Archive for: February 2015

United Nations, State Crafting & Failure: Is UN so righteous to throw the first stone to the sinful South Sudan?

By Jacob Dut Chol, Political Science lecture, Juba Univ., South Sudan, FEB/28/2015, SSN;

“So no matter where it takes hold, government of people and by people sets a single standard for all who would hold power. You must maintain your power through consent, not coercion; you must respect the rights of minorities, and participate with a spirit of tolerance and compromise; you must place the interests of your people and the legitimate workings of the political process above your party. Without these ingredients, elections alone do not make true democracy” President Barack Obama, Cairo June 4, 2009;

The voyage of South Sudan State Crafting and Consolidation has been a multifaceted endeavor involving all the stakeholders. South Sudan in September 2011 ratified the United Nations Charter and became 193rd member, received applauds for joining International Government. Many UN agencies have been supporting the people of South Sudan before the signing of Comprehensive Peace Agreement, during the interim period and towards the independence of South Sudan.

These supports have been spelt out in various mandates UN agencies are executing in South Sudan. For instance, UNDP mandate has been building strong accountable institutions of the governance, rule of law and service delivery while UNMISS initial mandate ranges from protection of civilians, human rights monitoring & reporting and support for the establishment and extension of accountable State authority.

Now, the UNMISS mandate has been restricted to protection of civilians, human rights monitoring and reporting, leaving out extension to accountable State authority. Although these mandates sound glaring, they should not make UNDP and UNMISS so righteous to the extent of throwing the first stone to the sinful South Sudan.

Why is it so? Why is the UN, preferably UNDP and UNMISS could not be the first to throw stone to the crumbling South Sudan? Are they not accomplice in South Sudan State wobbling? Who is holier than thou in South Sudan State crafting and failure?

This short analysis shall argue that even though UNDP and UNMISS have aided in South Sudan State crafting, they have equally contributed to South Sudan State deconstruction making the country to stay on the run ways for this long. Thus two analyses of institutional building and political expedient are critical for this piece.

To begin with, institutional building has been one of the core areas where UNDP and UNMISS have contributed so far in South Sudan State crafting. To be sure, UNDP established its offices across the ten states as early as 2006 to build the government structures and accountability system with a special support to the office of the President.

In the office of the President, many advisors contracted by UNDP and assigned to help strengthen accountability system and coach staff to manage decentralization and inter-governmental linkages could not fix the system well.

In the state levels, each advisor either on governance, development, rule of law, peace, economy & finance, gender or health issues has been embedded at the Governor’s Office, Ministry of Finance, Law Enforcement, Judiciary, Physical Infrastructures, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Agriculture, Gender & Social Welfare to mention but a few to help building robust systems that could enhance accountability, transparency and service delivery.

Indeed, UNDP helped in building and rehabilitating State Police Offices, Prison Services and Judiciary and so on. These endeavors, managed by the UNDP Support to States Project helped in charting the State crafting in the desired direction. The deployment of more than 280 specialists through both the Rapid Capacity Placement Initiative (RCPI) and IGAD projects has gone a long way in providing much needed coaching and mentoring support of durable nature and enabled accountability for UNDP’s programming.

However, UNDP is viewed to have contributed to South Sudan State failure. A compelling argument is that with the presence of UNDP advisors to the governments at the ten states and even within the highest office of the President, rule of law and accountability systems are still to be fully instituted. Yet, UNDP has attracted billions of dollars in tandem to South Sudan State Crafting and Reconstruction. Much of these dollars has been allocated to Policy Work, Service Delivery and Capacity Building.

Policy work and service delivery aside, the idea of ‘Capacity Building’ has been a tool used to solicit funds from the Development Community. UNDP and other NGOS have been quite passionate about this idea. However, ‘Capacity Building’ has been a practice of ‘Capacity Sucking out’. The Development Community comes so richly endowed and full of capacities that it tends to crowd out rather than complement the extremely weak state capacities of the targeted countries.

This means that while the governance functions are performed, indigenous capacity does not increase; and the countries in question are likely to revert to their former situations once the international development community loses interest or moves to the next crisis area.

Thus ‘capacity sucking out’ of UNDP and NGOs in South Sudan context could apply to the aforementioned argument and moreover refers to drawing out the most qualified South Sudanese from the Government to work at UN offices, resulting in a brain-drained situation at the Government of South Sudan.

The provision of on job mentoring and coaching, technical trainings and fostering South Sudanese linkages through the deployment of regional civil servants to government institutions has not only suffocated the lowly skilled staff but also made them redundant. However, not only that the hypocrisy of ‘capacity building’ has been quite perturbing, the participation of donor community in the destruction of capacity through institutional neglect is a case in the nascent African State.

So in South Sudan, it is probable to argue that true emphasize on capacity building is another form of “tough love” to quote Francis Fukuyama, that, like conditionality, is very hard for well-intentioned people to actually it carryout. So what we get in the meantime is lip service to the importance of capacity building and the continued displacement of institutional capacity by outside donors.

Thus this conundrum does not go away but in fact becomes most severe when external leverage comes through nation-building rather than arms-length conditionality. Although the development community knows how to supply government services, it knows much less how to create self-sustaining indigenous institutions.

Drawing indigenous institutions deficit in South Sudan, UNDP appeared as a foreign own institution, The UNDP cadres’ development has been skewed towards maintenance of foreign staff at the highest levels with national staff at the middle and lowest levels. For example, UNDP South Sudan does have a few national specialists and team leaders while international staff dominated the top management of the development agency.

As a matter of capacity appreciation, Deputy Country Director could have gone to the highly experienced South Sudanese national given the availability pool of this expertise but this has not been the case with UNDP South Sudan. Although this state of affairs has not been realized as an ingredient of UNDP failure towards South Sudan State crafting, the gravity of denying nationals senior management portfolios has equally failed the development agency in realizing it goals and outcomes.

This comes in the form of government institutions viewing UNDP as a foreign managed entity that does not promotes “we feeling” and thus received apathy in implementation of projects. Most of foreign staffs go home every month with Hugh chunk of money including decent house allowances and air tickets that are not given to even more experienced and qualified South Sudanese nationals. This lavish pay has created ‘Development Tourism” whereby the international staff enjoy their stay in South Sudan as development tourists rather than partners in meaningful development.

On political expedient analysis, UNMISS comes handy in understanding its roles in South Sudan State crafting and failure. Wait a minute, UNMISS contributed to both South Sudan reconstruction and fragility. To be exact, one cannot forget the applauding efforts UNMISS showcased in averting genocide during December 2013 political ignominy.

Having accommodated over four hundred thousand civilians during the political crisis in Bentiu, Malakal, Bor and Juba Protection Camps, UNMISS appeared as serious stakeholder in South Sudan State crafting and consolidation. But again did the UNMISS response on time? Why is it that majority of civilians were lynched in Bor, Akobo, Bentiu, Malakal and Juba in presence of large UNMISS troops? Could that really be a strategic neglect on the side of UNMISS?

