Archive for: June 2015

The reinstatement of Pagan Amum to Secretary General of SPLM is inappropriate!

BY: Juach Garang Bul, Australia, JUN/25/2015, SSN;

Comrade Pagan Amum was the former Secretary General of the South Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). He has been accused of pilfering SPLM party money and also as being a coup plotter. Pagan Amum was reinstated back to his previous position as Secretary General in accordance with the Arusha agreement to end the nineteen-month-conflict.

I’m opposed to this reinstatement, as the decision was made without lucid clarification to the public proving that he will work in favour of the system, not his political ego.

It would be best if Comrade Pagan Amum came out and reassured the nation that he will be honest and will defend the constitution. This would work towards keeping peace, as the ongoing conflict started amongst SPLM leaders, including himself.

As this has not happened, it suggests the government is keen to support the same politicians responsible for instigating the ongoing conflict.

It would be astute to bring peace first prior to reinstating those who called President Kiir an inept and visionless leader. Perhaps reinstatement of these SPLM leaders will result in the betrayal of president Kiir and his government, again.

Related to this, many people might question why someone such as Pagan Amum is reinstated back to the party while other elites are left out. What’s behind his reinstatement?

If President Kiir was being rational, Riek Machar would also first have been reinstated back to his position, as would other former political leaders from the SPLM.

The people of South Sudan want to know why individuals who killed innocent people are being reinstated back into political positions without publically apologizing and being held to account.

Who is going to be held accountable for the innocent Nuer killed in Juba?

And likewise, who is going to be held accountable for innocent Dinka killed in Bor and other UN camps by Nuer?

We, the people, have power to question the government as to why criminals in power have not been brought to justice.

We have power to highlight mistakes by the government because democracy means people power.

This means we, the people of South Sudan, have a right to question why the government and Opposition are still fighting when former SPLM leaders are returning back to Juba without accountability.

This lack of justice means that those involved in the fight for political attentiveness between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the White Army are blindfolded and dying in vain.

I know we are all desperate for peace, but it cannot come this way. Peace without justice is not genuine peace.

Peace without South Sudanese people knowing why their children were killed isn’t real peace.

As one amongst millions of South Sudanese affected by this senseless war, I disagree with the reinstatement of Pagan Amum without questioning what he will do differently from betraying and dehumanizing President Kiir and his government.

I may have concurred if President Kiir implemented the Arusha Agreement by bringing all former SPLM leaders back to the party, and promptly ended the conflict.

Allowing one individual to such a political position like this is corrupt and not appropriate.

What has Pagan Amum done that makes him deserve this reinstatement? END

Juach Garang Bul is a concerned South Sudanese living in Perth, Western Australia (Australia). He can be reached at his personal email for any inquiry at juach111@hotmail.com

Power sharing agreement not a solution to South Sudan conflict

By Jacob K. Lupai, JUBA, JUN/23/2015, SSN;

South Sudan is engulfed in a conflict that seems to have defied all attempts to resolve it peacefully. The conflict is now about 18 months old and despite every effort made to try to end it, South Sudanese are still to enjoy peace and stability after having shed millions of liters of their own precious blood to achieve independence from vicious colonizers.

The conflict has now become the concern of Africa in particular and the international community at large to chart a better way forward for South Sudan to realize peace and stability through whatever means possible.

It is evident that South Sudanese on their own have no power to end the conflict because they find it easier to disagree than agree. For example, an agreement on cessation of hostilities is easily dishonored with either side to the conflict vehemently blaming each other. The blame game continues monotonously while the country bleeds senselessly.

South Sudan conflict

The conflict in South Sudan began on 15 December 2013. However, according to South Sudan Human Rights Commission (SSHRC) Interim Report on South Sudan Internal Conflict December 15, 2013 – March 15, 2014, the genesis of the conflict can be traced back to July 2013 when President Salva Kiir Mayardit made a major reshuffle, dropping his Vice President, Dr Riek Machar from the Cabinet.

The reshuffle in July 2013 heightened political rivalries and tensions within the ruling party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). Prior to the reshuffle Dr Riek Machar as the Vice President and also deputy to President Salva Kiir Mayardit in the SPLM, openly expressed his desire to challenge the President for the leadership of the SPLM and therefore the President’s leadership as the Head of State.

The political rivalry between President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his former Vice President Dr Riek Machar for power and the leadership of the SPLM, and therefore the Head of State, is the cause of the conflict. A paper presented by SSHRC (July 2014) confirms that the cause of the current conflict is the struggle for the leadership and direction of the affairs of the SPLM and therefore the leadership of the country.

The start of the conflict was blamed on the alleged attempted coup to overthrow the government. However, others also claimed that there was no coup attempt but a fabricated one to silence critics. Nevertheless, whether there was a coup attempt or not what the people of South Sudan need right now is peace, stability and development to improve the quality of their lives. In addition, insecurity is so rampant that the very existence of South Sudan as a sovereign country may be under threat of disintegration.

Institutional reforms

In the absence of meaningful institutional reforms it is highly doubtful that a mere power sharing agreement is a lasting solution to the current conflict in South Sudan. Some may agree that power sharing is the solution to the conflict. Others may disagree while still there may be those who are not so sure. This may all suggest that the conflict is complicated. The complication is that the conflict has taken ethnic and regional dimensions where insecurity is the order of the day. A conception of power sharing agreement as a solution to the conflict is therefore too simplistic.

For any meaningful resolution of the conflict in South Sudan the primary priority is a holistic institutional reform. Reforms in governance, in the economy and in the security sector are a key to sustainable peace and stability. In governance the reform is the adoption of a federal system of government in a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-cultural country such as South Sudan where there are also regional diversities.

In a federal system powers are devolved to a lower level where there is autonomy with less interference from the national government. Through autonomy people have some freedom to run their affairs in their own way. This will likely promote unity in diversity. In South Sudan there could be three federal regions of Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria and Upper Nile headed by prime ministers while the federal government is headed by a president. Within a federal region there could also be autonomous states with the three arms (executive, judiciary and legislature) of government headed by governors. Alternatively, the existing ten states in South Sudan could form the federation.

Reforms in governance

I am aware that a proposal for a federal system will be construed as “Kokora” by people less informed and lacking in confidence. There is no better system than a federal one in addressing the plethora of problems South Sudan faces on daily basis. The naïve ones and the less informed will erroneously perceive that a federal system divides people. This is false. On the contrary, a federal system promotes unity in countries, for example, with diversities of multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-cultural backgrounds. Federal states are found in Africa, in the Americas, in Asia and in Europe. However, only the fearful with a hidden agenda are the opponents.

A centralized system is likely to create rebellions and a possible breakup of a country. The old Sudan is a good case study. The then Southern Sudan demanded a federal system of government to preserve the unity of the old Sudan but the demand was utterly rejected. The rest is for students of history. Hopefully South Sudan will not breakup the way the old Sudan did under naïve Arab Islamic leadership. Learning from the insensitivity in old Sudan, it is hoped that the leadership of South Sudan will be wiser.

Reforms in security sector

Institutional reforms in the security sector is of paramount importance in promoting a strong united South Sudan. South Sudan is a country of 72 ethnic groups. In the national peace conference of South Sudan tribes convened under the theme “Peace Now! South Sudan Tribes United Against War” at Nyokuron Culture Centre on 17 – 18 February 2015, 72 ethnic groups were identified and listed. This is an update of the previous number of 65 ethnic groups considered to be in South Sudan.

The existence of 72 ethnic groups in South Sudan clearly suggests reforms in the security sector must reflect the ethnic diversity of the country. Not having representatives of the 72 ethnic groups in the security sector is a clear disaster in the waiting. As power corrupts it is very unwise to have any ethnic group to dominate in the security sector because it will be extremely arrogant and this does not bode well in promoting national unity. It has been seen that people in uniform grab land using arms but are not accountable for their criminal behavior. The implication is clear.

In reforms in the security sector, a state in the federation should have its own home guards/militia to handle hardcore criminals. The state should also establish its own organized forces such as the police, criminal investigation department, the prisons wildlife and the fire brigade.

For economic reforms the states should have the power to tax in order to raise revenue for investment in development projects. They should have the power, without interference from the centre, to develop natural resources such as agriculture, forestry, animal resources and fisheries. They also should have the power to prospect for oil and minerals such as gold, uranium, zinc and so forth. For self-reliance, paramount in reforms is economic development, judiciary, public services and structures at all levels.

In all, the reform agenda is about the rule of law, the promotion of good governance and the protection of human rights. However, this cannot happen without strong and implementable guarantees. For example, in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of 2005 Abyei was to have a referendum either to join Sudan or South Sudan. This did not happen. Also in the CPA the resolution of the conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States did not happen. Right now wars of liberation are raging in those two States. This is an indication that without strong guarantees and committed guarantors an agreement will likely be dishonored with impunity.

As a resolution of the conflict in South Sudan there must be committed guarantors and they should be the mediators, and those who have actively participated in bringing about any agreement on reforms. This is the only way to have a vibrant united South Sudan where every citizen identifies with and ultimately calls it a motherland. This is also how to save the country from collapsing.

Conclusion

It will be a waste of time and valuable resources for any agreement which is supposed to address the current conflict in South Sudan is only restricted to power sharing. Without guaranteed institutional reforms it is most likely that the conflict will recur with far reaching consequences.

In conclusion, the only salvation of South Sudan from disunity and possible breakup is institutional reform where a strongly guaranteed federation of either three regions or ten states is adopted, reflecting the diversities of the country. There should also be a reform in the SPLM, where among other things, a time-frame should be indicated as to when any member can start to campaign for the leadership. This is to avoid the way Salva Kiir Mayardit was being openly challenged at any time by members without respect.

Jacob K. Lupai is the author of the book: South Sudan, Issues in Perspective published in 2014. The book is available in St Joseph Bookshop and in JIT Supermarket in Juba, and at Juba International Airport. For students who would like to borrow the book, copies owned by Juba University are available in the library.

