Archive for: March 2015

The Problem with Salva and his Unreasonable Cronies

By: Riang Yer Zuor Nyak, MAR/23/2015, SSN;

It has been reported by many media outlets that Salva Kiir and his group had a public rally in Juba on the 18th of March 2015. It is reported that the purpose of the rally was for the president to inform the public of why he had returned to Juba without a peace agreement signed. The contents of his long speech, plus other shorter ones made by his entourage, have been reported by many of these media outlets. They are more or less similar, which makes one to begin to believe that the contents are authentic. If this is the case, then let’s take a look at parts of the speech.

Salva’s Speech
Salva spoke on a number of issues. Nevertheless, he never had the intention of addressing them to display what had really transpired at Addis Ababa talks. Instead, he used them to twist the truth to achieve a goal that is as murky as his ideas in resolving the war. Below are some of the excerpts, not in any particular order.

On Two Equal Presidents
In his speech, Salva blamed the failure to reach peace on the issue of positions. He stated: “We could not reach peace because of positions. Riek wants to be equal with me and recognized as head of state. There is no country where there are two presidents”.

Throughout the whole period of the last talks, it has never been the case that there should be two presidents. The SPLM/A has never come up with such a proposal; the government delegation has never made such a proposal; nor has IGAD or any other party proposed the possibility of two presidents. Where did Salva bring such a position from as one of the causes for the failure to reach peace? He must have been thinking that ordinary South Sudanese were not able to closely follow the progress of the talks, and that they could take any statement from Salva at face value.

On Shifting from the Position of a Prime Minister to that of a 1st Vice President
“We could not agree on the structure of government since August last year. We said Riek would be number 3 in the hierarchy but he refused and said he wants to be executive Prime Minister. We accepted but I said there should be 3 deputies…Riek again left the first idea of Prime Minister and demanded to become a first Vice President…Riek always want to be number two to me so that when I go outside the country he remains acting.”

Before August of last year, the issue of a position of a prime minister was never on the table. There was only the issue of the president. The question that the Parties were dealing with was who that president should be. Should it be Salva? Should Salva leave the government, as he was responsible for the genocide committed in Juba in December, and allow Dr. Riek to reunite the country that Salva had disunited?

The idea of the prime minister was introduced in August by the IGAD as a middle ground. Their idea was for Salva to continue as president and SPLM/A to nominate the occupant of the office of the prime minister. In their minds, Dr. Riek was not even the envisioned prime minister. He was to wait outside the Transitional Government of National Unity so that he could run for the highest office in the land at the end of the transition.

In the name of peace, the SPLM/A made a concession by dropping its previous position that Salva should step down as president. Instead, the IGAD proposal was accepted with the counter-proposal that the prime minister be executive, and that the two Principles (president and prime minister) should work together without deputies. The idea was that the two needed to work together as the ones solely given the responsibility for the smooth implementation of the peace agreement. This was to eliminate excuses later that ‘we failed to implement this or that because of so and so who did not do his work’. The government and IGAD refused such a counter-proposal.

The idea to drop the creation of the office of the prime minister and replace it with the office of the 1st Vice President also came from the IGAD. Both the SPLM/A and the government were surprised at the February 1st Summit with the proposal. IGAD failed to explain why it suddenly changed its previous position on the president-prime minister arrangement. People were only forced to speculate as to the reason why the change came about. There are those who think that the change came about due to the SPLM/A demand that the prime minister should be executive, and the IGAD does not want that to be the case. There are also those who think that the idea to remove deputies, including the vice president, was not sitting well with some IGAD heads of state who started presenting themselves at the August Summit as the voice representing the South Sudan region of Equatoria. They see Wani, the current vice president, as the representative of Bantus in South Sudan, and the two principals as representatives of the Nilotics.

It is difficult to understand why Salva wanted to mislead South Sudanese in his rally that it was Dr. Riek Machar who demanded the position of a prime minister in August and, then, dropped it for the position of the 1st vice president. Again, in the name of peace, the SPLM/A did not see the reason to make that an obstacle so long as the 1st vice president could share the executive powers with the president.

I cannot, possibly, believe that Salva was not aware of what was going on in Addis Ababa. His delegation must have briefed him of all developments as to the progress of the talks. I believe that he was deliberately being dishonest. But, what could have been the reason for lying? Could it be to achieve a political goal?

On the 2002 SPLA/M Merger
“They want to take Wani’s position but what if Equatorians take up arm against government? I told Riek we will not appease you and give you Wani’s position again…I told him we will not repeat the 2002 agreement we displaced Wani and put you in his place…IGAD and other countries want me to throw away my Vice President Wani Igga in favour of Riek Machar. If they make Riek the 1st Vice President and I die, then Riek would automatically become the president but if Riek is the 2nd Vice President and I die then Riek would not be the president. That cannot happen.”

First, I find it difficult to understand why these people associate positions with individuals. There is no such thing as Wani’s position. There is the office of the vice president, and Wani just happens to be the current occupant. It does not belong to Equatorians, and as such Equatorians do not need to take up arms for that position. They are democratically, as of right of citizenship, eligible for any position—including that of the president.

Second, the 2002 merger was not a situation where Wani’s position was given to Dr. Riek Machar. The agreement was a merger between two movements (SPDF and SPLA/M). The initial idea was that the two principal leaders were to make an arrangement where one would lead and the other would follow. Salva was against that, arguing that the two men (Drs. Garang and Riek) were both from the Greater Upper Nile. He saw such an arrangement as a way of the Greater Upper Nile dominating his Greater Bahr al Ghazal. He wanted Garang to lead as a member of the Greater Upper Nile community followed by himself (Salva) as representative of Greater Bahr al Ghazal. Who followed him was not his business. Interestingly, he conveniently forgot that he and Dr. Garang were members of the same Dinka tribe. He did not see the possibility of other South Sudanese to see two Dinka men one following the other as dominating other tribes.

Eventually, the crisis created by none other than Salva himself was resolved by saying, ‘Look, we are all members of SPLA/M. We only split in 1991. Since we are now reuniting our ranks, let us go back to the SPLA/M hierarchy.’ Dr. Riek believed that the issue was not the positions. Instead, it was the issue of uniting the Southern front and demand self-determination together with one voice. He believed the he could do whatever that he needed to do to make the war a success in any position. He compromised. Dr. Garang remained in his previous SPLA/M position as number one, Salva who was then the number two (after Kerubino and Nyuon had died) remained number two, Dr. Rek remained number three, and Wani remained number four. The only person who was the victim of this compromise was Dr. Lam Akol who should have been number four after Dr. Riek and before Wani. I am not sure why it was not done that way. It could probably be that he rejoined late after the arrangement was completed.

So, there was no Wani’s position that was taken by Dr. Riek Machar. It was the agreement that the previous SPLA/M hierarchy should be used to break the deadlock created by Salva who was not in favor of two people from the same region to be numbers one and two respectively, but was in favor of two men (himself and Garang) from the same tribe to be numbers one and two in the movement’s leadership hierarchy.

Third, from his statements, it appears that Salva does not see the issues. The only issue that he sees is personal. It is about Dr. Riek Machar’s possibility to lead South Sudan as president. This is what he seems to be fighting against. His political issue is ‘Riek’; his social issue is ‘Riek; and his economic issue is ‘Riek’. But, what about real issues that are facing the people of South Sudan? What do South Sudanese think about the issues affecting them on daily basis? Criminals are killing the people in Juba on a daily basis, and Salva was not able to tell the audience how he plans to deal with it; the ever-shapeless economy is deteriorating on daily basis, and Salva did not tell the rally what his immediate plans are; and health and educational services are in their ever-unproductive states. These are in addition to the war related issues. South Sudanese think about all of these things. Should their thoughts matter?

No one thinks that Salva will die any time soon. As such, his succession should not be an issue in the peace process. Whether Dr. Riek or Wani should succeed him should be a future matter reserved to the time when his death actually becomes a reality. If he has any information pointing to the imminence of his death, he must keep it to himself so as to not allow it to be a stumbling block in the peace process.

On the Position of Vice President and Two Armies
“I don’t agree with the suggestion that Riek be given the position of vice-president. I don’t accept the issue of the two armies.”

The issue here is not whether or not Salva agrees with Dr. Riek being given the position of a vice president. Nor is it the issue of him (Salva) accepting the idea of two armies. The main issue is that the level of atrocities among ourselves has never been as high as it has been ever since the war broke out; the level of mistrust has never been as high as it has become; the level of hatred among our people has never been as high as it has been this time; and there are diverse political programs that need to be protected on both sides. The question now is how to reasonably solve this problem. He has to come up with a reasonable alternative—not just disagreeing “…with suggestion that Riek be given the position of vice president…” or not accepting “…the issue of the two armies”.

There are reforms that must be agreed up on. Once they are agreed up on, they will have to be implemented. Salva has already rejected those. But, he must accept them at the end. With his current rejection, can he be trusted to implement them later? There is a need for him to share executive powers with Dr. Riek Machar (vice president or prime minister) so that he (Dr. Riek) sees to it that they are implemented.

The two armies must co-exist. The processes of implementing the peace agreement must be protected.

On Compensation for the Victims
“There were people who supported Riek for first vice president position so that his people who died in Juba are compensated. If its about compensation, did Riek compensate Dinkas he killed in Bor 1991?″

First, Salva is not clear as to the people whom he referred to as “…supporting Riek for first vice president…” He should have made it clear so that we know whether he was talking about people in the SPLM/A, people from the International Community, or people within his government. We would like to know so that a proper response could be given.

Second, no one, at all, associates any position with the compensation of the victims of the Juba massacres—let alone the position of vice president. The IGAD who came up with the proposal do not seem to care whether or not the victims get compensated. The SPLM/A has never made such an indication. The SPLM/A simply believes that the victims will be compensated whether Dr. Riek Machar becomes the vice president, prime minister or president.

Third, he talked about the compensation of Dr. Riek’s “…people who died in Juba…” It is good that he has made it clear that he targeted the Nuer in Juba because he thought (and still thinks) of them as Dr. Riek’s people. It makes his motive for killing them clear. He has committed genocide by systematically targeting the Nuer on the basis of their tribal origin. Any South Sudanese who had been doubting up to the 18th of March 2015 has no reason to remain in doubt after the 18th.

Fourth, it is interesting that Salva associated the compensation of the victims of the Juba massacres with lack of compensation of the Dinka people killed in Bor in 1991. Is he suggesting that he killed the Nuer in Juba in avenging the deaths of the Dinka in Bor in 1991, and that the two communities are even? Or is he trying to suggest that if the Nuer whom he massacred in Juba have to be compensated, the Dinka who had been killed in 1991 have to be compensated first? He has to be clear so that the rest of the South Sudanese who are neither members of the two seemingly feuding (as Salva wants members of his tribe to think) tribes should know what do think and do.