Even though UNMISS averted large-scale genocide, it has really allowed deaths of very many poor South Sudanese in their watch during the power pursuit skirmishes. The leitmotif that civilians have to run to the UNMISS compounds to seek protection does not make protection really protection. Yet the responsibility to protect should be exercised to the civilians that have not run to the UNMISS precinct.

Despite this, it is fair to say that UNMISS contribution to South Sudan State reconstruction is historical. Not only did UNMISS reign its glory on the protection of civilians, it had also contributed in strengthening the capacities of police force and prison services and modest infrastructure development such as upgrading of rough roads.

Nonetheless, UNMISS has been viewed to have contributed to South Sudan State crumbling from the onset of the inking of Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). SOFA gives UNMISS personnel exclusive rights of travelling everywhere in South Sudan without any restriction, control of UNMISS special terminal at Juba International Airport (JIA) and implementation of their work programmes without governmental approval.

Unfortunately, the SOFA has been abused, thrown under the carpet by some individuals in the UNMISS in tandem of dodging the responsibility and genuine support to South Sudan State Crafting. For instance, it is alleged that some UNMISS contractors would stay after their contracts have expired to do other illicit businesses.

Moreover, some contractors would bring in their girlfriends and boyfriends to South Sudan on the pretext that they are UN contractors. This has not only been a pitfall on the implementation of SOFA, but also other serious posers have been associated with the trashing of SOFA. An allegation has it that many UNMISS staff have been trading dollars in the black market with even some found with sophisticated machines of faking dollars.

What is more, given the exclusive freedom of control of its terminal in JIA, some UNMISS individuals have been alleged to have smuggled in some prohibited drugs to South Sudan soil. Is this really being holy to throw the first stone to South Sudan?

Still connected to free traveling inside South Sudan without hindrance and together with SOFA’s clause of UNMISS assets not to be inspected, UNMISS did a serious misstep in its history in the world. The impoundment of UNMISS trucks by a nationalist soldier in Rumbek while transporting assaults of military hardware leveled as humanitarian goods to Bentiu, is attestation to this claim.

Although the UNMISS management including the UN Secretary General apologized for this as gravest mistake arguing that the trucks were wrongly leveled and weapons destined for Ghanaian Battalion’s in Bentiu, the damage of this incident could not exonerate anything else but rather pinpoint UNMISS as having an intended plan for South Sudan State failure not candid crafting. Although the government has equally bruised UNMISS and breached the SOFA either, the government response has been perhaps done under deep-seated suspicion.

Given the above elucidated arguments on UNDP and UNMISS, it is plausible concluding that UN should not throw the first stone to sinful South Sudan for the very reason that it has equally sinned and deserved to undertake technical and political repentant.

The UN agencies should be more vigilant about their mandates and programmes so as to eschew programmes duplication, overstretching donors funding and over-stepping on the Government toe. Although the Government has its shortcomings and indeed sinned, UNDP and UNMISS are not righteous entities.

Mr. Chol is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Political Science, University of Juba and PhD Candidate of State Crafting and Institutional Design (Political Engineering) in Post-Political Crisis Societies. He can be reached at dutsenior@yahoo.com

You can’t straighten an object’s shadow without first straightening the object itself’

By: Justin Ambago Ramba, South Sudanese, FEB/28/2015, SSN;

Following the conspicuous absence of President Salva Kiir Mayardit from what is largely supposed to be final round of the IGAD mediated Peace Talks for South Sudan, many observers begun to doubt the sincerity of the Juba administration to realise an inclusive just peace in a country ravaged by a civil war of its own making.

Also of concern to all is the implication of what seems to be an ill-intentioned absenteeism given the fact that any backtracking from previous signed positions by any of the principals of the two warring factions will adversely destroy any chances of bringing peace back to this new African country.

However there is much that in president Salva Kiir‘s absence than that meets the eyes. In a personal interview President Kiir gave a statement to the Kenyan Daily Nation in its Thursday, February 26, 2015 edition under the heading: “Why Machar will not be my Number 2”.

You may forgive me for not being keen to go into the details of President Kiir’s interview with the Kenyan Daily Nation which can be accessed by following the link provided below :http://www.nation.co.ke/news/politics/Kiir-Why-Machar-will-not-be-my-Number-2/-/1064/2636950/-/7sx1q/-/index.html

However for the purpose of this article it suffices to know that contrary to previously signed agreements between himself and Dr Riek Machar, the president has abundantly made it clear that he is reneging on all those agreements and won’t be sharing any power with Dr Riek Machar Teny, a man who served as his deputy for nearly eight calendar years.

Yet it all seems to me that President Salva Kiir Mayardit was not only being blatantly obvious, but what he said should in fact have been the case from the very beginning given the great visionary disparity and apparent incomparability and incompatibility between the two men.

And to be very fair to all – it really takes a lot of sacrifice from any learned person to accept being second to an individual like Kiir who shouldn’t be presiding over a sovereign country to start with, although it was only those several unplanned events that brought him to the top office.

The African Union, the IGAD and the international community have all said that President Salva Kiir should have kept his word when he signed a deal to attend the final rounds of the Peace Talks that kicked off in Addis Ababa on 20/02/2015.

The United Nations Security Council and the US administration have both talked of possible sanctions plus or minus arms embargo on individuals or entities who directly or through their policies are seen to be blocking the progress of the peace talks.

Well to say the least, President Salva Kiir now squarely lies in that category of “spoiler” of peace and rightly deserves all sanctions from ban on global travel to freezing of assets, of course a heavy embargo on the flow of arms to his notorious army and allied militias.

It is equally important that the UNSC understand that the Ugandan People’s Defence Force (UPDF) is part of the ongoing war in South Sudan and must also be included in the arms embargo and any other sanctions for that matter.

Any attempt to exclude President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda from facing similar sanctions as his partner in crime President Salvatore Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan will not bring about the anticipated outcome.

In fact the only way to have an effective and water-tight sanctions is by including the Ugandan military and political leadership into the lot as a share of their role in sustaining the crazy war and directly engaging in the battles.

Museveni and his UPDF must taste their share of the bitter medicine soon to be declared by the UNSC, be it in the form of sanctions or ban on foreign travels or freezing of all assets and a total arms embargo.

It will not be too much for international justice to demand that both Museveni and his friend Salva Kiir Mayardit enjoy equal level of punishment. Together the duo are partners in the crime of setting South Sudan ablaze. This should remain so until such a time that they are both prepared to negotiate peace in good faith. I rest my case.

As for my fellow compatriots in the reform camp, urgently reconsidering our priorities where we stand now could mean the difference between succeeding and failing.

