Archive for: January 2015

Is this South Sudan conflict still being considered as the party issue?

By: Yien Lam, South Sudan, JAN/15/2015, SSN;

This cunningly seems to be the issue by the SPLM/A elite in Arusha, Tanzania. But as a member of the Nuer tribe in the Country we dearly love, this in my view, is beyond the SPLM/A party. If you cogitate it as a rational individual, you will find it as a pure business that is being done on our lives as the tribe.

I think we truly saw that and nobody would be able to delude us in order to fall prey to the SPLM/A party again. We have seen the true colors of Dinka elite against us. Many things prove that to be the intention of the regime as well as its kin and kith to annihilate us.

In this matter, if it was the party issue as I read Deng Alor’s presentation, what would be the justification for government to kill only Nuers while the political dissenters who thwarted the regime were the mixture of all tribes in South Sudan?

Can Mr. ALor answer that question prudently? In my view Mr. Alor, this is out of the SPLM/A that you are talking about because the very party you are addressing does not differentiate the cow dung and the human waste then and now.

If that was so, what would make you to believe it this time around to bring peace into South Sudan? None!

As the matter of fact, when I dissect this presentation of Mr. Alor in Arusha, I found out what prevented him to join the opposition and retain his status as a detainee in his presentation.

The one I found is this, Mr. Alor in fact, does not feel the agony being imposed on Nuer as a tribe. He does not consider the pain felt by Nuers as important rather than the party that victimizes them.

When I first read it, I was angered, saddened and my heart was broken because the elite still calls the very problem that only target one tribe in the first place as the leadership issue. This is ridiculous and I call it a sell-out to the Nuer lives that are being lost in this war.

I thought Mr. Deng Alor has an instinct to dissect things as the leader not as the rustic dweller of his own village.

I also thought he would follow the footsteps of the Central Equatoria governor, Clement Konga, who finally divulged the reality in broad daylight. That was the real meaning of the war in the first place and more will be coming. The time for smear tactics is gone and veracious individuals as Konga will emerge in days if not months to come.

Furthermore, if this was the leadership issue initially, now it is obsolete. The reason is simple. Nuers were purposely targeted by your cousin, Kiir, who’s supposed to be the leader of the country.

Presenting these days as such while the known victims of this man-made catastrophe were only us is not only absurd but also an affront to the dead Nuer’s souls.

To assure you, my friend, expectorating on the very people who have intentionally fought very hard to release from detention you as such is not only an insult, it is also regrettable.

Most people thought that you and your colleagues were political detainees not as folks whose aim is to lead behind the line. But now, your true colors are being seen as clear as you may have thought.

But we will control our intel and will there never be an compunction due to what you and your group did to us. We will remain vigilant as much as we can in order to not let power hunger sneak into the peoples’ struggle delusively.

Nonetheless, in my view, you should have not touched this topic because you know for certain that Nuers were the only victims of the leadership that you are talking about.

If that is so, how are you going to convince the Nuer members of your caucuses to agree on the leadership principles while your cousins killed only his/her relatives without touching yours as fellow cousin? Do you still think there is a trust in that leadership?

Mr. Deng, if that was not because Nuers are honest to everyone in south Sudan including yourself, you should not have talked as such today, you did so because freedom fighters fought for your release in the Jail last year.

They did not know you as such. They were thinking that you were a political dissent with everybody else. But now, you showed us your true colors without any doubt in my guts.

But as they say, “what goes around comes around,” you may have an intention on what you want politically now in which I doubt. But the reality is, being veracious is paramount to anything in life.

You may dodge whatever you think is bad from your political view. But this is not a joke as some of you may be playing the unwinnable game.

This leadership will not be taken by people who do not stand up for the people of south Sudanese but for their positions.

A Hyena in sheep’s clothing will not be allowed in this country of ours ever again. This will never be the case in the future government of south Sudan.

Nevertheless, Mr. Alor, you and your group are the threat to the whole Nation. Thinking this time as such to the problem of this magnitude is deserving of a serious consideration in my view if not the view of many.

This is worth mentioning because your silence is a problem if not indeed a dangerous one for the well-being of our Country. Believe it or not, your muteness in this crisis as neutral is a problem by itself.

Nobody is neutral in his/her country’s affairs. Not only that, none of you will not be sincere in this crisis either. The people whom you are thinking as the bad ones today will in the long run be good.

This will be so because they are on the side of the people as Desmond Tutu said, “if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

As the quote alluded to, if you and your group are neutral as it has been the case, do you guys not think that you are worse than the regime itself?

Believe it for certain, you will never be appreciated by either side because you are indecisive for the purpose of making yourselves unspoiled in the situation in which I call “a match without return.”

What you may be hoping for will only remain as a day dream that will never materialize in South Sudan.

However, frankly speaking, you cannot play games with the lives of Nuers. This business of yours is not worth it. We are not properties of anyone in south Sudan, bear that in mind.

This time around, Nuers will never return to anything that in the turn end turns up killing ever more of them. This time will not be the case as a cousins of yours persistently defaming us since the inception of the SPLM/A.

This time make no mistake, Nuers will not let this go without a tangible solution. Now, we worry less because we have got south Sudan as a nation. That is what we needed.

Therefore, now everyone is fully aware because Pres. Kiir feigned the coup on all of us. Therefore, we will not allow ourselves being treated like refugees in our own country.

Enough is enough, and we need everyone to be treated equally and fairly as God created us equal. Neutrality will not be hidden out whether one is believing in it or not.

As a matter of fact, nobody should be considered as neutral in his own home. You should pick a side that you think has every right in the altercation. That is what a man/woman that thinks rationally about the family problem does.

Being neutral while your siblings are suffering is not only politics but also a disease. There is no reason for one to let his siblings finish themselves up while that individual has whatever it takes to quell the problem.

Never! If one does not do that now, when is she/he going to do it?

Finally, anyone who’s still thinking erroneously as Alor and his group about this problem as the issue of leadership between the party loyalists, may need medical attention to check his/her mental capacity sooner than later.

This leadership problem is obsolete since an incompetent President took the tribal line to kill only the members of The Nuer ethnic group during his feigned coup.

The author is a concerned South Sudanese as well as the maverick that can be reached at lam981@hotmail.com

Juba elites using 1991 propaganda to blackmail political leaders

By James Gatdet Dak, SPLM/SPLA-IO and Chief Spokesperson, JAN/12/2015, SSN;

Judgmental people not only love to recall things that occurred in the past and attributed to people they dislike, but also many of them sometimes choose to live in the bondage of the past.
While it is not a bad idea to excavate and understand the past in order to enrich and shape the present, it is however harmful when the intention is to selectively choose to live in the negative past and become unappreciative of the positive side of that past.

It is even worse when the past is being unfairly used as an instrument of propaganda and to blackmail individuals, leaders or a specific group for reasons only known to propagandists and blackmailers.

Blackmailing is the act of putting pressure on a person or a group to do something they do not want to do, for example by making threats of exposure in order to feel guilty and succumb to the blackmailer’s demand of doing or not doing something.

Therefore political blackmailing is the threat of exposing, or the actual exposure of an element of truth, but more often invented stories with the aim of causing damage to a political opponent(s). This is by slandering him or her, trying to deprive him of the possibility of engaging in political activity or making it difficult for him.

Political blackmailing is applied by an individual or elite group of individuals, who have connived after identifying themselves based on either political power interest, tribal or racial grouping. They put into operation slanderous methods in a protective paranoia against a perceived threat to their interests.

These unscrupulous power hungry individuals would always seek to neutralize that threat, using some classic methods of misrepresenting their opponents in public gatherings, media and other formal or informal platforms as a weapon of political struggle and revenge.

This misrepresentation of the past in order to maliciously distort the present and pollute the future is much prevalent in South Sudan. A good example is the song of recalling the 1991 incident and continuing to remind some leaders about the event.

This song although losing its impact has been an attempt by the interest-group to blackmail certain political leaders so that they may feel guilty and frustrate their conscience on initiating further political changes or reforms.

In the case of the ruling Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) it also aims at trying to abort a genuine call for federal system of governance and democratization of politics. It is a witch-hunt against those who demand for freedoms and rights in the country. The regime has been using various means to misrepresent the genesis of the political crisis, notably using the state media at its disposal.

MANIPULATION USING THE MEDIA
The elite leaders in Juba are exclusively monopolizing the state media in spreading their propaganda and trying to blackmail opposition leaders and deny other political opinions from being relayed to the public. At the same time they suppress freedom of speech and expression in public and social gatherings and subject independent media to undemocratic and unlawful censorship.

The regime uses a propagandizing form of communication in distorting facts of the political situation and trying to influence the attitude of a community by presenting a tribally motivated one-sided argument.

Such tactics include the use of logical fallacies techniques in order to suppress information or points of view by crowding them out, inducing groups of people to dismiss other political points of view and divert their attention elsewhere.

This dictatorial method by SPLM-In-Government aims at silencing and at the same time discrediting opposing arguments by appealing to fictitious nationalistic feeling or memory of their past accomplishments and contrast negative incidents allegedly attributed to an individual leader and specific community. This is a falsifying method of distraction by nationalism.

The propaganda machinery, lacking a viable program for the nation, has resorted to creating a connection between a past horrific incident with the current distinct political situation. The group appeals to a fictional consensus in trying to create the perception that their opinion is the only opinion, so that alternative ideas are dismissed from public consideration.

The dictatorial elite also use intimidation to inflict fears into the wider audience in the outer ring of their community strong base in order to influence the opinions and actions of others towards some specific end.

The feared incident is therefore exaggerated and the pattern of fear mongering is usually one of repetition in order to continuously remind the bombarded audience of the past 1991 incident. This is to reinforce the intended effects of this tactic to frighten citizens and influence their political views.

