Archive for: December 2012

Gov. Kuol Manyang and Lt.Gen. Kuol Deng Kuol have miserably failed Jonglei State.

BY: Awumtiaidit, RSS, DEC/31/2012, SSN;

While Bor community is still regrouping to digest and embrace the bitter departure of Isaiah Abraham, who was allegedly gunned down by Kueth-piny’s loyalist, this community has again lost seven lives from Duk County to Murle scavengers on 30/12/2012.
Bor community citizens inside and outside must immediately arrest their differences and rescue Pan-Bor from being entirely displaced. We have a failed governor, a failed president and a failed disarmament chief who seemed to have no clue how to run South Sudan Nation, Jonglei State and successfully disarming civilians effectively.

I hope the trio must have known by now that being a combatant general in an army doesn’t necessarily mean the same as administering civilians. They are distinctive loyalties. Lt.Gen. Governor Kuol Manyang and Lt.Gen. Kuol Deng kuol, have miserably failed Jonglei State.

For my novice, it was March 2012 when the disastrous president by the name of Salva Kiir Kueth-piny, traditionally known as Mayardit, launched a disarmament campaign in Jonglei State when tribal conflict in this region reached its climax. The Dinka Bor and Lou Nuer were exhaustively disarmed leaving Murle tribe of Pibor heavily armed.

The tribes that are disarmed were left vulnerable to the Murle marauders. The first mistake the so-called Kueth-Piny did was putting in charge of disarmament the failed general whose citizenship is in crisis, Lt.Gen. Kuol Deng Kuol. Kuol Deng hailed from the disputed Abyei’s area of which the Republic of South Sudan and Republic of Sudan are scrambling upon a messy tracing back to his grandparents.

Without strategical stratagems in place, this oblivious officer flew into action disarming communities that are, and never were a major threat to Jonglei ecosystem of Dinka Bor and Lou Nuer. The two only go for revenge when Murle hit and run.

This job would have been given to a truly South Sudan general whose citizenship is free from ambiguity. I love my Ngok Dinka people but not this Kueth-Piny stalwart who seems happy to hear daily loss of life in Jonglei.

I doubt Kuol’s impartiality in bringing peace into this bleeding part of the region. A real and true soldier in charge of 15,000 troops meant to protect and disarm civilian, would have sat down and charted out clearly how to go about disarming all civilians in the region uniformly. 15,000 troops are hell lots of soldiers who could even disarm the whole South Sudan let alone Jonglei.

What lacks here are tactics and strategies to carry out the mission. Why are civilians still killing themselves in numbers as such? Why is it very hard to protect those that are disarmed? Why always waiting orders when Murle marauders attacked and took cattle before responding?

From reliable source, according the latest attack in Jalle Payam, Murle were within a reach and instead Kuol Deng ordered the pursuers to stop and get back while the assailants were about to surrender. The soldiers were asked to give their guns to Jalle youth so as to continue the chase but instead these youths were threatened to get shot if they failed to listen to retreat orders from Lt.Gen. Kuol Deng. I just believe Lt. General Kuol Deng is not for peace in Jonglei.

Bor community from Cuei-keer to Cuei-thon have lost lots of lives as the result of this unnecessary and un-uniform disarmament. From unknown reason, the disarmament was left in limbo, Murle was left untouched. If anything, then this was a nincompoop decision by Kuol Deng. He deserves denouncement for it.

On the other hand, Lt.Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk, the Jonglei governor has just proven to be an unreliable governor of all times. He has failed his duties and he deserves to go and rest before many more lives are lost. The people he is governing have been butchering themselves under his watchful eyes and he can’t do anything about it.

First of all, Jalle community has been an epicentre. It is raided on number of occasions; countless herds of cattle were driven off while lots of unarmed and innocent civilians lives were lost.

Second, four gentlemen from Anyidi, Makuac and Kol-nyang Payams smuggled themselves into Murle’s territory and stole 68 herds of cattle. Murle owners followed the trail of cattle and reported their stolen cattle to the governor with imaginary and bloated numbers insinuating the stolen number cows to be up to 480 herds of cattle. Without wasting time to check any reference, and sourcing evidence, Kuol Manyang took the case head on, he exercised his sheer onus similar to his then guerrilla behaviors and ordered under threat the three Payams local chiefs to recollect the stolen cattle give them back forthwith.

My people including the previous Bor County commissioner tried to give the case a second hearing, and Kuol was just terribly arrogant and couldn’t listen to any other side of the story. These Payams were made to pay extra 412 herds of cattle, while exact number was 68 according to the cattle rustlers.

These cattle were sent to Pibor within a very short period of time. Equally, Jalle Payam byre was attacked and several thousands of cows were stolen to Pibor, report was given to Kuol Manyang to do the same, and as I write we are yet to hearing from this failed governor.

On a personal note, I am calling Bor community citizens from Cuei-keer to Cuei-thon wherever they are to come back to their own rescue. I heard our community was once ruled by Achiek Mabior and Ajang de Duot simultaneously, there was a reason for such conformity, and I guess one those reasons are such as this (external threat).

That previous unity has to be re-established again if Bor community should remain in its traditional setting. Politicians have let down this community terribly and we have to resort to our people outside to arm our youth as President Salva Kiir, Kuol Manyang and Kuol Deng converge to destroy us using the Murle.

I ask every Payam from Kol-nyang to Duk x2 has to recruit 200 strong youths from their localities that will be armed and deployed in the Payam to protect civilians’ properties. When this is done, we will let our people from outside especially in America, Canada, Australia, Uganda, Kenya and you name it, pay them their monthly dues.

Let this not be taken as a rebellion, this community has no history of betraying South Sudan cause. We are desperate, and desperate time asks for desperate measures, my people. SPLA soldiers we have here are not able to protect lives and retrieve our stolen cattle, let’s try something different.

You come home and you would be astonishingly shocked and sorry to see our community is clearly uprooted by the insecurity while we have 15,000 doves (SPLA) on the ground in Jonglei plus divisions of Bol Bol and Bol Koang. What are these troops are doing in Bortown if they can’t protect the disarm civilians is what you and I need to ask?

Personally, I believe the etiology of Jonglei insecurity is a setup ploy by the failed Juba government whose hypothesis is to engage Bor community so that it doesn’t keep an eye to the hobgoblin and dysfunctional government in Juba, and ignominiously Gov. Kuol Manyang is sightless to see this conspiracy by Kueth-Piny and his secluded gangs.

Get back our guns and we will protect ourselves.

Happy New Year 2013, my people.

This is Awumtiaidit, he is on awumtiaidit@ymail.com

Exercising freedom of speech in South Sudan is the highway to the grave

BY: Bol Garang de Bol, Canberra, AUSTRALIA, DEC/31/2012, SSN;

This shocking murder of Isaiah Diing Chan Awuol (Isaiah Abraham) tragically underscores the ongoing struggle in South Sudan for press freedom and I offer my condolences to Diing Chan’s family and friends. I stated to the President in my first article that, although our request, advice, opinions seem to be ignored by you and your Ministers, we won’t abandon our responsibilities as citizens of South Sudan to let our voices be heard.

It is universally accredited that the right to freedom of expression is an introductory human right of the greatest importance in the world. It is an engineering of democracy, key to the protection of all human rights, and fundamental to human dignity in its own right. Attempting this freedom of expression in South Sudan is the highway to the grave.

The mysterious death of prominent opinion writer, Diing Abraham Chan, under mysterious circumstances while he was in his home in Gudele, Juba on December 5th 2012 has seriously damaged and dented that country’s long held record of peace and cool handling of political crisis ever since it attained its political independence in 2011.

The freedom of speech, at the same time, is also comprehensively recognized as absolute right of every citizen to express his/her view through writing or whatever way. I am very disappointed and wondering why democracy in South Sudan has failed the character test by developing system of limitations on freedom of expression. The recent elimination of opinion writer Diing Chan Awuol (Isaiah Abraham) for reasons best known by Kiir-led government and his security is the major setback in the history of our country.

On the other hand, these political-motivated killings have not met some standard of legitimacy. For otherwise, measures which seriously limited freedom of expression and yet were ineffective in achieving any promotional objective would not be allowed to stand.

I think we would all agree that issues such as corruption, weak leadership and mismanagement of government resources are all matters of public interest everyone wants to know and they are the root cause of Diing Chan’s death due to his condemnations. They also have a bearing on national security threats in Juba.

The people of South Sudan are not defended by our government and their Constitutional rights are clearly at stake. The fact that
we are no longer in an authoritarian state but a democracy controlled by military and security forces should have no bearing on the matter affecting citizens.

When, however, the public and private impression in such a way that it directly affects their governance, the public figure’s private life must inevitably be in the public eye. If, as in the case of recent murder of Isaiah Abraham by unknown gangs believed to be arrogant security forces, it concerns corruption or association with known felons then it is a matter of
great importance to be condemned.

Why does a one-year government lose its creditability and trust of its citizens? Within a year, it became clear that 2012 would be remembered in the history of South Sudan as the year Kiir’s governments lost their credibility. The freedom of expression is a right without restrain which other rights are difficult to acquire and defend.

