Archive for: March 2015

Why South Sudanese shouldn’t trust the Obasanjo Report on South Sudan Crisis?

BY: Taban Abel Aguek, RUMBEK, MAR/30/2015, SSN;

Is it out of love or mockery that Africa appears to care too much about South Sudan? From the first day the conflict erupted in South Sudan, Africa has been suggesting possible remedies to the crisis in the country.

Apart from hosting peace talks in Addis Ababa, the African Union (AU) also promptly formed a five member commission of inquiry to “investigate the human rights violations and other abuses committed during the armed conflict in South Sudan and make recommendations on the best ways and means to ensure accountability, reconciliation and healing among all South Sudanese communities.”

The commission of inquiry is composed of prominent and respected individuals with exceptional skills and experience. The Chairperson of the Inquiry Commission is composed of former President of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo, other members include Lady Justice Sophia Akuffo who is the Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana, Prof. Mahmood Mamdani of Makerere University (Uganda), Bineta Diop who is AU Chairperson’s envoy for Women, Peace and Security, AU Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security and Prof. Pacifique Manirakiza who is a commissioner at the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights in Banjul, the Gambia.

No doubt, this is a team of well placed African leaders that equally possess huge experience and tested competence.

Now, one wonders why a series of very dirty wars were allowed to rage on in Sudan long before the separation of South Sudan the former O.A.U couldn’t take such a step. Until today, another bad war is raging on in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains and Darfur region and the AU instead of investigating crimes committed – genocide included – chooses to protect the main perpetrators of the crimes and conflicts in Sudan.

No investigative team of inquiry has been set for Sudan. And President Beshir stays insulated from the ICC by the AU. So, there are two AU’s: one that investigates crimes in South Sudan and the other one that shields Beshir from going to the court in the Hague.

But maybe for the AU loves South Sudan so much, there can be nothing else anyone can say than to appreciate such a concern.

The report of this Commission of Inquiry has not yet been made public. But there had only been a leaked report purported to have been prepared by AU. The ‘leaked’ report almost caused an outrage and misunderstanding both in the Government and the opposition camps. Not because it carried such weird and witty recommendations like the axing of both the President and the rebel leader Dr. Machar in the formation of a transitional government, but it also looks shallow, unprofessional and lacking content to match the jurisdictions and standards of a veritable inquiry.

The AU, in person of Chairperson Dr. Nkosazana Dlamina-Zuma, has already disowned the report. That has helped a bit fix the mess.

Regardless of the fact presented by the AU in delaying the report – for fear that it may obstruct peace process in Addis Ababa – the US, the EU and so many other affiliate NGOs, still call for publication of the official report.

That makes it quite perplexing how the same agencies and organizations that call for a speedy peace process also adamantly demand for the release of the AU Commission of Inquiry report when we all know that it could delay peace.

As seen in the leaked report, any document that carries coined stories and discrepancies may likely bang the door closed on the Addis Ababa talks.

The leaked report of the Commission of Inquiry, since it now lacks any official backing and rightful authenticity, can be assumed a bluff. But the question remains: can the current team of experts investigating into the country’s crisis produce an honest, credible and unbiased report? And can this commission be fair enough in their findings and recommendations?

Methinks No!

With due respect to each and every member of the Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan crisis with regards to ‘human rights violations, atrocities and so much more, not many South Sudanese believe that this commission of inquiry is one that they should trust to carefully and honestly analyze the crisis, make proper findings and suggest the right recommendations on the conflict in South Sudan.

This is not because we may suspect the competence of the team. Neither do we think they can be manipulated by some interest groups with stakes in the war in the country.

We all know who President Olusegun Obasanjo is. He is a well respected African statesman who made a name in the making of both modern and the old Nigeria. He handed over power peacefully in 1979 after he lost elections to Shehu Shagari.

In 1976, he ascended to power by the privilege of death as President Murtala Mohammed, who he deputized, died in assassination. But he could not hold onto power during the election. Nigeria, through him, saw a peaceful transfer of power.

That he handed over power peacefully made him a darling of the West, particularly the US, Germany and Britain. But just like Dr. Riek Machar he attempted coup in 1995. The coup failed and he was not as fortunate as Riek Machar who miraculously found his way out of Juba simply to embark on a rebellion in a matter of days.

Obasanjo was arrested, tried and jailed for life. The West, because they were the architects of his failed coup, pressurized for his release. Due to that pressure his sentence was reduced to 15 years.

By a complete twist of fate, he was again a beneficiary of death as his arch enemy Gen. Sani Abacha died of an illness in 1998. A year later Obasanjo contested elections and won comfortably. Like an American President who served two complete terms he led Nigeria for eight straight years.

That Obansanjo is a believer of coups is not the point of concern. Rather, the issue – and relevance to the case of South Sudan – is his concept of reforms. Nigeria, in so many aspects, does not resemble South Sudan. So, Obasnajo’s reforms for Nigeria cannot marry up with the South Sudan reforms.

Still one asks himself if everything has worked well for Nigeria. President Obasanjo’s homeland, just like South Sudan, is until today deep in crisis. It has for a long time been engaged in a series of insurgencies and is still held knee-deep in one of the worst corruption in Africa.

The Boko Haram poses a big threat to Nigeria the way Riek’s rebels are to South Sudan. That begs the question: has Obasanjo put right his home country to even dare look into issues of other countries?

There is a belief that Obasanjo holds experience and valid solutions to Africa’s problems as he is taken to be a symbol of reform and democracy. Yet, Africa has moved much more than Obasanjo. It seems Africa is still being driven by personality cult.

Much as we hail President Obasanjo’s huge experience, there is a question of his age. It is my personal feeling that Uncle Obasanjo has not very much energy left in him. The Obasanjo of 1998 cannot be the Obasanjo of 2015. He can easily be outwitted and asked to sign a blind cheque for South Sudan.

The commission of inquiry on South Sudan crisis can be manipulated under his watchful eyes by those that hold very dangerous views on South Sudan. And that might be the greatest fear of South Sudanese.

One such fear is the inclusion of Prof. Mahmood Mamdani of Uganda in the same commission of inquiry. Like Obasanjo, Prof Mahmood Mamdani possesses an intellectual power but that cannot stop us from interrogating his inclusion into this important commission. This is because Prof. Mahmood has a long held view that Dr. Riek, South Sudan’s rebel leader, is a reformist.

At the Annual Retreat of the National Resistance Army (NRM) at Kyankwanzi on February 11th, 2014, which was later published by the New Vision of Uganda on 16th Feb, 2014, Prof Mahmood Mamdani delivered a lecture on South Sudan conflict titled “No power sharing without political reform.”

In the lecture, the well endowed Professor gave his analysis on the genesis of South Sudan crisis, its ripple effects and the way forward.

In some instances he made his views clear on Riek being a reformist – how he arrived at that only God knows – but there was never clear inclination anyone would easily put him in since he appeared spread all over and pointing the issues of the ethnicity between the Dinka and the Nuer.

True to his writing, the British heightened ethnicity in South Sudan. But he equally has his own views and one dangerous thing among them is his criticism of the independence of South Sudan.

