Archive for: November 2013

South Sudan Information Minister: From intellectual to an intolerant, disgruntled man

BY: Kuir ё Garang, CANADA, NOV/09/2013, SSN;

The current minister of information, Michael Makuei Lueth, is trying to take South Sudan to a new low. Besides, he’s embarrassing himself as once an intelligent individual, and the educated intelligentsia all over South Sudan. The educated in South Sudan see one of their own sinking into abyss of heartlessness, indifference, shamelessness, utopia and what the Ugandan playwright, Johh Ruganda, calls in his play, “The Burdens,” a bootlicker.

It’s okay to be loyal; however, it’s shameful to be so loyal so much so that one is divorced from the realities the average person lives in.

South Sudan is, if I allow myself to be silly, if not religious here, blessed with a number of educated people. We can’t complain too much about lacking educated leaders, strategists and other well-meaning individuals.

We have world class theorists and writers like Dr. Francis Mading Deng, award-winning writer/author and polemicist, Dr. Adwok Nyaba, award-winning Engineers and inventors like Everett Kamandala Minga, and the able lawyers like the current minister of information himself, who’s also the official government spokesperson. The list is, indeed, very long.

However, nothing is going well in South Sudan. ‘We’re still a young nation’ is an escapist dictum being thrown around by our dear leaders. Everyone in the world understands that South Sudan is ‘young’ so reminding people all the time of its age is basically redundant. Anyone can check Wikipedia, if the pain of reading is too much for them, to know how old South Sudan is.

It’s sad to know that that consciousness seems to have entered into the general thought process of our leaders. Not only is the country ‘young’ our leaders thought processes have become really ‘young.’ Dreadfully enough, you don’t need any deep analytic skills to ascertain the childishness and the rawness with which ideas and information are being procured.

Can a mind of an educated adult be young because his country is ‘young’ even if his given task matches his skills? I hope not! The country might be young, however, people would still show that they are educated, determined and doing all they can to help develop the country.

It would be limitation engendered by lack of resources and technical know-how that could be cited.

However, what is appalling in South Sudan is not lack of resources and technical skills. It’s that mere mode of thinking and talking, which we take for granted, that is appalling.

Our minister of information, Michael Makuei Lueth, is one official who utters statements that defy logic. On October 23, 2013, he convened a press conference in which he distanced South Sudan from Abyei referendum saying: “Where will they go if the result is not recognised by both Sudan and South Sudan? Even if it has to be an independent state, it needs to be recognised.”

However, this statement contradicted what South Sudan’s Vice President, James Wani Igga, had said a month earlier; that South Sudan would support Abyei’s decision. Is this contradiction allowed because the country is young? The minister will tell us!

To add pepper to a very bad wound, Sudan has made its position very clear by rejecting and mocking the referendum. South Sudan, however, is still thinking of appeasement terms to Beshir, who seems to perennially get more favors from Juba than South Sudanese themselves.

And on November 6, 2013, the same minister lashed out at journalists with profound bitterness and unwarranted anger, calling for all journalists to be [registered]. Asked, like any responsible government, of the due process to follow, the minister angrily and ‘class-lessly’ said: “You want to know our policy, come and you will know what we are doing.”

Is this attitude allowed because the country is young? Is such attitude part of SPLM’s development agenda? Oh dear father Garang Kuir Ajak and Deng Pakeny hear us!

And if you think that’s enough, after the senseless massacre of civilians in Pakeer and Ajuong communities of ‘Twї County’ of Jonglei state, the minister of information lied unashamedly that SPLA troops were deployed and were following the attackers.

As the minister was talking, some of us were talking to relatives in the affected places and there was absolutely no sign of SPLA soldiers and police for that matter. Was that lie also because the country is ‘young?’

It appears to me that Mr. Lueth is trying to live up to the way in which Dr. Marial Benjamin, former information minister, twisted the truth to protect presidential faux pas. However, Marial did his truth-twisting (or lying) with class and smile.

Mr. Lueth comes out as clueless, angry and indecently insensitive no matter the situation he’s in, or is trying to explain. Can’t the minister pass his message without anger; that is, with civility and professional composure? Why the anger?

Not only is the minister undermining his own intellect and integrity, he’s portraying educated South Sudanese in a very grim, depressing light. What happens to the brains of people that have been appointed ministers? In the words of my friend and colleague, being a minister in South Sudan somehow ‘debrains the brained.’

Why is the minister embarrassing himself and the government? Is there some stupefying demon in the government; a demon that makes ministers anti-truth, heartless and cold to people’s suffering?

Politicians don’t usually say the truth, however, they’re always smart when it comes to how they lie.

I don’t see any difference between the highly educated and the semi-illiterate politicians in South Sudan. Perhaps Kiirist juju (kujur) debrains anyone into brainless Stalinist.

In the end, this is what appals me:
• There’s developed a culture of morbid intolerance and it’s being ingrained in our social and political psyche by the very people who’re supposed to rid the country of such malady.
• Delighting in uttering lie after lie has become a lofty mountain on which politicians vomit their acrid aspirations. So how do we expect the younger generation to be good when a bad road is being set for them?
• Where exactly do the current politicians believe the young would get and copy exemplary leadership?
• We now have a nation in which the young are tolerant and caring of the future while the old are intolerant and indignant of any prospect of a better future. (Well, the old gives lips service to the idea.)

It’s now high time for our politicians to utilize their human values and virtues if their education is completely useless. The country might be young, but their brains aren’t.

I’m calling on those who consider themselves colleagues of the minister of information to remind him that he’s tarnished and continues to muddy his reputation. Please help him before he either further damages himself or the country.

And by the way, what message is the minister passing to the younger ones? That ‘we’ think and talk this way because we are young?

Kuir ё Garang is a South Sudanese poet, author and publisher living in Canada. He’s the author of a new analytical book’ South Sudan Ideologically.’ For more information, visit www.kuirthiy.info

Freed Kenyan: Why I will never set foot in South Sudan again

B: JOE KIARIE, NOV/08/2013, first published by ‘Standard digital, Kenya’ SSN;

This dramatic but sad story evidently exposes the corruption in the CID and the Ministry of Interior, the Security and even the ministry of foreign affairs in the Republic of South Sudan. Are we really now more corrupt than Kenya…..find out…

When Mr George Githinji received a call summoning him to the CID headquarters in Juba, South Sudan last month, he thought it was a cruel joke.

His fears were nonetheless confirmed when he was arrested and locked up in one of the country’s most dreaded detention facilities, supposedly at the behest of the Kenyan embassy in Juba.

After 30 days of torment while under illegal detention in a foreign land, the father of three was finally released and ‘deported’ with no charges preferred against him after his plight was highlighted by The Standard on Saturday last weekend.

Now back home, albeit ailing, Githinji, 52, has one resolute vow; “I will never set foot in South Sudan again. God has saved my life and I will not court death again.”

The businessman paints a picture of terrifying impunity in Africa’s newest nation, but most significantly, accuses the Kenyan government of betraying and failing to protect its citizens. He says his torment started on Thursday October 3, when he visited the Kenyan embassy in Juba seeking assistance to recover cash owed to him.

“I found Ambassador (Cleland) Leshore arguing with someone at the reception and he immediately turned to me, asking if I had returned to Sudan to disturb him,” he recounts.

He claims the ambassador was furious that while serving as the organising secretary of the Association of Kenyans in South Sudan, Githinji had alongside other officials highlighted the embassy’s perceived laxity in the media.

Disappearing

“He ordered me to walk out and report to State House that he had refused to offer me any assistance,” he claims. Githinji says he was shocked to receive a call at 9am the following day ordering him to report to the CID headquarters. “It is the last thing I expected,” he asserts. “I alerted my Kenyan neighbours and also called the Kenyans Association chairman Gideon Mungai”.

With cases of people disappearing without trace in the hands of security officers prevalent in the oil-rich nation, a Kenyan cleric popularly referred to as Bishop asked to meet Githinji so they could discuss the issue. “I rushed to Genus Hotel, a Kenyan-owned restaurant, and found him there,” he recounts.

But they only exchanged greetings before they were treated to a rude shock. “Just as I was ordering for tea, two men already seated in the hotel walked to us, identified themselves as CID officers and asked us to accompany them to the headquarters,” he explains.

“They said we were to record statements regarding anonymous calls that I had received; yet I had not complained to any South Sudan government officer about such calls.”

He says they were led to a white Mitsubishi double cabin van but instead of heading towards Juba town; it zoomed off to Jebel Kujur, a dreaded military facility popularly known as Blue House. The facility is located at the Jebel Kujur hills on the outskirts of Juba town.

“It was a hair-raising moment and I told Bishop that if we enter Blue House, we might disappear without a trace as no one had seen us being arrested and no one would know where we were. I told him to pray hard,” recounts Githinji.

