Archive for: December 2012

New Year 2013 Message to the Government and People of South Sudan

BY: Beny Gideon Mabor,JUBA, DEC/23/2012, SSN;

The world youngest country called Republic of South Sudan has now successfully passed over one year and five months since independence on 9 July 2011. Although seven years have passed notwithstanding the said period after independence from rest of the Sudan, the task of nation building for establishment of a vibrant, stable state and an all-embracing homeland for its people realistically remains a big challenge. Yet, there are potentials for change and needs a lot of commitment to implement the task of nation building.

Surprisingly, both ordinary citizens and the relevant stakeholders in governance are aware of these challenges that impacted our progress as seen in several opinions and resolutions for the former and the later but nonetheless without implementation. After one year of full control of our own affairs in Juba and state governments levels respectively, we have fully observed the records of our government at all cost in its constitutional duty as a democratically elected government of the people for the people and by the people.

The most worrying question is what can the government and its law abiding citizens remember to crossover to the New Year 2013? It is certain that the youngest state is significantly prosperous but with surmounting difficulties.

The second question is how can these challenges be reduced so that Year 2013 is different from 2012? First to the citizens, we must take with us a message of peace, love, unity, understanding, forgiveness, tolerance and hope for change in our aspirations from the government.

Second, the government must redouble its efforts to create a conducive environment and tirelessly listen to the voice of the people to make this call a reality. In other words, I always say and it shall remain my motto that the will of the people is the best law. The government must work according to the will of the people which is a core element of democracy.

However, it is only through collective responsibility as government and good citizens that such huge aspirations can be achieved. The government is not ruling in the vacuum to do or continue doing what is narrowly observed this year 2012, where the prioritised duty of the government to provide security of its citizens, their properties and territorial integrity was almost at stake.

The continuous inter-sectional clashes in some states like Jonglei state, Lakes State, Warrap State and Upper Nile State; politically motivated violent crimes like Wau incident in Western Bahr el Ghazal State; the Madi-Acholi civil unrest over a contested piece of land in Eastern Equatoria State, all are clear points of security instability in South Sudan.

The rampant killings in South Sudan and Juba in particular, robbery and to larger extent the presence of rebel groups in the bushes of South Sudan are things we must collectively pay attention to put them to rest.

In fact, if such situations persist, what would be the reason for liberation struggle to attain an independent South Sudan if the
government is not capable of protecting the very citizens and other elements of a living state? This young generation and the coming ones must grow up in a peaceful South Sudan where their liberators have dearly paid the price for freedom instead of a bad historical repetition.

In reality, it is not a Pandora box at least to say that insecurity in general and violent crimes in particular have risen up to immeasurable stage over the last six months in South Sudan and in Juba than ever before.

According to a research data released by my senior colleague, Mr. Zachariah Diing Akol , a Ph.D student of political science at the London School of Economics and a Director of Training at the Sudd Institute under his article entitled Juba’s Insecurity: A Challenge to state authority and credibility, he said the violent crimes in Juba are organised into three categories: “organized crimes that target individuals for commercial reasons, organized political assassinations and random killings both directed against South Sudan nationals and foreigners.”

It is true as all killings for the first target are well calculated against individuals of financial capacity. A case in point is Dr. Alemayehu Seifu, Ethiopian national and Country Director for African Medical and Research Foundation AMREF-South Sudan Office who was killed outside his residence in Malakia, Juba on 14 January 2012, and the assassins ran away with his car. Another case is the broad day light shooting of an employee of the Mountain Development Bank in Juba Town market on December 12, 2012. And other similar attacks in the in Juba city.

Alternatively, the government must rise up to this challenge and address it without delay or else be declared similar to a failed state.

Second, on accountability and transparency, it is very unfortunate that we are crossing over to the New Year 2013 without bringing to justice the accused senior government officials allegedly said to be behind the painful loss of 4 billion US dollars.

The year 2013 is expected to be a year of a just developmental state with serious business of nation building and zero tolerance to many evil thoughts of underdevelopment including corruption, incompetence to do the job, diseases, hunger and illiteracy amongst others.

One may wonder and courageously direct a question to the President, General Salva Kiir Mayardit, who has written notice to the said individuals and institutions responsible for alleged corruption, when will he bring them to justice?

Mr. President ought to know that justice delayed is justice denied. The non-appearance or non-prosecution of the accused individuals discredits President’s declaration of war on corruption and a countdown to zero tolerance remains very high in South Sudan.

Third, on legislative development, our country has magnificently done its best compared to the old Sudan when it got independence from colonial masters. In one and half year now, South Sudan has legislated over 50 pieces of legislation apart from laws enacted during the interim period. This achievement is due to the Ministry of Justice and other line institutions to the national legislature for enactment.

Yet, there are important areas that are not governed or provided for in any legislation namely: insurance, intellectual property, national security, firearms and ammunition, public and animals health, to mention a few.

In conclusion, this message is just intended to wrap-up what is noticed to have gone wrong in the year 2012; the expectation of the year 2013 and what is progressing or achieved or observed with potential to archive and finally the proposed middle ground for us and the elected government to solving the challenges of nation building.

The government once again must adhere to its constitutional principles vested with will of the people under the Transitional Constitution 2011.

Last but not the least, this country is ours and none ever will rescue it from likely destruction by enemies of peace and stability, be them from within or outside, but only through unity of our internal forces regardless of political color, ethnicity and interests. The public interest represented by the Republic of South Sudan must prevail over any self-sponsored interests.

Beny Gideon Mabor, lives in South Sudan and can be reached at
benygmabor@gmail.com

National Security minister’s partial confession, is it genuine?

BY: Stephen Pajok (Lualdit), RSS, DEC/23/2012, SSN;

What mystified me is why some people have fascinating experiences and learned nothing from those experiences, buried their heads in the sand and faked that nothing is happening? I believed our national security minister, Oyai Deng Ajak, think we all have a dull mind to remember what the minister did two and half decades ago.

The minister tried to paint a negative image on his superior, by saying that all security organs and other associated institutions have received “clear instructions” from the President to conduct “full and thorough” investigations to establish the facts. But will they resign if the investigations find them responsible?

My question is who is going to investigate the death of Isaiah and many more massacres in Juba City?

Jal-duong. or Mr., South-Sudanese knew very well that you, our beloved leaders, are criminals at night, and at the same time tried to investigate the crimes you committed by the day.

The death of our brother, Isaiah, and the brutalizing of many people as antithesis to draw the people’s attention away from corruption practice is not the solution at all. The only thing you will get in returns is that the whole country will turned against you.

Mr. Minister, do you really mean what you said or Sudan Tribune quoted you wrongly, when you reportedly uttered the following sentence, “I will not accept to work for an institution which kills people. I actually refused to attend training for security and combat intelligence in Bonga in 1983 when I was among the first groups to go for training. It was actually our current president, Salva Mayardit, who was selecting us. The reason for which I refused was that I did not want to take part in the killing of our people in the same way Nimeri was doing it. But Commander Salva Kiir at the time said ‘no.’ He explained that the security and combat intelligence training you are going to attend is not to kill our people but to allow you acquire knowledge on how to get the information about the activities of the enemy in the front line. This was why I accepted.” http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article44889

The above quote is what I called “Minister’s partial confession.”

Believed it or not I can assure everybody that in the year 1989, I was sitting on the first line when the minister, then SPLA Commander Oyai Deng Ajak, (allegedly) ordered the killing (firesquad) of four SPLA soldiers in FUGNIDO REFUGEES CAMP. I say it again, Fugnido Refugees camp.

They were just South Sudanese children who volunteered to die to pay the price for the liberation and freedom of our Homeland. They were not Arabs or soldiers captives from the enemy Sudanese army. One of them, the eldest, was from Bahr-El Ghazal. I will not reiterate more than this in respect of their families. They died innocently but not forgotten.

And today the minister is trying to brush it away by telling us that his boss told him that the “combat intelligence training you are going to attend is not to kill our people but to allow you acquire knowledge on how to get the information about the activities of the enemy in the front line!”

Mr. Minister, the story of our revolution cannot be falsely amended just so easily. It’s better for you to come clean like the Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar, who has personally admitted that what he did in 1991 so-called Bor Massacre was wrong. Those who hold grudge against him are rightly entitled to their own opinion, but the good Lord of the land will forgive him because he did the right thing.

Mr. Minister, South Sudan is in our blood. Whether you fired a gun, gave your cow to starving Soldiers, or cast your vote for separation, all of these are equal contributions. Nobody owns the nation, or can change what they did during struggle without disclosing his deeds by saying “we are sorry.”

As South Sudanese, we need to understand that what happened to Mr. Abraham can happen to anybody at any given moment. But I myself reject the idea that we should stand for or excuse it. The good news is that the majority of South Sudanese condemned the murder of Isaiah Abraham.

I for one, in a nutshell, believed that the lawlessness and social disturbance which we saw are the direct failure of our government. One can ask why most of our leaders were previously killed by SPLM when they questioned the direction in which the SPLM was leading the movement.

The same happened again under the leadership of the same individuals. Our brothers are slain at night when they expressed their opinions about the direction where our country is going. Many are murdered the same way Isaiah Abraham is murdered.

We as a society kept quiet. Not because we do not care about their lives, it’s because we fear for being bullied or even lose our lives. Those who use state power to kill or silence people who expressed their opinions will not rule forever. Thankfully, it’s always in the twist of fate, as what the Bible said, “those who lived by the sword will be killed by the sword.”

I’m appealing to South Sudan’s youth, please, let’s learn to deal with disagreements. Instead of issuing death threats to those who disagree with us, let’s use compromise instead. What was done by our leaders is an opportunity for us to unite under the banner of South Sudan. Abraham’s death can bring us together to live in harmony.

Everybody’s opinion from Aweil in Northern Bahr-El Ghazal, Maiwut in Eastern Upper Nile, and Old Fangak in Northern Junglei to Tambura in Western Equatoria, is a view that really matters. We need a way of arguing that will push us to clarify our views, which will strengthen our national bonds.

Our first test is to condemn Abraham’s death. No matter what State, tribe or political party you are from, our future is bright! Sweet Home South-Sudan. Thank you and please disagree with me in public. @ stephenpajok@yahoo.com

Stephen Pajok (Lualdit)

Voices of Concern: A Position Paper on the Assassination of Major Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol

To: The President of the Republic of South Sudan
General Salva Kiir Mayardit

From: Greater Bor Community USA,
Greater Bor Community, Canada
C/O Governmental Affairs Committee

Date: December 21, 2012

Re: Voices of Concern: A Position Paper on the Assassination of Major Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol;

Dear Mr. President,
SHOCKED by the recent senseless cold blooded assassination of Major Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol and by the massacre of peaceful demonstrators in the City of Wau as well as by the killings and harassment of journalists, human rights activists, innocent citizens and foreigners;
DISCOURAGED by the deteriorating security situation in rural communities of our “free” homeland of South Sudan without an end in sight;
MINDFUL of the sacred promise we have to our martyrs like Major Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol who continue to give the ultimate sacrifice to show the importance of holding one’s government accountable for its own failings;
RECALLING the original founding principles and timeless creed of the SPLM/A to commit itself to guaranteeing freedom of expression including criticizing one’s own government;
BELIEVING that in an independent South Sudan, every South Sudanese deserves freedom of expression without fear of retaliatory measures including cold blooded murder;
COGNIZANT of the fact that few elements within the national security apparatus are substantially suspected to have murdered Major Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol and are creating havoc among the fearful citizenry in the Capitol of Juba;
RECOGNIZING the indispensable role all South Sudanese need to play as stewards of our society; and
PROUD of our Community of Greater Bor which prides itself of an all-encompassing human virtue of self-restraint “Kon Madang” when reacting to tragedies;
We hereby resolve to send you, Mr. President, an unambiguous message with clear and unmistakable demands.

