Archive for: September 2015

Warring Juba parties agree to kick out foreign forces, disagree on police unit

By FRED OLUOCH, The East African, Posted Saturday, Sept/20/2015, SSN;

Partners in the South Sudan peace agreement meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, agreed on Thursday on the withdrawal of all foreign forces in South Sudan by October 10, but disagreed on the nature of the Joint Integrated Police Unit and the number of presidential guards.

The foreign forces targeted and which will now have to leave or stand down include Uganda People’s Defence Forces who were deployed in Juba after the outbreak of fighting in December 2013 to shore up President Kiir’s government under a special arrangement with Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni.

Targeted groups

Foreign forces: Uganda People’s Defence Forces who were deployed in Juba after the outbreak of fighting. The Sudanese Revolutionary Forces (SPLM-North) that are also fighting the Khartoum government in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile and the Dafur-based rebels, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the Sudan Liberation Army-Minawi (SLA-MM) and SLA-A led by Abdul Wahid.
Integrated police unit: The government side believes that the police unit will comprise small group of 1,000 to guard the civilians in Juba only, the rebel movement believes that there has to be a new police body where both sides contribute equally depending on the overall number agreed on.

Others are the Sudanese Revolutionary Forces (SPLM-North) that are also fighting the Khartoum government in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile and the Dafur-based rebels, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the Sudan Liberation Army-Minawi (SLA-MM) and SLA-A led by Abdul Wahid.

The agreement however exempts Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) based in Yambio, Western Equatorial, because they had been deployed in 2010 as part of the African Union Joint Force to pursue Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army.

On the issue of the presidential guard, the government delegation had demanded 17,000 presidential guards but the Riek Machar-led rebel movement rejected the number arguing that it was too high and that the president could do with about 2,000 to 3,000 presidential guards.

READ: Rebels ratify S.Sudan peace deal, nominate Machar for first VP

ALSO READ: Peace deal proposes devolved power, reforms

While the South Sudanese ambassador to Kenya, Mariano Deng, could not confirm the government demand without consulting Juba, Dr Machar’s spokesperson James Gatdet Dak, said that the government team had demanded an army division between 10,000 and 18,000 soldiers to be deployed in Juba.

According to Mr Dak, the rebel movement favours a battalion of between 300 and 800 soldiers “since the intention is to demilitarise the capital.”

The government had taken advantage of the loophole in the Igad Compromise Peace Agreement which did not give the numbers, leaving it for the partners to negotiate.

The earlier proposal had provided that President Kiir retains 265 presidential guards while the first vice-president-to-be Dr Machar was supposed to have 195 guards.

These latest agreements were arrived at at a workshop on security arrangement that was convened by Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) in Addis Ababa from September 13-17. The parties agreed that the foreign or allied forces should be out of South Sudan within 45 days from the time President Salva Kiir signed the agreement on August 26.

However, there is still a stalemate on the transitional security arrangement which includes the demilitarisation of Juba, key among them being the difference in the concept and the numbers for the Joint Integrated Police Unit to be provided by both sides.

Maj-Gen Martin Kenyi, the deputy Chief of Staff for moral orientation on the rebel side told The EastAfrican that the two sides had different concepts of the Joint Integrated Police unit.

He argued that while the government side believes that the police unit will comprise small group of 1,000 to guard the civilians in Juba only, the rebel movement believes that there has to be a new police body where both sides contribute equally depending on the overall number agreed on.

He added that other armed groups such as the police, wildlife service and prison warders were not included in the agreement and yet a lot of personnel from these security agencies had defected to the rebels’ side when the war broke out.

Spread the force

“We want the Joint Integrated Police unit to be replicated in other major towns such as Bor, Bentiu and Malakal and yet the agreement only considered Juba,” said Maj-Gen Kenyi.

On a positive note however, the two groups agreed on many areas such as the requirement for the two warring sides to declare the position of their fighters and their outlook, set up a shared command including its structure and functions.

The two sides have created a joint Chief of General Staff that will manage the military for 18 months before they are integrated. The joint command will have four deputies, two from each side.

They have also agreed on the cantonment areas where each division in South Sudan will have three assembly areas, especially in states that were affected by war such as Upper Nile, Jonglei and Unity states. The two sides also constituted the crucial Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism. END

SPLM-IO signed deal for sake of ending the war, says Mabior Garang

By FRED OLUOCH, THE EAST AFRICAN, SEPT/19/2015, SSN;

Mabior Garang de Mabior, son of late South Sudanese rebel leader John Garang and national chairperson for Information and Publicity in the SPLM-In-Opposition talks about the movement’s perspective on the South Sudan peace agreement and their efforts to implement it.

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What are Dr Riek Machar’s reservations with the peace deal?

The SPLM-In-Opposition did not have reservations per se, but we did not get everything that we wanted in the agreement. The SPLM-IO considers the administration with which we negotiated the agreement illegitimate, and was calling for the unconditional resignation of the President Salva Kiir. The SPLM-IO has also been demanding for the establishment of a federal system of governance in the country.