One of the officers, he states, immediately ordered them to switch off their mobile phones and hand them over to him. “He told us that from then henceforth, we were in the hands of the CID.”

At Jebel Kujur, he says, they were separated and booked in at the reception. “There were two blocks on each side of the reception, both labeled ‘toilets’ at the entrance. I was led into one of the blocks, only to realise there were five cells inside. I was put in cell Number One,” he says. He describes the cells as dingy, dimly lit, with no ventilation and teeming with giant mosquitoes. A cold tiled floor was to be his new bed.

All the cells, he says, were full with people of diverse nationalities. Still in shock and not knowing why he had been arrested while Bishop was released the next Monday, the businessman says one officer identified only as Jacob volunteered to help him walk to freedom.

“He summoned me saying he wanted to save my life. He told me to give him 6,000 Sudanese pounds (about Sh210,000) which he claimed was for my transport to Nimule border crossing,” he narrates.

Normally, it only costs about 500 Sudanese pounds to travel to the border point. “I told him I did not have the money and he handed me a cell phone that I was to use to call three people who would bring me the money. He gave me up to midday the next day to get the cash but stormed out fuming when I told him I could not get that money in a day,” Githinji continues.

He was returned to the cell and this marked the start of a traumatising period that saw him stay for two weeks with no communication whatsoever from the duty officers.

After two weeks, he says he gathered courage and asked the duty officer taking the roll call why he was being held.

“He could not read properly so he showed me the file. My offence had been recorded as sabotage,” he asserts. “I inquired further and he told me it was the Kenyan embassy and not the government of South Sudan that had me arrested. He said he could thus not help in any way”.

Githinji who is supposed to be on daily medication for hypertension, says his pleas to be allowed access to drugs proved futile.

At 12.45pm last Saturday, the day The Standard on Saturday highlighted his story, Githinji says an officer called him and inquired whether he would be able to pay for deportation back home the same day. Fearing that criminal charges probably awaited him in Kenya, Githinji questioned why he was being deported.

Illegally chased

“He told me I was not wanted in South Sudan as we were holding illegal political meetings. I implored further and he told me it is only my embassy that could answer questions regarding the meetings,” he says. Githinji says he was already time-barred to fly home that day, but was advised to book a ticket for a Sunday flight to Nairobi. “I called a friend who booked a ticket for me,” he states.

The businessman’s fears that he was just being illegally chased out of South Sudan and not deported were confirmed when he reached Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

“I thought I would find security officers waiting for me, but I only found my wife, daughter and brother. To date there is still no formal explanation as to why I have been chased away despite the fact that I had just signed a lucrative construction contract,” he says.

On Tuesday he recorded a statement at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he was assured that investigations were already underway and those found culpable would be punished. Reached for a comment, the South Sudan embassy in Nairobi said the issue was beyond her jurisdiction.
END

Correcting Deviations: A case of SPLM slogan of “taking towns into villages than people to towns “

By Bullen Mony-nyiir, RSS, NOV/08/2013, SSN;

The slogan of “taking towns to villages rather than people to towns,” is very appealing and a realistic vision to every one’s ears if achievable policies are formulated, implemented, monitored and evaluated to check their effectiveness In improving the lives of rural majority.

The purpose of this article is not to portray the party as a failure because numerous achievements have been realized ever since people of South Sudan began to assume the first government since 2005, such as achieving independence for the nation, freeing us from oppressive rule of Khartoum and forming a representative government.

However, among other political achievements, the party has deviated in pursuing economic policies that should have aimed at improving people’s lives thereby fulfilling its vision.

For instance, the existence of rural urban migration, that is movement of people from the villages to states, and eventually to national capital city (Juba) instead of services going to them in villages is an evidence.

Also, there are infrastructural problems especially lack of roads that link national headquarters to states, states to counties, Payams and Bomas.

Moreover, there is lack of real development in rural areas exemplified by lack of services like rural electrification program, presence of high rates of unemployment especially seasonal ones, dependency on imported food stuffs that can otherwise be locally produced here in south Sudan if there are well coordinated policies.

Aggravatingly, the dominion of our economy by foreigners ranging from whole sellers of food stuffs everywhere in south Sudan particularly at Konyo konyo market, presence of foreign sellers in all small and medium sized shops in juba and anywhere in South Sudan, to a wider range of small scale businesses, shows that the vision is proving to be unattainable.

All in all, as long as goods in rural areas cannot reach markets where they can fetch reasonable prices due to impassable roads, as long as poverty drives people to urban areas where they depend heavily on their working relatives and at times spends whole day at tea places doing nothing but engaging in passive politics, and as long as whatever constitutes a town still remains in major cities, the vision of the SPLM vision can be deemed as a mere paper work and therefore unrealistic and not an achievable vision.

Some suggests that Juba is South Sudan, simply because almost entire government revenue is spent in Juba rather than in rural areas (under funding of rural development projects).

However, as a concerned citizen and staunch supporter of the party, I suggest the followings measures aimed at correcting the above deviations:

*The government should quickly end all the insurgencies especially with YauYau, enter in serious negotiations with Sudan about remaining outstanding issues such that borders are quickly defined and demarcated permanently, so that security would remain less important in the coming years in regards to its funding.

*Absence of conflicts creates peaceful environment for investments necessary to expedite economic development.

*Upon achieving peace, it would be advisable that the government should tremendously reduce the size of its army thereby leaving more resources in our national treasury for increasing Payam development grants and other transfer to states.

*Education is another area where rural villages can be turned to towns, for instance, building at least two teachers’ training centers in every state in every financial year till a reasonable target is attained.

*Improving the quality of university studies so that our universities should begin to appear in top African universities’ ranking etc. All that will definitely see employment of large number of south Sudanese as tutors, library attendants, curriculum developers etc…

*With their consistent and high salaries that they would receive from above jobs, and given that they will be based in rural areas where schools are, towns would definitely be created with employment and settlement of these highly educated people in rural areas.

*Infrastructural development especially roads can be of great help to rural population in improving their welfare. National roads such as those that connects national capital Juba with all states and states’ roads that connects them with countries should be quickly built given that the budget has been passed.

*Because good roads expedite rural development since agricultural outputs of rural farmers can easily find markets where they can fetch reasonable prices necessary to improve their lives.

*While in rural areas rather than coming to towns, Parliamentarians should be made to have homes in villages (constituencies) they represent instead confining themselves in Juba.

*It is rumored that some MPs have never returned to constituencies that elected them to see what really affects people they represent, so coercing them to live among people they represent will quicken the rural development since all that affects rural population will also affects their families as well.

*To promote exports, small airstrips should be constructed to export our products to regional and international markets. For example our late Hero proposed that a small airstrip be constructed near Shambe locality for exporting fish obtained from the Nile and meat to Countries like Egypt and wherever there is demand of those products.

*This will thereby increase our foreign reserves and at the same time employ the rural population.

*Ensuring stern or stringent accountability for all government transfers to states and payams to ensure that money transferred is spent for the purpose for which it was sent. A team of experts should be sent quarterly to check how the resources transferred have been spent and should there be misappropriation of funds transferred, the culprits should be dealt with accordingly.

This will only work if and only if our parliament gives strong and sharp teeth to our anti-corruption commission necessary to prosecute any one found to be corrupt regardless of the position he/she holds, mere removal of someone from his/her job is not enough, imprisonment and coercing someone to refund stolen funds will do better.

So to parliamentarians, wake up and strengthen our anti-corruption legally. Persecuting thieves will instil fear in prospective looters thus every single pound sent will be spent in line with the purpose in which it was initially sent e.g. payams’ development grant will see Payams turning into towns rather than remaining as remote villages.

*Empowering our businessmen to own their economy require efforts of central bank in exerting more efforts on commercial bank to extend loans to our importers, with impending establishment of credit bureau, our local borrowers will soon get funds needed for establishment of businesses of their dream if it would be effected in an unbiased manner.

At this junction, I urged our government especially respective ministries to find ways of ensuring that water business is owned by citizens since it does not require sophisticated technology and technological know how.

Finally, SPLM party should stop the pattern in which ministers are allowed to formulate their policies, instead, the party should regularly review each ministry’s plans and see how they can collectively facilitate realization of party’s goal.

Alternatively, the party can use its economic cluster to do that, so that the work of the ministries should only be implementation, for example , the ministry of public service in conjunction with National Bureau of Statistics can create national registry in their respective ministries.

The National bureau of statistics to calculate monthly unemployment rates which can assist government in planning how the unemployed can be employed, for instance by reviewing various positions currently occupied by foreigners in NGO sector with aim of persuading them lay off foreigners that are occupying positions that can otherwise be run effectively by unemployed South Sudanese given their experience and educational achievements.

I suggest all aforementioned policies because any failure of this government can be and will be regarded as the party’s failure.

