Archive for: November 2015

Ethnic balance with 42% increased Dinka-land if 28 states approved

RADIO TAMAZUG, NOV/22/2015;

A proposal by President Salva Kiir to divide the country into 28 states would make his own Dinka ethnic group the prevailing ethnic majority in administrative areas covering 42% of the country, according to maps of the proposal.

By comparison, in the current situation, the Dinka are the prevailing ethnic group in only 26 counties, approximately 25% of total land area, according to maps available for download below.

Considerable areas that presently belong to ethnically diverse states would be governed by new states comprising predominantly ethnic Dinka populations, for example, Raja County, Maban County and part of Makal County.

On the other hand, some Dinka-inhabited areas that were hitherto part of ethnically diverse states would be transferred into predominantly Dinka states, notably, Pigi County.

A map produced by the presidency to explain its 28-states proposal indicates the partial absorption of the Nuer-inhabited Uror County into an otherwise entirely Dinka-inhabited state and the largely Murle-inhabted Boma State.

Part of Nuer-inhabited Rubkona County would be absorbed into the new Dinka-inhabited Ruweng State; both areas have hitherto been part of the multi-ethnic Unity State.

Raja County is the largest territory that would be transferred into a Dinka-majority state, the proposed Lol State. Currently the county belongs to Western Bahr al Ghazal State, in which the Dinka are an ethnic minority. Under Kiir’s proposal, the county would be merged with two areas of Northern Bahr al Ghazal, radically shifting the ethnic balance in the state.

Meanwhile, the proposal for creation of 21 states by Riek Machar similarly creates advantages for his own ethnic group, the Nuer. Most notably, the Dinka area of Baliet County in present-day Upper Nile State would be merged into Nuer-dominated Sobat state.

The existence of a Dinka minority in present-day Unity State would remain unchanged under Machar’s proposal, whereas in Kiir’s proposal this minority would be given its own state administration.

Under Machar’s proposal, the Dinka minority in Pigi County would find itself isolated within a Nuer-dominated Phow State; presently the county is part of the multi-ethnic Jonglei State, in which there are other Dinka tribes in the southwest of the state around Bor.

The former vice president’s proposal would consequently result in an increase in predominance of his own ethnic group from 15% of total land area to 19% of total area.

Machar has also proposed that the minority Maban be merged with a new ‘Adar State’, which is otherwise Dinka-inhabited. At present they are part of the ethnically diverse Upper Nile State, which is dominated by no single group.

Both the proposal of Salva Kiir and the proposal of Riek Machar result in increased administrative influence of the Dinka and Nuer and less influence for smaller tribes.

—Last week’s constitutional amendments pushed through by South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, establishing 18 new states and appointing governors have cast a shadow over the peace agreement and the formation of a transitional government.

President Kiir had invoked Article 101 (f) of the Transitional Constitution that allows him to initiate constitutional amendments and legislation, enabling parliament to pass a raft of amendments on November 19. The amendments now pave the way for appointment of new governors for the 18 additional states.

Amended was Article 162, which states that South Sudan, comprises 10 states and the states boundaries and names shall not be altered except by a resolution of the Council of States approved by two-thirds of all members.

Also amended were Article 165, which provided that governors are to be elected by the people. The amendments now gives President Kiir powers to appoint new governors and entrench the additional 18 states into the Constitution.

Superior law: Chapter 7 (3) of the agreement says: “This Agreement shall take precedence over any national legislation, and in the event that the provisions of a national legislation conflict with the terms of this Agreement, this Agreement shall prevail”.

However, other stakeholders argue that the amendments will not hold because the peace agreement is supreme and any amendment to the Constitution are to be undertaken by the National Constitutional Amendments Committee to be formed under the Transitional Government of National Unity.

https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/map-analysis-ethnic-balance-change-if-28-states-approved

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JCE-Nov05

Concerned Madi Community condemns Bus attack & killing by Government forces on Juba-Nimule road

From: David Aju Kanyara , NOV/20/2015, SSN;

On behalf of Ma’di youth and people of Ma’di, we the concerned community members both in the diaspora and in the homeland extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of the barbaric attacks inflicted on civilian transportation on Juba-Nimule road which left 5 innocent lives dead and unknown numbers injured on early Thursday morning’s attack.

We condemn in the strongest terms possible this cowardly attack on unarmed civilians on our peaceful motherland; we decry the shedding of Civilian blood on our Soil.

We strongly reiterate here that we do not want senseless killings of innocent lives in our Ma’diland and we are tired of this murderous scheme into which our land has been thrown.

The last few weeks Moli region has witnessed the government forces intimidating and demanding to be supported with food items, and where they cannot get it, they take it by force or by plain thievery.

Farmers were looted dry of their cassavas and other farm products.

Several Eyewitnesses and survivors report it was the very same government forces stationed in Moli who attacked this bus.

We are astonished and angered to see an unprecedented actions by government soldiers in Moli and surrounding villages, to which the government soldiers were immediately deployed as a cover up of their evil deeds of ambushing the civilian bus leaving dead five people, two Somali nationals, two Ugandan nationals and one south Sudanese, while those who survived the attacked were looted flat from all their valuables and money.

Mr. SPLA Spokesperson, Philip Aguer, there are no Bandits in Ma’diland. There are only SPLA Soldiers who have maimed and taken the lives of our innocent civilians from the birth of South Sudan.

Does it surprise anyone that before even an investigations can be conducted the Speaker concluded it was Bandits that attacked the bus? Is this a design to attack our land and kill more again?

Why would Juba deploy such massive number of soldiers to intimidate and harass civilian populations in Moli instead of sending investigation team to probe the incident, to find out exactly what happened and to bring to book the soldiers who have abused their constitutional obligations to protect the civilian?

The massive deployment of the very criminal soldiers, who in the past killed the locals and never had good relations with the locals was meant to cover up the barbaric and cold blooded murder of the innocent passengers on Friendship bus company, we have also established the reason why early Thursday attack on civilian bus was conducted by the army.

The primary reason to execute the unprecedented attack was to justify that there is insecurity or insurgency in the area, hence the Juba led government would use the purported insecurities in the area in pretext to justify its policy of illegal land grab to establish an army barracks in the area.

As well, we have also learnt the area where the attack took place, the very spot was surveyed by the defense ministry to relocate its army barracks as part of the implementation of IGAD compromise peace agreement for Juba to be demilitarized within 90 days.

We were told by the people in the area, the land owners are opposed to the relocation program of the military in populated and farmland of the people, that they would rather give the government some land 15km away from main road.

This will also avoid constant security road blocks set by the army along the highway to intimidate the civilians and loot them as they did on Thursday bus attack.

But according to the report, the government has refused the offer, thus Thursday’s attack is simply an act of government soldiers to use the insecurity as pretext to establish its barracks in the area also meant to resettle more Dinka in the area, if the locals like it or not.

Second reason why the government attacked the civilian bus is again to make it look like as if there are presences of the rebels in the area, this way the army will legally justify its deployment to protect the illegal cattle owners who’re from Dinka tribe.