However, the leadership signed the agreement as it was for the sake of peace. It is not the best agreement that we could have wanted but it is better than war.

The government maintains that the compromise peace agreement was imposed by Igad and that the two sides were not given time to examine the deficient areas.

This is not the language of anyone who wants a peaceful settlement to the conflict in South Sudan, but those for whom war has become an industry. These forces exist on all sides of the political divide. The reality is that this agreement is the reconciliation of the cumulative efforts of all the stakeholders over the past 20 months of peace negotiations. The Igad mediators only reconciled all the position papers over the period of negotiations leading to the compromise agreement. The signatories to the agreement then had two weeks to consult their respective constituencies, and their principals.

Don’t you think reservations on both sides are an impediment to the implementation?

The reservations are natural because it is impossible to please everyone in a situation of negotiations. This is also true in the implementation because it is not easy to achieve a perfect implementation mechanism after any war. These reservations should be viewed as the slow realisation by hardliners from both sides that the implementation of the agreement is inevitable. The desire for peace by the people of South Sudan on all sides of the political divide far outweigh the reservations by a minority that are benefiting from a war economy.

There are those who believe that the split within your ranks will make it difficult for Dr Machar to fully control the rebel movement and enforce complete ceasefire.

Not at all. The hardliners in the Salva Kiir administration had been under the false impression that a split within the movement may be the miracle they needed to defeat our forces once and for all. The split was as a result of the resignation of a handful of senior military officers and politicians who had been relieved of their duties. But the rank and file of the SPLM-IO forces is strong and are not affected by a few selfish individuals who want recognition for personal gains.

The forces of the SPLM-IO will respect the ceasefire as they have been ordered by their commander in chief, and secondly because they had given the go ahead for Dr Machar to sign the document. But the forces of the SPLM-IO can only fight in self-defence.

What are the challenging issues?

Topmost is the issue of justice and accountability because it is very important factor in reaching a lasting peace. There is the danger that this issue could be politicised for personal objectives.

The other challenge is in the security arrangements because the Igad Monitoring and Verification Mechanism is very weak and has led to violations which go undocumented. This has been a problem since January 23, last year after the signing of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and Release of Political Detainees.

The SPLM-IO is confident that these challenges shall be overcome through internal and external guarantees which shall ensure that the agreement is implemented.

What is the way forward from the movement’s perspective?

To focus on the implementation of the agreement and this can only be achieved if the forces which are for peace from both sides of the political divide work together.

Despite signing the agreement, there are still skirmishes between the two sides. Why is this so?

This is a combination of the belief by some hardliners in government that the SPLM-IO has been weakened by the departure of a few senior commander and that they can now achieve a military victory. The fall of the administration’s garrisons is as a result of counter attacks by our forces.

The SPLM-IO is hopeful that Igad shall strengthen the committee responsible for monitoring so as to create the incentive for any forces to violate the ceasefire.

What is your evaluation of the ceasefire so far and what measures has the movement put in place to ensure no violation on its part?

The ceasefire was violated almost immediately after the agreement was signed. The forces of the Salva Kiir administration attacked our forces in Greater Equatoria and Greater Upper Nile. The attacks were repulsed. We have only been fighting in self-defence. The SPLM-IO leadership also reminds its fighters that the movement was the first to sign the document and they should not be the ones to violate it.

What is the way forward from the movement’s perspective?

To focus on the implementation of the agreement and this can only be achieved if the forces which are for peace from both sides of the political divide work together. END

The Truth is Out: South Sudan Fighting with the World’s Strongest Nation.

By Daniel Juol Nhomngek, UGANDA, SEPT/17/2015, SSN;

I have never stopped wondering as to what should have been the cause of outburst of the current deadliest war in South Sudan since 15 December, 2013. At last the truth seems to be unraveling as more details concerning Obama’s Administration role in the cause of South Sudanese war emerge.

In the recent article written by Thomas Mountain, in my opinion, the author has beyond reasonable doubt informed the world on the double standards that the Obama’s Administration is playing in South Sudanese war.

According to Thomas Mountain in the article entitled “Obama’s War in South Sudan,” he clearly explained the genesis of the current war in South Sudan. According to that article, Obama planned to overthrow the government of South Sudan since 2009.

(((The original article by Thomas MOUNTAIN: Obama’s war in South Sudan)))

Thomas pointed out that “The genocidal war being waged in South Sudan today is “Obama’s War”. Why? Because the Obama regime is paying for it”.

In fact, in relation to the above, the Truth has just willed out, which showed that South Sudanese government is fighting with the world Strongest Nation, the USA, as Thomas Mountain pointed out.

