Archive for: December 2014

Smothering Justice can only perpetuate violence in South Sudan

By: Chap Phan, MICHIGAN, USA, DEC/10/2014, SSN;

The ongoing civil war in South Sudan has killed over 20,000 and displaced many millions since the beginning of the war. Peace talks which were supposed to solve the political crisis have not yielded any result despite the involvement of prominent countries, namely: United States, Norway, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, North Sudan, and other East African Regional bloc (IGAD) member states.

The worse of all begun in December 15th, 2013 when the government of president Salve Kiir conducted mass killing of civilians based on ethnic lines. Thus, effectively Salve Kiir triggered the current civil war when the Nuer population were targeted and killed in their resident areas for three days.

Not only did Kirr government short changed its responsibility to protect all citizens, Kirr sent the wrong signal on impunity from the start when he fabricated the truth about the genesis of crisis which is why many South Sudanese hardly believe anything his government says; the government is effectively not trusted on anything it says.

1.1 The inflection point.
Knowing that they had no choice but to defend for themselves, since the beginning of the war, majority of Nuer population picked up arms and fought back to the government that killed their brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers.

Their primary demand has been for Salve Kiir to step down from the power. So far Kiir has responded by defending his legitimacy and refused to step down. His supporters maintain that Kiir was freely elected and that only democratic means can only unseat him.

They find it as their duty to protect the fragile democratic system that has served the country for the last several years and are willing to oppose any one that would undermine it through armed struggle.

Yet it is not a question that majority of Nuer population have lost faith in the Kiir’s government, they insist that the unnecessary death of Nuer civilians in the capital Juba shows that Kiir government is tribal-based government that planned to kill all Nuer just because they are from Nuer.

Many Nuer people insist that the event that manifested itself into the death of Nuer civilians for three day before the outbreak of the war reflects the long prevailing attitudes and behavior within Kiir’s company.

Many believed that the killing of Nuer would have not stopped had it not been for Gen. Gadet Yaka, who acted with courage and determination. Large population of Nuer find it hard to acknowledge the current status quo; it’s believed that government does not hold same respect when it failed to hold up to it obligation, primarily the need to protect civilians.

1.2 In principle.
The bloody chaos that started in capital Juba has ensured a broader civil war within South Sudan. Salve kirr bears primary political responsibility for the chaos in the country precisely because he is the president and the crisis erupted on his watch.

It is certainly true that Kiir was elected, but an elected leader has responsibility to protect civilians despite their political and tribal affiliations. Election is not a license to kill. When elected leader failed to perform their duty people have the right to ask their leader to step down.

The outburst of the Nuer to wage war on Kiir government is the result of death of Nuer civilians in Juba, causality and sequence of the event matter.

It’s undesirable to unseat a freely elected government because it sets a bad precedence for democratic system and it tends to create incentive for dissatisfied candidates to pursue their agendas through violence.

But it’s equally dreadful to allow government to get away with mass murder, it sets precedence that when a government is in power it can use all means possible to suppress independent voices (citizens) and crash opponents to cement their power without consequences.

Kiir government cracked down on civil societies, arrested opposition leaders, and long manipulation of rule of law are meant to concentrate power and to ultimately undermine democracy, peace, and prosperity.

1.3 On performance
Kiir has ruled South Sudan for several years with little achievement. Over the last several years thousands of South Sudanese were, and are still, dying everyday over land and cattle.

Much of his leadership has proved incapable of dealing with any crisis, and the ongoing crisis is deepening precisely because he lacked character and could not get beyond his own narrow political interests while the whole country he claims to be in charged of slipped ever deeper into crisis.

He cannot take full responsibility for what happened in Juba, yet his response…sending more military weapons with mission of killing civilians is delusional and counterproductive. His long mismanagement of political process produced the ongoing crisis; he is incompetent.

1.4 The trust deficit
Kiir and his henchmen have protected the entitlement state of their contradiction ever since the beginning of this crisis. Kiir and his henchmen have reputational costs to government system.

For instance, neither Kiir nor his henchmen seemed not alarmed when hundreds of Nuer civilians were murdered for three day straight. Those people that died were not bad people; they were regular people that are well respected in their respective community.

Thus, Kiir government cannot and should not be trusted to correct the injustice and corruption it has created. Perhaps Kiir administration is not fighting against the Nuer population, but it is hard to convince the world that the government is respected when majority of Nuer people are locked up in the UN camps fearing for their lives; the continuous hardship toward Nuer population testifies the contradiction on Kiir administration.

It’s a mockery of justice to expect Nuer civilians to accept him as their president, the rights of citizens’ matters, smothering their rights only perpetuates violence.

1.5 Where does South Sudan go from Here?
The last six years has shown that South Sudanese elite and political figures lack confidence to right things, the current crisis accumulated as result of a culture that avoids decision, that involves risk in hope that events would go away.

For instance, the passing of the constitution that gave president Kiir power to remove an elected governor is incompetent and lacks of foresight on the individual(s) that wrote it and individual(s) that passed it.

South Sudanese political figures flaunted their obligation since this crisis begun, unless we demands greater expectation nothing will change. If South Sudan learned anything it is that we should set high expectation for our leaders and hold them to account.

