Archive for: November 2013

President Kiir is responsible for SPLM failure

BY: J. Nguen, CANADA, NOV/30/2013, SSN;

Call it dictatorial or otherwise, it is what it is, authoritarianism. It is uncounselled positive ambition of the president to stay in power by force or else. President Salva Kiir Mayardit is determined to stay in POWER at all cost. Recent developments, from that of July 23rd of 2013 to present, showcased an ugly nature of a beast.

A monster determined to stay put and destroy a freedom we painfully earned with selfless sacrifices. President Kiir is determined to drive South Sudan and her people to abyss if they (South Sudanese) give-in his jungle rule, coupled by high class tribalism.

It appeared the opportunists around the president are enjoying the turbulent rides. That said they did not learn from our troubled past mistakes. When drawing political punches, they didn’t take into account what caused Rwandans to bleed in 1994. With their lazy thoughts, they did not considered what makes Somalia a lawless and failed state from 1991 to present.

With our poor president, he is a lame duck and often acted blindly to consolidate his power base, even though evidence show he does not know how to orchestrate strategy to win. President Kiir is being run and programmed elsewhere from a distance, by Bashir and the Ugandan president.

With that in mind, Kiir’s actions are intended to cause agony among our innocent civilians because fabrications and facts to him appeared alike. In return, thus, tells me, South Sudan is hooked for a long and ugly ride.
Under weak leadership, South Sudan becomes a host of all kinds of parasites.

The Islamic regime in Khartoum for example has recently secured money feeding tube, South Sudan. In the expense of our president weakness, Khartoum is now building its infrastructure and weaponizing itself to ensure that Abyei, the land of Dinka Ngok, is never part of South Sudan.

Sadly, South Sudan government is the financier. Our government is financing such projects in the name of maintaining peace between the two nations. Call it cooperation agreements. Recently, South Sudan government paid Khartoum Islamic regime $2.1 billion dollars since the production of oil resumed.

It is unbelievable that President Salva Kiir government values foreigners’ livelihood than its own. The South Sudanese Dinka Ngok is a prime example in the mix. Local radio stations were banned not to broadcast Abyei Referendum. South Sudan Minister of information, Mr. Makuei Lueth went on SSTV to denounce Dinka Nyok people. It is a shameful betrayal that ought to be condemned.

The Dinka Ngok people are comrades, brothers and sisters in armed and bloodline and deserve not to be betrayed. Above all else, they bled with us and paid selfless sacrifices during the war of liberation. In our collective view, anyone that denies them freedom and right to decide their fate is our enemy, peoples’ enemy number one.

Like it or not, betrayal has occurred. It is the ugly truth of having disorganized system led by confused personalities. You may or may not be aware that the $ 4 billion dollars claimed by South Sudan minister of finance, Mr. Tisa went to loans was instead secretly deposited into the Ugandan and Sudan secret accounts.

Kiir and opportunists around him had no choice but to pay Ugandan troops stationed in South Sudan to protect president dynasty from unfounded peoples revolt. South Sudan is run by mercenaries from Uganda under Uganda president directive. This is sad and shameful trajectory. If this cannot provoke your inner hard feelings, what can?

South Sudanese did not take arms for Ugandans to come rule us after unselfish sacrifices.

Kiir and opportunists around had no choice but to pay Bashir and his Islamic terrorists in Khartoum to ensure South Sudan oil passage, yet our people are not getting oil dividends. In reverse, Bashir weaponries it bases to take over Abyei by force and other parts of our lands, especially the 14 mile.

Not only that, Khartoum uses our own money to arm David Yau and the consequences of that was the recent vicious killing in Jonglei State Twic East and Lou-Nuer. It is ironic and disappointing reality at best!

You may or may not be aware that South Sudan Government is allegedly sponsoring terrorists and selling arms to Al Shabbab, an Al Quaeda terrorist organization based in Somalia. Like it or not, 72 SPLA generals are now under Interpol Police watch list for secretly selling arms to Al qaeda operatives in Somalia and to David Yau, respectively. Who can believe this wild tips, but true.

Similarly, if I may, Maj. Gen. Philip Aguer, the SPLA spokesperson and Gen. Peter Gatdet and two others I like not to name are under arrest warrant for war crimes committed in Murle lands. Our Commander-In- Chief betrayed them even though they were simply following orders from none other than our President Kiir himself.

I know, this is too much information but it gives one a sense where our country seats. I must also assure you that this is just tip of an iceberg, I have more sensitive information to share if need be.

Out of these few tips, you may also conclude that our country is set for a hell of a ride. We are set on a roller coaster doomed to crash any time. We are very much in a dangerous course of collision, among ourselves and with international bodies. I am afraid, if we do collide though, both haves and have nots, will equally suffer.

It is good to write about these so you know. Tomorrow, history will judge us, but we will not pretend that we don’t know and didn’t see it coming.
Who is to blame?

President Kiir is squarely responsible for the messes made and worse that have to come. For one, our president has created a conducive environment to allow chaos to take hold. All South Sudanese are damn aware about this reality, it is no secret any more because those who killed Isaiah Abraham and Engineer Louis are his co-conspirators.

In political realms, logic often defies deception, I wonder if South Sudanese should not continue to push for better change to get rid of untrusted president because of consequences.

If I have to bear witness to anything, I can assert that positive change is not easy and could means to bloodshed and destruction but worthwhile. History had it that no positive change without any sufferings. To relent to any misrule however is rightly accepting injustice in a golden plate.

In our case, relenting is letting another Robert Mugabe to take hold in South Sudan. Pushing for a meaningful change is important and a revelation that we are consciously aware of freedom and not being run by proxies Ugandans mercenaries because Kiir cannot trust our gallantry forces.

This is equally true that South Sudanese did not fight the war of liberation for Ugandans to tell us what to do thereafter and run our state of affairs remotely.

These tell me, we must push for a positive change. We fought injustices to be free and not to be placed under authoritarian regime run by foreigners on remote control, because the man we entrusted our aspirations to is not a shrewd politician but weak and open to manipulations.

The recent dissolution of the SPLM party hierarchies by President Salva Kiir is undeniably a confirmation of Robert Mugabe rule. However, the difference between Mugabe and Kiir is that the first has seven degrees and the second only has guerilla warfare tact.

Subsequently, the question before us and the rest of the world is, are we ready to take on another Robert Mugabe brutality? I leave that to you to ponder, for my goal herein is to provide you with raw information for you to remain fully informed about our state of affairs. Though the current government of South Sudan for example shown us only how to be tribal and primitively remain legion to our tribal bases, a case we must all reject in unison.

SPLM party dissolution was a wrong step
Even demons will agree with me that the dissolution of the SPLM party hierarchies was a wrong step. President Kiir has made a fatal mistake that might end his leadership in the SPLM.

Allow me to state why the dissolution of the SPLM party is wrong and allowing our president get away with such as a violation is uncalled for and a ticket to doom. President Kiir has violated the party constitution. The leaders of the SPLM party were duly and democratically elected in the 2008 party convention, by party members. In this context, no one can ever dissolve the Party structures in a vacuum without the same forum.

Since the inception of the SPLM in 1983, Salva Kiir Mayardit has never been a good captain. He never captured a town during the war of liberation. My memory of he man is that he allowed thousands of red army to perish under his care in June 1991.

His leadership after Dr. Garang tragic death is marked and riddled by unquestionable failures, sell-outs and premature embarrassing decisions that make us all look fools.

As president his legacy is tainted by rampant corruption, outright thieveries within his own office, premature decisions, and submission to Khartoum by auctioning out 14 mile, lands grabbing and human rights abuses. To this day, none of the above has been addressed despite his rule for a good 8 years as a president. He failed in every step of the way and nothing good is available in public domain for our president, but anguish.
Again, for Majok, I supposed education must be guided by integrity and sincere conviction of how truth can be told. Surprisingly Sabrino Majok intentionally refused to tell the truth but instead bend the truth. For one, the conduct of South Sudan referendum was oversea by none other than Dr. Riek Machar and many other countless South Sudanese who help that referendum succeed. It was unforgivable mistake for Majok to bend that truth just to appease the president but mislead his readers. If anyone deserves any credit for that matter, Dr. Riek does. I must also acknowledge that President Kiir was/is the president of our nation and therefore Riek’s can also be attributed.
Another misplaced credit is the Sudanese General election in 2010. For one, Kiir failed or refused to run for Sudan presidential candidate in 2010, but instead, he chose to remain in South Sudan and run for lower seat. Had he ran for Sudanese presidential candidate for SPLM’s ticket, the Abyei, the Blue Nile and the Nubian cases would be a done deals by now. Not only that, 2010 election was marked by violence and created rebellions with dire consequences. The elections were striking marked by savageries and uncivilized conducts by many candidates President Kiir included. For example, SPLM-DC party candidate was banned from campaigning in all South Sudan ten states. Therefore, one wonders if these could even be count as a credit rather than shame and undemocratic procession.
The last misplace credit is the “Khartoum stumbling blocks.” Majok failed to give that credit to comrade Pagan Amum simply because he did not want to embarrass our president. But, Pagan Amum himself bravely negotiated all referendum and post referendum terms with Khartoum without any direction from the president because at times the man (president) has nothing to offer. I wonder how Mr. Majok could not see his argument gaps. If anything became of fruition for South Sudan and her people, the credits duly belongs to Pagan. President doesn’t deserve an iota of credit but Pagan Amum and those whom he seek their councils.

SPLM failure
First, I thought the culture of blaming game and denial was for Arabs ONLY. The indisputable truth is that President Kiir is squarely responsible for the SPLM under performance, unless someone is not telling the whole truth.

Not Pagan or Dr. Riek but Kiir himself. Recently, Mr. President Fall-out with his favorites and then he (president) decided to remove them from governorships, which constitute a constitutional violation. The premise of their disagreement is that the removed governors happened to place their citizens first instead of taking care of Mr. President’s personal need. As a result, this caused Chol Tong and Taban Deng their jobs.