I. Introduction
Mr. President, in the midst of unbearable tragedies and difficulties, we the people of South Sudan remained firm in our pursuit of peace, equality and justice for all. The brutality of the last 21 years of conflict in Sudan bears tragic evidences of an immeasurable destructive war. Our long for justice and equality was spontaneously confirmed by our Nation unanimous endorsement of C.P.A, and your unwavering commitment to lead our nation through a well-executed south Sudan Referendum in 2011.
Despite your successful guidance and vision in leading our nation through Referendum and Independence, the people of South Sudan and of Greater Bor by and large believe that you have knowingly abandoned the nation’s founding principles of freedom, justice, equality and prosperity. Mr. President, your government is currently at its worst state of affairs, evidenced by rampant corruption, violence, oppression, mistreatment of citizens, poor delivery of services to our people, and worse of all, bad governance across the board. Thus, the assassination of Major Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol cast a final verdict for a deteriorating security situation in South Sudan. Major Isaiah Diing was brutally murdered on December 5th, 2012, an act we unequivocally condemn. We also condemn the killings and harassment of other citizens of this country as well as foreigners who are peacefully residing in the Republic of South Sudan. Sadly, the tragic assassination of Major Diing is undeserved, unwarranted and certainly should not go unpunished. The perpetrators of this intolerable heinous crime against humanity should quickly be brought to justice. Major Diing was a man of great accomplishments; among them he was an SPLA/SPLM decorated war hero, and a patriotic man who has given the Republic of South Sudan all his dues.
Guided by the principles of a religiously devoted mother, Rev. Rebecca Nyalueth Wel Akau, and a fiercely admired chief from Kongor, the family of Chief Chan Awuol is amongst the very first families to suffer from the painful grief by losing three of their sons during the liberation for the country they so dearly love. His mother is a devoted pastor who prayed hard for the freedom of South Sudan and peace amongst all South Sudanese people. In fact, on the day of her son’s assassination, she was on a mission to Rumbek to pray for peace in Lakes State when she had to be rushed back to Juba for the news of her son’s death. Several written articles showed that Diing received several threats from unknown telephone numbers before his death. He knew that he was being threatened because of his criticism of the government for its failures. He also understood that he had a responsibility as a citizen to criticize government policies that would take the nation in a wrong direction. His death in the hands of his own people is a national tragedy!

II. We cite a few incidences of worsening security situation and crackdowns on freedom of expression
In the wake of Isaiah Ding’s assassination, there is an acute need of concern for your attention to address issues that are affecting our new country, issues that may very well derail our fragile and infant democracy. Since our independence, there have been mounting evidences of brutality by security forces and rampant ethnic violence that has elevated alarm to an unquestionable high level of fear. However the government in Juba under your direction fails to do anything as a matter of resolving our most serious issues namely: insecurity, freedom of expression and human rights violations. The fact that these incidents, stated below, are carried out by security forces show someone in the administration has either approved the executions of these actions with your knowledge, or you have lost control of your administration.

Mr. President, our bottom line is a complete accountability. We ask you to hold those who carry out these heinous acts to account for their actions so that others who are inclined to follow their suits are deterred. We are focusing on the big picture. And here, we only highlight a number of selected key incidents to capture the gravity of the situation now in the Republic of South Sudan.
1. Since independence, about 2,400 people have died due to ethnic violence mostly from Jonglei State, according to Al Jazeera. We appreciate your administration’s bold step in launching disarmament in Jonglei early this year. However, it is not enough as cattle rustling, child kidnapping and killing of innocent civilians are still continuing as witnessed recently in Alian village in Bor County. A major problem is that South Sudan’s security forces do not intervene when elements of one tribe attack another. For examples, militias from Pibor have on numerous occasions raided and killed people in villages in Bor area while the SPLA in Bor Town never intervened to protect the civilians. Last year, about 8000 armed Lou Nuer attacked Pibor but the SPLA did not intervene. Before that, Lou Nuer areas had been attacked by Murle Militias but the SPLA did not intervene to protect the innocent civilians. The fact that 8000 Lou Nuer youth went to Pibor for revenge was due to the failure by your government to protect the people and have monopoly over the use of force in apprehending criminals;
2. Another one of the most damming brutality of security forces came just three days after the assassination of Major Isaiah. Security force shot and killed about 11 innocent people while peacefully protesting on December 8, 2012 in Wau. Their crimes were nothing less of raising their voices and matching on street in demand of something in the practice of freedom to protest as a citizens of South Sudan, the very idea to which you fought for your entire life;
3. In 2009 alone, about 2,500 people were killed, and more than 350,000 were displaced by inter-tribal conflicts, according to small arms survey report released in October 2012;
4. The recent abduction and torture to near death of human rights activist, Deng Athuai, for protesting against corruption by asking for the firing of 75 current and former government officials responsible for stolen $4 billion;
5. Regular mysterious killings in Juba (it will not do justice to even give any specific example because this happens regularly). In the week in which Late Isaiah was assassinated, Miraya FM had reported 50 people were murdered in Juba under various circumstances. This means the security forces are either responsible or they do not protect the people;
6. Mading Ngor Akec Kuai was harassed and thrown out of national parliament and had been receiving threats from the national security for hosting dissenting voices on his radio talk show and he has now left the country to protect his life;
7. Mabior Garang de Mabior has been assaulted by members who identified to be from the security forces and has been threatened on numerous occasions for his political activism (freedom includes freedom to exercise political right and right to freedom of expression);
8. Professor Jok Madut Jok, of Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles), on leave, was tortured by security forces last year. Many people believe he was targeted because of his critical views of the government in the media, especially his interviews with Al Jazeera TV;
9. Dr. James Okuk was arrested, detained and tortured on accusation of writing articles critical of your government;
10. Wiyual Manytap has disappeared without trace;
11. Mayol Kuch Duoi was tortured to death by the SPLA soldiers (many sources believe the soldiers were jealous of his US citizenship or the anti-diaspora sentiments played a role in Mayol’s death because the SPLA soldiers started torturing him after his identity documents showed him as a US citizen);
12. John Akuach Jook, a law graduate from Makerere University was killed in a mysterious car accident and the killers have not been brought to book. Akuach was a vocal critic of the government and many people believed he lost his life because of that;
13. Dengdit Ayok, a columnist and Ngor Arol Garang, Editor in Chief of the Destiny Newspaper were arrested, tortured, detained and their paper was suspended by the South Sudan National Security on charges of publishing an article which criticized you for allowing your daughter to be married to an Ethiopian. We agree with you that any South Sudanese is entitled to marry whoever he/she loves but the use of state authority to stifle freedom of expression puts the very freedom we fought for into jeopardy and those columnists shouldn’t have been dragged to Security Station for questioning and detention without you immediately intervening to save them from being tortured in jail. And neither should their newspaper have been suspended;
14. Richard Mogga, managing editor of the New Times Newspaper, was briefly detained on January 13, 2012 by security forces for allegedly writing an article that questioned security organ knowledge of the South Sudan cabinet;
15. Badru Mulumba, a news reporter with the New Times, was arrested on January 18, 2012 and briefly detained for writing an article that allegedly defamed Nunu Jema, Minister of Housing and Physical Infrastructure;
16. Three Citizen Newspaper Journalists were arrested in January 2012 by police officers and beaten and detained and released after five hours. What is so alarming is how the security forces start treating people guilty and begin torturing people even before they are proven guilty. Didn’t we fight to achieve rule of law and to achieve freedom from torture?;
17. Citizen Newspaper Editor, Nhial Bol, has been warned on several occasions about what not to write about and what not to publish. This is a Khartoum-style media censorship and should stop;
18. SPLA Military Intelligence beat up the Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Onyati Adigo, during South Sudan’s Independence Day Celebration for “hanging posters without permission” and a senior security official told newspaper editor, Nhial Bol, not to write about the incident. If your security forces are so ashamed of the incident being read by the public, why do they commit such an illegal act in the first place? Hanging posters is part of freedom of expression. Why should anyone ask for permission from security to post an information material? This is Khartoum governance style which we fought against;
19. Security officers beat a driver from the Citizen Newspaper and raided the paper’s office after the Editor, Nhial Bol, wrote details about how police had not received their salaries for three months;
20. Manyang Mayom, a Rumbek based journalist, has been detained by police three times on various occasions. What is mind-boggling is how these incidents of freedom of press happen so often and the culprits are not warned by the top authority not to repeat or apprehend;
21. Nasir Fazol, a Citizen Newspaper reporter, was detained in September 2012 by security and later released without charges, according to South Sudanese media and the Committee to Protect Journalists;
22. 35 Eritrean citizens have been killed in Juba, according to Deputy Chairperson of Eritrean Community quoted by the Sudd Institute;
23. As of the end of September 2012, about 15 Kenyans have been killed in South Sudan within duration of one year, according to Kenyan Assistant Foreign Affairs Minister. This included Ms. Tabitha Musangi, a teacher at John Garang International School, who was shot dead for not stopping for the lowering of the South Sudan National Flag. This is a shameful act, why would someone take away a human life just for not stopping for the lowering of a national flag?;
24. And several Ugandans and Ethiopians have also been murdered in Juba.
These are disturbing incidences but they do not account for unreported cases since we just listed those that are out in the public domain. Mr. President, the best question to ask you is what have you done to ensure that these things never happen again? Of course, nothing! Another question is will your government change the course if we do not fight for the reform? No, especially now in the wake of assassination of Major Diing Chan Awuol in which your administration has shown a lukewarm response. The only way your administration will change the course is not to shut up but loudly demand a meaningful reform now rather than later. Our nation is taking a wrong direction and we, the governed, must rescue it!

III. We know your failed governance is a South Sudanese problem
We the South Sudanese, as one people, must understand that the above mentioned incidents are cases of individuals who stood up to the most powerful for the sake of all South Sudanese to have a nation that is worthy of their sacrifices. They are as well cases of citizens being killed in their villages and in Juba with your government doing little to protect them. They are cases of individual journalists and civil rights activists who are doing their parts to ensure South Sudan is on the right track. We aspire to raise our nation up to a more perfect union where freedom of expression on all sorts of issues important to our nation are respected and valued. We aspire for a nation in which the citizens can independently express their views including sometimes using incendiary words without fear of overreach by the State. For example President Bush, Prime Minister Tony Blair and many others were called idiots, yet they had successful administrations. Why not you too, President Kiir, because this is what it means to lead a democratic nation in which freedom of expression is cherished and protected?
We want to say no to borrowed bad governance styles from Khartoum, Nairobi and Kampala. Please, import only the good stuffs! We are seeing a nation in which enough material resources have been looted and innocent lives have been taken away without your administration holding those responsible accountable for their actions. Once accountability and freedom of expression are prohibited, your administration and its inner circle will live in a bubble and group-think and you will only be told what you want to hear instead of what you ought to hear and that is a national problem for all South Sudanese.
We are taking a stand now rather than later for the sake of freedom from your autocratic rule. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: with rampant innocent killings, a red line has been clearly crossed and the people of South Sudan are setting a zero tolerance on your autocratic rule and failed policies of your administration.

