Archive for: August 2013

Strong Parliament is the key to prevent hoaxes running the New Country

BY: J. Omunu, SOUTH SUDAN, AUG/16/2013, SSN;

On hearing the breaking news of the rejection of Mr. Telar Ring Deng’s bid to become South Sudan’s next justice minister, one prominent and respected South Sudanese intellectual whispered to my ears and said: “Whatever happens after this, for once, the NLA has redeemed its tarnished image of a rubber stamp parliament, for the record. It will give the Assembly a precedent and strength to face and handle similar situations in the future,” unquote.

Apparently, the vetting of the 20 National Ministers and 12 Deputy Ministers appointed by President Kiir last month and earlier this month has been concluded.

It should be noted that in the developed democracies, vetting processes routinely ensure that Executive appointments meet the constitutional threshold, and that only the most qualified and suitable candidates take up key positions in governments.

Missing from the ongoing vetting deliberation in the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) is the issue of equity, fairness and competitiveness, a concern that is beyond the scope of this article.

Lost in this debate, however, is the crucial issue of institutional weakness which is at the core of an inept NLA that cannot implement its tasks effectively and with integrity.

Looking back at the recent vetting controversy of the new Ministers by A Special Select Committee of the NLA, there is no doubt that it was a candid step towards the right direction. However, it could have been more transparent if the NLA constituted a competent vetting structure connected to and consulting closely with South Sudan Anti-Corruption Commission (SSACC), other groups like The South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy (SSHURSA), the Association for Media Development in South Sudan (AMDISS) and the general public.

In doing so, the presidential appointees to the cabinet would have been exposed to public scrutiny of their credibility and integrity through verifying credentials and requiring the individual candidate to publicly declare his or her assets, and how he or she acquired them including hidden overseas bank accounts.

While the vetting process has been commended by the public, the question of integrity surrounding Mr. Telar Ring Deng’s appointment and his failure to prove to the MPs that he had met the minimum set standards has triggered stimulating debate amongst South Sudanese across the political spectrum.

Furthermore, the majority 150 MPs have made it clear that Telar Ring Deng is unqualified and unfit for public office. After all, legislatures can do more good to transform a country’s democratic culture and build a strong institution.

I would argue that a strong and forceful assembly is the key institution that can prevent a new country from cementing a One-Man rule and authoritarianism.

Certainly, the advantage of a more muscular parliament is seen by many people as the only measure to constraining the unpopular presidential decrees in South Sudan, which by the way has given any hoax out there an opportunity to sneak into the government through the back door and loot the public coffers with impunity.

It is an undeniable fact that no modern democratic society can thrive and develop economically without strong independent parliaments/assemblies and open public debates. Hence a robust and muscular legislature may balance and check the executive powers as well as block Mr. President from becoming a despotic ruler.

Likewise, a weak and ineffective parliament/assembly is incapable of standing to the executive’s misappropriation of public funds, as the case is with the newly independent Republic of the South Sudan.

For example, the weakness of NLA was glaringly evident when it was faced with the fact that Mr. President Kiir single-handedly authorized the $600 million “meant to acquire land meant for national security service” without the approval of the Council of Ministers or the Assembly.

This means that high-handed powers enjoyed by the executive has given the office holder an insatiable appetite to authorize millions of taxpayers’ money without being held accountable by any agency or body, let alone Mr. President appointing a hoax or thugs into constitutional office without any major problem.

From the above analytical deduction, a strong national legislature is the key to transforming the new country into a vibrant democracy, and in absence of an independent judiciary or proactive civil society, NLA remains the only functioning body to check the excessive presidential powers in South Sudan if we wish to have stability and move this new country forward.

Presidential decrees vis-à-vis legislative powers: The case of South Sudan

BY: MAGOK ALIER AGUOT, SOUTH SUDAN, AUG/16/2013, SSN;

Since gaining independence in July 9, 2011, South Sudan has faced enormous challenges in its efforts to forge a democratic system of governance after a two-decade long civil war. For instance, leading executive and legislative figures within the ruling party (SPLM) have put forth opposing views in defining a political direction which the government should follow in serving the nation.

This political drama reached its climax especially when President Kiir issued a decree relieving an elected governor of Lakes State, Eng. Chol Tong Mayay. The citizens were taken by awe when the Vice President publicly criticised the president and declared his intention to challenge him for party leadership.

The repressive politics within the presidency only got impertinent and the common man had every reason to dance according to the set tune.

Yet one has to be careful enough because of the wishful nature of this political drama whose slogan is, “if you step on my toes I will as well step on yours.”

Therefore, Governor Taban Deng Gai of Unity State became a victim of this drama and whether his sacking was as a result of this saga remains untold. And like I said earlier, caution is required especially when politics take centre stage. This is needful irrespective of affiliation or closeness to the Mr. President.

The efficacy of this point was pivotal in the sacking of prominent key executive figures namely Ministers of Finance, Kosti Manibe; and of Cabinet Affairs, Deng Alor Kuol; SPLM Secretary General (SG), Pagan Amum; and Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar respectively.

These acts of the president are a clear indication that he is untouchable and immune to criticisms.

But haven’t we entrusted our legislators both nationally and at state levels with responsibility to serve our interest but not the President’s?

Whether they have fulfilled their mandate over the course of their deliberations is subject to opposing views which is not categorically the purpose of this article. But one thing is clear and that is the ambiguous nature of President Kiir’s decrees.

In a democratic state, decrees are minimally heard of since there is a legal framework which acts as a benchmark for executive as well as legislative actions.

The Transitional Constitution is promulgated in a manner that gives unjustified powers to the president, and I am not about to challenge this legal fact. My point, and which is the purpose of this article, is the legitimacy of presidential decrees.

For instance, the power to relieve an elected governor is only a presidential power if there is threat to public security or in case of a state crisis.

In a normal working system, the Parliament is supposed to pass a vote of no-confidence in the Governor, or approve any decree issued by the president, but in our South Sudanese context, the president seems to be a godfather, and in this respect his decree is final and/or binding on members of the National Legislative Assembly.

The recent actions by the president are clear indications that he is moving this nation towards a direction of uncertainty. In particular, he has no powers under the Constitution to single-handedly relieve the Vice President without any approval by the National Legislative Assembly.

The Constitution provides that the Vice President may be relieved of his duty with approval by two-thirds majority of members of National Parliament, but was this procedure followed during the removal of the Vice president?

Definitely not, and this is a clear violation of the Constitution which the president pledged to protect.

The fact that the Vice president opposed the president in the way he is handling affairs of this nation does not necessarily mean he is working for the latter’s downfall.

To a common man, this presents itself as a viable opportunity for seeing through the lenses of democracy and without engrossing oneself into ethnic or tribal politics.

For instance, a Dinka must not support the president’s action by virtue of tribal affiliation. I am a Dinka and do not agree with the President because of non-objectivity of his actions, and not because Dr. Riek is in anyway related to me or giving me any benefits.

The Constitution guarantees the right to free speech as well as the right to contest for elections without discrimination based on political positions. These rights hold for everyone including the Vice president.