The source on which Thomas relies on in accusing the USA Obama’s Administration in orchestrating war in South Sudan is Wikileaks. Wikileaks exposed that “… the CIA began paying the salaries of what is today the South Sudanese “rebel army” led by Reik Machar in 2009”.

Unfortunately, the CIA according to the Whistle-blower, Wikileaks, is still paying the rebels today.

As Thomas observed, “We know this because there is simply no other source of funding for these brigands that anyone anywhere has been able to establish (a question, btw, that the western media has completely failed to raise)”.

Wikileaks further stated that “We are talking about an army of at least 20,000 professionals with at least an equal amount of “militia”, little more than ethnic death squads, who have been actively waging combat for 18 months now in an attempt to overthrow the existing South Sudanese government.”

Moreover, Thomas Mountain pointed out as stated in Wikileaks that “The bill for salaries, food, fuel, equipment and ammunition runs upwards of $100 million with the source of these funds a best kept secret”.

Thomas posed this quotation, “Show me the money” and then went on to state that “On the CIA payroll beginning in 2009, secret until Wikileaks broke the story, and on the CIA payroll still. It’s the CIA’s M.O. clear as day”.

However, as all South Sudanese know due to the lack of strong security experts in South Sudan and the struggle for the independence of South Sudan that consumed all attention from investigating subservient activities from her few power hungry politicians, the USA government of Obama went out with her ill-intended activities unnoticed until when it came to the time when the people begin to look for answers for the causes of the war.

It is only after the war broke out and thousands of citizens died due to war that is when all people concerned began to search for the truth of what really happened.

Of course, without much research as Gayle Smith pointed out as quoted by Thomas Maintain, it was discovered that “…And mayhem in Africa its best to follow the money trail, in this case right back to the Obama Mafia White House and its African expert, BHO’s “Quiet Consigliere”.

The finding of Thomas Mountain concerning the role of Obama’s Administration in fuelling South Sudanese war undisputed as some sources point to the same conclusion.

For instance, when the war broke out Obama’s Administration was quick to condemn the government of South Sudan of using “imagined coup” just to silence the political critiques.

I have used the term “imagined coup” because until now, the USA government still believes that coup never took place. This is was the reason why the eleven persons that were detained were considered as political detainees.

The term “political detainees” was coined as a means of disapproving the action of the government and at the same time selling the government of South Sudan to the whole world so that the government is seen as the worst and failed government.

Such an action was calculated just to destroy the diplomatic relations of South Sudan with other countries, which the USA almost achieved to a greater extent.

Currently, the government of South Sudan is isolated by many countries except Uganda, which is a very strong supporter of South Sudan plus other countries like China, which are ambivalent in their relation with South Sudan.

As pointed out in the above paragraph, I would like to digress a bit by giving thanks to the government of Uganda and her people who have been giving unwavering support to the government of South Sudan and her people, which really confirms the truth of the saying that “A friend in need is a friend indeed”.

Coming back to what I was saying as to the confirmation of the truth of the article by Thomas Mountain, another reason that explains validity of his assertion in that article is the fact that the Obama’s Administration gave trust to Riek Machar and his rebels.

The issue to do with the trust came out clearly in the statement that Obama made in the aftermath of the killings in Bentiu in 2014 in which more than three hundred people, more of which were from Darfur were burned inside the church.

After that incidence, Obama was quoted to have stated that Riek Machar had betrayed their trust. On what ground? I don’t know up to now.

In addition to that, Obama is implicit in the emergency of rebels in South Sudan as he with his Secretary of State, John Kerry, has been negatively and closely watching peace talks in Ethiopia and at the same time influencing the outcome to the rebels’ favour which favours the USA automatically.

In fact, the warring parties to South Sudanese since the beginning of the conflict in 2013 have never sat down to negotiate the meaningful peace as the USA government under Obama imposes her own terms of peace agreement (through Regional Body, the IGAD), which is backed by sanctions.

Finally, the recent compromised peace agreement, as it is called, is an agreement intended by Obama and his Administration not to achieve true peace but to weaken the government of South Sudan in order to overthrow it and achieve her dream.

This explains why the USA is busy threatening the government of South Sudan while turning the deaf ears to the complaints raised by the government, which are vital for future stability of South Sudan.

In reality, the USA is not concerned with the future stability of South Sudan and methods of achieving true peace for South Sudan but rather it is concerned with how to overthrow the government and get and give power to who it thinks can serve their best interest, which raises many questions as to why the USA government wants South Sudan destroyed unless her interest is met.

Thus, the question on every person concerned about South Sudan as Thomas Mountain raises in his article as the subject of the comment of this article is, “Why would the Obama regime pay for this terrible crime ravaging South Sudan?”

Without much thinking, the answer is that the USA needs oil. Hence, all is about oil. As Thomas pointed out, “the USA wants China out of its only oil field in Africa and will pay what it takes to get whomever to do its dirty work, whether the Contra “rebel army” in Nicaragua 30 years ago (back then it was Reagan’s War) or Riek Machar’s “rebel army” fighting “Obama’s War” in South Sudan today.

