Archive for: October 2014

South Sudan in a state of war with itself: Killing the Didinga tribe

From: LOKONYEN A. IKKO, Canada, OCT/20/2014, SSN;

The government of South Sudan (GoSS), is at it again in a war with Didinga ethnic group of Eastern Equatoria State and only this time to settle out outstanding debts of pogrom; in which there seems to be some leftover of wrath from the wars of 1980s and 1990s. But it is only this time that they has found the willing partners, who pay an attention and who are ready to play a dirty game.

These partners are: 1- Morris Kaunda Merisiya, the commissioner of Budi county, is a proselyte member of Sudan Arab National Congress Party and, 2- the governor of Eastern Equatoria state, Louis Lobong Lojore (Lojore, by the way, and literally means, a trouble maker), who’s also himself a recent convert from the same party as Mr. Commissioner Merisiya.

Well, here, these are the two sticky wickets of Budi and as well as they’re also the liabilities: to government and as well as to the state in general, and they are not serving anyone’s meaningful interest, but they are just upsetting the apple cart and are making the situation worse – rather than making it better.

However, the reaction of this article is to make an analysis and to unclothe the physical substance, which bothered Budi- the county; in all aspects of life and things- markedly the security.

So, the evidence, recently, from the governor Louis (Lobong) and commissioner, Merisiya, on their fact finding trip, shows their invidious and envious tendencies and tough talks and the blames that are worth of nothing, but a typical sign of the fat’s in the fire.

Approximately on the 10th, October 2014, a governor and with him was the commissioner and together were on the salvation mission in an attempt to jolt off, or halt and detoxify the worsening situation to normality.

But instead, they took a far-fetched direction, denigrated and displayed only a tribal colour. This shows a clear zero empathy and a lack thereof, the problem-solving skills.

In reality, though, who is to deceive whom, with this government, which only favours and employs hare-brained individuals to eye after the people’s security and above all, governance?

So let us now pick up an affair that is currently taking the place in Chukudum or Budi County, unfortunately, the governor and his commissioner are turning the state resources as their private business.

And to illustrate on this, they have made the army into their impresarios, just a drama for killing everybody including the innocent.

In Budi county, there is a gap and lack of leadership and too generally, in the entire state of Eastern Equatoria.

Nevertheless, these are some of the ancient making sense political thought, Chanakya c.350-c 275 BCE, which I have just read:

“A ruler is responsible for the welfare, security, and discipline of his people.
He needs to have a wide range of knowledge, skills, and personal qualities.
He must be trained in self-discipline and statecraft before taking office.
While in office, he must be advised by able and experience ministers.
Government is possible only with assistance. A single wheel does not move…”

So, one must here, ask a genuine question, is the governor of Eastern Equatoria and the commissioner of Budi county, virtuously possess these genus?

It has been understood, with the worst recorded bloodshed, is that, Governor Lobong and his fingerprints were found in every single case. Some examples of well-documented massacres: were the killing in Lauro and one of two-to-three years ago; the Lorema and so many others.

But, we’ll never ever also not to forget the one of Camp Fifteen and now, the last straw is in Chukudum-Budi headquarters. So for that reason alone, Lobong’s feet have to be held into the fire because of everything.

And also Morris (Merisiya), the commissioner has to be charged and the government of South Sudan is to be blamed and very strongly; for being passive on all the cases.

Nonetheless, and as it is the matter of fact, thereafter, following every case we had had written a good number of documents with some valid recommendations for the government to do something about them. But, nothing seems to be coming serious and filtered through it, but who are we to lie to, because all answers given to us are obvious and also too clear to us and it is that…, we are not bothered, so far, but deal with it.

Because of that attitude from Juba, governor and commissioner were let loose and allowed to run amok-on steroid and whisky as it has been the case, and they continue to kill as they desire, their sworn enemies, per chance.

In conclusion, with the governor Lobong and commissioner Merisiya in authority, our views will still remain that the government is fighting with the people, but a decent thing that the government should do is to do away with these two people, these are: the governor and commissioner.

Upper Nile diary: Atrocities, federalism & the Shilluk

BY: JAMES COPNALL, AfricanArgumentsEditor, OCT/18/2014, SSN;

Even in a war of rapidly fluctuating military fortunes, Malakal stands out: the capital of Upper Nile state changed hands six times between December and March. And even in a war characterised by massive atrocities, Malakal has been hit particularly hard: the number of civilians killed by both sides may never be known, but it is clear that patients were shot in their hospital beds, among numerous other human rights violations.

Malakal is now a shrunken shadow of its former self, a distressing sight for anyone who knew the town before. Market stalls are shuttered, where the doors haven’t been bashed in, or burnt. Some abandoned residential areas, which bore the brunt of the fighting, are now over-run by foliage, the town returning to the bush; the UN estimates that 22% of the town was destroyed.

Now Malakal is populated mainly by soldiers, with large houses and NGO offices requisitioned for the war effort. Most civilians have fled. More than six months after the government regained control of the town, over 17,000 people still live in the grotesquely swollen UN base a 10 minute drive from the main urban area, coping as best they can with their temporary shelters, the lack of hygiene, and the reality of their newly reduced circumstances.

Some of the displaced cautiously make their way into town during the day, to sell goods in the market, or check on what is left of their houses. Most believe it is still too dangerous to leave the camp.

Those now living in muddy squalor in the UN base are, like the population of Upper Nile state itself, mainly Nuer, Dinka and Shilluk. Their interactions inside and outside the UN base mirror the shifting dynamics of politics in the state.

In the years before independence, there was considerable frustration in the Shilluk kingdom, which borders the White Nile around Malakal. Many complained that their land had been stolen by the Dinka, with the support of the ‘Dinka-dominated’ SPLA. Several Shilluk self-defence groups sprang up.

Tensions increased during the 2010 elections. South Sudan’s major opposition leader, Lam Akol, is a Shilluk, and received considerable support from his home region, increasing the perception within the SPLM/A that the area and its people represented trouble. Shilluk politicians within the SPLM, including Pa’gan Amum, then the Secretary General of the party, lost popularity at home because of their apparent inability to help ‘their’ people in a time of need.

Armed resistance grew. In March 2011, in the run-up to independence, a Shilluk militia leader, Johnson Olony, attacked Malakal town. He eventually joined the South Sudan Democratic Movemement/Army (SSDM/A), a loose coalition of rebel groups backed by Khartoum, and became its leader after the death of George Athor. However, in June 2013, Olony accepted a presidential amnesty, reportedly after receiving an ultimatum from the Shilluk king.

Six months later, South Sudan slid into civil war. As thousands of SPLA soldiers (predominantly Nuer) defected to him, Riek Machar could have been forgiven for hoping for significant reinforcements from among the Shilluk.

They, too, had many grievances with President Salva Kiir’s government. If sizable Shilluk forces, perhaps led by Olony, had turned on the government, Machar’s chances of hanging on to Malakal, and over-running the Paloich oilfields to the north, would have increased considerably. This did not happen.

Shilluk chiefs, elders and others told me that things could have been very different if Machar’s forces had stopped their bloody march at Malakal in the early days of the war. Instead, the rebels attacked several Shilluk villages, on both banks of the White Nile.

“We were surprised when the Nuer came and killed our people,” says Jok Wanh Adiang, a sub-chief in the small town of Wau Shilluk, a 20 minute boat raid north of Malakal, which is now home to thousands of Shilluk displaced. “It’s very bad.” The chief of Wau Shilluk, Obieny Jako Adhok, says that “when the Nuer came, we thought it was to fight Dinka. But when they arrived, they came and killed Shilluk and looted property. So that’s why the Shilluk didn’t join the rebels.”

Instead, Olony’s forces played a major role in the government campaigns to regain control of Malakal. At the otherwise muted Independence Day celebrations in July, Olony, a giant man, received warm cheers. He told the crowds that he had a “doctorate in fighting”, both a boast about his military prowess, and a rebuke to the academically-qualified Shilluk politicians who have not protected and developed the area.

According to the chiefs, Olony is actively recruiting Shilluk into his forces. The men are given ‘the price of soap’, small incentives, rather than a salary. They are seen not as a component of the SPLA, but as a ‘Shilluk self-defence force’, the chiefs say. As elsewhere in South Sudan, the creation of ethnic militias, while an understandable counter-insurgency strategy, is deeply damaging to the cohesion of the nation.