It is a well known facts that since more than a year ago the cattle keepers from Dinka tribe have been roaming in Moli with their cows devastating farmlands.

This is after the president issued ultimatum for all cattle and their owners to return to their respective places.

But, intentionally, the decree lacked implementation and there was no task force in placed to enforce the decrees though the President relocated some of his own cows from Central Equatoria state to Warrap, his home state.

The legitimate question that begs to be asked is why does the government want to escalate the insecurity in Ma’di land by attacking civilian transport system after it has signed the peace agreement with the rebels?

It is clear to most southerners that unfortunately this government has not ceased its hostility against its own population, and the bloodthirsty SPLA/army is not ready to end the senseless war in the country.

Therefore, we urge all the peace loving people of our nation to join us in condemning this barbaric act by Kiir’s government which escalates more unrest.

We also urged all the people of south Sudan to condemn in the strongest terms possible the killing of innocent people specially citizens of friendly nations to South Sudan.

There are procedures that need to be followed if the government needs land to relocate its army from Juba as part of the implementation of the peace agreement.

They should approach the legitimate landowners without intimidation or causing of insecurity as pretext to grab land.

We urge the communities of East African bloc in which south Sudan is about to become a full member, we urged the members of EAC to delay admission of south Sudan for killing Ugandan nationals on civilian bus.

We would like further inform IGAD and its partners of the violations of the peace agreement by the government and abuses of human rights on Ma’di Soil.

After Thursday attack by none other than the government forces, they now have deployed heavily and many youth and school children aged as young as 12 were randomly rounded up and subjected to harsh interrogation process including sleep deprivation and long standing and finger twisting mechanisms, all applied by the interrogators to make the youth to give false confessions.

This is an act of torture and other degrading inhuman treatments, prohibited by the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from being Subjected to Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1975.

The declaration’s article clearly stated that:

“For the purposes of this Convention, the term ‘torture’ means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. “

In conclusion, we urged the government of Mr. Kiir to respect human rights and abide by the international declaration of human rights, convention of prohibition of tortures and other degrading cruel inhuman punishments as declared on December 9-1975 Convention to prevent torture.

David Aju Kanyara.
Sign on behalf of the Ma’di community youth in Ma’di motherland.

Jieeng Council of Elders, the Erosion of Jieeng’s Values and the ‘Jieengization’ of South Sudan

BY: Kuir ë Garang, CANADA, NOV/19/2015, SSN;

First off, let’s remember that the elders I’m talking about are not the REAL ELDERS, but the dollar-intoxicated, Prado-Driving, educated political ‘elders’ in Juba. I’m not referencing the real elders in Jieeng Villages!

Elders, the world over, are supposed to be the voice of reason and wisdom. They should be the people to calm down a young and fiery generation, who are always interested in solving everything through myopic physical means. However, this is not the case in South Sudan as the nation has had every order of things turned upside down.

Elders have lost wisdom and reason as they are the first to beat the drum of war and division.

Personal benefits are put above the health and long term well-being of all citizenry! It’s very sad but there seems to be no end in sight. We are free falling!

Undoubtedly, it’s no secret that South Sudan is a tribalized nation and it will take a seasoned, self-sacrificing strategist to formulate a long-lasting and acceptable panacea for the chronic malady of tribalism.

So far this strategist is either not given a chance to help save South Sudan, or she/he doesn’t’ exist.

Since 2005, after the death of late Dr. John Garang De Mabior, South Sudan continued a downward spiral toward failure, naïve tribalism and unbridled corruption. The saddest part of all this affair is that the perpetrators of the problems don’t seem to realize the danger they caused and continue to cause.

Since the days of Sudan African Nation Union (SANU) with the likes of Father Saturnino, Joseph Oduho, Aggrey Jaden and Deng Nhial, tribalism has always been a problem.

Tribalism also caused Oduho to form Azania Liberation Front (ALF) and Aggrey forming Sudan African Liberation Front (SALF), all of which short-lived.

Tribalism also dogged the Southern Sudan Provisional Government (SSPG) with Gordon Muortat and Aggrey Jaden. The formation of Nile Provisional Government (NPG), the Anyidi Republic and the eventual takeover of the liberation struggle by Joseph Lagu resulted from both personal ambition and tribalism.

After the 1972 Addis Ababa agreement, the power-play between Joseph Lagu and Abel Alier was an epitome of instrumentalized tribalism. Energies and resources were focused on tribal rivalry as development was shamelessly ignored.

In a word, tribalism isn’t something new in the South. However, one always hopes that past historical mistakes be corrected in an attempt to create a helpful way forward.

Unfortunately, in South Sudan, past mistakes are reimagined, reformulated, and instrumentalized for power and wealth.

This brings me to the infamous Jieeng Council of Elders (JCE). Instead of making sure all tribal elders in South Sudan come together to not only help children understand tribal values, histories and historicity across tribal lines, but also make sure they institutionalize tribal wisdom in a helpful manner, JCE has become a divisive, boot-licking, dirty group bent on making South Sudan a Jieeng republic!

Jieeng are supposed to be peace-loving people, people who try to bring people together. It’s either I was wrong, or our elders have changed.

JCE, headed by the likes of Martin Majut Yak and Ambrose Riiny Thiik, has become a great liability to South Sudan.

Where on earth do you find young people advising elders not to be divisive and hawkish? Where have the Jieeng values gone that I can clearly see the danger they are causing South Sudan when they can’t see it?

If these are the elders we have, then South Sudan is doomed to fail beyond the current failure-pit level. Are these the elders young people should consult for wisdom?

Martin Majut recently told a Jieeng radio presenter [SBS Radio] that “Jieeng liberated South Sudan, so we [Jieeng] deserve to be the rulers.”

Are these the elders we should admire? Why do I know that such a statement is wrong when an elder can’t see it?

Ambrose Riiny Thiik recently admitted that the idea of the unconstitutional 28 states was their idea. It’s no wonder the president accepted it without putting any thought into how dangerous the idea could be.

How did we, the Jieeng, become this callous, greedy, divisive and short-sighted? Have Jieeng values become completely eroded that elders are now behaving like children?

A nation where younger people advise elders to be wise, conciliatory and inclusive, is a nation whose values have been eroded.

How can Jieeng elders allow Nuer to be massacred in Juba? Where is the wisdom of Jieeng in making sure Nuer are safe in Juba and out of UNMISS camps?

It’s no surprise that President Kiir has no elders to give him wisdom to lead. His being advised by corrupt, myopic, blood-thirsty, greedy old man who’ve abdicated their duty as elders is taking us to the grave.

This erosion of cultural values has resulted in South Sudan being seen as Jieeng property. The country is shamelessly Jieeng-dominated, but it’s only young people who can see such domination.

The elders don’t see it. Where does that happen?

The country has been shamelessly Jieengized but we still believe South Sudan will be a country in which all the 60 plus tribes can coexist.

Almost all ambassadors are Jieeng, most state commissioners are Jieeng, SPLM as we’ve seen recently seems Jieeng-dominated, most influential ministers are Jieeng, people who speak on behalf of the government and South Sudan are Jieeng.