Furthermore, as the USA supports rebels, China also supports the South Sudanese government under Salva Kiir with money, which according to Thomas Mountain, totaling to the tune of over $8 billion in emergency aid and loans over the past 5 years and this is why the USA is determined to use, whether fair or crooked means to remove President Kiir from power and then install Riek or another person who is able to satisfy her insatiable demands for oil.

As a result, South Sudan is turned into the battle field of cold war politics, which has led to one of the largest destruction of human lives in South Sudan since independence.

This proves the saying that when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers under them.

Citizens of South Sudan continue to suffer and die in large numbers as China and the USA fight a proxy war over South Sudanese resources. It is therefore important for South Sudanese to understand this important point; the fact that the USA is not working for the good of South Sudan.

South Sudanese should forget about the USA and begin playing a role of campaigning for true peace and peaceful change of government but not through violent overthrow of the government as the USA Administration through her version of democracy wanted to achieve in South Sudan.

The democracy of the USA of changing governing by force does not exist in the USA itself but implemented with vigour outside the USA.

Thus, it is important for all South Sudanese to understand this reality, put aside their differences and then stand with the government not because the government is good or because we like it but because of the bad effect it may have on the future of South Sudan if the government is illegally removed.

The world should understand the double standard the USA is playing in South Sudan and help South Sudanese by negotiating with the USA on their behalf to transfer power peacefully to the one that South Sudanese elected to lead them after Kiir.

In summary, what I am trying to say is that the government of South Sudan should not be removed through illegal means or through dubious means based on the external interest but it should be removed through peaceful means with the satisfaction by all South Sudanese how their government was removed.

Otherwise, if the USA does not change her approach clouded by interests in bringing peace in South Sudanese, there is a danger that the country will be thrown into chaos, which will in the future damage the relationships between the USA and South Sudan, and in that respect, it will be worse than that of Cuba and the USA which has just recently been amended.

The Author is the South Sudanese Lawyer residing in Uganda and can be reached through: The email: juoldaniel@yahoo.com

Reconciliation and Healing after the Violent War in South Sudan: Who is Involved, When, in What Order and How Fast?

By Tong Kot Kuocnin, SEPT/15/2015, SSN;

Ideally reconciliation prevents, once and for all, the use of the past as the seed of renewed conflict. It consolidates peace, breaks the cycle of violence and strengthens newly established or reintroduces democratic institutions in societies which lack them like South Sudan.

It brings about personal healing of survivors, the reparation of past injustices, building or rebuilding of non-violent relationships between individuals and communities and the acceptance by the former parties to a conflict of a common vision and understanding of the past and future.

In its forward-looking dimension, reconciliation means enabling victims and perpetrators to get on with life and, at the society’s level, the establishment of a civilized political dialogue and an adequate sharing of power which is the center piece of violence.

But it is to be noted that there is no handy road map for reconciliation and there is no short cut or simple prescription for healing the wounds and divisions of a society in the aftermath of sustained violence.

This is because creating trust and understanding between the former enemies is a supremely difficult challenge.

However, it is an essential one to address in the process of building a lasting peace because examining the painful past, acknowledging it and understanding it, and above all, transcending it is the best way to guarantee that it does not and cannot happen again in the future.

Hence, reconciliation is not easy to realize. The experience of a brutal past makes the search for peaceful coexistence a delicate and an intricate task. Reconciliation is not an isolated act, but a constant readiness to leave the tyranny of violence and fear behind.

It is not an event but a process, long and an unpredictable one involving various steps and stages. However, there are three stages to reckon with namely; replacing fear by non-violent coexistence, when fear no-longer rules: building confidence and trust and towards empathy.

When the shooting stops, the first step away from hatred, hostility and bitterness is the achievement of non-violent coexistence between the antagonist individuals and groups involved.

As Martin Luther King said, those who do not learn to live together as brothers are all going to perish together as fools.

Therefore, the move towards such coexistence requires first the victims and perpetrators be freed from the paralyzing isolation and all-consuming self-pity in which they often live because even in the midst of the most cruel conflict, small island of tolerance, forgiveness and civility should be given a chance.

This involves building or renewal of communication amongst the communities of victims and perpetrators.

But conflict do not disappear with this step in the reconciliation process because individuals, groups and communities continue to be adversaries, but they agree to disagree and use less violent means to accommodate old and new disputes that arise.

The most important ingredient in the process requires that each party both the victims and the perpetrators gain renewed confidence in himself and in each other.

It entails believing that humanity is present in every man and woman; an acknowledgement of the humanity of others is the basis of mutual trust and opens the door for the gradual arrival of a sustainable culture of non-violence.

For trust and confidence to truly develop, a post-conflict society has to put in place a minimum of functioning institutions, a non-partisan judiciary, an effective civil service and an appropriate legislative structure.