The politicians in Juba and Addis Ababa usually say that ethnicity is not a driving factor in the conflict. Although this may have been true at the very outset, a succession of atrocities targeting one ethnic group or another, in Juba, Bentiu, Bor, Malakal and elsewhere, make it harder and harder to deny that ethnicity is at least part of the equation.

And very often, lower-ranking officials, civilians and traditional authorities identify ethnic animosity or community self-preservation as the key motivation for the fighting.

Some of those tensions are felt inside the UN base. Nuer camp dwellers in general are too scared to go into town, which is controlled by the SPLA and Olony’s forces. They also know they are mistrusted by the other displaced people: “because I am from Nassir, they think I am with the rebels”, says one.

In February, several people were killed as fighting outside the camp brought skirmishes within. Since then, the divisions have largely been kept under control. The end of the rainy season is likely to bring more conflict in Upper Nile state, and may raise the temperature within the camp too.

The fighting has also strengthened the desire of many Shilluk to call for greater autonomy, a wish that, ironically, is also the ideology of the federal system demanded by Riek Machar.

Sitting on a plastic chair outside a makeshift shelter in the UN camp, a social worker and respected elder, Stanislas Obul, tells the story of the Hyena, the Leopard, the Lion and the Snake, who end up killing each other. “These are the animals that cannot live together”, he says, before referring explicitly to the Nuer and the Dinka.

Obul, like the chiefs in Wau Shilluk, and others in Upper Nile state, argues for greater independence for the Shilluk and by extension everyone else in South Sudan – a larger terrain in which the dangerous animals will not have to mingle. This may not happen – and it may not be desirable, given the danger of creating ‘tribal islands’ which would dilute any sense of a strong national identity. But certainties in South Sudan are being swept away by the day.

James Copnall is a journalist and author of ‘A Poisonous Thorn in Our Hearts: Sudan and South Sudan’s Bitter and Incomplete Divorce’. He is editor of ‘Making Sense of the Sudans’.

For genuine peace in South Sudan, the peasants must be involved

BY: TABAN ROY, Uganda, OCT/16/2014, SSN;

Our country is in an intensive political care unit with devious quack doctors hovering over the patient, taking their own time to maximize the gains like vultures over a carcass. Time has exposed these IGAD masked doctors, they cannot be trusted to diagnose quick and effective remedy to the patient other than putting a drip to buy time for the bills to swell.

We have lost every essence of nationalism that once bound us together during the long struggle for freedom, justice and liberty, words we should be ashamed to pronounce if our actions are to be dictated upon by our conscious.

Alas! No, we have degenerated into murderous, war mongers, oppressors, lovers of money, more than the nation….. the list is endless yet we expected someone else to clean the mess we open mindedly triggered.

We can cast blames and counter blames but one thing stands out clear, peace cannot be forced nor fixed for convenience.

To put into perspective, those who marry to please their relatives or parents will soon discover rocky grounds and troubled waters down the road of this marriage of incontinence.

The disturbing question is, do we have to sign peace to please IGAD and the international community or we have come into realizations that the war is uncalled for?

To answer this question we must examine the probable cause of the bitter split among the once brothers/comrades and the resulting consequence that is threatening to tear the country apart attracting wolves and vultures to devour the poor new nation for their own survival.

In my own point of view, the lost of Dr. John Garang in that fateful day of the plane crash was the beginning of our trouble. Although Garang was and is still accused of autocratic tendencies, he was a nationalist who would go to any length to salvage a situation such as the one we are in.

It’s not in distant memory that we all know the bitter 1991 split that almost brought the movement onto its knees that most people including me would find it hard to believe that the then bitter foes in the persons of Dr. Garang and Dr. Riak could shake hands and dine on same table after losing innocent members of their respective clans as a result of their wrangles over power.

Oh yes! Garang was ready to forgive for the sake of the nation. One thing we must note is that the mediation was not conducted by foreigners but our own elders, clergy men and women so was the likely split between Garang and Kiir which was eventually and successfully reconciled in Rumbek, by our people not the international community.

Most of our political leadership in both camps, the ruling party and the opposition have their moral authorities compromised so much so that making it back to the top on a level ground is almost impossible having being alleged to have committed terrible crimes in one way or the other.

For such people political survival other than provision of services to the people is their preoccupation. They have to keep the status quo of their families abroad most of whom live lavish life styles at the expense of the poor.

The Minister for youth and sports, Mr. Akol, had a point in one of his speeches over Radio Miraya FM if my memory serves me well, the young minister from Lakes states hinted the fact that leaders should have their families (children and wives) here to enhance patriotism and service delivery the way he does.

One could add that our legislatures should have moved a motion prohibiting senior government officers from taking their families abroad to reduce the imperialistic like government, looting and feasting on the loots where their voters – the peasants, the orphans and widows – have no chance to pick the crumbs.

We do not only cheat the peasants and the fallen comrades but continuous manipulation of their children into another Armageddon using the tribal card.

Truth being said, being President Salva Kiir is not easy, some of these greedy senior officers tactfully play the tribal cards to protect their evil. It’s not uncommon in South Sudan that when a Minister is fired, his tribes-mates see it as an attack on their tribe or state or the region as whole regardless of reasons behind the sacking, for them, the culprits should be allowed to loot too.

How do we expect a change or revolution from this same clique? We ought to remember that the war was largely fought by the peasants, some of whom laid down their weapons just after the CPA.

Today it’s the same peasants in the trenches in defense of their kinsmen, their looters. They are dying of hunger, living undignified lives in Camps while their so called “our mans” and their families do not know how it feels like to live in a refugee come with limited meal/diet.

It’s only us, you and I who will bring genuine lasting peace to our nation not any foreign nation.

Firstly, we must find and aggregate means of solving our problems using our cultural methods, not ruling out support from impartial friends around the globe but not the double edged sword nations.

We must swallow the bitter truth that the majority of the butchers and the butchered are sons and daughters of the less privileged maliciously recruited to join in defense of their respective political cultists, lured in mobilizations dubbed resistance/freedom fighters or national defense, adding more fuel into the furnace.

Indeed mass ignorance is the wreck of our nation. Seriously, who is benefiting from this conflict?

Secondly, we must accept there are no saints these days, the accused and the accuser must take responsibility and find space in their hearts to apologize and forgive.

History has proven this beyond reasonable doubt that our actions are sometimes dictated by need, survival and unfortunately the tendency to dominate yet there is always prosperity after confession, forgiveness and acceptance of each other like what happened in South Africa.

It was Desmond Tutu who led the truth and reconciliation Commission, we have Tutus in South Sudan in the persons of Rt. Bishop Paride Taban with in-depth knowledge of the movement, the people, individuals in the SPLA leadership, I have faith he would act impartially.

But then, the people, the poor who suffer the brunt of their carnage must also be involved from grass roots, something Garang mastered too well. He involved the local chiefs every step of the way that was why he garnered immense support across the nation.

He knew too well that our cultural born leaders still command great adoration and respect thus engaging them could be a formidable tool to employ if we need to realized people’s owed peace

Grassroot engagement of the local leaders across the nation and societal structure would first and far most foster collective responsibility, enshrining nationalism at the grass roots level.

They should know the facts, the causes and result of the war. This I believe if diligently done would deny destructive politicians raw material to advance their selfish interests.

Thirdly, the fragmented civil society must be engaged with preconditions. Most of our civil society does not conform to the realities that the warring parties will treat them with suspicion if they continue to rely on international donor support from nations viewed hostile to the either side, the government or the rebels.

There must be a way to demonstrate impartiality other than relying and identifying with a particular donor(s). This group should nominate and vet their representatives with approval from the antagonizing parties with funding from agreed source.

IGAD dominated by Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya are only too happy to keep us where we are to continue consuming their goods and services for their respective nations’ Economic growth. Relying on them is a national disasters. END

Taban Roy ; Uganda

UGANDA to buy WEAPONS for Kiir’s Government!!!!

From NEW VISION, Kampala, OCT/15/2014, SSN;

The South Sudanese government has signed a long-term agreement on military cooperation with Uganda, defence Minister, Kuol Manyang Juuk said on Monday.