To the make matter worse, he did these violations alone without consulting with his Vice president, Dr. Riek at a time or Political Bureau members for a word. Now, who is responsible? More 110% percent, President Kiir is responsible.

Lastly, President Kiir staffed all the Government of South Sudan sensitive positions with his clan’s men by disfranchising the rest of us who are not from his clan, Awan Chan but patriotic members of the SPLM party.

President’s government discriminated the rest of us based on our tribal and clan affiliations if one happened to be a Dinka by tribe. Besides, in numerous occasions President Kiir refused to call for either Political Bureau or the SPLM National liberation Council meeting to discuss and iron out these problems for better solutions.

Not only that, he also refused to call for SPLM National Convention after Mr. Pagan requested him to do so more than 8 times because was afraid for being voted out.

Way forward
If President Kiir continued to refuse to reverse his decision, I therefore recommend that he must be given an ultimatum to resign from the peoples’ SPLM chairmanship by the political bureau and the SPLM liberation National Council with immediate effect. If our president persists, he MUST BE voted out by vote of no confidence in absentia from the SPLM party chairman on ground of misconduct and violation of the SPLM party constitution.

J. Nguen is a South Sudanese living in Canada and he can be reached at nyolgaar@yahoo.com.

Dr Machar & Amum: South Sudan is Bigger than ‘SPLM’

BY: Deng Mangok Ayuel, AWEIL, SOUTH SUDAN, NOV/29/2013, SSN;

Today the cure for fire within the SPLM as a party that fought for the independence of South Sudan is fire. The SPLM became critics to itself and the problem of the individuals within the party used to be the trouble to innocent people in the country.

In 2010 election, individuals from the party who were rejected tickets by the SPLM to contest at their home constituencies during the election had averted and contested as independent candidates but after losing the election, some of them, like late George Athor Deng and David Yau Yau took up arms and started killing their own people in Jonglei.

The problem of the party used to become a national problem – experience teaches us that there must be something wrong in the political machine or individualistic interest that used to take people into inadvertent trouble. Why are we impatient?

When Machar declared to take over the party’s chairmanship through party election in the upcoming national convention in order to contest for presidency in 2015, he kept biding by accusing the president of incompetency as party leader but lost his job as a country’s Vice President within a short time.

Is it a right time for Dr Machar to show his colours to Mayardit?

It was Amum and Dr Machar who fished the president to trouble them. After Machar & Amum accused Mr President of doing less than expected as party top leader, however, the SPLM convention was delayed and delayed and Mr Amum got suspended as party’s Secretary General, and then the SPLM structure was dissolved.

Politics is really dirty politics! Mr Amum and Dr Machar are now at different angles and President Kiir remained strategizing to survive every day.

I never thought that party’s senior people should betray themselves. Some of the top members in the party will be at the departure point after the convention – should others leave the party to go home or form another party?

It is so disappointing to be sacked or have a problem from the party which you have dedicated your life for the sake of South Sudanese.

Mr Amum dedicated his life to the SPLM for the sake of peace and freedom. He {Amum} is a man that works to the best of his knowledge.

Mr Amum, Kiir and Igga were among the most dedicated SPLM commanders during the war in Sudan. They should be together but politics can’t allow, sorry!

Therefore I would like to urge Dr Machar and Amum to remain calm and patient. South Sudan is for everyone. It is the country you fought for its independence. You are the founders. South Sudanese respects you for great achievements.

President Kiir is our leader and your most senior person in the party, work with him, encourage him to do good work and respect him to respect you and let continue to shine the SPLM to the world.

President Kiir is a good person by nature. Leave him alone or help him and he will not trouble for ages.

I am also tired of individuals who have been accusing the president when it is someone else mistake.

The presidential press team should take their job seriously to dispute allegations. I am happy that Mr Ateny Wek Ateny is appointed as press secretary to the presidency. Mr Ateny should try his best to clear president’s darkened shade from those who wish to spoil others for nothing.

All in all, SPLM is big and beautiful. It is the soul of our country. It is the party of generational credit. We should protect its image and be the SPLM in our doings and in the hearts.

Deng Mangok Ayuel lives in Aweil, South Sudan. He can be reached via mangokson@gmail.com. For more inform visit my blog at: http/theshoeshinereyes.wordpress.com

SPLM Party Must Return to the “People”

BY: Machien Luoi, SOUTH SUDAN, NOV/29/2013, SSN;

Dissolution of SPLM Party structures by its Chairperson domineered news, social media and discussion headlines in the past few weeks. SPLM Party leaders have also thrown some political jabs at each other openly through the media over the matter.

Some writers have called the move by the SPLM Chairperson, the President of the Republic of South Sudan, a “step in the right direction” and others called it “arbitrary”. This article investigates SPLM Party’s constitutional issues that allowed for recent conflicts to occur and recommends that Party’s matters could best be resolved by handing the decision making power back to its members as enshrined in the SPLM Party Constitution of May 20, 2008.

Chairperson and Dissolution of Party’s Structures
There is no explicit expression in the Party’s Constitution that empowers the Chairperson to single-handedly dissolve Party structures except with recommendations from NLC, PB and approval by NC.

But, in Chapter X (25) (g) and (k), the Chairman has authorization to “supervise all the organs of the SPLM and ensure that they perform their functions and duties in an effective and efficient manner,” and “perform any other functions as he or she deems necessary for the proper implementation of the Party’s policies and programs.”

In these regards, nothing is obvious on dissolution of Party structures its Chairperson. These provisions however, may have been interpreted to implicitly imply Chairperson’s competence to dissolve his Party’s Structures if such a move ensured effectiveness, efficiency and performance of the Party organs.

National Convention (NC), National Liberation Council (NLC), Political Bureau (PB)
SPLM Party constitution relied on the National Convention (NC) meeting which happens once in every five years. Surprisingly, the Party’s law did not contemplate challenges in NC sitting schedule.

There is no clause on what the Party would do in case NC meeting could not take place within NC lifespan (five years).

However, the National Liberation Council (NLC), Political Bureau (PB) and General Secretariat could deal with any discrepancies that threaten party effectiveness, efficiency and overall performance of the Party before NC meeting occurred.

General Secretariat meets once a month, PB meets every four months and the NLC meets once in a year. Why couldn’t these Party organs act before the expiry date of the Party constitution and its structures? Explanation of what transpired is only possible from members and actors in those organs.

Party Activities & Meetings
The SPLM General Secretariat in Juba has the mandate to run party activities on the daily basis according to the Constitution. Chapter IX (22) of SPLM constitution outlines the functions of the General Secretariat.

Its responsibilities includes and not limited to “initiation of policies, programs and plans to be approved by the PB,” implement “policies, programs, decisions and resolutions of the higher organs of the Party,” and takes care of the “day to day activities of the SPLM.”

If the party could not function as some referred to as “lack of performance” or “paralysis,” by others, the General Secretariat could be culprit, for inefficiency and lack of performance could have been dealt with prior to expiry date of the Party’s Constitution/Structures.

How the General Secretariat remained after dissolution of other structures is a subject of another debate.

According to the constitution, Chapter X (25) (d) (e), the Chairperson is the “head of the SPLM and the Chairperson of the NC, NLC and PB” and presides “over the meetings of the NC, NLC, PB and the General Secretariat as the situation may require.”

The Chairperson could call on the SG of the party to organize a meeting of any of the top organs of the Party to resolve any matters prior to the expiry date of the Party Constitution or structures.

Why the Chairperson did not use this power and instead opted to wait until the constitution expiry date to dissolve Party structures?

Moreover, Chapter VIII (20) (Meetings of the PB) (1), PB meetings can be convened by the “Chairperson on his or her own initiative.”

Constitutional Amendments
For constitutional amendments, Chapter VI (National Organs) (13) (1) says National Convention (NC) “is the supreme political organ of the Movement.” Whereas the same Chapter VI (14) (a) and (c) concede NC has the mandate to “endorse policies and programs,” of SPLM Party and “review, ratify, alter or rescind any decision made by the National Liberation Council (NLC),” And (d) asserts NC elects the “Chairperson and members” of the NLC.

Although not explicitly mentioned in the constitution, as the “supreme political organ” of the Party, through NC consent only, could the Party’s structures be dissolved.

To qualify this, Chapter XX (78) (the Amendment in the Constitution) (1)(2) and (3) adds, “the Constitution may be amended by three-quarters (3/4) majority of all members of the NC; A motion for amendment of this Constitution shall be tabled before the NC by the Chairperson or on the written request by at least one third (1/3) of the NLC members” and that motions for amendments of constitution “shall be distributed to all the members of the NC, by the General Secretariat one month before the NC meeting.”

Obviously, NC does have the mandate to approve of amendments including the dissolution of Party Structures.

Verdict
The SPLM Party Constitution may have expired with its structures on May 20, 2013, but appears to be referenced. After all, the office of the Chairperson and General Secretariat were surprising exceptions in the dissolution pronouncement.

SPLM Party still has an office to act in the remaining structures. It is to be noted that SPLM Party Constitution of May 2008 could have been strict on tasks to avoid internal conflicts in the Party, even though it is has many loopholes that got interpreted to fit political games and gains.

Hopefully, a lesson has been learned by the leadership and members. For the party to be back on track, SPLM Party leaders need to return the Party to the ‘people’, the “We” referred to at the beginning of the SPLM Party Constitution of May 20, 2008 Preamble.

NC and NLC sittings are the closest organs with national mixed that could resolve the impending internal Party wrangling and to approve the new Party Constitution of the post-independence South Sudan.

Author is a South Sudanese, Former SPLM North Dakota Chapter Chairperson (2006-2008), former member of the dissolved SPLM State Congress (Unity) and can be reached at dhuretingting@gmail.com.

Sudan and South Sudan: Tough year ahead in politics of power monopoly

QUOTE: “Men will cease to commit atrocities only when they cease to believe in absurdities” – Voltaire. “When nothing is sure, everything is possible” – Drabble.

