Archive for: January 2016

A High Profile Land Grabbing in Juba by Minister of Defence, Kuol Manyang

BY: Dr. LAKO Jada Kwajok, Jan/19/2016, SSN;

Two important things among others need consideration when someone decides to acquire a piece of land for the purpose of building a home. Top of the list is the neighborhood that requires a little research before he could go ahead with his project.

The points of interest are – whether the neighbours would be welcoming to him and also his willingness to establish good relations with them. Civility between neighbours is something of utmost importance as it’s unhealthy to live in a hostile environment.

Issues like proximity to workplace and presence of amenities close to the property usually take a secondary consideration.

Second on the list is to seek land acquisition legally using the available and well-established administrative process. It applies to inhabited and uninhabited land as there is, I believe, no such thing as no man’s land in South Sudan.

The case I am about to present to you is one of a kind because the culprit not only ignored the above but came up with something probably no one ever did worldwide. It’s the use of military force to own a piece of land for residential purposes.

Months ago, the Minister of Defense Kuol Manyang Juuk, sent bulldozers and graders across Juba bridge to an area on the eastern bank. He took a large piece of land, divided it among his folks and started building houses.

When the land owners discovered what was happening, they went to claim their ancestral land; only to be faced by military tanks guarding the grabbed land.

In fact, when the tanks were seen moving across the bridge, some locals thought an imminent offensive against SPLM/A-IO was in the making. The fact that he used tanks to secure that piece of land for his personal use speaks volumes of the sort of government we have.

Also, it shows he knew beforehand that the property has got owners. Therefore, he has to intimidate and scare them off.

Well, this is what the Minister of Defence can do in order to grab a piece of land in South Sudan. The big irony is that he would not dare to move those tanks into Abyei, Heglig or Mile 14 that are South Sudanese territories under occupation by Sudan.

Government and state regulations that control acquisition of land mean nothing to this guy. He has done a lot of bad things while in the bush and known for crude behaviour coupled with poverty in etiquette.

Some may recall when he was the governor of Jonglei state few years ago, he physically assaulted a very junior employee in the presence of an audience. The locals were in a state of disbelief seeing the top ranking official in the state displaying an act of thuggery.

His governorship of Jonglei state has been nothing but a total failure with widespread insecurity and communities on the verge of famine.

Anywhere in the world he would have been sacked long ago and forgotten, but not in South Sudan where there seems to be no end to outrageous phenomena. He instead got promoted to the position of Minister of Defense.

Even on one occasion, he was delegated to represent the president in one of the regional head of states meetings. South Sudan is at a significant disadvantage with such kind of people representing it in the international arena.

If he cannot handle a very junior employee by persuasion or the use of disciplinary measures and had to resort to violence – how on earth would he interact intellectually and withstand the pressure of the shrewd politicians he would be up against in international negotiations?

They would be challenging his views to weaken his position and gain an advantage. Would he slap them on their faces or beat them up if he cannot get his way?!

I have no doubt in my mind that he would be out of his league and easily outsmarted and outmanoeuvred with the consequence of South Sudan signing bad deals.

In 2005, the Bari community was split between those against and those for making Juba the capital of South Sudan. It’s hard to know which side was the majority. But it took only a year or so to make the overwhelming majority favour relocation of the capital from Juba to anywhere in South Sudan.

Why did the popularity of Juba as the capital of South Sudan plummet so quickly?! The main reason for this change of heart is the widespread land-grabbing that affected the whole community.

I remember watching a program over SSTV where the host tried to embarrass the late Dr Philip Tongun, by asking why do the Bari people want relocation of the capital that brings development to their areas?

He received an excellent answer from the great community leader that stunned him and I quote: ” Juba has been the capital of South Sudan for a while, and if having the capital is the vehicle that brings development, then the Bari people are not special to have that privilege alone, other communities should have the chance.”

The Bari community has been the target of negative propaganda as being obstructive and refusing to give land for government use. But in reality did it ever refuse a government request to relinquish land for building a school, a hospital or for the construction of a bridge or a highway?

It even gave the government a large piece of land on the eastern bank for building government departments and institutions. The government showed no interest in the offer and it soon became apparent to the locals that it wants the land without the people.

As they started to understand the whole situation, they became convinced that the aim is to relocate them from the land they inherited from their ancestors.

Subsequently, the failure of the government to curb the menacing insecurity and lack of basic services delivery, made the community conclude that it’s better off without Juba being the seat of the capital.

Land grabbing is commonplace in greater Equatoria. It’s rampant in Ma’di land, Yei area and parts of Western Equatoria state. Acts like what the Minister of Defence has done can only breed hatred and increase the likelihood of clashes between communities.

What started as a dissent from a portion of the Bari community has now spread to involve the rest of Greater Equatoria. The majority do not want the capital in Juba or anywhere in greater Equatoria.

I would say to everyone who lost a plot or a piece of land – don’t be disheartened or lose hope. Do not stop claiming the ownership of your property. Those who now think they have won by building on your lands would later learn how naive and shortsighted they have been.

They have built homes not on rocks but on moving sands. Without a doubt, there will be time for reckoning and they could be dispossessed of what they built using similar means – the way they acquired them or their illegal ownerships being made to crumble under the weight of lawsuits.

People like the Minister of Defence can seize lands belonging to others by force. But it will never confer legitimacy to the properties they possessed by the means they have used.

Calling the area Juba 2 or whatever name would not help to legitimise it, the locals will never accept the status quo.

Not long ago someone on this forum pointed out that many villages remain abandoned in Jonglei state. The MPs from those areas stay all the time in Juba and do not visit their constituencies.

Everywhere in the world people like to visit their villages and hometowns. There is nothing like having a house in your own village. It remains a puzzle why these people don’t like their ancestral land and prefer to grab other people’s lands.

The minister could have easily gotten a piece of land in Bor town without resorting to illegal possession of land around Juba. In that way, he would be contributing to the building of his hometown.

He ought to know though that the game is far from over. The land owners have just started warming up, and he should brace himself for a relentless claim on his illegal holding with only one possible result that is the return of the grabbed land to their legitimate owners..

