Archive for: April 2014

How will the President sell the ‘Division of Jonglei Agreement’ to the people?

BY: Malith Alier, RSS, APR/02/2014, SSN;

How will the President Sell Division of Jonglei agreement (DoJ) with SSDA – Cobra Faction to the people of the three Counties of Bor, Twic East and Duk?

Jonglei State is the sick man of the Republic of South Sudan like the 19th century Turkey used to be in Europe. The damp squib status is directly attributable to the sons and daughters of that State.

The Endemic conflict characterised by cattle raids, child abductions and the present wider conflict that has cracked cleavages for disintegration is too late to halt.

The long awaited march towards emancipation has indeed begun in Pibor County, the home County of a two-time rebel leader, David Yau Yau.

The rest of the restive Counties of Akobo, Ayod, Nyirol and Uror can’t be part of problem/solution because they are involved in a different quest altogether. The ball is now in the court of the staunch supporters of the government in the three Counties of Bor, Twic East and Duk.

There are uncountable instances of the prodigal son in South Sudan since signing of CPA. The rebellions for good and those for no good reasons were staged but all of them ended up in re-integration.

Rewards for high ranks and cosy V8s. And a chance of a lifetime to be part of those who enjoy protocols in ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of South Sudan (BSS).

However, this was no longer the path for the second generation of rebels like David. He had to fight for a State for his people and the vulnerable neighbours.

The Division of Jonglei Agreement (DoJ) was inked in Addis Ababa on the last days of March 2014 and it is the right time now to sell it to the people of Bor, Twic East and Duk Counties who have never asked for anything at gun point yesterday or tomorrow.

Last Saturday, the people of the three Counties rushed to Nyakuron Cultural Centre in Juba to hear the good news of DoJ from the President himself. However, the President was not well prepared to deliver the news of the coming back of one of the prodigal sons in the country.

Here is what the President will tell the people of the three Counties. The gathering will also be attended by people from other States, diplomatic mission ambassadors, MPs from the concerned Counties and their well wishers. Here we go.

Excellencies,
Honourable MPs,
Ministers from State and national governments,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Good afternoon
Your President has received on the 31st of March, 2014, a copy of a preliminary peace agreement with rebels led by one General called David Yau Yau. The agreement reached between government delegations led by the Church leaders is called Division of Jonglei peace agreement (DoJ).

You know in 2010 just one year before the vote for secession, an election was held in April of that year. Many people expressed disappointment claiming that the SPLM rigged it. David Yau was one of those kinds of people.

From theology to elections and to armed rebellion he is a tough man indeed. He was made a “General” in the SPLA when he returned shortly after first rebellion but this was not enough for him.

Some people incited him to leave for Nairobi and into the bush to demand a whole State from the largest State in South Sudan.

Ladies and gentlemen,
The above is the background of David’s rebellion and first steps your government took to make peace with your brothers who disagree with you and me on minor things. George Athor was also in the bush for the same reason as David. They joined forces and the late Athor gave a Faction led by David a name ‘Cobra – Faction.’ That was how he got the name. They were all under SSDA/M or South Sudan Democratic Army/Movement.

As you gather today particularly you the people of three Counties of greater Bor, I have for you and Yau a peace agreement on a silver plate. This peace agreement is for you. It’s for your welfare.

You have been devastated in the past years since commencement of the rebellion. The abduction of your children by the people of David, the cattle raids and the senseless death in the process of those raids will be a thing of the past.

People of the three Counties,
My Government in the past resisted formation of new states and counties on the ground that they will require new line of budget, borrowing from World Bank and IMF included.

Had it not been because of the current Riek Machar’s rebellion, the government would have fully lifted the regime of austerity imposed on the country in 2012. Luckily enough, our oil still flows to the world market but not at 100% like before.

You are the first people in the whole of the country to accept this agreement. I sell it to you before the whole country. Now the new political dispensation gives you more opportunities and freedom you have your own state as well.

This means that Jonglei will be divided in to three states like this. Number one Pibor County makes a State of its own. Two, your three Counties form another State and lastly the greater Akobo which is now occupied illegally is another State. All of this is designed to bring peace to Jonglei and the whole nation.

In specifics, Pibor will have six Counties headed by Commissioners. The six Counties will be headed by someone appointed by the President and is only answerable to the appointing authority i.e. the President of the Republic. You can see now how my powers expand.

What is more important for Pibor is a creation of a special fund to develop the Eastern State. You all know that there is syphilis there which is a major cause of childlessness. Did you know that child abduction and trade thrive because of this?