Prof. Mahmood made it clear that he was against the independence of South Sudan. He said, “The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in 2005 turned out to be a shoddy affair, rushed by those in a hurry to birth an independent South. The people of South Sudan are just beginning to pay the price for that haste.”

Poignant to the feeling of South Sudanese, Prof. Mahmood believes that South Sudan is a “child of the war on terror.” That explicitly means that South Sudan statehood was driven not from our own struggle but born out of the war on terror. There has been no abuse like this on the history of struggle of South Sudan.

In short, Prof Mahmud Mamdani is one guy that has long formed an opinion about South Sudan. He made his position clear that he is inclined to support Dr. Riek’s reforms. He continues to blame what he termed as ‘rushed’ independence of South Sudan.’

Therefore, there can be no reason he could have been appointed into the team of inquiry on the crisis of South Sudan. According to global criteria on choosing an inquiry team should not have been a member of the team of inquiry for south Sudan. It is like sending a sensitive case of a sheep to a wolf.

Looking already at the leaked ‘fake’ report of the commission of inquiry, one wonders if you don’t see the hands of Prof. Mahmud Mamdani. While Mzee Obasanjo leads by his good name, the dirt may continue to be done by the enemies of South Sudan.

Prof. Mahmud has also been fighting against the term limits of President Museveni of Uganda. His inclusion in the committee of inquiry on South Sudan crisis only helps him find another podium from which he could fight Museveni away from home.

So there goes the story of the AU Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan! South Sudanese have to waste not their time in laying hope on this commission. They should expect a bad report that is based on manipulations under the supervision of a helpless old man.

South Sudanese shall forever continue to give their respect to President Obasanjo as one of the living fathers of the modern Africa. But that people will agree with the report of an important inquiry committee may only come as a surprise.

Taban Abel Aguek is an MP in Lakes State Legislative Assembly – Rumbek. He can be reached at abelaguek79@gmail.com

29/MAR/2015

29MAR2015

An open letter to African Union: No UN Trusteeship

cc. Embassy of United States of America, Juba
cc. United Nations Mission in South Sudan.
By: Bol Madut Ayii, Juba University, MAR/29/2015, SSN;

The leaked report and proposals made by AUCISS prompted me to react and question its legality under the principle of international law, with this regards, the functions and powers of the AUCISS were not extended to call for the exclusion of the constitutionally elected president in the proposed transitional government of national unity but rather to investigate the atrocities committed during the crisis and the persons responsible.

Under the principle of international law, it is a violation of the state sovereignty and peoples’ rights to meddle into the internal affairs of sovereign state.

The proposal made by African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan (AUCISS) is beyond its mandate and therefore amounts to ultra vires.

My legal argument is based on the followings;

Part A: powers and mandate of AUCISS:
The mandate of the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan were the following:
–To investigate the human rights violations and other abuses.
–To investigate the causes underlying the violations.
–To make recommendations on the best ways and means to ensure accountability, reconciliation and healings among South Sudanese communities with view to deterring and preventing the occurrence of the violations in the future.
–To make recommendations on how to move the country forward in terms of unity, cooperation and sustainable development.

Having spelt out the mandates of African Union Commission of inquiry above, the leaked report by AUCISS which recommended the exclusion of the constitutionally elected president from the transitional government of national unity is a clear demonstration that the AUCISS acted beyond its mandate and therefore amounts to ultra vires.

What the AUCISS did to South Sudan is the same cause that led Morocco withdraw its membership from African Union and up to date, Morocco is not a member of Africa Union.

Morocco withdrew from African Union due to the following reasons:
1–The AU recognition of Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic which is a portion of Western Sahara that shows the bias of African Union.
2–The African Union is undoubtedly a corrupt and weak institution and includes countries of even worse human rights record.

Part B: UN trusteeship:
Trusteeship Council, one of the principal organs of the United Nations (UN), designed to supervise the government of trust territories and to lead them to self-government or independence. With the independence of Palau in 1994, the council suspended operations.

The Charter does not specify the actual territories to be placed under UN trusteeship. Article 77 merely states that the system shall apply to three categories:
–(1) territories still under mandate,
–(2) territories “detached from enemy states as a result of the Second World War,” and
–(3) territories voluntarily placed under the system by states responsible for their administration.

South Sudan doesn’t fall within the category of UN trusteeship, Article 76(b) of the UN Charter provides; to promote the political, economic, social, and educational advancement of the inhabitants of the trust territories, and their progressive development towards self-government or independence as may be appropriate to the particular circumstances of each territory and its peoples and the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned, and as may be provided by the terms of each trusteeship agreement; as the definition signifies, South Sudan is an independent state and has its elected government, South Sudan is not under the mandate of any colony and therefore it doesn’t fall in trust territory.

South Sudan did not declare its inability to administer and run its administration and therefore, there was no voluntary placement of UN trusteeship, lastly South Sudan gained independence as the outcome of the internationally recognized referendum and thus it was not just a detach from an enemy state.

With the above detailed conditions of placing a country under the UN trusteeship, there are no legal grounds that qualify south Sudan to be placed under the trusteeship.

Again, the Charter is equally nonspecific on designating the administrators of trust territories. It states simply that the individual trusteeship agreements shall designate the authority in each case, which may be “one or more states or the Organization itself.”

Therefore, it will give UN and its influential members such as United States of America a chance to nominate a person of their choice which might not be in the interest of the said trust country as well as international law norms.

During the World War 1, there were 11 trust territories placed under UN trusteeship, and seven countries were designated as administering authorities. These figures exclude the former German colony of South West Africa, which after World War I had been mandated to the Union of South Africa, because South Africa refused to place the territory under UN trusteeship.

Among those placed under the UN trusteeship and their administers are:-
–In East Africa: Ruanda-Urundi administered by Belgium, Somaliland by Italy, and Tanganyika by the UK;
–In West Africa: Cameroons administered by the UK, Came-roons by France, Togoland by the UK, and Togoland by France;
–In the Pacific: Nauru, administered by Australia and on behalf of New Zealand and the UK, New Guinea by Australia, Western Samoa by New Zealand, and the Pacific islands of the Marianas, Marshalls, and Carolines by the US.
–In September 1975, when New Guinea acceded to independence, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands became the only Territory on the agenda of the Trusteeship Council.

All these countries were placed under UN trusteeship because they were not independent and the objects of Article 83 of the UN charter apply to their territories.

Article 83 in its entirety doesn’t apply to south Sudan and therefore any unilateral attempt by AU and its counterpart to place south Sudan under UN trusteeship is of no legal base under the principle of customary international law.

Part C: Sanctions framework and United States of America resolution
The draft resolution of United States of America was unanimously adopted by UN Security Council without deliberations and was swiftly voted for, this makes the writers to ask the distinction between UN and US?

The interest of U.S as a member of UN is not the interest of the whole world, no doubt that U.S is the world super power but that does not imply impunity.

We are pessimistic that peace and reconciliation cannot be achieved by imposition of sanctions, moreover sanctions will hinder the search for peace and increase the suffering of the people of south Sudan, under international law, we are not aware of the country that attained peace by sanctions imposition and that sanctions are not the practical solution to south Sudan problem.

