Archive for: March 2016

A Response to the Bor and Padang Dinka Denial of Bari Land Grabbing in Gwuduge, Rejaf, Juba

By Justin Tombe Demetry, MAR/19/2016, SSN;

A denial letter written by Joseph Athian Angok, According to the Dawn Newspaper published on March 9, 2016 in Juba under the title, “Bor, Padang Communities Deny Land Grabbing Allegations,” turns out to be a form of a letter that leaves one in a sense of pity if not bewilderment. In that interesting letter, the community of Bor and Padang Dinka strongly denied the land grabbing allegations in Rajaf East that were labeled against them by the SPLA generals, terming the allegations as untrue and unacceptable.

In the statement extended to the Dawn Newspaper signed by the chiefs of the two communities who said, they would like to clarify to the public that, they are not land grabbers. The statement reads: “We, the chiefs of the two above mentioned communities, would like to clarify to the public that, what the two generals, Marial Chanuong and Thomas Cirilo said is not true, and completely not acceptable, when they referred to the two communities as land grabbers, and called their chiefs ring leaders.”

The chiefs reiterated that they are not land grabbers and that they’ve followed the legal procedures to acquire land, categorically describing the name ‘land grabbers’ as rude language.

The teamed-up community said they submitted their request for land to the then Central Equatoria State who gave them an approval and transferred them to Rajaf East Payam authorities to allocate land for the displaced people from the two communities to live in for a short time. As such, the Rajaf East Executive Director by name Simon Peter Johnson gave approval to these two communities, and charged them 50,000 (Fifty Thousand) South Sudanese Pounds for each community as fees for the land; and therefore, Padang Community paid its due fees on February 9, 2015; whereas Bor Community paid its due fees on May 15, 2015.

In the statement, the chiefs revealed that, while they were doing some preparations to clear the area allocated to them; in the course of doing so, they were surprised by a huge number of the body guards of the two generals, who then arrested some of their chiefs. They have now appealed to both Jubek State and Central authorities to intervene in the case.

This interesting denial letter can be summed up into three important entities which are: The rightful acquisition of land for displaced persons, payment of the required fees for the said land, and the arrest made due to land grabbing.

In the first place, I would like to express my sympathy for the members from the two communities who were forced to be displaced away from their own localities. As my response to Joseph Athian Angok, the writer; as well as the response to the chiefs of the two communities; I would like to introduce myself as one of the natives; or in other words, one of the victims of the area or land under siege.

Just to give you a hint about the receptive nature of the very village or community you are in dispute with; be informed that this very community have accommodated not only internally displaced persons, but refugees from the neighboring countries who have lived peacefully without any form of hurdles until the right time came for them to return back to where they came from.

Apart from some of the groups from Eastern Equatoria that were forced to come to the government controlled areas during the war (1983-2005), let alone those who came before, the last group that I clearly remember were the displaced citizens that came to that same area from the village of Ngagnala, when the SPLA advanced to their area around late 1980s, and displaced them to Juba.

By then, those displaced persons from Lokoya tribe settled in, and were assisted by the non-governmental organizations. By then, Juba was under the government of Equatoria Region; and the government establishment through the Juba City Council approached the chiefs. Thereafter, the chiefs together with the local community allocated a designated area on temporary basis for the displaced persons.

The displaced persons were allowed to erect their camps assisted by the NGOs, and allowed to cultivate crops and even build tukuls; but should get permission in the event that they would like to plant a tree. Building a foundation or erecting a building was out of question. This had always been the case back in the day.

When those displaced persons came to the area in the late 1980s, by then Gen. Thomas Cirilo was an officer in the Sudan Armed Forces, who was influential and had a say in the village affairs before his heroic departure to join the SPLA struggle. Despite the fact that Uncle Thomas Cirilo had government forces under his command in the outskirts of Juba Airport, he never had any quarrel with the displaced persons.

On the other hand, Gen. Peter Cirilo who was also a retired governor and general in the Sudan Armed forces was by then highly respected by the army command in Juba despite his retirement from the army. Gen. Peter had a farm in Gumbo which likewise accommodated the displaced persons.

My own dad who is one of the responsible figures from the area whose farm is adjacent to Uncle Peter Cirilo, also accommodated various groups of displaced citizens; and despite being a senior government employee with good connections, he did not use any means to quarrel with the displaced person, but had to legally evict those who attempted to illegally confiscate the land on several occasions.

