Archive for: February 2013

Why Gov. Kuol Manyang should resign to save innocent lives in Jonglei State

By: John Akech, UGANDA, FEB/27/2013, SSN;

The republic of South Sudan attained her independence on the 9th of July 2011, the independence came as the result of referendum which granted south Sudanese the option to vote for self determination in which south Sudanese overwhelmingly chose for their independent country with over ninety eighty percent vote in favor.

In the tense, larger and troubled Jonglei state, there has ever been a stronghold of the militias activities which has been the main cause of insurgency to the government of South Sudan as well as the ruling party of Sudan people’s liberation movement in the South.

Pertaining to the 2010 April election in which Governor Manyang was democratically elected as state governor and in the same way a flag bearer of the SPLM. As a result of election, the renegade general George Athor Deng Dut launched a rebellion in his home town of Pigi county which was fighting the incumbent government of governor Manyang and the whole country of South Sudan.

The author thought Governor Manyang must resign to save the lives of the innocent civilians of Jonglei state, this is because, the Jonglei state government has fully failed to protect its citizens and their properties within Jonglei state.

Civil population of Jonglei state since the signing of the comprehensive agreement [CPA] which ended the long civil war between South Sudan and the then Sudan, that yielded the prevailing peace and stability and allowed the population of South Sudan to enjoy peaceful fruits of CPA except for the people of Jonglei state who continued shedding blood.

And this is because of the weak system of governance. All these because of the poor governance and lack of clear strategy from the government to disarm the civil population of South Sudan in general and Jonglei state in particular.

Therefore the personal weakness of Governor Manyang or may be because of the fragility of the state of Jonglei and it civil population thereof, it’s imperative that the incumbent Governor must resign to pave way for the peaceful co-existence of civil population of Jonglei state.

Peoples of Jonglei state at first suffered under the atrocities of then militias and rebels of late George Athor in which inhuman atrocities and human rights were totally abused by the rebels and its Khartoum alliance militias. And as per that only a small peace prevailed after untimely death of renegade Athor.

But the ongoing peace was again disturbed by the insurgency of David Yau Yau, who rebelled against the government of South Sudan after he lost his legislative consistency contest of Gumrua payam of Pibor county to his SPLM challenger.

The murle community is another threat to the government of South Sudan and in particular to the state of Jonglei and mostly to the communities of Dinka Bor and Lou-Nuer. The murle militias are on timely committing numerous atrocities. However the government of Jonglei state failed to disarm its civil population in which several lives has been lost every day as the result of inter-communal fighting in between the tribes.

In flashback, the former and the first governor of Jonglei state, Philiph Thon Leek Deng, was questioned by the communities of Lou-Nuer, Dinka Bor and the legislative assembly of Jonglei state plus the state intellectuals, however then governor surrendered his position to Kuol Manyang in February 2007 in which they exchanged their various positions in which Manyang assumed the position of governorship and Thon became national minister of Roads in the government of National unity in Khartoum Sudan.

This move was done because Manyang pledged to maintain insecurity and curb down cattle raiding and inter-communal fighting among the communities plus the activities of militias which where hosted by Pibor Community.

In 2012 and 2013 the death toll has really increased in Jonglei state in which David Yau Yau militias and his own tribe of Murle are killing Lou-Nuer and Dinka Bor on daily basis because those communities were disarmed and murle were not disarmed or either rearmed by Yau Yau.

My personal advice, if the Governor Manyang is not able to contain and maintain the security of Jonglei then he should resign the same way the then Governor Philip Thon allowed him to take over should be done by him. Let Manyang allow an able person who will contain the security and disarm the local population of Jonglei state.

There is no need whereby civilians should die on daily basis because of cattle raiding, militias killing and Yau Yau activities like the recent massacres of over hundred peoples in Akobo and raiding of more than ten thousand heads of cattle in PJkeer payam and jale payam plus unmentioned events or incidents which are occurring always.

Governor Manyang’s personality and his positive contribution during the south-north Sudan war of twenty one years are fundamental and unforgettable to all South Sudanese who were the part of liberation struggle, but today his administration has failed to curtail the insurgency of militias and murle tribe which always launch meaningless attacks on numerous peace-loving tribes of jonglei state plus their continuous hosting of Khartoum militias before and after the war.

The author is a South Sudanese lives in Uganda, he can be reached for comments at akech.marol@yahoo.com

The Dying Optimist in Me (II): Where are Clear and comprehensive strategic planning, innovative ideas and methods of implementation in South Sudan?

BY: Kuir ë Garang, CANADA, FEB/28/2013, SSN;

The capitalist tsars in the West want to maintain the way things are. And that is, they want the poor to remain [poor] and the rich to continue to get rich. They employ the lower classes who work 40-60 hours a week to make the capitalists wealthy. Still, these poor workers are called lazy!

Yet still, we look towards Europe and America for guidance and goodwill. Then we wonder why Africa is still mired in the indescribable. Our poverty and political mess only help them remain wealthy.

How about Jubers! Nea! The hopeless me better not say!
I know all of us have been or are now being schooled in eurostandardized world. Our thoughts, our view of ourselves and our ideas are such that they have to be in line with what Europe has already standardized. This is required in some cases, however, there are cases where following this dug snare and ditch becomes our political and economic stagnation. Am I supposed to be optimistic?

I recently published a book: Is ‘Black’ Really Beautiful? This book looks at Race, Color and Racism from an African perspective you can’t find in our contemporary euro-literature and scholarship. However, from the subject of the book, it’s very easy to see why such ideas are not addressed in the manner in which they are supposed to be handled. Most of us think “Black is Beautiful?” However, many of us don’t actually see the fatuitous insinuation in the proposition. So buckle up!

People scratch their heads when I ask them what you call a person who is proud of his or her race! They don’t have the answer! Why? Because Europe has decontextualized and instrumentalized the appropriate word.

I maintain in the book that the color (black) that has been used by the Europeans to describe the Africans wasn’t meant to be a presented glory for the Africans. However, the color has become so dear to the African person and the person of African descent to the point that they’ve owned the color per se.

The African person has been so much lost in the ontic of this loosely descriptive, and begrudging color that she sees no difference between this describing color and her own skin and humanity. Black becomes her skin and her skin becomes black.

Okay, let’s get silly! Black President! Black Market! Black Friday! Black Man! Black Panther! Black Magic! Black Days! Point out your choicest pick! What a miasmatic state of affair for the scions of the colonized and the enslaved.

So, to be proud of oneself, one has to be proud of the color [black]. But does the color black describe the skin of the African? Does it describe the skin of the person of African descent? No, obviously! However, the color has been accepted with near divine essence that black as a color and the African are seen as one and the same.

The question one would ask me is: if we are not black then what are we? You are black only because someone says you are. We have no name that stems from our own ingenuities. We are what Europe says we were… what we are now, and what we’ll be in the Future.

Blackness is a description used by the Europeans to degrade the African person. And the poor African embraced it wholeheartedly! What else can she do anyway! The magnificent Europe calls herself white. Who dare ask the ridiculous?

So what is happening in South Sudan? This same ‘looking outside’ for the solution to our problems has crippled South Sudan and it will take it to its economic and political grave.

What is lacking in South Sudan is not creation of ideas strictly speaking, but the methods through which these ideas can be implemented. If corruption has to be dealt with comprehensively, then it has to be dealt with at all levels.

Laws and regulations don’t implement themselves. There has to be across-the-board systemic instruments to deter every civil servant and politician from putting his hand into the cookie jar. And if that person is so callous as to put his hands into the jar, then these systemic methods can cause this civil servant’s hand to be caught inside the cookie jar.

If the Vice President, Riek Machar, calls for peace and reconciliation, he has to draft a comprehensive strategy and plan on how this peace and reconciliation can be achieved. Ideas and goodwill without any methods of efficacious implementation are just as good as the fancy ideas of that perennially drunken old fellow around the corner.

President Kiir calls for the police and the security agents to respect the average citizen. Without any systemic and institutional methods devised by the government to check the daily operations of these people and to hold them accountable, these people will continue to kill at will.

We need day-to-day instruments that can check daily operations of people in public offices. If some people slip through these instruments, then they can now be held accountable through instituted regulations and laws.

Let’s stop looking outside; at America and Europe for ideas that’d help us prosper. The poorer we are the wealthier the capitalists (who drive politicians like cars) in the west get. So don’t expect Europe and America to give us ideas that are helpful… in essence.

Let’s harvest our internal powers. Let’s be ingenious and come up with economic and political ideas relevant to our realities. And let’s not forget the methods to implement them; because implementation is the KEY! Let’s stop quoting the ideas of Dave, John and McDonalds from Harvard, Oxford and Stanford etc… etc.

Okay, so you went to those universities! Why are you still talking about their ideas? Where are your own ideas?

Why do I even blame South Sudanese leaders when 90% percent of Africans and people of African descent answer ‘YES’ to this question: Is ‘Black’ Really Beautiful?

Without strong innovative ideas and feasible ways to implement them then we are off the cliff! How long will we continue to look towards Europe for Salvation? And you expect me to be optimistic!

Kuir ë Garang is a South Sudanese poet, author and publisher living in Canada. For more information about the author, visit www.kuirthiy.info or http://thenilepress.com. You can follow the author on twitter: @kuirthiy

South Sudan’s crying of dereliction: Why has God forsaken us?

BY: Tongun Lo Loyuong, RSS, FEB/27/2013, SSN;

For those of us unfamiliar with the technical theological phrase “cry of dereliction,” – it is a theological expression of the puzzling biblical utterance of “my God, my God why have you forsaken me?” – the last words/lamentation attributed to Jesus on the crucifix, moments before his death (see Matt. 27:46; and Mark 15:34). Biblical scholars and theologians have long found this to be one of the troubling verses in the New Testament. If this was God’s son, and God sent him to save the world from sin, then why did God abandon him while he was submissive to God’s plan and when he needed God the most?

Consequently, several interpretations of Jesus’ cry of dereliction emerged, two of which are mainstream and worth mentioning for our purposes here. The first is the theological explication championed by the biblical literalists, which tend to argue that in the cry of dereliction, God abandoned Jesus to preserve God’s Holiness, for God could not behold or be associated with our sin, which Jesus took upon himself on the cross.

Therefore, God turned the other way, which then provoked Jesus’ cry of dereliction for being abandoned by God. This was all part of God’s atonement plan for Jesus, aimed to achieve the objectives of the salvation plan for which Jesus volunteered. But the constraint with this type of interpretation is that it contradicts the pervasive biblical presentation of God as loving, accompanying, comforting, and assisting particularly in our trying times.

However, it may be asked, if God is willing to turn the other way in the face of gross injustices and wickedness, how the hell are we supposed to overcome the powerful evil and corrupt forces of greed in this world?