Relatedly, US as a member of UN is at a right track to raise a motion before the UNSC expressing its position and opinion about South Sudan but its opinion is not absolute rather than subject to debate on its merits.

As I have stated above that there is no difference between US and UN, the facts of violation of South Sudan Sovereignty by AU, US and UNSC is of no doubt to what US did to Nicaragua where US supported the rebellion in Nicaragua by passing the budget in the Congress to back the rebellion.

In this case, Nicaragua brought a suit in the International Court of Justice ICJ and the court found US guilty, so in relation to this there is clear evidence that US and UN are supporting the rebellion in South Sudan directly and indirectly. Example is the arrest of weapons in Lakes state Rumbek in 2014.

To find the full text of the above cited case see Nicaragua v. United States of America (1984).
Travel Ban, Paragraph 9. Of the sanctions draft resolution states; decides that. For an initial period of one year from the date of adoption.

Of this resolution, all Member States shall take the necessary measures to prevent the entry into or transit through their territories of any individuals who may be designated by the Committee, provided that nothing in this paragraph shall oblige a State to refuse its own nationals entry into its territory.

My question is, how will travel ban bring inclusive and sustainable peace in South Sudan? Of course the answer will be definitely NO because the denial of entry and transit of some individuals cannot be durable solution to South Sudan problem.

In conclusion I do hereby recommend the following:
1. AU must refrain from South Sudan internal affairs otherwise we will have no option than what Morocco did.
2. US must revive its resolutions and make sure that there is different between it (US) and UN.
3. UNSC must not sit idly waiting for US proposals to endorse without studying its effectiveness.
4. Removal of elected president through illegal means due to foreign interest will deteriorate the situation in South Sudan.

Thanks

Drawn and Filed by Law Student from University of Juba and he can be reached through the following address: Bol Madut Ayii, bolayii93@gmail.com or 0956252721

South Sudan: War without end

By Richard Dowden, Posted on March 26, 2015 by AfricanArgumentsEditor, SSN;

Last week President Salva Kiir of South Sudan rejected all the main proposals put forward by the African Union to bring peace to Africa’s newest state. Standing on the temporary podium erected for Independence Day just over three and a half years ago, he refused all attempts at compromise with Riek Machar, the former Vice President.

Standing in a black suit and cowboy hat, surrounded by praise singers, ministers, religious leaders, foreign ambassadors and school children, he read laboriously from a script. With a few thousand others I stood in the searing Sudan sun listening to his rejection of a peace deal.

No to more parliamentary seats, he said. No to more ministers. No to federation – unless the people demand it. That was, I suspect a private joke: no one is allowed to demand anything here.

There were no substantive concessions to anything that Machar, now at war with the president, is demanding. President Kiir rejected the idea of a ceremonial head of state with an executive presidency. “Riek must be number two to me,” he said. He did offer an amnesty but that they “must accept the line I give them”.

This means war.

The crowd was peppered with suited security men. Some of them stopped me and asked why I was not wearing a pass. I didn’t have one. They didn’t know what to do next so I wandered freely around the podium but as I, and two western journalists left, we were stopped and questioned. “Why are you leaving before the President finished speaking? You are insulting the President.” Of course I denied it but it would have been a perfectly sensible reaction.

What, I kept thinking, have the Southern Sudanese learnt from the rest of Africa’s post-independence mistakes over the last 50 years? How could South Sudan avoid the coups and bitter personal enmities that rivals tribalised to make war on each other?

Who was able to stop the gross theft of state funds? Why did so many African rulers live in paranoid secrecy and total security? Above all why did those rulers lack any interest in development for their own people? I had seen it in Idi Amin’s Uganda, in Moi’s Kenya, in Mobutu’s Congo, in Abacha’s Nigeria, in Houphouet-Boigny’s Cote d’Ivoire.

And here, now, in 2015, in Africa’s newest country all those criminals are being mimicked by this scarcely literate clown in a black cowboy hat.

The rival armies have already fought a few rounds. As the war develops further a few more fighters will be killed but thousands of South Sudanese, mainly women and children, will die of preventable diseases having been forced to flee from their homes. I was in South Sudan in 1991, the last time they fell out with each other. They seemed to fight with more bitterness towards each other than they fought the Khartoum government. Whole villages were sacked and burned and women and children slaughtered.

Maybe, despite being handed one of the most beautiful and potentially wealthy countries in the world, the leaders simply decided that killing, looting and raping were more rewarding than development.

There is not much to choose between the two warlords and their numerous fickle allies. Riek is admittedly a far better educated man. He holds a PhD from Bradford University in engineering and can discuss global issues with great insight and knowledge. He deploys great charm to foreigners. But he is allied to the White Army, a militia of young Nuer killers and rapists who have committed some of the worst atrocities. If the International Criminal Court had been a success, Machar would be a prime target.

Perhaps war is what they are most comfortable with. The region has been a warzone on and off for more than 1000 years. From the 10th Century, maybe longer, Arabs began to raid what is now South Sudan for slaves. In the 19th Century the British took over the region to control the Nile from the source to the sea, but their administration was more like an imperial military occupation than colonialism. There was no development for the people except what the Christian churches managed to organise. Each denomination was given an area to Christianize.

Independence came suddenly in 1956 and the south was then ruled from Khartoum. War broke out immediately but paused in 1972, which allowed 11 years of peace and a little development. That changed in 1983 when Colonel John Garang, one of the few southerners with a university education, launched the Sudan People’s Liberation Army – not to fight for independence, but to turn the whole of Sudan into a “united, democratic and secular Sudan”.

The war officially ended in a US brokered peace agreement in 2002 and South Sudan became independent with the agreement of the north nine years later. That brought another brief period of peace but also theft on a vast scale as some ministers have simply stolen the entire budgets of their departments.

In 2011 the American ambassador had some of these thefts tracked, made a list of the names and bank accounts, and handed it to the President. Nothing happened.

As Alex de Waal wrote in African Affairs in July last year: “Kiir’s strategy for managing the SPLM/A’s fractious leaders was to indulge their appetite for self-enrichment.” He argues that when the money ran out the recipients simply went back to war – it being what they were used to.

One positive thing that has emerged from this horrific tragedy is an African Union report that has been leaked. African Union reports do not normally leak and if they do, they are so anodyne and inconsequential that no one can be bothered to read them. But this report is different. It is bluntly honest, quotes ordinary South Sudanese, attributes blame to individuals – including the President – and recommends extraordinary measures.

It reveals that a South Sudan Army has never been created. It remains a collection of tribal militias amounting to officially, but improbably, 480,000 men. Each general – for which you can read ‘warlord’ – gets paid and is supposed to pay his men. Many do not. That is in part what caused the return to war.

Here are some of the gems from the report:

A quote from the street:

“They put a knife into what bound us, turned the crisis from political to ethnic.”

The population of South Sudan is 10 million people and its revenue is $5 billion. 75% of the population is illiterate. One in 50 dies at childbirth (this is the worst indicator in the world). There are a large number of returnees from Sudan. 70% of government budget goes to pay people in arms. Small arms are proliferating. Socially excluded youth have evolved into a volatile force, and a very large group of unemployed youth are ripe for manipulation.