All those named figures have not chased away any displaced person simply because those displaced people were there on temporary basis, and have no intention of retention of the land; neither have they even gotten engaged in demarcation or illicit land business as those types of practices were not even known or heard of.

The resentment that developed recently is simply because the community is now dealing with a different ball game altogether, which is associated with some hidden agenda – coupled with immorally unwelcomed practice of illegal land business.

If the two communities of Bor and Padang would like to dispute that they are displaced persons, what does the displaced person have to do with legal acquisition of the land that involves payment of the fees without the involvement of the land owners? On the other hand, where on earth would a displaced person pay huge amount of money to get land; and on top of it erect not temporary, but concrete structures?

Since land for the displaced are supposed to be for temporary settlement, it is supposed to be free and shouldn’t require ‘legal acquisition’ at all; so long as the right channels are undertaken, so as to allow temporary settlement in the designated land approved by the land owners. With regards to the Gwuduge land issue, this has not been the case whatsoever.

If the then Central Equatoria State authority referred you to the Payam Administrator, then that same administrator should have handled that issue with the local chief of that particular area or village.

If the claim is that chief Lado Bureng was the one who allocated the village of Gwuduge for temporary settlement, then you need to know that, the two communities plus the Payam Administrator by the name Simon Peter Johnson have dealt with a wrong chief in a joint malfeasance practice altogether.

For your information, Gwuduge is a village within the Tokiman community that has its own separate village chief; hence, even the paramount chief cannot decide on this alone. Whether the two communities of Bor and Padang now know who the right chief of the area is or not, we have faith in them; nonetheless, be reminded also that, bribing a chief have ended up with those Southern Sudanese chiefs whom history have taught us that, they were allegedly bribed by the former Arab masters through gifts such as bicycles, radios and few cash. Those were the things of the past.

Even though we respect our chiefs, they don’t have an absolute say in the decision making as far as community land is concern. As a matter of fact, that community land belongs to individual families; and they were never a no man’s land that any administrator or a chief can allocate at will. If such a practice might have happened somewhere, it is their decision to do so.

That being said, too bad to inform you that, the two generals, Marial Chanuong and Thomas Cirilo did the right thing by making an arrest to prevent land grabbing because such practices are the very acts that tarnishes the image of your community that have shed blood with the rest because of this very land you attempted to grab.

I have written on this similar topic under the following link for you to understand the history of how this community managed to protect their ancestral land for ages; as well as the acts of tarnishing your community’s name by creating unnecessary animosity through such practice: http://www.southsudannation.com/condemnation-of-the-recent-land-grabbing-in-gwuduge-village-tokiman-rajaf-payam-juba/

I hope the two communities have now learned that, they have taken a wrong approach to get a place for the internally displaced persons instead of insisting that, the communities have legally acquired land, and have paid for it; which literally means nothing else but ownership of the land – especially when concrete structures were about to be erected.

If those are truly displaced persons seeking temporary places; and still have that amount of money to erect concrete structures, then instead of wasting money in a place that will end up being taken away; it is better to be appropriately invested in a rightfully own place by following appropriate channels that will not amount to deceit by those who commit gross misconduct by misleading the two communities to a wrong place; thereby associating the communities with nothing but land grabbers.

I wish the community all the best in the pursuit of a temporary place to live, and may peace reign in South Sudan.

Regards,

Justin Tombe Demetry

BREAKING NEWS: Bari Rejaf Land Grabbed by Dinka recovered after serious intervention by Lt.Gen. Thomas Cirillo

Juba, MAR/12/2016, SSN;

In a first ever reaction, a joint military command from the Republican Guards known as Tiger Division, under General Marial Chanuong together with the body guards of General Thomas Cirillo have forcefully recovered land previously and illegally grabbed by Dinka Bor and Dinka Padang communities in BUDUGE Village in Rejaf East, Juba, home to General Thomas Cirillo himself, according to The Dawn Newspaper of Juba published today, Saturday, March 12, 2016.

According to the published article, General Chanuong, who himself inspected the site on Friday and has ordered the arrest of the ring leaders from the Dinka Bor and Padang Dinka communities respectively for their irresponsible influence that caused the conflict between the Bari natives and the illegal Dinka land grabbers.

Reliable sources from Juba indicate that the problem started after General Thomas Cirillo, a highly renowned fighter during the liberation war, and a Bari native himself of the land grabbed by those two Dinka communities, and who happens to be the SPLA Deputy Chief of Staff, reportedly called an emergency meeting of the top SPLA generals at Bilpham, the Army headquarters, and severely warned them that he was ‘going back to fight for the land grabbed, and that he would remove his military uniform and all the medals and other brass’ from his uniform, and that he would be ready to ‘die in his land.’