The second salient theological discourse of the cry of dereliction, which I find more appealing maintains that it is not in God’s nature to abandon God’s children. According to this school of thought, the verse must be interpreted metaphorically. Understood this way, the cry of dereliction is in fact a cry of vindication. This is consistent with Old Testament’s lamentation practice of prayer, such as found in Habakkuk 1:13, and the opening line of Psalm 22 and other lamentation passages in the Scripture.

In this form of prayer one is justified to raise complaints to God about deep sentiments of pain and suffering. It is an indication of a strong faith and intimate relationship with God, where one rhetorically questions God’s vindication intervention policies and sin-tolerance practices in the face of persisting injustices. In so doing, one knows that good will ultimately prevail over evil.

It is in the context of this latter theological explanation that the choice of the somewhat provocative title in this piece lies.
In this season of lent, a cry of dereliction is fitting and depicting of the endless suffering of an average voiceless and powerless South Sudanese throughout our history, and more recently during and after the “liberation struggle.”

As was the case with Jesus, it is indeed not hard-pressed to suggest that most South Sudanese feel God-forsaken in light of the prevailing deteriorating social, economic, and political state of affairs. “What kind of life is this?,” a friend recently quipped with disgust when sighting one of the extravagant convoys of our “liberators” marauding in the dusty streets and the overwhelmingly underdeveloped and poverty-stricken environs of Juba.

In a manner consistent with being locked in the colonial logic, the convoy sped in the narrow streets of Juba with such an aura of arrogance that does affirm the dawn of new phase of a colonial period in South Sudan. How disenchanting to see the lack of any moral conscience in the political leadership of this God-forsaken country.

Few will disagree that since the signing of the CPA, and the advent of the southern independence, most South Sudanese are by now resigned to the fact that the so-called “liberation” of South is no better than the preceding liberation of Sudan from the Anglo-Egyptian rule before it. Second class citizenship remains the order of the day and abject poverty persists.

Unsurprisingly, the lack of value added by successive empty “liberations” of the greater Sudan from different colonial masters both from within and from without, is a persistent pattern throughout the history of this country. This is an undesirable legacy that will continue to dominate the mindset of some of our people in the South for a long time to come.

It is ironic that we do not seem to learn from our tragic history. Such was the case with the so-called “independence” or “liberation” of Sudan from British colonialism in January 1956. The South came to suffer from another cycle of colonialism, of Arabic and Islamist mentality of domination that led to a southern mentality of resistance, which resulted in the birth of the liberation struggle in the first place.

Yet, no sooner were we supposedly liberated, than the emergence of yet another batch of colonial masters ensued. It is more painful this time because these are supposedly our own brothers, but who continue to be victims of the intractable colonial and slavery legacy in this country. These people need some serious help. They even unashamedly dare call a fellow southerner a slave.

As his Lordship Bishop Pio Lako, the Auxiliary Bishop of Juba recently aptly put it, “some of our people continue to tell our people to sit down.” “We liberated you, or we sacrificed more than you in the liberation struggle — so goes the pretext for justifying their master’s status entitlement in Juba, nowadays.”

Sit down. “We are born to rule.” Born to rule what? What is this liberation? As Jok Madut Jok once forcefully phrased it, “liberation from what and to what end?”

If Sudanese liberations’ history is, therefore, anything to go by it seems we are locked in the liberation struggle for God knows how long. Often after a liberation has succeeded, those who have made selfless sacrifices are overlooked or even rewarded with a form of punishment and subjugation, while the opportunists and those conspicuously known for political whoredom and harlotry and conspired with the enemy, are rewarded and end up reigning supreme.

As a result, one is left but to cry in dereliction to God, why have you forsaken us when we needed you the most while we continue to be subjected to all forms of undeserved suffering and indignity for more than 1160 years of our documented history to the present.

How long will the women of Jonglei continue to suffer from violence and rape as a result of the so-called cattle rustling? How long will the children of Warrap and Unity States in the peripheries continue to die from hunger, malnutrition, and curable diseases while some greedy elite few in the center enjoy ugly filled bellies and health purchased from quality healthcare overseas by South Sudanese public funds?

How long will the people of Central and Eastern Equatoria States continue to lose their lands to those in possession of power and gun? How long will the youth of Western Equatoria continue to form vigilantes in order to defend their women, children, and property from insecurity and brutality created by LRA and local criminals?

How long will the people of Greater Bahr el-Ghazal States be massacred by security forces with impunity and support from the corridors of power in Juba, and be incited to commit atrocious inter-communal violence amongst each other?

How long will the elite and corrupt few continue to enrich themselves, while the whole country wallows in abject poverty, unemployment and lack of adequate social service provision? How long will the freedom of press, and the basic human right to freedom of expression be suppressed?

And how long will those who attempt to speak out against these vices be framed as rebels and unpatriotic, and arbitrarily imprisoned indefinitely and without due process, or in worse case scenarios be eliminated or made to disappear?

In short, will we continue to suffer indignity and human rights abuses indefinitely?

Framing our problems in terms of a cry of dereliction seems a theological construct that best conceptualizes and gives meaning and perhaps, a sense of much needed consolation and hope that signs are written on the wall that vindication is well underway to South Sudanese.

And so we raise our voices in the cry of dereliction as a God-forsaken people eagerly anticipating vindication sooner rather than later. The clock is ticking!

Unity of South Sudan not a gift on golden plate

BY: Jacob K. Lupai, JUBA, FEB/26/2013, SSN;

The unity of South Sudan isn’t something that is like a gift on a golden plate. It has to be diligently earned. Similarly the beauty of a woman alone may not sustain the love of the opposite sex but the woman’s cooperative responses may.

Although South Sudanese had fought in wars of liberation as people of one destiny this did not mean automatic sustainable unity among them. South Sudanese fought as people drawn from the different tribes and regions with unique cultures and tastes. The one thing they shared was the strong aspiration for freedom from gross marginalization.

After achieving freedom the second project would have been how to achieve sustainable unity among people as diverse as South Sudanese.

For sustainable unity, diversities must first be recognized. This will be one first step in search of better ways in promoting sustainable unity. Nevertheless, the long struggle of South Sudanese as people of one destiny should have made it easier to compromise on how best to sustain national unity of people who had fought as one but were diverse.

Diversities in South Sudan
It is easy to gloss over diversities in South Sudan with the enthusiastic belief that the big picture is the unity of South Sudan and anything else is secondary. This is not only simplistic but it is pushing problems under the carpet with unknown consequences.

A solid foundation of unity must first be laid so that the next focus is on socio-economic development for a high quality of life of the people. There is no shortcut. The solid foundation of unity must be based on the reality of diversities of the country.

South Sudan is a country of over sixty tribes with diverse cultures and many differences. It is also of three main regions that were administered separately in British colonial times and during Arab neocolonialism. However, the people of South Sudan have a lot in common. They share one destiny as people who had been grossly marginalized and exploited by what was then Northern Sudan. The people are of African stock and share common African traditional beliefs.

They also share main economic activities such as farming and cattle keeping. This suggests two predominant cultures, sedentary farming and pastoralism.

Obviously it can be concluded that South Sudan is a diverse country with many tribes, different regions and contrasting cultures. A system of governance that sustains the unity of a country as diverse as South Sudan should therefore be carefully considered in promoting a peaceful co-existence in the national interest.

A rush to adopt a system of governance, for example, to favour group interest as opposed to national interest will be problematic.

Unitary versus federal system
South Sudan is doing some soul searching as to what system of governance is suitable to sustain national unity. People are free to express their views. One view is that a unitary system guarantees national unity while a federal one is seen as a sure way to disunite South Sudan.

Those in favour of a unitary system seem to protect group interest. The danger here is that the group interest is being mistaken for national interest.

However, a federal system that is seen as appropriate in serving diversities in the national interest is being misunderstood because of suspicion and lack of trust. This suggests people need to have confidence. People therefore need to be educated so that they know that there is no hidden agenda in advocating for a federal system.

Those who advocate a unitary system should similarly educate people who are not yet convinced of the merit of a unitary system in a diverse country such as South Sudan. However, the experience of a mixture of unitary system currently applied in South Sudan is very negative.

States do not have the necessary powers they should have to render badly needed services and maintaining the rule of law is a nightmare. State tax powers are usurped and the police is so centralized with the paradox that insecurity is rampant because criminals seem to have become superior. Regional marginalization is also experienced.

In a federal system powers are decentralized to the extent that the states or regions can become self-reliant. In the federal system states are within their own decision-making powers to render the appropriate services without having to wait for the centre to decide.

The federal system cannot be seen as to favour only one state. All the states will tremendously benefit hence the people also. The fact that it is the people of Equatoria advocating for a federal system does not mean Equatoria will be the only beneficiary.

At any rate Equatoria is always the pioneer and what is good for Equatoria may equally be good nationwide.

The exaggerated fear of a federal system is based on falsehood. I have already explained in my article, Constitutionality of Convening Equatoria Conference 2013, the likely reason why people from the other regions oppose a federal system. The article was published by the Citizen Newspaper of February 25, 2013 – Vol 7. Issue No. 387.

The opposition to a federal system is because of the perceived adverse effect on group interest. It is the inability to share.

Unity not a gift
Unity is not a God-given gift. It is something that people earnestly have to work for. Unity is not sustained by a one-off act. It is sustained by a series of actions. Starting on the premises that South Sudan is a diverse country, it is then not difficult to conceptualize the type of actions needed to sustain national unity.

The problem may be that people are not seriously conscious of diversities or deliberately ignore them. This may explain how one tribe may dominate in all aspects of affairs of the nation to the dissatisfaction of others. This naturally creates the problem of marginalization of others.

In such a scenario how possible is it to sustain national unity? Numerous examples of marginalization of others can be cited when people are not seriously conscious of diversities in nation building.

When injustices are perpetuated with impunity by people who assume they have relatives in power, how will there be sustainable national unity? A good example of unity not a gift is illustrated by the resolutions of Equatoria Conference 2013, although the resolutions are diplomatically watered down but not as views that were expressed live in the Conference.

However, the resolutions show something somewhere was not right as they hinted of institutionalized marginalization of the people of Equatoria. This should not have happened in a federal system but only in a unitary system where decisions are taken at the center without the active participation of stakeholders.

It can be seen that a unitary system mostly serves group interest and to marginalize others on the group’s whims. It is difficult to see how a unitary system heavily laden with narrow group interest can sustain national unity in a diverse country such as South Sudan. People may need to think carefully about the most appropriate system of governance that is respectful of diversities to avoid the feared disintegration of South Sudan.

Forging national unity
Much has been said about South Sudan as a diverse country. However, what has not been heard of much is how to forge national cohesion and unity. People are loud about unity but are short on how to attain it. Probably behind closed doors people may be very busy dreaming dreams of how by all means not to lose their grip on power whether in the national interest or not. Group interest is seen as of paramount importance. In such a situation how can people forge national unity?