Full details of the agreement are yet to be made public, although it’s understood it will allow Uganda purchase weapons and technological support on behalf of South Sudan if required.

The announcement came after Juuk and his Ugandan counterpart, Crispus Kiyonga held a meeting at which they discussed military and weapons cooperation, Sudan Tribune has reported.

“We have signed the cooperation agreement in order to work together and support each other,” Juuk told the state-owned South Sudan Television (SSTV).

The development follows the recent visit of president Salva Kiir to the Ugandan capital, Kampala, where he attended a summit on the Standard Gauge Railway, a regional developmental initiative aimed at fostering the movement of people, goods and services across the region.

According to the minister in the office of the president, Awan Guol Riak, Kiir was able to hold bilateral discussions with the heads of state and governments in the region, including the host, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, with whom the former discussed issues connected to peace talks in Ethiopia.

The talks, which are being mediated by the regional bloc, the Intergovernmental authority on Development (IGAD), are part of attempts aimed at ending the 10-month-long conflict, but appear to have hit an apparent deadlock recently over what executive powers should be granted to the prime minister and the president.

Museveni is among the key players in the conflict and the talks, given the Ugandan’s army’s (UPDF) deployment to the country following the outbreak of violence to fight alongside government troops, who are battling to contain an armed rebellion led by former vice-president Riek Machar.

Uganda’s involvement in the conflict has irked some countries in the region and there have been calls for the Ugandan military to withdraw.

A key driver behind Uganda’s continued desire to maintain its arms capability is its continued military involvement in South Sudan. Following the breaking out of fighting in Juba in December 2013, Uganda intervened, deploying two battalions into the country. Uganda Peoples’ Defence Force (UPDF) spokesperson has stated that the army’s mission is primarily to protect key installations and to ease safe evacuation of the Uganda nationals in South Sudan. However, BMI(Boston, USA) believes that Uganda’s decision to deploy its military in South Sudan is less a benevolent act and more an assertion of its increasing regional dominance.

A senior military officer told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday that the UPDF’s intervention, with its military hardware, had saved South Sudan’s leadership from being toppled.

“Out of record, I want to say that it would have taken us [a] much, much longer time to exert full control and to take back Juba, had Uganda not intervened in the last battle outside Bor (Jonglei state capital) around Jameza,” the officer said.

As such, we expect imports to Uganda, which lacks its own military-industrial base, from Russia and China in particular, to steadily increase for the foreseeable future.

END

Gurtong isn’t a revenge preaching & killing machine – It’s only lacking a “brain” behind it.

BY: Agok Takpiny, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA, OCT/13/2014, SSN;

On 5 October 2014, Mr J. Nguen from Canada wrote an article entitled: “Gurtong Trust: A revenge-preaching & killing machine- why Norway, UK & the Swiss fund it”?

That article evoked the editor, Mr Jacob J. Akol of “The Gurtong Trust-Peace and Media Project” to respond to Mr J. Nguen on what he thinks was grossly inappropriate (which I agree) in Mr J. Nguen’S article.

As he went on to explain the position of his organization (Gurtong Trust-Peace and Media Project) on South Sudan issues, Mr Jacob Akol said that and I quote “Gurtong does not publish hate speeches. Period. If there is anything against Gurtong, it is the uniform rejection of publication of hate speeches or extremely biased opinions without balance. When on occasions we publish a seemingly biased opinion, we try to balance it with a similar counter opinion. We do not publish hate speeches against anyone, including Riek Machar and Kiir Mayardit.”

This is where I got involved, I am one of the people whose articles have been continually rejected by Gurtong. And I find the statement (“If there is anything against Gurtong, it is the uniform rejection of publication of hate speeches or extremely biased opinions without balance”) by Mr Jacob Akol somewhat offensive.

At first glance, any conscious individual would give the above quotation by Mr Jacob Akol a nod. There is nothing wrong with what he said, it is rightly put and this is supposedly a standard which the public would expect from all media platforms to adhere to.

However, for somebody like me who has put that statement to the test, I have anecdotal evidence to suggest that Mr Jacob Akol put his own interest above that of the organization that employed him.

According to Gurtong Trust-Peace and Media Project charter, the supposedly organizational activities would be to promote peace by either originating ideas or by taking opinions deemed to foster peace from all concerned South Sudanese and share it with its readership for wider outreach through its media platform.

However, Mr Akol makes the objectivity or any peace substances in any opinion article the last criteria when determining whether to publish that opinion article or not.

Like many managers or editors, every position has its powers and discretion bestowed upon the occupant of the position. I therefore can understand if Mr Jacob Akol decided to reject all opinion articles including mine.

He can either do it by explaining his reasons why or he can simply refuse without providing the reason why the articles cannot be published. If that was the case, I would have found no reason to feel exasperated with Mr Jacob Akol.

However, the idea that all articles which Mr Jacob Akol refused to publish in his internet base media are “hate speeches or extremely biased opinions without balance” is simply irresponsible and sorely lacking validity.

Does Mr Akol really understand what is “hate speech, bias and unbalance” opinions and how to identify one?

On the 29th of June this year, I wrote an article entitled “How the rampant embezzlement can be wrestled: Open letter to Pres. Kiir” (http://www.southsudannation.com/?s=open+letter+to+president+kiir) which Gurtong have published.

In that article, I explained the areas where there are shortcomings (in my opinion) in regard to fighting corruption in South Sudan. I criticized the system and individuals like Deng Alor, who immensely contributed in helping the system to fail (by looting public monies when they are the ones to supposedly safeguard it).

However, like many of my opinions, I ended that article with some recommendations which in my opinion would work if implemented.

Fast forward, on 25 September 2014, I wrote an article entitled: “Spare us from further humiliation & put the damn expat expulsion circular on the shelf” (http://www.southsudannation.com/spare-us-from-further-humiliation-put-the-damn-expat-expulsion-circular-on-the-shelf/).

This article was about the circular which the minister of Labour issued to some businesses and NGOs that employed foreign nationals. Like my other article which was published by Gurtong, I explained what in my opinion was wrong with the circular that the minister had issued. Also I rebuked the claimant and some derogatory comments made by our East African neighbours against us (South Sudanese) in the wake of the circular.

On the same note, I ended that article with some recommendations. There was nothing in this article to suggest that it was a “hate speech, bias or unbalanced”. However, Gurtong has refused to publish it.

Finally, I wrote another article on the 6 October 2014 which goes with the title: “Why the Lakes state conflict is a result of a continuous misdiagnosis of its genesis”? (http://www.southsudannation.com/why-the-lakes-state-conflict-is-a-result-of-a-continuous-misdiagnosis-of-its-genesis/).

Since this article is still fresh, I assumed that many of the readers still remember it. Thus, I will not go to its details again.

However, on the positive note, whether it is a mere coincidence or not, one of my recommendations in this article has been picked up and is currently underway to be partially implemented.

And I must thank the editor Dr Peter Wankomo of Southsudannation.com and “paanluelwel.com: South Sudanese bloggers” by giving all South Sudanese a platform to voice their opinions in regard to the issues plaguing our country.

In this article I recommended that all heads (those who act as some sort of the council) of the cattle camps together with the traditional chiefs to be integrated into the Lakes state government to foster a two-way communication between the state government and the grassroots community as a remedy to settle the seemingly uncontrollable violence in the state.

I suggested that they be also included in the government’s payroll and be paid like any other employees.

This is exactly what the commissioner of the Rumbek central county is about to do. According to the 12 October 2014 news published on https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/lakes-state-galweng-mobilized-community-police.

“The commissioner of the Rumbek Centre County is mobilizing the Galweng militia to restore order to South Sudan’s Lakes state. Mawet Manuer Khok said 70 Galweng youth will be recruited from cattle camps to serve as community police… Khok said the Galweng (cattle keepers) will be paid for their services”.

I am not claiming that the commissioner is doing what I said should be done, but the fact that this initiative came barely six days after publishing the article is enough to suggest that the commissioner or his aide has picked up the idea from here which by the way was precisely the intention of the article in the first place.

This article is far from hate speech and it is not bias, however, Mr Jacob Akol has refused to publish it. Who knows, if Gurtong had published this article, those whose other recommendations (dowry price and blood money) fall under their responsibilities, but may only be Gurtong readers would have picked up the ideas and evaluated it to see if they can implement it.