The world has seen a continuing struggle for the freedom of expression, including the freedom of speech and freedom of the press, often going hand in hand with the endeavor to limit the power of governments. The freedom of expression can be considered
an essential aspect of the individual’s defense against government, just as the suppression of the freedom of expression is essential to oppression.

We, Human rights defenders rely heavily on this right to challenge government indifference to or infliction of human rights abuses and we don’t regret death. Many writers are aware that one time, one finds a day, the interest of the
nation will be beyond personal interest.

In South Sudan, often overlooked is the issue that corruption became rampant and chronic before and after the nation gained independence in 2011. To bridge this gap, Journalists focused on each individual and examined its historical record of changes in leadership and corruption since attaining independence. We posit that South Sudan’s corruption is an indication of its weak or bad governance, its undemocratic dictatorial leaderships, and its institutional incompetence post-independence.

To provide good governance in the Republic of South Sudan, freedom of expression must be modified and the leaders must change their behavior and recalibrate their moral compasses to observe more consistently the rule of law and constraints on their powers. They must use their powers wisely and responsibly and should not be at all times be motivated by self-interest,
but only by the desire for public good and national interest.

They must also rescind efforts at personalizing government and give primacy to the needs and welfare of citizens by whose
authority and on whose behalf they hold and exercise their powers and authority.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the Republic of South Sudan is still more a dream than reality. The violations of human rights exist in a very government departments and very state of the country.

Without doubts, the Office of the South Sudan President General Salva Kiir Mayardit is responsible for the death of Diing Chan Awuol (Isaiah Abraham), Akuach Jook and many people have been given death threats. The recent death of Diing indicates that South Sudanese citizens were subjected to a climate of fear as a result of the atrocities committed by the fundamentalist organs of the security forces deployed to oppress the citizens.

The failure of justice is a critical human concern in our country. In particular, there are problems associated with an inefficient legal system which deprives citizens of a fair trial, the use of excessive force by security and a pervading sense of impunity for past human rights breaches. The climate of fear has spread in South Sudan as a result of the atrocities committed by the fundamentalist and human rights violations perpetrated by security forces deployed to rout them.

The global human rights body condemned human rights violations in a report entitled “South Sudan Trapped in a cycle of violence.” Police authorities in Juba, however, disclosed that a comprehensive study of the Amnesty report just released containing human rights abuse allegations against the civilians will be investigated though it said the sources of its report cannot be relied upon them.

Amnesty International had stated that the brutal actions of South Sudan’s security forces are already in desperate situation and even worse in the country. According to the report, people are living in a climate of fear and insecurity, vulnerable to attack from South Sudan’s security forces and facing human rights violations at the hands of the very state security forces which should protect them.

There are many documented atrocities carried out by national security against the civilians in Juba and our president has turned deaf in hearing such things. They include enforced disappearances, torture, extra-judicial executions and detention without trial. Grave human rights abuses committed by National Security since 2005 involved murder, burning down houses and attacking media houses and journalists.

Nhial Bol and Dengdit Ayok were arrested by South Sudanese government security personnel after writing an opinion criticizing the marriage of the daughter of the South Sudanese president to a foreigner.

Freedom of expression
In South Sudan, freedom of speech and freedom of the press are not protected by law, and this is generally disregarded by the government. There is no an active independent media operating mainly through television and radio. The government has cynically limited access to television and radio in Juba and termed it as reception problems which limit broadcasting outside of Juba.

Human rights are commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being. South Sudan has experiences difficulties in the achievement of international standards of human rights for all citizens. These difficulties centered upon the provision of having no accountability. Internal displacement and development of adequate infrastructure also contribute. Not only that, journalists in particular are marginalized in numerous ways, the press is not free in South Sudan, and dissenters are silenced, too often permanently.

In late July 2011, a few weeks after South Sudan gained its independence; President Salva Kiir gave an address to hundreds of soldiers, police, government officials, diplomats, and others in which he warned the army and police against the use of torture, saying it gave South Sudan a very bad image in the international scene. He also said he was declaring war on all criminals, including members of the South Sudanese armed forces and constabulary who committed human rights violations, and ordered the Ministry of Justice headed by Hon. John Luk Jok to prosecute anyone charged with rape or torture.

Unfortunately, all the mentioned in the speech of the President are happening now and no any of the step taken to deal with rape, torture or any thoughts of human rights abuse. The recent killing of Diing Chan is the most serious human rights violation in the country and not only that, other inhumane treatment of civilians by the SPLA and President’s security forces went un-noticed.

In my opinion, I would urge South Sudanese that there is a need for massive protest against this government which we all think that will not develop our country, there is a need for all sections of the society to develop a new relationship which can take account of our importance to each other and which will also inculcate a reciprocal nature of our connection that will help to avoid a repeat of the painful past experiences which our people have endured.

Other human rights abuses included politically motivated abductions by ethnic groups; harsh prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention, including prolonged pre-trial detention; and an inefficient and corrupt judiciary. The government restricted freedoms of privacy, speech, press, assembly, and association.

Civilians and journalists were unlawfully detained after an alleged coup attempt in Juba. Several journalists were silenced not to report about the rumors of coup or make comments.

The government of South Sudan has faced intractable problems in clearing away the reality of corruption. The first is that there are numerous cases of definite and probable graft that the government has ignored and, second, the National security agents have made an intensive effort to ensure that freedom of expression by journalists are non-existent or with all their teeth removed if they don’t keep silence.

In more recent years, there have been numerous examples of non-accountability and attendant concerns of corruption in South Sudan. A key one is the expenditure on the 2005 flood scandal. Billions of dollars were disbursed for relief supplies, pumps, wages, health expeditions, food aid, recovery packages and other essentials during the Flood affecting all the states, yet there was no accounting for it despite a promise that a supplementary budget would be laid in Parliament.

What else can one say other than it was the era of the comfortable parliamentary majority when the government did as it pleased without restraint. The relief exercise did have an auspicious start. State auditors were summoned to State House for a photo opportunity with President Kiir marshaling the relief effort. It is unclear what happened to the auditors afterwards. None of the subsequent reports of the Office of the Auditor General ever shed light on the flood expenditure.

There are other examples in the last year or so that President Kiir should seek explanations for if he is serious about transparency and clean government. The first is the $4 billion Scheme which saw a favored clique of government officials and their handpicked friends and family being allocated state lots without any credible explanation.

The second is the mind-boggling revelation by the Minister for Information, Dr. Marial Benjamin, that senior policemen, Ministers and Army Generals who took shares in relation to the corrupt acquisition of $4 billion were allowed to pay back the sums they received and were not prosecuted. That is unbelievable. Yet, the government has failed to act for the last one year. It is clear from this maneuvering that Kiir’s government’s Ministers and his close relatives are playing for time and hoping that the scandal blows away.

WE FORGOT WHAT WE FOUGHT FOR
The conduct of South Sudan’s ruling party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), largely consists of former rebels who fought against Khartoum with the objectives of achieving freedom, justice and equality under the leadership of President Salva Kiir, has lost direction and forgot what they fought for.

Many of our friends died to achieve these objectives. Yet, once we got to power, we forgot what we fought for and began to enrich ourselves at the expense of our people.

MR PRESIDENT, WHY DID YOUR SECURITY AGENTS KILL DIING CHAN?

Bol Garang de Bol is a South Sudanese living in Canberra, Australia
He can be reached at nicetobeme05@yahoo.com

The death of Isaiah Abraham marks beginning of second liberation

BY: Michael Thon Mangok, JUBA, DEC/31/2012, SSN;

The mysterious death of prolific writer, Isaiah Abraham Diing Chan Awuol, who was assassinated few weeks ago spurred up what would be seen as a second liberation in this country. His death sent heart-broken shock waves and hair raising experience with tough questions on whether South Sudan is really independent. The situation rudely made people to begin questioning the freedom, justice and liberty that were the core fundamental values of the long struggle. Such backslides normally turn and terminate the real goal for democracy in a country that had long suffered from lack of self-rule.

Well, the circumstances surrounding the death of Isaiah are not clear. But of course, few days later many Journalists and writers have found themselves locked up under the threat of intimidation; especially not to say or form opinions about his death proving the old English saying that, “Only the guilty one is afraid.”

This climate is not conducive particularly to those in the information business; doing what the public expects out of an independent media, where democracy and human rights are systematically intertwined. With our security trying to silence everyone does not constructively bring out the truth. The only approach would be allowing an independent commission or private investigators to prove the truth that might be satisfactory to the public.

During the funeral rites, people of south Sudan spoke clearly and their voices were the loudest. The immediate message was that they cannot tolerate any injustice done to them at this earlier time after such a long struggle to free themselves from the garrison of dictatorship. Isaiah’s daughter sent the crowd to tears when she read her eulogy to send off her beloved father, it demonstrated the practicality of a father who admiringly had the nation at heart; put the public interests first and considerably loved the truth through the display of his well thought writings.

Though many in this line including myself are facing security threats, the death of Isaiah is just an inspiration to the journalists and the writers to save the country from collapse. As journalists, the aim is to inform and report unquestionable information for public consumption. With such a tragic demise, journalists, writers and analysts should focus on matters of national importance that generates debate which fully creates awareness that can bring change in this country.

As the public eagerly prepare to usher in the New Year 2013, there is a lot of pending issues on the agenda for the national debate which demands for the practical journalists to compose much attention and fulfill their principle role of informing the public.