The current crisis goes beyond one tribe; it is about governability and the future of South Sudan, it is about setting up a system that will serve all interests of all people. It is about setting up checks and balances on the central government, state and local governments. It is a search for genuine democracy in a world of unpredictable personality type.

1.6 time is up.
Kiir’s views and basic governing philosophies are not helpful at this time. South Sudan is in desperate need of effective leadership and fresh new thinking to propel South Sudan from current crisis.

South Sudan deserves better a leader than Kiir, and it’s up to the people of South Sudan, yes, including both Nuer and Dinka to hold their leader accountable, this is precisely why Kiir should step down now.

Until we hold our leaders to high standard and question activities and their leadership style, we should not expect change.

We cannot achieve sustained peace unless we set conditions, constraints, pressures and expectations that affect the culture and restore justice. All presidential leadership traits are judged in light of their outcomes, if South Sudan is not divided as it stands now I would view Kiir as a brilliant chap, but the outcome of the last year has destroyed south Sudan as we know it.

South Sudan is looking for a president that thinks few steps ahead and anticipates an evil regime, Kiir needs to go.

Chap Phan lives in Michigan, USA, he can be reached at pandeit@gmail.com

Pack of white lies against the SPLM/A –IO’s Top Leadership: A response to the “Prime Minister’s position

A response to the “Prime Minister’s position being contested in Pangak” claim
For Immediate Press Release

On December 4th, 2014, the Government of South Sudan’s mouthpiece, The Nation Mirror published a malicious false allegation titled “Taban Deng Finalize Plans to Overthrow Riek Machar.”

On December 6th, 2014, it was again republished by another Juba Government’s agent, Gurtong Trust- peace Project under a different title, “Prime Minister’s position being contested In Pangak” just to maximize the lies against the SPLM/A –IO’s top leaderships to wider audiences.

As a concern citizen and an SPLM/A –IO Resistance Movement sympathizer looking for
meaningful peace through the installation of system of good governance in South Sudan, I would
like to take this opportunity to inform the general public, the people South Sudan, the Freedom
Fighters and friends of South Sudan around the globe that the reports you have read both in the
Nation Mirror and Gurtong Trust Project are nothing but pack of white lies manufactured by the
Government of South Sudan’s agents and does not bears any truth.

I like assure the people of South Sudan that your people’s movement, the SPLM/A -IO
categorically denies such malice propaganda. It is a hopeless attempt to mislead the general
public by the enemies of peace.

There is no such thing as “finalized plans” by Gen Taban Deng Gai against anyone within the SPLM/A –IO or otherwise.

I therefore, confirmed to the people of South Sudan that Gen. Taban Deng and his comrades in armed are committed to bring lasting peace to South Sudan whatever mean necessary. There is no return to misrule by minority cliques of Dinka background.

In this regard, the SPLM/A –IO Resistance Movement urges the people of South Sudanese to disregard Gurtong Trust Project and the Nation Mirror’s baseless reports and render them as desperate propaganda from a dying beast.

For the last two days, your people Movement’s cadres have been engaged in serious and opened intellectual debates in the conference deliberating on how to bring lasting peace to our
country.

As such, on behalf of the Movement, I took this opportunity because people of South Sudan ought to know the truth and not misinformation based on wishful thinking from enemies of peace.

I repeat, what the Nation Mirror and Gurtong Trust have reported on the social media outlets was the work of the enemy. It was intended to befuddle the SPLM/A-IO’s top leadership
and the people of South Sudan from deliberating on importance national issues meant to bring
lasting peace to our country and rescue our suffering people from murderous and failed regime in Juba.

As a reminder, the SPLM/A –IO’s top leadership and the Movement’s overall goal is not about occupying a cheap prime minister post but to overhaul the dysfunctional and corrupt system in Juba and install a new system of good governance guided by federalism as a system of
governance.

It is your Movement, the SPLM/A –IO’s sole objective that meaningful change must come to South Sudan so that our can again live in peace and harmony while cherishing their diversity.

December 8th, 2014
Prepared by: J. Nguen

No More Resource Curse: Unregulated World Oil Market is a Peace for South Sudan

BY: DENG LUETH YUANG, Canada, DEC/08/2014, SSN;

Faced with US shale oil boom and lower global oil demand, oil cartel, OPEC met on 27 Nov, in Switzerland to discuss a way forward for the plunging oil prices. That meeting ended with no tangible breakthrough, in that its members failed to cut production to boost oil prices, and therefore decided to allow free hand of the market to reign.

However, with such dim prospects of falling revenues from oil, South Sudan economy is in tatters. It would be hard for the government to keep operations and projects afloat in such a dicey environment where its expenditures outweigh revenues. And yet there are two wars to fight – Dec. 15, 2013 Crisis and Nation Building.

With oil now selling at 65 dollars a barrel and production dropping to 160,000 from 350,000 barrels a day pre-Heglig and current wars, it is therefore unsustainable for the economy which is 95% dependent on oil revenues.

Rather than relying on expanded tax base, the South Sudan government has no any concrete source of revenues to back up the flailing economy. It is a gloomy and doom situation, not only for the government but also the rebels who wanted to form or be part of the government.