What about the Gaat-Jaak Nuer massacres in 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987? Has he prepared himself for their compensation? The Gaat-Jaak massacres were carried out during a different war; the Bor massacre was carried out during a different war; and they have to be dealt with using different mechanisms. But, Juba massacres were carried out during the current war. As such, the peace talks that are intended to end the current war must address the issue of the compensation of the victims. It is only a blind-minded can fail to see this.

On Federalism
“Riek said we must apply federalism but we are already a federal state although we don’t call ourselves one.”

If Dr. Riek calls for the application of federal system of governance and Salva believes that we are already a federal state, then what would be the disagreement? If he agrees with the call and believes in the federal system, and that he thinks that he is practicing it, then, why not calling ourselves as federal?

The truth of the matter is that we are not currently a federal state. Salva knows that. He just thinks that the people of South Sudan do not know what federal system is like. Or if he does not know, then why is he rejecting something that he does not know.

Few things that he must know are that, no national president can remove state governors and replace them where there is a federal arrangement; no national president can dissolve a state legislative assembly, as provided by the current transitional constitution, in a federally arranged state; no federal president can remove a minister at the state level in a federally arranged state; there cannot be a unitary judiciary in a federally arranged state; and etc.

Salva is simply against the idea of federating South Sudan. He knows that he is going against the aspirations of the people of South Sudan who have been demanding federal system since 1947. He enjoys controlling state power so that he is the only human being that matters in the whole country. He has to have the courage to come out publicly to declare to the people of South Sudan that he is against federalism, instead of hiding behind the illogical idea that we are already a federal state.

We need federalism now. There are those who say that federalism should wait until such time as when we embark on the permanent constitutional making process. That is unjustified. We all know what our people want. When the time comes for the making of the permanent constitution, we will still ask the people of South Sudan whether they want to continue with federalism or they want to go back to the unitary system.

On the Dissolution of Parliament
“I told Riek parliament will not be dissolved because MPs were elected by people not us. Even if they are not doing their work. I want to tell MPs here Riek doesn’t want you because he says you are doing nothing in parliament.”

First, the idea that members of the National Legislature were elected is not an issue. The whole process that is taking place in Addis Ababa is dictated by the current war situation in the country. The power-sharing that was being discussed between the two warring parties was (and is) what necessitated the idea to dissolve and reconstitute the National Legislature.

The SPLM/A does not believe in a big government. Big governments, unnecessarily, take away resources that should be used for development activities, which should benefit the ordinary citizens of South Sudan. For example, the current members of the National Legislature are not less than 400. If the power-sharing ratio is taken to be 50/50 between the SPLM/A and the government, and the current members are taken to be the government portion, then more than 400 could be added to be the portion of the SPLM/A. The country would end up with more than 800 members of the legislature. But, then, for what purpose should we embark on such a costly project? That would mean robbing the people of South Sudan of their resources. This is why it is important to dissolve and reconstitute the National Legislature so that we can maintain the same number of people as the existing one without any cost added. It is cheaper that way.

Second, the idea that Dr. Riek Machar wants the dissolution of the Legislature because he does not like the members is way too cheap a politics. They may be “…doing nothing in parliament” as Salva stated. But this is not an issue right now. Dissolution and reconstitution of the National Legislature is a necessary part of the power-sharing arrangement whether or not current members are doing something in parliament. Salva thinks that telling members of the legislature that Dr. Riek does not like them is an easy way of turning them against Dr. Riek. It only shows how out-of-ideas the man is.

On Sanctions
“Let them sanction South Sudan but if they will not ask God to stop rain in the country we will still prosper without aid.”

Salva talked of sanctions as if they are meant to be imposed on South Sudan. He knows very well that sanctions, as discussed by the United Nations Security Council, are intended to target individuals who are found to be responsible for the failure of the peace process. Those people will be banned from traveling; their accounts with foreign banks will be frozen; and the rest of the country will continue as usual.

If this is the case, then sanctions will not hurt ordinary South Sudanese. They have no money stashed away in foreign bank accounts; they do not even have money to travel abroad. It, simply, is not their sanction. Salva should just worry about himself and his partners in crime since they are the only ones to lose millions of stolen dollars in their foreign bank accounts, and their lucrative travel benefits.

The other interesting part of the above statement is talking about rain. This suggests that Salva is turning to agriculture. But, after what? The land has been there for our people’s benefit; the rain has been there; and food has been imported from Uganda and Kenya for all of these years. He did not see any problem with this, as he was not personally affected by the situation. He never made it a point to sensitize our people to produce their own food to stop dependency on foreign produced food. Any leader who has the prosperity of his people in mind—people who have a land such as that in South Sudan should have led a crusade of agricultural production years before the current threats of sanctions. At this time, he should be talking about himself and his partners (who are going to be subjects of the sanctions with Salva) to turn to the land to grow their own food.

Our people have been trying on their own, without any assistance from the government, to produce their food for subsistence. Those who have tried to produce more end up not getting a market for their produce due to lack of roads. Salva should come up with a solution to that problem before talking about rain. God will definitely send rain, but He will not send roads to market centers.

On the Negotiation of Equals
“We want practical solutions and now is the time to do what is best for our people. No president negotiates with rebels, but I went to negotiate with Riek because I want peace, but Riek thinks we are equal that is why he became intransigent.”

If wanting peace means going to Addis Ababa for negotiations, then Salva does not want peace. This is because he did not go to Addis Ababa voluntarily, at least for the last round. Instead, he had wanted Wani to go to Addis Ababa. He had to be pressured into going to negotiate with Dr. Riek. In fact, Dr. Riek had to issue a press release urging those who had influence on Salva to apply more effort to persuade him (Salva) to avail himself for negotiations.

On the issue of equality, Salva does not seem to understand how things work. It is not written anywhere that presidents should not negotiate with rebels. He needs to understand that unique situations need unique ways of dealing with.

The delegations of both the SPLM/A and government had been in negotiations for a long time. They tackled certain issues. However, there were issues that they were not able to decide on. IGAD proposed that the two Principals (commanders-in-chief of the two armies) be brought together to resolve these issues. The idea was to expedite the process by bringing the two heads of the two warring parties together to expeditiously take care of the most difficult issues.

Looking at the roles (commanding the two warring armies) that the two Principals play in this war, and given the fact that the process is meant to stop the two armies from fighting, the two men are equal. If he does not understand that, then, he has a problem. The fact that one is a president and the other is a chairman does not make any difference. They are just titles. It is the roles of these two Principals in bringing the war to an end that matters. Salva should not attempt to hide behind a title to avoid facing Dr. Riek. It just can’t work.

On IGAD’s Shifting of Goal Posts
“All of you have seen me going to Addis Ababa to meet with my brother Riek Machar so that we resolve the issues, but always when we go we find that the goal post has been shifted to another place. And all the time when we go and stumble on a new agenda, in such a way you don’t expect peace to come.”

This statement puts the blame for failure of the peace talks on the one who frames the agenda. This is IGAD. It is true that IGAD has not been consistent in this area. They have shifted a lot, especially in the areas of power-sharing. This has been a problem. But, it could have been overcome had the government been sincere and serious. All the IGAD positions were drafted in favor of the government. In fact, the government did not go to the talks with any particular position on all the issues. They only adopted the positions put forward by the IGAD. Even then, the delegates would not want to discuss details.

The interesting thing about Salva’s blame of IGAD for failure is that he was confusing his audience at the rally. At one point, he squarely put the blame for the failure of the talks on Dr. Riek Machar. At another point, he squarely put the same blame on IGAD. Which is which? The poor members of the audience must have been forced to read between the lines to figure out for themselves what was right or wrong.

On IDPs
“I want IDPs in Juba, Bor and other towns to go back to their homes. The authorities will give them support.”
Sometimes I wonder if Salva listens to himself. To begin with, the IDPs in Juba and Bor are survivors. Salva attempted to exterminate their kind. They are literally alive because of the UN protection. Salva once talked about these people, referring to them as rebels. He is now asking the same people “…to go to their homes” and that “…the authorities will give them support.”

Salva has not yet apologized to these people for what he has put them through; he has not given them any sincere promise that he will never kill them again if the go back to their homes; he has not withdrawn his statement calling them rebels; in his speech on the 18th of March, he referred to them as Riek Machar’s people; and he has not yet reached a peace deal with Dr. Riek Machar. How does Salva harmonize these mixtures of positions that he has taken against these IDPs and his request for them to go back to their homes?

Martin Elia Lomoro’s Speech
Martin Elia Lomoro, the current Minister for Cabinet Affairs, was one of those reportedly made short speechs. Among the statements he made, one stands out. “Citizens of South Sudan, if you remove president Salva Kiir, you will see what will happen to you…”

This scare tactic is characteristic of the regime’s officials these days. At any time, if an opportunity avails itself, these kinds of threatening statements are commonplace. They want the people to start fearing change. But, these Salva’s cronies are South Sudanese who should know South Sudanese better. There is nothing that they can say to make our people accept their current positions as spectators who are not entitled to tasting our Independence. They are made only to smell the sweet smell of their hard earned Independence. Lomoro needs to find something better to say. Or else, he should keep quiet.

Kuol Manyang’s Speech
Kuol Manyang, who is Salva’s Minister of Defense, made a comment regarding the two armies proposed by the SPLM/A for the 30-month transitional period. He showed his rejection of it without supporting his position. He simply called it “unnecessary”. Anyone who wants to make a point always tries to justify why he or she is taking a certain position on an issue. It is this way that one’s position is either bought or rejected. Vagueness does not help. It could be taken as lack of justification or an attempt to keep people guessing as to one’s real position.

Conclusion
The problem with Salva and his cohorts is that they do not see politics as issue-based—issues that are socio-economic in nature. They consider it as a game of lies. They tend to think that whoever lies more wins the game. They should realize that the game does not end with the players. Players just play, and the spectators, who are the citizens of South Sudan for that matter, make the judgment. And that judgment must be based on the issues involved. If one misses the issues that matter to the people, one loses no matter how long one talks.

The issues presented to the two Principals for negotiation were the following: Federalism, Institutional Reforms, Wealth sharing, Parameters of permanent constitution making process, Reconstitution of the National Legislature, Transitional Justice, TGoNU, Leadership Structure of the TGoNU, Security arrangement, and Accountability and National Reconciliation.

Salva and his team did not want to negotiate and agree on any of these issues. The only thing that they called a compromise on any of these was for them to acknowledge that federalism is a popular demand by the people of South Sudan. However, they wanted it to be considered only after the transitional period.

Salva attempted to blame others for the collapse of the peace talks. At one time, he blamed it on Dr. Riek Machar; at another time, he blamed it on IGAD for continuously shifting the goal post. That was not true. Yes, IGAD continuously shifted the goal post. Nevertheless, the issues remained. It was Salva who refused to negotiate the issues. If his response to every issue on the table was a ‘No’, then he was the one single-handedly responsible for the collapse of the talks.