One way of forging national unity is a call for sacrifices as during the liberation wars. People had sacrificed with their lives. It is then difficult to see how people cannot sacrifice for national unity. Sacrificing for national unity is to rise above group interest to the level of national interest. The problem, however, is that people may not see the difference.

In the context of South Sudan, group interest is equivalent to tribal interest. In contrast, national interest can be taken as the aggregate interest of the various tribes and different regions. The implication is that the various tribes and the different regions must have power to manage their own affairs in their best interest and this can only happen in a federal system but not in a unitary system that serves the interest of a dominant group.

By the way, when the various tribes and the different regions manage their own affairs, this will not create disunity when they are busy concentrating on their welfare instead of being dissatisfied. Dissatisfaction may be the one that causes disunity.

A federal system will never create disunity because people will be happy managing their own affairs within the national context. It will sustain national unity in contrast to a unitary system that serves narrow tribal interest and the perception that others are marginalized.

The clear disadvantage of a unitary system is highlighted by some of the resolutions of the Equatoria Conference 2013 hence the call for a federal system to address injustices.

Conclusion
Hopefully it is understood that unity of South Sudan is not a gift in a golden plate but something that must be diligently worked for. There are people in denial that South Sudan is diverse in tribes and regions hence the blindfolded call for a unitary system as though South Sudan is a homogenous society. The fact that people had fought liberation wars as people of one destiny does not nullify diversities.

The burning desire for freedom had strongly united people but after freedom has been attained is there anything that is so burning to hold people together? Arguably there is none when freedom has turned to disillusion even though some will argue that the enemy is not yet far away from our northern border.

However, it is said Rome was not built in a day. People should therefore be patient and hopeful that things may turn for the better in the near future.

Unity is not a free gift but must be earned. The question is how? Well, people need to shed their tribal coats and put on national ones. This means the adoption of a federal system that empowers and serves every corner and part of the Republic of South Sudan to be self-reliant in socio-economic development for a high standard of living.

A unitary system may stifle local creativity. Town centers may be filthy because of centralization of powers that states have no tax powers to generate revenues for rejuvenation of towns.

In conclusion, as the literacy rate is very low in the context of South Sudan, a unitary system will be more debilitating to national unity because of its inherent characteristic of being centered on any emerging dominant group that may be full of illiterates who may know nothing except their self-interest at the expense of the various groups and regions that form the nation.

It can be said with confidence that a unitary system is a danger to the unity of a country full of diversities.

Constitutionality of convening Equatoria Conference 2013

BY: Jacob K. Lupai, JUBA, FEB/26/2013, SSN;

Experts in constitutional law are lecturing people that the convening of Equatoria Conference 2013 was unconstitutional. In paternalistic tones people are urged to avoid or for the authorities to stop such conferences altogether because it was feared they would destabilize and ultimately lead to the disintegration of South Sudan. However, the argument was hardly convincing other than to play on fears that regional conferences could create disunity in South Sudan. It is as though the regions are not nationalistic enough or are inherently pro disunity such that any regional conference convened is only to sow the seed of disintegration.

The above may be a wrong assumption because in Equatoria Conference 2013 most if not all of the delegates who spoke emphasized the unity of the people of South Sudan. The questioning of the constitutionality of convening Equatoria Conference 2013 is nothing but a flimsy way of discouraging such conferences from taking place because they are mistakenly perceived as propagating disunity. There are regional conferences held in Africa but there is no evidence that they are disuniting Africa. A regional conference is to address pertinent issues.

Constitutional rights
The Equatoria Conference 2013 was not an assembly of people to cause turmoil in the country. It was a peaceful assembly where unity of people of South Sudan was strongly emphasised with the President of the Republic of South Sudan being appreciated for his leadership. People expressed their opinions and views freely, something that is constitutionally guaranteed as Articles 24(1) and 25(1) of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 seem to confirm. Also, in the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011, Article 49(2) stipulates that, “Any two or more states may agree on mechanisms or arrangements to enhance inter-state coordination and cooperation”.

Precisely the three states of Equatoria chose to come together to enhance inter-state coordination and cooperation in addressing challenges for common aspirations. What is wrong with that? Other states have the liberty to do the same if they so wish according to the constitution. Also, there is no such thing as Greater Equatoria. There is only Equatoria as in history books. This was also acclaimed by the people in Equatoria Conference 2011 that Equatoria should simply be known as Equatoria without the word Greater as prefix.

Are people jealous of whatever Equatoria initiates or are they scared of the misguided assumption that Equatoria has a hidden agenda? It is doubtful that Equatoria has a hidden agenda. The delegates would not have spoken their minds the way they did in Equatoria Conference 2013. Those were very courageous people who called a spade a spade without fear or favour. Announcing in public of what the problems are has an added edge in resolving the problems. This is because in private people may deny problems exist.

South Sudan as one tribe
People may talk of South Sudan as one tribe in the effort to promote unity. This is, however, a deceptive way of perpetuating domination and marginalization of others. Propagating South Sudan as one tribe will not work. What will work in promoting unity is by accepting that all citizens are equal before the law not by word of mouth but by action and that states and regions are also equal in treatment.

The resolutions of Equatoria Conference 2013 clearly illustrate an institutionalized marginalization of people of Equatoria and this is very dangerous to the kind of unity people are endeavouring to promote. The question is, if South Sudan was one tribe how come other people were so marginalized that they could no longer tolerate but to speak out loudly the truth of the fallacy of South Sudan as one tribe. South Sudan is a multitude of tribes so let’s stop fooling around.

Equatoria Conference 2013
Equatoria conference 2013 was convened partly as a follow up of the 1st Equatoria Conference 2011. It was also to articulate issues and challenges facing the people of the three states of Equatoria. It was unfortunate that some simplistic minded individuals cried out loudly that the Conference was an expression of deep seated hatred of non Equatorians. This was specially highlighted by one Manyang David, a journalist who covered the Conference for the Juba Post. As a journalist one would have expected a balanced analysis of the Conference but instead my fellow young writer spewed out venomously his deep hatred of Equatorians.

On one occasion Manyang David even went too personal. It is a mystery how the Juba Post should be keeping such a biased and unprofessional writer turned poor journalist that is not good for the image of journalism. Manyang David articulated his biased perception of Equatorians in his dispatch, Sowing seeds of hatred and disunity, that appeared in the Juba Post of February 20th–26th, 2013 Vol.7 Issue 166.

Probably as a simpleton he was not aware that his dispatch was demonstrating his hatred of Equatorians like any other non-Equatorian of his group who is not comfortable with a federal system.

Truth hurts but is liberating. What the delegates to the Conference articulated was the gross marginalization of the people of Equatoria as the resolutions show. Criticisms were not directed at non Equatorians but to the national government to find solutions to the issues raised. Probably it was the call for a federal system of governance that caused the most offense to non-Equatorians as Manyang David in his venomous hatred of Equatorians seems to suggest. As always non-Equatorians associate a federal system with division of people while Equatorians associate it with the most fair, appropriate and equitable system of governance that is satisfactory or relevant to a diverse country.

People argue that non-Equatorians are in Equatoria because Equatoria is accommodating the national capital and the seat of the central government. Fair enough! This is true and indeed Equatorians welcome fellow citizens from all over the country. However, the problem is that fellow citizens from the different parts of the country have no desire to respect the rule of law in Equatoria.

They have become land grabbers, money grabbers, terrorizing innocent farmers in Equatoria with impunity and causing unnecessary insecurity. If this is the price the peaceful and law abiding Equatorians have to pay in independent South Sudan then what is the basis for unity?

No one in their right minds or senses will put up with medieval behaviours. National unity is a voluntary coming together of diverse people and regions based on fair and equitable sharing of power and wealth, the two most important aspects in nation building. National unity that is imposed by spurious nationalists will never work. It will only promote disunity and ultimate disintegration of the country.

Fair mindedness in Equatoria
From the outset it should be asserted that self-praise is no recommendation. However, narrating instances in which Equatorians sacrificed their positions in the national interest will not amount to self-praise but is a matter of telling the truth for people to understand.

During the first war (1955 – 1972) an Equatorian abandoned his military career in the Sudanese army and volunteered to lead the armed wing of Southern Sudan Liberation Movement (SSLM). Most of the foot soldiers were either illiterate or semi-literate. However, they had one burning common desire, the liberation of Southern Sudan from Arab neocolonialism. The SSLM mounted protracted guerrilla warfare until an agreement ending hostilities and granting Southern Sudan self-government was concluded.

If the Equatorian was greedy for power he would have assumed the presidency of the self-government in Southern Sudan. As a nationalist the Equatorian accepted a non Equatorian to be the president of the self-government in Southern Sudan. The non-Equatorian was never anywhere closer to the frontline to dodge enemy bullets.

In the second war of liberation (1983 – 2005) and towards the end of the liberation war an Equatorian offered his seat to a non Equatorian who was rejoining the Sudan people’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). The other non Equatorians in the SPLM from the other regions held tight to their seats. It was an act of nationalism that the Equatorian surrendered his seat to the non Equatorian for the second powerful seat in the SPLM. This might have been considered a characteristic of Equatoria’s weakness. However, there was no mistake of pushing Equatoria too far.

When the SPLM-led government was established they had no buildings in which to be accommodated. It was an Equatorian who out of nationalism offered his state government buildings to the new SPLM-led government without any formal agreement for any compensation or payment of rent. Surely others cannot claim to be more nationalistic than Equatorians. How could others including land grabbers be more nationalistic than the peaceful and law abiding people of Equatoria?

Arguably, people of Equatoria are fair-minded and also peaceful. This may explain why non Equatorians want by any means to live among fair-minded and peaceful Equatorians. Therefore, a federal system to non Equatorians may mean they will badly miss Equatoria. This is, however, flaw perception because no one will be forced to move from anywhere else against their will as long as they are law abiding citizens. The only place to be moved to is prison which is of course for law breakers.

Conclusion
The constitutionality of convening Equatoria Conference 2013 can best be left to experts’ interpretation of constitutional law. For a lay person the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan guarantees freedom of expression and assembly. The people of the three states of Equatoria have expressed their joint opinion that they are Equatorians. Indeed they are Eastern, Central and Western Equatorians. The common name in the three states is Equatoria. So no one should deny the people of the three states of Equatoria from calling themselves Equatorians.

Equatorians do not have hatred of non-Equatorians. It is only the medieval behaviors of non-Equatorians that is of concern to national unity. Stop the medieval behaviors and marginalization of people then hard feelings will disappear. This, however, will not happen without Equatorians speaking up boldly.

It should be understood that Equatorians are not revengeful as in other cultures where hatred for a misdeed lingers for decades. If all citizens were treated as people of one destiny with equitable access to opportunities, we would not have got the kind of resolutions produced by Equatoria Conference 2013.