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

Taban Deng Gai: The Little Evil of Ruweng People has spoken again

BY: Santino Aniek, New York, USA, JAN/16/2016, SSN;

Last week when we were listening to the little evil of Ruweng people’s speech, what we heard was a crime, chauvinism, bigotry, and rhetoric that were threats to Ruweng people. Everyone in our community by now is aware of the horrific speech during the convention a few weeks ago by Taban Deng Gai, and it should be condemned in stronger terms.

His position on the issue of border between Panrieng and Biemnom that is now being discussed on Social Media has displayed an ignorance or intentional bias, and it is extraordinarily ridiculous, which deserves a serious response.

As always the case, his people in Unity state had continued to speculate whether Panrieng and Biemnom share a border, perhaps they are unaware of the location of Panrieng and Biemnom.

With that being said, I find it particularly disturbing that I’m clearly more concerned about this rhetoric, crime, chauvinism, and bigotry, which he is trying to convey to South Sudanese people.

Given the enormous situation facing our people, it was shocking and unbelievable to all of us to hear that Panrieng and Biemnom do not share borders, however, I feel that many in our community are not familiar with much of the cruelty Taban Deng has been imposing on our community all these years, and I have to help our people to understand some characteristics of this little evil of Ruweng people has.

However, my thought about the speech of comrade Taban Deng Gai and the question we need to ask ourselves is this: How did we get here and why was Ruweng made a state in the first place? What should this little evil of Ruweng people have done before the establishing of Ruweng State?

Guess what, Ruweng State is coming to stay forever and will never be overturned by the likes of Taban. On the contrary, this loaded language by this little evil will never build up cohesion any time soon because we will never let Taban succeed.

These kinds of misleading language will not reduce the confidence of our people and this will bind them even more strongly to the will of unity.

Unquestionably, until our neighbor from Unity State get serious about the society’s structure, and learn a lesson about their barbaric treatment, then those who are not happy about the formation of Ruweng State can talk as they desire, but at this point in time, the people of Ruweng want it to be left alone, whether Biemnom and Panrieng have border or not.

As record has indicated, each and every South Sudanese community has experienced this barbaric treatment for too long and now you cannot ask others to care about you anymore and if Taban Deng Gai and his company does not want to care about themselves, then it is their own problem.

As this resilience challenge continues, we distinguish that the only human being, who is refusing to recognize Ruweng State today, is the same person who was supporting Riek Macher’s 21 States proposal a few months ago.

More importantly, it appears that we are facing extinction, unless we wake up before it is too late and defend this gift by President Kiir because this is a confession at its best and if we are not careful, senseless war will return to South Sudan sooner than later.

Comrades, no one is going to save Ruweng people. Whether we are sinking or we are swimming now, we need to have the courage, and save ourselves from these lies and death, and take this little evil off our backs once and for all.

Nonetheless, I agree in part with this little evil who seems to be opposing our natural habitat given by Nhialic of South Sudan because they have been practicing this barbaric treatment for too long and when the initial judgment is the vehicle for breaking away from Unity State, denial increased.

Moreover, they have been massacring our people with no justification whatsoever all these years and this is why Ruweng State was established as a result of disappointment between the two communities of Unity State.

Personally, no one should be in a position that condones suffering and also has a track record of allowing such a barbaric treatment to continue by oppressing other communities, and at the end of the day refusing to recognize the separation between the two communities.

Imagine if it is Ruweng people refusing for the little evil’s community not to have their own state. I’m sure we will be set on fire in broad daylight like other sisters and brothers who were set on fire in 1992 and in 2013 in Bentiu.

In fact, my analysis of the current state of this inflammatory speech by Taban because of Ruweng people has been once again free from Unity State is sorrowfully flawed.

Although, this little evil thinks that they are the victims of the 28 States created by President Kiir, but when this reality of their barbaric treatment became the word of the day, they start blaming other communities of breaking away without fully understanding the scope of other communities’ long suffering.

Comrades, it is extremely outrageous. How can you extrapolate your bad behavior to the entire South Sudanese communities? Those folks who are crying today are the same people who wanted to have their own state few months ago and they are the same people trapped in the absolute wasted lives that affected the entire nation.

Most importantly, our commitment to one another vs. the non-commitment shows ineffectiveness of our unwillingness to live together in Unity State.

In addition, the relationship we have been having all these years ensures a majority of Unity State communities have remained in systematic purgatory of miserable suffering and death caused by this little evil.

Let me refresh my history as a once resident of this community of Unity State. Initially, I did beat these odds and I did overcome this culture of traps, and now I finally realized how intentionally these people have been defunding and destroying our people’s lives causing our innocent people significantly every thing Nhialic has given them all these years and now this evil is complaining about our breaking away from Unity State is nothing, but pathetic indeed.

Where should our innocent people look for help, comrade Taban? Who should they ask for help when everyone around them in Unity State hated them to death?

President Kiirdit is the answer here and he responded beautifully by creating 28 states, which our neighbor in Unity State hated the most.

South Sudan’s system of government has never been for equality and due process then this piece of legislature by President Kiir. Passing this law is going to make much of a difference and the majority of South Sudanese people particularly the Ruweng people will defend this decree from internal and external enemy.

If this declaration can let each and every community live in peace, then there is no need this little evil crying baby to make it a big deal here because this is the same Federalism, which people in his camp have been talking about when Riek Macher introduced it to the nation.

Returning to this old system is pivotal issue that will spark other senseless wars in South Sudan. This entire rhetoric is misleading, can often confuse people, and will take people back to another battlefield, which no one is ready for including this little evil.

Comrades, if you see yourself as a victim of my word, I apologize; I’m not talking to you personally, but to those who never have a vision for the country they wanted to lead by themselves.

In fact, I’m a product of South Sudan’s history… the good, the bad, the horrible, and I know how long we have been suffering in the hand of this little evil because of his bad action and lack of vision.

Mind your own business, and stay out of our lives period.

And to limit my thought on this speech, my parents never taught me how to become a victim of circumstances; they knew that being a victim would not get me anywhere.