To avoid that fallacy, the party needs to get into a business of service delivery as they stipulated in their manifesto by dealing with all impediments to achieving the party’s vision in a regimented manner with no fear or favor, regardless of culprit’s position.

Finally, doing so would improve the lives of rural majority thereby making the party to remain popular hence increasing its chances of ruling this nation for the next decade and beyond with changes only occurring in personalities but not in parties.

The can be reached by mail: bullenbolm@gmail.com

Is UNMISS a peace keeping mission in South Sudan or a wolf in sheep’s skin?

BY: Ayuen Akuot Atem, Juba, RSS, NOV/08/2013, SSN;

The ongoing crisis of the recent attacks and turmoil at the country side which concerned the latest mass murder of more than eighty civilians and dozens sustaining bullets injuries and numerous children being abducted in addition to the annihilation of properties in two payams of Pakeer [Maar] and Paliau of Twic east county in Jonglei state plus the uncountable similar incidents of insecurity across South Sudan have definitely caused doubts on the ruling government of the day and its partner, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, UNMISS.

The issues of conflicts in South Sudan and particularly in Jonglei state is one of the most easier insurgencies to be handled either by the government and its peace mission within the country together with communities who are affected by the divergence and those who wage plus the war fighters of the militias.

Indeed the dimension of the conflict presents the impression of its simplicity and mysticism in the sense that one can put forward the question like, Is the United Nations Mission In South Sudan a peace Keeping Mission Or else a wolf in Sheep Skin?

Such a question can be psychotherapy in many angles with the perspectives including the social effect, cultural, human and economic ways of how UNMISS can be a wolf in Sheep’s Skin.

The UNMISS has widely been accused of instigating the conflicts for it unknown benefits, moreover, the mission has been seen as siding with some of the communities in Jonglei’s conflict rather than it real mission mandate as the symbol of being a peace keeping body in the country.

There are several allegations being echoed against the UNMISS by the citizens of Jonglei state and other South Sudan peoples who are observing the activities of mission in a broad range.

The author came to know that the way UNMISS is seen purely and clearly proves it negligence and involvement in Jonglei conflicts either directly or indirectly for its own reasons.

First of all, UNMISS has been accused of supplying weapons to the mercenaries since the outbreak of the conflicts, this point can be justified in the incident where by the mission chopper was gunned down by the SPLA in the war areas of Pibor.

The helicopter was landing in the bushes forest areas suspected of being militias controlled areas. However the chopper has been landing deeply in the shrub without notification or authorization to moves or land in the bushes from the Soldiers for several days.

Certainly the chopper without permission of the government soldiers go into the bushes without proper communication.

On top of that the mission has been caught in collecting the wounded militias’ soldiers of renegade David Yau Yau for treatment before in several battles and also in the recent attack of the two payams, this is the great sign that cannot be ignored.

After the day of the attack the mission chopper moves over the two payams of Pakeer and Paliau which were affected by the militias attacks with the expectation that it will land to either collect the wounded people or supply food rations.

In addition, any attempt made by the government of South Sudan to carry out peaceful disarmament of illegal weapons in the hand of civilians is always denounced by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan mainly in Jonglei State.

For Example the 2012 disarmament which was officially declared by the president in Jonglei state was successfully carried out in the areas of Bor and Lou Nuer but when reaching Murle land, the Secretary general of the mission with her Murle allied militias started by describing the disarmament process as tribal cleansing.

Therefore the United Nations mission is not for the peace keeping in South Sudan but it’s for its own hidden agendas which will turn the entire country into a regrettable crisis if not properly managed or taken care of.

Furthermore, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan should be questioned why the mission aerial survey system always functions in seeing and portraying the images of the peoples attacking Murle and it can not see the Murle militias crossing to the areas of civilians?

Always the mission condemns any attempt of disarmament of murle community and the recent crackdown on militias by SPLA in murle land was also termed as “abuse of human rights” by the mission.

In any war torn area, there is no difference between the civilians and the militants who don’t dress in military uniforms unless the civilians join the camps of government forces, but if the civilians are supporting their fellow militia tribes, therefore that is not an abuse of human rights because there is no difference between civil population and the militias.

The mission has put up some protection deployment forces of UN forces in some areas which are claimed to be war and conflict affected areas in murle land like in Pibor, Lingkangulei and gumrok and many more, while ignoring the other areas which were smashed by the militias activities, for example, the areas like Jalle, Duk Padiet, Wernyol, maar and Paliau.

There is no any UNMISS unit being development in those areas in addition to Lou Nuer areas too. So, if the mission is for Peace why does it single out some areas for protection and ignored others?

In conclusion the author urges for the government of South Sudan to immediately expel the United nations mission out of the country if the government of the day is in need of peace and not instability.

This can be done by not renewing the UN mission mandate in July of next year, 2014 or else by replacing the secretary representative general of United Nation in South Sudan the “war chameleon,” Mrs. Hilde Johnson,
otherwise we in South Sudan will not enjoy peace.’

Always countries in Africa where UN forces are deployed are hindered by numerous problems including insurgencies to loot the available minerals plus divide and rule policy always practised by UN.

The views expressed above belong to the writer; the author is a freelance writer, he can be reached for comment and input at demayen@gmail.com

The Nation has been bleeding too much, time to quit for Kiir, Machar & Lam

BY: Mayak Deng Aruei, USA, NOV/08/2013, SSN;

For many years, South Sudanese through their leaders have been playing a deadly game of tribal politics. There will be no prosperity in the Republic of South Sudan if people continue to recycle the political leadership of Dr. Riek Machar, Dr. Lam Akol and General Kiir Mayardit.

By this time, people should know what these people are all about, which is tribal politics as usual. The future is not in the hands of these figures any more.

This deadly game should come to an end because history is the best factor for selecting people to occupy public seats and to serve the citizens’ interest.

It used to be that people got stuck with Lam Akol & Riek Machar because they were among the few well educated South Sudanese in the region, and a great choice for their ethnic groups.

But, surely, that is no longer the case because Riek Machar is not the only well educated person in Nuer. He is not even the only well educated person in Leer, his village. His qualifications have been equalled by many Nuers who have educated themselves in different parts of the world, earning doctorates of various kinds.
In the case of Lam Akol, he was never the most well educated person in Fashoda, let alone Shilluk. So that should never have earned him anything from day one.

It is well known that the tiny community of Shilluk was so beaten up in the years of liberation because of Lam Akol, who defected with Riek Machar in 1991, defected again from Nasir Faction and sacrificed Shilluk’s boys for the purpose of cementing his authority in the liberation.

On the other hand, Pagan Amum and Oyay Deng Ajak had their share of responsibility for running the Shilluk into the ground, because they remained with the SPLM/SPLA and took with them Shilluk fighters, most of whom perished on the front-line.

With all of that being said, Lam Akol would never have been a key political player in South Sudan if it were not for President Salva Kiir, who is always unprepared for challenges.

As for General Kiir, having a Dinka at the center of national politics is advantageous even if he cannot wow his supporters. This is not about numbers, as commentators always liked to say when painting Dinka into whatever picture they wanted.

This is about consistency and favors that Dinka had earned throughout the decades of the Liberation Movement. Some people dislike when Dinka is praised, but the reality remains unchanged: when the war got hot, Dinka withstood the heat, recruiting young boys to assist the SPLA until the breakthrough was reached in 2002, leading to the final peace in 2005.

That consistency made Kiir the best available choice when the rest of the former warlords stayed holed up in Bilpam, not caring what the future would be like for their kids and grand kids.

For the youth, South Sudan needs to be rescued from the status of a failed State. South Sudan should not become another Somalia.

Whatever benefits received from these great leaders, whether it was a scholarship to study in a foreign nation or money for your marriage, it was always your money anyway.

If the GOSS officials had developed South Sudan eight years ago, you would have gotten all of those things without having to kneel before a ruler.

There is no reason for this generation to be scared away from being part of the bigger goal. The youths themselves ought to start disagreeing with relatives who are holding highest positions in the Government or in the SPLA when they are not doing the right things.

Absence things of the sorts, South Sudan will be leading the world as the poorest and chaotic nation on earth.

People should know that credentials and achievements are two different things. Leaders must be trusted in order to keep winning re-elections in a democratic nation.
Nonetheless, one of Kiir’s worst weaknesses is that he is a Regionalist, and has shown that on numerous occasions. The worst was in 2004 when he isolated himself in Yei. In that same year, the good Commander was under enormous pressure from political veterans from Bahr el Ghazal, with Uncle Bona Malual who was among those who orchestrated his failed defection.

When John Garang died, Kiir revitalized regional politics by crushing the government set up by Garang, putting people from Bahr el Ghazal in key positions because he owed them favors.

However, nature took away his shields, and he was left with very weak personalities from his region. He struggled for one year to find a replacement for the Ministry of Defence.

