Archive for: October 2014

South Sudan: How to End Economic Domination by Foreigners

By: Michael Abraha, JUBA, NOV/01/2014, SSN;

The October 15 deadline to recall expats from foreign companies and NGOs and replace them with qualified South Sudanese nationals passed inconsequentially. The plan was to implement a foreign-worker ministerial decree within one month beginning September 16. It would, by and large, have been enforceable in most instances if enough local and diaspora professionals were prepared to take over under such a short notice.

As the country remained immersed in a bloody civil war, President Salva Kiir’s government hoped the move would appeal to a disenchanted youth and frustrated diasporans. The decree, apparently, the third of its kind since independence in 2011, was “prematurely released,” according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Surprisingly, it provoked a very welcome outcry from foreign businesses and aid agencies that have reacted like frightened horses.

Selective Critique

Reflecting foreign business interests, Kenya’s Daily Nation describes the labor decree as “myopic”, inspired by “populist politics.” BBC quotes an expert with NKC Independent Economists as saying that “the South Sudanese are ungrateful for all that their neighbors have done to build up the country.”

Nairobi based Institute for Security Studies warns against South Sudanese “threats and discrimination against foreign workers”. Aid agencies opposed the idea of removing foreign workers fearing that it would hamper humanitarian work.

There is little or no foreign sympathy toward the embattled Juba government which is blamed for mismanaging the economy and for failing to unify the country and end a bloody 10-month old civil war triggered by political rivalry between President Kiir and his former Vice President Riek Machar. The civil strife has brought half of the nation’s 11 million people face to face with hunger and starvation.

The current conflict is preceded by the squandering of 4-billion US dollars in a corruption scandal over an unspecified period of time enriching greedy officials instead of spending it on education, health care and job creation.

Since independence, no investment of any significance has been made for human development preparing nationals to work in infrastructure projects, manufacturing and service industries and agriculture.

Nor has the government used any of its oil money to establish a favorable business environment by improving road conditions or providing access to power.

Still, there was no need for the angry criticisms to be one-sided calling the edict as xenophobic while insisting on an extended presence of a foreign labor force because of low average standard of education in the country with 25 percent literacy rate.

This of course does not prove the country is unable to produce enough skilled and unskilled workers to meet national needs.

What is indefensible is the fact that the Western press and concerned NGOs wanted not to involve the opinions of journalists and civil society leaders in the debate. At the same time, they unscrupulously opted to portray foreign companies, NGOs and UN agencies and their foreign workers as altruistic, philanthropic souls uninterested and unwilling to exploit and profit from fragile, conflict ridden South Sudan, be it in amassing wealth or career enhancement.

This war-ravaged nation has immense, untapped opportunities which should benefit the investor and the host country fairly and evenly.

Foreign businesses and investors have a key role to play in building a peaceful and stable South Sudan by making honest tax payments as well as participating in job training projects and hiring locals for well-paying jobs.

A Sudan Tribune report estimates up to 60 percent of the nation’s salaried workforce is made up of foreigners although The Economist puts the figure at 25 percent; still very high.

It was no surprise therefore that some institutions and businesses are “100 percent foreign” according to Foreign Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin who stressed in a Reuter’s interview in September the necessity to give jobs to citizens where there was capacity.

Why Urgent Labor Policy Change?

Opponents of the proposed foreign-worker guidelines do not seem to have looked at the recruitment methods of foreign companies and aid agencies which appear to make no satisfactory effort in search of skilled South Sudanese workers locally and in the diaspora.

I have lived in South Sudan for over two years as journalist and media consultant and here are some of my observations about real employment quandaries:

* -South Sudanese national James Bol (not his real name to protect his privacy) holds a Master’s Degree in management from an American University. 32-year old Bol had been looking for a job for 8 months since he returned to the homeland in early 2013. He came back after 13 years in the US where he went to school and worked as Human Resources specialist in New York State. We shared a housing compound in Juba where I tried to help him in researching addresses of NGOs, UN agencies and foreign businesses. His endeavors ended in disappointing results. Most government branches were neither hiring nor able to pay enough for his qualifications. Penniless and heartbroken, Bol, a Dinka, and his new Nuer bride returned to the U.S. having failed to secure employment in his new homeland.

* -John Deng (not his real name) is another well-educated, skilled worker among thousands of other competent diaspora professionals. Deng returned from neighboring Uganda after many years in exile. He holds BA degree in business administration from a Ugandan university. After a long wait without employment, Deng joined one of the leading foreign service businesses in Juba, which reluctantly hired him at a managerial level at a monthly salary of 1/3 of what it paid a foreign manager with much less education and qualification than his.
The company was in clear violation of a 2012 government circular requiring “equal pay for equal work.” Though aware of the company’s discriminatory practices, neither the Juba County Labor Office nor the National Ministry of Labor intervened to end the illegal salary disparity which hurts the dignity and human rights of South Sudanese workers.
Deng, with a wife and three young kids, had no choice but to take the job having wasted too much time without employment. In less than a week, Deng mastered all that was required by his new managerial position to the satisfaction of the general manager. Indeed, the company’s estimated one dozen senior and mid-level management posts were filled by foreign workers in the same way with a week or two of paid job training.

* -And finally, there is one of the many UN agencies (which will remain nameless) in the heart of Juba. This agency’s newly promoted Country Representative seems to reserve all managerial posts for foreigners without considering whether local or diaspora skills were available. He is no doubt protected by his agency’s contract with the government and does not have to worry about South Sudan’s 1997 Labor Law which the authorities appear to lack the capacity to implement.

My observation was that none of the high paying 5 to 6 foreign held managerial posts at this UN agency including that of the Country Representative would have been too difficult for competent South Sudanese nationals to fulfill. All that would be required was to go through short-term job training and orientation programs. The agency appeared not interested in such a plan as there was no legal obligation to do so. Thus locals ended up serving mainly as drivers, kitchen workers and office or toilet cleaners while foreigners had all the profitable jobs.

Responsible Foreign Investment

Despite its diminishing popularity following the outbreak of violence in December 2013, President Kiir’s government declared last month that foreign companies and aid agencies were obliged to hire competent locals as part of a plan to create jobs and repair the economy in a country which gained its independence only three years ago after 50 years of devastating liberation struggle sacrificing 2.5 million lives.

The government welcomes responsible foreign investors who will not only work to benefit themselves but the country as well through augmentation of national revenue and creation of jobs.

The plan is for the country not to become just a market for foreign businesses and traders to sell their goods and services without the participation of locals in the production and distribution of those goods and services.

Evidently, no economic growth and stability can be achieved without the introduction of a comprehensive legal structure, which, inter alia, guarantees workers’ rights and formation of independent labor unions and establishes supervisory labor offices. The time for change is now.

Michael Abraha is Juba based freelance journalist and former Chief Editor of South Sudan’s Pioneer newspaper.

Conflict Alert: Looming Military Offensives in South Sudan

BY: Casie Copeland, CRISIS GROUP.ORG, OCT/29/2014, SSN;

Warring parties in South Sudan’s civil war are preparing for major offensives as seasonal rains ease. Hardliners in both the government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) are entrenching their positions, and think, as one opposition commander declared, “we will settle this with war”.

Renewed conflict is likely to be accompanied by widespread displacement, atrocity crimes and famine. Despite some progress, nine months of peace talks in Addis Ababa have been unable to stop the fighting.

With splintering interests, weak command and control and proliferating militias and self-defence forces, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the regional body mediating peace talks, must expand and strengthen its political links on the ground with senior commanders, armed groups and militarised communities not represented in Addis Ababa if a future agreement is to have meaning.

The coming violence will present new challenges for UNMISS as it prioritises protection of the nearly 100,000 civilians sheltering in their bases.

The soon-to-end rainy season was accompanied by reduced fighting, which allowed both sides to import arms and marshal forces that were hastily mobilised at the outset of war in December.

The government is emboldened, perceiving a diplomatic swing in its favour, following Kiir’s July visit to Washington and the August IGAD heads of state summit, giving it the space to launch a major offensive while stalling in Addis Ababa.

It has spent tens of millions of dollars on arms – largely from oil revenues – (rather than humanitarian assistance for its people); strengthened its military cooperation agreement with Uganda; undertaken mass recruitment, including of children; and mobilised police units in efforts to regain some of the strength it lost with the defections of troops and loss of weapons to the SPLA-IO.

However, major government victories are unlikely to end the rebellion. Furthermore, given the Ugandan army and Sudanese rebel deployments on its behalf, government advances will likely threaten Sudan’s national security interests, increase regional tensions and further inflame the conflict.

At the same time, state and opposition-supported, ethnically-based armed groups, such as the Nuer White Armies, have flourished and are only tenuously controlled by their sponsors.

Including the Ugandan army and Sudanese rebels backing the government, there are now at least two dozen armed entities operating in South Sudan.

The fragile coalitions threaten to further fracture, particularly in oil-producing Upper Nile State. Many of them, as well as some powerful generals from both the government’s Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the SPLA-IO, have expressed their intention to fight on, even if the political leaders sign an agreement.

Despite these obstacles, the IGAD mediation team has focused on trying to broker a deal between Kiir and Machar in Addis Ababa, ignoring other actors.

As Crisis Group warned in July, this lack of broad-scale engagement has led many commanders and armed groups to reject the political process. Most of these parties have their own interests.

IGAD should work with the African Union High-Level Panel on Sudan and South Sudan (AUHIP)(that is supporting the Sudanese dialogue process), led by former South African president Thabo Mbeki, in order to secure the withdrawal of the Sudanese armed groups as called for in the January cessation of hostilities agreement and previous AU-mediated agreements.

Furthermore, despite many threats, IGAD has not taken punitive measures against the two main parties for violating cessation of hostility agreements, committing war crimes and otherwise undermining the peace-talks, and nor has it requested the African Union or UN Security Council to do so.

Armed actors increasingly believe there is little muscle behind the mediation, which is challenged by divisions within the regional body.

IGAD should continue the process with the two main parties, but given the deteriorating situation on the ground, it must expand its efforts and strengthen its links to other groups and militarised communities not represented in Addis Ababa, through increased political presence on the ground (not simply the Monitoring and Verification Teams observing the ill-implemented cessation of hostility agreements).

Its mediation should be supplemented by separate but linked negotiation tracks on issues not being comprehensively discussed in Ethiopia, particularly the Tanzanian-led SPLM party talks; a re-activated Political Parties Forum; engagement with armed groups; and processes to address violent communal conflict.

Promising internal SPLM party talks have begun, sponsored by Tanzania’s ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM; in English Party of the Revolution), however they have not yet changed the calculus for war on the ground.

The Political Parties Forum should be re-activated and the leader of the largest opposition party, the SPLM-Democratic Change, should be permitted to travel from South Sudan to re-join the talks.

Much of the dialogue and work with community representatives, armed groups and militarised communities should take place in South Sudan, not in Addis Ababa.

China and the U.S. should play a more active, neutral, consistent and transparent role in ameliorating the regional divisions to help break the impasse.

The two should take a harder line with their allies within the region who continue to enable the war and are party to cessations of hostilities violations.

The limited U.S. and EU individual sanctions, aimed at punishing a few commanders on both sides that are seen to have broken the cessation of hostilities, have thus far had little impact on the combatants’ calculations and individual IGAD, AU or UNSC sanctions are similarly unlikely to turn the tide unless used as leverage to further political negotiations.

