Archive for: February 2014

Failure of SPLM-led Govt. to Regulate Land is a Reason for Land Grabbing

BY: Malith Alier, Jinja, Uganda, FEB/23/2014, SSN;

Land grabbing is a grossly over misrepresented phenomenon among town and city dwellers in South Sudan. According to the CPA, land is defined as a communal asset. This means that land is the property of a particular community whose ancestors originally inhabited that piece of land.

This definition was appropriate for the interim period i.e. from July 2005 to July 2011. However, this definition stuck beyond the stated period and continuous to create difficulties not only to individual persons but also to various levels of the government.

The first land confrontation was between the Central/Federal Government and that of Central Equatoria State.

For Juba to be a true capital of South Sudan, the Central Government requested Central Equatoria State to relocate to Yei or any other town of its choice.

In defiance of Central Government request, the Central Equatoria Government cited the CPA provision and its own State transitional Constitution as reasons that enable it to exercise jurisdiction over Juba.

However, instead of fighting on, the Central Government led by the SPLM revisited a little known Ramciel Project and strove to accelerate relocation of the capital from Juba to the designated capital, Ramciel.

The SPLM led Central Government has a particular way of dealing with national issues of magnificent concern like the Ramciel and Juba issue.

One would assume that there exists the same provision in the South Sudan Interim and Transitional constitutions that make Juba the capital of South Sudan just like the Central Equatoria Constitution.

If so, both Constitutions have conflicting provisions that need to be sorted out by law.

The South Sudan Transitional Constitution is not subordinate to that of Central Equatoria but it is the other way round.

In case of similar federal States the world over, any conflicting provisions in federal and State Constitutions are resolved through the courts. Always the federal Constitution prevails over State Constitution.

This is the path South Sudan Government should have taken instead of choosing a less controversial but costly relocation at the time when the country has no known developed infrastructure and resources to support the relocation.

The planned relocation is a good idea whose time is premature. Many notable South Sudanese object to this relocation on the grounds that the country is not ready for it right now.

There are issues of rampant corruption, poor infrastructure and prohibitive high costs of the project itself.

Looking around us, there are many examples of planned relocations on the African continent. Tanzania relocated its capital from Dar Es Salam to Dodoma. Nigeria relocated from Lagos to Abuja, Uganda relocated from Entebbe to Kampala.

Further afield, Australia relocated its capital from Sydney to Canberra. These are a few among many more examples of recent relocations.

So, relocation of national capitals is not a bad idea but it must be carefully planned if it were to succeed.

The Government of the Republic of South in it assessment failed to identify true reasons that make relocation necessary.

These reasons include:- poor plan of the existing capital, lack of space for expansion and problems of strategic location of the current capital. Some people argue that a capital should be located in the centre of a country.

Land grabbing and loggerheads with any State government are not sufficient reasons for relocation. With open mind these problems could easily be solved constitutionally.

The Central Government abandonment of Juba for Ramciel has a number of consequences a part from being unachievable at the moment.

First, the Central Government is seen as weak and unaware of legal avenues at its disposal. These legal avenues can be used against States that challenge the Federal Government authority in matters of which is has jurisdiction like land, foreign affairs and defence.

It is the Central Government that should delegate some land issues to the lower levels.

Second, the abdication of Central Government has emboldened State Governments and local communities to become obstacles to land distribution programs equitable to all South Sudanese.

Juba is the most difficult city to acquire land title in the whole country. It is also where cries for land grabbing are the loudest.

Reason, the land acquisition is obfuscated among different levels of the Government and local Bari communities.

The other towns with the same scenario are Yei and Nimule. The Madi of Nimule is often at the loggerheads with Eastern Equatoria Government over war time displaced people that settled in Loboni, Mugali and Magalatoria.

The UN which used to feed the internally displaced people there invented the term IDPs or Internally Displaced Persons. This term is nostalgically still in use today to describe those who settled in Nimule despite the fact that the three settlements have been abandoned and the country is independent.

Nobody should be identified by this UN demeaning term “IDP” in their own country.

This was the same message by Minister of Interior when he visited Nimule last year. This message however, was not well received by the Madi diehards who want to continue with regressive land policies over the coming years.

As Juba, Yei and Nimule continue quarreling over how to deal with land; other towns are more progressive and accommodating and therefore, have devised progressive policies that are favourable to locals as well as other prospective land owners.

Bor, the recently war devastated capital of Jonglei State is a case study in the country.

The first independence Governor of Jonglei Mr. Philip Leek initiated a land distribution programme in 2007 after consultation with local people.

The local people, like the Madi, opposed the idea because they felt that they will be disadvantaged in the process of distribution.

However, the former Governor managed to sufficiently address their concerns and they were the first to receive land allotments wherever, they are located.

The Land distribution programme was going on well before the recent upheaval in the country. The case of Bor is the best example of a successful land distribution programme to emulate.

There are important issues South Sudanese have not known about land. Land is a factor of production like capital and labour.

Land is a very important economic factor without which production is impossible to realise.

Land is a resource that holds other resources like minerals. If these minerals are not exploited and developed than they mean little to mankind.

The same to land, if not develop it has little value to man. This is to say that a surveyed land is more valuable than free land.

The intensified migration to towns meant that land be surveyed and allotted to individuals or institutions for a meaningful use to take place. Nobody loses anything in this process.

If one is not directly allocated a piece of land he/she can have an option to buy from legal owners and ownership is completely transferred forever.

Indeed, it becomes easy for those who transfer from one city to another. They can sell their homes from where they’re leaving and buy from where they’re going. This means a total peace of mind to everybody in the country.

Opposition to land distribution programme can cause unintended problems as seen in parts of the country particularly those cities that hinder allocation of lands to those who need it.

Juba is not only the capital of the republic but is also a cosmopolitan city that accommodates all sorts of people around the globe.

Instead of being narrow minded, the authorities should devise clear land policies that cater for diverse needs of South Sudanese and other people who join them as businesspeople or as diplomatic community.

Every one of the mentioned stakeholders has unique needs that warrant specific attention.

Strangely, holding to “our ancestral land” only emboldens those who feel marginalised to take the law on to their own hands.

The incident when about fourteen (14) people were killed in Komiru, Juba was a horrific result of not transparently allocating land to legitimate claimants.

Remember that the so-called land grabbers have legitimate claims to land ownership anywhere in the country. The questions they normally asked include; now I am in this city where my family and I should stay?

Also during the liberation struggle, the fighters fought anywhere regardless of where they come from. The transitional constitution of the Republic of South Sudan confirms this notion in no uncertain terms.

South Sudanese should stay anywhere in the country without discrimination according to both Interim and Transitional Constitutions.

The second problem is the legal battles over land cases that otherwise are avoidable. In most cases, those who are accused of land grabbing are those who found an empty land settle on it only to be informed later that they had grabbed that land.

The third problem is the loss of income to the government. Many land deals are done underhand far from the government radar. In Juba alone there are tens of thousands of land leases going on since 2006.

The Ethiopians, Eritreans and other investors have taken advantage of this legal loophole and are the prime beneficiaries of these illegal land deals.

This issue had prompted one of the Citizen Newspaper Columnists, Mr. Sunday D Tor, to refer to Juba as Juba Na Foreigners instead of Juba Na Bari as advocated in the past.

The final problem is to do with the legal implications of these illegal land deals in the foreseeable future. Will more land problems arise between land owners and foreign investors? Will they come to the government? How shall the government handle these cases?

All in all, land grabbing is a man-made issue that should never have been had the government taken charge to allocate land transparently.

The government and local communities have made land in the cities like a forbidden fruit. South Sudan as a country has abundant land compared to other parts of East Africa. Why should people fight over urban land is something that warrants special government intervention.

Nobody should call a fellow countryman an IDP in their own country. This is a shameful UN tag that has no meaning in an independent South Sudan.

The country is too big for the people of South Sudan and as such even welcomes the Sudanese nomads of Mesiryah and Rezegat yearly.

It is mind boggling why should South Sudanese be so vindictive on one another in regard to the land issue which has claimed millions of lives to liberate it?

War or Peace: A Choice for South Sudanese!

BY: Deng Mangok Ayuel, AWEIL, South Sudan, FEB/21/2014, SSN;

Will peace be realized in the country when a rebel leader is charged with treason? Peace is for all, and leadership for unambiguous few politicians, I urge our leaders to have hearts for their nation.

We should prioritize peace and reconciliation. Millions of lives were lost in the decades of protracted civil war in Sudan. There is no need for war anymore in the new nation.

Let’s opt for peace in order to repair broken coexistence among ethnicities for better South Sudan.

As rebels attacked the town of Malakal on Tuesday, this shows that Dr Machar is not interested in peace – and the IGAD, Western leaders and well-wishers should hold him accountable for all atrocities committed by the rebels.