The violence, which originated as a schism in the governing elite of South Sudan, targeted one particular ethnicity, the Nuer. Its intent and effect was to divide the civilian population along ethnic lines, to destroy the middle ground, thereby to polarize the society into ‘us’ and ‘them.’

“Every time we integrate, someone declares in Khartoum that we have a militia. We integrate them and give them a rank. Most of these militias are illiterate – led by illiterate Major-Generals. Even today, we have not integrated them. We tried to demobilize them, but that was difficult. You cannot demobilize someone who has a gun. You give him money under DDR. When the money is finished, he will go back to the bush.”

South Sudan has never had an election. Salva Kiir was elected Vice President of Sudan, but never President of a state called South Sudan.

It is wrong to think of South Sudan as a failed state – for the simple reason that South Sudan never was a state. There was no bureaucracy, no judiciary, there was nothing to fail. There were only fighting forces, most of the time fighting one another and a make believe state whose leadership was propped up and fêted by important sections of the international community. South Sudan may exist as a state on paper, but more as a juridical fiction than an institutional reality.

To think of South Sudan as a failed state is to overlook the simple fact that the very political foundation for the existence of a state – a political compact – has yet to be forged within the elite and between the communities that comprise the country.

Jok Madut Jok, a South Sudanese academic, described the looting spree during the CPA: “The period following 2005 was a period of entitlement, we are entitled to eat, we liberated this country. But…flagrant theft of public money created serious injustices.”

President Kiir publicly accused 75 top officials of being responsible for the cumulative theft of $4.5 billion. There are three main sources of corruption in South Sudan: oil money, government employment and land.

Haile Menkerios, former Special Representative of the Secretary General of the UN (SRSG) to Sudan and South Sudan, told the Commission: “Oil revenue for Sudan as a whole was $50-60 billion from 2005 of which 50% came to South Sudan. There is nothing to show for it.”

He said oil is sold in two ways, in the open market and in the spot market: “None of the spot market money got into the bank. It is divided between individuals.” (Definition: Spot market is where the oil is sold for cash and delivered immediately. Contracts bought and sold on these markets are immediately effective. The spot market is also called the “cash market” or “physical market”, because prices are settled in cash on the spot at current market prices, as opposed to forward prices. Also, Crude oil is an example of a future that is sold at spot prices but its physical delivery occurs in one month or less—Investopedia, from Editor)

“International donors,” wrote Peter Ajak, the presidential advisor, “deployed legions of foreign technical assistants who, eager to showcase immediate results, ended up doing everything themselves, transferring little know-how to South Sudanese civil servants.”

The prime targets of large scale land acquisition, what has come to be called ‘land-grabbing’, are the areas of peasant cultivation in the south of the country, mainly Equatoria. The editor of Juba Monitor told the Commission: “Equatorians are very unhappy. Their major grievance arises from land grabbing. A lot of land around the President’s house was taken with no compensation.”

Elite reconciliation has evaded South Sudan for decades. The only program around in which different factions managed to come together was the campaign for independence. Since independence, the South Sudan political class has lacked a project around which to coalesce.

The responsibility for this falls squarely on the shoulders of those who designed and steered the six year transition period ushered in by the CPA. By focusing on Sudan to the north as the enemy to be confronted the CPA lost an opportunity both to confront its past failure at reconciliation and forge a national project around which the South Sudan political elite could unite.

The split in the SPLA in 1991 was never resolved – it was simply deferred. The accommodation that was made at Wunlit in 1999 was pragmatic, not principled. Former President Thabo Mbeki recalled 1991 as a recurring theme in his discussions with President Kiir: “Salva told us: Riek killed a lot of Dinka, and we will not give him the opportunity to do so again. Rebecca (Garang) said we agree with Machar that Salva must go but I will never allow Riek to be President – never a fellow who did that.”

Hilde Johnson, UN Representative, “This crisis is beyond anything we have seen in scale, magnitude and depth. A quick fix power-sharing agreement will not work – problems of the country and leadership are too deep.” She repeated, for emphasis: “We need to re-boot South Sudan – no quick fix, no deal, will do it.”

The ambassadors of the Troika (the U.S., U.K. and Norway) agreed that President Kiir should step down and, indeed, both Kiir and Machar should both step aside.

The British envoy: “Dinka without Kiir will not settle; Nuer without Machar will not settle; and yet, the two will not work together.” The US envoy said “there is so much hatred they can’t move forward even with both of them there.”

The Norwegian envoy concurred: “There is no reflection yet on why things went wrong.”

Commission therefore recommends a transitional period with three distinctive features:
–(a) a High Level Oversight panel to guide the period of transition;
–(b) a transitional government that excludes those politically accountable for the crisis; and –(c) a transitional program that address the question of justice in different forms.

Richard Dowden is Director of the Royal African Society.

BeForwardJapan Ad-SouthSudanNation

South Sudan a country for Dinka only, Bona Malwal tells Dinka in USA

BY JUSTIN S. KWAJE, MAR/25/2015, SSN;

Bona Malwal, once a long-time antagonist of the late Dr John Garang De Mabior and the anti- separatist of South Sudan, emerged from his hiding place in Sudan only to come to the USA purportedly having been sent by President Salva Kiir with messages of hate against the Nuer people and South Sudanese in general.

During his visit to Kansas City, Kansas, USA, on Saturday March 21, 2015, Mr. Malwal, who’s a member of the secretive Jieng Council of Elders which in effect acts as a tribal advisory council to President Kiir, said the government of South Sudan dispatched him with solid missions: to meet and brief the Dinka community in the USA about the success of the Kiir government in holding the Nuer at bay and about the imminent defeat of the so-called Nuer Rebellion, invoke the diaspora Dinka support and rally the American law makers and her people to support the Kiir’s government and stand against the UN proposed sanctions.

Accompanied by some dignitaries from the South Sudanese embassy in Washington, DC, upon taking the stage but before commencing his speech, Mr. Bona Malwal, whose briefing carried hate messages against the Nuer people and the other 62 tribes of south Sudan, asked the attendees whether there were people in the audience who did not speak Dinka.

However, since no one raised up their hands, and therefore assuming that all in the conference room were Dinkas, he, Bona Malwal proceeded with the briefing in Dinka language not knowing there were some non-Dinkas in the audience who spoke the language fluently.

Mr. Bona Malwal said South Sudan existed thanks to the Dinka and therefore belongs to the Dinka people, and the Dinka have earned it and are where they are now above all others in South Sudan.

Bona Malwal stated they, the Dinka, are justified and deserved to be honored and respected for the hard-earned independence of south Sudan, but the Nuer are destroying this hard earned right, which was achieved by the blood of Dinka.

He said the Nuer had come to USA in the early 1990s but they had neither political weight nor influence in the USA Congress and they therefore contributed nothing to liberate the people of south Sudan.

In comparison, he said, the Dinka in USA at large arrived in the 2000’s and it was their influence that lead to the American support for the Independence of South Sudan.

Stating the Dinka at home bled while those in America used their intelligence to rally the American congress for which we now have an independent South Sudan.