The rally on the 18th of March only turned out to be a wrong circus made of lies and threats. As such, the speakers became inconsistent, illogical, dishonest, and vague.

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

Weak Enforcement of Ministerial Decrees: The Biggest Problem facing South Sudan

BY: BOL Mathiang, South Sudan, MAR/23/2015, SSN;

Although I get some negative responses for having spoken my mind in the articles I write on this website, I will not stop writing as long as things are not moving in a way we expect them to. Republic of South Sudan has become a laughing stock to many if not all countries just because, we are known for being unserious with whatever we say or intend to do.

That has undeniably earned us contempt because, once a particular ministerial decree is issued and threats are received from the countries, the result is usually a revocation of that ministerial circular.

The followings are vivid examples that justify the above reasoning:
You might recall the time when the ministerial circular was issued to terminate the foreign Bodaboda riders. Yeah, it was implemented somewhat effectively but due to lack of follow up to ensure that Bodaboda riders are purely South Sudanese, the foreign riders that were expelled have now bounced back in large numbers.

I do not blame Minister Aleu because enforcement is not his role alone since, there are some junior staffs under the ministry of interior that are in charge of the enforcement, in particular, the traffic police officers should have averted the accumulation of foreign riders in a business that does not require any education.

If you want to prove my claim, just take an evening walk around Arkel Hotel at Thongpiny. The riders of that stage and many other stages all over Juba are no longer South Sudanese purely but a combination of both. Is it palatable for us to have our brothers spending the whole day at home playing cards and some sitting at tea places when there is something they do very well to earn a living?

It is up to the ministry of interior to act or ignore this call and earn public dismay.

The second area of concern is the issuance of passports to foreigners. Nowadays foreigners do not have to hassle to be south Sudanese by nationality. They forged nationality simply so that they can compete with us in the job market.

For a friend of mine that was with me in the university in Uganda is freely a holder of south Sudanese nationality now when in reality, she is Ugandan from Arua District. What does that say about the passports’ issuing authorities in South Sudan? Who in Uganda is holding Ugandan Nationality when he/she is South Sudanese?, you readers have that answer.

Thirdly, some of you might have heard of the system that required foreigners who want to register any business in South Sudan to do so with South Sudanese nationals mandatorily. That sounds good to every patriotic South Sudanese but in reality, that is not what happens in reality.

In reality, yes…they register a particular business in question collectively but those businesses end up being owned by a foreigner. For example, the writer was seated next to a Kenyan business lady in a bus from Kampala to Juba. As we explored various issues particularly what she would be doing in Juba, the lady narrated everything as it is elucidated above.

What that tells us about government’s regulatory and monitoring roles?

Last year, a ministerial circular was issued ordering foreign workers to be phased out and replaced with Qualified South Sudanese, the circular received the biggest outcry and criticisms from the neighboring countries particularly Kenya and Uganda.

In just few days after the publication of the circular, the circular was cancelled and the hopes of having 80% of South Sudanese working in a given NGO, private business….etc was dumped in the dustbin of hopelessness.

For your information, we do not have any other link with Kenyans, Ugandans, etc other than their economic involvement in south Sudan. So, if the aim of current government is to fulfill the interests of neighboring countries at the expense of its citizens, then someone can ask, where they in the front-lines with us when we were struggling to be independent?

What we have is a country where most things are well said and written on papers but in reality, they are not implemented to the latter.

The writer is South Sudanese Economist, you can reach him bullenbolm@gamail.com

Ilemi Triangle belongs to South Sudan, not to Kenya

BY: Molana Deng, USA, Human rights/Criminal Law, MAR/22/2015, SSN;

Named after an Anyuak-chief, Ilemi (Elemi), the Triangle piece of land which now is being claimed by Kenya, belongs to South Sudan because of its people, geographically, economically and socially. The imaginary line which are red, blue and yellow lines are all in South Sudan.

The ownership of the land has been for South Sudanese since 1902, 1907, and 1972 treaties.

Though Kenyan authorities claiming it theirs, this claim has no any legal ground whether red and blue, the validity of the unilaterally-imposed blue-line, which would seem to imply their clear and enduring breach of South Sudanese territorial integrity.

As history is concerned, ownership of the Ilemi triangle has been for Sudan since creation, when Mr. Archibald Butter and Captain Philip Maud (Royal Engineers) surveyed Ethiopia’s border with British East Africa in 1902-3 and marked the “Maud line” which was recognized in 1907 as the de facto Kenya-Ethiopian border.

Addis Ababa renounced Britain’s attempt to rectify this border through a survey by Major Charles Gwynn (Royal Engineers) in August 1908 for excluding Ethiopian surveyors. Make no mistake to know those Surveyors where not Africans to know the border of Sudan.

In 1907, the Ethiopian emperor Menelik laid claim to Lake Turkana and proposed a boundary with the British to run from the southern end of the lake eastward to the Indian Ocean, which was shifted northward when the British and Ethiopian governments signed a treaty.

In December 1907, Anglo-Ethiopian agreement treaty was signed between Ethiopia and British East Africa. Though vague on the precise details of where the border was located, it clearly placed the entire Ilemi on the Sudan side of the Ethiopia-Sudan line, which still gives the ownership of Elemi triangle to Sudan.

In 1914, Uganda-Sudan Boundary Commission that did the survey agreement to allow Turkana nomads access to Sudan land with plenty grass via the now-dry Sanderson Gulf at the southeast corner of the Elemi triangle.

In 1918, the Ethiopians armed the Nyangatom and Dassanech peoples, who are Sudanese to protect themselves from their neighbor in the event of cattle raiding.

In 1928, the Sudan government who were against the South Sudanese agreed to allow Kenyan military units across the 1914 line to protect the Turkana against the Dassanech and Nyangatom.

Make no doubt that South Sudanese didn’t have power to protect themselves and Khartoum was controlling their land without knowing who are the inhabitants to the land and was supporting anything that will kill South Sudanese.

In 1929 Kenya began subsidising Sudan to occupy the territory, which it did not wish to continue because of the perceived uselessness and not their land. By 1931 Sudan agreed to subsidise Kenya to occupy the territory.

The Red Line was drawn by then to represent the limit of boundary where Turkana people can graze their cattle. This was in series of agreements from 1929 to 1934, by the Governor-General of the Sudan and the Governor of Kenya.

They agreed that this Red Line should be accepted as the boundary on the grazing limits of the Turkana peoples as required in the 1914 agreement. This was also done to replace the provisional straight line of 1936 when Italy invaded Ethiopia and briefly claimed the area of the Elemi triangle which still can be questioned.

Kenyan-Sudan agreement, in 1938, there was a joint Kenya-Sudan survey team, that demarcated the “Red Line which is very close to the delimitation a few years earlier of this Red Line, marking the northern limit of grazing of Turkana.

This line, to replace the provisional straight line of 1914 as required by that treaty was carefully mapped and demarked with stone monuments. While Egypt and Britain agreed on this, Italy did not, which still gives South Sudanese de-facto rights because Egyptian, British and Italian aren’t the inhabitants of Elemi triangle.

Although the Dassanetch and Nyangatom had suffered because of the Italian occupation, and wished to recoup their losses by making a raid against the Turkana. Several hundreds Turkana people were killed in the raid.

Following this incident, Italy gave up the claim of Elemi subsequently, which allowed the British to respond with a raid on the Nyangatom and Dassanech.

By 1941 British troops of the King’s African Rifles (KAR) occupied Elemi during World War II. The KAR passed through Elemi on their way to southwestern Ethiopia. Again in 1944 the Britain’s Foreign Office surveyed a “blue line” which was further northwest than the “red line.”

But it didn’t last long because in 1950 Sudan established their own patrol line even further northwest into Sudan where they prohibited Kenyan and Ethiopian pastoralists from moving west of it, giving up policing and development to the area east of it.

However, that Kenya-Sudan agreement specified that this patrol line in no way affected sovereignty; that it was not an international boundary, and money continued to be paid to Kenya to patrol this Sudanese territory. This also gave South Sudanese the ownership of the Elemi triangle.

There was also a little fight between 1949 and 1953 as Sudan attempted to keep the Nyangatom behind this line but it didn’t last long due to the fact that the land was far away from Khartoum and Khartoum were interested in Nyangatom people.

By 1967 President Kenyatta’s administration had made an attempt to seek an opportunity from to the British to secure support for the occupation of the Triangle by Kenya. However, the British were unresponsive and the results amounted to little.

The matter was sidelined and successive Kenyan administrations have been seemingly willing to accept the territorial status quo and their de facto territorial control, even if the Kenyan influence did diminish after the relocation of the Sudanese People Liberation Movement- SPLM to Sudan in the 1980s-90s.

In 1964 Kenya and Ethiopia reaffirmed their boundary, confirming Kenyan sovereignty to Namuruputh, which is just south of the southeastern point of the triangle.

The 1972 Addis Ababa peace accord and Sudan-Ethiopia boundary alteration did not solve the Elemi issue because it did not involve Kenya, but they confirmed that Ethiopia had no claim to the Elemi Triangle.

However; in 1990 Ethiopia armed the Dassanech with Kalashnikov automatic rifles, perhaps in response to Kenyan government action in 1978 in arming the Turkana.

Without any legitimate evidence, many Kenyans marked the Red Line as the official boundary of Kenya since 1960’s, without a proper claim and more recently, most Kenyan maps depict the 1950 patrol line, the furthest northwest, as the boundary.

Following the 2011 South Sudan independence, not only should we have claimed the ownership of Elemi Triangle but the national government in Juba by de-facto, should have revisited the treaty that allowed Turkana’s grazing land rights in South Sudan land.

Although, in 2012, Salva Kiir administration opened a case against Kenya over the popularly known Elemi triangle Land of South Sudan, this case should not only claim the right of Elemi triangle but also addressed the grazing land rights of Turkana people.

It will be so shameful for Kenyan to claim the ownership of the land since Turkana are not South Sudanese but they do travel to South Sudan for pasture only.

It will also be so shameful for Kenyans to invade Elemi triangle because there is oil in that area knowing that Turkana were only given the right to bring their cattle to that area but not to take oil.

This right can also be denied if the regulations are not met. Where would Kenyans get their legitimacy of invading Elemi Triangle stand since they can’t claim in de facto this land?

There might be something behind this action and South Sudanese should ask their leadership why are Kenyan Defense Force in Elemi triangle… what are they doing?

