Archive for: October 2014

Alliance of South Sudanese in Diaspora (ASSD) welcomes Resumption of South Sudanese Peace Talks

PRESS RELEASE: OCT/02/2014

ASSD welcomes the Resumption of the South Sudanese Peace Talks and Calls on the Government of South Sudan to Respect the Rights of all parties Involved.

The Alliance for South Sudanese in the Diaspora (ASSD) warmly welcomes the resumption of the peace talks taking place in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia by the two warring parties the Government of South Sudan and the SPLM-IO.

ASSD calls on the International Community that the conduct and behavior of the Government of South Sudan is antithetical to a genuine search and attainment of a comprehensive sustainable peace in South Sudan.

The Government of South Sudan continues to harass and prevent representatives of some political parties to travel to Addis Ababa as recognized stakeholders in the peace negotiations. This unfortunate situation is compounded by the recently circulated IGAD’s (Inter-Governmental Authority on Development) protocol which clearly favors the government of the Republic of South Sudan at the expense of a just, sustainable, and comprehensive peace.

Alliance for South Sudanese in the Diaspora wishes the raise the following concerns:

On June 5th, 2014, the government prevented the Chairman of the United Democratic Front (UDF), Mr. Peter Abdelrahaman Sule and others from boarding a plane to Addis Ababa to participate in the peace negotiations. This is not only a violation of Peter Sule’s rights as a private citizen, but an affront to comprehensive search for peace in the country.

On August 2, 2014, there was an attempt in Juba to assassinate the Chairman of South Sudan Civil Society, Mr. Deng Athuai Mawiir who is an active participant in the peace negotiations in Ethiopia. According to Mr. Mawiir, the attempt on his life was directly linked to his views on the on-going peace talks in Ethiopia.

On September 13, 2014, the Chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement for Democratic Change (SPLM-DC), Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin was prevented by the migration officials on orders from President Kiir’s government from travelling to Addis to take part in the peace talks currently taking place in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. The statement made by the Minister of Information Mr. Michael Makwei Lueth only confirms the attitude of the Government of South Sudan towards participants in the peace talks whom it considers are not supportive of the government’s position in the peace negotiations.

ASSD rejects IGAD’s Protocol on Agreed Principles on Transitional Arrangement towards Resolution of the Crisis in South Sudan, dated August 25th, 2014. We strongly object to the “agreed” principles on transitional governance which maintains the status quo and creates a weak position of the Prime Minister for the SPLM-IO. This carelessly drafted protocol does not address the fundamental issues and root causes that ignited this crisis. Moreover it has emboldened President Kiir’s government to continue to impede the peace process.

Finally, we call upon the international community, the European Union, the government of the United States, to ensure that a genuine and sustainable peace is achieved in South Sudan. IGAD for all the good work it has done in bringing to two warring sides to the table seems to have clearly taken a side in this war. This will create distrust, suspicion and derail the search for peace in South Sudan.

Information and Public Affairs
Alliance for South Sudanese in Diaspora (ASSD)
Washington, DC office, USA
Phone: +1(202) 709 – 7322
Email: Info.assd@gmail.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/assd121513
Website: www.alliancesouthsudanesediaspora.org

About ASSD: ASSD is an umbrella organization for South Sudanese organizations and
individuals advocating for peace, freedom, democracy, human rights, good governance and
development in South Sudan

Weighing & contextualising the change we need in South Sudan politics

By: Marial Mach, A’duot, Melbourne, Australia, OCT/01/2014, SSN;

Any South Sudanese bestowed with conscience and rationale would agree unequivocally with the pervasive charges and claims of failures laid upon the government of republic of South Sudan. Informed by the calamity of wars and the shameful conditions of lives, it is unquestionably true that our government is a complete failure, vested uncharacteristically with mediocrity.

From the myopic understanding and dealing with the public security to non-existence of public services, the scales of what has been achieved since the interim periods to the present is outweighed by what has not been done and government unwillingness to act prudently.