I see no point why he should not freely express his dissatisfaction and why the president is not using this as a valuable opportunity for correcting himself if he sees valid reasons for doing so. I suppose that is how democracy works to serve the common good but not personal interest!

Our president has forgotten something which the people of South Sudan took up arms for….to live in a politically secure environment where everyone is free to express his or her opinions without fear of political harassment; and to have their opinions and/or views taken into account directly or indirectly.

It is very unfortunate that he is acting in total violation of the rule of law which he pledged to enforce. As a leader, your actions are subject to criticisms both internally and externally.

President Kiir needs to remember the words of Former American President, Woodrow Wilson, who posited: “the ear of a leader must ring with the voices of the people.”

The people of South Sudan are peace-loving and need to live in a stable political climate. They look up to him and their representatives with eyes yearning for democratic transition…..one that guarantees the enjoyment of civil liberties and/or freedoms.

For two-decades they fought to stand shoulder high with the rest of citizens across the globe. Their expectations of ‘free at last’ are waning out with countless presidential decrees tailored towards political secularism.

Nevertheless, one sees glimpses of hope in the National Legislative Assembly especially with recent vetting process of the National Cabinet Ministers.

Although, the process is not free from malice according to those affected, yet Hon. Abuk papiti, as a chairperson of the Vetting Committee for National Cabinet Ministers, has written a legacy that will live on for ages.

For the first time, our representatives have proved that at least they are and indeed possessing the mandatory power to say ‘no’ when the president says ‘yes.’

They made one of the most informed decisions in refusing the approval of Telar Ring as Justice Minister. This highlights the unmasking feature of democracy vis-à-vis rule of law.

As we hope for a better democratic rule in the Republic of South Sudan, the president needs and should be objective in exercising his constitutional powers in issuing his decrees; otherwise the political tolerance vindicates the necessity to look farther in reclaiming the lost vision of our struggle.

And this nation remains in ruins if presidential decrees continue to gird civil liberties enshrined in the Transitional Constitution, 2011. But aren’t we second-class Citizens yet?

Magok Alier Akuot is a Law Graduate from Dr. John Garang Memorial University of Science and Technology, Bor; Jonglei State

He can be reached at: unclelouish@gmail.com

The views expressed herein are solely his and do not reflect those of the University.

Telar-gate scandal: It’s time now to impeach Pres. Kiir!

QUOTE: “Perhaps some of us joined the liberation struggle with the main objective of wealth accumulation at all cost. I’d attribute such an attitude and behaviour by some of us as an alarming sign of moral deficit and decay within us.” Dr. Lual Deng, in ‘The Power of creative reasoning: The ideas and vision of John Garang, pp52.’

EDITORIAL ANALYSIS, AUG/15/2013, SSN;

Even though it’s the first time ever that a parliamentary sanctioned and constituted Select Committee has acted to reject a presidential nominee for a ministerial position, most South Sudanese are evidently not fully satisfied or convinced that true justice has been accomplished… not yet anyway!

Obviously, the now-infamous Telar-gate scandal, which denied the fake lawyer, Mr. Telar Riing Deng, the important portfolio of the justice ministry, has unravelled and exposed the underlying pertinent problems about President Salva Kiir’s poor and corruption-ridden style of governance.

What’s really astounding for the entire nation is how a whole government with its entire array of institutions such as this same National Assembly and the ruling dominant political party, the SPLM, acceded to tolerate for a long time, the fake lawyer as presidential adviser on legal affairs?

Forebodingly, the Telar-gate scandal has serious ramifications for the soul of the nation, most significantly it has clearly unearthed the deeply rooted and ongoing national deception by the president and his ruling party and tribal clique.

Without any doubt, Telar-gate scandal is one big “alarming sign of moral deficit and decay” within, of course, the SPLM/A leadership and the government leaders.

Whereas it seems that the mandate of the Select Committee in the Telar-gate was only limited to querying his academic qualifications, it was shockingly revealed and later accepted by the president himself, that he Kiir and Telar were also involved in the latest mega-dollar scandal.

Once again, South Sudanese are deeply discombobulated to learn that Kiir had sanctioned the approval of an astronomical amount of 500 million US dollars for, allegedly, “the purchase of land for the National Security organization.”

Rightly, Mr. Telar Deng, as legal adviser then, shouldn’t have had anything to do with such approval of financial matters dealing with government institutions, but what is more serious is what kind of land can be purchased at this price?

If one can rightly make a good guess, the supposed land, as usual and without prejudice, would be the Bari tribal land around Juba district where most probably the National Security was going to build it newest premises.

Even by the most crooked estimate, no Bari people could even contemplate selling an entire sectional village, clan or community land or even the entire Juba county at that price, as Juba na Bari will never ever be comparable to New York or Tokyo cities property rates.

In fact, the truth already on the ground is that the president to date is allegedly the biggest land owner of Bari land, he has more land than any Bari individual (thanks to the paramount chief and governor), land acquired duplicitously since October 2005, when he migrated and settled in Juba for the first time in his life.

Furthermore, this potential mega-corruption, if the money has not already changed hands, just adds one more shameful mark on the appalling crime-ridden record of the president.

This is the president who has had all his four previous finance ministers implicated and accused of massive corruption, but luckily for them, they remain free and ‘cleansed’ of any criminality despite irrefutable evidence and a hopeless and inefficient Anti-Corruption Commission.

Moreover, what the suffering people of South Sudan seriously anticipate and hope for from the Select Committee isn’t pretentious shadow boxing or stabbing the shadow of the elephant, it’s time to take the bull by the horns.

Our nation will neither be at peace nor will it ever contemplate moving ahead if its leadership, more specifically its president is the one person sanctioning, abetting and protecting the nation’s economic looters in the perpetuation of the state-sanctioned corruption such as the new land deal.

The nation today is at a critical juncture since the splintering of the ruling dominant SPLM party especially following the long simmering antagonism between the president and his deputy who had to be ditched as a consequence.

Whatever is happening, the political landscape isn’t going to be the same any more, leave alone whether the country is going to remain united or maintain peaceful co-existence.

President Kiir, undoubtedly, is already a lame-duck leader of the country and of his disintegrating SPLM party, and more worriedly for us, is the potential disintegration of the SPLA, the national army, which inevitably and historically, always violently and mortally replicates the spasms and splits of the SPLM.

Typically, as a leader deeply afraid of challenges to his political power and paranoid of losing the same, President Kiir, in desperation to consolidate his power, might sacrifice the economic growth of the country so as just to thwart those challenges against him.

Furthermore, while impoverishing much of South Sudan, Kiir more likely than not, will set up a violent dictatorship, kill or persistently harass and drive underground or into exile or the bushes, his political opponents, leading into the creation of an absolutist totalitarianism.

Already and shockingly, the new minister of information, Makuei, has specifically lambasted the FM radio network channels in Juba and the print press for allegedly ‘freely discussing in public and with any persons security issues,’ and as a warning, he’s now taking serious steps to curtail the activities of these media houses.

Obviously, the suppression of the little freedom of the press in the country is being severely implemented, a clear sign of a jittery leadership under pressure and moving towards totalitarianism and dictatorship.