In conclusion, in promoting national unity it is better to speak out the truth than to indulge in gossips and backbiting in dark corners. Equatoria Conference 2013 should be seen as something helpful in highlighting what the mistakes were so that they should not be repeated in the efforts to forge national cohesion and unity.

South Sudan: A country in need of a national identity

BY: Garang Achiek Ajak, Syracuse, New York, USA, FEB/24/2013, SSN;

I recently traveled to South Sudan and was appalled by the lack of unity among people of South Sudan. People of different ethnic tribes viewed each other as rivals, rather than countrymen, and blamed one another for the hardships they were experiencing. I was saddened that a national identity had not formed for the country. If anybody ask a resident what their national identity is, he would probably respond he didn’t know. At this, South Sudanese do not know who they are.

To me, this is troubling. For country like South Sudan that is just in its infancy as a sovereign state, a national identity is of utmost importance. An identity of community is needed for them to realize its objectives as a prosperous, peaceful and democratic country. The reality I witnessed, however, begged the question; who are the people of South Sudan?

It is my opinion that scholarly research and discussion should commence immediately across the country as they try to find an answer.

At this time in history there are no Dinka, Nuer, Shilluk or Bari people; there are only the individuals who live together in South Sudan. The lack of a national identity should be the calling card for unity and this should start with the elites in the government. A new paradigm for a national identity should be at the forefront of building South Sudanesism. Regardless of different tribe affiliation, upbringing, culture, and beliefs, all people of the nation are first and foremost a South Sudanese.

South Sudanesism must incorporate “interculturalism,” especially given the diverse nature of the populace. Interculturalism is defined as the way to recognize commonalities, reduce tensions and promote the formation of social partnerships among different cultural groups. South Sudan needs a public culture that would employ and encourage cultural diversity because that is what makes up the fabric of South Sudan. The diversity of South Sudan, in this sense, must be the strength and unity to tackle today’s pressing issues. This must be done together.

Interculturalism is critically important in forging the South Sudan Identity. It is inclusive and pluralistic in nature. We, individuals with ancestry in South Sudan, have endured too much struggle, pain, and division within the fight for liberation to turn on one another now. We should not let years of fighting for democracy go in vain. We have a country now and must carve out our identity, one that is build on liberty, cultural diversity, and democratic ideals.

State building is not an easy task. It requires the difficulties of redefinition and fostering an inclusive national consciousness. Although a challenging task, it is times like these where visionary and magnanimous leaders must step forward and take the center stage. It is their duty to unite the people on a common purpose.

South Sudanese leaders must make national reconciliation a national priority. In the words of Nelson Mandela, “the moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come… we must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation-building, for the birth of a new world.” These were words spoken as South Africa looked within to overcome apartheid and Mandela’s words relate to South Sudan today. Our leaders should replicate his wisdom and use it as a call for national unity among the people of South Sudan.

This is not a time to hold grudges against each other in our nation. During the liberation struggle, there were competing interests on how to better achieve Southern Sudan objectives, but that is in the past now. South Sudanese must begin on a new foot. All ethnic tribes must come together as one and forgive each other on past grievances for the sake of unity.

National unity must triumph over everything else. South Sudan does not belong to any particular tribe; it belongs to all of us. We must stand together, work hard together, build our schools together, build our hospitals together, build our infrastructure together, and become self sufficient in food production together. There is nothing we cannot achieve as a nation if we are united. Nepotism and corruption must be rooted out as evils from the past. They are the root of state failure of every nation in transition.

In a country like South Sudan that is very diverse, ethnic sectarianism must not have a place. We are one people who have endured too much struggle in pursuit of a just and democratic country. Everybody is equal in terms of rights, religious beliefs, different cultural upbringing, and the pursuit of happiness. These were the principles of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement during the great civil war that resulted in the very formation of our new great nation of South Sudan. These principles must be central to the rebuilding of South Sudan.

Garang Achiek Ajak is a South Sudanese residing in New York, U.S.A. “I am who I am because of who we are together.” He can be reached garangachiek@gmail.com.

The Doctrine of Constitutionalism in the Republic of South Sudan can only be Upheld and/or Contravened by Lakes State Scenario

BY: Juma Mabor Marial, RSS, FEB/23/2013, SSN;

In the past month, article 101 (r) of the transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011 has been the issue of fundamental debate on whether the decree issued by the president of the republic relieving the Lakes state governor (now former governor) Eng. Chol Tong Mayay of his duties was constitutional (lawful) or otherwise. This phenomenon has drawn mixed reactions even among the legislatures both at the national and state levels with the adversaries contradicting one another on the actual interpretation of the above mentioned provision.

This unprecedented episode has left the layman with nothing but anxiousness on what the true constitutional interpretation would be in the face of this glaring uncertainty. Some enlightened citizens have so far suggested that article 101 (r) should be taken to the constitutional court for legitimate interpretation. I am of the contrary opinion because; this can only come as an attempt of the last resort.

Why is this the case, South Sudan so far has experts in constitutional matters and their skills and knowledge can be utilized to break this deadlock. This fact notwithstanding, the office of the president where the decree relieving the former governor and appointing the military caretaker governor has a legal department and advisory board that drew the attention of the president to execute the provision of article 101 (r).

Moreover, we have the national legislature which passed these laws including the transitional constitution which granted the president such powers as declaration of state of emergency, declaration of war and relieve of elected governors among others. However, the above three institutions are halfway failing to explains the consequences of the presidential decree that relieved the former governor and installed a caretaker one.

With my knowledge of Law, the changes that affected the Lakes State government are issues that can be well address by critical constitutional analysis and objective interpretation of the concern articles of the south Sudan transitional constitution. For instance, the relieve of former governor engineer Chol Tong Mayay from his duties as Lakes state governor emanates from Article 101 ( r) of the constitution wherein under the functions of the president, he (the president) is mandated to sack any governor in the event of threat to national security and territorial integrity.

This provision is synonymous with what happened in Lakes State where in very unfortunate circumstances; the rival groups of the Dinka agar tribe (the so called Panyuonn and Amothnhom) extended their troubles to the state capital and shot indiscriminately killing amongst their target the elderly, women and children. This magnitude of insecurity justified the president’s action of sacking the governor of lakes state and he scored one hundred percent in this test. It is also the best opportunity that article 101 (r) is applicable beside that of Jonglei and Western Bhar El Ghazel in the recent past.

On the other hand, there is nowhere in the whole world let alone south Sudan than the capital city like state headquarters that can be safer to live in and therefore the case of Rumbek was catastrophic and immediate action ought to have been taken and indeed it was so done by Mayardit, Bravo…

Now that is all in the past and the question that should be asked by south Sudanese in general and lakes state citizens in particular is, what are the post Chol Tong constitutional implications and political consequences. For me, the president and other stakeholders must be reminded that the application of article 101 (r) should be supplemented by the subsequent sub section which is in article 101 (s) which state that the president shall appoint a caretaker governor to organize for elections in sixty (60) days.

This provision should not be ignored despite the much rhetoric that people thinks south Sudan will not follow the constitution by organizing elections in lakes state. such sentiments are tantamount to classifying ourselves as ignorance of the principles of constitutionalism because if indeed the elections are not organize in lakes state in two months, then the president would be indirectly nullifying his decree of relieving the former governor by implications because he cannot afford to apply the provisions of the same constitution selectively by sacking Chol under article 101 (r) and refusing to order for an election in lakes state in two (2) months under article 101 (s). This if it so happens will amount to unprecedented violation and highest degree of contravention of the constitution in the history of mankind.

In addition to these facts, the caretaker governor although appointed on a security background must learn to select his words cautiously and gives himself the task of the paradigm shift from his military orientations to a civilian and if need be a political figure. Why do I have these convictions, so far, the caretaker governor has rubs shoulders or a bit pessimistic provokes the other constitutional organs of the government in a very undeserving manner especially on his utterances against the ineffectiveness of the judiciary and judicial officers and the threat towards parliament of shutting it down if the members don’t desist from deliberating political motions.

This is a violation of the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers and the caretaker governor ought to be advice accordingly. I wouldn’t agree less with Ateny Wek on his sentiments that the main task of members of parliament is to shape the political destiny of the nation or a state for that matter and their task is to debate political issues without fear, favor or intimidation from either the governor or the president. The caretaker governor should refrain from this venture. Altogether, article 189 of the transitional constitution of the republic of south Sudan 2011 gives the mandate to declare state of emergency exclusively to the president and the caretaker governor should not imply to invoke it regardless of their private discussion with the president on which direction they want to take lakes state to.

Currently, in almost all the public rallies that the caretaker governor have held, he is seems to think that he operates in a situation of state of emergency where some institutions are declared ineffective and most of them suspended. I quoted him recently as saying that there would be no politic and questions of human rights in lakes state until 2015 when and if the next elections are held which in a nutshell, he is trying to inform the nation of south Sudan and particularly the citizens of lakes state that he has some secret information and powers to remain in power until 2015 and this is not what the constitution under article 101 (s) tells us.

This indicator rings the alarm in our ears and there must be every reason to believe that the scenario of lakes state may be the unprecedented test of the doctrine of our constitutionalism as a nation. The president must give our caretaker governor another evening phone call and tell him to limit down his speed. I think he also needs some legal advisers to give him some lieu on issues of governance.

Recommendations:

Lakes state is reined by rampant insecurity and this is the primary reason that it has remain behind in terms of development and other levels of progress towards the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and it is therefore imperatively significant that the president have decisively chosen to deal with this situation once and for all, however, as an independent state, there must be ways of skinning a cat and so is it also applicable in restoring law and order in situations such as the one in lakes state. Our institutions and constitution are the supreme pillars of our nation and we must learn to keep them alive and it is therefore the recommendation of this author that:–

1. The president must ensure that, article 101 must be applied in its holistic provisions and this mean election should be held in sixty (60) days in lakes state in order to reaffirm our commitment to the respect for the rule of law and adherence to the principles of constitutionalism.

2. The president must ensure that he has frequent phones conversations with his caretaker governor to avoid a war scenario between the executive arm of government on one hand and the judiciary with the legislature especially on the other at the state level. This will enhance safeguards to the respect for the principles of separation of powers and interdependent among the three arms of government for effective service delivery to the people of south Sudan. In addition to this facts, the caretaker governor must slow down on his utterances against the issues of human rights because we are a member of the United Nations and south Sudan achieved her independent as a result of oppression from the other country and therefore, human rights covenants are part of the treaties that south Sudan as an independent state acceded to and must be respected accordingly.