This was earned by Dinka thus the republic of South Sudan belongs to the Dinka and they must not allow the Nuer to ruin and steal the hearts of the American Congress and the American people so that the hard earned country achieved by the blood of Dinka isn’t robbed from the them, Dinka, by the proposed sanctions drafted by the USA, which in his view will weaken the Kiir government for the benefit of the Nuer.

Concluding, Bona Malwal says he sees a real and tangible danger in these sanctions if it were to go through, thus this is the significance of his trip to America.

Bona Malwal said Dinka in America must do all within their power to lobby the American congress and to influence the White House so as to withhold the awaited UN Security Council sanctions on the warring parties in South Sudan.

He feared this will largely affect what he called their government. Bona Malwal acknowledged to the audience that he was dispatched by the government of South Sudan with enough resources to lobby the congress and dispatch members of the Dinka community to begin distributing the copies of the letter he himself brought from Juba, drafted by him, approved by President Kiir and the Council of Jieng Elders.

He stated this letter must be in the hands of the American law makers by March 28, 2015.

He added that the main objective of his visit in addition is to enlighten and educate the intelligentsia, specially from his Dinka community and to solidify what he referred to as “our government” position.

He urged the young people from his Dinka ethnic group not to give any inch to the Nuer both in the war frontline and in the political front, especially in the USA.

He claimed the latter should be easy as the Nuer are not as sophisticated and educated as his Dinka tribesmen.

Mr. Malwal swore the Nuer shall never ascend to nor assume power in South Sudan because when it comes to population the ratio is 1 Nuer to 5 Dinka. Thus he urges the Audience not to allow their country be taken away by Nuer who are the spoilers in South Sudan.

That the real danger to their ownership of South Sudan is the Nuer, adding the other tribes are no match for the Dinkas and remain no factor in the current conflict.

This vitriolic rhetoric is not surprising given that Mr. Bona Malwal is the architect of the Dinka superiority policy and the ideology of the born to rule.

Bona Malwal, who is fighting for his own political survival, attempting to gain favors from Kiir and Jieng council of elders, should not be allowed to intimidate the nation of south Sudan and drive wedges among tribal lines thus hindering peace.

The Nation should not stand in silence.

First of all who is Bona, all South Sudanese know his wretched ambition led him to attempt make a political coup against the founding leader of SPLA, Dr. John Garang.

Therefore becoming irrelevant since the CPA and going into hiding and silence as if he was dead only to resurrect this time to come to USA with dirty ambition to influence Dinka people who have peacefully coexisted with the Neur in the USA.

Mr. Bona Malwal encouraged his fellow Dinka in USA to rise against the Nuer community in America, mobilize human resources more so than money and to deny the Nuer the right to exist in South Sudan, because the Nuer did not deserve to enjoy the privileges of the new nation.

Bona Malwal urged all the able-bodies Dinka youth in America to go home so as to defend the territories of what belongs to them and never allow the Dinka-led government to be driven away by the Nuer and the other minority tribes of Equatoria.

He Bona said the Dinka in America are like the Jewish people scattered all over the world, and he encouraged them to fight the Nuer, that anyone who returns will be rewarded with job offers especially as the President Kiir has planned a full reshuffle of his government to remove some non-Dinka in directorship, and ministerial positions to make room for the Dinka in diaspora who hold valuable Diplomas from American Universities but more so those who distinguish themselves in advocacy for the current government.

It is very clear that this speech in Kansas City, Kansas, USA by Bona Malwal is in direct opposition to the American values and positions and her proposed sanctions that is purported to target those who stifle and promote antagonism and are pro conflict.

The question is: Given Bona’s history of being the father of Dinka Superiority thus in essence the father of this civil war, how did the American embassy not know and why give a Visa to such known war monger and divisive figure to reach the American soil?

If this highly educated person is talking this way, is it any wonder then that peace could not find its way in South Sudan?

Indeed, the American government and her congress must not allow itself be duped by such a pro-war politician, the likes of Bona Malwal and must be denounced and banned from America.

Justin S. Kwaje

IGAD Mediation Model is flawed: It’s time for African Union (AU) or AU/UN Hybrid Mediation to take over South Sudan Peace Process

By: Oyhath Aromi, MAR/25/2015, SSN;

Enough is enough. The South Sudanese President Kiir Mayardit and his former Vice President Dr Riek Machar were given ample opportunity by Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) mediators to negotiate and arrive at a compromise to bring peace to the war-battered country, but they failed that opportunity time and again – it is as if these leaders learned nothing from the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which was by and large a compromise deal that in 2005 brought an end to over 20 years of war between the SPLM/A and Sudan government.

IGAD mediators afforded President Kiir and SPLM-IO leader Machar every chance, including to go it face to face, yet each time they failed to agree on almost everything.

Even as IGAD walked an extra mile in order to give the warring parties extra time to find a solution, even as the mediators granted the 2 principal negotiating sides their wish to exclude other South Sudanese stakeholders, like civil society organizations and political parties, from taking part in the peace talks, they are still nowhere near a compromise way forward.

The question is for how long this unproductive stalemate is supposed to continue? Don’t these leaders realize the magnitude of trauma, destruction and desperation this crisis has inflicted on South Sudan? Don’t the leaders feel the urgent need to bring an end to this war?

As prospects for a peaceful settlement to this crisis under IGAD mediation appears painstakingly remote, it is time to try an alternative approach.

My contention here is that IGAD mediation has failed to get the warring South Sudanese parties to find a stop to this unnecessary war and that this failure has to do less with interests of some IGAD members in South Sudan and more to do with a fundamental flaw in the IGAD mediation model itself.

IGAD, as a mediation model, has failed miserably not only in its on-going efforts to bridge the gap between the South Sudanese government and the SPLM-IO forces led by Dr Riek Machar but also in its earlier attempts at CPA negotiations.

I know some people will find this view a bit controversial, but the truth remains that the CPA could never have come to light had it not been sustained, determined US pressure which in the late phase of CPA talks literally forced the SPLM/SPLA leader, late Dr John Garang, to stay stationed in Kenya while his counterpart, Vice President El-Uztaz Ali Tah shuttled back and forth between Kenya and Khartoum to obtain further authorization from President Bashier.

Do I still remember those days? Yes I do, although I was obviously nowhere close to those negotiations. So, let us refrain from pretending that IGAD mediation was a success story at CPA negotiations and want now to replicate that experience this time around.

It was not and, again, my point here is that there is something fundamentally wrong with IGAD as a mediation model.

The theory that a crisis somewhere in East, West, North or South Africa is somehow best mediated by a group of countries in that region of Africa needs to be revisited, for it has so far produced mixed results at best.

It might have been fruitful in a few cases, as in the case of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in West African region, but it has certainly not been met with success in the case of IGAD, as explained above.

There is, therefore, a danger that a region-based model of conflict mediation (at least in the African context), like the IGAD mediation model, is piecemeal, patchy, inconsistent and inherently prone to bias, not least because of obvious interests of the group of regional countries involved.

The European Union, for example, does not employ such an approach in mediating conflicts arising within the European Union or even in crises in non-EU countries within Europe. The EU is always represented as a block.

In 2000, for example, the EU moved swiftly to save former Yugoslav Republic of Serbia & Montenegro from collapsing into chaos following violent demonstrations that erupted as a result of dispute over alleged elections fraud between supporters of former President Milosevic and his political opponents.