This strategy can however backfire if the fabricated events are derided as an attempted distraction from the true national issues at hand.

Such people unnecessarily imprison themselves in the bondage of the seemingly benefiting past, gnashing their teeth as they scan their brains searching for things that went wrong 30 years ago. They are bound to bias and lack of fairness in which they look for small dots which they can use negatively to try to justify and condemn a present situation.

This reminds me of utterances by none other than the president of the Republic at the Nyakuron Culture Center in Juba on Saturday, 14 December, a day before the 15 December violence when he warned SPLM political reformists against repeating 1991.

You cannot seek and achieve independence brought about by self-determination and yet contradictorily despise the leader(s) who enormously contributed to this great achievement. It is a sinful contradiction. However, it is understandable given the desire to blackmail.

It is however harmful and unhelpful to refer to the past partially without fairly examining its pros and cons. It is equally politically incorrect to pursue blackmailing as a political tactic in order to abort leadership succession and reforms.

Of course people unnecessarily died because our leaders in 1980s could not agree on the main objective for the movement, which later on became the self-determination.

They also unfortunately die today because someone entrusted to lead the nation has not learnt from the past and decided to violently resist various positive reforms in the country. This has resulted to the imposed war on the people.

Nevertheless, a leader or person would not want to see his people die unnecessarily. He or she would first of all suggest and pursue peaceful options to achieve the set objectives. Our reformist leaders have never thought that the country would be plunged into this deep violent crisis by a dictator and force them to stage an armed resistance.

There are however situations when the unnecessary becomes necessary by way of imposition or alternative option. There are also times when a certain unintended situation becomes unavoidable. We are all humans and therefore not with a 100% perfection.

Logical people with positive outlook concentrate on the big picture which is the intended positive part of a situation. Concentrating on untended negative side is too judgmental and unappreciative.

We are now faced with the situation in which there is need to change the status quo in South Sudan. We have a new oppressor. An oppressor has no colour or name, because even your brother can attempt to strip you of your many rights, including the right to life, which you are entitled to resist by all means available.

We may recall that South Sudanese leaders who led political resistance and eventually took up armed resistance movements, not once but three times, against successive Khartoum regimes since 1955 did not do it out of warmongering.

The situation was imposed on them. It was not possible to restrict their struggle to a peaceful dialogue and achieve freedom.

The interest group in Juba has declared war on the people of South Sudan who are simply aspiring for freedom, equality, justice and prosperity through reforms. The elite leaders in Juba have been fighting this war with the assistance of foreign agents. It is high time we rendered their propaganda and blackmailing tactics useless. Let us come together as a united people in supporting these reformist leaders for the betterment of all.

The author is a Spokesperson in the Office of the Chairman, SPLM/SPLA. He can be reached at gatdetdak2013@gmail.com

Criticizing Pres. Kiir’s leadership is not an endorsement to Dr. Riek

By: Philips Al-Ghai, SOUTH SUDAN, JAN/12/2015, SSN;

When it comes to writing opinions about this unfortunate crisis our country has plunged into, my Nuer folks ‘in opposition’ [or at least the ‘anti-Dinka’ die-hard] unwittingly misinterpret one thing: that slamming the government’s catalytic role in this sorry state chiefly implies an approval to Dr. Riek’s rebellion. This has long become a routine precept in and out of social media.

Last time, in one of those weary October afternoons, I walked up to some of my Nuer friends over a hot cup of coffee after a long day of lectures and midterms. I would be lying if I say I completely had no hint about everyone’s eagerness to know my thoughts on the S. Sudanese issue.

But I have always felt it would only be fair to discuss such stuff with people with established steadfast objectivity.

So the first question was, predictably, whether I buy the ‘it was a coup’ cliché before the hell broke loose in Juba in December 2013, which I answered NO to everyone’s awe.

The rest of the conversation quickly spilled into praises of Dr. Riek’s PhD, his ‘successful’ S. Sudan vision, Ngundeng’s prophecies, his democratic ideas et cetera.

I had no other chance whatsoever to explain why I hold such opinion, let alone questioning some of the bizarre reasons given to justify Dr. Riek’s supposed ‘messianic’ ideas.

Realizing the topic was instantaneously venturing into some of these myopic ideas most S. Sudanese rebels hold, and with remote signs of getting another chance to raise –at least –a query in this ever diverging topic, I hastily gulped down the content of my cup and left politely.

Perhaps it is time we should isolate facts from tribal fantasies. My Nuer folks ‘in opposition’ and their cohorts need to know that Kiir’s Dinka critics do not weigh him against Dr. Riek!

Rather, they condemn him on the premise that he has needlessly allowed himself to go down the history books as the first S. Sudanese president with the blood of his voters in his hands. It is a bad precedence for a groomed son of his caliber.

For a man who had fought so relentlessly for freedom of his people, it is not only a shame but also a poison to Dinka norms.

Growing up as a young Dinka lad in the heart of liberation war, I was often told about how the Arabs enslaved our people. Stories of how our people were persecuted were narrated.

I grew up knowing that, like my elder brother (R.I.P) and every able Dinka man, I would be called upon to fight for ‘people’s freedom’ at some point. Fighting for people’s freedom was an internalized ideology; the ideology that became a social responsibility across Dinka cultures.

Having fought the war himself, Kiir was expected to champion the rule of law. That was the next level in the quest for achieving people’s freedom.

That’s why most of us are enraged when Kiir blatantly try to sit above the constitution. It is deemed a betrayal to this ideology; one of the very reason he and his comrades waged one of the world’s longest wars against Khartoum.

It is no secret most S. Sudanese vilifying the name ‘Dinka’ today either masqueraded as East Africans, or intermittently run to Khartoum when the going gets tough.

This does not justify making S. Sudan a Dinka monopoly though. But Kiir was in the heart of resilience to fight on despite series of despicable betrayals from own countrymen.

That is why we don’t want him to lose sight of the cause that has wiped his age mates out. We want traitors to watch him seeing this sacred dream through, so they might tell their offspring of their shame.

We want him to join his comrades, in the next world, if ancestors beckon, as a smiling man, a decorated executioner of the ideology that cost his tribesmen so dearly.

These expectations might be proving unrealistic for now, but we revoke him to be a great leader.

He is expected to be someone who can make selfless decisions in the glaring face of adversity, but not someone who surround himself with unproductive stooges.

We want to see him striving to bring the best of developmental services to S. Sudanese, but not disaster.

We want to see him working, and taking credit from hardworking citizens, who are giving back to their diverse societies, regardless of their political affiliations, but not someone who rewards sheer propagandists contributing little to national development and co-existence.

We want to see him standing tall for socio-politico-economic development of the country, but not social ills. You can’t simply put these expectations on a traitor and political satellite like Dr. Riek.

As things stand, Kiir might no longer fit the bill of a leader most of us envisaged him to be. But that doesn’t make Dr. Riek an alternative.

Agreed, the supposed push for the democratic change within the SPLM might not have brought about full-blown democracy, but it would have set the foundation to build on. It was a necessity.

However, a closer examination of his subsequent actions suggests it was a fluke. One can assert with certainty that Dr. Riek’s ambition was nothing more than being the next president in 2015.

Forget democratic change. This ambition became disguised in the democratic change when he accidentally found himself the highest-ranking SPLM member among those who were rightfully fighting Kiir against power monopoly.

We shouldn’t be oblivious of a huge difference between being a freedom fighter, and being a tribal warlord. The latter fittingly describes Dr. Riek.

When the reports of his apology about the 1991 Bor Massacre surfaced in 2011, I was tempted to think that his mistake was forgivable.

Most of his then comrades had hurt many S. Sudanese during the war after all, although with varying degrees. Even Dr. Garang had his, and might have been compelled to apologize to the people he hurt if he were alive.

I saw such mistakes as consequences of a long costly war, not to mention the pulling force of Sudanese Dinars from Khartoum at the time.

But the current conflict has badly exposed Dr. Riek as a blind opportunist, a poor critical thinker, and a ferocious megalomaniac. I still maintain there was NO COUP in Juba. But rebellion was never the best option for anyone harboring this enormous dream of democratic change.

Great changes are not achieved through violence. Even if that was the option, he went ahead and slaughtered the remnants of the same civilians he slaughtered in 1991.

He hunted and executed S. Sudanese contributing to the development of Nuerland (teachers, traders, engineers, lawyers…) simply because they hail from Dinka. What has tribal revenge got to do with democratic change? What is democratic about slaughtering the same citizens you purport to bring democracy to?

Precisely, Dr. Riek is using the government’s blunder to:
1) avenge his Nuer tribesmen that Kiir slaughtered in Juba,
2) get a chance to be at the helm of power, or
3) liberate Nuer nation [I’ve been hearing], of course if his dreams can be that illusive.

All these have nothing to do with democracy. Any claim that he is fighting for democratic change is nonsense, and an insult to democracy per se.

So, do not be too presumptuous when encountering a Dinka criticizing Kiir sometimes. Unlike Dr. Riek, the president has a communal ideology he is expected to fulfill. It is the same ideology that brought S. Sudanese this far. It is the same ideology that will take them even further.

That is why some of us take off tribal lenses and go hard on him. If he fails, as it seems, a new hero from the Dinka, the Nuer, or other tribes will accomplish the job for the benefit of all.

I am optimistic a hero will come. But Dr. Riek is not one, I am afraid. Because he has demonstrated again and again that he has no mental capacity, patience, and resilience required to bring the diverse people of S. Sudan to a common goal. It is the inborn leadership qualities that lead people, not PhDs!

Philips Al-Ghai is a proud S. Sudanese and can be reached at alghai211@gmail.com or on Twitter @ Al_Ghai211.