In light of the anticipated intensification of fighting, UNMISS’ mandate, due to be renewed on 30 November, should continue to focus on civilian protection.

This is particularly true of protection of civilians already sheltering inside UNMISS and, where possible, it should extend protection beyond bases.

Hosting nearly 100,000 civilians inside of its bases for an extended period is far from ideal, however the mission must continue to provide protection until conditions allow for their safe and voluntary exit from the bases.

Civilians should not be moved into less protected UN humanitarian sites or other specially-designated sites where protection standards will not be the same as within a peacekeeping base.

Supporting further ethnic divisions by moving people to their “ancestral” lands where famine and conflict are likely in the coming months is also not a viable option.

Many recommendations Crisis Group made in its December 2013, Open Letter to the UN Secretary-General, its April report, A Civil War by Any Other Name, and July conflict alert, Halting South Sudan’s Civil War, remain relevant to averting further escalation, improving the peace process and ensuring UNMISS has an appropriate mandate and posture.

To stop further intensification of the war, IGAD should take the following steps:-

* increase its political presence on the ground in South Sudan, with a specific focus on engagement with commanders and armed groups;

* start dialogue with all armed groups and militarised communities;

* open four separate negotiation tracks, both in Addis and South Sudan, sequenced and pursued so as to contribute to the broader national political dialogue and focused on:
-1) the SPLM (supported by Tanzania’s CCM party);
-2) a re-activated Political Parties Forum;
-3) armed groups; and
-4) communal conflict; and

* work with the African Union High-Level Panel on Sudan and South Sudan (AUHIP) to secure the withdrawal of the Sudanese armed groups as called for in the January cessation of hostilities agreement and as well as previous AU-mediated agreements between Sudan and South Sudan.

As the conflict threatens to intensify once again, the United Nations Security Council should take the following actions:-

# institute an arms embargo for South Sudan, which must then be carefully monitored to prevent further escalation;

# identify the government’s and opposition’s sources of weapons and how they are paying for them; and increase leverage over the parties;

# establish a Contact Group that includes IGAD, the AU, UN, Troika (U.S., UK, Norway), EU, China and Tanzania to facilitate coordination and discussion on the way forward; and

# maintain UNMISS’ core protection of civilians mandate, including allowing civilians to shelter within UNMISS bases until they are able to make a safe and voluntary exit.

Greater coordination between regional and international actors is urgently needed to ensure the high-level peace talks better reflect the growing number and power of increasingly autonomous armed groups in South Sudan as well as the regional dynamics behind the war.

A clear strategy for engagement with armed groups and facility for linking local negotiations with a wider national process will help prevent the civil war deepening and spreading further in South Sudan and the region.

Casie Copeland

Will Star Shine for South Sudan? Scrutinising South Sudan’s first post-independence oil deal

GLOBAL WITNESS, 27th October 2014
For immediate release: 27 Oct 2014;

South Sudan’s first post-independence oil deal is high-risk and in urgent need of further scrutiny, according to a new Global Witness report released today. The seven month investigation into the deal between the South Sudanese government and the Spanish-owned oil company Star Petroleum for two of the country’s last remaining oil blocks, uncovered that:

*the company is closely connected to a businessman convicted of a million euro fraud;

*no information about who owns Star Petroleum is available to the public. Instead the company’s shareholders are all other companies registered in tax havens or unknown jurisdictions;

*the company isn’t producing oil anywhere else in the world;

*the deal is being negotiated behind closed doors, and through a loophole in the law, which means that Star has faced no competition from other companies in its negotiations for the concession.

“The block E concession covers 45,000 square km in four states (Northern Bahr el Ghazel, Western Bahr el Ghazel, Lakes and Warrap—- and includes South Darfur in North Sudan)- that’s a lot of ordinary people’s farms and grazing land,” said Emma Vickers, Global Witness’ South Sudan campaigner.

“The government has to prove that this deal will help, not harm, those farmers and cattle herders by being open about who the company is, what kind of a contract they’re giving it, and what kind of rewards citizens can expect. From our research, it’s not clear that doing a deal with this company will benefit ordinary people. Without showing people that it will, the government risks fuelling mistrust among a vulnerable population who have often associated oil with conflict.”

The deal is being done at a time of crisis in South Sudan. The ongoing conflict has sparked a humanitarian calamity and left 1.7 million people displaced.

South Sudan’s oil dependent economy is in trouble: oil production has been halved by the instability and international oil prices have fallen in recent months, depleting government income.

The government has repeatedly stated that it will use oil money to bring development to its people and to broaden the economy away from oil but, this year, a third will be spent on army salaries.

Not only is the company an unknown, and the country is in turmoil, but the benefits of developing South Sudan’s oil industry both to the economy and to ordinary people, have yet to be proven.

“One of the fundamental problems with this deal is that the public know very little about it,” Vickers added. “Politicians have promised their citizens transparency and yet they’re negotiating behind closed doors. It’s time for them to lift the lid on who Star is and why they are negotiating with the company.”

South Sudanese law makers have already gone a long way to making sure this type of information is available to the public by putting strong transparency provisions in their oil laws.

Global Witness’ research has discovered that the Ministry of Petroleum has activated those provisions and asked Star for documentation. Star Petroleum reports that it has provided a list of who the company’s owners are, evidence of its technical expertise, and an assessment of the possible environment impact of oil exploration.

This is a positive step. The government must now take the next step and allow parliamentarians to review the deal and the documentation before it is signed. Star should also make this information publically available and easily accessible. When the contract is agreed, this must be made public too.

Global Witness put its concerns about the company and the deal to Star Petroleum. In its response, the company stated that it is “doing its business in compliance with local and European laws and all business ethical standards with full[y] transparency”.

/ Ends

Contact: Emma Vickers, South Sudan Campaigner +44 (0)7715 076 548 or +44 (0) 207 492 5838 or Sarah Morrison, Senior Communications Advisor +44 (0)207 492 5840.

Notes to editors:

1. Global Witness’ report ‘Will Star Shine for South Sudan?’ is available here.

2. Before publication, Global Witness sent questions to Star Petroleum on 18 September 2014. Star responded to Global Witness on 22 September 2014 in an email the text of which is available here. Global Witness sent Star Petroleum further clarification questions on 2 Oct 2014. Star Petroleum responded in a letter on 3 October 2014 available here.
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STAR PETROLEUM RESPONSE TO GLOBAL WITNESS

Dear Mrs. Vickers,

Reference to the publication by Global Witness of the report “Scrutinizing South Sudan’s First Post-Independence Oil Deal”, dated 27th October 2014, STAR PETROLEUM would like to make the following statements:

· Again, we reiterate that we highly appreciate the role of Global Witness and other non-governmental organizations that investigates and campaigns to prevent natural resources-related conflicts and corruption and associated environmental and human rights abuses. We fully share those values.

Since the Independence of the Republic of South Sudan, STAR PETROLEUM, always, has been confident about the future of the country. It has always trusted its Legal System and its Public Administration.

STAR PETROLEUM, since its incorporation in 2005, and since the beginning of its activities in the Republic of Sudan, and after independence, in the new Republic of South Sudan, proved to be a serious and responsible investor, and has fulfilled fully its financial, technical and legal obligations required by laws and regulations. All proofs required by the Government of South Sudan have been already provided. Additionally, it is fair and important to mention that Star Petroleum always believed in the future of the independent Republic of South Sudan. We have been present in the country (first in Khartoum, before the separation, and afterwards in Juba) since 2008, and we have invested during all these years, having local presence and professional team.

ü The following statements of your Report are not correct:

· “The Company is closely connected to a businessman convicted of a million Euro fraud”:

§ Mr. Merino is the beneficial owner of a small minority current participation interest (around 3%) in the Company and was a Director during a short period of time. He presented his voluntary dismissal and now he has no role in any Company activity. According to Court´s public information, presumably committed the illegal conduct in period of time in which he did not have any responsibility in Star Petroleum as Director.

§ The Court accusation against Mr. Merino doesn’t have any relation, directly or indirectly, with Star Petroleum or derived from his position as minority shareholder or former Director.

§ Mr. Merino is not a convicted as the Spanish Court has not still given a definitive resolution.

· “The ultimate ownership of STAR PETROLEUM itself is opaque”.

§ The ownership of STAR PETROLEUM as shown on page 3 of the Report is not correct in 2014.

§ International Public Authorities and STAR PETROLEUM’S Compliance Department are fully aware of the identity of all beneficial shareholders of the Company in compliance with all European Union Directives and especially to 2005/60/CE and 2006/70/CE as well as the GAFI recommendations. STAR PETROLEUM is implementing international global standards against money laundering, corruption and terrorist financing, therefore, increasing transparency and enable STAR PETROLEUM to successfully take action against illicit use of financial or corporative instruments. As per the request of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan, a list of ultimate beneficial shareholders was provided recently to them.

§ Disclosure of beneficial shareholders identity to citizens in a private Company is a matter of confidentiality as such information is irrelevant to them.

· “The deal is being negotiated behind closed doors, and through a loophole in the law, which means that Star Petroleum has faced no competition from other companies in its negotiations for the concession”.

§ STAR PETROLEUM currently has valid legal title of a working interest in Blocks E and B, of the Republic of South Sudan. Block E: STAR PETROLELUM signed a perfectly valid EPSA on the 6th August of 2010 in Khartoum for Block E. This EPSA was agreed fulfilling entirely with the legislation of Sudan and approved at the time by the National Petroleum Commission. Currently STAR PETROLEUM is in negotiations with the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining of the Republic of South Sudan, to adapt the above mentioned EPSA, into the new Republic of South Sudan’s Legislation (Petroleum Act 2012), implying the signature of a new EPSA for Blocks E. Block B: Following that, parties involved are expected to sign a new EPSA for Block B.

§ STAR PETROLEUM participated in a competitive process and we were able to become successful.

§ International prestigious Law Firms have been involved advising during the negotiation process both the Government of South Sudan and STAR PETROLEUM.

· “The company isn´t producing oil anywhere else in the world”.

§ STAR PETROLEUM’s Oil & Gas Management Team is highly qualified and has large experience and track-record in the sector. They lead and participated in all technical, legal and commercial negotiations and meetings with highly qualified teams of Government of Sudan, and the Independent Government of the Republic of South Sudan. The Technical Team of Star Petroleum is particularly strong on the upstream business, in which the great experience accumulated by former senior Repsol’s International and African Oil & Gas executives (including Star Petroleum’s COO, a top executive with 35 years in Repsol, of which 18 years as No. 2 Executive of the Company- Repsol’s Vice Chairman- and Head of E&P).

§ This Team is strengthened with engineers and professionals of other areas of expertise (professionals with expertise in Natural Resources, Consulting, Finance, Equity and Debt Capital Markets). All the CVs and personal data of the Management Team has been fully provided to the Government of the Republic of South Sudan. Star Petroleum´s Technical Team, throughout their professional carriers, has the following aggregated experience in the international up-stream sector:

• Experience in a variety of up-steam environments (including complex on-shore and off-shore blocks and marginal blocks)

• Responsible for more than 1,200 exploration blocks

• Managed Annual Up-Stream exploration budgets of more than $9,000m

• Discovered more than 6bn Boe

• Generating production of more than 1,04m boepd

• Operated in more than 30 different countries (in all continents), among others: Congo Brazzaville; Kazakhstan; Australia; Kurdistan; Colombia; Brazil; Uganda; Tanzania; Argentina; Algeria; Libya; Bolivia; Peru; Venezuela; Trinidad & Tobago; United States; Russia; Canada; and Nicaragua;

§ In addition, we would like to mention:

• STAR PETROLEUM commissioned, to an international consultant, a full study on the environmental impact regarding exploration activities in Block E, and will be executing its activity according to best international practices and the South Sudanese 2012 Petroleum Act in force. STAR PETROLEUM will take full care not to cause any risk to the environment and local communities in the concessions’ areas. The Government of the Republic of South Sudan has a copy of said report.