IV. We believe elements within the security apparatus are key suspects for Major Diing’s assassination. The politics of intimidation rooted in the philosophical attitude to silence political opponent or critics, is not a secret practice by your security personnel. As we look at this case of deteriorating security situation in South Sudan, we have to look at no other entity but security personnel of your administration as the suspects of killings and harassment of innocent civilians, South Sudanese and foreigners alike. Incidents prior to the assassination of late Diing make us to believe some elements within your security forces are major suspects. It is worth noting that Major Diing wrote several opinion articles which criticized you including an opinion piece critical of your administration’s foreign policy decisions particularly on the Malwal Dinkas’ 14 miles land corridor conceded as a demilitarized zone although it has never ever been contested by the North before because it is Malwal Dinkas’ Land right inside South Sudan. The piece was well liked by South Sudanese across the board but hated by your Morons, Mr. President Kiir!

Here are some of the evidences why we think your security personnel are the suspects and as someone in charge, you should arrest them:
* Major Diing received death threats from individuals at the national security with warning to him to stop or face elimination;
* He was shown his printed articles by the security personnel and warned to stop writings against the president or he would be eliminated;
* After these warning from your security forces, a few days later, Major Diing was shot dead. The public, including this committee, think that this is not a mere coincidence.
South Sudanese have also seen you as someone who has increasingly become intolerant to the freedom of expression. Not arresting those suspects would make South Sudanese believe you have a hand in the incidents of suppression of freedom of expression because of your reaction or lack of action. For example, during the demonstration against Mile 14, you appeared in public and geared your anger at the returning diaspora with a hate speech making the case that the demonstrators against 14 mile land concession were returning members of South Sudanese diaspora instigating lawlessness in South Sudan. Mr. President, how dare are you to insult the intellect of all protesting South Sudanese who never set foot on foreign lands? Don’t you think that they get it when their land is being conceded to the North inch by inch? How about the returning South Sudanese diaspora’s right to protest South Sudanese government’s incompetence to negotiating favorable terms for the South Sudanese? Are they only South Sudanese when they protest against Khartoum in foreign capitals? Major Diing’s assassination was a tragedy that shook the whole world but what was the reaction from your administration? A lukewarm and crocodile tears to say the least!

There were cases of weird reactions by your administration’s officials and by you, Mr. President, that raise a question as to whether or not the administration might be more knowledgeable of Major Diing’s killers; for example:
1. The Minister of Information, Marial Benjamin Bil, confirmed and we paraphrased here that there was 70 percent chance that Major Diing’s unfortunate pointblank fatal shooting was an assassination. How and Why? Well, Mr. Minister, you have to make elaboration more on the assassination thing because it appears as if you could say more right there about the culprits of this unfortunate assassination of Major Diing Chan Awuol, one of the most outspoken administration’s critics. Are we pointing fingers at Minister Bil? Of course not, but 70 percent is a heck of a probability that someone must be closer to being sure about such an eventuality;
2. The Minister of Interior confirmed that it was due to the inexperience of the police officers that this incident happened. But Minister, can you tell South Sudanese under whose authority are these police officers? What have you done in the recent past to reverse the lawlessness and senseless killings in Juba and other major towns across the Republic of South Sudan? The responsibility to keep law and order rests squarely on no other person but you;
3. Then we had this example, Mr. President, where you were coolly telling the police force to the effect that “This is what I have been telling you…” Telling them to do what? And now that they have not been listening to you in order to keep law and order, what happens next? Mr. President, don’t you know that nobody else has power if your security personnel are made all powerful to override everybody? It is now clear that your security forces are focusing on silencing South Sudanese than confronting David Yauyau and other security threats facing South Sudan;
4. Then, Mr. President, you who should have called the press conference and not only condemn this senseless assassination but also promise to commit yourself to bringing those who committed this heinous crime to book had to be chased down by the media to make comments on the incident. But to add a salt to the injury, Mr. President, you never showed up at Major Diing’s funeral a few days ago. The question we ask is why didn’t you come to Major Diing’s funeral, Mr. President? You had nothing to be afraid of, otherwise your absence raised eyebrows. We don’t kill; if we do, Bashir couldn’t have come to the funeral of Dr. Garang and left safely last time, remember! What we would have liked to see is you coming and explaining to the nation what has just happened; that is all! Really, so, what picture do you think your absence showed to the United States ambassador? We had the same observation during Jonglei ethnic violence last year when Johnson of the United Nations had to be the one to visit the area and you neither showed up nor said a word!
What a catastrophic leadership! Mind you, in the state of panic and hopelessness in a nation, it is the president of the republic that has to appear and show courage and comfort to the whole nation — not the other way around. Just look at your video screen to see President Obama shading tears at his press appearance following the senseless massacre of little children in an elementary school in the State of Connecticut, USA. Why didn’t you show up for heaven’s sake, Mr. President?
Your incompetence reminds us of 1991 Gilo River debacle following the relocation of South Sudanese out of Ethiopian border when lots of South Sudanese and Nubians drowned and you had to be rushed to the other side of Gilo River to escape being captured by the advancing Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Forces.
The takeaway from those few examples regarding the assassination of Major Diing is we have a reason to believe he was assassinated by security personnel close to your inner circle, Mr. President. It is either you have lost control over the security personnel or they are committing these crimes with your full backing. The only way South Sudanese could be convinced otherwise is if you actually bring these individuals to justice for your inner circle cabals know who these culprits are, period.

V. We believe concentrated power in the presidency stifles checks and balances.
One has to question our strong indictment of the president’s inner circle wondering if we are being balanced and sensible. But what else could we say especially if the power to govern the nations rests with the president and his inner circle? Mr. President, nobody else shares the responsibility with you and your security apparatus.

In our November 2011 position paper on cabinet appointments, here is what we concluded as far as the balance of power was concerned, “There is no question, the three branches of the South Sudan government: the legislature, executive, and judiciary are not independent from each other as the executive seems to have veto powers over all the decisions to the detriment of the other two branches.”

We then recommended that “The constitution needs to set up a system of checks and balances to help ensure that no one branch can be more powerful than the other. Each branch has powers that it can wield to keep the other branches in check. If the system of checks and balances were in place, the executive would have arranged to have all the president’s cabinet and judicial appointees scrutinized and confirmed by the legislature.”

Unfortunately, our recommendations fell on deaf ears and we are making a further conclusion that in the days when government’s critics such as Major Diing are cold-bloodily murdered with impunity, the power now rests with your inner circle cabals and security personnel, Mr. President. We now can categorically say that the assassination of Major Diing is a tip of a bigger iceberg. It is a wake up call to all South Sudanese; what happened to him is an indication of a fate for every South Sudanese who walks in Isaiah’s shoes. It is an indication of a turning point in South Sudanese history from a true democracy that so much blood has been spilled to a one man’s timeless dictatorship.
Mr. President, this is the beginning of the implementation of the plans that you put in place when you formed your first cabinet a year ago and aggregated power within your circle and championed a constitution that gives you absolute powers to be able to commit blunders of this nature and still get away without accountability. It is a first sign that billions of dollars spent in South Sudan every year are being used to build a system that is dangerous to humanity and the world over. We have to ask you to change course and lead as people’s president — Not as your inner circle cabals’ and security personnel’s president!

VI. We ask you to change course now rather than later.
You have and will have a very hard time convincing the people of South Sudan that you are the man we knew during the liberation struggle. The Commander Kiir we knew was calm, patient, laid back and loathed vengeance. Your personality during struggling years made people forget your colossal strategic and tactical errors such as River Gilo’s tragedy we already alluded to.

But President Kiir we know today is clearly different in terms of personality and governance! Mr. President, you seem to have been spoiled by money and lust for unquestionable powers. As we stated up front, we are unmistakably asking you to commit yourself to correct the ills and wrongs that have been done to South Sudanese on your watch if you are serious about reestablishing your credibility and reassuring the wronged and victimized South Sudanese.

Mr. President, we reiterate, the following must happen in order to rescue this hopeless and anarchic state of affairs in South Sudan:
1. Establishment of a rigorous system and culture of accountability that ensure those who commit crimes are brought to book and those who abuse power and fail in their duties are fired;
1.2. Establishment of an independent tribunal to work with the FBI to investigate the motive behind the assassination of Isaiah Abraham and apprehension of culprits as well as delivery of justice. We ask for a maximum cooperation and restraint from interfering with the investigation;
2.3. Establishment of an independent committee composed of South Sudanese known for impartiality, sound judgment and level of expertise to investigate the Wau Massacre and restore peace;
3.4. Suspension and prosecution of those suspected to be responsible for the disappearance of 4 billion US dollars;
4.5. Removal of chiefs of internal and external security branches (Akol Khor Kuch and Thomas Duoth as well as Brig. Gen. Mou Thiik (Internal Security) and Brig. Paul Nang Majok External Security)). Why? These individuals are responsible for all the intelligence and failure gaps as well as deteriorating security in our major towns and troubled states such as Juba, Wau, Lakes, and Jonglei respectively. The case of Isaiah Abraham is one among many failures or stark involvement of death/hit squads affiliated to these institutions;
5.6. Immediate removals of Police IGP Acuil Tito Madut and CID chief and replacements with credible individuals vetted by the parliament of the Republic of South Sudan;
6.7. Dismissal of those in the presidential protection unit and replacement with fresh members and leadership team;
7.8. Urgent reform of the security sector – especially the armed forces and notorious Military Intelligence. This will include enforcement of accountability on the security forces. For examples, officers who take law into their hands such as torturing and beating people should be fired and punished in accordance with the law to deter others;
8.9. Immediate passage of media and access to information bill including protection of freedom of expression with illegalization of media monitoring and censorship by the national security;
9.10. Establishment of a clear road map on nation-building and peace and reconciliation in the country in order to foster unity and national cohesion;
10.11. Clear definition of division of powers between executive, judiciary and legislature as well as between states and the federal government. This will promote checks and balances and will promote efficiency in services delivery and security;
11.12. Reshuffling to accommodate for power sharing within the cabinet and the re-examination of the constitution to balance the powers of the government branches;
12.13. Enacting of a law to combat child abduction, cattle rustling and tribal killings. The law should declare any armed tribal elements who engage in child abduction and cattle rustling and killing as criminals who should pay the harshest punishment possible;
13.14. Protection of civilian population in Jonglei State by the SPLA forces by preventing attacks or fighting those who attack civilians regardless of where those attackers are from;
14.15. And passing a law defining the role of national security and what constitute a threat to national security, of which freedom of expression is not one of them.

Mr. President, once these changes are effected, South Sudanese and the world over may give your administration a second look and there is always a period of redemption. Your legacy which is what should be your most important focus may be redeemed. But it is up to you to choose to make those changes on the timeline provided. This is the final and last chance we give you and your administration before we bring the issue to the international stage. And it will be your foreign policy nightmare. Mr. President, if nothing changes in the foreseeable future, we have the recourse to wage a diplomatic campaign against your administration and it will take different forms noted in the following section of the paper.