IGAD has abandoned its original Role as Mediator in South Sudanese Peace Process

By: Riang Yer Zuor Nyak, South Sudan, JAN/10/2015, SSN;

When the Peace Process began in January 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, IGAD began by trying to play conflicting roles. While it was acting in Addis Ababa as a mediator, some of its members, especially Uganda, was engaging the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) in some of the most brutal battles on the side of the regime that was carrying out genocide. Others were playing their own other roles by either supplying the regime with arms and ammunitions or by allowing their ports to be used for the import of arms and ammunitions.

These conflicting roles and contradictions only came to an end when IGAD Member States which were then supplying Juba with arms and ammunitions came to learn from the SPLM/A that Salva and his group had actually manufactured the story of a coup attempt.

At the same time, Uganda was stopped from trying to be part of the mediation. Dr. Riek Machar only gave Museveni the option of taking part in the negotiations as part of Salva Kiir’s government, if he wanted to play a direct role.

Now it seems that stopping arms supply and pulling out the Ugandans from playing an active role in the mediation did not actually end the IGAD’s propensity to playing conflicting roles. As things began to unfold, it became very clear that IGAD was (and is) set to do whatever is available at its disposal, ranging from active participation on the battle fields to playing tricks to being mediators to being negotiators and to being arbiters.

In addition, it has as of recent resort to issuing threats of different types. This propensity to mixing roles is a sign that IGAD Mediators are not fair and credible, and that they are bound to fail the peace process. If this continues, then the collapse of the Peace Process is just around the corner.

IGAD’s Demands
Since the beginning of the peace process, IGAD has made it very clear that it has its own demands besides the demands made by the warring parties. Three of these demands include signing of a peace agreement, forming a transitional government of national unity and Salva Kiir to remain as the leader of that transitional government.

On the issue of peace agreement, IGAD is not the only one demanding; many, including the SPLM/A in particular and the people of South Sudan in general make similar demands. The difference is that the SPLM/A and the people of South Sudan in general want a peace agreement that identifies and addresses the root causes of the war, and that does not maintain the status quo in the country.

IGAD does not see the need to address the root causes. Its leaders want just a peace agreement of any quality. This is the problem. One cannot expect to succeed in uprooting a tree by just cutting off its apex.

On the formation of a transitional government of national unity, again, there is no objection so long as there is an agreement that identifies and addresses the root causes of the war to the satisfaction of the people of South Sudan.

The whole problem that is now before the IGAD is simple to tackle. It only demands the willingness on the part of the mediator to be fair and impartial with the commitment and courage to get into the fundamentals of the problem.

It is a matter of following a very simple sequence of things, such as identifying and addressing the root causes of the war, agreeing on who was responsible for the Juba massacres and on, agreeing on the reforms to be made, agreeing on the transitional security arrangements, agreeing on the system of governance as the current system has proven to be a failure, agreeing on how to form and divide a transitional government that could be tasked to carry out the reforms during the transition and agreeing on the leadership of such a transitional government. Following such a sequence would bring a lasting peace in South Sudan.

Instead, IGAD, as of late, has resorted to giving threats as a strategy to bring an end to the war. Each time a threat is issued, no tangible result is realized. This should be enough to inform any reasonable, right-thinking human being that unjust threats cannot work, especially when the war is fought on genuine people’s issues. People’s issues must be genuinely addressed. It is better that way than issuing threats.

The last Summit was a disaster. IGAD leaders showed their ultimate disrespect for the great people of South Sudan. The threats of war which were uttered at the end of the Summit were based on the wrong assumption that the people of South Sudan can easily be scared.

The country is currently at war between a genocidal government and a people resisting the genocidal policies of that government. How can one think of effectively ending a war by uttering threats of war? It should be expected by now that the people have made a decision to die for their cause, and that threats of death would not disarm them.

IGAD has gone as far as referring, in their power-sharing proposal, to the president (Salva Kiir) as a symbol of national unity. That is artificial, insensitive and insulting. The man has divided the country as never before. He embarked on genocide, killing members of one tribe for nothing other than that they come from that particular tribe. And you call him a symbol of national unity? There is nothing more insulting than referring to such a man as a symbol of national unity.

Anyway, IGAD does not have a legal ground to wage war against the people of South Sudan. This can be understood by taking a quick glance at the document that established this Authority in March of 1996.

First, Article 6A tells us about IGAD’s six guiding principles. Article 6A (b) clearly talks about “Non-interference in the internal affairs of Member States.” It is followed by paragraph (c) which talks about “Peaceful settlement of inter- and intra-State conflicts through dialogue”.

Paragraph (c) can be read together with Article 7 (g) which provides that the aims and objectives of the Authority shall be to, inter alia, “Promote peace and stability in the sub-region and create mechanisms within the sub-region for the prevention, management and resolution of inter and intra-State conflicts through dialogue.”

The Articles cited above do not give IGAD any authority to militarily interfere in the current war in South Sudan or any other Member State for that matter. It is only commanded to use and encourage dialogue between the warring parties to bring about a peaceful settlement of the war. It would be unlawful to take up arms against South Sudan.

Article 9 (2) (c) provides that one of the functions of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government is to “Give guidelines and monitor political issues especially on conflict prevention, management and resolution.

Again, this does not hint any use of force, such as the one that the IGAD Heads of State and Government threatened during the last Summit in November 2014. The guidelines being talked about by the Article can never be interpreted, in any way, to contradict the provisions of Articles 6 and 7, which advocate for a peaceful settlement of the conflict through dialogue.

Article 18A (a), which talks about conflict resolution provides that Member States shall “take effective collective measures to eliminate threats to regional cooperation, peace and stability”. This provision has four important elements: (1) collective measures, (2) effectiveness of such measures, (3) elimination of threats and (4) regional cooperation, peace and stability. It is true that the war in South Sudan threatens regional cooperation, peace and stability due to involvement of others. The question is how to eliminate such a threat. Is it through the military use of force, as IGAD Heads of State threaten? Collective measure has already been taken by calling the parties to the war to sit at the negotiating table, as opposed to one Member State doing the same. Where does the idea of collective military measure come from? They could collectively decide to use military force as much as they could. But, would that be effective?

First of all, IGAD does not have a legal ground to conduct a war of occupation in South Sudan. Second, IGAD does not have what it takes to win a war of that nature. IGAD countries can pull themselves together with all the heavy weapons and thousands of troops currently at their disposal. But, they can never have the hearts and minds of the people of South Sudan. And that is the most important weapon. Any army, of any size, lacking this can never win a war. It can win battles. But, at the end, it would lose the war. Imperial Japan in China had that experience; American in Viet Nam had that experience; and many more examples. There is no reason for one to think that it would be any different in South Sudan. For these two reasons, unlawful use of military force to eliminate threats to regional cooperation, peace and stability would never be effective. There must be a different way to bring the war to an end. And that is a genuinely conducted mediation that does not shy away from the causes of the war.

As tragic as this war is, South Sudanese have come to see it as a blessing in disguise. Ten years of tyranny have to end; the tyrant at the helm has to be uprooted before it is too late. As such, they will never allow IGAD to return their country to the business as usual. If use of force is the magic strategy, then IGAD leaders should also, at the same time that they are planning to go on with the war of occupation, prepare the citizens of their respective countries for a very long, painful and expensive war. This way, their citizens can approve of the plan knowing exactly the grave consequences—both local economic and human tragedies that would be involved for their would-be occupying countries once boots touch the soil of South Sudan. They (citizens of the IGAD countries) also need to understand that all of these tragedies would be for a narrow interest of the leaders who are bent on keeping in place an anti-people government in a sisterly African state.

IGAD’s demand that Salva Kiir must lead the transitional government is without a good justification. He has already led two governments since 2005. The current war was mixed and brewed under his command; he took a decision to commit genocide against a section of the population of the very people whom he claims to lead. He failed to lead the country before the war and he has failed to show any signs of readiness to lead this country after the outbreak of the war. In fact, he wants chaos, for it gives him an opportunity to blame his failure on instability of the country. Yet, IGAD sees incumbency as the only qualification and justification for him to continue leading the people to hell.

Since IGAD is interested in only three things, namely, peace agreement that does not address the root causes of the war, formation of a transitional government and Salva Kiir as the leader of such a transitional government, it is obvious that it is not ready for a genuine solution to the war. It is ready only for window dressing. It prefers a short process that can only produce a bad peace over a long process that can produce a sustainable peace. IGAD leaders would even be happy if they get a one-sentenced peace agreement that reads as follows: ‘We, the warring parties, agree to make peace and form a transitional government to be led by Salva Kiir’. I believe that such an agreement would be good enough for them. On the basis of how the IGAD leaders have been behaving (naked exhibition of partiality that does not address the roots of the war), it is clear that they would see such an agreement as an amicable solution to the war and deserving of a celebration.

IGAD’s partiality has become a real problem. And this problem has manifested itself in a number of ways, including shifting of roles when certain interests are suited. But, the whole business of shifting from role to role is a sign that IGAD Leaders no longer believe in their ability to end the war. They have virtually resorted to such a dancing exercise, hoping to accidentally stumble on a solution. So far, IGAD has become a party to the war, a mediator, a negotiator and a biased arbiter at the same time. It should and must commit to one of them.
IGAD as a Party to the War

At first, many IGAD members took part in the war in their own different ways. Ethiopia and Sudan provided arms and ammunitions to the Juba regime. This only stopped when the coup story was discredited by the SPLM/A. Kenya provided a conduit through which arms flowed to Juba, and still provides that to this day. The fact that the Kenyan Government has accepted that there was never a coup attempt has not stopped that government from continuing with its support of the regime. What could be the reason? All of us can only guess it.

