Archive for: March 2014

Restoring Peace in South Sudan: An Expert’s Opinion

BY: Jared Genser, USA, MAR/31/2014, SSN;

Just over two years after its birth, South Sudan has plunged into crisis. Last month, only weeks after government and rebels signed a ceasefire agreement, violence reignited in Malakal, in the country’s northeast. Both parties to the conflict accused the other of violating the ceasefire.

Regardless, at least ten people were killed in the incident, the most recent in a series of clashes that have pushed the world’s youngest nation into civil war, threatening to become an all-out conflict, with widespread fighting posing dire consequences.

The optimism that accompanied the country’s independence has diminished since fighting broke out on December 15, 2013, between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and those loyal to his former vice president Riek Machar.

The roots of this violence can be traced to a power struggle that took on an ethnic element. In July 2013, Kiir fired Machar, who he viewed as a political threat.

With Kiir being Dinka, South Sudan’s largest of more than sixty ethnic groups, and Machar being Nuer, its second-largest, the conflict between the two men took an ethnic tone.

In the days following the outbreak of violence, fighting between Dinka and Nuer escalated and spread across the country, with political leaders and militias betraying their national affiliation in favor of their ethnic identity.

Kiir immediately called the violence a coup attempt by Machar that had been put down by the government. However, on December 16, fighting erupted again, when army commanders loyal to Machar rebelled against the government.

In an effort to quell this violence, both parties attended negotiations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Out of these negotiations came a ceasefire on January 23, 2014.

Hailed as the first step towards ending the conflict, the agreement supposedly paved the way for peace talks.

Subsequently, the ceasefire was violated by both sides less than a month after its adoption.

The South Sudanese people, who fought for independence only to see their country descend into warfare, deserve more than a ceasefire that has no sticking power.

Since December, 739,000 people have been displaced internally and another 196,000 have become refugees. This is on top of a death toll of 10,000 and counting.

Extrajudicial killings, sexual violence, and targeting of individuals based on ethnicity have been widespread.

With a second round of peace talks stalled, the South Sudanese need a cessation of hostilities that is respected by both sides.

The international community was instrumental in the country’s independence. It is time for the international community to step up to restore optimism to South Sudan.

First, the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) must be expanded.

Following the outbreak of violence, the Security Council authorized a reinforcement of UNMISS, increasing its size from 7,000 to 12,500.

However, the operation is struggling to protect 80,000 civilians sheltering in its bases. Reinforcements will be useless if peacekeepers’ freedom of movement is restricted.

Although the government has qualms about the UN presence, it should allow the transfer of more personnel and assets.

The East African bloc Intergovernmental Authority on Development, IGAD, on the other hand, has made inroads where the UN has failed.

Going forward, it is critical that they work together and UNMISS be allowed to reach its capacity.

Second, the international community must help South Sudan develop its democratic institutions.

The creation of a new constitution should be supported by advisers from the African Union and other parties who could provide insight on best practices while allowing for civic input in the process.

The constitution-drafting body should first undertake a census, then register voters, and finally hold a constitutional referendum.

Elections, scheduled for 2015, should be contingent on the completion of a constitution.

In the aftermath of Machar’s failed coup, the country currently has no viable opposition parties.

It is essential that parties other than the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Army be able to grow.

Third, conditions must be created to bring the national dialogue to Juba, South Sudan’s capital. Shuttling parties back and forth to Addis Ababa will only prolong what has been a very slow process.

Once an agreement is reached, UN peacekeepers should report violations and ensure accountability for perpetrators.

In the long term, an internationally-supported court to bring justice for crimes committed should be considered. These efforts would promote healing of historical and new wounds.

Reestablishing stability in South Sudan will not be easy, but it is essential that the international community act now to support and protect its youngest member.

Not doing so means further chaos for South Sudan.

Jared Genser is an international human-rights lawyer and editor of The UN Security Council in the Age of Human Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2014).

Why Equatoria supports an Interim Federal Government & a Federal Constitution

BY: Col. (Rtd). Wani Tombe Lako Lokitari, RSS, MAR/29/29/2014, SSN;

Whether people like it or not, Equatoria is always the political game-changer in the politics of South Sudan (SS). Those who argue that Equatoria must become an innocent and unconcerned spectator while history and the political roadmap of SS are being redone, are gravely mistaken.

Others must not confuse the protection of their constitutional posts, with commensurate financial and other privileges, with the selfless struggle for the comprehensive interests of the downtrodden and poverty ridden peoples of SS.

There are some Equatorians holding constitutional posts and other menial constitutional jobs in the presidency, the states, and other ministries in Juba, who think that because they are happy as individuals and families, and therefore by implication, the rest of Equatoria are also happy.

These detached Equatorian constitutional and other post holders in the Sovereign Republic of South Sudan (SRSS) are but selfish others.

The gallant women, men and youth of Equatoria, in the Diaspora and in the SRSS, must understand that it is grossly misleading to jubilate for being placated by a mere appointment of some inward looking handful of Equatorians into the said constitutional and other posts, in the SRSS.

This placation is then peddled as genuine participation of the peoples of Equatoria in the administration of the SRSS.

When men and women take up constitutional posts and treat them as run-of-the-mill jobs, then society must begin to look for some better men and women who do not treat the said posts as run-of-the-mill regular jobs.

Constitutional posts are service delivery jobs to the masses of the peoples. Constitutional jobs are not for earning a living.

Those who want to treat constitutional jobs as income generating activities must look for other professional jobs, or go into business in the private sector.

The notion and practice of constitutional post holders; looting government assets, and then, conspicuously demonstrating these looted assets, to us, the public, in the form of fancy powerful vehicles, jewelries on their wives bodies, tall buildings that they built in Juba, or brothels, and pubs, or bars, that they built in Juba, or the various fake companies, that they set up, with Somalis, Ethiopians, Ugandans and Kenyans, as symbols of personal success, are some of the reasons why we must have a federal system of governance in the SRSS, so that each region can closely monitor their own political traders.

Federalism shall help us in Equatoria in carrying out political winnowing in order to separate the political chaff from political grain.

Federalism based on the three former regions of Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr El Ghazal, shall give us the chance, in each respective region, to prune the mushrooming of accidental quasi-leaders, who have been rammed down our political throats by various political and social developments of the last three decades in SS.

Genuine federalism shall allow us to keep these quasi leaders in the social and physical spaces where they historically and contemporaneously belong, so that the rest of the peoples of Equatoria in particular and SRSS at large, can get on with the art and science of managing the SRSS for the delivery of the badly needed goods and services, to our gallant and down trodden peoples.

Genuine federalism shall allow us to protect the honour of our daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, aunts and grandmothers.

In Equatoria, these female members of our society have been grossly and routinely emotionally, psychologically, physically, economically, financially, and sexually violated.

The current system does not protect our women, and we are rendered helpless to protect our women against some others who use comprehensive State’s privileges to carry out their culpable intentions and conducts against our women.

We in Equatoria are at the mercy of the current policing services in the SRSS because the majority of the police forces are populated by others who do not emanate from our communities and thus, they behave like an occupying force.

It is commonplace knowledge in the SRSS that the police force doubles as criminals at the same time. This shall not happen when the daughters and sons of Equatoria shall police their towns.

They shall not double as criminals. They shall not kill their own people. This is a just reason for Equatorians to support federalism in the SRSS.

With federalism in place, there shall not be any reason why our daughters and sons, should not be the police commissioners, the prisons force commissioners, and all other security related commissioners.

We shall do away with the current domination of our own local jobs by others from other regions. At the same time, these others also control their own regions as regards the said positions.

What kind of a system is this? What kind of an existence is this? How can you, in Equatoria, say that, you are in fact, and at law, effectively and efficaciously, participating in the administration of the SRSS?

The current administration of justice in the SRSS is utterly defective, partial, and abusive.

We need federalism so that we can administer our own judicial institutions. All level of courts shall be run by our own daughters and sons throughout Equatoria.

These are our own daughters and sons who understand their own customary laws throughout Equatoria. These are our own daughters and sons who know and respect our cultural value systems throughout Equatoria.