It’s reported that both those of Gen. Paul Malong, the Chief of Staff and Gen. Marial, in shocking disbelief, begged and told Gen. Thomas that “we heard what you said but we’ll not agree with your dying.”

Incidentally, the land grabbed by the Dinka Bor and Dinka Padang is the actual village home of the larger family of General Thomas Cirillo and it is the same place where he, Gen. Thomas currently resides. Gen. Thomas is the younger brother to Gen. Peter Cirillo, himself a legendary veteran of the first Anya-Nya war.

The alleged Dinka Bor and Padang land grabbers had completely ignored General Thomas Cirillo’s presence and residence in the Buduge, Rejaf Tokiman East village, which lies on the Eastern bank of the Nile river from Juba.

According to the Dawn Newspaper of Juba, whose Editor-in-Chief is Mr. Emmanuel MonyChol Akop, General Chanuong has appealed to the ring leaders still at large to surrender themselves before they are forcefully hunted down. If you want land, he appealed to them, it is better to cooperate with the natives and follow the right system so that your situation is understood and land is given to you.

The Dawn Newspaper reports that General Chanuong acknowledged that “land has more than economic value to its owners,” pointing out land is a source of livelihood, wealth, social peace, and in some cases holds a ceremonial and cultural value.

Meanwhile, General Thomas Cirillo vowed to rally behind his Bari community and not to compromise with those illegal settlers and occupants or people who use force to grab other people’s land for themselves. Gen. Thomas said this is very bad and provocative, as there have been serious clashes between the land grabbers and the natives few days ago.

According to the newspaper, first of all, even the Padang and the Bor Dinka themselves are in tension among themselves and also with the Bari land owners.

“I told my guards to be watchful and open fire in self-defense if they touch you,” according to The Dawn, “because some people will manipulate the situation to tarnish my fame.” Gen. Thomas Cirillo said.

The two generals, Cirillo and Chanuang are both loyalists to the current President Salva Kiir before and after the country attained independence in 2011.

General Cirillo who hailed from Equatoria region is one of the most respected high ranking military commanders in the SPLA, South Sudan official army.

Gen. Ciriilo has beefed up security along Rejaf-Juba road after an outcry from his own village for him to rescue them from threats of violence by the two communities, Bor and Padang Dinka, who have used force to grab a large of size of Bari land, according to the Dawn newspaper.

General Chanuong said already one community leader from Dinka Bor believed to be a member of the organised forces with the rank of 1st lieutenant was arrested at the scene and brought to Juba when the two commanders inspected the large size of the grabbed land and found the grabbers busy with demarcating the area, according to the Dawn Newspaper in Juba.

Reportedly, General Paul Malong along with General Thomas Cirillo went to meet President Salva Kiir where Gen. Thomas is said to have repeated the same warning he earlier told the SPLA generals. Gen. Malong reportedly told Pres. Kiir that he had repeatedly warned the President about the danger the Dinka land grabbers will bring to the nation.

It is said that President Kiir was in a terrible shock when General Thomas repeated his threat to die for his land, Kiir just ‘held his head down.”

More developments to the story above:

It is reported that Gen. Thomas Cirillo’s move has unsurprisingly attracted great support and solidarity not only from the Bari land owners but from many other South Sudanese from all parts of the Greater Equatoria region. From Yambio and all Western Equatoria to the entire Eastern Equatoria, pledges of support including physical and otherwise have been continuously pouring in.

Reportedly, the Former governor of Central Equatoria, Gen. Clement Wani Konga has promised to deploy his Mundari militias in support of the Bari and it is said other surrounding tribes are marching to Rejaf to boost the support to Gen. Thomas and the people of Rejaf.

Already, Chief Lado Bureng of Rejaf East payam, the area in dispute, has reportedly been detained on bribery and sale of the land in dispute.

Also, a Canadian citizen from Rokon who was the Executive officer of the Rejaf East payam is on the run for alleged bribery in the sale of this land grabbed by the Dinka of Bor and Padang. It’s reported that the Dinka in Canada would pay the money to his wife in Canada for the piece of land in Rejaf East.

Also, the newly appointed Commissioner of Jebel Lado is reportedly ordered to be arrested for involvement in illicit land sales.