As for Uganda, it has been actively fighting alongside Salva’s loyalists. Uganda Peoples’ Defense Forces (UPDF) and Salva’s army are now one and the same regardless of whether or not there was a coup. They are simply partners in crime. This partnership has recently been strengthened when arms embargo was imposed on South Sudan. The two countries have now, as the result, entered into an agreement where Uganda will buy arms and ammunitions for South Sudan. As partners in crime, won’t they equally share punishments and other responsibilities emanating from such a partnership?

IGAD as an Impartial Mediator
Between January and August 2014, IGAD’s role in the peace process was to facilitate the talks between the parties, especially after the Ethiopian and the Sudanese governments stopped their arms deals with Juba and Uganda was successfully dropped as part of the mediation. But all of this changed suddenly on August 25, 2014 when IGAD Heads of State and Government signed a protocol that imposed Salva as president and commander-in-chief of the envisioned transitional government without giving room for the warring parties to negotiate. Both the SPLM/A and the Government in Juba were not for such a prescription, and refused to sign on to the Protocol. Salva only signed after a trick was played on him. Even then, his signature was only used on the document as one of the Heads of State and Government—not a signature representing a party to the war.

IGAD as a Partial Negotiator
The August 25th Protocol completely changed the attitude of the IGAD leaders in a drastic way. It was the conspicuous end of impartiality. Most, if not all, of the IGAD leaders have decided to side with their colleague—“…the elected, incumbent president…”, Salva Kiir. To them, the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians savagely murdered in Juba by Salva using state power became irrelevant. They saw (and still see) their murders as a normal exercise of state power by a Head of State and Government.

During the Bahir Dar negotiations, IGAD seemed to have been embarrassed by the widespread regional and international criticisms that it had received as the result of the August 25th Protocol. In those negotiations, the Mediators allowed the parties to negotiate without IGAD’s usual heavy-handed interference. It was only after a number of deadlocks that consultations with the IGAD Heads of State and Government were made, and a mini Summit was recommended. In fact, the deadlocks can still be blamed on the IGAD. It was their August 25th Protocol that became the stumbling block, as the Government (which did not have a position of its own prior to the negotiations) adopted it as its position and never wanted to concede anything from that document.

During the IGAD 28th Extraordinary Summit in November 2014, IGAD Heads of State and Government exhibited a bizarre mediation behavior. This badly conceived Summit was supposed to be convened between Dr. Riek Machar and Salva Kiir as the two principals. The two were brought together to negotiate the issues which had become difficult to resolve in Bahir Dar. In attendance, as facilitators, were Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya. Instead of facilitating the negotiation between the two South Sudanese leaders, the Ethiopian and the Kenyan decided to do the negotiation for Salva. Up to now, not many people know whether or not the whole thing had been cooked prior to the meeting in consultation with their other colleagues who were also in Addis Ababa, but not in the room, for the Summit that day. The two were actually the ones who rejected the position presented by Dr. Riek Machar on power-sharing arrangement, arguing that the proposal would make Salva a ceremonial president.

IGAD as a Biased Arbiter
It can be seen from the above observations that IGAD started as a party to the war, a mediator, and then a negotiator. After they attempted to negotiate on behalf of Salva Kiir, and after they completely rejected the proposal presented by the SPLM/A in regard to the power-sharing arrangement, IGAD Heads of State and Government appeared to demonstrate that their position was final and should not be altered for any reason. Instead, it was a leave-it-or-take-it position. The position had been designed to favor Salva as Head of State and Government. No negotiated agreement between the warring parties on power-sharing was needed. IGAD had arbitrarily decided for them. It appeared that the idea of sending the parties to their constituencies for consultations was just an after-thought.

If this is the case, then IGAD has become a biased arbiter.
SPLM/A’s Concessions in Search for a Peaceful Solution
In the spirit of peace, the SPLM/A has gone through a series of concessions throughout the Peace Process. But, for one reason or others, IGAD which has been working hard to see to it that Salva Kiir remains in power, does not see these concessions as big enough to warrant corresponding concessions from the opposing party. Instead of putting pressure on Juba to positively respond to the concessions, IGAD wants just the stopping of the war and formation of a transitional government to be led by Salva Kiir.

The SPLM/A’s initial position was that Kiir had committed genocide by using his personal militia to carry out the Juba massacres of the Nuer civilians, targeting them solely on the basis of their tribal origins. In addition to that, he launched such a violent attack on civilians to further his political goal of unconstitutionally staying in power through violence. The SPLM/A felt (and still feels) that Kiir had lost his constitutional legitimacy as the result, and that he had to go and face justice immediately. No need to negotiate with him. However, for the sake of peace, the SPLM/A changed its position and expressed a willingness to talk with him so that he could negotiate his safe exit from power.

When it became clear that peace was not going to come soon enough, the SPLM/A went ahead and dropped the demand and took the position of accommodating him as a ceremonial Head of State. In such an arrangement, the office of the Prime Minister could be created, and the Prime Minister could be the Chief Executive Office of the government. That again was rejected. IGAD maintained that Salva remained both Head of State and Government.

The third concession concerns the sharing of executive powers between the President and the Prime Minister. The SPLM/A took a position that while the President should take all the ceremonial powers, the Prime Minister should take all the managerial powers. Then, the two leaders should jointly exercise all the executive functions. The SPLM/A further conceded that the President, in this joint exercise of the executive functions, could chair the Council of Ministers and may only delegate it to the Prime Minister when he is absent.

Some of these executive powers normally exercised by the Chief Executive Officer of the government that the President and the Prime Minister should share during the Transitional Government of National Unity include, but not limited to, the following:
• being the Commander in Chief of the armed forces.
• declaration of the state of emergency.
• the power to make treaties and receive ambassadors and work with leaders of other nations.
• the power to nominate and appoint the heads of governmental departments and judges to courts and justices to the Supreme Court.
• the power to issue executive orders.
• the power to issue pardons for offenses.
• the power to convene the legislature for special sessions.
• the power to veto legislation approved by the legislature.
• the power to deliver a State of the Union address annually to the legislature.

This kind of arrangement would create a middle ground where any of the two, the Prime Minister and the President, would never claim to be more executive than the other. The SPLM thought that this position was fairer than the IGAD’s. Yet, it was rejected.

The SPLM/A believed (and still believes) that the two Principals, without deputies, could use the above power-sharing formula to jointly and responsibly move the country from where it is now to a qualitatively better future. In such an arrangement, a clumsy leadership structure with too many non-responsive role players could be avoided. For example, IGAD proposed a structure which includes the President, Prime Minister, Vice-President and two deputies to the Prime Minister. The Government has also proposed a structure which appeared as follows: President, Vice-President, Prime Minister and three deputies to the Prime Minister.

For the sake of smooth implementation of the peace agreement, the SPLM/A believes in a simple structure that includes only the President and the Prime Minister. IGAD opposes this simple structure, arguing that it does not reflect the principle of inclusivity. SPLM/A thinks and believes that the principle of inclusivity has nothing to do with deputies. It can easily be achieved in the allocation of ministerial portfolios. These portfolios shall be allocated in accordance with the power-sharing ratios to be agreed in the final peace deal. Therefore, the principle of inclusivity can be taken care of without deputizing the two principal leaders.

Conclusion
Unless there is a change in the attitude of the IGAD Heads of State and Government in how they approach the war taking place in South Sudan, IGAD-led Peace Process in Addis Ababa is bound to collapse. One cannot pretend to be a peace-maker, while at the same time one is sitting on one side side-by-side at the negotiating table with one of the parties to the peace negotiation. There have to be three parties at the table: the two negotiating parties and a third party as a mediator.

IGAD as a party to the war, a mediator, a negotiator and an arbiter can never make any progress towards a peaceful resolution of the war. If it is to succeed, it has to detach itself at once from whatever interest that it has in Juba, and stay as a genuine mediator.

SPLM/A has made too many concessions with the hope of reaching a speedy peaceful solution to the war. These concessions have not yet been matched by the other side. Instead, IGAD has stuck to its position that it needs only a peace agreement, formation of a transitional government and Salva as the head of that government. To them, other issues do not seem to exist. To the government in Juba, there is no reason to concede anything so long as the Mediator is on its side, demanding handsomely for Salva.

This is the current picture of the IGAD-led Peace Process. Its past was wobbly; the present is wounded, and the future can be seen seriously limping. Without the change of attitude on the part of IGAD, its collapse is just around the corner.

The author is a South Sudanese. He can be reached at riangzuor@yahoo.com

Gov. Clement Konga urges Equatorians to stay out of ‘Dinka-Nuer war’

Clement Wani Konga, Governor of Central Equatoria State has cautioned his fellow Equatorians to remain neutral and not to involve themselves in the ongoing fighting between President Salva Kiir and his former Vice President Riek Machar. He described the civil war as a fight “between Dinka and Nuer.”

Konga stressed that there is no value for Equatorian people to join the ongoing fighting saying, “You have known that the two big tribes there are fighting among themselves and hatred has developed and it is difficult to attain peace.”

“It is the only chance that for the people of Equatoria coming together so as to bring an end to this war between Dinka and Nuer.”

“Who you are going to fight, are you going to fight with Dinka or Riek Machar? Equatorians should remain neutral so as to be able to bring peace. Equatorians should stand for peace,” Konga said.

He also urged the people of his region not to follow the path of Alfred Lado Gore, an Equatorian politician who joined the rebel group led by Riek Machar, and he further urged his newly appointed cabinet to convince Lado to come back home.

“In Central Equatoria, we are facing instability caused by those who are supporting Alfred Lado Gore, even though they are illiterate still they are able to mobilize people to cause insecurity in the state. If Lado Gore wanted to be the vice president as he is now with Riek [he is deputy of SPLM-IO], why shouldn’t he wait for election or contest the election? If Riek comes then he will be the vice president without bloodshed,” Konga said.