Isn’t it unsurprising that in desperation to ensure the longevity of his failed rule and continue with the corrupt tribal empire, President Kiir is immorally aligning with and incorporating into his government the unforgiven and unrepentant murderers of the North Sudan Islamic regime before any reconciliation is accomplished.

The supposed rule of law where there is equality for all in front of the law, will be replaced by the rule by law in the impending Kiir’s dictatorship, which connotes unfairness as others will be deemed above the law and murderers and thieves protected by the government.

Regardless of whatever might evolve in the coming period, what the people expect now from the parliament are the right steps to restore and rescue the nation from its current down slide.

As the nation’s law makers who willingly swore to uphold the constitution of the country, the parliamentary Select Committee must imperatively institute an immediate process of impeachment of the president, if only for the beginning as a major resultant ramification of the Telar-gate.

U.S. President Nixon lied to the American people and he was impeached and kicked out from the White House.

Once again, quoting from one top SPLM leader, Dr. Lual Deng, who poignantly wrote, “If you attend one of the Sunday church services in Juba, you’d definitely find some of us telling LIES to our innocent congregation at the holy place in which we are supposed to confess our sins and ask for forgiveness from the Good Lord.”

In finality, if President Kiir comes out unscathed by the latest mega-millions land purchase scandal, as he has stubbornly done in all previous mega scams perpetuated under his watch, the question will be is the parliament entrapped in democratic hypocrisy?

Kiir’s tainted legacy and the relentless fight for freedom

BY: Stephen Pajok Kong, South Sudan, AUG/15/2013, SSN;

The striking development of Sudan People Liberation movement (SPLM/A in its liberated areas and in the world politics for the last two decades was its human rights violations & abuses. It’s a movement which does not believe a human is entitled to a basic respect; a movement that encourages her army to killed even your own father, a movement which has no respect for its own civilian.

They created abusive terminology that belittles the very people they pretend to protect, and also to the dead. If you die it is your fault (Marrum Kalitan). Instead of saying God have mercy (Allah yarhamo).

Dr. Riek Machar was the only leader who recognized that the movement has gone amok. Machar and his comrades did everything to change SPLM/A human rights abuses. Dr. Machar did have a vision and a dream.

As he persuasively stated it on 19 Nov 95 that the demand of the people of South Sudan for the exercise of their inalienable right to self- determination has gained substantial grounds in the Sudan, regionally in Africa as well as internationally and therefore cannot be ignored any more. (See Case of Self-Determination@ http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Hornet/sd_machar.html)

Due to Machar being belligerent for self-determination we won our autonomy, today we have a country that we call home.

On July 23, 2013 I was very staggered to witness a few people from the South Sudanese diaspora who are thrilled to learn from different sources that Vice President Machar has been fired by President Salva Kir Mayardit.

My reaction was not the same though, because I know President Mayardit never worked for the unity of Southern Sudan. This is a man who imprisoned and killed most of our southerners bright minded politicians. Most of whom were confined in very hot and dry holes, left alone without toilet facilities or light.

Food was lowered to political prisoners from ground above, as I remember my conversation with one man who went through inhuman treatment at the hands of the Salva Kirr’s security agents.

This man told me the only thing that kept him alive was the hope that one day, just one day he will ask the SPLM/A Leaders and Salva Kirr in particular: “why you treated like this?” Then he chocked back the tears.

From now and then the men Salva Kiir considers an enemy are those whose political views and allegiance encompassed at range of ideology, but they all shared a common desire for South Sudan independence.

Some of these leaders cultivated post war party politics, which is bitter and divisive. The groups which include comrade Pagan Amum, do believe that since we got our own country there is no need for competition based on magnitudes of ideology, these changes of heart and tone can also change postwar mentality.

The author of this article has his own change of heart too. I want to advise you South Sudanese people that let us not dwell on the past. My only resounding evidence to forget the past is that our founder father Dr. John Garang De Mabior procured all our sins. Dr. John united us all before his departure.

One again I should underline that our biggest problem was the lack of our unity. And also lack of political reconciliation between the two political powers, those of the Separatists and Unionists whose political ideology is opposed to each others. But the solution to this problem lies in our capacity to preserve our identity as South Sudanese.

South Sudan is the biggest problem which affected everything else like Sectionalism, clannism, tribalism and regionalism, these in turn causes the lack of our unity. We need unity that based on truth and justice for all; not just a few and powerful. A unity that secured in loves among us, not just our tribes, but all south Sudanese tribes.

It is important for us to know what divided us not so as to open old wounds. Our leaders have been oblivious to reject the very most important problem of all, tribal differences. Some of our leaders including President Kirr, divided us by using an Arabs policy of the division of tribes into superior and inferior.

This is a serious problem that needs all of us to reject. There are no tribes which are more important than others. We all need each other tribe in the future of our nation’s existence.

I am indebted to the former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar to accept his release from the VP position since he already discharged the most pressing issues of our time, which you all know our separation from North.

I want him to come out more aggressively, not be silenced any more. Silence and non-resistance to truth made us vulnerable to human rights abuses before and led us to the 1991 incident.

We won our country from North through democratic means, referendums and ballot box. Banydit Salva Kirr Mayardit’s action within a couple years permanently ruined the lives of Southern Sudanese citizens it’s supposed to protect.

His actions as an elected president had come to severely damage the democratic goals it was supposed to serve. Now it’s our turn, our brothers and sisters, to free us with their blood, let us reject dictatorship before it turned our young nation into a sinking hole again.

For questions, Concerns or comment, you can reach me at stephenpajok@yahoo.com or Pajok.kong@yahoo.com

Telar Ring Deng Rejection is a great victory over corruption and tribal ruling

BY: Moulana Deng, USA, AUG/13/2013, SSN;

In every country around the world when it comes to choosing the head of department of justice, one needs to think twice about the qualification of the individual and his background in law. Department of Justice is one of the very important portfolios that needs one to be more qualified to be the minister of justice, not just being chosen because you know the president or/and having a degree in political science and anthropology.

As the members of South Sudan parliament questioned Telar Ring Deng’s qualifications about background on why was suspended some years ago and his education background, questions stand as to when did Political science and Anthropology become Pre-law?

Indeed, the minister lacks the qualifications necessary for this job when it come to his education background. Ring can not be blamed on how he got himself on the face of this debate however; president Salva Kiir Mayardit can be blamed about this because the president has a great interest in this move.

Kiir knew very well that there are more people who are qualified than Ring but Kiir‘s aim in choosing Deng is mainly to protects those closed relatives of his who are amassing for themselves the billions of oil money. (The 75 individual whom kiir had sent them a letter to bring the stolen money back.) How did Kiir forget that we have lawyers and judges who are more qualified than Ring?

To me, Deng ‘s rejection is a great victory against the growing corruption and tribal ruling. It’s also a victory because the president’s anointed man has been block by the Parliament because we need to have checks and balance in this government.

Now Kiir will not act like he’s the only man in the land. In recent month Kiir has been doing different things that do not fall in his power as the president. This is because the president doesn’t understand how federalism works.

Also, Deng’s rejection is a great moves and the MPs should be congratulated for doing this in order to led out country in the right direction than letting the president take us nowhere.