These are our own daughters and sons who have no intentions and moral capacities in the administration of a discriminatory judicial system.

We shall save our women and men from being sent to the death row, simply because they are Equatorians in the SRSS.

With federalism, we shall have equitable representation in the army of the SRSS. We shall then, therefore, have our daughters and sons in the military and other intelligence outfits in the SRSS.

This shall put a stop to mysterious disappearances of our medical doctors, engineers and such like. This shall protect our lives and dignity from those others, who do not value humanity in the SRSS.

You Equatorians must fight to death for the establishment of a federal system in the SRSS for your own and other peoples’ dignified living in the SRSS.

Equatoria has the will, the capacity, the knowledge, the skills, the experiences, the attitude and the outlook to produce its own food and produce food for the other regions. In fact, Equatoria can produce food for export.

However, with the current system in place, all these productive characteristics of Equatoria, as land and peoples, are being frustrated and undermined to the detriment of everybody in the SRSS; not just to our own detriment in Equatoria.

Therefore, we need federalism to be able to save ourselves from definite comprehensive underdevelopment.

With the current system in place, Equatoria shall not have the time, the freedom, the right, and the space to use all its prime agricultural lands for the production of badly needed food for all mouths and stomachs in the SRSS.

We in Equatoria have been reduced to constantly protecting our agricultural lands from marauding nomads, armed to the teeth, by the government in Juba.

This is not a life that shall lead us all to prosperity in the SRSS. We need to federate, to even save these marauding nomads from definite future famines.

Our educational system is in tatters. Our higher education is being undermined by unscrupulous policies including the appointment of tribal vice chancellors to run our universities.

Federalism shall allow us to reform our universities in Equatoria for the benefit of all peoples of the SRSS. We need the intellectual space to concentrate on managing these technical institutions.

For God’s sake, presidents all over the world don’t appoint academic secretaries of universities. We need to quickly save the SRSS from these laggards in Juba.

We need federalism to save our young women and men; and youth in general, from being wasted in Equatoria. From 2005 to date, the young women and men, and youth of Equatoria have been systemically marginalised.

If we allow these processes of discrimination against our young women and men and youth to go on unchecked, then we must forget about positive life chances of our posterities.

If we allow these injustices to continue, our young women and men; and youth, shall turn into women and men, who shall be the janitors and street cleaners and workers in menial jobs and various handymen and women in the SRSS.

Is this what these three governors of Equatoria want? Is this the democracy that these three current governors of Equatoria are on about? Is this how they think all is OK in Equatoria?

We in Equatoria need to work together, with those others in the SRSS, to urgently form an interim government and then proceed to write the federal system into our permanent constitution during the period of this interim government.

Therefore, you the young women, men and youth of Equatoria, in Diaspora and in the SRSS, your futures are in your hands, not in the hands of these three governors of Equatoria, who seem to think more about their jobs via the continuity of President Kiir in office rather than about your futures in the SRSS.

Therefore, to bring all of the above changes in place, you need the political and security spaces in the SRSS. The current government in Juba does not care about all of the above issues raised.

The current government plus these three governors of Equatoria think that when we raise these issues as the ones raised above, we commit treason.

How can one be a traitor if one is literally telling the government in Juba to provide security and goods and services to the deserving peoples of the SRSS?

How can our concerns be rubbish according to the governor of Western Equatoria when we are saying all of the above because we love the peoples of Equatoria?

How can what we are saying be rubbish when we are saying that, our women should not be abused?

How can what we are saying be rubbish if we are telling the government that we do not want tribal police to kick in the doors of our peoples at night in Equatoria; because, they want to violently rape our sisters, daughters, wives, mothers, aunts, and even grandmothers?

Or, they kick in these doors because they want to rob what valuables are there to be robbed?

How can all these concerns of mine be akin to the concerns of a traitor? Who is a traitor in fact, and at law?

Juba has been a killing field for years under the watch of the current governor. What did he do to stop this serial killing of Equatorians in Juba and other places and villages in Central Equatoria? He completely did nothing.

Whole Madi villages and towns have been forcibly settled by political settlers from Jonglei and Bahr Al Ghazal. What did the governor of Eastern Equatoria do? He completely did nothing.

Whole Acholi villages and towns have been forcibly occupied by the same groups. What did the governor of Eastern Equatoria do? He completely did nothing.

Same violations have happened in Yambio. What did the governor of Western Equatoria do? He did nothing.

Equatorian Chiefs are hunted and murdered like common criminals. The case of the Madi Chief is one of many sad examples.

What did all these three governors do to stop their citizens being hunted down and murdered? All these current three governors did nothing to protect our peoples from systemic displacements and murder.

Therefore, should we just sit there and wait for whatsoever these other peoples want to do with us and with our land simply because our current governors say that all, is OK and they are behind President Kiir come what may?

Does the mere keeping of President Kiir in power shall return our stolen land and provide legal remedies for hundreds and thousands of law suits which are pending because we have no lawyers of our own to protect our comprehensive interests judicially?

Is this what these three governors want us to do? Just to follow them just because they are they; and nothing more?

These three governors of Equatoria ought to understand that we are not their chattels. We are not their property so that they can have absolute control of use and exchanges values over us.

We are sovereign peoples of the SRSS, and we have sovereign rights to reject peacefully or by use of force; any rulers who cannot protect us; and have turned into tyrants and killing us in cold blood.

These three governors represent themselves not the entire interests of the peoples of Equatoria. They can say what they want to say. After all, they are cronies of President Salva Kiir.

The author is Chairman of Greater Equatoria Council of Rights (GRECOR)

Homeland & National security can’t be sold to enemies

BY: William Dimo, AUSTRALIA, MAR/29/2014, SSN;

The Republic of South Sudan is a sovereign state, and a democratic country. I won’t change my position from the current crisis in South Sudan, and it is my right and duty to defend the constitution as a citizen and democratic believer.

I believe in what you don’t believe as well as you can’t believe in what I believe. Democratic values must be respected and any violence through arms is unconstitutional.

Killing civilians, burning down houses is a terrorist civilization. Whoever kills unarmed person is a criminal and will not escape accountability and held responsible for his atrocities committed against civilians for both sides.

Politics is practice and theory of influencing other people on a civic or individual level, but, not forcibly.

The current crisis in South Sudan divided us into pro-government and Anti-government. I am of course a pro government for the reasons that I believe in democratic systems and it is a duty to any citizen to defend the values of democracy.

I had critique the government from the position of failing to deliver basic services for example roads, hospitals, schools and failing to provide security to citizen.

But it does not mean if government failed to implements their commitments, we wage war against government. I reject the use of force by all means.

So why rebellions now and for what reasons, and what are the main objectives of Dr. Risk Masher by turning our country upside down?

Two years after independence and three years after elections, Riek has lost leadership as an educated person, he turned out to be none.

Also some influence close to president Kiir purely tribalism especially presidential adviser.

They draw a map of one man rule that gives right to fire and to choose without going back to National Assembly for improving the move to dismiss elected person constitutionally.

To remove with decrees from day one may reflect how far this will continue and temporary constitution was for a start to rebuild nation and I was thinking that any civilized person was observing how the country will move on, as all were calm to wait for 2015 election and form a permanent constitution.

Concerning international community roles in South Sudan, western countries position on current crisis, they only fear about their interest.

Even CPA was signed under former President George Bush, who threatened Sudan government that was harboring Osama bin Laden and training terrorists against western interest and threats to their national security.

Peace in Sudan came by forcing both Sudan people liberation movement and Sudan government into it. All Arab nations were not happy of United States and western world in particular. But George W Bush made it clear to Arab world and international community as he said “either you are with us or with terrorist.”

US, EU influence…..
Barack Obama position is not clear when it comes to South Sudan. His administration is cooperating more with Sudan than South Sudan, because he would like to discredit South Sudan government and credit government of Islamic regime Sudan and Arab Islamic world in order to balance the Arab and Islamic world that lost part of the “dreams land” of Arab in south Sudan.