You cannot run a government without a healthy and sound economy!

For instance, when oil was discovered in the Sudan around 1978, successive regimes in Khartoum had used it as a ‘tool of war’. They appropriated it as a collateral to borrow money and vital materials from other world powers especially China, USSR and the Gulf countries.

It became a derivative by which future contracts were tied upon. Obligations such as new weapons, loans, aids, and others were supplied on the basis that the oil resources would one day suffice to compensate the creditors.

Besides, numerous wars e.g. the Southern Sudan and Darfour’s were fought on the premise that the regime was extracting these resources and marginalizing the host regions. That however prolonged these wars and regime of the day did everything it could to frustrate and defeat their arch enemies.

Similarly, the rebels were auctioning the oil resources to fund their war engagements with the government.

It is therefore imperative that when cash-starved government can no longer afford loans and advance payments from friendly international community and oil companies operating in South Sudan such as Chinese, Malaysians and Indians, and under-resourced rebels could no longer bargain and convince their friendly international community that they will be offered future oil concessions, the end is near for South Sudan to agree permanent peace.

However, without that, the worst case scenarios could be:
– Expensive for south Sudan’s oil companies to produce oil below their marginal cost
– South Sudan with no domestic refineries will have to embrace for higher oil imports and local prices or lack thereof;
– Oil executives will harden up on providing more loans and advance payments to South Sudan government ;
– Rebels’ international supporters will have to soften up on agreements they wish to sign with in order to supply them with weapons and other vital assistance for future oil concessions;
– Becomes expensive for South Sudan government and rebels to keep on prolonging war for lack of hard currency to maintain their negotiators, and bulging armies;
– With no foreign direct investment and lack of hard currency coming into government coffers, South Sudan whose economy heavily relies on imports, is more likely to fall into abyss – imports more expensive than they were before this civil war;
– Higher inflation – prices of basic commodities and services shooting up the roof;
– Western interests fraying up in South Sudan since oil is no longer considered an important commodity for them to intervene and defend their interests.

Hence, falling oil price is a blessing in disguise for South Sudan peace to hold forever. The times when a commodity like oil was considered precious are over.

In economics, all resources are limited and hence unsatisfiable for human consumption. But once such scarce resources are depleted, there are no more to satisfy his needs.

On the other hand, when there is too much supply, the law of demand states that the prices have to dive in order for the consumer to continue enjoying. Otherwise, the supplier or producer risk running out of business.

In this case, South Sudan and most OPEC members are very likely to go out of oil production business sooner rather than later.

The end of resource war such as oil is near as the world is devising other alternative means of energy efficiency and sufficiency.

The commentator is an Economist. Follow him on Facebook at Deng Lueth Yuang

Threat of sanctions checks South Sudan leaders

By: FRED OLUOCH, The East African Special Correspondent

Posted Saturday, December 6, 2014. SSN

IN SUMMARY:

**Sanctions could lead to more conflict, and the countries involved have economic and political interests in South Sudan.
**A final decision on the sanctions will be arrived at when the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development meets in Nairobi next week, on the sidelines of the infrastructure summit.
**The threat of sanctions by Igad appears to be having the desired effect on the principals in the conflict, with both leaders making visible efforts to sell a proposed peace plan to their followers.
**Reports say that Igad heads of state and negotiators have been encouraged that President Kiir and Dr Machar have convened separate consultative forums to convince their followers to sign the peace deal;

Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania have taken the initiative to save peace talks on South Sudan from collapsing, and the young country degenerating into full-scale civil war.

The presidents hope to convince the warring parties in South Sudan to sign a new deal after the November 28 deadline to accede to a peace agreement passed.

Last week, President Museveni held the first formal face-to-face meeting in Entebbe with an SPLM/A in opposition delegation. It is understood the meeting was a precursor to another with former vice president and leader of the rebel faction Riek Machar, a development mediators from both sides of the conflict say will give the process new impetus.

President Kikwete — who, having convened an SPLM meeting in Arusha in October between South Sudan President Salva Kiir and Dr Machar — dispatched his foreign Affairs minister Bernard Membe to Kenya on Wednesday to meet President Uhuru Kenyatta, and on Thursday to meet President Museveni.

The purpose of these consultations was for the regional leaders to hammer out a deal that could be further discussed during the 8th Northern Corridor Infrastructure Summit to be held in Nairobi on December 11.

Of great concern to President Museveni and President Kikwete is a situation where regional leaders will be forced to impose sanctions on the top leadership of the two factions. Sanctions could lead to more conflict, and the countries involved have economic and political interests in South Sudan.

As a result, plans to implement the proposed sanctions after the warring parties failed to meet the November 28 deadline have been put on hold until December 11.

A final decision on the sanctions will be arrived at when the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development meets in Nairobi next week, on the sidelines of the infrastructure summit.

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Amina Mohamed told The East-Afican that both parties are still consulting with their constituencies, but the decision on the bloc’s approach to the conflict will be arrived at when leaders from the region meet next week.

“The good news is that everybody has been in serious discussions and we will soon know from them whether there is movement towards signing of an agreement and what modalities will be adopted,” said Ms Mohamed.