This is a sad reality our elders find funny but it’s very dangerous. The president is Jieeng, his spokesperson is Jieeng, the minister of foreign affairs is (technically) Jieeng, the spokesperson of foreign minister is Jieeng, the government spokesperson is Jieeng, the chief of general staff of SPLA and the SPLA spokesperson are Jieeng, the defense minister is Jieeng, the the police Inspector General is Jieeng, the government peace delegation is basically a Jieeng entity.

How the hell do we expect South Sudan to prosper?

How come my elders love war when I, a young person, don’t like war? How come my elders are tribally divisive when I don’t like tribally divisive policies? How come I realize that Jieeng domination of South Sudan is dangerous for our collective future when my elders don’t?

I’m not saying we [Jieeng] are the only tribal people in South Sudan. Every single tribe is divisively tribal.

However, the government is led by one of our own and it’s imperative we show South Sudan that we are not this divisive and incompetent.

South Sudan is now a complete failure and the leader is Jieeng!

South Sudan is now at war and the leader is Jieeng!

I know the damage to Jieeng values and integrity has already been done; however, it’s not too late for the elders to stop ‘eating’ and instead bring back Jieeng wisdom and voice of reason if we actually had it.

Kuir ë Garang is the author of ‘South Sudan Ideologically” and “Is ‘Black’ Really Beautiful?” For contact, visit www.kuirthiy.info.

Is Corruption unbeatable in South Sudan?

BY: Dr. Lako Jada KWAJOK, NOV/19/2015, SSN;

Probably many of us would agree that a single word sometimes gives an impression about a person, an organisation or a government. For example, when you hear the name Al Capone, you think straight of a gangster who led organised crime in Chicago during the prohibition era despite the fact that it could be the name of a Catholic priest.

Likewise, the name Al Qaeda brings up the notion of terrorism without thinking it literally means “the base” in Arabic language.

In the same vein, there are few words that instantaneously spring into your mind whenever the government of South Sudan is mentioned. Among these words is corruption.

It has grown into a monster that is posing a real threat to the future of the country. It is widespread to the extent that it’s gradually being accepted as a fact of life.

Someone on this forum even tried to convince us that some degree of corruption is permissible!

Sadly this situation is gradually drifting to where corruption becomes an entitlement to anyone at a position of authority.

Paulino Wanawilla, the justice minister, said a couple of days ago, I quote: “I know in South Sudan corruption is not in one place, but it’s very sad when everybody is stealing.”

He went further to say, “I know there is corruption. I have evidences of people in this ministry [of justice] who are legal counselors and take bribes.”

The question is; if the minister has such evidences, why not indict and prosecute those corrupt officials? What is holding him back from performing his duties given the fact that he is the top member of the executive responsible for upholding the rule of law.

It is really unbecoming for someone in his position to say those words while he has the authority to get rid of those corrupt officials.

Instead of telling half the truth, the names of the corrupt officials should have been made public with accountability process put in place.

What the minister has done is similar to what president Kiir did 3 years ago when he wrote letters to 75 top officials who embezzled 4 billion US Dollars from government coffers.

President Kiir continues to refuse disclosing the names of the culprits. A wise man (Jeremy Bentham, the English philosopher) once said I quote, “Where there is no publicity [i.e full disclosure] there is no justice.”

Transparency is key to tackling the whole issue whether past or present because once the names are known, the culprits would have nowhere to hide.

Wanawilla’s statements are rather expressions of helplessness and resignation than a signal for imminent actions to curb the corruption.

The minister can be commended for admitting the existence of corruption under his watch. Some of his colleagues in the cabinet would be more defensive and deny what is known to everyone including the gatekeeper in the ministry.

However he has a tough choice to make between putting up with the situation with the risk of getting soiled on the way, or quitting his job if he cannot effect changes in his ministry.

South Sudan ranked number 171 out of 175 countries on the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) of the 2014 Transparency International (TI) report. Below South Sudan are Afghanistan, Sudan, North Korea and Somalia.

It means our country is among the most corrupt countries in the world. It is a pity that such a young country with the abundant resources it has, finds itself at the bottom of the world.

TI defines corruption as “The abuse of entrusted power for private gain which eventually hurts everyone who depends on the integrity of people in position of authority.”

Unfortunately complacency is prevalent in our society. It is so often that people say -this is government money, government vehicle or government property- the implication is that it does not matter if these items get mishandled because they belong to no particular individual.

The fact of the matter is that corruption hurts everyone including the corrupt officials though in different ways.

Hypothetically, the 4 billion dollars could have enabled the government to build for example highways connecting our major cities (Juba, Malakal and Wau) and numerous small towns and villages along the routes.

This would have led to stimulation of economic growth, facilitation of service delivery to the people and beefing up of security around the country.

It was never to be in South Sudan under the current regime. But the hardships emanating from lack of infrastructure are not confined to the rural people only, the corrupt officials would suffer in one way or the other.

One aspect of this is that many of them would not dare visiting their own villages. While they live happily in Juba, their villages are left in ruin and abandoned.

The question is how would they campaign in the coming elections?! Would it be by using surrogates while they stay away in Juba?!

As we are about to open a new chapter in our political process, namely the establishment of the transitional government of national unity (TGoNU ), a new approach should be the order of the day.

We cannot allow inaction against corruption to continue in the republic of South Sudan. It should be regarded as a matter of national security.

In countries like China, government officials who commit grand corruption are handed down the death penalty.

In my opinion a long jail sentence coupled with confiscation of assets would be the appropriate measure. There are things the TGoNU could do that would have an impact in fighting corruption.

A lean government is one of the things that could help limiting corruption both directly and indirectly.

In South Sudan when a minister is appointed, the whole of his extended family and sometimes his clan move in with him. I wonder whether it’s a phenomenon only limited to South sudan.

The result is, many people loitering under trees in Juba doing nothing yet being maintained indirectly by the government. Some are kept indefinitely in hotels in Juba at taxpayers’ expense.

It is a culture of dependence and laziness that some people shamelessly seem to enjoy.

When you add to these the cost of education and health care abroad for all members of the minister’s family, the figure would be quite staggering.

There is no way that the minister’s salary and allowances could cover the costs hence he resorts to corruption and embezzlement of public funds to meet his personal expenses.

It is important that the TGoNU avoids the policy of accommodation.

We have seen numerous appointments that lack merits and some with no specific job descriptions.

Even those who were sacked from their ministerial or other top government positions do not leave the government for good. They get accommodated in other posts, mostly as advisors to the president or ambassadors without portfolios.

The events have shown that some of these ambassadors were used as “attack dogs” against the opposition. Others were allegedly used to commit murder and to do the dirty work for the government.

The policy of accommodation results in no new blood or ideas entering the government. At the end of the day we end up “recycling” the old corrupt officials who have got nothing new to offer for the betterment of the country.

Adoption of real federalism and empowerment of governors, state legislatures and institutions is the way forward.

This would remove any hurdles in the way of democratic governance and would uphold the rule of law.