(EDITOR’S COMMENT: It should be poignantly recalled that on South Sudan Independence in 2011 when Kiir’s government re-drew the new map of South Sudan to include the Elemi Triangle, Kenyan foreign ministry immediately protested.
What happened next surprised every South Sudanese. Cowardly and slavishly, the Kiir’s foreign affairs ministry in Juba and his ambassador in Nairobi, all quickly made apologies to Kenya.
The map was redrawn with ‘Elemi triangle’ once more ceded back to Kenya.
As a reminder to all, it’s speculatively presumed that Dr. John Garang, besides offering the Kenyan’s several ‘tin-containers’ filled with gold captured from Kapoeta Arab traders, secretly ‘sold’ off the Elemi Triangle to then Kenya’s president Daniel Arap Moi, allegedly in exchange or as a reward for Kenya’s open diplomatic and military support to the SPLM/A that included free access to importation of arms.
Kenya also built Lokichokio airport in the north near the Sudan-Kenya border for the unfettered and enhanced transport of SPLA soldiers, arms and food to rebel-controlled areas that included the Nuba Mountains, Darfur, Kordufan and Blue Nile rebel-controlled zones.
Regarding the oil and minerals availability, it was long known that that area of what was then known as Kapoeta district was potentially rich in gold since colonial times, hence the Kenyans had always coveted ownership of this area.
The irony now is that despite the more plentiful availability of oil we physically have in Upper Nile, Jonglei, Unity and Northern Bahr el Ghazal states, the Kiir junta has terribly misused the money and now destroyed or severely hampered the exploitation of these areas, only reinforcing the truth that now independent South Sudan nation henceforth is a typical ‘resource cursed’ nation.
After the current civil war in the country, will Kiir, assuming he survives the fight, embark on another war with Kenya…. your guess?)

Molana Deng
Country: USA: International Human rights Criminal Law Student

US, the first global empire built on politics of lunacy, sanctions and humanitarian intervention

QUOTE: “Is it a football match between the US and the UK where it should be played for 90 minutes, where on the earth can you time peace.” Says Baranaba Marial Benjamin, South Sudan minister for foreign affairs.

By: Simon Yel Yel, Juba, MAR/19/2015, SSN;

Sanctions, sanctions and more sanctions! Every day we wake up in the morning holding breath to hear the psychotic Samantha Power speaking on the behalf of US, UK and the UN announcing what the so-called targeted sanctions on south Sudan government. Everyone wonders what the US are really up to, is it oil or they want to expand their empire?

The items in the proposed modus vivendi by IGAD are awaiting atomic bombs and even US can’t allow the Iraqi government to have such a band-aid solution signed with ISIL.

Can US persuade Iraqi government to have a power sharing with ISIL and for ISIL to have its own independent army within Iraq for a period of even 6 months leave alone the proposed 24 months by IGAD?

The velocity with which the US wants the south government to concede the impossible and unbecoming demands of the rebels is inversely proportional to the mass of hypocrisy of drone attacks by US in Pakistan and airstrikes in Iraq against ISIL.

It was early March this year when we saw the US ambassador to UN, Mrs Power, presiding over the UN Security Council creating a sanction regime on south Sudan.

The resolutions adopted the travel ban and assets frozen of south Sudan government officials who are branded by Power to be the ones blocking peace.

I don’t know who will be the causalities of Mrs Power’s sanctions, will it be Hon. Nhial Deng, Hon Micheal Makuei and Hon James Kok Ruai for rejecting the rebels’ proposal to make Riek Machar to be a ceremonial prime minster, or Hon. Dr. Gai Yoi, Hon. Akol Paul Kordit and Hon. Daniel Awet for signing the Arusha agreement to reunite the SPLM again and maintain Salva Kiir as chairman of the SPLM?

Is south Sudan government blocking peace? Really, Mrs Power! Methinks not, unless you want the rebels to implement their failed coup on the negotiations table.

Are you really called Power? As the English dictionary defines power to be the ability to do work, am seriously doubting your reasoning capacity. Why your mind is lacking ability to think?

I thought whatever you think should reflect the English meaning of “POWER” as your name carries but naïve me! You don’t have ability to think and differentiate the truth from the imaginary, no doubt you are suffering from psychosis.

No wonder what the US wants is oil and to get it, it is a prerequisite to install their puppet.

The installation of the puppet democratically requires a lot of things to do, like economics sanctions to anger the populations to go on the street and talk trash about the government, overstepping their freedom of expressions, asking the elected president to step down and occupying the government premises.

When the government intervenes, the US and UN will come in angrily and talk authoritatively that “he (president) is a man who has killed the pro-democracy Protesters and hence, he crossed the red line and lost his legitimacy.”

From there, the military-humanitarian intervention follows in the name of human rights abuses and famine control.

From the literate to the illiterate, everyone is wondering what the US thinks the sanction is and does it make sense to sanction south Sudan when the government rejected the rebels’ unbecoming demands?

The government officials have done nothing wrong to be sanctioned unless US want them to abandon the government and join Riek’s rebellion.

Sanctions are political tools that stand between diplomacy and guns, the midway between negotiations and soldiers.

They begin where diplomacy ends and often they come soon after the futility of diplomatic dress down and feasibility studies are done to know which side doesn’t want peace, something Mrs. Power knows-not.

The failure of the IGAD to bring both parties to the agreement is due to unbecoming demands from the rebels’ side but still IGAD is not despaired to bring peace to south Sudanese.

How many years did the Sudan government and SPLA take to sign CPA? Did the USA sanction government of the Sudan or SPLA for taking long time to agree?

Where on the earth can you time peace like a football match?

We all know that after travel ban and assets frozen, the economic sanctions will soon follow to anger the population for the US to find way to intervene militarily.

Economic sanctions are a third option used when military intervention is deemed to be either inappropriate or impossible. It is a default policy option, which according to Simon Chesterman and Beatrice Pouligmy, “reflect the seriousness of the problem rather than the seriousness of engaging with it.”

The political pundits and scientists suggest that economics sanctions and embargo will soon follow this travel ban and assets freeze and finally military humanitarian intervention follows to install Riek Machar like what had happened in Libya, Iraq and other countries invaded by the US.

The first step against a “target” country is usually the imposition of sanctions- meant to destroy the country’s economy and soften it up for a possible military attack at a later date.

Sudan has been sanctioned since 1997, and there’s been what the US describes as “targeted” sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe since 2003.

Syria has been repeatedly sanctioned- even before the ongoing civil war it was sanctioned for being one of the “state sponsors of terrorism.”

Sanctions on non-NATO and non-EU member like Belarus were extended earlier this year and of course we now have US sanctions on Russia.

Various reasons were given for the imposition of sanctions on these states in different parts of the world, but the real reason is never openly stated – namely that they are, or were, all countries independent of the US and their leaders refused to show enough deference to the empire builders of Washington.

Washington relies on a cravenly pro-US media elite to make sure that the leaders in question get the full-on “boo-hiss” pantomime villain treatment like what Sudantribune is doing everyday.

There is an issue which bothers me and other people alot, why Mrs Power didn’t brand the Israeli president Benjamin Natenyahu as “war criminal” for killing thousands of Palestinians or even raise a motion in the UNSC to send peacekeepers to the West Bank to protect the dying Palestinians from Israeli daily bombardment?

This is not even double standard; this is amazing, primitive and misanthropic. One should not crudely try to make everything suit their interest, calling the same thing black today and white tomorrow.

All the Western powers led by US prefer not to be guided by international law on their practical policies but by the rule of gun shadowed by economics sanctions and travel ban, they sometimes come out openly invading countries and dishonoring the UNSC resolutions like in Libya.

They act as they please; here and there, they use force against sovereign states, building coalitions based on the principle “if you are not with us, you are against us.”

To make this psychosis aggression look legitimate, they force unnecessary resolutions from international organisations, and if for some reasons this didn’t work, they simply tend to ignore the UNSC and the UN overall if there is little resistance within coming from Russia and China.

There are numerous write-ups on the debate of whether or not sanctions work; on what sanctions are intended to achieve, and if sanctions-imposers really want sanctions to work the way they declare through their public utterances.

Whether sanctions are declared or imposed through individual countries, regional bodies, or through the United Nations, there is always a political context to every sanctions regime.

There is always something behind the curtain when US talk of humanitarian interventions, human rights abuses and sanctions but one day the world will say enough is enough.

Russia and China stopped the US invasion of Syria and what they did to Ukraine is the answer to that but who will really stop the US invasion in south Sudan, Russia or China?

I personally don’t know yet because their stand is not clear to me on south Sudan.

The US can not tolerate any power challenging them in their doctrine of Full Spectrum Dominance and any possible challenger must be destroyed. Like what they are doing now to Iran and Russia.

The US, in their self-anointed role as “masters of the world”, deluded by their own belief in their own exceptionalism, continue to commit atrocities and destroy peoples and states worldwide, and they remain unchallenged.

They sell their aggressive wars to the people as “humanitarian interventions” or “democracy” operations, but the reality is that all of the recent US aggressive wars have been and continue to be illegal acts and crimes against humanity and peace but no a single country stood up to challenge their evil acts.

I would like to tell the people of US, the people who, since the foundation of their nation and adoption of the Declaration of Independence, have been proud to hold democracy above all else; south Sudan will never go silent if you want to walk on us proudly and unchallengeable as” masters of the world”, you ought to know that we are “masters of our own.”

If you aggressively invade a country for territory or any other reason it is illegal, if you do the same for ideological reasons or because you are against the president or government it is also illegal. And that is exactly what the US has been engaged in time and time again to expand their empire and promote their interest.

Can anyone imagine Guem, an island neighboring Philippines to be under US administration? Do you know how far is the US with Guem?

US just hand-picked a typical American not from Guem to be the governor. How do you call that, it is democracy or colonization? This is what Mrs. Power wants, turning the independent country (south Sudan) to be a territory of the US.

There is a long list of countries where the US has organized coup d’états, supported revolutions, overthrown governments, invaded, annexed, supported groups or forces who overthrew or attempted to overthrow governments or outright executed the leaders. Again all of these “interventions” were illegal, and south Sudan soon will follow.

The toppling of the governments by their (US) puppets can be portrayed as a “democratic revolution” like in Ukraine and other countries while condemning and killing the same democratic revolution to take place in other countries.

The same democratic revolution happened in Jordan and Saudia Arabia but it all died down because the US is friend to the governments.

Terrorist proxies, described of course as “rebels” and “pro-democracy freedom fighters,” are also used to foment civil war with the aim of destabilizing independently-minded governments -and providing a pretext for a US-led “humanitarian” military intervention.

All what had happened in many countries invaded by US are likely to happen in south Sudan. Imagine Susan Page saying that the rebels in south Sudan are fighting “a just war.

It is just a matter of time and the US will declare officially their support to Riek’s rebellion and called it “pro-democracy fighters” to fight illegitimate president.

If the rebels of Riek need further support, and the supply of arms, equipment and money is not enough, then of course there’s the option of direct military intervention to help them defeat the government- as occurred in Libya in 2011.

Mendacity is indeed the hallmark of modern US imperialism.

The current US Empire is a more dishonest project than the British Empire- because at least then the British openly acknowledged having an empire.