After consulting with leaders from his region, he tapped Kuol Manyang (Jonglei, but highly respected SPLA Commander) to take over the Ministry. One day before Kuol took the oath of office, Kiir was bombarded by the advisers from his region, and withdrew Kuol at the last minute.

Thereafter, politics became pretty rough and the vice President became the next target because Kiir’s diminishing capabilities crushed South Sudan before reaching nationhood.

At the course of cross accusations, Kuol was chosen once again to head the same ministry that he had been withdrawn from years earlier.

The bulls must be knocked out one by one. In the coming race for the August House, Lam Akol has no support from Shilluks, let alone Dinkas and Nuers. So he cannot be the right choice as Kiir’s successor.

Obviously, Riek Machar destroyed himself by opening an assistance program from his office, aimed at helping Dinka Bor, Hol, Nyarweng and Twic who had chronic diseases and were in need of medical treatment from foreign nations, such as India and South Africa.

In addition, Riek was also caught up in game of giving empty promises to communities he had wronged in the 1990s. For example, Riek promised to build a Clinic in one Payam in Twic East County, something that never happened.

In terms of security, Riek is not good at commanding forces and the past fragmentation of Nasir Faction is a very solid evidence.

Furthermore, the apology that Riek eventually gave to the Dinka Bor(collective) was organized by Makuei Lueth, which did not even earn Riek any credits because Twic and Duk Dinka had been implicated for supporting Riek, and all of them were removed from the government/never represented in the lean government of 2013.

Although there are still high ranking Generals serving in the SPLA led by Kiir, these Generals would not sacrifice their monthly incomes for the sake of Riek should he choose to run against Kiir in the upcoming election.

All of these factors would seriously diminish Riek’s capacity to challenge Kiir, because he would be left with support from only a tiny portion of Nuer.

Without any doubt, Equatoria no longer supports Riek because James Wani, as vice-president, is now next to Kiir, and Equatorians have no common border with Nuers, so would not need to back Riek.
Based on work done during the Interim period, Pagan Amum would have been a leading candidate for succession had he not destroyed his hard earned popularity. He was delusional to believe that he was politically married to Kiir and to cooperate with individuals like Dr. Lual Achuek.

South Sudan must forget about tribal affiliations because tens of thousands of lives, and countless properties have been lost in the course of defending tribes from senseless wars.

For General Kiir de Mayardit, his historical legacy is the highest award that a person who has fought tirelessly for the liberation of the people can earn.

He must honorably step away from the throne and leave while he still has a good name to leave to his kids. If he steps down now he will be celebrated as the Joshua of South Sudan.

However, if he stubbornly stays in power, Kiir risks being exiled like Apollo Milton Obote of Uganda and the rest of Africa’s leaders who never left a good legacy for their families and nations that they worked for.

South Sudan is different now, and a police State won’t solve its problems. Instead, dissenters will only increase day by day.

In closing, the citizens of South Sudan need to start looking for a new clean and credible person to succeed General Kiir in 2015 or 2021. Dr. Riek Machar, Dr. Lam Akol and General Kiir do not serve the good of the nation.

The author here is Mayak Deng Aruei, South Sudanese living in USA, author of newly published Book, ‘Struggle Between Despair and Life’, he is an SPLA Red Army Veteran, he holds an Associate of Science in Legal Assistant, BA in Sociology & philosophy: Crime, Justice, law & Society, MA in Legal Studies, he completed one year of Juris Doctor(JD), currently pursuing Bachelor’s of Laws(LLB) and Doctor of Education in Organization leadership: Organizational Development. He can be reached at Kongor.da.ajak@gmail.com

Open Letter to Bishop Daniel Deng, Chairman, South Sudan Peace & Reconciliation Commission

BY: Peter Dragu Wani, RSS, NOV/08/2013, SSN;

Dear Bishop Daniel Deng,
Whilst thanking you for your effort to bring peace in EES (Eastern Equatoria State), I categorically want to state my understanding that peace is not only the absence of war, especially in the situation of our nation of South Sudan.

Your Grace, allow me to define peace to enable my readers to understand why I chose to write about your inexhaustible effort to bring peace in our new nation the Republic of south Sudan.

Accordingly,
* Peace is a situation or a period of time in which there is no war or violence in the country or an area.
* Peace is a state of being calm or quiet.
* Peace is a state of living in friendship with somebody without arguing.

Having given the above definition, let’s try to analyse the situation in our own context. Out of the ten states of South Sudan today, which one of them is the most peaceful or most violent and why is that so?

Without any doubt, seven out of the ten states in South Sudan have the Dinka ethnic groups as dominant or significant indigenous inhabitants.
Unfortunately, however, out of the seven states where the Dinka are present, Jongelei state scored the highest points of being the worst state.

Since the comprehension Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed, exhaustive efforts by stakeholders including some European countries and USA have been availed to maintain the hard-earned peace in Republic of South Sudan (RSS) but instead of sustained peace, war is on the rise.

One wonders why after millions of dollars were spend there still is no peace. Does this mean the term ‘peace and reconciliation’ is used solely to attract more donations? I leave it for others to answer for themselves.

The situation in EES where I come from, is relatively peaceful compared to the seven Dinka populated states I referred to earlier. The unrest in EES state can be characterized as a new problem caused by external forces mostly the Internal displaced persons [IDPs] being engineered by some elements of politicians within Juba.

Your Grace Bishop Deng, you can’t categorically be a peace advocate when you don’t have your house in order. Just as you can’t remove the speck from someone’s eyes unless you removed the speck in your eyes first.

Equally, the qualities expected from you before you step out to take the banner of ‘peace and reconciliation,’ I would like to refer you to the very doctrine by which you live in the Book of Timothy 3: 2-7.

The most pressing issue, let’s be candid here, that will derail the peace and reconciliation endeavour in the state and spill out to the remaining nine states, eventually eating up the whole country is Jongelei state.

I wonder why the unrest in Jongelei which was created in the watchful eyes of the government in Juba has taken so long to find a solution to it.

What has been happening in the South Sudan since the day CPA came into effect and now since gaining Independence can be characterized as solely due to the unbalanced representation of power by the Kiir led government, which is an extreme exercise of superiority complex by one tribe over the others.

As a result, this has directly created power vacuum, repression, land grabbing and massive occupation particularly by Dinka tribe of lands belonging to other nationals or tribes.

The Dinka tribe, a tribe where you came from and which wrongly values such qualities as their right, I must say, is a thing that is very unfortunate for reconciliation and peace building because whatever you say will not be effective on the subject of peace you are preaching as your very people are doers of the opposite of your preaching.

Frankly and emphatically, the Kiir government should have appointed someone other than you, because, how can you talk about peace when your own people, whom you are part and parcel of are still causing havoc and they are not ready for peace?

Bishop Deng, as a man of God, let me draw your attention to the volatile issue of Nimule where there are more than 45,000 Dinka forcefully occupying the land of Ma’di and forcing the Ma’di of Nimule to remain in Oliji Refugee camp in Adjumani District of Uganda.

Theses IDPs have been in Nimule since 1994, the date they fled from the defection of commander William Nyuon Bany and up to the eventual signing of the CPA, but inexplicably, we haven’t seen some of them ever return back to Jongelei.

Instead, since attaining the independence, a new massive surge of IDPs and IDPs’ cattle influx in Nimule has been seen, reaching a startling high figure.

Your Grace, Bishop Deng, this astronomical invasion has been brought about by the imperialistic political agenda that has now become a common knowledge, the prevailing intent is to wipe out other smaller tribes from their land of origin.

Apparently, the diabolical reason is to pass the so-called ‘newly conquered land’ to those Dinka who were brainwashed to fight a war that will see them make a comeback to occupy the Equatoria land, a cynical deed of kokora payback!

Whilst I was fighting the war of liberation against the Jalaba oppression, little did I personally know that what was being chanted in Dinka language to those foot soldiers was none other than a stabbing in the back for the rest of us the non-Dinka South Sudan liberators.

Nearly ten years since CPA was signed and nearly two years since South Sudan became an independent country, there are still armed Dinka men who are not part of national army of RSS who are dangerously roaming with AK 47s in the market of Nimule, threatening the lives of the unarmed poor Ma’di people.

Seriously, you, Bishop Garang, how can you talk about reconciliation when you have failed to tell your own people about forceful land grabbing and oppression of others in their very own ancestral land?

Your Lordship, Bishop, surely reconciliation comes as a result of the offenders realizing and recognizing their offence, and must be willing to rectify and apologize for their actions against the offended or victims.

That forms the basis and essence of true reconciliation. Without identifying the core problems and outlining the solutions to the problems, I wonder whom are you coming to reconcile in EES?

Is it the killing of an innocent people or the killing of the Nimule chief by your people?

Or is it what is suspiciously sitting at the tip of your tongue which will easily roll out as the so-called Acholi/Ma’di issue?