I don’t know why a failed regional conflict mediation model such as IGAD is being insisted upon by the Troika (Norway, United Kingdom and United States). Perhaps it is an experiment being tested in Africa? Or simply a manifestation of mediation fatigue on the part of the Troika stemming from their involvement in mediation efforts in an increasing number of hot spots in other volatile parts of the world!!!

I don’t subscribe, though, to the notion that the Troika (or IGAD) is to blame for helping establish “a politically unchallenged armed power in South Sudan”, as stated in the leaked draft report of the AU’s Commission of Inquiry.

Actually, all the Troika did was help South Sudanese get what they always wanted since the start of their first liberation struggle in 1955 –independence from Sudan –through their (Troika) help in making the CPA a reality.

South Sudan is not the first country in the world to attain independence and the Troika was not supposed to baby-sit the new nation. Therefore blaming the Troika for a catastrophe created by the SPLM, and the SPLM alone, is absurd, scapegoating and utterly pointless.

The AU should instead reevaluate the IGAD mediation model and embrace a more credible mediation strategy to help find a solution to South Sudanese war.

In the search to find a practical solution to this war, the most effective mediation model seems to me to be the AU or an AU/UN hybrid arrangement now stepping in. After all, AU/UN hybrid conflict mediation is not a new concept, as it has, indeed, already been in operation in Darfur (a region of Sudan just next to South Sudan), albeit in a human rights monitoring role.

To help South Sudanese people regain trust in themselves as a nation, if this alternative model succeeds, an AU/UN hybrid mission should lead a transitional government of national unity in South Sudan, as already suggested in the leaked draft AU’s Commission of Inquiry’s Report.

In short, an AU/UN–led transitional government will, among other desirable things:
o Stop land grabbing, a time bomb capable in its own right to send South Sudan into chaos.
o Combat corruption and theft of public monies, thereby saving much-needed resources to rebuild South Sudan.
o Give South Sudanese a break in terms of security, stability and real peace and allow return of internally displaced persons and refugees to their areas and villages.
o Neutralize tribal agenda which, by the way, is the centerpiece and the real monster behind this whole thing.
o Build the foundation and set example for a sound, transparent public service and create the right environment for a leveled playing field for a vibrant private sector in the young nation.
o Transform the current suffocating political and security climate inside South Sudan to a positive hope for an inclusive future for all South Sudanese communities.
o Pave the way for establishment of a people-centered representative governance system that will realize the principle of government of the people by the people for the people.

The AU/UN-led transitional government should make it one of its core objectives to help South Sudanese vote on such a governance system which they will follow to govern themselves at the end of the transitional period.

There is a danger, despite good intentions of the AU, UN and the Troika, of South Sudan sliding back to square one if such a system is not defined before the end of the AU/UN-led transitional period.

Of course, in every conflict, such as the present South Sudanese crisis, there are the culprits.

In the interest of healing, reconciliation and unity of South Sudanese and to send a powerful message to everyone that the prevailing culture of impunity cannot and will not be tolerated, anyone found to have been responsible for the killings of innocent civilians and violations of other human rights should be made accountable for their crimes, regardless of which side of the fence they stood during this war.

Justifying the Fallacy of Bashing Both Sides in South Sudan Conflicts

By James Okuk, PhD, JUBA, MAR/24/2015, SSN;

As long as both the SPLM-IO and the GRSS continue to use violence means for securing their political interests, facts and fictions will always get mixed to produce propaganda fallacies in attempts to justify one’s evil actions. The article of Stephen Par Kuol is not absolved from such one-sided bias. It is his right to be biased for the interest of the SPLM/A-IO, but he doesn’t have a right to force it on our throats without a response.

Mr. Stephen has already damaged his credibility when he lied that he was an eye witness of ‘genocide’ in Juba while he lived in comfort in New Sudan Palace Hotel and was driven on a standard car to Juba Airport for flight check-in to Nairobi as the city was under threat of rebel attacks.

Even myself who lived in 107, dodged some bullets to escape death narrowly on 16 December 2013, swallowed the bitterness of my house being attacked and looted badly with damages, and communicated with some of my neighbors who managed to reach UNMISS camp alive, cannot temper with my credibility to lie with a conclusion that ‘genocide’ took place in Juba.

Yes, some targeted killings took place but not ‘genocide’ as the SPLM-IO propaganda machine used to lie to the international community.

Also not all those who were killed in Juba during the outburst of the crisis hailed from one ethnic group. Other ethnic groups were affected too, including some foreigners.

If 20,000 members of one ethnic group were killed in Juba on 15, 16, 17 and 18 December 2013, then who would have been left among them in 107, Kor William, Gudele and Jebel to run for a dear life and take refuge in UNMISS camps?

Even those who took refuge in UNMISS camps were not all from one ethnic group. That was why you could see signposts in UNMISS camps pointing to one ethnic group on one side and other ethnic groups on the other side.

Armed Forces Status Issue: The amalgamation proposal is a recipe for another future eruption of senseless violence. The case of the CPA’s model of the Joint and Integrated Units (JIUs) is still fresh in our memories where the two armed forces clashed thrice in Malakal, for example. Thus, neither integration nor amalgamation of the armed forces of the two warring parties will work as long as there is no trust and good faith between them.

Also the proposal of proportional representation of the 64 tribes in the national armed forces will not set a good precedent for a one nation-building because it will, instead, entrench tribalism as criteria for tackling national issues of South Sudan.

Hence, it could be safer if the 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement model is adopted for tacking the issue of armed forces of the warring parties. Thank God that veteran Gen. Joseph Lagu is still alive and kicking for consultancy on this matter.

Public Disclosure of Debts: If the SPLM/A-IO has already given a verdict that the debts of President Kiir’s Government are illegal then why should it be disclosed at will?

Why should Dr. Riek’s Resistance Movement negotiate with a kleptocrat and an illegal president if at all there is honesty in what the SPLM/A-IO posits? They should not stick to overthrowing him via violence means if they thought it was an easy matter to usurp power that way?

But is the SPLM/A-IO legal itself to demand for legality of another? It should be the citizens who have not taken arms against the state to demand such disclosers of government debts; not outlaws rebels.

Also the law-abiding citizens of South Sudan will not bother themselves asking for disclosure of debts of rebellions because rebels are never accountable to the citizens; only the legitimate government.

The Coup or No-Coup Narratives: This has not been falsified yet because no court verdict has taken place so far. The case has been stayed only until further notice.

But how do you call shootings in an army barrack which make politicians escape from their homes and declare rebellion resistance movement against the government within a very short period?

If it is running for dear lives why not run to non-violence asylum in another country rather than to violence rebellion in the bushes? Remember that a victim cannot resist, hence, no rebel can be regarded as a victim in the current crisis of SPLM failed leadership in South Sudan.

That is why the Intra-SPLM Arusha Reunification Agreement forced all the so-called SPLM leaders to apologize to the people of South Sudan and be ready to answer any proven war crimes against humanity. Victims don’t apologize.