The threat of sanctions by Igad appears to be having the desired effect on the principals in the conflict, with both leaders making visible efforts to sell a proposed peace plan to their followers.

At their last summit, Igad leaders issued the November 28 ultimatum.

READ: South Sudan: Igad threatens sanctions if talks fail; US wants UN trusteeship

The proposed sanctions include asset freezes, travel bans within the region, and stopping supply of arms and ammunition and other materials that could be used in war.

Reports say that Igad heads of state and negotiators have been encouraged that President Kiir and Dr Machar have convened separate consultative forums to convince their followers to sign the peace deal.

The EastAfrican has learnt that signing of the peace deal failed on previous occasions because the two leaders encountered resistance from their generals who are suspicious of a power-sharing arrangement and prefer a decisive military outcome.

Sources say that while the political leaders negotiating the deal have leaned towards the negotiated settlement embodied in the power-sharing deal, they have been wary of upsetting generals who command the troops on the ground.

After holding a conference on November 24, President Kiir met with top officials Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and key military commanders on December 3 at Bilpham Military Barracks near Juba Airport to get them to signing into the power-sharing agreement.

According to reports, some generals rejected the idea of having two commanders–in-chief — one for government forces and the other for the SPLM/A in Opposition forces — as had been suggested by the Dr Machar group.

On the other side, Dr Machar also convened a two-day conference with his rebel commanders in Pagak County in Jonglei State near the border with Ethiopia, to brief them on the power-sharing proposal by Igad.

The meeting was also supposed to come up with their version of the peace deal, after Juba last week provided their blue print that provided for a non-executive prime minister and an army under one commander-in-chief. Ethiopian forces provided security for the meeting.

Last week, President Museveni cautioned the rebels against making demands for executive powers for the proposed position of the prime minister.

The opposition had proposed the removal of the post of the vice-president, so that the president and prime minister could share power. END

Isaiah Abraham’s 2nd Anniversary: Still no justice by the state

South Sudan Human Rights Society For Advocacy

Press release:
TWO YEARS ON WITHOUT JUSTICE: SSHURSA COMEMMORATES ISAIAH ABRAHAM’S SECOND ANNIVERSARY, PAYS CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILY AND CALLS ON THE STATE TO DO JUSTICE

5 December 2014, marks two painful years without justice for the family of late Isaiah Abraham since his assassination on 5 December 2012 in Juba, South Sudan. Failure by the state to do justice is an attack on South Sudan’s Constitution 2011 and the universality of human rights.

The South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy (SSHURSA), in solidarity with the family and all human rights defenders, continues to remember Isaiah Abraham’s death. Today, remains the darkest day in the fight against dictatorship, abuse of rule of law and human rights by the state. Isaiah Abraham to the end of his life, was at forefront, challenging the evils destroying South Sudan. His courage remains our strength.

On 3 January 2013, the former National Minister for Infornmation and Broadcasting Barnabas Marial Benjamin announced that the government of South Sudan had arrested suspects over the murder. Two years on; no justice has been done. The state’s silence violates rights to fair trial under article 19(4) of the Constitution. SSHURSA continues to raise these questions:
Who killed Isaiah Abraham? Who sent the killers? Where are the suspects? When are they going to be tried?

SSHURSA calls on the government of South Sudan to bring to justice the allegedly arrested suspects. Despite unfulfilled promises, the family of the late has been waiting without justice as the state continues to remain silent. Let justice be done for Isaiah’s family.

SSHURSA also calls upon the public to continue condemning evils that are consuming South Sudan. The country should return to values for which South Sudanese sacrificed their blood. SSHURSA members pay deep condolences to the family of Isaiah Abraham. We pledge to continue standing by them till justice is done.

SSHURSA urges all South Sudanese human rights defenders, civil society members, journalists and advocates for a democratic and human rights abiding South Sudan, to remain courageous and carry on the late’s spirit.

For immediate release: 5 December 2014

For more on this press release, contact SSHURSA’s Executive Director: Cell: +27 749 707 905. E-mail: info@sshursa.org, Cape Town, South Africa. SSHURSA is an incorporated non-political and non-profit making national human rights organisation, founded by South Sudanese lawyers and Law Students on 5th June 2007 at Law Development Centre (LDC), Makerere, Kampala, Uganda.

In South Sudan, its operations started since 2009, with its headquarters in Juba and co-ordination offices in other states.

Its vision: a democratic and human rights abiding South Sudan. Its mission is to monitor, document and publish human rights status in the country. It also trains general public on human rights, constitution, rule of Law, Transitional Justice and international humanitarian law.

Its advocacy is geared towards creating an informed citizenry that ensures justice and good governance-oriented South Sudan. For more, see its website: www.sshursa.org

IGAD Mediators: Peace isn’t constructed like a bridge!

By: Deng Mangok Ayuel, AWEIL, South Sudan, DEC/04/2014,SSN;

The IGAD mediators to South Sudanese peace talks are ‘unfit’ to resolve the conflict. They need to top-up their mediating gears for peace to be realized in South Sudan. These mediators were not expected to give political scope of interests to the cluster of South Sudanese politicians who think that South Sudan is their gifted village to be taken into abyss amidst our silence.