· Financially STAR PETROLEUM is a solid Company since its incorporation in 2005, having a paid-up share capital of 229,736,784 Euros and is not having any debts with banks or any financial liabilities to third parties. All company’s costs and expenses are self-financed through the bid up capital and shareholders’ loans. Star Petroleum is ready to finance its further investments in the Republic of South Sudan (Capex and Opex) as it has been proved to the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining of the Republic of South Sudan.

Accordingly, STAR PETROLEUM will not accept any accusations based on rumors, jealousy and unfounded facts that may affect the reputation and activities of the company.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Mining of the Republic of South Sudan is copied to prevent any damages that could affect also to the reputation and image of the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining and the Government of the country.

I would appreciate if you could make public this information in order to clarify and make your report more rigorous and professional.

Sincerely yours,

Ignacio Lacasa
Head of Legal & Compliance

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application/pdf iconWill star shine for south sudan e.pdf
application/pdf iconGW letter to Star Petroleum 180914.pdf
application/pdf iconResponse from Star Petroleum to Global Witness 220914.pdf
application/pdf iconClarification questions to Star Petroleum 021014.pdf
application/pdf iconStar Petroleum response to GW 231014.pdf
South Sudan and Sudan Oil Gas and Mining Report

IGAD Countries imposed their hidden Interest in South Sudan Crisis

BY: John KUEK, Ph.D. (Psychology), USA, OCT/26/2014, SSN;

IGAD, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, made up of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda and Kenya, was intended to keep peace and bring economic development to the region and not to establish dictatorial empires in the region. IGAD was supposed to assist in the peace-keeping mission by being non-partisan in their politics and not in their support of criminals to stay in power, especially those who killed their own citizens.

IGAD’s Role in South Sudan:
At this time, with the current political crisis ravaging South Sudan, this writer, who is South Sudanese and a member of various past UN-sponsored groups that have attempted to bring peace to this country, an important question needs to be asked of IGAD and its member nations: What is the role of IGAD in East Africa and South Sudan at this time?

Are IGAD’s intentions honest and genuine, which are to bring peace, or is it to support chaos, anarchy, and political oppression? These questions and many more need to be quickly answered as the crisis in South Sudan continues to escalate beyond a solution.

Let us now look at some of the individuals who are intimately involved with IGAD in the region.
Who is Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, to begin with? Museveni has a long and negative presence in the region. He was involved in rebellions that toppled Ugandan leaders Idi Amin (1971–79) and Milton Obote (1980–85).

After the disappearance of these “icons”, the presidents of Burundi and Rwanda and Dr. John Garang of South Sudan all perished in airplane crashes, and Meles Zenawi, of Ethiopia, died of suspected poisoning, I have given Mr. Museveni a new moniker, “the cock among the hens in the region”.

This man has a lot of blood in his hands. For example, he is responsible for the death of the two presidents that sparked one of the worst genocides in human race after the holocaust of 80,000 Tutsi in Rwanda.

Also, Museveni was suspected in playing a key role in the first Congo war (1996-1997). He has also long been suspected of John Garang’s death, which remains an unsolved mystery today. He has been manipulating three inexperienced leaders, Paul Kagame, Uhuru Kenyatta, Hailemariam Desalegn, and are cronies as is his bodyguard, Salva Kiir.

All are simply his puppets. Another example is the implementation of Ugandan troops who are to be found everywhere in the region, and which he is using in an act of demagoguery.
Moreover, let us examine what has been going on in Somalia recently.

Is the conflict in Somalia any different from what is currently taking place in South Sudan? In this conflict, like the one in South Sudan, international “actors”, must either be naïve or simply burying their heads in the sand and denying that a holocaust is taking place.

Both international and regional actors have been providing interest-based support, through weaponry or money, to different warring parties in the same country, in a manner suggestive of not really caring who the winner is. In many ways, this is no different than what European empires, such as the British, did in Africa in the past.

This has made Somalia a chaotic country with anarchy and where killing is simply the rule of the day. As a result, this damage will now take years if not decades to resolve.

In this writer’s opinion, there is no doubt that IGAD is in cahoots with a new generation of dictators whose sole purpose in East Africa is to exploit their respective countries. As a result, neighboring countries who falsely label themselves as stable and democratic countries are benefiting financially from this chaos.

In the South Sudanese conflict, which really prompts this commentary, Museveni, along with his cronies and the rest of the IGAD leaders came out with a bold statement condemning Dr. Riek Machar, who is considered a legitimate leader amongst many of the populace in South Sudan, and blamed him as the instigator of the Juba Nuer massacre.

Museveni swore to capture Machar within in a few days if he refused to give up fighting. Their statement is a clue to their hidden interest in South Sudan. Museveni is the primary driving force behind the conflict in South Sudan.

The country at the same time continues to be blind to the fact that Museveni does not like or respect Salva Kiir as the current leader in South Sudan. He portrayed Kiir as a fool.

Why has Museveni despised Machar? He views Machar as an emerging leader in the region with a strong and genuine approach toward the governance of South Sudan and similar to Garang. Moreover, Machar has the same type of charisma as Garang did and with the ultimate goal of one day uniting the entire continent of Africa and including eastern Africa.

Museveni is a confused and unwise leader. He prefers to manipulate and control others for his own self-interests. Given his underlying motives, Museveni now has two missions in the South Sudanese war- to get rid of Machar by any means possible and as well as Salva, and thus opening the door to force his own agenda.

A good example is a new military cooperation pact recently signed between Uganda and South Sudan, which paves the way for the South Sudanese government to smuggle guns and ammunitions despite an embargo. This military cooperation is an unnecessary evil at this crucial time of peace negotiations for the people of South Sudan.

One of the main reasons that the peace talks became stalled in Addis Ababa is because of the undesired presence of the Ugandan military in South Sudan. The contradiction spelled out by this action is that international parties and IGAD have not opposed such a foreign presence, suggesting that in fact they support this political and military move.

This author poses this question: Why should any efforts be made to have a peace agreement in South Sudan when in fact these political bodies have not recognized the blatant violations by Uganda. Has Kiir simply fooled himself into thinking that by agreeing to have the Ugandan military present in South Sudan that Museveni will support him in the end?

Also, why IGAD not serious about this peace process? Here another reason. The peace process in Addis Ababa has been deliberately slowed down due to numerous regional and international interests. Though IGAD is the designated broker of this peace, the international players, including Museveni, hold the key whole process.

Troika members also include United States, but unfortunately, seems to be ambivalent or give mixed messages in its relationship to IGAD. The lack of assertiveness on the part of the United States only helps Museveni solidify his position and grip on the political future of South Sudan.

In addition, the organization lacks leaders whose true interests are righteous, genuine, and humane, and who are really motivated to bring true peace and stability in the region. Of the IGAD countries, one must admire and acknowledge Ethiopia for maintaining neutrality in peace process for South Sudan. Unfortunately, this country lacks the financial clout to broker a workable peace initiative.

The Contradictions of IGAD
While IGAD seems to be corrupted by Museveni and others in relation to South Sudan, it has been quite helpful in bringing peace and tranquility to other countries including Somalia. This contradiction is very troubling in light of the human rights struggles that are of parallel concern in both South Sudan and Ethiopia.

Are there underlying and hidden payoffs and agendas for IGAD nations in not supporting the peace process in South Sudan?

Within the mission statement of IGAD, great emphasis was placed on this organization serving as the conduit of peaceful resolutions among countries that disagreed on a variety of sociopolitical issues, which in turn would help boost the sustainable development of all member countries in the region.

IGAD member states agreed to invest time and money to take effective collective measures to eliminate threats to regional cooperation, to establish effective mechanisms of consultation and cooperation for the peaceful settlement of differences and disputes, and to agree to offer all levels of technical and diplomatic assistance in the resolution of disputes between member states before being referred to other regional or international bodies including the United Nations (IGAD 1996).

Within this purpose, three key areas were identified: a.) conflict prevention, management and humanitarian affairs; b.) infrastructure development and food security; and c.) environmental safety control. A good example of where IGAD triumphed was in the peace process that was garnered between Sudan and the new country of South Sudan, which was facilitated by the United States under President George W. Bush.

Thus, IGAD had earned an outstanding grade on that particular mission, and truly holds the position of being a neutral organization whose primary should simply be to help countries resolve both internal and external problems, with no other motives in mind.

In the cases of both Somalia and Sudan, IGAD displayed no sense of being corrupted and in fact was extremely fair and equitable in all aspects of the peace processes in both countries.

To keep the region safe, IGAD members agreed to not support any party that would attempt to bring down a democratically defined country, and instead would do everything possible to safeguard stability and freedom.

This initiative was hijacked by Museveni and Kiir to commence the current conflict on December 15, 2014 and to assassinate to kill Machar and his political colleagues. Perhaps in the end, only God knew of Museveni and Salva’s plans to harm the nation.

At the same time, thank God that Riek and all the political detainees survived. Now that Riek and his political allies survived and spoken the truth, IGAD leaders have no legitimate reason to gang up against the SPLM/A in Opposition. In detailing the truth about IGAD’s interest, I am afraid that some prominent member states will withdraw their membership in recognizing that IGAD has not been fair, but instead partial to certain personalities.

The Ending of IGAD Legitimacy in the Region
South Sudan has been strained recently as other countries in the region have also experienced instability. This could probably be the worst turning point in the region if IGAD member states do not pay attention to the damage they have created and are also supporting.

The region needs to look back to what had happened to both Ethiopia and Somalia during the Cold War which led to the end of dictatorial regimes in Ethiopia and Somalia.

The newly “emerging leaders” in the post-Cold War era wanted to promote policies of peaceful relations and a new era of cooperation and co-existence. This was one of the ways to unite the East African countries, such as the Horn of Africa and Great Lakes region as a one giant continental business hub for entire Africa.

This promise is now slipping away as the member states started pursuing their individual and perhaps even selfish-interests. Instead of uniting the region, and handling issues with care and dignity, Museveni, Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta, and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame have appeared to expand their territories and operate in a trilateral “coalition” in a rather zealous manner with Tanzania and Burundi.

Tanzania has warned that any efforts to sideline it while fast-tracking the East African Federation could cause failure for the whole regional integration project. Dr. Ladislaus Komba, Tanzania’s High Commissioner to Uganda, predicted “doom” for the East Africa Community if alienation between the countries continued.

How about between Uganda and Sudan, LRA, and the SPLM/A North? South Sudan invited the SPLM/A North and Darfur groups into the war, fighting alongside the government. The Ugandan military has armed these rebels, hoping they get rid of Machar’s forces and continue through Sudanese territory to help change the regime in Khartoum.

The two countries will start fighting a proxy war, which could lead to a serious confrontation between the two countries. When this happens, what will other IGAD countries like Ethiopia and Kenya do? Will they remain neutral or pick sides? How about other interests around the world, such as the Islamic fundamentalists in West and North Africa? I am going to leave it to those regional analysts to ponder.