BY: James Okuk, PhD, Juba, NOV/27/2013, SSN;

The coming year 2014 seems to be looking tougher more the year 2010 when people of Southern Sudan were faced with some critical paradoxical predicaments. The main question asked by then was: will South Sudan become an independent viable state recognizable worldwide? The search for a sincere answer to this question preoccupied both national and international arenas. There were many absurdities and uncertainties in the politics of power monopoly by the NCP and the SPLM.

The tough first lexical answer for this question started with the politicized and quarrelsome population census where the regional government in Juba and the national government in Khartoum couldn’t afford a timely conduct of consensus except through international pressure. Thank God, the census was carried out without tribal identity (i.e.; the question of what is the tribe of this registering citizen?), though.

But the household survey and population census was not sincerer in some parts of the country. Some dead citizens and other living ones who still lived as refugees in some countries got registered to add unbelievable numbers to some constituencies. Also some actual people (present at their physical locations at the time of census) couldn’t get their names recorded in the census registry due to politicization and other lazy reasons.

The second tough lexical answer was for the main partners of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement – the SPLM & the NCP – to go to the general elections while in opposition to each other on all seats except the last hour withdrawal of the national presidential candidature of the Republic of the Sudan. Because of this limited deal President Omer Al-Bashir remained in power in Khartoum and the First Vice President Salva Kiir Mayardit maintained his power base in Juba. Also the referendum for self-determination for the people of Southern Sudan took place peacefully on 9th January 2011 as agreed in the CPA text. Had President Al Bashir and GoSS President Kiir not remained in power, we wouldn’t have been sure of the referendum success. Thank God for the done deal!

The third lexical answer was to draft a transitional constitution for the new country to be declared on 9th July 2011, given the 98.89% nationally and internationally recognized votes of the people of South Sudan in favor of secession. Unfortunately, the constitution continued the system that was available in the Republic of the Sudan, thus, confirming the famous prediction by the Communist Chief, Ibrahim Nugud, that the end of the SPLM-NCP deal shall be nothing but shifting from “one-country-two-systems” to “two-countries-one-system.”

The six-year transition (2005 – 2011) in the Republic of the Sudan was extended by another four-year transition (2011 – 2015) each in the two separated Republics. Consequently, the NCP ruling party in the Sudan and the SPLM ruling party in South Sudan got full control of power respectively for another ten years under the pretext of extension of transitional period.

But instead of cooperating over the reaped fruits of their discriminatory politics, the duo dominant ruling parties started the second phase of transition on a wrong footing of bitter quarrels over oil and borders, in addition to the contradictions they had when lion-sharing their first phase of transition. They employed politics of backbiting, crippling and wishing the other a downfall but on the expense of the common citizens.

Nonetheless, the world couldn’t afford to watch apathetically this irresponsible deviation. Serious pressure was applied on Khartoum and Juba to refrain from any violence resorts. After a full year the leaderships of the two countries came back to their senses. Cooperation and brotherhood/sisterhood was injected into the vocabulary of their bilateral relations. The light came back into their neighborliness.

But despite the fixture of the external neighborly mess, darkness seems to take a central stage in the leadership of the internal politics of the two traditional ruling parties of the separated two Sudans, particularly towards the end of 2013. Of course, this pessimism is not out of blue but a corollary of overdoing and overstaying the transition period. It is said that a transition in governance that goes beyond two years cease the real meaning and touch of a transitional essence.

It is a fact too that the SPLM and the NCP have become too heavy at the top as many heads try to grow out of their same huge bodies. These competing heads point to different directions, and hence, paralyze the movement of the huge body. A balance got lost.

The imbalance seems to emanate from absurd and uncertain answers to these pertinent questions on the NCP and SPLM politics of internal leadership: who should continue to be the head of the ruling party within the ten-year transition and beyond, who should wait until the elderly age catches up with him, and who should call it quits if he could not bear the long-wait for genuine democracy to bear fruits within the party’s structures?

On one hand, the NCP in Khartoum couldn’t wait longer as it went a head to break the overdue silence. It is now opting to split and splinter before the 2015 elections arrives on the real scene. History will record it that a group naming itself reformists has tried to call for a change within the NCP deformed system but found themselves singing for a change while pushed outside the party organs. They had no last option left but to form a new party and name a new head that might compete with the old head they tried to oppose while under it. But will this new group succeed? Nothing is sure and absurdity reigns! President Al Bashir seems to remain as President Al Bashir, perhaps, until the time the grave says enough is enough and you need to get in unwillingly.

On the other hand, the SPLM in Juba is also not affording a progress in its leadership as many contradicting heads within it are trying to command the same huge body at the same time and in the same place. A contradiction to the principle of non-contradiction! Though all its top leaders have been the top managers of the government with all its branches they seem to end up pointing dirty fingers to each other, especially at the Chairman of the party for having failed (by virtue of fallacy of generalization) in foot-tracking the original vision and governance plans of the SPLM.

If the SPLM Chairman failed the new country what can absolve the Vice Chairmen, the Secretary-General and other top leaders of the party from the same blame for failure, when all of them were ruling South Sudan together before they ended up departing ways in 2013 and criticizing each other seriously in public?

The SPLM dissidents from within became a damaging and paralyzing opposition to their own SPLM leadership. As a result the Political Bureau members could not tolerate to sit together and convene a meeting peacefully. Also the National Liberation Council couldn’t find it easy to rescue the situation. Thus, the option remaining is issuing of decrees and party orders of suspensions, dismissals and dissolutions.

The reaction has been calling on the Chairman of the SPLM to resign and quit the historic party before it is too late for it to collapse miserably on his own hand if mass exodus takes place. It is no longer the attitude of “if it does not touch me why should I care?” Everybody within the SPLM seems to be touched and you could see black signs of reactions written clearly on the grey wall. But for how long is this strange political culture going to continue before the SPLM split and splinter officially? Again, absurdity and uncertainty seems to have the reign, hence fear of resultant atrocities!

Strangely enough, some of the rivaling top leaders of the SPLM and their supporters who do not want President Salva Kiir to continue as the head of the party are shivering when they read the signs of his possible political alliances with others. The main questions they ask are: now that Dr. Lam Akol, the Chairman of the SPLM-DC, is actively back in the political scene of the country is he going to be the strongest ally of Mr Salva Kiir, the Chairman of the SPLM, in the coming presidential elections? Why should Dr. Lam not wait a bit to form alliance with Dr. Riek Machar and others later when the SPLM breaks up into irreconcilable camps and sub-parties?

For the SPLM dissidents who took it as a point to oppose their Chairman the fact that they see Dr. Lam Akol moving in a convoy of state protocol cars and armed guards in Juba, is already an undeniable sign that Salva Kiir has become the “Big Brother” of Dr. Lam Akol and it is going to be difficult to break that bond as it was done in 2008 – 2013.

But are these SPLM dissidents aware that a first thing needs to be done first. As we speak now, did any of them declare that he has become a head of a political party so that any talks of alliance with him could make legitimate sense? If any of them want to become the head of the SPLM party when is that going to happen? If any of them want to become a head of another political party when is he going to come out openly to the public so that the last nail is hit on the unnecessary coffin of politicized speculations? But if any of them want to contest the elections as an independent candidate how will he be a head of himself without any political body to head before venturing into an alliance talks?

Politics is politics and short-cuts in it don’t extend very far. The year 2014 is going to be a very tough year in the Sudan and South Sudan because it will define the direction of the future of the one broken country in the world map. It is going to be a year of the brink of the NCP and the SPLM split/splinter so that South Sudan could have a better future instead of a bitter reality every time. The year 2014 is going to be a year of tough and strategic political alliances for the 2015 elections.

Notwithstanding and despite its toughness, it is also going to be a year of developing consensus on the issues that are pertinent for the nation-building irrespective of partisan politics. Further, it is going to be the real year of the articulate youth of South Sudan.

Therefore, a politician who wants to survive in the year 2014 should start devising methods of getting tougher and astute on a real basis of civil democratization, consensus-building on genuine plans for nation-building and youth agenda. As the going is getting tough the tougher should be the ones who get going.

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Dr. James Okuk lives in Juba and is reachable at okukjimy@hotmail.com

Does South Sudan have civil society groups?

By: Abraham Daljang Maker, KAMPALA, NOV/27/2013, SSN;

I have been so puzzled about some unpredictable events which keep unfolding themselves, making me to wonder if we really have civil society groups in the country. Are they really there? And if so, why then are some of the things keep emerging every now and then without any agitation?

Do we know the roles of these groups anyway? Are we aware that such associations are crucial when it comes to issues of the public concern?

Well, whatever the answer, we ought to know what these civil society groups are and what role do they play in improving the well-being of the citizens.

These groups which we might or might not have are usually voluntary, self-organized advocacy groups whose roles are to advocate for some issues that affect the general public.

Such issues in most cases are consciously or unconsciously abandoned by the government or paid little attention to them. So it is the role of these groups to intervene and challenge the existence or the absence of certain things in a given society.

Important thing to note about the civil society groups is that, THEY ARE NOT POLITICIANS! And they are not even interested to meddle in politics. But their activities are to challenge the status quo, they advocate and enlighten the general public to be able to know about the prevailing situation so that everyone becomes vigilant and be stewards in management of the societal affairs…..

However, what remains unclear to my fellow countrymen and women is that, they believe that whoever stands up and says how things should be done this way or shouldn’t be done like that is yearning for a political seat in the government.

This fallacy has made many people who would come up with better concepts for the well-being of the society to shy away with brilliant ideas; a few individuals who dare to stand up become the victims of the circumstances and ended up threatened or killed because they are perceived to be a threat to the existing Powers.

There are varieties of issues that the civil society groups would be wailing for but such concerns remain not tackled. These include the advocacy for Human Rights, Environment, and Gender among other issues.

All these worries remain as reveries in the minds of many people in the country and whoever talks about them in conversation is seen as an outcast or a lunatic.

Human rights is being viewed by many people as an alien or an idea borrowed from the Western world; but little do they know that even during the stone age, there was Human Rights. But only that there was no one word used to describe it just like the way English puts it.