Whichever it is, I will assure you that, yes, without any denial, the Acholi and Ma’di have some issues to reckon with but these are brothers who have lived together in peace and harmony.

Their intermarriage has seen some disharmony amongst aunties, uncles, nieces and nephews and what eroded that harmony of co-existence recently between the Acholi/Ma’di was influenced and fuelled by some greedy politicians to gain their own interests and power.

Again, not far from the influence of deceitful power promise to the politicians by your Dinka minded government that has exacerbated the problem.

Bishop, let’s not be blindfolded by what you claim to offer because we are all matured in our God given knowledge. Peace will come to EES when your present boss, Kiir, agrees to take decisive stand to say enough is enough, and tell the Dinka IDPs in Nimule to pack their roaming cattle which have become part wildlife and go back where they came from.

Until this is done peace will not prevail and the training program you talked about during your visit to Torit will be a waste of state resources.

It doesn’t take a million dollars or 100 people to bring peace, so why waste vast state resources on what is not peace?

Bishop and Mr president Kiir, let me suggest to you five ways if you want to see a democratic South Sudan to be a nation we all aspire to cherish, where our children’s children will grow in peace without hatred.

The suggestions are as follows:
1. Repatriate all the Dinka IDPs in Equatoria, Shilluk and Nuer land, just to mention a few.
2. Address the issues of Murle amicably.
3. Stop forceful land grabbing in Equatoria or any other parts of RSS. Let’s follow normal and legal procedures to acquire land.
4. Try to be inclusive in the formation of your government rather than your cabinet being your close friends or tribes mates, resulting in you sacking others without any sound reasons.
5. Finally, speed up the program to rewrite the national constitution, and stop dragging the national army into politics in order to fulfil your long time political ambition.

I would rather like you to pave way for the coming election in order to bring fresh blood into the nation.

Bishop, it is very important for the sake of peace to prevail in our nation that you do exactly what a peace maker should be doing, tell those Dinka in Nimule to go home, advise the President precisely that he is the president of the nation, not president of Dinka.

Remember, the referendum was our collective effort, it was our common belief that has resulted into the birth of RSS. This is the long awaited aspiration of every South Sudanese.

Please, my appeal is, don’t bury this long aspiration to see our people living in peace, our children growing up in peaceful environment without been discriminated regardless of their appearance and the language they speak. It was on this that I was prompted to write this note to you.

How I wish I could address you and Mr. President directly but unfortunately in a nation like ours, leaders are not servants but rather they are Kings which makes them become utterly unreachable.

Author:
Peter Dragu Wani
pdragu@yahoo.com.uk

SALVA MATOK: Wanted in connection with Chief Ajugo’s murder

BY: Okudra Paul Ojjali, NIMULE, NOV/04/2013, SSN;

While the innocent ‘prime suspects’ rot in Torit prison cells, the real criminals are yet to be brought in for questioning. The biggest question that all of you should ask is why has there not been genuine arrests in connection with Ma’di chief Livio Ajugo’s death so far?

Though the shocking answers are staring us in the face, no one dares speak out because of fear. Fear is the spirit that has possessed our young nation, choking them to death, leaving the ruthlessly immoral politicians to stump on our living corpses.

Since the security organ in Eastern Equatoria State (EES) has stalled in its investigation process in the quest to apprehend the perpetrators by ‘leaving no stones unturned,’ I would like to draw the attention of the nation to some disturbing discoveries.

On the fateful night of Ajugo’s murder, a precise phone call was allegedly made to the brother of the late Ajugo informing him that his brother was dead, just a few minutes after his death. Another phone call was allegedly made to Ambassador John Anduga Aka Ogo, that chief Ajugo was dead.

It is worth noting that the caller was none other than Major Daudi Kisire, the local businessman turned security organ who allegedly made the chilling phone call to break the news of Ajugo’s death to his brother. Andruga was informed by his aide, local business broker, Iligo, and Andruga in turn allegedly called the number one security man, Minister Oboto Mamur.

Whilst returning home after parting company with the local businessman, chief Ajugo was gunned down by an unknown gunman on 08/09/13. The bullet recovered and believed to have killed Ajugo came from one of the latest weapons only used by the police force in Nimule. Though news about Ajugo’s death spread like wild fire, his killers became elusive to the EES authority.

This goes to explain the theory, a working hypothesis I have always had, that Ajugo’s assassination was purely targeted at silencing him in a cover up land deal that involves the Eastern Equatoria State, EES, the land grabbers impersonating as the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) whose head chiefs are sitting in Juba siphoning monies from the government coffers to aid their projects in Nimule through local businessmen.

These alleged local businessmen, headed by Major Kisire go by the names of Inyani Paul, Taban Oliver, Anyala, Andrew, Iligo and the one and only female, queen mother Kadija, just to mention a few.

It is well known in Nimule that black magic queen mother Kadija stops at nothing to lay her hands on power and money, even if it means sacrificing her own brother or child.

These propellers of land grabbing have been allegedly initiated in the underworld spiritual initiation by queen mother Kadija, making them falsely believe that their dirty acts are invisible to the common man’s eyes.

Unfortunately, the faith of this group in this lady is so strong that it has captivated even the elite of the group in the likes of Mr. John Maire, who recently underwent some initiation by vanishing from his post in Torit for months, claiming sickness in Uganda!

In fact at some point, one is made to believe when you see a man of Maire’s calibre being stationed in Pageri as Deputy Protocol Director to wait on just the one woman, Dr Anna Itto, the only worthy protocol substance in the region who happens to come from Pageri itself.

These Ma’di boys found themselves hungry for money, greedy for fame in the form of recognition and therefore they are pushed to do dirty business with the IDPs.

Nimule Member of Parliament, Aventore Amure Bilal, who allegedly joined forces with Dr Anna Itto in their platonic relationship to appease Salva Matok, former Minister of interior and allegedly a close associate of Bilal, has seen them scoop funds to enrich themselves and sustain the power they so yearned for.

Apparently, big men like Bilal have gone further to desert their wives in favor of political prostitution compelling them to worship fellow men!

Matters get muddy in EES because the undergraduate student Governor Luis Lobong Lejore spends more than half his work life studying at Kampala International University, leaving his Deputy, the money and power hungry Jerome Surur to allegedly loot the state.

So, unfortunately, student Governor Lobong does not trust his indoctrination as an ex-seminarian but rather strives to acquire a degree that would match his Deputy’s at the expense of EES.

That is why Chief Ajugo had to die, because when he could no longer stand being pushed and pushed, he apparently thought about revealing names and promising to shame more.

Thus, in order for the chief not to reach the big men, on the count of only 5 names, he was fatally silenced. Who knows what names Ajugo would have come up with had his life been spared!

Just as I thought my community saw a light at the end of the tunnel, that hope was dashed when nothing more was heard about the most recent arrests. Two persons were arrested in Ajujo fishing village situated approximately 12 km away from Adjumani District Town of Uganda.

One of them reportedly fitted the description of a tall man with tribal marks on the forehead that stated the V for victory, according to the report. These men were doing what they all are best at, drinking and bragging about their achievements in a corner bar in a Ugandan peaceful fishing village of Ajujo roaming with AK 47’s in town. These men were allegedly said to have confessed to being paid some ransom in order to get rid of chief Ajugo.

Nimule barracks wished to have these people handed to them. In good faith, Adjumani did that and unfortunately nothing has been heard about them since.

South Sudan has gone ahead to violate the memorandum of understanding signed between her and Uganda that allowed them to arrest and hand over the criminals they arrest on each other’s soils.

Just the other day they humiliated and insulted the Ugandan security intelligence by kidnapping a South Sudanese citizen, Mr. Angu Abdalla, from Nyeu refugees camp, Adjumani, on 14/10/13, where he had gone to visit part of his family that remained in Uganda due to his land being occupied by the IDPs.

Angu unfortunately became the latest edition to Torit maximum security after suffering partial paralysis of his hand following being tied up and severely before being bundled in the vehicle registration number EE075B belonging to a certain man called Taban, a security chap operating in Nimule.

How can organized criminal gangs not flourish in the country if South Sudan does not honor her part of the agreement? It has been close to a week now since I first learned about these arrests but nothing has come to light about it.

It is kept very quiet in the army barracks, where the prime suspects are kept. These suspects both arrested for the same crime and are very likely the right suspects, yet no torture was awarded to them, unlike the Ma’di elders and leaders who were tortured badly.

Why is this so? Because this time round, it is the right persons in detention and revealing their names would mean uncovering the whole truth that will drag down the names of more big men.

It also goes to illustrate that the presence of the SPLA army in Ma’di is targeted at intimidating into silence the Ma’di community so that the long term goal of reducing them to second class citizens in their own rightful ancestral land is achieved though forceful occupation.

When the lucrative business of land came in play, the likes of Salva Matok, the former Deputy Minister of Interior in government of South Sudan (GOSS), by proxy became massive landowners in the virgin land of Nimule.