One of the issues will be the SPLM convention; the party will be put to test on whether the vision to lead the country is as good as it is now on the paper. People will ask where the model of taking town to the people is. Perhaps, they will too ask whether the system of governance is centralization or decentralization.

In the process, people of south Sudan would be stunned by the way SPLM party have become. They would ask if the movement still sticks to its values. The party they knew as the most disciplined guerrilla party in the world where the law took its course and corruption unheard of has now become the den of thieves.

Another importance debate journalists will focus on is the constitution review process, the great road to the new permanent constitution looks bleak now, the review commission mandate elapsed and the government looks relaxed with no sign of commitment to ensure that the country practically implements the permanent constitution before elections in 2015. The current constitution seemingly looks to be designed to fit certain political and ideological class not the interest of the people of this country.

This troublesome indicator suddenly puts doubt and questions the legitimacy of the current government. The elections that were held in 2010 were meant for the interim period and the mandate given by the people ended on 9th July 2011. This contradicts those who speaks on behalf of the government that this is an elected government. Let’s be straightforward; by whom?

Endlessly, the census might also take the centre stage; no country in the world has ever developed by making planning based on imagination without knowing the statistical population. One of the challenges right now is that the government gives the same grant to Ten States irrespective of their populations and this is a true source of financial inequality.

Every state contains its known population that might be greater or lesser compared to other states. Calculatingly, it is out of order for anyone to think that whatever you give to western Bhar el ghazel with three counties can produce the same developmental results in Jonglei State for example?

My crystal ball predicts that certain individuals are planning to let go of the vital census and permanent constitution which means there will be no elections in 2015. If this exercise is postponed and a permanent constitution process derailed, the current government will continue with unquestionable mandate from themselves to the year of their choice. To this, their answer is simply austerity measures as if this is the only country in the world facing the toughest austerity.

Their intention would be to explain it to the public how the country has lost 98% of the revenue from the oil which has negatively paralyzed largely the economy. But to predict it right, this is an irresistible weakness of the country’s leadership with poor planning coupled with weak policy formulations and implementation strategies.

Are they so ignorant about history? Ghana and Ivory Coast economies collapsed in 1960s and 70s respectively because of dependency on one commodity.

Accordingly, the expected debates might deliver a conclusion which leaves the country at the road junction. As an option those in the driving seat will have a choice to make, either to drown the country by their abortive clinging on to power, corruption, tribal politics characterized by “we-fought syndrome” and bureaucracy; or to press a forward button by practicing equality, rule of law, meritocracy, liberty and freedom for all. These constructive fundamentals are outlined in the constitution that needs to be approved, without it the truth is being obscured.

Like Wadah Khanfar, former director of Al-Jazeera, said, “in the media we shoulder a mission, which journalists should remain aware of as they perform. This mission is about serving the public interest without bias for one particular opinion or party or current or ideology.”

Isaiah Abraham’s death should not make the defenders of such a noble mission drop their vigor. It only should cement our commitment to the truth that liberation success has not been fully achieved. There is need for a political will from all individuals to actively defend the people’s right to useful information, deliver a devastating blow that will make impunity a foreign culture in South Sudan.

Michael Thon is a journalist and political analyst based in Juba. He hosts a talk show ‘Wake up Juba’ with Radio Bakhita.
Kochadit@gmail.com

Correcting the economic mess in South Sudan

BY: Bol Mathieng, RSS, DEC/31/2012, SSN;

Dear readers, on returning home, I thought the government through the Central Bank, has got rid of the money changers along the streets by asking the police to arrest such individuals in a bit to curb the incidence. On seeing them again, I immediately asked myself several questions like:

‘Why were they (street money changers) left undisturbed when in other countries you can rarely see them?’

‘How does the Central Bank regulate the amount of money in circulation when the money changers exist and actively go about their money changing business?’

‘How can limited hard currencies be rationed to meet the nation’s hard currency demand with the presence of money changers?’

‘How can fiscal policy successfully work when the money changers are not organized dealers with considerable level of experience in education necessary for book keeping which can be used to levy taxes?’

The list is endless. What is the way forward? The solution lies in the hands of policy makers in government (Central bank) to immediately get rid of money changers, and remain with Forex bureaus and commercial banks.

In my opinion, the numbers of Forex bureaus should be regulated, you can agree with me if you look at this view at the angle of extending credit to borrowers necessary for expatiating economic growth and development. Have you ever seen the Forex bureau extending credit here in Juba or anywhere in South Sudan?

What they are known for is exchanging money and transferring hard currency abroad to student, importers, sick people etc… to meet their hard currency demands abroad, but the number of commercial banks that extend credit to local people is limited in comparison with these numerous Forex bureaus. It should be noted that commercial banks in which I cherish increase in their numbers are the locally owned or jointly owned commercial banks.

So how will local entrepreneurs get credit and financial advice if some areas are not covered by the commercial banks? I was happy to see an indigenous bank known as Nile commercial bank operating well in early 2006, 2007 before it collapsed. What are our local businessmen waiting for? I have seen many of them opening Forex bureaus instead of commercial banks.

I am also pleased by the existence of National commercial bank as an indigenous bank, what is now needed is its expansion so that it can cover more areas country wide. Let me give you example of Centenary Bank in Uganda, the bank has the widest coverage in Uganda, interestingly, its share holders are not all foreigners. Of the shareholders are indigenous people (the Catholic Church, local individuals and few foreigners).

We can also learn a lesson from Rwanda, whose indigenous bank is doing great task in accelerating economic growth and development there through extension of credit to local farmers. In my opinion, an organized group of south Sudanese should pooled their resources together and form a commercial bank through partnership, or else the one which is now present should be encouraged to expand its services country wide by emboldening savers to opening many saving accounts with it instead of saving abroad or increasing consumption locally.

The next issue that did not impress me is a domination by foreigners of the informal economic sector. What will local individuals with relatively limited amount of capital invest in small businesses like bars, restaurants, tea selling, water selling through water tanks, hair cutting, bodaboda riding, taxi or public transport system, building of houses and fences etc…

These should have been owned and dominated by the citizens because they required limited capital and skills, but now the opposite is true, why? Can’t we do those jobs? Are they financially and physically hard for us to afford? The answer is no, people just need to wake up and recuperate their economy from foreigners.

If you have been in Juba, you must have read how the some foreigners testified how they made money from the jobs that are considered dirty, for example, one of the newspaper last year published a story of a chapati seller who made roughly 100 south Sudanese pounds in two days, assuming he is a good saver, he would have made considerable amount of money at the end of the year.

Domination of hotel services by foreigners
If you ask yourself a simple question like this: how are the citizens of south Sudan particularly residence of Juba city who happened to be neighbors of such hotels benefiting from the existence of the business in their area? The answer is no, they are not economically benefiting in any way.

Just take your time and tour hotels in Thongpiny, you will not fail in your survey to find that all the waiters and waitresses are all foreigners, why? Don’t we have young ladies that can do those jobs? If the criteria of choosing a waiter is based on beauty, then I can also ask a question, don’t we have beautiful girls that can occupy those vacancies that are now filled by foreigners? The answer is YES, we have beautiful girls that can suit that criterion.

Taxes alone are not enough, yes, government can obtain taxes from those hotels but what about the local population especially unemployed young ladies, where will they get employed?

I call upon the ministry of public service to look into that matter and employment in general, those who have academic documents should register with the ministry so that they are employed depending on their careers, those who lacks academic papers should also be registered and they should be employed in areas that do not need academic qualification.

Reduction of imports
Since the approach that our government has taken is seemingly people-based agriculture production system where government avails tractors to farmers, the individual states should take advantage of Juba city as their ready market for all their agricultural products in the first place before they would think of exportation in the future.

For example, Central Equatoria state citizens can take the advantage of its being the host of the national government and invest heavily in perishable goods like tomatoes, onions, all green vegetables such as Kudura, okra…etc, it can also invest in other crops that they can produce well. Each state can specialize in commodities it can produce better and leave the rest to other states. They can then have inter-states trade and this will definitely reduce importations of food stuffs and boost unity among states since traders will interchangeably carry out their trade.

In short, government should have agricultural farms, or they can relocate residents of Rank and use the entire region of Rank as an agricultural area in a bit to produce more output.

Establishment of National planning Authority/planning commission
Without a planning commission, the country can not be able to formulate, monitor and evaluate the plans effectively. This is true with perspective plan which is broken down into annual, five or ten-year plans. It should be noted that it was because of feasible plans that Indian commission formulate that account for Indian sustainable development, China had also followed the same suit while pursuing its developmental goals.

Therefore, my appeal to the government is that, when it gets resources once again, it should endeavor to form a planning commission. The saying goes thus: failing to plan is planning to fail. Planning commission is equally important like other commissions that republic of south Sudan are now having.

Formation of national examination board for primary and secondary school and national council for higher education for university education
Human capital development is one of the important aspects that every country needs to flourish in its economic development ambitions. Although the nation is still young, the formation of national examination board charged with reviewing the syllabus, setting and marking primary and secondary examinations is important, it is a strong foundation laid in primary and secondary education that give raise to quality graduates.