Personally, this is the problem of a certain community within South Sudan, it would take serious people who are experts in brain and behavior relationships to attempt to change these circumstances, otherwise, let’s accept this divorce once and for all.

It is actually very funny to watch this mouthpiece meltdown during the 28 States declaration by President Kiir. What these people fail to realize is that we are tired of these eunuchs of their misleading and the criticism of President Kiir all these years.

These people have no clue about the system of government and they have an intuition to criticize President Kiir of creating 28 States while Riek Macher did the same thing and no one say even a word.

More importantly, President Kiir has divided the beef, comrades, and it is up to each and every community to go and cook their beef, otherwise, those who are not happy with this decree must hang themselves because President Kiir is alive and kicking as well.

Generally, as far as President Kiir is having access to power, nothing is going to change this decision at all.

Consequently, it is true that we are dealing with people who spent their entire life in a different culture, with different beliefs, with different perceptions contrary to our beliefs, and so it is time for our cousins in Unity State to let us go in peace.

In addition, it is likely that nothing will change Taban’s mind as nothing will change our mind from their beliefs in Unity State.

Furthermore, the best we can do is being accepting and tolerant of one another, respect human lives, and that of course is easier said than done.

When people are in an immoral situation like Unity state people are in, there are conflicting beliefs, attitudes, perceptions, and culture and the best is to remove ourselves from that conflict; it sounds like President Kiir has done just that.

In fact, President Kiir has just told the South Sudanese people to go to their cities and live their lives.

Still, those who have this wishful thinking that this decree will be overturned in the near future; know this, this piece of legacy of President Kiir will be protected.

On the other hand, it is really sad that the power sharing is hijacked by this little evil of Ruweng people. But, comrade Taban is not new to the people of Ruweng because he had made a career in politics at the expense of the same people.

I just don’t see leaning toward another senseless war favoring Taban Deng Gai, I know all the entities that have been alienated won’t help him. Let us hope that the unity within the party will come with changes or the backlash will doom chance of Taban Deng Gai of creating another chaos in South Sudan.

Yes, indeed, Taban will not be prosecuted for what most certainly appears to be a violation of war crimes and can ever be applied to the South Sudanese citizen without the citizen being able to use what I will call the Taban-defense or get-out-of-jail-free for as many wars crimes that he has committed so many times and could not be prosecuted.

If he is not prosecuted then any south Sudanese cannot or ever will not be held accountable for this humanity crime in our country.

Sadly, I watched the Taban comedy hour last week, my general impression is that he is good in creating conflict, in fact very well, and the best demagogue I have ever seen in my entire life.

He is a first class liar whose position can be summed up by trust me, that Biemnom and Panrieng do not have a border, and what a conspiracy theory.

In reality, if I had not seen this guy spending 8 years in power as the governor of Unity State, one could be fooled. It is not interesting that Taban is advocating for another conflict in South Sudan having lied about the border between Panrieng and Biemnom.

This is a constitutional right for Ruweng people to live where Nhialic put them, not to be threatened by guileful politician whose days of unmitigated misery has resulted into a failed leadership and has never provided adequate and appropriate choice of words.

What gives him the right to lie about the border between Panrieng and Biemnom that he tried many times to eliminate its people and he could not even succeed for the second time?

Likewise, why does he always demonize the people of Ruweng when we are a very responsible community?

I would like to remind him that this tactic has never worked in the old Germany, or in Israel where terrorists are in the civil society and guys like Taban Deng Gai took his time to lecture Ruweng people about the border he has no knowledge about it while he imports more issues from Addis Ababa to Juba that has needed immediate solution.

Moreover, I have always wondered if people like Taban Deng Gai can learn anything, lesson, and thus cannot be proportionately paid the price for the problem he has generated all these years.

This is generational crime by the system that Taban has set up when he was a governor of Unity State for more than ten years to exploit the lives of Ruweng people for his own benefit still hurting our people.

In addition, Taban has made a career in politics through crimes and he is now threatening the peace loving people of Ruweng so that he can protect his position and wealth for his family and his community in Unity State.

Equally, this provocative statement by Taban is very disturbing to all Ruweng people. Let me move in here and head things off before we get too far out of control starting to talk about what we need, who we need to focus on, and what kind of person we need to be watching here.

I cannot imagine, but I think what is really important here is, going forward, that we need to declare Taban sooner than later as the first enemy of Ruweng people because if Taban gets his hand on any power, he is going to dig up the rock.

Nonetheless, the future of our country depends on a great politician, I mean; may be a pretty good politician like any other politician, but Taban is not one of them because his past record will never favor him as a good person.

It is the only chance we have to begin the process of reversing this transformation that Taban has begun to threaten the Ruweng people. I’m not trying to be divisive here, but I’m trying to stay focused on what we need to do and what needs to happen before Taban made his next move.

Indeed, one cannot help, but wonder how many suicide attempts, but Taban Deng is trying to eliminate Ruweng people that will never happen. In adding, Taban will not properly understood, is not brilliantly articulated in thinking, all of that is what we need to know about him, and not only that we need to stop this little evil before harming our people again.

In conclusion, Taban took a victory journey during his inflammatory speech even though he has little to celebrate. The failure of Taban Deng Gai is apparent to ordinary South Sudanese across the country, but he continues to engage in denial and self-congratulation without knowing that history will never be kind to him in the future.

Taban says freeing Ruweng people in Unity State was over the top; yet, the savagery of his action all these years tells us that the only thing over the top is Taban’s nonchalant disposition regarding the threat of this little evil of Ruweng people.

While lecturing the Ruweng people about the border of Panrieng and Biemnom, he cannot even identify the border between Northern Sudan and South Sudan because comrades you all know that Taban was the Governor of Unity State during the PCA, but he did not claim Panthou as part of Unity state from the regime in Khartoum.

However, I would like to remind former Governor of Unity State comrade Taban that Khartoum Peace Agreement and the current Addis Ababa Peace Agreement were not signed as a result of Panrieng and Biemnom border conflict, but these two agreements were signed as a result of Taban’s recklessness behavior all these years.