Suspiciously, this is the prime reason why these men, the alleged killers of the Chief, currently detained in the Nimule barracks are being protected. One wonders if they are still in custody or have now been smuggled back to their ancestral land into safe haven!

As I also learnt, there is a woman whose identity is unknown was arrested by police in Nimule who is said to have connection with the two men arrested by Ugandan police, therefore, the SPLA army in Nimule threatened to storm the police station if the police refused to release the woman. But so far the police is standing its ground.

Supposedly, an army of the nation is to protect and defend the nation not to police the nation, I wonder where are we heading in south Sudan?

With big names such as Salva Matok allegedly involved, why would chief Ajugo not be kept quiet especially when he declined to clear the way for the completion of these and many other transactions?

Allegedly, that was the reason why Mp Bilal Amure has been spotted in the office of Salva Matok several times sealing a deal. MP Bilal’s duplicitous relationship with Matok was questioned and challenged in public in Ma’di community. Bilal has never refuted the accusation.

That also explains why Ambassador John Andruga’s alleged statement to Minister Obote Mamur was not about a chief was murdered but rather about an SPLA chief being murdered.

So, in the same regard, why do you think Mr. Ambassador Andruga did not call the security organ in Juba? Simple. It is because this is getting closer home to the liking of the puppets Anna Itto and John Andruga that will clearly uncover the immunity of the likes of Surur, Maire, Todo, Bilal and his local businessmen representation.

Importantly, the recovered bullet from the gun that murdered the chief has a lot to answer in this murder case. The police force knows something it is not saying to the suffering relatives of Ajugo, the Ma’di community and the rest of the waiting anxious public.

In my personal view, just to help jog the retarded brains of the South Sudan internal security organ, the people whom Chief Ajugo last parted company with have to and should be called for questioning if not already locked in jail instead of the innocent elders and leaders of the Ma’di community.

In this respect, Daudi Kisire and his henchmen should be instead arrested for questioning.

Furthermore, the bullet recovered from the body of late Ajugo should help identify the gun, which I am told is from these new versions of arms used by the police.

In which case, the former Deputy Minster of Interior Mr. Salva Matok and his aide MP Bilal should step forward for questioning.

EES government, hoping that by now Mr. Governor Lobong completed his ‘law degree’ and has acquired enough knowledge in good governance and should understand the essence of releasing the illegally detained Ma’di elders and leaders from Torit maximum prison cell.

Below are names of the local security organ built by Daudi Kisire’s empire, they are not part of official security organ built by state government:
1-Emma Joseph
2-Taban Joseph Mabe
3-Luka Lowira. Father’s name CHIP.
4-Vuciri Henry. His father’s name is called Lukada Ebi.
5-Opira Gino Mondo
6-Izaru. He works as currency trader in Elegu, Uganda
7-Alira Solomon, village chief Abila.
8-Makpe Joseph.

Imperatively, the above mentioned names must be rounded up by official security for questioning in alleged connection with extortion and illegal labelling of innocent people for arrest. They can’t be allowed to show their horns in a nation where the state security exists. Their actions require immediate involvement of the state government in arresting them.

Author
Okudra Paul Ojjali.
Nimule, South Sudan.

SPLM Presidential candidacy must be open to all

BY: Kidepo Longiro, KAMPALA, UGANDA, NOV/04/2013, SSN;

In my opinion the issue of SPLM Presidential candidate should be left for the SPLM Convention to discuss and choose who the party thinks can take the SPLM Presidential ticket come 2015 election. President Kirr, Vice President Wani, Dr. Riek, ex-SPLM Secretary General Pagan, Madam Nyandeng or any other SPLM presidential aspirants are all sons and daughters of South Sudan and have equal democratic rights to contest for the Presidency if they want.

Like other democratic political parties in the world, SPLM also allows internal democracy through convention or primaries this time around. Therefore, it is up to the SPLM Party to decide who they want to lead the Party and the Country this time around NOT particular tribal sentiments in Newspapers to discourage any of the presidential aspirants.

The former Vice President-Dr Riek Machar had openly declared to the public that he is contesting for Presidency and the writer of this article applaud this courageous idea. The writer is expecting more SPLM candidates or South Sudanese from other political parties to declare their aspirations for Presidency openly without any fear including the current sitting President- Mr. Salva Kiir, if he is still interested to contest for the next Presidency.

For those who are interested and prefer to keep silent, the writer of this article welcomes their attributes too.

The SPLA/M liberation war was fought collectively not by an individual or segment of one community who has claimed the whole war episode by behaving like dinosaurs in the society not, remembering even that most feared animal- the dinosaur and its species was put to an end by the very mankind around who were victims of the giant dinosaurs.

I do not know why it is difficult for most African leaders including President Kiir to retire like Nelson Mandela of South Africa who served one term (4 years only) and retired with dignity after delivering Black South Africans free from White apartheid regime which was the most important achievement.

Most South Sudanese should have remembered and acknowledged all the positive aspects about the unique leadership style of Kiir in handling issues when he first came to power –before he was messed up by his wrong/tribal advisers who think President Kiir in the like of Telar Deng.

President Kiir was known for keenness, partiality, generosity, forgiving, kind hearted and religious person to some extent, etc… just to mention a few, but of course this does not justify tribal opportunists to advocate/lobby barring, threatening or neutralizing other South Sudanese energetic Presidential aspirants who may deliver better using the best style of leadership this country might have never experienced before.

The Republic of South Sudan is not a monarchy but a democracy that must be respected; tellingly people should be ready to accept transformation and changes in this country. I do not know where on earth or which political party in the world advocates baring resourceful people for aspirations to be leaders?

With all due respect to our current Government, people should be presently analyzing the achievements of the current Government from day of inception in delivering basic social services to our people for the past 9-11 years (from 2005-2013/15). These kinds of evaluations should be examined across our states and communities taking into consideration the challenges faced by the government along the road while delivering these basic social services.

People should choose a leader based on his/her capacity to deliver or what he/she has delivered for the past years or what s/he can deliver in future.

Equatoria people should identify which leader will listen and implement the call for Federal System of Government deliberated during the Equatoria Conference 2013. Dr Riek Machar had already made it clearly in the Equatoria Conference that he is a Federalist and believes in a Federal system of Governance.

This does not mean I support Dr Riek but every Equatorian who attended that conference can testify this. Dr. Riek Machar has throughout been attending and listening to Equatoria Conferences in which President Kiir has never attended, but instead sends Dr Riek or his Terrany/Telar/wrong adviser who thought the President with all theft styles and looting of public fund.

But when it comes to Bahr El-Gazal conferences our President Kiir can fly easily up to Wau, Kuajok, etc when he could not attend Equatoria Conferences which are held in Juba Capital much nearer than Wau or Kuajok!

The Equatoria conference was highly disputed, politicized and propagated by some reporters in newspapers-mostly from Dinka origin– as an attempt to water down issues affecting Equatoria States and people in Equatoria and Republic of South Sudan.

Some of the reporters had openly written that their community (one community) members are dominating all high salaried paid jobs in the Republic of South Sudan Government (even without qualifications) because they were army generals and had fought the war without the involvement of others all along just to justify institutionalization of corruption by one community in the RSS.

That is why when the so-called those who fought the war alone are corrupting the system specially money embezzlement no one can dare apprehend but only poor ones are cheaply detained even without proofs of documents.

South Sudanese and the international community have been reading and watching all the terrains around South Sudan publicly as portrayed by these uncivilized bunches of lunatics in this country.

Mind you, these kinds of songs have reached some of our deaf ears, only 2015 will prove it. Meaning, people should also expect one community- Dinka- alone to vote and bring up an SPLM presidential candidate from Dinka origin through democracy since one community has reduced national leaders to community levels instead of applauding them as National figures by doing right things to others.

Dwelling much on the split of 1991 is tribally-motivated headache that will not save you any more, because for some of us who had experienced the worst experience in New Sudan live style (liberated areas) before the CPA.

There were worst human rights crimes committed by some of high profile members of SPLM/Government from Dinka origin against Equatoria people that included pandemic rape cases on under-age Equatoria girls, women and forced marriages.

Incredibly, some of these senior public officials who’d committed these kinds of human rights abuses are currently holding National Ministerial, Governorships and other constitutional positions (such as the alleged rapes in Pageri by Kuol Manyang).

However, I do not know why some people would keep on hanging on 1991 split. How about the Nuer of Gajaak massacre, the raid on Naser and others?

Did any Nuer come up and start blaming our late Leader(s) in Newspapers, for instance, for having instigated the killing of innocent Gajaak people?

How about the deaths of Joseph Oduho, Kerbino Kuanyi, William Nyuon, others and several assassination attempts against Dr. Riek Machar and the subsequent killing of his late wife (knocked by a vehicle) in Nairobi-James Gichuru road/junction- did people unearth all these out?