Pitfalls on the Current Peace Proposal
Upon studying the IGAD’s current peace proposal for South Sudan, the plan has not really deviated from the idea of having lasting peace in South Sudan. However, this IGAD proposal fell short of addressing what brought this “senseless war” to this young country in the first place.

This proposal infers that IGAD’s plan is not to eliminate the conflict, but rather to help manage it in a productive way. Though IGAD countries have been tirelessly working on emerging regional wars, there have been three major competing interests that have hindered the peace process and which remain unaddressed.

These are interests that are based on power, rights, and interests. The three key players in this peace process, IGAD, the government of South Sudan and the SPLM/A in Opposition, have attempted to line up behind these three issues. IGAD should have been the one to identify these issues, but instead has lagged behind suggesting little motivation to resolve problems in the region.

Power is often expressed through the use of authority, oppression, and the forced separation of people and groups. IGAD member countries have one thing in common which is to remain in power as long as possible, and at any cost.

Any resolutions proposed toward the removal of a president in power are viewed by this organization as going against the interests of, or contrary to, IGAD and not in aiding the situation in South Sudan.

IGAD member countries were originally expected to use their formal and informal authority to broker a resolution to this country’s problems, but it is heartbreaking to see that they have neglected this fundamental premise stipulated in their guidelines.

In the case of the Juba Nuer massacre, which occurred in December 2013 in South Sudan, the SPLM/A in opposition did not need to conduct any form of research to convene a meeting with IGAD members to prove to them that indeed the massacre took place.

This massacre has been documented by various humanitarian groups and the United Nation that it is clearly considered an obvious form of genocide. Why did IGAD mediators not act based on the facts?

Now, IGAD is rewarding the very government that just committed this despicable crime with more power to kill more innocent people again and again. The rights-based approach is the card played by the SPLM/A in Opposition to tell the world that the president lost his legitimate position on December 15, and therefore, he could no longer serve as the president.

The key players or brokers in this process did not want to hear this fact because they knew that it is real.

A real and genuine interests-based approach is oriented toward problem-solving based on the needs of those involved, and not based on subjective feelings and politics. The party at fault and even the perpetrator often tries to move forward with the explicit goal of forgetting what happened and move on to a new chapter.

The South Sudanese government is playing this card, saying a legitimate government cannot be asked to step aside before its term ends. The IGAD member countries seem to be favoring this claim rather than addressing the root causes of the conflict. That is, they are siding with the current government.

This begs a crucial question: Why have the IGAD countries not moved in the direction of pushing for the current leadership to abandon South Sudan since the hallmark of the current government is pure corruption, hatred, and totalitarianism?

The answer to this question is rather simple, the IGAD mediators are equally part of the corruption and have no interest in seeing to it that South Sudan become a peaceful and democratic country.

In Kenya’s conflict between the Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga tribes, Uganda created this very system IGAD is now attempting to impose on the South Sudanese rebels.

Can all three approaches be combined for the benefits of solving this very conflict? The answer of course is YES. All these methods-authority-based, right-based, and interest-based- can be useful and are deemed necessary in this current political situation.

As a mediator, you have to acknowledge that such a thing had occurred, but you have to take a tough stand to resolve it. Meeting with warring parties, other parties and civil society to discuss the needs of everyone involved also can be instrumental in moving toward an interest-based solution, which the SPLM/A in Opposition longs for.

The IGAD mediators can assist the warring parties to move from their complaints to understanding their own interests. Their complaints are often based on their position or perceived unfairness. They are often all-or-nothing statements and in the end only one person’s solution to the problem.

Interests, on the other hand, are the motivations that are often unspoken and based on personal values and experiences. They are the reasons behind the complaint that IGAD favored one side or the other.
The IGAD proposal to ending the war in South Sudan notes 28 items to be implemented by the warring parties and other stakeholders. Below are the five items which I consider to be the most problematic in the peace process.

First, there shall be no third vice president in this federal transitional government if this is what IGAD want to introduce to the South Sudanese people.

Second, like Rwanda and Ethiopia in the region, the prime minister in South Sudan should be the one entrusted to implement national policies and leading the government to negotiate what is best for the country as defined by the stakeholders, the citizens of the country. The prime minister shall also be entrusted with the function of formulating the government programs of action in consultation with council of ministers.

Third, the prime minister of the TGONU shall be eligible to stand for any public office in the national elections at the end of the transitional period. What in the world the IGAD is doing, proposing a useless prime minister position for the Opposition? I am wondering if this makes sense to IGAD members themselves. This document is an invitation of more conflicts, nothing less. Anybody would disown this cheap and shallow proposal to end this intensive war. It does not address a solution to this war in any way.

Fourth, it would make sense if the IGAD proposes that the executive of the transitional government shall comprise the president, the prime minister and council of ministers. I am not in favor of this model at all any way. Why not using the same system that is already in use? We need a president and a vice president system.

Regardless of any of these methods, now, the debate would lie in WHO is going to lead this transitional government of national unity and complete all the steps discussed and approved in the peace talk? Will Salva lead this transitional government until election and be able to follow all the steps to ensure war does not happen again?

If this is what IGAD believes and wants, it is not going to solve the problem. It’s indeed better to keep searching for a better scenario until a solution is sorted than reaching a cheap deal now only to return to war in a few months after.

Salva would not want to change the status quo at all in South Sudan. He has forgotten the very reason he fought the Khartoum government for and the people who fought with him that he fought to change the status quo. He gestures this already in his circumstantial speeches that he does not want federal system and no Machar again in his government.

Finally, I agree to the fact that a permanent constitution be reconstructed and used by the transitional government, and shall be based on federalism, being mindful of diversity with more power to states. This process will only be achieved under a different leader than Kiir.

Once this proposed structure is put in place and lead by a true nationalist, whose interest is to promote peaceful co-existent of all different ethnicities and believes, the country will be peaceful forever.

In closing this author believes that to bring a lasting peace to South Sudan this peace process needs to be forward to the African Union as the second step. IGAD leaders have been playing around with it and got stuck already. They are dancing between the truth and favoritism to their colleague more than solving the war.

The South Sudanese people worldwide want to see this war comes to an end soon. They also need to have a model in place that will guarantee their co-existing forever.

Salva Kiir made Nuer and Dinka believe that they are enemies to each other’s. This is not true. It was not an intention of the Dinka of South Sudan to kill the Nuer. It was Salva Kiir who wants to remain in power, and was intimidated by the present of Nuer figures who could claim the same right as anybody in South Sudan to run for the president, should an opportunity presents itself.

The author has a PhD in psychology. He is a South Sudanese living in the United States. He can be reached at kuekjohn@yahoo.com

South Sudan War of Choice: It’s only a dispute of leadership

BY: Santino Aniek, NEW YORK, USA, OCT/25/2014, SSN;

We became fascinated by the stories of brutality of the war, realizing that suffering is the only tangible price to get jobs in South Sudan. War has become the most accessible and continuous leading alternative in finding jobs in the government sector in Africa especially in South Sudan, to personally engage and demonize citizens through violence.

The best illustration in the head of every South Sudanese people is the tribal war, Yau Yau war and the war of choice which is now killing our citizens in hundreds of thousands. Now a day in South Sudan, war has replaced tolerance, understanding, dialogue and compromise and it is the most habitually used throughout the regions.

The champions of the war of choice has influenced their tribesmen to sustain their ruthless ideology of division as well as mobilizing them to fight an endless war on South Sudanese people, by engaging their supporters with deceptive information.

Indeed, one of the many galvanizing preaching information was the genocide and coup in Juba, and has been the point of struggle to establish a national public mobilization involvement of young people and their tribesmen to help them fight this war of choice.

From the higher military commands to the youths leaders are now campaigning to fight the free South Sudanese people, and are now trying to build a fashionable struggle philosophy of discriminatory killing and the endless destruction against innocent people has been a central issue in this war of choice.

As is always the case, the future of a country is a shared responsibility between the government and its citizens and as common sense tells us, nations cannot survive if the citizens are divided internally.

In other words, an individual alone cannot survive the future of a nation, but it is a collective responsibility of the citizens and the government. The crux of the debate is therefore argued that the government may have reinforced and deeper propelling force pushing the country into conflict.

However, South Sudanese people solely believe that the government has full responsibility and is mandated to provide services, and maintain law and order for its all citizens across the country.

In fact before the war, the citizens were extremely worried that the country was declining so profoundly that it will become vulnerable to future attacks within and outside by its traditional enemy in Khartoum.

The government was very aware of the risks they were assuming, and they choose the war only with a great reluctance knowing that the civilians are going to be pretentious.

In the end, the government has chosen the war for one simple reason; they believed without a war they would not maintain their day job because the public were fed up with government policies toward human services and development services in the new nation.

In those days, the reaction and the outcry by many citizens to the government was proceeding unanimously that it was practically possible to hold the government accountable for the setback that has been facing the nation for the last eight years.

In addition, the role of local communities to participate and contribute in maintaining security and peace as a paramount priority was also declining, because there was no good relationship between the government and the local communities.

Nevertheless, it is truly that there is no way that the government alone can provide and sustain security or law and order in the country without the help of the local communities at large.

Meanwhile, it was the hope of each and every South Sudanese people prior to independence that the government is going to create a partnership with the local communities to address the current challenges and the conflicting wounds of the civil war.

Sadly, the government was happy to accept the gospel of the war without wanting to address the issues. More generally, it is widely known that there is a very disturbing trend occurring in the new nation in which our people’s lives are being threatened by this war of choice from those who want to raise their families through bloody job, and it is a gloomy side from which our history is being reanimated.

Furthermore, it is tremendously despondent that regular people get caught up in this conflict for subjugation by a very few avaricious individuals who have been advocating for conflict in South Sudan.

Oftentimes, the popular culture identity of us against them whereby popular politician forms a group of armed men and provides them with false platform of information exhibition of intricacies and powers them to annihilate innocent people’s lives is now gaining a countrywide support among the South Sudanese society.

In fact, the philosophy of war has become a part of politics identity since the country has been engaging in so many wars and now has an opportunity to link this philosophy directly to their experiences they had in the 21 years of civil war.

Similarly, this link between tribes and politicians is becoming more and more ubiquitous, and has been attracting the public inquiry in recent years that is triggering critical instability and uncertainty in the country.

In this situation, it is increasingly signifying both in national government and local government as well as individuals and communities are now striving of joining this war of choice, and this new politics identities of a largely exclusive in the country has achieved so much support among the South Sudanese communities.

It is in the view of this, my article would like to bring to the forefront of modality in the ways of informing the citizens of South Sudan to accept peace, tolerance, compromise, forgiveness, dialogue and negotiation for “everlasting peace”, because the country has reached a limitation, and we need to change course to overcome this crisis with more thoughtful and compassionate responding to this tragic war of choice.

The inscription of politics identities of inclusive of all the tribes of South Sudan has to be a part of the government’s responsibility and power sharing in the next government is instantaneously fundamental.

Subsequently, the election of 2010 has encouraged opposition politicians and civil society activists and now has an opportunity to compete with the Ruling Party to get their message across in part, because of the availability of political risk and lesson learnt during the civil war.

In addition, and perhaps more importantly, the public also has an opportunity to realize that the government has lack responsibility and accountability that empowers the public to direct their concerns and views point to the government as a result of rewarding those who kill innocent people.