Obama wants to compensate Arabs in order to balance the power to the Arabs that lost land to Israel. I think if President Obama is on Arab side, then he is on wrong side of the history.

The question is what’s difference between Silva Kiir and Omer Al Bashir? Both are the heads of states and military as well as they were elected through ballot box. But the ideology is different.

UN MISSION AND MANDATE
UNMISS mandate in south Sudan was for peace and stability to rebuild south Sudan. But, not to dismantle government by supporting rebels.

And if UN is for peace, they should not engage under international laws to support any side; government or rebels. So why they did not condemn violence and all Dr Riek violation on ceasefire and atrocities committed by killing civilians if both UN and Reik are for change?

They should persuade Reik to lay down the weapons and join peace and run in a free and fair election.

South Sudan is a sovereign state and under international laws and as a member of the United Nations, we deserve respect and reject interference from other countries to bring instability in order to make people busy with war and looting, stealing resources other than oil.

These behaviors of intimidation and threats of sanctions for no reason or being policing of interest, is not accepted in 12 centuries

From my point of view, Dinka kingdom or Nuer kingdom will not exist in the Republic of South Sudan. But accepting being one nation with 64 tribes and respecting each one’s right is the principle of democratic values.

Dominance of Nuer or Dinka to claim their majority and neglect or not to concede other peoples rights, will end up with instability.

However it is impossible for ethnocentric system and dictatorship ruling as we will be the center of one tribe domination and when others rise up to defend their rights, Somalia or Rwanda are the examples.

I am optimistic that SPLA/M knows why they signed the CPA. The main objective was to be free from Jalaba colonization, not to create a new colony among ourselves.

It’s a shame if one tribe is everything but is good and fair if all tribes share everything.

It’s a shame if our country is forced to be under UN rule or to be back to Sudan. It is permission to be given to our enemy to achieve their goals. But it will be miserable to be slaves again.

God created us to be 64 tribes in South Sudan. All lost loved ones during struggle. Therefore, diversity of cultures means we are rich in cultures.

Tribalism is not accepted if we want to be a great nation, also we must accept criticism when we failed to work and help our nation.

Let’s give a chance to a new generation to have a turn in nation building. Stuck to tribalism ideas will give us nothing.
Our ancestor have lived generation after generation why divisions now?

The land is ours and the country belongs to all of us so nothing will divide us.

I believe we will reach there, despite all differences, but peace lies in our hearts and a new South Sudan will be rebuilt again but this time will be on solid rock.

Politically, economically, socially and culturally one nation, the Republic of South Sudan.

William Dimo.

Joint Administration & UN Trusteeship insulting but not outlandish

BY: Kuir ë Garang, CANADA, MAR/28/2014, SSN;

South Sudan’s young scholars, Nhial Tiitmamer and Abraham Awolich, wrote a remarkable policy update paper for their weekly review for The Sudd Institution on March 11, 2014. In that paper, Nhial and Abraham presented arguments against two different proposals presented by ‘South Sudanese analysts’ as possible ways forward for South Sudan.

The said two methods are UN Trusteeship and a Joint Administration by South Sudanese and selected international bodies.

These suggestions are presented as part of restructuring, institutionalizing and anchoring of South Sudan as a nation with functional structures, institutions and policy framework.

UN Trusteeship was proposed on January 6, 2014 in ‘African Arguments’ by Hank Cohen, a former US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs. The joint administration was proposed by Princeton Lyman (et al), a former US envoy to South Sudan and Sudan. Lyman is now with United States Institute for Peace.

While I’m not going to recommend any of the proposed methods, I’d like to caution readers and policy writers against any rush to dismiss the proposals without their proper appraisals.

Sadly, I’m not going to appraise the two methods; however, I’m going to vaguely show how such methods would be advisable for South Sudan as far as institutionalization and development ambience are concerned.

Policy advisors, like The Sudd Institute, would be better placed if they comprehensively present both sides of any policy situation in order to afford the readers an avenue to consume chiefly con-contextualized policy positions.

The manner in which Nhial and Awolich dismissed the two suggestions they focused on, without presenting any would-be benefits of such undertakings, is a policy angle I’d not advise.

I would advise that the authors present the pros and cons first before settling for what they believe is their preferred policy advisory; in this case, the rejection of the said governance and administrative proposals.

While the authors have agreed with the proposers on some points (especially with Lyman), they’ve not dwelled appropriately on the merits of both the Trusteeship and the Joint Administration.

Proper policy advisory would present the merits of the two methods comprehensively before the presentation of the arguments as to why they’d not work in South Sudan.

Protecting a failed System vs. Building a strong and functional system

There’s no question that South Sudan has adequate manpower to build strong institutions for a prosperous way forward. And with no doubt, the best way to bring change and long-term prosperity to any given country is to make sure such parameters are internally generated.

Externally generated success modalities sideline the internal creativity and frustrate long-term sustainable development.

However, the problem in South Sudan is not manpower per se and I agree with the authors. It’s the political atmosphere, institutional capacity and maturity. But one has to ask oneself.

Do we have a conductive atmosphere and a strong institutional soundness that can allow educated South Sudanese to effect the required change?

If not, then what are the indications that this would be effected anytime soon?

The authors know very well that South Sudanese leadership has failed miserably to establish institutional capacities that make a nation functional.

What are the causes of this failure over the last eight years? Why would the authors believe the leadership that has failed over the last eight years will all of a sudden build institutional capacities that would allow development of institutional professionalism?

It’s Einstein who once said that doing something over and over again in the same way and expecting a different result is madness.

The authors will have to convince us that there has developed an appreciable change in Juba for development of independent and functional institutions. Otherwise, a depressing, stagnant and failed merry-go-round is a support to the intransigent elites and a support for a failed system.

Creating ‘Enabling Conditions’ for South Sudanese

UN Trusteeship and Joint Administration (if necessary) would not discount South Sudanese contri-bution and their place in charting a new, development-conscious and transparency-friendly South Sudan.

In a word, Educated South Sudanese would still be central to all development initiatives and leadership.

Whether it was in East Timor or Namibia, the citizens of those countries were never left out. What UN officials did was to act as impartial guidance and expert voices together with their indigenous counterparts. Citizens have a say regarding the methods to be established.

Even with South Africa occupying Namibia illegally after UN deemed its mandate over with the end of the League of Nations, UN, through UNTAG, still found it imperative to allow South Africa to administer elections with UN supervision.

Martti Ahtisaari, then the UN Special Representative for Namibia, made sure all the stake holders were involved in not only the elections process but the transitional process.

What they would do, in the case of South Sudan should that be absolutely necessary, is to create the atmosphere that would allow educated and knowledgeable South Sudanese to effectively contribute to national development.

The culture of favoritism, nepotism, rampant corruption and inter-tribal animosity would be checked by a neutral guiding voice given a specified period of time. This period would still be agreed upon by South Sudanese politicians and the guiding body (UN or otherwise).

As the authors note very well that “inflated political egos, ethnic politics, and lack of peaceful political culture” are “the root of the current violence.” Keeping those in mind, what are the indications that these attitudes have changed (or will change) among the ranks of South Sudanese ruling elites?

What are the indications that the current leadership will create ‘enabling conditions’ for development of across-the-board institutional strength?

What has the government done so far to give South Sudanese some hope that governance, accountability and rule of law will be the face of our new South Sudan?

We have to remember that the UN Trusteeship or any Joint Administration would not be the sole brains or the manpower behind the country’s development. They would only act as impartial facilitators of development and transition.

The onus would still be on the citizens to take advantage of the conducive atmosphere otherwise nothing would change.

So, whether or not South Sudan changes for better if placed under such administrations rests solely with South Sudanese.

‘Wounded Egos’ vs. South Sudanese Future

I rather see my people live in peace and looking forward to a prosperous nation in which they use their potential for the betterment of the country regardless of who brings it. What I’d reject is perpetual dependency on others.

However, we can’t put our egos before our national interest. We are a new nation; a nation on transition. Besides, we have a ruling political party that is trying to shed the scales of militarism. These are things that need time.