But the US never acknowledges its empire building- not only that, imperial propagandists have the chutzpah to falsely accuse others of territorial expansionism and of trying to build their own empires.

It is clear that by any objective assessment US imperialism is the biggest cause of instability in the world today and has been for many years now.

The rise of ISIL and the growth of jihadist groups generally is directly caused by US’s hegemonic aspirations in the Middle East- and its decision to target secular, independently- minded governments such as the ones of Saddam in Iraq, Gadaffi in Libya and Assad in Syria, which were bulwarks against Islamic fundamentalism.

Sometimes it seems to be an almost useless fight to try to bring the truth to the American people and the world given the way they have been lied to and convinced of their own exceptionalism but the truth must be known and in the end it is only the truth that will set us all free from tyranny.

Even simple readers from the West and West sympathizers in Africa have been conditioned to attack the messenger for the message and try to discredit anyone who shows them the illegality of their leaders, I am sure I will be attacked for what I have written here but if one person sees the truth then the effort was worth it.

To conclude, I want to make it very crystal clear, as they (US) always say, to the US, UK, UN and their sympathizers that your days are numbered and the war you are trying to weigh on south Sudan is very expensive and I want to assure you that south Sudan can’t and will never be like Libya and Iraq that you have easily invaded, you will never get away with this time.

The writer is south Sudan citizen and can be reached at simonyel55@yahoo.com or 0955246235

Better sanctions than signing a bad peace in South Sudan

By: Taban Abel Aguek, Rumbek, MAR/19/2015, SSN;

The efforts for peace in South Sudan by IGAD and the International Community since the conflict broke out in December 2013 indicate how the world cares about South Sudan.

Much as the coup did fail in Juba, the carnage that has been precipitated by its overflow in places like Bor, Malakal and Bentiu remains the worst. It resulted in a piece of shame that we will never erase in the history of South Sudan.

For more than fourteen months now, IGAD, TROIKA and the UN have been exerting tireless efforts for peace in South Sudan. However, it is important to note that availing a wrong peace is worse than war itself.

It is a serious waste to place on table a peace agreement that will never stay.

It may be in the best interest of South Sudan and the region to expedite peace; but signing peace is one thing and keeping it is another.

That is why peace negotiations cannot be given a fixed time. And that is why peace is being negotiated between Palestine and Israel for years now. Maybe Kenyans are right in their saying, “haraka haraka haina baraka”, (hurrying up with things carries no blessing).

So, why rush with negotiations when tangible issues are not agreed? Human lives continue to be lost but that is due to the fact that Riek and his group fail to respect the cessation of hostilities agreement.

When making peace, it must be efforts of both the mediators and the negotiators to ensure a complete remedy is availed. All in all, peace can never be designed in a way that it serves the interests of one tribe in a country inhabited by more than 60 other tribes. Otherwise, it would result in another endless conflict.

The war in South Sudan is indeed a senseless war. But should not make it deserve senseless solution as well. Rather, it must be matched with solutions that are realistic and acceptable to all people of South Sudan.

If IGAD and TROIKA representatives have the same feelings as we do and try to put themselves in our shoes today, they could certainly see these useless demands by Dr. Riek Machar quite differently.

Dr. Riek’s demands at the peace talks are not only impossible but they also show the world that Riek does not want peace in South Sudan.

The Government of South Sudan has conceded a lot of issues at the talks just for the sake of peace; but that has been badly abused by the opposition. The opposition needed to have reciprocated the Government’s faithful concessions at the talks instead of using the same as the point of weakness to exploit.

The argument by the opposition to keep two armies in the country does not indicate any readiness for peace. Riek as reported in the media claimed that seventy percent of the army defected with him at the start at the conflict. But there is no baseline from which it can truly be placed. The Nuer tribe prior to the conflict had a big representation in the army but still it could not reach the claimed 70%.

It also happened because of the reintegration of several Nuer based militia groups that were aligned to Sudan before the South–South Dialogue.

Dr Riek should be made to drop the argument about the two armies or anything like amalgamation and go for the reintegration of the two armies under one command to ensure trust and togetherness in the SPLA once and for all.

Amalgamation of the two armies may plant in the SPLA the rebel White army that was mobilized and armed without proper training.

And the admission of the White army may amount to calling for the ‘gelweng’ of Dinka and the ‘Arrow boys’ of Equatoria to be included in the army. To allow this to happen may render the national army not only fragile and fragmented but also inflated and bloated.

Federalism has been a call by a section of South Sudanese. But it has no recorded public backing since it has not been put on a referendum. Still, even if all South Sudanese agree on federalism, there can be no way it can be applied straight away after the war.

It is necessary to have census conducted prior to re-division of states into 21 or more federal states.

There are more important things to do before we can embark on federalism. South Sudanese deserve a just peace and national reconciliation first before anything else.

It should be the transitional government to undertake issues that are deemed “firsts” before we embark on federalism now.

The wealth sharing is another issue that got many of us baffled. It is difficult to comprehend why in the first place was wealth sharing included in the talks. The demand for wealth sharing under the ratios the opposition have suggested is a straight call for war.

Dr. Riek and his group must tell us all what did they do in this country to earn them the right to sit and tell us how they want to share out wealth?

It seems the opposition wants to argue for a CPA-like agreement but the first thing they ought to know is that South Sudan was an entity that had existed like a country for decades.

South Sudan was granted semi autonomy and that enhanced for a model that was to suit a two states solution. It can never be applied here now and there is not a single justification for it in solving South Sudan crisis.

Countries like Kenya did experience violence over power in the recent past. And Uhuru Kenyatta should have an insight into what a tribal conflict is since he was accused of supporting his tribe, Kikuyu and in particular a sect of outlaws called ‘Mungiki’ in the fight against the Kalenjin tribe during the 2007 post election violence.

There was sense in sharing power in Kenya because the elections were contested by two parties, ODM and PNU.

But in our case, a former VP sacked under the constitutional jurisdictions of the President, that power be shared is a way to accept peace; otherwise, Dr Riek should have been asked to drop guns and come contest elections either in the party, SPLM or General elections.

South Sudanese are not ready to give away the country in the name of reforms. Reforms cannot be guessed in the faces of negotiators.

Riek is not a reformist; rather he is a disgruntled opportunist who is just trying to cling at every floating straw. His reform agenda is a hoax. He didn’t rebel because of reforms either. If Riek’s demands are the perceived reforms then there is no need for peace at all.

I believe that African dictators are made. And for sure, if Kiir becomes a dictator and South Sudan becomes a hostile state it will be blamed only on frustrations. Mugabe and Zimbabwe may have been frustrated to choose to stand against the West after the realities presented by Zimbabweans were neglected by some external powers.

The West and USA in particular, stepped into Kenyan issues prior to 2013 general elections and declared that “choices have consequences” in an attempt to sway Kenyans from voting-in both Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto. This made Kenyans to become even more defiant.

They chose to look no other way than to point in the eye of the US, voting in what Kenyans wanted and not what the external forces wanted them to.

The ICC was meant to intimidate and dictate what path Kenya should take, but it turned out to haunt its own proprietors. ICC became the launch pad from which the 2013 Kenyan Elections were based as tribal sympathies override the real issues that affect a common Kenyan citizen.

The threats of sanctions on South Sudan could serve the same purpose the ICC was for Kenya: to pressurize the government so as to hurriedly sign peace. Yet, signing a wrong peace agreement means a return to war.

South Sudan cannot manage the situation that happened in Egypt where leadership was swung all around like a pendulum. The talks in Addis Ababa can possibly produce a good agreement but only if the mediators keep away from external influence and stop condoning Dr. Riek’s impossible demands.

It is my belief that IGAD knows South Sudan very well. It is in the expectation of South Sudanese that IGAD and whoever that stands behind it – TROIKA or EU – be bold enough to ask Riek to shove or shelf all his impossible demands.

The circumstances under which the current war broke out are not comparable with those of the last North–South War. Therefore, there is no way whatsoever the same CPA mechanisms can be applied in the case of the current war.

Peace is all South Sudanese need but it must be a genuine one. For signing a wrong peace is signing a return to war.

Better sanctions than sign a wrong peace!

Taban Abel Aguek works in Rumbek – South Sudan. He can be reached at abelaguek79@gmail.com

Is South Sudan ready for peace?

BY: Abraham Garang, NAIROBI, Kenya, MAR/18/2015, SSN;

This is a question I’d like to ask if I have an opportunity to meet the President and the incumbent rebel leader Riek Machar. One may puzzle of why I ask this question when South Sudan is already bleeding. But honestly speaking, what constitutes me to ask this question is the behaviors that our two prominent leaders have adopted in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Our leaders seem like they care less about the lives of innocent South Sudanese who are dying every day all across the country and their leaders turn their eyes the other away, not ready to return peace and normalcy to South Sudan.

This war that erupted between the presidential guards was not believed to engulf the whole nation and perhaps I did not think that war will linger that long because of the enduring suffering the people of South Sudan have gone through during the protracted struggle which resulted in the birth of the nation of South Sudan in which some millions lost their precious lives due to the cause of freedom.

Therefore, nobody could expect the South Sudanese to have another serious civil war after the war of Arab colonization amongst themselves. This has subjugated us as citizens who’re condemned to fight each other on behalf of Kiir vs. Riek.

This makes me loose buoyancy. The two leaders have shaped the country into where it is and therefore they should be the ones who will reshape this country again and bring our masses of people back together.

As a student of politics, I am well aware that in politics, you may use people against people in order to gain political objectives. This is what our leaders are doing and it is an inept juncture in South Sudan to use people against people just for one man’s gain.

South Sudan is a country that achieved independence from an oppressive regime of Khartoum and a country that was born without proper institutions. Therefore, it could not be compared with other countries.

There’s need to know that South Sudan did not obtain its Independence in 1983 but 2011. This must be clarified to those leaders in the opposition who claimed that South Sudan is not well governed.

These leaders must know the fact that South Sudan is still a young nation and it’s wrong to compare it with Kenya, South Africa and Ghana. It’s also wrong for our leaders to mobilize the future generation to fight for their own political egoism when they are defeated politically.

Supporting either rebels nor government is baseless, however supporting peace and formation of a transitional government with a creation of non-executive Prime Minister will end the bleeding of innocent lives.

This war wittingly created by the president and the former vice president to dichotomize South Sudan into tribalism, regionalism and sectarianism and I strongly deem that South Sudan with this political nature will be more likely worse than Somalia if South Sudan leaders don’t come out publicly and denounce the current war and make public apology and finally condone the transitional government that includes all political parties and share power equally.

I think this should help South Sudanese. But blaming the president, neither the former vice president at the same time when the country is at war with itself is a dangerous proposition.

I think this time isn’t a time for blame, it’s time for peace and after peace is achieved, then the Africa Union Commission and United Nations Security Council will publish the report and that would be the time….may be a mythical time… for justice to prevail.