On the other hand, national council for higher education plays an important role of reviewing the qualifications that an institution has to award degrees, masters, and PHDs. These facts are not new to each one of you but I greatly wonder why such institutions are not in place when we have very experienced, knowledgeable professors like Prof. Machar Kachuol, prof. Cuir Riak, Prof. Job Dharuai and many other highly educated south Sudanese that I may not know but are qualified as well,

To proof to you that we are not well off educationally, just log on to Google and type top 100 African universities, you definitely find none of South Sudanese universities in the ranking. The massive search of quality education in our neighboring countries and overseas and is clear manifestation that we have a poor education system. But it is not too late to rectify it, it requires formation of the above institutions, establishing teachers training centers country wide, improving school facilities like classrooms, syllabus, and above all paying attractive salaries to all teachers and lecturers that are under government aided schools or institutions.

Our great nation needs strong education system that can even attract foreign students to study here in Republic of South Sudan. It will also reduce the need to study abroad because everything that overseas educational institutions have will be found here if the above measures are put into considerations.

In conclusion, I appeal to my fellow south Sudanese, both policy makers in the government and local people to do something about our economy, we have successfully achieved our political independence until we obtained the title of Republic, the next battle is economic independence, which requires everyone (policy makers in the government and public at large) to be involved, do any economic activity that earns you a living and stop dependency.

You can reach the writer by mail: bolmathieng2011@hotmail.com

South Sudan: Defense by words isn’t the solution

BY: Mulana D’Duot, USA, DEC/31/2012, SSN;

Calling the cabinet for a meeting after the attack carried out by Sudan Armed Forces and not doing anything about it isn’t the solution. Our leaders need to think twice about this. How can citizens of an independent nation be attacked constantly and nothing is being done about it?

Could it be because they (Sudan Armed Forces, SAF) can defeat us or could it because they can do what they want in our territory? One might disagree with that, but one can say it’s basically because of Kiir. It could be because of his failed leadership as it well know that Kiir never ever captured any town during the war and that is unfortunately what is affecting us today.

He is good at closed door meetings but never succeeded in any of these meetings. It should be reiterated that this is not the first time that our country has been bombed and invaded by Sudan Army and their militia armies, especially in the Upper Nile, Unity and Northern Bahr elgazel and Warrap States

Every time SAF attacks our territory, the only thing we hear from his men is Mr. President called his cabinet for a meeting as he did yesterday in a luxury hotel in Juba to enjoy White Bull beer without any fruitful action from his inner circle.

“The cabinet has deliberated a number of issues today. The president briefed the council on the recent aggression by Sudan in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State. During the deliberation chaired by the president of the republic, it was unanimously agreed that defense of the country should be the top priority,” Marial, the government spokesman, said. “our priority will be defending our territories and all the necessary arrangements have been made.”

How can you be saying you’re defending your citizens, while they are being bombed and killed like sheep without a guidance?

Our leaders often enjoyed their fruits of failure in luxuries hotels in Juba and our citizens are dying from an enemy that we know how we defeated them. These leaders need to get out of hotels and get to work, give the SPLA their needed tools to do the job and to teach the SAF a lesson as the did when they seized Heglig, a defeat that they will not ever forget.

Our army, the SPLA are capable to protect our nation. However, our leaders sitting in Juba are failing our army. These leaders sitting inside their offices just talk and nothing being done. Time for talking is over, these are times for actions.

Our enemies are proven to be weak, and they are getting weaker as we know. Our armed forces can put complete stop overnight against the aggressors. Why not support them and let them show who we are? Our men and women are more ready to do this than what our leaders may think.

Mulana D’Duot duotbiorson@yahoo.co

South Sudan: Human Rights Deterioration and Possible Consequences

BY: Jwothab Othow, RSS, DEC/28/2012, SSN;

The purpose of this paper is to examine and identify the major human rights violations and their consequences that have occurred in South Sudan within the last 8 years since 2005. As citizens of South Sudan, we are deeply concerned about the deterioration in the rule of law in the country since the attainment of independence has raised questions on the fundamental principles of human rights. It has become common knowledge that the framework for establishing the rule of law in South Sudan has fallen short of the expectations of citizens and the international community.

The alleged extensive killings, disappearances, media harassment, detentions and torture were carried out by the government of South Sudan’s security forces. As we all know that human rights violation is an unlawful deprivation of individual rights considered inherent to all humans. Perpetrators of human rights violations within the security forces used numerous tactics of repression, with both physical and psychological consequences.

The government of South Sudan must be held accountable for human rights violations against it citizens and it is crucial as a deterrent, in order to ensure that these violations are not repeated. Therefore, by international law South Sudan is obligated to effectively investigate suspected breaches of human rights and prosecute those responsible. For example, we have witnessed what happened recently in Wau town whereby SPLA soldiers were killing peaceful protesters. Nine civilians were reportedly killed and several wounded. South Sudan must be held responsible for the protection of their citizens and therefore what is happening in Wau is not acceptable and the government of South Sudan must be held responsible for failing to protect its citizens.

On December 4, 2012, Isaiah Abraham was killed in his home in Juba by unknown gunmen. On December 17, 2012, Lawrance Korbandy who is the chairperson of the South Sudan Human Rights Commission (SSHRC) called for the resignation of security ministers due to the killing of innocent civilians across the country, and in the capital, Juba, in particular; and to allow investigations into the death of Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol to take place fairly. Gen. Oyai Deng Ajak who is the National Security Minister expresses his concern that, “I will not accept to work for an institution which kills people.”

One of the most difficult things for civilized people to comprehend is that these wicked barbaric acts of cruelty were not the actions of psychopaths, but soldiers. Their “enemy” was not an invading army from foreign borders, nor were they fighting for freedom against a repressive racist regime; the vast majority of the “enemy” was their fellow South Sudanese. This is a clear human rights violation of the fundamental right of freedom of expression and assembly.

According to Amnesty International in it reports on South Sudan human rights violations that time has come for accountability. There are assaults on the media, the political opposition, civil society activists, and human rights defenders; these are important components needed for a democratic society to prevail.

According to European Press Photo Agency reports on November 21, 2012 who visited the South Sudan two prisons: Rumbek Central Prison and Juba Central Prison which was built in 1948 by the British colonial government, Rumbek Central Prison houses some 600 prisoners who live in overcrowded cells with practically no access to basic health care, sanitation, as well as adequate food and nutrition. Many detainees have no legal representation and South Sudan has no functioning legal aid system. Many are also vulnerable to illness and diseases, which they rarely receive proper care, unless they can pay for medicine themselves. Ten inmates died in Aweil prison and at least five died in Bentiu prison in 2011 alone, most of treatable illnesses, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Arbitrary detention is widespread in South Sudan, according to HRW in its 2012 report. Conditions in South Sudan’s prisons evidently do not comply with international or domestic law or standards on prisoners’ welfare. South Sudan’s human rights deterioration could possible result in serious consequences against the government of South Sudan and possible isolation by the international community if it fails to improve its human rights conditions. It is also disturbing that United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) seemed to have failed to fulfill its responsibility to observe human rights violations carried out by the elements of SPLA in South Sudan since the country gained independence.

The whole world was shocked by the atrocities and abuses which were committed by SPLA in the Chollo (Shilluk) Kingdom in 2010. According to Aljazeera report which was broadcasting the video report on the Television network; it was clear that there have been serious human rights abuses against the civilian population in the name of so-called disarmament program in Chollo (Shilluk) Kingdom. The government of South Sudan’s security forces committed a range of human rights violations despite the presence of UNMISS in South Sudan to monitor and report human rights abuse both in Chollo Kingdom and Jongeli states. In 2010, the SPLA army clearly committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Shilluk Kingdom where Shilluk men and women were targeted as a result of Robert Gwang’s rebellion, women were raped and men severely tortured or killed.

The women were raped by SPLA soldiers to dehumanize them and as a form of punishment for their male family members, as rape not only humiliates the person raped but also the whole family and their community. It is clearly based on the evidence of ongoing human rights abuses against civilians in the Chollo Kingdom during the so-called disarmament. The element of Padang Dinka’s elites within the SPLM ruling party orchestrated their agenda to grab Chollo land using Robert Gwang’s rebellion as an excuse. Until now, the SPLA forces who committed odious war crimes and crimes against humanity have not been brought to justice.

Since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the government of South Sudan under the leadership of President Salva Kiir has been engaged in extrajudicial and other unlawful killings; arbitrary arrest, torture; harassment on the media, and inhuman treatments or punishments against its citizens and those who are critical against his government. Arbitrary arrest and indefinite detention without trial is against international law and it is a serious violation of human rights. South Sudan’s security agents have been carrying out killings of civilians and journalists; e.g. a political commentator who are critical to the government and questioned the unconstitutional practices of the security forces.

South Sudan Security forces routinely commit political violence, including torture of citizens in custody, particularly in areas suspected of support for the opposition. For example, on July, 7, 2011, the SPLM-DC leader of opposition in South Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) and Deputy Chairman of SPLM-DC was harshly beaten by the SPLA Military Intelligence.