Finally, despite the vows of President Kiir on the land grabbing problem, it is lately reported that president Kiir himself has ordered the same General Marial Chanuong to build a fence from the GUEDA (the Military Barracks to the South) up to Lulugo southwards and then up to the banks of the River Nile. This massive area will force out nearly 300 homes of innocent residents who had legally acquired those plots of land.

Kiir’s Motive: It should be recalled that some years ago, while Dr. Riek Machar was vice-president an opposed to the plan, President Kiir and his Jieng Council of Elders had toyed with the idea of relocating the J-One presidential residence from the current site to the Gueda-Lologu area, allegedly for “security reasons,” he was said to be morbidly paranoid and afraid of the tall buildings that are being currently erected around the current presidential residence, J-One. Riek wanted the relocation of the entire government to Ramciel, the proposed new capital.

More updates will be coming!!!

Uncertainty about the future of South Sudan

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok, MAR/20/2016, SSN;

The word “nation” is often used imprecisely to mean different things. It could be made to relate to a body of people or to followers of a particular religion. However, the dictionary definition is a historically constituted, stable community of people, formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life, ethnicity and/or psychological make-up manifested in a common culture.

It’s obvious that the area named South Sudan barely fits the above definition or not at all. A nation could exist in the form of multiple and separate entities. Examples are the Germanic ethnicity in Germany and Austria, and the Serbs in Serbia and Montenegro.

The Arabs certainly belonged to one nation but divided over several countries. On the other hand, some nations do not have independent international representation at the United Nations level. The Kurdish people who live across the borders in at least four countries present a good example.

The common type though is a country formed of a group of nations or micro-nations (tribes if you will) living in harmony and voluntarily willing to stay together. It’s a union based on mutual respect of all the stakeholders no matter how small or large are the individual nations or tribes.

Also the group of nations or tribes must have the belief that their interests and future are best served by being united in one country. Nigeria with its large tribes or nations, some numbering tens of millions in population size, and India are among the contemporary examples of such countries.

Calling South Sudan a nation is quite optimistic. It’s what I suppose the majority of people hope and want to achieve but in reality we are in the early stages of evolution as a nation. Like any process of evolution, it’s open to success, failure or ending up producing undesirable results.

Over half a century, Sudan adopted the policies of domination and hegemony in ruling South Sudan. The harvest was a bitter one. Neither did it succeed in assimilating the South Sudanese and achieving its goal of a single identity for the whole country, nor did it maintain its grip on South Sudan.

As the situation played out, both its tactics and strategy collapsed and it ended up with the most dreaded outcome from its viewpoint which is losing South Sudan. Unfortunately, the current regime in Juba learned nothing from what befell the Sudan under the Jallabas’ reign. Even the demise of the Soviet Union decades ago could not open the eyes of the regime’s leaders to the catastrophic fate awaiting South Sudan should they not reverse course.

Nation building cannot happen in an environment plagued by lawlessness, inequality, exclusiveness, rampant corruption and extreme tribalism. Much is dependent on the provision of the necessary means and the favourable environment for transforming the country into a melting pot for all the ethnicities that would eventually produce a unique and unifying national identity.

That process has started long ago in the greater Equatoria states and by and large remains on course. It has already reached fruition by modifying the imposed Arabic language into (Arabi-Juba) as a medium of communication and promoting peaceful coexistence between the different ethnicities of greater Equatoria.

With good governance, that process would not be confined to the greater Equatoria states but would indeed spread to the rest of the country.

We have learned from our elders that a good beginning usually guarantees a successful end whereas a bad one is prone to failure. All indicators show that we are witnessing the consequences of a bad beginning. All are down to lack of able leadership at the top of our government.

Hitherto, the President failed to rise above the tribalistic and petty politics that have engulfed South Sudan. There is little sense in talking about nation building while ignoring its prerequisites or acting in a manner destructive to its very foundation.

The prerequisites are in fact, common sense issues that are fundamental to success and well understood by everyone including the lay people of South Sudan.

Firstly, inclusiveness is an important aspect of building trust and the sense of being one people. A quick look at the list of the occupants of the top government positions and the diplomatic corps, tells us how far we are from that deceptively used word by our government.

Secondly, Equality is paramount in bringing about social cohesion between communities and for the promotion of the spirit of nationalism and patriotism. When citizens are maliciously divided into two categories of liberators and collaborators while the government does nothing to stop that destructive notion, it plants in the minds a sense of superiority of one group of citizens to the other and hence a sense of inequality between communities. With that comes along the notion of second class citizens and a deep rift in the social fabric of the country.