Politicians would think twice before indulging in corruption because they would be closely scrutinised by their constituencies and would lose elections if they go astray.

It is unusual for a politician to embezzle funds that are allocated for say building a school in his area. It amounts to political suicide, however the same politician, who is inherently corrupt, would not hesitate to embezzle funds allocated for the same purpose but in another area.

There are people who are keen to develop their areas. They are not interested in getting employed in the government but want the government to get out of the way.

It is the insecurity caused by the SPLA and its allies that leads to hindrance of economic growth.

With the federal system, sons and daughters of the area would be the ones entrusted with maintenance of security and delivery of services to their local population. It is the recipe for stability and prosperity.

The majority of our citizens do not know how much our government is spending on our military. The following figures are extracted from the global military sizes and expenditures report for 2014:

Country:
**South Sudan: Total military size: 140, 000 Military expenditure(% GDP): 8.3

**Sudan: Military size: 211,100 Mil. expenditure(% GDP): 2.7
**Uganda: 46,800 Mil. expenditure (%GDP) 1.2
**Kenya: Mil. size: 29,120 Mil. size: 1.3
**Ethiopia: Mil. size: 138,000 Mil. expenditure(%GDP): 0.7
**Democratic Republic of Congo: 145,400 Mil. expenditure(%GDP): 1.4
**Central African Republic: Mil. size: 3,150 Mil. expenditure(%GDP): 0.5
**South Africa: Mil. size: 89,535 Mil. expenditure(%GDP): 1.1
**USA: M. size:2,226,635 %GDP: 3.5; **Russia: Size:2,821,255 %GDP:4.5
**UK: M. size:234,310 %GDP: 2.1; **China: M. size:6,927,000 %GDP:2.1

I must admit, the report was a big surprise to me. Here is South Sudan, the youngest nation on Earth, which has just risen from a long and protracted war, spending as percentage of GDP on the military more than the combined expenditure of USA, UK and China.

It is also more than the combined expenditure of the USA and Russia.

We are spending more than the superpowers. What is going on?! Is it really worthwhile doing so?

Is there any justification for this unbelievable expenditure or that huge army?

Look at the size of the Ugandan army (UPDF), it is 1/3 the size of SPLA. Yet the government had to seek the help of the UPDF to save it from collapse!

A big number does not always equate with a stronger army, it is the training and the firepower that matter most. Contemporary history has shown it clearly in the Arab-Israeli wars.

The SPLA is a leading source of corruption in the country. Arms deals are done without transparency and a lot of funds go into the pockets of the generals.

Salaries and allowances are being paid to people who do not exist or indeed dead. All these practices contribute to depletion of our national wealth. T

he SPLA or the would-be-South Sudan Army needs to be down-sized to 1/3 of its current size and more attention should be directed to training.

Professionalism should be introduced with eradication of the culture of looting, rape and brutality against civilians.

The brutal attacks against civilians in Unity state, Upper Nile state and the recent helicopter gunship offensive against unarmed civilians in Wonduruba, Mundri and Maridi areas, have changed civilians’ perception of the SPLA.

Right now if civilians in those areas are asked what is the number one threat to their lives, the answer would not be diseases, famine or environmental catastrophes, it will be without hesitation the SPLA.

Finally, we should all recognise that corruption has reached the worst possible stage and is edging towards irreversibility.

There is nothing that cannot be fixed in this world provided it’s humanly possible. However the first step to fixing all our problems is to have a responsible government in Juba.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

New States not based on number of counties, but on population size: Gok people deserve own county!

CREATION OF STATES IS NOT BASED ON A NUMBER OF COUNTIES BUT RATHER ON A SIZE OF POPULATION: A RESPONSE TO THOSE WHO ARGUE THAT GOK PEOPLE HAVE ONE COUNTY AND THEREFORE DO NOT DESERVE TO BE A STATE.

BY DANIEL JUOL NHOMNGEK, KAMPALA-UGANDA, NOV/18/2015, SSN;

In response to those who argue that since Gok people have one county and therefore do not deserve to be a State, I would like to stress at onset that such an argument is a fallacy and also a failure to reason logically.

In my understanding, the creation of administrative units or states is not based on counties but it is based on the size of population, which means that Gok people deserve to be a state based on the result of the last census.

The result of the census of 2008 put the population of Gok people to one hundred and seventeen thousand people (117000). Thus, those who argue that one county cannot be a state fail to understand one fundamental factor considered in the creation of a state or any administrative unit.

What is considered in the creation of the State or any administrative unit is a size of population which acts as a determinant in the allocation of resources. This means that neither geographical area nor administrative unit plays any major role in the creation of the state but it is the size of population that matters.

In relation to Cueibet County, being one county does not mean that it cannot be a state. In fact, to point out the truth, Cueibet County remained as One County since 2005 because it was left in that status for the benefit of some political actors who did not want Gok Community to progress.

In other words, it was just an administrative misnomer intended to ensure that Gok people did not have access to services and resources; it was an administrative corruption in short.

However, now as the President of South Sudan has done it, I think it was the plan of God as God has been watching at how much Gok people have suffered.

Because of that I have hope. I have hope of Gok people remaining as state since it is the plan of God and as far as I know what God has planned no human beings can go against it or can undo it.

People of Gok from Cueibet county are people of God; they are there for the interest of South Sudan. During the war in 1990s for instance, many communities in the then Southern Sudan turned against the SPLM/A to the extent of SPLA almost losing the war.

However, Gok people stood their ground against the Arabs under the leadership of the son of Gok Community, Daniel Awet Akot, and because of that Cueibet became the storm eye for the liberation of South Sudan.

Remaining the centre for liberation, the SPLM/A gained momentum in the fight against Arabs as Gok people played a fundamental role in standing with the SPLM/A. Gok People generously and jealously protected the interest of the SPLM/A from 1983 to 2005.

In 1990s when the SPLA was almost defeated, it was only in places like Goomcok, Mayenthon Jokdau, YinhAkong and Ciitcook Awetdit found in Cueibet in which the SPLM/A remained active and strong liberation army.

It was from the aforementioned places in which SPLM/A started another onslaught and rebellion which eventually resulted into the birth of CPA or Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005.

Thus the effort of Gok community gave birth to South Sudan today since the people of Gok created the centre and strong base in which South Sudanese protected their interests.

As a result of their determination, they paid heavily. For example, all their cows, grains and other valuable things that provided sources of their livelihood were completely used up by freedom fighters leaving them in abject poverty and recurring hunger in which many of them died.

Moreover, due to their patriotism and love for South Sudan, Gok people sacrificed a lot in terms of human beings. For example, many youths were recruited to help SPLM/A which was then under Late Dr. Garang to fight Arabs.

To be specific, each executive chief could recruit as many as thirty young people per a year for over ten years i.e. from 1990s to 2003 yet in Gok community there are only forty five executive chiefs. Thus from foregoing analysis if one can make a calculation, it is easier to come to the conclusion that from 1990s to 2000s, youth of Gok community constituted a core of freedom fighters in which many died as a result of war.