Gen. Alfred Lado Gore Refutes allegations of defection and betrayal: PR

SUDAN PEOPLES’ LIBERATION MOVEMENT/ARMY-IN-OPPOSITION
DEPUTY CHAIRMAN & DEPUTY COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF
DATER: 21/JUNE/2015
———————————

PR: GOVERNOR CLEMENT WANI KONGA’S MISLEADING STATEMENTS TO THE MEDIA

JUN/21/2015; The statement that the Governor of Central Equatoria State, Clement Wani Konga made to the media on Thursday 18th June, 2015 and reported by Jok Petero in Juba on Friday 19th June 2015 is intended to mislead the public and is devoid of any grain of truth.

Firstly, there was no meeting that took place between the 3 governors of Equatoria and the Deputy Chairman of SPLM/A-IO, Lt.Gen. Alfred Ladu Gore in March. The first meeting took place on 14th of April 2015 for the sole purpose of establishing a working committee made up of Equatorians in the government and those in the SPLM/A-IO to draft a joint position of Equatoria.

The follow-up meeting was convened in May which resulted in the development of a position paper that called for adoption of federal system of governance in South Sudan during the transitional period, security reforms and general reforms.

The position paper was signed by two senior officials nominated by the 3 governors and two senior officials mandated by the Chairperson of the SPLM/A-IO.

Secondly, the 3 governors agreed that since they are in government, they will not be able to lead the political process to popularize the position paper of Equatorians.

They conceded that the Equatorians in the SPLm/A-IO are best placed to lead the political process to ensure the international community, regional leaders and IGAD are made aware of the position of Equatorians both in the government and in the SPLM/A-IO.

They pledged to make resources available to facilitate the production of the position paper and also to enable senior politicians from both sides to visit the neighboring countries.

Without these resources the meetings with the leaders of the countries like Uganda, Ethiopia and South Africa would not have been possible.

Thirdly, the visit to Kampala was primarily to make the authorities in Uganda aware about the position of the Equatorians.

To the dismay and disappointment of the SPLM/A-IO committee that visited Kampala, Governor Clement Wani Konga had written a letter to the President of Uganda saying that the Deputy Chairman of SPLM/A-IO and some of his comrades are separating from the movement and want to be provided with assistance in terms of accommodation and financial support and that the Deputy Chairman wants to open a direct talk with Salva Kiir Mayardit.

The Deputy Chairman of SPLM/A-IO, categorically rejected the request that Konga made to the government of Uganda without his knowledge.

He also made it abundantly clear that his committee was visiting Kampala to let President of Uganda know and take not of the position of Equatoria and to request the President of Uganda to support it in the IGAD peace talks and not that he was coming to beg for assistance.

The meeting in Kampala ended in total disagreement leaving Clement Wani Konga embarrassed and isolated from the other two governors of Equatoria, Louis Lobong and Joseph Bakasoro, who were visibly disappointed at their colleague, Konga.

The two governors even confided that they did not know why Konga brought them to meet with the SPLM/A-IO delegation and the Ugandan authority in Kampala.

The statement of Konga to the media, issued from his office, is simply a face-saving measure and noting more.

In conclusion, the Deputy Chairman of SPLM/A-IO wants to make it clear that the conflict in South Sudan will only be concluded through the IGAD-led peace process in Addis Ababa.

If the secret behind Konga and his colleagues’ meeting with Equatorians in the SPLM/A-IO was to divide the movement, it has failed and has exposed their hidden agenda.

Millions of Equatorians inside South Sudan and in the diaspora have hope in the SPLM/A-IO as the movement that will bring lasting peace and stability to the country and the Deputy Chairman of the SPLM/A-IO is not prepared to betray their hopes and aspirations.

The term of Kiir’s government ends on July 8th 2015 together with the state governors, so there is no point of joining a government whose legitimacy is questioned, its term is expiring and is responsible for carrying out genocide on South Sudanese citizens.

Konga’s statement, therefore, is a desperate attempt to win political favor from the embattled President Kiir to maintain him as the governor of Central Equatoria and is intended to tarnish the good name of the Deputy Chairman of the SPLM/A-IO.

(Signed)

Alfred Ladu Gore
Deputy Chairman and Deputy Commander -in-Chief, SPLM/O-IO
Dated: n21/June/2015

Letter to Uganda’s Museveni: Rethink your strategy in South Sudan conflict

An Open Letter to the President of Uganda
H. E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
State House
Entebbe
Uganda.

Date: 21 June 2015

Kampala should rethink its strategy in South Sudan’s conflict;

Mr. President,

As you may already be aware that the conflict in South Sudan, akin to other political morasses in many states in Africa, did initially have its origin essentially in the protracted power struggles that dates back to June 2013 when President Kiir dismissed the entire government from office so as to get rid of only his political opponents who were later excluded in the formation of the subsequent government.

The other concern was the apparent lack of transparency related to democratic thinking and practices and besides, reforms within the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) ruling party that has long been structured along autocratic fad.

In this regard, some of those members of the SPLM political Bureau who had hitherto declared their individual intentions to contest for the leadership of the Party in a democratic manner, and later run for the president of the country in the scheduled 2015 election were denounced for being enemies of the state.

They were subsequently charged with high treason and detained after the fictional “failed coup” allegation was officially made by the government in Juba on the 15 December 2013, following the botched weekend meeting of the SPLM’s National Liberation Council (NLC).

This is the casus belli of the political feud in Juba or precisely the account of the genesis of the conflict in South Sudan.

It was primarily a scramble for leadership and certainly had nothing to do with a coup d’état as disingenuously proclaimed by the government of South Sudan and now being disseminated by the regime’s functionaries to the international community.

This was manifestly a colossal charade and an untenable tale being sold to the world community as genuine, but the story has become less vendible to date as it has dawned that there was actually no coup that occurred in South Sudan, but a calculated attempt by the government to expunge and silence opposition voices that did call for democratic pluralism in the country and to justify the mass killings of Nuer ethnic group in Juba that ensued from December 16, to 18, 2013.

Worryingly, the uninterrupted military buildup of your army in South Sudan with substantial weaponry transfer coupled with the fact that both Kampala and Juba are frantically engaging in increasingly reckless military escapades against the SPLM-IO rather than searching for actual peace is irresponsible and stunningly precarious development.

Hence, the widening of the scope of the destruction especially in Unity and Upper Nile states supported by the UPDF has boosted the chances of South Sudan’s destruction and consequently the modest hope of ever ridding the new country of poverty, hunger, illiteracy, mass unemployment, rampant insecurity and other ills, although an oil-rich country has effectively been diminished.

Uganda’s military interloping in South Sudan was initially made under the pretext of evacuating its nationals from the war-afflicted country and later preventing genocide in that country yet today Uganda is actively fighting alongside the government of South Sudan against the SPLM-IO.

Now that the conflict has blossomed into a full-fledged civil war with numerous deaths and countless civilians maimed, more than two million displaced, where is the exit alley from this twisted setting Mr. President?

With all honesty and candor, the accurate prognosis for the region is that neither the government and people of Uganda nor the South Sudanese would derive any noteworthy long term gains from the ongoing political quagmire in South Sudan, in view of the current unwarranted military involvement of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) in the South Sudan’s civil war.

Arguably, the hard fact is that the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) is now a formidable force replete with all the paraphernalia of a conventional warfare, including modern battle tanks and credible anti-aircraft system.

Such an organized army can hardly be extinguished as witnessed in many parts of the world. As a former guerrilla leader commanding the NRA in Uganda’s “Bush War” of the early to mid-1980s against the legitimate government of the late President of Uganda, Milton Obote, you are better located to realize that it is extremely a mammoth task to defeat a rebel army.

Thus, it would seem an unrealistic impulse and probably an absolute fantasy to contemplate the destruction of the South Sudan armed opposition forces, the SPLA/SPLM led by Dr. Riek Machar, notwithstanding you had earlier at the start of the conflict spicily warned that you and the IGAD countries would end the insurgency once and for all after serving its leader, with an ultimatum of four days back in December 2013 to surrender or ‘face defeat’ and comprehensive annihilation.

In this context, there is lesser incentive in backing up the unsteady government of South Sudan whose ills range from presiding over a ramshackle economy by sheer choice through to a country with scarcely any semblance of the rule of law; a totalitarian regime that continues to exhibit an inconceivable dossier of consistent human rights abuses that includes among other abnormalities a flagrant disregard of the elementary rules of international humanitarian law as seen across the country since 15 December 2013, to pursuing an illusive and unattainable victory on the SPLA/SPLM-IO.

The fact that the UPDF military deployed in South Sudan have access to monetary gains from the government in Juba, as substantiated by South Sudan’s Ministry of defence, these transient paybacks should never constitute a sensible basis for backing up the Police state in Juba.

Albeit you have on a number of occasions affirmed that Uganda’s intervention in South Sudan was necessary to maintain the government of President Salva Kiir and stability in the new nation, and that your forces would not withdraw until you were assured that Juba was “secure”, this avowal is certainly repellent, not sound and would likely rebound.

It is time to abandon this quest for faux triumph in order to save not only lives of South Sudanese, but also the lives of Ugandan soldiers fighting and dying in the battle fronts in South Sudan’s flash points.

Likewise, it would be sensible to minimize the damage done and the level of detestation generally directed against the people of Uganda living in South Sudan in connection with Uganda’s disparaging military sprees in the war-torn country.

Regrettably, any aerial sorties or strafing conducted by the Ugandan air force in South Sudan would likely generate enormous resentment and aura of vengeance against Ugandan citizens living in South Sudan.

It is commonly acknowledged that wars apart from engendering brutality and counter brutality generally drain the coffers and economies of the countries involved in pursuing them.

Not a long while ago, the American Administration through the Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama’s new top diplomat for Africa, Ms Linda Thomas-Greenfield, had stated that the Uganda army must leave South Sudan territory and allow citizens there to enjoy a future of peace and prosperity they voted for.

We too, the citizens of South Sudan would like to add our loud voice in unison in urging your government to withdraw Ugandan forces from South Sudan. Furthermore, the withdrawal strategy is the only feasible and prudent option to undertake, as the UPDF would be in a woeful shape should it be defeated and ejected from South Sudan by the armed SPLA-IO forces.

In fact the demand for the military disengagement if realized should not be read as synonymous with ignominy on the part of the government of Uganda as more often misguidedly interpreted, but a display of a high level of political erudition on the part of your country’s leadership.