In reality, if Taban is serious about the border, he needs to come up with another strategy for defeating Khartoum regime and destroying the real enemy of South Sudan before talking about the border between Panrieng and Biemnom.

Thus far, he has only come up with empty rhetoric and movable threats to the people he never defeated because Taban has tried many times to achieve his goalmouths of wiping Ruweng people off the map of South Sudan.

Subsequently, the vast majority of Ruweng people are nonviolent and chose to ignore Taban Deng Gai’s repeated calls to physical aggression and violence, but nonetheless, given tactic approval for such actions by our silence, and have done so over the decades need to stop.

Yes, this has repeated itself many times with barbaric ways, but this atrocity sits at the heart of our people and is one of the basis for this little evil actions need responsiveness right now.

The perpetuation of our neighbor from Unity State violence against Ruweng people with the intention and domination needs to be addressed now and settled once and for all.

Our neighbors from Unity State must come to peace in and of themselves. In authenticity, what I have learned throughout the course of my life is that there are things that we cannot control, but this little evil of Ruweng people must control his action.

Finally, we as Ruweng people cannot ignore the danger that is being inflicted on us by people like Taban Deng Gai, but neither can we ignore the strength and the ability of our great community to embrace the best and the highest ideals of humanity.

Santino Aniek is a concerned South Sudanese lived in Upstate New York, U.S.A. He can be reached at santino.aniek5@gmail.com and find me on Facebook, on Skype, and on twitter @saniek

Is Consensus by ARCISS’ Parties Possible on 28 States?

By James Okuk, PhD, JUBA, JAN/16/2016, SSN;

Last few days after a positive step was taken by the parties to the August 2015 Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) regarding consensus on selection of 30 national ministries, the Government of the Republic of South Sudan thought that the same honeymoon should be extended to the issue of 28 states.

The request was officially placed to the JMEC in its second meeting after having heard the progress report from the National Constitutional Amendments Committee. It was decided thereafter that the issue of 28 states is not purely a legal matter but a political one that could be resolved by dialogue until consensus is reached on how to go about it.

However, ‘consensus’ is a porous term because it could be understood from perspectives of different directions.

Firstly, it could be that ARCISS’ parties would agree on endorsement of the Republic Establishment Order Number 36/2015 for creation of 28 States in the decentralized governance system in the Republic of South Sudan by including this in the structure and composition of states governments.

Secondly, it could be that the parties would agree that the issue of 28 states be endorsed for further deliberation and modification but within the mechanisms provided in Chapter Six on Parameters of Permanent Constitution after the transitional government has taken up its duties fully.

It is already provided that the TGoNU would initiate a federal and democratic system of government that reflects the character of South Sudan in its various institutions taken together with guarantees of good governance, constitutionalism, rule of law, human rights, gender equity, affirmative action, stability, national unity, ethnic diversity, territorial integrity and people’s participation via devolution of powers and resources to the states and counties.

The permanent constitution is supposed to be completed not later than 18 months from the time of launching the transitional period.

The reconstituted National Constitutional Review Commission (NCRC) shall include political parties, Civil Society Organizations, Faith-based groups, Women bloc, Youth, Ethnic Minorities, Private Sector, Academics and other professionals who should carry out wide consultations and conduct civic education on the permanent constitution-making.

Not only these, but also the TGoNU shall seek assistance of regional and international experts to benefit from the experience and best practices on this constitutional making endeavor. Hence, consensus on the second option is likely possible within ARCISS’ mechanisms.

However, consensus on the first option seems impossible, given the diverting public positions of the parties. The GRSS continues to push for the endorsement of 28 states because it assumes this to be a popular decision that would never be revered by President Salva Kiir Mayardit thought it could be amended by another Republican Order.

The SPLM-IO has come out openly against the adoption of the 28 states for kickstarting the government of national unity of the transitional period, and insists that the dissolved 10 states should be the way to start as provided in Chapter One of the ARCISS because 28 states is a recipe for permanent ethnic conflicts and more continuation of instability in South Sudan.

The SPLM-FDs and Other Political Parties have objected even to sitting down to dialogue for a consensus on the 28 states because this is a violation to ARCISS as well as to the constitutional procedures.

The JMEC’s Chairperson, H.E. Testis G. Mogae have also voiced out his fear that the 28 states is creating unnecessary further delays to implementation of the ARCISS because it is a violation and un-procedural move by the GTSS on the trust of peace.

As this is the case, it would be miraculous how a consensus could be reached on the crisis of 28 states even if it is declared by the JMEC to be a political issue. What is expected to happen then?

The JMEC has suggested that the formation of Government of National Unity at the national level could go ahead based on reference to the ARCISS while dialogue on the composition and structure of government of national unity at states level continue till a political consensus is reached.

The GRSS tends to be comfortable with this thought because it gives it more time to buy while its de facto 28 states and governors are operational on the ground.

The SPLM-IO may be half-heartily welcoming to JMEC’s suggestion as long as its 21 bush federal states and governors continue to exist at the same time, though not necessarily at the same places with the GRSS’ 28 states. But the difficulty with this mediocre comfort is that Dr. Riek Machar and other SPLM-IO hardliners may not accept to step feet in Juba until the the crisis of 28 states is resolved by the JMEC finally.

This shall, of course, be considered by the international community and its regional allies as obstruction and delay to the implementation of the ARCISS; an act that has already been red-lined by the UN Security Council Resolutions 2206 and 2241(2015) with targeted sanctions and other methods of interventions.

If the ARCISS raveled, the GRSS shall feel much heat of hit for a failure because of serious economic crises that may get created to add to the already existing hard currency bankruptcy. People’s outcry shall dangerously get louder with SPLM factions losing popularity both nationally and internationally, despite the fact that there is no Tarir Square in Juba to demonstrate the frustration. The SPLM-IO may not escape the blame too, especially if its advance team decide to get out from Juba or seek refuge in UNMISS as a sign of resumption of more rigorous civil war against SPLM-IG regime.