These unfortunate facts are cheaply blamed on socio-political fatigues; a transiting from war to the government and that might have some elements of truth in it, but that must not be used as a perpetual signpost to repute the ineffectuality of the current system in carrying out its duties.

Knowing the scale of destruction we endure as South Sudanese in decades of war, no one would have an illusion that government should fix instantly the mess of five decades, but failure to initiate the work in progress conjures doubts on government’s ability to govern and to deliver.

The scales of government’s failures are evidence through effects of the rampant corruption and insecurity which makes the government not only lacking public-oriented conducts, but also the credentials of modern governments, e.g., higher standards of responsiveness and accountability.

Even before the debacles of the current conflict worsen the living conditions of the people, the state of public security was not close to any sense of security, but cluttered.

Public tranquility and peace was vanquished, savagely attacks by political violence deriving a shambolic state of affair and irresponsibility in Juba that failed to nourish the destitution and ease the tribal confrontations.

Failure to institute credible security, and the rule of law has allowed carnage to reign, and corruption to flourish, given the flaws of authority to assert control and punishment over criminal activities and corruption.

What has become more tragic as the result of such political delinquency is the notion of the people in power becoming more relentless in unleashing self-enrichment that dwelled on government’s ill-practices and incapacity to constrain the behaviours and actions of those officials to conform to the larger collective purposes of the society.

This has been evident in embezzlement reports involving the key government figures. Because of these incidences, it is explicit that government of South Sudan is not meeting its responsibilities. Hence, it has failed and change is inevitable.

However, the difficult question integral to those calls for change is the kind of change we need and how do we intend to achieve that? Many commentators even before the war came up with some good and impossible suggestions.

Among these suggestions are the destruction of SPLM in order rid country from the liberation idealism, others are seeking a democratic solution through a mass rejection of the ruling party at the ballots box and the third phase is a military solution currently pursued by the people that are waging it.

But as far as the current political situation is concerned, none of these aspirations are materialising or a solution and here are the reasons why.

First, the SPLM now in the government will not be destroyed easily, but will continue to exist and even widen its prospect of dominating South Sudanese political scene not because it will assemble the force to protect its forcible reign as it might be perceived, but because the legacy of liberation is fresh in people’s minds and would use that advantage to retain the power.

SPLM, for many generations in South Sudan is viewed as a liberating machine, thus, the immediacy of the struggle and the pride of such assumption is not fading any time soon. This makes the thought of SPLM relinquishing the power, let alone its forcible eviction an illusion at best.

SPLM will remains as a foundational basis for the government for a while, and an inspiration for future generations unless evicted democratically. This assumption is informed by what the SPLM brings into government; the ideals that shaped the struggle.

Even though the entire leadership of the movement and their practices in the government are most antiquated, still the movement can capitalise on any opposition, especially those waging the violence by invoking the pride of liberation they rightly earned.

Their credential of heroism among the public became their greater advantage given the public disapproval of opposite political forces as those who having been handed the independence on a plate.

SPLM in this case has become a trademark in which the aspirants market their political ambitions. To speak political language firmly resonating among South Sudanese, one needs to associate with SPLM and that is why we have seen the rise of few political parties with acronyms such the SPLM-DC, SPLM-in-government, SPLM-in-opposition and the SPLM leaders.

It could be impossible to uphold the destruction of SPLM due to the mindsets, and because of its political message immersed in the legacy of liberation that everybody is seeking to capitalise on it.

However in knowing the public admiration of the SPLM does not in any essence gloss the movement’s failures to live up to the promises of liberation. We all know justice, equality and prosperity which formed the core foundation of the SPLM are not self-executed.

They must be realised by ensuring the public safety and provision of the basic services ordinary people cannot afford to themselves like road, schools, medical care and the clean drinking water.

Without changing the pattern of how the SPLM led government carries out its duties and style of leadership, it would be a matter of time before the hyper of liberation fades. People stranded in poverty caused by the insecurity would likely accuse the movement of having power without exercising responsibility and that might change the political equations and response to the SPLM.