Even our great grandfathers do practice the Rights of Human beings; that was why they were able to condemn what deprived human freedom person’s liberty.

Several attempts to fight and resist the slave trade by some kingdoms in West Africa and East Africa was the unconscious act of demanding for Human Rights and freedom. Although they could not succeed, they were able to fight back, did you know that?

If this is a little bit vague, then let me cite the two decades of civil war in The Sudan, wasn’t this the demand of freedom by the South Sudanese from deprivation of social, economic, cultural and political liberty?

If this is a big YES, then Human rights is not a foreign ideology depending on the circumstances under which these rights are being claimed. Nonetheless, many abuses occur including the denial of the rights to life, to basic necessities like food, health and shelter.

Torture in prisons and military detentions camps like Lanchok in Lakes state are looming without any condemnation, the rights groups say that no evidence from someone tortured can be used to justify his or her guilt in the court of law because the victims might agree certain thing due to the pain inflicted on him or her.

To desist from unnecessary torture will pave way for fair trials hence, ushering the rights of an individuals.

Environmental degradation is at its highest peak in almost all the ten states of South Sudan. Little is done in Juba city centre but still garbage are still visible at all street corners.

But at the outskirts of the city is a huge file of garbage on Yei road with swarms of flies on it, such issues would be advocated for by the civil society groups but none is being said.

The shocking incident is in Lakes state where teak plantation in Rumbek East is being infringed on by some characters making it as a farm, this can easily bring a great setback to environment, as teak is also the best tree for timber but depleting it will make it hard for the community.

It is high time to realise the importance of ‘environmental sustainability’ which means using the environment without compromising the future chances of the future generation.

Gender is another aspect which is being terribly abused in most parts of the country, gender discrimination at work places is so enormous especially females are being abused physically and psychologically but due to gender stereotypes, women remain quiet without airing such abuses because they are socially taught to be submissive and obedient.

Cross-generational marriages, forceful marriages and child marriages are noticeable in most states but no one seems to be bothered by such scenario. There are only lip services but no action taken where such incidences occur, this task therefore would be best undertaken by the civil society if at all there is one which exists.

With sad note, I can conclude by asserting that our society will head to doom if all of us are blind to see obvious challenges happening in every corner of the country without any concern.

Not everyone is a politician but there are other sectors in which every citizen can exercise their duty to ensure the betterment of everyone.

The bitter facts about civil societies are that they are bound not to succeed especially where there are intimidations and suppressions from the interest groups. Because they are self-organised voluntary groups, everyone tends to bypass it leaving a vacuum for exploitation and discrimination.

However, the good news is that, to suffer for doing something good is better than gaining wealth in a crooked way; a good reputation is better than gaining fame in a wrong arena. May God Bless south Sudan!!!!!

The Writer is a freelance journalist. He is currently Kampala correspondent for theniles.org The Author is an opinion writer whose views since 2009 were published on The Citizen Newspaper, and the Khartoum Monitor. He also contributed letters to the BBC Focus on Africa Magazine. He can be reached at abraham12daljang@yahoo.com

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Abraham Daljang Maker is pursuing MA in Development Studies, Nkumba University, Nkumba University, PO Box 237 Entebbe Uganda.
Cell: +256774587529(Uganda)
+211955997112(South Sudan)
E-mail: abraham12daljang@yahoo.com
Skype: daljang.maker94

Was Abdullah Deng Nhial a victim of hostility or favoritism by the president?

By: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, NOV/27/2013, SSN;

….”the MP’s beating has much to do with his tongue and nothing with his support for Abyei.” What a news I am hearing from Juba! My old friend sheikh Nhial chose to physically advice an MP and eventually lost his job! That was a drama!

Even in that volatile environment of Juba, this incident took everyone by surprise, I am told. Others wondered as to how a politician can revert to this kind of advice!

On the whole, it might not have been the right thing for Mr. Abdullah D Nhial to do. However his circumstances should also be taken into consideration. I happen to know this Sheikh from school days when we attended universities in Cairo.

He went to the most prestigious Al Azhar Islamic University, while I attended the Kasr Al Aini Medical School – Cairo University. We both once served in the historical SOSSA. He was a deputy secretary for students’ Affairs under my chairmanship. Since then I came to know him better.

What I will continue to remember him for is his strong views, opinions, positions and above all his being confrontational whenever faced by circumstances that forces him to do so. No wonder it is a typical Muslim Brotherhood’s trait ……El Kaizan!

He always knew what his political group has and has not. Would rather have and would rather not have. What they need and what they don’t need. Above all Abdullah D Nhial knows how, when and where to go for or about these things.

No wonder at all that in only two years’ time following the independence of south Sudan from Sudan, Sheikh Abdullah D Nhial, in spite of all odds was already rubbing shoulders with the former rebels of the SPLM/A and others who considered his Islamist ideology as a direct opposite to the core aspirations of the South Sudanese people who did everything to resist forced Islamisation, Arabicisation, and of course Arabisation.

Sheikh Deng Nhial’s political past was all about serving the Grande Maître of later days political Islam, Sheikh Hassan Abdullah Turabi in the realization of the so-called “Great Islamic Civilization Project” referred to in short as the “Civilization Project” المشروع الحضارى.

There is no any doubt in my mind at any moment that Sheikh Abdullah D. Nhial is still a strong believer in the ultimate realization of all the above mentioned three pillars of the Middle Eastern Neo-Colonialism being directed towards Africa in general and South Sudan in particular.

Nonetheless, it wasn’t at all difficult either for him to become a minister in Salva Kiir’s ever lean and reformation cabinet. He is also one of a few people to have been reshuffled in this cabinet from a ministry to another within a pace of two days.

After sharing my equally strong views with a friend working with the National Legislative Assembly in Juba about this most unfortunate incidence and its possible repercussions on the already bad publicity the new country has in the world media and how I view this outstanding South Sudanese politician as a man of an outstanding CV, my friend had this to say to me:

“No one can challenge your view on this particular case, It is a deep rooted habit with them Kaizan. But frankly speaking, I would have done the same to that MP if I was subjected to the same abuse. How can the MP call him a pimp?”

I took that to represent a position likely to be held by many others as well. In South Sudan people do of course value manners, but when it comes to personal dignity, don’t mess up with them!

In my humble assessment, Mr. Abdullah D. Nhial’s resort to the application of physical advice was in line with the first steps of the Islamic Sharia Law known as the “Prompt Justice” العدالة الناجزة! Now and here you settle the matter.

Otherwise, what did this Warrap MP expected when he was hailing all those sorts of insults and street words at Sheikh Abdullah D. Nhial, a person whose physical presence can never be ignored?

Again it can be argued rightly or wrongly that it was the right thing that the president relieved Abdullah Nhial from the cabinet job following that showdown and loss of temper.

However given the true sensitivity of the issues involved and the trend which it took as it unfolded and finally resolved, it will be the unsaid that will carry the weight of the true situation.

Yet at the end of the day, we are all human beings, prone to make mistakes. While the minister might have paid the price of his emotional reaction, let us also hope that our friends from Warrap who put pressure on the president to grant them their wish, there is also a lesson for them to learn. A rude word is no any better than a slap on the face!

So how could one really sum up this weird incidence that took many by surprise? Another equally concerning reaction came in response to the country’s president who preferred to sack the minister without due investigation or any disciplinary actions towards the MP in the centre of this brawl.

In a society like South Sudan where nepotism and tribalism is rife, this has undoubtedly prompted many to believe that the president was being partial in this case as this MP hails from the president’s backyard.

This Warrap MP’s beating has nothing to do with his support for Abyei as Abdullah D Nhial’s dismissal should have nothing to do with what he thinks of the issue. For if we go by official statements, any views on Abyei should be seen by president Salva Kiir Mayardit and his entire cabinet as outside the government’s officially declared position.

Was it not president Kiir who announced that the final solution to Abyei issues doesn’t lay in Juba anymore? “It is now up to the African Union to find that solution”. The president reiterated just a month ago.

While the MP from President Kiir’s backyard of Warrap could be right to show off his comradeship with his kinsmen of Abyei, still he could have done it in a civilized way. We expect our politicians to debate all kinds of issues that affect the country in a matured and cultivated manner.

However hurling insults and calling others names is a kind substandard to say the least.

Again what I fail to understand is that, how comes this particular MP had all the guts to hurl insults on Abdullah D. Nhial simply for holding a different view on Abyei, when his own man, the President, is now totally numb and dumb on the issue.

Was it not also this very president Salva Kiir Mayardit who the people of Bahr Ghazel are ready to worship, the one which came out openly to tell the whole world that the unilateral referendum that was held in Abyei, was an illegal action, hence null and void and to the best of it he has nothing to do with it?

Was he (President Salva Kiir) not the one who made it unequivocally blunt that the outcome of that referendum wouldn’t be binding for him? And what do we say about those Ngok Dinka in their thousands who not only insist to be Kordofanians, and hence citizens of Sudan as opposed to South Sudan. We know their leaders by names and who is someone like me to impose on them what they don’t want?

Fellow South Sudanese, despite my deeply rooted ideological differences with Sheikh Abdullah D. Nhial, a thing I know can never be rectified without a huge miracle taking place first; nevertheless today I don’t see him on the wrong to deserve being insulted in the public and be referred to as a pimp for saying what he politically thinks is right. This is democracy for you!

What can any South Sudanese citizen do on the issue of the Abyei disputed territory any better than the current president of the Republic of South Sudan, Pres. Salva Kiir Mayardit, and the many Dinka Ngok elites he has often decorated his foreign missions with? Let alone those previous good for nothing cabinets!

First, there is Dr. Francis Mading Deng who is now South Sudan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, then Dr. Chol Deng Alak, South Sudan’s Ambassador to the Russian Federation – the South Sudan Embassy in Moscow, and Mr. Arop Deng Kuol, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of South Sudan to the African Union in Addis Ababa..