The government of South Sudan must reform it security forces because continuation of these abuses such as extrajudicial arbitrary arrest, indefinite detention without trial, torture, harsh prison conditions; restrictions on freedom of speech, the press, freedom of assembly, association; prevention of international human rights observers and discrimination against women and child abuse could lead to more deterioration of human rights abuses that will damage the nation creditability in the international community which could result in sanctions against South Sudan and isolation from the international community. If the South Sudan government wants a sustainable peace and to be part of the international community it must respect human rights and should demonstrate its commitment to international law by carrying out full thorough investigations into human rights violations nationwide. According to HRW researchers who have met scores of people sent to prison by chiefs who had no formal legal training, for crimes that do not appear in South Sudan’s criminal code.

South Sudan government should prosecute those responsible for any criminal acts within it security agency. According to HRW that, “The government of South Sudan should send a strong and clear message that it will not allow soldiers to abuse civilians or fail to protect them during clashes.” For example, the SPLA carried out operations against militia allegedly linked to SPLM-DC in Fashoda County, committing serious human rights abuses in the process. The SPLM leaders who are perpetrators for the crimes committed against civilians and are criminally responsible as are both military and political leaders who participated to implementing the policy that instigated tribal violence among the communities and human rights violations.

President Salva Kiir could be qualified for criminal liability as a leader and under whose administration crime which has been committed against civilians populations. South Sudanese civilians found themselves the target of mass atrocities at the hands of the government of South Sudan and SPLA forces.

The international community and regional and sub-regional bodies must act now to protect the populations. Call for SPLM/A to be held accountable for human rights violations against civilians. Since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed in 2005, civilians have been at risk of mass atrocities in the hands of SPLA forces. As we have witness the recent killing by SPLA forces shooting at protesters and peaceful demonstration in Wau. The government of South Sudan must uphold the responsibility to protect civilians. The SPLA armed forces and their leaders expressed clear intent to continue committing massive human rights violations against the civilians in South Sudan.

The SPLM ruling party are responsible for manufacturing ethnic conflict between the communities in South Sudan since 2005 as result of SPLM policy of provoking ethnic violence where it will remain free from challenge in the political arena. Until now the government of South Sudan has not addressed the land dispute between Shilluk and Padang Dinka communities that has turned violent on several occasions in recent year”s alienated Shilluk communities according to HRW.

According to Amnesty International Executive Director, Suzanne Nossel, who made the following comments in response to reports that the international hip hop artist and human rights advocate Emmanuel Jal had been seriously beaten by South Sudan police in Juba. His account of an unprovoked attack, preceded by the seizure of his mobile phone, must be immediately investigated and all those responsible must be held accountable. “We further call on the authorities to ensure that Jal is able to move freely and in safety while in South Sudan. Jal has been a dedicated advocate for peace and security in the region for years. His early years as a child soldier had made him extraordinarily credible as an advocate to prevent the use of children as soldiers worldwide to support the establishment of a global arms trade treaty and to defend human rights.”

The government of South Sudan must comply with international law and investigate all abuses by it security forces and end “horrific acts of violence” by security forces against it citizens. As a consequence South Sudan must and should address the atrocities committed against civilians by South Sudan’s security forces.

South Sudan civil society has been weakening due to consistent harassment and intimidation by security forces and its leader Mr. Deng Athuai Mawiir Rehan was once abducted and beaten badly. Also it is undeniable that the notions of tribal politics in South Sudan has weakened and divided the organizations such as civil society and the media to prevent them from taking a united concerted action against the repressive regime due their tribal loyalties. These organizations are important components and a cornerstone in the society to maintain social peace and defend human rights in South Sudanese society.

It is my sincere belief that if South Sudan is to be great, it must live up to her ideals for freedom, equality and justice for all. It must continue to fight against tribalism in order to succeed in her pursuits for an inclusive society that is base on the principle of equality for all, democracy, freedom, justice, human rights and lasting peace. South Sudanese must and should understand that tribalism is the most divisive and destructive element in our nation’s social fabric future.

South Sudan’s government has clearly failed to stop the security forces that have been committing these horrific acts of violence against its citizens. President Salva Kiir promised during an independence-day speech to respect and ratify human rights treaties. He also signed into force a new constitution that proclaims the country to be founded on justice, equality, and respect for human dignity and guarantees rights to due process, physical integrity, and protection from unlawful deprivations of liberty.

According to Human Rights Organization that, “The abuses committed by the government of South Sudan, including lack of the rule of law and lack of respect for the basic human rights. Arbitrary arrests by South Sudan’s Security Services targeting vocal journalists and active members of civil society are widely becoming a public concern these days in South Sudan.” Mr. Deng Athuai Mawiir Rehan who is the chairperson of South Sudan’s Civil Society Alliance was abducted in June and tortured because of Alliance’s outspokenness towards just and democratic governance including a fight against corruption in South Sudan. No group has been found responsible although the government had promised to conduct investigations to establish who was behind the kidnapping.

It is undeniable that the South Sudan government continues to use repression and intimidation to silence human rights advocates and to prevent them from exposing abuses and promoting respect for human rights. South Sudan authorities continued to stifle the media by arresting, detaining, and prosecuting journalists reporting on sensitive topics, and extra judicial killing and torture.
The government of South Sudan has failed to investigate the ongoing cycle of violence in Jonglei state, and to stop the violations committed in the course of civilian disarmament, and ensure that those responsible are held accountable. Lack of accountability for serious crimes is a longstanding problem in South Sudan, a country with limited law enforcement capacity and a vast territory.

President Salva Kiir has promised in many occasions to investigate the crime which has been committed by security forces and he has established a committee to investigate the violence and identify those responsible but nothing has been done until now. Freedom of speech is a fundamental human right and the government of South Sudan must ensure to respect and protect freedom of expression. According to Africa director of HRW, “South Sudan is a new country and badly needs an effective justice system that upholds human rights and dignity. It is a fundamental building block for establishing rule of law and accountability.”

Most of South Sudanese ruling elites within the SPLM party still behave as if they are still operating as guerrillas and not knowing they are no longer a guerrilla but statehood and they are require by the international law to comply with the international law as member of the international community. It is very important to highlight the series of human rights abuses in chronological order for the readers to understand the extent of serious human rights violations in South Sudan.

May 15, 2012, the police in Lakes State’s capital Rumbek arrested Ms. Ayak Dhieu Apar, the Radio Rumbek 98 FM journalist. She was detained for hosting a live radio talk show with the title, “How Could the Public Respect the Police?” which drew in callers, questioning the conduct and competence of the police.

February 06, 2012, Mading Ngor Akech, the New Sudan Vision Editor-in-Chief and the host of the popular ‘Wake Up Juba’ show on Bakhita FM was assaulted and humiliated at South Sudan’s parliament. According to a journalist who witnessed the scuffle in the August House, Mr. Mading “was manhandled by the security guys who tore his trousers to the extent of nearly exposing his underpants to the public.”

On June of 2012, Mayol Kuch, a South Sudanese American who was on a family visitation in South Sudan, was detained and beaten to death by SPLA soldiers in Bor, Jonglei State. The soldiers suspected him of having participated in “the violence that followed disputed elections in the village for chief of the Adol community” in which two people lost their lives. The case is yet to be solved, two months after it occurred.

In 2007, Nhial Bol Aken was arrested after his newspaper exposed “wasteful spending at the finance ministry, which purchased 153 cars for government officials.” According to Aljazeera, the price tag was $60 million, a staggering $400,000 per vehicle. On June 12, 2011, just before South Sudan independence, Mr. Nhial Bol “was arrested again on his way from a dinner party organized by the British Consulate in Juba at a hotel called Da Vinci, south of Juba’s main town and was threatened to back down from his activity or risk dying before July 9,” South Sudan Independence Day.

On October 1, 2011, Mr. Bol was arrested for the fourth time by police before being released “following his newspaper’s investigations into the business dealings” of a Warrap state minister, Joseph Malek Arop, who was reported to have unlawfully acquired 10% stake in the Chinese oil company, Tesco South Sudan Ltd.

Many South Sudanese citizens had publicly expressed opinions critical toward the government behavior whereby the state security continues to intimidate citizens who criticize the government and routinely arrest those who are critical of the government. The South Sudan security services have also to stop their brutality against the citizens of South Sudan that violated basic human rights and systematically denied civil society activists the right to peacefully assemble and associate.

South Sudan’s ongoing massive oil corruption which has benefited the political and military leaders within the SPLM/A led government for the last 8 years. They have been smuggling out of the country billions of dollars while leaving millions of South Sudanese facing severe food shortages and are dependent on emergency international assistance. The whole world is now aware that the SPLM’s ruling elite is corrupt and are profiting from the country’s oil exports at the expense of the poor. It is apparent that Kiir’s administration encourages and harbors those who have stolen billions of dollars from the people of South Sudan and they have never been arrested or prosecuted for corruption charges.

We know very well that when South Sudanese from all walks of life took up arms in 1983 against oppressors in Khartoum, people did not fight the war only to benefit the ruling elites or bourgeois at the end who are now the ones enjoying the benefit of freedom after South Sudan has gained its independence on July 9, 2011, which was fought by all the people. The US and European Union should maintain travel restrictions as well as freeze the assets on President Kiir and his inner circle until South Sudan carries out concrete human rights and institutional reforms.