What about the Chukudum genocide in 1998 that arose on the issue of Peter Lorot and late Deng Aguang when the innocent Didinga civilians were brutally killed in the search of Peter Lorot and revenge killing against Peter Lorot’s community because of the death of one person only, did any one recall such dark days?

How about the continuous intimidations by same community towards other South Sudanese and international community in South Sudan from time CPA enactment 2005- up to now? Will this ever end and what is the way forward?

Leave democracy to take its course alone and do not interfere with the process. This time you should lobby professionally than barking against Federalism system of rule in your tribal forums.

If you are those who ran to the bush claiming to liberate the people of South Sudan from oppression with a hidden agenda of anti-Equatoria since some of you feared kokora, your colours are already clear to some of us…….

Kidepo Longiro can be reach on klongiro@gmail.com

Do our Parliamentarians know their role in South Sudan?

BY: Peter Gai Manyuon, JUBA, NOV/04/2013, SSN;

Everybody is saying, South Sudan is having a Parliament when in the real sense, we don’t have a legitimate Assembly in place. We have the building called National Legislative Assembly of South Sudan but the people who are there are not representing their constituencies but rather are there for political accommodations from the ruling party.

Most of them are there just waiting for their monthly salaries and allowances, which had become a burden to the people of the Republic of South Sudan at this particular period of time.

Ladies and gentlemen, in South Sudan context there are those that have lost value in them and there are those that have dignity in them no matter the circumstances, however looking at the way our parliamentarians are doing things in the Assembly, you find that, some of them have lost value and dignity within themselves and therefore, nothing is moving well in the National Assembly as we are speaking and moreover the role of parliament is supposed to make laws and order in every Country worldwide.

We all know that, rule of law and respect for human rights observation had been violated by both Executive and States Governors in South Sudan that is why some Governors are dismissing speakers who were legally elected by the people. People are being handled based on the village way of solving national agendas in South Sudan.

When you look at the National Assembly and Councils of states, you find that no good issues are discussed people are basing things on the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) which has become too ambiguous to the Media and the people of the Republic because there is no legitimacy from the people who are running the ruling party leadership.

Composition of Members of Parliament

In South Sudan, there are two Assemblies, one of which was elected in 2010 using Sudan Electoral Laws not South Sudan Electoral Laws, some people came to the Assembly based on many manipulations, some of whom came through ways that are not clear to the civilians who are the voters up to now.

That means there were no transparency and legitimacy in the election of 2010 especially the MPs who are now in the National Assembly. Meanwhile President of the Republic of South Sudan appointed some of the MPs to the Council of States Assembly.

Those who came from Khartoum had been considered to be in the Parliament and their main role is to work for the interest of one person which we all know in South Sudan context. How can national issues move when the composition of Parliament is having the big influence from the Executive?

And how can we conclude that we have Independent Legislature when others were appointed by using a decree? Where on earth can Parliamentarians be appointed by the use of decree?

People are having different opinions from the rest. MPs are supposed to represent the voice of the people that they are representing but in the case of South Sudan, things are not going that way, issue are going contrary to the point.

In the autonomous Republic of South Sudan, there are many liabilities that are holding public positions without participation that might help the indigenous citizens who are in the grassroots level. Since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 to date, there is nothing that had changed from the National Assembly in Juba from the time of Comrade James Wani Igga.

Most of the Members of Parliamentarians are just getting salaries without raising a motion in one day since the history of the Country after South Sudan gained Independence. Most of them are just dozing when it comes to the time of discussing national issues in the National Legislative Assembly.

Interestingly, most of the MPs in the National Assembly lack good education background, most of them are coming from background of Theology, that means they have run away from Saving the God the almighty, a very complex issue.

We all know that as per the education context once is supposed to specialize based on his/her interest but for the case of the South Sudan, you find that most people who are in the Assembly most of them are people who were Pastors by then.

But the question now is who is going to preach the word of God? Does it mean to them that they have chosen a wrong career in this very time?

Conclusively, in South Sudan Legislative Assembly, there are Members of Parliament who were in the house for ten years without raising a motion that can benefit the people of South Sudan, most of them like my Honorable who represents me in the Assembly, never talked one day in the National Assembly. He is there just for survival and moreover people back home have no way of Communications and etcetera.

The author is the Independent Journalist and a prominent Writer of South Sudan News Agency and Juba Monitor Newspaper Juba who wrote extensively on the issues of Democratization in South Sudan. Senior Information and Communications, South Sudan Law Society (SSLS)-Juba South Sudan Head Office
You can contact him through;southsudanjournalist@gamil.com

Towards Overcoming Peace-building Absurdity in South Sudan (II)

TBY: Tongun Lo Loyuong, FINLAND, NOV/04/2013, SSN;

Previously it was underscored that towards overcoming peace-building absurdity in South Sudan can be greatly enhanced by pursuing a peace-building model that contrary to the prevailing, alien, largely inept and counter-productive one, is inwardly rather than outwardly oriented. On this account, it was suggested that while the promotion of universal human rights values matter and democracy-building is important in South Sudan, what matters the most is the appreciation of cultural specificity of these values (see the previous sections of this debate easily accessible on the blog: http://tloloyuong.wordpress.com/).

In other words, the concern with what was hitherto ruled as the failure of peace-building processes and activities to genuinely appreciate local South Sudanese socio-cultural dynamics is the topic at hand to be unpacked at this juncture of towards overcoming peace-building absurdity in South Sudan reflections.

This is examined here from the perspective of “cultural relativism” of human rights debate, particularly as human rights violation remains a pressing concern in South Sudan as its practice continues unabated with impunity.

The recent unfortunate and unprincipled tragic butchering of unarmed civilian population in their hundreds that was accompanied by pillaging and scorch-earth practice in Jonglei State is a glaring case in point. It was no coincidence that while the massacre was unravelling in Twic East, the government of South Sudan (GoSS) was busy conducting business as usual by welcoming and rolling out the red carpet for the visit of one of the most internationally acknowledged and notorious authors of human rights violations, ethnic cleansings and genocides in the Sudan in recent human history.

Despite lip-service on commitment to protect human rights that has repeatedly been paid by GoSS, and scant public condemnation that in the last case of Twic East, for instance had to be squeezed out of the office of the president, plenty of other incidences of human rights violations can be cited.

Disappearances, selective application of justice and prolonged arbitrary imprisonment without due process, intimidation, torture and in some unfortunate cases even lynching of political opponents, human rights activists and journalists, among others, are well-documented.

The failure of GoSS to protect the right to security and the violation of the right to life, among numerous other litany of failures to provide basic human rights, from civil and political rights to economic, social and cultural rights to safeguard human dignity in South Sudan remains but the naked truth.

Flatly stated, human rights protection is alien to governments of the day in the greater Sudan. The same political culture of human rights violation has now been inherited, and the practice of which has been exacerbated in South Sudan thanks to the normalcy of the practice that has developed in the SPLM’s reign of terror and heinous human rights abuses in the bush years.

This is an organization that is very well-reputed for its gross human rights violations in the bush for sheer ideological political opposition by fellow South Sudanese, of its New Sudan Vision in favor of the more popularly favorable independent and sovereign South Sudan for which they are now claiming credit and enjoying its fruits.

Why go to such great lengths so as to summarily kill and repeatedly flog their unburied remains into decomposition only to later claim the ownership of the Southern liberation and independence for which they have advocated from the get go? Sadly, under these circumstances, accountability for human rights abuses in South Sudan will remain a forlorn cry for some time.

Only the small and helpless fish which were only following orders are the ones to receive the politically motivated and unmitigated wrath of “justice,” while the real culprits get away and enjoy their political office with all its looting with impunity privileges.

But to be sure, impunity as such is equally encouraged and nurtured in an even greater culture of global impunity and selective application of international criminal law in the face of recurrent unspeakable human rights violations not only in South Sudan but in most violent conflict environments around the world.

In addition, and as a mechanism for towards overcoming peace-building absurdity, one of the favorable explanation of the resistance to embrace human rights culture in South Sudan is to cognate this reality not within some perceived absence of human rights values in the local cultures, but as the result in part of the continued cultural relativism of human rights problem. A cursory perusal of this debate is telling to this end.

In this context, the universal human rights norms have come a long way from its articulation first in various world religions, then to its more secularized version as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations Charter on December 10, 1948.

It is generally agreed therefore, that human rights ideals and conceptions in Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam and by and large all the major religious traditions of the world have invariably and immeasurably contributed the cornerstones of the UDHR ideals.

At the center of Hindu Sacred Text for example, is the command to modestly conduct oneself by a moral campus that leads to an altruistic and outward-orientation in lieu of inward and egotistic preoccupation with the self. The moral and spiritual value here is to inculcate and nurture an outward-orientation that is geared towards a genuine concern for the other. Hindu believers are implored to feed the hungry, attend to the sick, shelter the homeless and do no harm to others.