If the warring parties have been violating cessation of hostilities agreement and the mediators couldn’t pressurize the leaders involved to the conflict, then what is it for IGAD mediators to continue mediating between the minds of politicians who are wailing for the failure of the new nation?

South Sudanese should think of divorcing the IGAD mediators and loud up their voices or invite the world to resolve the conflict before inflaming.

In sum, this conflict may not be resolved simply by allowing it to fade away or by eliminating the conflict situations with sanctions and/or by recompensing rebels with political positions in the upcoming interim government.

The current war is immoral and the impending bad peace being negotiated by IGAD in Ethiopia shall be a daunting one. A bad upcoming interim government in the hands of Dr Machar and chameleonic individuals in Equatoria region is bullying.

A lot need to be done for a lasting peace, lest things will not change for better.

South Sudan conflict is heavily mechanized politically. The political heights, hearts for wealth, power and the individualistic military backgrounds of some armed folks loyal to Kiir and Dr Machar may still continue to cause more adversities in the country.

Thus, Gen. Peter Gadet will not easily listen to Dr Riek and stop attacking SPLA forces’ position, and the SPLA will not militarily cease to defend its territorial integrity from aggression as a national army.

This is a scenario IGAD bloc needs to grease, think of healing military and political ambiances.

The mediators should also recognize that they are not mediating peace for leaders with political interests but for the nation. Peace belongs to the nation, not individuals within the government or rebels.

Our people have been displaced, others exiled and thousands were killed. As conflict is a dispute in a situation defined by the warring parties with different beliefs, mutual perception and the evidences related to the root causes, it’s a turn for IGAD bloc to say enough is enough to the warring parties and establish reasonable, concrete mechanisms for a real peace.

Is IGAD bloc not contributing to the failure of the new nation? Peace is not constructed like a bridge. It emerges from the balanced mental tones. These mediators are deemed to coax the leaders involved to the conflict to accept their roles as fire igniters, make them feel responsible for their doings.

Hence, peace with just – a just peace couldn’t materialize in the hands of these mediators. As mediating is a business, there is not need for IGAD bloc to waste time doing less than expected for a quite long time.

Anyone who desires to make money out of this conflict is a failure to him/herself. The mediators should focus on public demand and wishes for peace by restoring hope and nationalistic feelings through a just peace.

There is a need for political interests to be shortened, power not shared un-necessarily, antagonism lessened, and the resulting expectations made more realistic by clarifying the conflict situation or point fingers to resistance bodies involved to the conflict.

Deng Mangok Ayuel is a columnist, blogger and lives in Aweil, South Sudan. He can be reached via mangokson@gmail.com.

Kuol Manyang needs to apologize and resign

BY DR. PETER KOPLING, MD. JUBA, DEC/03/2014, SSN;

Contrary to Kiir’s supposed quest for peace in the war torn South Sudan, our nation is made to understand through a graduation speech delivered by the country’s failed defense minister Kuol Manyang Juuk, whose name in most circle is synonymous to blood bath. Indisputably, Kuol Mnyang killed single handedly more southerners than any single Jalaba has ever done in the war of liberation and he lives to tell it.

It must be recalled that the violence in Jonglei state started when Koul Manyang was the state Governor, he failed miserably at state level to broker peace and his state became the most violent even before the outbreak of the current war.

He did nothing to address the unrest; instead he exacerbated it by arming his Dinka tribesmen and disarming the Murle so that his kin can penetrate and strike freely, and to commit genocide against the minority Murle tribe.

Juuk’s speech is not only despicable and must be condemned by all peace loving citizens of this great nation, but it is also advocating for more bloodshed and violence against Women in particular and children who have suffered disproportionately in this genocidal tribal war initiated by Kiir.

His disgraceful speech has revealed that it is all lip service and to draw wool over people’s eyes when the Kiir’s government claims the 23% of ministerial and other posts in his government are allotted to women.

Something that is clearly to fool the world and to portray to the world that this oppressive regime abides by and protects issues of importance to women and their rights, but in actuality the speech by the blood-drenched defense minister reveals to the contrary and made it crystal clear that women in South Sudan amount to nothing.

According to Koul Manyang, simply because they, the Women, wear skirts and walk around with braided hairs, they are the lowest of the low. He said in no uncertain terms, that his tribal government has no ability to protect the vulnerable and that only those with guns matter and if you cannot kill in South Sudan, you amount to nothing! If you refused to kill in South Sudan, you should be arrested!

On Saturday 29 November at a graduation ceremony attended by both, the defense Minister Koul Manyang, and the belligerent south Sudan’s general chief of staff Paul Malong Awan, the failed Defense minister Juuk urged the 3000 graduates mainly from his Dinka tribe to defend the so called constitution of the country, but at the same time he instigated the youth to violence against the vulnerable, by equating them to women if they do not want to fight.

Thus he called for more of the genocidal war, absolutely unacceptable view coming from someone occupying a very responsible position that of the defense Minister.

In the speech published by Sudan tribune on 29 November, the defense minister made despicable utterances, he warned that youths who attempt to escape from the army would be punished while those who decline to join were “merely women”.