Pibor County has suffered for centuries and it is now time to rectify that. Your prosperity and justice starts in Pibor.

Great people of the three Counties,
I personally acknowledged that you are the only ones in this State who staunchly support the SPLM Party and government wholeheartedly. This position you have taken has its drawbacks because you will always be the ones who welcome home the prodigal son as in the old Bible. Things like promotion in rank and elevation to Statehood will come last to you. This is the sad fact.

You see the power center is shifting away from you lately. From the beginning the first two State Governors came from you. This has changed in the face of this rebellion. The Governor comes from one of the Counties which are not under the government.

I thought he was going to appoint someone from your sons and daughters but I was wrong. He has appointed Medan from the newest State. Yours now is the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.

There are some people who say that my government employs a policy of appeasement. This is not true. It is the poverty in the country that has caused some of these rebellions and chaos.

So what my government does is to give the disgruntled ones livelihoods and comfort… full stop. This is the most effective tool since 2005. The foreign countries approve of it. This is what keeps the country united except this new scenario of David Yau Yau. This is no appeasement.

Ladies and gentlemen,
I am about to conclude this speech with the following;
1. Receive the prodigal sons with level-headedness
2. Open up more space for future prodigals
3. Accept the movement of the centre of power away from you
4. Your State will follow the Pibor lead
5. What you see is one way of more decentralisation and eventual federation in the country
6. Continue your support to the government of the day
7. General elections are coming up in 2015, each of you South Sudanese like I who aspires to become president should get prepared for them.
Thank you all for coming here and God bless you,
President of RSS

The solution to South Sudan’s political problems lies in new blood

BY: ELHAG PAUL, RSS, APR/02/2014, SSN;

The solution to the gross failure of governance in RSS is simply not only a problem of replacing President Salva Kiir with other SPLM leaders. It goes further than that. It entails honesty and the ‘will’ to confront the reality of the ugly things that have taken place in the country in order to set South Sudan on the right track under the most suitable leaders.

For this to happen there needs to be a genuine acceptance from all the South Sudanese political actors, especially those participating in the peace talks in Addis Ababa; the mediators and the international community to face the truth that the real problem of South Sudan is SPLM itself.

The people of South are in the mess they are in today because of the SPLM. It is a destructive organisation. The deep social, economic and political problems of South Sudan have their roots in the ugly culture of the SPLM, its amorphous structures, tribalism, absence of positive values and the lack of duty of care.

The IGAD mediators appear to be ignorant of the SPLM as an organisation and its ability to constantly produce chaos. Surely, if IGAD has had any idea, its mediators would not be recommending the group of seven senior SPLM leaders bailed to Kenya for leadership of the country in the interim period.

According to Upper Nile Times, IGAD ‘proposed an interim government that shall run for 3 years, and headed by a neutral body preferably from the group of 7 former detainees whom have been recently rejected by the government delegation as “not part of the conflict”.’ http://upperniletimes.net/details/668

This is a gross error of judgement from the mediators and a display of ignorance about South Sudan political problems that the IGAD is supposed to know and address. If ignorance is not an issue here then collusion is, in which case SPLM in Opposition stance is vindicated.

Riek’s group has consistently spoken about the double standards of IGAD. On one hand it is a neutral mediator and on the other it is a warring party in the conflict on the side of South Sudan government through Uganda armed forces. http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article50448 T

he question then is: how can IGAD be an impartial, objective and a fair body in brokering peace in South Sudan?

Why have the South Sudanese demanded for an interim period in the mediation talks?

With all the tragic background of ethnic cleansing conducted by president Kiir and the SPLM itself, South Sudanese painfully see the talks as a unique opportunity to put things right in the country.

The over whelming majority of South Sudanese want to see all those who have driven the country to the gutters relieved from their positions for a fresh group of leaders to takeover and rescue the country.

It is about a new conscious political blood taking over to end the culture of militarism and impunity once and for all to enable a lasting peace and prosperity in South Sudan and the region.

The Blue Prints for such a government fortunately have been submitted to IGAD already by the various South Sudanese professional sand Equatorian stakeholders. If IGAD wants to succeed in brokering a lasting peace, then it must look at these documents again.

Given the foregoing, IGAD should not even think of proposing an SPLM government, leave alone one of their leaders whether they be from Kiir’s group, or Riek’s group or the group of seven for the interim period.

This act in itself is not only undemocratic but it silences the voices of the people and shuts out the wishes of South Sudanese people.