The president had chosen a cheater. Deng is cheater, he should investigated of fraud and lying about his academic background even though he was chosen by Kiir.

People should know that south Sudanese has lots of academic doctors and lawyers with unique careers and skills better than what Deng has among all careers based on saving lives. South Sudanese must be and should be serious people who can do the job.

Well done, MPs, let’s now be serious in delivering the needed services to our people. Hopefully, the public believes now that South Sudanese law making body can make laws that will make things better. This is the start.

This background check should continue to everyone who is holding an office or offices so that we will know well the people that can do the job rather than be appointed and do the job badly because they lack the required qualifications.

If we had a background check like this we wouldn’t have lost the diplomatic talks with Khartoum and signing documents without knowing what they mean.

This should not happen again and we believe now that our MPs can do their job very well. This is what is we need and it’s a great move. Keep on.

Keep TELAR RING DENG out of South Sudan cabinet: Do justice to our father Ustaz Mayek Riak Ater

A PETITION TO OUR FELLOW SOUTH SUDANESE

BY: Maker Maker Riak, AUSTRALIA, AUG/12/2013, SSN;

Dear compatriots,
It is a sombre moment for us, on behalf of our family that we take this chance to write to you as our fellow country men and women. Our family is writing to you, because, we believe, a united voice can be heard louder and clearer.

We write to you, because, we truly believe that we cannot do this on our own. That, in fact, this is not a personal issue – it is not just our family’s issue – but a collective issue for us all, as South Sudanese people.

We all know that our Parliament, the Parliament of South Sudan, has been actively working to ensure that our country, which has been bleeding profusely from bad and immoral leaders, must now be served by men and women, of probity and moral turpitude.

This is why the Parliament has been rigorously vetting the nominated Ministers. As a result of that exercise, one man, who does not meet in all circumstances the requirements to serve the people of South Sudan, came under close scrutiny. This man, Telar Ring Deng, who our good President Salva Kiir Mayardit nominated to serve as the Minister for Justice, failed the constitutional, academic and moral requirements to be confirmed for the aforementioned portfolio.

Our fellow compatriots, the South Sudan’s Transitional Constitution is crystal clear on the moral qualifications of a national minister. Article 112 (3) of the Transitional Constitution, clearly states: “Ministers of the National Government shall be selected with due regard to the need for inclusiveness based on integrity, competence………”

This is a low threshold test. If interpreted, it simply means, a man or woman of poor moral standing, cannot pass to serve the good people of South Sudan in any public office.

Fellow compatriots, Telar Ring Deng does not pass this key test. Telar lied about his academic qualifications to cheat his way through fame and influence. At all times, has been known and respected as a lawyer. NO, he is not. He has now confirmed that himself. Telar Ring Deng has done so much damage to our country that, we as the people of South Sudan cannot allow him to serve in any official position in the country.

Fellow compatriots, we refer you to the statement of Telar Ring Deng published on Sudantribune today, on the 12th of August. In his statement, Telar acknowledged that he presided over the deaths of so many South Sudanese, including that of our father 2nd Lt. Mayek Riak.

Mayek Riak, who was popularly known as Ustaz Mayek Riak Ater, because of his dedication to the education of South Sudanese, and who was our father, was sentenced to death by an unqualified lawyer and a “judge” Telar Ring Deng.

Fellow South Sudanese, we are not regretting the death of our father Ustaz Mayek Riak because he died in the struggle for our country. However – fellow compatriots, Ustaz Mayek Riak was unfairly put away through a sham process by a phoney lawyer and judge. He was sentenced to death by an individual who conned our leaders to believing that he was a lawyer. Telar Ring Deng never entered law school. It has now been confirmed.

According to the testimony of Dr Riek Machar, Telar was employed as a “judge” on the advice of our hero Dr Garang Mabior that Telar was a lawyer. Put simply, Telar duped:
1. Dr John Garang to believing that he was a lawyer;
2. Dr Riek Machar into believing that he was a lawyer to obtain a job that he would never have obtained;
3. President Salva Kiir to employ him as his legal advisor; and most of all
4. The people of South Sudan into believing him that he was a qualified lawyer and who paid heftily a legal professional through our meagre resources.

Our fellow compatriots, Telar has done a great deal damage to all of us. We must not allow this man to be on the helm of leadership in our country.

Our fellow compatriots – our family is taking this opportunity, for you to add your voice to our voice. Over the next two days, we will present our petition to the Parliament of South Sudan, to stop this man from ascending to power in our country.
Fellow compatriots, this petition is not driven by bitterness that Telar killed our father and he publicly and proudly mentioned the name of our father, Mayek Riak, in his letter to the Parliament. Yes, we are distressed and broken that we are reminded by the painful death of our father. It is a sad fact – but we are more driven by a national duty.

Fellow compatriots, Ustaz Mayek Riak left behind very strong individuals and we are here to continue his legacy. Ustaz Mayek Riak left Agook Mayek Riak, who is a highly qualified economist and a banker. Agook Mayek left a very lucrative job in Australia to go and work for the Lakes State Government. Agook continues to passionately serve the people of South Sudan. Ustaz Mayek Riak left behind Maker Mayek Riak who is a highly qualified and practising lawyer in Australia (unlike Telar). Maker is passionate about South Sudan and longs to the day that he goes back home to serve our country.

Ustaz Mayek Riak also left behind Riak Mayek Riak – the rock and the custodian – of the Mayek family. Riak is the eldest son of Mayek Riak and serves the people of Lakes State in the Ministry of Finance. We also have a younger brother and two sisters who are studying very hard to do their part for the people of South Sudan.

Fellow compatriots, we appeal to you to join us to ensure that this man does not become a leader in our country.

As we prepare our submissions to the Parliament, please add your voice to our voice so that we can be heard louder and stand strong together as a people.

This is about South Sudan –not about us.

As we canvass legal avenues to bring Telar to justice, please join us as one people to stop Telar from being confirmed.

Please talk to your local Member of Parliament; share on the social media and share through the word of mouth that Telar is not fit and proper to be a leader in our country.

May God bless you all and God bless our country.
On behalf of Mayek Riak’s family:
Riak Mayek Riak
Agook Mayek Riak
Maker Mayek Riak
Makuei Mayek Riak
And
Others.

The most corrupt Government Institution in South Sudan

A Report by the National Advocacy Group, AUG/08/2013, SSN;

Following the unexpected and historic reshuffling, that saw many giants removed from the government, we would like to take this opportunity to thank President Salva Kiir Mayardit for bold decision that save the nation from wanton mismanagement of government coffers.

The President’s decision was indeed a response to both public outcry and the need to have a leaner government in order to save resources to better serve the people of South Sudan.

We are happy that ministries headed by corrupt individuals have been merged or integrated into other ministries. One may wonder which ministries were headed by corrupt individuals.

Therefore, it has always been a wild question to implore the most corrupt government institution in South Sudan. This is because every institution is allegedly corrupt but the level of graft varies in terms of magnitude and volume.