Governor Konga also denied some media reports saying he is going to contest in the coming election for the presidency.

From: RADIO TAMAZUG, JUBA, JAN/08/2015, SSN;

Imposition of elections to the bleeding people is a curse

By: Rev. Daniel Amum Odwel, South Sudan, JAN/09/2015, SSN;

The people who argued that Salva Kiir is a legitimate president are not honest with their arguments, because they failed to explain under which constitution he was elected? Frankly he was elected under whole Sudan constitution and not under South Sudan Transition Constitution that may has given him legitimate right to be president.

When South Sudan obtained its independence, the people were supposed to be asked in a referendum to grant that legitimacy to the Transitional Government but the SPLM government assumed that people of South Sudan had given them legitimate right to rule the Nation.

Perhaps the excitement outcome of Referendum result for Independence overshadowed the procedure of real political transition. This is why Southerners just decided to run to the South without awaiting division of national assets in Republic of Sudan, even civil servants who worked in Republic of Sudan nobody thought about their dues after termination of their services with Republic of Sudan.

Therefore, the SPLM party must stop bulldozing the South Sudanese with unsound claims of legitimacy, also boisterous warmongers within the ruling party must avoid taking south Sudanese into the abyss, for their selfish interests.

The question is, who will vote in the imposed election? Will it be the dead people or wild beasts that enjoyed eating the corpses murdered by both parties?

Are you going to conduct such election in displaced camps, in protected areas under the UNMISS, or in refugees camps in other countries where South Sudanese have reached for safety?

Instead of thinking of bringing peace and tranquility in order to evolve, you just narrow your minds on election.

Nowhere in the whole world can you conduct an election without constituencies except in the jungle South Sudan.

The imposition of election to the bleeding people by the SPLM party will show absolute contempt for human rights.
The attitude of SPLM Party is a clear indication that they have no mercy of innocent people massacred by government agents in different locations in South Sudan leave alone what happened before the eyes of the government in Juba (SPLM-in-G and SPLM-in-O are one thing).

God is watching on your actions, and be reminded with biblical references, that there were heartless leaders like you, whose ends were bad. Example, the King Herod did not have a mercy and compassionate on his subjects, but he boasted like god when the Tyre and Sidom people came to him for peace treaty.

Instead he put the royal robe and sat upon the throne, and made an oration to them and people shouted, “this is the voice of God, and not of man.” Immediately an angel of the Lord smote him because he did not give God the glory; and he was eaten by worms and died. (see Acts 12:20-23).

This quotation teaches us that when the King Herod refused to grant peace to people that requested him for, the Lord has to intervene to end the brutality of Herod.

Well, in case the SPLM party which continues to resist or fails to hearken to the voice of people of South Sudan, the fate of the King Herod will befall them in the near future. The people who were murdered in the baseless war under SPLM government are God’s children, whose precious blood are crying before God, and God will avenge on their behalf.

Another example is Nebuchadnezzar, who dreamt a dream and called Daniel to interpret his dream, and in the process Daniel pleaded with the King Nebuchadnezzar by saying: “O King, let my counsel be acceptable to you, break up your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your tranquility.”(Dan.4:27).

Instead of the King Nebuchadnezzar giving attention to Daniel’s request, he decided to boast out of pride that this greatest Babylon was built by his mighty power as royal residence and for the glory of his majesty.

As result of self exhortation God forced the King to depart from human world to the beast world, whereby he ate grass like an ox for seven years, so that he may learn that the Most High God rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he wills. (see Dan.4:31-33).

Disobedience to God’s voice caused the King Nebuchadnezzar to live like wild beast from palace to jungle, from legitimate King to no legacy, and from human dignity to animal status.

These biblical references must be a true warning to the SPLM party, that the same situation will be awaiting them, if they will never stop oppression, exploitation, discrimination and misuse of power for self-exhilaration and self-edification.

I think God has given you humble time to transform yourself into outstanding leadership style but you failed miserably. But in this year He will not permit you to continue the massacre of his people, whom he created in His own image and not your image.

The advisers around President Salva Kiir are like the wife of King Ahab, who gives wrong counsel to his husband to make a plot to eliminate Naboth, in order to take his inheritance vineyard possession. After he accomplished his selfish ambition, gracious God sent his prophet Elijah to challenge King Ahab, saying you have killed Naboth to inherit his vineyard. The place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth they will lick your blood also (I Kings 21:17-19). The king Ahab was killed in war and his blood was licked by dogs as the prophet said.

Today most people reiterated that SPLM government should not impose election on them in this particular time, but warmongers advisers continue pressurizing President Kiir to go ahead as if there were no reasons that caused people to object carrying out the election at this particular moment.

President Salva Kiir, we don’t need to remind you that all atrocities committed in South Sudan under your leadership is accounted on you because you are the head of government.

Remember that the King Ahab did his secret plan for elimination of Naboth, thinking that nobody knows his criminal acts but the living God was watching on his action, and he had to pay the price for his evil action.

Indeed, the same God will not spare your life for crimes committed under your leadership.

The authentic leader is the one who is ready to pay the price for his subjects but not the subjects to pay a price for him like what is taking place in South Sudan. The innocent soldiers are dying in a baseless war in order to maintain Kiir in the position, on the opposite side the White Army are paying price to bring Riek into the throne.

Dinka and Nuer and allied communities supporting Kiir and Riak need to stop fighting each other for nothing tangible. Southerners have already fought the liberation war that means a lot to us as people.

Please, let Salva Kiir and Riek Machar meet face to face and fight each other for what is known to them. If you lay down your weapons and not fight yourselves, those savage elites will step down from leadership without question. But if you continue fighting each other on their behalf, you are keeping them to manipulate you.

God is not happy with innocent bloodshed in our nation. Imagine God refused David, the man according to his heart to build for him a temple because his hand was full of blood of people in many wars he waged (see 1 Chron.22:7-8). If God refused David to build for him a temple, will He really allow Kiir and Riek to lead his people in coming years….. the answer is definitely No.

Legitimacy cannot be taken by power from the people except in jungle world, because each citizen has full right to vote for th person he thinks may serve the interest of society and that person becomes legitimate.

In case the SPLM in government insisted on conducting of election in such mood, the Greater Upper Nile will not be part of gloomy exercise because their citizens are in refugee camps and this is a violation of what is called election.

Nevertheless, it gives room to the feeling that Greeter Upper Nile part of SPLM in government and it gives an upper hand to the SPLM in Opposition right to form their government in Greeter Upper Nile. In other words, the SPLM in government has decided to divide the South into two nations. One for SPLM in government and another for SPLM in Opposition.

Conclusion: The imposition of election on the bleeding people is a curse because it will bring embarrassment and widen the gap between rival communities in South, instead of healing inflicted wounds in hearts of people. It will add more wounds.

I think losing legitimacy and legality is essential to serve the lives of remaining people. This kind of personal sacrifice will be like what Jesus Christ did, when He left his throne to come and die on the cross to save the world.

The imposition of election will nullify or discredit SPLM party, even the legacy of bringing independence will die a natural death in the hearts of the mourning people for loved ones.

The imposition of election is clear indication that elites within SPLM Party are more interested in themselves and not in the people, even though all die, they will remain very comfortable and happy as long as their luxurious positions are granted.

The imposition of election is toxic and a curse because it will germinate strife, division and disunity which will increase barbarian phenomena in the nascent state of South Sudan.

The imposition of election will create a big problem like what happened during 2010 election and this one will be more worse because most communities are well armed, and no one will accept its outcome result as genuine.

Hearken to God’s voice before it is too late!

2015 Elections: The Legal Facts, Political Fictions & Democratic Fantasies

BY: JUMA Mabor MARIAL, JUBA, JAN/08/2015, SSN;

In the recent weeks, a vigorous debate has been had on the 2015 elections in South Sudan and the debate is on-going. The Elections Commission, an institution sanctioned by the law to carry out this task has made it abundantly clear that the election will take place. Political parties and other political actors have also shared their thoughts on whether there should be elections in 2015 or not.

Nonetheless, whichever views are put forward, I have reasons to believe that most of these commentators are wearing political camouflage and metal head gears.

It is within this context that a professional and neutral opinion is needed to set the rules on this debate straight and I wish to lead in this discourse not with political or other spectacles but with transparent eyeglasses as someone who is not just posting an opinion but a person who is giving an analytical view on whether there should be elections in 2015 or otherwise. I wish to do this in the following sub-headings.

The Facts and Legal Framework
Article 100 (1) of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011, stipulates that; ‘the tenure of the office of the President of the Republic of South Sudan shall be five years’ and sub-article (2) of the same article states that; ‘notwithstanding article (1) above, during the transitional period the term of the President shall be four years beginning from July 9, 2011.’

This article should be read and interpreted along with Article 66 (1) of the Transitional Constitution, 2011 which states that, ‘the term of the National Legislature shall be five years and sub-section (2) states that notwithstanding article (1) above, the term of the current National Legislature shall be four years from July 9, 2011.

What these articles tell us is that the term for both the Executive and Legislature runs and ends concurrently. It also means that both their mandates end on July 9, 2015.

Article 26 of the Transitional Constitution talks about the rights of the citizens to participate in elections and it states that, ‘every citizen shall have the right to take part in any level of government directly or through freely chosen representative, and shall have the right to nominate himself or herself or be nominated for a public post or office in accordance with this constitution and the law.’

It added that, ‘every citizen shall have the right to vote or be elected in accordance with this constitution and the law.’ Whether the spirit of this article can be achieved in the proposed elections is a topic of debate as we move along this article.

The South Sudan Elections Act, 2012 talks generally about the procedures to be used in approaching elections. The act deals with issues of registration of candidates, screening and creating polling centers. The list is long on the ethics and guidelines through which the Commission is supposed to conduct elections but above all, the Commission is tasked with conducting free, fair, transparent, democratic and peaceful elections.