Peace Talks in Bad Faith: In Pagak consultative conference, the SPLA-IO generals told Taban Deng Gai to carry on with peace negotiations in Addis but they will continue to conduct the violent approach on the ground with Paul Malong until President Kiir is gone for good.

Where is the good faith to demonstrate from the SPLM-A-IO even if the GRSS failed to bring peace out from around the corner of Makuei Lueth?

Hence, comes double standards of contradiction of mixture of both dialogue and violence at the same time but with the result of collapse of negotiations and continuation of warfare. This makes the region and the world skeptical about seriousness of the warring leaders of South Sudan in bringing good news to their people.

Thus, an agreement could possibly be forced on their throats by/before July 2015 as their hands are held on pens to sign it unwillingly with international guarantees for its implementation.

Diplomacy is an anti-thesis to Militancy: Diplomatic language is a language of nice and flattering expressions in order to cool the environment for tackling hot issues and gain something out of the deal at the end of the day.

The diplomacy of blaming and condemning both the warring sides is a correct one as long as the SPLM/A-IO and GRSS senseless war continues. This language may only change if the principals agree or are forced to end the war by any means.

So, it would be better for Stephen Par Kuol to keep his appeal to the regional and international community to himself because they are doing what diplomacy is supposed to do when there is no will for peace from the warmongers.

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Dr. James Okuk is lecturer and public analyst in the area of politics. He lives in Juba and can be reached at okukjimy@hotmail.com

Juba SPLM-dominated Parliament extends Kiir’s term to 2018

Different sources: MAR/24/2015, SSN;

South Sudan’s parliament, predominated by the Kiir’s own SPLM in Juba voted Tuesday to extend President Salva Kiir’s mandate by three years, from 9 July 2015 to 9 July 2018, an official said, formally ditching any plans for elections to be held this year in the country.

The parliament also extended its own term as well as that of all the states’ legislatures by three years.

270 members of parliament attended the sitting, with 264 voting in favor of the bill and 6 against, according to an unofficial tally.

The passing of the amended bill came after five hours of debate by the parliamentarians.

“The Transitional Constitution 2011 Amendment Bill of 2015 has been passed unanimously by more than two thirds majority,” said the parliamentary speaker Manasseh Magok Rundial after the vote.

Magok said the Parliament acted in accordance with the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan to amend Articles 66 and 164 to extend the president’s and legislature’s terms.

The move has been seen as going against peace efforts by regional mediators, who have been pushing President Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar to share power in a transitional government, although officials insist Kiir is seeking to avoid a power vacuum following the collapse of peace talks.

“The tenure of the office is extended by 36 months,” said parliament official Thomas Wani Kundu, adding that the government’s proposal to extend its mandate “was passed overwhelmingly”.

Elections in the bitterly divided nation had been due before July 9 — the end of the parliament and president’s mandate under a provisional constitution — but they were opposed by international donors and civil society groups who say any vote held in the midst of civil war would be a sham.

Talks between President Kiir and Dr Machar, which have been hosted by neighbouring Ethiopia, collapsed earlier this month after the two sides failed to agree on a proposal that would see them share power again.

Barbed wire

Both sides have since signaled their intention to fight on. Mr Kundu, however, said the extension of President Kiir’s mandate was designed to give the government time to reach a peace deal.

“All these amendments were initiated by the President in order to give peace a chance. These (extra) three years are in order to give us a chance to get prepared… so we can conduct free and fair elections,” he said.

Dengtiel Kuur, chairperson of the legal affairs committee, said the country is passing through a civil war which may make it impractical to conduct elections with a peaceful transfer of power in accordance with the schedules and timelines provided by the constitution.

Dengtiel said the president and the legislature are empowered by Article 100 Subarticle 2 of the constitution to introduce and enact amendments to the constitution.

Article 202 was also amended to extend the mandate and tenure of the constitutional review commission to 31 December 2018.

Fighting broke out in December 2013 when President Kiir accused Dr Machar of attempting a coup, setting off a cycle of retaliatory killings across the country.

Over half the country’s 12 million people need aid, according to the UN, which is also sheltering some 100,000 civilians trapped inside camps ringed with barbed wire, too terrified to venture out for fear of being killed.

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The Fallacies of Bashing Both Sides in South Sudan Conflict

By: Stephen Par Kuol, MAR/23/2015, SSN;

The diplomacy of war and peace making on the prevailing crisis in South Sudan has ushered in a querulous language that tends to blame both sides of the armed conflict for every thing on equal measure. It is a fallacious rhetoric that defies the logic of cause and effect.

Evidently, it has it that nobody is at the receiving end of this crisis. It lyrically goes: Both sides are dishonouring Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (COH), both sides are frustrating the mediators by not negotiating in good faith, both sides are responsible for the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the country, e.t.c.

For lack of words, we have called it “both sides narrative.” It is a long thread of diplomatic literature loaded with prejudice and intentional ignorance. Subsequently, the records are misinformed beyond rebuttal.

Even worse, Makuei Lueth’s SSTV has done some permanent damage on the psyche of its captive national audience who must be told exactly what Kiir’s fascist regime needs them to hear. Like in Joseph Geobel’s culture of anti-Semitic Propaganda, in Makuei Lueth’s culture of demagogic propaganda, a lie repeated so many times can be accepted to be the truth.

It is a fallacious communication in which, the three “f “words: facts, fictions, and fallacies are woven to mean the same thing (political lies).

One blatant fallacy Juba is apparently getting away with, for instance, is the distortion that the opposition is demanding two armies for the same country. This must be exposed as a malicious misrepresentation of our position on security arrangement calling for “a gradual and systematic amalgamation” of the two armies to create a new national army with true national character before the end of the transitional period.

The opposition also presented the crisis as an opportunity to recruit from the under-represented communities and regions into the inherently Jieng and Naath dominated army.

This is timely and critical, not only to end the cycle of political violence that tends to take on ethnic lines, but also to establish a new professional national army that reflects all the faces of South Sudan as an ethnically diverse nation.

In demographic term, this means proportional representation of all our 64 ethnic groups in the new national army.

Our position also calls for demobilization of all irregular armed groups including our Civil Defence Force (White Army), Mathiang-Anyor, Dotku Beny or any other active community based armed groups throughout the country.

Another fallacious fiction is the narrative that the opposition demanded payment of war debts it has incurred since it took arms in December 2013.

To the contrary, what we have demanded and are still demanding is the public disclosure of all the illegal debts Kiir’s Kleptocracy has been incurring in the name of the sovereign people of South Sudan (sovereign guarantees).

That we see as our rights as citizens of South Sudan who will inherent those debts by virtue of being citizens under the international law of agency. We have also presented wealth sharing between states and the centre in a decentralized federal system.

Speaking from ten years experience we believe that our proposal is beneficial to all our people in the states as the later has always been taking a lion share of the national budget (90%). This does not mean wealth sharing between the two waring parties as has been fallaciously presented in Juba’s media.

This is another bizarre mis-representation of the facts and issues presented in written public documents.

This fallacious propaganda cannot be allowed to go on without rebuttal. The facts must be filtered from fictions and fallacies to get into the crux of the issues at hand. In order to resolve this conflict, a new tone of communication must be created.