A lot of people will assume that it is the Ministry of Interior/police, Army or the Ministry of Finance. Undeniably, the above mentioned three institutions kind of fraud is smaller in scale compared to former national ministry of commerce, Industry and Investment under Mr. Garang Diing Akuong.

The information provided herein is a long term research conducted and funded by the National Advocacy Group based Juba, a Think-tank whose primary objective is to provide independent, balanced and fair
assessment on the activities of institutions of the government of the Republic of South Sudan.

In this case, the following is an abridged version of the findings for public consumption. More detailed report can be requested from the email provided below.

The institution heading the list in the graft world of our new country was the ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment with the Minister, Garang Diing Akuong and his right hand Under secretary of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Simon Nyang, topping the list.

It has to be recalled that the two gentlemen are both from Northern Bahr El Ghazal State and have a history in common.

Firstly, Mr. Simon Nyang was Garang Diing’s Director General of Finance when he (Garang Diing) was the minister of Finance in Northern Bahr el Gazal State. For readers’ information, Mr. Garang Diing Akuong
assumed the position of Minister of Finance after sudden passing of respected and honourable former State Minister of Finance, Mr. Ajou
Garang Deng.

From the insiders’ information obtained by these Investigative Freelance Journalists, the havoc and mismanagement activities carried out by these two gentlemen in Northern Bahr El Ghazal State is glaring.

It was a complete organised crime which they carried over to the Central government in the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment.

It is also to be recalled that the two are in-laws since Hon. Garang Diing is married to Nyang’s close cousin who happens to come from the same county, payam and Boma in Northern Bahr El Ghazal State.

This is apart from so many things they have in common which can’t be covered at this point in time.

So, when Hon. Garang Diing was appointed at the helm of the National Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment two and half years ago, the first person he brought along was none other than Mr. Simon Nyang
Anei.

By then, a bright and efficient Under secretary of Commerce and Industry was Ms Elizabeth Alek Manaoh Majok. She is one of our few women who made impact and brought professionalism to the Ministry.

After few months of setting root, Hon. Garang Diing made a shocking reshuffle in the Ministry by switching Elizabeth with Mr. Simon. He transferred Elizabeth to non-influential section of Investment and
made his old crony Mr. Simon, the Under secretary of Commerce and Industry who surprisingly in a two months time, went back to his State where he bought more than 200 heads of cattle to stitch up his decades old unfinished marriage for his Eldoret – Kenya based wife whose family in Warrap State have been complaining of unsettled dowry.

This has left a lot of Ministry’s employees in baffle and flabbergasted because the plans of the two can only be left to the definition of the fate.

However, the above citation is just a tip of an iceberg. The most shocking and malicious corrupt practice that they were doing was the dubious dollar business in conjunction with the Qatar National Bank (QNB) in Juba.

This is another sleaze in waiting if investigated by Anti-corruption commission. It is so grand that the dura disaster allegedly engineered by the former minister of Finance Mr. Kuol Athian Mawien is nothing in comparison.

The government has lost millions of funds in form of foreign currency. It is so obvious that it has made some people overnight millionaires in south Sudan particularly Hon. Garang Diing Akuong, his closest associates, in-laws, friends and relatives.

Some people wonder how this information was acquired. It was a firsthand experience that the authors applied for dollar currency themselves. They finished all the processes.

They have also gotten inside information from the ministry and QNB not forgetting the innocent associates of the minister who happily brag of their overnight fortunes.

It is quite unfortunate that neither the Ministry, Bank (QNB) nor innocent beneficiaries understood the mission of the authors.

Having highlighted the above facts, we now authoritatively inform the general public and interested institutions dubious dollars were acquired in South Sudan at a cheaper rate through Hon. Garang Diing
Akuong and his associates.

As from insiders’ information, the public and interested institutions are hereby informed that the process of acquiring illegal overnight wealth included the following.

1. Look for a businessman (especially Ethiopians, Eritreans, Arabs or Lebanese) and request the Minister Garang Diing that you want to import say 2000 tonnes of sugar from Dubai.

2. Make a presentation of fake invoices quoting the price of the goods in Dubai

3. The Minister will pass it to his crony the Under secretary of Commerce and Industry Mr. Simon Nyang who would blindly approve say 500,000 USD to bring the goods from Dubai after confirming their
(Garang and Nyang) cut or commission.

4. That money is given to you at the rate of 3 SSP per dollar

5. The approval is then referred to Qatar National bank near Konyo konyo market (that’s where the bank headquarters is based) and buy the 500,000 USD with South Sudanese Pounds with the then above rate of Central Bank

6. Once you are given that amount, the purported importer will then ‘purchase’ the dollars from you say at an agreed rate of 4.2 SSP per dollar. Therefore, the profit margin per dollar is 1.2 SSP and this
will earn you a cool and sweatless 600,000 SSP as a net profit.

7. The net profit is shared among Hon. Garang Diing Akuong, Mr. Simon Nyang Anei and the agent. The former (Hon. Garang Diing takes the lion share because of the protocol)

The National Advocacy Group made this public in order to alert the President and Anti-corruption Commission because they might not have gotten the full report confidently sent them late last year. We urge relevant institutions including Presidency to take necessary measures to investigate this scandal.

In our next publication, we will provide other shocking details of equally corrupt ministry of Petroleum and Energy.
………………………………………………………

The power of weapons proliferation: The case of Jonglei State – causes and effects.

BY: John Chol Deng Yol, BOR, Jonglei State, AUG/07/2013, SSN;

First and foremost, I need to shed light on how weapons spread into the hand of civilians in South Sudan particularly in Jonglei State. The civil war in Sudan lasted approximately two decades and resulted in high militarization and arms proliferation among civilians. These arms are an unceasing danger to communities as there have not been major comprehensive disarmament initiatives.

The arms problem was further exacerbated by the influx of arms from rebel groups to the communities; these rebel groups include but not limited to that of late General George Athor Deng and David Yau of Eastern Jonglei.

The question that hangs in the mind is whether the arms are astutely used or being misused by the civilians in Jonglei State. Apparently, there could be need or no need for civilians to be armed.

Some civilians acquired firearms unlawfully for personal protections where adequate civilian protection services were discovered limited, however, the weaponries are being misused by civilians in cases of child abduction, cattle raiding, murder, inter-communal violence, road block thievery… etc.

Arms proliferation has contributed to insecurity in Jonglei State, including cattle raiding and armed robberies.

It is very difficult to say how many weapons are in Jonglei State because the weapons are everywhere in the state including Bor town, the state capital. What is being speculated is that there is a proliferation and illicit trade in small arms across Jonglei State.

The situation is also exacerbated by lack of laws controlling the sale of small arms and light weapons across South Sudan. This and other factors have direly contributed to the proliferation of arms across South Sudan particularly in Jonglei State.

Coupled with many tribal influences, weapons proliferation remains a central cause of increasing conflict here in Jonglei State. The presence of copious armed civilians increased the fatality rates of communal homicide, cattle raid and undermined the effectiveness of security sector reform within the state.

Now that we know who has small arms and light weapons in Jonglei State, what can be done? This question possesses different answers from various actors, though; we should not sit behind and consent to the power of weapons proliferation to rule us forever.