3. The president if he wishes to maintain status quo in Lakes state by Keeping the caretaker governor on until 2015 on security grounds must introduce an amendment to article 101 (s) of the transitional constitution of the republic of south Sudan 2011 in the national legislature just like he did with the article 202 of the constitution with regards to the national constitutional review commission. This is a professional way of violating the constitutions globally but it has stood the test of times because it has been given the nick named “ amendment” and so it has remain popular in countries where the governments are able to keep their interests intact.

4. The caretaker governor of lakes state must now know that before he was appointed a caretaker governor of lakes state, he was initially relieved from his active military service and put on a reserved list which resulted on his appointment as a caretaker governor and his second reserve list now is politic because he is so far removed from the first reserved list and it is upon him to play his cards closer to his chest such that he can remain relevant in his future endeavors, keep the security of lakes state, that is your national duty but also relate to civilians and politicians because you belong in this category now. Never make blunders that you are going back to where you came from; you are now on another route of life.

5. Finally, I plead with all stakeholders in every level of government including the citizens of this country to be law abiding and uphold the provision of our supreme law; the constitution because this is the only way our country will surmount all these challenging times. I equally urge the president to swiftly and promptly call for amendment on article 101 (s) of the transitional constitution of the republic of south Sudan 2011 to allows lakes state gain momentum in terms of security under the stewardship of caretaker governor General Matur Chut Dhuol. This action will help the president kills three birds instead of proverbial two with one stone i.e.

Upholding the constitution of this republic by introducing the amendments to extend Dhuol caretaker ship up to 2015 (the wording will be done by legislatures), restoring law and order in lakes state and finally, avoiding the stress and expenses of elections at this austerity ages. If Mayardit manage all these aspects, I think, he will remain the best president as we look forward to his long awaited reshuffling.

Juma Mabor Marial is a Lawyer and Advocate under training. He is reachable at hussenjuma@hotmail.com.

The Jieng must change: A Reply to Manyok

BY: ELHAG PAUL, RSS, FEB/21/2013;

Manyok equivocates unnecessarily to defend the indefensible. His arguments are not only porous but lack any evidence. Although he strategically deploys abuse and poorly unstructured arguments to distort and confuse readers in order to distract attention, I wish to state that I am not going to be distracted by abuse from pointing out the abuses of the Jieng. Neither will I resort to verbal violence as this is not in my character. Thus I am going to respond to Manyok’s article (ElHag Paul’s Soliloquy and misguided posture to provoke ethnic strife: A rebuttal, Feb/11/2013 SSN) with respect and reasonably measured arguments.

In trying to persuade readers that the criticism levelled against the government of South Sudan is a cover for inspiring ethnic strife, Manyok writes, “One clearly sees Elhag Paul disgorging hate among the various ethnicities in South Sudan particularly the rest against the Dinka people. Admittedly, there is very little substance in his latest article except, mostly, hateful bons more aimed at cajoling and swooning his runners. ………….. Even as Mr Paul’s article dangerously threaten peaceful co-existence among citizens, there is………” This unsubstantiated allegations flies in the face of facts and raises serious issues.

Does Manyok and his tribesmen want the people of South Sudan to put up with their oppression? Unpacking his statement tells us that the Jieng are in denial of their atrocious behaviour and oppressive regime. As far as Manyok is concerned things are OK in South Sudan and people should just shut up and put up. Well things are certainly not OK in the country and some of us are not going to put up with this Jieng nonsense. We will talk and write about Jieng abuse factually as long as the Jieng refuse to change.

Manyok needs to understand that it is the Jieng who are disgorging hate. They are the ones responsible for abusing the powers of the state of RSS and by extension the people of South Sudan and not the other way round. This is yet again the projection of Jieng tribalism onto their victims. What comes out of Manyok’s argument is evidence of Jieng denial of their atrocious behaviour. This denial is just a stage in a process of change. Whether the Jieng like it or not they will have to change and the process has started. In management theory the transition to change has a number of stages through which organisations or people have to go through for change to happen. These are excitement, shock, denial, realisation, coming to terms etc.

For three decades the Jieng have been so excited by the power they found in SPLM Oyee and this made them to think that they could do as they wish. With the signing of the peace in 2005 and subsequently the independence of South Sudan in July 2011 they became so intoxicated with state power to the extent that they became blind to realities. When opposition to Jieng mismanagement of the country began to develop, they were shocked and could not believe the resistance to their abuses. In denial they switched into projecting their abuse to the victims and at the same time boasting, “We are born to rule.” “We liberated you.” The Jieng can not comprehend that SPLM Oyee has no ability and skills to govern the country. Hence like ostriches they bury their heads in denial creating a stasis and promoting unhealthy environment in the country.

Now whether the Jieng like it or not they must change by moving into the final stages of change i.e. realisation, acceptance and adjustment to fit into social realities of South Sudan for peaceful co-existence. If the Jieng continue to stick to their present position of denial then events such as the Arab spring will make them change.

The racist Boers (whites) in South Africa with all their technology and power were stubborn like the Jieng in perpetuating atrocious behaviours, but they were made to change against their will. The racist whites all over the world too are being forced to confront their racism. So who are the Jieng not to confront their horrendous behaviour? Who are the Jieng not to change? Who are the Jieng to believe that they can abuse others with impunity? It is advisable and in their interest to embrace peaceful change by making the change themselves. Change is a must and the Jieng have no option on this. So, Manyok and the learnt Jieng need to become true agents of change for the greater good.

Manyok sarcastically writes, “Mr Paul seems to suggest that every South Sudanese is a victim of Jieng, therefore he is my (Manyok) victim! Is it possible that Elhag Paul and his runners do not see how ridiculous their imaged Jieng-engendered victimhood is? Such is the claim and extent of the absurdity of his anti-Dinka rhetoric. If the author valued credibility and thus be considered as convincing, could he not have aimed at more constructive dialogue?” It is clear that Manyok in his mentality of denial has no scope of stepping into the shoe of the oppressed to understand the world of the oppressed South Sudanese and that includes me. He can not imagine how a South Sudanese can be a victim of the Jieng government in Juba. He questions the people’s victimhood with such condescending arrogance of the “Born to rule”.

Without any questions, like the rest of the South Sudanese, I am a victim of the Jieng government in Juba. A victim according to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary is “a person who has been attacked, injured or killed as a result of crime.” In line with this definition, let me now explain why I am a victim like the rest of South Sudanese.

Since the inception of SPLM and the coming of “SPLA Dinka soldier” to my village, they committed unimaginable crimes ranging from rape to killings for no reason at all. They disrupted the structure of social life in the village through abuse of the gun. Then from 2005 to the present, the Jieng government in Juba is looting state coffers depriving South Sudanese of development. For example, no health service; no meaningful education service; no employment programs or creation of jobs; no food security, no human security… etc.

In all these South Sudanese including me have become victims of the Jieng government. Hundred of South Sudanese died from famine, malaria, diarrhoea, typhoid and so on and in addition to these our human rights have been taken away. How then does Manyok not see the victimhood of South Sudanese people and my personal one arising from the psychological fall out of these momentous Jieng failures? Does this need rocket science? I am sure that Manyok could easily see and understand these things if he only could shade his denial and empathises with the others as fellow human beings with feelings.

As with regards to the government being a Jieng government I have already sufficiently addressed it in my previous article.

Manyok argues that “(Elhag) asserting that a president’s tribe is a fair game when s/he doesn’t uphold the constitution is an odious rationale proffered for the convenience of the time.

This is because the converse of such statement is false and can not stand. Indeed, when such a person, say, for example, a president, fails to ‘uphold the constitution for the interest of all members’ such a leader/president would be held responsible according to the laws of that country because as his actions would be deemed unfair and illegitimate. But to overlook that and hold his tribe responsible instead, as ElHag Paul is suggesting would not only ensure a disastrous outcome but would reflect poorly on any claim of advancement/civilisation in such society.”

Manyok’s argument could be effective and workable in a truly democratic state and not a Dinkocracy. South Sudan is a totalitarian state under the grip of the Jieng. This is a fact and I know very well that the Jieng do not want this pointed out.

Manyok’s thinking on how the constitution should work theoretically is correct. However, he fails to apply this theory to the context of South Sudan political reality. As explained in my previous article, the reason why things are not working in South Sudan is because the constitution is redundant. President Kiir and the SPLM Oyee (Jieng organisation) disabled the constitution by using Jieng domination of the government machinery. It is practically impossible to hold president Kiir to account to the people because the Jieng control all the organs of the government via SPLM Oyee.

To put it another way, the system in South Sudan is technically one party rule and the ruling party is the Jieng organisation making every decision in the country. Manyok can philosophise as much as he wants with abstract theory but the reality that SPLM Oyee is a Jieng organisation and it is the one running the show can not be explained away or ignored in the final analysis and this is the deciding factor of who is responsible for the mess in South Sudan. With this said, let us not forget that the Jieng are in the stage of denial and Manyok is not any different.

Manyok further argues that “as South Sudanese we must be grateful that Dr Garang led/ guided our liberation aspiration with absolutely perspicacious brilliance. It is totally absurd for anybody, who may stake a claim to be a functioning brain, to suggest that Dr Garang as leader, was fighting for a united Sudan. The Sudan was already united and it was not possible to go to war only to unite it – see appendix (I) below for Dr Garang’s pictorial illustration of Sudan’s possible modalities to the country’s conflict in form of Venn diagram.”

Manyok in his denial mode shamelessly dismisses Dr Garang’s political stance. He has the audacity to claim that Dr Garang was fighting for a separate South Sudan. Let us read the below quote.

“Our believe in the Sudanese Unity and territorial integrity is axiomatic, that is, it is principled position. In our Manifesto published 31 July 1983 we said in very unequivocal terms, and I quote, It must be reiterated that the principle objective of the SPLM/SPLA is not separation for the South.

The South is an integral and inseparable part of the Sudan. Africa has been fragmented sufficiently enough by colonialism and neo-colonialism and its further fragmentation can only be in the interest of her enemies.

The separatist attitude that has developed in the South since 1955 has caught the imagination of the backward areas in Northern Sudan. Separatists Movements have already emerged with guerrillas fighting in Western and Eastern Sudan. If left unchecked these separatist Movements in the South, East, West coupled with stubborn determination of repressive minority clique regime in Khartoum to hang onto power at all costs will lead to the total disintegration of the Sudan.

The imminent, latent and impending disintegration and fragmentation of the Sudan is what the SPLM/A aims to stop by developing and implementing a consistent democratic solution to both the nationality and religious questions within the context of a United New Sudan. This was in 1983. Our position remains the same.”

Can Manyok guess who the speaker was? Just in case he does not know, let me volunteer. The eloquent speaker here was Dr Garang in his book, edited by Mansour Khalid, titled ‘John Garang Speaks’ published in 1987 by KPI in London on pages 253 and 254. With this crystal clear evidence, how does Manyok want to advance his absurd argument? Who is inventing arguments here? Is it Elhag Paul or the denier Manyok?