Who is interested in war? And who is not free or marginalized again? People have been working to find the root cause of the incident that erupted at military barracks in Juba where presidential guards side-lined ethnically and confronted themselves militarily, which turned a rebellion.

Dr Machar has rebelled but that isn’t a solution to presidential aspiration. We are yearning for peace not war.

I wondered why South Sudanese are supporting Dr Machar when he infringed the constitution by masterminding a failed coup attempt where lives were lost.

We should be law abiding people – constitutionally own our nation.

I potholed the warring parties, especially the rebels loyal to Dr Machar to stop violating the cessation of hostilities signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

If Dr Machar believes fighting to overthrow a legitimate government is the only solution to power or lasting peace in the country than tabling political differences that caused a rebellion, then he will not handle to remove an elected leader and nobody will support him in the few coming months.

He is supposed to be tolerant or give a room for negotiation. I urge any soldier or individual who rebelled against the government of South Sudan to put down his/her weapons and go back to where he worked for nation building. I am also calling upon the white army to stop killing civilians.

The SPLM came to stay or will live forever. If there was no SPLM/A, there would have been no peace or country called South Sudan.

Likewise, if there is no peaceful SPLM as a ruling party, there will be no peaceful South Sudan, believe me or not!

The SPLM has to begin again – think big – and strive for change, democracy and prosperity as its vision affirms.

The leadership should strategize in order to find a lasting solution to political chaos for peaceful coexistence in the nation.

It should also prioritize solving internal crises within the SPLM to avoid problems, since SPLM is where political tribulations started in the country.

Furthermore, ethnic conflict or recruiting people from your ethnic group can’t solve the current political turmoil.

As one people, one nation, we should rally behind President Kiir, while expecting him to unite all South Sudanese in order to win in the upcoming election.

The government should ever be ready for talks and adhere to IGAD proposed initiatives for peace. The UPDF should also stay until peace is restored in the country.

Thereafter, the SPLA has witnessed a massive defection of its troops to the rebels that created a gap in the national army to be filled by UPDF.

It’s a right for any country to invite another country into its political or military affairs. We have had helped UPDF to eradicate LRA in the borders of DR Congo and Central Africa Republic. The presence of UPDF in South Sudan is not a surprise.

Finally, the Juba politicians should be agents of change at this crucial time. How long are we going to cling or sing: coup, coup, coup and coup every week on SSTV without finding a solution?

Can we stop beating that Dr Machar planned a failed coup attempt to overthrow President Kiir?

The MPs should reasonably educate the nation on unity purposes. The nation has to move forward. We can live and grow without Dr Machar but we need peace.

Let’s think of orphans whose fathers sacrificed for the sake of our freedom. These orphans need school fees, shelters and feeding, not war after their fathers liberated us from enemies in Khartoum.

I know our people do not stand criticism but truth can’t be hidden if we are striving for change as a nation.

Deng Mangok Ayuel lives in Aweil, South Sudan and blogs at theshoeshinereyes.wordpress.com. He can be reached via mangokson@gmail.com

A new and neutral government only solution to South Sudan’s problems

BY: ELHAG PAUL, FEB/21/2014, SSN;

Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955), the widely renowned physicist and humanist said “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” Sounds like a simple proposition but it is a powerful truth.

If one is part of a problem, one can not see his/her role in it. In other words it is an issue of the blind spot.

This is why when doctors are sick they do not self prescribe but consult other doctors for treatment. Similarly, lawyers typically do not represent themselves in courts when accused, even though they are able to.

However, SPLM wants to be an exception and does not believe in the concept of blind spot. Destructive as it is, it can not see its role in the crisis that has sadly engulfed the country.

Ridiculously, SPLM wants to remain in power as if nothing has happened in the country as a result of its brutal actions in mid December 2013.

Remorselessly and with poor judgement of the situation SPLM expects to continue with business as usual. Is this not lunacy?

Akol Paul Kordit, the chairman of the SPLM Youth League in an article on Sudan Tribune ‘SPLM youth Leader warns against forming interim government’ (http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article49981) rejected the idea of a new and neutral government in South Sudan as a solution to the current crisis.

He argues that the SPLM convincingly won the last election in 2010 and therefore it should not entertain any ideas of an interim administration because that would be tantamount to rewarding rebellion.

Such views are not helpful in the current situation because they are regressive and would not lead to any desirable solutions in the country.

Kordit would do better to familiarise himself with the election of April 2010. First of all, that election was thoroughly rigged by his beloved party.

Secondly, that election was held in the then Sudan under president Omer Bashir and its mandate expired on the day South Sudan became a separate country on 9th July 2011.

Note that given this view the SPLM assumed power illegally.

The truth of the matter is that the 6 month interim period between the referendum in January 2011 and the independence in July 2011 was designed to enable South Sudan to prepare a legitimate government to take power on Independence Day.

SPLM under president Kiir deliberately neglected this process to install himself as the president of independent South Sudan with the SPLM as the governing party regardless of what South Sudanese had wanted.

In the said 6 month period South Sudan represented by the various political parties had agreed a way forward which president Kiir contemptuously violated to advance his hold on the people of South Sudan.

The sad thing is that SPLM claims that the election of 2010 gave it a mandate for 5 years and therefore it had the right to continue governing South Sudan after independence.

This is not only misleading but a load of trash. The 5 years mandate referred to would have been applicable only in the event that South Sudanese voted for unity of the Sudan and remained in a united country.

But this is not the case. South Sudanese voted for secession. As South Sudan broke away from Khartoum, that mandate became null and void in relation to South Sudan.

SPLM could only claim to be democratic and legitimate if it had been voted into power in the now independent South Sudan. Without such election SPLM has no shred of any democratic legitimacy.

Therefore, SPLM is not democratically elected by the people of South Sudan. Any such assertion amounts to fraudulent claim.

In fact it is arguable that president Kiir and the SPLM carried out a kind of a coup d’etat in South Sudan on 9th July 2011 when it assumed power without consent of the people.

SPLM simply imposed itself on the people and the country.

Kordit’s argument that an interim administration amounts to rewarding rebellion is baseless. South Sudanese want an interim government as a solution to the unhealthy blood letting situation in the country.

It is clear that the Nuer can not and rightly so feel safe under Jieng leadership because of the ethnic cleansing that president Kiir conducted on them.

Equally, the Jieng will not feel secure under a Nuer leadership because of fears of revenge.

So the solution lies in the leadership going to a neutral person respected by both groups and the country at large. Such a leader can only come through an interim government of national unity.

A new and neutral government as a solution to the problems facing the country is therefore the most reasonable thing to do.

Any sensible and reasonable person with the country at heart must support this proposition.

As Onyoti Adigo (SPLM-DC) of South Sudan parliament recommended, a new government is needed to “make the political climate more inclusive and encourage reconciliation.”

President Kiir can not just continue in power as usual. He and his beloved party have ruined the country.

With the latest incident of ethnic cleansing there is just no reason whatsoever for president Kiir to continue ruling the country.

His government has forfeited its right to rule.

Kordit argues “we believed in this government. We have elected this government. The youth of South Sudan love this government because it is their government. We trust this government and we must have collective effort to protect it and encourage good wish for this government.”

This is empty rhetoric. What does Kordit mean by “we”? Who are the “we”? Does it include the people this government victimised? Does it include the Nuer? Does it include the Fertit? Does it include the Chollo people? Does it include the subjugated people of Equatoria?

Does it include the broad masses of South Sudan? Or, who is this “we” referring to?

Kordit as a beneficiary of the crooked system is doubly blind to the heinous crimes his party is committing in the country.

Anybody in their normal faculties can not shower president Kiir’s government with rosy words like he did. Only sycophants do.

It is clear the current government has served its purpose and it is time for it to go.

Thus the proposal for a new and neutral government is the right thing to do in South Sudan in order and not limited to:

1) rectify the usurpation of power by the SPLM on 9th July 2011. 2) mitigate the abominable ethnic cleansing president Kiir and his militia unleashed on the country.
3) assure the general public of their security.
4) allow for a proper preparation for the coming election.
5) enable return of peace all over the country.

Kordit must understand that this is the wish of South Sudanese and it will have to be implemented whether SPLM likes it or not.

South Sudan is larger than all the political parties combined and so SPLM as a tribal organisation will not stop the wishes of the people.

South Sudanese people now know that keeping quiet is not an option. They have to now speak out loud and clear for a democratic change with a demand for a new and neutral government.