Besides, it would categorically epitomize a more sensible and priceless accomplishment in terms of equanimity and steadfastness on the one hand and an exit face saving strategy for Kampala on the other.

The recent report presented in Parliament by the parliament’s committee on defense and internal affairs that urges the withdrawal of the UPDF from South Sudan is a barometer of public disenchantment with Uganda’s level of involvement in the conflict.

This perspective which is essentially based on the nous of pragmatism should be seriously cogitated and addressed by the political leadership in Kampala.

The contradictory statement made by Uganda’s defence minister, in Parliament that Ugandan troops would not withdraw from South Sudan is profoundly parochial in the sense that the minister is abundantly oblivious of the future political ramifications of such an indiscreet stance.

Fathomably, it is a common knowledge that cluster bombs are banned worldwide due to the danger they pose to human life long after a conflict has ended. The 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) is an international treaty that prohibits the use, transfer and stockpile of cluster bombs of which Uganda is a signatory.

In a clear-cut accomplishment of grotesque crime against humanity, the Ugandan air force had unleashed cluster bombs on villages near Bor on the road to Juba in South Sudan in February 2014 (Monitor, May, 2014). This was confirmed and reported by the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS).

The use of these munitions despite unsuccessful denials by your government is still a stinging reminder that Kampala has a case to answer to the people of South Sudan at the post-conflict era. However, it is worthwhile moving on to explore all avenues of peace at the moment.

Your government should start a rapprochement arrangement, halt the bloodshed in South Sudan by unconditionally withdrawing Ugandan troops from the country.

Based on this plain discernment, South Sudanese largely believe that despite all odds, the government of Uganda could nevertheless move on to lessen the damage already done by Kampala’s plain shortage of strategic political foresight, by embarking on a genuine innovative and radical trajectory.

This political trajectory should include a spirited attempt to potentially cultivate a candid and constructive approach that would see the government of Uganda and the SPLA/M IO forge and build a reciprocal trust, evolve a sense of esprit de corps and start working together alongside Juba as a team towards ending the unrewarding hostility.

We must all be cognizant that governments come and go at certain stages after their tenure of office have elapsed, whether violently or through a tranquil process of democracy, but countries and their people perpetually prosper.

It is crucial to state that the future prosperity of South Sudan as a country critical to Uganda’s economic lifeline does not reside in the current ethnically-entrenched, and less sophisticated administration in Juba, but in an entirely new configuration of a democratic South Sudan where there is absence of political witch hunts and all South Sudanese irrespective of tribal affiliations are ranked equal and real stakeholders in the new nation.

It would hardly amount to exaggeration to state that Uganda’s interests are in excessive jeopardy today than at any time since the civil war in South Sudan began in December 2013.

In this regard, your government as the official guarantor and provider of the Juba government with the wherewithal to pursue the war should be able to identify and promptly diminish all circumstances that could increase the likelihood of unintended consequences such as a regional conflagration involving not only the countries that possess “interests” in South Sudan including Uganda but also other countries far a field with similar tendency.

Hence the people of South Sudan still maintain that your government has the potential to accomplish a noble realization by peacefully and orderly withdrawing all UPDF units deployed in South Sudan within a shortest possible time frame and leave alone the Intergovernmental Authority on Development IGAD; the African Union (AU); Troika countries that include the USA, UK and Norway; all other interested parties in the international community in addition to all South Sudan’s political forces in addition to the South Sudan Civil Society Organization, to serenely sort out the new country’s imbroglio.

Such a proposition should logically exclude your government’s participating role, as it demonstrably lacks neutrality as well as being an integral part of the problem.

You certainly can’t be a player and synchronously assuming the role of a referee in this regard.

Another more invaluable option is for Uganda to rein weightily on the government of South Sudan, urging it to embark on genuine peace rapprochement with the SPLM-IO. Juba together with the opposition should construct an all-embracing chart that entails the formation of a broad-based interim government shared on a Pari passu representation and should be far divorced from the current IGAD’s incongruous blueprint that unquestionably ensures the perpetuity of the civil war in South Sudan.

Uganda’s sore and unpalatable experience in the second Congo civil war that ended in 2003 coupled with the subsequent verdict of the International Court of Justice imposed on Kampala for its unscrupulous and inexcusable role in that country’s conflict, should sagely caution and inspire your government to rethink its strategy in South Sudan’s conflict and accordingly refrain from liberally involving further into adventurous and perilous fixation and futile military pursuits.

This abstemious counsel should not again be construed to represent a reprimand of any sort to your government, but it establishes an equable and sagacious observation and guidance destined to lessen the pain emanating from the metastasizing civil war in South Sudan that the leadership in Uganda currently inflames with impunity, and also to ensure future peaceful bond between the people of the two neighbouring countries.

Lamentably, according to the latest Uganda’s trade statistics with the Republic of South Sudan, as published by the Daily Monitor (dated 20 May 2015), the volume of exports to the latter had sharply declined by 80 per cent from Shs271billion to only Shs54.2 billion within the last two months alone and that “South Sudan had become Uganda’s most active trading partner in the entire region”.

With this plain reality, it would be imprudent for your government to retain a noxious relationship between the people of the two countries and put a halt to such flourishing trading environment.

Furthermore, building a strong bond with the majority of the toiling masses of South Sudan is a shrewder reckoning than maintaining the unpopular regime in Juba that runs death squads at whim and broadly characterized by insularity and a fascistic temperament.

Generally, a state must orient its policies to the conventional framework of international standard systems of governance, in which the rule of law and justice prevail, but this is not the case in South Sudan at the moment where murders on an industrial scale, rape of children as young as eight years old including the imposition of crude gonadectomy on young boys have regrettably occurred as testified by United Nations officials.

This is precisely the archetypal grimmer scenario and insanity in South Sudan that Kampala committedly supports and doesn’t seem to worry about it Mr. President.

Thus, in simple and honest terms, there is a desperate need for fresh thinking, the people of South Sudan would appreciate that you candidly reassess Uganda’s entire policy towards the conflict in their country.

This would necessitate a radical approach rather than the fancied military option currently being pursued by both your government and the Juba regime for a military solution.

The fundamental focus now should be geared towards immobilizing the caustic war and speedily halt the unimaginable and senseless bloodbath by withdrawing the UPDF units garrisoned in South Sudan.

Such a prudent move if adopted could decisively provide the South Sudanese government with a persuasive incentive to discontinue the war.

It is indubitably an accurate view to state that if left to its own devices, the government in Juba would begin a vigorous search for a genuine peace, of course being aware that there would no longer be any forthcoming foreign country to back it militarily against domestic opposition as Kampala does at the moment.

Hence, Juba would consequently embark on a genuine peace deal with all the opposition forces in the country and this could usher in a new and all-inclusive functional interim government in Juba, a real long lasting peace and a triumphant ambiance not only between the two countries, but the entire East African and Lakes region at large.

Thank you
Peter Lokarlo Ngrimwa
Former Lecturer,
Graduate School of Business and Law (GSBL),
RMIT University
The Emily MacPherson Building
Building 13, 379-405 Russell Street,
Melbourne, VIC, 3000
Australia
E-mail: ptr_lok@yahoo.com.au
Copies to:
1. H.E. President Salva Kiir of the Republic of South Sudan, Juba
2. Dr. Riek Machar Teny, Chairman and Commander in Chief of SPLM/A in opposition
3. H. E. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, State House, Nairobi
4. H. E. Hailemariam Dessalegn, the Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Chairman of the IGAD, Addis Ababa
5. H. E. Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, President of South Africa, Mahlamba Ndlopfu, Pretoria
6. H. E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the united Republic of Tanzania
7. Ugandan Parliament’s Committee on defense and internal affairs, Kampala
8. Other Representatives of member countries of the IGAD
9. Alpha Oumar Konaré, the AU high representative for South Sudan
10. South Sudan Civil Society Organisation, Juba

SPLM-IO Equatoria Caucus demands dismissal of Alfred Lado Gore & two others

JUN/20/2015, SSN;

RESOLUTIONS OF SPLM/SPLA EQUATORIA CAUCUS MEETING, NAIROBI- KENYA.

WE the undersigned members of SPLM/SPLA hailing from Greater Equatoria Region (GER) of the Republic of South Sudan met and made consultations from 6th -11th June, 2015;

CONSCIOUS of our unquestionable membership of SPLM/SPLA and our individual and collective responsibilities to the people’s movement-the SPLM/SPLA and to the people of South Sudan as a whole;

MINDFUL AND AWARE that the liberation and governance of South Sudan is a national affairs that can never be reduced or relegated to sub national level by isolating any region(s) or section of the people of South Sudan;

MOTIVATED by the vision to liberate South Sudan from those forces that marginalize and alienate others and dedicated to establishing a system in South Sudan based on the principle of liberty, equality, fraternity, transparency and accountability;

DETERMINED to participate and effectively contribute to the ongoing liberation struggle and efforts aimed at reforms and transformation of South Sudan for the betterment of all South Sudanese and;

CONSCIOUS of the need for fundamental reforms in the government of South Sudan namely; legal and judicial reforms, public service reforms, and economic sector reforms; and security sector reforms particularly in Defense, Army, Wildlife, Fire Brigade, Police, and National Security Services;

COMMITTED to the on-going IGAD led Peace Process and that the interest of Equatoria people in; Federalism, General Reforms, Security Sector Reforms, Good Governance, Representation, Respect for Property Rights, Justice and Accountability and leadership can be addressed within the national context and peace process;

AFFIRMED that democratic federal system of governance with full devolution of political and economic powers and empowerment of all levels of governments are fundamental in effective and fair governance of the country;

COGNIZANT of the fact that the population of South Sudan has been polarized at various levels; region against region; tribe against tribe; ethnic group against ethnic group; states against states etc and that such state of affairs can never be tolerated to perpetuate itself and;

RESOLVED that the prevailing political and social polarization and groupings in the country thus requires paradigm shift in the political, social and economic management of the affairs of the country and that nationalism, patriotism and fraternity should guide all South Sudanese in their social, political and economic interactions;

NOW THEREFORE resolved as follows:

A. ENGAGEMENT WITH EQUATORIA STATES GOVERNORS;
1. Welcome the leadership of the SPLM/SPLA’s nomination of the nine (9) member committee headed by Henry Odwar Dilang to dialogue with the Equatoria States Governors of Eastern Equatoria, Central Equatoria and Western Equatoria states;

2. Disapproved that Equatoria Paper have never been endorsed by the official select SPLM/SPLA engagement committee and that the so-called Equatoria Paper and the way it’s being managed by Cde. Alfred Ladu Gore, Cde. Ramadan Hassan Laku and Cde. Adel Senderi was never sanctioned by the Caucus and the committee and;

3. Note that the activities of Equatoria States Governors of Eastern Equatoria, Central Equatoria and Western Equatoria states are being directed and supported by the Government of Uganda and funded by the Government of South Sudan, therefore, we reject in no uncertain terms attempts by Equatoria State Governors and their supporters to divide the ranks and files of the SPLM/SPLA by encouraging defections of Equatorians who are members of the SPLM/SPLA;

4. Commit to IGAD led peace talks and reject any move by Equatorian within the SPLM/SPLA to defect and that disciplinary measures be taken on any member or members of the SPLM/SPLA seeking to divide SPLM/SPLA;

5. Condemn in strongest terms possible the action by some members of the caucus to accept and receive funds from the Government of South Sudan through their agents to facilitate parallel activities within the SPLM/SPLA and defections from the SPLM/SPLA;

6. Condemn the continued informal meetings with agents from the Government of South Sudan and the Government of Uganda for such purposes harmful to the interests of the people of South Sudan and SPLM/SPLA;

7. Condemn the misconducts of Cde. Alfred Ladu Gore, Cde. Ramadan Hassan Laku and Cde. Adel Senderi for:
i. Lack of transparency and secrecy in dealing with the three Equatoria Governors and the fact that the trio deliberately isolated, ignored and eventually undermined the functions of the official nine member SPLM/SPLA Engagement Committee;

ii. Harboring and pursuing dubious interests aimed at dividing the ranks and files of SPLM/SPLA into regional, sectional and tribal groupings and defecting from SPLM/SPLA;

iii. Accepting and receiving funds from the Government of South Sudan through their agents to facilitate parallel activities within the SPLM/SPLA and defections of Equatorians who are members of SPLM/SPLA;

iv. Holding secret meetings with agents and governments of countries hostile to the interest of the people of South Sudan and SPLM/SPLA;

v. Undertaking illegal secret mission to Uganda on 25th May, 2015; in order to meet representatives of the Government of Uganda and the Equatoria Governors with the intention of consolidating plans parallel and harmful to the interests of SPLM/SPLA and stability of South Sudan;

vi. Undertaking an illegal mission to South Africa in June, 2015, which was never approved by the Caucus with the intention of consolidating plans parallel and harmful to the interests of SPLM/SPLA;

vii. Using seditious, derogatory and divisive languages on fellow members of the SPLM/SPLA;

8. Resolve to suspend and ex-communicate the trio from the membership of Equatoria in SPLM/SPLA Caucus and cease all official interactions and business with Cde. Alfred Ladu Gore, Cde. Ramadan Hassan Laku and Cde. Adel Senderi in their respective capacities;

9. Urge the leadership to suspend from office Cde. Alfred Ladu Gore, Cde. Ramadan Hassan Laku and Cde. Adel Senderi;

10. That the leadership establishes a five (05) member independent investigation committee headed by the Deputy Chairman of the National Committee for Justice and Human Rights to investigate and render reports with recommendations within two weeks on the misconducts of Cde. Alfred Ladu Gore, Cde. Ramadan Hassan Laku and Cde. Adel Senderi;

11. Propose that the report and recommendations by the Independent investigation committee be tabled in the next SPLM/SPLA Leadership Council Meeting for Discussion;

12. Resolve to halt with immediate effect any engagement with Equatoria States Governors and their agents until investigations are carried out and;

13. Urge the leadership of the SPLM/SPLA and members of SPLM/SPLA to deal with impunity and remain seized of the matter;

B. ORGANIZATIONAL ISSUES
14. Appreciate the various appointments of sons and daughters from the region into SPLM/SPLA positions of responsibilities and urge the leadership of SPLM/SPLA to expeditiously make appointments of states governors in the remaining five (05) states of Equatoria as recommended;

15. Urge the leadership of the SPLM/SPLA to make more appointments of Equatorians at the national political structures of the SPLM/SPLA;

16. Note that Equatoria War Front have never existed anywhere and that the forces in Equatoria region are part of the national liberation forces of the SPLA falling under the direct command and control of the Commander in Chief, Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon and the Chief of General Staffs (CoGS) of the SPLA;

17. Request that the Chairman and the Commander-In-Chief of the SPLM/SPLA to consider promotion of Equatorian officers on recommendation by Military Commanders so that they are deployed in various structures of the SPLA and National Security Services;

18. Recommend that the office of the Deputy Chairman of the SPLM/SPLA be made national and that it was never meant for any other purpose other than that of the services of SPLM/SPLA and therefore;

i. Any location or space such as residents, vehicles, hotels and lodges temporarily or permanently occupied by way of hire or given for the service of the deputy chairman of the SPLM/SPLA constitute his office;

ii. Note and condemn the prohibition of official visit or courtesy call to the office by members of SPLM/SPLA regardless of which part of South Sudan they come from;

iii. Note and Condemn the ineffectiveness of the office of the deputy chairman in the service of the SPLM/SPLA;

iv. Propose review and evaluation of the office of Deputy chairman of the SPLM/SPLA by the Leadership Council of the SPLM/SPLA;

v. Urge the leadership of the SPLM/SPLA and members of SPLM/SPLA to remain seized of the matter;

19. Note that there are many members of SPLM/SPLA from Equatoria region and those from other regions resident in Uganda, Kenya and other countries and that they be invited and facilitated to attend any SPLM/SPLA general meetings.

ANNEX ONE:
EQUATORIANS IN SPLM/SPLA CAUCUS MEMBERS, (names, positions and remarks):

SIGNATURES:
01. Cde. Oyet Nathaniel Pierino, Chairman NCPMO, Seconded
02. Cde. Dr. Richard K. Mulla, Chairman NCJHR, Seconded
03. Cde. Odwar Henry Dilang, Chairman SPLM/SPLA Engagement Committee, Seconded
04. Cde. Aggrey Iddri Esbon, Deputy Chairman NCRMEP, Seconded
05. Cde. Mannaseh Zindo, Deputy Chairman NCWYE, Seconded
06. Cde Marko Lokidor, Lochapio, Governor Kapoeta State, Seconded
07. Cde. Otim David, SPLM/SPLA Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Seconded
08. Cde. Oryem James, Peace Talks, Seconded
09. Cde. Sandra Bona Malual, Peace Talks, Seconded
10 Cde. Luris Mulla, Peace Talks, Seconded
11. Cde, Angu Anthony, SPLM/SPLA Admin and Finance Nairobi Office, Seconded
12. Cde. Joseph Esbon Iddri, Deputy Chairman SPLM/SPLA Uganda Chapter, Seconded
13. Cde. Hassen Sulleiman, SPLM/SPLA National youth League, Seconded
14. Cde. John Bene Lomaryata, SPLM/SPLA Dir Admin and Finance Uganda Chapter, Seconded
15. Cde. Rashid Leki, SPLM/SPLA Deputy Dir Political Orientation, Seconded
16. Cde. Latio Labor, Chairman SPLM/SPLA Youth L. Uganda Chapter, Seconded
17. Cde. Ochan Joseph Taban, SPLM/SPLA Gen. Sec. Uganda Chapter, Seconded
18. Cde. John Esbon Iddri, Member, Seconded
19. Cde. Salah Peter Lino, Member, Seconded
20. Cde. John Barayona Member, Seconded
21. Cde. Latio Simon, Member, Seconded
22. Cde. Joseph Lasuru Member, Seconded
23. Cde. Augustino Okuma, Member, Seconded
24. Cde. Julious Nyerere, Member, Seconded
25. Cde. Oreste Lopara, Member, Seconded
26. Victoria Garrille Mulla, Member, Seconded
27. Kitua Loyce, Memeber, Seconded
END

Millions going hungry in South Sudan as donors get ‘frustrated’

By KEVIN J KELLEY,

*”Survivors report that boys have been castrated and left to bleed to death,” he said. “Girls as young as eight have been gang-raped and murdered. Children have been tied together before their attackers slit their throats. Others have been thrown into burning buildings.”
*Donors see supplies being blocked or stolen as antagonists ignore demands for a halt to fighting that has killed thousands of civilians and driven almost a quarter of the country’s 12 million population from their homes.
*Globally, the gap between need and funding is also widening. The number of South Sudanese described as “severely food insecure” is expected to increase in the coming weeks from a current total of 4.6 million, or 40 per cent of the country’s total population.

Europe is growing increasingly frustrated by “relentlessly deteriorating” humanitarian crisis in South Sudan, an European Union official has said.

Having contributed well over $1 billion worth of relief since the start of conflict in Juba 18 months ago, a handful of rich countries are balking at requests for an additional billion dollars in aid for the war-torn country.

They see supplies being blocked or stolen as antagonists ignore demands for a halt to fighting that has killed thousands of civilians and driven almost a quarter of the country’s 12 million population from their homes.

While urging an end to the “senseless violence,” the United States last week pledged $133 million in new humanitarian assistance to South Sudan.

Nine European countries, along with Australia and the European Commission announced at a conference in Geneva that they would provide a total of $142 million in added relief.

China and oil-rich Gulf states were conspicuous in their non-participation in the South Sudan humanitarian fundraising event in Geneva.

The projected overall infusion of $275 million will still leave funding roughly $500 million short of the amount the United Nations estimates is needed this year to respond adequately to the human calamity in the country.

However, there is no guarantee that the promises made in Geneva will actually be kept. About $200 million of $529 million pledged at an international aid meeting in Nairobi in February has yet to take the form of on-the-ground relief in South Sudan.

“It’s a drop in the bucket. It will be insufficient,” Kurt Tjossem, East Africa coordinator for the International Rescue Committee, said in regard to the aid promised at last week’s Geneva conference.