Today in South Sudan, it is sadly true that we are still what we were in the Old Sudan. Under Khartoum we were all tribes and religious sects and denominations. Everyone served lip service to the true Sudanism that existed only in late Dr. John Garang’s lectures and probably his dreams.

When some of us thought of themselves as Arabs others were Africans, Muslims or Islamists, Jaalieen, Dinka, Nuer, Junubien, Nuba, Darfuri and yet others considered themselves the true and only Awlad Balad.

The irony today is that even in an independent South Sudan, unfortunately we remain far from embracing South Sudanism! Who didn’t know that Abdullah Deng Nhial was a minister of environment in a hostile environment!

We only know what we are not. And besides our tribes, unfortunately even after the five decades or so of the brutal wars and struggles, unfortunately we are still not what we want to be. Maybe it is that we actually do not know precisely what we want to be!

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. Reachable at: justinramba@doctors.net.uk

Why Dr. Riek, Nyandeng & Pagan are Reasonable to Remain Calm!

BY: Tongun Lo Loyuong, FINLAND, NOV/23/2013, SSN;

This piece is a mild response to “South Sudan Needs Intensive Care,” written by the prolific South Sudanese author, Brother Elhag Paul, and posted on South Sudan Nation website on November 19th, 2013. As much as there is often some truth in what Mr. Paul writes including in this last article, on this occasion I am convinced that he got it wrong.

This is particularly related to Mr. Paul’s rallying cry for Dr. Riek, Momma Nyandeng and Pagan to urgently react and wrestle power from president Kiir in light of his introduction of Koc Beny (help, protect or serve the president) policies epitomized in the illegal building of a battalion of militia from his region dubbed “Republican Guards.”

Kiir seems poised to go down kicking and screaming, which is why Dr. Riek, Momma Nyandeng and Pagan are reasonable to remain calm.

The same applies to all South Sudanese. Else we risk contributing to a premature unmaking of our beloved South Sudan if we go down the path of violence as a means to resolve political differences.

Before delving into the substance of Mr. Paul’s latest article, let me register that I have been one of those who admired most of Mr. Paul’s literary masterpieces. The eloquence with which he presents his cases can persuade even the devil! His command of the foreign language is second-to-none.

Even with those pieces that at face value come across as highly ethnically charged and hence a disservice to our nation-building and peace-building aspirations in South Sudan, I have often found myself motionless and unable to make up my mind.

This is true even for someone who is academically trained as a theologian (an Islamic expert) and a peace scholar (policy expert) and would like to think of himself as a peace-practitioner such as myself.

Moreover, as a writer and a blogger, I realize the daunting task and the time consuming nature but also the will and dedication committed to piecing ideas together into a coherent literary narrative, never mind as persuasive as most of Paul’s articles are and not least written in second or third language.

In that sense I would expect appreciation of my own time spent in composing an op-ed first and foremost, disagreement with the substance of the presented argument notwithstanding.

For that, Mr. Paul’s intellectual contribution to promote lasting peace with justice in South Sudan is much appreciated.

It is in these kinds of intellectual engagement that we enrich each other on the way forward in the difficult task of nation-building, a task made even more daunting in an ethnically charged and tribally committed society of the like of South Sudanese society.

However, it is here that I fundamentally disagree with Mr. Paul’s last persuasion on how political change can be expedited to foster positive social change in South Sudan.

Obviously one would have to gauge the underlying assumption of Paul’s last piece in order to provide an adequate and fair response.

There are several assumptions that can be read.

First, it is clear as is the case with most of Paul’s writings that the piece is borne out of frustration with president Kiir’s leadership failure, and what Paul rightly sees as Kiir’s possible “wish to cling to power at all cost to protect his personal gains and to advance Jienganization.”

Paul is particularly nervous about what he has repeatedly aired as Jieng’s expansionist and domination agenda in South Sudan.

In this last article alone the phrase “Jienganization,” which Paul has coined to capture the substance of his fears occurs not less than three times and its variable, “Jieng,” dominates the piece.

I do believe there is some legitimacy in Paul’s grave concern with some Jieng’s behavior. I have in the past voiced similar concerns in an article entitled “the Dinka Problem in South Sudan (I),” that predicted some of the current happenings, such as the commitment of president Kiir’s community to see to it that Kiir remains in power until “2020 and beyond” come rain or shine.

However, following public uproar, threats and what not, I quickly rejected the idea of continuing with that debate and decided to change the title in the subsequent piece.

I realized that though some Jieng members appreciated the effort and saw the good intention of the article for what it was as a constructive criticism, most were consumed with emotion and saw that the community was under attack.

This meant that the moment was not ripe to write about tribalism in South Sudan. I will revisit the topic soon though.

But let us come back to where thence my disagreement with Mr. Paul lies when it comes to the whole debate about the Jieng of South Sudan momentarily.

Second, another of Mr. Paul’s underlying assumption in most of his writings is the evidently deep love and passion to see peaceful co-existence and mutual recognition between the varied and many tribes of South Sudan reign, in order for development, prosperity and the delivery of the much coveted social and economic services to the people of South Sudan can commence in earnest.

And third, as reflected in most of his writings too, Mr. Paul dislikes the ruling party Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) to the core, and would like to see the demise of this party yesterday rather than today.

This is clearly reflected in his statement urging the triad of Dr. Riek, Momma Nyandeng and Amum to act now before it is too little too late, even as Mr. Paul is convinced the three are as corrupt as Kiir.

It seems for Mr. Paul it is more a case of trading off a greater evil for a lesser one, and if with it comes the collapse of the SPLM party, it will be much welcomed as akin to striking two birds with one stone.

To this end, Brother Paul writes: “Time is of the essence here. This seems to be the only opening left for any of them or all of them combined to challenge for the leadership. Failure will mean – as stated already – a one way march to the garbage bin of politics.

It will be next to impossible for any of them to make a political come back in South Sudan for the simple fact the SPLM (their beloved organisation) is already waning with its unforgettable history of massive corruption, crime, Jienganisation, and killings.

If they choose to be binned, perhaps that may even help them to retire to enjoy the millions of dollars they looted from the state coffers. However there is no guarantee that the next government will not call on them to account with possible confiscation of the illegally gotten gains.”

I cracked when I was reading this section of Mr. Paul’s article.
However, here is the gist of my reservation with Mr. Paul logic in this piece.

As I mentioned above, I have had and still do have my share of concerns with the manner by which Kiir and his tribes-mates have carried themselves since the CPA came.

It particularly irritates me when they falsely lay claim to all credits for the delivery of South Sudan’s independence, which in turn has served as a pretext to legitimize their sense of entitlement to dominate public offices, privatize national resources, disregard academic merits for employment opportunities and occupy other communities’ ancestral land.

It is equally painful to regard a fellow human being never mind a compatriot as coward, slave and what not.

Together these policies and sentiments are pushing South Sudan to the brink of violent mayhem across everything— ethnicities, clans, political interests groups, you name it.

However, it is worth emphasizing that what South Sudan is presently going through is no longer Jieng versus Nuer, or the Nilots versus Equatorians.

To his credit, president Kiir has problematized the issue to the extent it has trickled down to strictly power politics. The “Jienganisation” contribution to it is that Kiir’s Jieng’s section has thrown their weight behind their boy.

But this is also true of many pockets in different sections of South Sudanese ethnic groups who benefit from the status quo to have equally pledged their allegiance to Kiir’s government and political aspiration to remain in power to the year 2020 and beyond.

Another “Jienganization” of the problem would be that some members of the Jieng communities stand to benefit from illegal land occupation in Juba, Nimule and elsewhere with state backing, as the much public uproar in recent months suggests.

But while this is true, land conflicts are much more complex than at face value. Even Nuer clans are reported to have clashed over land ownership issues in Unity State just yesterday.

Moreover, a quick glance at court cases in Juba pertaining to land ownership suggests the problem permeates and has even divided not just tribes and clans but even family members.

In short, reframing the manner by which we approach some of these challenges is refreshing and moves the debate to where it belongs, namely the absence of clear land distribution legislation and away from the redundancy of this tribe versus that tribe.

My favorable line of “Jienganization” of politics in South Sudan is one that I have previously held and still stand by it, namely the moral dilemma confronting the Jieng society, and their continuous silence to publicly as a community take Kiir to task.

As I argued in the “Dinka Problem in South Sudan (I)” (see my blog: http://tloloyuong.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/the-dinka-problem-in-south-sudan-part-i/), though some sections of Jieng have also been on the receiving end of Kiir’s policy misgivings, if only by virtue of the distortion of the Jieng tribal image as a result of some of Kiir’s policies, no Jieng community has come out to publicly condemn or question Kiir.

The man is not only above the law, but also seems to be literally above the tribe! And the only section of the Jieng community that has influenced the issuing of a public statement is Kiir’s own section and possibly other sections from the Greater Bahr El-Ghazal State.

But as we all know the communiqué that came out of that conference endorsed Kiir’s aspiration to remain at the helm to 2020 and beyond.

But even the line of thinking that Kiir has distorted the image of the Jieng’s tribe and therefore should invoke the wrath of the Jieng’s communities is simplistic.

As Mr. Paul himself acknowledges in the opening line of his article, other unfortunate Jieng’s clans have not been spared from the negative impact of some of Kiir’s policies.

He notes, “The current leadership of SPLM has steered the organisation to serve the interest of Warrap further creating divisions within the greater Jieng group.”

One would probably even find disgruntled Jieng’s with Kiir even in the president’s home State of Warrap.

Simply phrased current South Sudanese political conundrum seems more complex than the generalized argument of “Jienganization” or tribal politics would allow.

The same applies if use Barization as a term to describe in South Sudan’s political discourse, because, safe for some pockets of Wani Igga’s supporters within the various Bari clans, there is little support for the man, and most of us remain out here in the cold unable to find jobs despite of our racked up graduate degrees.

If it is prudent then to conclude as a result that Igga has distorted the image of the Bari tribe by way of being the second powerful symbol of the unjust system in Juba, the same may be concluded about Dr. Riek for Nuer, Dr. Lam and Amum for Shilluk and so on and so on, which does not hold.