To allow for a timely achievement of the tabled list of reforms, it is necessary to adequately reprioritise these programs, for otherwise there is a real risk of not being able to implement them any time soon.

Informed by the quickly changing dynamics of both the political and socio-economic parameters of our joint struggle for a peaceful coexistence and regardless of whether at this stage one believes in the IGAD mediated talks or not, certain things are much of foregone issues.

However there is one truth that all reformists in South Sudan need to know at this particular point in time and it is the one fact that Salva Kiir and reforms can never coexist in the same administration. In other words there is no daylight between the two. Each one will do everything to obstruct and eventually eliminate the other.

So if you are indeed a person or a group who is contemplating to see reforms dawn in South Sudan then you are practically only left with this one single priority and that is to partake in the removal and disposal of Kiir administration from power as a first step towards any anticipated national reforms.

Salva Kiir Mayardit and his administration are the very opposites of reform and they can never at any time become your partners in actualizing any dreams which are more likely than not to bring an end to their corruption riddled existence.

Everyone who believes in reforms for that matter should have long known that allowing Salva Kiir to continue running the country under any pretext is in itself a defeat to the very realisation of any reforms how big or small they be.

It doesn’t any more whether he extents his stay in power through a manipulated approval by his rubber stamped parliament or as a part of a hard won transitional government of national unity.

You are not expecting Salva Kiir to negotiate himself out of office and negotiate his bitter enemies (the reformists) into power, are you? I hope not, otherwise you are being naïve and rather simplistic.

For as top as Kiir is now on the list as the most powerful person in Juba (obviously not all over South Sudan any more), his removal from power should equally top the list of any constructive reform agenda aimed at salvaging whatever is left of our beautiful country.

It is only after getting the priorities right then and only then can reformists celebrate the start of a new dawn characterized by a good and focused campaign.

And regardless of how tough the implementation of each and every stage might seem, yet down inside we also know that every step the struggle takes is being informed by a total conviction not to compromise its very basics – the Peoples’ quest for Justice, Good Governance, Equality, Economic Prosperity, Accountability, Stability and Peaceful Coexistence which is now in full gear.

After all no one in their right state of mind will even for a second consider being second to Kiir as an end in itself.

In another turn of event I found it quite refreshing to read the article by Bol Mathieng A, titled: “Lack of Accountability and Causes of Current Political Instability: A Case of South Sudan,” which appeared in the southsudannation.com, Feb/26/2015, and SSN; http://www.southsudannation.com/lack-of-accountability-and-causes-of-current-political-instability-a-case-of-south-sudan/

Although it was ironically written entirely to project President Salva Kiir Mayardit as the only saint in the midst of SPLM political sinners, I still consider it another beautiful article in a long series of articles that not only condemn the rampant corruption that continues to engulf South Sudan, but also one that went on to suggest accountability as the way forward.

The article was absolutely on spot when it pointed out that the current sad state of affairs in the country could have been avoided if only we had a competent leadership and administration from the word go in 2005 to deter the widespread corruption and glaring impunity displayed by the incumbent Salva Kiir’s “rotten to core” administration.

However when we talk about the introduction of accountability as suggested by the author, Bol Mathieng A, as a one important aspect which has completely been absent since the beginning of the CPA era of the SPLM administration under Salva Kiir Mayardit, it will be an impartial demand to see to it that all are held responsible – from top to bottom or better still to put it in the authors’ own words,” regardless of the title of the culprit”.

Being in total agreement with Bol Mathiang in his suggestion for a national pursuit of an impunity free South Sudan as an entrance to a peaceful and stable South Sudan, although I wonder how much thought has he given to the fact that for such line of thought to succeed, it is paramount to hold each and every one who wronged the people of South Sudan accountable beginning with those who abused the public office the most!

In such a top down approach the weeding of corruption must start right at the top from the office of the president – then the naming and shaming can successful be allowed to proceed down that gradient.

The logic is that had the person at the top acted promptly on corruption from day one, given the fact that he wields more constitutional powers in the country than anyone else, then we would be today living in a corruption and impunity free South Sudan.

However no one should attempt to sell us the “too cheap” narrative that the president was indeed a saint in the middle of a cabinet of sinners who in fact were his own buddies.

Birds of the same feather flock together – and this explains why the president never took an action past his “in famous” letter writing, to either pin corruption right in the bud or to weed it afterwards.

For all practical purposes when cannot be so blinded to the obvious that the true salvation of South Sudan lies outside the incumbent administration, given the fact the administration all across its decade long history has repeatedly resorted to corrupt means of extracting loyalty from the few that it succeeded to blackmail using what literary amounts to an institutionalized trend of a nationwide corruption and impunity network.

You may agree with me that, ‘you can never straighten an object’s shadow without first straightening the object itself’.

Author: Dr Justin Ambago Ramba. The Voice for the voiceless all across South Sudan.

The Problem of Nimule Jienge scramble for Ma’diland

BY DAVID AJU KANYARA, JUBA, FEB/28/2015, SSN;

The problem of Guru (Nimule) is like the Hydra; the daughter of Gaia, whose head when cut off, a few will spring up — even more dreadful than the previous! In the case of Guru (Nimule), Hydra is the goddess of greed and lust for power, personified in few individuals at the center of an intricate and big web (exclusive clubs) with their leaders in the center of each web.

Essentially we have four major nightclubs: Juba nightclub, Torit nightclub, Nimule nightclub and Kampala nightclub (still emerging).

Juba is the epicenter (the mother) of all the dramas in Ma’diland. Her ultimate goal is to take over Ma’diland, for the benefit of the Jieng and she is doing so with the help of a handful, less than 1 %, corrupt and greedy sons and daughters of Ma’di.

In the Words of Gen Martin Kenyi, these few are the loudest, I would add amplified by Juba.

The below chart illustrate the actors who are involved in scramble for Ma’diland:(Chart unavailable)

In Ma’diland the epicenter of the drama is Nimule, with late Kisire being the leader of the Nimule nightclub – for over the last 7 years. However his demise is switching the center of power to Abila (to the Ganyipira group).

During Kisire’s reign, the Abila group was subdued and Kisire’s nightclub had monopoly of power. His demise has left a vacuum in his nightclub, which now Abila group is trying to fill.

The demise of Kisire and his senior aide (the two were recently assassinated in Nimule) is subject to many speculations and conspiracy theories, but one can’t rule out the Abila group from having a hand. Both Abila group and Kisire group have Juba as their power base. It is widely believed that Juba fell out with Kisire and found favor with Abila group, which led to the demise of the former leader’s demise.

The epicenter in Torit is governor Lobong and his deputy Jerome Surur. Lobong survival in the past was due to partly his seemingly unwavering support to the power base in Juba. Some insiders also said he bribes Juba with kilos of gold, to remain in power. December 15 came as a blessing for Lobong to remain in power. Juba has power serious issues to deal with, than worry about removing Lobong from power.