“Donors are understandably frustrated,” added Zlatko Gegic, director of Oxfam’s programme in South Sudan. “If the war continues, there will be little relief for the people of South Sudan. The Geneva conference comes at a time of other severe, simultaneous emergencies around the world which are competing for similar aid resources.”

Globally, the gap between need and funding is also widening.

The UN relief agency calls the international response to its most recent appeal “worryingly disappointing.”

Only $4.8 billion has been committed out of a total of more than $18 billion sought for humanitarian emergencies in Syria, Yemen, Ukraine and Nepal, as well as in Somalia, the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

“This raises questions about our ability to continue to meet affected people’s needs, especially in protracted situations where 80 per cent of our work now takes place, and where we are asked to stay longer and to do more,” said Stephen O’Brien, UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs.

The number of South Sudanese described as “severely food insecure” is expected to increase in the coming weeks from a current total of 4.6 million, or 40 per cent of the country’s total population.

The approaching rainy season will bring heightened risk of malaria, cholera and dysentery, aid workers warn. They note that thousands of families recently uprooted by violence in Unity and Upper Nile states are hiding in swamps where they are beyond the reach of relief providers.

Children are also being butchered in those areas, Unicef director Anthony Lake pointed out last week.

“Survivors report that boys have been castrated and left to bleed to death,” he said. “Girls as young as eight have been gang-raped and murdered. Children have been tied together before their attackers slit their throats. Others have been thrown into burning buildings.”

Food prices are meanwhile soaring in parts of the country relatively unscathed by the war. Growing scarcity resulting from disruptions of farming has driven up the price of staples by 40 per cent since January.

READ: In EA, 2.5m people face extreme hunger

South Sudan is “on the verge of economic collapse,” the country’s UN humanitarian coordinator, Toby Lanzer, warned last month. The Juba government responded to that statement by ordering Mr Lanzer to leave the country.

Nearly 2 million South Sudanese are listed as “internally displaced,” with 135,000 of them having sought shelter at UN compounds in the country. And those civilian-protection sites are increasingly being targeted by combatants, South Sudan UN force commander Lieutenant-General Yohannes Gebremeskel Tesfamariam told the Security Council last week.

Another 600,000 South Sudanese have fled their homeland since the start of fighting in December 2013. Ethiopia is hosting 209,000 of these refugees, with 153,000 having reached Uganda, 157,000 in Sudan, and 46,000 in Kenya.

READ: Region counts the cost as S.Sudan crisis goes into second year

About 10 per cent of the funding needed to assist these refugees has so far been provided by donors, the UN reports.

“Donors don’t say they’re fatigued or indifferent, but they are frustrated there has been so little movement toward peace,” East Africa aid coordinator Tjossem commented in regard to the growing shortfall in humanitarian funding for South Sudan. THE EAST AFRICAN, JUN/19/2015, SSN; END

Incompetence or Indifference: AU Mediated Peace Talks?

BY: Kuir ë Garang, Author/Critic, JUN/18/2015, SSN;

It is a general knowledge in South Sudan that Inter-Governmental Agency on Development (IGAD) successfully mediated the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in Sudan between 2002 and 2005. The advent of relative peace in Sudan and the eventual secession of South Sudan from Sudan can be credited to IGAD.

However, this point of view is being put to an awful test as IGAD’s negotiators seem lost and confused… or even grossly incompetent. The modalities IGAD is using are mediocre at best and uselessly circular at worse.

In January this year, South Sudan’s Assistant minister for foreign affairs, Peter Bashir Bendi, told one SSTV host that IGAD plays down any initiatives generated by South Sudanese themselves.

Anytime South Sudanese made headway in negotiations, Bendi argues, IGAD would postpone the talks without any explanation. And when the talks are resumed, IGAD would give new discussion guidelines and all parties start from scratch.

This raises many questions as to why IGAD doesn’t give South Sudanese a greater role in drafting negotiation policy positions.

If IGAD successfully mediated Sudan’s CPA then why is it so hard now for IGAD to do so when the conditions of belligerence between the two warring parties are different? The conditions that led to the current civil war are by far less problematic than the conditions that caused South Sudanese to take up arms against the Sudanese government in Khartoum.

General Lazarus Sumbeiywo, who helped bring peace to South Sudan and is now part of the mediation team, knows this. The differences between SPLM-IO and SPLM-IG are ideological, personal and slightly tribal.

They are not as grossly divergent as the racial and religious differences between the then South and North.

What exacerbates the difficulty in the mediation process now in Ethiopia is the mechanics IGAD is applying. The modalities are meant to force peace, claim credit for the job well done and then blame the warring parties should this peace unravel.

South Sudan doesn’t need a myopic process as an easy way out of this war. Any short term solution is going to be a long-term political and security nightmare in the country.

Is IGAD planning to destroy South Sudan?

Why is it the IGAD that drafts the negotiation substance and blueprints? This is not peace mediation but peace enforcement.

South Sudanese leaders are the ones who very well know the problems that led to this crisis; and they are the ones who will lead South Sudan should peace come.

It is therefore prudent for IGAD to allow all policy positions and negotiation contents to be drafted by the warring parties. IGAD should only be there to actually do its job: mediate.

This draft-and-reject, draft-and-accept process is a waste of both money and time; and it continues to endanger lives of South Sudanese. The only hope for South Sudan has been placed in the hands of IGAD for South Sudan credit IGAD with CPA.

This hope is being betrayed by IGAD.

This article might appear like it’s excusing the originators of the problem. Far from it! South Sudanese leaders have shown little to no practical compassion for the suffering South Sudanese.

Neither SPLM-IO chairman, Dr. Riek Machar nor President Kiir Mayardit, sees the need to call a press conference to address the grievances and needs of South Sudanese who were killed, bereft or displaced by forces under their commands.

They hear humanitarian agencies constantly warning about famine but these leaders show little interest in the suffering of the people.

Internally displaced civilians are living in squalor conditions in UNMISS camps yet none of the leaders shows interest. They only pay lip service about being the ones fighting on behalf of South Sudanese.

So what will it take for IGAD to realize that South Sudanese leaders should be held more accountable for the current crisis?

IGAD needs to put South Sudanese at the centre of the negotiation process. And if sanctions are to be imposed then practical measures need to be taken instead of constantly warning the warring parties without actually putting in place punitive measures.

Both Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and the Cease Fire have been violated with no consequences. Monitoring and Verification Mechanism is a complete joke!

So why would people who face no consequences be serious about peace talks they are not even meaningfully part of?

It is one thing to impose sanctions, but it is a completely different story to keep on warning the warring parties without any intention to impose sanctions.

If the warnings are meant to condition the two sides to sign the peace agreement then IGAD has admittedly failed.

Undoubtedly, the purpose of mediation is to create an enabling condition so that the warring parties can build lost trust. What IGAD is doing is postponement of trust building through forced agreement.

If IGAD is unable to create enabling conditions for the talks, then it’s time for IGAD to call it quit in order for South Sudanese to seek an alternative process. If IGAD can’t mediate peace, it should stop forcing it.

And this also makes one wonder if the problem is IGAD’s incompetence or indifference to South Sudanese suffering. In addition, this brings another phenomenon to mind.

IGAD’s failure tells South Sudanese that CPA was not made possible by IGAD but by the then two principals: Dr. John Garang de Mabior and Ustaz Ahmed Mohammed Taha.

The exemplary leadership and tactical humility showed by the two leaders made the difference. And peace came to South Sudan because Dr. Garang and Ustaz Taha created a level of mutual respect and trust; and they put the needs of the Sudanese people first.

This is what IGAD needs to dig out of Dr. Riek and President Kiir. Until there is a level of trust created between the two leaders, any naively forced peace will not last.

Essentially, conditioning a peace agreement that will not last would be a great disservice to South Sudanese people as it would put the nation on a constant state of war, instability and insecurity.

Development and prosperity would be impossible dreams for people who’ve not known true peace for over half a century.

Another blow to the peace process is the questionable credibility of IGAD’s mediation team and lack of exemplary leadership in the IGAD leadership as a whole. Sudan, which has General Mohammed El Dabi as a member of the three-member peace negotiation team, is a country that has its own civil wars.

It is just inconceivable how Sudan can be a credible peace negotiator when it can’t solve the war in its own backyard?

How do you negotiate something for others; something you have no ability or a desire to bring to your own country? War and famine are ravaging Southern Blue Nile, Southern Kordofan and Darfur.

If IGAD and AU were serious about bringing peace to South Sudan, they have to think about nations that have credible resumes to negotiate peace.

President Museveni of Uganda has already taken side in the conflict yet he’s part of the mediation team. Where in the world does that happen? This is either an insult to the integrity of South Sudanese or it’s purely incompetence.

In addition, Ethiopia is a nation of dubious human rights records. Time and again, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports arbitrary arrests, detention, torture and intimidation of political opponents.

A quick perusal through HRW website will convince a South Sudanese that Ethiopia is in no position to make South Sudan what it [Ethiopia] is not and doesn’t want to be.

It is therefore difficult to know if the difficulty IGAD faces in negotiating peace in South Sudan is a result of incompetence or indifference to the suffering of South Sudanese people.

If these mediators don’t care about the suffering or the rights of their own people in their own countries, how do we expect them to care about the well-being of South Sudanese in South Sudan?

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

The Bitter Pill: IGAD Plus Peace Proposal and Power Sharing Formula among the Parties in South Sudan Crisis

BY: Dr. Thon Giei Ajak, JUN/18/2015, SSN;

Take it or leave it, literally speaking, is precisely the summary of the IGAD Plus peace proposal for the parties in the South Sudan crisis. Surprisingly, the two chief negotiators of the warring parties have signed up to IGAD plus mediation process. After their signature, the two received the proposal document for consultation with their principals in Juba and Addis (Fagak).

It is understandable that Taban Deng Gai did not say a word on the proposal as his rebels lost most territories in Greater Upper Nile. But for Nhial Deng Nhial to keep silent without showing the world that South Sudan is a sovereign nation and that its territory now and previously is under the control of the Mighty SPLA and if it were not the rainy season, the government army would have shouted “ SPLA Oyee” mouth-fully in Pagak and that South Sudan Government under General Salva Kiir will never entertain calls for dismantling the country.