The point here is that no one is clean from these individuals and if their tribes must be taken to task as a result, then we are doomed!

These are politicians and because of this they are literally above their tribes as noted above in relation to Kiir. Therefore they must be treated accordingly.

In fact Paul’s argument disintegrates at first time of asking when he calls for an urgent halt of Jienganization symbolized in the removal of Kiir from power, only to appeal to Momma Nyandeng as one of the saviors.

Is not Momma Nyandeng another Jieng? Who is to guarantee if she assumes power that she won’t embark on another aggressive Jienganization policy, perhaps even more aggressive than Kiir?

What about Shillukization that may result from Amum’s ascension into the First Office, or alternatively potential Nuerization when Dr. Riek assumes power? Again if Paul’s latest logic is correct then we are doomed.

The truth of the matter is that these categorization of South Sudan’s political discourse is deconstructive to peace-building aspirations in the land.

And another truth of the matter is that Kiir has challenged all of us; he looked us in the eye and told us I am staying put in the first office. And I have a Koc Beny militia now to go with it. He has not blinked and therefore we must concede and give the man a second chance in the office, if it was up to me.

It will be idiotic to challenge Kiir by the use of force and drag this country back to all out war, with yet another humanitarian disaster that may result, and for what, for political power struggle for presidency?

South Sudan is more important than the office of the president. Enough with violence already.

The only viable way Kiir can be ousted is the non-violent way of the ballot box and not the flying bullets as some of us are often quick to want.

For this reason, I believe Dr. Riek, Momma Nyandeng, and Mr. Amum are reasonable to remain calm and bid their time even with the latest litany of political provocations, including the overhaul of SPLM’s party structures.

In fact one would argue that one of the intentions of the dissolution of the party structures is probably to provoke knee-jerk reaction and incite the recourse to violence by Kiir’s political opponents.

Think about it, if I was Kiir and I want another term in the first office at all cost. My party seems poised to withdraw confidence in my candidature to remain the party’s flag bearer come next elections.

The legacy of my regime is tainted with corruptions, nepotism, failure of delivering services, gross human rights violations, absence of rule of law, all sorts of growing pressure against my regime from left, right and center, and my term is running out in just over a year.

But I believe I could correct all these wrongs given an extension in my tenure for a second term, or whatever my motives are for being desperate to remain in power, my best shot is probably to provoke my political opponents into resorting to violence against the state.

In so doing I will draw the legitimacy of declaring a nation-wide state of emergency, suspend the constitution indefinitely and with it goes all chances of the conduct of national democratic elections in 2015.

That way I will remain in power legitimately until peace and stability is restored, upon which the state of emergency will be lifted and the constitution will be restored.

Such a political move should give me enough time to wreck some policy changes and correct the wrongs if that was my intention for seeking to remain in the office for a second term.

Alternatively, I will still have enough time to pursue my objectives whatever they are if I could lure my opponents into violence.

If this is true, then it goes to show that the man will stop at nothing, and is ready to throw the baby state out with the bathwater.

Therefore, let the man be. We live to fight another day in the civility of the ballot box come 2015 and assuming the elections are held as Kiir himself has pledged last Week. My two cents!

Tongun Lo Loyuong is reachable at tloloyuong@gmail.com; and can be followed on twitter @TongunLoLoyuong. Numerous other food for thought and intellectual exercise on South Sudan’s issues can be found at: http://tloloyuong.wordpress.com/

South Sudan: A human rights abuser wants to be a human rights judge!

BY: Justin Ambago Ramba, U.K. NOV/22/2013, SSN;

Now should be the time to revisit the circumstances that surrounded South Sudan’s bid to secure a seat on the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Fortunately or unfortunately and that depends on which side of the fence you stand, the bottom line is that South Sudan’s bid to sit in this highly prestigious panel has failed in the face of the country’s own records.

Of immediate concern now is that although the showdown at the UNHRC was primarily meant to act as a strong message to the government in Juba so that it starts putting its house in order, it is unfortunate that this message is not the magic remedy that we all expect from the United Nations for a situation that has already become the official modus operandi.

Today as can be seen, not much has changed on the ground to signify that a new dawn is in sight.

While the incumbent leadership continues with its well-rehearsed lip service, the real Human Rights situations all across the country remain as bad as they ever were.

To be precise there were already many events that preceded the last few weeks’ story with the UNHRC. Reflecting on each one of these events drags us to the conclusion that the government of South Sudan has for a long period of time been in breach of its responsibilities in the field of Human Rights.

The preservation, restoration and any attempts at maintaining the Human Rights of South Sudanese citizens and all those who reside within the country have for a very long time lagged behind.

Even judging by the most modest expectations of the ruling SPLM party’s zealots, the country’s records are in shambles.

Nevertheless many multi-sourced reports on the country’s appalling Human Rights records including letters addressed to President Salva Kiir Mayardit in person were all meant to draw attention to an already established mess on the ground. At least that was the hope.

But as if charmed by some sort of falsehood that is begotten by permanently living in denial, the leadership in Juba was bold enough to push everything it knows about its actions down into the subconscious mind and it proceeded with its ill prepared application for a seat on the UNHRC.

It indeed surprised everyone and no wonder it quickly received reactions and responses from both the local and the international bodies.

Here is a human rights abuser who wants to be a human rights judge! With this kind of thinking still prevalent in Juba, South Sudan is likely to remain unfit for The UNHRC membership for a long time to come.

However for the South Sudanese population at large, the instantaneous criticism that kept pouring on Juba in return, given the country’s long history of the abuses and how the administration has continuously reacted with utter impunity, all of it was long expected.

Many even wondered why it had taken these organisations all this long to just write a letter to President Salva Kiir Mayardit at a time when these abuses are almost becoming the rule in the country and not the exception!

Was the world community only forced to voice its concerns when the South Sudanese leadership sleep walked into the UNHRC seeking membership without the least consideration to the international community’s collective intellect?

Anyway for whatever reasons the administration in Juba by merely assuming that it was fit to monitor Human Rights record at the global level when it has failed to do so in its own backyard couldn’t have gone unchallenged.

And if the administration in Juba ever thought that nobody was monitoring it or at least was concerned about what its government’s security agents did and are doing in Wau or in Juba or in Pibor or in Rumbek or in Malakal or in Nimule, then they are absolutely wrong.

Silence may sometimes be mistaken as sign of acceptance. But for how long will people accept you while you are constantly on the wrong side? This is a question for the administration to contemplate on.

The UNHRC could have been in existence for a long time now since its inception. It could have been there even during the time when the brutal civil war was ravaging in South Sudan.

However it is indeed surprising that very little did it do in the past in a way of exposing to the outside world all the truth about Human Rights violations that took place in the then SPLM/A controlled areas.

Nor did it do anything to expose or put pressure on the SPLM/A leadership to prevent those abuses from taking firm roots into the governance culture until it has now become the rule and not the exception in a country that came into existence when Man has reached the peak of civilization! What a shame!

If there is anything to blame, it was this initial indifference from the international community that gave birth to the wrongly held belief that Human Rights abuses are uncontrollable during liberation wars.

The result is today we have a government of Human Rights abusers and under their leadership, the vice not only grew bigger but it has also gone to permanently dehumanize the locals and the foreigners alike.

Who in their right mind isn’t aware that the nascent state of South Sudan has long been taken hostage by the former warlords who take amusement in impunity? Can’t the world do something before another version of Nazi German with its ruthless secret agents is reincarnated in the very heart of the African continent?

Having said all the above, let us get down on the new reality as South Sudan remains what it was before the bid to join the UNHRC. And to the relief of many the bid rightly ended in a dustbin somewhere in New York – South Sudan lost it!

The question now is how are we prepared to put forward questions and try to get answers in the aftermath of what was indeed a dramatic week for all – South Sudanese, the regional players and the world community alike.

What does the UNHRC have for a country like South Sudan that once sought its membership but failed to secure it for reasons obvious?

The argument which follows here is that since South Sudan failed the elections as a consequence of its poor, horrible and persistently appalling Human Rights records, one can rightly say that this country should rank the top on the UNHRC priorities.

It must designate this country as a hot spot for Human Rights Abuses and intensify the council’s monitoring activities in it. Again the search for the necessary remedies cannot be over emphasised even if that means using every article of the UN Chapter VII under which this county and its neighbour, the Sudan are both placed.

On the other hand we have to give a big applause to those local, regional and international non-government organisations (NGOs) who undertook the tedious tasks and wrote letters to South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

They did well to request him to consider reversing the horrible situation in the country well before the now lost elections. Their letters remains as relevant now as it was first written!

What the other players must understand, and here I put especially emphasis on the administration in Juba and indeed the entire leadership of the ruling SPLM party, if any is still left, that they need to stop living in denial of all the Human Rights abuses that unfortunately has tainted their government’s image.

The bitter fact is that all these dark spots are likely to go down in the history as a reflection of the immediate post-independence era in South Sudan.

As uncertain as life generally is all across South Sudan where the vast majority has to indeed struggle with underdevelopment, illiteracy and ignorance, the same cannot be said of how information travels into and out of the country. News still travels fast here.

What this means is that the entire local, regional and international NGOs, many of whom signed the letters jointly addressed to President Kiir Mayardit can be viewed to operate as a continuum.

It is an endless chain aimed at exchanging information in and out of the country and possibly relay it to the world’s highest decision making bodies across the seas and the oceans and liaise with them how the current situation in South Sudan can be salvaged.

It is important that a new South Sudan emerges even before the anticipated 2015 general elections.

What the current government in Juba must understand is that even the South Sudan of today is awash with the most advanced in Technologies. With the wide telephone networks in the country and the countless satellites in its skies, no any level of government can succeed to isolate the country from the watchful eyes of the international community.

All the NGOs and many other organisations have had and continue to have a full access to the details of almost everything that happened or are happening all across the country.