Finally, comes empathy. Empathy comes with the victims’ willingness to listen to the reasons for the hatred of those who caused their pain and with the perpetrators understanding of anger and bitterness of those who suffered.

What is importance is the recognition that victims and perpetrators share a common identity as human beings.

However, coexistence, trust and empathy develop between individuals who are connected as victims, beneficiaries and perpetrators.

All the steps in the process entail the reconciling of not only individuals, but also groups and communities as a whole.

Therefore, lasting conciliation must be home-grown. Burying the past in a reconciliatory way requires the mobilization of a variety of methodologies including healing the wounds of the survivors, retributive or restorative justice, historical accounts of the horrors via truth-telling, and reparation of the material and psychological harm inflicted on the victims.

Given the volatility of an immediate post-conflict context, time management in processing reconciliation is extremely important so that policies must not come too soon or too late.

Ideally, reconciliatory steps by perpetrators include fully exposing the facts, looking the victims in the eye, listening to them, repairing the harm done, acknowledging sorrow, guilt or shame, and ultimately feeling empathy with them.

Tong Kot Kuocnin is a Master of Laws (LLM) Candidate at the School of Law of the University of Nairobi and a practising Legal Counsel at Deng & Co. Advocates – Juba. He can be reached at: tongbullen@gmail.com

Pres. Salva Kirr versus Dr. Riek Machar: Who’s the Peace Maker?

BY: Eli Wani, South Sudan, SEPT/15/2015, SSN;

It is official that Dr Riek Machar, will lead a delegation of SPLM-IO, to New York for a high-level meeting organized by the United Nations (UN) secretary Chief, Mr. Ban Ki Moon.

Why does Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon want to meet with Riek Machar publicly even before taking oath as the First Vice-President of the Republic of South Sudan?

Is this the beginning of the regime change process in full swing as I have predicted in the past?

There is something to note here, be aware that when the US puts any regime in its crosshairs as being hostile to American interests, the US is determined to eradicate or replace the regime with its own choice.

At this point America hasn’t found a suitable candidate but they are now openly starting to try options with Dr. Riek, he is seen to be intellectually more matured in his diplomacy as opposed to the mouthy cowboy in black hat.

Other important proofs are that Dr. Riek Machar has been appointed to lead the future reforms, he also is granted equal powers to veto the president’s unbecoming lawlessness of issuing decrees and useless threats of “reservations.”

In the event they both disagree and they are deadlocked in making some difficult decisions, the Trusteeship United Nations Government will step in to decide for them or make a judgement, and then they will be made to sign without reservations.

My analysis is that in the future the TROIKA and UN are looking to groom up a pro-western candidate to take over.

Unfortunately or rather fortunately for Pres. Kirr and the incoming First VP Dr. Riek, they have signed the very deal that was solely dictated by the International Community in particular the US, Norway and Britain, seconded by IGAD but not including Pres. Yuweri Museveni’s Entebbe IGAD meetings and not including Pres. Kirr’s grievances.

All in all, both the SPLM/A parties have handed over full rights for the International Community to take over the trusteeship of South Sudan, which in my observation is a fair game.

Otherwise if left alone in the hands of SPLM/A, South Sudan is on the brink of total collapse and the “lording SPLM/A party” is ready to destroy everything on its path with the help of Museveni’s UPDF and the Northern Sudanese Opposition groups.

Therefore any un-calculated mis-step taken by SPLM/A is under severe scrutiny and it will result into very severe consequences and whoever is deemed as the trouble causer will pay very dearly, or perhaps there won’t be anything called SPLM/A in the future. What a blessing… eh?

I for one welcome with open hands the UN, the TROIKA, the AU, and anyone that will decimate our terror and remove these home-grown terrorists out of the way to give chance for the nation to start afresh.

SPLM/A have no choice but to abide by the rules of International Peace Keeping.

They have signed out their rights, as stated by White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney; “We only recognize the signed agreements, any other grievances can not be included in the IGAD Plus agreements”.

The deal is done, it is irreversible, SPLM/A have surrendered their wills and only the International Community is in charge of the general security and the nation.

How will they go about the process remains to be seen, although it is not hard for those who run the world to find suitable options to keep peace and give our citizens some rest.

Hence, I am glad to say “Only an Iron can break a stone”, in this case the Iron is the International Community and United Nations while SPLM/A being the stone.

Bullies like SPLN/A must be stopped by any means before they destroy everything. Thank God they have limited capacity and the general public of South Sudan should have no sympathy for them.

This is a very significant progress that the opposition has gained ground, this very important meeting will be held on 29th September, 2015, in the margins of the seventieth session of the United Nations General Assembly, according to the reports.

Dr. Riek Machar, will lead a delegation to New York for a high-level meeting on South Sudan. Dr. Machar has been officially invited to the meeting by the UN chief during which world leaders will participate.