Why would leaders of the warring parties want to continue humiliating themselves in the face of their citizens and the world by delaying the implementation of ARCISS because of the issue of 28 states that could even be resolved shortly within a year after starting with 10 states first?

To resolve this problem H.E. Salve Kiir is not obliged to issue another Executive Order to reverse the 28 states. What he needs urgently is to allow the NCAC to incorporate the 10 states into draft transitional constitution (2016) as agreed in ARCISS, pass the transitional constitution in the Council of Ministers, endorse it in the expanded Transitional Legislative Assembly and then sign it into supreme law.

This would drop indirectly the GRSS’ 28 states and SPLM-IO’ 21 states by revitalizing the defunct 10 states for kickstarting the ARCISS period on right footing. From then the government of national unity would get formed with Dr. Riek and all SPLM-IO arriving in Juba hurriedly so that sanctions and other embarrassments could be avoided in time before it is too late after January 2016.

Viva ARCISS implementation Viva!
———————————————————————–
Dr. James Okuk is lecturer of politics reachable at okukjimy@hotmail.com

SABMiller Juba Beer Factory to close South Sudan operations on low forex supply

BY: Waakhe Wudu, The EastAfrican, JAN/14/2016, SSN;

SABMiller will close its brewery in Juba, South Sudan, in March due to a lack of foreign exchange needed to buy raw materials, the company said on Friday.

SABMiller, which was bought by AB InBev last year, said in a statement that mothballing its South Sudan business would affect most of its 237 employees and indirectly hit thousands of individuals and businesses.

The company’s South Sudan operation was likely to be used to distribute beverages imported from Uganda, it said.

IN SUMMARY: Managing director Carlos Gomes said it was “difficult to continue with our operations”, amid basic shortages of fuel to run generators and hard currency to buy materials.
Gomes said the dire situation had to be “resolved quickly” otherwise, “we may have to make a very difficult decision, which we really don’t want to do,” alluding to shutting down the brewery.
“Almost all my salary now goes on food,” said primary school teacher Abe Johnson. “The prices of goods increase every day.”

Symbol of freedom runs dry as S. Sudan brewery eyes closure

Once hailed as a symbol of freedom, South Sudan’s only brewery may be forced to shut down as the world’s youngest nation reels from 19 months of civil war.

Drinks giant SABMiller opened the brewery in 2009, two years before South Sudan split from the north.

The flagship beer was named White Bull, after the distinctive and valued cattle that are a symbol of national pride.

The brewery also represented the country’s hard-fought freedom, won in 2011, from Muslim-majority north Sudan where Sharia law applies and alcohol is banned.

The $50 million (46 million euro) brewery just outside the capital Juba was the single largest investment in South Sudan apart from the oil industry and one of the few ventures to provide much-needed tax revenue.

But civil war, economic collapse, fuel shortages and a dearth of foreign currency have put SABMiller’s operation in jeopardy.

Managing director Carlos Gomes said it was “difficult to continue with our operations”, amid basic shortages of fuel to run generators and hard currency to buy materials.

The brewery’s entire operation runs on diesel generators and all raw materials except water are imported because South Sudanese farms cannot provide commercial quality grain, sugar or yeast in the quantities needed.

“We depend on imports of raw materials,” Gomes said. “We cannot locally source enough diesel to keep our operations running… and now we do not have enough sufficient forex to run operations and production.”

Gomes said around 100 workers, roughly a quarter of the total workforce, had been sent home on leave.

“The scaling down has already started,” Gomes said, adding the rest of the operation was in a “very precarious position.”

The brewery produced tens of thousands of litres of beer a day at peak production, as well as soft drinks and other products. It is owned by Southern Sudan Beverages (SSBL), a SABMiller subsidiary.

Now operations in the vast warehouses are stalled, the latest loss in a war that has left the fledging nation in ruins.

Very bad message

South Sudan’s civil war began in December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of planning a coup, setting off a cycle of retaliatory killings that has split the poverty-stricken, landlocked country along ethnic lines.

Over 70 per cent of the country’s 12 million people need assistance with some areas on the brink of famine, according to the United Nations. Tens of thousands have been killed.

Gomes said the dire situation had to be “resolved quickly” otherwise, “we may have to make a very difficult decision, which we really don’t want to do,” alluding to shutting down the brewery.

“We would not want to fail, because that will send internationally a very bad message that wouldn’t be good for the future development of South Sudan,” he said.

The brewery’s closure would also hit thousands of people who rely on the distribution and sale of the beer.

Bar owners said the closure would force them to import more expensive beer from neighbouring Uganda, with prices already rising in recent months by more than a third.

“I am definitely worried,” said Joseph Laku, a small scale beer retailer.

“Imagine those of us with small businesses, can we afford to go up to Kampala, Uganda, to import beers? We will be forced to close down our beer business.”

Businesses big and small are feeling the squeeze as food and fuel prices soar.

Black market fuel sells for up to five times the official price at often dry pumps. The South Sudanese pound is worth 16 to the dollar on the black market, five times the official government rate of three to the dollar.

“Almost all my salary now goes on food,” said primary school teacher Abe Johnson. “The prices of goods increase every day.”

A 25-kilogram (55-lb) bag of flour has more than doubled in recent months along with staples like beans, rice and cooking oil.

Regional mediators, backed by US President Barack Obama during his recent visit to Kenya and Ethiopia, have given South Sudan’s rivals until August 17 to halt the civil war.

“We are just praying that the peace is signed this month, and there is an improvement of the situation,” said Johnson.
-AFP-

Firm foundations first and the roof later, Mr. Mogae

By: Peter Lokarlo Ngrimwa* JAN/14/2016, SSN;

The prioritization of the formation of the government of National Unity at the moment by the Chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) or the recent request made by James Wani Igga the current Vice president of the Republic of South Sudan to the Chairman of the SPLM-IO Dr. Riek Machar to relocate to Juba and jointly form the anticipated government of National Unity with the serving president of the country, Salva Kiir, before primarily addressing the central issues in the peace accord is seemingly a sheer heedless travesty devoid of critical reflection on the part of Mr. Wani and Mr. Festus Mogae, the Chairman of JMEC – the man tasked with ensuring the implementation of the peace deal in South Sudan.