It is high time that we the citizens of Jonglei State have to wake-up to face our contemporary challenges with strong determination to relinquish on some of our uncouth behaviours. But let’s look closely on some sanctions as would be the case.

Jonglei crises need solutions from within otherwise our turmoil will not stop until we the affected state citizens stand firm and say enough is enough to our obsolete variances. There has to be a new culture of peace and reconciliation, tolerance and respect for diversity as our unity of purpose would mean our fortes.

As a collective endeavor, the central Government has to be supported in the provision of peace in Jonglei State.

It is our shared onus as citizens and civil societies in this part of the country to undertake public awareness campaigns on the danger of illegal arms possession, support peace-building campaigns for the realization of community development projects.

Nevertheless, the national legislative assembly needs to enact up-to-date laws regulating weapon circulation in the hands of civilians.

We need laws that allow the state government to acquire marking machines and undertake gun registration with local population prior to simultaneous civilian disarmament.

The law should also allow state government, particularly the case of Jonglei state, to perform “cattle branding” where applicable to differentiate various communities’ animals. It will help in the process of distinguishing and identifying cattle raided from other communities.

Since it’s equally contingent to disarmament and demobilization of former combatants, the central government has to accelerate demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants in South Sudan to limit arms circulation amongst the civilians.

John Chol Deng Yol is a concerned citizen of Jonglei State residing & working in Bor Town. The author is reachable thru choldengyol@yahoo.com.

Why Gier Cuang isn’t qualified for the Jonglei State Governor

INSTIGATION AND AGITATION FOR INSTABILITY, AUG/07/2013, SSN;

Former Minister Gier in particular is the cause of insecurity amongst communities in the County and the Country in general – as he did when he frustrated late Gen. George Athor causing him to mutiny resulting in brutal bloodshed and total instability in the County.

His actions are tantamount to a direct sabotage to government functions and insecurity amongst citizens. As an elected Representative he enjoys immunity with access to enormous amount of money and all immeasurable bountiful facilities – from vehicles to planes, weapons to manpower to deprive other citizens of peaceful co-existence, harmony and happiness!

Geographical Location of Canal (Pigi) County:

Canal County (historically and popularly known as Khorfulus) is located at the northern tip of Jonglei State and is situated at the confluence of Zeraf and Sobat Rivers with the Nile River on the South western side and goes all along Sobat River and Khorfulus tributary. It is bordered by Panyikang and Baliet (in Upper Nile), Fangak, Ayod and Nyirol Counties (in Jonglei). The inhabitants of the area are four (4) homogeneous kith and kin of Padang Jieng sub-sections – namely, Marbek (Ruut and Thoi), Paweny (Ruweng) and Luac.

Former Minister Gier Chuang Aluong comes from Paweny/Ruweng sub-section while late George Athor Deng originated from Luac (though his mother was from Thoi and his biological father was from Ruut. Both Gier and late Athor joined the SPLM/A atthe beginning of its inception in 1983 where they started their hatred against one another.

The leadership of the Movement, colleagues and friends exerted every effort to resolve their differences and quarrels but in vain and utterly failed.

Since November 2012 the Authorities of Jonglei State urged members of the National Legislative Assemblies, Council of States as well as intellectuals from the County to support the Peace and Reconciliation process concluded in 2009 (but not implemented) in order to ease and facilitate the delivery of basic services to the Community.

The members of the National Legislature in Juba together with Intellectuals from the constituency try hard to raise funds for their visits in order to support and unite the Community, boost the morale of the County administrators and to express solidarity of the citizens with the Commissioner in serving the County especially now that peace and calm has returned to the area.

However, it is sad indeed to learn that former Minister Gier staged a serious objection when USAID through AECOM accepted to facilitate the visit of three members of the National Legislature and six members of Juba community from the area. He (Gier) sent his henchmen spearheaded by Daniel Maker Riak (infamous UN staff), William Sunday Tor (Citizen Newspaper) and his body guards to threaten AECOM.

They intimidated AECOM to be held responsible for taking people to an insecure area: “If anything fatal befalls them, AECOM-USAID will account for it”. Upon hearing these threats, AECOM withdrew the tickets and cancelled the trip to Pigi which was to take place on Thursday June 13th 2013.

Obviously, the State Governor and the County Commissioner as well as other national security organs have no clue about the insecurity Minister Gier and his group has been alluding to. AECOM-USAID immediately dispatched two representatives to the area in order to assess the alleged insecurity situation.

The government must know (though it might have been informed) that former Minister Gier of Roads and Bridges and MP (NLA) is deeply involved in the destabilization of Canal (Pigi) County Communities (Khorfulus and Atar).

This message is being conveyed in the hope of subverting his activities against the administration of the County and inciting Communities against each other.

1. Gier Opposes Pigi County Commissioner:
The recently appointed Commissioner is an SPLA officer, Col. Abel Michael Miakol Deng Anyang, (from Atar: Gier’s own section). The Commissioner ambitiously and tirelessly applied policies which are uniting the two communities of Khorfulus and Atar around their traditional values, aspirations for development and love for peaceful co-existence that Gier intentionally and maliciously deprived them of for a very long period of time – before and after the CPA; during the interim government and transitional period, after the Malakal Peace Conference-2009, and even after the death of late Athor with whom he nurtured multitude of grudges.

Amazingly, he is still extending his anger against his own people of Ruweng of Atar, stirring up quarrels among sections of Ruweng by opposing the current County Commissioner.

When the Commissioner, Col. Abel, went to implement Resolutions of the 2009 Malakal Peace Conference by establishing the County headquarters at Wun-Aruop, Gier is adamantly opposing it by instigating Ruweng people (Thiony section) to reclaim ownership of the land.

Furthermore, he sponsored a meeting of Ruweng people in Juba at New York Hotel on March 23rd 2013, in which a decision was made to send a huge delegation to Atar to mobilize and organize subversive activities against the Commissioner and to urge the local citizens to demand his dismissal, to object to the building of the County headquarters at Wun-Aruop, and to demand the demarcation of the Atar-Khorfulus borders.

This is a dangerous provocation and propaganda to cause disputes that may erupt into a fight for no good reason.

2. Opposition to Peace & Reconciliation Commission:
Gier undercut endeavors of the Presidential Peace Committee led by Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul by avoiding meetings of the two communities: Khorfulus and Atar for five (5) months on the pretext that he was busy. The Committee thereafter miserably failed neither to reconcile the two (2) communities nor Gier and Michael Miakol to whom Gier has redirected his anger against because of the appointment of the Commissioner (son of Michael).

3. Objection to Governor’s Directives:
Gier has furiously expressed his objection to the letter written by the Governor of Jonglei State requesting Hon. Gen. John Kong Nyuon and Hon. Joshua Dau Diu in their capacity as senior elders (by age) to organize their respective communities of Fangak and Pigi Counties in order to normalize their relations in the neighborhood of their adjacent Counties as former citizens of one district (former Fangak).