VII. We will resort to peaceful recourse if you do not change course
Mr. President, we say we have the recourse to campaign for changes within your administration because we know where you stand on the international stage. You are very close to isolating yourself already. It is now a known fact that the sour relationship between you and our important allies in the west is an indication of your failures in governance across the board. Mr. President, you need to be reminded that gone are the days when, you and other government officials were greeted with flowers when you come to the West. Those days will be over until you change the course of directions of our country. You will be greeted with voices, signs and all sorts of expressions through peaceful protests that will make you so uncomfortable. So, you have two choices, change or don’t and our peaceful protests against you begin immediately. Mr. President, if you do not change the course within a foreseeable future, we will no doubt resort to the following measures, among other peaceful options:

1. We will start to demonstrate in Washington D.C. and New York City and other western centers of power against the dictatorial system of government put in place by you in the Republic of South Sudan;
2. We will begin to talk with our Congressional delegations from our own states and write our petitions to the entire Congress, White House, and the United Nations asking them to put pressure on you to change the course of governance in the Republic of South Sudan;
3. As alluded to earlier, we will protest at any of your public gatherings should you come on your official visits to the Western Capitols;
4. We will begin to consult our lawyers to think about an ICC option for suspects responsible for assassinating innocent South Sudanese including Major Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol;
5. And Egyptian and Tunisian like protests and demonstrations will be options to consider as well.

We will not rest until you change the way you and your security personnel are running the country today. It is a cause larger than ourselves and we, South Sudanese, are entitled to call for another revolution. Why not? Even the Egyptians that brought down the regime of Hosni Mubarak are now back on Tahrir Square asking for Mohammed Morsi to step down because his dictatorial signals weren’t apparent when they went to election booths this year to elect him the President of the Republic of Egypt!

VIII. Concluding summary
We conclude our position paper with message to all South Sudanese. Dear South Sudanese, we need to reflect on what we told the disaffected South Sudanese Youths in our November, 2011 position. We told our Youths that “[B]e reminded that you are the conscience and stewards of this very young nation. Our fervent plea to you is this: Let us be the generation that saves South Sudan from the wrath of tribalism, where leaders and communities, large and small, are constantly set against one another. A nation does not belong to those in power. Let us not wait for all leaders to come and empower us to help our people and communities. Start wherever you are to help children and the elderly in whatever small way you can. Such a small measure inspires hope. Plus, you know it takes sustained activism to bring about social change. If the entire youth fraternity works in our communities by sharing all the ideas for increasing opportunities and reducing poverty, our nation and the way of life can surely change.”

Given what we have seen so far since the formation of the government of the independence of the Republic of South Sudan when we had to make a stand on cabinet appointments, we were right then and we are still right today because things have even gotten worse than when we wrote our position paper. We now modify our position to argue that not only the Youths but also all South Sudanese must work hard to force the administration to reform and make meaningful changes within its ranks and files as laid out in the above demands.

Dear South Sudanese, what we now face is a clear demonstration of complete autocracy that knows no tribes or clans. It is our problem all of us as South Sudanese and it is us who will force the government to make meaningful reforms. It is not our desire to cause the disintegration of the little progress that has been made since CPA but common sense tells people of South Sudan that it is better to fight this corrupt government now rather than later when it takes roots and becomes stronger and harder to fight. That is why we are going to work with you, the peace and democracy loving people of South Sudan and the world, to make sure that this government changes for the better or get out of the way to give the people of South Sudan a long overdue prosperity. We will have to establish a solidarity networks for democracy among ourselves as people of South Sudan around the world and work tirelessly to empower the grassroots citizenry and will never stop working until democracy reigns in the Republic of South Sudan.

PREPARED AND SIGNED BY:
Governmental Affairs Committee
1. Akol Aguek Ngong, Chair; USA; akolngong.aguek@gmail.com
2. Agok Deng Agok, Member; Canada; agokarok@yahoo.com
3. Pager Ajang Kur, Member; USA; ajangassociates@gmail.com
4. Agok Manyang Agok, Member; USA; jimalfa@hotmail.com
5. Ayuel Leek Deng, Member; USA; ayuelleek559@hotmail.com
6. Anok Makech Diing, Member, Canada
Advisory Board to Governmental Affairs Committee
1. Nhial Tiitmamer, Advisor; Canada; nhialtiitmamer@gmail.com
2. David Dau Acuoth, Advisor; USA; davidacuoth@yahoo.com

REVIEWED AND CONFIRMED BY:

Executive and Oversight Committee
1. Abraham Deng Lueth, President GBC-USA, brhmlueth@gmail.com
2. Chiengkuach Mabil Majok, Vice President, GBC-USA, chiengki@gmail.com
3. James Maluak Malou, General Secretary, GBC-USA, jmaluakmalou@hotmail.com
4. Francis Chagai Bol, Chairman of Bor Community, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Board of Trustees
Reuben Guguei Panchol, Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Reubenpanchol@hotmail.com

Committee of county Presidents
1. Mabior Achiek Chaw, President, Bor County
2. Kuol Anyieth Kuol, President, Twic East County
3. Yol Goch, President, Duk County

What does independence mean for the people of South Sudan?

BY: Akech Marol Nun, RSS, Juba, DEC/18/2012, SSN;

South Sudan attained her independence last year on the 9th of July 2011 through the referendum process which granted South Sudanese peoples a diligent right and golden chance to determines their fate through the ballot box in which the 98 % of South Sudanese peoples overwhelmingly voted in the favor of independent Country of their own which championed the birth of the newest nation in the Africa.

The author is hereby featuring this article opinion with the aim of questioning the population of South Sudan whether the just attained independence means anything to them. Moreover, there are numerous questions to be answered by South Sudanese people who voluntarily cast their votes for the separation of South Sudan from the then republic of Sudan plus the forgotten 2.5 million people who died for the course of liberation.

The simple answer is that all of the efforts being put forward by the peoples of South Sudan to achieve independent nation of their own ended up as a nonentity. So independence means nothing to the local population of South Sudan, it was good when the Arabs were the ones mistreating black South Sudan than the current unexpected U-turn whereby a small linage hold the entire power of oppression within the country whereby everybody suffers from!

The peoples of South Sudan has been in mysterious suffering from the then Sudan which was owned by the Northern Sudanese who defined it and ruled it at their will, the suffering was incurred in many forms, for example, lack of political and democratic freedom, oppression of freedom of speech, regional and economical imbalance, Arabization and tribalism plus divide-and-rule politics of Khartoum and the list is long.

Today the Sudan peoples liberation movement (SPLM) which is the major and leading political figure in the country is making the opposite by killing its own cadres like the assassination of brilliant opinion writer, late ISAIAH ABRAHAM, the fingers are pointing and still pointing at government because nobody else is responsible for that death of the late writer.

By the way, the government of South Sudan has been taken over by the region whereby the plan for duos and elimination of the people who hail from the other regions. Is this the meaning of being independent?

The question to be answered by whoever believes that the independence of South Sudan has the full meaning is why did we take up arms against the Arabs rule since 1955 up to independence in 2011?

Whatever atrocities being committed today by the SPLM own government plus its small regional lineages were the same practices done to South Sudanese by the Khartoum Arab government. These atrocities are being done to the citizens of South Sudan by the so-called government. I personally doubt whether the independence is being enjoyed in South Sudan.

In fact, the so-called independence of South Sudan is nothing and a nonentity to its citizens who’d voluntarily voted for it. If government cannot offer security protection to its citizens, why do we proudly call the failed tribal rule and ethnic ideological country an independent nation?

The eight million population of South Sudan voted for Separation to enjoy the fruits of independence, citizens of South Sudan need to be fully protected from militias, night robbers, tribal fighters, and the unforgettable the national security which is responsible for the killing the citizens.

South Sudanese should have a country which offers a free environment whereby the citizens can express their views without being threatened or killed. Therefore there is no meaning for South Sudan being called an independent country.

This country is not totally independent because it has a mafia-type practice of criminality which is fostered by regional interests than patriotism.

Where is the freedom of expression in South Sudan if Journalists and writers are killed? Where is the right of being a citizen? Does Mr President with his regional advisers and tribes-mates work for the second separation of this country into three more countries or for the disunity of this great nation?

The country where president is advised by his own regional peoples, state, tribe and clan, what do you think they can advise him about? Simply he can be advised about killing and elimination of the peoples who hail from the other regions or tribes; about nepotism, corruption and discrimination.

If children, orphans, widows and war-wounded are dying due to starvation and also in the hands of the national security and militias, what does independence mean to us the people of South Sudan?

If the blind government of the stupid majority can kill nationalists, the strong SPLM party cadres who act as the die-hearted of SPLM/A, then what does independence mean?

The daily deaths of South Sudanese people are the result of the national government being vision-less and taken in by the stupid and narrow angles of the region or tribe.

However, it could be viewed as the national property of all South Sudanese without being ruled with the internal intention of tribes.

South Sudan can accommodates all its citizens without fear and favor.

In conclusion, government should act separately as the peoples ruler without the regional or tribal influence, it could serve the protection of citizens from the external and internal attacks, and it can reflect the positive meaningful independence of South Sudan.

(The views expressed in this column belong to the writer and the author can be reaches for comment at akech.marol@yahoo.com)

Should WBG Governor Rizik Zachariah be fired after the Wau killings?

BY: Odongi B’Kintu, WAU, WBG State, DEC/21/2012, SSN;

The president of the Republic of South Sudan is better known for being patient and a professional commander who exercises a high level of restrain on many occasions. This character is good for fair leadership. It can mentor and nourish democracy but on some occasions it misleads the sub-ordinates who will take those leadership characters for granted.

On the 10th Dec 2012, in Western Bahr el Ghazal State, the South Sudan security forces opened fire on civilian protesters leaving 9 dead and several injuried. The reasons for the protest remain genuine since the citizens of Wau County were not convinced of the transfer of their administrative headquarters to Bagari. The killing of the protesters attracted national and international human rights interest groups.

Despite all the evidence that people died in the incidence, the governor denied it openly in a meeting with 9 State Ministers and the UN Representatives. This alone justifies president Salva Kiir to set a noble precedent by firing the State Governor, Rizik Zachariah Hassan, so that any of his other governors will cease discrediting, defaming and making the government to be seen as a habitual criminal in the world.

The interim constitution empowers the President of the Republic to act unquestionably with heavy hands under this and similar circumstances.

Well, as the investigation of the above incidence is about to set in, on 19th December, 2012, the Dinka community group (predominantly of Warrap State’s origin) residing in Eastern bank of Jur river and joined by others residing in Wau Town, viciously attacked non-Dinka in Hai Falatta, Nazareth, Hai Krishba and Hai Kosti. These residential areas are mostly inhabited by the Belanda (Boro and Bagari) and also by other tribes from Darfur and Nuba.

The Dinka youth went about killing 6 people, injuring over 50 people, looting shops, burning down 200 houses and displacing over 5,000 children and women to the UNMISS premises.

The above unlawful incident of killings alone proves that the Governor is not willing or not in a proper position to protect civilians. Accordingly, when the Dinka youth armed with sticks tried to cross Jur River Bridge to Wau town, police forces deployed at the bridge to prevent the youths from entering the town did the opposite and the Governor didn’t do what he did to the currently suspended police commissioner (Mr. Sebit Mikelele).

Instead the large police forces and SPLA soldiers were seen protecting the Dinka predominantly residential areas.