Auspiciously, the roadmap is at the disposal of all parties and stakeholders, thus, what remains to get done is just an honest execution of the clauses of the agreement as stipulated in the document, without aberrations or eccentricities so that all would arrive at the expected and desired political accommodation.

Alas! South Sudanese have already witnessed one glitch in the allotment of the government Ministerial positions.

Salva Kiir as predicted did demonstrate his utter sense of greed and political insensitivity by securing the most important slots and left the secondary ministries except the Foreign Affairs to the others who took them passively without an argument.

In the first place, the methodology for sharing the designated ministries as provided in the peace agreement was not followed, it was simply jettisoned overboard and that act of indiscretion or tactlessness by the opposition forces enabled the Jieng Council of Elders’ government to have a free ride as it wished.

The portfolios of Defence, National Security, Parliamentary Affairs, Justice and Constitutional Affairs and Finance and Planning are all key institutions and have sadly all gone to the JCE that controls the government of South Sudan.

We need to get reminded that within 18 months from the beginning of the transitional government, all SPLA soldiers from the opposition and the government would be merged together and commanded by the JCE’s government.

It remains to be seen as to what would transpire from such an intricate and byzantine scenario, given the appalling temperament of the President and his JCE that seem to capture the Latin phrase of “Si vis pacem, para bellum,” meaning, “If you wish for peace, prepare for war.”

The JCE government controls the Security establishment as well, and that could be unleashed by the government to ensure that the JCE regime commandeers power through illegal and coercive practices of the security apparatus.

This is another sombre portrait in the making that could see South Sudan through another round of bloodletting and misery, and that is all because an erroneous decision was made which should not have been made in the first place as we live in an environment and generation where there is no shortage of mutual suspicions.

It is worth recalling that it is the same JCE that had attempted to institute inter-tribal conflicts in Greater Equatoria. The Madi were set against the Acholi; Madi against Kuku and Mundari versus Bari. This was destined to create hostile environments among the feuding ethnic groups and help the JCE rule South Sudan.

If the assumption of the delegation of the SPLM-IO is that this setback is pro tempore or only transitory and confined to the period of the transitional government and the SPLM-IO would be in a better shape politically after the 30 months or so, this conviction is probably flawed and manifestly amounts to a self-defeating pondering.

The JCE’s government and their aficionados would soon rheostat the legislative and judicial processes that impact upon the creation of the permanent constitution.

What would happen if such a would-be JCE’s-flavoured constitution turned out to contain a clause which stipulates that any ethnic group that occupied the majority of states in the Republic of South Sudan would always provide the head of state or the president and the second group would have the position of the Vice president?

Given all the oil and other resources at their disposal I can visibly envision that possibility and silhouette emerging which the SPLM-IO’s representatives in Juba were unable to see at the time when they accepted the left overs and the lesser positions after the JCE had gluttonously selected the key state institutions.

Understandably, the JMEC chairman would probably by this time be fascinated with the temptation of exploring short-cuts in the peace agreement in an attempt to accomplish his assignment in the shortest possible time frame and then take on a meteoric rise and ride to prominence at the expense of a predictable future ramifications such a bad deal.

But I think this is hardly a cogent and sustainable approach to adopt in tribally-polarized communities and a country like South Sudan where the urge for instant revenge to settle old scores is irresistibly ripe, following the government’s tribal murders since 2013.

Furthermore, the impulse for intrigues emanating from the huge embedded mistrusts coupled with the trepidation of being removed from power and replaced by a non-Jieng ethnic group does not sit well with the JCE and it could certainly ignite another flurry of slaughter unless prudently handled through restraining safeguards and credible deterrence.

In December 2013, following the weekend flopped meeting of the National Liberation Council of the ruling party, the SPLM, the government scuttled to falsely declare that a coup d’état had been staged by Dr. Riek Machar, nevertheless that declaration turned out to be an absolute farce.

In reality, the move was an intentionally well-rehearsed ploy to eliminate all pockets of opposition groups in the country as it did happen in the subsequent government’s steered massacres and murders of civilians on an industrial scale.

From that point in time, the centrifugal forces of naked tribalism, hate and geographical killings were unleashed by JCE-controlled government, mostly in Greater Upper Nile states.

The exploit was a prelude to paving the way for an emergence to power of a tribally-domineering and authoritarian JCE government in the country.

With the current level of misgivings and the entrenched intention of the government of Kiir under the constant sway of the JCE, to remain in absolute power today and after the end of the transitional period of administration in South Sudan, the President and his browbeats in the JCE, might come up this time with a similar or modified subterfuge to possibly allege that the SPLM-IO have started yet another round of conflict.

To dissuade the JCE and its associates from being tempted to embark on a perilous design of wrecking the peace accord that they have long rebuffed and held in derision, the demilitarisation program as enshrined in the peace agreement document must be effected without government’s sanctioned procrastination.

If carried out timely, there would be equilibrium of forces in the cities that would certainly act as a deterrent factor against another JCE Roulette in Juba political Casino.

In this context I ask the Chairman of the JMEC to ensure that the peace accord be executed accordingly as detailed in the peace document.

You can’t hasten to form a government when the fundamental iffy and skittish issues such as the 28 states conspiratorial design of the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) as well as the demilitarization of Juba and other core issues are still placed in the pending tray of business.

The relocation of the Chairman of the SPLM-IO to the capital Juba would not add value to the execution of the stalemated peace process, to the contrary, there are perceived physical risks associated with his presence in Juba in the absence of the existence of a sizable deterrent SPLM-IO’s troops that would match Kiir’s forces in the city.

President Kiir maintains tens of thousands of army, police and security forces in Juba, which does not tally with the stipulations of the peace agreement on demilitarization.

All these must be sorted out formally prior to Dr. Riek Machar’s travel to Juba to participate with Kiir in the formation of the transitional government.

Mr. Mogae should firmly build the foundations of the house first as he is constructing one, before he starts getting worried about setting up the roof.

In other words, the formation of the government of National Unity is not a priority at the moment, but stopping the government aggression on civilian populations in rural areas is.