This is an insult to all women of South Sudan to include his mother, sisters, and daughters not only that but also including the acting secretary general of the SPLA Dr Ann Itto, and other prominent women like Gamma Nunu Komba,Nyandeng Malek Deliech, the governor of Warrap state just to mention a few great females of our nation.

In his mind these are all decorative objects!

However the defense minister continues with his abusive language against women by saying “If you refuse to join the army, let your hair be plated and we will buy you a skirt. It means you will no longer be a man, but a typical woman”.

This is utterly pathetic and backward remarks coming from such an important position of the Minister, while some women in our country including those in uniform of which Koul Manyang is their boss continue to take bullets on daily basis in the frontlines to protect the narrow minded individuals like the defense minister.

Moreover this is also violation of Article 2, of UN convention of December 1948, the universal declaration of human rights; article II clearly stated “No inflammatory discrimination.”

These rights belong to everybody, whatever the gender. In fact what this article is saying is that all men and women have equal fundamental rights regardless of their sex, race, age, career etc.

In traditional Scotland, men wear skirts and that do not make them women whatever being a woman is supposed to mean by the derogatory remarks of the defense minister.

What about when the defense minister was growing up in cattle camps wearing nothing, running around naked after cows, was he still superior to any women as naked and primitive as he was?

The women in South Sudan then better start wearing trousers and cut their hairs short instead of braiding them! Oh and start killing like the mindless, primitive tribal men of South Sudan who have become agents of death and killing machines, whose existance is converted to solely keeping these bigots in power, than of development else they will forever remain “Typical women” and amounts to nothing leave alone respect and right to life!

These forms of rhetoric is nothing more than an intentional design, to undermine the great contribution made by women in our nation, it is a common knowledge if Women where in charge of our nation we shall not see this kind of blood bath.

Instead of appreciating and encouraging women in peace finding and nation building, the defense Minister acted in violation of women’s right as if he was not born of a woman.

Are we hardly surprised by this attitude of one whose place should have not been the head of the ministry of defense but rather indicted in international criminal court /ICC in The Hague, for murdering hundreds of innocent Fellow Southerners during the war of liberation to include by some report the murder of his very own biological mother who had refused to give her cows to feed the SPLA.

If he can killed his own mother, is it any wonder he disregards women?

The defense minister’s view is not compatible with life in 2014, it indicates he still thinks women are properties of men; as such their duties are to do domestic works including milking cows as is in his cattle culture.

I urge all intellectuals, men and women, to protest again the devaluating remarks of the defense minister. We cannot allow such attitude to prevail in our nation, and we must strongly demands apology and the resignation of the defense minister for encouraging crimes against women.

As of recent when the head of civil society, Mr. Deng, declared “ those who are paying the cost of the war are the grassroots, the leadership do not feel the weight of the war because the president and Riek have no sons in the army” he was forced to apologized to the president.

If the civil society leader can be forced to apologized to the President for what is plain fact and truth, then why can’t the blood drenched and the failed defense minister quit his post for insulting our mothers, sisters, daughters and wives?

What he said constitutes discrimination and abuse and inflaming the culture of violence against our women including his own wife but also that of President Kiir’s wife or wives.\

“He who maintains silence in the face of massacre is murderer himself”

Dr. Peter Kopling, MD.
Juba, South Sudan.

Hon. Kuol Manyang Juuk & the New Breed of Sexist Young Men

BY: Kuir ë Garang (Author, Poet), ALBERTA, Canada, DEC/03/2014, SSN;

If you don’t know who is who in a crowd then generalize them in good faith and you’ll soon know who is who. Bad advice but it works! So I’ll lump up the majority of South Sudanese young men as sexist unless they distinguish themselves otherwise.

I know each and every society has its normative and traditional parameters used by its people. It’s obviously remarkable that every society considers its cultural tenets central to its way of life, and to some extent, free of error.

This is of course a fallacy for any given human social construct is always fraught with mistakes. However, societies that face criticisms given the inhumanity of some of their cultural practices take refuge in cultural relativism. And this has led to resistance to change by some cultures.

Luckily, the world has grown to a point in which unacceptable human practices are getting challenged as revolutionized means of communication have opened up closed societies in ways never seen before. Societies are no longer closed and therefore can’t oppress some members of their societies without such injustice being heard.

Sexists, Racists, Dictators, embezzlers, religious bigots… are exposed and bashed on regular basis.

This doesn’t mean injustice and harmful cultural and social practices aren’t taking place. They still take place in the cover of darkness. Sexist, enslavers, racists, immoral capitalists, war-mongers, rapists…still exist. What’s comforting is that the above perpetrators know the contemporary societies don’t approve of their practices.

The famed James Dewey Watson, the Noble Prize winning co-discover of DNA double helix, fell from grace for his racist remarks and was shunned by the scientific community; and the American beloved comedian, Bill Cosby, is now falling from grace for the way he treated women.

Among the sad practices that still haunt us today is men’s attitude toward women. This is an attitude that exist in almost all human societies. Even seemingly progressive societies like western countries still have a lot to do when it comes to women rights.