Hence, it is not in consonant with logic to hear some people reason and argue as they do about the creation of States and Gok State in particular. Such reasoning as already explained above leaves much to be desired and it is the basis of injustice.

In summary, as a matter of good conscience and natural justice, Gok people should be compensated with nothing but their own state, which is the prudent thing that the Government of South Sudan has done.

They cannot be compensated in anything except the development of their areas and to ensure that their children are educated, elders are cared for and health centres are made available to ensure that Gok people do not die of preventable diseases.

It is therefore wrong to think that if Gok is one county it cannot be a State. It must be repeated that a state is not based on Counties but on the size of people and based on the result of census of 2008, it is important to conclude that Gok people deserve the state.

THE AUTHOR IS THE BAR COURSE STUDENT IN LAW STUDYING AT LAW DEVELOPMENT CENTRE IN KAMPALA UGANDA AND HE CAN BE REACHED VIA: JUOLDANIEL@YAHOO.COM; +256783579256

An Appeal for Rescue from Human Rights Violations in Southern part of Unity State

From: Rev. John Rell Bath
Subject: SUBJECT: AN APPEAL FOR RESCUE FROM HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN SOUTHERN PART OF UNITY STATE.
Country: South Sudan

Message Body:
To United Nations, European union, United states of America, AU neutral nations Troika and French government.

Dear peace loving people and governments,

It has been a horrible situation for the civil population in southern part of Unity state, especially Leer County. The violence has been almost daily and weekly since the government troops offensive attacks in May up to now.

The violence includes: cattle raiding, killing, gang rapping women and girls including under age children, abduction, sex enslaving and forced labor for survivors carrying plundered things or goods to wherever the captors want. Looting, burning villages and destroying the plantations or burning any food items they could not carry, e.g. leaving the calves dying in thousands and shooting dead animals- cows that refuse to go with them.

The community has been left with nothing of livelihood, yet when the international humanitarian, non-governmental organizations such as ICRC, MSF, NRC, and WFP tried to come for rescue- bringing food drops, medical and none food items, that again invited attacks during air drops of food, food distribution and looting of food supply.

In October, mass killing of over 80 civilians including 29 children drowned during an attack and gang raping reported.

UNMISS could not help protect this civil population yet their mandate is to protect the war affected civilians.

IGAD Ceasefire monitors reported the violence, UN humanitarian agencies: UNICEF, WFP and FAO have reported that the community of over 30,000 is at the verge of humanitarian catastrophe, ICRC, MSF and NRC have reported the violence and humanitarian crisis looming, but to no response whatsoever, because the population is in SPLM-IO areas.

The community of Leer is part of humanity that cannot be totally destroyed while the able nations just watch because president Kiir of South Sudan and president Museveni of Uganda have decided so.

Up to today, dying is the order of the day in Leer County.

Therefore, I am appealing on behalf of the church in this community as an eye witness of all the happenings, to: United Nations, European union, Troika, AU neutral nations, United States of America and French government to intervene in any way possible including military intervention to save the civil population condemned to: mass killing, forced starvation, lack of medical services, gang raping and abduction because they are in SPLM-IO areas.
Thanks

Rev. John Rell Bath
PCOSS Leer Perish
Unity state, South Sudan.

Pres. Kiir should dismiss many Ministers for sake of Peace Agreement

By James Okuk, PhD., JUBA, NOV/13/2015, SSN;

When Chapter One on Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) as per August 2015 Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) gets implemented by the end of this year, many ministers and deputy ministers who are enjoying the privileges of power now will lose their positions and go home so that others who shall be favored by President Salva Kiir Mayardit could get appointed to fill the new posts for peace.

From an average calculation, the GRSS shall lose 25 Ministers from the current cabinet and only retain 6 while getting 13 new faces for TGoNU. That means more politicians shall be mourning the exit while fewer rejoice the entry.

According to the agreed power sharing formula the GRSS shall retain 53% Ministerial portfolios (16 Ministers) while South Sudan Armed Opposition shall be rewarded with 33% (10 Ministers); and the Former Detainees shall be awarded with 7% (2 Ministers) while Other Political Parties shall be thrown 7% of Ministerial portfolios (2 Ministers).

Each Party will get its share from the 30 national ministries in accordance with the random lottery on:

1) Governance Cluster (Cabinet Affairs; Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Defence and Veterans’ Affairs; Interior; Justice and Constitutional Affairs; National Security; Parliamentary Affairs; Information, Communication Technology and Postal Services; and Ministry of Federal Affairs; Minister in the Office of the President) in addition to Deputy Ministers for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Defence and Veterans’ Affairs; Interior; Justice and Constitutional Affairs; and Information, Communication Technology and Postal Services;

2) Economic Cluster (Finance and Planning; Petroleum; Mining; Agriculture and Food Security; Livestock and Fisheries; Trade and Industry; Energy and Dams; Transport; Roads and Bridges; Environment and Forestry; Land, Housing and Urban Development; Water Resources and Irrigation, Wildlife Conservation and Tourism) in addition to Deputy Ministers for Finance and Planning; and Agriculture and Food Security;

3) Service Delivery Cluster (Higher Education, Science and Technology; General Education and Instruction; Health; Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development; Gender, Child and Social Welfare; Culture, Youth, and Sports; Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management) in addition to Deputy Minister of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development.

No party shall be allowed to have a bullying monopoly on selection of ministries in each cluster. For example, if the GRSS selects in its first chance of lottery the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and its Deputy, it will not guarantee retaining the Ministry of Finance and Planning, the Ministry of Defence and Veternas’ Affairs and the Ministry of Interior with their Deputies, and any other Ministry until the second chance for lottery avails itself but by not repeating the first choice in the first cluster.

The SPLM-IO, the Former Detainess and Other Political Parties (who are not currently represented by ministers in the National Cabinet) shall not feel the pain of losing like the GRSS and its allied political parties.

That is where the warning of Vice President Wani Igga makes sense as many current ministers are seen unhappy with the changes that are coming with the implementation of the peace agreement. They sleep less every day in worries and hope that every morning comes with no changes so that their ministerial positions are not threatened.

Some of these ministers have reached to the extent of not caring about the suffering of people of South Sudan. However, it is not up to them because peace should be greater to any current ministerial position of war time.

President Kiir should by now know very well who are fit for his 10 ministers and perhaps 3 deputy ministers for the time of peace in addition to the small share he shall give to those of Martin Elia Lomuro, Joseph Ukel and Bishop Gabriel Roric, perhaps.

He should punish the ministers who have shown themselves these days to be against peace agreement and never appoint any of them to serve in the coming peace Cabinet.

If they want to threaten him with new rebellion let them try because they will hate the consequence of going against peace.

They shall not get sizable supporters of war like what Dr. Riek Machar, Mr. Taban Deng and other SPLM-IO leaders got when they were removed from power in 2013.

If things had gone well with good faith of implementing Chapter One on TGoNU by now and after 90 days from the time of the signing of ARCISS the new government would have been the one ruling the country.

But as the common wisdom optimizes that it is always better late than never, the peace-loving citizens and their regional and international friends are still hopeful that the TGoNU is going to be formed soon.