4. Rejection to Community Unity:
Gier opposed the joint meeting of the two communities of Khorfulus and Atar in Juba when MP’s, elders and intellectuals met together on February 11th 2013 to form committees in support of normalcy of relationship of communities within the County for promotion of peaceful co-existence as brought about by the effective efforts of the Commissioner, Col. Abel Michael Miakol. He counteracted by sponsoring and convening the Atar Community meeting in Juba at the New Sudan Hotel [refer to Citizen Newspaper dated February 16th 2013 P (4-6)].

5. Misuse of Community Development Funds:
Gier with his hand-picked henchmen have been dubiously managing the CDF since 2010 and no significant project is known to have been sponsored with such funds. Although the County Commissioner dispatched a fact finding Committee to Juba in order to follow up with any CDF projects and meet with relevant authorities in the National Legislative Assembly, the delegation was denied the CDF and the vehicle is now in the premises of the National Assembly.

6. Frustration of Government Amnesty:
Gier is deliberately working day and night to frustrate the efforts being exerted by the National Government and the Community to specify and integrate the former followers of the late Athor into the fold of the Community of Khorfulus and Atar respectively. He is encouraging the Ruweng sub-section of Atar to ask for compensation from Khorfulus instead of accepting the Government Amnesty as a solution.

7. Militancy:
Former Minister Gier has been trying to create a militarized enclave using the Ruweng Community as a base to enable him challenge any potential opponents to his hegemony over the Communities. His Atar area population is not disarmed.

8. Conspiracy to Corrupt:
He was using his Ministerial position and government resources to manipulate the impoverished and innocent citizens, frustrate and threaten the local authorities within the County and even in the State. At the National level, he exploits his former army comradeship as well as his current relationship with fellow Ministers and Advisors to intimidate, undermine and destroy any rising leadership from the County.

Till now the County has been run by four Commissioners whom he recommended for appointment and again engineered their dismissal when they failed to follow his instructions or his nasty way of doing things.

9. Corruption:
Gier is the official who awarded “Vivacell Communications” a twenty (20) year tax exempt contract when he was the Minister of Telecommunications. Vivacel has been threatening to sue the government of South Sudan if it is shut down or forced to pay taxes. An investigation is to be launched into the alleged twenty years tax exemption contract accorded to a select communication company – Vivacel.

Former Minister Gier in particular is the cause of insecurity amongst communities in the County and the Country in general – as he did when he frustrated late Gen. George Athor causing him to mutiny resulting in brutal bloodshed and total instability in the County.

His actions are tantamount to a direct sabotage to government functions and insecurity amongst citizens. As an elected Representative he enjoys immunity with access to enormous amount of money and all immeasurable bountiful facilities – from vehicles to planes, weapons to manpower to deprive other citizens of peaceful co-existence, harmony and happiness!

What are they Waiting for in South Sudan?

BY: Tongun Lo Loyuong, SOUTH SUDAN, AUG/06/2013, SSN;

In a comment on a political commentary on the current South Sudan’s quagmire, someone recently complained bitterly about the role of the “enablers” in promoting corruption, tribalism and nepotism, which can be described as some of the main determining factors of political violence and the resulting massacres in South Sudan. They bemoaned in despair that, quote: “as one that is always optimistic, let’s pretend that the instability [in South Sudan] is due to the challenges of forming a new nation that just emerged from a civil war…. All I hope for is curbing the Three BIG obstacles to development & democracy: Tribalism, Nepotism, & Corruption. We heard stories of South Sudanese… who had been living modest lives as refugees then all over sudden, upon South Sudan attaining independence, these very individuals were purchasing mansions with cash? How in the devils name did these people get such wealth. You do the maths and the answer is one of the three identified above. Even more disturbing is those enablers…” unquote.

Rightly, South Sudanese are increasingly frustrated and disillusioned by active or passive role of the international community, particularly the big three, United States, Britain and Norway who presided over the making of this fledgling state in what may now be seen as their equal enabling in its unmaking.

On the one hand, we are thoroughly thankful for their significant contribution to set us free at last from Khartoum’s subjugation and marginalization. And indeed, it was precisely because of the tireless efforts of folks of good will across the globe, but more so these Troika guarantors of our freedom through the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), that our hope and expectations soared.

Most South Sudanese thought that our friends having propelled us thus far will redouble their efforts to see to it that the foundations for building a viable state in South Sudan `a la East Timor for example, are concretely laid. But such hopes are rapidly waning and are being overcome by hapless sense of despair as South Sudan continues to journey into the unknown.

It is on this other hand that there is growing fear, disgruntlement and even bitterness among many concerned South Sudanese that not only any foundations for building a nation in South Sudan continue to be lacking, but also the international community has disappointingly failed the failed state and not done enough to whip us back in line in our quest for building a just and viable state in South Sudan. This begs the question: what are they waiting for in South Sudan?

The New York Times columnist, Nicholas D. Kristof in an opinion piece entitled “Chronicle of a Genocide Foretold,” and published on September 29th, 2010, once named and shamed the international community for persisting intransigence in the face of looming threats of human massacres on genocidal proportions around the world.

He noted that often the international community fails to pro-actively prevent massacres—ethnic cleansings, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocides before they unravel. The international lip service and pledges of “never again” that are uttered in the wake of almost every happening of mass atrocities in our modern human history often “slips to ‘one more time,’” according to Kristof.

Elsewhere, Kristof details the slow and disappointing pattern of global response to human massacres while still in the making, but also when the axe finally shockingly falls on the head.

In an article entitled “Genocide in Slow Motion,” published on Sudan Tribune on January 21st, 2006, Kristof forcefully maintained the following:
“During the Holocaust, the world looked the other way. Allied leaders turned down repeated pleas to bomb the Nazi extermination camps or the rail lines leading to them, and the slaughter attracted little attention. My newspaper, The New York Times, provided meticulous coverage of World War II, but of 24,000 front-page stories published in that period only six referred on page one directly to the Nazi assault on the Jewish population of Europe. Only afterwards did many people mourn the death of Anne Frank, construct Holocaust museums, and vow: Never Again. The same paralysis occurred as Rwandans were being slaughtered in 1994. Officials from Europe to the US to the UN headquarters all responded by temporizing and then, at most, by holding meetings. The only thing President Clinton did for Rwandan genocide victims was issue a magnificent apology after they were dead. Much the same has been true of the Western response to the Armenian genocide of 1915, the Cambodian genocide of the 1970s, and the Bosnian massacres of the 1990s. In each case, we have wrung our hands afterward and offered the lame excuse that it all happened too fast, or that we didn’t fully comprehend the carnage when it was still under way.”

In this context, the monotonous international pattern of inaction to halt massacres is clear for all to see and remains the order of the day. This is sadly also true of South Sudan.

For almost a decade since the supposedly dawn of a new era of peace in South Sudan with the signing of the CPA, South Sudan continue to undesirably exhibit strong signs of protracted political power struggles, which often undermine the functionality of the rudimentary state institutions and create conditions conducive for dire humanitarian crises in all the four corners of the land.

The degree of ethnic anger and hatred that has now been unleashed in South Sudan since the latest presidential decision to dissolve the cabinet is worrying and suggests that all out inter-communal violent conflict with far-reaching repercussions in South Sudan is being seriously flirted with.