But still I don’t think that can overwhelm the SPLM support base. The change we need must focus on how to ensure the improvement of the system to fulfill the above promise and that must be harmonious changes rather than through war and other un-procedural characteristics.

The reason why gradual and peaceful change is better than violence lies first in a conceptual notion of war as hindrance rather than remedy. It destroys the small gain we supposed to build on it.

However on the political front, war would likely strengthen government ability to remain in power without change. The SPLM in government would seizes affections of war and use it to appeal directly to those affected, deflecting the blames of failure by quickly branding those fighting the war as agenda driven forces that cannot be trusted.

Such scenario hinders the change we seek within the SPLM and government; unless different set of approaches not associated with violent is devised. The rough idea supported with fact is an internal gradual change within the SPLM and in the government.

This notion might invite more explanations, but I would rather put it simply as ‘a political transfusion’; gradual replacement of exhausted, wore out party’s elites with effective young talents armed with modern ideals and wills to serve the same purpose with different perspective and approach.

This kind of change can be harder and long to be achieved, or even impossible if we base our judgement on what happening in Zimbabwe and many other countries in Africa with liberating parties and leaders in power.

Since the corruption and mismanagement as well as the failure to create good and responsive governance are the main concerns in South Sudan, it is true to say that none of these can be fixed simply by changing the government or party in power without changing the system or modalities in which the government operates.

Gradual changes can include a political reform through a constitutional configuration to boost accountability through checks and balances and parliamentary interpolation. Those currently waging the war might disagree on the fact that government in Juba is vested with rigidity and records of intolerance. However that can be untrue because the strategies of change are not encompassed in overthrowing government alone.

Change, in my opinion can be dichotomised and expanded to include so many avenues of institutional resetting and the policy spectrums. Let say if we need an effective system of government to fight corruption and to manage our state of affair, overthrowing government can never caters for those needs.

Changing actors’ views on governance and their practices can be realised through political reorientations through legislature capable of confer the rewards and punishment for good and bad practices.

Derived from this assumption, Larry Diamond, one of the best known political scholars argued that, ‘endemic corruption will not be reversed and controlled with moral crusades’ claiming that ‘…Officeholders will not abstain from corruption unless it no longer appears in their interest to behave corruptly’.

In this assumption, the one and only way to implement the above strategy and that is the change South Sudan is lacking and might need is how to constrain ill-practices and bad governance.

Larry emphasised that ‘to control corruption the expected utility for the individual officeholder of obeying the law must be higher than the expected utility of behaving corruptly.’

In saying that, I assume Larry is advocating for a strong rule of law capable of controlling and punishing. Instead of running with guns in our cities and jungles, or maintaining the status-quo that defies changes of procedures rather than the entire system, it is true that we sought to do our nation a great harm than good.

The remedy to this purposeful idiocy is to end the current war and seek a peacefully political reform and arrangement through discourses rather than violence.

Having a democratic political system capable of maintaining civilised power where the officeholders would be perpetually held to account for their actions can be realised only if we can constitutionalising the roles of government that can never be achieved through continuing waging aimless war.

The author of this piece is a South Sudanese political scientist residing in Australia. Marial Mach, A’duot is Deakin graduate with BA in Politics, and International Relations, Masters of International Relations, Masters of Politics and Policy. He can be reach for comments at pandepiol@yahoo.com

James Gathoth Mai is an invisible Judas Iscariot of South Sudan

By: Stephen Kong, South Sudan, OCT/02/2014, SSN;

James Gathoth Mai. The invisible Judas is worse than Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus Christ. According to Matthew 27:5-8 when Judas realized his crime is too big to handle, “he threw the money into the temple floor and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. The chief priests picked up the coins and said, ‘It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.’ So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day.

But the former Chief of Staff of the SPLA (South Sudan National Army), James Gathoth, the invisible Judas collected his money and went for vocation in Australia where his family resides.

These two men shared a lot in common. They both hated those who love them. And in death, they are friendless. During December 15-24, 2013, Invisible Judas James Gathoth Mai could not talk to his dying relatives whom their only crime is because they are born to a Nuer mother and father.