IGAD is supposed to be a forum where South Sudanese begin to exercise their democratic rights to solve their problems and not an instructive and prescriptive forum.

Is it acceptable for any of the so called group of 7 leaders to manage the country in the interim period? To do justice to them it is only fair to justify why they would not be acceptable to South Sudanese.

It is highly debatable whether any of these ‘leaders’ can make a change as the problem is one of culture of SPLM as an organisation. The attributes of this organisation does not give any hope.

For example, SPLM/A is imbued with violence, corruption, lawlessness, extreme discrimination, tribalism, impunity and so on. These attributes over the past three decades have become ingrained in the psyche of all the SPLM members and their organisation.

What is remarkable is that in SPLM’s entire life span no one has challenged the practice of abuse of power and human rights in the organisation. All the rebellions in this organisation are related to the issue of self determination and access to power.

Strangely, no one in this organisation is concerned about abuse of governance and human rights. This is a topic by itself which we shall soon have to deal with.

Each SPLM group uses the word democracy to either entrench itself in power or to gain it. Rebecca Nyandeng was honest when she said, “We talk of democracy but we do not know, what shape of that animal it is and we run away when we see it.”

The word democracy thus to them is a vehicle to achieve ends but in reality none of them truly believe in it. So what they all know very well is authoritarianism.

The negative attributes of this organisation is deeply ingrained in its structures. The members do not know anything other than the SPLM way. Yet it is the SPLM way that has driven the country to the current chaos and if not stopped it will drive the country to total destruction.

Hence, the support for the group of seven SPLM leaders by IGAD for leadership of the country does not hold any rational or justification. None of these people has the qualities of leadership.

None has demonstrated appropriate leadership in protecting the resources and people of South Sudan since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement came into operation in 2005.

Additionally, it must be remembered that SPLM is the main generator of the problems and as it is the crucial part of the problems it can not be impartial.

The inescapable truth is that the SPLM leaders (of the various factions and the warring ones now) collectively and individually failed the people of South Sudan.

For the sake of clarity let us look at the group of seven individually in a brief manner.

John Luk – he is the architect of the tyrannical constitution that president Kiir is using freely now to oppress and discriminate the people. He contested the April 2010 general election but he failed. His own constituency had no confidence in him. President Kiir at the time was his friend.

As a result president Kiir imposed him on the electorate by appointing him into the parliament as an MP. President Kiir further rewarded him with a ministerial position as minister of justice.

In his tenure he, John Luk, swore never to see anyone investigated for corruption. Please see, ‘President Kiir’s pedantic tricks in the SPLM Oyee machine.’ http://allafrica.com/stories/201306270034.html?viewall=1

Ahmed Alor – he is the cog that ensured the tyrannical system ran smoothly in the interest of the Jieng. As a cabinet minister, he initiated jointly with Sadiq El Mahadi of the Umma Party the sell-out of South Sudan through the ‘four freedoms’ which later got planted into the cooperation agreement with the Sudan. Please see, ‘Smeagol wooing the blind Oyee party: the “four freedoms” in favour of Arab Sudan.’ http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/articles/smeagol-wooing-the-blind-oyee-party-the-qfour-freedoms-in-favor-of-arab-sudan

Ahmed is untrustworthy due to his history, and worse still he is a master of corruption.

Gier Chuang – as a commander during the war with Khartoum he is alleged to have executed children by firing squad without any due process. The crime of his victims was desertion from front line. What a callous commander!

As a minister of interior he oversaw the rampant mushrooming of crimes throughout the country. He allowed Arthur Akuen Chol, the then minister of finance to break free from detention without ensuring prosecution of the same for crimes against the state.

Neither Chol nor the thugs who violently freed him were arrested for violation of the law and state properties. To date these thugs are free.

Chuang and Kuol Manyang Juuk triggered the bloody rebellion of Gen. George Athor because they simply hated the late Athor’s guts. Chuang like Ahmed Alor is a master of corruption.

Tong Mayay – the dismissed governor of Lakes State. He was legitimately elected to the gubernatorial post. However, he failed to govern the state appropriately. As a result Lakes State was unsafe and next to Jonglei on matters of law and order. Like his colleagues, he too was corrupt and nepotistic.

Kosti Manibe – he contested for an MP seat in the April 2010 general elections but he failed. He was appointed into the parliament by president Kiir and later appointed minister of finance. His only crime is not to speak out at all, not even in self defence. Kosti is guilty by association. He allowed himself to be used and abused by the system.

Cirino Hiteng – has no constituency support. Former minister of Sports and culture, Cirino was imposed on the people by the late Dr John Garang and later on by president Kiir. Used by the system, Cirino is alleged to be involved in massive corruption.

Madut Biar Yel – former minister of telecommunication. Yel is a committed member of the SPLM. Like the others he is allegedly nepotistic and corrupt.

From this sketchy description of the group of 7, it is clear they do not have what it takes to be leaders for this current tumultuous South Sudan. They can not be substitute leaders. They do not also have what it takes to rescue South Sudan from the current serious problems they created.

So business as usual is unacceptable simply because SPLM as an organisation has no workable structures like other healthy organisations to sense, feel and restrain itself as demonstrated by its three decades of existence.

It has already been established that SPLM is a pathological organisation that is now in a state of self destruction. Thus it is incapable of change.

SPLM will need years of intensive internal reform to heal itself. Therefore, it can not lead or manage South Sudan without endangering itself, the country and the neighbouring countries. For this reason it should do the honourable thing – bow out of the interim period.

Therefore, the solution as stated above lies in new blood. The Former Presidential Advisor Tijwok Agwet who is now with the SPLM in Opposition argues that the Equatorians should rise to the challenge and assume power. https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/politics-more-defections-machar-group.

Who then are some of the people who might be deemed capable to lead South Sudan out of the current mess?

After careful survey of the political space of South Sudan so far there are five suitable candidates for the interim period. These are, Justice Peter Sule, Hon. Dr Richard Mulla, Dr Luara Nyantung, Bishop Paride Taban and Dr Olivia Lomoro.

Other suitable candidates include Dr Lam Akol, and Gen. Alfred Ladu Gore and many more. Unfortunately the latter two current associations with the SPLM disqualify them from the interim period for the reasons already given. Nevertheless they should consider to throw-in their hats into the ring after the interim period.

Any of the suggested 5 without doubt will be acceptable to the majority of South Sudanese as interim leader of the country due to their varied contributions, extensive professional experiences in the world of work, education and standing in the society as a whole.

For the sake of proper political reform, peace, prosperity and good neighbourliness IGAD should look towards these gentlemen and gentle ladies as a solution.

Therefore the mechanism for realisation of an interim government led by any of these competent individuals requires the full operation of the concept of stakeholder participation.

Fortunately enough this is already agreed in principle by African Union and IGAD in their various communiqués. What is needed now is for IGAD and the international community to facilitate the attendance of all the stakeholders in South Sudan and in the Diaspora to partake in the talks in Addis Ababa to make their choice of the interim government.

This is not too much to ask for given that IGAD is already funding the parties currently in Addis Ababa and what the people of South Sudan are asking for is equal treatment of all the stakeholders.

IGAD should invite all the publicly known political parties individually to join the talks in Addis Ababa without any obstacles placed on their path by the government of president Kiir. After all both president Kiir and Dr Riek claim to be democrats.

Furthermore, the people of South Sudan except the SPLM, genuinely are committed to have a democratic system in the country. So in order for democracy to be realised in South Sudan its implementation should start with the talks in Addis Ababa.

The principles of democracy should be applied in these talks. Which means all the stakeholders must not be constrained in any way by the government of president Kiir or IGAD itself. The various political parties must be free to travel between Juba and Addis Ababa. They must also be free to express themselves without fear.

Unless this is done, the outcome of Addis Ababa talks will be a farce and it will not be long before another catastrophe hits the country.

At the moment, president Kiir’s government has terrorised all the leaders of the other parties in South Sudan to be represented by two persons within the government delegation with clear instruction to tow the government line.

How is this democracy? This is not acceptable and it amounts to a kick in the teeth. For SPLM to gag political leaders in this way beggars believe. The African Union and IGAD must not accept this kind of behaviour from people who call themselves democrats.

In conclusion, IGAD should now abandon its support for any SPLM leaders for the interim period for the reasons given above. It should listen to what South Sudanese want which again has been clearly stated in this piece.

The success of brokering a peace in the country demands the inclusion of all the stakeholders without fail to make the choice of the interim leadership. For this reason it becomes extremely imperative that the participation of all the stakeholders must become a high priority.

In doing this, democratic values must be applied in full as the starting point of introducing genuine democracy in South Sudan.

Anything less than this is unacceptable. The colossal loss of lives and displacement of nearly a million citizens was created by the SPLM and it is unacceptable to allow SPLM to obstruct the participation of stakeholders in solving the mess they created.

It is high time that the Troika and the UN take a lead role in putting these talks back on track. Alternatively they should transfer these talks to a new body if IGAD is struggling to be impartial.
END

South Sudan Hypocrisy to Peace

BY: Marial Mach Aduot, Melbourne, Australia, APR/01/2014, SSN;

The horrendous war that started toward the end of last year is the most barbaric act of our recent times as South Sudanese. It’s jeopardized our likelihoods as the destruction of lives in Juba, Bor, Malakal and many other parts of the country mounted to the grandest crime.

The affections of war are so great on our people, but what struck me the most is the hypocrisy toward trying to solve this problem. Pessimistic approaches on both sides epitomised by assertions of unsubstantial demands as well as uncalculated political decisions are hammering the peace effort.

It is truly undeniable that the death of civilians is a grand crime and someone is going to answer whether you live in an exclusive expensive hotel in Juba guarded by hired apparatus or running in our bushes.

However the ways to bring these perpetrators to justice had been shocked by those political morons who selfishly dwelled in brainless politics, while our people are continuously subjected to relentless and unwarranted suffering.

Yes, I would like to see someone punished for the crimes committed, but it doesn’t make sense rationally and in spirit to bring charges of treason against some of the people delegated to work on amicable solution to conflict while awaiting trial.

It is sensibly a bad political decision in Juba not because I disagreed with crime committed and charges, but the move is contradicting the chosen proceeding of peace.

Riek Machar, Taban Deng and the rest of their bush rangers or whatever they are called, as well as those trying to defend their colleagues who in one way or another, engage in crimes will keep dragging their feet to peaceful effort not because they don’t want peace, but because of charges hanging over their heads and the related fears.

It is obvious all human beings like themselves so much and no one can knowingly walk to the gallows.

Legend has it that the carrot and stick policy is bad strategy for peace. You can never possibly negotiate peace through a total partial stage.

Government and rebels’ failure to know this simple trick is the result of our political handicaps in which flawed ideas of a chosen few, and irrational assumptions clouded their sanity.

I will not be surprise in essence if the defenders of the Juba’s rhetoric swiftly rejected my argument in favour of the notion of anything goes in defense, but that has a blow-back.

Peace at current stage is impossible simply because the affections of charges mean no one of Taban Deng or the rest of his turncoats as they are referred, will not like to see others dying on their behalf.

Instead of signing the peace that will deliver them straight into the rat-trap, those who are already charged of crimes and those awaiting to be charged will work behind the scene in sabotage, unless government softens its stance.

This situation however will present the government with unpleasant choices. Soften its stance and run a backlash from the supporters who will truly accuse it of rewarding the criminality by letting those who killed civilians go unpunished, or declare a full scale war that will without any piece of doubt exacerbate the situation to the point of calamity and subject our people to uncharacteristic circumstances.

Regardless of any political stance, no South Sudanese of reasonable mind would choose the war because of its extravagant cost.

These predicaments lead us to a most hated and debated question, whether the rebels and government should come together in the same government of whatever form?

Answering this question depends entirely on the price the parties at war and all South Sudanese are willing to pay for peace.

With more than hundreds of deaths in my own clan alone, it will make sense to me to refuse peace instead of war or to sabotage any effort toward reconciliation given the pain of the losses I endured and that is a shared sentiment across South Sudan.

People would easily opt for or in support of war given the level of an antagonism. Revenge and avenging; slapping the face of someone who slaps yours and so on.

But with all due respect to fallen relatives, I curiously do think that strategy works. As long I can slap and others will slap in return and that hinders not solves the problems.

Continuing to burn down towns and villages would cause more harm exceeding what we already experienced and it will keep growing.

What we need at this particular time is peace and that would need tough choices. Saying this perhaps may warrant an accusation that I am implying rewarding those who commit crimes, but that is not the case.

Focusing on the larger goals, even though there are lesser ones surpassing the current deaths, it’s the only solution and that will take compromises from both parties.

I am not attempting to compare the cases in any sense, but the strategy of focusing on larger goals worked successfully between President Kiir and former militia leader, Matip Nhial and down to the recent offers of amnesties and responses unless the government has one more secret strategy in the bag.

Marial Mach Aduot is a South Sudanese political graduate with degree in Politics, Masters in International Relations and currently under training for the Masters of Politics and Policy at Deakin University, Australia. He can be reach for comments at pandepiol@yahoo.com.