The President shouldn’t let this Country go an anarchic State where “it is he who has the big gun who determines what is good and wrong for others.”

To pump some sense of fairness before the courts of law, somebody must be brought to books very fast so that the citizens of Western Bahr el Ghazal State and South Sudan gain and retain some confidence in the government.

As the instituted Investigative Committee carries on its task of investigating the first incidence, it is worth including in it terms of reference, like the need to probe the Divisional Commander of the SPLA in Wau and the acting State Police Commissioner for abetting and supporting the only side.

Naturally, this is because it hurts to humiliate another community through the state security apparatus like using the South Sudan Armed Forces and South Sudan National Police Service against a community.

If no action is taken on this fratricidal calamity in Wau and on other sentimental events manifesting themselves all around the Country, the likelihood of genocidal attacks will not be averted because every tribe will see genocide can be carried out on them by those in power.

And being the youngest nation, the world is waiting to confirm what some political commentators put forward prophetically that “South Sudan is at cross-roads. It might continue to exist as either a proper federal system of government or a loose confederation of states. In a worst case scenario, some state(s) might declare political independence from the rest of South Sudan. Because the future of South Sudan depends on who wins the argument within the ruling dictatorship of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement.”

It is therefore an urgent responsibility and duty for the President and the ruling party to fire governor Rizik and see that the Government has to secure and protect all the citizens so as to reassure people of the strength of its institutions.

Odongi B’Kintu is a South Sudanese and can be reached on odongi4u@yahoo.co.uk

The Hard Choice: Between Stability and Somalization in South Sudan

BY: Daniel Aderkueidit, SOUTH SUDAN, DEC/19/2012, SSN;

At the outset of this brief discourse, I would like to acknowledge the possibility of human error which I am not an exception, however the ability to correct errors is the central pillar even when it is hard to establish the falsity or veracity of any opinion and any view opposite to this will be highly welcomed. After considering a considerable evidence available prior to the Independence of South Sudan and the days of her nationhood, the nation is sliding down the path of demise and neither the reform from within the government nor the total change is likely to produce the desired results. This presents an uncertain future for the nation.

Cognizant of the government inability to exert maximum control over the whole country as evidenced by many rebellions, cattle rustling, inter-tribal conflicts, rampant corruption and unemployment demos by idleness of the youth, breakdown of law and order etc… coupled with the economic crisis created by the oil shutdown, it would be a gross understatement to say that the government is heading toward total collapse in a few days, year(s).

At the political parlance, a peaceful transfer of power, if imaginable at all, is a wishful thought and under the apparent circumstances, democracy will still remain on the public documents and the politicians’ empty rhetoric for sometime.

This makes it clear that guns in the hands of the powerful will still dictate political direction regardless of whether there is a vision for the nation or not.

Government by the people, for the people, is a nightmare for those yearning for New Sudan and the reality will be ‘totalitarian government’ as it is happening in Juba.

Since government criticism is a red line, those who could criticize in foreign-based media are fortunate by virtue of being outside South Sudan, unlike fellow compatriot, Isaiah Abraham, who became a victim of a regime he dearly helped to hoist.

A freedom rooted in dissent has no room in South Sudan. Since dissent is incompatible with their interest, survival becomes the first law of politics and their grip of power wanes no sooner, however, in the continuing political debate everywhere, it is the survival of the nation that is at stake.

It is not about individuals hanging unto power. It is about returning to ‘war of all against all.’ Whether you are with them or not is irrelevant, by virtue of your identity as South Sudanese will be enough to land you in that hell.

Rampant insecurity in the country is only a warning of things to come; what remains disturbing is whether there is a way out of this mess. A change of the regime may seem a better preference but if you look deeper there is a more similar evil to the current regime but the paradox of this is that neither the current regime nor the methodology of bringing change favours stability in South Sudan.

In particular, the tribal entities cramped together through corruption, nepotism, favoritism are likely to fracture into uncontrollable warlords accruing a Somalia-related case given the long existing mistrust between tribes.

What we can state with precision is that without a recognizable government in South Sudan, genocide is likelihood since the same disgruntled within the government will extend the political warfare to tribal conflicts.

The problem is not with the tribes per se, but the wealth ‘trickling down’ precept to tribal cronies through outright embezzlement which has already fueled the long existing tribal mistrust created before South Sudan independence. With that in mind it will be a more or less a chaotic state.

Consequently, advocating for the change within looks untenable. Perhaps, a more or less Somalia in midst of the River Nile is an outright possibility. But the problem with the change within is that, powerful oligarchs are unlikely to act outside interests of their own. Unless they act in what will favor the interest of all South Sudanese, there would possibly be no grim of hope.

For instance, politics is so polarized that each appears like he represents a particular tribe. I once heard a fellow compatriot goading and tarring the whole tribe with the same brush by pushing the setback of the government failure on that particular tribe. With that attitude, it makes it easy for propagandists to mislead any ethnic group to target others making South Sudan a land ruled by continual fear and violent death (Murle-Lou Nuer conflict).

Besides that, it is unforeseeable, as shown by the current laws, that laws will be equally applicable to the citizens. This has been the central premise of lawlessness in South Sudan because no one is willing to obey laws which others do not obey.

If militiamen can kill and afterward welcome without retribution, if a minister can embezzle money and rides freely in the government institutions, if members of the armed forces can kill, rape, loot properties, detain, torture, etc… when expected to maintain law and order, if armed men can raid thousands herd of cattle, kill and displace others and are called heroes, if people can be robbed, intimidated without protection from lawful authority, if citizens are without the services they need to survive, the country has already attained the title of anarchy.

What remains is a split within the regime to give way to ‘war of all against all.’ Cracks are already visible and the props which have been holding it together are crumbling as the engine runs out of fuel (oil).

Austerity measures represent the salt rubbed in the wounds of the corrupt and the parasites (dependents) are beginning to run wild in search of new pastures. This demonstrates why the crimes of theft and looting are on the rise in the city. If there is no any other intervention (oil flow) it will get worse when the national treasury runs dry.

But wait a minute, it sounds as if you are safe from this. There is a catch. If you don’t start working for the interest of all South Sudanese now, you will be a victim of ‘war of all against all.’

But if the leadership acts swiftly it may serve the situation which, perhaps, looks desirable but on a condition that something must be done to regain the confidence of the public. How they will regain this is difficult to answer, but will depend on how united they are, with the support of international community and regional bodies.

But the paradox of this is that, they regime is increasingly losing international support besides approaching how to win the public support and the regional governments are beginning to be concerned in the way South Sudan is being run.

On human rights issues and corruption, the government is confronted with either complying with the international standards of governance or face losing their support by identifying themselves as corrupt, master minders of gross human rights abuses.

However, they have already chosen the latter, leaving them in a diplomatic vacuum. Moreover the international community intervention may be quite against them. On the same notion, the regional countries’ rejection of South Sudan admission to the East African Community was the evidence of government incompetency domestically.

This is vividly shown by a Kenyan Public Opinion poll that revealed South Sudan as a no-man-go land by the highest margin. Hence, it will depend on the calculation they have according to their interests on what to support, between people and the unpopular regime.

Deducing from the above facts, the stability is attainable on implementing meaningful reforms in the government: this is rooted in the ruling party getting reformed by allowing more internal democracy; allowing leadership recruitment by people electing leaders of their choices as 2013 Congresses approach.

This is because the rule of law is linked to political society as it is meaningful to talk of rule of law in a society which exhibits features of democratically elected, responsible, responsive and a subsequent separation of powers to provide checks and balances. Administration of justice viewed outside this context ends up in totalitarian government.

Further, conducting National dialogue with all stakeholders including political parties, civil society organizations among many others in good faith and allowing a more transparent and honest expressions on nation building.

Moreover, the organized forces are too disorganized. Many cases of impunity are attributed to them including arms cycle, killing, raping, torturing, looting, armed robbery.. etc.

Without doing something now it is unimaginable how they will react to austerity measures and limited salary delays. It is a big challenge that anyone in government’s shoes can possibly think of one method to tackle.

The union of the thief and the poor is always rocked with many irreconcilable terms and this might be the case in demobilization since a few comrades became millionaires in an unbelievable time frame, they feel like being cheated.

…….to be continued next time.

The writer can be reached at aderkueidit@yahoo.com

The Disturbing Intolerance in South Sudanese Society at all Levels, including the “Top”

BY: Professor Nyantung Ahang Beny, USA, DEC/19/2012, SSN;

Earlier this month, we learned with great shock and sorrow of the wanton murder of Isaiah Abraham at his own home by unknown gunmen. While I did not know Isaiah Abraham personally, I had often seen his writings online and even read a few of them. While I did not always understand his position, or necessarily agree with it, he had every right to express himself in the way that he did. South Sudanese fought and won against the forces of oppression and brutality after a long and brutal struggle. And, it was freedom for which they fought. It was freedom that should have been Isaiah Abraham’s oasis and protector. Sadly, however, he faced just the opposite on the morning in early December 5, 2012 when he was viciously gunned down.

While it may be sheer coincidence that an outspoken writer and commentator was killed in such a cold-blooded and unanticipated manner at a place where in normal circumstances he should have felt the most safe, it is very unlikely to be mere coincidence. It is hard for me to avoid the conclusion that he was gunned down precisely because he was often critical of the political system and individuals within it in South Sudan.

Some of his commentaries were bold and abrasive to the ruling elite and even the political opposition. That being so, however, the freedom for which South Sudanese fought tirelessly, I thought, included the freedom to be critical and outspoken against the system. As I wrote elsewhere, if the powers that be (including oppositional elements) took (or take) issue with Isaiah Abraham’s or any other person’s writings the best approach would be to hold a public discussion regarding the contested issues, not resort to wanton violence.

Isaiah Abraham’s sad demise, rather than being sheer coincidence, is more likely a product of the systematic breakdown of the South Sudanese political system and social fabric, both at home and in the Diaspora.

Over the years, and especially after Independence in 2011, I have observed with horror a disturbing trend of intolerance, lies, deceit, anti-intellectualism, violence and deep misogyny or hatred of women (particularly educated and outspoken women like myself). Viewpoints that are outside of the so-called mainstream are frequently not dealt with on their own terms but rather the person holding those viewpoints is often subject to malicious verbal attacks, lies and even at times threats of physical violence.

I personally experienced these things in late August and early September 2012 when I expressed my opinion about a new “think tank” recently founded in South Sudan. This “think tank” is the Sudd Institute. In late August 2012, as I was doing my usual early morning reading of the Sudanese news online, I came across an article on insecurity and ethnic violence in South Sudan (http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article43742#forum196993).

Curious about this new organization and its membership, I searched online for information and was quite shocked, to say the least, to see that an organization that claims to be promoting inclusivity, anti-tribalism, and perhaps gender equality in the society was led by all Dinka men. Not a single woman was on their team at that point (perhaps they have changed since then but I have lost interest to follow them).

Therefore, as I often do, I decided to post a comment and wrote the following pithy opinion: “The Sudd Institute is shockingly run by a team of all Dinka men, while it purports to promote inclusivity in the society… I’d have expected a more diverse team on their website, in light of their theoretical claims.” I sent the same comment to the USIP’s email address and to a few of the founders of the new “think tank.”

I was expecting a well-considered reply. What I received, instead, was a barrage of jaw-dropping personal insults and even one thinly veiled physical threat if I did not “stop running your mouth,” which I duly reported to U.S. federal law enforcement authorities.