You can go on and on, for example, Dengdit Ayok and Ngor Arol Garang of The Destiny Newspaper were forcefully detained on November 05, 2011, over a column article in The Destiny written by Dengdit Ayok, questioning the rationale behind President Kiir’s daughter’s marriage to a foreigner. As reported by the Committee to Protect Journalists, Gen. Akol Koor, the Director General of the South Sudan’s National Security Services, faulted the two gentlemen of “non-adherence to the media code of conduct and professional ethics and of publishing illicit news that was defamatory, inciting, and invading the privacy of personalities.”

In the same way Dr. James Okuk a former ambassador to Brazil was arrested on October 21, 2011, for allegedly “writing against President Salva Kiir on the internet.” In January 2012, the New Times editor, Richard Mogga and his counterpart, Badru Mulumba, were quietly “picked up by people claiming to be police.”

The South Sudan army’s also known as SPLA has been accused of human rights abuses in Jonglei state and other areas in South Sudan where deadly ethnic clashes erupted. In September of this year, the government of South Sudan has forced a UN human Rights officer to leave the country. Sandra Beidas, a human rights investigator with the mission, was ordered by the South Sudan Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ministry, to leave the country within 48 hours. The United States government was very concerned about South Sudan’s decision to expel a human rights officer working for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). This action by the government of South Sudan is evidence of how the human rights condition is deteriorating in the country.

The flight of South Sudanese journalists is well captured according to Ojja William Benjamin, a freelance journalist from the Eastern Equatoria State that, “It is becoming a habit these days that journalists are picked up and arrested by the powerful individual government officials and released without charges after spending long periods in jail. This is not acceptable! On December 31, 2011, Dr. Jok Madut Jok, an ewmployee in the government of South Sudan was beaten in Wau airport. According to Dr. Jok Madut Jok that, “I was brutally attacked, my arms tight by several men, a blow to the side of my head with the butt of a gun and several punches straight onto both of my eyes; no questions asked, not even any accusations of wrongdoing. I was tortured properly while I had quickly shown the soldiers my identity card, demonstrating that I am a senior official in the national government, undersecretary in the Ministry of Culture, but the ID thrown away and several men wrestled me to the ground.”

Late Dr. John Garang once said, “If the SPLM government will not provide basic services and security to the people under their care, then the people will throw them into the sea, and even if there is no sea around, they will definitely find one.”

Ngor Garang, Editor in Chief at The Destiny newspaper, and journalist for the online newspaper, The Sudan Tribune, was arrested on 1 November. He was summoned to meet with the Director General of South Sudan’s NSS concerning an article that had been published in The Destiny. He attended the meeting with two colleagues, who were released following a three hour interrogation. Ngor Garang remains detained without charge. On 5 November, two cars full of NSS personnel, six of whom were carrying guns, entered the offices of The Destiny and arrested one of its journalists, Dengdit Ayok. He also remains detained without charge. Both men are believed to be held in the NSS headquarters in Jebel. It is the failure of South Sudan civil society, social media and grassroots movement to put pressure on the government of South Sudan to make a meaningful institutional reform concerning human rights violations over the last 8 years.”

In conclusion, the government of South Sudan must uphold its international obligations to respect the fundamental human rights, freedom of expression, assembly, and association, and cease arrests, harassment, and detention of individuals based on their political views. The government of South Sudan must make serious reforms within it security forces because continuation of these abuses such as extrajudicial arbitrary arrest, indefinitely detention without trial, torture, harassment on the media, harsh prison conditions, restrictions on freedom of speech; restrictions on freedoms of assembly, association, prevention of international human rights observers and discrimination against women and child abuse which would lead to deterioration of human rights abuse that will damage the nation’s creditability in the international community which could result in sanctions against South Sudan and isolation from the international community.

My appeal to the South Sudanese citizens that they should demand their fundamental basic human rights to be respected by the government and to put pressure on the government to make institutional reforms and to educate society on their basic human rights and encourage South Sudanese civil society, human rights defenders, media, grassroots community, etc to stand together.

The author is a South Sudanese concerned citizen; he can be reached at jwothab@yahoo.com

Unity, Warrap, and Lakes States should make peace and reconciliation a priority in their common borders.

BY: John Malou Manyiel, Nkumba University, Kampala, UGANDA, DEC/28/2012, SSN;

Many forms of violent conflicts hurt development, but civil wars are the most destructive. They also often lead to a situation where the existing state gives up its developmental or welfare role completely. I don’t claim that my proposals necessarily provide the best solutions for all forms of violent conflicts caused by cattle rustlers among others in the above three mentioned states, but it is because such violence are most likely to occur in poor and slowly growing country like South Sudan. And when they do occur they inflict enormous hardship if not controlled. Violent conflicts lead to disinvestment and the destruction of capital and increased reliance on primary commodities and natural resources.

Decades of war, the effects of weapons and sustained conflicts have increased trauma and violence and reduced trust among the neighboring communities. This is a crucial time to promote a process of inclusive decision making at all levels and peace building as a means of moving into reconciliation. Peace and freedom of movement among communities provides a unique opening to stabilize gains made in the democracy movement and to approach the causes of conflict. It provides the impetus to visibly acknowledge and address thorny problem of cattle rustlings, poverty and underdevelopment to provide people at the local level with assurances that change is afoot.

I think peace is less a solution than a result. I mean if these mentioned three states manage to make peace reign in their borders, it is because at first they have erased the thorny problems. People are happy when there is no problem anymore, so they are not angry. They don’t need to go on criticizing when everything is OK. In a word, we have to resolve main problems to be able to develop in the best way and to get peace.

In order to improve the future human relations in all walks of life among communities in these three states, the young generation has to play a pivotal role and avoid unacceptable acts of attacking individuals and communities in form of revenge which has just happened recently between Unity and Lakes states. Revenge is never a good thing and never be a solution to any violent conflict. Revenge is the first step toward escalation.

As an integrated human society, we need to acknowledge our differences but to look past them and find common ground with the entire world’s people. In this critical situation, it should be our paramount priority to understand how to minimize, prevent, or eliminate cattle raids which is the major core problems among the neighboring communities.

Furthermore, if we wish to concentrate on peace, we must learn how to suspend ourselves in the present and focus on the future we ultimately wish to work on together. The current consensus among peace theorists is that peace is not a state of being to be found somewhere in the future or at any time, but a reference to processes and qualities regarding our relationships with self and others, manifesting themselves in perception, reaction, affection, and action.

Healthy relationships, friendly environment, the absence of fear, and feelings of safety will allow and give chances for development in our communities. These also allow our state governments to plan for development projects that aim at helping communities in term of service delivery to the people. Everyone wants peace and friendly environment.

I invite politicians and men of good will to work with determination for peace and reconciliation that encompasses states to change this culture of killings and cattle rustlings that have caused all the sufferings among the bordering communities. There is no any development associated with the violent or conflicts. These conflicts induce extremely high direct and indirect costs, and behind these costs, are lives lost, immense human suffering, and the destruction of communities.

Finally, I also appeal to the three state governments to set up what is called ‘Peer and Partner Conflict Watchdog.’ The states watchdog committees would consist of members drawn from diverse sectors of the society who serve alongside representatives of neighboring communities that serve on their own state’s watchdog committees, and also alongside representatives of national and development partners. In this way the structure allows for sharing of lessons learned across political communities.

The watchdog would serve a role as a national conflict ombudsman, it would receive complaints from civilians and information from decentralized conflict monitoring institutions and other bodies, and prepare an annual national conflict risks status report that assesses the impact of economic policies on instances of violent actions taken by government or non-governmental bodies, and violations of human rights norms by transnational corporations and other bodies, and submit this report to the national government and to international development and financial agencies.

The purpose is to foster learning from peers and partners concerning alternative strategies to reduce the likelihood of violent conflict. This set of policy measures for conflict prevention in the neighboring states’ communities will give rooms to social services delivery and freedom of movement of people from state to state, especially businessmen and women. It’s also giving each state’s government to come up with a set of guidelines for development policies and create development programs in conflict areas.

This author is a concern citizen of South Sudan, from Lakes State. A student pursuing Bachelor of Arts in Community Based Development at Nkumba University in Kampala, Uganda.
You can reach me for any comment at: maloumanyiel@yahoo.com

Kiir: Burning National Flag in Wau isn’t a crime, it’s freedom of speech!

BY: Mulana D’Duot, USA, DEC/28/2012, SSN;

Lately, Mr. President has missed a penalty kick that he could have scored easily. Kiir bitterly ordered his security personnel to hunt down the suspects behind the burning of the national flag in Wau and to bring them to justice for burning a piece of cloth painted with colors that we supposedly like (our national flag).

But, Mr. President, which is more important, the arrest of Isaiah Abraham’s killers and of those who stole billions of dollars, that should be brought instantly to justice?

We must, however, remind him that he’s totally failed to bring people who have stolen billions of dollars to justice, people who’re killing people in Juba (including the assassination of Isaiah Abraham), and killings all over South Sudan; and he has miserably failed to defeat a man who suffering from cancer in Khartoum (President El Bashir), and inexcusably failed to deliver the needed political or economic development to the people of South Sudan, only to name a few.

Unfortunately, this man is clearly sick in mind. He is also out of touch!