The powerful General who claimed to have liberated South Sudan from the North, offered no help. Hung up the phone and congratulated his relatives’ killers. Judas Iscariot and an invisible James Gathoth Mai are the elements and the influences of evil. Their only differences is how they used their blood money.

Then Judas Iscariot realized his mistake stood like a man and faced the confrontation with a judgment verdict of his delusion and disappointment. He Judas Iscariot of Jews took responsibility to end his own life by hanging himself.

The invisible Judas James Gathoth of Nuer never until this day realized the crime he himself perpetrated against his own brothers, sisters and their children.

The sad fact about invisible Judas James Gathoth is, his real accomplishment in life is fighting with his Nuer tribe. But the good thing is, this time he betrayed the nation. Nuer are the tribe of South Sudan, since he was the second powerful man.

The innocent Nuer who died on December 15-24 owed him protection because they were his subjects. Invisible Judas James Gathoth, committed act of Genocide against the Nuer. He Judas Iscariot James Gathoth Mai is constitutionally responsible ruler at the time of genocide.

He chose not to protect them because he was a willing full participant. I choose the word Genocide here because it doesn’t need a lawyer or law degree to define what happened in Juba against Nuer people do constitute genocide.

It is purely a genocide. Why? Because Nuer are killed, they were singled out, sometimes by the scars on their foreheads or discovered their ethnicity based on their ID cards. They are executed to death simply because they are members of Nuer tribe.

Salva Kirr gave hate speeches on two occasions before genocide took place, James Gathoth Mai whom I suspected of being an invisible Judas Iscariot concealed behind Salva Kirr and Kuol Manyang Juuk.

The invisible Judas kept himself busy by talking on South Sudan TV, directed his messages especially to Nuer in army. On many occasions before and after Juba genocide took place, invisible Judas James Gathoth Mai was quoted by Sudan Tribune “South Sudan army chief warns against involvement in politics”.

Thank God, his goofy conspiracy backfired and failed to produce anything of value to deter Nuer sons and daughters from rescuing their own people. Invisible Judas, James Gathoth Mai is the military leader who oversaw the killing of Nuer women and children and at the same time expecting Nuer in army will bow to his plea.

My friends from Dinka Bor community argued that invisible Judas Iscariot, James Gathoth Mai did not kill the Nuer in December of 2013. I confronted them with the question who has the power to prevent Juba massacre than invisible Judas, James Gathoth Mai?

I was blasted to hear their claims that former governor of northern Bar-Elghazal Malong Awan is the one who is responsible for killing of Nuer in Juba.

The main point here is who has the power and constitutional authority to protect the lives of innocent women and children no matter what their tribe is? No other person rather than Salva Kirr and invisible Judas James Gathoth Mai.

I cannot believe that people forget the facts, shut their eye and even contradict themselves. Current Army Chief of Staff, Paul Malong, like majority of Dinkas, killed Nuer with guarantee from Chief of Staff Judas Iscariot James Gathoth that there is no Nuer threat.

Dinka are free to kill. Malong Awan did contribute with recruitment and selection of Dutku Bany and Gwelweng (Special Dinka presidential force). With instruction of invisible Judas Iscariot, James Gathoth Mai Nguth. This is cunning way to detached people’s is attention from present danger.

I am sorry to say the least but the plan worked, many innocent lives are lost because Nuer in particular anticipating the general chief of staff, a Nuer by birth, Judas Iscariot by alienation, will protect their innocent children from Dut-ku Bany and Guelweng.

Nuer always mentioned the conjunction word “if” (Dung MI, LAMI, and Kami) regardless of all the warning signs, Nuer forgot to say if. If they did the result could have been different. Many lives could have been saved from massacre.

If Nuer profiled Judas Iscariot James Gathoth Mai’s background from the time where the devil James started his military career, they should have seen too many red-flags, this is a general who spent all his military life independently killing and fighting with Nuer.