In conclusion, if Mr Jacob Akol put the Gurtong values into the dustbin and choose to deliberately reject supposedly fair opinions on the pretext that they are hate speeches or bias, then he is simply serving his personal interest and not that of the organisation which employed him.

On the other hand, if Mr Jacob Akol is working according to the Gurtong charter, he then simply have no capacity to comprehend and identify what equates to “hate speech or bias” and what is not.

Disclaimer: views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author. Agok Takpiny is a concerned South Sudanese in Melbourne Australia. He can be reached on agoktakpiny@ymail.com

Cattle camps are far more organized & suitable for living than current Kiir’s Rep. of South Sudan

BY: Chuol C. Puoch, South Sudanese, KAMPALA, OCT/12/2014, SSN;

In spite all the hardships and difficulties that are common in cattle camps, because the objective of moving to those cattle camps is not for making a good life for people, it’s all about grazing the cattle; you must believe me that those cattle camps are, in anyway, better than the current South Sudan in the hands of Salva Kirr Mayardit.

I am very sure, for those of you who may have witnessed or lived the life in cattle camps and especially during the first months of migration, there isn’t doubt that you’ll extraordinarily agree with me. Presence of unusual fattened female mosquitoes carrying malaria in their mouths is rampant; shocking movement of some poisonous snakes and insects is unquestionable, omnivores animal looking for human beings to eat are so much and hungry crocodiles waiting for human with their mouth opened wider; unfriendly grasses and bushes all over, strange sound of wild birds and reptiles is constant, just to mention a few, are all examples of how the life is in cattle camps.

For those of you who never been to cattle camps, I guess with an imagination of all the above mentioned and many more, you will, perhaps, really feel how that life would be. It is with no argument that people live between death and life in those cattle camps.

However, putting in to consideration all the above mentioned difficulties, you would promptly choose to live in cattle camps instead of Juba and other places under the government of Salva Kirr Mayardit.

If you ask me why, I will answer you that I mean it. Juba has turned to a new Sodom and Gomorrah of the 21st Century in the history of the world.

Innocent civilians gets disappeared every single hour, the security organs accuse them of having link with the Country’s rebels, the SPLM/A-in-opposition. It has been understood that there is no prison for those innocently accused civilians as they are taken directly from their houses to mass graves in the outskirts of Juba city.

Women in Juba are silently being raped and threatened to never disclose the fact as they are promised to be slaughtered should they do so. The SPLA-Juba forces are believed to be the mostly involved group in this activity because they say that they have left their wives for the protection and defense of the land and the government under Gen. Salva Kirr Mayardit.

Another thing they (SPLA-Juba) do is a “night robbing operation” in Juba city in the NGOs and private companies’ premises asking for money forcefully; journalists are aware of how they will be tortured and killed should any of them report those acts at night.

The loitering youths and soldiers of Bahr el Gazel who have hugely migrated from their region to Juba are currently involved in a very unhealthy activity: With assistance of language from their brothers in the town, they bring those prostitutes from the market and sleep with them one after the other, where they never pay the lady even at the end.

Do not inquire whether they use condoms or not – No Condoms. All of them, and probably the whole of Bahr el Gazel and South Sudan (God forbid) will be HIV positive. According to them, the tactics of bringing only one lady by one person to be used by all of them is to avoid being recognized by the ladies in the market if all of them could be going at once as they don’t pay the ladies enormously.

As witnessed and confirmed by the United Nations Special Representative of The Secretary General on Sexual Violence in the Post Conflict, Zeinab Banguru, women in the three states of greater Upper Nile are subjected to constant sexual exploitation by the armed men.

A woman never goes to look for firewood and gets back clean and not raped. Most of the time, they never report to the NGOs or UN as the culture advice and influence them not to do so.

In Malakal town, the night is always busy with the few Shilluk/Chollo ladies who insist staying in Malakal town. I was told that they have a timetable of “when-to-who” among the officers of the SPLA forces in the town and only cash and bullet speak.

I didn’t believe it, for God’s sake, that we may succumb to engage our very own people – mothers and sisters – in those unlawful and crazy practices

In Bentiu, the SPLA-Juba troops hide behind the roads and the fence of UNMISS waiting for women who collect firewood and then rape them. It has even let the women stop going out for firewood around the UNMISS base in Bentiu as it’s not only risky, but it also involves some inhumane night mare.

Why putting our Country and its people into these atrocities which they don’t deserve? Don’t we feel ashamed and accountable for all that has happened and happening to them?

Does this government qualify and deserve any support from a sound minded human being, looking at all that they have done?

The Country has become messily disorganized and has lost its suitability for living. South Sudanese are constantly suffering inside and outside the Country in terms of all the basic human needs, but the government of Salva Kirr is putting up closed eyes and deaf ears on that perspective.

The followers of Salva Kirr’s government, and especially the Nuer members, believe that they have defeated their Nuer fellows in politics. They see this era of confusion, atrocities, mismanagement and Bahr el Gazelized system as a source of getting wealth and satisfying their needs.

They have gone as far as bribing people to support the system that kills, a government that humiliates and assassinates its people; A government that has no vision and objectives to the country and its citizen. Why?

You will believe me; it’s now better to live in the EBOLA affected Countries in West Africa than to live in Juba or South Sudan, unless you choose to be part of the system and start your atrocities or support them in assassinating and kidnapping people.

The New Sodom and Gomorrah needs a lot of work to be done to clean it and bring back its value and pride. The atrocities are now being fueled by making them legal through the fake parliament.

The recent security bill that was passed by the less than quarter loyalists and supporters of murder and assassination in the National Parliament is a clear indication that things will certainly even be worse than the Old Sodom and Gomorrah, not to talk of cattle camps.

We will not only hear it this time round, we will strangely see it and feel it unavoidably, believe me.

Chuol C. Puoch is a South Sudanese living in South Sudan; (But currently in Kampala in time of writing this piece) he can be added/follow on Facebook with his name mentioned above, on twitter @ChuolChot and via email: chuolchotson@gmail.com . You can also access and follow his words on www.chuolchotson.wordpress.com

South Sudanese ‘Peace Talks’: What we need to know

BY: Kuir ë Garang, CANADA, OCT/12/2014, SSN;

In my last appearance on Lagos-based TVC news, I sounded a little more optimistic regarding the prospect for ‘peace’ in South Sudan, a position that’d sound naïve to anyone who’s familiar with the intransigence and job-focused nature of politicking in South Sudan.

Anyone, who takes what South Sudanese politicians say literally, risks falling into the unforgiving side of history. That is a good thing to remember when it comes to South Sudanese political mechanics. However, that shouldn’t mean a good step taken shouldn’t be acknowledged despite the constellation of obstacles facing the peace process.

The Obstacle: Jobbization of National Agenda
The talks in Ethiopia are indeed about the future of South Sudan. However, they are by no means tailored towards the future of the average South Sudanese. The talks, mostly about jobs and not peace, are purely about personal ambitions and political positions.

What Dr. John Garang De Mabior saw as jobbism disguised as patriotism among the Anya Anya II leaders is what’s characterizing the current conflict. Almost everyone in the SPLM in opposition has grievances about a job lost or a job one didn’t get.

On the government side, it’s about protecting one’s job not necessarily about standing up for the people of South Sudan. This is a great obstacle for peace in South Sudan.

As long as both parties don’t see something written down, something that guarantees them government jobs and ensure job security and longevity, we wouldn’t see the peace signed soon.

The Obstacle: IGAD, Medley of Incompetence and Dictatorship
Inter-Government Agency on Development (IGAD) is credited as having successfully mediated the peace process that culminated in Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005; and eventually ended with the peaceful secession of South Sudan from Sudan. However, a number of things have to be considered before that assumption takes hold in history as having a definitive Truth Value.