Manyok again makes reference to the Venn diagram without putting it in context. If Manyok’s explanation of the Venn diagram of Dr Garang was to be taken as Dr Garang’s stance, then actually this would portray Dr Garang as a political speculator, a man who did not know what he wanted. A man who was gambling with the fate of 8 million people (South Sudanese). Worse still, it makes him an indecisive person without clear vision. Is this really the Dr Garang that the world knows? Sorry, I can not buy this argument. Dr Garang was a decisive person. He categorically chose unity over secession. Hence, his infamous uttering, “Our first bullets were fired at the separatists.” Dr Garang’s Venn diagram contrary to Manyok’s understanding is evidence of his unionist position.

I had the privilege in the summer of 1996 to attend a session at the House of Lords in UK where Dr Garang lectured the thinking behind the Venn diagram. According to Dr Garang, the diagram shows the three possible scenarios that could obtain from the political situation in the country at the time. Out of the three scenarios Dr Garang was clear about his commitment to the united Sudan option. He stressed that if marginalisation was removed and the country became multi-cultural, multi-religious, multi-ethnic, multi-racial there was no reason why the Sudan could not become a great nation and that was his choice.

He did not subscribe to either the confederation or the separation options. In all the questions posed to him, he stuck to his unionist position. So, what is Manyok playing at? Who does he want to mislead here? The obsession with wanting to promote Dr Garang as Father of the Nation is not going to hold. The overwhelming evidence in the public domain says otherwise. A diehard unionist who lynched separatist left and right to be Father of the separate Nation, what a convoluted thinking?

Penning off, the current noise that the Jieng make in order for the president to be separated from his tribe even when the tribe is the force behind his presidency is nothing but denial. As the beneficiaries of this system it suits them to prevaricate. Obviously, not all the Jieng agree with the system but the overwhelming majority are happy with the status quo and this is what counts.

When we fought the Arabs, we did not say that it was Omer Bashir alone who was bad and the rest of the Arabs were good. We generalised them on basis of their behaviour and mentality towards South Sudanese. When Africans fought colonialism they did not say it was the colonial governments that were bad with white people being good. The system and the force responsible for maintenance of the system are equally responsible for the outcome. So president Kiir is not acting in a vacuum without support of the Jieng. It is the unconditional support of the majority Jieng that allows him to abuse the people of South Sudan.

Elhag Paul
elhagpaul@aol.com

The Case for National Reconciliation

BY: Jwothab Amum Ajak, UK, FEB/19/2013, SSN;

Post-apartheid South Africa’s (SA) outstanding gifts to the world are believed to be: A most liberal constitution and a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, TRC. Mandela of course is the man behind all the two monumental achievements. Reconciliation has worked in SA. Evidence many countries adopted the same or similar model to the SA’s TRC. And I believe the same holds true here too. We are all Mandela. So let us give our country a reconciliation model adopted and fashioned to our own needs. Let us champion the cause of reconciliation and stir its waters towards a national miracle healing.

Dear reader, beneath please you will find the reasons and arguments to prove our point for why the country needs a reconciliation. They say “no news is good news”. What I mean is that as all is quiet in the previous theaters of inter communal violence and bloodshed of 2011 and down. Then this is something to share, something so comforting. Thanks of course are due to our gallant SPLA forces. Together with police and other security and intelligence organs, they have notably, besides successfully maintaining law and order; have warded off inter-communal cycle of revenge-driven attacks which had followed the trails of tribal militia. Also they brought to an end the flow of cattle-rustling, which was a native habitat in those regions of the country.

But the fact that the army is still pinned down there, on what seems to be a long haul, a standoff holding the communities from any confrontation, is a stark reminder that the situation is still fragile, despite the appearance of calm. What has happened is just a lull in violence resulting from disarmament of the communities and also due to the physical presence of security organs serving as deterrence and a buffer between the communities.

Hence “all is quiet” may be deceptive. Beneath the surface is a simmering tension that goes undetected by our human radar. Thus let us not derive much satisfaction from the prevailing status quo of peace, security and stability. Lest we deceive ourselves into thinking that everything is fine from the fact that guns are silent.

The armed forces physical presence on the ground there is likened to an adult in a roomful of children. So long the forces are there the room is quiet and order is maintained. But is that all enough? And for how long and at what cost? And let us ask the rhetorical questions of: Guess what if the forces are not there? Or what if they blink or look the other way? Violence breakout can recur and peace, security and stability situation-returning to normal – could evaporate once again. The end result or goal objective we are seeking, still far-fetched. That is to say for those communities to link and live together in peace. Security, law and order have not and will not guarantee that 100 percent.

The threat is not in how to stop violence when it occurs; on the contrary the authorities all over -this time, I believe –are ready and prepared with all the necessary fire fighting management strategies of security, law and order to meet and contain any outbreak of violence. Rather the real critical challenge is to turn the precarious temporary peace ushered in, into a lasting one in order to avert and prevent, as humanly as possible, the violence, from breaking out altogether in the future.

We cannot settle for disarmament, law and order strategies, as the only right strategies, and leave things like old bitter historical animosities, wounds, hurts, suspicions and distrust to fester with time. Security strategies of disarmament, law and order are effective in curbing violence and in dealing with its spill over symptoms. They are not the long- term strategies that will assist the people to come close and live together peacefully. That will happen when the problem or conflict is solved and former adversarial groups have been reconciled. Neither party any longer harbors any hatred or grievances towards the other.

Some people who follow the disarmament assert the claim, not substantiated, that some individuals in some or all communities were giving a way only their ‘surplus’ or ‘old’ type of weapons but still not out of use. Communities between and among themselves are also trading accusations that the other has not fully cooperated, as expected, in willingly and voluntarily surrendering their weapons. Just the belief that disarmament has not been credible even though it is a perception is just enough to send parties not only worrying but on a weapon purchase spree. People don’t want to be taken off guard when they have something to fear from the other party for which they keep the weapon.

Even though we do not share the opinion of those who maintain that the process somehow reek hypocrisy in some places and lack credibility in others. Yet, a ‘clean’ certificate of credibility for the communities indicating that all arms out there were genuinely collected should not be hurriedly bestowed upon them, at least for the time being. Simply for the reason that there is no way to judge the outcome and guarantee that the process was accomplished satisfactorily. Therefore maintaining a healthy dose of suspicion or doubt for the credibility of the outcome is a must for security reasons, otherwise we may be in for many surprises, if we take the whole process for granted as such.

The focus on collecting modern weapons from shotguns through automatic assault rifles to high-powered military-style guns is understandable- to remove the mass killing weapons capable of mowing down large number of people in the span of less than a minute. But killing is killing. It matters less whether you die being killed by a modern weapon or a traditional one.

That is to say as long as traditional weapons are still in the hands of individuals, for obvious reasons, nothing can prevent future episodes of communal violence to recur in spite of disarmament. In case of a flare up communities can resort to fighting with traditional weapons such as spears, machetes, arrows, sticks etc., which were the means and norms till our recent past of tribal warfare.

Another point that can still defeats the policy of disarmament and makes it a non-starter is that the country is awash with illegal arms, easily to exchange hands. Black-marketing in weapons trading, another source, will always be there as long as there is a demand. The supply must meet the demand. It is law simple. People are not dumb. They in stealth will go on purchasing, replacing, and replenishing their dwindled stocks and equally hiding their new acquired arms away from the eyes and reach of the authorities. They will go on dodging and subverting any disarmament efforts. Simply because they are still not convinced the problem has been solved and the disarmament has not been proven cut-and-dried genuine by all sides.

But even removing arms from individual or communities will not solve the problem, because it is not the root cause of the problem. And until we get to know the root of the problem of internecine community violence, disarmament will be of little or of no avail. For instance an individual acquires a weapon because she or he is driven more or less by a feeling of insecurity and wants to protect himself or herself against a real or imagined threat. So if that person is provided with the necessary security then you have removed the reason for him to acquire an arm. What applies to individuals applies to the communities as well.

To prevent any ambiguity we need to reassert a point that the precautionary measures of peace-keeping efforts of security, law and order maintenance together with the disarmament of the communities were and are still relevant as indispensable effective first steps priority measures. But only from one dimension and one level – stopping and containing violence. Look! In spite of them we are not yet in a position to say with certainty that we are and will remain impervious to internecine communal violence breakout or leakage here and there. They alone avail little to prevent violence from recurring or to help people to live together and relate to each other harmoniously.

Intertribal conflicts are not only a security problem. They are a political problem and few others as well. Therefore they are deeper to be solved by military, security, law and order strategies alone. Security, law and order, alone will not change an iota what is a hard-to-break, life-time violent cultural ways or habits as well as certain tribal assumptions or perspectives.

In order to bring us the desired lasting peace, what we need -to add to weapons collection and to the ongoing security and peace keeping efforts is a cultural change. Mind-set changes against culture of violence have to take place. The learning must go side by side with an effective deterrent law to stop people taking the law into their hands and using violence to settle disputes or for whatever reason. But for change to materialize we need to work hard at a deeper level and remove the entrenched old customs habits and values.

Also there is an apparent bottom line disadvantage with the security, law and order measures particularly if they are kept on long enough. They will by default drive the disputant communities that hailed from different tribes and languages to end up physically or mentally being divided and polarized in different directions or sphere of influence. That ominous scenario if allowed to happen, eventually will throw us into a messy situation that will harm the chances of harmonious shared living and peaceful coexistence and could steal our children shared future of prosperity. That will end the country nowhere.

We need to awaken the real sense of citizenship. And nothing will do that better than a grand national reconciliation as called on by Dr. Riek Machar the Vice President of the republic. Our people after decades of war, turmoil and unrest are yearning for peace. So let us add our voice to the VP initiative, which I believe to be of the entire leadership of the country. President Mayardit mentioned it in a number of speeches. The last was in New Year Message.

Dr Machar started right when he apologized on behalf of his former commanders and troops for the human rights atrocities and killings they visited on the people of Bor. Even though he had not personally ordered or directed them to do so, yet the saying goes “the buck stops here,” with him as a leader, which means being a leader things end with him and he has to acknowledge things as they happened and take action/responsibility to address them.

We have a fat chance now to politically capitalize and make full use of the temporary peace and safe environment, the good news I mentioned earlier, to bring the communities to the table for mutual understanding, dialogue and reconciliation. Thus cement and secure a lasting and stable peace.

As the saying goes you can drive a horse to the river but you cannot make it drink. Bringing a lasting peace has to come willingly from the communities themselves. Communities cannot be forced by outsiders, no matter who that outsider is, government or somebody else, to live in peace. Government and others can cooperatively pool their efforts and resources to help communities do their bid with peace, dialogue and reconciliation. Our people are not alien or foreigners to each other. They are citizens of one and the same nation. Hence it is their fate to work out how they are going to live respecting one another for who they are.