Starting from the mid of this month of November 2015 and onwards after the IGAD Extraordinary Summit had taken place in Juba, politics is not going be the same again for South Sudan. Those who are still sleeping for the past should get shuddered to come to terms with the new reality of peace.

The term and mandate of President Salva Kiir Mayardit, the Vice President James Wani Igga, and the serving 10 State Governors of the Republic of South Sudan shall be extended for duration of the Transitional Period (30 months) until general elections time unless some situations that demand exceptions come up, but which should be handled in accordance with the provisions of the ARCISS or amendments agreed upon by the signatory parties and Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC).

The TGoNU (dominated by three SPLM factions with 97%) shall be obliged to carry out the following duties:

1) Restoring peace, security and stability in the country;
2) Expediting relief, protection, repatriation, rehabilitation and resettlement of IDPs and returnees;
3) Facilitating and Overseeing national reconciliation and healing process through an independent mechanism including budgetary provisions for compensation and reparations;
4) Overseeing and ensuring that the Permanent Constitution-making process is successfully carried out;
5) Working closely with the IGAD-PLUS Member States and Organizations and other partners and friends of South Sudan to consolidate peace and stability in the country;
6) Reforming the public financial management, civil service, and security sector;
7) Ensuring prudent, transparent and accountable management of national wealth and resources to build the nation and promote the welfare of the people;
8) Rebuilding the destroyed physical infrastructure in conflict-affected areas and give special attention to prioritizing the rebuilding of livelihoods of those affected by the conflict;
9) Establishing a competent and impartial National Elections Commission (NEC) to conduct free and fair Elections before the end of the Transitional Period and ensure that the outcome is broadly reflective of the will of the electorate;
10) Making all efforts to conduct National Population and Housing Census before the end of the Transitional Period;
11) Devolving more powers and resources to States’ and County levels; and
12) Carrying out normal functions of a democratic government of peace time (i.e., government by the people, of the people, for the people and with the people).

There should not be any lame excuse that there is no money for peace when, in fact, there has been money for war, corruption and looting of public wealth kleptocratically.

Of course and as far as we know the SPLM leaders, the success of such peace project shall still remain in a tricky balance without a sustained pressure from regional and international powers.

We shall have challenges of capacities and characters of the SPLM politicians (be they IO or IG or G10) who shall be appointed as Governors, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Commissioners, etc, for the execution of the transitional peace tasks as enumerated above.

Worst still, it has already been seen how the SPLM historical politicians have become a cause of curse for the new country in contravention to the original vision of the freedom fighters.

Some people have described the SPLM leaders ironically that when they differ they kill the citizens instead of themselves but when they agree they loot the public money and assets in a spree shameless manner. Either way the SPLM is no longer of good use for South Sudan.

But what can the people do when IGAD-Plus and the whole world has decided to force the cursed SPLM on the throat of South Sudanese for the next coming three years in the name of peace?

They have to continue being patient. Some of us are sensing it that it is not going to be the same because sooner than later during the transitional period, the SPLM would be forced to go for transformation.

It has to change its name and create alliances for genuine popular political reality or disappear for good into history archives like KANU of Kenya.

Dr. Lam Akol is already ahead of the rest of the historical SPLM leaders because he has formed the National Alliance (NA) for a genuine non-violent democratic competition for power.

What he still needs terribly is a free political space and level ground for the success of his democratic and enlightened political endeavors in South Sudan.

He is not a leader by chance. The Republic of Nigeria did it recently and President Mohammadu Buhari is now putting his country above on the right track.

The People of South Sudan want nothing less than peace for prosperity!
—————————–
Dr. James Okuk is a lecturer of politics. He is reachable at okukjimy@hotmail.com

Response to Deng Dau Deng’s Sympathizers on Jonglei Gubernatorial Nomination

DOMESTIC RESPONSE TO HON. DENG DAU DENG’S SYMPATHIZERS ON THEIR OPINION ARTICLE ON PUBLISHED ON “THIS DAY,” “THE STANCE” AND “THE JUBA TELEGRAPH” NEWSPAPERS DATED 4TH NOVEMBER 2015 ON JONGLEI GUBERNATORIAL NOMINATION.
NOV/11/2015, SSN;

We would like to strongly respond to the ill-motivated, malicious and soul-searching propaganda by a self-claimed group of 28 members who responded on behalf of Hon. Deng Dau Deng Malek’s miserable defeat in Twic East Community Gubernatorial elections done on 19th October 2015.

The group of 28 members, led separately by Garang Malual Deng, Anyang Atem Agoot and Mabior Deng Mabior (Dengwurtung) in both This Day, The Stance & The Juba Telegraph Newspapers jumped to the gun and shamefully defended the unfortunate statement of Honorable Deng Dau Deng, calling members of his Constituency as “Rebels Choosing Rebels,” as he walked out of election meeting at General Bior Ajang Duot’s house.

We thought of not responding to the group given that we have neither exchanged any rejoinder with them nor do we have any intellectual equality in engaging in matters of County and the nation.

We also saw their response as low standard given poor grammatical constructions, incoherence and lack of substance in attracting readership.

However, we thought it worth to clarify some deep-seated malicious hoopla, which this perceived CDF (Community development Fund money) beneficiary group has written in the above-mentioned Newspapers and Online News Outlets.

The 20 group members, who wrote a letter to Hon. Deng Dau Deng on 20th October 2015 and signed it, did it with good intention as members of his Constituency not necessarily those who voted for him.

We are aware that Hon. Deng Dau Deng Malek represents Constituency Number 11 in NLA. The written number 12 to represent his Constituency was a typing error.

However, the letter did basically address the substantive and sensitive matter of Hon. Deng Dau’s innuendos of “Rebels Choosing Rebels”. Evidences are available to prove this unfortunate statement.

The group will avail evidence to the Speaker of National Legislative Assembly (NLA) in their next move of petition letter to the Rt. Hon. Speaker.

We will not disclose the evidence to any public on condition that Hon. Deng Dau Deng apologizes to the Twic East Community in writing or in a community meeting for this statement.

Besides, we do not wish to deal much on the nomination of Jonglei State Gubernatorial candidate given that Col. Philip Aguer Panyang overwhelmingly won the nomination in free and fair election from Boma to Payam and to the County Level.

Even the self-imposed clandestine leaders of the 28 members were absent in all the steps taken for the nomination. We wondered why they signed on behalf of the group for something they did not witness?

This is confirming to us that the leaders and members of this group are driven by sycophancy and could be radical political recipients of Hon. Deng Dau Deng’s Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

We wish to eschew our readership boredom on the newly decreed Jonglei State Gubernatorial debate race given that the National Legislature is yet to amend the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011 to accommodate EO#36 of the ballooned 28 States.

However, any petition against Col. Philip Aguer’s nomination can be addressed at his Boma level to General Garang Mading Agook, at his Payam level to General Dau Akec (Dau-Maluk) and at County level to Gen-Dr. Dau Aleer Abit.

Moreover, the same petition can be addressed to Professor Ajang Duot Bior, who was the Chairman of the Twic East Community Ad-hoc Electoral Committee.