However, we need help to make sure such a transition is made possible within a reasonable time.

We should not be worried that the world would see us as incapable of taking care of our affairs. We are not incapable but we have obstructive conditions that are frustrating our ability to show our national capacities.

In a sense, we need appreciable humility to accept conditions that’d ensure we actually show the world that we are able.

I understand, as Rüdiger Wolfrum argues that “Such intervention from the outside faces the di-lemma that by influencing or even by taking over governmental authority, either totally or partially or to establish new governmental structures for that territory in turmoil such intervention interferes with the right of self-determination of the respective population to decide on its political and eco-nomic future.”

“However,” Wolfrum adds, “without assisting activities from the outside the popu-lation would not be able to exercise its right of self-determination due to the lack of representative institutions.”

What’s best for our nation should take primacy over our would-be wounded egos. Part of being a decently educated population is the ability to see when something isn’t working and being able to humbly look for an enduring solution.

We need help, serious help, and it’s up to us to wisely know how to fish out the best solution for our people with the help of people who are willing to help us.

UN Trusteeship and Joint Administration would be a possible alternative because:

• The current South Sudanese administration has not created and is not capable (or unwilling) of creating a conducive atmosphere for South Sudanese with skills to contribute toward national development.
• There’s no any impartial development champion or practical promoter of development. Devel-opment initiatives are outlined but not followed through.
• Financial issues: South Sudanese go for months without being paid and no one is held account-able. Embezzlement of public funds is acknowledged but not punished.
• Media Institutions are tightly controlled and intimidated. Without any free press, the people lose their voice.
• The national constitution is not adhered to by its very custodians; only cited if the leadership feels it helps them. The culture of belligerent militarism is the attitude leading the country in-stead of the national constitution.
• The current administration is encouraging the development of the country as a nation of a single opinion dictated by the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). Different opinions and perspectives are either vilified or seen as views of enemies of the state. The merits of different opinions are not even considered.
• Protection of civilians is not a government priority and this creates a culture of mistrust and tribal feuds. The strength of the nation is perceived as the government rather than the people.
• The leadership doesn’t feel it’s accountable to South Sudanese. Decisions are made without being explained and those who suffer are the average South Sudanese. The government works for itself rather than for South Sudanese.
• Leaders see themselves as unquestionable demi-gods. This is not good for good governance, development and the average South Sudanese. Good leaders are supposed to be questioned.
• Praising the president is one of the ways of landing a high-paying job. Criticizing the president jeopardizes one’s job. This atmosphere prevents truth from being told and people, who have different opinions but can benefit the country, are shut out of leadership positions.

Word of Advice

I’m not going to recommend any of the two methods because South Sudanese need to be given a second chance to prove themselves; however, I’d want us to be conscious of our shortcomings. The culture of dismissiveness is what’s killing our people.

I’d like to advise Nhial and Abraham, as people working for one of South Sudan’s respected
scholarly institutions, to be wary of the dismissive attitude among South Sudanese intelligentsia and ruling elites.

We are a proud populace, however, we should be very careful regarding the detriment excess pride can engender.

Nations don’t fail because there are no educated people in the country. Nations fail because of the nature of the political culture in the country. Without any enabling conditions, no amount of education and creativity can help.

I would also advise the authors to avoid the developing culture in South Sudan in which ideas are dismissed without prescribing a viable alternative. If they dismiss the two methods and believe that South Sudanese can actually bring about these enabling conditions, then they also need to present an alternative administrative and political framework and how it would bring about this enabling conditions. As policy advisors, the authors should not only talk about the what? but the how?

The how should be presented step-by-step with clear time-frame, the governance mechanics, the mechanics for the avoidance of past mistakes and the central, unifying political figures to make the methods both plausible and efficacious.

Institutions become functionally strong and respectable if they are led by people who not only know how to identify problems, but also how to solve them with vivid appreciable transparency and competency. This, South Sudan lacks!

Consequently, I see the two proposed administrative methods as not ‘outlandish, but as necessary insults.

a Kuir ë Garang is a South Sudan poet, author, independent publisher and political analysts living in Canada. He’s the author of “South Sudan Ideologically” and “Is ‘Black’ Really Beautiful?”

NB: PDF copy of the article is available here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4Rt3RZe4rijczhOMnZUWVJ1bms/edit?usp=sharing&pli=1

Rep. of South Sudan: A Laughing stock in Africa

BY: Daniel Wuor Joak,RSS, MAR/28/2014, SSN;

It is so sad that a nascent country of nearly three years old could venture into unplanned and destructive war, unfortunately orchestrated by none other than the incumbent President Salva Kiir Mayardit. He hastily did it out of greed and jealousy to outstripped his competing colleagues over the SPLM leadership.

President Kiir believes in “authoritarian attitude” in case of any eventuality to quell down discontented members within the ranks and files as he sadly did on 15th December 2013, when he personally ordered his loyalists within the SPLA to abrade his potential opponents from SPLM political leadership and their tribal affiliated sympathizers.

The death of over ten thousands Nuers deliberately massacred in Juba as from 16 – 19 December 2013, and subsequent detentions of eleven SPLM political leaders after President failed to either arrest or kill their ringleader Dr. Riek Machar Teny was an overdue plan by him and his henchmen to get rid of Nuer and their leadership once and for all.

That was the reason why he kept all oil revenues in billions of US dollar in foreign banks and at the same time deceitful to South Sudanese masses that he had borrowed 4.5 billions US dollar following the shut down of oil in 2011, which pretentiously gave him a leeway to introduce “Austerity Measures” in the country for over one year or more to curb down the government expenditures.

Presently, all government-run institutions are badly affected and yet the President and his cronies revealed later that they had indeed borrowed huge amounts of money from China, which was a pure fallacy.

If there was money borrowed as recently alleged by him, this money might have been used to pay the mercenaries from UPDF, JEM, and SPLA–North, who are currently fighting alongside the government forces against the SPLM/A–In Opposition in Greater Upper Nile region.

Most of the government employees including the SPLA war veterans and various departments have not been paid their due salaries since December 2013, while the oil still flowing in Upper Nile State.

The government cannot be continuously hiring foreign mercenaries while neglecting its own citizens from enjoying their “God Heavenly” given resources for the sake of protecting “one-man” interest.

President Salva Kiir has been busy all this time dispatching his errand boys to different countries in the region and abroad to enlighten those leaders about his made-up coup d’etat, which becomes a huge headache for him to swallow on his daily life.

The war has become too costly in which his hired mercenaries are not enough and he still looking for more allies to fight his tribally motivated war by unconditionally calling IGAD countries, Egypt and now Zimbabwe to come and protect the oil fields in Unity and Upper Nile States and not his vulnerable citizens who are caught up in cross-fires.

The one million internally displaced persons currently displaced throughout the country should first and foremost be given all the necessary protections before the oil fields.

IGAD countries should be serious in their mediating efforts to be frank to Uganda President Yoweri Museveni who still sends more troops and military airplanes to South Sudan to fight the war of aggression against the grieved people of South Sudan against their tyrant leader Salva Kiir Mayardit.

They cannot negotiate peace while condoning Uganda troops to kill our innocent’s people by using helicopter gunships and jets with cluster bombs.

How do IGAD countries expect peace to be realized in South Sudan when UPDF and other mercenaries from Republic of Sudan constantly killing our citizens and destroying their properties without condemning them?

And why IGAD wants to send troops to protect only oil installations and government infrastructures instead of civilians caught in crossfires?

The double-dealings of IGAD in their quest for peace are unacceptable to large section of South Sudanese communities and doomed to fail this time.

They want to maintain President Kiir leadership while they are fully aware of his incompetencies.

He is a gross human rights violator and a tribalist of highest degree in comparison to Idi Amin Dada. He lacks wisdom and quality to lead the people of South Sudan to prosperity.

President Kiir has more importantly promoted corruption, tribalism, nepotism and favoritism among his subjects, which will take a number of years for the next leader to rid it.