At no point did I receive the rational, well-considered reply befitting of a “think tank” receiving international funding and claiming to promote safe and open discourse in South Sudan. The two founders to whom I had directed my initial comment forwarded the comment to another founder who was at the time in charge. That founder responded in an arrogant, dismissive and nonchalant fashion with the curt remark: “I am sorry I do not see anything here that merits my response.”

I responded that this was an arrogant remark, and further that as a U.S. taxpayer (who partly funds USIP via government funds), I have every right to express shock and concern. I will spare the reader the rest of what followed. But suffice it to say that I was showered with a barrage of personal insults, including dragging my child and my marital status into the discussion. In short, their replies, and those of a number of their supporters were very disturbing.

In that exchange, I saw and experienced firsthand what South Sudanese writers and intellectuals are now experiencing – a culture of exclusion, intolerance, anti-intellectualism and even, sadly violence. In addition, as a woman, I painfully experienced firsthand the deep misogyny of South Sudanese culture and many of its men.

Rather than taking women on in debate as equals, many of these men feel that they have every right to besmirch a woman’s reputation to silence her and, if that does not work, to then set the forces of violence (or threatened violence) against her. I would expect such behavior in a retrogressive society, but not from so-called “enlightened” individuals who receive Western funding.

Most appalling perhaps was the silence and/or complicity of many of the online observers.

South Sudanese are by and large intolerant and tolerate intolerance and brutality against one another. So nobody should really be shocked about incidents such as the recent cold-blooded murder of Isaiah Abraham. It is, unfortunately, par for the course in the kind of society we are building and tacitly accepting.

I, for one, will not tolerate it and I will not be silenced as an educated woman whose late Father, Ahang Beny, raised me to participate courageously and freely in public discourse. So they may continue to spread their malicious lies about me but they will not stop me.

May Isaiah Abraham rest in God’s eternal peace and may the rest of us who are able to continue where he left off. I extend my deepest condolences to his family and children.

Nyantung Ahang Beny, United States, December 19, 2012

Tribute to Isaiah Abraham: Verbatim from the Memorial Service of Isaiah Abraham

QUOTE: “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.” By Martin Niemoller, a prominent Protestant pastor who opposed the Nazi regime. He spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps, Germany, 1937.

By PaanLuel Wel, Juba City, South Sudan, DEC/19/2012, SSN;

Tribute to Isaiah Abraham: The Dark Ages of South Sudan Liberation
Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol Chan, aka Isaiah Abraham, was killed on Wednesday, December 5th, 2012, at his Gudele House, Juba City, in South Sudan. He was buried on December 9th, 2012, at his ancestral hometown of Kongor, Jonglei State. His Memorial Services, attended by around 7,000 people, was held today, December 13th, 2012, at May 16th Street, Pande Bioor Ajang Duoot (Bioor Athuot), in Juba City, South Sudan. Below are the verbatim from the charged funeral that was attended by all the leading politicians, Ministers, MPs, Governors, and state officials, business people, civil society groups, foreign dignitaries and ambassadors, media groups, and the lay people from all over South Sudan.
The verbatim were collected and translated by Deng Dekuek and posted on his Facebook Page, just as the funeral was unfolding.

For those who might be wondering if the President, Salva Kiir, and the Vice President, Dr. Machar, were in attendance, they were not. They were invited but they decided, for one reason or another, better known to themselves and their advisers, not to attend, at least in person. I say ‘at least in person’ because there is no way that they could not have been, alertly, following the proceedings and speeches from the funeral, deep inside their houses/offices.

Not only the President and his Deputy who were conspicuously absent, so too were the prominent ministers from Greater Bahr el Ghazal and Equatoria Regions. Perhaps, according to Mach-Kuol, the Equatorians view it as an internal Dinka power struggle that they should never involve themselves in, while the Bahr el Ghazalians top politicians were, ostensibly, expecting a hostile reception from the relatives of the deceased owing to the fact that some people have been trying their best to twist the tragedy as a Bor Dinka vs Bahr el Ghazal Dinka strife. Yet, the first victims of such cruelty – Dengdit Ayok, Nhial Bol and Deng Athuai, among others – were sons and daughters from Greater Bahr el Ghazal Dinka.

Mach-Kuol still has it that Dr. Riek Machar was in a catch-22 position. While his heart might have been overwhelmingly with the grieving people of South Sudan over the assassination of Isaiah Abraham, his only true supporter from the Dinka Community who had come out openly, campaigning for his presidency when it is a near taboo within his community to do so, he (Dr. Machar) was equally aware that his mere presence, and even the slightest speech, on this occasion could have been used against him, with the claim that he is exploiting the death of Isaiah Abraham to his selfish political advantage by driving a wedge between the Bor and Bahr el Ghazal Dinkas so that he can later receive the presidency on a golden plate after the Dinkas have finished themselves.

This is the best way… maybe there could be other plausible reasons… one can fathom his absence from the Memorial Services of Isaiah Abraham.

Interestingly, outraged as their messages boasted, none of the said speakers, particularly those in the echelons of government, have dared to resign till the killers of Isaiah Abraham are apprehended. Action speaks louder than words. Only the mass resignation of the said government officials – federal and state – would be as embarrassing to the government as much as the killing of Isaiah Abraham.

Would President Kiir dare to accept their resignations and replace them? It is highly unlikely for the president lest he incriminates himself. The “outraged” officials would then have killed two birds with one stone: backing up their words with actions while still retaining their seats, and more importantly, compelling the government to identify, arrest and prosecute the killers of Isaiah Abraham (the killers are known, read the verbatim).

Verbatim from the Memorial Services of Isaiah Abraham as Recorded and Translated by Deng Dekuek According to his Facebook Page Postings.

Twic East MP, Deng Dau Malek: What are we doing in the government if the government is killing our people… If the government is genuine, it should not be part of the investigation… The bounty is not worth it… If a nation cannot protect its people then we should form our militias (loudest and longest applause) NCP has taken over the government; if you bring the behaviors of Saleh Gosh to South Sudan, even the President will not survive! You’re threatening our children. We are capable of protecting our children and ourselves… South Sudanese are people who cannot be threatened. If you threaten them they become wild… So don’t threaten them! The establishment killed Isaiah; we are saying it here and we don’t want people to run to Salva and say people are talking shit.. We are saying it in broad daylight. We were asked a specific questions in Kongor during the burial 1. Who killed Isaiah? 2. Who is going to form the committee? 3 Who will be investigated? You Bor people, if you can’t answer these, then what are you doing in the government… You’re either with the killers or with Isaiah.. If the government is not responsible, then those who did this should clean up after their shit! If you want to take our lives, you will take it at a very expensive cost to yourself.

Oyai Deng Ajak, Minister of National Security: I don’t want people from Bor to resign from Government and if it is confirmed that it is the National Security who killed Isaiah Abraham, I will resign from the Government.. If the government is killing our people, we will fight the government.. we shouldn’t resign.. In revolutionary school, we were not taught to resign; we should fight for reform.. Nothing will save face for us in National Security until we find the killers of Isaiah Abraham.. The people threatening people are not using communication systems from South Sudan but are using Skype and it has been very difficult for my team to track them and we hope FBI will help us with this.. On Sunday, 3 days before the killing, we had a meeting with Beny Kiir about security meeting with Khartoum.. Then after the meeting, the President said he would call a meeting of all security organs to review security situation in Juba.. Then following Isaiah’s death, we were all called with all our directors including the Governor of Central Equatoria. We briefed the President.. In a serious way the president said you all have to investigate.. The interior is investigating, the national security, CID, military intelligence is investigating.. you need security sector reform, that is what I have told the President..

LAWRENCE KORBANDY, the Head of South Sudan Human Rights Commission: The Minister of National Security should resign and those of other security organs if the government is sincere.. Government should not condemn government, it should let civil societies condemn it.. South Sudan will be born as a failed state prediction is becoming true.. Human Rights Abusers are more than the citizens here in South Sudan.. Journalists, I must tell you this: the assassination of Isaiah should be a determination for you to wage war against what you see is wrong in this country.

Nicodemous Arou Maa’n: I know you security people are in attendance, I ask you, who are you protecting by killing people? Who is it that you are protecting? The government is messing up and if you don’t want to be corrected, whoever the coward you’re and responsible for the death of Diing, please avail yourself!

Ministry of Interior representative, General Kur Michael: The killers are unprofessional, they don’t know the messages are recorded not just in the phone (end of speech, the shortest). This was in reference to the fact that the killers took Isaiah Abraham’s phone that contained all the threatening messages he had received earlier before his death. The messages are not just only in the phone; they can be found too at the Mobile Phone Provider Headquarters where everything is recorded and kept electronically.

The Citizen Newspaper Editor, Nhial Bol: Isaiah asked we go into exile, I told him I am too old but I promised to get him a ticket on Friday but he died on Wednesday. The bounty ($50,000 USD) should go to the National Security because they know who killed him.. Please minister, takes your money.. Government investigates yourself.. the money should go to National Security, the same security sending people messages.. You think we will leave Juba, you will have to leave like Jallaba.. we won’t leave this country and you can be assured of that.

Deptuy Minister, Dr. Majak Agoot: Before I went to Bor I was informed by Isaiah that he was receiving death threats from unknown numbers. We wanted to help him after Majok Ayom’s burial but he was killed on the day we returned from Bor. Isaiah is bigger in death than in life. This community has witnessed a number of mysterious deaths since the times of struggle. We want this to be the end of mysterious deaths in this community. If the government doesn’t find the killers, then there is nothing that will change the view that this was an officially endorsed killing.

Minister, Dr. Majak Agoot, quoting a Twic East Dinka Paramount Chief, Manyok Ajak: South Sudanese are calling for a second liberation because this is not the government we fought for. A country founded on the ideals of freedom and human rights should not be killing its people. As a cattle keeping people, if a cow does not nurture its young one, it is sold. And if the neighbor knows this cow is worthless, he won’t buy it. Then the only option is to kill it because it is no good except for its beef.

Gabriel Alaak Garang, Master of Ceremony and the SPLM Secretary for Finance: All the three organs of the security are represented here. Manyok Biar, Mading Ngor, Deng Atem, Kuir Garang, Mabior Garang and many more are being threatened. The message to the killers is: you kill them in cold-blood if you have a problem with us. We will not tolerate this. You want to kill innocent people, there are rebels in this country and some live in Juba, why don’t you kill them? This is a message to those who have been threatening people. I understand that some people are still receiving death threats. Why do you kill writers? IT IS AN OPINION! You don’t kill people because they talk. South Sudan cannot be developed by those who don’t talk.

Civil Rights Activist, Deng Athuai Mawiir, addressing President Kiir: You put all your cousins as security and you let 30 people drive you. What are you afraid of? If you’re afraid of governing your people… If you can’t govern your people.. You cannot govern with left-hand looking for history and stealing from the people with the right-hand! To the international community, don’t leave us alone we will push this government away by all means.

Civil Rights Activist, Deng Athuai Mawiir, addressing Isaiah Abraham mother: Those things that have happened to you are those that happened to my mum during Anyanya I, she lost her husband and most of her sons. In July, I looked into a grave but I returned from the brink. They’re still threatening people; we will bring you [the government] down.. we will bring you down.. we will bring you down!