Thirdly, maintenance of law and order is the principal duty of any government and failure in that front equates with a failed state. It goes without saying that the rule of law is severely compromised under the current regime. A police officer was shot dead in Juba few months ago by none other than his colleagues in the police force.

What transpired was that the victim called the police to rescue him from an armed robber. Instead, they shot him dead after finding out that the armed robber was indeed a member of their special police force operating in the area. It’s for the reader to draw his or her conclusion about the prevailing security situation out of this tragic incident.

Fourthly, despite having billions of US Dollars at its disposal over the past decade, the regime failed utterly in effecting meaningful changes towards betterment of the lives of the South Sudanese people. We must remember that among the reasons of secession from Sudan, were the deprivation of South Sudan from its fair share of the national wealth and exclusion from development projects.

At present, the layperson sees nothing new except a relentless decline in all aspects related to economic growth. The communities that have been self-sufficient previously and never faced economic hardships are now on the brink of famine because of insecurity.

Fifthly, Leadership entails treating all the communities equitably and justly. A good President would not hesitate to go against his community should it attempt to take advantage of the presidency at the expense of the other communities.

It’s common knowledge that the President is under the influence of the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE). He has become the executive arm of that infamous group pursuing a purely tribalistic agenda rather than a national one. Out of nowhere they thrust the 28 states upon the South Sudanese people triggering a conflict of land grabbing on a massive scale and widespread dissent from the majority of the people.

We do know that land disputes are the most difficult to settle, and it may take ages before reaching a final solution. It’s bewildering that before South Sudan could come to terms with the December 2013 Juba massacre of the Nuer civilians – the irresponsible regime deliberately plunged the country into a much worse conflict that threatens its very existence.

Almost any part of South Sudan is one way or the other involved in a conflict. Even the parts supportive of the regime’s policies are not an exception but embroiled in an on-going inter-clan deadly clashes.

There is another face of the conflict that’s often downplayed by the government. The evidence is mounting that famine is rapidly spreading all over South Sudan. Of late thousands of our citizens are fleeing Northern Bahr El Ghazal State to neighbouring Sudan due to the un-announced hunger crisis.

As we speak there are over 200,000 South Sudanese sheltering in UN protection sites. An estimated 2.3 million individuals have been displaced from their homes as a consequence of the civil war. You can only come to grips with the magnitude of the problem when you add to those figures the vast majority of the population who still live in their homes but struggling to make ends meet.

At the time when all hopes are on the full implementation of the Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) to bring about a lasting peace in South Sudan – an impediment like the recent ethnic clashes in Malakal town happens. And that’s not the end of the story as there are on-going conflicts in Wau, Yambio, Mundri, Maridi, Wonduruba, Pibor and the Juba area.

A report issued by the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) on 02/01/2016 revealed that on 22/10/2015, the SPLA suffocated 50 civilians or more in a metal container after applying heat to it. The atrocity happened in Leer county in Unity state. Few days ago Amnesty International confirmed the incident and reported a higher number of victims (over 60 civilians).

The significance of these horrific acts is that they happened after the government signed the peace agreement. It’s clear that ARCSS means nothing to the dissenting group within the administration and the SPLA generals.

South Sudan might have already entered a vicious circle of inter-communal violence that would be impossible to stop without addressing the root causes. The problem is that the regime and its supporters have doubled down on keeping the 28 states which apparently made a dire situation much worse than it was.

They declared the presidential order as a red line not to be crossed. It’s a display of arrogance and short-sightedness. There is no such thing as red lines in a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society if people have to live together. They never spared a thought to what their declaration would mean for the adversely affected communities.

They should know that enacting the presidential establishment order would also represent a red line that has been crossed from the opposition perspective. With such entrenchment in the government position, there will be no path to solving the problem.

The cantonment process seems to have stalled or moving at the speed of a snail at best. However, the crucial issue is the timing of the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU). Will it happen before or after the National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) completes its task? Between the two comes in the uncertainty about the way forward and the future of South Sudan.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

Presidential Decree needed for control of Foreign Exchange Market in the country

BY: Mabor Maguen, UGANDA, MAR/02/2016, SSN;

South Sudan economy is in a coma. Are there specialists? In deed our government needs to do something about over relying on the devaluation which has become a curse rather than a cure or be ready to face the demise of the economy soon. There are controllable causes apart from war, internal causes are contributing to the fluctuation of our dear local currency.

If our government really cares for its people and history since history are stories of great people who live at one time then there will be no people to tell those stories, if the very people die of hunger or cannot go to school to write books onf history.