Please wind down by listening to the panel in the YouTube video ‘South Sudan: Is Peace Possible’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y19cWNIkVlo

[Truth hurts but it is also liberting]
Elhag Paul
elhagpaul@aol.com

The Unknown Origin of Armed Violence in South Sudan

BY: Dhoal Tuolual Larjin, USA, FEB/21/2014, SSN;

Unknown to many people outside South Sudan the armed violence that broke out in Juba in December last year was more than just an intra-tribal conflict. It was an accumulation of past differences and wrong decisions from top leadership of the country.

From my personal experiences, foreign interests cannot be ruled out of the war. I had just graduated with Masters Degree from USA and was lecturing in social sciences at local Juba universities.

The war of South Sudan is originally said to be an intra-conflict war within the of SPLM political party. It sparked to armed violence when political differences within SPLM were not resolved as the party was preparing to organize it preliminary elections for 215.

Most members were in Juba where several meetings were in progress. Differences in opinions triggered intolerance between members and the government became unreasonable.

In the preparation for pre-election, Salva Kiir and Dr.
Riek Machar declared themselves as the next presidential candidates for 2015 election.

Dr. Machar is a Nuer from the second largest tribe while Salva Kiir is a Dinka from the largest tribe in South Sudan. Kiir is the sitting president while Machar is the former vice president.

In the party too, they followed the same order. Kiir the chairman and Riek the vice chairman. Kiir decided to sack Dr. Machar and all his cabinet ministers from the government before the incident happened in Juba.

On Saturday of December 14th, 2013, the president addressed the SPLM meeting attended by all members across the country. When he opened the meeting, he reminded members of the effects of 1991 war. This caused some members to walk out and they did not turn up the next day, Sunday 15th December 2013.

That Sunday, the president ordered the commander of the presidential guards to disarm all the Nuers serving as presidential guards. He then ordered the arrest of SPLM members who did not show up for Sunday meeting.

The commander of presidential guards Major General Marial Chinung executed the two orders with precision. It led to an all-out fight at the general headquarters.

The presidential guards were now divided on tribal lines, Nuer and Dinka. They fired guns against each other from 9 PM.The fighting went on until midday and resumed the following day at different parts of Juba.

Nuer civilians were killed on 15th December, 2013 in Juba escalating the war into ethnic lines across states. The two leaders were caught up in the war that divided the national army along two sides.

Dr. Machar was rescued and ran to bush by some forces loyal to him while his 11 SPLM top leaders were arrested and detained in military prisons in Juba.

He accused Kiir of violating the law by arresting his colleagues. He challenged the government of corruption and unconstitutional policies. He fled to Jonglie state and waged war against Kiir.

There are claims that Ugandan troops helped him to push Machar forces out. People in Sudan believed that Dr. Machar seemed to have much support from the national army than Kiir who depends on Ugandan troops.

I have observed that the war was originally an itra- conflict affair among the SPLM members. It led to ethnic polarization between the Nuer and the Dinka.

It was due to political differences between SPLM members plus resentment to illegal recruitment and disbarment of militarized men.

Foreign intervention on political decisions especially from Museveni was seen as the main cause of violence. There was high corruption at the top leadership and lack of qualified personnel in government institutions. Interested groups clinged to power for long time. They chose war than peace for the country.

The combat caused genocide for the civilians across the country many Nuers were killed in Juba and Dinka killed in Bentiu. The Ugandan warplanes killed thousands of civilians and severe damage on the properties.

Foreigners including Americans were killed in war, for instance, in Upper Nile Ugandan could not survive. Hatred was emerged among the tribes and the war cost government huge amount of money to hire foreign troops from Uganda.

The ongoing peace talks in Addis Ababa is mediated by Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) but it is not yet effective because some of the mediators participated in the war fighting along side with government have made IGAD so weak to address the peace.

Kiir did not want to have peace because Museveni had already solved the problem of the SPLM using Ugandan troops. Dr. Machar is set to battle against Kiir and Museveni.

The SPLA in opposition has conditioned the South Sudan to withdraw Ugandan troops and release other detainees in order to have peace with the government. Kiir promised to release detainees but not to withdraw Ugandan troops. Seven detainees were released but four still in detention.

Both warring parties are still fighting on the ground contesting for oil strategic states of Bentiu and Malakal.

The IGAD proposed a temporary government which is an interim government without Dr. Riek and Salva Kiir but it was not accepted by both parties because it will not benefit any.

Kiir could not allow the interim government in place because he was constitutional elected president and his term not yet ended for 2015 next general election.

One would say argument is not valid because the president acted contrary to the constitution like the case of arresting politicians will ground his removal by the people.

The power sharing between the two sides is another means to settle the crisis for is feasible for the South Sudan situation.

UN- trusteeship government was proposed by international community but discarded by the two sides because it did not benefit any of the side.

The government of broad based national unity is an inclusive solution that would completely solve the differences but expensive and timely consumer. A war win loss solution is a military government after defeating a side in war that would be a great advantage for the winning side but very costly and uncertain solution.

For final conclusion, I have plead that the iron war of south Sudan was possible of prevention if leaders were being educated to predicate attitudes of the people.

Foreign influence has destroyed the young nation due to their national interests. I argue that power sharing is the best solution for the war in South Sudan because it is feasible, fair, and cheapest for all parties else the wins lose solution will be applicable to all sides.

The power sharing was used to settle similar crisis in Kenya and it did work out to stabilise the political issues of the country.

I urge the government and international agencies to use power sharing as the solution for peace. The government should limit restriction of members within SPLM to exercise their democratic rights of freedom of speech and gathering.

I think the national army could have been disciplined not on tribal.

Dhoal Tuolaul Larjin was an associate professor at local universities in Juba. He fled the country because of the ongoing war. dtuolual@gmail.com.
Dhoal Tuolual Larjin, BA/MA political science
Currently working on his PhD-USA

President Kiir’s strategy to cover up ethnic cleansing collapsed in London

BY: ELHAG PAUL, FEB/21/2014, SSN;

The horrendous crimes against humanity being committed in Republic of South Sudan from mid December 2013 is gradually oozing into the international political space causing concerns to the government of president Salva Kiir.

Aware of the consequences and scared by the likely loss of power, president Kiir has gone into the offensive to cover up the horrors.

The strategy for the cover up is premised on the aggressive selling of the story of attempted coup d’etat. A claim discredited by American Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield who conclusively stated in her testimonies on South Sudan that there was no coup.

There is a belief in Juba that the world has not been made to understand the position of the government of South Sudan.

As a result, a “Mission to convince international media and the UK government to accept Juba’s version of events over what triggered the conflict” was dispatched to London. (Sudan Tribune 10/02/2013)

A similar mission led by Ateny Wek Ateny was dispatched to East Africa for the same purpose.

While in Kampala, Ateny, like Dr Barnaba Marial in London asserted that Riek announced a coup on 16th December 2013. Both expressed disappointment with the world for not believing their side of the story.

But the question is: did Riek really announce a coup on that day?

The over whelming majority of the people may have already answered this questions for themselves. Most likely in the negative and this is what is exasperating the authorities in Juba.

However, the truth is that it was president Kiir in military attire flung by his ministers on Monday 16th December 2013 who announced on SSTV that Riek attempted a coup and that he (Riek) was in the American embassy in Juba.

So, how and where did Riek make the announcement when he was in hiding for his dear life?

Ateny’s mission as expected did not give him any problems since he went to friendly countries sympathetic to president Kiir. The Uganda media cowed by Museveni obliged and now they are parroting Juba lies.

Unlike Ateny, Marial’s mission was tough, but he deluded himself and believed he could work miracles to pull the wool over the eyes of the British.

His large entourage was composed of macho men only in black suits presenting as serious.

To prove president Kiir’s chauvinistic government there was no woman in this delegation although the instruments of governance in RSS say 25 percent of posts and by inference representation should be given to women.

Addition of the “other” usually ignored but in most cases intelligent, diligent, issue-focused, considerate and gifted with various skills in relationship and conflict management in the form of sisters and mothers have no place in this herd of bulls.

For example, slotting Suzanne Jambo in the middle might have coloured this herd giving it a much milder and less thuggish look.
But the Oyee machine unfortunately has no time for sisters and mothers.

The other day president Kiir dispatched one of his Rottweilers to Warrap to chastise a sister: Nyanaguek Kuol Mareng because she simply stood up for the truth. Shamelessly Nyanaguek was forced out of her job.

Oyee chauvinism has unfairly injured our sisters needlessly. Do you remember the case of Dr Pauline Riek? Do you remember the case of Josephine Lagu? Do you remember the case of Dr Olivia Lomoro? These are just few examples.

Any wonder why GRSS is in the current mess? Unless South Sudan learns to value its women it will have a long way to go.

When Marial and his interesting entourage arrived London the first presentation he gave was at Chatham House on 10th February 2014.