I say, without Nhial uttering any comments, that in my view speaks volumes on how the peace talks are being managed on the government side.

None of the two government and rebel chief negotiators, have wondered how did the document come out to light? Who was the brain behind the power sharing arrangement? Who was the architect of the document? What criteria did she/he use to put the knife on the throat of South Sudan Nation (the proposed division)?

If the parties to South Sudan crisis agree to the proposed document, then that would be a farewell to a country called as South Sudan effective from 9 July 2011.

What is good in dividing South Sudan into Greater Upper Nile under the murderous Riek Machar rebels who has slaughtered civilians on ethnic grounds where they operate militarily, and South Sudan under executive president Kiir administration of Greater Bahr-El Ghazal and Equatoria?

What peace would be realized in South Sudan particularly in greater Upper Nile if the SPLA is to pull out from the region, and Oil facilities and the government in the 3 states of Upper Nile to be handed over to the murderous Riek Rebels?

And what would be the position of the opponents to Riek rebels in the states of Upper Nile (Bull Nuer in Unity state, Padang Dinka in Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei states, Maban ethnic group and Dinka Jonglei (Bor)?

Will the above opponents of Riek rebels leave their lands and resources to Riek rebels, because they will never accept to surrender their fate to the rebels?

Rejected by both the government and rebels and welcomed by Pagan Amum of SPLM-FDs (according to radio Tamazuj), IGAD Plus proposal is going to have far reaching implications for the future of South Sudan being the first step to divide the country on power sharing and resources.

The methodology used in calculating the percentages of 53%, 33% and 14% for the rebels, the government and others in the 3 states of Upper Nile respectively, remains unclear and undisclosed and every South Sudanese has the right to know.

If the calculation of the percentages in power sharing was based on the ethnic make-up of greater Upper Nile in accordance with 2008 census, then IGAD plus team and its South Sudanese informants and bad wishers, have made a fatal and unforgivable mistake as it wrongly assumed that all Nuers and all Shilluk in greater Upper Nile are rebels or support the rebels.

The Bul Nuer and Padang Dinka in Unity state have been a thorn in the throat of the rebels and managed to chase rebels out of South Sudan borders.

In Upper Nile state, Teet-Bai forces in (Baliet, Akoka, Malut, Renk and Maban) have maintained their grounds and given hot pursuit to the rebels; Teet-Bai forces proved to be a heavy shield, kept the rebels away from Upper Nile oil fields and in May 2015, Teet-Bai forces (Abu-Shouk: Shouk, Shouk, Shouk) annihilated the rebels forces in the battle of Peel-Bier in Akoka County.

In Jonglei state, the Eagle forces kept the enemy away from Bor, restored peace to Duk and Oror counties and advanced to capture Akoba County.

So if the government in Juba wants to pull out its forces from greater Upper Nile State as part of IGAD proposal, the inhabitants in greater Upper Nile and who are opposed to the plan of genocide and ethnic cleansing of Riek rebels as evident in the massacres of Bailiet, Parieng, Bentiu, Bor, Malakal, Akok, Malut and Majak of Renk County: I say the opponents of the rebels in Upper Nile will take of the situation under their own control.

The IGAD plus proposal is a two-edged weapon to both the rebels and the government. If the rebels accept the proposal to enjoy the 53% governance in the 3 Upper Nile states as well the oil (the sharing formula to be worked out), it will abandon its allies in Bahr El-Gahazal (Dau Aturjoung and Wau trouble makers) and Equatoria (Afred ladu Gore and Maridi and Mundri trouble makers).

The rebels will therefore, abandon the national agenda and become a regional force to advance its agenda for statehood of the region it controls.

If the rebels reject the proposal, it will be a difficult position having lost territories in Unity State, if not rainy season and the rebellion of Johnson Olony, the government forces would have controlled fagak in Upper Nile, and again if not rainy season, Akoba would have fallen to SPLA forces.

So the rebels are in difficult military situation and have to accept any form of peace to allow them to regroup, retrain, re-arm and re-deploy for future combat missions.

On the other hand, if the government accepts the proposal, it will abandon oil facilities that provide 98% of the revenue, sacrifice greater Upper Nile to the rebels and worse, having set the blue prints for Eguatoria to follow Upper Nile and practical disintegration of South Sudan into 3 independent states.

If the government refuses the proposal, it will appear as if it has rejected peace and opted for war and the IGAD plus machine will move to impose sanctions (targeted or non-targeted) and the threats of referring government officials for International Criminal Court (ICC) for trials of crimes against humanity.

So the IGAD plus proposal is a screw nail for both the rebels and the government and none of them will come out if it clean.

The government negotiating team in Addis Ababa was proportionally imbalanced in terms of representation based on the 3 greater regions (Bhar ElGhazal, Equatoria and Upper). It looks the team did not have enough representation from Greater Upper Nile to reflect the war impacts (death, displacement and claims).

In comparison, the rebels’ representation looks 99% Upper Nile. So the South Sudan Crisis on Addis Ababa negotiating table looks like Upper Nile (rebels) against Equatoria and Bahr ElGhazal (government).

Based on this observation, IGAD Plus came out with that proposal. The government needs to work on representing greater Upper Nile on the peace talks to clarify issues linked to tribal composition and position in making peace.

Lastly, the government needs to conduct popular consultations for the people in greater Upper Nile (in displacement) as to what is their position regarding the proposed peace plan. The government team should not confine consulting itself in Juba and heading back to Ethiopia for talks.

It needs to conduct popular consultations of the people concerned and affected directly by war.

Dr. Thon Giei Ajak, is a concerned South Sudanese and can be reached at thongiei288@gmail.com

Installing a government of the people, by the people, for the people in South Sudan (Part 1)

BY MARGARET AKULIA, CANADA, JUN/17/2015, SSN;

“They said that while Dr. Riek will heed to their hook through their treacheries, Losuba will not,” a confidential source tipped. The source was relaying a chilling message about an assassination attempt on the life of Major Losuba Ludoru Won’go, a decorated former Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) Officer who together with other SPLA Officers formed the Revolutionary Movement for National Salvation (REMNASA).

The former SPLA Officers who are crossing over to REMNASA in droves are disgruntled with the way their obsolete army continues to conduct itself and concerned with the way South Sudan is being driven to the ground by the archaic so-called Liberation Army.

According to the mole, Salvatore Kiir Mayardit and his inner circle, determined that the Leader of REMNASA is the real threat to their tyrannical government in Juba not Riek Machar because Machar is unprincipled and easy to dupe!

National Security under the directives of Salva Kiir Mayardit in collaboration with a well known, equally unethical Equatoria State governor, allegedly decided to draw a plan to assassinate Major Won’go because he has become a spoiler to a hurried peace agreement that does not address the root causes of the South Sudan carnage!

South Sudan is a country of 64 ethnic groups which became independent through a combined struggle of all these nationalities regardless of their individual populations.

Therefore, while 62 nationalities remain peaceful and continue to work hard despite the crisis in the country for a progressive and prosperous South Sudan, the two traditionally antagonistic nationalities continue to destroy the country.

As such the 62 nationalities referred to as the “majority peaceful South Sudanese” can no longer continue to stand by and watch as the country is being destroyed but must act to find a solution to salvage the country from total collapse,” reads a section of a document that outlines why REMNASA was formed.

The document is one of many released by REMNASA and it serves as a clarion call for all the 64 tribes of South Sudan to join REMNASA in wresting the steering wheel from the dealers and wheelers of a lousy peace deal!

Read “The Awaited Devils in Details of IGAD’s Mediated Proposed Truce”.
http://www.southsudannation.com/the-awaited-devils-in-details-of-igads-mediated-proposed-truce/
Read “IGAD proposes new South Sudan power sharing deal”.

https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/igad-proposes-new-south-sudan-power-sharing-deal

Major Won’go and the former SPLA soldiers who are determined to bring about a government that respects and treats all the 64 tribes of South Sudan equally are principled people.

They cannot be bribed or bought and they will never accept a peace deal that only gratifies so-called leaders who leave ordinary people high and dry. That is why Salvatore Kiir Mayardit and his cronies are running scared!

“They gave Likambo my photos and urged the chief with his police to hand me to them should they get me,” Major Losuba Ludoru Won’go offered as he explained Kiir’s bribery of three unprincipled Kakwa men to track him down to Kakwaland in the Democratic Republic of Congo and assassinate him for a ridiculous amount of US $2000.00 each.

The three governors of Equatoria are reported to be very unhappy with Major Won’go’s audacity to launch REMNASA in Equatoria because they had promised Kiir that he could trust them to keep Greater Equatoria peaceful but much to their collective chagrin, REMNASA now has “boots on the ground” and it is gaining strength and momentum as individuals and groups from all the 64 tribes especially ones formerly attached to the SPLA come to the bleak realization that their doddering so-called Liberation Army and its phony friends are out to harm South Sudan through muddled arrangements.

The battle hardened officers are joining REMNASA in droves because they now realize that the only way to bring about sustainable peace in South Sudan and the model country South Sudanese and their genuine friends fought and died for is to tackle their former SPLA colleagues to the ground and place them in a choke-hold as Police Officers would criminals that must be restrained to protect society!

That South Sudanese need fortified protection from a criminal ragtag so-called National Army is now crystal clear as is the fact that the citizens of South Sudan and their genuine friends must secure South Sudan themselves instead of relying on a Dysfunctional self-appointed peace process now dubbed IGAD so-called Plus.

That is why Major Losuba Ludoru Won’go and the former SPLA Officers who defected from the lawless so-called National Army and founded REMNASA deserve praise for daring to defect the outmoded SPLA and forming a patriotic organization that protects civilians.

Read and watch “South Sudan: Women raped under the noses of UN forces”.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-27765898
Read “The Bloodiest Conflict No One Is Talking About”.
https://medium.com/war-is-boring/the-bloodiest-conflict-no-one-is-talking-about-39e0d4d48912

“REMNASA forces will defend the people till their last breath”, a member of the organization shared during an open forum that is organized via teleconference.