It has become a culture to some extent where an appointed member from certain ethnicity is replaced only with the person from the same community.

Competency and dedication are not relevant in his reign except sycophancy and blindfolded loyalty.

Power sharing which is being proposed by IGAD mediators and Troika would make more sense if President Kiir is excluded from it because he is already anticipated in a pending case to answer with ICC.

He cannot be part of a reconciliatory government while he intentionally murdered thousands of civilians in cold blood.

His mercenary allies will soon vanish as long as the oil fields are soon to be shut down in Upper Nile State by SPLM/A Freedom Fighters who are actively engaging them militarily in the three states of Greater Upper Nile of Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile respectively.

There will be no more hard currency to hire mercenaries to fight his senseless war.

With the latest moves from Equatorian intellectuals both at home and in diaspora and that of Chollo community where massive defections have been reported on different news media to SPLM/A – In Opposition is very encouraging news indeed.

Southerners should not allow themselves to be misled by somebody who has already failed his leadership on tribal ground.

South Sudan is a country that can be led by any capable person among its sons and daughters without any exception.

All its sixty-four nationalities are equal before God. No one is above another. All tribes need to be treated fairly and accorded the same opportunity without any discrimination.

There is nothing called “Nuer Movement” as it happened in the past where SPLM/A was headed by Dr. John de Garang or the current government by Salva Kiir Mayardit.

Nobody ever labelled them as Dinka leaders but rather South Sudanese leaders.

Dr. Riek Machar is not a Nuer leader, as some mischevious characters like to portray him as Nuer leader, which is not the case in his vision.

He is a South Sudanese leader like the rest before him and the SPLM/A – In Opposition is for all of us.

Southerners must liberate themselves from this unfortunate situation where their affairs become everybody’s concern being dictated on them by known criminals from East Africa nations.

President Salva Kiir must go and let the people of South Sudan choose their leader of choice without fear and intimidation.

The author is a South Sudanese human rights activist and can be reached through this email: dwjoak21@hotmail.com

The Rationale or Otherwise of Alleged Greater Equatoria Support to Rebel Machar

BY: JUMA MABOR, Lawyer, JUBA, MAR/27/2014, SSN;

A fortnight or so ago, an online newspaper “Equatoria Sun” unveiled a list of a shadow cabinet alleged to have been formed by Rebel Leader Dr. Riek Machar in anticipation of the speculated interim government, and among the top cabinet ministers were four or so Equatorian members led among the top portfolios by Kosti Manibe Ngai – Finance, Commerce and Economic Planning, Dr. Cirino Hiteng — Youth, Culture & Sports, Aloisio Emor Ojetuk – National Security Service Hon. Silvano Odwaro Gordon- Agriculture, Forestry, Tourism, Animal Resources and Fisheries and Dr. Olivia Lomoro – Health .

Out of those mentioned in Riek’s list of cabinet, only one Equatorian in the name of Dr. Olivia Lomoro – Health, came out to refute the allegations, the rest of the nominees like their colleagues from other regions of South Sudan remained adamant leaving the public to speculate on whether their silence meant acceptance of the allegations or ignorance of the same. Hon. Aguil De’Chut Deng denied and declined the nomination to the prestigious Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

Subsequently, the public reaction was mixed with some indicating that the list could be a conspiracy to settle political scores by those who have one or another vendetta against the named individuals and likely presumed political heavy weights in Riek’s cabinet.

The contrary opinion was to the effect that most if not all of those mentioned in Riek’s shadow cabinet were supporting the rebellion silently and were determined to sabotage Kiir’s government within as far as they have the necessary capacity to do so.

Such schools of thoughts continued for quite some time but because of the overwhelming crisis the country is engulfed in, the problems became too numerous and each problem is overtaken by relatively bigger issue that comes up.

This is where of course the debate on whether there was a shadow cabinet or otherwise with the above names was relegated and the attention was then shifted to other new news.

These new news came three weeks later when again in the Sudan Tribune online newspaper, the headlines reads ‘Greater Equatoria group declares support for Riek Machar’. The headlines in this piece of news which made it catches everyone’s eyebrows was that and I quote ‘The leadership of the Greater Equatoria Council of Rights (GRECOR) has openly declared for the first time it plans to mobilise “all sons and daughters of the region” to rally them behind the leadership of rebel leader Riek Machar, ‘the document was said to have been signed by Wani Tombe and circulated to both local and international media outlets.

In a joinder and with the spirit of disclaimer, the Governor of Western Equatoria state, Colonel Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro presumably on behalf of other Equatorian government loyalists, said on Tuesday that a statement released earlier this week by the Greater Equatoria Council of Rights (GRECOR) declaring support for former vice-president turned rebel leader Riek Machar did not represent the views of the region as a whole.

He also added that, “the views expressed in the release do not represent the people of Equatoria. Yes, those outside the region in the diaspora are our brothers and sisters but what they say does not necessarily represent our people inside the country,” said Bakosoro.

Bangasi went ahead and said that ‘while the people of Equatoria championed democracy and issues of national importance, they were not known for agitating or back-room politicking. “We do not gossip and do not agitate. We are straight when it comes to issues of democracy and governance.”

Now here comes the public debate and critical analysis of what exactly is the position of the citizens of greater Equatoria region, be they politicians, ordinary citizens, academicians, religious leaders or even soldiers.

For the purpose of clarity, it is unfortunate and regrettable to accept that, in circumstances of internal conflict, a country which has 64 tribes is tempted to investigate what the other tribe’s opinion is with regard to the on-going crisis.

It is a bitter truth that all of us as South Sudanese have to swallow and I think this is the suspense our colleagues from Equatoria region are caught in and struggling with quite deeply.

The blame can only be directed towards the initial speakers during the early stages of the conflict when most of them came out and confined the problem into ethnic corner by telling the world that it was a war between Dinkas and Nuers and this opened flood gates of wanting to know that the remaining 62 tribes have to make their positions known as to whether they are with Dinka which is synonymous with the government or with the Nuers with another name of rebel, to some extent, it could easily be said so for two crucial reasons.

One, by default, the antagonists are from the above mentioned tribes and secondly, the references that were rapidly made to the 1991 crisis made it apparently conclusive that any crisis that breaks out again could be instigated by the preponderant culprit Riek against Dinkas (Kiir) the Dynasty.

This could sound like a myth but I hope for some reasons that this is where those who said it was a war between Dinkas and Nuers got their analogy from.

That aside, but now the war between the Equatorian diaspora and Equatorian original (the ones at home), as the explanation that Bangasi gave on the question of Equatorian loyalty to either side of the conflict goes.

He agreed though that, their advocacy for democracy and good governance is the same as that of Riek and Equatorians in diaspora, however, on behalf of the Equatorians at home, Bangasi thinks that it should not be agitated, gossiped, back-roomed or aggressive, and here comes the common opinion of the Equatorians in Juba and in the other states of greater Equatoria region.

Before their opinions are divided and their loyalty scattered, there are obvious reasons that you must know as a non-Equatorian and these are some of the reasons that I must ask you to test the unity of Equatorian if you think that they are so divided.

The list is long, but it is worth to mention thus, with my experience and knowledge of our brothers and sisters from Equatoria; these are the three main things that they think they are better off than any other tribe and most particularly more organized than the so-called Dinkas and Nuers.

One of these things is that, Equatorians believe that they do not like violence and therefore they are people who engage in dialogue to resolve any differences of any magnitude, this is stated by Bangasi.

Secondly, Equatorians believed that the on-going war is between Dinkas and Nuers over power and because the belligerents have the same violent behavior and genetic attitude, it is none of Equatorian business to take sides.

If need be, the two tribes should finish themselves.

Thirdly and most important of all, Equatorians think that the war mongers are fighting in their land and they are not happy that these warring factions left their places and came to make Equatoria a battle field.

This third point may also tell you why most Equatorians want a federal system of government.

I had promised to give only three points around which the Equatorians find a uniting front against any other tribe in south Sudan but I must equally add on board issues of nepotism, land grabbing and corruption that most Equatorians unanimously agreed are associated with Dinkas and Nuers.