Similarly, Jewish Scripture equally abound in injunctions on the moral worth of the human person and the importance of social justice. “You shall not oppress. You shall do no injustice. You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” is the crux of the Jewish Scripture.

As Martin Buber, a Jewish theologian is cited by Paul Gordon Lauren in his lucid presentation of “The Evolution of International Human Rights: Visions Seen,” to have aptly underscored that Solidarity is therefore, one of the fundamental moral and spiritual principles of the Jewish faith.

“Such a process,” as Lauren quotes Buber, “‘is a matter of leavening the human race in all places with genuine We-ness. Man will not persist in existence if he does not learn anew to persist in it in a genuine we.’”

Likewise the Buddha—Siddhartha Gautama, emphasizes cultural and social inclusivism and criticizes the caste system by “urging his followers to renounce differences ‘of caste and rank and become the members of one and the same society.’” Buddhist morality and spirituality sees the alleviation of suffering in overcoming the desires of the self as the prime duty of the Buddhist practitioner. This is to be practiced in tandem with “charity,” “lovingkindness,” and compassion towards the needy.

Indeed the Dalai Lama commendably sees the final resolution to the plight of human suffering as rooted in the global embrace of these Buddhist morality and spirituality. He asserts that only by showing a genuine concern for each other as fellow human beings can the world’s problems be brought to finality.

By the same token, the teaching of Confucianism is one that primarily promotes and encourages harmony between human beings as brothers and sisters. If there is one command that a person must hold dear on a daily basis is to abstain from “impose[-ing] on others what you yourself do not desire,” Lauren writes.

In short, the following dictum cited in Lauren, embodies the essence of Confucius belief system and what the world would look like, if an inward approach rather than an outward approach to peace-building defines peace-building interventions around the world.

“If there be righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character. If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home. If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation. If there be order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.”

And who is not familiar with the spiritual and ethical ideals of the Christian faith, with its all too familiar injunction on love to the neighbor and the enemy alike as the center piece of its spirituality and morality? In Christianity, humanity in its entirety is of equal value and moral worth before God.

Solidarity with those who are suffering and extending generosity to those who are in need overwhelms the Christian Scripture. “There is neither Greek nor Jew, nor slave nor free, man nor woman, but we are all one in Christ,” is one of the main pillars of the Christian Gospel and faith tradition.

Finally, while some leading Islamic states, such as Saudi Arabia continue to resist embracing universal human rights claims as promulgated in the UDHR by branding them as Western innovation, the fact remains that like most of the world religions, Islam too embodies the ideals of human rights, despite Khartoum being a poor reference to this fact.

But again Khartoum has distorted all sense of morality and spirituality, and has rendered that which is normative, an exception. That notwithstanding, solidarity and charity to meet the basic demands of the poor is one of the four pillars of the Islamic faith.

“The scripture of the Qur’an also speaks to matters regarding justice, the sanctity of life, personal safety, freedom, mercy, compassion, and respect for all human beings as rooted in the obligations owed by believers to Allah, or God,” affirms Lauren.

In fact Lauren further asserts that it is widely held that “the first charter of freedom of conscience in human history” is reflected in Islamic promotion of human rights to freedom and equality, particularly as practiced by Muhammad toward other religious traditions under Islamic rule.

Sadly, and this is the gist of the failure with genuine human rights representation and appeal in traditional societies, such as South Sudan for example, is that human rights norms have been reduced to not being able to overcome mere payment of lip-service to its protection by day, while being grossly violated by night.

It is particularly notable in this regard that human rights values and perceptions as articulated in our traditional cultures, religions and philosophies, have largely been marginalized from the global human rights discourse and perceptions.

John Mbiti, in his seminal philosophical work on “African Traditional Religions and Philosophies” for example, has shed considerable light on human rights ideals in the African cultures and philosophical thought but apparently with little bearing on informing the human rights pursuit and understandings of external actors in our societies.

Discussing the uniqueness and significance of African notions of kinship and communalism, for example Mbiti compellingly notes that in our cultures, customs and traditions: “the kinship system is like a vast network stretching laterally (horizontally) in every direction, to embrace everybody in any given local group. This means that each individual is a brother or sister, father or mother, grandmother or grandfather, or cousin, or brother-in-law, uncle, aunt, or something else, to everybody else. That means that everybody is related to everybody else.”

If it is true therefore, that the works of prominent African philosophers and thinkers of John Mbiti’s caliber rarely feature in global human rights discourse and the strive to promote these essential values in our societies, how can it then be expected that a sense of urgency and ownership of human rights principles can be invoked, while local folks fail to even recognize what these rights that are being promoted are?

The same applies for local concepts and understandings of peace. Only few are attempting to seek for and uncover cultural and traditional conflict resolution mechanisms in traditional societies and conflict settings to guide their peace-building interventions. More on this will be examined on a different occasion.

What is evident with this in mind is that, there is little wonder that our political elites have had it their way in manipulating the human rights state of affairs with impunity as a result. For this reason, the argument is being made here that the promotion of universal human dignity-preserving values must appreciate local socio-cultural dynamics, and find expression in local cultures and idioms in the theory and praxis of current peace-building interventions, if they are to augur well with South Sudanese and find local ownership and hence sustainability of the effort.

Towards overcoming peace-building absurdity in South Sudan must appreciate local ideas about peace and rights. A starting place would be to acknowledge the religious identity of human rights values not only limited to the world religions but also in traditional cultures, belief systems and philosophies.

This is particularly helpful in light of the steady increase of religious significance in our world these days. In emphasizing the religiosity of human rights in diverse faith traditions and doctrines, a consensus on the universality of human rights can begin to be built.

Such a consensus-building through the recognition and acceptance of human rights as intrinsic to every culture will not only enhance the protection of human rights in places like South Sudan, but will also serve as an important unifying platform in an increasingly fragmented world on the basis of socio-cultural divides across identities, race and ethnicities.

It is therefore, clear from the foregoing discussion that religious contribution to the foundations of universal human rights claims is not only remarkable, but inalienable. In this regard, human rights norms as enshrined in the United Nations Charter did not emerge in a vacuum or in a particular geographic location like the West. And as such, the promotion of the Western human rights typology in traditional societies must be shunned.

Human rights as presently developed results from the tireless efforts of thoughtful and dedicated persons some of whom were religious theologians and others were enlightened philosophers or both/and from across centuries and from various cultures around the globe, who reflected on how to better the human condition.

Their ideas in turn were refined and exchanged widely throughout history, before finally being consigned in the aftermath of the World War II in the UN Charter and other binding international and regional legal instruments, treaties and conventions.

Perhaps the only crime of “Westerness” of human rights norms is that human rights values are guilty of being institutionalized in the West, which makes the argument for their localization in traditional societies even more pertinent and appealing.

However, until that happens, the credibility of the universality of human rights as postulated in the UDHR and promoted in traditional societies will remain questionable and seen as a colonial or a Western construct.

This will in turn continue to provide the pretext for its resistance in places like South Sudan. Local authorities and political power wielders may find non-compliance with such unrefined Western values easy, while in truth such ideals of guaranteeing basic rights to equality and freedom, solidarity and collective sense of existence are embedded in most of the major world and traditional religions, even more so one would argue in the more communal cultures and societies of the likes of South Sudan.

“The moral worth of each person,” as Lauren held, “is a belief that no single civilization, or people, or nations, geographical area, or even a century can claim as uniquely its own. The issue of human rights addresses age-old and universal questions about the relationship between individual and their larger society, and thus is one that has been raised across time and across cultures.”

Authoritarian regimes must not, therefore not be provided with an excuse to find solace and pretext to continue in human rights violations and violent repression of their citizens at will for the perceived Western and alien nature of human rights as crudely promoted across the globe at the present.

And yet, despite the cultural relativism challenge, and as Jim Ife in his “Human Rights and Peace,” has concluded it is important to applaud the contribution of human rights, and acknowledge that “the world would be much poorer place without the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the many other international declarations and human rights covenants, the UN Human Rights Commission, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the bills of human rights which have found their way into the constitutions or statute books of most nations…”

But what is beautiful in principle, is ugly in practice.

Therefore in summation, in order for human rights to be taken seriously and locally owned in traditional societies as a token towards overcoming peace-building absurdity, the diverse cultural reality of our world and the availability of human rights values in its various faith traditions, including as found in South Sudan traditional religions and cultures must be embraced and guide efforts to foster respect for human rights. No more one-size-fits-all peace-building approach.

“What is needed is a more sophisticated and nuanced position, which seeks to incorporate both the power of universalism and the diversity of relativism,” in rediscovering effective and sustainable peace-building and human rights cultures and structures from within the conflict settings, not least in South Sudan. More on local and cultural conceptions of peace and rights will be elaborated next up.

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/