Archive for: May 2014

Open Letter to Information Minister, Michael Makuei

BY: Tearz Ayuen, JUBA, MAY/31/2014, SSN;

Dear Uncle Makuei Lueth,

While you execute your duties as the national minister of information and broadcasting, and the official spokesperson of the government of South Sudan, you’re making two grave mistakes.

One, you’re becoming a stigmata on the reputation of Bor community. And two, you’re doing yourself a great harm – digging your own grave.

I will not dwell much on the fact that you and some of your peers are, in so many ways, tainting the already ‘vandalized’ face of Bor. We will talk about that some other day.

Uncle Makuei, do you know your leadership net worth? Do you know how much you weigh on the political scale? In case you didn’t know, you mean a lot, Uncle. You’re a great man. You’re a freedom fighter, a liberator. You are a senior government official, a minister.

You’re one of the members of parliament representing Bor people in the national legislative assembly.

Your contributions in attaining and bettering South Sudan are inestimable.

Again, you’re one of the highly educated Bor elders. You’re an idol in the eyes of Bor people; they celebrate you. Musicians have composed songs about you. They sing your name.

All that puts you in a critical position whereby you have to watch what you say. You represent. That means anything that flies out of your mouth can either kill or save lives.

It can either heighten or lessen tensions, violence.

Why are you everywhere falsely accusing everyone of rebellion? What happened to political correctness? What happened to diplomacy?

A rebel is a person who takes part in an armed rebellion against the constituted authority, especially in the hope of improving conditions.

Uncle Makuei, these are modern times. The whole world is watching every move each and every South Sudan’s leader makes.

You don’t have to personally pick an EX-34 Chain gun and shoot down a whole village in order to be indicted.

This is 2014. This is digital age. Anything dangerous one wishes, thinks or does is recorded and used against him or her in future.

There is something called hate speech. A hate speech maker can be defined as any person who utters words intended to incite feelings of contempt, hatred, hostility, violence or discrimination against any person, group or community on the basis of ethnicity or race.

In your book, media houses are rebels. Church leaders are rebels. Innocent displaced bereaved hungry women are rebels. Even malnourished dying babies are rebels! What sense does that make? What happened to morality?

I think many could categorize most of your statements under hate speech. You cannot refer to a baby a rebel just because it hails from a particular community whose some members have staged an insurgency.

You and your comrades can say anything about anyone, about any community, anytime, with impunity. That’s okay inu you rule. But for me, I call it short-term impunity inu there comes a time when one has to account for everything he had said or done or not done during his heydays.

Don’t ever think that you’re untouchable, forever. None of your colleagues are, either; including your boss, Kiir Mayardit.

Hate speech might not have been constituted in the South Sudan interim constitution but it’s under international law. And the powers you think you have do not exist in the global village.

I hear members of the ruling clique cheer you on as you ‘defend’ the government. I hear them clap their hands every time you come on TV to speak against the West.

I read Facebook and Twitter posts by your ‘supporters’ in which they pat you on the shoulder, encouraging you to keep ‘defending’ the legitimate government. Cool.

However, Uncle, what you don’t know or seem to be inconsiderate or negligent about is that, when that day comes, Salva Kiir will not be there for you, Buor will not be able to protect you, your colleagues will giggle and some will, in fact, throw parties to celebrate your descend.

I’m not telling you to stop supporting your regime, Uncle. I am not telling you to join Dr Riek, to be a rebel. Nor am I asking you to resign. No.

What I am trying to say is that, carry on with your work but tread carefully. Your mouth. Your tongue. Your lips. I repeat: t-r-e-a-d c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y.

Summarily, in your quest for cleansing the skunk-stinky face of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan, do not be like a man who takes off the only clothes he possesses to clothe another naked man.

Tearz Ayuen is a South Sudanese journalist currently working in Juba. He can be reached via anythiethdhol@yahoo.com


Museveni: The Cobra’s self-interests in South Sudan

QUOTE: “He who maintain silence in the face of massacre is a murderer himself”

BY: Dr. PETER KOPLING, M.D., JUBA, MAY/31/2014, SSN;

By now all objective observers agreed, Kiir Mayerdit pulled the trigger for the war now consuming our country. What may elude others is the fact that the fuel for the current conflict in south Sudan has its roots deep, decades back and this fuel is Yoweri Museveni of Uganda.

There is an occult reason why Museveni hurriedly deployed his army in South Sudan, faster than the news of the crisis could travel and why he has insistently defied the world governments’ calls to withdraw his UPDF from South Sudan.

It very much has to do with Museveni’s another past move against South Sudan, as well as his future as the eternal president of Uganda.

The path to Museveni’s end may well be through South Sudan, the fall out of this conflict, to which he has no misgivings and understands well and the very reason, he Museveni will not let his last grip to life, South Sudan, slip from his hands.

It has nothing to do with Ugandan national security but rather Museveni’s personal security, his survival as the Ugandan president and that of his family dynasty.

Mr. Museveni is preoccupied with the implications of any change of government in South Sudan that could mean the end to his three-decade rule over the Ugandan people. This, not just any government in South Sudan but one that will result into the presidency or executive cabinet post for Madame Nyandeng the widow of late Dr John Garang, His sons, any prominent Sons of Bor or any of the political figures, the so called “Garang’s boys” like many patriots all over the country,who even today have not gotten satisfactory explanations from Uganda of the sudden death of: A husband, father, son and best of the land of Bor has produced, our national hero, Dr. John Garang.

Against all logic Museveni continues to plunge his country each day deeper into the South Sudanese internal war and some of his security analysts are urging full fledged national mobilization and risks the lives of their people as well risk the collapse of the Uganda economy given the forbidding daily costs of keeping his army deployed in South Sudan.

One only has to look at the very high unemployment rate in Uganda which shall only deepen as Uganda remains bogged down knee deep in South Sudan, with resultant crippling economic drain for the country but also more body bags returning daily to Ugandan villages, with no negative physical or financial impact on the Ugandan elites nor their families but the common citizens.

It must be clearly pointed out that the relationship between South Sudanese and the Ugandan People is historic and predated Museveni or Kiir.

For decades the people of South Sudan have no quarrels with their southern neighbor given most of the tribes at either sides of South Sudan-Uganda border are the same people, brothers and sisters and have a shared heritage only artificially divided by lines drawn by the colonial and European powers around 1905.

Thus the relation between Ugandan and South Sudan is not political or can be shaken by politicians, it is a blood relations and it is families. Any dictator that emerges in either side of the borders cannot shake these blood relations between our two Sister nations.

The Ugandan people’s security had never been in the past, not today nor in the future threatened by any despot leader who emerged in the old Sudan, or the now South Sudan and not now nor tomorrow.

Any claim otherwise is Museveni and his crocked tricks to remain in power and waste the lives of Ugandan Soldiers and massacre the Nuer people in South Sudan thus participating in genocide.

Museveni’s deployment in South Sudan has nothing to do with Ugandan security; it has all to do with his personal Security and that of his presidency.

If Museveni loses the presidency or if Museveni’s Dynasty comes to an end, it is not Uganda that comes to an end, although Museveni believes Uganda started with him and will end if he is no more.

This, Museveni’s, obsession with South Sudan dated back to the Sudden death of our national hero, Dr. John Garang. It is reported that as a trusted friend of Dr Garang, he left a huge wealth deposited in Ugandan bank under the custody of President Museveni; this is the money for the war of liberation in South Sudan.

It was this money and Museveni’s abhorrence to neighboring leaders who are more intelligent and ambitious than him, for Museveni dreams not only to rule his country eternally but also the region.

Museveni wishes to be the only bull in the region, resulting into him and opponents of Garang in the SPLM, to include Kiir and those now close to him to assassinate Dr. John Garang de Mabior, in the very convenient, so called helicopter crash.

This explains Museveni’s fear of the sons and daughters of Bor and Kiir sidelining and rendering them voiceless and irrelevant in his government the so called “Garang’s boys” and his attempt to eliminate them through the accusations of the invented coup and humiliating the surviving widow of the founding father of the nation.

The only person with greater knowledge of this deposit is none other than the widow of the Late Garang and the only people who have not closed the chapter on the purported helicopter crash are, his family and the so called Garang’s boys.

Thus Museveni would do all in his power to prevent Madam Nyandeng, her sons or any of the “Garang’s boys” from ascending to power in South Sudan, fearing old wounds shall be opened and shall mean the end of his dynasty.

Museveni by now should have realized the war in South Sudan is nothing like any of the wars he has fought either in Uganda or in other neighboring regions and he must take note that he is so far facing the fury of only one ethnic group of the 64.

It is an open secret that Museveni sees the widow of the late Garang as a greater threat than Dr Riek Machar, despite of the public postures towards the Madam, after all Riek has not posed any threat to Museveni until the day Museveni declared open war against him.

Was it not he/Riek Machar the very man who made several attempts in the past, in his capacity as the vice president of South Sudan, to reconcile Museveni with his arch-enemy Joseph Kony the leader of lord Resistant Army/LRA?

If the current government in South Sudan failed to forcefully retain power, Museveni fears Kiir will be replaced by Riek Machar and this sends yet another unwanted message to Museveni since Riek is supported by the “Garang’s boys” and madam Garang herself.