The second presentation was at the International Institute of Strategic Studies on 11th February 2014 and the third was at London School of Economics on 12th February 2014.

Marial’s presentations in all these venues leave a lot to be desired. He engaged in unnecessary waffle narrating British history to professors of history in Oxford University and other institutions like professor Douglas Johnson, the author of ‘The Root Causes of Sudan’s Civil Wars.’

Then from history he shifted to promoting tourism and investment in RSS. He devoted little time to the issue of substance and this mainly was on the legitimacy of the government and condemnation of the “coup”.

If he thought to sell the story of mid December 2013 as a coup it was a big flop.

Unfortunately for Marial, the allegation of a coup d’état in RSS was analysed on Wednesday 5th February 2014 at Oxford by a scholar who demonstrated convincingly that there was no coup.

The literature on the subject say that for an act to satisfy the definition of a coup there must be a takeover of, or an attempt to takeover, government institutions viz: radio/TV stations, river ports, airport, bridges, major roads, central bank, presidential palace, main military institutions… etc in a well coordinated and synchronised manner under one command.

Crucially, the coup must have the element of surprise.

In mid December 2013 Riek et al manifestly did not think or even attempt spontaneously to takeover any government institutions.

The clash at the headquarters of the presidential guards as it is understood was purely a military issue caused by conflicting orders from senior officers and suspicious soldiers. In a nutshell there was no coup.
Marial’s argument that there was a coup is grounded on the clash at the barracks of the presidential guards. According to him, the Nuer troops were under orders to take over the barracks leading into a coup. Sorry this unconvincing explanation is thin. Who were the military officers in the plot? From which radio/TV station did Riek make his alleged announcement? Where is the evidence from the intelligence reports? Nothing!

The whole thing is a dump squib. The story just would not sell.

Here are some of the few quotes from conversations with some of the attendees after Marial’s presentations:
“He (Marial) thinks we are fools”
“Not adding up” in reference to Marial explanation of the 15th December 2013 incident.
“Not convincing. Where is the evidence?”
“No evidence”
“Load of trash”
“The regime is deceiving itself”
“Think we can not sieve the wheat from the chaff.”

There you are, in fact this in itself is a mini-battle between tyrants in Juba and democrats; with Dr Marial representing the former and the audience representing the latter.

Had the Dinkocrates won the day with their lies, that would have been a bad omen for development of democracy in RSS. The BBC HARDtalk programme was the icing on the cake of failure of RSS’s strategy to cover up the ethnic cleansing.

Marial’s entourage came to UK confident to feed the British with a load of lies to sell the biggest lie of all – the story of coup d’état.

Marial certainly was over optimistic to expect a well enlightened, free thinking and critical people to just buy his baseless stories to cleanse the image of his murderous government because he is a minister representing the newest country in the world.

The audience he spoke to is amongst the most sophisticated, well educated, well informed section of UK. They are knowledgeable about issues of South Sudan and the behaviour of president Kiir’s government.

The stance of the west on the story of the coup was best expressed by Douglas Johnson at Chatham House when he said, “Too many details surrounding the events in Juba remain unclear or unaddressed.”

(http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article49906 and James Copnall at the International Institute of Strategic Studies who stated, “..the African Union had also not condemned the fighting as a coup attempt and suggested that the International Media analysis and diplomats would need further evidence to convince them of the government narrative.”

http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article49944 The BBC HARDtalk interview with Barnaba Marial Benjamin drove the final nail into the coffin of Juba lies, please access it through this URL for your information.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03v1349/HARDtalk_Barnaba_Marial_Benjamin_Foreign_Minister_South_Sudan/

It is easy to sell stories in the west, even lies but there is a caveat that must be met and that is provision of credible evidence.

If no evidence then it is unworthy of any attempt. Nobody would buy any story without concrete evidence. The apparatchiks in Juba should have known that the Western societies are evidence driven.

This culture has its roots in the enlightenment era, scientific revolution, industrial revolutions and political revolutions. Western societies are protected from lies among other things by a robust independent media, freedom of speech/expression, and an independent judiciary.

Unlike in the RSS where the security stifles truth and promotes lies through violence internally, and through diplomacy externally like what Marial’s delegation attempted to do.

In the West lies are exposed and openly spoken about. For instance, when Tony Blair, the former prime minister of UK presented a dossier on Iraq to justify military intervention. This document was analysed and exposed for what it was.

With such examples how did Juba think they would fool Westminster?

Worse still the people charged with this task appear to be insensitive to their host.

During the presentations at those three prestigious institutions Marial seemed to offend their host by use of chauvinistic language and other negative comments.

Marial was also openly insensitive to the South Sudanese Diaspora.
When Marial was asked how could president Kiir’s government be a democratically elected administration when there has not been any elections held in South Sudan since it attained independence on 9th July 2011?

Marial responded by saying the general election of April 2010 in the then Sudan gave president Kiir mandate of five years and that was why he assumed power on independence day.

Surely this was totally absurd. Any person with constitutional knowledge would see that this was not right. The five years Marial refers to was only applicable in the event of South Sudanese voting for unity in the referendum, but not in the case of secession which now is the case.

Therefore, the mandate that president Kiir and the SPLM got in the general elections of April 2010 technically and legally expired with the break of the Sudan into two countries.

Thus president Kiir and the SPLM are squatters in J1 and in the ministries buildings.

They should be evicted fast and the people of South Sudan should make the long overdue decision democratically through the ballot to choose who must govern the country.

Now that president Kiir and the SPLM have abused power and engaged in ethnic cleansing they have no any legal basis to continue in government.

They must make way for an interim government of national unity which should include all South Sudanese.

These current foreign missions are utter waste of resources. The truth of what happened can not be pushed under the carpet. Even if it could be, it would not be in the interest of the country to do so.

The repercussion in the near or distant future will come back to bite the people. The victims of the on going ethnic cleansing who have lived and survived this heinous ordeal may wait patiently for the opportune time to revenge such that the spectre of violence in RSS would remain a live volcano waiting to erupt any time.

Further, the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity may feel invincible to continue committing such crimes. The talk now in RSS from this quarter is that Equatoria would be the next.

The Equatorians are peace loving people but it is not certain that they will continue to take the abuses endlessly without reaction in self defence.

It would be easy to do what president Kiir and his tribal militia did to the Nuer on Equatorians in the towns but the response to any such actions might be the collapse of RSS as a state.

For this reason the international community represented by the United Nations need to ensure that president Kiir is referred to International Criminal Court in The Hague to answer for the crimes against humanity presently taking place in the country.

South Sudanese have no faith in IGAD. If this sad case is left in IGAD’s hands nothing will come out of it leaving the surviving victims and the people of South Sudan with incurable internal injuries that may lead into repeat of similar crimes in future.

President Kiir, his tribal militia and any other actors involved in crimes against humanity must account for their actions.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the International Community must not be swayed by the charges of racism labelled against them by Africans in defence of indicted African leaders because this is about abuse of humanity.

Crimes are crimes and they must be appropriately addressed in court of law wherever that might be. Justice must be seen to be done in this particular case of RSS to act as a deterrent.

Finally, the mission of Marial to sell lies in order to divert attention from the grave human rights abuses going on in South Sudan has collapsed.

His failure to convince the British is down to two things.

First, as already shown above he did not have any evidence, and secondly his presentations were not properly focused coming across as stalling.

Vitally, he failed to balance his arguments and he mainly dwelled on supposed success of president Kiir’s administration. This oversight can only be a very good outcome for the suffering people of South Sudan.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul
elhagpaul@aol.com

What’s the Way Forward: South Sudan at another Political Cross-road

BY: BOL PHILLIP, Juba, FEB/19/2014, SSN;

Once again, South Sudan has become a hot spot that is on the world news headlines. On the eve of December 15th, 2013, South Sudanese of all walks of lives were shocked, confused and filled with fear as the loud sounds of mortars, gunshots and artillery almost deafened their ears in Juba, the newest capital city of the world.

What followed in the next five or seven days in Juba, before it spread to other towns in South Sudan, will be the talk of day for months or years to come.

So far, there are two plausible versions or narrations in regards to the events that shook Juba on December 15th, 2013, before it quickly developed into a rebellion led by the former vice president Dr. Riak Machar.

As we all know, there is the government version and the rebels’ version, both of which are currently being spread, preached and propagated like the biblical gospels by political analysts, South Sudanese of all walks of lives, including regional and international communities.

In this brief analysis, let me start by saying that I do not wish to go back to political events that took place prior to December 15th, 2013 on purpose, because all South Sudanese, I am assuming here, are already aware of what was happening prior to that doomsday.