The time is now to act while waiting for outside help which might come or not. It is too sad that our currency is becoming useless and useless every minute which is pinching harsh on common man who does not know about the Central bank to borrow at gun point.

I did mention before and we all know that that war has prevented direct foreign investment into our country and caused a stoppage of grants from well wishes to come until situation normalized which has affected both formal and informal production causing this biting inflation.

In fact our government is working day and night to restore security and reset the economy but my fear is that it will be beyond salvation at the time when peace is really restored.

While waiting for peace, government needs to tackle this economic war with diligence. The backfires which are derailing the efforts of the sitting government is not caused by the ‘enemy’ but by presumed friends.

For instance, when the government devalued the local currency which was a great move in order to rescue the economy, however, the ‘die-hard’ supporters of the very government watered it down, by adjusting the exchange rate through their market, the ‘black market.’

The intention was and still is a good one in that if the idea is to mop the excess money in circulation then the government should be given credit for that but my great surprise was when I learnt that the government wanted to increase wages of public servants, printing more money and still allowing bare-footed money changers in the economy.

I come to question the idea behind devaluation, is it to save the economy or send the common man quickly to the grave who is earning 5 SSP a day. These are common overlooked factors which are worsening the economic condition of the country.

I understand the government is between a hard ground and a rock in meeting the gap in the budget but increasing wages and printing more money as claimed is economic suicide.

The government cannot address inflation on the hand and trying to please on others, economic operations are delicate and are done with care otherwise you risk cutting the main vein which is fatal. They need economic surgeons who are in the persons of central bank governor and minister of finance not anybody with know –who does the job but ‘know-how.’

Alleviate the ailing economy should be through removing the causative agents not treating the impacts which are internal in our case in South Sudan.

These internal causes like increasing wages of public servants who make up 75% of people who spend on the economy, printing more money and allowing bare footed changers to determine exchange rate of which are deadly options. Why?

Economists argue that there is direct relationship between money velocity, price and production where money velocity is how many times money is supplied into the economy will affect price either positively or negatively depending on the level of production.

In a stable country the amount of money supplied is matched with the level of output from production, in this case prices will remain relatively stable hence productivity is sped up leading to economic growth.

In case of our country, almost all productions are halted while there is constant velocity of money through the increase of wages of civil servants, promotions, printing of more in case it is true are main reasons of this runaway or galloping inflation.

We understand that inflation is a result when too much money is chasing too few goods and in this case production is minimal while spending is high leading to inflation.

I understand our government is operating with a deficit budget and ill planned economic policies in that the best way to keep soldiers in their trenches is increase their salaries which is total misconception.

What is the point of devaluing the local currency at the first place? It was done to rob the common person’s her/his hard earned peanut. It is not the quantity of money that matters but the purchasing power.

While doing window shopping in Kampala today, I noticed that our local currency is nearly dead, for instance, two years, 1 SSP was 700 UGX (Uganda shillings) and today 1 SSP was 50 UGX.

Should we say we have hit the dead end or still there is a chance to turn around, I leave that to the current surgeons who in persons of Finance minister, Deng, and Bank of South Sudan governor, Koriom, to dissect well.

Instead of printing more money to finance the deficit, there still much money at private hands. During my ordeals in Juba looking for dollars to come back for studies of which I managed to fail, I visited every forex bank including commercial banks which is not the case in organized societies.

In one of the KCB branches, I encountered a very absurd episode while ‘begging’ the manager to sell to me some few notes of dollars, we saw two gentlemen struggling with a sack, real sack, I thought there is a store for food items like cassava or potatoes behind the counter but to our bewilderment, these two guys went straight to the counter and brought out real money of 100 SSP notes and heaped them on the counter.

I left embarrassed because these guys are younger than me but in possession of such huge amount of money but bitter because there are people who are taking a lion’s share while we come from the same motherland, no equity in the vocabulary of Sudanese.

Other questions pondering my head were/are why carrying such huge money in a sack? Money is usually carried in wallet if it is small amount or in a case for huge money like this a case.

Therefore, it is apparently clear to me that our government has a lot to do; these people are the ones who have access to the central bank and commercial banks buying dollar in large quantities in the name of importing goods from outside, reaching outside they go and set up blank market.

When will there be a white or a green market? Why black is associated with bad thing yet we are blacks? The government instead of printing more money to make-up for gap, should identify them and force them lend money to the common control by selling treasury bills or bonds whose expiry dates are renewable in order avoid excess money.

