation is almost akin to the time between 1860 and 1880 when Zubeir Pasha formed forces with the Arab Rizeigat and drove Dinka Malual beyond River Kiir/Bahr el Arab.

Though the Rizeigat had had the backing of the authorities most of the times that they ventured southwards, their numerous attempts in the early twentieth century had been prohibited forcefully by Dinka Malual. The result had been continuous traditionally acknowledged seasonal agreements between the two communities on how to access pastures on either side of River Kiir.

It is important to note that Dinka Malual never go to Dar Rizeigat for pastures. Always, it is Dinka Malual that are forced to open up and be accommodating. And judging by the recent Kiir-Bashir agreement, they have once again been forced – perhaps sooner or later – to relent for the sake of peace that ought to kill them.

Of course the anger is enormous in Aweil community worldwide. Some think they have been abandoned by their government through allowing another opportunity for the marauding Arab Murahaleen to resume their rustling; while others view it as a trading off of their land for Abyei, a region that initially legally and administratively chose not to be part of South Sudan.

Common men are asking whether Aweil should shoulder Abyei’s problem. But the reality is that both Aweil and Abyei will always shoulder their own problems with Rizeigat and Misseriya. And all have burdens to share with South Sudan and the Sudan.

Where is Mile 14 conundrum, or what Mr. Magdi Gigouli, a notable Rift Valley scholar, referred to as ‘Abyei in the making’ heading to? Might we be seeing old wounds being pricked once again?

Paul Malong Awan Anei, the governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, a former general in the SPLA army, a native of Dinka Malual whose part of his native area lies within Mile 14 and a veteran who sustained more than eight bullet wounds from the Baggara as the then zonal commander in the Second Sudanese Civil war in Aweil area Command Post, made a no less show prior to the conclusion of Kiir-Bashir talks in Addis Ababa.

Upon sensing that his state’s national security would be offered as a sacrificial lamb, he hastily went to the Ethiopian capital where he had talks with his boss, president Kir and the mediating team.

One is unsure if in the tense and pressurized atmosphere of the negotiations Kiir was able to listen to him.

Governor Paul Malong’s message to South Sudanese upon return in Juba and to Aweil citizens in particular was no less categorical.

“I want to assure you that we are in Mile 14 and we will be there to stay. This is our area and we know how to manage relations,’ he said.

He had indeed fumed earlier on that implementation of such an agreement would be done when he is not there. Whether this indicates a resignation or an old adage, ‘over my dead body,’ is a matter open to interpretation.

The whole scenario of withdrawing SPLA forces ten kilometers south of Kiir River thereby paving way for creating a safer border demilitarized zone (SBDZ) carries an emotional charge among Dinka Malual of Northern Bahr el Ghazal.

To the Rizeigat, it may mean an implementation of the boundary which the British governor of Bahr el Ghazal, Mervyn Wheatley and the then governor of Darfur, Patrick Munro agreed on and imposed in 1924; Dinka Malual never accepted the agreement that went any mile beyond Kiir River.

And to Dinka Malual, it is another imposition in which they are never consulted that had just occurred. The Sudanese had a delegation of Rizeigat presenting their case to the African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP) while South Sudan government never spoke with the Dinka Malual, the custodians of the border clues.

This already justifies trouble. Both Dinka Malual and Rizeigat are a surprise to one another when it comes to what goes on along Kiir River. In all the historical wars on Kiir River, it begins with pastures, picks up in the water, culminates in the rustling and fully accelerates in the blood.

Many South Sudanese would not agree with Mile 14 being a contested area. However, given the economical implications that the oil shut-down had created, sceptics perceive this latest agreement as a sell-out to Khartoum for the oil to flow.

Khartoum might praise its negotiation skills and view Kiir-Bashir agreement as a booty of war of attrition.The economic implication of oil stoppage gives an impression that South Sudan is dying for cash. The national treasury is running dry.

In any sense, South Sudan is now frantically paying heavily for halting its oil torrent which constitutes the mildly-spoken ‘lifeblood’ of the two nations by many analysts.

The craving for economic freedom that accompanied government decision to stop the oil flow in the first place is now being run down by an avalanche of desperation. People are angry and hungry. When South Sudan shut down its oil earlier in 2012, hunger was a minute thing that could be sustained. What was at stake was the national pride and economic freedom.

The South Sudan chief negotiator, Pagan Amum – just like his country men and women who demonstrated on the streets of Juba in support of the decision that halted oil transit through theft-perforated pipeline of the Sudan – asserted his contentment saying it was a matter of national economic freedom. So it was, no doubt.

But to Dinka Malual, the adored economic freedom is now forfeiting their land for cash. The freedom in demand for Malual Giernyang or Malual Buoth Anyaar, as they fondly call themselves, is not only economic or political, it is freedom from dispossession that they must counter from any Sudan, be it South Sudan or Sudan.

And as the governor asserted, so are the people of Aweil who will have to join the land when it goes north, or hang on to it to the detriment of peace between the two Sudans.

Martin Garang Aher is a South Sudanese residing in Western Australia. He can be reached at garangaher@hotmail.com

Regards, Martin Garang Aher.
‘Busara itakulinda, ufahamu utakuhifadhi’
Mithali 2:11
(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent the website.)

Jonglei revolt gives South Sudan a security headache

By Hereward Holland

JUBA, Oct 1/2012;
(Reuters) – A heavy-handed government disarmament campaign to halt tribal clashes in South Sudan’s swampy eastern grasslands has triggered a small armed revolt against the rulers of the world’s newest state, threatening planned oil exploration in the area.

The budding insurgency in Jonglei state led by Murle militia chief David Yau Yau, a former theology student, may not number more than a few dozen fighters.