For now Juba would rather keep him in power than fire him and risk the anger of the Toposa – if not a sizable number of disgruntled Equatorians.

Currently in the center of Nimule nightclub is the power-broker, little David Eriga, who acts as a go-between broker with Torit and Nimule. Eriga however has got no influence, neither in Nimule nor in Torit. The day he losses favor of Torit, he may face the fate of chief Ajugo.

Insiders from government have it that Ajugo found his death in the hands of a Dinka man sent from Juba. The security apparatus in Juba knows this well, but as a escape-goat to cover the plot, Ma’di community leaders got rounded up and jailed and tortured for months.

At the end, the case died without the killer of our chief being brought to face justice and to this date justice did not prevail to dry up the tears of mourning mother, wives and children of late Ajugo.

Bilal is also a power-broker just like little Eriga. In the past he had direct access to the power-base in Juba through a men like Salva Matok (Kiir’s close confidante and former interior minister). But over the last 24 months, things have changed dramatically for him, and Bilal’s relevance to Juba power-base has diminished much to ZERO.

In fact Bilal has no influence by himself and his power to intimidate his fellow Ma’di was taken away from him immediately after Salva Matok lost his power. Bilal’s survival depends on the expectations from the benefits of the promises he makes to Juba and Torit.

The day he losses favor of Juba, his fate may not be any different from that of Kisire and Gwanya. If and when that happens, many Ma’di boys will get themselves in detention falsely accused of murder.

Another pseudo-power, that of Igga Emilio, whose place in this complex of social dramas is worth head scratching. He is caught between the expectations of the Ma’di community and the interest of power base in Juba. The rather cozy relation Emilio has with Kisire’s group in the past made the Ma’di community to look at him with suspicion.

Months before coming to take his new job as Chief Area Administrator, the relationship between Emilio and Kisire’s group was already badly damaged. The demise of Kisire put a final nail on the relationship between Emilio and Kisire’s group (which’s almost now dismantled)!

Today the relevance of Emilio to Torit is also fast diminishing. The arbitrary arrest of his community members on allegations of being rebels of Gen. Kenyi has put Emilio in very awkward position. Emilio being trusted less by his power-base in Torit, and he is seen helpless if not irrelevant by many members of his Madi community.

Though he has a military background, a brigadier without any army to command is not commander. It is hard to speculate on Emilio’s fate but Juba is merciless to those who are not useful in the ploy to achieve its priced objectives- THE MA’DI LAND.

It is important the rest of South Sudan, Equatoria in particular, study this case very closely because it lays bare the playbook of the Jieng council of elders in turning South Sudan into Dinkaland! We are reminded of the Colonial powers, DIVIDE AND CONQUER!, the born-to-rule!

Somewhere outside the web, are Gen. Kenyi and his boys, who believe it is the personal responsibility for every Equatorian to rescue South Sudan from Juba. For now Juba thinks Kenyi is only a nuisance – mere irritations. But when that irritation starts to get more and more, Ma’diland will be an epicenter of a bigger drama – that may become serious concern to Juba leading to genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Ma’di people in the name of fighting rebels, playbook scenario seen in the Nuerland and Juba itself.

Only few months ago when Jada Tibi struck two trucks on Nimule Juba-road, Juba become very concerned. It was not possible to ignore the irritation Kenyi caused to Juba. If only Juba can learn a lesson from the past, it will avoid making the same mistake again and again.

As for the power-base in Juba, its commitment to subdue Ma’di people and grab the land of the natives is something which seems to be a raison d’etre for people like Mathok and the belligerent, notorious information and official spokesman of RoSS Minister Michael Makuei Lueth.

Somewhere in the outskirts are Ann Itto, the acting secretary of SPLA, and Former Ambassador John Andruga, who are fighting for their political survivals. Whereas he has failed to find relevance in Juba, John Andruga is trying to rediscover himself through his farming project.

As for Anne Itto, she is just hanging around – without whatsoever predictable future. Both Ann Itto and John Andruga have no influence in Juba – either negative or positive. Their inability to explain their helplessness has put them in rather the bad books of a big block of the Ma’di community members.

For now the whole of Ma’di, community is left like a volcano waiting to explode. A volcano is a chaotic system, and in chaos one can only expect of strange attractor, either a subset of phase, where all trajectories strive.

The way things are, the global dynamics of the complex web where Hydra of Guru lives is difficult to predict with certainty. But one thing is sure, one problem temporarily solved in Ma’diland brings a new one, just like the new heads of Hydra spring up from a cut.

Now there is no brand of unknown faces coming in Nimule and Ma’di land in the name of peace and coexistence between the host community and their uninvited guests, the Dinka Economic Displaced Persons/EDPs, mainly from Jonglei.

The Juba-based government has recently carried intimidation and bullying arrests, and constant disappearances including recent unlawful kidnapping of Deputy Lopirigo Lagu Jabakana, who was snatched– for a better word– kidnapped when he was attending the funeral of his relative in the village of Arapi, Amoria, Pageri boma.

He was snatched three weeks ago till this date nothing is known by his family of his whereabouts. It seems the government has succeeded in its bullying of the citizens into silence.

The new leader of Nightclub, supported by David Eriga with the money given by Reconcile International, a long local NGO based in Yei being funded by Danish Church Aid. These organizations have committed crimes by drafting irrelevant Memorandum of understanding between the Dinka Squatters in Nimule and these few corrupt indigents to attempt to legalize the squatters, displaced and robbers the Ma’di land.

This document if signed will give permanent habitat for the Jieng Nomads who decided to squat permanently and occupy the Ma’di land.

Again, let those with eyes see and those with ears hear what is happening in the Ma’diland where the playbook of the colonial and the born-to-rule dark policy of the Jienge is displayed in broad daylight, for after her, this shall be replicated all over South Sudan, Equatoria in particular.

The government of Kiir is using the country’s money to bribe, corrupt and starve the desperate indigents to the benefit of the Jieng. As it may seem believed but also uttered by them, they fought for their independence from the Arabs, now we have to fight them for ours!

They are forgetting, South Sudan’s journey to independence was unequivocally born in Equatoria, amplified by the Nuer (Anya-nya II) and celebrated in Juba (Equatoria land). While the Jieng fought and died for a united Sudan, the rest of the 63 tribes never wavered from an INDEPENDENT SOUTH SUDAN, for which we shed our blood and will continue to do so FOR THE NATURAL RIGHT TO LIVE IN OUR ANCESTRAL LANDS!

David Aju Kanyara

“The voice of the voiceless”

Machar shouldn’t be rewarded with position of first vice-president: Kiir

By: Fred Oluoch, NATION REPORTER, FEB/28/2015, SSN;

As the South Sudan peace process continues in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, President SALVA KIIR spoke with The EastAfrican at State House in Juba.