The forum allows historians, storytellers, journalists, members, supporters, admirers and sympathizers of REMNASA to converge on line to learn about REMNASA’s work on the ground, obtain updates, ask questions and provide constructive criticism!

Unlike the lawless SPLA that forbids people from providing feedback, open dialogue, transparency and critical analysis are encouraged in REMNASA and no one is stopped from talking, asking questions and even criticizing REMNASA!

“The confrontation happened after our revolutionary forces stationed in a nearby area had been informed of the situation in Maridi and were heading to rescue the civilians from the SPLA; while the two Platoons of the SPLA were also heading from their bases to Maridi to reinforce their fellow thugs” a section of a Press Release by Colonel John Sunday Martin the REMNASA spokesperson read.

He was explaining REMNASA’s determination to protect the people of South Sudan using force when necessary.

On the occasion explicated by Colonel Martin in this particular Press Release, REMNASA forces felt compelled to confront SPLA forces affiliated with South Sudan’s lawless government who were reportedly heading to Maridi, a town in Western Equatoria State to reinforce a lawless group that was murdering civilians, burning houses and looting property the same way they were doing in Upper Nile State and other parts of South Sudan.

The death and destruction described by REMNASA’s spokesperson in Press Releases often results from firefights between REMNASA forces and marauding SPLA soldiers out to harm unarmed civilians.

It is the exact same thing upright Police Officers charged with the duty to protect citizens do if menacing criminals refuse to put down their guns after being asked to do so.

Respectable Police Officers always prefer dialogue but they are authorized to shoot coldblooded criminals to protect society.

Everyone who resides in a country that doesn’t have felons running amok like South Sudan knows that fact.

“The worst scenario was a woman and her children, together with her husband was burnt to death in their house by the SPLA. It is most unfortunate that, the National Army (SPLA) has become not only tribal but a criminal institution, and it has totally failed to serve and save our Nation without discriminations on tribal lines. What happened in Maridi is indeed a crime against humanity that will never have to go unquestioned and unaccounted for, by the SPLA
leadership,” another section of a REMNASA Press Release read.

It underscores the need to rescue South Sudanese from the lawless SPLA and REMNASA’s determination to protect the citizens of South Sudan and defend the country from being vended to unscrupulous non citizens.

The people of South Sudan must reject the irrational IGAD so-called Plus peace process bent on rewarding a lawless army with a blatantly abusive power sharing arrangement forthwith! Yes they can because IGAD so-called Plus is not the boss of South Sudanese.

It has no authority over South Sudan whatsoever and it needs to stop its impervious meddling with South Sudanese lives!

It has been repeatedly pointed out that for sustainable peace to be attained in South Sudan, all the stakeholders must be involved in the solution but this simple fact continues to fall on deaf ears while institutions entrusted with global security such as the United Nations continue to walk on putrid egg shells with respect to South Sudan!

That is the reason why the people of South Sudan must now wrest the steering wheel from the unauthorized IGAD so-called Plus and carve out the South Sudan they want themselves!

The Dysfunctional agreement proposed by IGAD so-called Plus will most definitely impel South Sudan into the abyss. It is a barefaced truth known by all the people of South Sudan who want the best for all the 64 tribes of South Sudan and their actual friends.

Not the phony ones responsible for some of the nightmarish scenarios and carnage that was instigated with the mass murder of Nuer people by Kiir’s side of the lawless cartel in December 2013!

The unconcealed intentions of South Sudan’s haughty so-called friends to gorge on South Sudan’s rich resources at the expense of its ordinary people drive the unproductive self-styled interventions that have now brought South Sudan to a tipping point.

It has necessitated the people of South Sudan themselves to step in so that they can install a government of the people, by the people, for the people in South Sudan.

“As of 13 minutes ago, Kiir’s so-called democratically elected government expired,” a friend observed in the early hours of May 22, 2015 as we chatted about the lawlessness that has engulfed South Sudan and the sightlessness accompanying it.

It is a fact that has been ignored by the IGAD so-called Plus because of the same overconfidence that almost got Sudan’s Omar Bashir arrested when he traveled to South Africa thinking he was above international law.

Legally, South Sudan is already a failed state and Salvatore Kiir Mayardit is no longer the quasi so-called democratically elected president of South Sudan anyway even though IGAD so-called Plus has knowingly ignored that fact the same way the South African government ignored a court order to confine Sudan’s Omar Bashir so that he can be handed over to the International Criminal Court.

Read “Court demands to know how Bashir escaped South Africa”.
https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/court-demands-know-how-bashir-escaped-south-africa

The documents released by REMNASA speak for themselves but one message reverberates through all of them and it is that of inclusivity, eliminating lawlessness from South Sudan and ushering in a properly functioning government that respects all the people of South Sudan from all the 64 tribes – a government of the people, by the people, for the people. The SPLA is incapable of protecting the people of South Sudan and defending the country against the encroachment masquerading as a Dysfunctional Peace Process which is the reason why REMNASA should be supported in building a professional and disciplined South Sudan National Army that upholds and personifies the army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. An army that will defend the sovereignty of South Sudan and its citizens like the commandos who flew thousands of miles to rescue citizens held hostage at Entebbe International Airport in Uganda!
Watch “The Greatest Hostage Rescue in History Documentary on The Entebbe Raid”.

Major Losuba Ludoru Won’go the lead founder of REMNASA and the other founders deserve praise for ditching a genocidal and lawless SPLM cum SPLA oligopoly, forming REMNASA and doubling as a Police Force for South Sudan in the face of anarchy that is in a class of its own. Armed robbery, plunder of public resources, mass murder of citizens they are supposed to protect with impunity, rape of women, men and children in the most horrific ways are but a few of the evil disorders that continue to be the modus operandi of a so-called Historical Army that should be brought to book instead of being rewarded with the power sharing deal being proposed by a tainted IGAD so-called Plus. Simply put, the lawless and genocidal SPLA cum SPLM oligopoly cannot and should not be trusted with the future of South Sudan!
Major Won’go and his colleagues at REMNASA are issuing a clarion call for all able bodied South Sudanese and their friends to cross over to their side so that they can challenge the defunct SPLM cum SPLA oligopoly. Plainly speaking, the modus operandi of the lawless SPLA is no longer acceptable and REMNASA appears to be willing to collaborate with like minded individuals and groups to use force to eject the lawless traitors if necessary. The SPLA which wants to continue forcing itself on the people of South Sudan is no longer tolerable after decades of committing the most abhorrent forms of human rights violations against citizens it is supposed to protect and defend with its members’ lives if it was indeed an actual army and not the anarchic and splintered tribal militia it is.
REMNASA’s unassuming raison d’être (reason or justification for existence) as articulated in all its documents is what will save South Sudan and prevent the country from plummeting into the chasm. This is because soldiers who cross to REMNASA and civilians who join the organization are willing and able to tackle an armed and dangerous SPLA and the lawless government of South Sudan under Salvatore Kiir Mayardit and his cronies. A failed government that is fully aware of REMNASA’s power. The fact that REMNASA is a National Movement for all the 64 tribes of South Sudan including the two Dinka and Nuer tribes is a threat to Kiir’s side of the lawless and genocidal SPLA cum SPLM oligopoly. In addition, there are verified reports about individuals from the Dinka and Nuer tribes flocking to join REMNASA because they look at the organization as the one that will pull South Sudan from the melee that is threatening to annihilate the country. They are determined to save South Sudan with more of their “boots on the ground” to the mortification of a government that is hanging by the skin of its teeth. As REMNASA continues its clarion call for SPLA soldiers and civilians alike from all the 64 tribes of South Sudan to cross to its side while isolating and restraining lawless tribal elements, it is determined to protect civilians and install a government of the people, by the people, for the people.
“He is one of us” an American soldier gushed when a representative of REMNASA in the United States of America gave an account of Why REMNASA was formed and shared information about Major Losuba Ludoru Won’go who has numerous credentials. They include credentials in National Security which he obtained from the United States of America and others obtained from the United Kingdom and many additional places. As an American soldier, the gusher was fully aware of the high standards expected from soldiers, unlike the SPLA that ran amok right from its inception and continues to terrorize South Sudanese and anyone who is working to clean up their mess, in the most horrid forms! Major Won’go and the other defecting SPLA soldiers who launched REMNASA personify the army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage and they want to build a South Sudan Army that upholds those values. Conventional and law abiding soldiers learn those values during Basic Combat Training and live them every single day on and off the job in countries around the world whose civilians trust their soldiers with their lives.
Watch “The Greatest Hostage Rescue in History Documentary on The Entebbe Raid”.