Sadly enough, the government is frequently attacking those who happen to disagree with the militias, while they are rewarding militias with a higher position and building a conducive relationship between the two.

There is another aspect to this story, and that is the government is denying many South Sudanese people who are qualify to hold these positions in the government, but tragically these ruthless pathetic criminal, and unwanted human beings in the South Sudanese society are given these important position.

This practice appears to be conflicting or contradictory to the laws of any nation, unless the government succeeded in implementing laws and orders, the country may have to accept this madness brought forth by the narrowed-mined war custodian.

Nevertheless, my article is trying to highlight the war of choice within the category of public discourses and the deliberations of this conflict, which aids the advancement of participatory of these militias that are now dragging the country into a civil war.

These so-call leaders uses the communities with a deliberately simple message to turn the communities against each other and try to make sense to these actors who truly believe in a destructive articulation with the intention of participation in the government workforce, and they always signal the distribution of disadvantage in fashionable society of new nation.

In the view of this, my article adopts a theoretical approach that uses the experience of two wars, and the take away in these wars is obviously, the vital resources needed to fight the war and the human suffering is tremendously heartbreaking.

More importantly, the predicament and hardship our citizens have been facing and the mentality of rewarding criminals has encouraged a sizable number of people to join the war of choice.

As a result, many people are extremely suffering and lost their lives in the name of positions or jobs in the government substantially, especially in the Greater Upper Nile of the World.

Meanwhile, keeping the likelihood of early mobilizing our people especially in the loop of all communities to embrace “everlasting peace”, my article however, uses relevant information from the episodes of the two conflicts that has been going on for quite some time.

Nonetheless, the quaintest mechanism is that South Sudanese self-proclaimed-politicians and so called leaders in the new nation have lost the ethics and values of leadership to the extent of reaching borderline of intimidation of its own citizens, and so it is becoming a struggle.

In terms of politics, in South Sudan in this day and age, war has replaced political philosophy and has become role player in promoting a false debate and creating conflict among the South Sudanese society.

The enablement of the prevention of inclusive participation of all South Sudanese citizens in the government has gone a long way of no meaning and seem to form a dictatorship process that raises in attempting to make the war of choice a pillar upon which societal politics rest on.

However, accountability and transparency are the normal demand by the citizens from their government and most of the times in South Sudan, it is not possible to operate and function freely and normally without interference and intimidation by the government.

Equally enough, reform is not only necessary but urgent considering what has been proceeding in the new nation has been extremely troubling and all the South Sudanese communities including international communities are becoming exceptionally concerned.

In fact, what happened has shown the absence of law and order in the country and it is a clear failure of the leadership, which needs to be addressed with urgency, and has to be on the top of the agenda of the next government.

Nevertheless, the new nation has totally failed to reach a democratic transition as a breakthrough improvements meant to be pursued during the country’s civil war with regime in Khartoum. Even though, few communities who are supporting the war of choice think that the current war will look like an improvement than the past civil war, it is totally misleading the public because we are killing future generations and it is only a dispute of leadership.

Furthermore, this war of choice remains the number one sources of acquiring wealth and an employment to those who have nothing but to kill innocent people in order to get jobs in the government.

Though, war in South Sudan also encourages few individuals to own wealth through the enhancement of creating conflict by giving preference to those who support their causes, and this practice is believed to be against the norms and the values of the South Sudanese people.

More importantly, war has become a key player among the South Sudanese communities. Today it is transforming to a field of an employment and offers people with new belongings, fame and self-identification. Obviously, given the fact that the majority of our citizens still have no access to their daily news, war is becoming the window of misleading.

Therefore, while trying to adopt the model of public rights for the citizens to know what the government is embodying, South Sudan departs from other nations where the right of the citizens are being manipulated by the government and tried to make nonsense accuses to covered up the dishonest burden.

The importance of these claims during struggle mention that the country will be moving toward a democratic approach to emphasize the need of the citizens is now proven to be an empty promise.

Studies indicated though, issues of politics of division and politics of isolationism are the main dominants in fairly politicized fashion and other broad issues like tribalism is part of the factors that caused this war of choice, and therefore can be categorized into issues of crime, corruption, service delivery, poverty, economy, education, political party dominance or proportional representation and the need for political reform in the new nation.

Yet the sweeping changes of eight years ago in South Sudan have now shifted from animated to worst despite the tremendous experience of 21 years of civil war, which was the hope to build a unifying country. In addition, the establishment of the politics of division, politics of isolationism and its subsequent undemocratic initiatives is clearly represent a worst foundation for future extensions of equal access and opportunity to all citizens in South Sudan.

The aim of my article is to examine the war of choice and how self-representation and the expressions of selfhood emerging from these individuals that are seeking an employment through war and has not constituted a mediated public sphere, which is not creating avenues for public discourse in South Sudan.

The aim should be understood against the background of the government and the social political realities in which the new nation define relations among different classes of people in South Sudanese society.

What we are observing now however, is the dynamics of power rocking that is playing itself out in the way certain attitudes and personalities seek to become dominant while others may be relegated or silenced in the course of political structure taking place in South Sudanese politics.

Nowadays such a regime of anti-freedom and equality, encourages individuals and groups to bring their own experiences and opinions into public debates leading to new understandings of the political structure in the society.

In addition, my article present an exemplary of intervention in which a government and rebel may bargain in order to avoid falling into a civil war and however, the two parties may adopt the mentality of forgiveness, tolerance, compromise, dialogue, and peace to reach an agreement.

If they want the fighting to continue, the government and the rebels have to decide what level of atrocities they want to commit, and a third party may intervene to halt atrocities. By including a number of different parameters, the exemplary underscores how complex the intervention conundrum actually is.

Therefore, this work critically examines the potential of war of choice as a means of reinventing politics through mediation and intervention. War of choice has consequently become a channel through which different interest groups in South Sudanese society seeks an employment especially in the government sector using different kinds of messages and ideologies.

However, in this regard to the debates of war of choice in the South Sudan context, conclude that such a war has become a lens through which few people may begin to organize themselves and commit atrocities to get a position in the government.

Equally, people of South Sudan are now able to grasp the dynamics of an evolving political of division and politics of isolationism with several attempts of individual and group interest in particular ways in order to either remain important or kill their opponent.

While demonstrating the impact of the struggle for freedom and equality access to free its own citizen, the idea of “right to live” needs to be implemented in South Sudan now or else.

Nevertheless, the war of choice advertising remains an affordable in South Sudan. It is however, remain to be effective that targeting the vast majority of audiences in the country. The principle of reconciliation, tolerance, dialogue, compromise, and peace among the South Sudanese communities is immediately needed.

Despite the dominance or popularity of the war of choice, our citizens must abandon this recklessness practice once and for all and adopt peace and unity.

The overall interpretation from the perspective of war in general, continue to tell us that war is extremely horrific, and therefore, our undertaking has to create a way forward strategy of a collective compromise, because we need to change the culture of war and the mindset of these ruthless politicians who are always dragging us into conflict.

As a final thought, our citizens need to think only about their future and the future of the country they liberated some years ago. They have duty not to support any politicians who moralizes violence against innocents people, and they also have responsibility to reject the validity of any form of division once and for all.

We must continue to appeal to a system of tolerance, compromise, forgiveness, dialogue, and peace that is designed to empower all the citizens and build successful politics of understanding and put our differences aside. We must embrace peace and unity, because those cold-blooded leaders will never be defeated by the use of this war of choice.

Santino Aniek is a concerned South Sudanese in Upstate New York, U.S.A. He can be reached atsantino.aniek5@gmail.com and find me on Facebook, on Skype and on twitter @saniek.

A federal system of government won’t divide people of South Sudan

By: Jacob K. Lupai, JUBA, OCT/26/2014, SSN;

Fears have been expressed that adoption of a federal system of government will surely divide up the people of South Sudan into hostile sectarian or reactionary groups along ethnic or regional lines, each trying to finish off the other. The question to ask, though, is the fear genuine, unfounded or both. One may tend to answer that the fear at best is both genuine and unfounded.

The fear is genuine as it is the fear of the unknown. People are simply not sure of what is in store for them in a federal system. However, those with genuine fears may easily be persuaded when the facts about federalism are laid bare for an informed decision.

On the other hand the fear is unfounded because it is based on illusion and erroneous assumption that some people are targeted for special treatment and that the proponents of federalism have a hidden agenda of their own.

Those with unfounded fears of federalism may be stubborn because they themselves might have a hidden agenda of their own. However, it seems that many South Sudanese have now been persuaded of and seen the merit of federalism. Immediately after independence of South Sudan the governors of the ten states called on the national government to implement fully a decentralized system. The governors called for a more federal system during presentations to the First Governors Forum after independence.

Since September 2014 the national government has agreed to the installation of a federal system of governance in South Sudan. This all suggests that it is not now a matter of if but of when a federal system will be adopted in South Sudan. The unfounded fears are fast disappearing into thin air, giving way to genuine fears that can easily be managed.

Federalism

Many people may need to know why there is a need for federalism in South Sudan. It must be underlined that the present system is not federalism. After the opponents of federalism had come out with all their guns blazing against federalism there now should be a time for calm and reflection on federalism. South Sudan will not be the first in the world to ponder over federalism or centralization of power and neither will it be the last.

The people of South Sudan are dynamic and will always be searching for a better way forward for development and unity. The present conflict is precisely a search for how best South Sudan should be governed for prosperity for its entire people. This is evidenced by the peace talks in Ethiopia. The problem seems to be that there is lack of culture of dialogue for consensus but violence. In addition there are people who are inherently fearful of change and those include the diehard opponents of federalism who would do anything to maintain the status quo at all cost.

One important question to ask is what do people know about federalism. Perhaps, we may need to look at the United States of America (USA) as a model of federalism with principles such as the separation of powers, an independent judiciary and individual rights.

In the federal system in the USA a state has established tripartite division of governmental power, legislative, executive and judicial. The federal government cannot intervene to protect states against internal violence without a request from the state legislature or the governor, something contrary to what is happening in South Sudan where an elected governor can be unceremoniously removed on an allegation of insecurity in the state.

In the USA there is a commitment to state autonomy. In the federal system in the USA there is no provision for revenue sharing and it does not require the federal government or the states to cooperate or coordinate with each other on tax matters. The USA federal constitution does not require the federal or state governments to balance their budgets. In contrast, in South Sudan the national government dictates a ceiling within which the states should develop their budgets, a limiting factor indeed for the states to develop according to their needs.

With the brief highlights of principles of federalism as in the USA, it is hoped that people would have a glimpse of what federalism may all be about to appreciate the contribution of federalism to development.

Unity of people of South Sudan

South Sudan was created not by a voluntary union of its diverse ethnic groups but by the work of the British in their colonial administration of the old Sudan. According to the British the administration of South Sudan was to be developed along African rather than Arab lines. The British were not therefore committed to administering South Sudan as part of the old Sudan but believing that South Sudan might eventually be linked to the British East African colonies.

South Sudanese were not part of the concept of linking them to the British East African colonies. They had no power to choose voluntarily where to belong. Like most people of diverse ethnic groups in Africa before the British colonial rule, South Sudanese were of various ethnic groups occupying the geographical area the British called Southern Sudan with no common agenda.

South Sudanese were never united in modern sense. They saw themselves as people of different ethnic groups, each with its distinct language and ways of life. South Sudanese only became united in the face of harsh treatment by the Arabs of old Sudan. It was then when South Sudanese realized they were people of one destiny thanks to the Arabs’ arrogance and insensitivity which helped to consolidate southern unity for a protracted struggle for freedom.