Without reconciliation and acceptance of cultural diversity and of each and every other to live together in harmony; the communities are more likely than ever to revert back to settling scores and grievances using violence. But if we achieved reconciliation then we will be telling a different story tomorrow, not of violence and destruction but of development and prosperity.

Definitely, in every tribe/community, we are not short of people, in league with the devil. I mean the tribal zealots, the bad apples. Across the board these radical militant elements were able in the past to fan and incite hatred and communal violence.

I bet you not to under estimate their influence to once again in future manipulate tribal feelings of pride and other cheapest sentiments of hatred, bitterness and animosities to rally some misguided community members for confrontation. Thus we may see another attempt to derail the existing peace and exacerbate communal division. Consequently turning the clock back to a period in our history where each tribe or traditional society was a state and a nation on its own. That would be a great leap backward. To a place and a time we don’t want to travel too.

Inter-communal strives are not a big deal, if we look at it with an open mind, as part of our past which ought to disappear in the world of today. They can be resolved provides we apply the appropriate problem-solving mechanisms and tools such as dialogue and peaceful reconciliation. Unfortunately our biggest problem is that we have been schooled in denial of problems or in paying them the usual lip service of belittling and not worth bothering about etc. Until they become overwhelming destructive and to our society detriment latter on.

We don’t want to see another retaliatory violent attack, claiming more lives and properties happening once more before our own eyes and that of the world. Also with each conflict taking a sharp dive for the worst with community relationship and inflicting farther serious damage on the nation’s self- image. Politically the country is getting the image of a worst tribal society governed by out-dated traditional values and norms. Hence the call for reconciliation is becoming more urgent to prevent any future tragedy.

Particularly the vicious circle of communal attacks, perceived as self-defense or for the return of cattle in a previous raid, became meticulously planned, well-armed and well organised-involving a large number of people. Worst markedly violent and bloody. It is going to get worst in any future confrontation.

A grand reconciliation engaging the whole nation is the promising best way for a sustainable peace that will go far enough to address the underlying issues or causes of the conflict and remove them roots and branches period. If right thereafter restoring peace and security (mission successfully accomplished) we came up with reconciliation or any other more enduring political and economic solutions, then that could have gone to relieve our fighting forces, and could have been spared them long time ago the overstay in those trouble spots.

With Peaceful dialogue models such as the TRC of South Africa or other problem-solving mechanisms, if they could see the light of the day, will put further touches in our house order. By achieving a sustainable enduring peace we help ourselves and our country. It is the responsibility of all of us to make our country safe and secure. Thus it is time to get on board of the reconciliation initiative and become part of the solution to communal strives.

In short there seems to be an overwhelming consensus on reconciliation. So let us give it a prominent place not only in our political discussion but also as a first prime national priority in the development and reconstruction programs. And let us prove to be people who can walk our talk and practice what we preach.

So as we keep our hope alive of communities free from violent conflicts nevertheless we should not be impatient for quick results. We should bear in mind that our country was born from the womb of conflict. It is just still a baby. Also we have to put into consideration that reconciliation is a challenging process, not a onetime simple event as such it will no doubt takes time and efforts as well as resources, worth it. However, the most important thing is that we should now begin reconciliation, so to speak, with ourselves first before going for communal reconciliation.

Peace, dialogue and reconciliation have their rewards and dividends but also they come with a price. In the fringe of tribal politics and in the continuous skirmishes and battles for the hearts, minds and souls of the tribes/communities; many advocates of tolerance, pragmatic, non-violent, and non-confrontational approach lost the game to strong tribal militant opponents who see the world from the premise of “we”, our tribe against the “other” tribe. I have no idea how many, but I know for sure some few who were disdainfully subjected to a fierce campaign of smear and character assassination and were tainted as not tough enough or when not outright accused of compromising the tribe’s rights and interests.

This is not a good conclusion but is important to remind ourselves that reconciliation and peace-making is not for the faint-hearted. It comes with a heavy price. But we are not faint-hearted persons.

South Sudan on a road to ungovernable State

BY: Gabrial Pager Ajang, South Sudan, FEB/17/2013, SSN;

Can you imagine what the United States would do if a group of gangs or people abducted children, raided cattle and killed people at the Heartland? What if the same scenario happened in Europe and Australia, what would these governments do? I asked these hypothetical questions because I would like to put issues and challenges facing South Sudan on global contexts.

The beacon of American democracy and the root of American order were largely shaped the by framers and founding fathers of the United States, and I will this discuss their ideas later. As a United States citizen and have worked for Nebraska State legislature, I know very well that the United States government will move heaven and earth, and all necessary resources from the United States military to bring those who committed those heinous crimes to Justices. The government would punish these criminals to the fullest scale of their crimes because it is incorporated in the U.S constitution killings, abductions of children or taking another person’s property is a crime.

This is just a food for thoughts for those in our government who think they would be saved by the United Nations and the international community in an event of foreign aggression or mounting internal crisis. However, the restoration of peace and security in South Sudan lies with the president, interior minister, the head of police and the governors. It is their sole responsibility to join forces to combat the looming perpetual violence. Nevertheless, this paper will critic fault-line in the transitional constitution, escalation of child abductions and cattle rustling, implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

The SPLM convention is imminent as the party struggles to prioritize several of its nerves wrecking issues facing the nation. The cattle internal rustlings and child abductions, wide spread corruptions, implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, controversial transitional constitution and many more. From the onset, it is important to point out that most tribes in South Sudan still use their traditional laws because they do not understand the transitional constitution, and its consistency with traditional laws?

These tribes have been governed by customary laws, and these laws have allowed them to live and thrive for many centuries in their respective geographical locations. The traditional legal systems were informed by their norms, values and cultures. They have never imported Khartoum legal systems to resolve their issues because these tribes have had well-structured and respected hierarchy and order. The members of south Sudanese societies for many years have been adhering to laws and orders set and implemented by their community chiefs.

Tribes have been guided by rules and laws but for purpose of this paper, I will use the laws of Wath Alal in Warrap State and Pawel ee Lith laws in Jonglei States as the two legal systems that indicated that South Sudanese societies have had established judicial systems that ensures criminals were brought to Justice. The two traditional laws are equal in case of intends killing or murders. Both traditional laws assume that human beings are rational actors who consider the consequences of their behavior before deciding to commit a crime, for instance, Pawel e Lith fines for murderer is 50 cows for unmarried individual, while married is fined for 30 cows and Wath Alal: fines 31 cows. The people who commit adultery were fined for 7 cows in accordance with Wath Alal laws and Pawel ee Lith.

The constitutional intents and traditional laws have not only been about the protection of economic rights, human rights and customary rights of those who did not commit crimes but put in place sentencing systems of incarceration, incapacitation, punishment to deter all sorts of criminals that have either killed people, raid cattle or stolen nation’s wealth. The constitutional deterrence is not alien from our traditional laws, because both sentencing policy initiatives have often been implemented with the goal of enhancing the deterrent effects of the criminal justice system.

Under the rubric of getting tough requires both the executive and legislative to annex policies of combating child abductions and cattle rustling design to deter criminals with the threat of imposing substantial terms of imprisonment for convictions. The judiciary system should also provide deterrent effects, and policy development regards whether to enhance sanctions or an enhance possibility of being apprehended, could provide any additional deterrent benefits as it did in South Sudan Societal laws (traditional laws).
The Roles of South Sudan Legislature.

Nevertheless, people of South Sudan have been hopping and dreaming of a government that will annex and adopt a better transitional constitution that would protect their political, economic, human and customary rights. There was also a hope that the South Sudan’s constitution would seek to remedy and ease post conflict issues. However, the paradoxical and complicated situation of South Sudan created by the last 50 years of war is unraveling and they impede the judicial progresses and legislative oversights. It is worth noting that the United States constitution took one hundred years before its ratifications, but the framers first dealt with the fierce urgency of those issues.

Therefore I am mindful that it will take many years to bring laws and orders and balance of powers among branches of government. We wish that there were draft provisions in constitution of South Sudan that could supports the full implementation of CPA, but unfortunately none was drafted by the South Sudan legislative Assembly. CPA implementation could have been anchored in the constitution. But because this was not envisioned and done by famers and the legislative Assembly, it will continue to haunt Kiir’s administration, and indeed it has caused the political gridlocks between the North and South that has impeded the progress.

Concurrently, it was not well spelled out in South Sudan’s constitution that the CPA must not be renegotiated. The numerous renegotiations of the CPA by the South and North have made it almost impossible to implement. The several renegotiations of this accord made it more bureaucratic and create loopholes for its violations. While the peace talks between the South and the North were in progress, the legislative assembly in Juba did not annex policies that would have assisted its implementation, instead they support policies that backtracks the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

Presently, the policies proposed by the government of South Sudan for the last 7 years to remedy these complicated issues have done nothing but infringe on individual rights and slowed the judicial progresses. The roles of citizenship and Media rights have been denied. Political rights and rights to freedom of expressions have been infringed upon. Contrary to the government policies, South Sudanese citizens were hopping that the legislative assembly would craft laws that would secure the rights of citizens but the legislators did not successful adopt laws that protect economic rights, human rights, and customary rights. These rights have been enjoyed by South Sudanese tribes for hundreds years and virtually this government allows them to be robbed.

Despite, the freedom of press and expression enshrine in the South Sudan’s constitutions journalists have been illegally arrested by government security agents. While our elected officials have constitutional duties to investigate and ask serious why citizens from their constituencies are incarcerated without properly legal standard taken. Members of the legislative assembly have rights to exercise their constitutional duties as elected officials by investigating issues surroundings assassinations or unwarranted arrest made, while ensure all the judicial procedures that requires that all the arrest made must be warrant by the judge or court.
Despites members of legislative assembly constitutional rights, citizens are arrested without due process.

It is simply unconstitutional for any security agent to arrest citizen because all the arrests are made by the police following democratic legal procedures. In recent incidents, Journalist was arrested in Awiel for failure to cover and air what was termed as the most important speech from the president. This month, another journalist was arrested in Juba for failing to cover another event. These incidents occurred because the transitional constitution of South Sudan fails to restrain and constrain security officials from arresting these journalists. These arrests have been seen by many through lenses of tribal eyes but these are rather classical example of failed South Sudan Legislative Assembly to intervene and investigate what led to these arrests.

The child abductions and cattle rustlings have rampant in South Sudan. The transitional constitution must immediately criminalize child abductions and cattle rustlings because these are the primary cause of tribal conflict and internal instability. SPLA can deal with few rebellions here and there, because that is the primary roles of the standing national army. It is also essential for South Sudanese societies to know that the child abduction is defined as crimes under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Documents but it is unfortunate it is not clearly delineated in the South Sudan’s transitional constitution. The post war issues are difficult to resolve in the time frame but I hope that the South Sudan’s constitution could offer legal framework of resolving child abduction and cattle rustling to at least ensure adherence to all code of human rights and political stability in Jonglei, Warrap, Lake Unity States, at least where conflict is raging.