Women are still paid less than men, they face domestic violence, have hard times when they vie for elected offices, have difficulty moving up corporate ladders… etc. However, western societies have done relatively better than other societies.

Even young, educated men in some societies such as South Sudan still think stereotyping women is acceptable because “it’s part of our culture.” These young men think talking about rights of women is a ‘western’ concept. What a pathetic state of mind!

Women rights are human rights applicable to all societies. When did it become a western idea that women shouldn’t be compared to cowardly men? Women in the west didn’t always have the same rights they have now so calling respect for women a western concept is to miss the point.

Everyone human society progresses not retrogress and some norms of 100 years ago aren’t even mentionable now. The word ‘Negro’ was an acceptable reference to African Americans in the 1950s and 1960s but mentioning it now is almost an anathema. About 200 years ago Africans were sold like sheep.

Societies change. And it’s the acceptable change that’s welcome.

And it’s bizarre for an educated man to think that saying a cowardly man is a women isn’t insulting to women. It might have been okay for African men to insult their women 50–100 years ago but to say it’s cultural to use analogies that denigrate women now is a scary state of mind.

The recent remarks by South Sudan’s defense minister, Kuol Manyang, comparing cowardly men with women can be understood or excused in the context of the society he grew up in. It shouldn’t be condoned, however. It has no place in the current society Kuol lives in.

And what is even appalling is how educated, young South Sudanese believe such sexist, inflammatory remarks are ‘not a problem.’

We all know the context in which Kuol uttered the statement but it’s really mindless to say that we can condone such a statement because it was uttered by Kuol Manyang, a government official.

We can say Kuol only wanted to raise the morale of his soldiers and scare other ‘men’ to join the army. But did Kuol Manyang have to make fun of women to make a point?

With such an attitude, I believe girls and women in South Sudan should sharpen their spears because the upcoming breed of young leaders is full of mindless, robotic sexists, who wouldn’t hesitate to endorse sexism in the name of culture and Afrocenticity.

This makes me wonder how such a breed of leaders would be able to take issues like rape and women rights seriously. Is it the support of leaders that has completely blinded some of our able-minded young men and that they’d change if the issue of support ceases to be a problem? Or is this the actual state of affairs in South Sudan?

To respect women is not to simply love or marry them or to say they are good mothers and sisters. Respecting women is to guarantee their rightful place in any society. So we have a bunch of young men who believe that women are simply weak and cowardly.

How do you look your wife or girlfriend in the eye and believe mocking analogies are okay? Why do we get angry when Europeans or Euro-Americans make fun of us? Why do we call ‘white’ people racists when they use analogies such as ‘Africans are monkeys’ or Africans are inferior?

And some ‘white’ people have been raised and cultured to believe Africans and people of African descent aren’t even human beings! They actually believe this to be true. Should we condone this attitude towards us because it’s part of some ‘white’ people cultural upbringing?

It’s up to young girls and women to know that the coming generation of leaders has among them sexists of the unpalatable breed. They’ll marry you but be ready to put you under the bus!

And unless young girls and women become vigilant to safeguard their rightful place as boys’ equals and challenge archaic-minded and sexist people, they’ll have themselves to blame.

And prominent leaders and heroes of our liberation struggle like Kuol Manyang Juuk should be the frontrunners in the fight for girls’ rights. The use of analogies that denigrate women in our contemporary society is unforgiveable.

Hon. Kuol has women colleagues in the government and the use of such analogies not only disrespects them, it also sends a wrong message to boys about how they should treat girls and women; and that expressions that compare women with disgraced men is okay.

Kuol needs to apologize to women to set a good example for young men and boys.

Kuir ë Garang (Author, Poet)
www.kuirthiy.info
http://thenilepress.com
587-892-1243

South Sudanese in crossfire of Political Ideologies

By: Ater Garang Ariath, JUBA, DEC/03/2014, SSN;

South Sudanese innocent people were caught in crossfire of political ideologies when unnecessary political wrangling erupted within the country’s ruling party, Sudan’s People liberation Movement (SPLM), a party that fought bitterly for independence of the nation, but later abandoned the best models that supposed to steer this nation forward for national cohesion.

Young people which constituted 70% of country’s vast population were cripplingly marginalized in decision making process in the country, no greater attentions that were paid by existing government to address challenges facing them, such as lack of employment, good education and better services toward youth empowerment.

The government has seemed to ignore “young people as future of South Sudan”, with poor public policy toward availing universal education for all, the existing five universities are ill-equipped to contribute in manufacturing able South Sudanese future leaders, which is supposed to be the starting point for emerging nation like South Sudan.

However, the government plugged itself in widespread malpractices, especially the cabinet Ministers who have been in government for consecutive eight years, didn’t delivered and still backtracking the same government that gave them freedom to involve in widespread corruption practices by looting almost half of country wealth.

Hunger for political power lures South Sudanese men and women from the comfort of their homes and jobs in the private sector and government and drives them to spend months, even a year now, leading unsuccessful rebellion against government and people, whom they want to lead.

Therefore, I am one among South Sudanese people who have never been happy on how the country has been run and most of influential figures that have been leading rebellion after being dropped in the current cabinet, were part and parcel of those wrong policies that they are claiming now to be bad.