The selection of electoral committee and its membership was done with the consultation of all Twic East Payams leaders under the overall leadership of Dr. Dau Aleer Abit at Kush Resort Hotel during unveiling of candidates’ visions.

Even the defeated MP, Hon. Deng Dau Deng, is a living eyewitness to selection of Ad-hoc Electoral Committee. The weird allegation that Prof. Ajang Duot Bior is a SANU bona fide member is not within our competency to response.

Prof. Ajang is better placed to respond to the group. But one good thing is that Prof. Ajang is a towering academic, neutral and not power monger or greedy man and we believed the community elders saw him competent to lead this process.

We kindly request the 28-member group to petition him or take him to a competent court of law if they deemed him of having rigged any election.

Moreover, the group’s smearing of the intruder by Mr. Chol Dhieu Chol of having played a role of minute recorder as well as Col. Philip Aguer’s agent does not add up or make any sense here. Mr. Chol Dhieu Chol gave up this role before the nomination process.

Did his initial role lead to Hon. Deng Dau Deng miserable and historical defeat of Zero Vote?

Mr. Chol Dhieu was taking minutes at candidates’ campaigns trails at Kush Resort Hotel and Elections were done two days later through Electoral College at General Bior Ajang Duot’s house.

The group’s bizarre allegation of such trivial thing is evidently a ting of ‘beating a dead horse’ and plausibly tweak on dictum of ‘dying before one is killed’.

We believed that Hon. Deng Dau Deng failed to win Twic East Community elections on three statements he altered:
— Firstly that he is a dangerous man (literally a man who has smeared his hands with calf’s dung) and that he wanted to grab Jonglei Gubernatorial seat to protect himself from his prey or arch-enemies;
— secondly Hon. Deng told voters that he needed the post to shield himself from ICC or HCSS given that he has committed crimes against humanity during the conflicts and people hated him and
— finally that he is a darling to Mr. David Yau Yau whom he hailed as a hero and whom he claimed as his best friend that he communicates with daily.

Above all, the insinuation of “Rebels Choosing Rebels” further rubbed salt into fresh wounds of the voters and thus the community-nominated delegates refused to vote for him.

If Hon. Deng Dau had persuaded voters on what exactly he will do differently in Jonglei which he has not done before, some voters would have been convinced to sympathize with him and given him even One Vote instead of Humiliating Zero (0) Vote.

Civilized leaders always persuade and cajole members of their Constituencies to cast them their votes using palatable and mind-capturing panache, not ‘washing their dirty linen’ in the public.

Finally, the 28-member group claimed that Hon. Deng Dau is being witch-hunted and blackmailed because his records speak by themselves.

We wondered which records? Records of gossips to the Presidency, that he is the cleanest and the best loyal man to our President?

Records of blackmailing some of the best-brained youth of Twic East who are supporting President Kiir day and night as rebels who can be arrested and killed?

Records of usurping CDF and using it in (allegedly) buying apartments in Riara prestigious Estate in Nairobi worth Ksh 43M… equivalent to USD 500,000… while members of his Constituency are suffering in the dignified silence in the County, IDPs and Refugee Camps?

Records of not having built a single Tukul school or clinic using CDF, while, some Twic East Sons and Daughters have built schools and clinics on their own contributions and connections?

Records of power greed of five positions: MP for Twic East, Constituency No. 11-NLA, Chairperson of War Disabled, Widows & Orphans Commission, Chairperson of Greater Bor MPS Caucus in NLA, Member of Arusha Tripartite of SPLM-Intra-Party Agreement and Assistant Secretary to Jieng Council of Elders (JCE), and lust for more power?

Now, are these the records that the clandestine members viewed as speaking for themselves?

We are really shocked and petrified to hear some self-imposed group claiming any developmental records for Hon. Deng Dau Deng Malek.

Maybe the records that speak for themselves as argued by the group could have been for sole benefit of the 28 gentlemen at the expense of the Twic East Community.

That perhaps explains why Hon. Deng Dau got Zero (0) Vote. What do you expect when you give Zero (0) Development (CDF) to the Community, they would in return give you Zero (0) Vote.

We found it important to clear this and we are more than ready to respond with more hard facts should the 28 group members or any other individual responds to this rejoinder.

Our concern has been unblemished and is addressed to Hon. Deng Dau Deng on his unfortunate statement on “Rebels Choosing Rebels” at General Bior Ajang’s house.

We do not have any vendetta with the so-called 28 group members. Unless, if they did not read our letter to Hon. Deng Dau Deng. This should be made very clear to the group and the readership.

We look forward for peace, unity and prosperity for our County, Twic East and our Country, the Republic of South Sudan. We stand with H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit in building our nascent State for democracy and prosperity.

Signed:
1. Dut Chol Riak Akoi, 2. Majak Abot Aluel, 3. Nyuon Kuol Abraham, 4. Chol Dhieu Chol,
5. Chol Akuot Atem, 6. Majok Ezra Chol, 7. Deng Wac Garang, 8. Deng Manyiel Deng,
9. Chol Majok Deng, 10. Mark Mabil Aweer, 11. Aguer De’ Yen Chol, 12. Jok Johnson Akol
13. Dau Akuot Deng, 14. John Malak Majok, 15. Majak Abraham Chol, 16. Deu Manyang Ayuel
17. Kuol Ayuen Deng, 18. Anyar Matiop Deng, 19. Dau Bol Gak, 20. Dut Aguer D. Deng

Cc:
 Members of NLA-Twic East County
 Hon. Commissioner of Twic East County
 Members of Jonglei State Assembly of Twic East County
 Chairman of Greater Bor Community in Juba
 Chairpersons of Twic East Communities in Diaspora
 Media Houses and Outlets

Presidential Decree 36/2015 jeopardized National Unity in South Sudan

BY: Dr. James Kwajok, NOV/11/2015, SSN;

At the end of last month, South Sudan witnessed the emergence of a new rebel group called Tiger Faction New Forces (TFNF). It was the breakaway of SPLA units stationed in Manyo County in northern Upper Nile State. The faction is led by General Yoanes Okij with specific demands to be met by the government before the rebellion could end. It has already engaged the SPLA in combat. The faction is composed exclusively of members from the Chollo tribe and its demands are:

1- Immediate revocation of the unconstitutional presidential establishment order 36/2015 for creation of 28 new states instead of the current 10 states.

2- Establishment of a federal system of governance.

However the main reason for this unprecedented development is the division of the Chollo Kingdom into two parts with annexation of the part on the eastern bank of the Nile including Malakal to the newly established Dinka states.

It is the first time in the history of South Sudan that a movement was born solely to defend the land and interests of a single tribe. All the rebel movements that fought the government in Juba starting from George Athor group through Gatluak Gai group and ending with Aguelek which is a Chollo movement under General Johnson Olony, have national agendas and political opposition to the government.

Even the Cobra faction which is a Murle movement under David Yau Yau was the result of grievances about a rigged election.