The meeting will be held at the level of heads of world governments to gain support for the implementation of the so-called compromised peace agreement signed in August by Riek on 17th and Kirr on 26th to end the conflict in South Sudan.

So where is Pres. Salva Kirr in this picture? Well, there are many scenarios here; but I will try to mention few as follows:

First, the International Community is looking at Dr. Machar as the best alternative based on records of dealing with peace negotiations as Dr. Machar played a vital role during the CPA compared to Salva Kirr.

Second, the UN and TROIKA are giving Dr. Machar credit for signing the compromised peace deal without hesitation on the 17th while Pres. Kirr is seen as a procrastinator due to his reluctance and delay in signing on 26th of August, and with threats of “reservations”.

Third, if Kirr and his cohorts dishonor this peace agreement, the UN and International Communities will sanction Salva Kirr’s Juba regime and they will in turn appoint Dr. Riek Machar to lead while they intervene militarily to remove Kirr’s SPLM/A-Juba.

The two SPLM/A parties have signed the IGAD Plus compromise peace agreement, and had been ratified by their legislative bodies.

As we wait for its implementation which has commenced with the UN urging the parties to commit to its full implementation or face sanctions.

Even after both the leaders have come out and ordered their respective forces to cease fire there has been incursions while both sides accusing the other.

We the people of South Sudan urge the parties to respect and abide by the treaty and we also beg the International Community to stand tall and use every necessary measures at your disposal to bring peace in our nation of South Sudan, the warring parties must be held accountable for ALL the crimes they have committed.

United Nations have taken to the ICC many war criminals in the past and we urge the ICC to also do the same in South Sudan.

Eli Wani is a concerned South Sudanese activist working to bring a lasting peace, tranquility, justice and fairness to everyone, in pursuit of liberty and freedom, seeking for happiness to ALL people of all walks of life.

Malong, SPLA Chief of Staff, threatens Dar Petroleum over currency deal

JUBA (15/Sep/2015), Radio Tamazug;

South Sudan’s top army general Paul Malong Awan has sought to intimidate and threaten managers of Dar Petroleum Operating Company over a currency deal supposedly rebuffed by company officials, according to corporate and security sources in Juba.

Talks between Malong and the Chinese-Malaysian company came to light after the SPLA Chief of Staff took a large armed escort with him to company’s offices on Wednesday last week after returning from Rwanda.

According to one of the company’s staff, Malong called a meeting with the company’s managers and allegedly demanded the release of millions of dollars to him personally.

Multiple corporate sources elaborated on this, explaining that Malong had money in South Sudanese pounds that he wished to convert into dollars and had been told that Dar Petroleum was selling some dollars to support their local operations at the present market price and this was being done secretly.

The sources said that he got this information from some of the staff of Dar and having heard this he wanted to change his money but not at the current black market rate and not at official rate. His offer was reportedly at 7.5 SSP per dollar, significantly lower than the street rate on the black market but significantly higher than the official forex and bank rates.

After company managers declined this offer, some were taken away by armed forces for questioning but were later released, according to one of the sources.

A security source further revealed that Malong, still furious, also approached the National Security Service about the same issue, requesting the Service’s Economic Intelligence unit to investigate Dar Petroleum for illegal currency dealings.

The security source would not verify that that company managers were arrested but did confirm that Malong had attempted to get some dollars but failed to secure them after disagreeing on an informal rate.

Finally, a military source claimed that Malong’s recent visit to the company headquarters was only a “familiarization visit”. The source denied that Malong had threatened or arrested any company officials or was involved in black market currency trading.

The military official downplayed these reports as a smear campaign against the personality of the chief of general staff.

https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/malong-threatens-dar-petroleum-over-currency-deal

South Sudan’s peace deal ‘is deficient, but we will implement it:’ Dr. Marial Benjamin, S.S. Foreign minister

From The East African, SEPT/13/2015, SSN;

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation tells Fred Oluoch about the challenges of implementing the peace agreement.
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1-QUESTION: President Salva Kiir signed the agreement but still had reservations on 16 points. Was the government signalling that it will not implement the deal?

    The problems started when US President Barack Obama convened a regional leaders’ meeting in Addis Ababa to discuss South Sudan and yet President Kiir was not invited.

    How can regional allies talk about our country without our participation? We were very disappointed with what happened and we thought that if this is the way things are done at the regional and the African Union level, then we must reassert our independence and dignity, while appreciating the assistance we have been getting from our friendly countries.

    2-QUESTION: How then does South Sudan plan to reassert its independence?

The reservations we raised must be addressed or else implementation is going to be very difficult. Some of the things we pointed out had not been discussed and even areas that we had agreed on earlier were not included. There is no country in Africa that can accept an agreement in that form.

When the deal was signed on August 17 in Addis Ababa, we made it clear that the international community was pushing us to sign the deal. We said that we needed to take the document back to our people and consult with our constituents.