QUESTION-1: You have often complained about Igad mediators unnecessarily postponing talks even when the two parties are making progress. Do you believe Igad can successfully mediate a lasting peace?

Pres. Kiir: If they don’t change the current tactics which they are using, then they will not bring peace. Whenever there is a recess and the parties go back to their principals for consultations, they always have the agenda which was on the table.

But when the parties resume discussions with full briefing from their principals, the mediators often shelve the agenda that was on the table and bring new issues which the two protagonist parties did not consult about. Such an approach cannot bring peace.

QUESTION-2: As the president of South Sudan, why do you think your country is facing an internal war only three years after Independence?

KIIR: The conflict came as a result of personal ambitions of individuals who wanted to take power by illegal means because they were afraid that they would not be elected if they went to the people. They opted for a military coup; when they failed; they transformed themselves into a guerrilla insurgency.

Q-3: Your close associates have categorically said that Dr Riek Machar can never be your number two. Are you ready to work with Dr Machar without reservation or retribution?

KIIR: Well, my personal position and that of my party is that Dr Machar should not be the First Vice President. He can come in as number three like what was agreed on in Addis Ababa last August. He wanted the position of prime minster and I accepted despite the fact that we don’t have it in the Constitution.

But when the proposed government structure was put forward by the mediators, they put president, vice president, prime minister, two deputies and then the council of ministers. Dr Machar rejected it because he wanted to be an executive prime minister who will exercise all the powers in the country and the president becomes ceremonial. He was told ‘no, because this was an elected executive president.’

If you want to be an executive prime minister or president, then you wait for elections and keep out of this government.’ He wanted to share executive powers with the president and yet these powers were given by the people.

Q-4: The Arusha Accord of January 21, talked about reforms within SPLM as a way forward. Do you think the fighting could have been avoided if SPLM had initiated internal reforms earlier as had been demanded by Dr Machar’s group?

KIIR: Talks of internal reforms are not new because we have been talking about reforms in the SPLM even when we were fighting Khartoum. But the problem is that many of the people who are now spearheading the rebellion were not part of the movement and were co-operating with Khartoum. So they know less about SPLM than those of us who stayed.

Q-5: Do you believe the Arusha Accord that seeks to reunite the three factions of SPLM can be used as a stepping stone for a final peace settlement?

Kiir: I believe that it laid the foundation people can work from, if all of us are sincere about the wellbeing of South Sudan. But that is not what Dr Machar wants. He wants by all means to be the president and if he cannot get it on the negotiating table, then he has the military option to defeat the government and take over government

Q-6: It has been said that you also strongly believe in a military option.

Kiir: Well, I don’t believe in a military option because I have been fighting for many years and I know the difficulties of war. When we were fighting the Sudan government, Dr Machar was in Khartoum after rebelling against Dr John Garang in 1991 — just like he did in 2013. Slaughtering innocent civilians and later on enjoying the support of Khartoum and he was fighting us as the militia of Sudan.

But all the same, he was hoping that Khartoum would defeat us, which did not happen. So he decided to surrender fully, signed an agreement with Khartoum and became number four in the hierarchy of the National Congress Party. So he does not understand the dynamics of the war.

Q-7: Do you believe that this final session of the Addis Ababa peace talks will bring a lasting peace?

KIIR: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development [Igad] can only bring the conflict to an end if it can differentiate between coup plotters and normal conflict. The problem is that Igad is treating the coup plotters as innocent people who simply protested against the government, yet there was nothing wrong with the government.

We did not differ on our objectives or any issue. We were discussing internal issues within the ruling Sudan’s People Liberation Movement (SPLM). So the group which was not contented with whatever was happening in government, because they found themselves out of the government, resorted to violence. But the mediators in Addis Ababa are not taking these issues into account.

Q-8:Are you saying the issues of the coup and rebellion should be highlighted and not mixed up with the need to stop the fighting and people’s suffering?

KIIR: The situation in South Sudan is different, for instance, from what happened in Kenya in 2007/2008 where violence was caused by the results of the elections. That is why the region came in to talk about power-sharing between Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga. This was definitely a conflict over the results of the elections but in our case, it was a coup.

Where in the world is somebody who planned a coup brought in to share power that he wanted to take wholly for himself?

Q-9: South Sudan has applied to be a member of the East African Community. But some in your government are wary that this could stifle the growth of the manufacturing sector. What is your position?

Kiir: I believe that joining the EAC has benefits. We are not producing anything besides the oil, but we believe that we can contribute to the EAC because we have abundant fertile land yet we have no capacity to engage in commercial agriculture for export.

People in other EAC countries have the technology and the capacity to do that. I believe agriculture will uplift the livelihood of our people, so the people who have fears will later on understand that joining EAC is in their best interest. END
————————

LATEST: South Sudanese Pres. Salva Kiir says he will not accept Dr Riek Machar, who led a rebellion against him, as the first vice-president in the current peace negotiations.

In an exclusive interview with The EastAfrican from State House, Juba, Pres. Kiir said he would only agree to Dr Machar coming in at position three as the second vice-president or non-executive prime minister.

PERSONAL POSITION

“My personal position and the position of my party is that Machar should not be the first-vice president. He can come in as number three as agreed in Addis Ababa in August last year. He wanted the position of prime minister and I accepted, despite the fact that we don’t have it in the Constitution.

“But when the pecking order was put forward by the mediators, they had the president, vice-president, prime minister, two deputies and council of ministers. Machar rejected it because he wanted to be an executive prime minister who will exercise all the powers and the president becomes ceremonial. He was told ‘no’, because this was an elected executive president. If you want to be an executive prime minister or president, then you wait for elections and keep out of this government. He wanted to share executive powers with the president and yet these powers were given by the people,” Mr Kiir said.

President Kiir added that the Igad talks in Addis Ababa after violence broke out in South Sudan in December 2013, could only end the conflict if the mediators acknowledged that Dr Machar’s men were “coup plotters”.

He also spoke about the pressure from regional leaders and his views on claims that Kenya supports the Machar group.

In Summary
President Kiir added that the Igad talks in Addis Ababa after violence broke out in South Sudan in December 2013, could only end the conflict if the mediators acknowledged that Dr Machar’s men were “coup plotters”.

In an exclusive interview with The EastAfrican from State House, Juba, President Kiir said he would only agree to Dr Machar coming in at position three as the second vice-president or non-executive prime minister.

(From The EastAfrican)

Lack of Accountability and Causes of Current Political Instability: A Case of South Sudan

BY: Bol Mathieng A, JUBA, FEB/26/2015, SSN;

Accountability can be defined in a layman’s language as giving an account on how a given action was taken or a sum of money has been spent, this has been lacking since formation of Government of South Sudan. The aim of this article is to show where the notion of accountability has been seen lacking, the article will give a way forward.