UNHRC itself a major player in this kind of issues without the least doubt has been tracking Juba’s performance. It also has the ruling SPLM/A‘s records three decades down the line since the former rebels first came into being a liberation movement in May of 1983.

To prove this point, there is much information on the Amnesty International’s website. In fact enough to repel away anyone who wants to do business with or invest in South Sudan if the government don’t quickly move to set the records right on the ground.

The people of South Sudan on the other hand are overwhelmed with questions as to why their country has been left by the international players to degenerate this fast this much.

If on the current tone that the present leadership in Juba shoulders the responsible for the country’s appalling Human Rights records, what then explains its intention to join the UNHRC in spite of being one of the most notorious violators?

Could it have been that the politicians in Juba were overtaken by imbecilic attitudes or naivety that they so highly think of themselves in spite of what they are known for worldwide?

Or was it a search for help and possible redemption? Or was it yet another way planned to gain more immunity in order to continue with an already entrenched culture of impunity?

There will be two parts to the answer for the above questions. The first would be to assume that the authorities of South Sudan were indeed genuine in seeking membership of the UNHRC for truly what the council stands for.

If this is the case then the government’s leadership is now expected to demonstrate that good intentions by revisiting all the letters addressed to President Salva Kiir Mayardit and start delivering on all the points raised therein.

The fact that South Sudan lost the bid for membership of the UNHRC just a few weeks ago makes the move to demonstrate this good intensions even the more relevant.

As for the UNHRC, it undoubtedly has a moral obligation to convey the right messages to Juba, especially now that the latter is nursing its self-inflicted wounds which led to the loss at the votes.

UNHRC must take South Sudan as a serious case worth giving the Organisation’s top priority for action. It must immediately start to engage and dialogue with the administration in Juba on how an improvement to the country’s current Human Rights stand can be envisaged while the enthusiasm is still there.

The UNHRC should not assume that Juba knows its own responsibilities and should be expected to act on correcting its nasty past single-handedly.
There is no way that such an expectation can come to fruition given the country’s present chaotic political environment.

On an equal tone is the acknowledgement, though not a blank sheet for excuses. South Sudan had been through a lot already during the Bush War days.

The very vision of conserving Human Rights of South Sudanese, a topic which was in the centre of the rebellion war against Khartoum even was quickly compromised once previous comrades turned into political rivals.

Egalitarianism another much talked about slogan also received an equally dim attention and everything actually got mixed up as the war went on to devour lives after lives and ended up destroy an entire social fabric that held together what was at its best a mere conglomeration of largely antagonizing tribes!

Even after winning independence from Sudan, the administration in Juba has on several occasions slipped back to the old dark days of the SPLM/A liberation war.

Two big events that took place in the Greater Bahr Ghazel are all proofs of the fact that the SPLM leadership isn’t so much committed to the basics of democracy and the much talked about Human Rights.

The leadership in Juba has over the last few months, succeeded to return the new country a couple of steps backwards into the dark days when it by chose revisited the use of the infamous “Jungle Justice”.

It first came to the world’s attention when on 09/12/2012 government security forces killed those peaceful demonstrators in the city of Wau. This was soon followed by the state government’s clampdown on its critics, including MPs and youth activists.

Early the following year on 21/01/2013 another gross reverse to jungle days again happened when president Salva Kiir overturned the people’s choice by dismissing a popularly elected governor in Lakes State for no apparent reasons and replacing him by a military caretaker who as we discuss is now overdue in the State’s highest office per the country’s constitution.

Following the above mentioned events, everything that followed from there was in consistency with a tendency to entrench a one man rule in a country that many thought would become a model of thriving democracy in 21st century Africa. From thence every day that came was no different to the one that preceded it.

In Rumbek, the capital of Lakes State, not only has the military caretaker governor continuously resorted to militarism while dealing with civilians, but in the report released by the Human Rights Watch, Lt. General Matur Chut Dhuol has even established his own version of Guantanamo prison.

In Rumbek this notorious prison is known as the Langchok military prison where arbitrarily arrested young men are kept under the worse of environmental conditions and without access to legal representation. http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/06/24/south-sudan-rough-justice-lakes-state.

Of course there are others who would want the international community to believe that the Human Rights situation in the nascent country of South Sudan hasn’t been too bad or for that matter is even getting better.

However in the background of every existing document that is available, it demonstrates without the least doubt that until the last announcement of vote results in the UNHRC, the incumbent government of South Sudan was nowhere from being good on its Human Rights records.

Looking at it to assess the impact of the humiliating failure to win the UNHRC membership, it is yet to be seen how much the government of South Sudan and its security agents have stopped being heavy handed towards Human Rights activists, journalists and its critics.

Amnesty International has in the past documented several incidents of journalists that have faced intimidation, harassment and unlawful detention by the National Security Service and SPLA, for carrying out their lawful work.

But can the newly elected UNHRC work to see that South Sudan starts to delivery by behaving like country ruled by a civilized government?

Amongst many others things people generally hope that for the UNHRC to be a credible organisation it must a least see to it that a program is in place to seriously persuade the authorities in Juba to consider taking Justice seriously.

They must hold all perpetrators, including members of the security forces, to account for abuses committed in accordance with international standards.

Until then this country under what is now a totally unpredictable leadership will remain locked up in SPLM/A’s exclusive world of experimenting with human lives.

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. Reachable at: justinramba@doctors.net.uk.

Elhag Paul’s and the Juba Politicians’ Hypocrisy

BY: Kuir ë Garang, CANADA, NOV/21/2O13, SSN;

In August this year, Elhag Paul did something many of us, I believe, applauded. With a number of his colleagues, he wrote a letter to The Hague regarding the repressive and grotesque existential nature of the current SPLM; and the government of Salvatore Kiir Kuethpiny Mayaardit.

Without prejudice, the letter chronicled a number of deaths (killings) arguably committed under the watchful eyes of the President of South Sudan.

I couldn’t help but write to Mr. Paul a congratulatory email: “While I don’t like your other tribally tailored articles because they give South Sudanese an impression it’s every Jieng who’s destroying the country; this PRESS RELEASE is by far your best contribution to South Sudan. This PR should be supported by any right-minded human being because the country is going (or has already gone) down the drain.”

And in the same stately spirit, he responded in a gentlemanly manner…like I expected.
“Even with all that I will not support any abuse of the Jieng by anybody and I will speak and condemn whoever wants to do it. We are all human beings and we deserve to respect each and live in peace. Some of my best friends are Jieng and in the early 90’s we campaigned together against the ills that befell our people,” Mr. Paul wrote to me in an email.

One would have assumed from that moment on that Mr. Paul would be a man with a glaring, undeniable moral bearing cemented by unsurpassed interest in the well-being of his people (South Sudanese).

Amazingly enough, the august August list of the victims listed by Mr. Paul and his colleagues contains people from different tribes. What was not to admire in a man with such national inclusiveness?

However, on November 11, Mr. Paul wrote an article that leaves many of us wondering what has become of the litigious ‘moralist.’

While the article tried to rationalize the rationale behind the thought, the letter came out as tactless, emotionless, and unsympathetic to the suffering and the deaths, in October, of civilians among Ajuong and Pakeer of Twi County (two clans of Jieng of Twi of Jonglei state).

Such weighty and awful level of insensitivity is actually a great mockery to intelligentsia all over South Sudan. Sadly enough, it also gives a devilish precedent to the young generation on how to deal with inter-tribal misfortunes.

Mr. Paul wrote: “By doing so, equally the Jieng need to be reminded of their predatory behaviours and its consequences on others which generate similar feelings to what they are experiencing presently.”

I think our litigious ‘moralist’, who seems well acquainted with the affairs of South Sudan’s inter-tribal skirmishes, is all of a sudden confused and factually disoriented.

Mr. Paul seems to see no difference between those killed in their own villages and the corrupt Jieng politicians in Juba.

The only thing the villagers and Jieng politicians share is simply the name not the substance of who they are. Any right-minded South Sudanese knows these villagers are suffering like any other destitute and abjectly poor South Sudanese…of any tribes.

As all of us know, these villagers had no protection from the government whatsoever.

Shouldn’t a Jieng government protect Jieng villages if that’s what Jieng politicians in Juba are doing? Why did the ‘Jieng government’ allow villagers to be slaughtered for over 6 hours without any ‘Jieng government’ help?

Instead of joining South Sudanese in mourning the victims, Mr. Paul, the ‘august (perfect) August Moralist’, stylishly celebrated the death of 79 innocent civilians.

Why’s an educated man confusing the lives of innocent villagers and the indecency of the corrupt politicians most of whom none of us supports?

Mr. Paul, how can you advocate on behalf of South Sudanese to the The Hague while tastelessly rejoicing in a section of South Sudanese being killed in their own villages?

Do you equate senseless slaughter of innocent civilians to accountability of Jieng politicians in Juba? Do you believe the slaughter of Jieng woman, children and elderly can affect Jieng politicians in Juba?

You not only come out as purposefully hateful but, also, inadvertently naïve!

As much as you think you’re reminding the Jieng people of the atrocities being committed by Juba and the mismanagement of the national affairs by some Jieng politicians in Juba, you have to remember that your writings have to have a positive overtone…or a constructive intent.

“Chicken Coming Home to Roost” insinuation rules away any positive intention in your heart regarding the slaughter of innocent civilians.

You come out as an old, bitter, anti-Jieng man out to denigrate rather than write for the benefit of the nation. I assume you’re an old man because no young South Sudanese has the attitude you have! None!

• Remember, some of us have been criticizing SPLM even when Dr. John Garang was alive.
• Try to tone down your anti-Jieng tirades because they overshadow any message you’re trying to convey if you have any positive message at all.
• Try to differentiate between innocent villagers and the corrupt Jieng politicians.
• None of us will ever tell you not to criticize SPLM or the Jieng, however, you have to do it in a tasteful, professional and constructive manner
• Try to differentiate between Jieng as a tribe and the few corrupt Jieng politicians, otherwise you’re just out to vilify the whole tribe; something you think you are, confusedly, not doing.