The question that begs for answers is what do Equatorians gain in supporting Riek and opposing Kiir?

It is not easy to give straight forward and authentic answers to this question especially when the one who tries to answer the question is a non-Equatorian but for the benefit of analysis and routine geo-political situation of the country, one would be tempted to assume that he can give the right answers somehow.

In my own opinion, Kiir government unlike Riek shadow cabinet has adequately taken care of the political needs of Equatorian starting with the position of the vice president, Minister of cabinet affairs, minister of finance, minister of national security, minister of Dams, water and electricity, and other ministries, deputy ministers like the strong deputy minister of interior, foreign affairs and international cooperation, several heads of commissions, heads of departments among others.

This arrangement has no doubt taken care of the political needs of all Equatorians but to some other regions it has earned president Kiir animosity because they thinks Kiir has given too much to Equatorians.

Economically, by virtue of being the gateway to south Sudan interior and with the capital territory of the republic of south Sudan stationed within its premises, both the Central and Western Equatoria states are more developed than any other parts of this nascent country.

The roads, healthcare facilities, schools and other social amenities are only enjoyed by the people of south Sudan when one is fortunate to reside in one of the states of the greater Equatoria.

Socially, most of the Equatorian sees the other south Sudanese as land grabbers and trouble makers who have come to disturb their peace and therefore, the subjective need to have the federal system of government, such that ‘according to Equatorian vocabulary,’ each person should stick to their states boundaries, something that narrowly defined the true meaning of federalism as a system of government.

It is precisely because of these analyses one would be forgiven to brand Equatorians as people who may not know what they are looking for at some point.

For instance, take Riek’s shadow cabinet, if it were to be a reality and compare it with current Kiir’s government, which one would best represent the Equatorians?

The one that give them four ministerial positions in the case of Riek’s cabinet or the one that gives them more than ten strong ministerial positions like in the current Kiir’s cabinet?

That is a food for thought. However, if I was asked to give an opinion about what most Equatorians think in relation to the current crisis, it would be good as not wanting to know about what they think or what they could possibly do in the on-going conflict.

Therefore, Wani Tombe and group stand a better chance than those who have said nothing because you never know and would never like what they are up to.

Ways Forward:

With the on-going conflict, south Sudanese have been taken back to yester-years when people could only identify themselves by the regions they belong to.

The spirit of national unity and embracing unity in diversity have been fully thrown out of the window and the chances of our society fragmenting further are relatively hitting the maximum.

It is therefore a recommendation of this author that, for south Sudan and south Sudanese to propel and achieve their vision of being a free and sovereign nation where tribes peacefully co-exist, the following areas need to be addressed very swiftly:

1. In situations of conflict, people should not be accustomed to investigating what side of the conflict the other peoples are with in regard to the on-going crisis. I think Equatorians were disturbed by some provocateurs who wanted to know where their loyalty lies and that is where they made a grave mistake of declaring themselves as supporting the rebel leader Riek Machar.

2. The diversity brought about by tribes should be taken as a unique aspect to learn from one another the positive differences and unite around those areas.

3. The government and the regional politicians should warn themselves and their citizens against releasing reckless statements that are likely to incite one tribe against the others.

4. The land issues, nepotism at the institutional level both public and private should be addressed and historical injustices addressed in order to cultivate the trust that is lost among the citizens of south Sudan.

5. The paranoid attitude that there are tribes which are more violent than the others or even worse considered to be more stupid than the rest does not help the situation, we must take ourselves with respect and utmost dignity.

6. The Wani Tombe and group are not less Equatorians and the explanation by Bangasi that they don’t represent Equatorians is inadequate. The only remedy that the Equatorians should tell these brothers and sisters of theirs is that, they should have other avenues of addressing their needs for democracy and good governance and not joining Riek’s bandwagon for they can easily be branded as joyriders.

7. Equatorian politicians must also be seen to be bold in stating their positions especially in situations like this where a country is engulfed with a lot of uncertainties. This has been long awaited but not forthcoming.

In Conclusion, the purpose for writing this article is to put to rest the unnecessary investigation as to whether this tribe supports the rebellion and that tribe support the government because what I know is that, this is not a tribal war.

Because if it was, so many tribes would have been defeated a long time ago, the war would not also be called a rebellion but a genocide because other tribes would be at their complete elimination stages as we talk.

So, let’s us take this as a rebellion where some Dinkas, Nuers, Equatorians, Shiluks, Anyuaks, Azande, Toposas, among others, have taken up arms with the intention to overthrow a democratically elected government for which all of us who are still within are duty bound to defend and protect.

I end by quoting the United States President Obama when he was speaking in the G7 seven summit yesterday, March 26, 2014, in reference to the crisis between Russia and Ukraine and this is what he said and I quote, “we must not narrowly defined our interests or we will be forced to look the other direction.”

Juma Mabor Marial is a Lawyer Based in Juba
Reachable at: hussenjuma@hotmail.com
______________________________________
Juma Mabor Marial
Secertary: Sub-Committee on the Judiciary,
National Constitutional Review Commission (NCRC)
Juba|South Sudan.
Tel No: + 211 (0) 956 731 559- Vivacell
+ 211 (0) 927 261 356- MTN

What’s the crucial role for Equatoria in realization of New South Sudan?

BY: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, MAR/27/2014, SSN;

Is it really possible that the current war being fought in south Sudan’s Greater Upper region can be successfully cordoned out from returning to Juba, and hence the whole of the Greater Equatoria region after it was in fact started there?

At least that’s what some Equatorians are thinking and hoping it happens.

The point I want to make here is whether the war is successfully kept out of Equatoria or not, no Equatorian can escape the impact of this war.

As such should Equatorians think of this war in a more sober way, there are many options that they can chose in order to react at this particular time, but non-involvement is not one of them?

I know there are people out there who think that as long as the rebels keep to Jonglei or Malakal, or Bentiu or any other villages within the Greater Upper Nile region, a person in Juba, Torit, Maridi, Yambio, Wau or Raja is in fact safe and have nothing to worry about.

Sadly enough the reality says something completely different. For now where the war is being actively fought represents well over one third of the entire South Sudan’s territory. These places are also where the Oil fields are.

No wonder Oil being the government’s only source of revenue, all activities financed by the state are obviously going to be compromised sooner or later.

Many have already started feeling the pinch as productions fall down to around a quarter of what it used to be.

Could this possibly lead to the “real coup” that president Kiir, being conscious of his under performance, has continuously anticipated it all these years!

This brings us to the core purpose of this article and it is all about how much are the people of Equatoria involved in shaping the Salva Kiir’s government policies in relationship to the war and its root causes?

Or on the other hand, how much is Equatoria able to influence the rebel’s agenda for the country? Or how is

Equatoria influencing the agenda of the SPLM G-7 (former detainees) or that of the countless South Sudanese civil societies or that of the International Community, and its tools the AU, the IGAD or even that of Yoweri Museveni?

Still there’s another question: “How much has the Greater Equatoria equipped itself to contribute in finding a negotiated settlement to the current crisis and addressing its root causes besides the monotonous talk about elections, or Equatorians being civilized people bla bla bla.

In this country of wild untameable human beings elections only represent the superficial face of the real monsters that they harbour inside their sick and shellfish brains.

Elections will come and go, but unless the basic foundations of good governance is set in place, those in the government today will find themselves rebels in the bush not too long from now and vice versa.

I understand the positions being taken by the three Equatoria Governors, but they need to do more if they are to remain relevant to the ever changing situations both at home and abroad.

Especially that all government official serving under Salva Kiir are now expected to talk ill about the US administration, the United Nations, the European Union, the trioka countries, one wonders whether any of them are questioning where the country is heading to.

Practically speaking, my fellow Equatorians, the situation where we are now in, isn’t any more about supporting the rebels or being on the government side. The two are in fact nothing but the different faces of that single coin called SPLM – and it’s not taking the country nearer to anything good.