Igad and AU gave us 15 days to consult, but seven days later, the US and the UN Security Council started circulating a document for sanctions and arms embargo. So we were wondering who is in charge, is it Igad, AU or the Security Council?

3-QUESTION: Does South Sudan feel let down by Igad?

Yes, we feel let down because of the attitude of the mediators, who had gone beyond their mandate. The mediators were supposed to bring out issues to the two warring sides and then assist them in areas where they disagree.

But instead, they took over the whole process, drafted the agreement behind the backs of stakeholders and then brought the document saying, take it or leave it.

What type of mediation is this? Igad should have waited until the most important partner, which is the government, signs the document first and then witnesses sign later in order to make the document authentic. This is one area where mediators failed. They were not mediating but were just imposing an agreement.

4-QUESTION: After signing the document, how does the government want it corrected?

    Well, we have already signed the document and we are going to the stage of implementation but with reservations. That is why we raised concern over several difficulties that were not discussed by the two parties.

    Those who want to help South Sudan must know the reality on the ground and address our reservations as the chief implementer of the document.

    5-QUESTION: Will the reservations interfere with the time lines that were set in the document?

      Yes, in some cases. For example, President Kiir is named the commander-in-chief of the National Defence Forces of South Sudan, which does not exist in our Constitution, instead of the commander of SPLA.

      The rebel leader is also referred to as the commander of the SPLA in Opposition and sometimes as the commander of South Sudan Armed Opposition. Which exactly is his title? It is just confusing and makes people doubt the authenticity of the document.

      6-QUESTION: Some government officials have suggested that the African Union set up a Somali-type peacekeeping mission to help implement the document instead of leaving it in the hands of the Troika. Comment?

    You can now see how deficient the document is if there are people still suggesting ways of implementation. This is because there are loopholes in the document, which leaves it open to different interpretations. Those are the reservations we were talking about. It is important for the world to understand that South Sudan is a young state still trying to establish democratic institutions.

    In fact, we are more democratic than some of our partners in the region and yet the world keeps on putting pressure on us using threats of sanctions. Yes, we have a crisis we need help with from the international community but we were elected and we have the mandate of our people. We need help instead of being bullied.

    7-QUESTION: Given the issues that are now emerging, what is the way forward for the South Sudan peace process from the government’s perspective?

      Our position is that when we are implementing the document, which we have committed ourselves to by signing, our reservations should not be ignored.

      Even Dr Machar said that he has 20 reservations and yet he did not talk about them before signing. This shows that the document was not adequately discussed by the two parties. END

Addis Ababa Constitutional review workshop must consider enshrining Presidency Term Limit!

By Malek Cook-Dwach, SEPT/12/2015, SSN;

The controversial story of political development in South Sudan has emanated from lack of free democratic processes and indeed it has something to do with constitutional term limits, the notion which becomes the practices and norms in which some African countries fall in the same trap.

With help of technology which brings the world nearer and closer to each other, I thought that such paradox could have been avoided.

This extrovert practice becomes adaptive norm of acquiring wealth and robbing the future resources of the country which endangers and puts the nation at stake.

There are false theories and wrong beliefs claimed by ruling politicians that if they leave power the country will disintegrate, which distorts the basis of transformation and reforms.

Following the international politics and how the people are governed I came to realize that it is not a person who rules that matters, it is only the rule of law that matters.

Contemplating US President Barrack Obama two quotations to African leaders that “Nobody Should Be President for Life,’’ and “Africa doesn’t need strongmen but it needs strong institutions.”

One wonders how the African leaders perceived such quotations in their own minds.

The powerful nations like US have term limits because the law is the law, and no person is above the law, not even the president, Barrack Obama stated, with the same notion African countries could follow these examples put forth by developed countries.

The presidential term limit shows the maturity and fairness in implementing the political ideals in the principled, well structured government set-up purposely meant to serve people in which all parties are allowed to compete in the free democratic atmosphere exercise where citizens are the ones determining who will be governing them.

Term limits provide an important balance on the concentration of power; they strengthen democracy and ensure long-term stability.

Eliminating or unduly extending term limits engenders corruption, which is the main cause of public distrust and significant obstacle to economic development.

Where there is freedom and rule of law, term limits transitions take place as a natural course of events in the democratic system.

Ruling parties are able to cultivate new leadership which can carry on the successful policies of their former leaders, but also correct for the past missteps, term limits offer a periodic guarantee of personnel change and thus enhance the possibility of change of party in government.

The term often used by African politicians is that the future is for young generations while behind doors they are working hard in amending the constitution, renewing/extending their terms when their tenures come to an end.

Such behavior is unbecoming because it deprives the youth sharing in the national cake.

In my humble opinion, I suggest that South Sudan must adopt the term limits in its permanent constitution to avoid falling in the same trap where some African countries have fallen into.