The barefooted brothers do not know the determinants of the exchange rate and that why is we have a central bank. Since there is correlation between the government and barefooted money changers which distort the efforts of central bank and the ministry of finance, government needs money dearly to bridge the gap.

The alternative income is to register the table money changers by paying fees for licenses since there no business done in a state without a license, moreover, selling government property like money.

Our government argues again and again that SSP is a legal tender for all transactions, where is the legality when it is left in the hands of thieves. I have never seen them selling their cows along the road as they do to our currency. If they value cow then SSP is a symbol of our economic strength which should not be destroyed like that.

Tell them to go home and starting selling their cows along the road instead of SSP. Here, I am calling upon Mr. President to lead with his usual tactics of ‘presidential decrees’ and by doing so, the level of rampant cheating in the foreign exchange market is stemmed out, also killing the vary rate is controlled.

Floating exchange rate does not mean anybody comes with his or her rate but it is by following the purchasing power of currency, balance of payment among others to determine the exchange rate of the day.

I am also calling on Jieng Council of Elder (JCE) to do their work of guiding the Jieng community not only politics but too on these pressing issues if you really stand for what your name tells us, theft is not a Dinka culture and not condoned in any culture.

These crude money changers have turned Juba town, Nimule, Kaya and Nadapal into evil breeding grounds, with their dirty money of which they are contracting diseases from whores entering South Sudan killing themselves and their families at home.

Is there benefit of doing such a business? Indeed most faces doing this business are either from Central bank governor’s or minister of finance’s places of origin, if need be, it is right time to sacrifice them for the sake of millions of lives of who go to bed without food or good stories to tell.

I never like your decrees but this time, you need to speak out and tell them either to conform or go home, they are doing disservice to the state.

Last but not least, as I mentioned before, it is not the quantity of money but the purchasing power of the currency that determines the exchange rate, you, Mr. President, hinted during in your speech to the 28 governors for the 28 states that the government activities should not come to standstill while waiting for peace implementation and hence the following suggestions might help alleviate the suffering of people.

Dr. Garang made promises of which one of them is taking towns to people which is being fulfilled either for some individuals’ gains or really that vision, history will judge us but he also said that with CPA there will be no more crying of children and wailing of women instead of giggling of children and ululating of women which is no more and therefore;

• Government should resort to forceful borrowing through identifying these ‘big fishes’ either within the government or private sector in order to make up for the gap.
• If it is true that government is printing more as claimed then it is should stop because it is not healthy for the economy in a coma like ours, nowhere on earth that floods are stopped using water.
• All money changers need to be licensed and taxed on regular basis; hence increasing tax base and it helps to track those hiking the official rate of the day.
• The excess money collected by central bank need to be put into productive use like security through strengthening police, agriculture, roads rather than increasing wages by 300%.
• The town mayor of Juba should wake up if that person is existing in order to see all activities of the town, if not there, there is need to get one or replace the current one who allows theft in broad day light.
• The interest rate needs to be increased in order to discourage borrowing from the commercial banks who are really distorting the economy.

‘One people one nation’ we desire but with equality. Thank you very much

Mabor Maguen is a finalist undergraduate student doing Economics with Education, at the University of Kisubi (UniK) formerly a constituent college of Uganda Martyrs University…Entebbe. Can be reached on +256775447691 or mabormaguen@gmail.com.

Response to the Statement of the so-called “Eastern Nile State Political Activists” of the Ngok Dinka in Upper Nile State

Date: March 2, 2016: Shilluk Activists, SSN;

This is a response to the press statement of the so-called “Eastern Nile State Political Activists” published on January 28, 2016 carried a statement by a group of Ngok Lual Yak Dinka laying outrageous and provocative claim to Chollo (Shilluk) lands on the eastern bank of the White Nile River.

The purpose of this statement is really not to engage in a tit-for-tat rebuttal with this group of Nyok Dinka regarding their claim, both because everyone knows this claim is completely fabricated and because Chollo people have sufficiently addressed this matter previously on the basis of the histography, geography and demography of South Sudan that has been documented since the colonial times.

It is rather to analyse the political circumstances in the country that has led to this claim. In this respect the claims should be discussed in the present context of social, economic and political engineering of South Sudan as a nation-state, and the emergence of Dinka ethnic nationalism as a prominent political force under the leadership of General Salva Kiir Mayardit.