Although what happened on December 15th, 2013 was somehow and somewhat expected, or inevitable for lack of a better word, most South Sudanese who are politically savvy were expecting something politically and militarily similar in nature to happen but in 2015, during or after the scheduled national elections next year, and not prematurely on December 15th, 2013.

In hindsight, I guess this is now a clear indication that politics in our nascent state of South Sudan has an element of surprise and unpredictability, which can always make things worse before they get better, and leave the most politically savvy person(s) in South Sudan shocked and confused, as they search for answers to explain and comprehend the recent complicated political situation in the new nation that was full of hopes, promises and expectations on Independence day on July 9th, 2011.

However, as I have said earlier, despite the plethora of personal opinions, political analysis and historical commentary regarding the events of December 15th, 2013, there are basically two plausible versions so far that are being refined, polished and propagated every day by the two warring camps, as each one of them attempts to boost the credibility and reliability of their own version at the expense of the other.

The government version
On December 16th, 2013, the president of the Republic of South Sudan, General Salva Kiir Mayardit, clad in military attire, and along with other senior and high-ranking government officials, announced on the state-owned SSTV that what happened on the night of December 15th, 2013 was basically a military coup attempt by his former deputy and VP, Dr. Riak Machar.

A few days later, however, Dr. Riak Machar, talking in an interview with BBC from an undisclosed location in South Sudan, denied the allegations that he was the one behind the military coup attempt in Juba.

In fact, he accused the president of South Sudan of actually concocting the whole thing up as a ploy to get rid of his political enemies, among which he was a major political rival and opponent.

In order for the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) to convince anybody of their version, all they need is to present some kind of proof beyond reasonable doubt that there was actually a plot to overthrow a democratically elected government in the new republic of South Sudan on December 15h, 2013.

This proof can be in the form of circumstantial or empirical evidence indicating a plot was there, as well as who were the individuals behind the coup attempt.

Unless and until they do that, the GoSS will have a hard time convincing anybody in South Sudan, or the world at large, that there was a military coup attempt, in which case the GoSS will most likely lose its credibility both in the eyes of South Sudanese masses and the international community as a whole.

Interestingly, the minister of foreign Affairs of South Sudan, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, admitted last week in London, UK that there were atrocities committed against Nuer civilians in Juba, despite the fact that there was no specific order from the GoSS or SPLA HQs to do so.

According to Mr. Marial, these crimes were basically committed by some thugs and criminal elements within the security forces who acted on their own impulse, contrary to any orders given them to carry out such heinous crimes.

Some of these culprits within the organized armed forces have already been arrested in Juba, pending further investigations, according to ambassador Marial.

Furthermore, should the government fail to produce any kind of circumstantial or empirical evidence in this regard, they will have a lot of explanation to do, as well as face serious consequences from the international community in terms of the aid that they normally receive from the western powers.

And not to mention the very real and possible “targeted sanctions” against some of the most senior government officials in the government – that is, if they are not even eventually charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes that were committed in Juba.

Simply put, the anecdotal evidence that the GoSS has presented thus far does not suffice to convince the international community of the alleged coup attempt in the new republic; they need to come out and produce more evidence if they possess it.

The rebels’ version
Given all of that, Dr. Riak Machar’s categorical denials and allegations that the whole military coup plot was basically cooked up by the president and his advisers to rid himself of his political nemesis in South Sudan automatically became the other plausible version in regards to the events that rocked Juba on December 15th, 2013.

In light of all of these military and political developments, the ball seems to be in the government court in terms of proving to the world that there was a military coup underway in South Sudan on December 15th, 2013, since the burden of proof is always on the prosecutor or the person accusing another person of a criminal act.

With that said, however, should the government somehow produce some kind of circumstantial or empirical evidence down the road, which actually implicates the rebel leaders plus the political detainees in a military coup attempt, then the tables will be most definitely turned against the rebels and the political detainees, as they will also lose all credibility and support that they might be receiving so far.

Should this turn out to be the case in the long run, then the rebels will end up being “rebels without a cause” or moral justification for all the destruction and thousands of lives lost, especially in Bor, Bentiu and Malakal.

Moreover, certain individuals leading the rebellion in South Sudan now might also find themselves in hot waters with the international community and also face charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes that were committed in Bor, Bentiu and Malakal respectively.

In fact, I personally believe that both the rebels and the government leaders will have a lot of explanations to do once the dust settles and security and peace is finally restored in the new republic of South Sudan.

Just like the GoSS did, the rebel leaders need to come out and also denounce the huge atrocities and deliberate destruction that were committed in Bor in particular, plus Bentiu and Malakal by their armed forces, particularly the White Army.

The way I personally view ethnic violence and tribal politics in South Sudan
In my humble and personal opinion, any so-called political analyst in South Sudan will always end up demonstrating his or her biases and misgivings about “others” whenever they write or speak politics in South Sudan.

This has always been the name of the game and the culture of the day in South Sudan – from day one. The blame game is pretty much alive and kicking once again in South Sudan, as the people of South Sudan are now divided along tribal lines, as per those two versions of the events related to December 15th, 2013.

I have read and heard several individuals talk about who is to blame for all of this mess we have created in South Sudan within two short years of our hard won independence.

In fact, what I always find most annoying and frustrating is this: when a leader from our tribe, clan or community is in power, we tend to be less critical of them and the government; and when the leader is NOT from our tribe, clan or community, we tend to be extremely critical of the government or the leader – to the extent where we exaggerate every little thing by turning every little molehill into an insurmountable mountain of “political issues”.

As a people, we need to watch our language and check our personal biases and misgivings. We are all entitled to our personal opinions and political aspirations, but let us learn to write and talk with some common sense and a measure of civility, objectivity and responsibility, while we also attempt to avoid generalizations, blanket statements and conspiracy theories at all cost.

In a nutshell, South Sudanese are tribal people by nature, which is not something bad per se, until when we start saying our tribe, clan or family is better than the rest of the tribes and clans.

As a matter of fact, identifying oneself with one’s social and cultural roots is not a bad thing per se, until when we start to hire or fire individuals or promote them at our workplaces based on their ethnic origin or tribal affiliation, without any consideration for their credentials and qualifications.

In essence, this is when and where these malpractices become known as nepotism, tribalism and corruption in all its negative manifestations, as it also eventually creates a workforce that is both useless and incompetent by all measures.

As a people who have been subjected, in the contemporary history of Sudan, to ethnic violence, social injustice, gender inequality, religious indoctrination, political suppression and economic marginalization when Sudan and South Sudan were one united country.

We cannot allow our “frame of reference” to be informed and influenced on the basis of ethnicity and the same political ideology, which basically operates and thrives on hatred and subjugation of others because they are not like us in some fundamental ways.

We have to learn from our historical mistakes as a nation, and especially as we move ahead this time to forge a new beginning and a better future that is actually all-inclusive, people centered and born out of the grassroots.

Again, all human beings have cultural roots and social traditions to which they normally feel affiliated and comfortable. It is a normal thing until we start to criticize the government, the rebels or the opposition party and allow that to degenerate into ethnic violence or a civil war because our tribe or tribal leader is NOT in power (or in power), regardless of all the other political facts and the reality on the ground.

In fact, our diverse social, cultural and tribal traditions should actually result in a solid national heritage and a distinctively African culture that we are all proud of as one people; it is not and it should not be viewed as a weakness because it tends to divide us into our own clans and tribes.

If truth matters, it is some of our political leaders who usually and deliberately play the tribal card in order to gain political and military support for themselves, as they seek to advance their personal interest and political ambitions at the cost of the national interest and security.

To cut to the chase and make a long story short, this time around, political issues and personal differences within the SPLM party members were allowed to evolve and develop into a national crisis that has eventually threatened the viability of South Sudan as a new nation in Africa and the world as a whole, let alone the thousands of lives lost, the destruction of the social fabric of our nation, the damage done to our economic potential and the peace dividends that should have been the rewards for all of us in South Sudan.

Now, it is becoming obvious everyday that some of these leaders are actually bent on turning this internal rift and bickering within the SPLM party into a zero-sum game, which will in turn plunge the new nation into a downward spiral that may eventually bring us down to the level of a failed state, such as Somalia, among others.

Given all of that, all SPLM/A senior leaders, including the rebels, need to step up to the plate in terms of resolving this conflict, take ownership of this mess in part or whole, stop the senseless bloodshed of innocent lives and courageously ask themselves this soul-searching question:

How and why on earth did we allow our personal and political differences within the SPLM party to evolve into a national crisis and develop into a political violence with an ugly ethnic undertone?

In short, all our leaders need to put the national interest and the stability of South Sudan before their own personal interests.

The short-term resolution to the political crisis and ethnic violence in South Sudan
In the short-term, the only viable and desirable resolution to the recent political conflict and ethnic violence in South Sudan can actually come by way of a negotiated political settlement, especially so as the warring parties are now negotiating in Ethiopia.