Nuer are blinded by the love of a country called South Sudan. They are hopeful the past is forgotten and life will continue.

That’s until when war broke out within the presidential guards, when invisible Judas Iscariot, James Gathoth Mai, used his constitutional power of chief of general staff to protect the Dinka presidential Guard against their Nuer colleague.

This is Judas’s response to a flashback that resulted from his discrimination and violent crime against Nuer people, this is a general who is in delusion and paranoid in fighting with Nuer resistant movement known as the separatists, or Anyanya II, abbreviated as (A.2).

The simple question is, if Judas Iscariot, James Gathoth Mai is able to protect a well equipped Salva Kirr’s Dinkas presidential Guards from their Nuer colleagues, why? And only why he never tried to stop genocides against Nuer innocent women and children from Dutku-Beny and Guelweng?

This must be a trillion dollar question. The answered is obvious, Judas Iscariot, James Gathoth Mai and his boss (Banydit) Salva Kirr Mayardit previous blueprint, the heinous crime against Nuer people.

To South Sudanese the truth is Judas Iscariot, James Gathoth Mai’s involvement in crimes, made the entire Nuer community left with nothing but the feeling of victimization, vulnerability, fearfulness, isolation and unprotected by the law.

In the history of Nuer tribes anything that threatened the lives of Nuer women and children always leads to war-cry. The technical term in Nuer is (Wiwi) when Nuer heard the messengers of war cry there is no question asked.

It is a message that tells Nuer women and children their lives are in real danger. Thank God the four sons of Denah namely Yien, Dak, Baal, and Bany heard the war cries and answered the call according to the threats.

And they will always be the first responders to anything that threatened Nuer Homeland, whether the threats arise from Sky, Land or River, DENAI SON of Geah, and Gaawar son of Kar or Jakar will always be the first defence for the Nuer Homeland and her people’s dignity.

Judas, that is the message.

For question, concerned or comment please dropped me a line at stephenpajok@yahoo.com

Stephen Pajok Kong Kulang

Both SPLMs irresponsibility & betrayal at Addis Talks

EDITORIAL ANALYSIS, OCT/01/2014, SSN;

Clearly, whilst millions of South Sudanese citizens are perpetually and painfully languishing in despair, hunger and insecurity, the so-called stake-holders at the prolonged so-called ‘peace talks’ in Addis Ababa are engaging in endless theatrics of irresponsibility, duplicity and self-preservation.

In the latest developments, both Kiir’s government delegation and Machar’s rebels have each proposed two diametrically unworkable and inapplicable modalities of ‘Federalism,’ that’s governance by federal system.

In the first instance, Kiir government’s proposal of the Kenya’s defunct 2007 power-sharing modality between the majority Kikuyu tribal clique of President Mwai Kibaki and the second largest Luo tribe of his political rival Raila Odinga, can’t even be qualified as ‘federalism’ and as such is utterly inconceivable in the context of South Sudan.

In the aftermath of the bitterly disputed presidential elections in which thousands of citizens were needlessly butchered, the Kenyans were forced into power-sharing arrangement which was to placate and accommodate the two majority tribes as a way to achieve some healing and reconciliation among them.

The messy arrangement created the positions of the president, two vice-presidents, the prime minister and two deputy prime ministers.

However, even though the prime minister had the authority to coordinate and supervise the execution of functions and affairs of the government of Kenya, he was obviously eclipsed by the more powerful executive president and his two vices.

In the end, the system was a total disaster, the Kikuyus emerged as expected the ever dominant ruling tribe till today and the Luo, unfortunately, remained forever marginalized and circumscribed from central political power.

Therefore, in our current context, this system is a dead end. Kiir’s support for such a proposal is to perpetually entrench Jieng hegemony and cynically ensure Naath (Nuer) political marginalization akin to their Kenyan Luo cousins!

Machar’s proposal of the Ethiopian federal parliamentary republic system is again a non-starter in the context of the peculiarities and particularities of South Sudan tribal dominance politics.