After having attained independence it is not clear whether the unity during the period of the protracted struggle for freedom still exists. Independence brought with it challenges and responsibilities for which South Sudanese seemed not to have been prepared. There was nothing to motivate in the form of a common agenda for unity as people of one destiny. Southerners seemed to have resorted to tribalism and nepotism instead of nationalism.
After independence tribalism and nepotism seem to have surfaced with vengeance and this is likely to wreck havoc on unity of the people of South Sudan. The current conflict cannot only be claimed to be a contest for leadership. It has become something on ethnic lines although it is now a search for an appropriate system of governance as shown by the talks in Ethiopia between the protagonists.

Some people would like to be neutral because of the ethnic nature of the conflict. The question, though, is not who is either right or wrong. It is purely a conflict for ethnic hegemony that is threatening to tear apart the unity in diversity of people of South Sudan. The giant ethnic groups want to be rulers by all means and whether this is at the expense of unity of the country or not, is yet to be seen.

Acceptance of reality

Acceptance of the reality will be the second liberation of people of South Sudan. South Sudanese are obsessed with the propaganda that they are one people. The propaganda seems to be borne out of the fear that unity in diversity will deprive others of their self-adored hegemonic tendencies. People are simply preoccupied with a strong belief that they have to be the rulers instead of promoting unity in diversity.

The reality is that there are about or more than 64 ethnic groups in South Sudan. This confirms that there are diversities. In addition the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan confirms those diversities that South Sudan is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-racial entity where such diversities peacefully co-exist.

One observation is that the phrase “where such diversities peacefully co-exist” is arguable. In the current conflict many are seeing it as it is on ethnic lines and, clans’ revenge killings are taking place with impunity. One may wonder whether all this confirms that there is peaceful co-existence in South Sudan. If there was peaceful co-existence with law abiding citizens, insecurity wouldn’t have been so rampant.

One other reality is that a centralized power is not suitable to address the problem of diversities as in South Sudan. Devolution of powers is appropriate. In South Sudan the purported decentralization system is in reality centralized power where, for example, an elected governor can be removed and, the judiciary and taxes are centralized. Acceptance of reality opens a wider avenue for dialogue in exploring a better way forward. It also brings people closer for unity.

Factors dividing people

It can be asserted that it is not diversities that divide people but it is how those diversities are managed that divide people. In brief South Sudanese are multi-ethnic and multi-cultural. The two factors of ethnic and cultural diversities are well pronounced and when they are poorly managed will most likely lead to disunity.

It is indicated above that South Sudan has many ethnic groups and for cultural diversities there are two main cultures, namely pastoralism and sedentary farming. The two cultures clash frequently both formally and informally. The clash can be a source of ill-feelings hence disinclination to unity. Relationship between pastoralists and sedentary farmers needs a special management approach in promoting peaceful co-existence.

Along Professor Taban Loleyong road, Juba-Kajo Keji main shortcut, some pastoralists led loose their animals that destroyed completely food crops in a total area of 4 feddans. The pastoralists carried guns and were a menace, being arrogant and uncooperative.

The destruction of food crops not only causes household food insecurity but armed and arrogant pastoralists are a security threat to local farming communities. In such circumstances how can there be peaceful co-existence for a strong untied South Sudan. The government must wake up in the interest of national unity.

The factor of ethnic dimension in dividing up people cannot be overexaggerated. There are about 64 ethnic groups is South Sudan as already mention above. For only one ethnic group to take upon themselves to dominate in every aspect of state affairs is a sure recipe for disunity as had happened in the old Sudan when the South broke away because of intolerable marginalization.

When South Sudanese struggled for independence as people of one destiny it was not for fun. People were very serious to put an end to marginalization so that it was history. Now to revive the Arab style system of marginalization of fellow citizens is totally unacceptable. Those who are inclined to copy the Arab style of marginalizing others are surely digging a deeper grave for themselves that they would have difficulty in resurrecting because disunity would have been total.

Other factors that are causing disunity is poverty, poor enforcement of the rule of law where victims do not get justice and insecurity perceived to be perpetrated by other fellow citizens.

Federalism unites

One is hoping to see the emergence of a Federal Republic of South Sudan where power is granted to the states to handle economic affairs and implement national policies instead of the national government turning around to be another implementer in the states. Handling economic affairs and implementing national policies, and with adequate capacity and resources this can only accelerate tremendously socio-economic development in the country.

Federalism is a measure to handle ethnic conflict because of the adequate power granted to the states. In federalism the state has power to have the three arms of government, namely the executive, legislature and the judiciary which can only be good in enforcing the rule of law where one ethnic group with hegemonic tendencies is unlikely to dominate and be biased as in a centralized system.

In federalism each state will have its police, prisons, wildlife and fire brigade that serve the needs of the citizens of the state including those from the other states without fear or favor. In contrast centralized law enforcement agencies are likely to be dominated by only one ethnic group and this can be disturbing to other ethnic groups because of the perceived favoritism being openly displayed.

Federalism provides for fair representation of ethnic minorities of the public service systems of the states and regions. This is in contrast to the domination of such public service systems by one ethnic group.

After the bloody war for the would be independent Republic of Biafra in Nigeria, the Nigerian government reorganized the country by creating 12 states in the place of the previous four regions to foster stability and reduce ethnic tension to realize unity. This was intended to undermine monopolization of power as well as to increase the political influence and safety of minority ethnic groups. This was to hold Nigeria together as a united country.

One may wonder why a federal system cannot be of service to South Sudan with its ethnic and cultural diversities as Nigeria. I am not suggesting copy and paste the Nigerian constitution. Surely the states in South Sudan will welcome the power to have the control over their own affairs and also to see that the central government does not interfere in state affairs, for example, in removing an elected governor on flimsy accusation and interfering with the appointments of ministers and commissioners.

One finds it strange that a system that is likely to accelerate development in the states is being resisted in contrast to the billions of dollars being squandered at the centre as in the case of the dura saga and 4 billion stolen without any recovery. How much that would have contributed to paved roads, clean drinking water, improved health and education services, availability of electricity and increased agricultural production for food security in the states for high standards of living of the people.

A federal system of government will not divide the people of South Sudan because there will be freedom of movement, residence and employment in any part of the Republic of South Sudan for all law abiding citizens. As a matter of fact federalism unites as in Switzerland where the Italian, French and the German ethnic groups peacefully co-exist as citizens of the Swiss federation.

Conclusion

Since after independence on the 9th July 2011 South Sudanese seem to have moved on because the conflict that started on the 15th December 2013 has become an eye opener. Some may be wondering why to become independent in the first place only to slaughter each other. Others may be hopeful that after a storm there will be calm after the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement’s (SPLM) internal contradictions have plunged the country into turmoil and unnecessary violent confrontation that should have been replaced with internal dialogue for a peaceful resolution of outstanding issues.

The main problem here is that people seem not to understand the difference between the government and the SPLM, the dominant party in government. When one disagrees with the SPLM as a matter of policy it is likely to be interpreted that one may be against the government and vice versa.

The government represents the country in its entirety while the SPLM represents nobody except its membership just like any other political party representing its membership of different ideology to the SPLM. On the other hand when an SPLM member dares to criticize the SPLM for whatever reason the member may be construed to have left and abandoned the SPLM as a party.

A party that has confidence will not be defensive but welcoming of criticism that carries everybody forward. Only a party deficient in abstract understanding of issues may be inclined to have robots or parrots as yes-man-sir members. This is nothing but the stifling of innovativeness in transforming a party into a modern strong party capable of being flexible enough to face challenges different from the pre-independence era of the liberation struggle.

When the government does not perform as expected it is not the fault of the SPLM but the fault of the SPLM individual members given assignments in government. This may seem contradictory. However, the only fault of the SPLM one can think of is its absolute weakness in applying the SPLM Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures, Draft February 2013 which is very clear on members performing poorly in assignments.

The SPLM is too weak to discipline its members in government who are underperforming and very corrupt. It may need to learn from the Chinese Communist Party how it is disciplining its corrupt members.

In conclusion, a federal system will unite South Sudanese as people of one destiny who are struggling vigorously to eradicate poverty, ethno-centricism, nepotism, corruption, injustice and inequality for a strong vibrant and highly developed South Sudan that will be a paradise for its entire population regardless of their ethnicity, language, culture, religion, educational background and political affiliation.

Jacob K. Lupai is the author of the book, South Sudan: issues in perspective, launched on Friday 24 October 2014 in Aaron International Hotel in Juba, South Sudan. The Special Guest of Honor was HE Manasse Lomole Waya, the Acting Governor and Deputy Governor of Central Equatoria State. The Book Reviewer was Professor Scopas Dima Jibi, the Minister of Cabinet and Parliamentary Affairs, and the Master of Ceremony was Hon Suba Samuel, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting. The audience included Advisors to the Government of Central Equatloria State, Cabinet Ministers and members of the public.

South Sudan accused of threatening aid groups

From NEWVISION, OCT/25/2014, SSN;

International charities working to stem chronic disease and hunger in war-torn South Sudan are facing increased harassment, surveillance and threats of expulsion from the government, according to a charity Friday.

A letter to over 100 international aid agencies from South Sudan’s NGO Forum detailed the “increasing trend of harassment and interference targeting NGOs” that is “marked by increased hostility and threats from officials”.

Incidents include the detention and expulsion this month of one foreign worker as “escalating rhetoric and the overall hostile tone toward [the] international community” rises, the letter said.

It also detailed concerns over the alleged “increased surveillance of NGO communications”.

Last month South Sudan’s Ministry of Labour ordered all international aid workers out of the country before another ministry rescinded it.

South Sudan, one of the world’s poorest countries, became independent in 2011 after decades of battling hardliners in neighbouring Sudan, which also had a long history of cracking down on aid groups.

Now 10 months into its own civil war, the world’s newest country is blighted by what UN officials call “a man-made crisis” that has caused widespread hunger, left 1.4 million people homeless and a third of the population needing help.

But the NGO Forum said government officials “have adopted a hostile and almost irrational approach toward NGOs” that includes trying to ban the use of the words famine, disaster and catastrophe.

The UN’s World Food Programme is still trying to trace South Sudanese staffer Mark Diang, who was abducted at gunpoint last week by plain clothes men from an airport in the north of the country.

In a meeting with officials this week, international representatives were “threatened and intimidated personally and organisationally”, leaving them “increasingly vulnerable”, the letter said.

British charity Oxfam, which authored a report predicting famine in parts of the country, was reportedly “directly in the line of fire” at the meeting, but the government also “threatened” the 36 charities that signed the report and demanded an official apology and retraction.

A spokesman for the South Sudan government could not be reached for comment.

Federal government: A great big zero for South Sudanese!

By: Deng Mangok Ayuel, AWEIL, South Sudan, SSN;

We must owe to know that our problem in South Sudan is ‘nothing’ related to the governance. It’s the people who are politically and socially puzzled. Everyone has been obliged to learn from experience, lest he/she might have had been mistaking the alligator for a crocodile.

South Sudan is not like post-colonial states in Africa where political powers were entrusted to the nationals to govern themselves after the colonialists had left the continent. It’s a country founded by people who waged a terrible civil war against Khartoum’s Arab regime for the sake of freedom, justice and equality.