CPA was realized because of a number of factors we don’t see now in Ethiopia (Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar).
– The documents aren’t drafted by the very people who know why the war started in the first place. The warring parties just receive IGAD drafted documents.
– IGAD isn’t mediating but dictating the terms. A credible mediator doesn’t threaten but convinces the warring parties. The fact that IGAD threatens the warring parties is a clear indication of mediation and mediators’ failure.
– The key players in Sudanese war took charge of the peace negotiations in Naivasha and no great consultations were required outside the peace venue.
– When Dr. John and Taha took charge of the talks, the world knew that the ideologues behind the Sudanese religio-military, socio-economic and politico-racial dimensions were at the table and could adequately reconcile the war paradigms and dimensions.
– Taha and Garang struck a cordial working relationship that, to everyone, indicated that the language of peace was here and that ‘peace was coming.’ We don’t see that now in Ethiopia.
– CPA wasn’t about who gets what job-wise, but the security of the agreement, fail-safe mechanisms for referendum, resources sharing and everything that was in the interest of the people of South Sudan. Now, in Ethiopia, it’s all about JOBS.

IGAD has proven itself to be an utter failure. Garang and Taha were the ones who brought the CPA. The leadership, moral courage and patriotism shown by Garang and Taha have been replaced by self-interest driven talks meant to secure one’s political survival.

Mediators should create an enabling atmosphere for peace to blossom. Instead, IGAD has created a poisonous atmosphere where the warring parties don’t trust it.

How can an organization mediate between two parties that don’t trust it? This is a fallacy IGAD isn’t ashamed to maintain.

But what did we expect from the likes of Yoweri Museveni, Paul Kagame, Omer Al-Beshir, Ismael Guelleh, Isaias Aferweki, Haile Mariam Desalegn …among others?

These are leaders with sorry-state human rights records. How can we possibly expect them to care about South Sudanese if they don’t even care about their own citizens? Anyone who checks the human rights records of these leaders and their political control mechanisms would just feel sorry for the people of South Sudan.

How can these leaders give South Sudanese something they don’t have in their own countries?

Why would they allow President Kiir to stop what they actually cherish: Absolute Totalitarianism and Unquestionable Leadership for Life?

Lack of Accountability
South Sudanese leaders aren’t accountable to anyone. With no doubt they can do what they want and when they want. It’s regrettable that they have extended this state of mind to regional and world leaders.

They duped South Sudanese, plunged them into perpetual misery and poverty, and proved to the world that civilians don’t mean anything.

The Cessation of Hostilities agreement was signed on January 23 and Cease Fire agreement signed on May 9 by the two Principals, all of wish were violated with no consequences. The leaders recommitted themselves in June to sign the agreement and end the war by August 10.

That day came and went. Then recently the leaders of IGAD (naively, I think) conditioned the two Principals to sign the agreement in 60 days. This day came and went on October 9.

Despite the threats of sanctions and the threats of famine on the people of South Sudan, the two warring parties refused to sign the agreement. And they have done so without any consequences.

One is left to ask: Why would these people sign any agreement if they face no consequences. They treat the people of South Sudan like dirt and insects and get away with it. And they are doing the same thing with world leaders. Like South Sudanese, the world and regional leaders are just as helpless.

Why would the regional and world leaders expect leaders to comply when they aren’t accountable to anyone but themselves?

Glimmer of Hope
Despite all the dishonesty and lack of concern, South Sudanese leaders seem to have taken a small step towards peace and that is something worth noting. Federalism and creation of the position of Prime Minister were dismissed outright by the South Sudanese government side. Accepting these controversial issues is a step in the right direction.

I have come to realize that South Sudanese leaders say a lot of things they don’t mean and even things they wouldn’t do.

Michael Makuei Lueth, the South Sudanese minister of information and the current spokesperson of the government, talks in a manner that makes it hard for people to believe him. I have ceased to take him seriously. A man with no sense of courtesy towards others, doesn’t care about the consequences of what he says, is not someone you can take seriously.

He says a lot of things that are not only detrimental to the government but to South Sudan as a whole. However, I’ve come to realize that it’s what is signed in Addis that matters rather than what the perpetually disgruntled Makuei says.

And in an equally annoying manner, Mabior Garang De Mabior, the opposition PR person, says a lot of things that are dangerous for peace in the country. Mabior has great potential to positively contribute towards socio-economic development in South Sudan; however, the young man is filled with mysterious bitterness and anger that undermines the supposedly national interest he’s fighting for.

I have therefore started to see these two men as talkers rather than men whose ‘settling of scores’ statements mean anything. My glimmer of hope therefore rests with the papers signed rather than what these two men say. They are meant to talk and propagandize ad infinitum and so far their talks mean nothing.

And US’s Stephen Rapp beautifully summarises, while speaking in Juba recently, the risks of focusing on the elite power-sharing while excluding the needs of the average South Sudanese due to lack of accountability.

“But the point is if this conflict will end just with some kind of deal between elites, or some kind of power sharing, that will not bring peace to this country. It will indicate that in the future, acts of violence could be rewarded. And so genuine peace requires that accountability element…”

There are indeed on-and-of talks in Ethiopia; but they aren’t necessarily talks about peace or the well-being of South Sudanese but jobs, simple callous quest for jobs.

Kuir ë Garang is a South Sudanese writer and author living in Canada. For contact, visit www.kuirthiy.info

If federalism can’t be achieved, why not try confederation!

By: Justin Ambago Ramba, OCT/09/2014, SSN;

It is fairly true to say that a good chunk of the history of South Sudan has largely been about the quest for self-determination and to some extend a search for a federal system of governance. Both were believed if achieved would guarantee for our people an equitable participation in the affairs of their country and a fair distribution of its wealth, power and opportunities among its different peoples and regions.

Without doubt the well-deserved sovereign status of South Sudan remains the best thing that has ever happened to its great people. However there are still many mind boggling issues that someone like me who believes in more than one Sudan continues to struggle with.

The worst of these is of course how the same Old Jallaba practices of political opportunism has made its way into the new country’s political life.

MPs in South Sudan hit their lowest when many of them were literally bought into silence on the issue of federalism. Some have no shame as they try to express their pro-government position by saying that the federalism they called for is different from the federalism being championed by the rebels of the SPLM – IO and its leader Dr Riek Machar.

Of course many have secretly shifted their stance on governance to support the incumbent corrupt, centralized unitary system. Shame on them if they don’t know that it was this centralized unitary system of governance albeit cosmeticized to appear as a devolved system that in fact represented the tool used by Jallaba to oppress and dehumanize our people in the Old Sudan.

Whatever cons and pros of decentralisation is being discussed the onus is that the hired apologists will always argue in the interest of their masters who pay them to do so. During the course of this extremely important debate on governance in the world’s newest country PR has no room and should better be avoided.

At best we have heard apologists trying to repackage and resell the same old empty decentralization (in fact heavy centralized) which failed the old Sudan and eventual broke it into two.

Albert Einstein once said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Think about this quote for a second and ask yourself, does this quote apply to the way you run our country?

Barely three years into its independence, South Sudan went ahead to surprise the whole world when its leaders chose in this record time to surrender the country and the fate of its 11.0 m people to a home grown dictator who heads a system that not only oppresses the people, but is already on record for indiscriminately killing its citizens. It has so far butchered tens of thousands of children, women, and old people I just a few months.

When a country’s long awaited and hardly won independence turns out only to mean a replacement of the foreign oppressors with local and home bred dictators you know that finger biting, frustration and sense of having been betrayed can be expected to dominate the scene.

Security agents of this new home grown oppressors continue to commit untold crimes while they unquestioningly serve their oppressive president and help him achieve his egocentric dream of becoming a sole dictator. Yet one of the main things that set our country apart is its huge diversities.

The illusion of setting up a central government for the sole aim of promoting ethnically driven supremacists’ agendas is not going to succeed. Have the South Sudanese not walked away from one such rotten system in the January 2011’s self-determination referendum?

Anyone in their right state of mind should have known better whether our people can accept a new imposition of basically the same rotten unitary centralized system of governance in an independent South Sudan!

It is not about who presides over such systems. The simple fact that it sets to produce more than one class of citizenship is a reason enough to class it as a nonstarter for our hard won independence!

What we are seeing today is a political betrayal of our people by a handful of politicians who are bent at reviving the long rejected “Jallaba” ideology of dividing our people based on their ethnicities into rulers and the ruled.

That ideology was fought and defeated and anyone who wants to reproduce it will taste the same defeat that our people inflicted on the “Jallaba”.

Even the mountains, the woods, the rivers and the wide sky of South Sudan are out there to tell everyone in the most unwavering terms that federalism has not only been the most outstanding demand by our people throughout the long history of the struggle for equality and justice, but in fact it is still the most popular demand.