Ethiopia, with a population of 100 million (2015 prediction), and a longer history of atrocious and deadly rivalries between several much larger ethnic groups, has structured a political system based on 9 ethnically-based administrative areas in addition to the two self-governing Capital City of Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa.

Furthermore, the Ethiopian president is a figure head though elected by the House of Peoples representatives for a six-year term, whereas, the Prime Minister is the head of government with executive power and a parliament with the legislative powers.

The prime minister obviously comes from the party with the majority following the legislative elections.

All in all, the Ethiopian modality of governance is completely premised on their bitter experiences of the long history of ethnic antagonisms and diversity, but more importantly, on the long imperial rule by the Amharic emperors and the military rule of Mengistu which fatally exacerbated the conflagration of ethnic wars.

Seriously, in contextualizing our current predicament, what we, South Sudanese, are looking forward to is a political system that is not monopolized by either the Dinka or Nuer, and that political modality must be based on equality and justice for all.

Therefore, what those of Kiir and Machar representatives are deliberating in Addis is a concoction of a corrupted modality of ‘Federalism’ that will best satisfy only their separate tribal imperial ambitions of domination and power greediness.

It’s even more mind-boggling to learn that the All-SPLM delegates have worked out a system whereby one person from each of these three All-SPLM groups now assumes the chairmanship of the sessions on daily basis.

They are all clones of that most corrupted system that led our new nation to bleed so badly in this current All-SPLM exacerbated power and ethnic war. Why the hell did they fight against one another in the first place on that fateful day of December 15th, 2013?

Since already proven above that neither the Ethiopian nor the Kenyan modality of ‘federalism’ is acceptable to either groups, why not look further into the more civilized Western world like America, Germany and Canada, for better modalities?

Basically, our primary problem in the ‘new’ South Sudan is the SPLM/A, which has proven itself since coming to power in 2005 as the most FAILED POLITICAL ORGANIZATION ever seen in Africa, with the worst and incompetent so-called ‘leaders,’ with the worst ‘POLITICAL SYSTEM,’ and the most hopeless and sycophantic ‘FOLLOWERS AND SUPPORTERS’ of that failed system and its leader.

Be it inept president Kiir or rebel Machar, and all the G-11s and the Lam Akol’s, all are morbidly tainted and corrupted with that failed SPLM/A contagion, including the uncouth, uneducated SPLA military generals, who remorselessly kill each other and yet the next day, have the temerity to hug each other as if the dead they just murdered were just some dead cows!

These SPLM/A adherents, who within the shortest time in history unimaginable, have utterly devastated the soul of the nation, as evidenced by their shameless prostration and pretence at the Addis talks.

Whilst they are being so graciously and luxuriously supplicated by IGAD, the real South Sudanese on the ground are needlessly being tortured, bullied and eviscerated by their undisciplined military foot soldiers down across the nation.

Since coming to power, the SPLM/A monstrosity of so-called leadership in collusion with foreign interests, robbed all the rich resources our nation is endowed with and then built a violent and extractive political order which has subsequently led to the current crisis.

To conclude, what is advisedly prudent for those in the All-SPLM talks in Addis Ababa is to draft a new political modality based on federalism that is fair, workable and acceptable to all sections of the country and its various nationalities.

Advisedly, the federalism proposed by the Equatorians, which can be further improved upon, looks more truly accommodating to all the various ethnic and sectarian interests across the country, except that a new clause be included that leaves room for any community to opt out or into the proposed ‘states.’

As regards to the national or central authority, there will be a national head of state with limited powers, and perhaps with that post being rotated among the various states or nationalities.

Finally, instead of solely relying and depending on those dead-brained and soul-less SPLM/A delegates now faking as unrepentant peace-brokers, we should seek better learned legal and constitutional brains from the real civilized world to help in drafting the new political modality being proposed at Addis.

Surely, an ALL-SPLM monstrosity that’s truly ‘TOO DEFORMED TO BE REFORMED’ can’t be solely relied upon to draft any document that’s most certainly bound to fail, disappoint and to let us down again.