Although South Sudanese had voted at a referendum to determine their destiny – however – history has manifested in our lives that SPLM/A has shown up for everything during the civil war in Sudan – and the SPLM has been trying to do its best as expected, that is all.

South Sudan is a country with a ‘class’ of powerful political elites. These elites had caused the conflict that erupted in Juba in December 2013, which ensued into rebellion led by Dr Machar.

Our people are the real problem, not the system of governance. They should change their ways of handling political, social and economical issues. It’s your uncle and my uncle who must reduce their politico-military speeds when politicking – or South Sudanese may one time desert the country like Somalis if things never change.

Federal system of government may not materialize or be taken wrongly if we don’t correct wrong political traditions, corruption, ethnic-politics and regionalism. If you wanted to change anything in South Sudan, you must involve the majority – all South Sudanese. Those who are advocating for federal system shall end up antagonizing themselves if they don’t win in the long run. It’s a miserable political decision.

We should not think of problematizing ourselves politically. Federal system is not supposed to be the first choice for intelligent people. It’s the central system of government that should be the first choice for the new nation, like South Sudan.

Federal government is irresponsible. It has caused unreliable fiscal policies, brought about the banking system collapse and economic failure in Argentina in 2001. The EU has serious problems with federalism; and the federal states have also seen little incentive to undertake fiscal stimulation when much of it had leaked beyond their borders.

Will federal system of government stop Juba political crisis, bring peace and reduce land-grabbing excuses in Equatoria? It’s a great big zero!

We shouldn’t be like priests in the church who usually urge fellow Christians to confess for the sins they don’t see physically.

Federal system is not the solution to political crisis in the country. It’s not also the answer to internal problems within the ruling party. And it will not make any governor in the greater Equatoria region as president for federalizing the new nation.

It’s an offensive decision to other people, if all of us aren’t dreaming about federal government in the new nation.

Federalism is nothing more than a way of trying to ‘regionalize’ and control people’s resources that have been preached by the governors in Yambio and Juba in order to grease and gear up their political wheels in the greater Equatoria region.

In Yambio as I lived, any non-Azande is called ‘aworo’, if I can remember the spelling. This means someone is from different place, tribe and kingdom. When an Azande calls you an aworo, then he/she feels pity about you or hates you for being in their county or town.

As Azande hate other tribes, especially Dinka, will aworo mentality not change to ethnic federal system? Or is it not going to be another era of Azande kingdom in democratic South Sudan?

I do respect the choice of others but why do we need to federalize our country while experiencing political turmoil? The clever boys from greater Equatoria region shouldn’t try to shield or ‘hide’ Equatoria democracy called ‘kokora’ on federalism.

However, Federal government is helpless and divisive at this political situation in our country. It will work after a decade if given a pause.

Federal system of government is a good idea at the wrong time. South Sudanese shouldn’t also temper to accept federal system of government that has been initiated by the governors and rebels who are currently killing our people.

As we had decided to secede from Sudan, it should be the will of majority to federalize South Sudan, not by the individuals and willing political ‘cluster’ in the greater Equatoria region and the rebels.

South Sudan is not a company. It’s a country where millions of lives were lost for the sake of freedom, not federalism.

South Sudan is a country with ethnic-based politics. With federal system, people shall forms kingdoms in the states if things fall apart. Or political leaders in the states who shall be given enough powers by the federal government will misuse the resources, mistreat the minority and the whole country will encounter daily insecurity and death like Rumbek, Lakes state.

Federal states had failed its people in Africa. Therefore, Boko Haram has invaded the federal state of Nigeria, and the government is unable to handle the situation. Boko Haram has also abducted many girls and mothers have remained shedding tears. It is horrifying, more difficult to control. And finally, I believe that the federal government is not going to win the war.

Ethiopia has been ethnically federalized, their economy shattered, and looming ethnic tension was felt in the country. The federal government in Ethiopia isn’t feeding its people, not doing well to improve trade with neighboring countries. That is why Ethiopians are everywhere in the villages doing small-scale businesses in South Sudan.

Why should one man decide for million of people in their new nation?

Deng Mangok Ayuel is a freelance writer, blogger and lives in Aweil, South Sudan. He can be reached via mongokson@gmail.com. Deng also blogs at: theshoeshinereyes.wordpress.com

The entire SPLM leadership owns up to human rights abuses & crimes against humanity

BY: SINDANI IRENEAUS, Hargeisa, Somaliland, SOMALILAND, OCT/23/2014, SSN;

The cat is out of the bag. At least the Tanzanians have made it to jump out of the bag straight to our eyes and ears. No one can any longer deny it whether now or in future. The world has also heard it.

The African Union must have taken heed of it while the ICC prosecutors should be happy and excited that they will no longer delve deep in investigating the heinous crimes in South Sudan in order to unravel the people behind the genocide, mass rape, rampant torture, ethnic targeted killings, disappearance of people, violation of individual rights and mass displacement of people in Juba making South Sudanese to live destitute lives in their own country.

If you are still wondering what I am talking about, let me make it abundantly clear that I am talking about the surprising admission by the entire leadership of the SPLM that they are responsible for the crises in South Sudan.

Allow me to quote the Arusha communiqué; entitled: The Arusha Communique: Intra-SPLM party so as to clearly illustrate the point and make it abundantly plane to everybody. I quote “The parties acknowledge a collective responsibility for the crisis in South Sudan that has taken a great toll on the lives and property of our people”.

The communiqué was signed by none other than Cde Paul Akol Kordit on behalf of SPLM in government; Cde Duer Tut Duer on behalf of SPLM in opposition and Cde Kosti Manibe Ngai on behalf of SPLM detainees and it is dated October 21, 2014.

“The great toll on the lives” means the mass killings, torture, rape, displacement and incarcerations and disappearances”.

“Great toll to property” means the destruction to private and public properties such as individual Nuer houses in Juba, destruction of public homes such as the one of the former vice president, destruction of villages in upper Nile and Bentui, looting of peoples’ houses in Juba, land grabbing and confiscation of travelers property such as goods, cell phones, money and any other things that fall into category of property.

Right from the start let me make it abundantly clear that the leadership of these factions have frankly and without shame owned up to the criminal act and brutality that has been meted to the people of South Sudan.

By admitting that they are responsible for the “crisis in South Sudan that has taken a great toll on lives and property of the people of South Sudan”, it means they systematically planned, directed and executed all that befell the people.

Secondly they are saying that whatever crimes committed by their subordinates that include the rank and file of the SPLA soldiers on both side of the divide in this criminal war, was methodically organized, plan and directed by them.

There is nothing called random killing by rogue soldiers, nothing called revenge killings or being detained innocently. All have participated in one way or another in brutally murdering innocent children, women and civilians.

They conspired to exterminate ethnic groups and planned ethnic killings in the country. They smartly planned and uprooted South Sudanese from their residences and made them to be refugees and internally displaced in their country.

They directed mass rape as a tool of war. They displaced thousands of South Sudanese and forced them to refugee in neighbouring countries. They carried out targeted killing particularly of those perceive to be against the regime. They planned and directed the torture of human rights activists in Juba in order to silence them.

Now that these leaders have admitted and owned up to the genocide, ethnic killings, raping, torture and the whole range of human rights abuses in South Sudan, let me be clear on apportioning the crimes.

By owning up to these crimes the leadership of SPLM in government has owned up to:

1. Targeted ethnic killing of more than 20,000 Nuer civilians in Juba, destruction of Nuers property in Juba, Bor, Malakal, and Unity state particularly the destruction of leer in Bentui
2. The targeted killing and disappearance of people in Juba such as the killing of Isaiah Abraham because of his writings
3. Torturing human rights activists such as Athuai; the chairman of civil rights organizations in Juba
4. Attacking innocent Nuers who were sheltering in UNMISS compound in Bor
5. Illegally using of banned chemical weapons on Nuer soldiers on Juba-Bor road where hundreds of soldiers died as a result of cluster bombs
6. Carrying out rampant rape of Nuer women in Juba by government soldiers and operatives just because of their ethnicity
7. The fact that it fabricated a coup in order to eliminate its opponents and create chaos and suffering in order to perpetuate tribal, dictatorial and corrupt leadership in Juba
8. Consciously recruiting, training, arming, directing and commanding a tribal militia to carry out genocide and commit serious human right abuses in South Sudan
9. Hiring mercenaries from Uganda and northern Sudan to propagate its genocide and ethnic cleansing policy.

Likewise by signing the communiqué, the leadership of the SPLM in opposition has owned up to:

1. The revenge killings that occurred in Akobo in the UNMISS compound.
2. Alleged killing of innocent people in hospital and in a church in Bor
3. Innocent killing of captured soldiers from Sudanese rebels in Malakal
4. Ethnic killing of innocent chollo people because of their alleged support to General Olony, the leader of the Chollo militia in Malakal.

Lastly the leadership of the SPLM detainees in collaboration with the other leaders of SPLM has owned up to the rampant corruption, tribalism, nepotism, molding a dictator, mismanagement of state affairs, inability to render services to the people of South Sudan while they were in government.

What is the implication of this admission to the future of South Sudan?

First these leaders have admitted that they created chaos in South Sudan because of their failure to provide effective leadership. They have admitted that they are criminals, thieves, trbalists and dictators who are repugnant to democracy.

Above all they have committed crime against humanity and human rights violations. They have disunited and completely broken the bridges that had made the people of South Sudan to stick together.

They have admitted that they have failed the people of South Sudan who had voted overwhelmingly for them to steer the country into prosperity and rapid development.

They have admitted that they cannot unite, lead and administer the nation other than their stomachs and their cronies.

They have above all admitted that they have failed the peoples’ mandate and instead turned to kill and maim the very people who elected them, looted the country for their individual gain, destroyed the property of the very people who they were entrusted the protect.

The question is whether in any meaningful way these leaders have any legitimacy left to continue governing in South Sudan?

The fact is that any elected leader who has turned against his people, massacred them, plunger their wealth and property, displaced them, raped and tortured them, in the eyes of the law has lost his/her legitimacy and cannot longer purport to lead and speak on their behalf.

Therefore the current SPLM leaders are not longer legitimate elected leaders of South Sudan. They deserve not to speak on behalf of the people any more.

Since they have collectively taken responsibility for the heinous crimes against humanity and human right abuses, their only option is to stand up boldly and answer to their crimes before the International criminal court in The Hague.

As they stood boldly in their gray suites in front of Kikwete; the Tanzania President and owned up to their crimes, they should likewise stand tall, boldly and upright in front of the international criminal court to defend themselves individually or collectively.

On the other hand they should also face their victims and relatives of their victims to whole heartedly apologize to them like the great men and women in South African who faced their victims and relatives of their victims and apologized under the tutelage of Bishop Tutu truth and reconciliation commission.

Finally, what is my advice in these circumstances? My brotherly advice first goes to these leaders to tell them that this is decision time.

Either they make South Sudan to take the path of reconciliation and embark on peaceful co-existence and development of the country or they would like this great nation to sink with them during this period of their demise.

Taking path of reconciliation and peaceful co-existence means the leadership in Juba should immediately resign or seek no leadership position in the transitional administration.

Similarly the leadership of the SPLM in opposition and SPLM detainees must negotiate in good faith for peace and transitional government without them.

This is because with them in any form of government, genuine reconciliation will not happen in South Sudan. It would be like covering a fire with mud without extinguishing it completely.