But there are fears it could escalate by feeding on local grievances against South Sudan’s army.

The leaders of former civil war foes Sudan and South Sudan struck a border security deal this week that should be enough to restart suspended oil exports from the South, which became independent from Sudan last year.

But with both sides still deeply mistrustful after decades of enmity, serious doubts remain over whether the uneasy neighbors can share their oil wealth in peace.

Anti-government unrest in Jonglei stems from a muscular disarmament campaign by the South Sudanese military, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), to prevent a repeat of clashes in January between the Murle and Lou Nuer tribes which killed several hundred people.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said in August it received credible reports that elements of the SPLA had engaged in killings, rape, beatings and torture during the disarmament campaign, dubbed “Operation Restore Peace”.

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) also reported similar abuses, saying most of the victims were women and in some cases children.

“This is a recipe for recruitment. The disarmament has created an environment ripe for creating a non-state armed group. It’s utterly predictable,” said one aid worker in the country who asked not to be named.

South Sudan’s army played down the reports of abuses, but said they had already dismissed 30 soldiers.

Authorities in Juba last week accused Sudan of airdropping weapons and ammunition to Yau Yau’s rebels in Jonglei state, which is the site of a vast unexplored oil concession that the government recently split into three.

“There are hawks within the (ruling party) in Khartoum. There are those who are bent on thinking that they can only resolve the issues with the South through war and bringing a lot of instability in this country, supporting various militia groups,” said South Sudan’s government spokesman, Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin.

“Their intention is to scare off investment, that is basically it,” he added.

Sudan’s government and military routinely deny Juba’s accusations that they are backing insurgencies.

OIL AT STAKE

At its independence in July last year, South Sudan inherited the bulk of the oil output produced by previously united Sudan.

Juba shut down its 350,000 barrels per day at the start of the year, alleging Khartoum was ‘stealing’ its oil by diverting it from pipelines through Sudan. The deal struck by Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and his southern counterpart, Salva Kiir, in Addis Ababa is expected to restart oil exports.

Key to South Sudan’s future oil development plans, which include a proposed alternative pipeline that would take southern crude through Kenya or Ethiopia rather than Sudan, is a massive oil concession that covers much of Jonglei state.

This month the government in Juba decided to break up the huge Block B largely held by Total into three blocks, giving one to the French company and the others to two more foreign firms.

Total had stopped operations in the block in 1985 after the resumption of Sudan’s long civil war, which finally ended with a 2005 peace deal paving the way for the South’s secession.

Fresh conflict in Jonglei state, where thousands of Murle and Lou Nuer have been killed in bouts of ethnic feuding stretching back decades – although these days automatic rifles have replaced spears and knives – would unnerve prospective investors and embarrass the government.

In August, Yau Yau’s fighters killed at least 24 SPLA soldiers in an ambush. Another 74 South Sudanese troops are still missing and may be dead, the army says.

Local leaders blame abuses committed by SPLA soldiers during the disarmament campaign for pushing local recruits into the insurgency, especially members of Yau Yau’s Murle tribe who feel they have been unfairly targeted.

“If the (army) did not beat civilians, Yau Yau would not have come back because he knew he would not get support,” Ismail Konyi, a member of parliament and a senior Murle leader, said.

“Now I think Yau Yau will recruit these youths easily.”

The Murle tribe see themselves as victims of long-standing persecution and marginalization by the government in Juba.

REBEL ALLIANCE FORMING?

In an email statement, another rebel group, the South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA), which attacked several towns and planted land mines in Unity state in November last year, says it is on the brink of forming an alliance between anti-government forces, including Yau Yau’s fighters.

“All the rebel groups have formed an alliance which would be announced in a month. Major General David Yau Yau is a commander of revolutionary forces in Jonglei. We are all one,” read the email sent from an account bearing the SSLA name.

The SSLA, which South Sudan also accuses Khartoum of backing, says that Murle militia chief Yau Yau has even courted the rival Lou Nuer militia as a potential ally in his revolt against the government in Juba.

The Lou Nuer’s “White Army” led by purported prophet Dak Kueth was responsible for the massacre of 600 Murle in December and January and was also targeted in the army disarmament drive.

Government spokesman Benjamin, himself a Lou Nuer member of parliament, rejected the assertion that the White Army could join Yau Yau.

Yau Yau, thought to have limited military experience, first rebelled in May 2010 after standing as an independent candidate in the state’s parliamentary election for the Gumuruk-Boma constituency. He lost to the SPLM candidate by a big margin.

During his first revolt, he gained support amongst the youth because he was seen as a champion of Murle interests. But he also lost backing when he accepted a South Sudan government amnesty in June 2011, allegedly in exchange for a house, cars and cash, according to Murle involved in the negotiations.

He defected to Khartoum in April while supposedly being treated in a Kenyan hospital, and later went back to Jonglei with 19 men, arriving in July, Murle leader Konyi said.

According to a radio station called Radio Yau Yau, which the Juba government believes is broadcasting from Khartoum, his rebels are fighting in reaction to abuses committed during the disarmament program, especially the rape of Murle women.

Konyi presents himself and other Murle elders as key mediators to defuse the tense situation.

They have asked the South Sudanese army to end disarmament, prosecute those responsible for the abuses, change the SPLA commanders in Pibor and help civilians return home.

But the underlying sense of marginalization felt by some in the newborn African state will take some time to fade away.

“We Murle, in reality, don’t belong to Jonglei. When everything is divided we are not given anything – food, water, jobs, roads,” Konyi said. “We have some tribes … who don’t even know if there is a government operating.”

(Editing by Pascal Fletcher and Giles Elgood)