And the commission will have virtue to bring to justice whoever is the culprit for this war.

If South Sudan is ready for peace, therefore their leaders should sign peace deal for the interest of South Sudanese but not the interest of the leaders.

Otherwise, military race will not bring the reforms and reconstitionalize the constitution of the republic of South Sudan.

Abraham Garang is a South Sudanese Independent thinker who lives in Nairobi- Kenya.

Kiir ‘stage-managed’ coup against himself to paint me in bad light, claims Machar

By FRED OLUOCH, Interview with Dr. Riek Machar of SPLM/A-IO in Addis Ababa (DAILY NATION), Saturday, March 14, SSN;

QUESTION: Why is it so difficult for you and President Salva Kiir to agree on a peaceful settlement after 14 months of talks?

MACHAR: It is not about the two of us but the issues that have been affecting the country since Independence. For instance, we have basically raised the issues of reforms and restructuring in government to meet our diversity.

To that end, we are advocating federalism. We have also suggested arrangements that would assure the people of South Sudan of their security. But the government is opposed to these proposals.

QUESTION: Igad has postponed the South Sudan talks indefinitely. What is your take?

MACHAR: I understand that they are recommending a new mechanism to include other regions of Africa. We welcome it because some of the Igad countries have direct interests in South Sudan. For example, Uganda interfered physically in South Sudan, deploying troops to fight us. So it is best to include other regional blocs because they may look at things differently, which could bring peace.

QUESTION: President Kiir has categorically stated that he is not ready to work with you as the First Vice-President.

MACHAR: I did not ask to be his vice president, nor do I wish to be one. Our position is that Salva Kiir’s government committed genocide in Juba. What happened in Juba after December 15, 2013, was ethnic cleansing and we don’t want this to be repeated. So Kiir should just resign and give way to another person.

QUESTION: You have also been accused by human-rights organisations of having massacred civilians, especially in Bentiu?

MACHAR: This was on April 15, 2014. The government was being supported by four groups of Sudanese rebels, one of them being JEM (Justice and Equality Movement). When we dislodged them from Bentiu, a lot of them died but also a lot of them ran to the mosque. There was a battle in the mosque and a good number of people died.

However, we also investigated through our own machinery and it is not true that all of those who died in the mosque were civilians. The majority of them were armed soldiers, even though some civilians died.

QUESTION: Then, are you in favour of the Obasanjo commission report that lists those who committed atrocities?

MACHAR: We have requested the AU to make this report public because it is important for the whole world to know what happened. If there are issues where anybody would be asked to account, then it should be a transparent process. I am disappointed that the AU Peace and Security Council did not discuss this report during the January Summit.

QUESTION: The leaked version of that report calls for the exclusion of both you and President Kiir from the transitional government. Why are they trying to balance the blame?

MACHAR: I am the victim here. Why would I not be allowed to participate in the transitional government while I was forced into the current situation? The person who planned the genocide should shoulder the responsibility.

QUESTION: The president says you had planned a coup but when it failed you turned it into an insurgency.

MACHAR: I planned no coup. He arrested and tried some of my colleagues who participated in the December 6, 2013 press conference calling for reforms within the SPLM. But they were acquitted by the court and the charges that they planned a coup, including me in absentia, were dropped. In fact, he stage-managed a coup against himself.

QUESTION: At that press conference, you called for internal party reforms because SPLM had lost its vision. Could you explain that?

MACHAR: It is true the party has lost its original vision and that is why we believe in the reform of SPLM to go back to its original vision and that is why we signed the Arusha Accord of January 21, which addressed the causes of the conflict within the SPLM.

In the vision, we wanted to create a united South Sudan as a democratic and prosperous country. But what Salva Kiir is running is a disunited country riddled with insecurity, corruption and exclusivity.

QUESTION: Do you have the moral standing to talk about corruption, when you were the vice-president when corruption took root?

Well, you can be a vice-president and yet things can be done without your knowledge. Look at the Dura Saga in which the government paid nearly $1 million for cereals that were never delivered.

At one time, the president issued a “List of Shame” naming 75 personalities involved in corruption but when parliament challenged him to take these people to court, he threatened to dissolve it.

QUESTION: You are portrayed by the government as a serial rebel, having done it in 1991 and now in 2013.

MACHAR: [Laughs loudly]. 1991 was a split in the movement over differences in ideas on what to fight for. I called for the right of self-determination, while others like Dr John Garang wanted a reformed, united Sudan.

In the end, my idea of self-determination became the overriding objective of the struggle. You can now see we are independent and it is I who have won the ideological debate.

In 2013, I was forced into the current situation and that is why we are demanding the restructuring of the state by applying the new system of governance, which is federalism, to address our diversity.

This is not rebellion.

QUESTION: Still, some people accuse you of betraying Dr John Garang in 1991.

MACHAR: Dr Garang and I were contemporaries. My objective was self-determination, which has now been realised. How then did I betray the struggle if Dr Garang later signed the CPA that contained the provisions of self-determination?

QUESTION: But you entered into a deal with President Omar al-Bashir, whom the Southerners were fighting. Was that not betrayal?

MACHAR: On the contrary, my move was to further the concept of self-determination. For the first time, Khartoum put self-determination in the Constitution in 1998 as a result of our Khartoum Peace Agreement.

I had the courage to negotiate with Khartoum and force them to accept self-determination.

But when they could not implement it in four years, I went back to the bush and re-joined Dr Garang. In the end, the CPA benefited from the Khartoum agreement which ensured that self-determination will be exercised by the people of South Sudan.

QUESTION: The same CPA had provided a six-year interim period for Khartoum to make unity attractive. Suppose they did, what would have happened to your vision?

MACHAR: Had the people of South Sudan chosen unity, my vision would have died. But my vision did not die because those who wanted unity with Khartoum were given six years to advocate for it. But it failed when we went to a referendum with two options of secession and unity, and the secessionists won. I am therefore exonerated!

QUESTION: Some of your critics describe you as a man with undying ambition and that you will stop at nothing to get the presidency.

Well, my main ambition is to build a state that can be a proud member of the community of nations. I led the drive for self-determination, creating a federal, democratic and yet united state at the national level. If this is what you call undying ambition, so let be it because according to me, I have a vision to create such a state.

QUESTION: Critics say that you should not complain because during the interim period when President Kiir was the first vice-president of the larger Sudan, you were actually the man in charge of the Southern sections and could have made changes.

MACHAR: That is the biggest lie I have been hearing. Initially, I thought it was just propaganda from his sycophants, but when I heard it from the president himself in the last Igad session, I confronted him and told him not to rewrite history.

He was in the South most of the time and in fact it was I who was shuttling between Khartoum and Juba as the one charged with the implementation of the CPA. I used to spend three or four days in Khartoum but I always made sure that I attended the Council of Ministers meetings on Friday. In short, he was never in Khartoum, after he left in 2006. He is now selling this view because he does not want to accept the responsibility of what has gone wrong in South Sudan.

QUESTION: President Kiir said that Khartoum is supplying you with weapons and offering moral support.

MACHAR: Where is his proof? I get my arms from him. On the contrary, he is the one who buys arms and ammunition from Khartoum and we capture them on the ground whenever we overrun their stations.

QUESTION: Are you saying you don’t have external weapons suppliers?

MACHAR: I wish I did. If I get, I will definitely go for it but it is very difficult to get arms from abroad and therefore we have to look internally. As you know, it is a war situation and everybody needs arms.

QUESTION: What, according to you, is ailing South Sudan?

MACHAR: It is simply an issue of bad governance. The institutions of governance and accountability are weak. We all tried to strengthen these institutions but it all boils down to leadership. If the ruling party SPLM is working at cross-purposes with government, then things will definitely go wrong.

QUESTION: Should you be given a chance to rule the country, what would you do differently?

MACHAR: First of all, South Sudan will be a federal, democratic state with multi-party democracy. We will fight corruption and strengthen institutions of governance, at national, state and county level.

We will introduce new blood into governance at every level; the party will be rejuvenated. So we will be a forward-looking state capable of competing with our neigbours and also taking advantage of the talents and experiences available among our neighbours to build the country in the shortest possible time. END

IGAD-led peace has failed: It’s about time to invite Pres. Omar Bashir to bring lasting peace to South Sudan

BY: J. NGUEN, Canada, MAR/14/2015, SSN;

The value of this honest proposal is humanistic, logical and politically mature. If implemented, will have positive impacts in finding lasting peace in South Sudan and people can once again be at peace. Warmongers will perceive this as a short-sighted because their familiarity with South Sudan and Sudan politics is limited and their scope of understanding is informed by what they gain when this war continued.

Some might disagree with this proposal because they have axes to grind with Sudanese people (north and south) and want no peace to return to South Sudan whatsoever.

Logically, one of the benefits of this proposal is that it will bring normalcy to people’s lives and also prevent imminent collapse of the nation.

President Omar Bashir is a heavyweight political machine as far as South Sudan normalcy is concerned. We can no longer afford ignoring this reality.

To achieve a meaningful in South Sudan, President Bashir of Sudan, the Troika..i.e United Kingdom, Norway and United States must be involved. This is demanded of South Sudanese people since there was no progress in the peace talk and no consequences against those who obstructed peace.

At this point, I am sure most of us are convinced with the narrative that IGAD led peace wouldn’t prevail some days. The idea that IGAD was a formidable political machine capable of bringing lasting peace to South Sudan was a perfect fallacy and unrealistic.

This has been proven before our watchful eyes. Therefore, it’s about time for Sudanese and the world to do the unthinkable. It’s about time to rationalize South Sudan problem and find local solutions with international and region outlook.

Involving president Bashir to take lead in solving South Sudan problem is a positive initiative in the right direction. Involvement of the Troika countries, Norway, United Kingdom and United States in supportive role and in some decision making is also paramount. These countries are friends of South Sudan and will always be there for us when we needed help. Now, our people need their friendly hands.

The IGAD led peace for South Sudan has failed because most of the IGAD’s member states only positioned their representatives in South Sudan’s peace talks only for economic purposes. Call it economic gain if you may.

The IGAD intention was not to bring lasting peace to South Sudan but prolongation of war in order to prolong financial exploitation of South Sudan. This is the dominant motive behind the Uganda president involvement in South Sudan internal affairs.

While Kenya and Ethiopia on the other hand have the same interests using subsidiaries as third parties and back door deals to achieve the same financial ends. If for the same reason that IGAD never enforced any threat.

The problem we have in south Sudan needs sound approach and openness in order to find an amicable solution. This cannot be achieved with current approach because the prorogation is wrong.

Similarly, this sound approach will be counterproductive when only extoling current false political elites in South Sudan. The South Sudanese people are glad that IGAD’s head negotiator has admitted that the past approach aimed to bringing peace to South Sudan is wrong and must be altered.