This time around the political elites have unfortunately chosen to swap positions. Many in search of material gains have moved from the liberation camp to the oppression camp just over night. Yet we are not surprised at all at such changes in principles. We had in the not far past witnessed how politicians were bribed into abandoning the very masses whom they represent.

The same “belly-first” politician are at it again. They have suddenly gone back to their old ways and dropped their support for federalism in the current political power wrangling the moment they received financial favours and promise of positions in what essentially is a directionless and visionless government.

No wonder weak-hearted people will continue to be lured into serving under the current dictatorship and the price to pay once in positions of power is the all too known sudden retreat in principles.

No one should waste time wondering why this particular kind of behaviours are becoming a common place in our country’s politics.

Were you not there when even the most prominent of politicians, were equally made to commute endlessly between Khartoum, Rome and Mecca in the effort to keep their CVs up to date (religious status) in order to remain relevant in what was an ever changing political atmosphere as it existed in the Old Sudan.

“Always keeping pace”, was the name of the game!

So while the situation remains fluid as it now is, why don’t we continue with our responsibly and ponder further into other options giving special consideration for other alternatives like confederation.

Because by considering confederation as one of the options in our search for the best form of governance that can appeal to our unique historical background, South Sudanese will surely find an opportunity to revisit how well they as both ethnicities and individuals fit into this political equation called Republic of South Sudan.

Discussion on confederation will essentially enable South Sudanese to test……… maybe for the first time, whether they are all fine with who and what they are in the context of their citizenry in South Sudan and how they actual look at themselves in the new socio-political set up. They will seriously need to re-evaluate how they relate to other communities within what is now a sovereign state of south Sudan.

Importantly the people will have to openly discuss and express how they independently and without any external influence rate all these complex inter-communal relationships as they play out in in real time.

The different forms of how communities interact with and react to issues like cattle rustling, child abduction, rape as a tool of war and revenge, corruption, nepotism, tribalism, impunity…………etc …..etc, are all worth revisiting?

Decentralization like education only works well, when you have enough of it. And as little education can be dangerous so is the case with decentralisation. This without the least doubt leaves confederation as our best choice.

When considering which type of decentralization to adopt in South Sudan as it languishes today under the rule (misrule) of self-proclaimed liberators now turn oppressors, no stone should be left unturned. Our common oppressors’ single priority at this cross roads in our turmoilous history is to consolidate a system that will provide them with the legal means to decriminalize their appalling human rights records.

There are those who oppose federalism to the extent of unjustifiably declaring an all-out war on its advocates. Thinking that they will succeed in pushing the status quo down the peoples’ throats is something that needs a rethink. But why should we not just say enough is enough and stop these lunatics from further subduing the others while denying the new country any chance of democracy, meritocracy and justice or even a good name among nations!
All that said above, there still is an important missing connection here before we are done with this issues. Can someone tell us why our politicians don’t remain consistent in their demand for a federal SYSTEM, when every logic says that it is the only system to stabilise our country. For as things stand now, it won’t be too long before even this popular call for federalism becomes irrelevant once again. What we may all end up with couldn’t be any less than a confederation of three regions! Our history is our teacher.
At this juncture it makes sense to say if we cannot make President Kiir and his coterie see the benefits of a fully blown federal system for our downtrodden masses ( citizens of South Sudan), then we are duty bound to lower the bar and settle for the confederation of the Three Regions (Bahr Ghazal, Equatoria and Upper Nile ).
That is as far as people can go in perusing a peaceful settlement. But if the cost is made to include bloodletting, unnecessary loss of valuable lives and loss of properties, then lie assured that our bitter history with the Jallaba wont tale long before it savagely repeats itself.

By: Dr Justin Ambago Ramba. A columnist and a blogger on South Sudan politics and member of the South Sudan political parties’ delegation to the IGAD mediated Peace Talks!

The construction of future conflict in South Sudan

BY: ELHAG PAUL, South Sudan, OCT/11/2014, SSN:

It is over 9 months since President Salva Kiir unleashed his dogs of war, the ‘Dootku Beny,’ on the Nuer and the people of South Sudan killing tens of thousands and destabilising the country. President Kiir, Michael Makuie, General Wani Igga, Dr Martin Elia, Ateny Wek Ateny and their blind supporters are still in place engaged in violence and disinformation blitz to entrench Dinkocracy.

Defensively and in a persistent manner they bark loudly hoping to dupe the international community. “This government was democratically elected by the people of this country and the time for elections has not yet come”, “Any moves to replace an elected government by force was unconstitutional and unacceptable.” http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article52545

Obviously, these Dinkocrates have conveniently forgotten that they usurped power on the eve of independence on 9th July 2011. The democratic mandate they received in April 2010 expired with the break up of the then Sudan into two countries.

As everyone knows, elections have not been held in the new state of South Sudan. So what are they talking about?

Listening to and observing these Dinkocrats misbehave conjures up images of people who are out of touch with the reality. They speak with confidence while blocking their ears to the truth being told to them. To the world they are deaf and yet they want the world to listen and believe their side of the story which is completely false.

These Dinkocrats seem to believe in what they say to be the ultimate truth, even when the average person in the streets of South Sudan does not perceive it so. They have unreasonably convinced themselves that they are democratically elected and they must not be asked to cede power.

Whether it is President Kiir or his deputy General Wani Igga or Majok on the street, the vigour, fervour and the conviction with which they spread their lies is just the same. As social theory postulates – when something or a lie is repeatedly said, it gradually becomes a reality to the preacher with the bombarded listener turning into a believer.

In the process the preacher and those being preached to lose touch with reality. In a sense they become mentally corrupted. Could this be the thing that is affecting the Dinkocrates?

Could it be the same thing that sunk IGAD? Or was it IGAD’s partiality? Or is it a combination of both?

Whichever, IGAD is doomed to failure mostly due to its partiality. The songs of “democratically elected” only became sweeteners to solidify their biasness. IGAD does not offer any hope. It prescribes more of the same (SPLM misrule).

This is not peacemaking but rather the construction of future chaos and instability. Where then is the peaceful future that IGAD’s mediation promised? Who in South Sudan wants more of the same?

Who wants the continuation of the current tribalism, thuggery, and the Jieng engineered ethnic cleansings?

In a nutshell IGAD’s mediation represents doom and gloom for South Sudan. IGAD is not working for peace. It is working first for the interest of its heads of states and secondly for an entrenched instability in South Sudan.

So, in order to address the problem of South Sudan it requires focusing on the real root causes of the current problem namely: SPLM’s resistance to democratisation and diversification of power; the creation of private tribal armies like Dootku Beny; vicious Jieng tribalism; lawlessness and the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer.

These are the critical issues that must be addressed by all South Sudanese stakeholders if a lasting peace is to be achieved in South Sudan. What does IGAD then do? It embarks on one plan to patch the SPLM as a solution without plan “B”: http://allafrica.com/stories/201404140864.html

In the last 9 months it has done everything to realise this objective knowing very well that SPLM is the real problem. It is the cancer destroying South Sudan. SPLM in reality is a Jieng machine through which Jieng tribalism is detrimentally implemented in the country.

Disappointingly and unethically, IGAD has consistently worked with President Kiir frustrating the participation of the stakeholders to the extent that now the only parties left in Addis Ababa are the SPLM factions responsible for the chaos.

Interestingly, IGAD now shouts that peace is within reach. Do you see the hypocrisy of this club of dictators? What hope is there for South Sudan under the mediation of this hypocritical body?

Sweeping the real issues that plunged the country into chaos under the carpet and rewarding the very party responsible for it is not going to help in the healing process and the stabilisation of the country.

These issues will not go away, they will not disappear but they will fester and grow until they explode with devastating consequences. What IGAD is doing now in Addis Ababa is the deliberate construction of a future conflict.

So whatever deal they sign now will only afford South Sudanese a temporary respite. More over this deal would only be between Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile only. President Kiir and the SPLM-IG represent the former and Dr Machar and SPLM-IO represent the latter.

Equatoria which would have been represented by the other political parties has been frozen out. So Equatoria is already marginalised and its horrific experiences under the SPLM murder machine have been dismissed.

How can the exclusion of Equatoria which comprise a third of the country lead to a lasting peace? I leave that to you to think about it.