As south Sudan prepares to embrace yet another decade of a full blown civil war given every writing on the wall, it’s time that each and every matured citizen sees these developments for real.

The bottom line in the quickly unfolding events, whether you bought into the Kiir’s stories of his perceived coup or not, South Sudan will never be the same again.

It’s this bit that we need to take very seriously. From there we should and begin to actively participate in shaping the kind of country (s) we want for ourselves in the not too far future!

Dr Justin Ambago Ramba. A concerned south Sudanese citizen and a voice for the voiceless.

Will Anger & Blood Strengthen South Sudan Against Outside Scramble?

BY: Gwado J. Ador, ETHIOPIA, MAR/27/2014, SSN;

The people of South Sudan with all their cultural myriad by nature and without exception are inherently hostile and equally have passion to endure harsh conditions emanated either from internal or external factors,

This has been tested and proved when south was an appendix of North Sudan during the last fifty years. Strangely enough our own kin and kith who suffered the same volume of hatred and subjugation are applying this fascist behavior on us today.

After two years of independence, a notorious gang led by Tilar Deng Ring, Aleu Ayien Aleu and Michael Makuei Lueth emerged on the political platform employing thuggery tactics to silence opponents and muzzle the press.

They were intoxicated with power and bent to purge SPLM from elements perceived apparently as anti system.

Interestingly enough this group has succeeded to manipulate and convince Salva Kiir who swiftly lost no opportunity to launch a campaign of terror coupled with systematic elimination of innocent citizens from Nuer origin who in their view were serving as bulwark against their mounting lust for power.

Dr. Riek Machar and his fellow Nuer community were accused however of consistency in their drive to sabotage and obstruct a scheme of monolithic society of which Kiir and his supporters retain power for many years to come.

The magnitude of damage is immense following wanton destruction and killing of many innocent lives in Malakal, Bantiu and Bor.

The task undertaken by Kiir and his cronies to downplay and erase the crimes committed from public memory is daunting.

Kiir’s administration left no stone unturned to make its version convincing and overriding.

Desperate of attracting support which was not forthcoming even from the circles of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS); Kiir’s officials pressed hard to defy the international community by accusing UNMISS of siding with Dr. Riek Machar and his group, thus opening another sour wound to take the war of attrition this time to the international grounds.

IGAD members have already shown fatigue and loss of appetite to continue on end without any tangible progress. Some of its members are already disgusted with clandestine tactics of outmaneuvering one another on war front.

But, IGAD kept on hammering by exerting pressure on Kiir’s government to release the four detainees. A step viewed by observers that it would pave way for peace and national reconciliation.

Although, the infamous detainees are facing court trial in a bizarre proceeding; Juba however, kept on changing mood while flexing muscles to defy any quarters daring to intervene and challenge the wisdom of its leadership.

The unfolding drama at the high court in Juba unveiled so far lacks credible evidence that might lead Justice James Alala Deng and his team to pass maximum sentence as requested by the Chief Prosecutor James Mayen against the remaining four SPLM leaders who were charged with treason.

However, if this proves a real kangaroo court, then all speculations about what might happen next would be certain.

Kiir is unpredictable; on many occasions, he displays ruthlessness in appearance. He does not give a damn to proceed with his ill intention to eliminate his staunch opponents.

This is certainly, sending shock waves to many international circles. It shows also the fear dominating many minds on the streets of Juba and all over South Sudan.

The last round of trial however produced two principal witnesses, Maj. Gen. Thomas Duoth Guet of External Security and Gen. Akol Koor Kuc of Internal Security, both have testified alleging personal conversation with some key suspects who in turn provided credible information about plans to oust Kiir the following day.

According to Maj. Gen. Duath Guet that Gen. Oyay Deng invited him to his house and in the course of conversation he told him quote: “ tell the chairman that we will take on him tomorrow.”

On hearing such a scenario, the Chief Security officials have had every opportunity to take necessary measures immediately as required by their mandate to stop and keep plotters at bay, before causing serious damage that would have wider reverberation, but instead they had ample time to report to their boss who in turn kept this details closer to his heart before revealing them later as an attempted failed coup!

Does this private conversation on friendly bases rise to the level of conspiracy to deserve such humiliation and expenditure for court procedure?

Were Oyay and colleagues sober when they discussed with the Security chiefs about their plans?

And how many people would have been seized and prosecuted because of such utterances being made daily on the streets of Juba?

I believe that many fellow countrymen and women would agree with me that Oyay Deng Ajak, Pagan Amum Okiech, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth and Dr. Majak D’Agot, including Dr. Riek Machar, Taban Deng, and Alfred Gore Ladu are not stupid to send warning signals in advance before staging a coup that would destroy and claim many innocent lives.

Staging a coup attempt to outs a dictator like Salva Kiir in the manner being narrated in the court would surely carry high cost to settle.

The Judges responsible for this high profile case are in trap and must watch out carefully not to be seduced by Kiir and his gangs who have already demanded maximum punishment.

This is a test for the independency of judiciary system in South Sudan and it would remain a case to be seen.

Those who plan for coups normally do that in absolute secrecy and the information shared between coup plotters is always concealed even from love ones, leave alone revealing them to colleagues or friends. It is a top secret, and discharged most of the time at one’s own risk.

Most often plotters target certain strategic areas such as presidential palaces, radio and TV stations, airports, and other vital installations as a criterion for a credible coup to have taken place.

But, in our case here, none of these above mentioned facilities was under threat, besides, there was no any body among the accused of masterminding the plot including Dr. Riek Machar was spotted or seized putting on military uniform with smoking gun.

All the key suspects have reported as taken by surprise, because the unfolding events were so quick and bewildering. Suspects lives have been seriously threatened if they could have had not taken risky decision to swiftly quit Juba in disguise.

Whether President Salva Kiir has regretted his unnecessary onslaught or not, is beyond the scope of this article.

But, the fact that his senseless war against comrades of yesterday which was not justified; has cost the nation already thousands of innocent lives and diversion of millions of US dollars to war efforts of which a number of neighboring states pledged to enter the fray.

Salva Kiir however, is not any longer in charge of military affairs because he kept on inviting foreign forces to prop up and protect his ailing regime from imminent collapse.

In addition to Ugandan forces, he secured agreement with the government of Sudan to protect oil installation. He managed recently to convince IGAD to deploy East African Deterrent contingent to intervene and monitor shaky agreement on the cessation of hostility.

He managed also to sign military pact with Egypt to join the rest in the scramble for natural resources of the poor people of South Sudan.

This without any doubt concludes that Salva Kiir is determined to reduce South Sudan to rubble as long as he survives to preside over the name.

He is not worthy to stay any longer in power, he has no clean or safe pair hands to secure and protect South Sudan from regional and international greed.

If Kiir does not quit quickly, there is genuine fear that South Sudan would turn into another Somalia with many warlords’ pockets in every corner.

It will also look like the Central African Republic or even Congo, which were thoroughly devastated and looted by foreign governments in the name of keeping peace and territorial integrity of member sovereign states.

Gwado J. Aor

Equatoria: Rise and defend your rights and freedoms

BY: Col. (Rtd). Wani Tombe Lako Lokitari, MAR/27/2014, SSN;

This is a formal general call to all men, women and youth of Greater Equatoria. All of you in Diaspora and inside the Sovereign Republic of South Sudan (SRSS), all of you, rise and take the lead, in the defense of the motherland, which is the defence of your comprehensive rights and freedoms. No one shall do this for all of you, in the Sovereign SRSS.

This is a just cause. Do not listen to the accusations that you are war mongers. You are the only peace and love mongers in the SRSS.

You have endured excruciating hurts, agonies, humiliations, deprivations, exclusions, processes of pauperisation and diminutions; from 2005 to 2014, for the sake of an elusive and frustrated unity of the peoples of the SRSS.

The ongoing semblances of a civil in the SRSS have been triggered by the genocide committed in Juba during the month of December 2013, against the Nuer Nation and people, by the negligent and culpable government of the SRSS.

The government of the SRSS has demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that, it is capable with impunity, to destroy in part, or in whole, any human groups or tribes in the SRSS.