The JMEC Chairman should worry about the sporadic skirmishes involving the aggressive and ill-disciplined national army and the state-armed marauding militia forces in Western Equatoria and Western Bahr El Ghazal states.

These bloody developments must be halted before contemplating the formation a transitional government.

South Sudanese owe clarifications from the muted Chairman of the IGAD, the Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Troika group of countries and the imperturbable but moribund African Union about the newly added controversial dimension to the framework of the peace roadmap, namely the 28 states which has been calculatingly strategized to acquire more territories, abundant national resources and above all to provide the JCE with the wherewithal to capture power in elections at the expiry of the 30 months period of the upcoming transitional government.

IGAD, Troika the AU and other external parties have shown a collective penchant for inaction lately. Perhaps these parties are still under the canopy of the antiquated and discarded Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and UN assertive clause that states about non-interference in the internal affairs of other sovereign states.

If that is not the case, then what has transpired of the South Sudan peace agreement? Without their close supervision, Mr. Mogae Festus would hardly move forward to accomplish his mission.

Finally I appeal to all Dinka nationalists who crave the country, and possess both the sensibility and sensitivity on the unity in diversity of South Sudanese at heart and who do not share the virulent ideology of the JCE, to speedily intervene and dissuade the latter from their perilous tendency in order to edge out a possible cataclysmic scenario in the shape and magnitude of the Rwandan carnage of 1994.

In the course of human history, there have often been instances and accounts of extreme brutalities and anguishes which emerged in the course of power struggles and other concerns in many parts of the world in both developed and emerging economies, but all have virtually come to realise the benefits that accrue from the maintenance of political stability as they developed and that stability outweighs their aggressive and more often perturbed ways of living and they have now abandoned the primordial culture of sadism in favour of equanimity.

We must all be prepared to act resolutely to put an end to this monumental insanity created by the retarded and much less sophisticated JCE and their parochial adherents whose distorted moral and ethical foundations lack contemporary application, and instead sit down together to explore ways of building a better South Sudan for all and future generations.

Peter Lokarlo Ngrimwa
Former lecturer,
Graduate School of Business and Law (GSBL)
RMIT University
Emily McPherson Building 13,
379 – 405 Russell Street Melbourne
VIC 3000 Melbourne
Australia.

Stop Pres. Kiir’s 28 States: PR South Sudan International Advocacy for Human Rights

Press Release South Sudan International Advocacy for Human Rights. Jan 12, 2016

We the organizations of South Sudanese Human Rights Activists in Solidarity with others NGOS, would like to call upon the International Community including IGAD, the African Union, the United States of America; Troika; the European Union and the UN to stop presidential order No/36/2015 which brings into effect the creation of 28 states in place of the current 10.

It is all but certain that the implementation of order No/36/2015 will plunge South Sudan into another catastrophic round of bloodshed. It is, therefore, imperative that there be a broad based condemnation of this order so as to avoid returning South Sudan into further conflict. A sustainable peace cannot be achieved otherwise.

Human rights activist Simon Deng has petitioned the global community to stop the creation of the aforementioned 28 states repeatedly iterating that the creation of the 28 states is an unwarranted redistribution of resources and land that works against the spirit of peace. Mr. Deng’s petition is contained in the November 2, 2015 issue of the Sudan Tribune online publication.

In conjunction with the threatening nature of No/36/2015, there is strong evidence that Salva Kiir’s regime has trained another ethnic militia composed of Dinka recruits from Northern Bhar Ghazal and Warap States. Reports indicate that this militia is named “Amiathnum” a Dinka word meaning “last rain” and has already arrived in Juba (January 07, 2016, www.equatoriaunion1870.wordpress.com).

Reports of this nature cannot be taken lightly. The last such government funded militia was responsible for a genocide that saw the ethnic cleansing of over Tens of thousands Nuer men, women and children in Juba on December 15, 2013.

It was this state sanctioned mass murder that setoff this current civil war. For that reason we call upon the world to standby those who condemn both order No/36/2015 the continued presence of the Amiathnum militia and thereby help to prevent a second genocide.
Sincerely,

Peter Gatkuoth wadar kuel
SSIAHR Executive Director

Simon Deng
Human Rights Activists

lobonok2016

lobonok2016-2

An Appeal to Jieeng Council of Elders (JCE): You’ve destroyed Pres. Kiir!

BY: Kuir ë Garang, CANADA, JAN/12/2016, SSN;

To argue that the 28-States proposal is what the people of South Sudan want is to be opportunistically dishonest. Learned people always make decisions based on empirical studies that can be independently verified. In South Sudan, the learned ‘elders’ are an authoritative, opportunistic clique that hides behind the president under the banner of Jieeng community.

In a society where people support everything the leadership decides, the people can’t be the best judges of what’s really good for the country when presented with face-value importance. The pros-and-cons of the proposal need to be discussed and adequately addressed with the people before the consideration of such an unfortunate, segregational proposal.

What’s the rush? The rush is meant to derail peace and prolong the people’s suffering! How can a leader, a learned elder, just assume something will work without it being subjected to the needed scrutiny? This speaks volume about why things are going wrong in South Sudan. Decisions are made on a whim!

South Sudanese rely on the learned to make their decisions, unfortunately, the elders they trust don’t have the interest of the citizens at heart. People need peace not slicing up of the country into tribal enclaves.

Even when the Juba-JCE knows very well that the proposal could jeopardize peace in South Sudan, they went ahead and coerced the president to go ahead with it. Peace is obviously not one of these ‘elders’ wish.

Western nations are plagued by discrimination and racial hatred because of the racial segregation imposed by economic and class differences and the not-admitted subconscious view of others as inferiors. Children grow up in racially homogeneous neighborhoods with the view of racial others as different and inferior. Since they [children] don’t meet racial others to personally ascertain the claim of ‘inferior others,’ they grow up believing that false assumption.

The 28-States proposal will do exactly that. It will keep South Sudanese apart and limit the crucial interaction that reduces tribal animosity. To say that keeping people apart in their ethnic states will bring peace and harmony is a parochial, naïve thinking not worthy of a learned, 21st century African elderman.