Accountability has been lacking in our governance system since 2005 as evidenced by the following arguments: In CPA, two percentage of total production of oil revenue was to be given to the producing area. That sounded developmental because the two percentage could cater for relocation of those affected villages in terms of developing the areas that they would be settled in.

The development was expected to bring into those particular affected communities or states at large, things like modern schools fully equipped laboratories, well stocked libraries and employing most qualified teachers that the oil money would fetch, hospitals, tarmac roads, electricity and employment of youth in various sectors.

In fact, given that the writer has never been to greater Upper Nile, the writer has been assuming that Unity state and Upper Nile state are the most developed states in South Sudan. However, Colleagues of the writer that have been there have vehemently refuted that fallacy.

Failure to make the governors (particularly for Unity state) to strictly account for the 2% of total oil revenues is widely believed to have boosted his ego for bigger positions in GOSS.

In other words, having looted the oil money, his accounts fattened and made him fund the coup and the current rebellion. If every dollar sent to those states was accounted for, they (governors) would have remained with their basic pay necessary for their families’ upkeep, but because they were not quarterly audited since they assumed offices as governors, their money accumulated and they thought that they could be bosses of themselves, if not top men in GOSS.

The next area where the accountability has failed to be seen and heard respectively, is at GOSS level. The publication of the 75 top corrupt people is evidence to that claim.

I also believe that if the stringent system was established since 2005, the so-called G10, SPLM-IO or whatever group, would have not been available. They would have remained loyal to the president or else, they would lose getting their basic pay necessary for their basic requirements.

The presidency should note that, in Africa here, weakening political opponents economically whether in the same party or in opposition, explains why some countries in Africa are not having serial rebellion.

Therefore, failing to make every government official accountable explains why, most of the former ministers looted some money and started their own companies, became critics of the government they were part of and eventually rebel when they were removed.

Corruption or lack of accountability is not a new phenomenon in South Sudan, just visit www.southsudannation.com, read particularly in the archives article titled “top 13 corrupt.”

In conclusion, if we want to live a peaceful life, and develop this nation by spending every coin rightfully as budgeted, and if the political opponents of the government of the day are to be tamed economically so that they cannot harm this nation through useless wars, accountability must begin from today not tomorrow and it has to be implemented in a merciless format regardless of the title of the culprit.

The writer is south Sudanese living in juba …you can reach him by mail bullenbolm@gmail.com

The Chama Cha Mapinduzi’s role in Peace process in South Sudan

By DENGDIT Ayok, South Sudan, FEB/26/2025, SSN;

Chama Cha Mapinduzi, hereinafter referred to as (CCM), the ruling party in the United Republic of Tanzania, under the leadership of president Jakaya Marisho Kikweti, and its Secretary General Mr. Abdel Rahman Kenana, is a name that was not known to most of the people of South Sudan before the current SPLM’s war; but it had surfaced in line with the regional efforts geared towards finding a solution to the SPLM’s created crisis in South Sudan, which has put our nascent Republic on the brink of collapse, before entering its fourth year.

It is obvious that the CCM party is working side by side with the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) member states for the achievement of peace in our country through the Arusha intra-party peace dialogue, which is part and parcel of the broad-spectrum for the realization of peace in the country through an initiative it had made in September last year when the three groups of the SPLM at loggerhead on power were invited to sit together and sort out their differences and reunify their ranks.

It is worth noting that the CCM efforts yielded fruits within a short time, in less than three months, in bringing together the conflicting views of the three faction of the SPLM. This commendable success led to the signing of the framework document on October 20, 2014, in which the three groups have confessed that their differences were the reason for this war and recognized their collective responsibility towards the ongoing strife, a confession which will surely condemn them sooner or later!

History has right now recorded that the Tanzanian initiative is the best and the quicker in finding solution to the crisis in comparison with the IGAD mediation which was and still a big mess in terms of wasting the whole year in talks without achieving anything.

The parties to the conflict have been signing deals followed by numerous violations in hours on the same day of the signing, starting from the January 23th 2014 agreement on cessation of hostilities, until the last agreement signed on the Establishment of the Transitional Government of National Unity in the country.

The war is now raging in the edges of Upper Nile, in the face of the ongoing round of peace talks in the Ethiopian capital, which is considered to be the final round according to the timetables stipulated in the last agreement.

The philosophy behind the Tanzanian initiative, in bringing the three SPLM factions together in talks, is achieving peace within the SPLM first, as a party that holds power and has full control over the state, as a way forwards for realizing a comprehensive peace in the country at large.

This means that the Tanzanian role though limited on the intra-party dialogue, is a successful and a quick regional hard work for the realization of peace within the SPLM in the first place and in South Sudan at large, and evidently, the three SPLM factions have signed the reunification agreement on the 21th of last month, despite the challenges ahead of the reunification scenario.

This move, however, is a historical credit to the CCM party initiative and the Tanzanian political leadership, and which South Africa has joint lately under the leadership of President Jacob Zuma.

The initiative has up to now achieved a lot with the timetable for the implementation of the Arusha agreement signed last week and the return of former political detainees to Juba within a period not exceeding 45 days fully guaranteed.

This, on the other hand is connected with the ongoing round of talks in Addis Ababa, because the return of former political detainees without the armed opposition will not make peace a real and comprehensive peace for the whole country.

Therefore, the two sides in Addis Ababa are expected to expedite the talks and strike the final deal and bring peace back home soon and save the nation from death and destruction.

The CCM as one of the African liberal movements will always remain as a source of pride for the people of South Sudan and will be given much respect and great appreciation for this historical efforts in bringing peace to our country, and teaching the SPLM leadership the meaning of making sacrifice for people, struggle for the sake of people, vanity of power struggle, the beauty of peaceful dialogue, harmony, sorting out the internal political differences amicably and showing them that high political greediness and wrangling for political positions through the barrel of the gun that had plunged to country into the oven of this war is meaningless.

What happened in Tanzania after the killing of thousands of innocent of our people could have been done in the Nyakuron meeting, had the SPLM leaders then adhered to the spirit of resolving their differences in a peaceful manner. The name of Arusha and the United Republic of Tanzania in general will remain in our historical heralds like Naivasha, Karen, Nakuru and Nanyoki in Kenya.

Notwithstanding the signing of the SPLM reunification deal, the SPLM leaders up to this moment stand in the shadow of John Garang’s legacy, they haven’t come up with a national political ideology and a clear vision for leading the country after the independence.

They haven’t yet produce any idea in the art of possible, except this war which they have produced against men, women, children and the elderly of this country as a mechanism for getting political positions.

The help of the CCM and the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa and the entire region is still needed even after the realization of peace, for the SPLM leaders are not trustworthy, and there are no guarantees that what has happened in December 2013 will not be repeated.

*The author is a journalist working with Almaugif Arabic daily newspaper in Juba. He is reachable at dengdit_a@yahoo.com.

Can a Democratic Government extend its own Life?

By: Dr Lam Akol, SPLM-DC leader, JUBA, FEB/22/2015, SSN;

Last Thursday Feb. 19, the government tabled before parliament an amendment bill in order to amend the Constitution for the Government to extend its life for two more years. In a democratic setup, is a government allowed to extend its own term of office?

Before answering this question, let us consider our system and compare it to similar systems and experiences the world over.

Our system is a constitutional presidential democracy. In a Presidential Democracy, the president serves for a specific term and cannot exceed that amount of time. Elections too have fixed date not subject to change.

This is in contrast to a parliamentary system in which the Prime Minister may call for elections any time he sees fit but, even here, there is always a set number of years he cannot exceed without calling for a general election.

All these measures are necessary to ensure a basic requirement of democracy; and that is guaranteeing smooth transfer of power. The essence is that the political party that wins a majority does not lengthen its term of office using the same majority to deny the rest their opportunity to be voted to power by the people.

Such a move can be termed “Democracy Once” dictatorship; which is no democracy at all. If a need arises to change the terms of office, the matter must be referred to the people in one way or the other. These guarantees may be included in the constitution as explicit provisions or be understood as a given without which democracy is compromised.

We are governed through the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011. This constitution provides for a presidential system in which the president was to serve for four years up to 8 July 2015. This is the same period set for the election of a new Parliament.

By tabling an amendment to extend the terms of office of the President of the Republic and the National Legislature without returning to the people, the government is breaching a fundamental principle of presidential democracy.

If we accept its claim that it was elected by the people in 2010 up to 2015, by whose mandate does it want to rule up to 2017? Does the political party that enjoys the majority in parliament have the right to amend the constitution at will to continue in power for a period more than what the electorate gave them?

If this is allowed once, what prevents it becoming a precedent to be repeated time and again? Where will such a precedent leave the democratic requirement of the “transfer of power” between political parties through the mandate of the people?

True, our constitution has a provision that allows for amendments to be made to the constitution (Article 199). But does this provision apply to all articles in the constitution without affecting the nature of the state as provided for under Articles 1(4-5) and 2 of the same constitution?

For example, is parliament allowed to amend the Bill of Rights (Articles 9-34)? It is the contention of this author that it cannot. By the same token it cannot amend the articles on the cyclical “transfer of power” (Articles 66 and 100) without seeking the consensus of the people from whose will the Constitution is derived (Article 3).

These articles cannot be amended because they form the core of the constitutional presidential democracy we have adopted. This is the crux of the matter.

This matter becomes more critical if we look at the Parliament entrusted to amend the constitution on behalf of the people. The current National Legislature is composed of 332 members: 282 members of the National Legislative Assembly and 50 members of the Council of States.

Only 170 members of the National Legislative Assembly were elected to the Legislative Assembly of South Sudan in 2010. The entire membership of the Council of States was appointed by the President in 2011, who also appointed the other 112 members of the National Legislative Assembly.

Hence, the total number of appointed members in the National Legislature is 162 members. That is, 49%, which is about half the total membership< of the National Legislature is appointed. This is the body expected to make such a serious amendment! The government was cognizant of this fact when it insisted on holding elections to renew its legitimacy. It was fully aware that it alone cannot amend the Constitution to attain that objective. If it did, that would be a breach of the Constitution on matters that are taken as given by practice and precedents. When President Museveni did amend the Ugandan Constitution to run for a third term, the move was resisted. This was the same reaction in a number of other countries which underwent similar experiences, the most recent of which was what took place in Burkina Faso last October. Beginning on 28 October 2014, the people of Burkina Faso went on the streets in Ouagadougou to protest against moves by President Blaise Compaore to amend the constitution so as to extend his rule by allowing him to stand for re-election in 2015. Indeed, the protesters did on 30 October force the MPs to suspend the vote on changing the constitution, leading to the overthrow of the President. All this goes to underline the point that there are articles in the Constitution that cannot be changed without changing the rules of the game. And the only accepted game changer is the people. We all know that the main reason why the 2015 elections were not possible is the destructive war that broke out on the 15th of December 2013 and is still raging in the country. Insecurity is also prevalent in some parts of the country that is not related to the civil war, notably in the Lakes state. The insecurity militates against conducting a free and fair election. It was, therefore, obvious that attaining peace must be the priority so that the situation returns to normalcy, after which the people will be able to exercise their democratic rights including taking part in the elections. However, both the government and the rebels could not make progress in the peace talks and, in fact, the Cessation of Hostilities agreement they signed in January 2014 was not respected and the fighting continues unabated. Despite this obvious reality, the government closed its mind and insisted on holding partial elections for the sole reason to gain legitimacy. After spending money on a futile exercise it finally realized that it cannot proceed with the elections but did not give up its determination to cling to power by all means. Hence, came the idea of unilaterally amending the constitution. The consensus of the South Sudanese to amend the terms of elected institutions stipulated in the Constitution may come about in either of two ways. First, if the stakeholders in the peace talks reach a peace agreement, then this agreement will be incorporated into the Constitution by carrying out an amendment that includes the term of office of the transitional government. Second, if the peace talks are not conclusive, then all the political forces in the country shall hold an inclusive national conference that will deliberate on how to bring about peace to the country. The resolutions of the conference shall constitute the program of the new government of national unity. It is this program that will determine the length of time it takes to get it implemented by the new government, and in turn, determine the amendments to be made to the constitution on the strength of this consensus. The amendments tabled by the government on Thursday were unilateral lacking the consensus of the people as shown above. The government should have waited for the outcome of the current round of peace talks (which started on the 19th instant), which, according to the government and the rebels in their first of February agreement, will see the conclusion of a peace agreement. If they conclude a peace agreement, then the first scenario becomes applicable. If they fail to reach a peace agreement then the second scenario becomes the course of action by default. Making a unilateral move to amend the constitution is a breach of the constitution as explained earlier since the proposed amendments are not backed by the consensus of the people of South Sudan. 22 February 2015

Feb22 2015


Feb22 2015

SPLM to reinstate some ex-members in 2 weeks

EYE RADIO, Hellen Achayo | February 22, 2015

Members of the SPLM who were dismissed from the party will be reinstated within two weeks as an implementation of the Arusha Agreement, the Minister of Information has said.

They include Pagan Amum, Majak Agoot, Deng Alor and amongst others.

Michael Makuei says the reinstatement will not include Dr. Riek Machar, Taban Deng Gai and Alfred Lado Gore.

Addressing the media in Addis Ababa, Mr. Makuei said the move is to ensure the legitimacy of the ruling party.

“Anybody who was dismissed in something not connected with the conflict will not benefit from that,” Mr Makuei stated.

“And from the party are three – it is Dr. Riek Machar, it is Taban Deng Gai and Alfred Lado Goro and the rest were not originally dismissed. Up to now they are still members of the SPLM.

“Some are still members of political bureau; others are members of NLC and so forth. They will come back to their positions.

“This is what is meant by the revocation of the former decision and it will be implemented by the President within 14 days.”

Last month, President Salva Kiir had said SPLM may reconsider the reinstatement of the members who were dismissed after the December 15th incident.

Source: Eye Radio.

Juba’s Political Machinations: Peace By All Means

By: Martin Garang Aher, AUSTRALIA, FEB/21/2015, SSN;

Events in South Sudan are revisiting the early and mid-1990s, the periods of rebelliously callous militias shuttling between Khartoum and the bush, unable to zero in on what they wanted. It was the period that saw many unpatriotic southerners trained their minds on the benefits of intransigence and insensitive retraction from the popular discourse of liberation.

Throughout those times, many rebel groups that self-ostracized themselves due to their detesting of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M Mainstream) for one reason or the other, fell to Khartoum’s political machinations in the most daring manner. When allegiances were thus remapped, the enemy of yesterday became today’s comrade.

The reasons many groups defected from the SPLA/M mainstream then were not celebrated for long when they reached Khartoum because of cold reception and displays of certain kinds of triumph by the former enemy.

Could such scenarios replay themselves in Juba as now demonstrated by ongoing detrimental internal rebellion in SPLA/M in opposition rebels?

There should be no surprises in the SPLA/M in opposition’s rebellion bursting into smithereens of factions following the defection of a key spokesperson, Brigadier-General Lul Ruai Koang to join the government in Juba.

For once, the path of a cracking rebellion was paved right in Juba in December 2013 when violence surged. When the government arrested most of the politicians, now Group of 10 (G-10), who were numerically and influentially key to Dr. Riek’s aspiration to win the chairmanship of the SPLM, the gamble was on in the minds of those skimming for clues to predict what would become of a rebellion that was taking off in the most unexpected way.

Critical voices have stated in the beginning of the war that if the coup-implicated political detainees were released and failed to join Dr. Riek’s camp that it would be the end of organised formality in the rebellion.

That line of thinking was not far from the truth. The fact that Juba is well into the game of winning over some rebels is not untrue as well. It is widely known in South Sudan that militias and their leaders have always come back to where they started because they suffered irreparable internal fighting.

Juba might be playing a significant role in wooing some rebel generals to abandon rebellion through availing and displaying advantageous political drawings. Whatever game Juba plays, they are playing it well just as Khartoum used to do.

The same thing that made Khartoum so powerful that it pulled almost every rebel in the South to play by her rules is going to make Juba powerful against her own rebels. This alien nationalistic chess board game was actually the kind of leadership that the citizens of South Sudan wanted their leaders to pursue all along for the benefits of the country. Not looking inwards.

For certain, no one expected that the country’ leadership, particularly the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, would take eyes off Khartoum’s rhetoric that was purporting to dismember it eternally following Heglig’s battle. The spirit of nationalism was in the air and the Mandellas of the nation were needed in multitudes.

Leaders were expected to rise above their differences and upwards to the podium of nationalism for which they fought since their youth. Nobody knew that they only ‘wanted jobs’ just as they used to charge the Anya Nya one fighters when that movement accepted peace in 1972.

Many thought that through many years of struggle and strife, South Sudanese leaders were better armed with modern political sanities to combat poverty, illiteracy, hunger, disease and meditate on how to haul their nation out of dimness of history to the limelight through holistic development. There were many expectations for the country.

But suddenly, the country turned so violently inwards to the laughter of her enemies. It was a bitter pill to swallow. It was a great shock to the commoners who eventually had to drag their feet into fraternal battles hoping for quicker end to fighting because of its ‘senseless nature.’

War then became so real and as it assumed its name, its impacts reverberated across the country. Funerals are being emotionally held in South Sudan, in USA, in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and in continental Europe, Africa and everywhere, anywhere a sizeable South Sudanese population is found. The maladies are beyond leadership contest.

To date, nobody boasts about war anymore but counting the heavy losses it so far generated. Not even the euphoric ‘regime change’ is mentioned with threatening frequency in peace talks, not even the figure of the dead is recited as it used to be, no political accusations are traded for fear that peace may never come.

If anything of significance is talked about as a prerequisite for peace, it is the position of power in an old guards’ hierarchy that was once seen as ineffective. Peace in itself has become foreign intervention prevention mechanism. If it is not achieved, politicians might be thinking, foreign powers may chip in with heavy-handedness.

Who are these foreign powers coming to discipline in a broken country if peace is not achieved: the commoners who are already dying or the leaders who are still questionably being pampered with positions in a yet to be instituted transitional government?

If the rush for peace is this immense, what was the problem in the first place? With soul searching questions like these, even selective memory serves no good.

You wonder, was the problem in the minds of the leaders or in the system they created? Was it the new order that was needed or the old order that should have been built on for peace to reign and lasted!

What about the constant rebellion that was always never punished but forever rewarded? Would it stop this time?

In answer to the last question, no, it wouldn’t stop if what is desired is not granted. Violence would continue.

That was the courageous utterance from Brigadier General, Lul Ruai Koang, who just formed his own parallel revolutionary movement to the one being led by Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon. South Sudan Revolutionary Movement/Army (SSRM/A), as he announced it in a press release attended largely by members of South Sudanese embassy in Nairobi on February 18, 2015, could be understood as an achievement of a nominal political machinations by Juba, a blow to Dr. Riek and his camp since Lul represented the White Army.

The power of the White Army was easily discernable from his cool answer to Garang John of South Sudan TV. Simply put, that according to the interview, General Lul Ruai Koang’s frontline was still Juba, the city whose power he stood protected. That was very innocent on his part.

To the SPLA/M in opposition, General Lul Ruai Koang was just a sell out. Rather than shuttling between the bush and Khartoum, Juba has now taken over the role of Khartoum with her own troops of ‘Dr. Ali Al Hags’ of peace combing the streets of Nairobi and Kampala looking for heartbroken and pocket empty warlords.

However, given there are no mechanisms in place to punish rebels involved in the killings of thousands of people when they come back, Juba will be bringing them back with nothing to offer to peace but old places of power to be occupied.

It is now unto Dr. Riek Machar to play his cards well and jump on board with G-10 and deserting generals like Lul to pre-empt peace. He is well equipped with history and temerity to know this.

Like some of the Anya Nya forces that heard about 1972 Addis Ababa Peace Agreement over the radio, the numerous South Sudanese militias that only saw CPA on TV or heard about it over the radio before rushing in for integration with South Sudanese army, it is the right time to put the cart before the horse. What is wrong with that?

Martin Garang Aher is a South Sudanese living in Australia.