The current governance in South Sudan is too “deformed to be reformed.” For one, South Sudan as a nation is led by a weak and incompetence president. The South Sudan self-serving political class is splintered on tribal basis.

For instance, the G10 and the SPLM/A led by Dr. Riek are currently caught up in rather premature egocentric politics. Simply because the G10 has an axe to grind with Dr. Riek on personal basis and this led to rather a weak opposition.

President Kiir on the other hand has surrounded himself with ineffective tribal hooligans. This state of affairs opened South Sudan up to wolves and serious exploitation by well-established hyenas looking for profitable financial carcasses. The losers at the end of the day are the common South Sudanese people.

Since December 2013, President Kiir has lost constitutional legitimacy after administering the gruesome massacre of the Nuer nationality in the State capital, Juba. A heinous crime ever committed in the 21th century.

Now, the nation has no national army to keep Kiir and cronies afloat. Kiir opted for Uganda’s UPDF’s desperate offer and aimed only for financial prosperity. This useless deal is now keeping Kiir and disgruntled politicians around him afloat by using South Sudan’s petro-dollars while the country’s national identity goes to waste.

For Kenya and Ethiopia, South Sudan’s financial district around the country is run by the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and this has helped Kenya with immense financial growth in its GDP in the past 5 years. Therefore President Kenyatta is determined to keep this status quo alive whatever it takes without any humanistic remorse to the suffering South Sudanese civilians caught up in the senseless civil war.

Besides, every tea shop and water supply in South Sudan is owned and run by Ethiopian nationals. This gives Ethiopia as a country a financial incentive than ever before while South Sudanese citizens languish in the UN bases internally and in the neighboring countries.

Therefore, the only strategic plan used by Uganda, Kenya and Uganda is keeping our people engaged militarily while they continue exploiting the nation wealth.

Dr. Riek and his group plus the G10 have no financial capacities to strike the balance of the petro-dollars used by President Kiir, but instead, depend on handouts from goodwill friends. Because of this, the G10 and the SPLM/A-IO lack political influences over IGAD’s member States.

In fact, G10 is in the worse position compared to SPLM-IO. The group’s survival depends on President Kenyatta’s handouts and they lack political independence and in the course of this conflict will never flex political muscles.

In the view of Kiir and Dr. Riek’s factions, this group is misguided representing political paupers to say the least. The group has no military base anywhere in South Sudan to resort to should roundtable solution withered away like it has.

In the recent past, G10 has used angel-like politics to win supports from the international community particularly the TROIKA and the US but this has failed even though the group back- stabbed Dr. Riek and his SPLM/A -IO after the movement fought fiercely to secure their release from prison.

It was even alleged that Pagan Amum, the leader of G10 has stated that the killing of the Nuer civilians in their thousands should not take the country to civil war. If this is true, the question one needs to ask is what can take a country to war then if peoples’ lives no longer matters?

The South Sudan peace negotiation led by IGAD has failed and the country is now at a free fall. Precisely, the badly needed peace is no more even with strong support from the Troika countries and the United States.

As a result, empty political bickering from IGAD has taken a centre stage but counterproductive as usual. I should say, IGAD is good for nothing and can never be a vanguard to salvage a meaningful peace for my people.

They are toothless and their interests are solely financially motivated and the organization lacks financial and political leverages to stand it grounds.

For the last 15 months of South Sudan conflict, IGAD has made empty numerous political posturing of severe consequences against Dr. Riek and President Kiir Mayardit should peace fail.

Sadly, the result of such threats is that both parties showed defiance and failed to agree on every talking point. Also both warring parties have continued to dishonour signed cessation of hostilities and no single threat of severe consequences from IGAD has been actualized.

As it appears, IGAD made some of these threats against Kiir and Machar after being instructed to do so by TROIKA countries and United States. To date, IGAD has no tangible Plan B should South Sudan’s peace negotiation fail like it has.

All we heard time and again are endless empty political bickering of wanting to protect South Sudanese civilians caught up in the middle of the war.

On the 6th of March 2015, finally, a nail on the coffin was transfixed on South Sudan peace process. South Sudan’s peace process was indefinitely suspended by IGAD’s mediator citing disagreement over every major issue on the menu.

This is expected and every South Sudanese that I know of knew from the onset that IGAD peace process is doomed and destined to fail. The pronouncement made by IGAD only validates our common man’s knowledge on the matter.

As I write, there is no hope for peace anytime soon in South Sudan. Fighting between the two warring parties has resumed and suffering of civilians continues unabated. Death is relentless and no negotiation is expected in the near future. This is disappointing and must not be allowed to continue.

Therefore, to find the solution, there is only one avenue that has not been tapped, Sudan. Sudan has been ignored due to its president’s bad relations with the West and yet this country stands a good chance of bringing lasting peace to South Sudan if utilized effectively.

Sudan as a country is an IGAD’s member State but her president, Omar Al Bashir has been isolated due to indictment by the International Criminal Court regarding the Darfur issue.

Sadly however, the Darfur rebels and its northern Sudanese allies, the SPLM/A -North rebels have proven to be bad partners and merciless bandits who cannot be trusted. They are involved into South Sudan tribal killings as mercenaries.

As I write, they are fighting alongside a genocidal regime of president Kiir; a government that trained and armed troops to carry out the massacre of defenseless civilians on December 2013.

This showed that the Darfur rebel groups have lost their good political stand at the international stage and deserve no political and moral supports from anyone but instead ought to be condemned in the strongest terms possible for aiding in the death of South Sudan civilians.

As such President Omar Bashir should no longer be held back from playing an instrumental role in South Sudan crisis because of these trivial mercenaries/rebel groups issues.

As far as South Sudan’s crisis is concerned, Sudan’s president holds a very unique and important position. If utilized and given the leading role, he can have a positive and far lethal influence over both Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar financially and politically. This is what is lacking with the Ethiopia’s Prime Minister and Kenya but needed for peace to succeed in South Sudan.

If truth be told, the Republic of Sudan under President Bashir is the financier and life line of President Kiir and by extension the Uganda People Defense Forces (UPDF) and the SPLM/A-North, and in part the SPLM/A –IO led by Dr. Riek, according to Hon. Henry Odwar.

Sudan as a country has both political and financial leverage over these conflicting groups in South Sudan. The Ethiopians, Kenyans and Ugandans have zero leverage to gamble with.

Evidently, the Republic of Sudan allowed President Kiir to collect millions of dollars from oil production which flows through Port Sudan to the international market. Subsequently, President Kiir hired the UPDF and various Sudanese rebel groups to fight for him and against the SPLM/A rebels.

The same Sudanese rebel groups funded by President Kiir are the same group that fight President Bashir in the Nuba Mountains, the Blue Nile and the Darfur respectively. In reality, one needs no political science degree to figure out that President Bashir is directly or indirectly financing those who wanted to oust him by force from office.

President Bashir’s financial assistance to Kiir made president Kiir intransigent and refuses to make concessions in the peace process. If President Bashir takes the leading role in South Sudan peace talks, he can use this advantage to strangulate Kiir in case he decided to drag his feet and refused to compromise.

For SPLM/A-IO, if Hon. Henry Odwar’s utterance on the Canadian public Agency Channel early this month were true, that the SPLM/A-IO is receiving military backing from Sudan to counter Uganda involvement, then, it’s paramount to use president Bashir’s influence to bring both parties together or else.

In comparison, the Ethiopian’s Prime Minister is toothless and lacks political and financial leverages over the warring parties. For example, at any rate, if Kiir and Dr. Riek refused to negotiate peace in good faith, President Bashir can actually stop the flow of oil and support of the SPLM/A-IO if the allegation were true.

These can have positive and paralyzing influence both on the government of South Sudan under Salva and the rebels. As a result, the financial incentive for the UPDF will cease and they will call it quits while the Northern Sudan rebels’ support for Kiir will run short of supply.

On the same token, the SPLM/A-IO under Dr. Riek Machar can suffer the same fate.

This plan would be the quickest, efficient and paralyzing influence the world needs to solve South Sudan crisis. President Bashir is the only hope and paralyzing influence required to curb the rampage and intransigence of the warring parties.

Thus, without President Bashir, the Troika countries, United Kingdom and United States involvement, the pending UN’s sanctions and the Ethiopian’s Prime Minister’s empty threats will not help solve the South Sudan conflict.

Therefore, I call on the International Community and the Africa Union to endorse and support president Bashir to take leading role in efforts to bring lasting peace to South Sudan

J. Nguen is a concerned South Sudanese living in Canada. He can be reached at jamesnguen@gmail.com

Wrong solution can give wrong results

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, UGANDA, MAR/11/2015, SSN;

It is clear beyond a reasonable doubt that the prospect of achieving peace to end the current conflict in South Sudan is dwindling. This is not because warring parties do not want peace to come to South Sudan but because there is a lot of external influence and interferences from different groups that have personal interests in South Sudan.

The examples of the groups that want to achieve their own interests as their conducts show are the USA, the UNMISS and IGAD. The USA, the UNMISS and IGAD want to see that their interests in peace talks are met, and if not met, the peace will never be achieved in South Sudan, despite the fact that thousands and thousands of South Sudanese will keep on dying or suffering under cruel war.

I have made an accusation against the above bodies although I do not have any personal evidence to show that the USA, the UNMISS and the IGAD have interests in South Sudan but their behavior in regard to peace talks and war in general have proved them beyond any shadow of doubts that they have interests in seeing the government of South Sudan overthrown, and hence, substituting with their puppet government of Riek Machar or any other person who will serve their interests that they want to achieve through the current war.

As I have made an assertion, there is a need to prove it. The truth is that the USA and the UNMISS have been active in the field supporting rebels while the IGAD has been active in seeing that peace talks is signed in favour of rebels. This is the fact as it is known by the majority of South Sudanese.

For instance, the UNMISS has done two things during this war that made it to stand out and clearly show that it is supporting rebels.

The first dangerous thing the UNMISS did was when it was about to deliver assortments of guns and ammunitions to rebels, fortunately, South Sudanese’s God was working hard since those guns and ammunitions were detected in Rumbek and stopped before falling in the hands of rebels.

That incident alone shows that the UNMISS did badly and barbarically because it did violate the rule of law that governs international community and civilization.

The rule of law of the independence of nations, national sovereignty and respect of territorial integrity are the basis of the modern international law and sources of civilization but were violated by the UNMISS as shown by that single incidence.

Another thing the UNMISS did that showed it that it was supporting rebels against the government was what happened recently when it transported the government officials to rebel areas where they were about to be murdered in cold blood thanks to the concerted efforts by the government and threat to the UNMISS base in Bor by mighty Jonglei youth.

The incidence I am talking about here is that of Chol Aruai and his colleagues who were transported and handed over to rebels by the UNMISS earlier this year.