Although there is a strong temptation on both sides of the warring parties to resolve their internal divisions within the SPLM party militarily, all the SPLM leaders should put first and foremost the national interest and security of South Sudan before their personal interests and political aspirations.

To the rest of citizenry in South Sudan, it is basically unacceptable and unimaginable for one political party to take a country from mismanagement of national affairs to a rebellion in the name of democracy.

South Sudan needs political reformation, not another bloody revolution and civil war that may eventually destroy the whole nation within two short years of its hard won independence and liberation.

The long-term resolution to the political crisis and ethnic violence in South Sudan
To be honest, South Sudan as a nation and South Sudanese as a people will not live in unity, peace and harmony until we have a strong political system established in the country, whereby most powers are vested in the parliament as opposed to the presidency.

We need a strong parliament and an independent judiciary system in order for us to live in unity, peace and harmony as a diverse society.

Anything short of that will not resolve our political conflicts and economic disparity, regardless of who is the president of the Republic of South Sudan, period.

In other words, some of the powers and prerogatives constitutionally vested in the presidency would have to be either removed or reduced on the one hand, while the role and function of the parliament as an institution would have to be increased and made stronger than that of the presidency on the other hand.

All our tribes and regions can then be fairly represented, in terms of political participation, in the parliament, eliminating the constant need for equal representation of our tribes and regions in any federal or central government, which should just be an executive branch of government that hires its staff based only on their credentials and qualifications.

In fact, it goes without saying that any legitimate and effective government must have three distinctive and independent branches: the executive, the legislative and the judicial, each of which has clearly defined roles and functions in the running of national affairs for the benefit of both the nation and the people.

Further, it must be made abundantly clear that none of the three branches of government can interfere with the work and the role of the other branches of government – be it the executive, the legislative or the judiciary branch, period.

In layman terms, there should be clear separation of powers among the three government branches.

As insinuated and proposed by Mr. Natale Nuer Kuot Rehan, in his article, Why the SPLM must be peacefully dissolved, dated February 3rd, 2014 on SouthSudanNation.com website, I totally concur with him in adding my voice to his and suggesting that the SPLM political leaders, on both camps, should seriously consider to dissolve the SPLM party and formulate new ones under different names in line with their preferred political aspirations, since the acronym SPLM (Sudan People Liberation Movement) is now essentially a misnomer that is neither reflective, descriptive or illustrative of the current political reality on the ground in South Sudan.

For the sake of keeping the good name and great history behind the acronym SPLM, it should just remain as a great historical and political movement that was both pivotal and instrumental in securing the liberation and independence of the new Republic of South Sudan.

As suggested by Mr. Rehan, the SPLM senior leaders, in both camps, should immediately stop committing atrocities and carrying out destruction in South Sudan under the great name of the once powerful and uniting force – the SPLM.

Finally, I have this little advice for the moderators on this website: please make sure that any article posted and all commentaries made on your website are not further inciting tribalism and instigating ethnic divisions among South Sudanese in any way, shape or form by monitoring all the posts and commentaries made by certain “war-mongers” and “irresponsible individuals” that are driven by nothing other than hatred and anger.

Please ensure that your website is a social, political and intellectual forum that promotes unity, diversity, personal opinions and political analysis in a healthy environment that will eventually allow South Sudanese to have honest, positive and constructive contributions towards nation-building in terms of sharing their personal opinions and political aspirations.

In other words, “if you are not part of the solution, then you are basically part of the problem”.

Try to make your website part of the solution, not a forum whereby everybody is allowed to air out their venom and hatred of others.

Media houses and online forums can sometimes be the breeding ground for sexism, racism, tribalism, radicalism, anarchism and genocide, as we have already seen in Rwanda in 1994 and other places in the contemporary histories of different parts of the world.

Email is bol5@hotmail.com
Juba, South Sudan.

Nuer massacre: Blood money feeds in bad history

“There is time for everything, time for sadness, happiness, poverty and a time for having wealth.”

BY: Diu Tut Deng, JUBA, FEB/17/2014, SSN;

The elaboration on the South Sudan Seven weeks’ conflict tells us that the war was because of irresponsibility that means it is a baseless war which has caused 10,000 lives. The war broke up with the ethnic cleansing for the first time in the history, since old Sudan.

Nuer were targeted simply because they are Nuer together with Dr. Riek Machar, the current SPLM/A in opposition leader. The president Gen. Kiir Mayardit started to plan this senseless war since 2006 and evaluated his planning in 2012-2013 when he found that the presidential guards unit was dominated by Nuer NCOs and he has got no way to relieve them.

Mr. President was advised by kinship advisers to train Special Forces for the target, especially Riek Machar and his Nuer people, Kiir implemented this and ordered Paul Malong Awan and Bol Madut to recruit 15,000 youths from Dinka Rek of Warrap and Northern Bahr el Ghazal.

The Special Forces were recruited and trained illegally without consent from Chief of General staffs General Hoth Mai who is Nuer and the SPLA Director for training, General Thomas Cirillo who is from Equatoria.

These forces were trained in Warrap state, the home state of Mr. President Kiir and later transferred some to Juba Luri, the great farm of the President where his cattle are camped and a private barracks for Mr. President.

These private guards completed their training in Luri with nothing in mind except against Nuer a target because they’re a threat to Dinka Government (this is the way they call Government of South Sudan as Dinka government).

Because Riek Machar declared his intention to run for SPLM chairmanship in 2015 elections as SPLM flag bearer, they’re told Riek would change the system which many had termed Dinka dominant system or Dinkocracy or whatever name you call it.

Dr. Riek also wanted a federal system of governance and liberal democracy and against corruption, which a good number of elite Dinka opposed.

The rift grown up within the special army of Mr. President Kiir, trust no one except Dinka tribe and speak Dinka language, after the training their military weapons were brought from Uganda toward the end June 2013 and beginning of July the same year.

SPLA spokesperson appeared on SSTV announcing to the public that “you will hear sound of the big Gun at the side of the Luri and don’t get frightened, it’s part of military training.”

In the middle of July 2013 President Kiir graduated his private army privately without knowledge from his Chief or Director of training, he addressed them in Dinka till the end of the program which eye witnesses said that he was talking about Nuer…Nuer …Riek..Riek..1991… and the new reshuffle underway.

On 20th July 2013, he brought 7,000 of his special forces into Juba, most of whom are found rooming around J-2 and the president’s residence in Hai Amarat and others in Jebel and Southern Barrack.

President was well aware that even if he dissolved the Cabinet his army would have to calm down the situation plus the addition of the army brought from Uganda, UPDF.

For this reason Kiir gained the momentum and on 23rd July 2013 he fired his Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny.

Tension started immediately because Pres. Kiir had the intention to arrest Dr. Riek, who’d spoken out about the weakness of the President before he was removed.

In the mean time, tensions increased between the original presidential guards composed of a good number of Nuer commanded by Maj-Gen. Marial Chinoung, a Dinka and deputized by brigadier Yien Makuach, a Nuer, and the newly recruited all-Dinka presidential guards.

Now Kiir had to silence Riek Machar by using State powers and his special forces of his tribesmen to arrest this “notorious man who wanted to compete against me,” according to him.

On the scheduled date of SPLM National Liberation Council (NLC) meeting the tension had risen and the president even had refused to shake hands with Dr. Riek who is his deputy in the party.

This let Dr. Riek to boycott the meeting with his group on the second day. Then on that second day of the meeting Kiir ordered Marial, the commander of the presidential guards, to disarm Nuer soldiers and the following day arrested all those who had boycotted the meeting.

The execution of the president’s order took immediate effect; Marial started to move from meeting venue Nyakuron Cultural Centre to the Barracks and armed Dinka soldiers in the units and at 8:40pm they were done in the rearming.

At the meantime, the rumors of the rearming was already detected by Nuer soldiers in the same units but they knew where their rifles were, being in the third store which was dominated by Nuer guards.

But then one of the Dinka, a major, moved toward the store and told Nuer store keepers to stay back from the rifles store and said “this is the order from the major General Marial that those in the afternoon have to be replaced by others now.”

The Nuer soldiers dishonored the major order and became totally alerted on their disarmament. At 9:39 pm the same major with five soldiers came back to store keepers and fired at store guards.

This was believed to be the first bullet which has escalated to something different now, when the bullets were exchanged the major was killed on spot and the Nuer Soldiers managed to break the store and arm themselves.

Then the fights were on and the Nuer Soldiers in the presidential guards took control of the Barracks in the first place and the Dinka soldiers with the other Nuer soldiers who thought it should be government fighting the mutinies retook from them and then the retake continued till Monday 16/12 2013 at 2:00 pm which marked the last withdrawal from the Nuer conflicted Presidential guards.