Could IGAD’s behaviour not be seen as sending messages to Equatorians to follow in the footsteps of those who have plunged the country into chaos should they want to be counted, listened to and taken seriously? How responsible is IGAD when it becomes part of the problem by marginalising a third of the country?

IGAD is messing South Sudan and creating for itself two serious problems that will come to bite its members.

First, the manner in which IGAD has failed to fairly mediate the South Sudan conflict has displayed to the world its weakness. In addition to losing credibility in the world, new non-state actors emerging in the region in future will not take it seriously and it may not be accepted to play any role.

Secondly, the South Sudan conflict has shown that IGAD has no fangs. It is all talk and threats without any power to enforce it. Take for example, it declares targets with datelines and nothing happens when these datelines are breached.

Its target of 60 days issued in June 2014 to achieve peace agreement in South Sudan expired in August 2014 without any outcome. Again in August 2014 it issued another target of 45 days for same purpose and it is about to expire within this week without any ray of hope in sight.

These targets have been blatantly breached without any consequences. The question is: why does IGAD bother to set these deadlines if they are unable to see them through?

South Sudan will continue to remain in problems not because South Sudanese are trouble makers, but because IGAD makes choices that prolong instability as if it has rights in doing so.

It is the South Sudanese people’s failure to make use of their sovereignty that has led IGAD to assume the right of a decision making in the country’s affairs in support of a criminal party (SPLM).

The responsibility of this failure falls squarely on the SPLM. To break it down, it is President Kiir’s idiotic government; Dr Riek Machar’s inability to have a foresight and vision and the well proven incompetence of the SPLM G-10.

Who is IGAD to dictate terms and decide for a sovereign people? If this situation was reversed to the IGAD member states, would they accept it?

IGAD is only a mediator. Its role is to assist in bringing peace between the warring parties. It is not an arbiter or a judge to dictate or bully left and right. It does not have that mandate to impose decisions on South Sudanese people.

South Sudanese must realise that without a genuine lasting peace there will not be any security in the country. Thus leaving the country in the hands of a hopeless organisation (SPLM) and incompetent “leaders” who do not know the rights of a sovereign state invites abusive treatment of South Sudan as is played out in Addis Ababa by IGAD.

The state of South Sudan did not come to life without huge sacrifices. Millions have paid for it with their blood and the people endured decades of painful oppression.

For SPLM to allow the state of South Sudan to be played with by IGAD is tantamount to gross negligence. The IGAD process glaringly reveals the ignorance of the SPLM and all the supposed leaders of the various SPLM factions as people who have no idea about what a sovereign state is.

Inward looking, corrupt to the bone, and short sighted they connive with IGAD to make all the wrong decisions about fate of millions of South Sudanese people. Remember, the Troika correctly named the problem in South Sudan as “man made”.

Who are the men who made this catastrophe? Is it not President Kiir and the entire SPLM machine? Think about this.

This catastrophe is made out of a mixture of personal ambitions, tribal interest and abuse of state machinery. Was it really necessary to go to war just to settle a disagreement within the SPLM party?

As it may well be obvious to everybody at this point it is clear that this war is a result of power struggle within the SPLM and the irresponsible short sightedness of the supposed Jieng elites. If they only listened to the American friends of South Sudan in early July 2013 this tragedy would have been averted. Please access this link to see it: http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/news/press-releases/friends-of-south-sudan-warned-of-serious-consequences

SPLM is making all the wrong decisions for South Sudan and this is why the country is collapsing. South Sudan can only pull itself out of this mess if it is represented by caring, responsible, and knowledgeable people who make right decisions about its well being and welfare.

Daran Acemoglu and Jones Robinson in their book ‘Why Nations fail: The origins of power, prosperity and poverty’ convincingly point out that, “poor countries are poor because those who have power make choices that create poverty.”

This finding is highly pertinent in the case of South Sudan and it actually illuminates the bleak situation facing the country.

In spite of all the resources South Sudan is endowed with, the people are likely to perpetually remain poor because of the obvious wrong decisions made by the SPLM leaders described by Gerard Prunier as “idiots……rotten to the core” in their various shapes and forms.

The evidence is already clear. Since 2005 all the decisions made by the SPLM leaders stunted the country socially and economically. First they started by entrenching tribalism. Both President Kiir and Dr Machar ensured their tribes controlled the security sector.

They then distributed over 80 percent of the government positions to their tribesmen without any merits. After this they encouraged an alliance of convenience between the Nuer White army and the Jieng of Bor against the Murle people at the end of 2011 and beginning of 2012.

All these were done while they were busy raiding the coffers of the state mercilessly. As if this was not enough they triggered a war with the Sudan over Panthou (a legitimately South Sudanese area) which they negligently left to Sudan to occupy and claim ownership.

So, right from the start the catalogues of poor and wrong decisions have ceaselessly continued up till December 2013 when it took a deadly turn.

Due to his limited capacity and with the influence of the Jieng cartels President Kiir deliberately ignited the current crisis in the country and encouraged ethnic cleansing in the belief that this would make him and the Jieng powerful, feared and a superior tribe.

This delusion of grandeur as a result has seen the country fall apart. The Jieng need to understand that they can not construct a tribal superiority by crude barbarism. They can not be what they dream on the back of other people blood.

Conventional wisdom tells us that such delusions will be resisted and eventually crashed at a certain point and that point for South Sudan is fast approaching whether they like it or not.

The jieng have the key to halt the gathering Tsunami of South Sudanese anger. The Jieng should not deceive themselves that the support the regime is receiving from IGAD will save the status quo.

The idea of a superior tribe milking everyone else as in Juba now frankly speaking is fatuous. It is unsustainable in this modern world.

While the Jieng may control the army, security, police and the economy, that is not enough in itself to ensure their safety and eternal survival. Some tribes like the Gaddafi of Libya and the Boers of South Africa tried it but it ended in tears.

South Sudan as a country is a socio-political system. All the component parts of the country work smoothly when the system is in equilibrium. What this means is that if all the people of South Sudan are happy the country becomes stable and development takes off. But if some people or tribe are unhappy the country loses stability.

Therefore, the currently destabilised socio-political system in South Sudan can not be repaired or cured by keeping it under the management of the very people and party (SPLM) responsible for its political malaise which is exactly what the IGAD mediation is doing.

The system is broken because one of its components (Jieng tribe) has embarked on a puerile project of superiority. The Jieng have become infected with tribalism and grown too big in the social arrangement that kept the system in equilibrium pre-1983.

IGAD by destroying the initially agreed principle and arrangement of bringing all the people (stakeholders) together to deliberate on a way out has just done a huge damage to the stabilisation of South Sudan.

The SPLM factions and IGAD can strike their own peace agreement without the stakeholders but they must know that their peace product is the seed for future conflict.

Therefore, the people of South Sudan need to fight back to stop this construction of future conflict by:
– Petitioning the UN and Troika about IGAD biasness and demand transfer of the talks to a neutral mediator.
– Highlight the fact that SPLM is the problem of South Sudan and it can not be handed power again after it has destroyed the country. The Interim Government should be lead by people with integrity.
– The SPLM should be held accountable for the destruction of the country and the killing of tens of thousands of innocent South Sudanese people. Principally president Kiir must account for the lawlessness and the ethnic cleansing in South Sudan.
– Highlighting the reasons for IGAD’s failure:
a) its open biasness;
b) narrowing and restricting the talks to SPLM factions only thus disenfranchising the people of South Sudan;
c) rewarding failure and criminality in South Sudan;
d) promoting interest of IGAD member states at the expense of the people of South Sudan;
e) promoting instability in South Sudan and potentially in the region.

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

IGAD: Insolent Group Acting on Disintegration (IGAD), Not Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) anymore

BY: Chuol C. Puoch, KAMPALA, UGANDA, OCT/09/2014, SSN;

First and foremost, we would better study the political background and status of the members states owning the organization and more specifically Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Sudan who are currently leading the peace negotiations between the South Sudanese warring parties in Ethiopia. Let’s try and make some highlights on their various political status and background, which perhaps, would qualify or disqualify them to be mediators of any human conflict.

Not everyone can be a mediator and not every Country can mediate between other Countries. It depend on the political honesty and transparency of that state to be able to mediate between others, regardless of whether the conflict is social, economical or political.