Besides the destructive role of the UNMISS in South Sudanese conflict as explained in the above paragraphs, the USA has been accused of supporting rebels against the government and majority of South Sudanese are aware of such facts as many rebel members here in Kampala have been boasting that they are being supported by the USA and that they are likely to win the war against the government.

Finally, the IGAD has been active in peace talk’s process as it tries to influence the result of peace talks in favour of rebels. In fact it can be summed up that the USA, the UNMISS and IGAD are using rebels as their proxies to achieve what they planned when the coup that was initially attempted failed miserably.

Of course, many people who have limited understanding of the intricacies involved in the current raging South Sudanese war as it is marred with divergent personal interests may dispute this statement especially when I mentioned the term “attempted coup” and the USA, the UNMISS and IGAD interests in South Sudan.

However, as a matter of fact, all these three parties are supporting rebels but have been keeping incognito to avoid being viewed as parties to the conflicts and attract more enemies criticisms and also to avoid being accused of bias since they pretend to be “neutral” in attempting to negotiate peace for South Sudanese.

Nevertheless after the collapse of peace talks, they have now come out openly and at full-scale ready to execute their plan of destroying South Sudan if they fail to overthrow the legitimate government of South Sudan.

I have used the term legitimacy objectively in this context as it is based on the concept of national laws of South Sudan and international law in general and whoever claims that the current government of South Sudan is illegitimate has misplaced, misconceived concept and he or she is laboring under the deficit of international law concept of legitimate government.

What makes the government legitimate under the international law is a matter of facts and law. According to the international law, a legitimate government is defined by the fact that it is by the general acknowledgement as being in control of a nation and deserving formal recognition from other nations, which is symbolized by the exchange of diplomats between that government and the governments of other countries. This is exactly what the government of South Sudan is, and therefore, it is a legitimate government.

Coming back to the point as I have already made, after the USA, the UNMISS and the IGAD have failed to overthrow the government of South Sudan militarily through their proxy Riek Machar, they are now out to destroy South Sudan in totality by trying to reduce her full independence to the status of trusteeship. It is despicable plan that should never be condoned if proved to be true by time.

Such a plan to reduce the independence status of South Sudan to trusteeship has been discovered in the recent leaked report from the African Union (AU), which revealed it in its one of the recommendations that South Sudan should be put under the AU administration.

Of course, this a leak report and its content is not yet fully disclosed, which is against the fair hearing if it is just condemned out-rightly.

However, has it has been observed through the old adage that there is no smoke without a fire, there is a likelihood that what that leak report carried may be the true content of the document.

If that is going to be true, then, I must point out that the USA, the UNMISS and the IGAD have misfired in trying to bring peace in South Sudan. This is because wrong solution can give wrong results.

Instead of bringing peace through the people of South Sudan, the USA, the AU, the IGAD and the UNMISS are creating other problems as they are digging a hole to fill a hole. The country or the state cannot be destroyed as a means of achieving lasting peace.

No South Sudanese can accept to lose their citizenship simply because there is a peace to be achieved.

Where will one enjoy such peace? It’s tantamount to slavery and indirect colonialism since South Sudanese will again in the near future have to struggle to achieve their independence.

The way I feel strongly against such a plan is the same way other majority of South Sudanese feels about it and it will automatically cause a serious war against AU or any other body that will take charge of South Sudan.

The question the recommendation given by the AU invoked in our minds are many, and particularly, the main question is: How many countries have been engaged in the war like that of South Sudan or even worse than that but they have never been recommended to put under either the AU or the UN or European Union or SEATO or ASEAN or SAARC?

For example, Somalia was a failed state until 2012, Rwanda witnessed a deadly genocide, Bosnia saw a lot of massacres against Muslims, Central African Republic saw a deadly conflict between Muslims and Christians in which the hatred had reached the deadly level of which human beings ate other human beings, DR. Congo was in conflict for so many years, Libya and Syria has been in conflict since 2011 but none of these countries has ever been recommended to put under the international or the regional bodies.

However when it comes to South Sudan, it is treated as an exception. What is so special about South Sudan? I believe there must be something wrong with South Sudan as viewed by the AU and the USA.

Therefore, it is imperative to remind the regional bodies like the AU and IGAD and the international body like the UN that South Sudan is an independent country inhabited by the independent people and independent government under the international law.

It is somehow disappointing to see IGAD behaving as if it is a dictatorial government and as if it does not know what it is doing.

The way the IGAD is trying to bring peace in South Sudan is wrong and I will see how it will be successful as the time will tell. Nonetheless, the fact is that wrong solution can give wrong results.

The IGAD does not have an excuse of deciding to take the direction it has planned to take. If it is the violation of human rights that took place or ethnic cleansing that occurred as some people termed is the cause of destroying South Sudan, then, the approach of destroying the whole country in order to bring justice to the victims is not the correct one.

In fact, the majority of South Sudanese are not happy with South Sudanese leaders for killing their own citizens but they are not even happier with the AU for recommending to destroy South Sudan and they are ready to face the AU if need be.

In summary, all South Sudanese should be ready to fight against the AU if it comes in to take over South Sudan. The last word is that South Sudan should only be taken over our dead bodies.

The Author is a South Sudanese in Uganda and he can be reached via:
Email: juoldaniel@yahoo.com; +256783579256

Hypocrisy and Self-Interest at the failed IGAD-brokered South Sudan ‘Peace Talks’

BY: Kuir ë Garang, ALBERTA, Canada, MAR/11/2015, SSN;

Now that the warring parties have failed to sign a peace deal to end the 15-month old conflict in South Sudan, the jittery public is asking: “What’s Next?” And ‘what’s next’ is the unquestionable reworking of the entire peace process. Winning militarily is an illusion.

In October last year, Ethiopian Prime Minister Haile Mariam Desalegn told a press conference after the two principals in the conflict failed to strike a deal arguing that changing the negotiating strategy would not bring results. Bizarrely, he advocated for the same strategy that was proving fruitless.

When the last round of the talks failed [again] on March 6, Mr. Desalegn, however, seemed to have had an epiphany. Having come to the realization that using the same strategy over and over without results is foolhardy, the Prime Minister finally called for a change in strategy.

While we all understand that the two principals have failed South Sudanese for having started the war and failing to end it, we have to remember the mediocre method used by IGAD and the patronage being exercised by the regional leaders and the African Union.

In January, the deputy minister of Foreign Affairs, Peter Bashir Bandi, gave an interview to SSTV and what he said underlined what many of us have been advocating for for months. Mr. Bandi explained how South Sudanese brokered ways forward were frustrated by IGAD’s mediation team.

Anytime South Sudanese made progress at the talks, he argues, IGAD would postpone the talks without giving any reasons and without consulting the two delegations.

Besides, IGAD is not mediating the talks, but forcing them. There’s never been a peace initiative in which talks are given strict timelines and the parties threatened to sign or they be punished. We don’t need the peace talks if the arsenals mediators have are threats. Threats are symptomatic of mediators’ failure.

The attitude regional and African leaders have adopted towards South Sudanese leaders is condescending, patronizing and disrespectful. With no doubt, South Sudanese civilians are suffering and dying and the country’s development has been frustrated. However, regional leaders are treating South Sudanese leaders like idiots, who can’t think for themselves.

Unfortunately, the leaders are playing along with such disrespectful patronization. And I agree with Dr. Marial Benjamin: there’s nowhere in the world where you give peace a deadline.

Dr. Riek Machar and President Kiir Mayardit have brought the country to its knees and it’s high time they pulled it back up. Time and again, the two leaders have asked to be allowed to negotiate as South Sudanese but IGAD refuses to listen.

Kiir and Riek should realize the patronizing manner in which they are being treated and take charge of the talks. Do we really need such useless IGAD’s mediation?

Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin has proven incapable of mediating peace. Instead of the stakeholders drafting positional papers, which IGAD can just work through for a compromise, all draft papers are written by IGAD and given to the two sides with “sign it now or be punished!” That’s not mediation but self-serving blackmail!

Is it really impossible for Kiir and Riek to call a south-south meeting in Nairobi or Addis Ababa and strike an understanding without the patronage and condescension of the ineffective regional leaders?

And how do we expect people who haven’t brought peace to their own countries to be interested in peace in South Sudan?

Ethiopia arrests political opponents, journalists and bloggers. It still hasn’t solved the problem of Oromo Liberation Front. Human Rights Watch in May of 2014 called for Ethiopia to respect human rights and prosecute security forces abuses in Gambella, Somali region of Ethiopia and in Oromia. A HRW report in October of 2013 documented incidents of torture by the government.

Sudan and Uganda, both of which ruled by dictators, are classic examples of hypocrisy at South Sudanese talks. Sudan is ruled by a legal fugitive, it’s fighting wars in three fronts (or more) and its human rights records are appalling. The cases of Amin Medani and opposition leader Farouk Issa are current crack down on political voices.

And the dear Yoweri Museveni has essentially occupied South Sudan as he dictates what President Kiir does. Museveni tries to portray himself as the regional superman. His ego is inflated by regional conflicts. His presence in Somalia, interference in Congo, Rwanda, Sudan and South Sudan shouldn’t be seen in naïve lenses as Mr. Savior at work. Museveni’s power thrives in these conflicts. End the conflicts and his influence disappears!

It is therefore crucial for Kiir and Riek to chart a different course for peace in South Sudan. It’s naïve to expect that people who don’t and can’t respect human rights records in their own countries would wish for peace in South Sudan.

The decision not to release AU report on post-December 2013 conflict is testimonial of how African leaders view human rights.

But remember, this article by no means absolves South Sudanese leaders of the atrocities committed by their forces. And this also doesn’t mean Riek and Kiir have no part in the hypocrisy surrounding the peace talks.

Indeed, South Sudanese would open their hearts to forgive if the leaders showed some elements of care, leadership and responsibility. Good leadership is about sacrifices on behalf of the people.

Beside IGAD’s hypocrisy, the two leaders have not set any example in regard to forgiveness, letting go and striking a peace language that’d herald in the advent of peaceful atmosphere in the country.

And unlike IGAD’s leaders, who threaten Kiir and Riek instead of doing their job for peace to come to South Sudan, the United Nation Security Council Resolution 2026 (2015) that calls for targeted sanctions on individuals is appropriate.

It’s not a blind, unstructured threat like what IGAD usually mete out on South Sudanese leaders. The proposals would be calculated, targeted sanctions on individuals that are obstacles to the talks. To claim that sanctions would be counter-productive is to lose sight of who is fighting in South Sudan, who is suffering and who is imposing the sanctions.

I don’t know why South Sudanese leaders worry if they aren’t obstacles to peace talks!

It’s therefore time for our leaders to restore the dignity of the country through peace by seeing regional leaders for what they are: hypocritical self-interested group.

Kuir ë Garang is the author of South Sudan Ideologically. For contact, visit www.kuirthiy.info