“Our forces do not loiter without a task commander” Major Won’go enlightened to dispel unfair insinuations that REMNASA forces are just as lawless as the so-called Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) that will go down in history as the biggest criminal cartel that existed in the face of this world because they are not! Instead of emulating selfless and revered armies around the world whose sole purpose is to protect, secure and assist their own citizens, a self centered SPLA prides itself in lawlessness and swindling the ordinary people of South Sudan.
“We have strict standard rules of operation. Discipline is our first priority for all our fighters who have come to join us and since we started our operational maneuvers, our forces have
shown a high level of discipline unlike the SPLA soldiers”, offered Major Won’go. He was responding to blatantly false reports about ambushes in which soldiers from his Revolutionary Movement for National Salvation (REMNASA) allegedly stopped a number of SPLA military vehicles, ordered out South Sudanese from the Dinka tribe and shot them dead before vanishing into the bushes of Western Equatoria State where REMNASA was launched.
Western Equatoria State is also home to South Sudan’s “Arrow Boys”, a group of local residents compelled to defend communities against Uganda’s lawless cult the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) themselves because the equally lawless so-called Sudan People’s Liberation Army and its equally anarchic so-called government was incapable of protecting the people of South Sudan as an upright army and government is supposed to. They were forced to take their own defense into their own hands because the regional government of Southern Sudan at the time under the very SPLA that is now doing the pillaging, murdering and raping the Arrow Boys battled from the LRA was unable to protect them. The “Arrow Boys” are being forced to regroup because of a fresh threat from their own so-called National Army. They must now defend the people themselves against lawless tribal elements within the SPLA and REMNASA has their backs covered!
It is the same SPLA that is being forced down the throats of South Sudanese under the facade of reawakening principles advanced by Africa’s most honorable fathers Nelson Mandela and Mwalimu Julius Nyerere. Africa’s revered sons would cringe at the equation of the murderous SPLM cum SPLA oligopoly to their honorable parties the African National Congress and Chama Cha Mapinduzi. They would be dismayed at the immoral patchwork of the Arusha so-called Agreement and saddened that younger party members are already dropping the batons relayed to them by soiling their reputations and the reputations of the parties they founded with the audacity to place a lawless SPLA at the same echelon.
Read “Document: SPLM Arusha agreement”
https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/document-splm-arusha-agreement
Read and listen to “Sudan’s ‘Arrow Boys’ Challenge Militants”.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128803831
“REMNASA denounces tribalism as a means to an end” Major Won’go emphasized while challenging anyone who made the allegation that his forces stopped a number of Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) military vehicles, ordered out South Sudanese from the Dinka tribe and shot them dead to provide concrete evidence.
“It is important in the future to state exactly where such an incident occurred and the timing. Otherwise there are people out there who would want to bring into play the tribal
propaganda aspect to try to damage the imagine of REMNASA” Major Won’go expanded, to underscore REMNASA’s raison d’être (reason or justification for existence) and disapproval of the tribalism that has pitted the Dinka against the Nuer and is threatening to spill over to neighboring countries because of blood relations that connect neighboring countries.
Equatorians are fully aware of this phenomenon which is why the ones who lack integrity were easily bribed with army promotions and a shameful amount of US $2000.00 to cross over to the Democratic Republic of Congo to look for Major Won’go among the Kakwa of Congo. The dodgy and bribable Equatorians are playing with fire because it is very easy to set the region ablaze with their immoral shenanigans. Tribes across countries can and will become involved in the South Sudan melee if the proper solution is not implemented in South Sudan which solution is installing a government that respects and treats all the 64 tribes of South Sudan equally; A government of the people, by the people, for the people.
The importance of understanding that REMNASA is a National Movement for all the 64 tribes of South Sudan including the two Dinka and Nuer tribes that are the lead players in the South Sudan melee that begun with the mass murder of Nuer people by Kiir’s side of the lawless and genocidal SPLA cum SPLM oligopoly on December 15, 2013 is crystal clear in all of REMNASA’s documents. The documents are part of a full Manifesto that underscores the need to install a government that esteems the vision of South Sudan that South Sudanese fought and died for, for over half a century, beginning with Anyanya 1. The founders of REMNASA deserted a lawless and now defunct so-called Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) so that they could constitute a disciplined army for all of South Sudan. An army that protects civilians and holds actual Democracy in the highest esteem, not the whacky version currently being touted in South Sudan; a government that respects and treats all the 64 tribes of South Sudan equally; a government of the people of South Sudan, by the people of South Sudan, for the people of South Sudan.
Learn about REMNASA at www.remnasa.com.
Read “Cat fight among the S. Sudan experts and the failure of peace-making”
http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article55298

Margaret Akulia is co-author of the sequel Idi Amin: Hero or Villain? His son Jaffar Amin and other people speak. She brings to the South Sudan dialogue a multidisciplinary professional background including but not limited to “grassroots activism”.

Pres. Kiir multi-million dollar roads contracts corruption, exposed!!!!!

RADIO TAMAZUJ SPECIAL INVESTIGATION, JUN/16/2015, SSN;

South Sudan’s government paid at least $161 million to a private construction company linked to President Salva Kiir, Radio Tamazuj reports exclusively today. It is unclear whether Kiir ever declared his involvement with the company to the Anti-Corruption Commission as required by law.

The company, ABMC Thai-South Sudan Construction Company Limited, has built major roads in the national capital Juba under contract by the national Ministry of Roads and Bridges.

President Kiir’s spokesman, Ateny Wek, denied outright any relationship between Kiir and ABMC, claiming the president does not even have a personal bank account, let alone shares in a company.

However, government and company sources revealed that Kiir, his son Manut and his former secretary Akot Lual were all linked to ABMC in spite of constitutional prohibitions that make it illegal for top officials to “transact commercial business” or earn income from outside the government.

During an investigation carried out by Radio Tamazuj over more than a month, insider sources confirmed links between Kiir and ABMC. Although they were unable to provide documentary evidence about the precise nature of Kiir’s involvement, multiple corroborating sources confirmed the existence of a beneficial relationship.

According to a contact close to the company’s leadership, ABMC runs an agriculture project at the president’s private farm at Luri in Central Equatoria State. This initiative is run by ABMC through a subsidiary, Garden of Eden, which is described in ABMC promotional materials as both a “a sister company” and “a project launched by ABMC.”

(Luri is a Bari village west of Juba and the said farm land was ‘offered’ for FREE to Kiir by the Tokiman village (Juba and surrounding areas) Chief, Daramollo, in return for some ‘favours’ Kiir offered exclusively to the Tokiman chief that included some vehicles; also reportedly, one of Kiir’s daughters also received a quarry land for the lucrative gravel making and selling (gravel is used extensively in road construction and that works favourably for his company’s interests) and other products and also unlimited plots of land which the Kiir family used for building many houses. Editor’s notes)

“He now has a farm in Luri which is run for him by the ABMC,” the source said.

The source defended the initiative saying the project at the president’s farm was “a modest contribution to nation-building,” which would help reduce the country’s dependence on food imports.

Kiir’s spokesman denied the link, however, saying the president had only kept cattle at Luri. “The president does not own any project in Luri. The president had cows in Luri, but… those cows were taken back to Bahr al Ghazal. So there is nothing else,” said Ateny Wek.

Ownership of the company

Other sources said that Kiir’s involvement with ABMC extended to beyond just the farm. They said Kiir is a majority shareholder in ABMC. The sources indicated that his shares are not held directly but ‘by proxy’, meaning that his ownership stake may be concealed in the name of a close associate.

Ateny Wek said the company “belongs to a person called Benjamin Bol Mel” – the president of the company – “and President [Kiir] has no relation with ABMC.” Ateny was responding to a question about whether Kiir or any of his relatives has shares in the company.

Asked about Kiir’s role, a former ABMC official said he had never seen any document linking the president formally to the company but the president’s actions on contractual matters were a clear sign of his involvement. He was referring to his conduct regarding government contracts awarded to the company. The official said he believes Salva Kiir is the majority shareholder.

Multiple sources including former senior company officials and government sources also pointed to a role played by the president’s former secretary Akot Lual and the president’s son, Manut Salva Kiir, saying they were involved in securing government contracts on behalf of the company.

They further reported that ABMC built a house for Akot Lual in the Jebel neighborhood of Juba and for other senior government officials. Reached by phone, Akot Lual denied any connection with ABMC.

Boom and bust

South Sudan paid millions to ABMC for road works in Juba. Although the total value of government contracts awarded to the company is not known, promotional materials published by ABMC in 2012 disclosed that the company developed 55 miles of urban roads in Juba worth over $60 million, as well as roads to Bilpam, Gudele and Munuki, for a total value of at least $161 million.

ABMC has offices and facilities in Juba and Luri in Central Equatoria. It works with both South Sudanese and Thai staff. The company was founded several years after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in either 2007 or 2008, according to statements published by the company itself.

During ABMC’s early years, the government was earning billions in oil revenue and spending large amounts of money on roads-building. In a report on South Sudan’s infrastucture, the Africa Development Bank estimated that the government spent about $165 million per year for roads-building during 2009-2011, while annual donor funding for roads programs was about $85 million.

Between about 2010 and 2012 the company “experienced tremendous growth,” said ABMC President Benjamin Bol Mel, as quoted in a company promotional document. He explained that the company had its sights set on a joint project worth $3.3 billion for construction of a highway to the Ethiopian border.

“Now we are gaining momentum,” he said. “Our goal is to get out of Juba and build highways.”

This goal was not to be realized. South Sudan shut down its oil production in January 2012 during a dispute with neighboring Sudan over pipeline fees. The government continued to spend on ‘priority’ roads projects throughout 2012, borrowing heavily.

But eventually the government revenue losses affected public sector spending and ABMC. The company even struggled to pay its employees in South Sudan in mid to late 2013.

According to social media posts on the company’s Facebook page, employees went several months without pay and were finally given their salaries in September 2013. The administrator of the page wrote in October 2013 that the company was experiencing hardship but was “recovering.”

The outbreak of war in December further crippled funding for public sector projects as oil revenues declined and defense spending soared.

Failure to declare assets and income

The Anti-Corruption Commission Act of 2009 and the Transitional Constitution of 2011 require that senior public officials including the president make confidential declarations of their income, assets and liabilities including those of their spouses and children.

This law has several purposes including to discourage public officials from practicing favouritism toward companies that they or their families own.

According to the 2009 law, senior civil servants are required to make these formal wealth declarations annually. The forms must be “conveyed to the [Anti-Corruption] Commission by the end of February each calendar year.”

South Sudan’s constitution further prohibits the president from transacting commercial business or accepting income from any source other than the national government during his time in office.

In an interview with Radio Tamazuj, Presidential Press Secretary Ateny Wek said that the president last declared his assets and income to the Anti-Corruption Commission in 2012. If true, this would mean that the president had failed to declare his assets and income to the Commission in the last three years.

But Ateny insisted that nothing significant had changed since 2012 and the president had nothing else to declare. “The president doesn’t involve himself in contracts and shares,” said Ateny. He added that Kiir does not even have a bank account either inside South Sudan or outside the country.

Asked to respond to information that the president’s son Manut Salva Kiir and his former secretary Akot Lual had been involved in securing contracts on behalf of the company, Ateny rubbished this as just “rumours” meant to smear the reputation of the president.

Ateny declined to comment further about Akot Lual’s reported ties to ABMC, saying, “I don’t know about Akot Lual and I am not in a position to talk on his behalf.”

“I am a spokesman at the presidency and Akot is a citizen, so it is not my business and it is also not your business as journalists.”

<a href=”https://radiotamazuj.org/en/dossier/special-investigation” target=”_blank”>This report is published as part of a special investigative series. Anyone wanting to comment on this report or send further information should contact Radio Tamazuj here.