The Padang Dinka, to which belongs the Ngok Lual Yak sub clan, comprise small isolated clans inhabiting isolated territories of land stretching from Abyei through Unity state, northern Jonglei state to Abailang in Renk in northern Upper Nile state.

Their other tribesmen and clans, particularly the Rek in Warrap and Awiel, the present Jieng power house, vaguely were aware of their existence until the power shifted from Bor to Bahr el Ghazal. That explains why some of them were murdered in Juba alongside the Nuers in December 2013.

The Jieng is the largest single group in South Sudan, but not the majority. In the war of national liberation, they contributed in terms of human resources proportionate to their demographic weight.

This has now become the basis of the claim by the Jieng political elite to monopolize power and wealth of South Sudan. This became apparent immediately following the tragic death of Dr. John Garang de Mabior and ascension to the helm of the SPLM leadership and the Government of Southern Sudan of General Salva Kiir Mayardit.

The conspiracy to dispossess Chollo of the ancestral lands on the eastern bank of the White Nile River started as early as 2006 driven by two powerful Padang ministers in the GOSS in the context of a Padang State encompassing Abyei, Ruweng, Pawiny-Luach, Ngok, Dongjol, Nyiel, Ager and Abailang, when the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in Sudan rejected the Abyei Border Commission (ABC)’s Report, which prompted the sojourn to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.

The NCP intransigence to grant recognition to the Abyei case energized the Padang and their pressure on Salva Kiir to decree the Padang imaginary State.

The awarding of Obango as the mutual headquarters of the Paweny-Lauch (Khorflus) County in April 2009, the creation, without warrants of establishment, of the so-called Pigi (Jonglei) and Akoka (Upper Nile) Counties were steps in the construction of Padang dream State.

The Padang State would be such a large territory that the combined population of these clans would require augmentation from other populous areas like Gogrial, Awiel, and Bor, where there is a combination of demographic, ecological and security concerns which would prompt mass migration to this vast land after the forceful eviction of the Chollo to west bank.

It is therefore a matter of land grabbing. This has been rendered feasible by the kleptocratic regime erected by Salva Kiir dominated by the Warrap-Awiel mafia with its mouny-jiang ideology.

The mouny-jiang ideology postulates Jieng complete domination of South Sudan political and economic power. This had been echoed by Ustaz Bona Malwal Madut, that the Dinka fought for Southern Sudan; therefore it is their right to rule for the next one hundred years.

In this context, Salva Kiir rendered the state institutions dysfunctional to enable the JCE to loot the financial and economic resources until the country has become bankrupt. He had to unleash war first against the Nuer and then against all the other ethnicities after first neutralizing or enlisting their support (Chollo).

The civil war has colonial occupation characteristics reflected in the EO 36/2015 establishing 28 states that awards the Dinka 42% of the land area of South Sudan.

The alliance between the Dinka political military elite, the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) and their parasitic capitalist class is the driver of the political instability in South Sudan that has rendered our masses pawns in this ethnicized political game.

This conspiracy to dispossess the Chollo has connections to the quest for land for large scale capitalist agricultural investment. The presence of the Nile and the Sobat make a good combination for irrigated agricultural production in crop and modern animal husbandry.

This demonstrates that the Ngok Dinka and their Padang clans are completely oblivious of the repercussions of this conspiracy against the Chollo as also a conspiracy against them by their elite. They have been ensnared into conflict with the Chollo with whom they have lived peacefully for more than two hundred years. Only peaceful co-existence could provide a firm basis for the building of the nation-state in South Sudan.

The Establishment Order Number 36/2015 dividing South Sudan into 28 states was the embodiment of President Kiir’s connivance with Ngok Dinka of Upper Nile and other sections of the Dinka to use state authority, military and other resources to annex the lands of Chollo and other tribes to his Dinka tribe.

It is a well-coordinated conspiracy planned at the level of the so-called Jieng (Dank) Council of Elders. This ill-advised tribal conspiracy is meant to establish Dinka dictatorship and dominion over other South Sudanese tribes.

The focus and thrust therefore should be to defeat the unconstitutional EO 36/2015 with its 28 states and focus on the implementation of the Agreement for the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan. This is our response to the Ngok group.

Signed by Concerned Chollo:
1. Peter Karlo Deng
2. John Ojur Dennis
3. Michael Kalakon
4. Paul Achot
5. Francis Nyawello Chan
6. Oyhath Aromi
7. Ashwill. Mayiik
8. Otha Akoch
9. Jwothab W. Othow
10. Jago Adongjak
11. Achwany Okony Ajang
12. Benjamin Bol Paul