It is in regard of the above articles that concentrated debate on the elections is provoked because, typically, the elections as per the above provisions should take place in June 2015 while a new democratically elected government is expected to be sworn in and take over office by July 9, 2015.

This is also the basic reason why most of the proponents of elections talk about the legitimacy of the government and the necessity for holding elections in 2015.

Customarily, most countries carry out their general elections after every four or five years, examples in this case are Kenya, USA, and Uganda. Rwanda holds its Presidential and Parliamentary elections after every seven years. This is just but an illustration of systematic renewable of political mandate within the region and beyond but the issue here is what happened in case the elections do not take place within the constitutionally stipulated time?

This question looks first at the circumstances under which the delay in elections come in and then, legal measures are taken to address what is likely to amount to constitutional crisis and power vacuum.

For instance, Kenya after the promulgation of its constitution in August 2010 had stipulated that its general elections under a new constitutional dispensation shall take place in August 2012; unfortunately, this didn’t happen largely due to a number of reforms agenda that were supposed to be carried out including establishing an independent Judiciary before the elections.

The Kenyan Parliament (now Defunct) felt that it was necessary to extend the term of the incumbent government for at least five months in order to create time and establish the institutional reforms needed, this wasn’t done by decrees but through amending the provisions that deals with elections in the constitution. Ultimately, Kenya held it elections successfully in March 2013.

Several models of postponed elections on numerous circumstances are in abundance and this leads me to the next question; Is South Sudan general election, in fact its first general election after her independence faced with the circumstances as experienced by other countries?

This question can be answered in the next sub-heading if I were to answer it adequately.

Political Fictions
South Sudan has been engulfed in conflict with itself for over a year now and consequent of this conflict, it democratic rating, economic strengths, the unity of its people, social and political fabrics have been highly obstructed.

Such factors do not provide not only room for elections but also poison the environment for any significant and meaningful elections to take place legitimacy of the government notwithstanding. This is just a hypothesis as I am yet to draw my conclusions at the end of this article.

But before I reach there, we must quickly answer the question as to whether the circumstances that our country are in now allows for elections to take place. The first answer would be NO on many grounds.

One, there is insecurity across the country and carrying out elections in such an environment would not allow the citizens to freely exercise their democratic rights and vote for whoever they want as there would be fears all over.

Secondly, elections need funds and throughout the world, no single country can afford to fund its own elections, international funding is needed to help in conducting successful elections and in the absence of this support as that is the likely probability, contemplating to fund elections single handedly is an economic suicide.

Thirdly, in each election, at least two or more political parties must contest and as things stands now, almost all the political parties except SPLM mainstream are against any holding of the elections and this therefore means, if the elections were to take place as advocated for by some actors, it would mean SPLM contesting against itself.

Fourthly, doing elections in 2015 is an official declaration of subsequent instability in the country as those who may lose will have no choice but to go Athor-Yau Yau’s direction. Unfortunately, their retreat will not be independent as was that of Athor and YauYau but will immediately lean towards joining the other side against the government.

Fifthly, elections are about asking people to freely select those they think can represent them efficiently and deliver service to them effectively. The 2015 elections will not do that because anyone who does not vote for a candidate especially if such a candidate comes from SPLM will be branded as from the other side, this therefore means that, there will be a lot of intimidation, coercion and other irregularities than what had happened in 2010.

The 2015 elections if it is allowed to happen shall be a replica of what happened in Uganda in 2012 elections when the incumbent Ugandan President sent his troops to the streets across the country to ensure that all the votes are tailored in his favour.

Lastly, the time is so limited if the Chairperson of the election Commission said that the elections are scheduled to take place on June 30, 2015. Voter registration needs up to three good months, primaries by political parties need at least two or so months and many other pre-election arrangements have to be put in place including the security set up for any meaningful elections to take place.

All these are underlying challenges that should not be overlooked because ideally, no country can risk going for elections with these long list of challenges. But…

The question of legitimacy of the government comes in here; the proponents of 2015 elections are quoting precedents from countries like Syria and Libya as countries that did their elections during the crises. Yes, it is true but again, how legitimate was their legitimacy?

The question of legitimacy should not only be looked at as stipulated in the constitution, there are other thresholds that should be considered in addition to the constitutional provisions on legitimacy and some of these prerequisites include but not limited to;

Will the region and international community recognize the legitimacy of the government elected? Are the citizens or electorates happy and will they recognize the government and the process?

Is the environment in which the elections are being conducted free and fair to the extent that all electorates shall have the freedom to choose who they wish should represent them in the government plus, would there have been any other better alternatives in which the tenure of the executive and legislature legitimized than venturing into elections that would be a pandora box?

All such questions are what should be considered and addressed before any country could talk about going for elections.

Yes, the government may use the elections as the means to put pressure on the rebels to concede to its position in the peace-talks but is this a long term solution to the crises in South Sudan, the government may too be assuming and maybe telling the international community that, despite the crises, the country is still on track and has its plans on course.

Maybe yes, maybe not, but altogether, it should be applauded that the proponents on the government side are now finding it necessary to implement the constitution at some point.

The unfortunate thing is that, since the adoption of the Transitional constitution five years ago, it has occurred on several occasions that the constitution has been implemented selectively and this is manifested on article 101 (s) and (r) regarding the removal and elections of governors.

Nevertheless, the insistence on elections in June 2015 is all a political game that is being qualified by constitutional provisions. It is to some extent a political fiction intended to reaffirm legitimacy and disregard all the consequences that comes with it.

Democratic Fantasies
I named the calls for elections in 2015 in South Sudan “Democratic Fantasy’ because the object for holding elections every five or four years throughout the world is always to allow people exercise their democratic rights and choose people that they think will represent them well in the government.

It is always a social theory contract between the people and the ones that they are giving five or so years to govern them.

But in this case, 2015 elections may not be that kind of theory because, people maybe forced to vote for those they don’t want or are tied with or there could as well be voter apathy since most people may feel that the elections are not carried out not because the government want to renew its vows and political ideologies to the people but it is only doing elections because its legitimacy is in jeopardy.

It means that, after the reaffirmation of legitimacy, it will be business as usual. The fact that other countries like Syria carried out their regular elections despite the crises is not a successful precedent that can be emulated if there are alternatives for extension of the lifetime of the incumbent Executive and Legislature.

Recommendations
Using my transparent spectacles in this debate, I wish to give the stakeholders that are engaged and involved in the elections debate the following recommendations;

1. The government especially the SPLM should use it parliamentary majority in the Legislature to amend articles 66 and 100 of the Transitional Constitution 2011 to extend the life of the current Executive and Legislature for at least two or three years. The amendment bill should be based on the above mentioned challenges while precisely; it should be used to give ample time for the on-going peace talks to come to their logical conclusion.

2. The rebels if they intend to do reforms in this country as they usually claim must not cheat themselves that delaying to sign peace agreement with the hopes to declare the government illegitimate when July 9, 2015 comes are misplaced calculations because this wishful thoughts are taken care of by recommendation number one there above. The best these people can do is to engage the government to sign peace and then come and follow up on the reform agenda that they are so much advocating for. The prerequisite for this will be the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity which will automatically render the debate on elections obsolete.

3. The regional and international community if they want South Sudan to be peaceful and develop democratically must do two things, one, they must take away all the strings that they have attached to the peace talks in Addis Ababa and speed up the process of facilitating and honestly pressurizing the warring parties to sign the peace agreement.

Secondly, they must convince the rebels and government that strategies and conspiracies to provoke elections to take place and render it null and void or forcing it to happen are not going to help the people of South Sudan in both their peaceful co-existence and democratic prospects. The rebels will swallow it bitter if the elections take place and the government gets another five years mandate.

4. The elections Commission instead of now playing a complacent role of telling people that there should be elections on July 9, 2015 should be a professional and neutral body that advises on what should be the best alternative in the circumstances like what the country is in now.

The election Commission is not a government employee or parastatal to the extent that, if the government says there will be elections or no elections, then it follows suit. It must have its own independent opinion on whether or not there should be elections or otherwise. All in all, the Commission has been unable to conduct by-elections in the four states that the governors were sacked on excuses of having no money, where would it now get the whooping 1.5 billion required to conduct country-wide elections. I think some reasoning is needed here.

5. The proponents of elections must look beyond legitimacy question, there is more to elections than just reaffirmation of positions because as this is achieved, the issues of democracy, trust, confidence and even the absolute legitimacy itself would have been thrown out of the window because meeting an electoral date is just one thing but nurturing nascent democracy like ours is another because after all, There are alternatives to renewing the legitimacy of the current government as articulately stated in recommendation one above.

Conclusion
Legally speaking, elections can take place in accordance with the provisions of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, 2011 but alternatively, the challenges as navigated through there above can be considered if the unity, peace, stability and democratic future of South Sudan and its people is used as a recipe to determine its future affairs.

I am against the holding of elections in 2015 not because I am speaking for anyone but it is because I feel that, elections in the circumstances our country is in now would be largely an exercise in futility.

Juma Mabor Marial
Trainee Advocate, Juba
jummabor@gmail.com

Was the Nuer pogrom in Juba a genocide or what else?

BY: Yien Lam, South Sudan, JAN/06/2015, SSN;

As an individual who knows the meaning of the word genocide as it was coined by Raphael Lemkin’s in 1933 and finalized in 1943 in his book title “Axis Rule” where the genos (for Greek meaning Tribe, family, or race) and cide (Latin for killing). This word is defined “as violence crime committed against groups with the intent to destroy the existence of the group or systematic extermination of cultural group.”