Tribal states were created by colonial administrators to help them control the ‘natives’ as they called us then. Those states were created in the interest of His Majesty not the colonized subjects. For the Juba-JCE to argue that these tribal divisions were good for us is ignorant.

I wished my dad were alive. I would have asked him if this is the nature of Jieeng; or if this is how Jieeng elders acted in the past.

It’s crucial for you [Jieeng] elders and leaders to remember that we are the ones to appraise your deeds and achievements once you’re gone. You’ve destroyed President Kiir Mayardit and his legacy and it’s time for you to remember that history will judge you in a very unkind way.

President Kiir now says ‘Order number 36’ doesn’t violate the peace agreement. But what part of the agreement allows it?

We’ll not write ‘facts’ you’ve not presented. You’re living like immortal beings. A man is as good as his legacy; something Juba-JCE is denying president Kiir.

You’ve showed how you disdain inter-tribal unity. You’ve shown how little you care about the well-being of the average South Sudanese except the size of your wallets. You’ve shown how little you care about peace in South Sudan and that’s why you support a controversial decision that could derail peace and keep the nation in a perpetual state of insecurity and instability (political and tribal). And you’ve shown how little you care about the future of South Sudan because you’ll never be in it.

And you’ve shown how little you care about the national constitution and that’s why you had to help the president make an unconstitutional decision. Once you realized that you couldn’t bully Mr. Kurbandy, who’s fortunately not a Jieeng man, you had a recourse to constitutional amendment.

What exactly will you do when the new constitution is written based on the peace agreement? Since SPLM-IO, SPLM-FPD and other political parties reject 28 States, the writing of the new constitution will be a sticky issue that’ll threaten peace. That’s what you want, isn’t it?

You are the very reason why other tribes hate us! But you are living in an insular fantasy so you don’t care what other tribes think of us. You’re stuck in the past that any thought that a future free of tribal parochialism is possible evades you. I’m ashamed of you.

I want a South Sudan in which Gatluak is a minister in my state, Ajullu a mayor of my state capital, and Deng a head of state inter-tribal council of elders. I know mine is a beautiful dream that’ll not materialize because I happen to belong to a tribe in which the wisdom of our village elders has been rejected and replaced with the political opportunism of the callous city dwellers masquerading as ‘elders.’

Kuir ë Garang is a South Sudan poet and author currently living in Canada. For contact, visit his website on www.kuirthiy.com

Deadly Clashes in Vice-pres. Wani-Igga’s Lobonok village between Dinka herders and Bari owners

Radio Tamazuj, Central Equatoria, Jubek State, Jan/11/2016;

Governors of two South Sudanese states met in Juba on Monday after clashes in Lobonok, Central Equatoria, between Dinka Bor herders and Bari farmers resulted in at least five deaths.

Philip Aguer, the newly appointed governor of Jonglei State, met the governor of the new Jubek State, Augustino Jadalla Wani, together with community leaders, to try to contain the situation.

According to a member of parliament representing the area, John Lodu Tombe, the two groups have been fighting each other over the past three days.

He told Eye Radio that at least five people have been killed and a young boy is still missing after allegedly being abducted. The official described the bodies as still unburied, saying communities had fled.

Lobonok, the home village of Vice President James Wani Igga, is located south of Juba on the east bank of the Nile.

According to a community leader, the current conflict in Lobonok is said to have been sparked when cattle keepers from Bor who are staying in the area were blamed for driving their cattle into a local’s garden.

The new governor of Jonglei says that the government is moving urgently to contain the conflict. He spoke to media after a closed-door meeting with his counterpart from Jubek State.

“We are here at the headquarters of Jubek State. We met with the governor of the state Honorable Jadalla and all of the heads of the Bari community and Dinka Bor community and we discussed the problems in Lobonok area between pastoralists and farmers in the area,” said Aguer.

“And we came to urgent solutions to stop the killing between the herders and farmers,” he said, noting that they resolved to form a joint committee to intervene in the situation.

Aguer also disclosed that a police force was sent on Sunday to intervene.

https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/governors-meet-over-clashes-lobonok
(More development following…….)

Greater Bor Community congratulates people and new governor

The Greater Bor Community of the United States of America Congratulates the People of Greater Bor and the New Governor of Jonglei State, South Sudan.

Dear people of Greater Bor aka Jonglei State (South Sudan) Worldwide, on behalf of the people of Greater Bor Community in the United States of America, we share with you the excitement about our new state of Jonglei and its tested leader in Philip Aguer Panyang Jot. Congratulations to you all.

We congratulate Philip Aguer Panyang and we pray that God bless him with abundant wisdom to lead and guide our people through peace and development.

While we recognize the political difficulties that are still hovering over the 28 States proposal, we also recognize that it is the greatest thing that has happened to our people because our own state gives us the opportunity to focus on our own affairs without complications of other factors.

We are ready and looking forward to working with the new governor of our state and all of you at home to build our state of Jonglei as one of the greatest states in South Sudan.

We remain committed to a peaceful co-existence with our neighbors. We are looking forward to work together for mutual benefits.

We are optimistic that South Sudanese people will work around the 28 states to amicably address potential conflicts that the states create. We also are confident that we become a state regardless of whether the 28 states proposal holds or waits for the constitutional-making process. Either way, different proposals have indicated that we are proposed as our own state. We urge our South Sudanese citizens whom the 28 states proposal has caused misunderstanding and setbacks to not choose violence as the means to make their points. Please, use the rules of law and the support of your South Sudanese counterparts to fight for your rights.

Thank you very much.
Yours faithfully,
The Greater Bor Community-USA Leadership,
Viewed by Board and County Leaderships and
Signed by Executive:
Abraham Deng Lueth, President
James Maluak Malou, Vice President
Mayom Bol Achuk, General Secretary
Erjok Ayoor Apeech, Treasurer
Ajak Dau Akech, Assistant Treasurer
Emmanuel Agook Kon, Director of Language and Education
Yuot Mach Thon, Director of Youth and culture