Secondly, I must advise these leaders that they either face peoples’ truth and reconciliation commission to ask for forgiveness from the people of South Sudan because there is no South Sudanese who has not been aggrieved by their reckless leadership or wait to present themselves to the international criminal court where they can have the opportunity to clear their names as individual or suffer the consequences of their action.

This is the only way to end the impunity that has been the order of the day in South Sudan.

My advice to the IGAD peace negotiators is that peace and reconciliation can only come to South Sudan when the root causes of the current conflict are fully discussed, agreed upon and future roadmap for thorough reforms including the institution of federal system is drawn up.

Once this is achieved then a transitional government without these the self-confessed SPLM butchers of South Sudan can be established.

Excluding the entire leadership is crucial so that reconciliation and building of the social fabric of the people of South can begin.

The SPLM leaders should be offered the chance to seek forgiveness from the people of South Sudan through truth and reconciliation commission or face the international criminal court to clear their names.

By considering or allowing these leaders to participate in the transitional or future leadership in South Sudan without reconciliation or not answering to the heinous crimes they committed against the people of South Sudan, means IGAD itself is condoning impunity in South Sudan and in fact the South Sudanese will view this as if IGAD is adding salt on the bleeding wounds in South Sudan.

Certainly this will not go unchallenged because there many patriotic South Sudanese out there who will take over the mettle of liberating the people of South Sudan from the yoke of murderous leaders, looters and plunderers of the country. I

t does not matter how long this will take but the people have to be liberated from these criminals and impunity must be ended.

My advice to the friends of South Sudan including the troika is that they should continue to stand firm in supporting the people of South Sudan during this trying time. There is no quick fix to the issues in South Sudan neither can there be quick fix by reconstituting SPLM of self confessed criminals and looters.

The current leaders are bent to continue with their determined efforts to propagate chaotic crisis in the country for their comfort and comfort of their tribes and cronies.

South Sudan is not devoid of leaders but the country has been taken hostage by leaders who have no future of the country in their hearts. For eight years they have been in government, they have only perfected the art of looting, corrupting and balkanizing the country into tribal enclaves.

Nothing is acceptable than allowing and accepting the impunity that is striding the breath and length of entire South Sudan.

What about the Tanzania government. I must extend my sincere congratulations to the government of Tanzania for bringing these leaders together to finally take responsibility for the crimes they committed in South Sudan.

They have been denying this for long and now they have owned up. My sincere advice is that Tanzania should make these leaders to realize that the confession they made is not the highway to assume leadership again but it is the rough road for them to stand up and face their victims or their relatives and say we are sorry or else they must face the law at The Hague in order to end impunity in South Sudan. T

here is no middle road for these leaders. They either succumb to the law or are forced to face the law.

For the AU commission tasked to investigate human rights abuses and crimes against humanity in South Sudan, I would say that the Commission‘s work is made easier. The people have already taken responsibility for these crimes. The only work you are left with is to identify who bears the greatest responsibility so that the law takes its course.

There is no time to waste now because the people of South Sudan need closure for their sufferings.

Last but not the least, please, ICC, take up the case of South Sudan as soon as the AU commission presents it to you. South Sudanese are yawning for justice and they want to see justice prevail and this should be done as soon as possible for any justice delayed is justice denied.

Sindani Ireneaus
Hargeisa; Somaliland

Towards SPLM unification, again? What a tragedy for South Sudan

EDITORIAL ANALYSIS: OCT/21/2014, SSN;

As president Kiir and arch-rival Machar met face to face to initial yet another futile agreement deal on October 20th, 2014, at the Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge outside Arusha, Tanzania, the day will stand out as an inauspicious and unpropitious day in the political evolution of South Sudan nation as specifically pertaining to the political behavioral evolution of our so-called political leaders.

If the assertions by both rival sides (SPLM ruling and SPLM-in-Opposition) that the goal of the talks and the agreement thereof is the re-unification of this monstrosity known as the SPLM again, then the oppressed peoples of South Sudan are once again being callously and unashamedly betrayed by the same personalities.

Yes, not only once, twice or thrice in our life time, but for the nth time, is the nation of South Sudan silently witnessing another duplicitous realignment of personalities who until this very moment have combined, colluded and commissioned the murders of hundreds of thousands of the citizens.

Sadly, the Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge parody comes after the abysmal and clear failure of the IGAD-negotiated Peace Talks in Ethiopia, whereby both sides of the government and the rebels came out immensely disappointed by the IGAD mediators.

In the latest statement from government spokesperson, the unpredictable minister of information, Makuei, the IGAD mediators were more interested in the participation of one politician at the peace talks and that was Dr. Lam Akol was deliberately prohibited by Kiir from traveling to Addis.

But more pertinently, IGAD also wanted to dish out an almost equal proportion of the share in a new government of national unity to each of the three, i.e. SPLM ruling, SPLM-in-O and SPLM ex-detainees, which didn’t bode well with Makuei’s boss, Kiir, hence the adjournment of the Addis talks.

Now, seriously, if after all those many months that the IGAD has been coercing, cajoling and counselling these same SPLM ‘compatriots’ in Ethiopia but to no avail, what difference would Tanzania’s ruling party, the Chama Cha Mapinduzi and Pres. Kikwete do differently to achieve concordance among a bunch of diabolically cantankerous and self-seeking persons?

Nonetheless, one important anomaly needs to be pointed out about this gang of so-called SPLM ‘leaders’ and that is their selfish propensity to fully and criminally exploit any chances whereby they are being feted and accommodated luxuriously and freely at someone’s expense, and even get paid for their irresponsibility.

We clearly saw this behavioral manifestation during the unnecessarily prolonged pre-CPA talks in Nairobi and Naivasha, where greed became a prominent characteristic of these SPLM gangsters. The IGAD Addis is a rendition of their greed of financial exploitation.

According to Tanzanian President Kikwete, he had invited the Kiir and Machar “to a dialogue aimed at reunifying the South Sudanese SPLM ruling party.”

Furthermore, quoting the Secretary-general of Tanzania’s ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi, Mr. Abdulrahman Kinana, Kiir and Machar had been invited “to the intra-SPLM dialogue with the hope to re-unify the party.”

However, it should be recalled that a week before (October 12 to 18) the so-called Kiir-Machar Summit at Ngurdoto Lodge, a bunch of SPLM ruling and SPLM rebel and ex-detainees representatives had been meeting in Arusha and according to Mr. Kinana, “the SPLM family have reached progress on establishing a framework for the SPLM dialogue, including shared principles, objectives and agenda for engaging dialogue.”

Seriously, for many of us concerned South Sudanese, this is the biggest and scandalous exposé of the SPLM dishonesty and dis-ingenuity. What’s there that the two SPLM protagonists have to talk about to ‘unify’ their long-exipired party?

The SPLM for all intents and purpose is a dead party, what Kiir, Machar, Pagan or Lam Akol are supposedly leading are mutually antagonistic and mutually destructive, self-serving but deadly clones of the former SPLM that only serve the particular interests of these personalities and their tribal peoples or criminal gangsters.

Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba, who incidentally is leading the SPLM-in-O group at Ngurdoto, posed the following in his latest book, ‘South Sudan: The State we aspire,’ “What’s the difference between confusion and a vicious circle? In essence, there’s no difference between the categories…… but in the context of South Sudan, confusion-cum-vicious circle is the political environment the political elite engineers in order to de-conscientise the masses and prevent them from appreciating the oppressive reality in which they are submerged.”

Dr. Adwok further goes on: “Because most political leaders practise double talk, it becomes absolutely necessary for them to generate confusion about their real intentions and they create a psychological environment which could be described as a comedy of political impotence.”

Precisely and unfortunately, the Ngurdoto document just signed by the so-called ‘three’ factions of the SPLM, which will serve yet again as another roadmap for further negotiations to reunite the SPLM and end the war, epitomizes the ‘confusion-cum-vicious cycle’ Dr. Adwok Nyaba referred to above.(pp 148)

Succinctly, Dr. Adwok Nyaba concedes, “…the comedy of political impotence is the havoc the political elite, former revolutionaries of the national liberation struggle, pursuing a personal agenda for power and wealth, are wrecking havoc with the destiny of the people of Southern Sudan.”

The biggest misfortune is that the civil societies and other stake holders in the current predicament facing our nation were deliberately excluded by Tanzania’s president Kikwete with the obvious complicity of the three SPLM leaders and this doesn’t bode well for any possible or probable future resolution of the crisis in the nation.

The SPLM as a whole is seriously and permanently debilitated by internal contradictions, schisms and rivalries which have cumulatively wrecked havoc among these so-called leadership or former revolutionaries.

Nothing good will ever materialize even if God himself came down and took these SPLM ‘leaders’ up into Heaven to negotiate among themselves.

These SPLM criminals, like the biblical people of Babel who disobeyed God himself and built the metaphorical ‘towers of Babel’against God’s will, must be destroyed and dispersed into different directions (many into prisons for life).

More concisely, the SPLM leaders have collectively lost their legitimacy to rule the country anymore because of the crimes they have committed or commissioned that, as Dr. Adwok Nyaba even wrote in his book (pp 148), that with the preponderance of evidence, “it would be easy to pick up and send to the International Criminal Court-ICC- in The Hague many of those in positions of authority today in South Sudan.”

Since coming to Juba in 2005, Pres. Kiir and his ex-deputy, Machar have never really resolved their political differences from the bush era, on top of their bitter tribal differences, a fact overtly exacerbated by the big educational disparities, the latter a PhD holder and the former an primary school leaver.

On the other hand, Kiir has never forgiven or forgotten those so-called Garang’s Boys, such as Pagan Amum, the leader of the former detainees group, for their mischievous role in his (Kiir’s) marginalization and abuse during the bitter animosity with Garang when the late briefly contemplated dumping his deputy, Kiir,

Moreover, in the current opposition groups, those of Machar and Lam Akol still behave like two bitter ex-wives married to the one husband, never will they ever consensually collude and come together to even overthrow the Kiir regime, a near-miraculous expectation those many South Sudanese opposing the Kiir government had hoped would happen sooner than later.

Lately, the Machar’s SPLM-in-O, has publicly and wholeheartedly embraced the popular demand for federal system of governance in the country. If now SPLM unification has become a top priority, is Dr. Machar not once again exhibiting his traits of betrayal to the Equatorians, the Nuer and Western Bahr el ghazel supporters who stood out to support the rebel SPLM?

If the improbable were ever to materialize that a united SPLM came back to life and took over the running of the Juba junta, that would be the biggest tragedy of our nation and its people.

A South Sudan government with Kiir, Machar, Pagan, Alor and company would be diabolical mockery and a painful insult to all those innocent compatriots needlessly eviscerated during the so-called struggle for regime change.

Once again, one would imagine Kiir boldly and without shame stand up in the dead beat parliament to pronounce a general amnesty for his own crimes and for the crimes of other SPLM co-conspirators.

Bitterly, the nation will be again forced to swallow the painful realities that they will and must have to live with once again ad infinitum, the ‘confusion-cum-vicious cycle’ of SPLM political disasters, one after another.

Like it or not, tribal domination will be overtly expedited, there will be no accountability for any crimes commissioned by the ruling SPLM gangsters, people will be murdered and brought with decapitated heads to the government morgues and other unimaginable egregious crimes perpetuated blatantly and lawfully.

In conclusion, whatever the case, the nation should not countenance or allow the tragedy of SPLM unification and the comeback of the SPLM monstrosity to again damage, desecrate and disintegrate the stalled progression and evolution of our nation.