The diplomatic community and the global media must scientifically put the accurate weight of responsibility on a balanced scale. It is imperative that each party is squarely held responsible for what it does or does not do in this blame game without rules.

In another word, there is a critical need to put blame where it is due and credit where it is long over due. Flatteries and diplomatic niceties do not resolve conflicts.

A crisis of this magnitude in South Sudan needs aggressive and preventive diplomacy that must start with fundamental questions to address the root causes of the conflict as follows: what triggered the crisis in the first place, who did what then and who is doing what now!!

Unlike in December 2013 when Juba managed to mislead the world with the devilish gimmickry they called coup attempt, time has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Kiir himself manufactured the ongoing crisis as a ploy to extend life span of his fascist regime.

That exploded in his face when his own institutions including the court and the military intelligence dismissed the coup narrative he is still chasing like a wind. Events since then have proven that it is the same tyrant regime that cooked the crisis, which is now violating all the agreements it signed with opposition since January 2014.

The UN and the international humanitarian community in South Sudan have also witnessed that it is Kiir’s regime that has been hampering humanitarian operations by harassing United Nations Mission and murdering aid workers in Greater Upper Nile.

With Yoweri Museveni behind him and appeasement from the region and beyond, Kiir has been overtly violating all the agreements including the COH. Militarily, the two fascist regimes of Kiir and Museveni’, their allied Sudanese terrorist groups and other foreign mercenaries have been on the offensive gaining more territories to dictate the terms of negotiation on the table until today.

On the diplomatic front, Kiir’s regime has been using the dialogue as a public relations exercise. They were always in Addis-Ababa to buy time as they continued to toil for military solution.

In what looked like a monologue with the deaf, they proposed that it is the opposition as the aggrieved party to make presentations and the government reacts to those presentations. This non-dialogical approach was designed to waste time and frustrate the whole process.

We welcomed that in good faith and proceeded as agreed upon. From the political framework to rainbow document, the opposition made elaborate presentations on all the areas of needed reforms in Kiir’s dysfunctional system.

On structural and institutional reforms, we made the case for the need to overhaul the current civil service and the public security sector, which are currently dominated by Kiir’s clan.

At the constitutional level, we exposed the decay of the regime by pointing out that the two branches of Kiir’s government (judiciary and executive) have been made the dockets of Kiir’s home state.

To entrench and institutionalize their kleptocracy, they have also taken the docket of treasury (both Finance and Central Bank).

For those who know the truth, this depicts Kiir’s clannish oligarchy as a criminal establishment that must be dismantled to form an inclusive national government.

On governance and system of government, we made the case for amendment of the existing one-man’s constitution to implement full-fledged federal system. In response, Kiir’s delegation acknowledged that federalism is historical and a political demand of the people of South Sudan but maintained without elaboration that the time to address it is not now.

On demobilization of irregular forces and formation of a new army, they have maintained that their political status as a legitimate government grants them the right to recruit from their ethnic states of Warap and Northern Bar-Elghazal.

In sum, the opposition forces and other stake holders made the case for institutional reforms, democratic transformation, peace, reconciliation and accountability for war crimes committed by both sides of the armed conflict.

Kiir’s delegation dismissed all the grievances and made it a point that they will not allow any thing that tempers with the status quo. To them, meaningful power sharing with other parties for a democratic transition leading to free and fair election means regime change and ouster of Salva Kiir.

That is very clear from their English, which is heavily loaded with legitimacy and the sovereignty of South Sudan. From what we have heard so far, Kiir and company have arrogated the sovereignty of South Sudan to themselves as their sole possession.

According to them, legitimacy and sovereignty give them all the rights including the right to amend the existing transitional constitution to indefinitely cling on to that dictatorial power.

It goes without informing the people of South Sudan, the region, Africa and the world that the same rule of guns attitude that Kiir and his cronies used to obstruct the democratic process and commit mass homicide, has not been deterred.

They took it to the peace table in Ethiopia, not only once, but several times during the course of the IGAD mediated peace talks. That attitude was well represented on the table by Kiir’s cheeky team of negotiators.

We the opposition and the IGAD envoys have been through the thick and thin of that since January 2014. We had always been there to take the pain of Nhial Deng’s eloquent blusters, Makuei Lueth’s sarcastic outbursts and Kok Ruei’s thunderous tantrums!

The truth must be told that Kiir’s delegation had never gone to Addis-Ababa in genuine search for peace. Counting on military victory in the field, they had only two things to offer on the table: permanent ceasefire and re-integration of opposition forces into their tribal army ( Mathiang Anyor) within three months.

Any thing else is deferred to what they called National Dialogue in Juba.

They also challenged the opposition to represent only those areas under their military control. The Mediation and all the stakeholders present heard that loud and clear as a negotiation of the victors versus the vanquished. The rest are contemptuous gestures against the opposition parties (whether armed or not), civil society organizations and the clergy.

It is a militaristic attitude that tends to push all to protracted armed struggle. Otherwise, one can conclude with ease that Kiir and the company have lost the political debate. The only song they can sing with rhyming lyrics is the Legitimacy.

What they are deliberately ignoring though is the cold truth that the clock is ticking toward the end of their bogus legitimacy. It is time for Kiir and the sycophantic group surrounding to understand that the etiological meaning of the Greek word “tyranny” means illegitimate rule!

In Dr. Richard Mula’s recent articulation at the talks in Addis-Ababa, “Kiir’s legitimacy has been eroded by his own despotic behavior that has plunged the country into this mess.”

Secretary Kerry of United States also put it correctly that “Legitimacy is not a presumed right of Kiir’s government”. True, it is the people who confer legitimacy and it is never a divine entitlement.

It follows that the same people who conferred it can revoke it at any given time. The conventional practice teaches that it is not the election that sustains legitimacy but how the elected political leader in question governs the country.

In any case, this destructive war of shame must be ended sooner than later. But this needs courageous leadership from both sides. Dr. Luka Biong of Juba University has said it all in his recent article that, “the Chairman of the SPLM and the President of the Republic has a moral and national responsibility to provide leadership toward national consensus to resolve this crisis”.

Other parties and stakeholders including civil society and the clergy have the same responsibility to bring peace but the reality on the ground in South Sudan is that Salva Kiir wields the most omnipotent power to bring it by a stroke of a pen.

Kiir in his diatribe blamed Dr. Riek Machar for everything but the world should have known by now that Dr. Riek Machar has lost it all since July 2013. To add insult to the wound, members of his community were callously butchered in Juba. The survivors of that genocide are now subjected to protracted suffering in UN camps throughout the country. He had to escape for his own life in what turned out to be a fabricated coup.

Putting the credit where it is due, he has courageously managed to turn all that humiliation and mass anger into a national resistance movement calling for institutional reforms, peace with justice, democracy, reconciliation and national healing.

He does not have any thing else to offer, but he is ready to do every thing including swallowing his pride to work with Salva Kiir again to stop the bloodletting. He has been in Ethiopia now for the last one year to achieve just that.

Hence, the ball is on Salva Kiir’s court. The word though is that the time for presidential amnesties, re-integration, cosmetic deals and political accommodations is over.

The prevailing crisis in South Sudan needs comprehensive political and security arrangements to get our people out of this slippery pool of blood.