He fears if Kiir is forced out of the office this will place the face of Garang’s family and “Garang’s boys” again in the politics of south Sudan.

This new group will mean derailing the status quo and reopening of fresh investigation into the death of our national hero, in the hands of Museveni and his accomplices in the current government of South Sudan, ultimately people he had trusted and called comrades and friends.

As we now know, there was a deceptive and mysterious circumstance surrounding the death of Dr. John Garang, first the Uganda government announced that our hero died in Museveni’s own private presidential helicopter but the preliminary investigation revealed that the helicopter in which Garang met his untimely death was not Museveni’s presidential helicopter but it was with different registration and serial number.

Thirdly, Museveni holds plentiful material assets of south Sudan during the war of liberation, as Uganda was the only gateway to the by then, the New Sudan/liberated areas, most of the SPLA armors enters through Uganda, and evidence shows Museveni sat on most of the latest weaponries for the purpose of using them to fight his wars of dominance in the region but specifically robbing the Congolese gold in Eastern part of DRC.

One of the assets of SPLA Museveni refused to handover is the yellow ferry used at Laropi ferry crossing between Adjumani and Moyo districts. The ferry was brought there by the SPLA to take their armors to Kajo-keji in 1994 when SPLA launched its aggressive offensive to deliver a decisive blow to the Khartoum government in kajo-Kaji.

Without this ferry, the people of Adjumani and Moyo would have survived with great difficulties, the last two decades.

Museveni, therefore, is fighting a war of personal interest to keep some of these documented materials and other financial assets of South Sudan, but more so he is fighting in South Sudan for the very survival of his presidency not that of the Ugandan people.

We should not be misled by Museveni’s unfounded claim that UPDF is in South Sudan to protect the government of south Sudan or its installations.

As we can all recall, Museveni first denied the presence of UPDF in south Sudan, however later he admitted UPDF is in South Sudan to evacuate Ugandan citizens trapped in South Sudan, subsequently he flopped yet again, it was to prevent genocide while his UPDF participated and is still actively committing genocide on a single tribe, the Nuer, in South Sudan.

He went as far as using the internationally banned cluster bomb in attempt to help Kiir in his quest of ethnic cleansing against the Nuer ethnic group in South Sudan rather than remaining Neutral and mediating cessation of fire and preventing loss of lives.

Instead he ended up exacerbating and pouring more fuel to it, the flame burns bigger and hotter because of him, more massacres have been committed against the Nuer by Kiir’s forces with Uganda’s help, so what genocide has he prevented?

His security advisers believe negotiations and peace talks are a waste of time. Decisive solutions are only at the front line.

Thus guns and guns alone are Museveni’s offers for South Sudan and will not advise Kiir otherwise, is it then any surprise that Kiir behaves like his master and peace has no chance as long as Museveni has his ways?

Museveni should have realized, these same people of South Sudan fought the Sudan for five decades without warplanes while Sudan with the help of the Arab world never prevailed against the South Sudanese.

What made him think he could achieve what the Arabs have failed to achieve? He must know or at least by now realized he has dragged his people, the Ugandan people, into a bottomless grave.

The fourth reason is the man has created for himself many enemies among his countrymen, more specifically in northern Uganda, in the name of fighting the rebellion of the LRA of Kony . Museveni has tortured and killed more Ugandans from all parts of Uganda, works of life and has committed crime against humanity equal to or worse than Kony in Uganda at large.
The crimes against humanity committed by his biological relatives Gen. Salim Salah and Maj. Gen James Kazini, in their attempt to bring LRA to their knees, fell short in comparison to that of LRA. The two high ranking officers who were close allies to Museveni at the time were assigned to execute Museveni’s plan to crash and eliminate Joseph Kony’s rebellions.As the capture of Joseph Kony and his predecessor Alice Lakweno proved elusive, Museveni ordered his young brother Salim Salah though integral part and under the flag of UPDF, both took paid project, to fight LRA while using the northerners to die in their ventures as is now in South Sudan.
When ending of LRA did not come by easy, both Salim Salah and James Kazzini had resorted to using the banned cluster bombs like what his chief of staff Gen. Edward Wambala Katumba has done in south Sudan along Juba-Bor road in February 2014.After he failed to crash Joseph Kony, General Salim Saleh, became an adviser to the President (his own brother) of Uganda in military matters.
Unfortunately for Gen James Kazini after falling out with Museveni , he Museveni revealed that Gen Kazini had send money to elements of the SPLA, Museveni “ordered his execution, he Museveni later used the bank account of his close relative to pass the money for the payment of the executioners of Kazini, to the accounts of the assassins.
This and many others political assassinations have left Museveni with no safe haven and paranoia of his countrymen. For whoever lives by the sword shall die by the swords and he is obsessed that those swords shall come in the way of south Sudan should the government of Kiir fall today. As we recall, last year in 2013, five major generals who served under Museveni after falling out with him, like late James Kazini had to flee the country for their very lives.
This is how Museveni has positioned his Kaguta’s family to oppress the 36million Ugandan. Museveni has trained Kiir to employ the same style he has successfully used in Uganda by sending his Ankole brothers and sisters to represent him in foreign countries as diplomats, all critical security and army positions given to Ankoles, including ministerial posts. While the commoners in the North, takes the brunt of foot soldiers, dying day in day out in all of Museveni’s fatal ventures into the neighboring regions, South Sudan inclusive.
Even the Buganda Kingdom has not been spared in this hostilities, the man, like Kiir has robbed millions of the coward Mugandas from their lands, one of the sold out places is the garden city, which is turned into shopping complex today in Kampala, and the owners were not compensated. Most of the so called green land designated swampy land are not suitable for human habitat but Museveni sold them to Indian investors and the money from the sold land has gone into his private bank account.
Many poor Mugandas, in Kampala, as I write are left with no better prospect to better survive in their own ancestral lands. As I was on a business trip from Entebbe to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France, I met a Ugandan businessman who told me his ordeal when he sued the Ugandan government because of his land. And he also told me shocking stories about how Museveni is humiliating his opponent all over the country, and he said Ugandan are fed up and are waiting for yet another savior to come to save them from the hand of a type of government Museveni himself used to referred to as “a murderous government”, which ironically, his government has become one, so it is clear Museveni knows a change of leadership in south Sudan will force him out of presidency, Since many Ugandan, specially the northerners are frustrated of how Museveni run his one man’s show to bully the 36million Ugandan for the benefit of him and his family.
All the above, making Museveni, the worse President Uganda has ever known, he is worse than late Idi Amin, who killed people in the open but Museveni killed in hiding and at the pitch of the night as such, the number of disappearance under Museveni’s iron and bloody fist is far greater than that of Idi Amin. Under Amin Ugandans were all equally except those who wanted to ascend to power.
In conclusions, Museveni’s self interests, not that of the Ugandan people, whom he has oppressed for the last 30 years, his obsessive need to survive at the expenses of others and to pass his dynasty to his offspring, mirroring North Korea, is what is at risk and at play in the frontlines in the towns and bushes of South Sudan, at the expenses of the blood of Ugandan poor turned Museveni’s Soldiers, this eclipses Kiir and indeed he cares less for Kiir, as brought to light by his following undiplomatic but true comments.
“I (President Yoweri Museveni) have never called the United Nations to guard your (Uganda) security. Me, Yoweri Museveni, to say that I have failed to protect my people and I call in the UN. I would rather hang myself. We prioritized national security by developing a strong army otherwise our Uganda would be like DRC, South Sudan, Somalia or Nigeria where militias have disappeared with school children. It would be a vote of no confidence to our country (Uganda) and citizens if we can’t guarantee our security. What kind of persons would we be?”
If being like Kiir, relying on the UN and foreign mercenaries means Museveni would hang himself, why does he want to force Kiir alive on us? He Museveni fights in South Sudan not because he believes Kiir is the best leader for South Sudan, judging by his statement above, He fights rather to prevent the best leader for South Sudan from emerging, the very same reason he took down one of the very best our land has ever produced, Dr John Garang and now preventing his followers, the “Garang’s boys” from ascending to the throne that was rightly so of Dr. John Garang de Mabior which Kiir now has defiled by the blood of his fellow countrymen. He, Museveni, fights for the survival of his family’s dynasty not that of the Ugandan people whose children are dying daily in South Sudan.
Museveni would rather risk more young Ugandan soldiers, bogged down and killed in the bushes of South Sudan to keep him in power, thus as long as this young lives are being extinguished day in and day out in foreign lands, it robs Uganda of forces that will pose threat to him in the home front, thus Museveni is in no hurry pulling them out of harms way at least not alive.
Under the very watch of Museveni his own Munyankole have lost great deal of land to Museveni’s family, in Mabarara and Masaka his only sister who never stops to consult the dark forces under waters of the Nile and lake Victoria, shows,in addition this is a family of witchcrafts, griped by the dark underworld spirits, thus life is cheep to them except their own. Even his aging mother lives on grabbed land of the poor Mugandas , revealing Museveni is preoccupied with his own survival and that of his family at the expenses of any and all others, domestic or regional.
It therefor must be reiterated; Uganda’s sisterly relation with South Sudan is built not on Museveni’s erratic self-interest and his internationally murderous regime but rather on a historic, solid rock, which must not be confused with Museveni’s sinking dynasty. This relation shall outlive Museveni’s family house build in blood of Ugandans and now South Sudanese,whose foundation is laid on sand now fast sinking with no type of propaganda or deceptions or blood letting Shall save it.

Dr Peter Kopling, MD.


Taking Towns to the people in South Sudan: Policy perspective beyond rhetoric

BY: Garang Atem Ayiik, JUBA, MAY/31/2014, SSN;

1. Introduction
On 22 May 2014, I was on ‘Wake Up Juba’, a radio program that discusses current issues in South Sudan. On this day, the topic for discussion was what does ‘taking towns to the people’ means? a concept popularized by Dr. John Garang, the late SPLM leader.

Taking towns to the people and water agriculture with oil money, demonstrated Dr. Garang intention for a strong decentralized economic and governance system for delivery of ‘peace dividends’ in terms of services.

On 5 June 2005, on the occasion of signing Nairobi declaration on launching final phase of peace in the Sudan in Nairobi, Dr. Garang De Mabior, said, ‘it is SPLM intention to devolve power to the maximum so that decisions shall be taken at the lowest possible level of governance’.

Taking towns to the people can be viewed in the context that people needs’ shall be met at their rural locality. Immediately after signing Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005, SPLM formed strong decentralized states’ based governments with each of the 10 states headed by ‘who was who’ during the liberalization struggle.

During the interim period, and after independent, much of government revenues are spent in Juba.

The ‘who was who’ in the first SPLM governors flocked back to Juba for jobs in accordance with the same wisdom fish follow water when river dries.

On 15th December 2014, power struggle between His Excellency President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar pulled the country into chaos. Now the nation is grabbing every twig or calling every help to remain above water.

The aims of this article are to examine economic reality of taking towns to the people – how it can be done in terms of perquisite policy conditions; and proposes policy positions on reality of ‘taking towns to the people’ beyond rhetoric.

2. Taking towns to the people in reality
It is easy to hear people and mostly politicians talking about taking towns to the people. This article argues that taking towns to the people is an ingredient of three key deliverables from the central government, and citizens to the decentralized units of governments:
a) resources – money and human capital;
b) minimum services delivery from the centre ; and
c) constitutional mandate and governance. Figure 1 shows author’s diagrammatic illustration concept for taking towns to the people concept.

Figure 1: Author’s diagrammatic representation of taking towns to the people

2.1 Resources – Financial and human capital
The concept of ‘taking towns to the people’ can be understood well if answers are provided to why people move to towns. There is huge literature on rural-urban migration which is beyond the scope of this article.

However, the main reasons why people move towns are primarily for employments, and services. Therefore, taking towns to the people is to provide employment and other vital services at the grass-roots.

The first condition to be met in taking towns to the people is to decentralize resources to states and counties. The resources include both financial and human capital resources. As it is today, huge government budget is spent in Juba according.

However, huge population resides outside Juba and continued centralization of resources in Juba, attracts to Juba the educated, and uneducated. This becomes critical given high dependency and socialistic life of South Sudanese.

With the current low resources-envelop going to the states, counties, and other lower decentralized units, it is difficult to find at the counties and in other lower units graduates with a bachelor’s degrees unless a county commissioner.

At the states’ ministries, the graduates are exceptionally few. With low resources in term of human and finances flowing to the states, counties and other lower units, who and with what are services provided to decentralized units of government?

It is critical too to note that service is not an abstract, it is a reality, planned and delivered. To hold people in their village and create towns for them mean buying and delivering sustainable services to them.

This means providing education, health, water, security, house, electricity and jobs at their rural homes. In our case, with over huge resources spent in Juba, taking towns to the people becomes an empty rhetoric. Policy correctness is to take huge resources to decentralized units of government.

The questions remain how do you provide services at the grass root without right employees and no financial resources to buy services and/or ingredients of services?

Aware that resources are spent in Juba and to some extent at the states, citizens act rationally by moving closer to services/resources in towns leaving taking towns to the people as policy contradiction or historical statements.

As citizens migrated towards the resources and services, employment and deployment opportunities in centres are based on patronage, nepotism, and tribalism which have strengthen tribal commitment and loyalty. The crisis of December 2013 points to this hypothesis.

2.2 Minimum services from the central government
Even within the premises of a decentralized system of governance, there are services that are keys to success of the decentralized administration. Author believes these services can be provided by decentralized units of government but the complexity, financial demand and unwilling of the private sector to invest in these services, make it difficult for smaller units of government to deliver these services. However, delivery of these services is crucial for creation of towns in villages.

Services like security, road, electricity, water, and sewage require mega financial muscle or/and mobilization that is above the capacity of states and counties governments. Without these services, taking towns to rural areas is near impossible for the states and counties governments.

After signing of CPA, we have witnessed growth of private schools, health facilities and farms. However, none of what author’s call ‘minimum services’ can be sufficiently provided by private entities in current set-up of South Sudan.

It is author’s belief that initiations of these should be started by central government because of its capacity and ability; and maintenance and linkages of these services should be left to lower units of government.

Without these minimum services, flow of cash and human capital to rural areas is not sustainable and hence ‘taking towns to the people’ without these minimum services is not sustainable. December 2013 crisis almost uprooted all government agencies and people in greater Upper Nile. This points to how central security is to towns’ creation and sustainability.

Though other services like education, health and farming are important, private sector and lower units of governments easily fill up these roles in an environment where human capacity and financial resources are decentralized.

This view is not intended to undermine importance of these services but only to show preferential roles of different levels of government.

2.3 Good governance and constitutionalism
Another pre-condition for taking towns to the people is institutionalization of government procedures where citizens are central to national decisions-making, transparency in employment and revenue management processes.

Adequate resources taken to states and counties must be managed in transparent, with auditable procedures and adequate oversights.

States and counties must be given adequate resources with capacity and ability to make decisions. These decisions involve deciding leadership in open and transparent process; held leaders accountable through oversight mechanism; strong parliament and other bodies like procurement authorities, anti-corruption agencies, audit chambers, and other ad hoc vetting mechanism.

The peripheries must decide who to lead and where; where to spend resources with little interference from the centers. These mechanisms will eliminate patronage, nepotism and tribalism as jobs will be given according to qualifications and competencies.

The constitution must not leave issues of appointment, deployment, employment, elections and other decisions without check and balance. Experience has shown relying on robust systems is better than relying on individuals good will.

3. Conclusions and recommendations
As evidenced in the above analysis, taking towns to the people and other decentralized governance must be planned. As South Sudan struggles to bridge differences created by December 2013 crisis with possibilities of transitional government, the following are key conclusions and recommendations that might be useful in forming an interim government and fulfilling pledge of taking towns to the people:

• Adequate resources must be decentralized to states, counties and other lower units of governments. A government that will address needs of the people must take resources where the people are. As Dr. Garang asked in his 5 June 2004, just to paraphrase, why would South Sudanese fight for twenty years just to transfer resources to few elites in Juba?

• Create accountable systems of government between agencies including percentage resources to transfer to the states and counties. This should be supported by strong and independent oversight from the center to the lower levels of governments;

• The government at the center must and should support provisions of minimum services at the lower levels of government as basis to build solid foundation for decentralization. Security, and infrastructure must not wait;

• There should be transparency in employment, deployment and promotion to reduce tribalism, patronage and nepotism that has strengthened tribal loyal. This will reduce the collective incentives for tribal efforts to work together for power but encourage individual performance as basis for career growth and personal prosperity.

Garang Atem Ayiik is an independent South Sudan economic policy commentator who lives in South Sudan and can be reached at garangatemayiik@gmail.com


Pagan Amum’s political aspiration to become next SS president

BY: GEOFFREY ALAWIA, NAIROBI, MAY/28/2014, SSN;

Former Secretary General of ruling SPLM/A party, Pagan Amum, who was detained in Juba with 10 other political detainees after December 15 2013 crises is making a political advertisement to paint his image as the right man for the highest job in the country.

Obviously the former SG of the ruling party who was a close ally to the leader of the resistance movement, Dr. Riek Machar, now seems otherwise after his release from detention, thanks to Dr. Riek Machar insistence for the release of his comrades as well as that of the international bodies who all have exerted pressure on President Kiir to release the detainees unconditionally, because they were assumed to be part of the solution of the current crises.

It is imperative to realize the President’s militias who opened fire on their colleagues from Nuer ethnic group, then went house to house in Juba hunting down anyone from Nuer tribe ignited the conflict.

Dr Riek was lucky to have escaped death narrowly as he was the main target. His armed tribes mates responded not to the threat to Riek’s life but rather to the slaughter of their Women and Children in Juba, leading to the conflict spreading to many other regions.

According to human rights groups and United Nations more than 10.000 people were killed within weeks, in meantime, unconfirmed sources indicate that the figure is likely twice as many.

Ban Ki Mon, UN Secretary General, called for special tribunal to be established to bring the perpetrators to justice. All observers have agreed crime against humanity has been committed in South Sudan and it could be the worse Africa has ever seen since the Rwanda genocide of 1994.

With Peace talks moving nowhere in Addis Abba, former SG Pagan Amum is displaying an opportunistic trait by throwing his comrade who never forgot about him all this time under the bus, while his eyes are fixed on the seat of interim government top job of Presidency.

His recent letter which catches the eyes and leaves many ordinary South Sudanese deeply disappointed given his caliber, many of his critics who know him better said it can be only a nightmare for Pagan to assume the country’s top job because he lacks competency, patience and above all he needs to clear his name first from the corruption scandals before dreaming big for top job.

Mr. Amum who had treason charges on his head until he was freed from his confinement prison in Juba and later allowed to fly to Kenya, wants to distance himself and his colleagues who were detained with him.

He calls the resistance led by his former friend and ally Riek Machar until 15 December “doomed,” he lashes on both Kiir and Machar as killers, and he doesn’t hesitate to declare his ambition to become the next interim President.

“We may snatch the proposed interim government’s leadership if both president Salva Kiir and opposition leader, Riek Machar, were to be forced to step aside” said Mr. Amum in his letter.

Let’s not forget that it was Pagan who openly declared his desire to oust Kiir from SPLA seat as chair of the Party, and both Pagan and Riek have common ambition to bring much more needed reforms and called for President Kiir to relinquish his power because he fails the country.

This is absurd to see Pagan Amum distancing himself and calling the resistance under his former boss as “http://www.southsudannation.com/wp-admin/options-general.phpdoomed.”

“Both the government and armed rebels prefer a military solution but we in the Third bloc fully support the IGAD peace process as the best alternative to the war in our country,” added Pagan.

Has he forgotten that Juba had only agreed to talk peace after they have lost some ground to rebels not because he Pagan sought to talk peace? Has he forgotten that his freedom came due to the pressure exerted by the resistance?

After obtaining his freedom from his Juba cell, Mr. Pagan has gone out of his normalcy calling the resistance under Riek doomed and a theater of killing, which he must know will not place Mr. Amum very well in the politics of south Sudan.

Has he forgotten that Riek had to run for his very life empty handed and abandoning his household behind in Juba, who later were massacred in his own government house in Juba?

Mr. Amum must have forgotten the innocent Nuer who perished in Juba from 15-19 December 2013, and it remain to be seen how the former secretary general of SPLA who had corruption scandals sitting on his head is going to bring the reform he is preaching in his letter.

The issue of south Sudan in particularly, the problem within the ruling party is all about power struggle as this is characterized in the division of SPLA/M and each breakaway is still calling itself SPLA, but power struggle in democracy is normal and is the rule, thus does not excuse the president for massacring his electorates simply because they belongs to Machar’s tribe.

A President is the president of the entire country and does not own his party, but rather the party owns him, the division of his party is his fault, this Kiir cannot even hold his party together, and how then do we expect him to hold the country together?

Kiir could not bring democracy in his party, neither could he hold his parties’ elections, how then do we expect him to practice democracy in the country and hold national election that may rob him of presidency?

Kiir’s instigated division within ruling party and has divided families and friends as can be seen in the family of late Dr. Garang, Mama Rebecca Nyendeng somehow seemed to be with Riek but in the latest letter of Pagan, he stated Rebecca is in his side while Young Mabior, the elder son of Madam Rebecca Nyendeng has joined Dr. Riek.

This latest move taken by former SPLA secretary is nothing new other than fulfilments of his aspiration to become the next president of Republic of South Sudan, millions of Southerners have no doubt Pagan Amum will not be different from Kiir given his status in the country is known.

Besides that he has no record of been a unifying figure. Mr. Amum is not popular within his Jillo Shilluk leave alone the entire South Sudan. He was blamed by some Jillo Shilluk elders for the killing of innocent people in Shilluk Kingdom by Kiir’s security forces, and some of his critics said he embezzled millions of dollars and bought real estate in America for his mother in law with public funds.

“We are saying that there is more to a failed government under President Kiir and to the doomed armed rebellion under Riek Machar” the letter farther reads.

In conclusion, the preceding statement if anything and if he authored indeed such letter has doomed his chance of any political future in South Sudan, since his much anticipated release, should add to solution finding rather than wooing for positions, and has disappointed the public expectations including those of us who prayed for his safety from Kiir’s murderous hands.

If not he but Kiir’s propaganda machines did write this letter then they have succeeded in implanting disappointments in peoples’ hearts and shame on them!

Author
Geoffrey Alawia,
Nairobi, Kenya

Poor management of political crisis caused political instability in young nation of South Sudan

By: Abraham Garang, Nairobi, Kenya, MAY/27/2014, SSN;

The failure to manage political wrangling inside SPLM party caused many innocent people death, displacement and the vandalism of citizens’ properties. If the President and his advisers were really astute and genuine nationalists, who believe in unity and the future of South Sudanese, in hindsight, they would have solved their internal disputes without killing innocent South Sudanese.

However, the government planned their political tactic to silence any opposition by forging a “coup attempt.” South Sudanese and the International Community have now come to comprehend that there was no coup d’etat.

The alleged coup d’etat was an attempt to demolish any political adversaries especially Dr Riek Machar and Mr Pagan Amum who have expressed their candidacy for the top job of leading the country.

The leadership intentionally created unbearable political environment without prophesying the outcomes of their actions.

The president has not shown any leadership in solving this matter before and it is unlikely for him to do in the present. The president’s lack of leadership took ‘the country in a direction no one desires.’

The positive outcome of this plot made by the leadership is the fact the rebel leader Dr Machar has lost credibility due to his response to the calamity. This has made people lose trust in Dr Machar and his presidential ambition is now limited.

On the other hand, the negative aspect of President Kiir is the reality that South Sudanese have been mortally affected by his ill plan to eliminate Dr Riek Machar.

President Kiir planned to eliminate any opposition but he underestimated Dr Riek Machar’s influence in the army and among the entire South Sudanese.

The person responsible for all this mess is President Kiir and for the country to move forward he should resign immediately because South Sudanese lost confidence in him.

The International Community and African Union are investigating who did what and who are the culprits for crimes against humanity. For South Sudan to move forward Mr Kiir and Dr Riek should be indicted for crimes committed by their loyal forces.

The Republic of South Sudan gained its Independence on 9 July 2011 with enormous sanguinity and high expectations of her citizens. The hope and expectation is not released instead the government embarked on killing her people.

SPLM/A leadership had abandoned the visions proposed by late Dr John Garang but those holding the steering wheel used new direction which resulted in the massacre of innocent South Sudanese.

This led civilians and SPLM/A cliques to believe that the leadership of President Kiir has lost direction.

Riek Machar and his comrades were democratically entitled to articulate their political sentiments to the leadership for the betterment of the nation. However, the president accused them of insolence and criticizing his leadership.

When South Sudan became an independent state many South Sudanese were very content with the long deserved achievement of Independence. However, the leadership has failed the country and utterly forgot that independence was achieved because of the collective sacrifices made by all tribes in South Sudan.

Unfortunately, some tribes see the country like it is their property, this occurred especially when they use terms like “we liberate you or we’re born to rule you.” And their undemocratic president supports it by jailing anyone opposing their ludicrous conception.

It’s sad that our leaders have forgotten the history of our people and the suffering they have gone through during the liberation. No one expected the ongoing conflict to happen in an independent South Sudan.

The recent political commotion that started as a political squabble within the ruling party after political disparities among powerful players made the world’s youngest nation spin into where it is today.

The reformists were calling for democracy in the party. However, their sentiments to democratize the party have been misinterpreted by the president as a threat to his rule and position.

The SPLM senior members have been barking behind the president to tackle corruption and embezzlement of public resources within the party by some elites. However, the president does not believe in civility and democratic principles to prevail in the party.

In fact, he wants to rule the young nation of South Sudan with dictatorship tendency, which has resulted in a schism in the country today.

The president’s autocracy progress within the party created political mayhem that has resulted in many innocent lives lost, displacement of two million South Sudanese.

The cause of this political chaos is the failure of the leadership to allow the party to discuss its mandate and manifesto. Based on my own analysis, I think this will not be the end of future fights amongst the Dinka and Nuer if the born-to-rule ideology is still upheld by many Dinka.

But this is an indication of what would occur in the future if the same leadership lingers in power and fails to give power to the people.

Historically, the Dinka and Nuer have never co-existed in peace since the current rebel leader Dr Riek Machar disagreed with Dr John Garang in 1991, it resulted in a lot of people dead or displaced.

This put into the minds of the majority of the Nuer that the Dinka were cowards and Nuer can defeat and ruin them.

On the other hand, the Dinka believe that Nuer are “traitors” and should not be trusted for high office given what Riek Machar had done in 1991 and the defection of many Nuer Generals to destabilize the movement at that time.

When they heard that Dr Riek Machar expressed his intention to be a presidential candidate, many Dinka believed that he has betrayed his people when he revolted in 1991.

The Nuer people also hold similar perception about the Dinka people; many of them believed that Dinka are authoritarian and they don’t want other tribes to lead.

During the movement, the current rebel leader accused the late Dr John Garang of being a dictator and stages a coup against him, which delayed the victory of the SPLA/M. This is what has happened again; Dr Riek Machar accused the president of being a dictator and replicated what he had done in the past.

This became a socio-political assumption of these two major tribes that one community accused the other community of ruling the country with impunity, and this negative discernment will not bring peace and normality in the young nation of South Sudan.

In regard to what took place in the capital Juba on 15 December 2013, was diffused by tribal perception. If there had been no tribal socio-political concept amongst these tribes, the Nuer and Dinka, to grapple for political power then this political mayhem could have been contained and many lives would have been saved.

Therefore, the leadership manipulated this tribal deem that the Nuer were not genuine nationalist like “Dinka”. The leadership is utilising this tribal political maneuver to dichotomize tribes in order to remain in power.

How can we expect to live in a peaceful independence state when the leadership discourages political unity amongst citizens? This tribal war was no surprise; it was something likely or expected to happen, but it’s fuel by tribal dogma to where it is now.

After Dr Machar left Juba on the night the fighting erupted, shouting that he was about to be assassinated by the president’s loyal forces. The government forces committed massacre targeting one ethnic group, the Nuer people.

However, despite what happened, history and memories will live forever, regardless of the outcomes of the ongoing peace talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Regional and International community interests toward South Sudan crisis

In most cases, the international community policy towards Africa is often motivated by their need for African natural resources, for example oil. They used their help to Africa as a tool for accessing African natural resources.

The international community can be accused to have a role in every political crisis in Africa. If a leader refused to “cooperate with their policy”, then the consequences involved sanctions, support of opposing political factions and even threats to bring them to the “International Criminal Court”.

African people in reality appreciate all the efforts made by the international community to assist African people, but the international community must not involve itself in our own political affairs.

I would say that, political instability in all the countries of Africa are caused by international community. Also, I would suggest that all African oppositions are politically advocated for by the international community.

The “International Community” were the culprit for the “political instability” in Libya, Egypt and other countries in Northern Africa and the whole of Africa. The post elections violence in Kenya and political instability in Zimbabwe and many other countries are caused by the “international community”.

The recent political incident that occurred in Juba, the capital of the new republic of South Sudan could be analyzed that the “international community” had played a role.

The region and the western powers portrayed political interests in South Sudan crisis which delayed the peace talks. This is because the International Community are trying to influence and pressure IGAD to make President Kiir step down.

President Kiir did not invited international community to take full control of South Sudan oil, since the contract was given to China, it made them to pursue other alternatives for toppling President Kiir administration. This is because their interests were not fulfilled by the SPLM/A leadership.

However, the “regional and International Community” embrace different interests in South Sudan crisis. Some international players had condemned the violence and urged for immediate peace talks to take effect.

Since this fighting broke out the International Community stance was very clear. Their political support to the rebels was obvious. For instance, some ambassadors in South Sudan said “the rebels are fighting a just war”. This is an indication that the International Community supports the rebels.

The region condemned the rebel leader and urged him to put down his arms. All these political and economic interests have delayed the peace talks and might possibly result in different and unexpected outcomes.

On the other hand, countries like Uganda and Kenya have trade ties with South Sudan and they did not want South Sudan to become a failed State like Somalia knowing their countries would also be affected.

This is what constituted the Ugandan president to immediately intervene in the crisis by sending his troops to South Sudan to fight alongside SPLA forces to defeat the enemy of the region “Dr Riek Machar”. Kenyans and Ugandans have businesses in South Sudan and they do not want their businesses ruined and looted by the rebel forces. For instance, Banking, Insurance and Aviation.

Ethiopia has also economic and political interests in South Sudan and the Ethiopian government doesn’t want to see South Sudan failing. Ethiopia owns businesses in Juba and other states, cities all across the country. Therefore, Ethiopia do not want instability in South Sudan because it will damage its own lucrative trade with Juba, as well huge influx of refugees fleeing to their territory.

Power sharing arrangements

Power sharing would be the best possible solution for the warring parties to bring lasting peace in South Sudan. The aim of powering sharing arrangements is often to cease violence.

The power sharing agreement would be the foundation of a political transformation process leading to new elections in 2017 or 2018. These agreements would reduce tension and tribal war, and at least, can bring reform. At some point, power sharing might undermine the political process in the long run.

The distribution of power and government offices is negotiated in a small elite circle mostly made up of those who were the key drivers of the escalation. This can contribute to actors using unfair tactics to stay in power via negotiation.

The conflicts are rarely solved through negotiation, but are preserved. The main opponents and fractions usually remain the same, even if they make concessions. With new elections, old conflicts resurge quite easily.

The peace accord signed by the two warring parties was already violated on the night the two leaders signed the cessation of hostilities. The SPLM-in-Opposition believes in peace, however, the SPLM leader did not believe in peace talks due to optimism of military victory with its ally.

During the signing of a peace agreement, you can tell by observing President Salva Kiir’s and Riek Machar’s faces, the duo are not ready for peace. You can tell that from the body language.

In any peace agreement, the signatories must pledge publicly and accept peace for themselves because the civil population would follow their example. But the president and the rebel leader signed an agreement without a smile and a handshake. This has shown IGAD, the International Community and political scientists serious doubt about that peace accord.

Abraham Garang lives in Nairobi- Kenya.


Open Letter to Pagan Amum & SPLM Former Detainees: No ‘Third Block’

By: John Adoor Deng, Australia, MAY/27/2014, SSN;

Dear Comrades,

Allow me on the onset of this letter to greet you all in the spirit of nationhood and patriotism. Comrades, the aim of this piece is to highlight my feelings and presumably the feeling of many others towards your recent position regarding the resolution of the hostile conflict that has engulfed our country for months.

As a concerned citizen, and as a person who once had the privilege to have led Sudanese Communities in Australia as then president of Sudanese Community Association of Queensland (2006-2009 SUCAQ INC) and Interim chair of the Federation of Sudanese Australian Communities (FOSAC 2008-2010), I have the heart of my nation and courage to express in a small way my thoughts on issues of significance and of interest to our God’s given and blessed young country, South Sudan.

By calling a spade a spade and not a big spoon, I severely disagreed with your lukewarm, politically ambivalent and a monkey-trick-position that put you as neutral or a third block in the conflict.

My disagreement toward your sophisticated lobby for a third block in Addis Ababa is illuminated by the following reasons:

1- Firstly, you as Pagan and your colleagues now referred to as Former Detainees were part and parcel of the very genesis of this obnoxious conflict whether directly or indirectly. Indeed, your collective dismissals from active roles as Secretary General, Former Vice President, your colleagues as former ministers, and former governors, undoubtedly triggered this conflict.

(The so-called ‘Third Block’ includes: Pagan Amum, the presidential advisor, Rebecca Nyandeng, former ministers, Deng Alor, John Luk, Kosti Manibe, Oyai Deng, Gier Chuang, Madut Biar, Majak Agoot, Cirino Hiteng, Lakes state’s former governor, Chol Tong and former diplomat Ezekiel Gatkuoth.

2- Secondly, you and your colleagues are blamed to have agitated the sitting chair of the SPLM who doubled as president of the Republic of South Sudan, instead of subduing difficulties of governance within the SPLM under your carpet; and in secret, you both rushed to the media and speculated your differences as one house but know what? A house divided cannot exist! When these things occurred, were you a Third Block?

3- Thirdly, your calling of the third block in the negotiations is, in fact, a pretext of diversifying the conflict. It is, in fact, opening a third parallel front which we as South Sudanese don’t want to see at this critical time.

Comrades, most conventional conflicts are solved or managed within a parameter of two conflicting parties. I have not heard a famous conflict solved through a triangle machinery.

It is through the obvious knowledge of conflict being handled between two parties that prompted President George Bush (junior) to remind his allies once that they either join him or join his opponents.

4- Fourthly, your calling for the third block is in effect an element of confusion and a tactic of taking over when protagonists are demised or exhausted.

5- Fifthly, on the other hand, your calling for a third block or neutral block indeed incapacitates and narrows your expected contribution to the conflict resolution.

In other words, you are duplicating SPLM-O position in also calling for interim arrangements, you are duplicating SPLM/SPLA position by calling an end to the conflict and condemning the atrocities committed by the rebellion. The government position on your roles seem to make sense, the government cannot negotiate with two parties of the same orgin in order to solve one conflict.

Comrades, we value you higher than such positions. Good example, when some of you were still in jail, we interceded for you and in one of my social network message I compared you with the biblical personalities of Meshach, Abnego, Shadrach (read Daniel 3:16-18) who faced a humiliating wrath of King Nebuchadnezzar. My proposition in these were that if you were innocently jailed then you shall come out like Meshach, Abnego, Shadrach from the greatest fire set by King Nebuchadnezzar. Comrades, if you think that joining one side of the conflict will make your political image dirty then you are mistaken, the SPLM as a whole is dirty and smelly, you have in one way or other destroyed the future of our generation. None of you should pretend to wash his or her hands of this conflict, if such hand washing is perceived done, then it is a Pontius Pilate’s hand washing but ordered Jesus killed (read Mathew 27:24). The conflict has gone beyond scaping of causers and triggers and thus active participation is the only help needed to help conflict come to an end.

Therefore, your abstinence will never make you holy. Truthfully you must do one of the following:

Joined one side of the conflict and contribute maximumly in ending the conflict by all mean. If the choice is joining government’ side, then make few kneeling down to President Kiir and his inner circles. If the choice is joining SPLM-O then ask Dr Riek to forgive you, your recent comments against his group
Joined civil society organisations and contribute as members of civil society freely and out of attachment to any political party.
Dispersed individually to look after your children and become active farmers helping in food production in the country.
Go to exile and seek political asylum in western countries so that you are not followed like Megistu.

Finally, comrades, this conflict can only be solved if all SPLM members are engaged in two parties’ conflict negotiations such that the resolution reached may be unanimous and comprehensive. This conflict can be solved if all SPLM political leaders forgive each other reconciled with one another and put the interest of the country first then their own.

The Author is John Adoor Deng, BA, BTH, MPRL, MPPP (current), and Director of South Sudan Support Foundation (SSSF). He can be reach by johnadoordeng@yahoo.com.au


Why President Kiir must be questioned?: An Analysis

By Peter Gai Manyuon, SOUTH SUDAN, MAY/26/2014, SSN;

What do the words uttered by president Kiir recently that, “I remain the President and will always be the President,” signify to the citizens of South Sudan and the world at large?

Well, most of people have taken the statement of the President seriously because I followed some posts on social Media pages like Tweeter, Face book, denouncing and condemning what Mayardit said out of emotion as abuse of public office when he (Kiir) arrived at Juba International Airport from Ethiopia where the document was signed between the Government of South Sudan and the Sudan People Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM/IO) headed by Dr Machar as rebel leader.

Moreover, others said President always has no good public relations and communications techniques in his speeches and others term the President as the speechless leader globally. And on other hand, others are judging the magnitude and the weight the word from the President carries.

After reading and viewing at the same time what the President of South Sudan Salvatore Kiir Mayardit, said when he was addressing International Communities and Regional Governments in Ethiopian Capital Addis-Ababa on the 9th of May 2014, I was very surprised why my President aired an irritating word that demoralized audiences across the globe.

Absolutely, in diplomacy and foreign Politics President Kiir has lost his credibility and trust from foreign diplomats and International Communities as well due to the fact that, after he (Kiir) signed a document on Friday 9th of May 2014 with Dr Machar in Ethiopia, he claimed of being forced to sign by the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) proposed agenda that aimed at bringing peace and harmony to South Sudanese.

After his return to Juba, he told his cabinet that he was forced to sign a document which was not his wish.

Realistically, what kind of a leader is Mayardit in the eyes of South Sudanese? How can you sign a document when you have not agreed with what is contained in the context of the document?

For real, what signifies that statement in intellectual context? But for some people who have known the mind of the President in and out, the word he said carries no meaning in the peace process rather than exposing him (Mayardit) to the world that he has got some gaps upstairs and has no experiences in strategic Communication and Public Relations as well.

What a disgrace!

Nevertheless, I don’t know whether Kiir has got speech writers who can evaluate his speech before addressing any gathering. What I know internationally is that, for any President worldwide, he/she must have good speech writers that have specialized in Communication, Public Relations and English as well.

It was like a joke for him the President to say that ambiguous statement but he was not sure that statement “I remain and will always remain the President,” was too bad for a Country like South Sudan that need peace and harmony at this particular period of time.

Truly speaking, where is South Sudan as the Country heading to?

In Public Relations “Giving a necked statement to the public’s, sometimes when you are a politician reduces your audiences in politics” like what Mayardit said, need good evaluation and analytical monitoring mechanism from the International Communities and the people of South Sudan as well.

Hence this is a very crucial time to document what the head of the State emphasizes or airs out.

Well for author of this article think, this is a good reference to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to document before they forget. That word “I MUST be the President always “is enough evidence to be document for further future indictment because realistically and logically, whether people like it or not President Kiir MUST be tried for the crimes against humanity and abusing South Sudanese in the eyes of the World.

Justification of President Kiir Statement
What I have visualized and contextualized from President Kiir speech in Addis-Ababa is that, he was not meaning what he said but because of no good tactics and art of public speaking in him, he aired out a word that might bring him problems tomorrow or in the nearer future.

Let the world and the people of South Sudan at large forgive Mr. Kiir Mayardit.
However, no one on earth can be a permanent President because there is death that is waiting for each and every one. What I have viewed is that, he was forced to sign something which was not his wish because at the first, he said no Interim or Transitional government formation in South Sudan and now, it is the U turns. Very interesting indeed!!!

The author hold Bachelor Degree in Journalism and Mass Communications and he is Independent Journalist and Columnist who has written extensively on the issues of Democratization and Human Rights in South Sudan. You can contact him through;petergai2006@gmail.com.


SPLM strategically disempowers the people with dirty tricks

BY: ELHAG PAUL, SOUTH SUDAN, MAY/26/2014, SSN;

SPLM is at it again using lies, intrigues and deception to dilute the provision of interim government in the agreement of 9th May 2014 between President Salvatore Kiir and Dr Riek Machar in Addis Ababa.

It is not a secret that the government of President Kiir abhors the idea of interim government. The Vice President James Wani Igga and other members of the cabinet have made their views on the subject very clear in the last couple of weeks prior to the agreement expressing their dislike to this noble idea.

In their utterance, they went as far as saying they would not allow an interim government to happen in South Sudan.

As a result of pressure from the international community, SPLM had no other option but to sign up to the agreement. The government of President Kiir is now desperately trying to wriggle out of it.

In its endeavour to unhook itself, it has decided to silence the internal front, especially the prominent stakeholders inside the country. The government appears to have taken this position to disempower these groups to enable it eventually to face down the external front (Riek’s group and the SPLM G11) without internal noises.

Since its inception, whenever SPLM has found itself in a difficult situation, they revert to the people with cries of danger! Danger! Danger! But if the supposedly trumpeted danger is carefully examined, what comes out is a dirty trick to disempower the people with the intention to cling to power.

I shall elaborate on this point somewhere further on in this article in relation to how SPLM tricked the South Sudan opposition parties in 2008 to consolidate power.

Dirty tricks are exactly what unfolded in the country on Monday 19th May 2014. Unexpectedly and suddenly the government made an announcement over Radio South Sudan at 8.00 p.m. local time calling on all the leaders of the political parties, civil society organisations and church organisations to attend what was said to be a briefing on the following day by the government delegation to the negotiations at Addis Ababa.

On Tuesday 20th May 2014, during this so called briefing, Michael Makuei and Bashir Gbendi supported by Joseph Ukel and others ostensibly presented a twisted picture of the talks in Addis Ababa. They argued that the government was facing serious problems which they outlined as follows:

1) That the number of the stakeholders is too big and that they must consider opting for a small number of political parties to represent them.
2) That there is a Western conspiracy to deal badly with the government and it is incumbent on all to support the government which is facing external conspiracy.
3) That IGAD mediators are coming on 28th May 2014 to advice on the modalities of representation at the talks and as such there is going to be a meeting of political parties soon to consider a joint position of all which will be given to IGAD.
4) That this is not a time for federalism.

These points encapsulating the concern of the government on face value, constitute a serious national problem especially when phrases like “external conspiracy” are taken into consideration.

But, hold on! Without us being swept away by emotions and fear, it is imperative to look closely at these issues point by point.

First, the government claim that the number of the stakeholders is too big and therefore they must consider opting for a small number of political parties to represent them, is a very strange assertion because at the core of it, there is the intent to take away the right of expression and participation of the stakeholders concerned.

By doing this the process obviously becomes undemocratic which defeats the logic of ‘South Sudanese’ finding solutions to the problems of the country. Why should the stakeholders be represented by a small number of political parties that they do not support?

Here it can clearly be discerned that the small number of political parties referred to are those parties that have allied themselves with the government.

In addition, the assertion works stealthily as an indirect recruitment process for these parties which in turn strengthens them and weakens the people. It is important for this small number of political parties to be identified.

So the question is then, which are the small parties and what would be the criteria for their preferential treatment?

Above all, why do Makuei et al want to disempower the people? In whose interest is the muzzling of the people? Is it in the interest of the SPLM or the country?

Given what has happened in the country, the size and numbers of the stakeholders is irrelevant because they are stakeholders and they must be listened to. Further to this the cost and funding would not be borne by the government of South Sudan but IGAD and the internal community.

A critical look clearly shows that the government has no point to make here other than it wants to disempower the people and recruit new members to its satellite parties.

Therefore, the government is using buzz words to silence the people to dilute the provision of the interim government.

Secondly, the government claim that it has knowledge of a conspiracy by the West to deal badly with the government, is groundless and dangerous. Whipping up panic to gain support is not a good way to deal with sensitive issues.

The government should know that some people (for instance, the crude and ruthless security) could literally take what they say seriously thereby creating serious risk to citizens of Western countries living in South Sudan.

The government needs to be aware of their responsibility and duty of care. Such loose talk can create hatred and lead to an unnecessarily negative outcome.

But let us suppose that their claim is true, why are they not specifically naming the countries involved in this conspiracy and the nature of the conspiracy itself?

The truth is that the western countries (Troika, Canada and EU) have been excessively lenient towards president Kiir and his murderous government. The evidence to this can be seen in the way the western countries have kept quiet about the grave crimes against humanity committed in Juba.

So far the western countries armed with full knowledge of the atrocities have refused to refer the case to International Criminal Court (ICC).

Given this information, why should South Sudanese buy the government story? The real problem why Juba hates the west is due to the west’s support for an interim government as the initial solution to the wider democratization of South Sudan.

If this is the case, why is it a bad thing when the government has failed to carry out its cardinal duty to protect its citizens? Makuei et al need to be transparent. Seeking blanket support for the government through lies framed around ‘external conspiracy’ clouded with intimidation should not be bought by South Sudanese.

It is the government that unnecessarily created the current mess and it is the government that invited external conspiracy by bringing Uganda into South Sudan to soar up a tribal system.

Thus the real external conspiracy threat comes from president Kiir’s closest ally in the region. Please watch NBS Morning Breeze South Sudan at a glance and read Sudan Tribune report titled, ‘South Sudan defence minister flies to Uganda amid rebel demands for foreign forces to withdraw’.

Here are the links: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLpkUZpJw1o and http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article51103

In the Sudan Tribune report, President Kiir’s trusted ally not only rubbishes him but actually severely undermines the sovereignty of South Sudan with the following factual but undiplomatic comment.

“I (President Yoweri Museveni) have never called the United Nations to guard your (Uganda) security. Me, Yoweri Museveni, to say that I have failed to protect my people and I call in the UN. I would rather hang myself. We prioritised national security by developing a strong army otherwise our Uganda would be like DRC, South Sudan, Somalia or Nigeria where militias have disappeared with school children. It would be a vote of no confidence to our country (Uganda) and citizens if we can’t guarantee our security. What kind of persons would we be?”

South Sudanese are not fools to be corralled into supporting the real culprit in South Sudan which is the government of president Kiir. If anybody buys this nonsense outlined by Makuei et al and supports this murderous government, know that you will in the near future find yourself a target of this tribal system as others have now found out at a high cost.

Thirdly, in the meeting of the parties, South Sudanese should carefully watch and note those parties that sign up to the government agenda. Those who sign up will have sold out their rights to participation in shaping their own future in the country in the historic talks in Addis Ababa.

With all that have taken place in the country, it would only be opportunists and unpatriotic parties that would let down the aspiration of the people for a proper interim government that will work towards a peaceful South Sudan.

When thinking about South Sudan now, it is absolutely important to ask the question: who started the war, where and why? Then further ask the question – why are there talks in Addis Ababa?

The answer to the first question identifies the aggressor, the place of aggression and provides explanation to the context. The answer to the second question points to a search for solutions.

The talks are important because of the horrendous events of 15th December 2013 followed by the resistance mounted by Dr Riek Machar and others.

The consequence of President Kiir’s action has been catastrophic pushing the country into war with expected severe famine forecasted to lead into huge loss of lives.

The talks in Addis Ababa did not come easily. Here, Riek must be commended. It is his resistance that triggered it. The South Sudanese fed up of being misgoverned by SPLM rightly decided to speak out and as a result they called for peace and an interim government.

Please see, ‘A new and neutral government is the only solution to South Sudan’s problems’ http://allafrica.com/stories/201402241138.html

South Sudan has paid dearly for these talks to happen. These talks offer the best opportunity for South Sudanese to sort out the mess created by president Kiir and his SPLM.

Fourthly, Bashir Gbendi, the newly pacified Equatorian puppet argues that this is not the time for federalism. When then is the right time for federalism? As far as Equatorians are concerned federalism should have been in operation right from 2005.

The issue of federalism can not be wished away. For Gbendi to present the issue of federalism to the stakeholders as something not desirable and essential is an insult on the people of Equatoria as a whole.

This is understandable because the tribal system in Juba is intolerant of federalism since it will not allow them to use state power as now for promoting their interest.

However, this is more the reason why stakeholders must not sell out, so that the will of the South Sudanese people is heard clearly and understood in the talks in Addis Ababa.

The idiom “A leopard can’t change its spots” is true in the case of the SPLM. This trick that they are now using to rally support to the government was applied in 2008 to disempower the political parties in South Sudan to ensure the political space was prepared for SPLM to monopolise power.

Using the overall interest of South Sudan to secede, knowing very well that SPLM’s main objective of united Sudan had lost currency; SPLM paradoxically wrapped itself in separatist garment and went to shamelessly masquerade as a unifier of South Sudanese people, when in fact it was the divider of South Sudanese by firing their first bullets at the separatists in 1983.

In a foxy pretence the SPLM brought all the opposition parties under an umbrella called “The Alliance of South Sudanese political parties”. Then it tricked this alliance to nominate Kiir as the only candidate for the presidency of South Sudan autonomous region in the general election of April 2010 in the then Sudan.

This was accepted by the political parties in good faith. Once the general election was held and Kiir won the election, SPLM reneged on all the promises it made.

Please see the position paper of the alliance which President Kiir signed up to and later tore it to pieces. It is arguable had Kiir kept his promise, perhaps South Sudan would not be in the current predicament. http://pachodo.org/latest-news-articles/pachodo-english-articles/1965-position-of-south-sudan-political-parties-on-the-transition

Now the SPLM has come again with the same trick to outwit the stakeholders to ensure that they become the only power in Addis Ababa mandated by the people to face Riek et al and the SPLM G11 in order to increase its chances of maintaining power under president Kiir.

In this game what matters is the use of language of national security and subtle threats to frighten and browbeat the people into submission.

Therefore, all the political parties, civil society organisations and faith based groups regardless of their numbers need to be in Addis Ababa to express their views and bring about a lasting peace.

They can not afford to sell out their rights to a tribal system and certainly they should not cave in to intimidation and threats. If they are intimidated, they should call for emergency general meetings of their parties to seek a mandate on the issue.

Alternatively, they should report their difficulties to the mediators and boycott the talks. This in itself will send a message to the mediators and the international community that something is not right.

Parties behaving like wild whores have no place in the emerging South Sudan. Hence, the talk of big numbers and external conspiracy flashed by Makuei et al, is nothing but hogwash to deceive the people to support Kiir’s failed administration to cling to power.
[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul
elhagpaul@aol.com


What’d be the Final Upshot of the Untouchable Oligarchic Mafias in SPLM?

By: Tong Kot Kuocnin, South Sudan, MAY/25/2014, SSN;

As has succinctly been fueled by the current conflict of interests in the country, the long time oligarchs operating in the shadow of the heavyweight ruling and/or governing party, the SPLM, came to a foreseeable frenzy within the foxholes of the SPLM.

The fractious distinguished long-time members of this braved party who assumed having inherited from the founding father of the movement some ingenious charismatic insignia and gained favor for themselves, began to behave so inimically under the pretexts that they are everything and nobody can either tell them to correct their wrongs or to respect other leaders.

Not even the chairperson of the SPLM and president of the Republic can tell them to cease from doing such illusive unaccustomed actions undauntedly.

These unethical and un-procedural reckless, quirky mismanagement of almost all the resources of the state misguided by the assumption of being the leaders of SPLM led to the malfunction of all the state institutions headed by these cadres which are vital in the sustainability of the socio-economic stability of the state.

This malfeasance conduct by these untouchable oligarchic mafias in the party led to the standstill and dysfunctionality of all organs of the party, hence relegating those organs scrupulously assigned to a particular class or sphere intended to lessen the scrutinization of the performances of the weak, incapable and corrupt officials who acted in proxies typically in the shoes of their political masters in the Party.

These Mafiosi are untouchable because they are in the ears of the big animals in the party.

Bizarrely, these Mafioso or mafias became so much bigoted when they see as a threat to them any other south Sudanese competent, capable, energetic and quite patriotic enough to deliver most direly needed services to the paupers.

They fear that they would be outweighted because SPLM is something entitled to them by birth and therefore whatever they do and say is paramount even if it’s wrong, misleading and not in the interests of the people.

These people are treacherous and quite ominous, they are disloyal and dangerous to the people of south Sudan.

This has been evidently manifested by the current enraging crisis in the country which ensued simply because they are no longer stakeholders in misdirecting and embezzling of the public funds meant for development and service delivery to our poor who are dying of Malaria and hunger everyday and who sleeps with only one meal per a day, or some even don’t secure one meal in a day.

These long-time obnoxious self-centered mafias are the ones now undauntedly and with no remorse and shame, seditiously setting afire the little we have gained in our own struggle just to survive on the chaotic shambles.

What could be the final upshot of the then untouchable oligarchic mafias in the SPLM?

Obviously, their final upshot is on the stake now in the sight of all south Sudanese people except their families who might be upset for the very reason that their mouths have been pulled out of the cow-teat where milk was flowing.

Otherwise no any prudent man and woman who loves and wants to see south Sudanese live in peace and harmony, and prosper and progress decently, wish to put our own lives in danger.

They have thrust themselves out. Their final end would be determined by the people of south Sudan who have, for bloody eight years entrusted these selfish politicians to run all the affairs of the country in which that trust that only became a disaster to them.

The people of south Sudan became victims of their trust and confidence they bestowed on these useless, greedy and selfish leaders.

They have debilitated and defaced their good decorum in the sight and hearts of the people of south Sudan.

Their debility and deceitful debauch as leaders from the ruling and governing party, have severely become a disaster deplored and detested by all the people of good will in south Sudan and around the world.

Acting without ordinary courtesy, these oligarchs, with their rude and vulgar, unconstitutionally and extremely agitated such unbearable conditions at a time when our people should have been allowed a chance to taste the dividends and fruits of peace and development.

The group runs amok of all the mechanisms of solving the internal misunderstandings within the party and they decided to launch uncivilized means of addressing issues at party level.

Gone are the days, not only in South Sudan but even in Africa and other parts of the world at large when power is sought to be taken by use of force contrarily to the established legal and constitutional rules in the country.

These so-called SPLM inner-circles became now outer-circles by their own greedy and indelicate making inconceivable to comprehend of how the hell did this happen.

And because of the trust bestowed on them by the very people they have led down in the shadow for bloody eight years as ministers and governors both in the regional and national governments.

All the credits and veneration they have earned first as fighters in the bush and in the government as lead ministers have been qualmed by sudden feelings of doubts, distrusts and uneasiness both in the sights and hearts of the people of south Sudan.

It would thoroughly be a high time for the party to restructure itself and posit those competent, capable, energetic, committed and patriotic youth not picked in the shadow of any leader in the party as it used to be.

It will be incumbent on such departments in the party to reshape and win the lost confidence of our masses back to the party.

Should we continue the same mechanisms which were employed and used by those failed and corrupt leaders, I think our party would lose all its little left credit.

It is high time to serve this little credit left scrambling. It is utmost time to restore the lost trust back to its’ usual place.

Never allow those inimical oligarchs to infest our dearest party and reign higher.

Never allow those mafias to head high at the expense of our people.

Never let these Mafiosi consume ravenously for they will deviously crown themselves and detract us back time and again.

Tong Kot is a Member of SPLM and a Practicing Legal Counsel at Deng & Co. Advocates and could be reached at: tong_kkk@ymail.com


Blaming the West despite Oslo Humanitarian donation conference

By: Jacob D. Chol, JUBA, MAY/23/2014, SSN;

South Sudan Humanitarian Conference held in Oslo-Norway on 19th May 2014 was a great success drawing from the donors’ coffers up to the tune of 600 million USD. The Conference attended by about 50 countries, maintained the West as the generous donor to the South Sudan looming famine.

To shed little light on this Western Society generosity, USA pledged 290 million USD, EU 140 euros, UK 100 million USD and Norway, the host 63 million USD, making the West pledges to account for 80% of 600 million USD pledged. Other countries from West, East, Asia, Pacific and Middle East pledged their shares as well. Sudan was the only country from sub-Saharan Africa that responded to the Conference by pledging 10,000 tons of sorghum to be freely accessed to South Sudan.

Though the humanitarian pledges response to South Sudan political crisis fell short by half, the conference demonstrated the global responsibility of rescuing poor South Sudanese from the man-made catastrophe.

Since political crisis started in December 2013, some politicians and citizens of South Sudan have been accusing the West and particularly the United States and even the United Nations to be behind the political fiasco that engulfed the country and which the government termed as a coup de’tat though the government account has been highly discredited.

Politicians such as Mr. Michael Makuei Lueth, who is popularly known for his rhetorics “FOR THAT MATTER, ULTIMATELY, NEVERTHELESS, THERE & THEN, and THIS IS UN-BECOMING!” accused the West and United Nations without having proper analysis and information.

He argued that the United States, the only post-cold war-endearing power was fueling the political violence in South Sudan due to economic interests, in peculiar oil concession since the latter was given to Chinese and Malaysians operating companies.

This argument thought responded well and challenged by Amb. Susan Page many times has compelled national and regional political pundits to put it into perspective that the US government, though driven by zero-sum game, has not shown interest in South Sudanese oil given its huge oil discoveries in the United States.

Michael Makuei, while addressing a news conference in Serena Hotel in Nairobi, lashed out at IGAD as supporting rebels and said that West has to be blamed for conflict in South Sudan (South Sudan Nation, May 16th 2014).

The tense and fumes breathing of the government spokesperson was not only exhibited in Nairobi but has also been seen in various for in Juba where he gave press conferences and interviews to journalists.

While addressing journalists in his office, Lueth maintained that South Sudan was already democratic and respected press freedom and referred to the United States as “even the so called America” does not respect press freedom as it is done in South Sudan.

Such utterances did not stop at the West but were also directed to the United Nations, particularly the SRSG and Head of UNMISS, Hilde F. Johnson whom Lueth referred to as “that woman” who supported rebels.

The humiliations of Hilde F. Johnson as a rebel supporter with her organization the UNMISS was further exasperated through the mobilizations and demonstrations of citizens against the former in Juba, Aweil, Wau, Rumbek and Kuajok, drawing Hilde and putting “her very special picture” in placards holding a gun and aiming to shoot.The innocent mobilized citizens chanted Hilde must go! Hilde must go! Hilde should leave! Hilde is a rebel!!!

However, all accusations and bad utterances to the West, particularly the US, western Europe and Hilde F. Johnson did not anger them to leave their global responsibility of seeing South Sudan stable.

They showcased this commitment by contributing generously in the international humanitarian conference to help the South Sudanese whom they have been supporting for a very long time. Hilde F. Johnson despite her humiliations and insults took courage, sent Toby Lanzer, the UNOCHA Chief of South Sudan and lobbied her country Norway to host the donor conference and to massively pledge as well.

Norway is a very tiny country with a population of 5 million people but by pledging 63 million USD, Oslo has demonstrated continued special friendship to South Sudan. This special friendship goes back to the dark days where Norwegian People Aid (NPA), Norwegian Labour Party (NLP) and Hilde F. Johnson supported the SPLM/SPLA till the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and consequently the independence of South Sudan.

Even today, NPA, NLP, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and other NGOs from Norway are still helping People of South Sudan in tandem of state making, nation building and state consolidation.

I could imagine the sense of smile on Hilde F. Johnson face as her country pledged generously to avert the looming famine in nascent state in order to realize overall stability in South Sudan.

On the other hand, the United States contributions to South Sudan are enormous and speak volumes and thus cannot be written in this opinionated piece. Everyone including the starters believes that the independence of South Sudan was a sheer effort of the American people.

This commenced long time ago with the US congress enactment of Sudan Self Determination Act in 1993, Sudan Peace Act in 2012 and massive support to Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the independence.

Realizing that an independent South Sudan will be attained one day, the United States Government allowed over 3,000 South Sudanese former Red Armies to America to be later known as “lost boys and girls” according to Peter Pan. Such a gesture was an indirect preparation of human resources development for the independent South Sudan.

Moreover, the tri-partisan coalition of the Black Caucus, the Sudan Caucus and the Jewish Zionist movements campaigned against Khartoum atrocities. Crucially viewed as the peak of American’s support of South Sudanese, numerous congressmen such as Frank Wolf, Michael Capuano and the late Donald Payne advocated for South Sudan’s freedom.

In 1989, Rep. Wolf travelled into the war-ravaged terrain of Southern Sudan to become the first U.S. representative to meet with the head of the Southern Sudanese rebels, the late John Garang (Hamilton, 2011).

Payne (RIP), a black congressman, followed a few years later, and on his return to Washington pushed for the U.S. House of Representatives to pass a resolution endorsing the right of the Southern Sudanese to exercise self-determination (ibid). Although these three played leading roles, there were others who also supported the South Sudanese underground.

“Behind all this was [and] still is, a small group of people who have been working behind the scenes for almost 20 years to make this independence a success”, a senior member of the U.S. government remarked during the proclamation of South Sudan’s independence (Hamilton, 2011).

Apart from advocacy, U.S directly supported SPLM/SPLA through trainings and logistics for the success of the liberation war. Equally and worth recognition, the U.S. used East Africa regional influence for the support of South Sudan. A report released by the Congressional Research Service in 2011 lists actions going back to the Clinton era, including the provision of more than $20 million surplus U.S. military equipment to frontline states of Uganda, Eritrea, and Ethiopia, which the report says “helped reverse military gains made by the [Sudanese] government” against the southern rebels (Hamilton, 2011).

Besides, President Barack Obama personal commitment to South Sudan deepens this support. A few months before the vote for referendum of South Sudan, Obama’s administration conditioned Sudan’s lifting of sanctions and removal in a watch list of states that harbored and sponsored terrorists, to allowing the referendum of South Sudan to take place as scheduled.

He maintained pressure on Sudan and rallied US allies and African countries to press more on president Al-Bashir of Sudan to conduct referendum on time. This is exhibited in letters he wrote to the nine presidents of Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Egypt, Libya, Zimbabwe, Malawi and South Africa cajoling them to convince Sudan to conduct the plebiscite on time.

With independence of South Sudan, U.S government continued its support to the nascent state in the voyage of statecraft and nation building. The U.S. has so far donated over 900 million dollars to South Sudan since independence as part of reconstruction, capacity building, development and governance programmes.

So if Michael Makuei Lueth thinks that the West is to be blamed for South Sudan conflict then he is not serious and such accusations are not only banal and but also tautology. Hence, the generous donations at Oslo Humanitarian Conference has reconfirmed the West led by US and other allies are not to be blamed for any conflict in South Sudan but to be appreciated and viewed as genuine partners in South Sudan stability.

Instead, the people to be blamed for South Sudan conflicts and long wrangles are the elites who are daily struggling for political power and accumulation of public resources.

Jacob D. Chol is the founder and Executive Director of the Centre for Democracy and International Analysis (CDIA), a think-tank based in Juba. He can be reached at dutsenior@yahoo.com