Moreover, these conditions are further compounded by the abject poverty and destitution of the vast majority of South Sudanese, which remains the status quo ante. Insecurity and rise in innocent civilian death of, particularly the vulnerable members of the society has been countless and often trigger a vicious cycle of revenge attacks by the aggrieved parties.

Traditional rules of engagement that previously protected the life of elders, women, children and those who run away from inter-ethnic combat situation, have been rendered just as they are—a thing of the past. Nowadays killing of members of “rival” ethnic groups are indiscriminately practiced as ruthless massacres and ethnic cleansings have been recurrently committed in cold blood and with impunity in places like Jonglei State.

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) that recently had its mandate renewed under “chapter VII” of the United Nations Charter, has only functioned as a bystander or at best, a nurse, and has been largely reduced to a scribal role limited to documenting atrocities and innocent suffering in South Sudan!

By their own admission, the UNMISS is often quoted as reiterating that its presence in South Sudan is not to assume but to assist the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) discharge its duties and responsibilities to protect its citizens. One wonders how the UNMISS can fully provide this assistance, if they themselves also complain of lack of capacity and resources.

The same is true of GoSS, who has often been quick to cite lack of capacity and infrastructure to provide adequate security in the country as their Achilles heel.

The circus created by these two actors press the important then what question about the way forward in South Sudan. Moreover, it may be asked, is this not a clear sign that GoSS is at least unable, if not unwilling all together to discharge its moral responsibility to protect its citizen? What then is being done to enhance the situation?

If GoSS is unable or unwilling to protect its citizens, does this not at least make South Sudan relinquish its sovereignty status for failing to protect its citizens and consolidate its territorial integrity, and therefore justify full international humanitarian intervention in South Sudan?

What are they waiting for in South Sudan when viable and functioning state institutions are yet to be sufficiently created almost nine years after the signing of the CPA? What are they waiting for when impartial rule of law in the land remains wanting?

What are they waiting for in South Sudan when the Transitional Constitution itself is in a state of disarray while many have lost faith in this Supreme and supposedly binding Law of the Land, even as increasing lawlessness dominates?

What are they waiting for when human rights violations are committed left and right by the state security organs that were supposed to protect them?

And what are they waiting for when the triad of corruption, nepotism and tribalism remain on a rampant spree?

Corruption in particular, has been diagnosed as the life threatening cancer that is eroding the social fabric of South Sudan at an alarming rate, by impeding the committing of public funds to much needed social and economic service delivery and infrastructure development in the land. And how does GoSS addressed the detrimental role of rampant corruption to development and service provision in South Sudan?

First they deny this ill existed; then they argue that some of corruption allegations are fictitious and aimed at tarnishing the image of South Sudan by those enrolled in the enemy’s payroll. Before you know it, they began paddling the “little state” and starting from scratch lie, while moving on to branding those who raise these issues as unpatriotic and cowards.

Then they began discrediting all human rights reports which can be ascribed in part to corruption as exaggerated, and the resulting rampant insecurity as no more than pockets without any bearing on the status of the state whatsoever.

Put differently, first they turn a blind eye and protect themselves; then they exchange secretive letters; then they began pointing fingers at each other apportioning blame for the prevalence of the corruption vice.

Then in a last gasp evasive attempt, they argued that the reason why corruption has not been dealt with decisively in the past was because the focus was first to ensure the successful conduct of the referendum.

After all else fails, a selective application of the law and the weeding out of the fifth element, was commenced under the guise of fighting corruption.

In view of mounting pressure, this process was sped up by the cabinet overhaul that also sidelined Dr. Machar and suspended the SPLM Secretary General, Mr. Pagan Amum for investigations.

While the recent political changes and “reforms” aimed at addressing some of current political challenges have ushered in a new dawn in South Sudan, however these “significant changes” remain but politically motivated measures, which thus far have proven to be not more than the consolidation of political power attempts.

Therefore, whether or not the new cabinet that is being formed and re-formed, will bring positive change remains to be seen. But judging by the composition of this new regime, it is difficult to be optimistic. There is no explanation for the absence of some of the young, more progressive and technically gifted names in the new cabinet, which goes to show that the cabinet reshuffle is another campaign to install yes man and conformist in the government.

As a result, there is enough evidence to suggest that after the swearing in of the new cabinet, business is likely to resume as usual, except at probably even greater peril of escalated inter-communal tensions caused by the increasing political power struggle in the land.

Signs have been clearly on the wall all along that South Sudan has gone backwards rather than forward since the signing of the CPA in January 2005, perhaps even more backward than under Khartoum in terms of the fragmenting unity of its diverse peoples. In all this, GoSS has been identified on numerous occasions and by as many an analyst, as at the thick of it all.

Unanimous consensus have built that GoSS has been destructive rather than constructive to South Sudan’s aspirations of reaping the peace dividends associated with being free at last. Some foreign advisors and analysts, such as Gerard Prunier were among the first to throw down the towel and concluded that our government is “rotten to the core.”

In other cases, only death gave away on some outspoken human rights activists, some of whom had to prematurely rush out of the country after receiving threats to their lives. Opinion writers have been liquidated, and journalists silenced and had to climb over the fences of their own houses to run away in fear of death threats for shedding light on possible arms race and stockpiling for impending political battle across ethnic lines in South Sudan.

Senior government officials have been on record threatening to crucify critics of the government like Jesus, and in fact they went on to order the shooting dead of any civilian in possession of firearms in locales such as the Lake State. The list is endless, and real intervention to change the status quo and possible avert a lurking humanitarian disaster in the making in South Sudan is long overdue.

On her first day in the job as the new U.S. Ambassador to the UN, CBS News reported that Dr. Samantha Power was raring to go and “eager to get things done,” by utilize the UN’s “bully pulpit” to harness some much needed changes to prevent “actions that ‘trample human dignity,’” of which she specifically mentioned South Sudan as one of her priorities, among other countries.

Is there a lesson or two that can be learned from the Libyan humanitarian intervention by the coalition of the willing based on the moral principle of responsibility to protect, which Dr. Power is mooted to have orchestrated that can be replicated in South Sudan?

What about the East Timor experience where the international community under the auspices of the UN closely accompanied and managed the affairs of that country when it became independent until it was up and running on its own? Diplomacy and isolation alone that the Obama administration is known to be fond of, are not enough, and neither do meetings in air conditioned halls on the 42nd street in Midtown Manhattan.

Likewise public condemnations, phone calls, and withholding of funding, are insufficient. In fact withholding funds for much needed development and humanitarian programs end up biting the very poor who are supposed to be assisted and protected. Besides, the ruling clique in Juba has hoarded enough that they and their descendants will never ever have to go to bed with a growling stomach gasping for a mouthful.

As such what we need in South Sudan is some strong disincentive in the shape of more boots on the ground, especially when the baby state that was helped created by the international community is on the verge of imploding.

If God forbid this happens, it will surely undermine not only the national interest of all concerned stakeholders, but will also pose a threat to international peace and security.

Only when we act proactively to pre-empt lurking humanitarian disaster in South Sudan, can we atone for our complicity in enabling the current undoing of the Republic of South Sudan.

tloloyuong@gmail.com