What happened in South Sudan on the December 15th-2013 clearly doesn’t qualify as a coup d’etat, which in military doctrine should be plotted by military powers not political powers; there must be military commanders who were involved in the coup.

The most problematic was that the country’s policy was overlapped by a Dinka policy and Army policy was also overlapped by the Dinka policy as well as SPLM party is overlapped too.

Second issue was that the Dinka fear to lose the independence dividends which are only enjoyed mostly by them if there was to be political change in the country.

In the context of this provocative war President Kiir termed it “failed coup,” in the fact that he would want to gain international support which was unfortunate.

After he has seen the lack of international support he begun to plan and use money to cover the tribal cleansing that was done in Juba which almost half of the Nuer tribe was butchered in Juba.

Many analysts and other political commentators in the world termed it the killing of Nuer tribe by the government forces (President’s Special Forces) is the “mere genocide like Rwanda genocide of 1994”, but my personal viewed is not like Rwanda genocide simply because, the Tutsi and Hutu had killed each other.

But the reality came differently for the South Sudan case, because Nuer were killed in cold blood; if it was to be coup those victims have nothing to do with the military coup because most of them were civilians, children and women and if it was to be war between Dinka and Nuer they would have to depended themselves.

It was triggered in the funny way to let Dinka massacre the Nuer in the Name of the government disarmament door-to-door search of guns which is in fact developing Dinkocracy, according to ElHag Paul (the system which promotes Dinka interest and cleansing of non-Dinka).

I have also learnt something that the Nuer massacre was not from the blue, it was usual system of south Sudan government whenever there is a threat to government from any figure whether politically or otherwise, the reward would be the killing of the members of so and so tribe.

The good example for this was the mutinies of Johnson Uliny (Shilluk) and David Yau Yau (Murle) whom their tribe members were massacred respectively and now the Nuer massacre which is overall.

President Kiir has faced some challenges after Nuer Massacre which he thinks some of whom have survived his mass killing, and he doubt whether he will be free at the end or not.

Then the only best way is to use money to be given to Nuer Politicians and generals so that they would never mind of who died in his/her family members or his former voters and cover the image of trickier tribal war which he has fuelled.

This has done some moves from the Nuer politicians and generals who have received a lot of monies which we called now the blood money that feed in the bad history.

The President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has also received these monies and let the Sons and daughters of the Republic of Uganda to die in mass just simply to gain millions of dollars of the blood money to feed for the selfish wealth in the future after losing power.

The issue now is on the people who were licensed by their own people to go and talk on their behalf in the South Sudan National legislative assembly (SSLA) as well as state assembly contrary to the mandate, the legislators has discarded in surprise disguise of the massive death of their constituencies members.

Nuer were butchered while their MPs were silent with Dollars and S. Sudan pounds after and before the mass killing in Juba.

The fragile situation was specifically on them (the Nuer), none of the Minister/MPs from Nuer sons and Daughters resigned with the exception of the members of the state council and august house who were personally targeted because of their ethnicity.

No matter how best they were supporting Kiir in the Parliament and in the National Liberation Council (NLC), all their effort were in vain and now they have gone into exile.

Nuer will asked some questions to their elected MPs, one of the time, if they are told vote for me, they will reply who are you? I am so and so, I don’t know you, when we were killed you didn’t says anything while investing with our blood, please die out.

When we fought in the bush, we fought for democracy, what happened now the Cde, C- in -C and the President of the Republic of South Sudan Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit dictates people like nothing?

This showed that the Party led Government under Salva Kiir has abandoned the core value in which this organization (SPLM) was formed and fought for it in 1983 up to independence of South Sudan.

His dictatorship tendencies swayed leadership tribally, which has driven the tribal lobbing in ministerial positions to every South Sudanese politician.

This is the spirit of divide and rule policy which rifts the communities and causes annihilation in South Sudan.

Inclusion I would like to urge those who called government of south Sudan our government (Akuma bi tana ) we will not give this power( Akuma kene, a ca bi gam) that this God gift Land which we call now Republic of South Sudan is not for one tribe neither one region nor one man show.

It’s for all south Sudanese and it needs democracy which we will see ourselves in the mirror of the good governance.

The war itself will not help Dinka government or Nuer, I believe the Nuer massacre in Juba and the burning of their houses by the government forces in Malakal, Bentiu will not help and will not make them surrender.

I know very well that if the rebels fought Ugandans and North Sudan based rebels to the last man, surely, they will reach Juba if the barrel of the gun is the solution.

For now I don’t see the signs of reconciliation which the majority have spoken about, but it’s nothing but just on the lips, president cancelled it and no more no less.

The writer is the south Sudanese and a survivor of the Nuer Massacre in Juba in miyethaba(107 area) and slept for two good nights with 180 dead bodies in the room where they were collected and roasted with bullets in my elder brother home in miyethaba area and on 17 I was arrested on my way again when I tried to escape to UNMISS for safety but luckily enough I was save by man which I was told later to be Geng Mathuok Gengdit by his former colleague who is soldier with him. But I thanks God that my spirit is still safe. And may God bless Geng. And can reach by email: tutdiu4@gmail.com

SSTV must not preach Dinka tribalism

BY: Weirial Puok, FEB/19/2014, SSN;

The Republic of South Sudan is comprised with massive self-righteous groups who would in many ways identify themselves as: Nuer, Acholi, Murle, Bari, Dinka, Di-Dinga, Anyuak, Taposa, Mundari and many more. These groups hold their tribal hatreds to the stage where they would attempt to project all evils deeds, I mean anything which is deemed evil onto other groups.

However, in this situation the right of reply or attempt at dialogue is refused, leading to a feeling of helplessness and anger among the accused groups.

As long as our human history is concerned, it’s unquestionably our human nature that we sometimes hold false views of the world, but in reality it’s not an individual’s mistake to choose whether they are to become Nuer, Latuho, Bari etc. and it is not a mistake from the almighty Father.

The other beliefs we subsequently choose, can only be done through the distorted prism of those early influences and imperfect knowledge of the facts, but should we blame others of being Dinka, Shiluk, Taposa, Nuer, Ding-Dinga and Vis versa?

This typical thinking goes against the nature and if we hate others simply because they are members of other tribes, than we must wrongly be blaming the nature.

South Sudanese should acknowledge that all tribes in the Republic of South Sudan are importance and those who endeavor to lecture supremacy of their tribes are the worst enemies of the new born state of South Sudan than Khartoum’s regime.

Tribalism in its broadest sense has become our major enemy than Khartoum’s regime which we often talk about day and night and it’s more determined to break the Republic of South Sudan into pieces if not managed adequately.

This is especially so at the onset of current crises that our president has started by massacring one ethnic group (Nuer).

We all need each other for the fact that different tribal values, beliefs and life styles form the identity of the Republic of South Sudan.

To contextualize and prove whether the so called Tribalism is growing, you need to switch to our only national Television also known South Sudan Television (SSTV).

If you are a weak hearted person, and you switch the television on to SSTV you may have a stress/stigma simply because it is not preaching the peace but encouraging tribalism.

Should you turn the television on to the SSTV, than you will either hear “down, down and down Riek Machar or Riek did that and this,” while leaving president Kiir who massacred more than 3000 Nuer innocents civilians in Juba and has burned down to ashes the Nuer lands.

After all Dr. Riek whom most of the Dinka community wanted to be down according to their tribal rallies, has not even a single position both in the government and the ruling south Sudan people’s liberation movement (SPLM).

Kiir is the one in power not Riek, he (Kiir) is the one to be told to step down because he fails us in one way or the other.

Look at the foreign mercenaries that were brought by him simply to finish the remnants of the innocents Nuer he massacred in Juba.

The good thing is that, 100% of the tribalism preachers on the television (SSTV) are from the Dinka tribe.

Therefore, this shows that the current war is not the misunderstanding between the leaders but is all about tribalism.

If any person needs to approve whether it is a tribalism or not, than he must switch on to SSTV to see all that.

All the untimely campaigns against Dr Riek Machar on SSTV shows that, he himself is a threat to the kingdom, so bravo Dr. Machar for being a strong anti-kingdom champion.

My questions go like this, why only Dinka’s victims are shown on the Television and not the most current crises victims (the Nuers)?

Why only the people who wanted Riek to step down (according to the Dinkas) are all the Dinkas and not the rest of 64 tribes?

Why most of the Dinkas politicians are crying while they were the ones that begun the fight by killing Nuer people in cold blood?

The answer is simple: a “chronic tribalism or hatred by Dinkas against the Nuer people.”

In conclusion, we must preach peace on the television (SSTV) rather than preaching tribalism otherwise South Sudan Television may be called as the Dinka Television.