The Author is concerned South Sudanese citizen and Political commentator, reachable at malekcook75@gmail.com

The Enforced Kiir-Machar Peace Deal will backfire

BY: Maciek Gabriel Gum, SEPT/12/2015, SSN;

Although this peace pact has been signed by both president Kiir and Machar, the future still looks bleak. Some people may call me a prophet of doom but the truth remains that this deal won’t hold for long before a major war outbreak occurs again.

An agreement, as the word itself states, should be done out of willingness from both parties. There should be a mutual understanding and trust among the parties.

As it stands, the parties were forced to sign the deal and there is great mistrust between the parties. Even as the agreement was being signed in Juba, it was being violated elsewhere in the Country but let’s hope it will be respected.

Then here’s a picture of what might happen: Riek Machar will be sworn in as Vice President but South Sudan will still have rebels.

Since Dr. Riek took the decision to relieve the likes of Gatdet from his “rebel government” in response to the sanctions imposed on them by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), these generals have now defected and wouldn’t trust Riek again.

The de facto rebel group led by Changson Chang has also clearly stated that they will be fighting both the SPLM/IO and the Government unless inclusive peace negotiations are carried out. This clearly spells war, not peace.

The President and the First Vice President will be at Loggerheads from Day 1 till Elections time.

Dr. Riek has worked with Kiir for several years and both have never been on good terms. Dr. Riek now revitalized and energized by the peace deal signed which gives him leverage will be even more aggressive.

President Kiir on the other hand, will always be distrustful of Riek because he will view him as a rival rather than a partner.

Further, the two parallel armies will definitely take sides instead of being impartial leading to tension within the barracks and across the country.

It will be like a time-bomb waiting to explode any minute and it might sooner explode.

But if it doesn’t, then the Elections.

Hopefully we will reach the period of elections after the peace deal has been implemented. Dr. Riek, will likely contest for elections against President Kiir. What is likely envisaged?

Whether Kiir wins the elections or Riak wins the elections, there will definitely be post-election violence or probably a repeat of December 15.

As you can see, we don’t have anything good in store. Just pray for miracles.

Maciek Gabriel Gum

SPLM National Liberation Council Meeting Forms DMP, Stresses Holding of Census On time

Press Release

Pagak, South Sudan, SEPT/12/2015, SSN;

Members of National Liberation Council of the opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) have for the second day continued deliberations on the provisions of the IGAD-PLUS Compromise Peace Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South.

Talks, today (Friday) focused on the establishment of a committee to identify and select ministries.
A nine (9) member-committee tasked with Decision Making Process (DMP) has been formed to handle, and oversee selection of relevant ministries of concern to SPLM in the opposition.

The meeting also resolved to conduct South Sudan National Census before conduct of the general and presidential elections as per stipulated and provided for by the agreement.

Other areas of concern by members of the National Liberation Council in their gathering, were vacant posts of their Members of Parliament (MPs) who either, have been killed in December 2013 Juba massacre and its aftermath or who died natural death.

Dr. Riek Machar Teny, Chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and Commander-in-Chief of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLM/A) pledged to the participants during the meeting to work it out jointly with President of South Sudan Salva Kiir after the former takes oath.

In a separate development, the meeting disclosed holding of a Joint Military Council of the opposition SPLA on September 15.

Brig. Gen. William Ezekiel
Undersecretary, Information Committee
Pagak, Republic of South Sudan
Date: September 10th, 2015-09-10
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SPLM National Liberation Council endorses IGAD-plus Compromise Peace Agreement

Press Release

Pagak, South Sudan

In its fourth meeting held today (Thursday) in Pagak, in South Sudan, members of the National Liberation Council for the South Sudan Liberation Movement (SPLM) have unanimously ratified the IGAD-PLUS Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan.

Dr. Riek Machar Teny, Chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and Commander-in-Chief of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) presided over the meeting.

Deputy Chairman, Cde. Alfred Lado Gore, Chairpersons of the Commissions, Governors, Secretaries, Ambassadors, besides over three hundreds (300) delegates also participated.

This meeting is aimed at primarily passing the peace deal that President Kiir was boggling to, until he signed it August 26.

Other issues of concern at the meeting were to discussing outstanding topics pertaining to the implementation of the deal.

It is worth mentioning that the meeting will continue for three days.

William Ezekiel
Undersecretary, SPLM, Information Committee
kujodeng@yahoo.com
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South Sudan parliament adopts peace agreement
JUBA (10 Sep.)

South Sudan’s parliament has today adopted the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan, following presention of the agreement to the parliament by Justice Minister Paulino Wanawilla.

The Agreement was signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 17 August 2015 by Riek Machar of the SPLA/M-IO and by President Salva Kiir in Juba on 27 August.

Article 1 of Chapter VIII of the agreement says that the agreement shall, upon signature, be presented to parliament to adopt it within seven days. This means that the adoption of the agreement by parliament today comes several days behind schedule.