Therefore; if the government of the SRSS, can use our own public war assets, bought by our own money, to kill, murder, and slaughter our Nuer brothers, sisters, sons; daughters; grandmothers; and grandfathers; in chilling cold blood; then, this same government, of the SRSS, can also do it to all of you.

Therefore, before the murderous and blood stained hands; in the current government of the SRSS, can find time to turn on you in Greater Equatoria, assisted by the hired mercenaries operating in the SRSS, it is your natural right and duty, to come together, in unison, with all our Nuer brothers and sisters, and many other brothers and sisters; in Upper Nile and Bahr El Ghazal, to stop these blood stained hands in Juba, from destroying the SRSS.

You the peoples of Greater Equatoria, must not, and shall not commit another mistake of standing by, while history is being rewritten in the SRSS.

You must not, and shall not allow the history of our motherland to be rewritten in your absolute absence. If you allow this history; to be rewritten; in your absolute absence, you will be doing a grave disservice, to all posterities of the SRSS.

Therefore, we are not going to allow, and shall not allow, this rewriting of the history of the SRSS, without us being privy to the authorship and ownership of our collective history in the SRSS.

You the peoples of Greater Equatoria have already written the historical template of South Sudan with your precious blood since 1947 through 1955 to date.

Therefore, do not allow others to distort this history while you standby unconcerned. If you do that, you shall be written-off the history books in the SRSS. Do you want that to happen to you? The answer is a big No. Therefore, wake up and take action now.

All of you men, women and youth of Greater Equatoria, wherever you are, you must contribute to the processes of constituting an Interim Federal Government (IFG) in Juba.

All of you must make sure that, all blood stained hands; and their accomplices, whether by intent or negligence, must not participate in the next IFG in the SRSS.

Therefore, in order to be able to be part and parcel of the next IFG in the SRSS, you must all make your presence felt. It is the culture in the SRSS that, all the ruling groups are backed up by force of arms.

Do we need arms in Equatoria? The answer is a big Yes? Why do we need these arms in Equatoria? We need these arms in Equatoria, to protect the SRSS from those others; who have already privatised our public sovereign war assets, in order to murder and slaughter the rest of us.

Is this an incitement to violence at law? No; this is not an incitement to violence at law. This is called sovereign and national self defense.

The government in Juba is no longer the sovereign that we can continue to obey. We are withdrawing our hitherto surrendered sovereignties.

This was a privilege which the government in Juba has abused and misused, therefore, we are withdrawing these collective sovereignties.

The government in Juba is now murdering us, and therefore, we have the right to defend ourselves.

The government in Juba is using the force of fire arms to plunder our national economic and financial assets, and therefore, we have the legal right to protect our collective public assets from being looted by individuals, by all means including the use of force.

You the peoples of Equatoria cannot carry on existing in the SRSS as comprehensive underdogs. You have to consciously, from now onwards, begin the process of moulding a New South Sudan (NSS).

This NSS must be free from tribalism, nepotism, and all various instances of discrimination. It is time you told those others; who think that, they are born to rule, that, their assumptions are unfounded; and fundamentally vacuous.

You the peoples of Greater Equatoria must recover your stolen lands and other property. There are others in the SRSS, who have stolen villages and other parcels of land.

These people argue that, if we in Greater Equatoria, want back our villages and these parcels of land, we must provide buckets of human blood. This is being told our people in Greater Equatoria day and night.

Our people are bluntly told that, these villages and parcels of land were liberated from the Jallabas. Therefore, these settlers and grabbers of the said villages and land; want buckets of human blood in exchange for our ancestral land.

Fair enough, buckets of human blood they will get, but, it will be their own human blood, that we shall fill these empty buckets with, and then, give them to their surviving relatives.

You the people of Greater Equatoria, you must put a stop to the kind of governance that has been started in South Sudan from 2005 to date. This is the time that you must all act together.

If you failed to heed to my cries and many other cries for action, you will be committing a historical fatal mistake from which you will never recover.

Our reasonableness has been grossly mistaken for cowardice. We are not cowards. History has recorded that we are not cowards. What are you waiting for?

Are you waiting for some people to come from Upper Nile or from Bahr El Ghazal to hand you; your rights and freedoms in golden plates?

You have to claw back your stolen rights and freedoms now; and you have to arm yourselves to protect your future rights and freedoms. We shall all put down our arms when we have reformed the SRSS.

Until that happens, it is time you took up arms to defend the SRSS and yourselves from the murderous, looting and negligent government in Juba; meanwhile, you work towards the formation of the Interim Federal government in the SRSS.

The author is the Chairman of Greater Equatoria Council of Rights (GRECOR).

Physical advice by international community may be necessary in realizing peace in South Sudan

By: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, MAR/26/2014, SSN;

The South Sudan government has always referred to itself as a two year old child with no much understanding the political intrigues needed to smoothly run its affairs. It too uses its own hand made image of being a minor to demand that no criticisms should be directed at her for the same aforementioned reason (a young crawling baby …etc …etc.).

Today we stand in front of the international community that not only midwifed this country, but has all through parented it. The decisions of letting the existing leadership both in government and rebellion relinquish their political ambitions to allow for an interim period under a neutral president and cabinet members to be drawn from the sea of seasoned technocrats is the way forward.

Again the international community having learnt its lesson from the congenital anomalies that came with the CPA (2005) when talks were confined only to the two factions (NCP and SPLA/M), is on the right tract to insist that all stakeholders – government – rebels – SPLM-7, SPLA-4 detainees – all political parties and all civil societies take part in the talks in Addis Ababa.

There will never be any sensible talks in Juba. That was tried and unfortunately it ended in the president supervised and sponsored ethnic targeting and lynching of citizens from the Nuer ethnic groups by the president’s private and tribal Dinka army.

Under this murderous government no talks of any kind between the various stakeholders and the government can ever take place in Juba.

The notion of talking about sovereignty while one refuses to behave responsibly is becoming too much for anyone to bear.

If our government so rightly believes that it is still a two year old baby, then it must listen to those who midwifed it and are currently offering it the necessary parental services as well.

There won’t be peace in the country as long as the current leadership remains in power in Juba. The war can only get worse if all south Sudanese stakeholders do not participate in the Addis Ababa talks. These talks are no longer limited to stopping the current war.

It is indeed intended to go beyond that and among other things even address the root causes of the problems that are crippling this young and rich country from realising its full potential.

Things that are not finalised at the negotiating table can hardly be addressed latter on in Juba.

A good example is the CPA protocol on the Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile regions of the Sudan.

Because their status were vaguely discussed in the CPA talks and were left wrapped in some ill-defined statements of some “Popular Consultations” to be handled at a vague time scale, it didn’t happen.

Of course once the international community released its pressure on Khartoum everything became a “Paste Tense”! To borrow the famous words of Gen Idi Amin Dada’s.

Any agreement not properly negotiated should never be handed over to our people again. We can’t afford to go back to war every couple of years simply because we are always in hurry.

And because we are in hurry we have always ended up covering the fire with a few grass here and a few grass there, and think that it is done.

Thus the all-inclusive political dialogue must in fact be now and in Addis Ababa. When we are coming from there, we are coming to operate under a different government i.e. the interim government.

This is what the bulk majority of South Sudanese would want to see happen.

It is for this reason that international community has put both its financial support and political will behind the realisation of this popular and well supported proposal. It is also ready to do everything in its capability to bring both the government and the rebels to not only rally behind it, but in fact to embrace it willingly or not.

The people of South Sudan well across the different socio-political divide have not only supported the proposal to have a neutral interim government, but they have indeed overwhelmingly approved of it.

However the government in Juba and the rebels may both need a bit of physical advice on the benefits of having a neutral interim administration in this war ravaged country.

And if the international community must borrow a leaf from the books used to discipline both Saddam Hussein and Mo’aamar al Gadhafi, in order to achieve this, then let it please do so!

Dr J.A.C Ramba. A concerned south Sudanese and a voice for the voiceless.