In this particular case, yes, Nuers killings in Juba was absolutely a genocide that the world is hesitant to publicize as the tribe appears in its definition. As the definition delineated, is this not a genocide in your view?

To me, it is absolutely a genocide. It is so because it has two explicit elements of any genocide that had been witnessed everywhere in the world. Namely, intention to destroy Nuers as the ethnic group or tribe in the country as well as action taken to kill them. What else does the world want to know other than this?

Believe it for certain, Kiir and his sycophants had planned this for many years to eliminate Nuers in the face of the world. Fortunately, God forbid it, and will never be the case as the regime moronically thought to be.

Nuers are created by God as anybody else. Therefore, they cannot be eliminated by anyone due to his/her power. Power of the one who created them is above human power. I worried less for Nuers extirpation as the tribal leader has tried to do so. This will never be the case ever. This was tried by Hitler to Jews and Turkish government to Armenians. But did not result in their extinction and will not be the case for Nuers either.

Back to the topic, the regime began this by talking out 1991 on the media. But most political morons who were in fact Nuers by nature did not see it as the threat of extermination rather than DR. Riek Machar’s political issue.

The orchestration of the Nuers killings, originated from what so-called “39 laws”. If anyone knows that read it again and you will know exactly what it says about the elimination for Nuers and what happened to the targeting individuals within the Nuers as it clearly delineated in the articles?read it yourself!

This later followed by heartfelt demotion or retirement of the most loyal Nuers officers in the Army. For instance, Gatduel gatluak known as Gatduel nyakuay was the senior officer who fought fearlessly with Khartoum in Heglig. When the supposed promotion came, Gatduel was retired and his deputy was promoted to the rank of Lt.General. This is just an example.

Nevertheless, when kiir knew that there was no reaction on whatever he did, he took out the power that he invested on his vice president. This was the step that he and his hoodlum folks did to get rid of DR. Riek with his vulnerable Nuers.

This was in fact, done with the advice of the very Nuers who naively thought it will be good for them when DR. Riek exited from the leadership in which I think was the miscalculation on the part of those who think they were smarter then. This was successfully done by the regime and its allies within the Nuers people who were/are still blindfolded by their interests than the interest of the community they serve.

Immediately after that, the very president of the country trained 15,000 private militias secretly from his own village to be his aid during the execution plan to kill innocent Nuers who have nothing to do with politics.

These individuals were savages whose knowledge of the outside world is limited to Nuers. They were rustic dwellers who did not know anything about the civilization rather than being Dinka and carrying out the plan injected to their heads by supposed-to-be president of them not the Country’s.

These individuals were purely Dinka villagers whose job was to exterminate anyone with six marks in his foreheads or speaks the Nuers language. This is the only thing they knew at the time of Nuers massacre in Juba.

Interestingly enough, if not planned in this tragic death of Nuers, why some of the Dinkas who have six marks like Nuers were executed by these savage militias for the first two days? Believe it or not, this was well organized, the only problem at the time was, the savage did not know that there are Dinkas who shared such marks with Nuers.

Moreover, On July 23/2013, the crowned emperor of Dinka unleashed his plan by sacking the entire government of south Sudan in which had never happened in the history of any country that is being considered as the democratically elected government.

This was the beginning of the worse and the execution of the clandestine plan to annihilate the entire Nuers community in the face of the earth and only few knew that at the time. The bloodsuckers thought it was good for them. But not really! It may be good for them in short. But they will ultimately gnash their teeth at the end of this mess.

In this situation, however, DR. Riek Machar did not react because he put his attention to the election of 2015 which was seen as irony to most in South Sudan. It was so because most people in the country were thinking that how it would be possible for the elections to be held successful while it was not so in Yau Yau and George Athor cases?

What would make 2015 any different with those? This was a very concern to many people in the country myself included. But DR.Riek had a self-confidence to stick on his guns to wait 2015.

At the end, kiir and his sycophants unleashed their premeditated plan by using 1991 and the coup that did not materialize to this day in order to execute their heinous crimes against the Nuers.

He ordered the curfew to leeway him to target killing the Nuers in Juba on Dec. 16, 17, 18 of 2013 and so forth. This resulted in the killings of more than 20,000 Nuer civilians who had No crimes in this war rather than being Nuers.

If you are someone joking and trying to take advantage of Nuer’s blood, you are playing with fire. We don’t want peace that will kill more Nuers. We want peace with accountability and justice. Therefore, we will not allow anyone who wants to swallow us alive.

We will defend ourselves as much as we could. Slaughtering us again as it was the case in Juba will not happen naively ever again. We will remain as vigilant as we could to defend ourselves from this regime. Anyone who is telling us to join the bogus government without listening to him/herself will not be taken seriously.

Our lives matter to ourselves if not the IGAD. We deserve to live as others in the world. We would not allow any to bluff us to join the cobra with its venom hanging around. But we will however, accept organization that is willing to table accountability and justice instead of politics and interests in this matter.

Finally, the world needs to act collectively and give this pogrom its proper name as genocide because kiir has intentions and actions to eliminate Nuers in their ancestral land. If the world continues watching this case as it usually does, it will otherwise drag the whole East Africa into the fight.

The author is concerned south Sudanese as well as an independent thinker that can be reached at lam981@hotmail.com

South Sudan: The New Nation in Sorry Predicament after Independence

By: John Juac, Windsor, CANADA, JAN/06/2015, SSN;

There is no doubt that 2011 was an exciting time for most southerners. The nation, whose existence was denied and held in subordinate attachment to Arab Muslims North’s imperialist dominance, had just established its claim to be its own master. And with that came a deep sense of self-respect and hope for the future. The nationalists who then barely merited the attention of serious statesmen became the heirs of new empire.

Today, there is a dominant sense of disillusionment and disbelief that most people have when they complain about where they appear to have landed in post-independence South Sudan. All the heady hopes seem to have turned into ash and there are few who would be prepared to say they are happy with how things have turned out.

Indeed, things clearly did not work the way the people expected they would. They thought that political independence would just benefit everybody in terms of more jobs and higher wages and personal security and social bond, but political independence is the beginning of a daunting national task.

The nation is the community which has established its preeminent, offering an escape from frustration and a reconstituted social bond to ink individuals together. Despite Western protests that African nationalism has outlived its day, an increase rather than a decline in its hold can be expected in South Sudan.

Thus, there is an urgent need of development along modern lines drawing larger numbers of people into a sense of national consciousness. The multiplication of the educated and partially educated creates a mass audience which is potentially manipulable through the channels of mass communications and to which the symbols and battle cries of nationalism offer the easiest means of access.

It has been pointed out that the more restrained and part-time nationalism of the first leaders, relying largely on rational persuasion with little attempt to secure broad popular participation, has given way to more militant ethnic movements led by men who make politics their full-time career.

The turn of events in Africa’s new nation within a space of three years should be used as a sample of probable future troubles. South Sudan’s progress to independence has been relatively smooth, and yet there is growing popular dissatisfaction with the first President, Salva Kiir, and his Sudan’s People Liberation Movement under whose aegis independence had been secured in 2011.

In part, this represents only the usual swing of political pendulum away from a governing group that has had a long lease on power, but other matters are involved.

The nationalist government’s utter failure to design mechanisms for sharing the fruits of liberation struggle among all communities and attacks by security forces on journalists and human rights advocates have severely undermined citizen’s confidence in the state since independence. A survey conducted in 2013 found that half of the country’s population said their government was “headed in a wrong direction “and that is not a surprise.

At independence, expectations were high among urban residents desiring quick improvements in security, governance and development. While some gains have been made since the peace agreement was signed in 2005, careful observers argued that the needs are enormous and will take time to get them on track.

It is also important to recognize that the territory became an independent state with virtually no physical infrastructure and very limited experience of effective governance.

Managing expectations is a key challenge for the nationalist government, but the depth of frustration among urban dwellers at the slow rate of progress is also a reflection of growing dissatisfaction over corruption and perceptions of government disinterest in meeting citizens’ needs, coupled with ethnic conflicts and power struggle within the ruling clique.

So the nationalist government’s failure to address these pressing problems has exacerbated perceptions of marginalization and discrimination and further alienated some from the state.

Salva Kiir, a man who had involved in twenty-year guerrilla war against the bloody Islam fundamentalist rulers of Sudan, rise to power followed the tragic death of John Garang in a plane crash in 2005. He assumed the reins of power to begin the hard work of rebuilding the war-ravaged self-autonomous region, but his many critics contended that Kiir’s ascension to throne “has been another tragic accident of history.”

According to critics, “his leadership has not only been a hopeless failure but also a disgrace to South Sudanese society….he has lost a sense of circumstances in the nascent country and exposed it to greater risks and the risks are born by those least able to cope with them.”

Critics also noted that the country is run by a small literate minority which has abandoned peasant majority in rural poverty. South Sudan is characterized by peasant masses living at the subsist level, overwhelming illiterate, acquainted not only with the great world but even with their own country and accustomed to a high degree of social stratification.

The further division in the country, emphasizing the group between the Dinka majority and the several minorities and leading to bitter and bloody battles with minorities.

The experience of South Sudan calls attention to one phase of problem which is certain to be increasing importance: the gap between the mass of peasantry and the dominant Westernized few continues to be immense, and must be narrowed as the time goes by.

With rare exceptions, however, it still remains true that the backwardness of the villages and their isolation from each other and from the urban centers has prevented the rural elements from mobilizing sufficient strength to challenge the dominant leadership.

What will be the mood and the outlook of the rising masses of South Sudanese society as they come to awareness that at long last they can have a determining say in their own destiny and that of their rulers?

In part, the answer must depend on the balance between the attachments of the rural people to their traditional ways of life and their effective desire for speedy movement into modern politics.

The tendency of the nationalist parties to be built around dominant personalities rather than on programs focusing on consolidation and economic development has been noted, and Salva Kirr’s rise to power makes it absurd to regard this emphasis on personal leadership as a peculiarly African aberration.

Salva Kiir is a divisive figure. While some are proud of the role he played in making an independent South Sudan possible, others doubt his intellectual attributes and honesty and point to many accusations of corruption within the nationalist government.

Further, his political opponents have raised the questions about his commitment to democratic principles and a process of decentralization, bringing government closer to the people and ensuring political elites cannot risk ignoring the concerns of ordinary citizens in every part of the country.

Subsequent events- such as the government’s imprisonment of some members of the ruling SPLM implicated in a December failed coup- have shown the precariousness in the new nation of basic democratic rights.

Conclusion
The turn of the events in the newly established state of South Sudan clearly illustrates what is often described as paradoxes of independence. With the attainment of national sovereignty in 2011, a spirit of triumphalism swept through the new state.

Euphoric impression was that the long war of independence had finally ended with the victory of South Sudanese people, but this very victory has been stolen from them. It has offered those in power a unique opportunity to impose a tyrannical regime.

We are now witnessing, however, a distrust of and grassroots reaction against the actions of the tyrannical regime and its security forces. People are disenchanted with big government bureaucracies and self-serving nationalist politicians deciding what is best for them. They are also fed up with the government’s bureaucratic process, in which Salva Kirr tries to push manipulations behind closed-doors dealings with a band of armed groups, all the time ignoring the public will.

Salva Kiir has made the happiness of few more important than the happiness of many. The benefits arising from political change has been directed to towards private and not towards public advantage. In addition, the political power within the new nation has not been controlled on behalf of the entire community, but has been entrusted to a few irresponsible individuals.

Salva Kiir and his followers do not even entertain the idea that human life and dignity are matters of great importance. It has been reported over and over that most citizens view his government as the major problem and that there is a growing revolt in the countryside against bureaucratic government policies which have miserably failed to protect them from numerous armed gangs.

The fiasco surrounding the current negotiations in the Ethiopian capital is the case in point. It has become clear to many that Salva Kiir and Riek Machar are playing a self-serving, mean-spirited game of divide and conquer politics, manipulating peace negotiations and closing their ears to the public will.

The two notorious warlords deciding the fate of a nation behind the closed doors appears an arrogant abuse of power which has angered most people because it constitutes a grave insult to them.

The regime’s actions and that of rat age army of rebels have shown how far we have strayed from the goal of participatory democracy and community involvement. It has also become clear to those in the neighboring countries that these two men have not lived up to what they promised they would accomplish.

The inability of state system which they set up at independence to genuinely understand the needs for its citizens in rural areas and urban centers has now dashed away the hope of the entire nation.

South Sudan is an oil producing country which receives millions of petrodollars every month, but there is not a single shirred of evidence that the standard of living for its citizens has improved relative to what it was prior to 2005.

Recent reports by international financial institutions have indicated that the public resources, particularly oil revenues have been diverted into private projects, ranging from business ventures to huge investments in Arab banks and business ventures in Khartoum and Middle East, real estate business in America and Australia, where most of these are registered either in spouses or children’s names.

In 2010, both Salva Kiir and Riek Machar were caught red handed on the Transparency International Report respecting to South Sudanese government officials who were found to have stashed millions of dollars in European banks.

Salva Kiir’s leadership and erratic behavious of Riek Machar have not resulted in peace and security and economic development. The net effect of the current leadership has all benefited party leaders at the expense of many South Sudanese, and one wonders why Riek Machar opted for revolutionary model of overthrowing of the existing party rule when it had singnificantly benefited him before his quick fallout with his colleagues.

For some, it is one of the tricks of history that when a national task faces society, and the class that can carry it out is absent, some self-serving politicians implement it. And in the case of South Sudan, these self-serving politicians are Riek Machar and his militant armed factions that have turned the young country into the slaughtering house.

Riek Machar has excelled in his peculiar environment by mastering one requirement of power: the art of manipulating potent symbols, masking his personal agenda in a larger, legitimating cause.

It must be a cause which justifies extreme measures, and for Nuer peasants, it makes sense to sacrifice their lives. He has played a central part as the leader and unifier of Nuer communities, and above all as manipulator of Nuer soldiers within the army in the current armed conflict, which has left thousands dead and forced thousands more from their homes.

Riek Machar and his militant armed factions have also posed as the neutral arbiters of South Sudanese nation against sectional interests and with a clear concept of what the nation means to them. They see themselves as the exalted agents of political transformation in South Sudan.

In conclusion, Riek Machar’s exaggerated power derives directly from the feebleness of other national political groups and their political nullity. The desire of Riek Machar and his militant armed factions is to rise above society, but this tendency must be checked. If it is free of the constraints and discipline of a wider nation, it will show much more extreme tendencies towards vacillation and splits.

According to his recent interview with foreign journalists, the ruthless warlord asserted that a revolutionary throw of the existing order is the surest path to political power.

Undoubtedly, a revolutionary war often results in the displacement of one ruling class by another, but all ruling classes are minorities against the ruled mass of the people. The following is a conversation between Lucile Desmoulins and Danton: So has the Revolution a philosophy, Lucile wanted to know, has it a future?

She dared not ask Robespierre, or he would lecture her for the afternoon on the General Will: or Camile, for fear of a thoughtful and coherent two hours on the development of the Roman Republic. So she asked Danton. “Oh, I think it has a philosophy, he said seriously. Grab what you can, and get out while going’s good.”

John Juac Deng
Journalist/writer
E-mail: juacd@yahoo.ca

Matur Chut Duol and His Lethal Style of Leadership!

BY: Mayak Deng Aruei, USA, JAN/04/2015, SSN;

The raining bullets and flowing bloods around Rumbek never move Governor Matur Chut, and he continue to go about his duties as if nothing tragic is happening in his state.

Is that the kind of legacy and leadership that President Salva Kiir Mayardit want to leave behind?

We South Sudanese did not choose secession in order to destroy ourselves and cultivate a political culture whereby leaders rule with iron fist. It is so heartbreaking to see citizens of Lakes state rushing themselves to graves at the time when the Nation is dealing with major armed rebellion.

First, let’s recognize that the security situation got worse than any time before, and the records at our disposal is a living evidence that nobody can deny.

From day one that General Matur Chut took charge of Lakes state, civilians start acting contrary because he was nominated by President Salva Kiir to inflict the most severe punishments on civilians, a communist style that nobody want to see.

Is that the way to redesign the Society that has been through many conflicts? It was a terrible mistake for the citizens of Lakes state to allow President Salva Kiir to abuse and overstep his constitutional duties.

We all know or should know that South Sudan Transitional Constitution only gave President powers to intervene in states’ affairs when national security is being threatened. Why did President Salva Kiir choose to go for Lakes state’s Governor and not Jonglei’s Governor?

We know for sure that part of the Jonglei state was under siege by notorious Rebel leader David Yau Yau of the South Sudan Democratic Movement/Army (SSDM/A-Cobra faction), and the President took a low stand on what was a national threat.

Let’s be realistic because South Sudan is not going anywhere, anytime soon. We have earned it, and it is there to stay for all the generations to come unless something else happened.

Secondly, the kind of leadership shown by General Matur Chut when he took over the affairs of Lakes state helped fuel the tiny conflicts that are part of cattle-rearing communities.

Back then, communities used to cooperate with the government, and urged culprits to surrender themselves to authorities. This has been the norm throughout South Sudan, had existed before there was central governments.

Now, the opposite is true because civilians no longer report who killed who, and instead choose to stay within their quarters and go for revenge if conditions allow. There is no way that national leaders would expect to see decent leadership from youth when their own is embedded in and around bullying.

It is unnecessary that General Matur Chut be the instigator/perpetrator of the violence seen in Lakes state, but the kind of response and style of leadership he fostered tells the world that he has nothing to offer.

Thirdly, General Matur Chut is the other side of President Salva Kiir Mayardit, and if people can agree on that, then Lakes state is likely to see even more deaths in the coming months.

We know for sure that General Matur Chut is acting within prescribed directives by the President. The very same style used by President Salva Kiir is being used by Governor Matur Chut (sacked the entire Cabinet and walks majestically as if nothing has happened).

Without concrete solution/well structured intervention, warring clans would intensify their revenge campaigns, something that folks in that part of the Country are best at.

Why would President of the Republic put his good name in such a regrettable part of the history. Where there is a blame, there is a doubt, and all things need to be aligned in order for the unknown to be unearthed.

That is to say, civilians are not acting in good faith, and Governor Matur Chut does not has clean hands in the ongoing madness.

Therefore, President Salva Kiir Mayardit must rethink the choice he made. As of now, Lakes state is in need of a new look, a better way to address all that went wrong. There has been too many killings around Rumbek, and that has to end if South Sudan really want to move forward.

My sincere condolences to families who have lost their love ones. May their souls rest in Peace while the Nation of Junub Ë Sudan is searching for true leaders who would put citizens first!

The views expressed here are of the Author, and meant to encourage decent leadership throughout the Junub Ë Sudan(Republic of South Sudan). Leaders come and go, but those who dedicate their lives in serving others do make good history. Junub Ë Sudan now, and forever. True Peace yah Junubin!

The Author here is Mayak Deng Aruei, a concerned South Sudanese living in the USA. He is the Author of ‘Struggle Between Despair and Life: From Sudan’s Marshland Village, Child Soldiering, Refugee Camp and America.’ He holds three degrees(AS in Legal Assistant, BA in Sociology & Philosophy, & MA in Legal Studies). He is currently pursuing Bachelor’s of Laws(LLB) and Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership: Organizational Development. He can be reached at kongor.da.ajak@gmail.com