Can someone seriously tell him that burning of the National Flags falls under the freedom of speech? How can you can go so hard like crying that, “these people must be hunted down and be brought to book because what they have done cannot be compromised. They are not against Rizik [Zachariah Hassan] as governor; they are not against me as the president. They are against this country. Burning national flag, which is our symbol, is unacceptable.”

But, for your information, Mr. President, if I may remind you, what about the lives of innocent people who are being killed or those 75 people whom you have sent them letters for stealing billions of dollars?

All we know till now is that none of these individuals, neither those killing people nor those who have stolen billions of dollars have ever been brought to justice, yesterday, today or tomorrow.

Mr. President, if you really care, you should primarily focus on a meaningful and good governance much more better than what you are doing today.

Whenever you made such a blunder, you compelled Isaiah Abraham to say something that he sincerely thought that South Sudanese should all know.

Even if he is no longer alive among us today, there are, for your information, many more ‘Isaiah’s’ today than they were before he was killed.

They are ready to write and to criticize you whenever you make unthinkable moves.

Finally, our people need smart leaders and hard working individuals, not a gang of thieves and killers.

Kiir’s failed leadership slowly killing the nation

Editorial Analysis: DEC/27/2012, SSN;

Evidently, the killing of political commentator, Isaiah, followed by the ruthless gunning down of peaceful protesters in Wau by the blood-thirsty National Security agents, and the deadly shooting down of a clearly marked UN helicopter killing all four Russian pilots by a trigger-happy and unrestrained army, are acts of a regime that’s desperately sliding downhill on the road to dictatorship and failed governance.

What kind of nation have we become when tens of dead bodies are literally popping up every night with decapitated heads in Juba wrecking fear on poor civilians, and yet the president unfairly fails to fire for incompetence neither the inspector-general of police nor Juba police commissioner but yet he had the Wau police commissioner fired after the deadly protest?

And compounding it all, we’ve a president who confoundingly declared in Wau on Christmas eve, that, “if he himself was in Wau, he would have even fought against the demonstrators,” instead of publicly exuding leadership tact, empathy for the dead, sensitivity and sensibility, and leaving the whole episode to the rule of law while personally seeking reconciliation among the warring tribes.

With a president with such a mentality of vengeance, there is great trepidation in the country and among citizens wondering about the utter subversion of the norms of conflict resolutions and the rule of law, things that the UNMISS and the US government have being desperately but without success trying to inculcate into the leadership in the South.

In normal circumstances, however, after the blunders made by governor Rizik (he’s no true Rizikallah), president Kiir should have immediately constituted a high-level judicial commission of inquiry (since citizens were gunned down by state security) to carry out the legal investigations starting with proper scrutiny of the governor’s decree to arbitrarily order the transfer of the headquarters, a move that was widely opposed by the citizens.

Furthermore, as in more civilized nations, this judicial commission constituted would explore all views and grievances raised by all sides and the roles played by the state authorities in exacerbating the situation but more importantly, the commission’s mandate would be to re-examine in its entirety the so-called ‘taking-the-towns-to-the-people’ concept.

Undoubtedly, this contentious and badly misunderstood SPLM/A doctrine has greatly engendered a lot of opposition and controversy for the simple fact that the ruling tribalists in the Kiir’s regime with the passive or active support of the president himself, took advantage by exploiting this policy to aggressively embark on massive land grabbing.

What happened spontaneously in Yei and Wau are just the tips of a political volcano which might inevitably reignite with greater deadliness in Malakal, Maridi, Magwi, Mvolo and other parts of South Sudan, for example, if the issues of illegal mass migration of people and animals and illegal land occupation are not immediately addressed and fairly resolved by Kiir and his stone-deaf hegemonists in power.

Ominously, Yei is a simmering microcosm of political ethnic volatility that had similarly taken place in 2008 in Kenya’s Rift Valley, whereby non-native migrant settlers (land grabbers) from the ruling Central Province tried to surpass and suppress the native population and whereby these aggressive migrants tried to deliberately alter the political demographics to suit their majoritarian advantage of political domination.

Kiir’s often vocalized lame-duck argument after the Yei incident that ‘any citizen of South Sudan is a citizen anywhere he settles,’ shouldn’t be cynically misinterpreted and abused by some tribes; yes, any southerner can legally live and work anywhere across the nation, but he/she must abidingly live by the rules on the ground in those places.

Moreover, learned legal brains in the SPLM now tell us that when this policy of ‘taking-the-towns-to-the-people’ was initially formulated, the interpretation would eventually be that upon liberation of the country and contrary to the former jellaba rule now overthrown, this policy would mean that the SPLM would be taking services that previously only existed in towns to the people in the villages or rural areas, so that these people won’t unnecessarily migrate to the towns, such as Juba, Wau or Malakal, to seek the same services.

This, unfortunately, is what you, Mr. President, has miserably failed to achieve in the long seven years of your rule and with the billions of dollars stolen under your watch which would have provided these services and transformed those villages into towns and provided those services so that your ministers’ houses in Juba, as you recently lamented, won’t be overcrowded with ‘more than twenty’ idle relatives.

Candidly, when the president and his fellow commanders/victors liberated Yei and then liberally without any challenge carved out for themselves large chunks of land thereupon to build their mansions, it was because the natives were damned scared to raise any objection or else they’d have been shot immediately, that was an undisputed reality of life in those so-called ‘liberated’ areas.

Which vanquished Kakwa or Pojulu in Yei at that time would have dared tell commander Kiir or any SPLA then to get off his father’s land at the cost of his miserable life? Let’s be humble and learn to adhere to the rule of law by publicly accepting that now is the right time for you to genuinely redress the injustice inflicted in the war of liberation and bring peace among the people of South Sudan.

Mr. President should ever remember what His Lordship, the Bishop of Juba, sermonized during the Christmas mass, about how more painfully it is to see ‘our own sons and brothers’ now using the same weapon and style of mis-rule of the jellaba Arabs to inflict heinous brutality that southerners thought they’d forgotten with the disappearance of the jellaba from their new nation.

Indisputably, it’s now the president’s own security apparatus appointees, many of whom are closely or distantly related to him, who are slowly but surely killing our new nation, it’s now his unpopular MIS-ruling party, the SPLM, that is blatantly and massively wrecking the country’s political, social and economic foundations.

In the end, the biggest tragedy that is visibly and painfully rocking and shocking the nation would be directly attributable to the dysfunctional style of government now in the country.

Seriously, it’s time the president and his party solemnly abjured all the nefarious policies and repudiated some of those decrees dictated by cronies-cum-governors like Rizik or ministers who’re but totally ignorant or oblivious of the ramifications of their hastily promulgated laws or pronouncements.

The constitution specifically stated that the land belongs to the people, meaning that the native people previously and resident on the land in perpetuity are the legal owners of the land; it doesn’t mean that the government, state or national, can unlawfully override the solemn property rights of entitlement of the people and proceed to expropriate with absolute impunity these people’s land.

Inscrutably, our nation is visibly turning into another Kenya, whereby, the president willfully allows corruption to fester, and the corrupt leaders to become more powerful due to illegally acquired financial powers and the government becomes a web of patronage for very powerful tribal insiders, these so-called leaders will only be in power enjoying the fruits of their exploitation of the nation than being agents of national unity and change.

Finally, if president Kiir has already seriously lost the personal stamina and zeal to rule and rescue our nation from falling apart or breaking into pieces, it would only be timely prudent for him to voluntarily cede power instead of keeping hopelessly entrapped in power while slowly killing the nation.
By SSN Website Editor.

South Sudan slipping into dictatorship

BY: Odongi Banabakintu, RSS, DEC/23/2012, SSN;

When the country was still Sudan, all of us, then Sudanese under the leadership of Hassan Omar El Bashir knew crystal clear that dictatorship did exist. The regime then required and still requires one person and one party to be in control of a nation and a climate of fear was provided by the notorious National Intelligence Services was and is well accepted. As such personal freedoms disappeared in the whole country and we fought to get back our liberties. The reputation of the NIF/NCP Police and the secret police was such that no-one wished to cause offence. In this sense, Sudan was a nation ran on fear of the government, the situation Bashir had created within months of taking power in the 1989 coup.

When the final signatures of the IGAD brokered peace talks were penned in the famous Naivasha Hotel, South Sudanese both at home and in Diasporas shed tears of joy. Events followed each other in the South; all those documented militia activities, un-investigated killings, political sabotages and maladministration were blamed squarely on Khartoum and her assumed collaborators.

When Salva Kiir was elected as the first President of the Republic of South Sudan, it didn’t sound a moving event as the whole population in the South knew he would be given the votes so as to task of the successful referendum which rested heavily on the shoulders of his party. Note: The death of Dr. Garang in July 2005, allowed Kiir to combine the posts of being Commander in Chief of the SPLA and the 1st Vice President of the Republic of Sudan and President of the Government of Southern Sudan.

The positions which if not well understood and managed can tempt the Benydit to continue thinking he is the one and only man fit enough to run South Sudan – in a one-man show. Local political commentators who saw this as a clear signal for a dictatorship taking over the nation were quickly termed alarmists….just to shut them up.