With the rise up of the TFNF, South Sudan has entered uncharted and dangerous waters. It is even more likely that the other tribes whose lands have been snatched from them would follow suit.

The presidential decree seems to have stirred a hornet’s nest and the consequences are dire and unpredictable. Anyone who had the opportunity of visiting or living in Malakal would be very amazed to hear any tribe other than the Chollo claiming its ownership.

I have travelled by steamers and by land back and forth from Malakal to Juba and from Malakal to Kosti. The Chollo people are present on both banks of the Nile and this has been the case since time immemorial.

These are indisputable facts that could be substantiated by reading history books regarding the Chollo Kingdom.

The establishment order for the creation of 28 new states was an unwelcome surprise to the majority of the citizens and to observers of South Sudanese affairs regionally and internationally.

At the time when all attention was on the need to expedite the implementation of the compromise peace agreement within its specified time frame, president Kiir chose to undermine the peace accord by announcing his unconstitutional decree.

Any reasonable person would have thought that president Kiir at this particular time and following the signing of the peace accord, would focus more on promoting unity among the people and avoiding anything that would impede peaceful coexistence.

He did the opposite and the timing was even indicative of an attempt to derail the compromise peace agreement.

So, what was the rationale behind this big decision which could be detrimental to the very existence of South Sudan as one entity?

The government propaganda machine and officials are saying this is what the people want and they have answered their demand. But is it really what the overwhelming majority of the people want?

The decree is nothing but the creation of the new states while the same system of governance remains in place with president Kiir retaining his current powers.

What our people want is real federalism that entails sharing sovereignty between the federal government and the states, separation of powers between executive and the legislative institutions and independence of the judiciary.

In brief, it is a system where the president or prime minister can not remove an elected governor or indeed any elected official without due process.

Moreover the president or prime minister will have no powers to appoint members of the parliament. The judiciary will be empowered to ensure upholding of the rule of law.

President Kiir has been all along against federalism and his establishment order can only fool those who lack knowledge about it. Even his government track record exposes the fallacy of their claim of giving the people what they asked for.

People still recall the time when the government imposed a gag on government officials not to talk about federalism. The government was so sensitive and antagonistic to the extent of exerting pressure on the press to stop the debate on the matter.

A poor citizen was shot dead in Maridi by a member of the security forces, simply for voicing out his support for federalism. It amounted to a political assassination which should have drawn the attention of the top government officials including the president.

President Kiir neither condemned the incident nor gave directives to ensure justice for the victim and his family. As far as we know the killer is still at large.

The recent peace negotiations in Addis Ababa gave further evidence that the regime is anti federalism because they rejected it when tabled for discussion by SPLM/A-IO.

Creating more states would be acceptable to everyone should it be the will of the people and devoid of taking a piece of land from one tribe and giving it to the other.

Paul Malong, the SPLA Chief of Staff, could have his village made a state capital as he wished provided the decision comes through the proper channels, namely the national legislative assembly (NLA)and the Council of States (COS).

My personal opinion is that there is more to lose than to gain by increasing the number of states at this point in time. It will increase the number of the unproductive workforce, thieves and looters with little benefit to the public.

The government coffers has been losing millions of South Sudanese Pounds to bogus pay-sheets and ghost employees. This situation can only get worse with the creation of the new states.

Just look at the case of the previous acting caretaker governor of Northern Bahr El Gazal State, Salva Chol Ayat. He was hardly one month in office when accusation of embezzlement of millions of South Sudanese Pounds emerged.

His successor, the current caretaker governor Akot Deng Akot who is just over 2 months in office, has already been accused of embezzlement of SSP 3.29 millions to settle personal debts.

There is a wealth of evidence that embezzlement, theft, looting and corruption are commonplace in Northern Bahr El Ghazal state.

As the situation unfolds, it became clear that the president is executing a purely tribal agenda aimed at expanding his tribe’s territories and giving it dominance over other tribes.

By doing so, he has removed himself completely from impartiality and has become a tool for enacting a tribal policy dictated by the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) rather than a national policy for the benefit of all the people of South Sudan.

What baffles many of us is – does the president and his henchmen really think they could annex lands from other tribes and still expect South Sudan to remain the same?

When the government talks about our occupied lands in Abyei, Panthou (Higlig) and some parts of Northern Bahr El Gazal state and Northern Upper Nile state, it gets support from all South Sudanese.

These lands would ultimately be recovered by peaceful means or in the worse case scenario by going to war with the Sudan.

If indeed it comes down to war then all South Sudanese would participate in it including members from the tribes that have lost lands through annexation.

Would these people really be motivated to fight for liberation of those lands (which are by the way Jieng lands) when at the same time they feel threatened at home with their lands being taken away and given to the Jieng tribe?

There is no way that you can take the land of one citizen and give it to the other and expect both to remain citizens of the same country.

That can not happen in the real world and is all about Kiir and his cohorts living in fantasy.

Land ownership belongs to the communities as clearly enshrined in the constitution. No president should ever tamper with that as it would damage the unity of the people and unleash all sorts of problems for the country.

But what can we say to a president who has been blinded by tribal politics to the extent that he cannot see the obvious!

The Chollo are peace-loving people and very welcoming to members of other communities who are living, working and doing business in their land.

In the few clashes that we know with other tribes, the Chollo were never the aggressors but were always fighting in self-defence and in response to encroachments on their territory.

The immediate and overwhelming support for the new rebel group from the Chollo community points in the direction of a tribe that has been pushed to the limits with only one option left for it to take, which is rebellion.

General Yoanes Okij and his group are regarded as heroes in the Chollo Kingdom and I would bet my bottom pound that the Chollo members of Kiir’s government are supporting the group if asked privately.

It is a situation of determination and resolve by the whole tribe to face Kiir’s decree head-on no matter what sacrifices the community would have to make.

As we all know the Chollo tribe is not the only one affected by the presidential decree 36/2015.

The Fertit group of tribes is facing a similar situation where a large chunk of their land is carved and incorporated into the newly created states.

There is a growing opposition to the presidential establishment order among the Western Bahr Gazalians and the dissent could turn nasty if not already.

Even Governor Rizig Zakaria, who is a staunch supporter of president Kiir, expressed some reservations and asked for an additional 29th state to avoid parts of Raja county being annexed to the Dinka dominated Northern Bahr El Gazal state.

There is a consensus among the Equatorians from day one that rejects the presidential decree. This opinion is shared by those inside the country and the diaspora population.

Again there is dissent even among government supporters – for example the section of Bul Nuer that supports the government is against annexation of parts of their land to the new states.

The Murle and the people of Mabaan have shown opposition to the presidential decree despite the misleading propaganda from the government.

In conclusion, the presidential decree 36/2015 appears to have angered all South Sudanese communities except the president’s Jieng community. They have celebrated and even nominated governors for the newly created states.

It’s quite understandable as they are the only beneficiaries through the expansion of their land ownership and augmentation of their political influence.

When president Kiir took the oath as the first president of South Sudan, among his duties is promotion of unity among the people. Well, what we have seen so far is a relentless divisive policy that has pushed the country to the brink of disaster.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok