Archive for: May 2016

Who needs to reconcile with who? An open letter to President Salva Kiir and his deputies

BY: Agok Takping, Australia, MAY/30/2016, SSN;

In a more comical and dramatic way possible, vice president James Igga and Taban Deng Gai hold their hands up in the air while kneeling down in a rally in Nairobi, presumably begging South Sudanese to forgive them as SPLM leaders. On his part, Dr. Riek Machar went to Emmanuel Jieeng church in Juba and told the congregation that the people of South Sudan must now head towards the path of reconciliation while on the same podium, he tried to justify his side of the story to what started the war.

President Kiir and many other government officials have been talking to South Sudanese about reconciliation as well. Undoubtedly, reconciliation is a much-needed process that must start immediately so that we can start rebuilding our country as brothers and sisters.

However, I feel that although the hatred between the Nuer and many other tribes in greater Equatoria Versus Dinka has been gradually growing, the people who really need reconciliation first and foremost are SPLM/IO and SPLM/IG.

We all know that the tension between SPLM/IO and SPLM/IG forces mostly in former Unity state has always been high and still is. The soldiers there don’t see eye to eye. The same is true across greater Upper Nile.

It was less than a little over a week after the formation of the unity government that the SPLM/IG and SPLM/IO forces clashed not far from Bentiu, of course, both sides denied being the instigator.

However, it was extremely worrying to see the SPLM/IO military spokesman boasting about how they beat the government forces and captured some AK47s and PKMs, the man was in Juba and he was reporting with arrogance as if he is not living together with the so-called enemy.

Dr. Riek’s bodyguards feel like “today” will be their last day every time they go to work with their boss, they are in a maximum alert. They don’t trust the government soldiers, deep down in their minds and hearts they believe they can be attacked at any time, they think that the SPLM/IG is out to “kill” their leader.

This is exemplified by the incident in Nuer Presbyterian church in Juba few weeks back, it was reported that Dr. Riek’s bodyguards ordered the church’s car park to be cleared so that their motorcade is the only one parking there.

In a church attended by the former chief of staff of unifying SPLA forces, Gen Hoth Mai, it was a worrying development because the other bodyguards of other Generals were armed to the teeth too.

On the government side, although Kiir bodyguards see themselves stronger and feel ready to “fight off with ease the SPLM/IO attack”, the same is true, they too feel that SPLM/IO have an agenda. Thank God, we are still sluggishly sailing forward without major incident but it just shows you who really need to reconcile with who.

The SPLM/IO want to have cantonment areas for their forces in Bhar el Ghazal and Equatoria not because the forces in those cantonment areas will bring peace, it is purely for the anticipation of war. The SPLM/IO leadership have not openly stated that fact but that is a strategy behind their insistence to have bases in those areas.

This is because in their calculation, the likelihood of war breaking out again between the two SPLMs is very high, therefore, to have a base in both Bhar el Ghazal and Equatoria means that they will have multiple fronts across the country and not just being concentrated in greater upper Nile again like previously.

The SPLM/IG too is predicting a war and so they are not willing to give the SPLM/IO bases in Bhar el Ghazal and Equatoria because they want the SPLM/IO to be in Juba and their previous areas like Pagak, Akobo and other areas in Greater upper Nile.

The SPLM/IG don’t want another front in the contested two regions mentioned. Without that being solved and dusted (albeit hearsay they reached an agreement on it), the leadership of the two rogue SPLMs has no moral right to talk to South Sudanese about reconciliation.

The flippancy on both SPLM/IO and SPLM/IG is there for all to see but the leadership on both sides choose not to rectify it. Instead, they are inconsiderately trying to make us (the average) South Sudanese feel that reconciliation needs to start with us?

My leaders, what are they smoking really? Someone must tell them that do your job first by making sure to reconcile amongst yourselves before coming to lecture us about reconciliation.

What both Kiir and his two Vice Presidents should do is to exchange their direct phone numbers and talk directly to each other. They both need to have one weekend together drinking beer and eating some roasted goat meat at Kiir’s Luri get-away ranch in the outskirts of Juba.

Their respective bodyguards need to have a trust building weekly, get together where they will play some sports, eat together and make personal friendship with each other, in simple, make them feel like they are brothers who are just working to make a living but not some tribal guards carrying out the ancestral duties.

Dr. Riek and his chief of Gen staff, Gen Dual, should visit Bilpham SPLA HQ and address the army there, yes those are the people who need to be lectured about army to army reconciliation.

General Malong did that and I congratulate him for being a leader who knows his exact job description.

People (Lado Gore and Makuei Lueth) who had their tongues cut through the veins of the either opposing sides need to join the course too and visit army barracks, not churches.

When the SPLM/IO forces in Juba are fully reconciled with SPLM/IG forces, then the next phase is for both leaders to go to Bentiu, Akobo, Nasir, Pagak and all major towns in greater Equatoria using the same plane and holding rallies together there.

As they visit various army units along the way, they will need to instruct all heads of armies divisions for both IO and IG in greater Upper Nile to exchange their satellite phone numbers so that they can quickly notify each other if an incident has or is about to occur among their forces.

In fact, there is nothing that should stop the IO soldiers near Bentiu to go to the city individually and buy things from the market, the same should be the case with IG forces near Akobo. I mean if we are indeed doing everything for reconciliation.

In conclusion, our leaders, especially Dr. Riek, need to define their objectives first before executing them. Going to the church as an average Christian whose aim is to worship God is one thing, however, it is another to go to the church and talk politics.

Now is not the time for the campaign. But if Dr. Riek is truly looking for reconciliation, he should first look up in the dictionary the meaning of the word itself and define it, reconciliation means giving up your position on the issue and instead talking about something that everyone will perceive as reconciliatory.

Going to the church and arguing your point and justifying your stance the way you have always believed it, is not reconciliation.

Dr. Riek or Salva must stop lecturing people about their side of the story in the 2013 war. They need to swallow their egos and have each go to the church and tell the congregation only two words: “I am sorry”.

That’s what leaders do, right?

I am not urging anyone to go to the church and say sorry but if Dr. Riek thinks the church is a place to meet people, then he must only go there and say sorry and the same is truer for Kirr and Wanni as well.

The average South Sudanese are powerless, therefore, it matters not whether we reconcile or not. True reconciliation will come in South Sudan when president Kiir reconciles fully with Dr. Riek because they are the ones who have the power to start and stop the war.

Agok Takpiny

Confronting realities of identity politics as the effective means to solving problems in S. Sudan?

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala Uganda, MAY/29/2016, SSN;

Identifying problems and dealing with them as they are without pretending that they are not there is the best way of ending unending problems.
In South Sudan, leaders and some of the “educated citizens” are living in self-denial that the country and politics is not defined by tribes, which is not true. In actual sense, all intellectuals and leaders’ actions are defined by tribal influences.

However, there is hypocrisy as these bunches of intellectuals considered nationalists only in speaking. This is why they condemn leaders speaking their own mother tongues in public or on National TV or when they closely associate with their own tribe-mates.

I came to realize this hypocrisy when President Kiir spoke in Dinka language in Rumbek in 2014 or so. He was telling the truth as to why people continued to kill each other yet there was a war going on.

Kiir told those in Rumbek that it was bad to kill each other yet there was a major problem facing the country and if they wanted to fight then they should pick up their guns and join the army to fight against rebels in Unity.

On hearing this statement from the president, many people who considered themselves nationalists starting condemning him that he spoke in mother tongue on national TV (SSTV) and also that he incited Dinka Population to attack Nuer people.

The interpretation attached to what the president said and the language he spoke was unfortunate. It showed that those who interpreted what the president said were living in self-denial and do not want to confront the realities of South Sudan as they are.

The realities of South Sudan are that: South Sudan is made up of tribes, because of that the identity politics based on tribes will never go away.
In addition, most of South Sudanese at the moment have distinct identities that can make them to be identified whether they have talked or not.
Thus, speaking in mother tongue on national TV cannot make people to conclude that he is discriminating people or he has become tribalistic. Such understanding was a simple way of looking at things.

Moreover, the president was telling the truth. There was rebellion and also people were killing each other on daily basis. Therefore, instead of killing each other why should they not join the army to defeat rebels and that was the reasoning of the president.

However, those individuals who are more nationalists to the extent of not knowing what the nation wants took the comment of the president out of context just to reap their parochial political interests.

What defines their reasoning is the prejudicial way of looking at things. In South Sudan, politics is the part of daily lives and this explains the way people interpret things the way they do.

In fact, the statement of President Bashir of Sudan is also applicable in South Sudan. President Bashir once said, “Sudanese people are highly political”. In the same way, South Sudanese are highly political as they mix tribes with politics and at the same time deny the fact of tribal influence.

Most presumed South Sudanese nationalists do not believe in the existence of tribal identity politics. Yet the tribal influence always makes them look at things as intended against them. This makes it hard for the government to come up with neutral agenda which can be supported by the majority of citizens in the country.

However, government like some of the citizens does not identify the element of identity politics. They are always in self-denial by putting blame on government for having failed in nation building.

Nonetheless, the whole matter goes back to the fact that whether we blame each other or the government, we have failed to realize the role of identity politics in our lives which determines the way we look at things.

The failure to see the reality of tribes makes us fail to deal with realities of South Sudan, and instead, we always apply the policy of ostrich. Ostrich policy is expression used to refer to the tendency of ignoring obvious dangers or problems and pretend that they do not exist.

Ostrich has a habit of putting its head in the sand instead of facing the problems squarely to get a real solution. In the same way, South Sudanese, especially educated ones do not analyze the problems instead they deal with effect of the cause.

The bottom line of our failure to realize the negative impact of tribal influence is the failure in the first place to acknowledge that we distinctively belong to tribes which influence our way of thinking.

Based on the assertion above, it is logical to conclude that the problems facing us today in South Sudan will never go away unless we confront the realities of tribes and their influence on us.

For instance, corruption is at extreme level in South Sudan but if someone from different tribes criticizes the government because of corruption and because the president is from Dinka, most of the Dinka people will not take that criticism in good faith or as a patriotic move, but they will look at it as an attack on Dinka power in South Sudan. This clouds the real issues and keeps problems under the cover of tribal protection where they keep on escalating to dangerous levels.

In South Sudan, intellectuals and leaders are all confused. They are living in self-denial as they keep on attacking identity politics. Without in fact understanding that they are also involved in identity politics and by attacking it they are also attacking themselves indirectly.

The “nationalists” of South Sudan look at politics based on tribes as a divisive assault on civilization traditions. Those South Sudanese who look at politics in this way are theoretical in their approach to practical issues involve in nation building.

To show that these politicians and intellectuals are theoretical, the way they react when face with “tribal politics” explains this. When face with the problems of identity politics based on social movements or tribal movements as many politicians call them, they are quick to attack these movements that they are against the national unity. Yet, in the country like South Sudan there had never been any unity in the pure sense in the first place.

Now, with outbreak of civil war in South Sudan and the way the war was fought the politicians and some intellectuals are proved wrong. There is no doubt any longer that South Sudan tribal or identity politics that has been narrowly defined by leaders and other South Sudanese intellectuals and aggressively maintained by the leaders has a very devastating impact on national unity and more inclusive solidarities.

Thus, 2013 tragedy that took place in Juba were thousands of people had been killed as a result, was caused by identity politics. The fact that Riek Machar was from Nuer and Salva Kiir was from Dinka was enough to fit two tribes against each other with devastating force.

Thus, tribes are a reality in our politics and social setting and failure to acknowledge this fact will always act like a blood cancer in our politics and development of South Sudan.

In fact, intellectuals of South Sudan have failed to see the effect of tribal tendency on their lives. As it is visibly clear, these intellectuals who shun tribes are at the same tribal instigators, accomplices and the mobilizers of tribe-mates to fight for their political interests. They are also recipients of the spoils of tribal mischief.

In fact, all of us are tribal corruptors and harlot who act together to demean our country and ourselves. The truth will come one day to realize ourselves that there is a need to mold ourselves into midwives of national building.

The identity politics and its consequences are the realities of South Sudan that define our lives and the question is: how should South Sudan respond to identity politics?

The first thing to do is to identify and acknowledge that tribes exist in South Sudan and they are influencing our national building and sharing of resources. Thus, there is a need for streamlining the imbalances caused by uncontrolled needs of other tribes, which may help to ensure that all members of different tribes are not marginalized.

It is in relation to the above I strongly support the establishment of twenty eight (28) States in South Sudan. Though the creation of 28 States might have been done with political motive, it is one of political accidents that may help South Sudan to redefine identity politics that will help South Sudan to build strong political community in future.

The establishment of ten (10) States was a great mistake and if South Sudan would continue with the same arrangement, there would have been risks of different tribes exterminating themselves under inefficient and corrupt governors.

Therefore, though many complain against the establishment of 28 States, it is necessity as well as a matter of survival for other communities in South Sudan. Gok State is one of those States, which communities see its establishment as a matter of necessity rather than politics.

In my view, establishment of 28 States is one of the opportunities that South Sudanese have deserved and it will contribute to the stability and peace in South Sudan.
The only thing that needs to be done now is to ensure that a committee is set up to determine claims of other people who complain that their land has been grabbed and if this claim is proved then their rights should be given to them through creating of other more states.

In relation to the creation of more States, many so-called intellectuals and nationalists of South Sudan have expressed the concern that resources are limited and establishing more states will undermine development. This argument shows that these nationalists have failed to understand that resources will never be enough and what matters is the political will to equitably distribute the resources.

For example, there are countries like South Sudan in terms of size and resources but have more states than South Sudan. The examples of these countries are Nigeria which has 36 States, Mexico which has 31 States and India which has 29 States. All these countries are like South Sudan in size and resources or even smaller with lesser resources, which means that resources are not problems but how such resources are distributed is the question.

Contrary to the argument of these self-proclaim intellectuals, identity politics is a neutral thing and its response is conditioned by the national policies. If the country has bad policies, then the people will be divided through discrimination, and as a result, the identity politics may be negative. But if the goal of a country is to build more egalitarian society, then, the people will be transformed into a strong nation by putting their identity politics together into national identity politics.

The criteria to be used in determining their claims should be based on history before Sudan divided South Sudan. This will help to settle the conflicts that were created by Sudan in dividing Southern Sudan into provinces.

Finally, it should be noted that identity politics is important if correctly determined and used by the State as it helps to redress injustice against minority groups and deepens democracy in the country.

It is, therefore, the role of public institutions to formulate policies that encourage healthy identity politics. Thus, public institutions are important in this regard.

Whether identity politics has negative effects depends on whether those in charge of public institutions are aware of these potential effects and whether they have the desire and capacity to mitigate them.

Of course, it has be borne in mind that public institutions may be shaped by their own internal power dynamics as they have their own diverse motives, which need to be considered when predicting the effects of identity politics.

To avoid negative identity politics, the States must provide space for forms of political consideration, public deliberation and legal reasoning that allow for identity based class making, and that compel public institutions to develop procedures and guidelines that ensure the observance of constitutional principles of rule of law and respect for human rights.

In summary, confronting realities as they are, is important as it is the part of solution to the problems of South Sudan. Building strong State where justice, liberty and prosperity are achieved means promoting interests of all South Sudanese which can only be realized when identity politics is identified and protected.

South Sudan is nothing but aggregate of tribes who have various interests that South Sudanese government must protect. A unity achieved by just throwing citizens into groups where they suffer indefinite is not unity desired in South Sudan.

NB/: the author is South Sudanese lawyer in Uganda and can be reached through: +256783579256;

Taking a closer look at the controversial 28 states

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok, MAY/29/2016, SSN;

Since the announcement of the presidential establishment order for the creation of 28 new states, the regime and its supporters have maintained the assertion that it was an answer to a popular demand. They sought to sell that line of argument which is false to foreign entities and individuals with little knowledge about what is taking place in South Sudan.

The central point that they failed to prove is that the 28 states were a topical issue in the media or among the populace before the presidential decree. In fact there has never been a nationwide debate regarding increasing the number of states. We never heard of proposals or deliberations whether at the level of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) or the Council of States’ level.

There was no mention of the involvement of a technical committee in conducting feasibility studies before the presidential order. Moreover, the opposition parties in the NLA and even the SPLM members were taken by surprise when the presidential decree was read over SSTV.

The first time the issue of increasing the number of states came to public attention was when SPLM/A-IO proposed establishment of 21 new states based on the British colonial districts during the peace negotiations. As we all know, the regime strongly opposed the proposal and even refused to discuss it in the negotiations.

The great irony is that the government that has refused new 21 states, came up with even a larger number of states based on nothing but ethnic interests.

It’s no secret that the 28 new states originated from the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE). Thus to say that it was the fulfillment of a popular demand by the government is nothing but an outright fallacy.

At best it could be viewed as a request by a portion but not the whole Jieng community. And even if the entire Jieng community supports the creation of the new states, it will remain the demand of one tribe out of the 64 tribes that form South Sudan.

The regime also propagated a claim that having more states would facilitate the delivery of services and bring about development to the remote areas of the country. It would, as its supporters insist, take towns to villages in agreement with a well-established SPLM objective.

Well, it’s quite easy especially in a dictatorship to enact a particular policy and use the government propaganda machine to organise public demonstrations in support of what the government did. But people would soon realise that their lives haven’t changed much and what were disseminated by the regime were just slogans for public consumption.

There hasn’t been any considerable development of our cities and towns at the expense of the rural areas. Over a decade in power hasn’t brought safe running water to the majority of the households in the capital city, Juba. Apart from the privileged people, the majority of the citizens drink water straight from river Nile ( Supiri ) or wells.

This alone exposes the weakness of the regime’s argument. If it could fail to set up a primary infrastructure like safe water supply for the capital, how plausible that it would succeed in building the far more costly infrastructures like highways, bridges and railways by merely increasing the number of states?

Little details have reached the public domain regarding the 21 states suggested by SPLM/A-IO during the peace talks in Addis Ababa. The proposal is far from being perfect or ideal for the following reasons:
— a) Although it sounds reasonable that it was based on the British colonial districts, however, it didn’t take into account the demographic changes and the economic realities that have occurred since the departure of the British. 60 years after the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium is quite a long time and with our reduced life expectancy this could well be the entire lifetime for a sizeable number of South Sudanese. It means the majority of the people in those districts is now composed of a new generation of South Sudanese. With a new generation of people, significant changes are bound to happen thus the British colonial districts may not accurately reflect the demographic and economic facts on the ground.

— b) Similar to the 28 states, there was no national debate about the pros and cons of having 21 new states. Therefore, it runs the risk of being viewed by some as non-inclusive or lacking a broad-based support.

— c) Despite the fact that SPLM/A-IO represents all the communities of South Sudan, the 21 states’ proposal may not escape the accusation of being heavily pro-Nuer interests. However, the difference between the two is that the 28 states are being illegally operationalised while the 21 states’ system is a proposal subject to discussion and amendments.

Both the proponents of the two views can hardly demonstrate to or convince honest people that all communities in South Sudan have been consulted or their perspectives were taken into consideration.

The views of the Equatorians and the other tribes appear to have been largely ignored. It must be clear that there are on-going grievances in greater Equatoria even with the ten states’ system. The former three regions of Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr El Ghazal have comparable population sizes. Therefore in fairness, there should have been an equal number of states as a result of breaking up the former regions.

Also looking at some of the new states with populations barely reaching 100,000 and meagre or non-existent infrastructure, you realise towns like Kajo Keji and Lainya with area populations of 196,000 and 89,315 respectively according to the 2008 census should have qualified to be made states in their rights.

The biggest grievance, however, is in the allocation of counties. Again the 2008 census showed the populations of Central Equatoria, Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity states as 1,103,592, 1,200,000, 964,353 and 600,000 respectively. Only six (6) counties were allocated to Central Equatoria State (CES) while (11), (13) and (9) were assigned to Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity states respectively.

Juba city, the most populous city in South Sudan with a population of 368,436 which is more than half the entire population of each of Lakes state (685,730) and Unity state as above, was maliciously “compressed” into one (1) county while Lakes state enjoys (8) counties.

The case of Mongalla in Jubek State, is kind of interesting hence making elaboration irresistible. Mongalla was the first capital of South Sudan before being moved to Juba in 1930. History tells us that it was the only town in South Sudan visited by the American President Theodore Roosevelt in 1910. A town of great economic potentials as evidenced by the fact that as early as the 1920’s the foundation for growing cotton and a textile industry were established.

A sugar processing factory and a clothing mill were operational albeit for a short period. There were even plans in place for a paper mill that depends on growing the eucalyptus plants. Yet Mongalla was never made a county until recently. It just shows how arbitrary is the process of allocating counties in the Republic of South Sudan.

The process is never straightforward or based on a sound selection criteria. It’s more often than not tainted with the whims and tribal inclinations of the rulers.

The question that comes to mind is – do we need more states? Which is more believable – that lack of development is caused by the ten states’ system or that it is the result of poor leadership coupled with corruption and incompetence?

It is a well known fact that 4 billion US Dollars was embezzled in Juba under the President’s very nose. Also, few incidents of theft and embezzlement involving thousands and millions of US Dollars occurred in the office of the President. With all that in mind – how likely that the situation would improve with the creation of the new 28 states and the expansion of the government apparatus?

In the context of good governance, the issue of the number of states is a secondary one. The primary issue is the system of governance that is acceptable to the people of South Sudan.

Historically, federalism has been the demand of the people since 1947 and remains popular among the overwhelming majority to this day. Therefore, and contrary to the regime’s rhetoric, the 28 states is not a popular demand, federalism is.

Moving the country forward requires visionary leadership, innovative planning, administrative and fiscal discipline and hard work. In essence, the decision to increase the number of states should be based on economic benefits rather than on political or tribal gains.

When a tourist planning to visit our country learns about the new states through the media, and being cognizant of the international norms, he or she would expect nothing less than airports, hotels, restaurants, highways, 24 hours electricity supply, Clean water supply and above all security.

Good Lord! We do not have a single easily passable road between Bor and Pibor. The Road between Malakal and Naser is seasonal and the same applies to many parts of South Sudan. The total length of tarmac roads in the whole of South Sudan is less than 150 miles.

Having a tap water supply in your household is a luxury in the 21st century South Sudan.

Rather than increasing government spending by creating more unproductive posts with the risk of increasing the number of embezzlers – why not use those funds in building the infrastructure all over the country?

Increasing the number of counties to ensure equitable representation in the NLA would be a wiser option at extremely low cost than increasing the number of states.

It has been recognised worldwide that big government seldom delivers the results that people have hoped to attain. It’s prone to maddening bureaucracy and rampant corruption. The keys to prosperity are small government, strategic planning, anti-corruption stance and fiscal conservatism.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

The Rationale of Expanding National Legislature (Parliament) in South Sudan

By Mabor Maker Dhelbeny, Lawyer, Juba, MAY/28/2016, SSN;

Legislature is one of the three arms of National Government in accordance with Article 51 (a) of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan (TCOSS) 2011. In its composition and establishment, Article 54 provides that “there shall be established a National Legislature composed of the following: (a) the National Legislative Assembly; and (b) the Council of States”.

Since the Republic of South Sudan has adopted the system of bicameral from the Sudan, therefore, this Writer would like to focus more on one house – i.e. an Upper House, by exploring the National Legislative Assembly (NLA), its expansion and mandate in regard to the Agreement on the Resolution of Crises in South Sudan, 2015.

The supreme law of the land however requires that members of parliament shall be elected through universal adult suffrage in free and fair elections, conducted by secret ballot; and the number of MPs (Members of Parliament) including the composition of NLA shall also be determined by the domestic electoral laws.

After the interim period of the autonomous government, all members of Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA), ninety-six (96) MPs in the National Assembly of the Sudan by virtue of their membership in that Assembly and additional number of MPs appointed by the President, have transformed themselves to be the members of NLA during the transitional period (Art. 56 (1) & (2) of TCOSS, 2011 (amended 2015).

Upon signing the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) in August, 2015, the NLA is expected to be expanded not later than three (3) months of pre-transitional period for the duration of thirty (30) months of Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU).

Under the provisions of Article 11 sub-article 1 of the ARCISS, the expanded NLA shall be known as the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) comprising of four hundred (400) MPs, including the prior three hundred and thirty-two (332) members and an additional sixty-eight (68) representatives appointed according to the following criteria: (a) South Sudan Armed Opposition: fifty (50) members; (b) Former Detainees: one (1) member; and (c) Other Political Parties: seventeen (17) members.

Contradictorially, the August Agreement seems to have violated some provisions of the Constitution on one hand and recognized on the other. For instance, the above-mentioned provision contravenes Article 56 (2) (c) of TCOSS, 2011 (amended 2015) which stipulates that “…during the transitional period the National Assembly shall consist of such additional number of members appointed by the President not exceeding sixty-six (66)”.

This appointment has already been made by the President, based on the supremacy of the ARCISS under chapter VII. This means that the appointment of additional sixty-eight (68) representatives to the National Legislature by the President of the Republic is a violation of the Constitution. This is because the required number has exceeded sixty-six additional members by two (2) as stipulated in the Transitional Constitution.

In a comparative study, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), 2005, had allocated the seats of National Assembly of the then Sudan as such: (a) The National Congress Party (NCP) – 52% (b) The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) – 28% (c) Other political parties from the North – 24% (d) Other political parties from the South – 6%.

Furthermore, the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) thereafter the Independence of South Sudan in 2011, has reconstituted itself as the Transitional National Legislative Assembly – an inclusive constituent legislature, composed of one hundred and seventy (170) members appointed by the President of Government of Southern Sudan after wide consultation with relevant political forces and on the basis of the following percentages:
(a) 70% representing the SPLM;
(b) 15% representing the NCP; and
(c) 15% representing other Southern Sudan Political forces (Art. 94 (2) of ICOSS, 2005).

Though the Agreement does not forge the allocation of seats as the CPA and Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan (ICOSS) provided, but the fact that it focuses on balancing the legislative power cannot be denied, thus, by appointing more MPs from the opposition and other political parties through different criteria.

In other words, the increased number of August House has an important implication, especially in service delivery and political dispensation during the transitional period of unity government. It’s simply put as an accommodation of antagonists! Perhaps, this prompted the expansion of National Legislature by appointing more representatives to the existing number of MPs and therefore, the unseated members from the NLA and Council of States following the December 15, 2013 crisis, shall be reinstated to their seats and shall continue to serve for the duration of the term of both Houses during the transitional period (Art. 11.2 of ARCISS, 2015).

If we were to follow, respect and uphold laws, therefore MPs who have lost their memberships for one reason or the other as per the provision of Article 63 (1) of the Constitution, deserved no rights to be reinstated to their seats either in the NLA or in the Council of States. But the implementation of the Agreement allows them to take this golden opportunity of reinstatement as advantage.

Such MPs, who made a U-turn, have been the leading exponents of the NLA expansion during the negotiations of compromise peace agreement. The expansion of NLA is indeed articulated in the Agreement albeit, in a way of reform and by reinstating the unseated MPs. The question that poses itself is that: “Is there any criterion provided by the ARCISS for selecting the Speaker of TNLA?”

In accordance with Agreement, the Speaker of TNLA will be selected from Equatoria, thereafter the expansion is completed. But the Agreement falls short of criteria or procedures for selecting the Speaker, in terms of partisans (Art.11.4 of ARCISS). This seems to have been the cause of delay in selecting the speaker and as such some MPs of Equatoria from the SPLM/A-IO or any other political parties may be in a position to nominate their candidate for speakership.

Since the National Legislature is composed of two houses, – i.e. the National Legislative Assembly and Council of States, hitherto the Agreement recognizes their mandates and functions as it was provided for in the Constitution (Art. 11.5 of ARCISS). The mandates that most MPs fulfilled today are often distinguished into three (3) functions below-mentioned:

Firstly, the function of “Legislator” reflects that MPs are elected (or appointed in rare cases) to the National Legislature as – “Legislators” in order to legislate, deliberate on bills and pass legislations, whether original or changes existing laws. This sometimes, captured the attention of many electorates that such roles would be considered as the direct responsibility of the MPs.

But legally speaking, “…the National Legislature shall be competent to (a) consider and pass amendments to this Constitution; (b) enact legislation on all assigned to it by this Constitution; (c) discuss statements by the President and take decision as may be necessary; (d) authorize annual allocation of resources and revenue in accordance with Article 87 of this Constitution” (Art. 55 (3) of TCOSS, 2011 (amended 2015).

Secondly, the function of “Representative” refers to the fact that MPs are also elected or appointed to represent their electorates or group of people and/or political parties.

In the legal sense, “…the National Legislature represents the will of the people of South Sudan and shall foster unity and nationhood, …oversee the Executive and promote the decentralized system of government” (Art. 55 (1) of TCOSS, 2011(amended 2015).

With this recent development, the appointment of additional number of MPs by the President articulates that these members are not coming to represent the will of the people of South Sudan but instead, they are coming to represent interests of their political parties in the TNLA. In essence, all MPs should act as representatives of their people in order to foster unity, nationhood and reconciliation amongst the people of South Sudan.

The representation of people must be the basic source of authority for a body that makes the law under which South Sudanese society operates. In a country where social fabrics are broken as the repercussions of war, MPs are expected to represent differences of their communities which may be deeply rooted either in ethnicity, geography, or political identity by bringing them into the policy-making arena. Such function(s) can be achieved through cooperation between executive and legislatures.

This has significantly been confirmed when John Johnson (2005) argues that: “for legislators to be able to play their role of representation, oversight, and legislation … there needs to be a certain degree of cooperation between the branches in policy making (each side must be willing to bargain and compromise in order to get some policy benefits), the legislature must have some capacity to monitor the executive and the executive needs to be willing to comply with legislative enactments”.

Exceeding such degree of cooperation between the two organs, its ends result may be worst. For instance, if the legislatures keep on blindly endorsing decisions made by the executive branch, then they (legislatures) will be called “rubber stamp”, a term which connotes non-democratic. This is common mostly in African parliaments dominated by one party, just like the SPLM (before its disintegration) in South Sudan National Legislature.

Therefore, MPs exercising this function of representation must be aware of the needs of the constituents and respond to those needs immediately. As this is the year of peace as well as famine, thus MPs who will turn their back to the people they represent in some constituencies affected by the shortage of foods, will not secure their votes in the next elections unless they do something tangible now! Or else they remain status quo by reneging the Agreement and the Constitution.

Because the National Legislature is a branch of government closest to the people, thus MPs more than any other government officials at the national level are expected to deliver constituent services by accessing government funds for projects – i.e. CDF (Constituency Development Funds) to benefit the constituency by providing foods to the community this time. This is because parliamentarians are accountable to their constituents.

This Writer assumes that some CDF meant for building schools, clinics or primary healthcare centers in certain constituencies have been diverted to other projects of self-enrichment by some MPs. It happens when MPs took recess in order to visit their constituencies and listen to their people’s problems and share government policies with them but instead some prefer to travel abroad. This demonstrates that most MPs feel reluctant to take their duty of moral obligations to represent their people effectively and efficiently.

Thirdly, the function of “scrutinizer” or “overseer” entails that all MPs are expected to exercise over the workings of Executive, implementation of laws which will be passed by TNLA and support or criticize the proposals placed before the National Legislature by the government.

As Scrutinizers, therefore, MPs are expected to oversee the performance of the National Government institutions; approves plans, programmes and policies of the TGoNU; summon Ministers to answer questions of members of the Assembly on matters related to their ministries; vet and approve appointments as required by this Constitution or the Law and cast vote of no confidence against Minister (Art. 57 of TCOSS, 2011 (amended 2015).

In conclusion, the Agreement seems to have created a trajectory of the National Legislature for reforms – from a one party state to a multi-party democratic transitional process. Besides accommodation, the rationale for expanding TNLA is to represent the will of the people; initiate reconciliation and foster unity among South Sudanese communities; oversight the executive performances of TGoNU; and to pass legislations, whether new laws or amended existing laws particularly in areas related to the implementation of ARCISS. Moreover, the conduct of its business entails that the TNLA is expected to support the Agreement and enact legislation that enables and assists the transitional processes and reform stipulated in the Agreement (Art. 11.6 of the ARCISS, 2015).

The Writer is an Advocate & Legal Consultant in Juba, the Republic of South Sudan. He can be reached through comment(s) via his email address:

UNMISS Needs to adhere to its mandates: Jieng Council of Elders

18 MAY 2016;

The Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) is alarmed and deeply regrets the recent remarks by UNMISS Chief with respect to the status of the 28 States establishment order, (EO 36/2015). The UNMISS head said that she does not recognize the 28 states.

Obviously, there are pockets of political opposition in the country to the creation of 28 states and so for her to take the same position, as the opposition, is an act of partiality and goes counter to the spirit of the agreement and inconsistent with the mandates of the institutions they lead.

Notwithstanding the fact that she is siding with the opposition on this issue, the UNMISS leader appears bent on encroaching deliberately into the affairs of a sovereign state.

It may serve her well to stay out of South Sudanese politics and administrative matters and allow the South Sudanese to chart their course on these matters without prejudice.

The council therefore advises the two institutions to adhere strictly to their respective mandates by avoiding unwarranted meddling in the affairs of a sovereign state.

With respects to the 28 states establishment order, the council would like to unequivocally reiterate its position as follows:
(1) The sovereignty of the Republic of South Sudan is vested solely in the people of South Sudan and it is not amenable or subject to debates
engendered from within or from without.

(2) The right of the people of South Sudan to govern themselves within the confines of their respective diverse cultures ought to be held sacred and inalienable;

(3) The 28 states establishment order is a decision by a legitimate government in response to a popular demand of the people of South Sudan and any foreigner or foreign entity that questions the validity of this decision, does so with the full knowledge that it is undermining the sanctity of our sovereignty.

In light of the aforementioned, the UNMISS leader should conduct herself with utmost composure and great sensitivity required in a divisive political situation such as this and to maintain high level of integrity and impartiality.

Instead of fanning political brinkmanship and hatred among South Sudanese with their statements, the UNMISS leader ought to help the parties to the agreement to expeditiously implement it in spirit and letter, see to it that the badly torn social fabric, which binds our people together at the grassroots, is fully repaired.

This is the priority of the highest order for the people of South Sudan and those who are invited to assist the people of South Sudan in this transition should embrace the same categorically.

The council reiterates that this is not the time to play political hardball with the stability of the country.

Any attempt to scuttle the 28 states establishment order will be inconsistent with the ongoing efforts to bring peace and reconciliation in the country.

It is therefore imperative to give peace a chance by making sure that the people’s legitimate demands are not subjected to dangerous international machinations.

The council stands opposed to any efforts that are flagrantly aimed at delaying South Sudanese’s popular demand for self-government and calls on all peace loving people to reject any misguided actions that go contrary to peace objectives.

Justice Ambrose Riny Thiik, Chairman
Hon. Joshua Dau Diu, Co-Chairman
Hon. Aldo Ajou Deng, Member
Hon. Maker Thiong Maal, Member


*Secretariat, *
*Jieng Council of Elders (JCE)*
*Juba, South Sudan*

Facts About Sudan and South Sudan Bilateral Relations

By James Okuk, PhD, Professor, Juba, MAY/27/2016, SSN;

Since the time of separation of South Sudan from the Sudan in 2011, the bilateral relations between the two countries have not become desirably institutionalized for the needed viability of co-existence and cooperation of the two neighboring countries for ensuring peace, security, stability and prosperity in commonality.

The two states have not been seen treating themselves softly with best neighborliness foreign policies despite the fact that they are deterministically bounded by the longest inseparable geography in the region with land boundaries of about 2,158 km (according to January 1, 1956 alignment). Political leadership could be the problem because social relations of the peoples of the two states are still fine.

The souring relations between Khartoum and Juba didn’t creep instantly from the blue. The ruling parties in both capitals had been fierce enemies for decades though the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) tried to tame them into partnership of making unity of the Sudan attractive, especially to South Sudanese (including the Nine Ngok Dinka Chieftaincies of Abyei Area).

Because of that commitment, preparation for institutionalization of the independence of South Sudan was totally neglected by the CPA’s partners because they were obliged to ‘make unity attractive.’ That was why both of them were caught unaware by the overwhelming decision of the people of South Sudan not to be attracted to the politicized unity of the Sudan.

The SPLM leaders in Juba found it difficult to go against the people’s destiny and they had to betray their NCP partners in Khartoum who were left with no option but to absorb the shock with bitter acceptance of the result of the referendum for self-determination for the people of South Sudan in January 2011, especially after they realized that the separation project has the total backing and support of the U.S superpower and other allies in Europe and Africa.

However and after politics of unity of the Sudan was thwarted by the opposite referendum result, every other commitment that was stipulated in the CPA but remained unimplemented had to get subjected to either automatic collapse or renegotiation. Khartoum had to uncomfortably delete anything that has to do with South Sudan and Juba had to also do the same based on constitutional and sovereignty necessity.

The issue of nationality, borders, currency, oil, trade, debts, assets, pensions, post-service benefits, Abyei Administration and referendum, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile popular consultations, and disengagement with the SPLM/A-North popped up to become very urgent but at the same time intricately contentious.

Nothing looked sufficient to bridge the urgent gaps left in the broken Sudan and also in the new made South Sudan with its open possibilities.

For example, Juba went ahead to print its own currency and passports without consultation with Khartoum, and despite the previous gentlemen agreement that these issues shall be handled evolutionarily and coordinately so as to avoid any consequence of abrupt unilateralism.

The amount of the redundant CPA’s Sudanese pounds circulating in South Sudan was seen to be a danger to Sudan’s economy, especially after it has loss many oil fields to South Sudan. Hence, Khartoum decided abruptly too to change its currency to a new pound while disqualifying the old one it used to share with Juba.

South Sudanese working in Sudan had to get fired. A threat of conflict and aggression became eminent. The border movements had to get restricted and sometimes closed, especially after the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-North) in the areas of Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile went into war with Khartoum to add to Darfuri rebels.

Nevertheless, the nature of the possible war by then between Khartoum and Juba wasn’t the same as the previous civil wars (e.g., Anya-nya and SPLM/A) because of the new reality that the warring parties were ruling two separate independent countries that are already recognized legitimately by the United Nations, the African Union and other international bodies and individual countries.

The two countries have also recognized each other’s independence when they opened their respective embassies in Juba and Khartoum and exchanged resident Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassadors. Such war, if allowed to be fully conducted, would no longer be an internal affair. Regional and International intervention was eminent.

Thus, the AU had to take it upon itself to mediate for negotiations through a High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) chaired by the former South African President, Thabo Mbeki and with Abdulsalam Alhaji Abubakar (former Nigerian President) and Pierre Buyoya (former Burundian President) as core members.

The AUHIP led by these peers of former presidential elders and advised by some experts on Sudan and South Sudan (like Alex de Waal) tried to contain the situation though tensions over the post-CPA and post-independence issues continued unabated.

To make things worst, the SPLM’s regime in Juba decided to shut-in oil production in January 2012 when the resource makes up over 90% of the government budget and expenditure. The core justification was that Khartoum was taking and taping out secretly the crude oil from South Sudan without permission from Juba.

In retaliation, the NCP’s regime in Khartoum decided to close down the regular borders movements of the people and tradable goods along South Sudan. In April 2012 the two countries went for a brief but deadly war over the lucrative Heglig (known originally as Panthou) oil facility that has been managed by Khartoum while claimed by Juba. The UN Secretary-General, U.S President and other allies mounted a pressure on Juba to leave Heglig to Khartoum. Juba was left with no power to cement itself but withdraw from the contested area with regrettable costs to many lives of soldiers.

But the accusations of each side for supporting rebel’s activities to topple each others’ regimes became intensified with smearing and rhetorical propaganda. The Sudan Parliament went as far as declared Juba as “an enemy state”. The First Vice President of the Sudan issued orders to shoot-and-kill any person found smuggling goods at the border and to confiscate the caught trucks and other properties from such betrayers.

The post-independence negotiations got stalled until breaking news came later when Presidents Omar Hassan Al-Bashir and Salva Kiir Mayardit were invited to Addis Ababa by the AUHIP to be direct participants of the September 27, 2012 agreements between their respective countries. These were:

1) The Cooperation Agreement signed by Presidents Kiir and Al-Bashir themselves (confirming commitment to common viability and other bilateral agreements);

2) Security Arrangements Agreement signed by the Ministers of Defence, H.E. John Kong Nyuon for South Sudan and H.E. Lt. Gen (PSC) Eng. Abdulrahim Mohamed Hussein for the Sudan (to demilitarize the border, starting with 10-crossing corridors)

3) The Border Issues Agreement (including demarcation and Zero-Points identification);

4) The Framework Agreement on the status of Nationals of the other state and Related Matters (e.g. Interior Ministers chairing negotiations of details of implementation of the Four Freedoms: to Reside, to Move, to conduct Economic Activity, and to Own Property);

5) The Framework Agreement to Facilitate Payment of Post-Service Benefits (to establish principles and mechanisms that ensure uninterrupted, timely and convenient payment arrangements for the retired or pensioned citizens of either state);

6) The Agreement on Certain Economic Matters (Division of Assets and Liabilities, Arrears and Claims and Joint Approach to the International Community to erase Khartoum’s debts while it shoulders Juba’s share but with no division of assets as a condition);

7) The Agreement on Oil and Related Economic Matters (Waiving the arrears, Resumption of South Sudan Oil Production, Transit through Sudan and Transitional Financial Arrangements, all costing USD 24.5 per a barrel for 42 months so as to enable Sudan to diversify its economy for resilience after losing many oil fields to South Sudan);

8) The Agreement on Trade and Trade Related Issues (pursuing independent trade policy while considering the possibility of common policies and adhering to policies of regional and international organizations to which each state belong); and

9) The Agreement on a Framework for Cooperation on Central Banking Issues (acknowledging the need for cooperation in the management of monetary and fiscal policies to maintain confidence and control inflation that could destabilize exchange rate due to fluctuations, and continuing to adhere to international finance and banking standards).

The rest of the seven agreements were all signed by the Chief Negotiators of the two countries (H.E. Pagan Amum Okiech for South Sudan and H.E. Idris Abdel Gadir for the Sudan). For operational institutionalization, the National Legislative Assemblies of the two countries had to cordially ratify them within 45 days from the time of signature so that the necessary mechanisms for effective monitoring would get established in addition to regular or extraordinary Heads of the two States Summits, Ministerial Meetings and Technical Committees (and Sub-Committees) Meetings.

Some mechanisms commenced as expected but got slowed down later by the tsunamic change of cabinet in Juba in July 2013 and the resultant outbreak of mid-December 2013 crisis of the deadly SPLM/A’s leadership struggle. Though Khartoum tried to portray itself as neutral, Kampala direct intervention to take side with Juba in the war against Dr. Riek Machar’ rebellion provoked the NCP’ regime to rethink its September 2012 rapprochement despite the fact that one of the IGAD’s Mediation Envoys (i.e, Gen. Ahmed Mohamed El-Dabi) was a Sudanese Government’s nominee while Uganda was totally knocked our from the mediation as a result of objection by the SPLM/A-IO. The counter accusations and suspicion of maliciousness of one country against the other continued.

Notwithstanding, the August 2015 Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) made Khartoum to be hopeful a bit with a hope of bettering relations with Juba. President Al-Bashir, and as a member of IGAD’s Summit of Heads of State and Government, appended his signature on the deal as a guarantor in the company of other Presidents and Prime Ministers of the bloc who also signed the peace document as guarantors in Addis Ababa.

But before signing H.E. Al-Bashir voiced out his protest on the continuous use of the name “Sudan Liberation Movement/Army” by the warring parties while South Sudan is no longer part of the whole Sudan that the SPLM intended to liberate in the past against the Islamic and Arabized injustices. Khartoum was keenly interested in the ARCSS so that the Sudan could gain from the stability in South Sudan, especially if Chapter II is implemented in letter and spirit as provided in article 1.5 for the withdrawal of Ugandan Forces from South Sudan within 45 days (except in Western Equatoria due to the previous agreement on hunting the LRA before the outbreak break of mid-December 2013 crisis), and also as stipulated in article 1.6 for disarmament, demobilization and repatriation of Sudanese Revolutionary Forces (SPLM-North, JEM, SLA-Minawi, SLA-Abdulwahid) within the pre-transitional period by the state actors with whom they have been supporting.

This could be the crux of the matter why Khartoum sent a chilling decision in mid-March 2016 to treat South Sudanese nationals as aliens and close the border for security reasons. Fast steps that have been taken by Juba to get admitted into the East African Community might have also hastened the vile of Khartoum to decide the way it did. Khartoum might have gotten worried of not harvesting the fruits of ARCSS as its implementation is over-delaying while time is running out. With no Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) in place and effectively operational in Juba, defeating and destroying the Sudan rebels’ forces shall remain a nightmare to the NCP’s regime.

But again, pushing Juba to disarm, demobilize and repatriate the Sudanese Revolutionary forces is not an easy project to pursue because it has a tremendous cost to lives, properties and finance of South Sudanese. Perhaps, if the AUHIP manages to strike a peace deal between the Sudan rebels and Khartoum, that could be the only safer exit by Juba from that trap.

Khartoum doesn’t trust the SPLM-Juba because of its connection to the rebels of the Sudan and also to President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, despite his two-day bilateral visit to Sudan in September 2015 where it was highlighted that there shall be renewed cooperation between them in security, intelligence and defense matters. Kampala has been accusing Khartoum of harboring the Lord Resistance Army (LRA) of Joseph Kony in a remote area in Darfur region and assisting them with arms.

Nonetheless, Khartoum has been appreciating Kampala for restricting activities of Sudanese rebels who used to hold meetings in Uganda and get arms through it. That could be part of the motivation why President Al-Bashir took the risk of ICC’s Warranty of Arrest and traveled to Uganda on May 12, 2016 for Inauguration of President Museveni’s fifth term of presidency and further discussion on bilateral ties even with protests by US, Canadian and some European Governments.

It seems probable that the recurrent chilling bilateral relations between Khartoum and Juba shall not get eased unless there is peace in both countries. The positive moves towards revitalization of the delayed ARCSS implementation shall make Khartoum to slow-down and monitor the new political developments.

The suspension of operationalization of hullabaloo of the 28 states until a political consensus is reached as directed in the January 2016 Communiqué of IGAD’s Council of Ministers, may also cool the nerves of Khartoum to be patient and improve the bilateral ties with Juba. Not only these but also if the development partners and rest of international community come to aid of Juba for easing the dire humanitarian situation and rescuing the collapsing economy, Khartoum may reconsider its arrogant attitude towards Juba.

The NCP plotters could get tamed more if the TGoNU sent to Khartoum a very high-level delegation composing of prominent representatives of the four principal parties to the ARCSS to discuss the hot issues with President Al-Bashir and his cabinet. Their negative attitude towards Juba may subside immediately with Abyei becoming a bridge between the two countries as dreamt by veteran Ambassador Francis M. Deng.

The result of that unique visit shall speed up the paralyzed progress of the required missing ministerial and technical committees for the proper institutionalization of the specific instruments of implementing the signed bilateral agreements or renegotiating them. The normalized cordial relations between Juba and Khartoum shall enable both countries to venture into unsuspicious joint activities for rebuilding the two states with common prosperous viability.

Some of the marginalized professional South Sudanese diplomats shall be willing to help and use the nuance they have had within the Sudanese diplomacy so as to generate fruitful gains within the context of sustainable peace and desirable neighborliness as stipulated in the constitutional principles of the two countries.

Thus, the key to ending the unending Khartoum-Juba diplomatic, security and economic rows or show-downs is to properly institutionalize the bilateral relations and cement it with concrete mutual interests that each state will be sensitive to compromise at any cost. Diplomacy and international relations is supposed to be based on the premise that isolation is not an option but interdependence with keen understanding and skillful management of sophistication of the globalization process.

It is high time the TGoNU prioritizes a reformed and transformed South Sudanese diplomacy in order to protect invigoratingly the national interests and safeguard the territorial integrity; identify and level the extent of cooperation or competition with others; preserve the national security and stability and contribute in doing the same to the region and the world at large; cement the development of core national economic, social and political objectives; and motivate the influential positive actors while neutralizing the negative ones.


Dr. James Okuk is lecture of politics in the University of Juba reachable at

“The Paper Tiger in South Sudan”: Report Targets Violent Kleptocracy at Root of War & Atrocities

May 24, 2016 –SSN;

New policy brief by Enough Project’s John Prendergast argues “Grand corruption and extreme violence are not aberrations; they are the system.”

An Enough Project policy brief published today authored by John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, presents the case for the U.S. and the broader international community to counter the violent kleptocracy — rampant, high-level corruption linked to mass atrocities and armed conflict – in South Sudan. The brief argues that if this kleptocratic structure is left unaddressed, the fledgling peace effort stands little chance of success.

The 9-page brief, “The Paper Tiger in South Sudan: Threats without Consequences for Atrocities and Kleptocracy” follows Prendergast’s testimony before a House Foreign Affairs hearing on South Sudan last month. The brief presents critical recommendations for U.S. leadership, including imposing and enforcing targeted sanctions on senior officials of consequence in order to pressure these leaders to place the well-being of their people ahead of personal enrichment and power politics.

Prendergast and experts from the Enough Project will be available for selected interviews and comment on the brief.

Selected excerpts from “The Paper Tiger”:

    “After 30 years of either living in, visiting, or working in South Sudan, and after extensive analysis undertaken by my colleagues at the Enough Project, our collective conclusion is that the primary root cause for the atrocities and instability that mark South Sudan’s short history is that the government there quickly morphed into a violent kleptocracy. Grand corruption and extreme violence are not aberrations; they are the system.”

    “In the short term, an elite pact like the current peace deal between the Juba government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) may be the quickest path out of the immediate violence. But sustainable peace in South Sudan will remain illusory without fundamental changes to end impunity and establish accountability.”

    “Unless this violent kleptocratic system is addressed head-on by policymakers internationally, the billions of dollars spent annually for peacekeeping, humanitarian aid, and the ongoing diplomacy and assistance supporting the peace deal there will simply be treating symptoms, not addressing the primary root cause of cyclical conflict.”

    “Fighting for control of the government allows for control of a vast wealth-generating machine. And using extreme violence to keep control, once you have it, is viewed as imperative. Unless this violent kleptocratic system is addressed head-on by policymakers internationally, the billions of dollars spent annually for peacekeeping, humanitarian aid, and the ongoing diplomacy and assistance supporting the peace deal there will simply be treating symptoms, not addressing the primary root cause of cyclical conflict.”

    “The surest way for the United States and the broader international community to create real consequences and build critically-needed leverage for peace is by hitting the leaders of rival kleptocratic factions in South Sudan where it hurts the most: their wallets. This requires a hard-target transnational search for dirty money and corrupt deals made by government officials, rebel leaders, arms traffickers, complicit bankers, and mining and oil company representatives.”

    “Addressing root causes will require much greater international leverage, which until now has been a cripplingly and puzzlingly insufficient part of international efforts to support peace and human rights in South Sudan.”

    “Sanctions, anti-money laundering measures, prosecutions, asset seizure and forfeiture, and other economic tools of 21st-century foreign policy are key instruments in securing foreign policy goals. How strange and disappointing it is that these tools are not effectively utilized for promoting peace and human rights in countries like South Sudan. Going forward, these tools of financial coercion should be essential components of U.S. and global efforts to secure peace, prevent mass atrocities, and promote accountability in South Sudan and other African conflicts.”

    “It is not only South Sudan’s kleptocrats who are making a fortune from the country’s brutal civil war. A host of mercenaries and war profiteers have turned up in South Sudan, eager to profit from the country’s misery.”

    “[T]he U.S. and international donors should further support the South Sudanese government institutions that are designed to hold those in power accountable, including the Anti-Corruption Commission (SSACC), the Fiscal, Financial Allocation and Monitoring Commission, and the National Audit Chamber (NAC). The United States and broader international community should also increase diplomatic and financial support to the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), a body that was set up in late 2015 to monitor the implementation of the peace agreement.”

    “[S]ome members of the Security Council have signaled that they will block any further sanctions proposed against South Sudan’s leaders. Given the low likelihood of a deeply divided U.N. Security Council acting on this issue, the United States should build a coalition of countries prepared to impose targeted sanctions on key high-ranking officials on both sides of the conflict who are undermining peace and then robustly enforce those sanctions.”

    “The administration should consider enacting secondary sanctions that would target foreign financial institutions engaged in facilitation of public corruption in South Sudan. Additionally, sectoral sanctions could be deployed to limit certain types of financing available for future (rather than current) petroleum projects.”

    “To be frank, sanctions in many countries are ineffective and at times counter-productive. The main problems with sanctions in South Sudan and elsewhere are that they often do not target top decision-makers and are not sufficiently enforced. To counter these challenges, targeted sanctions in South Sudan should be imposed on much higher-level officials and should be the subject of strict enforcement efforts to demonstrate seriousness on the part of the United States and broader international community.”

    “[W]e see some evidence that officials from countries neighboring South Sudan may have played a role in facilitating or helping to conceal the offshoring of their assets. The U.S. government must send a direct message to these countries and their financial institutions, starting with Kenya, that compliance with sanctions is not optional and facilitation of the wholesale looting of South Sudanese state assets will not be tolerated, or else there will be further consequences directed at their banking sectors. Finally, in conjunction with any future designations, the U.S. government should be proactive in ensuring that these countries and their financial institutions cooperate in providing information and take appropriate enforcement action.”

    “The United States has tools at its disposal to foster significant change and help to end the suffering on the ground in South Sudan. The Obama administration should deploy the tools of financial pressure accordingly, and the U.S. Congress should work to ensure that the agencies responsible for administering sanctions and leveraging such tools have sufficient resources and staff to fulfill this mission.”

    “[P]assage of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act by the U.S. Congress would help ensure that these agencies have a robust mandate to use their power to counter kleptocracy and disrupt the networks of those who commit mass atrocities while also protecting the journalists and human rights defenders who put their lives on the line while attempting to expose abuses.”
    Read the full policy brief “The Paper Tiger in South Sudan: Threats without Consequences for Atrocities and Kleptocracy”:

    Congressional testimony by John Prendergast, at House Foreign Affairs hearing on “South Sudan’s Prospects for Peace and Security,” given on April 27, 2016 – complete text and video:

    For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606,

    The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at

Kiir’s All-out Genocide against the Collo Kingdom: PR

To: H.E Festus G.Mogea, the chairman of JMEC
South Sudan, Juba;

Urgent Press Statement:
The implementation of Peace Agreement which aimed at ending South Sudan’s civil war is not progressing despite the formation of TGoNU three weeks ago. The process is sabotaged and being held hostage profoundly by President Kiir and his group, who are not interested in peace but war.

Your Excellency, it is a deplorable as well as a worrying reality that the TGoNU has not lived to the expectation of ordinary citizens of being an all party government working within the Compromise Peace Agreement. Actions of President Kiir have been contrary to this universal belief.

Kiir continues to take unilateral decisions some of which are dangerous to the whole country. As if there were no people partying him in the government Kiir started by appointing a chairman of the border commission – something clearly outside his mandate.

The president followed that violation of the Peace Agreement by a more serious one. He appointed ten presidential advisors without consulting the First Vice President as stipulated in the Compromise Peace Agreement.

Recently many people heard President Kiir saying he will not abolish the 28 states even if the people of South Sudan die of hunger. There can be no more evidence that Kiir is adamant on his creation order No/36/2015 in clear violation of the peace agreement and total disregard for the hungry and dying people of South Sudan.

Your Excellency, we did not hear you or any of your colleagues in JMEC cautioning president on his path of violations. This has now emboldened him to embark on an all-out genocidal war against the Collo Kingdom. Acquiring advanced military weapons recently from some neighbouring countries seems to encourage Kiir that he may at last accomplish his all time objective of conquering the Collo Kingdom lands.

While the whole world was watching President Kiir has been amassing troops with heavy weapons in Upper Nile Region, Malakal, to carry out his criminal ethnic cleansing on Collo nation. Many of these troops are now stationed in Lelo, Warajwok, and Detang village across the river west of Malakal. It may be of interest to you to know that Kiir hired fighters from Blue Nile such as Ingessina and Uduk area, also Darfur and mercenaries from other countries.

Moreover, the government stationed helicopter gunships in a place called Rom opposite Kodok on the east bank of the White Nile. Further, military steamers equipped with heavy weapons have left Bor on Friday 20 May 2016 on their way to Malakal. The sole intended objective of this military activity is to dislodge the whole Collo community from ancestral land, in Upper Nile, and accommodate Padang Jieng in there.

Excellency Festus, it is stipulated in the Agreement that soldiers of both parties must be confined to their cantonments during the entire interim period. We may ask why the government troops are allowed to move freely to cause havoc by killing and displacing innocent communities.

We would like to alert JMEC that Government SPLA army is really planning to launch a full scale war to massacre and displace Collo civilian population in Collo Kingdom on the Western Bank of the Nile leave alone the eastern Nile disputed side.

Collo Community Council has a feeling that the international community had not done enough to make the notorious government of Salva Kiir play its role in implementing the peace agreement, though we still have faith in you and JMEC in general.

We are not in doubt about your mandate and political ability to take a decisive action to stop this ill-intended military build-up and confining government soldiers to their allotted cantonments. However, if our plea is ignored for any reason, then we assure you that the world will wake to an untold blood bath in the coming few days – God forbids.

Please accept the assurance of our highest consideration.

Samson Oyay Awin
Chairman of Collo Community Council, Khartoum
Sunday 22 May 2016

Shilluk and its Dinka Neighbors: Dinka Padang distortion of history

By: Jwothab Othow, May 21, 2016, SSN;

Sudan Tribune website published on 15 May 2016 an article by Dr Francis Ayul Yuar titled: “Dinka Padang Borders with Shilluk in Upper Nile.” The article was an attempt to establish that the group of Jieng (Dinka) sections who of late called themselves “Dinka Padang” occupied the eastern bank of the White Nile to the exclusion of the Shilluk in 12-15 century AD from Wunthou (north of Renk) to Fangak.

To prove his point, the author claims that the Shilluk “settled in their today west bank” in the 18th century AD. The author did not cite any reliable references to prove his point on the claimed dates of the settlement of neither the Dinka nor the Shilluk. This paper is to refute some of the outrageous claims he made albeit in the name of history.

Shilluk settlement:
The Shilluk nation is a well-established kingdom with known hierarchy of kings and one queen who reigned from the moment the tribe settled in the current Shilluk land in the 16th (not the 18th) century. The migration of the Shilluk was also connected with the dispersion of their brethren the Lwoo tribes from Wij-Pac resulting in the current Anuaks, Luo of Kenya and Bahr el Ghazal, Acholi, Thuro, Chat, etc.

Therefore, the date of that migration is not a matter of guess work, as the author is trying to do, but confirmed by the oral traditions of these tribes that span many countries in the East African region.

The claim by the author that the Dinka were in east bank since the 12th century does not give an explanation to the well-known settlement of the Anuak along the Sobat River until they were displaced by the Nuer in subsequent waves of migration.

The author quotes Dr Lam Akol’s 2010 paper and avoided to quote his most recent book titled: “Collo Boundary Dispute,” 2016, which dealt with the fight between Collo (Shilluk) and the Bel on page 11. The Bel have been established as Anuaks and when Collo defeated them at the time of Reth Dhokoth Bwoc (1679 – 90), they moved southwards joining their kith and kin along the Sobat river.

The version of the author is a tall order in a number of respects. It suggests that the Shilluk fought the Dinka, a preposterous claim supported by neither the Collo nor the Dinka oral history.

It also suggests that it is the Dinka who defeated the Funj Kingdom driving them “to their present home of Blue Nile State”. If this were to be true, then the Dinka could not have come to the area in 12 -15 century AD as the author claims. The Funj Kingdom or the Black Sultanate as it is also known, was established around the present day Khartoum in 1504 AD; i.e. in the 16th century.

Which Funj then did the Dinka defeat in 12-15 century? The Funj Kingdom dominated the area around Khartoum and the White Nile to Sennar (where the capital was later moved) and beyond for three centuries until they were defeated by the Turks in 1821.

When Collo came to the area they dealt only with the southern fringes of the Funj Kingdom. The two kingdoms existed side by side until 1821.

Furthermore, if it were true that it were only the Dinka who were on the eastern side of the White Nile, the author must explain when and how were the Dinka displaced by the Shilluk on that side of the Nile.

The author misses the point by quoting P.M. Holt out of context. History tells us that there are two theories on the origin of the Funj. Holt is a proponent of the theory that the origin of the Funj was Shilluk but the latter are categorical that they found the Funj in the area and displaced them.

No doubt the Sultanate had some royal rituals similar to those of the Shilluk royal court but this was due more to cultural influence than to common origin. Similar Lwoo influence is found in the Buganda Kingdom in Uganda.

Latjor Migration
Despite the precise date the author posits as the date Latjor migrated to Nasir area through north of Melut, he got it all wrong. Reliable historical evidence tells us that Latjor moved through the western fringe of Shilluk land and crossed north of Melut around 1821.

He proceeded eastward but was reported to have lost his direction. Then he and his group decided to come backwards and settled at the present day Paloic (Pa-loj) where they spent some years before resuming his journey around 1835.

This was the time of Reth Awin Yor whose reign also saw the waves of migrations of the Nuer from Liech (Bentiu) to east of Bahr el Jebel. Shilluk oral history including songs confirms this last date.

Reputable authorities on Nuer and Dinka migrations such as Professor Raymond C. Kelly (the Nuer Conquest, 1985) and Bimbashi H. Wilson (The Dinka of the White Nile, 1903) attest to these facts. That Latjor found some Dinka in the area where he crossed the White Nile in the 19th century is consistent with the Shilluk history on the movements of the Dinka into that area.

The author exposes his real intentions when he averred: “Any distortion of these empirical facts is nothing but fallacies cooked by few intellectuals of Shilluk with the intention to rewrite the history of South Sudan a fresh (sic).” He arrogates to himself the monopoly of “facts,” which can never be a trait of anybody who claims to be a historian or student of history.

My advice to the author is that not any written material is a reliable source of history, the same way that not any elder is a reliable story teller. To be taken seriously one must get information from reputable sources and check and crosscheck any information one gets. Cobbling together irreconcilable pieces of information can hardly pass as history.

Shilluk Kingdom is now five centuries old. It is rich in culture, history and governance. One must be very careful when attempting to challenge its history.

Machar, Lam, Taban, Alor, Lado, Nyaba… et al: Back again to your dysfunctional & degenerate Kiir-led SPLM/A?


To call this new Kiir-Machar government as being made up of former “enemies” is an understatement. Without any doubt, this is still the same SPLM ‘comrades’ government made up of self-preserving, remorseless and immoral criminals and killers who are very much adept at mutating and recycling themselves back into these lucrative positions of leadership mainly because they shared the similar commonalities.