Salva Kiir Mayardit was sworn in as a President. His only remaining problems from his point of view were disloyalty within his own party ranks and the fight against the cancerous corruption. He made public the victor’s rhetoric which if pronounced in other countries will earn the speaker honorium even before any achievement is measured. In his own word:

1. “The people of South Sudan want peace, better living standards and freedom which my government will strive to achieve. I will not be a disgrace to the people who showed confidence in me by re-electing me back to the office.”
2. “Any unnecessary misuse of funds for trips abroad, buying expensive cars or building of luxurious houses will not be tolerated because the money has to be used to help the citizens of South Sudan to develop the agricultural system, market economy and in helping fishermen.”
3. “Universal access to clean water, improved physical infrastructure, efficient delivery of public services, peace and security and the rule of law shall be key in my new government.”
4. “The youth shall be provided with employment opportunities and education sector will be fully supported. I call upon the cabinet to make sure that this order is fulfilled during my term of office.”
5. “I will lead the people of South Sudan to the direction they want.”

The Nation waited for 9 months to see what the report of his well written speech would look like. None, the language of stock-taking which was one time used to nail Bashir in Juba Stadium began disappearing and nobody bothered to remind the President to tell the public how far his government implemented his promises.

I think that those who could help our dear President in delivering the promises realized that they didn’t move an inch in that direction and therefore, chose to divert the attention of the President from what the poor voters in the bomas, payams and counties are expecting from their romantic votes.

In fact, 2010 had earlier on shown Kiir that the support SPLM enjoyed reached a point of diminishing return as shown in the public outcry of the corrupt system, key SPLM party members lost seats (majority filtered into the legislative assemblies under the umbrella of party list).

And when the March 2010 election was endorsed as free and fair by the lazy local and foreign observers, a sign of a disaster was looming, one person voted 15 times and that is said to be right? Surely this gamble will later on see Kiir and SPLM possibly taking the constitution making process in the same manner as if some sense of moral judgment doesn’t exist in the Country.

How did South Sudan descend so quickly into becoming a dictatorship?
Immediately after the July 2011 South Sudan Independence, the hopes for democracy which was high in the minds of the thousands and foreign dignitaries who gathered at the Garang Mausoleum began dwindling. Some citizens like this author who sat and watched speechlessly the event from a TV screen, painfully moved away from the TV Screen as the celebration was inching towards signing the hotly debated and the unholy constitution. Ops! It’s going to be signed and the Independence subsequently declared.

I remained motionless to recall what efforts South Sudanese of professional backgrounds exerted to see that the interim constitution reflected good governance, At this moment, I could vividly see South Sudan slipping into dictatorship as many questions ran through my mind:-

1. Shall South Sudan ever hold free and fair elections under this constitution?
2. Will this questionable constitution protect our basic rights?
3. Will the numerous political parties become partners in building this country?
4. Is this event marking the beginning of a lasting celebration in my country? etc…

Like the Nazi Party of Hitler in the Reichstag of January 1933, I saw Kiir as a fall-guy politician who would have to shoulder all the blames if things get worse under his leadership. The signing of the constitution (they prefer calling it Interim Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan) was a bold landmark that tells things will keep on being imposed down the throats of the citizens with no justifications.

The Big Man in the land made promises. This would have been, in his mind, the perfect opportunity for him to show all politicians who opposed him that the true loyalties lay in the South Sudanese people who ululate at every word he pronounce.

Well, just 5 months after the independence celebration, Kiir on behalf of the SPLM/A immediately declared war on Sudan Armed Forces who occupied Panthou and informed the globe that he is not under somebody’s rule. Other South Sudanese were in jubilation, thinking the messiah is finally here starting to restore our pride and punish the watermelon eaters.

But the author was like… why not learn and practice peacetime and preventive diplomacy other than war diplomacy? However, I consoled myself when I borrowed the words commonly used in the Juba street politics “…He is just there as a figure for public to view as a President. But the men who run the country are behind the smoke screens down there and that is why all decision are rashly carried out by the clique within the circle of SPLA/M to undermine his performance and have Benydit exposed to the public as a failure… And guys sympathize when you see him stressed up.”

Before we consolidated our jumbled arguments on the Panthou score, the President ordered his men in khaki out of Panthou after being bullied and or pestered all day and night long- this according to many analysts was to prove to our president that he still is under some people’s rule.

Where do you think a president in such a situation will vent out his frustration given the fact that he wields unquestionable constitutional powers locally? Not on those who will criticize that he is not up to his words?

As stated in the Constitution, Kiir thought that if he was to convince us of protecting our sovereignty, he has to be given emergency powers – such as that stated in the Interim Constitution – “….holds the ultimate constitutional right to dismiss any elected governor/constitutional post holder.”

When threatened with the rejection of some clauses in the draft interim constitution, Kiir (upon the advice of some close aides) threatened to close down the South Sudan National Legislation Assembly to create an atmosphere conducive for discussing the document when in fact it was to have a smoke free empire to manipulate the Law making process.

The meeting in J1 Presidential palace, was clear that the constitution was quickly to be passed into law. Those SPLM legislators who insisted on a fair constitution were branded “hyenas in sheep’s skins.” The act which will give Kiir what he wanted – dictatorial power. Meaning what he wanted would become law in South Sudan within minutes of his signature being put on paper.

This Constitution gives Kiir and the SPLM party what they wanted – ability to ban the activities of some political parties perceived as threats… not to register them and Civil Societies activities intending to voice out any vices of the Juba-based administration.

These started by some leaders from opposition parties getting arrest threats and newspapers warned of censorship if certain types of articles kept being published in them. To the Kiir Government, the law is to ‘keep the peace’ and maintain law and order. The unprofessional and notorious police can start roaming the streets, entering bars, restaurants if any day is declared “Public Day,” disrupting business – typical of the “Brown Shirts” of Adolf Hitler who instilled discipline by ordering the elimination of anyone suspected of being against the system.

As was anticipated, a known activist, Deng Athuai, was caught immediately following the demonstration against the officials who allegedly stole 4 Billion from the government coffers, those who arrested him – claimed in hiding that Deng confessed to them that the demo was an initiative of SPLM/DC – a scapegoat of course, signal to other party opponents to start the revolution to overthrow democracy in the country.

The government commissioned an investigation into Athuai’s kidnap. Till now no report was shared about the findings, the Law for the Protection of the People and the State is gradually being thrashed into the dust bins of the judiciary, legislation and executives.

In order to undermine the independence of the judiciary and enforcement of the rule of law; the system keeps encouraging each State to have State Ministry of Local Government and Law Enforcement Agency. And in each State, this Ministry tends to be much attended and supported by the Juba.

How the Security Organs operation help tell it all.

All over the world, the German security men were famed for the methodical manner in which they worked. They divided the population into 5 categories:
1. V-men: men who could be trusted.
2. A-men: agents in the field.
3. Z-men: informants.
4. H-men: secondary informants.
5. U-men: corrupt and unreliable

Their intelligence there has vast power. It could involve itself in any aspect of someone’s life if they believed that that person was potentially “an enemy of the state.” Reports were kept at local levels. Reports were also sent to central office if it was felt that the person involved was important enough. These are all done to avert rush decisions which endanger national cohesion, as such these saw Germany having few opposition political asylum seekers in other countries.

However, in South Sudan, the average citizen had no come back against the Security and could have an order to have him or her immediately arrest and incarceration of any suspect and few are safe from the clutches of the infamous and confusing Special Branch and Public Securities. In a normal situation, being arrested was one thing and proving your innocence was another. The security organs here work on the assumption that an individual is guilty until he/she could prove her/her innocence. As the agents held all the necessary evidence and the individual involved is in prison, this almost became impossible to do to disapprove the crooked system.

Some surviving documents/reports show that the Special Branch run several torture houses in and around Juba (Jebel and Hai Jallabah), the several security branches such as the public security and special branch often rival amongst themselves while executing duties, and each views the other as a criminal organization. If this is true, then this can simply mean that being a member of the security organ is a criminal act in itself.

Don’t forget the politics of regionalism and/or tribalism is also one element leading the country quickly into dictatorship. Each region/tribe is strategizing to defend its interest if the Country will stand the test of this forged unity. This is further orchestrated by the inexperienced, myopic and elderly public workforce who carries forward their individual differences during the bush war (1983-2005) into service delivery.

They are currently succeeding in mentoring cadres all over the Ministries to exactly behave like them in dealing with public affairs, creating animosity where… hey! Are you witnessing these comrades addressing colleague bush time fighter so?

In the foreign policy, the SPLM-led government has miserably performed given the seven years of generous capacity building and mentoring from the donor countries and the Greater Lakes Region. It’s unclear to many educated population of this country what the foreign policy entails.

My central argument is that inclusive institutions are necessary for sustainable foreign policy. Does this look like ignoring the difference between sustainable innovation and inclusive diffusion of a policy? The intention of keeping it off the limelight is questionable and can perhaps mean avoiding critics but is that not what dictatorship appraised?

Look at the confusion South Sudanese vote caused in 2012 United Nations General Assembly. You will be tempted to ask, what direction is South Sudan taking? Sensitive national policies are often managed exclusively by a few who care less of consultation. But only turn up to consult when a mess they find themselves in has significantly damaged the country’s reputation.

Odongi Kintu is a citizen of South Sudan, he can be reached on odongi4u@yahoo.co.uk