By the way, are the IGAD member states transparent and honest to mediate and bring a meaningful and lasting peace to any of their Member State at this time? This question is subjected to individual observation and analysis as we will discuss those IGAD members state in this article.

To be very clear with you, the political transparency of a given state, especially in Africa, depends entirely on the capabilities and transparency of its leaders. It has not much to do with its historical background as most of the African leaders takes the laws into their own hands and can direct the Country toward achieving their personal interest and objectives, and leave behind the Country’s historical status.

For example, If Meles Zenawe (R.I.P) of Ethiopia was a man of democracy, development and nationhood; if he was capable and honest person to solve the internal and regional conflict, the Ethiopian politics and governance had to be rated with transparency and capabilities at that time.

However, the current Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailimariam Desalegn may not exactly be the same as Meles. He may have his own interest, objectives and leadership vision and wisdom. If he is not transparent and capable, the Ethiopian politics and governance could change in a single day period from transparency to some horrible circumstances humiliating the political status and transparency of Ethiopia, which was put in place by the former Prime Minister.

That is exactly the case with IGAD member states; probably, and surely IGAD was founded in the hands of some capable and transparent leaders, but has unfortunately fallen into wrong hands at this time of history and has not only dwindle but has also lost its legitimacy and political character to manage any human conflict in this universe.

Kenya

In relation to South Sudan, Kenya is one of the Countries that have hosted a huge number of South Sudanese refugees during the struggle for independence till now. The country is currently led by the son of its founder, Uhuru Kenyetta who ascended to power in 2013 after he massacred innocent lives in 2007-2008 election which put the Country to almost a state of failure where citizens were maimed as chickens by none other than himself especially in Nakuru and Naivasha, a person who dreams of leading Kenyans.

Uhuru, after taking up the leadership of the Country, has fully adopted the dictatorial leadership style where most of the Kenyan politicians are his enemies and he owes them nothing other than murder and death; people are living in hiding and dissatisfaction from freedom of expression and freedom of political engagement.

It’s worth mentioning that Uhuru never been an able political figure in Kenyan politics. His interest and hobbies are much more associated with his family business. After losing the election in which he contested for his constituency seat in the national parliament, Uhuru decided to quit politics and run his family’s business. It took President Moi Kibaki some more efforts to bring Uhuru back to politics not knowing that Uhuru would be a threat to the Country’s politics.

Uhuru, as an educated person who grew up in political family and had been dedicated to be a leader in Kenya by his father (Jomo Kenyetta) who is the founder of Kenya and its first president, he sometimes comes out and speaks some words and deliver some empty promises during the day hours, which usually get disappeared at night while torturing and threatening the lives of Kenyan politicians and statesmen.

Uhuru Kenyatta is a fellow counting down his days as the ICC is just at his door. With no doubt, he will be hanged and Kenyans will probably get their freedom back and move their Country forward in peace and harmony.

Can a person awaiting death, in which he doesn’t wish, be able to manage another person’s problem? US, UN, UK and other International Community know that, Uhuru is a man awaiting his death.

What makes them think that he can be a part of a solution to South Sudan conflict? Perhaps, he may only applied some delaying and situation-worsening techniques to get some fellow go to The Hague with him, and especially Salva Kirr who is awaiting a call from The Hague anytime soon.

Uganda

A country aspiring to annex South Sudan politically and economically; Uganda succeeded in annexing South Sudan economically and still in the process to succeed in the political aspect of its plan. The Country is led by the most well-known dictator, Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who ascended to power by military means in 1986 after defeating Iddi Amin.

Museveni has been in power for 28 years. Elections have always been taking place but get rigged and Museveni always wins with surprising number of voters. During the election times, he always makes sure that the UPDF is well paid, well deployed and well directed toward achieving the rigging plan.

The rebels of LRA are still in the bush as we speak. Ugandans are people who focus much on making a living rather that dedicating their efforts on shaping a bright future for the people of Ugandan.

That very character has even increased the chances of Yoweri Kagutta to decide the present and future of Uganda in his house at night together with his family. Where in this world can the wife of the president serve as a national minister during the reign of her husband?

Janet Museveni is the minister for Karamoja affairs appointed by her husband Yoweri Kagutta Museveni. Her son Muhoozi Kainerugaba serve as the commander of the Presidential Guard Brigade providing security for his father. That is to say, the country is being run by a family.

Museveni deployed UPDF to South Sudan early 2013 after he managed to influence the South Sudan president to get rid of his potential political rivals, which included the then Vice President of South Sudan.

I don’t even see the reason to why the Ugandans government should participate in the peace process as a member of the mediating team and people expect transparency at the peace process.

Uganda is the leader and masterminding Country of Insolent Group Acting on Disintegration (IGAD). Uganda cannot be an active front line partisan and claims the mediation role of the same conflict, never.

Ethiopia

A country left in the hands of a brainless follower of Meles Zenawe. Meles appointed Desalegn because he knew that Desalegn is a submissive fellow who didn’t learn the word NO since he was a child.

He had to act as bodyguard of Zenawe simply because he didn’t have the vision, the wisdom and the capability to lead the people of The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Now, Desalegn is acting on his YES behavior toward finding peace in South Sudan based on the decisions and ideas given by Yoweri Kagutta Museveni of Uganda.

Comrade Meles Zenawe couldn’t act like this. He couldn’t accept the massacre of innocent Nuer civilians and reward their killer with continuity in power. God Rest his Soul in Eternal Peace.

Sudan

After the independence of the South Sudan from Sudan, the two Countries’ relation has been associated with oil and other pending CPA agreement which includes the issue of Abyei. The two Countries have been accusing each other of supporting each country’s rebels militarily.

There are currently so many rebel movements in Sudan in which the SPLAM/A-North is one of the bigger rebel moment in the Country. SPLM/A-N has been a part of the ruling South Sudan party, the SPLM during the struggle and before the independence of the South Sudan. And without any reasonably doubt, the rebel movement in Sudan and the ruling party of South Sudan are comrades.

The South Sudan ruling party, The Sudan People’s Liberation Moment (SPLM) was formed to transform Sudan but the loose end outcome of the moment has favored the independence, but the movement, with its name, remains as Sudanese Liberation Moment despite the fact that the movement is a ruling party of other independence Country, The Republic of South Sudan. Something which the Sudanese government should question and get clarification from the Juba SPLM regime under the leadership of Gen. Salva Kirr Mayardit.

The two Countries (Sudan and South Sudan) are such conflicting countries that cannot necessary be part of each other’s solution to problem. Each of them would support the idea of disintegrating and seeing each other failing.

The Arab Sudanese in the North [Sudan] have been saying that the South could not manage to govern itself; however, in this sense, they would work on anything that makes the South Sudan a failing state to prove their claim – they are almost succeeding. Can such a Country be part of the solution to South Sudan conflict?

In conclusion:-

The world has to understand that a person who supports and favors the conflict is worse and even dangerous than the one who made it. IGAD is not the right body to bring a meaningful and lasting peace to the people of South Sudan; the moment they are given huge amount by the international community, they, instead, pursue their delaying and contradicting tactics of prolonging the peace process while the innocent South Sudanese are hopelessly and helplessly suffering, dying and crying daily.

The international community must and should always try to be fair in supporting people; sometime their support may only fuel and prolong the conflict. Imagine, had it not been their support to IGAD mediators in Ethiopia, the IGAD member states would have quit the mediating role and the following would have happened:

IGAD would have abandoned the mediating roles and leave the South Sudanese solve their conflict alone without fueling it. UPDF would have been forced to leave by other higher institution like AU or UN should they have been allowed to intervene African Union would have not been blocked by IGAD to try and mediate the conflict.

The UN would’ve not only seen the committed human rights atrocities by the parties in the conflict, but also the reasons and secrets of IGAD to use this conflict as a project.

The Peace process would have not taken 9 month to come to an agreement; and South Sudan would have been rewarded with accountability to those who committed some grave atrocities against them and their properties.

Chuol C. Puoch is a South Sudanese living in South Sudan; (But currently in Kampala in time of writing this piece) he can be added/followed on Facebook with his name mentioned above, on twitter @ChuolChot and via email: chuolchotson@gmail.com . You can also access and follow his words on www.chuolchotson.wordpress.com