Without question, a significant number of South Sudanese has blamed the President. However, the legislators do have duties and responsibility to ensure that laws that would guide government functions and life of citizens are protected.

The Legislative Assembly could ensue following constitutional rights if people cling to power and their performances are not yielding tangible results:
1) It is the obligations and responsible of the legislators to impeach the president.
2) The legislators can pass vote of no confidence.
3) Grill and scrutinize seniors’ members of judiciary, military and executive that are suspects of having commit crimes, issue illegal and unwarranted arrest from the court and harassment of journalists.
4) Summonses officials that have engaged in money laundry and embezzlements
5) Pass provision that would cease and prevent further renegotiations of the CPA.
6) The renegotiation of CPA have led to lose of 60% of Byei to Sudan,
7) The renegotiation of CPA violates the clauses of January 1st 1956 borderline between the South and North,
8) The renegotiation risk territorial integrity of South lands, and causes Pathou, Kaka, Anas and many more as parts of disputed towns.
9) The renegotiation of CPA change dynamic of the Security Arrangement Protocol, and suggest that SPLA withdraws from South Sudan lands and left it to the North.

Notes: there is nothing more honorable and dignified than for the president or minister to say that I have failed to discharge my duties and obligations entrusted in me by the citizens, therefore I resign from the presidency or ministerial position.
The legislators failed to exercise their duties bestowed upon them by the constitution.

The Framers of the South Sudan Transitional Constitution
The framers of the South Sudan constitution were not visionaries. They did not at least reflect on how constitutions of other democracies were drafted. For example, the framers of the Western countries’ constitutions were visionaries. They envisioned constitutional laws that would serve their citizens, which is the constitution that was founded upon democratic ideals. The founding fathers annexed constitutions that would address the enduring issues of their times and of the future. These men reflected on good ideas of the past that would better serve citizens in the future. Because of this very reason, the founding fathers of the United States constitution grounded their constitution upon democratic ideal known as the social contract in (1762); this principle of rights that enhances roles of the government and citizens was coined by Jacques Rousseau during the Age of Enlightenment. The situations that engineer this idea were difficulties and conflictuals. The evidences show that the Enlightenment communities were engulfed in raging wars and violence’s. Hence, Rousseau idea was significantly important for citizens to give up some sorts of their liberties in order for them to be protected by the government. Did the framers craft effective transitional constitution that would serve and protect citizens of South Sudan? I doubt it.

Indeed, all concern citizens have doubted whether the Bill of Rights embedded in the transitional constitution were strong enough to secure the economic, political and customary rights of all citizens. The written constitution shows opposite. It is difficult to comprehend understand how the framers could fail to craft better constitution in the midst of mass resources and human capitals that could have helped them? It is even amazing to see that the drafters failed to annex a constitution that would protect the roles of citizenship, freedom of expressions and political rights. We were all hoping that the transitional constitution would grant citizens due process and protect their rights.

The transition constitution of South Sudan should have been grounded in the following ideas:
1) The framers of the transition constitution could have first and foremost seek to find a constitutional remedies to all issues and conflicts of the past five decades by writing a constitution that would protect life, property and land of citizens.
2) The framers by far failed to use the comprehensive Peace Agreement as blueprint of the South Sudan constitution and failed to incorporate and blend the Western’s constitutional ideas and South Sudanese traditional laws into the transitional constitution. At the core of the CPA is protocol, a set of system and principle that was put in place to protect and guarantee protection of life, land, and property of people of South Sudan and marginalized areas. This could have not been overlooked.
3) The framers alienated the Western countries in the process of writing constitutions for example the United States, and other Western democracies, which in the first place support our independence and could have helped in the process of drafting. We should be mindful that Japan’s constitution was written by team that sent from the United States. And the whole Europe that emerges from its ruin of Second World War was assisted by the United States.
4) The South Sudan government failed to recruited western educated sons and daughters of South Sudan to help in writings of the constitutions. There is no reason whatever why the government cannot see for the brighter and the best our country can offer to help in the process of achieving our statehood. The government of South Sudan failed miserably to at least execute policies and laws in its book.

In this globalized world, there could be no substantial reasons or explanation as to why our constitution was not well written. There should be no debate about basic human rights because we are expected to know the basic rights of our citizens. There should be no debate about what kind of laws that could be used to punish criminals because we all know traditional laws of our societies if in fact we do not know laws of constitution for one reason or another. The bottom line is that the people of South Sudan must be exclusively granted economic, and political, customary rights or this government will fail! The government must be made aware that the indigenous rights and customary rights, because these rights are well incorporated in the Universal Declaration Rights. The fact that their children are abducted and their cattle are raided is a clearly violations of international law and the Legislative Assembly must be made aware.

The most fundamental concept of democracy is the idea that government exists to secure the rights of its people and this principle is based on the “consent of the governed” an idea that enhances and develops from the social contract. James Madison, framer and father of the United States constitution took the consent of the governed and use it to design and craft the United States Constitution, and this idea has endured for more than hundred fifty years. Likewise, the framers of South Sudan constitution could have drafted a transitional constitution that would address current specific challenges facing the nation and envision future problems. In so doing, they would have established the foundational principles that would sustain and guide the new nation into uncertain situations of the future.

Despite all existing constitutional issues, the framers blindly grant wide arrays of powers and privileges to the president probably for one reason or another. These powers given to President undermine and diminish the status of our country among the nations. It also shows citizens’ rights to elect their governor are deprived. It is disappointing because it sends wrong messages to the world. I still wish the drafters could have crafted a constitution for current citizens of South Sudan and for the next generations because the constitution lives forever but the presidency ends with the terms limit. I hope the people of South Sudan understand the gravity of this issue.

Since, we long for better ideas in our constitution, the concept that shapes the United States constitution and makes it better than any other western constitutions was an idea derived from the English greatest philosopher and political writer, John Locke. He coined and echoed that the government should protect life, Liberty, and property. The framer and the founding father of the United States constitutions, Thomas Jefferson remarkably and momentously refurnished the same idea and put it in these words “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is very evidence in the United States constitution that the life, liberty and property of all citizens must be protected. It is also evidences in South Sudan that the insecurity will remain as the sole sources of problems as long as the child abductors and cattle raiders are not criminalized.

The Kiir’s administration must with the issues of child abductions and cattle rustlings in the constitution to avoid tribalization and accusations of human rights violations. The legislative assembly has presided over the most fraudulence transitional constitution ever in the history of the world. The constitution serves the president and infringes upon the rights of all citizens. Although, the president rightly uses his constitutional power to fire the governor of Lake State, it is absurd for any president to layoff leader that was elected by the people. Could this be a wakeup call for the so call legislators to amend or review the constitution? It is simply stunning for the world to see the country it supports to gain independence acting abnormally.

The fundamental principle that anchored a nation on strong foundation is Bill of Rights. The human, political, economic and customary rights could have been the cornerstone of South Sudan transitions constitution but unfortunately kiir’s administrations knowingly violate these rights. The South Sudan Legislative Assembly presiding over this fraudulent transitional constitution that serves nobody but the president fails to act. I personally doubts whether legislative assembly knows its primary responsibility. It is interesting to see the legislative Assembly allows citizens to be robbed of their rights which basically left citizens left at the mercy of the President.

Even in the midst of these tragic and unbearable situations, the people of South Sudan are optimistic and have remained calm. They have developed patriotic faith and love for their country during the liberation struggles. Citizens hope and dream for a Leader that would enhance management capacity, as well as ensuring a constitution that protects their rights. We are optimistic society, therefore we will continue of dreaming if this leader does not change it course. We will continue dreaming for a leader that would play integrating roles of nominating people who would champion diplomatic policy that would serve the interests of citizens and maintain our ally around the world. We would long for a president that would frequently send ministers to survey and assess villages that were ravage by war and reports on how such situations can be remedy. We basically need a leader that would frequent visit states and reacts when his citizens are killed. In this nascent nation, domestic policies should be aimed at training and development, performance management, public service ethics, and succession planning, because better understanding of public leadership begins with an understanding of one’s self within a framework of guiding policies and tactics of getting things done.

Let us be practical in term of implementing a policy, decision to move headquarter out of Wau was a colossal failures. It is not a good sign of any democracy to abruptly move the headquarter without the consent of the governed (citizens). The president and governor would have joined their hand and sell their policy of moving headquarter out of Wau to citizens. This policy would have created a better debate and dialogue between the governor and citizens. It would have also revealed the positive and negative consequences of this policy. The consent of the governed is an essential part of the constitution. It is the responsibility of all the public officials, the president and governors to draft policy and sell that policy to citizens. The citizens are the ultimate decision makers, they can choose to accept or reject policy based upon policy benefits and disadvantages. It is vitally essentially for all government officials to allow all the stakeholders understand what sorts of policy, its repercussions before its implementations. Notes: that if all the procedures of implementation policies were taken, lives of people in Wau would have been saved and Wau’s tragedy could have been avoided.

To conclude, the SPLM must redeem itself from its sins of the past seven years in its Extra-ordinary Convention, if indeed this convention is worth to be given this name. Our party must elect a candidate with credentials and leadership capacity, other elements of resolving public controversies include employing effective communications skills and strategies and the ability to resolve conflicts and disputes for 2015 elections. Among the most important qualities of leadership is the attitude toward change. In fact, effective public leaders are distinctly dissatisfied with the status quo. They are often willing to take risks to initiate improvements. The skills of an effective leader include: recognizing opportunity and knowing how to make the most of it; optimizing group effectiveness; understanding the basics of planning; the ability to effectively network; willingness to delegate; knowing how and when to challenge others understanding the benefits of change and not hesitating to implement it when needed; and willingness to take risks.

We need a leader with clear judgment and ability to reach logical conclusions and make high quality decisions based on available information, and skills of identifying educational needs and setting priorities. Ministerial positions have been recycled and I think the recycling is completed. I urge the president and ministers to give the new progressive generation a priority to serve their country. The Lost boys possess a unique traits and behaviors of effective developmental leaders whose primary focus is the development and democracy. They have been asked to wait since 1987, when will their tomorrows come? I think they have been prepared and groomed to tackle huge issues and challenges of today.

The South Sudan land owed them huge debts. The torch must be must passed to them if we want our country to be put in a road to good governance, rules of law and democratic ideals. This generation is prepared to handle external and internal forces pressure on leaders and they could find ways of delivering services to citizens while maintaining high government ethics.

Gabrial Pager Ajang
The writer holds BA, MPA and PhD student
He can be reached @ ajangassociates@gmail.com