Political commentator and Opinion Writer, Ateny Wek Ateny: On behalf of South Sudanese Writers and Opinion Writers, the security is indiscriminately threatening all South Sudanese. The hope for a democratic nation is waning. Only a fool would consider a writer as threatening. It is better to live with an intelligent adversary than to live with a fool… the $50,000 bounty would have helped if it were paid to protect lives.

Prof. Taban Lo Liyong: We have MPs who don’t talk, they make laws but they don’t follow up how the laws are being implemented. This is why we have to write and teach this nation.

Minister, Michael Makuei Lueth: You security people, bring the people who killed Isaiah to book, if you can’t then you’re the very people who did it. You cannot protect government through murders, threats and intimidations. A liberation without democracy, a liberation without rights is not a liberation. The writers are the correctors. Don’t misbehave in the name of the government. The 50,000 USD bounty is not a solution. It will not produce anybody. We tolerated death in the name of Liberation Struggle. But we will not tolerate deaths from cold-blooded murders. We will give the government the benefit of the doubt but if you fail to bring the murderers to book, we will bring them as Bor Community.

Late Isaiah Abraham’s Mum, Abuna Rebecca Lueth Wel: My sons died for this country. The eldest one was killed in Nasir, the other one was killed in Itang, and another one was killed in Yei and now you killed this one for me. I have been wondering when the Arabs came to Juba to kill Isaiah. I wrap my head in a white cloth because I wish South Sudan to be in peace and he who wraps his head in black and kills people at night is responsible for ruining your country; please count me out.

Aguil D’Chut Deng: I am so glad that the head of security is here and he can go and tell President Kiir Mayardit. “Mr. President, if we can’t catch Yau Yau why are we killing the innocent people in front of us?”

Susan Page (US Ambassador in Juba): I will talk about accountability and this is what it is called for here. I am surprised that the ministers, MPs and government officials are speaking against their own government. This is encouraging.. Accountability starts at the Ministry of Justice, if you catch these people, you must take them somewhere for justice to be served.

Atem Garang Dekuek: The government we fought for and brought into power was for our prosperity. If we feel that the government doesn’t serve our interests, we will go back to the villages. Death of Isaiah is a challenge to the government. People will assume 2 things, 1. The government is weak and cannot protect its own… 2. The government killed him. Whatever the case, if the killers are not brought to justice, the credibility of the government is questionable. Why did the police destroy the crime scene? The FBI should start by investigating the police. The Bounty ($50,000 USD) should be used to hire writers. if you’re stupid and cannot reply the writings, you shouldn’t be killing people.

James Koak Ruei, Jonglei State MP: This country is being robbed; they came here by air, by road, by foot. You priest need to pray for this country. This culture of murdering people at night is not with us Nilotic people… we fight people in broad daylight; this demonic spirit needs to go. Jonglei State, the largest state where the liberation war started. Jonglei State where the loudest patriots hail from. Jonglei State with the largest population. Jonglei State, I will speak on behalf of Jonglei State. Isaiah is from the third Battalion that formed SPLA, Tiger. This is the government of Tiger, can Tiger kill a Tiger? Who’s this government that is killing people? We in Jonglei cannot tolerate this. This government is a result of Dr. John Garang, he is a son of Jonglei.

The heartbreaking speech from the 14-year-old Aluel Isaiah Abraham: I believe my father was killed because he wanted a better South Sudan and I am not afraid to say that… my father’s passion for South Sudan has left me without a father, left my siblings without a father, left my mother without a spouse. Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol, the first martyr for the Freedom of Expression in the Republic of South Sudan.

Finally, all credits should go to Deng Dekuek who painstakingly recorded and translated, some from Dinka to English, the above quoted portions of speeches. I will upload sounds and bits from the Memorial Services tomorrow! It is my sincere hope, wish and prayer that none of this quoted speeches would ever find its way into the dirtiest hands of the security agency, to be used against any of the above mentioned speakers to either threaten, harass, kidnap, maim or kill them, on an account of what is quoted within these pages. This is only but a small token, a meriting tribute to our fallen comrade, Isaiah Abraham!!

PaanLuel Wel (paanluel2011@gmail.com) is the Managing Editor of PaanLuel Wel: South Sudanese Bloggers: He can be reached through his Facebook page, Twitter Account or on the blog: http://paanluelwel2011.wordpress.com/

National Reconciliation and Truth Commission: Dr. Machar’s idea of National Reconciliation should be endorsed country-wide.

QUOTE: “The recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights for all members of human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

BY: Peter Reat Gatkuoth, CANADA, DEC/17/2012, SSN;

The obstacle confronting our society in South Sudan has historical background that came along within our traditional societies, beginning from late 1970s. Impossibilities of better political life and cultural difference, rooted in the cattle-driven interest in South Sudan had usually discourage harmony, and the advocacy groups always encountered criticisms and obstructions as people who had benefited on conflict sometimes advocate for political differences due to leadership interest, conflict of interest and so forth.

In such a way, bitter ethnic schisms, social tension and communal violence has discouraged a healthy way of life and kept the South Sudanese society apart for long time. Prior to the signing of peace agreement and the celebration of independence day, our country leaders did not realize that our society wasn’t in peace even when we united against our external backyard enemy.

This unfriendly behavior and traditional way of life attributed mostly to current atrocities, political assassinations and violent that had taken lives of innocent civilians country-wide.

War is the worst nightmare option in human history that always aims to reap and tear families and society apart. In the past decades, educated people have realized that war and violence could not only end through winning and losing fighting mechanism. Fighting is seen as the hardest option because it always leaves signs of grievance and emotional feeling to both enemies after the confrontation.

Through the national reconciliation, transitional approach and truth commission, people always come to address the large scale of human rights abuses of the past experience and the way forward. This usually allows people to challenge the historical cause of the problem through an arranged dialogue, and move on with an intention that they had acknowledged human rights concern and highlighted the issue that had gone wrong while recognizing the impact that they had brought to the families and society at large.

Communal healing, truth commission and Transitional justice as advocated by Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon are few of peaceful options for national reconciliation when people are torn apart because of the intended violence in society. Therefore, this commentary article highlighted that the national Reconciliation, advocated by Dr. Riek and the truth commission are meant to tackle and handle injustice through the communal peaceful means, while acknowledging the past and ensure harmony and mutual understanding between the people within the community at large.

Past historical experiences in South Sudan society and in many parts of African continent had indicated that National Reconciliation and the Transitional Justice would have been the best options for many people who were torn apart because of the injustice, atrocities and violence within the community.

South Sudan society, among many countries, had been in conflict even when we were fighting against the enemy. Although this conflict is seen as traditional habit and minor things that should be brought to end at the latest date, it worth noticing that thousands of lives were lost through such community disputed activities and the perpetrators are still actively engaging in unjustifiable attacks.

This attacks and political assassination had left the victims in pain while the perpetrators gone unpunished or without apologizing for their action. Perhaps it may be considered by the public that the attackers may have not realized the mistake he/she had done to the other families. It is always through this National Reconciliation and transitional justice that victims usually felt that the government and the community at large had done much and important steps to convey their condolences, apologies and acknowledge the pain that they had gone through and heal the wounds caused by the perpetrators through violent ways.

Communal approach mechanism backed up by the government is very important for many reasons. First the community and spiritual team always had an intention to bring the society together through a means that both parties may be happiest especially the victims. Doing so always serves as a bridge of yielding and reconciliation for the community rather than using justice straightforward.

The community lauded this approach model because it “emphasizes the need for situation and assist conflicted groups to come to term with violent past.” It is also in the best interest of the community members because majority of them may have thought that good practice only emerges in community through cold-eyed and pragmatic assessment of risks and capacities which in turn buttress against those risks and build upon existing skills and abilities.

Dr. Riek Machar’s healing and national reconciliation advocacy for peaceful initiative and healing between the communities is worth supporting although I had not heard the strategies plans in practice. What I literally meant here is that, strategic plans of national reconciliation plans should be developed first before the initiative is launched. This would motivate the public at large and send a clear message to citizens that our government system has spurred the advanced strategic plans for the nation and society betterment.

It should be either through constituencies MPs or the government must launch a peace initiative for almost two months, marked to be peace initiative months. Perhaps, putting the strategies of mediating community would work well as it happened in Wunlit Peace Initiative and indeed, the Wunlit peace initiative has brought an end to the conflict at that period of time, but why in Lakes State, Warrap State and Unity State today while Jonglei’s civilians were going through mercy of atrocities and unbelievable killing for years???

Dedication and sacrifice for the national reconciliation plan would have saved more lives if endorsed and implemented earliest through all states. Advocating for peace initiative in all regions/states that are in conflict against themselves should involve the Universities’ students, families, children, old and young or the community members in general to the venue of discussion and in communal gathering of healing the injustice and violence.

Doing so will give a healing feeling and it will always mean that people stood behind the victims and condemn the act of violence. I believed that this national Reconciliation approach would promote harmony and relieve the feeling while making the victims feel more comfortable.

Direct court system always does not heal the wound as like the National Reconciliation, victim-centered approach and restorative justice should do because there is not enough time for the victims and the offenders to go through reconciliation and forgiveness process. The court system usually “reveals a shared disquiet that the voice of those affected are not always heard or accorded an adequate weight once the wheels of the court system begin to turn.”

It’s worth saying that the justice does not usually put in place the sufficient robust transitional mechanisms to meet the relevant needs for truth, closure, healing or some form of accountability on the ground.

With such, the National Reconciliation approach and restorative justice perspective is a real way of providing a different vantage point in order to see more clear interactions between the community members such as to resolve the divisions in society caused by the attackers or human rights violators. National forgiveness will firmly contribute to the healing process for victims and determine legal accountability to establish a historical record of the conflict.

Wider national approach will contribute to restore the rule of law, democratize security institutions by promoting standard human rights systems and stable peace.

The new Nation had never had such a chance in years to bring these gaps together and failure to do such a thing will encourage differences for a longer period. It would be fair enough that the Victims and offenders plus the community members are given an opportunity to express clearly the experiences and what should be done to bring the life of the society back to normal.

Acknowledging the mistake usually makes the victims happiest and relieved as there is no one on earth that cannot make mistakes. This is also another way for the national reconciliation in community to address the grievance in strongest sense and challenge the silence and impunity of the perpetrators; however, this approach sometimes does not challenge the cultural norms in which violence or discrimination are sustained or made acceptable because it is sometimes poorly coordinated and organized based on the community levels if there are no laws applied after the prior final agreements.

In a nutshell, it worth noticing that our communal violence always goes with certain societal norms that if my relatives are hurt, I should response with maximum force without even judging who was wrong and what had happened. On the other hand, offenders usually remain within the society without any good punishment and this always sends a message to the victim that the persons who had taken our brother’s or sister’s life is living here.

Living within the same society with the offenders is one of the severe experiences to the family of the deceased person even if an attempt was made to cease the tension within the community. Hence, fulfilling traditional justice requirement and acknowledging the pain and mistake always stops the feeling of avenging.

Although it has always been the best interest of the victims to pursue peace, it is very regrettable that peace that comes without justice, be it traditional justice or standard, always can merely replicate broader social inequality and division within the society in some ways.

Communal agreement usually lacks and ignores the problem that human rights abuse may still continue to take place in some circumstances because in the process, there always been a lack of access to reparation payment if it was done public without legal application designed to capture the sense of harmony and forgiveness while moving on.