However, they need to be reminded that “you reap what you sow”; they are now enjoying the fruits of their labour, of which they have been planted for eight consecutive years of being in cabinet without propagating practical and radical transformation within the government and ruling party alike.

Nevertheless, only innocent South Sudanese people bear heavily the consequences of visionless leaders, who unscrupulously think for themselves first, before putting the interest of nation and its civil population.

This is a problem of power, it’s is a magician’s bargain : give up our souls , get power in return. But once souls, that is ourselves have given up , the power thus conferred will not belong to us. We shall in fact be slaves and puppets of that to which we have given our souls.

Therefore , we as South Sudanese should be careful about the ongoing political upheaval in our nation and stop supporting anything that endanger our political sovereignty and national integrity of our nation.

Why I say this based on what I have seen for last one year now in our nation, where my closest friends, relatives and families were killed on both sides of the warring parties.

And I have to reiterate my stance as South Sudanese citizen that a “significant movement”, begins from the bottom up not top down. Absolutely important changes in any political arena begin not from officials or celebrities, but through ordinary people, one of the living proof was the Tunisia.

The little platoons. Every South Sudanese person can and should seek to make a difference in his or her corner of the world by personally helping those in need, rather than mobilizing resources to fought brothers war.

Beyond this, there are some fanatic and wrongheaded leaders among South Sudanese societies that are calling themselves to work through government structures and by political means to bring their own influence into South Sudanese politics .

Nevertheless, these are the same wrong elements who poorly laid a sordid foundation of our nation since the inception of South Sudanese self-government after the signature of Comprehensive Peace Agreement(CPA) .

South Sudanese peasants were caught in the “crossfire of political ideologies”, once against after they have squarely decided to vote in referendum for an independence country, Republic of South Sudan, hoping to create viable nation in Africa continent with help of natural resources that God endowed.

My fellows South Sudanese were murdered by their own leaders and hard-liner supporters, over half of our population lives under the ultimate fear of their safety. Millions in this country have been condemned to live bound , gagged and tortured and die in the gulag.

In my opinion a prudent leader foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions, while the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. Any wise leader envisage step taken and its ramifications, but this is not the case in our context as South Sudanese, our leaders never care for our stability, unity , prosperity and the list is extensive.

South Sudanese and the aspirant leaders should be challenge at least to ensure that a “just leader cares for stability of his or her nation”,. Therefore I am calling for political stability in our nation , because it will play important role in national balanced development countrywide.

Let us be astuteness in whatever we do , let us stop spreading hatred among our people on different social media outlets , let’s work hard at living in peace with others.

Personally I will and never contribute to the rise of gangster leaders in our nation and I will do what I can to ensure that South Sudanese fellow men and women realize peace, unity and stability.

Those who worked for that, however , need to be forewarned: everyday business of politics is power and that is all, and power as I know so well from the bottom of my own experience can be perilous for anyone .

My purpose here is not to deal exhaustively with the complex issue of power nor could I.

But I want to at least examine the dynamics of power , particularly as it affect the political arena and those who enter it.

As to remind you my dear fellow beloved citizens, man’s desire to control his own destiny and impose his will on others is the most basic human motivation that we should approach with our potential subconscious.

Certainly as to concluded by argument here , in every generation , there are statesmen motivated by a genuine noblesse oblige a sense of high calling to serve humanity, in fact South Sudanese people have late hero Dr. John Garang De Mabior and hope in years to come few leaders will be reborn by not at this moment.

Young people matter, they matter because they are potential tools use by politicians to fought war of their own interest, if this is the case, South Sudanese youth on both sides of the two warring parties should come into their senses and denounce these politicians that use them.

Together as youth, we have brighter future that we should shape to meet our interest of building prosperous and vibrant South Sudan, rather than allow ourselves to be drag back by unscrupulous leaders who never hold future for themselves.

South Sudan should supposed to be model example in Africa continent, however the wrong path taken by our nation must be reserve, if youth grow into their senses that they are no longer politicians tools , but responsible human-being and potential future leaders, I think South Sudan will be better place that one appreciate to live.

“Enough is enough”, youth have paid heavy price for their ignorance in the ongoing conflict and they should learn from it, otherwise experience is the best teacher.

The Author is South Sudanese journalist, living in Juba, South Sudan, for any inquiry email me at atergarang452@gmail.com

SPLA-In-Opposition overran & captured Camp #15 near Kapoeta

DECEMBER/02/2014, SSN; Breaking News: A highly placed former Equatorian SPLA Lt.General who defected to the SPLA/M-In-Opposition has announced that forces comprising of men from Kapoeta area and other tribes from Eastern Equatoria State today attacked SPLA-Juba and overran Camp No. 15, also known as Mile 15.

The overall Zonal Commander of Equatoria in the SPLA-In-Opposition revealed that the successful attack and capture of Camp No. 15 is the first ever action taken and accomplished by volunteer soldiers and civilians from the sons of the region.

Camp No. 15 is a well known military base near the town of Kapoeta, Eastern Equatoria State.

(More details will be coming from the official SPLA-In-Opposition or others)