As I told you in the past, you tend to cover all of us with that generic dirty blanket to a point the allies you might have among the Jieng are put off.

We all want South Sudan to develop into a prosperous, cohesive and peaceful society, however, hypocrisy can’t help.

You are as hypocritical as the politicians in Juba. All old and frozen in the past with tribal hatred!

If you’re not old then your mind is! Most of your articles are either innocently confused or intentionally meant to stir up inter-tribal hatred.

You are doing a disservice to South Sudan and the younger generation.

Given the length of tastelessness you go to denigrate ALL Jieng people (including people like me and innocent villagers), I believe you’re a frustrated old man with inter-tribal hatred of the 70s and 80s stuck in your head; the Laguesque and Alieresque view of South Sudan politics.

What you write is as divisive as what the Juba politicians do. You and the Juba politicians are two sides of the same coin: DIVISION AND HYPOCRISY!

You all pretend to care about South Sudanese while your aim is to plant seeds of hatred among the people for the destruction of the nation and nurture your selfish interest!

Kuir ë Garang is a South Sudanese poet, author and publisher living in Canada. For contact, visit www.thenilepress.com or www.kuirthiy.info

Devaluation in South Sudan: Theoretical and Policy Confusion in Finding a Working Exchange Rate Policy

BY: Garang Atem Ayiik, NAIROBI, KENYA, NOV/21/2013, SSN;

In a circular from Central Bank of South Sudan (CBoSS), The Bank directed banks and other stakeholders about its regulatory change it made on 11 November 2013 to exchange rate policy. The dollar was to sell at 4.5 SSP from 3.16 SSP reducing the value of pound about 42% against the dollar.

The directive was rescinded by CBoSS after parliament did a mob justice to the governor. On 14th November 2013, the author was invited to Wake Up Juba through a phone call as a panellist that discussed the devaluation case.

This article benefited from the author’s thesis, ‘Efficiency Management of Foreign Currency in Developing Countries: A Case of South Sudan,’ presented and approved for award of masters of Art in Economic Policy and Management at the University of Nairobi’.

The aims of this article are to provide an appraisal of the current exchange rate policy, and evaluate devaluation policy by underpinning arguments in economic theory and in South Sudan economic fundamentals.

As I said while on Wake Up Juba, the intention of Central Bank was noble, how the approach was wrong. To be precise, the policy that was proposed by CBoSS is actually the same recommendation that the author presented in his thesis at the University of Nairobi in July 2013.

The difference is that the author took care of the short-term misery that the policy will causes to the public and proposed some interim economic helmets that the Central Bank ignored.

As a result, CBoSS provided a window for parliament to mob justices the governor into accepting ‘withdraw now’.

The current fixed exchange rate has many flaws.
First, it has lead to growth of shallow financial institutions that are building long-term financial instability in the future. As at end of November 2012, there were about 18 banks and 68 bureaus whose incomes are mainly from currency trading.

Second, allocating dollars to banks and bureaus has accelerated inequality and distributive injustices; the author throughout his studies has always financed his studies through buying dollars in the black market and so do many needy South Sudanese.

Thirdly, allocation of dollars has institutionalized rent-seeking behavior through licensing and allocation.

Fourthly, fixed exchange rate passes the obligation to Central Bank to maintain the exchange rate at 3.16 SSP even at times when reserves wither; a case was during oil shutdown.

With the above flaws, and mandated by Central Bank Act 2011, the CBoSS has incentive to evaluate its exchange rate policy and change the policy if appropriate.

Exchange rate policy has two extremes; float and fixed exchange rates. However, in between, there are many types. The type of exchange rate chosen by a country is determined by integration into global financial system, country specifics economic disturbances exposure, economic structure, and exchange rate risks.

I believe neither fixed or float exchange rate is appropriate for South Sudan but dirty float with strong CBoSS influences will be workable.

In this regards, first, South Sudan has only one export product – oil. If anything affects flow of oil, the ability of CBoSS to support a fixed rate is in doubt; I believe CBoSS was almost at this point of not sustaining the fixed rate before oil production resumption.

Second, a weak financial system that is not integrated into global economy renders helpless Fleming–Mundell of feedback and self-regulating view through the capital market.

South Sudan is an import country with many constraints on its export sector that inhibits short increase in export production, a key point ignored by many analysts and economists.

With oil export, transported through unreliable pipelines, it become very risky for CBoSS to run a fixed exchange rate.

Furthermore, as an import country, exchange rate can not be allowed to float as this will increase the prices causing misery to the public in short term – be aware that local production is not going to respond to devaluation incentive.

The author has established during his research that inflation and exchange rate move together (correlated) in South Sudan.

From my analysis of theoretical and economic realities of South Sudan economy, and aware of key flaws in managing fixed exchange rate in a weak institutional set up, I agreed to a need to change the exchange rate policy by the CBoSS.

In a nutshell, I agreed that the current rogue exchange market needs to be disciplined. However, I differ with CBoSS in its approach.

In the course of my research, it is worth to note that dollars supplied by CBoSS to the market are not based on any economic data – neither demand nor exports are considered.

A trend analysis of dollars supply for 2011 – 2012 does not provide any meaningful relationship. An indication that dollars supply is done on an ad hoc basis.

This justifies that equilibrium is never met and that is why there is a black market.

The lesson is that if the price of a dollar is increased to 4.5 SSP and demand/supply equilibrium is not met at this rate, the black market will go up.

In the case of the devaluation policy that was proposed, the exchange rate in the black market I supposed was going to stabilize at about 6-6.5 SSP.

Hence from black market perspective, the policy was going to disturb the two-market equilibrium prices but the fundamentals were the same. The policy was not going to solve the black market problem.

Critical in economic policy is the objective. There are two key objectives of exchange rate policy; macroeconomic stability and international competitiveness.

Devaluation was going to increase the prices of imports instantly for about 42%. There has been argument even from respected South Sudanese economists and analysts that the increase was going to be a short-term problem.

Devaluation encourages exports and discourages imports. In theory, if exports are encouraged, firms and individuals are expected to act rationally by investing in exports that has been subsidised.

What these economists and analysts ignored are structural problems that will not allow the subsidies to trickle to the export sector.

In the case of South Sudan, insecurity, infrastructures, technology, capital, entrepreneurship, institutions and attitude are key impediments to workability of Fleming–Mundell on whose basis much analysis and policy relied.

It will take long for local producers to produce import–substitutes.

Elasticity and multiplier are going to be inconsequential in minimizing the impacts of devaluation. The theory did not consider these impediments and hence applying a theory without appraising it, is suicidal.

With minimum export sector and structural impediments to its growth, the author would not recommend international competitiveness as an objective to be pursued with exchange rate policy.

I believe only macroeconomic stability is achievable with this tool.

There is need to focus on local production for local consumption as current economic structure does not permit huge increase in exports.

This article illustrated three weakness of the devaluation policy that was proposed by CBoSS. One, it ignores to address weakness in estimating market demand and supply and hence not providing solution to black market it pretended to eradicate;
second, the policy ignores the unique structural socio-economic fundamentals of South Sudan and,
finally, the policy deviates from providing macroeconomic stability to South Sudan.

The author believes no policy that does not address these key issues was going to succeed. How did the most knowledgeable economic institution fail to address these issues in its policy?

My hypothesis is that this policy was initiated to fail. Could it be that donors, development partners or Khartoum bothered CBoSS with devaluation?

Just to cover its back, could it be that CBoSS proposed a policy that it was aware was not workable and likely to cause uproar and likely to be stop by the public?

Then CBoSS goes back to the old order of allocating dollars to banks and bureaus! The author leaves this to academic and policy curiosity.

The author believes that we could have done something different to minimize the attention the policy caused and the affected constituents.

In this regards, the author proposes that CBoSS should not have interfered with the official rate instantly; the rate should have been left at 2.96 SSP. However, the author supports the view that banks and bureaus should bid for the dollars from 2.96 SSP as in the proposed policy. This will lead to gradual depreciation of pound in the long run.

However, CBoSS will have control on the depreciation as it will control the supply of dollar amounts.

This would have many effects; first, it will diminish the black market incentives and reducing black market role.

Second, it will gradually weed out shallow financial institutions that are building future financial tsunami.

Third, it would enable CBoSS to protect the citizens by keeping depreciation within acceptable limits.

As this happens, policies should be instituted to solve current structural impediments that I believe could inhibit growth of export sector rendering the economic foundation on which the policy was built unworkable.

In addition to internal challenges of fixed exchange rate, there are external factors that could have softened CBoSS to lean towards float exchange rate regime.

The economic changes in Sudan, Khartoum probably asked South Sudan to devalue its currency to reduce possible currency arbitrage between the two Sudans.

Liberalized monetary system is a requirement for candidates joining East Africa Community. With recent passion to join the community, this could also influence and thirdly, as a float rate is good for the World economy, donors and development partners might have advised CBoSS to devalue the pound and lastly, I believe CBoSS was in a tight economic position in regards to sustaining a fixed exchange rate during oil shutdown and that is why it was passing part of the obligation to the public through depreciation.

The author believes none of these institutions is our enemy or economic commander, CBoSS is at liberty to accept policies that take care of its current and future macroeconomic fundamentals.

After the dust settles, there are key lessons, one, there is need for consultations between government institutions, civil societies and relevant professions on any policy.

Second, rejection of the policy by parliament has exposed the Bank as weak and non–consultative institution whose policies are not reliable and acceptable and this will encroach on the independent of the Bank.

Third, rejection of the policy confirms time value for money – people are concerned with immediate gains not long term theoretical fundamentals.

It is my view that nothing is right between the old order and the new policy. We need something between and that is what the whole nation must aspire for.

We should neithe allow a few brokers to run the foreign exchange market nor should we allow misery to the masses with the proposed policy.

Garang Atem Ayiik is a Certified Public Accountant, holds B.A in Economics (Moi University) and expected to graduate with master in Economic Policy and Management at the University of Nairobi in 2013. He can be reached at bwanagatem@yahoo.com or +211955115299