Long live the south Sudanese people!
Long live the Republic of South Sudan!

Weirial Puok Baluang is a concerned citizen of south Sudan: he can be reached on makakopaul@gmail.com

Uganda plans South Sudan troops withdraw in April

By STEPHEN KAFEERO and Agencies in KAMPALA, FEB/19/2014, SSN;

Uganda will withdraw its troops from South Sudan starting April to pave way for the deployment of an African peace-keeping force, foreign affairs minister Sam Kuteesa announced Tuesday.

The armed forces will be replaced by the yet to be formed African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC) forces.

“Uganda has no desire to keep her troops on South Sudan soil longer than it is necessary. It is in that context that Uganda has proposed, and the Government of South Sudan agrees, on the deployment of ACIRC, consistent with the decision of the AU in January last month,” Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kuteesa said.

“As soon as the ACIRC force comes on board, the 1st contingent of Ugandan forces will return home. I expect this to be in the shortest period of time, which is two months,” said Mr Kuteesa.

The announcement comes just days after the United States, Ethiopia and Khartoum called on Uganda to withdraw its troops from the world’s youngest nation.

Speaking to journalists at the ministry’s headquarters in Kampala on Tuesday, Mr Kuteesa said the AU Peace and Security committee is expected to meet soon to work out modalities for deployment of ACIRC in South Sudan.

“We believe that the deployment of ACIRC is the most logical way to withdraw from South Sudan, without leaving a security vacuum that that can be taken advantage of…” he said.

Countries that have offered to contribute troops to ACIRC include Uganda, Algeria, Angola, Chad, Ethiopia, Guinea, Mauritania, Niger, South Africa, Sudan, and Tanzania.

Mr Kuteesa however dismissed claims that Uganda was forced to withdraw from South Sudan by its development partners. “We have not been under any pressure to leave South Sudan but as a regional player, it is prudent that Uganda gives the ACIRC measure a chance.”

Meanwhile, rebel forces in South Sudan today launched a major assault against the key oil-hub of Malakal, witnesses and officials said.

Aid sources said small arms fire could be heard inside the town after a dawn artillery battle outside the government-held capital of Upper Nile state. The government admitted that the rebels controlled some parts of the town.

Fighting is still continuing.
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To President Museveni: Withdraw our army from South Sudan now

BY: Dr. Kizza Besigye, DAILY MONITOR, KAMPALA, FEB/18/2014, SSN;

It soon became clear that this was not all the UPDF was doing. Mr Museveni himself, in complete contradiction of his Defence Minister and UPDF Chief of Defence Forces, revealed that UPDF was fighting alongside the South Sudan ‘government’ forces in operations against the breakaway SPLA forces.

It is now formal; the UPDF has been hired since December 23, 2013 to defend and protect President Salva Kiir and his government! Therefore, UPDF is in every sense a mercenary outfit in South Sudan.
President Museveni and his ministers have been making a political grandstanding over the deployment of Uganda’s military to South Sudan. They said it was in Uganda’s national interest!

They highlighted the national interests as including the safe repatriation of Ugandans; protecting Ugandan expatriates; and ensuring Uganda’s national security (deny Kony possibility of using South Sudan to attack Uganda).

It soon became clear that this was not all the UPDF was doing. Mr Museveni himself, in complete contradiction of his Defence Minister and UPDF Chief of Defence Forces, revealed that UPDF was fighting alongside the South Sudan ‘government’ forces in operations against the breakaway SPLA forces.

This created many complications. First, it directly endangered Ugandans that were in areas under the ‘rebel’ SPLA. In fact, it has been reported that Ugandans had to claim that they were Kenyans in order to reduce the hostility against them.
Secondly, it complicated the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) initiatives to find a political solution. An important IGAD member and South Sudan neighbour (Uganda) had now become a part of the warring parties; compromising the role of IGAD as a mediator of the conflict.

Thirdly, it opened a pandora’s box in regionalising the South Sudan conflict. Uganda’s regional enemies would be motivated to intervene on the opposite side; cascading into a wide regional war like happened in DR Congo.

For Ugandans, the additional worry was the cost of the war. Again the Ugandan leaders blatantly lied to the country. They said Uganda was meeting the cost and laboured to explain why the country should pay.

Then on Friday, February 14, the South Sudanese defence minister Kuol Manyang Juuk cleared the air. He said: “It is the government of South Sudan footing the bill of the operation which started officially on December 23, last year when a fierce fighting broke out in Juba and entered to other towns.”

“We are funding all the activities of UPDF and SPLA in our territory,” he further revealed.

This means our soldiers are hired by South Sudan government to serve their interests. If the national army was in Sudan to serve our national interests, there would be no basis for the South Sudan government to pay them.

It is so sad that our children are dying as hired mercenaries!
This also means Uganda may once again find herself in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for damages that will be occasioned by the activities of the UPDF. Uganda was found culpable by ICJ for the invasion and plunder of DR Congo.
The spokesperson of the ‘rebel’ SPLA has said “It is an obvious revelation that Salva Kiir’s government has already spent hundreds of millions of US dollars of the public money to finance the foreign Ugandan army in order to interfere in the internal matter and carry out a genocidal mission against a section of the citizens of South Sudan.”
Arising out of the above, Mr Museveni and his government should do the following immediately:
– Bring home our troops.
– Pay adequate compensation for our soldiers who died as mercenaries.
– Apologise to IGAD and the people of South Sudan for the reckless interference in internal affairs of South Sudan.

In the meantime, opposition Members of Parliament should demand a formal inquiry into the whole venture of UPDF deployment to South Sudan.

Dr Besigye is former FDC president and political activist

South Sudan rebels attack & partly capture Malakal Town

FROM DIFFERENT NEWS SOURCES, TUESDAY, FEB/18/2010, SSN;

Rebel forces launch attack on army forces in Malakal, the capital of Upper Nile state, despite ceasefire.

Fighting has resumed in South Sudan after rebel forces attacked a key oil town in the state of Upper Nile, a South Sudanese military official said.

A government official confirmed that the rebels have reached the town and could have taken over more than half of Malakal.

The UN says there is heavy fighting around the UNMISS compound which is next to the airport and crossfire is landing in the compound.

South Sudanese military spokesman Philip Aguer told the Associated Press news agency that fighting broke out early on Tuesday in Malakal, which once was in rebel hands but is now controlled by government troops.

“The fighting is very heavy. There is fighting on the outskirts of the town. It’s a very big coordinated attack,” a witness told the AFP news agency.

Although the country’s warring factions signed a ceasefire on January 23, both sides have repeatedly accused each other of violating that agreement.

Toby Lanzer, the United Nation’s top humanitarian official in South Sudan, tweeted on Tuesday that all groups “engaged in the violence must uphold people’s rights and protect non-combatants”.

The UN said both sides had committed rights violations, and on Monday South Sudan’s military announced that more than 20 government soldiers had been charged over civilian killings.

UN compound surrounded

Grace Cahill, a spokeswoman for Oxfam in South Sudan, said armed groups had gathered outside the UN compound in Malakal, where 27,000 people were seeking shelter.

“The presence of armed groups outside the compound has made those inside very scared,” she said.

Ceasefire violations
Presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny told the BBC that the rebel attack had begun at 07:50 local time (04:50 GMT).

“The rebels are using assault rifles – AK-47. And they have some RPGs [rocket-propelled grenades] and a number of other machine-guns. They are well-equipped,” he told World Update on the BBC World Service.

But the rebels’ military spokesman, Brig Gen Lul Ruai, accused the government forces, with the support of the Ugandan army, of attacking their positions south and east of the oil town.

He told the BBC that the Ugandan forces had bombed their positions from air and that the rebels had repulsed the attack.

Uganda has denied involvement and says it is withdrawing some of its troops, which are aligned to South Sudan President Salva Kiir, from the country.

Upper Nile administration spokesman Philip Jiben told Reuters news agency the fighting was continuing, but government forces were “still in control of Malakal”.

Thousands of people have been killed and more than 800,000 displaced by violence since mid-December, when a fight broke out among presidential guards in the capital, Juba, before spreading out across the country.

Ugandan forces are fighting alongside the South Sudanese military as it tries to stop a rebellion led by former Vice President Riek Machar, an influential politician whose dismissal last year sparked ethnic tension in a country with a history of divided military loyalties.

Machar is Nuer, the ethnic group of most of the soldiers who defected and joined his rebellion late last year.

Most of the loyalist forces are from the Dinka ethnic group of President Salva Kiir, whose government insists that unrest in the country was sparked by a failed military coup mounted by soldiers loyal to Machar.

Machar denies the coup allegation but says his goal is to have Kiir removed from power.