This issue of reparation sometimes creates more misunderstanding somehow because of the failure in the community-based initiative if the rule of law is not in place to put in place sufficiently robust transitional mechanism in order to meet the relevant needs for truth and national reconciliation commission.

It happens sometimes when the communities “lack a viable communal trust or have great lack to mobilize against the de facto impunity and parallel effort to establish local methods of community trust.”

Therefore, National Reconciliation, truth and reconciliation commission is important only when the community had much trust and condemned the act together with the sense of harmony while using the justice to seal off the prepared mechanism and strategic plans used by the National Reconciliation board in order to acknowledge the past and ensure harmony and mutual understanding between the people within the community at large.

Peter Reat Gatkuoth is a trained Human Right activist and scholars. He is currently living in Canada and reachable at peterreat@yahoo.com and peterreat@att.net

General George Athor’s first anniversary: He stood against bullies!

BY: ElHag Paul, RSS, DEC/17/2012, SSN;

19th December 2011 is the day the SPLM/A lynched Gen. George Athor in Morobo district at the foot of Poki Hills. The gruesome pictures flashed over SSTV as evidence showed the general on the ground in civilian clothes with gaping bullet wounds. It is an unbelievable to see a body of a well experienced military officer on mission to recruit in that part of the country. Ironically, this very location, Poki hill locally is renowned mythically for felling the mighty of the mightiest.

The narrative aired on the media channels in RSS on that day rang hollow. The information could not add up and this is what makes the killing of Athor a very controversially disturbing thing.

On Wednesday 19th December 2012 Athor will have been gone for one year. The real story behind his presence in Morobo district at the time where he met his fate may only be known in future. Truth has a way of coming out no matter how it is managed. Nature has decreed that human beings even the best of friends at one time will fall out and it is during such a time that the truth will then come out.

South Sudanese just need to patiently wait for the mendacity of SPLM Oyee to fall apart and the truth to burst into the open for everybody to see.

Gen. Athor’s quarrel with his own organisation,the SPLM/A, was triggered by discrimination. The SPLM body responsible for selecting candidates for general elections of April 2010 (for reasons best known to itself) barred the general from contesting for the post of governorship of Jonglei state in favour of Gen. Kuol Manyang Jouk.

Had the SPLM/A had policies and rules in place for selection of candidates, perhaps the situation would not have gotten out of control leading to unnecessary loss of life. As is always the case with SPLM the selections were solely based on personal opinions of the members of SPLM politburo which is heavily clouded with clannish and tribal bias.

It is doubtful whether this lackluster organisation now has any written rules and criteria for future internal contest for positions. As 2015 election looms the same scenario is likely to recur.

In response to this discriminatory act, Gen. Athor opted to contest the election as an independent candidate. He had massive support locally and opinion from the ground suggested he would win the gubernatorial seat. However, having lost favour of his organisation the elections were rigged in favour of Gen. Kuol Manyang Jouk. Gen. Athor asked for recount of the votes but without any good reasons this was rejected outright by SPLM confirming the electoral fraud.

With this, Athor’s recourse to justice was snuffed off. Aggrieved without an outlet like a dog pushed into a corner he rebelled and the rest is history.

To make his point, violence broke out in Jonglei highlighting the poor governance of the SPLM. This is a party that yells loudly about democracy yet intolerant of democratic practises. Democracy is a beautiful shinny garment that even Lucifer wraps himself in it. The current dictators of SPLM Oyee sang it when they were rebels only for their behaviour to exhibit their true characters as totalitarians.

The instruments of dictators fortunately are shrinking by the day. The monopoly of violence enjoyed by dictators is gradually being erased by people’s power. For instance the Arab spring and before it the various revolutions in Europe attest to it.

The control of the media similarly has been shattered by advances in information technology. Lies churned out by dictators are instantly deciphered by the public exposing the failures of the system and the incompetence of the leaders. Deception is by the day proving to be a difficult thing for leaders to manufacture. Thus the internet is proving to be their nemesis and there is nothing they can do about it.

Kleptocracy, the process by which the thieving leaders enrich themselves to maintain power for generations too is becoming difficult to hide. Stashing of stolen cash abroad is now affected by the international measures in place – transparency and anti-laundering instruments which expose culprits.

For example, president Bongo of Gabon recently found himself in deep troubles after his assets in France were made public with questions as to how he acquired them. All these developments are replacing the paraphernalia of oppressors and overpowering them in the process.

Fareed Zakaria in his book ‘The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad’ published by Norton in London in 2004 argues that when dictators as is the experience now in RSS and many African countries begin to hold sham elections the signs are on the wall that democracy has beaten them. The sham elections that they hold are a way of trying to escape reality and delusionally hold on to power because what the democratisation of every sphere of life has done is to strip them of their oracles of control, namely media, knowledge, violence etc.

Let us take the case of RSS, in April 2010 it held bogus elections in which it rigged its way into power. This was followed by bulldozing the shoddy constitution now used to abuse the people.

The fact that they stole the elections and put in place an undemocratic constitution did not give the SPLM/A the legitimacy it hoped for. Conversely, the fraud energized the people, at the time through the leadership of Peter Sule to point out the imbalance in the distribution of powers of the three arms of the government. This infuriated the rulers. Who was Peter Sule to challenge them?

In the bush they got used to exercising the ultimate power without criticism and restraint. Those who dared open their mouths like Benjamin Bol, Martin Majier, etc… were killed in cold blood. Now having gotten acculturised to mindless brutality and having acquired the reigns of state power they can not stomach any criticism positive or otherwise from anybody.

Here, Sule’s positive criticism was mistaken and he got framed. The allegation leveled against him is something that should be taken with a pinch of salt. Mendacity runs in the blood arteries of the SPLM Oyee.

As with all totalitarian regimes, the SPLM Oyee detests intellectuals, especially journalists. Since South Sudan gained independence journalists and opinion writers reporting from the country have been subjected to harsh conditions. Decent people doing this very important work which constitutes one of the major tenets of democracy in South Sudan have found themselves imprisoned, tortured and terrorised.

For instance, Ngor Garang and Dengdit Ayok of Citizen Newspaper and diplomat Dr James Okuk. The government did not stop here it even went as far as trying to terrorise international journalist working for international news organisation such as Allan Boswell of McClatchy News of USA.

The stifling of freedom in South Sudan is a serious issue and we have a painful example in the sad story of Diing Chan Awuol with the pseudonym of Isaiah Abraham. His life was tragically cut short on 5th December 2012 simply because he expressed himself. Now regardless of his political belief, association and what he wrote.

Did Diing not have a right to life like all of us? Does writing and expression of an opinion constitute a first degree crime? Was his writing about corruption, mismanagement and foreign policy blunders of the government not a fact? Why kill him?

Supposing that expression of opinion constitutes a crime, why did the authorities not charge him in a court of law? Is lynching not against the shoddy constitution that the SPLM Oyee forced on the country? If the constitution is not applicable, why have it?

Importantly, who has the power of life and death? This particular question must be explored in depth in light of the terror unleashed by SPLM Oyee in the country to silence the people. Is it the president and his henchmen who decide who should live and die, or is it the people of South Sudan as sovereign in the form of the state who decide through proper judicial process?

Don Salvatore and the SPLM can not have it both ways. They can not behave like bush rebels and also claim to be statesmen. When all these questions are taken together would it be wrong for us the people of South Sudan to conclude that president Kiir and his group collectively are criminally liable for crimes against us the people of South Sudan?

Paradoxically, late Diing was a committed member of the SPLM Oyee. He dedicated most of his life to nurturing and protecting it. The largest percentage of his writings is in support of this very organisation that brutally took away his life. He believed in working within the SPLM Oyee to transform it, unfortunately it costed him his life.

For those who think that being a member of this joint can transform it they need to think again. It is better to desert it now and avoid being tainted beyond cleaning. By deserting it you will do honour to late Diing Chan Awuol and also register a strong vote against violence in South Sudan.

SPLM Oyee’s power and strength comes from you the members. Without you this organisation would be nothing as it should. Therefore, the massive corruption, the mismanagement, the failure in foreign policy and the terror they unleash indirectly and directly has your blessing. In a sense you are an accomplice. Think about it.

If you are a decent person who espouse democratic values and respect the right of life as enshrined in the various international instruments especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10th December 1948, you to distance yourself from this murderous machine.

The sooner you do so the quicker democracy, true freedom and peace will dawn on our country thus considerably minimizing the possibility of injustice such as the one foisted on Gen. Athor which resulted into a tragedy.

Athor rebelled to fight SPLM Oyee injustice. Like Diing who used the might of the pen, he was a well known popular personality in the SPLM/A. He gained respect from the rank and file of the liberation movement following the Nasir coup of 1991. Opposed to the coup and cut out from the main force of the movement in Equatoria, he managed without any support to hold his ground in Upper Nile for some years against SPLM Nasir faction until he later linked up with his HQs in Eastern Equatoria.

Reputed as brave and fierce man, the late leader of the SPLM/A Dr John Garang respected him and reportedly occasionally invited him to join in foreign trips.

Both Athor and Diing were killed by SPLM/A in cold blood during the Christian holy month of December a year apart. This month which means a lot to the citizens of South Sudan as Christians has been defiled by the barbaric behaviour of the SPLM Oyee – all the reason why we should reflect whether we want to continue being governed by this lot.

As for some of us we have overwhelmingly voted with our pens to see the back of this murderous organisation.

As Christians we hold the noble value of forgiveness. We do not believe in violence. We do not believe in shedding blood. Our Holy book tells us that if someone slaps you on the right cheek turn the other cheek to him. We believe in talking and solving problems amicably.

The culture of violence must stop in South Sudan. We all need to sign up against it. Killing serves no purpose at all. Some of the worst regimes in Africa like the Apartheid regime of South Africa saw sense in not killing the leadership of its opponents at the height of their struggle.

Please see ‘Killing is not a solution, uphold the rule of law’ http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/articles/killing-is-not-a-solution-uphold-the-rule-of-law

This article was written early this year and late Diing may have read it but he did not comment on it. Its contents now more than at any time is relevant due to the reign of terror engulfing our country.

Regardless of what Athor did, good or bad, acceptable or unacceptable he did not deserve to be killed in cold blood without due process of law. He should have been accorded his right to defend himself in a South Sudan court of law for fairness to be seen to be done.

Again, regardless of what people think, Athor took a principled position against electoral theft and political bullying. His only error is that he chose violence; trusted foreign powers and got convinced that he was safe. This led to his demise.

Fundamentally Athor was brave but not shrewd. He was ignorant of political dynamics especially the constant shifts in politics in relations to interests. The only thing that remains constant in politics as articulated by the British is interest, all others are expendable. Diing in his last article tried to articulate this point vis-a-viz RSS and SPLM North and perhaps this was the bone of contention that sealed his fate.

May the people of South Sudan learn one or two things from late Athor’s first anniversary about the importance of holding on to values and principles even if it means losing one’s life. Athor in 1990s remained loyal to SPLM when he was cut off and surrounded by adversaries.

Athor in 2010 said no loudly to injustice and SPLM bullying. He deserves to be remembered for the hero he was for being principled and taking a stand against bullies, a very rare quality these days in our country.

[Truth hurts but It is also liberating]

Elhag Paul
Elhagpaul@aol.com