Verily, the road ahead for the new Kiir-Machar (SPLM-IG and SPLM-IO) is already heavily mined by mutual disagreements, obfuscations, dilly-dallying and endemic paralysis which will again end up in mutual self-destruction and another gargantuan disappointment for our people and the international community helping the new nation.

Once more, in their duplicitous and long political lives, Machar, Lam Akol, Lado Gore, Deng Alor, Taban Gai, et al…, have all come back, once again, to their degenerate SPLM political party and its dysfunctional government under their same incompetent leader, Kiir Mayardit.

South Sudan has within a historic world-record time become the most ungovernable country in East Africa not because of its patient and long-suffering people but principally due its so-called miscreant SPLM leaders that incorporates all of you, so-called SPLM In-and-Opposed to Government.

What’s really new or different this time in this SPLM/A new political marriage? For the second, third and God knows how many times, most of you all have been shamefully labelled as thieves and traitors; almost all of you were at one point, publicly dismissed, imprisoned and disgraced from this anarchic and archaic monstrosity called the SPLM/A by none other your Great Satan, Kiir Mayardit himself.

But again and again, like some Satanic incarnations, most of you, despite the imprisonment, near death-misses and public embarrassment, you all shamelessly have silently capitulated and crawled on your knees back to your ‘Almighty Devil’ Mayardit.

Poignantly, according to the latest analysis by “The,” South Sudan (presumably both SPLM’s) elites, after assuming power in 2005, “have built a kleptocratic regime that controls all sectors of the economy, and have squandered a historic chance for the development of a functional state. These predatory economic networks play a central role in the current civil war, because much of the conflict is driven by (SPLM) elites trying to re-negotiate their share of the politico-economic power balance through violence.”

The Report “acknowledges that the (Machar’s) rebels were also part of this kleptocratic system in the past, and are more likely to be involved again in the event of a negotiated settlement.”

The above assessment is absolutely indisputable, you had the privilege to once again ‘re-negotiate’ yourselves back into the politico-economic realm through a war that future generations of South Sudanese will furiously debate whether it was really necessary as a first alternative.

During your collective involvement pre-2013 political disengagement from Kiir’s government, EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU, whilst in the Kiir’s cabinet, illicitly benefited in one or multiple ways in the on-going massive corruption, either indirectly or directly.


In a rare show of honesty, President Kiir in 2012 shocked the nation by revealing that 75 of his officials had stolen a whooping 4 billion dollars but he stopped short of naming a single individual. Then all of you were in the government and top suspects. Why hasn’t Machar or anyone of you in the opposing SPLM come out and name somebody or all in the SPLM in government who are the suspects, just for political expediency?

Regardless, in the public opinion of most South Sudan, now wallowing in poverty and hunger, they know you are completely involved in the corruption and you are suspects till the end.

Interestingly, your Almighty Godfather, Kiir Mayardit and his clown/vice, Wani-Igga, repeatedly and publicly have exposed the ONLY alleged 30 million dollar theft by Pagan Amum, (money given by Sudan’s el Bashir to build your Juba party headquarters), the now reappointed secretary-general of your party, who’s most unlikely to return to Juba because of the embarrassment, intimidation and threat of prosecution.

Your collective silence on and about the past or current corruption is a duplicitous conspiracy to save your own skins and to reassure the Satanic Kiir that you all agree not to rock the boat, a deliberate capitulation to ensure and guarantee your self-preservation even when one of your comrades, Pagan Amum, is being publicly crucified.

Further, it’s apparently indisputable that the recurrence of conflicts within your degenerate SPLM party and the dysfunctional governments shuffled and reshuffled by your almighty Kiir basically stemmed from the unending, long-running competition among you, the ruling elites, for more power and profits.

Interestingly, Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba, the most leading SPLM ideologue, frankly attributed all the past and present national problems to what he called ‘the SPLM original sin,’ and that the shortcomings of the Kiir’s Government of South Sudan (GOSS) are wholly pegged on the SPLM, the rot began in the SPLM and there is no way the SPLM leadership can escape responsibility for this cataclysmic failure.

Now surprisingly back once again as a minister in this Satanic government, Dr. Nyaba also once wrote that his ruling SPLM had drastically “cost the people of South Sudan more than 10 years of missed development opportunities,” and he clearly attributed this to the “ideology of these SPLM leaders as informed and shaped by their ethnic environment as the SPLM liberation ideology surely failed to penetrate this ossified jieeng ethnic ideology.”

In the most simplified deduction, therefore, the SPLM liberation ideology was subverted by and subsumed into the jieeng ethnic ideology; all other ethnic groups in South Sudan were, as a matter of fact, naively and inadvertently perpetuating jieeng supremacy and domination as now so clearly apparent.

The question is: Why are you so maniacally obsessed with your collective reincarnation back into this dysfunctional government and your degenerate SPLM party and its severely fractured and ill-famed military wing, the SPLA?

Isn’t this what Dr. Adwok Nyaba himself had once described that “Kiir survived by the malice of fate?”

Momentarily, the current tenuous peace will probably be effected under the JMEC monitoring but at the expense of any justice and accountability on a butch of very disagreeable and disingenuous ‘comrades-cum-leaders’ of an archaic, diabolical and self-destructive organization known as the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement/Army, aka SPLM/A.

More infamously remembered for its historical episodes of horrendous and abominable murders, rapes and human rights abuses, practically every member of this SPLM/A without exception has contributed to the stigmatization of citizens of the nation by their collective criminality.

Thus, with this so-called peace accord, these criminals and murderers, be it president Salva Kiir, Riek Machar, Lam Akol, Taban Gai, Deng, Deng Alor… et al, are soon back to business as usual.

South Sudanese must be painfully reminded that right from the first existence of the criminal SPLM/A in 1983, its founder, John Garang, accompanied by those of president Kiir, Kuol Manyang, Malong and others, without any provocation launched the infamous Bilpham, Ethiopia, attack on the already existent Anya Nya liberation movement, mercilessly eliminating those heroes like Gai Tut, Akot Atem and many others.

Again, more infamously, when the same Riek Machar and Lam Akol launched their internal rebellion in 1991 against mainstream SPLM of Garang, thousands and thousands of South Sudanese were murdered and brutalized by either side, this reign of terrorism continued until their reintegration into the SPLM/A.

It is believed that more South Sudanese have been killed and severely traumatized by you, the SPLM/A leaders, Garang, Kiir, Machar, Lam…. et al, than by our erstwhile enemies, the jellaba Arab North Sudanese.

The current national circulation of the propaganda and euphoria of so-called heroes and peace is a falsification of the reality, what have president Kiir and Rebel Riak Machar seriously accomplished? Where is justice for those South Sudanese needlessly murdered by Kiir and Machar?

It’s only in South Sudan, a nation and a people the SPLM/A has so much traumatized, that criminals freely recycle and reincarnate themselves back into power without repentance, remorse or prosecution.

South Sudan is admittedly a failed state and an outlaw state that has in a stupendous world record time gone through the infamous combined ‘somalization’ and ‘Rwanda genocidal traumatization by its rebels-turned-leaders and with their return, the nation’s and people’s future is once more in the balance.

So, very soon, our murderers and thieves, Kiir, Machar, Lam, Taban, Manyang, Alor and all the infamous SPLM/A comrades will be unashamedly back into the top national leadership and once again recklessly and irresponsibly steering the nation’s ship into another calamity.

Dr. Lual Deng, another SPLM ideologue now sorrily relegated to a mere ‘SPLM headquarters office-boy,’ was rightly suspicious of President Kiir’s choice to replace the dead Garang and of Kiir’s inherent inability to leadership, by writing down that, “..the development of the promised land (South Sudan) is a different mission that requires a different leader, and we expect divine intervention in this respect….”

Has God really not abandoned South Sudan when priests, bishops, archbishops, deacons are immorally cohabiting with those ruling sinners of South Sudan, attending their ostentatious parties and dinners and even blessing the exotic foods, whiskies and beers while the majority of Juba residents are barely eating one meal a day?

Again, Dr. Lual Deng, Ph.D., further opined that, “A government that murders its own people has no moral basis or legitimacy to govern whatsoever,” in his book, ‘The Power of Creative Reasoning.’ He was directly referring to the Kiir Juba junta but sadly, this supposedly top SPLM intellectual, has been mysteriously sucked into this monstrosity, in spite of his hitherto vociferous writings against president Kiir failed and corrupt leadership, perhaps the tribal force known as ‘jieengism’ is more powerful than nationalism, as he’s unscrupulously abetting what he once called the “sclerotic management in the SPLM bureaucracy.”

In conclusion, from 1983 to 2013, most of you have again and again deliberately, conjointly or duplicitiously involved in the deadly and cyclical episodes of political and ethnic, as well personal rivalries in which innocent citizens have needlessly perished.

The conclusion reached by experts is correct: You, “the country’s elites have built a kleptocratic regime that controls all sectors of the economy, and have squandered a historic chance for the development of a functional state.”

Since independence, South Sudan has been controlled by a small, rotating set of elites who move seamlessly between positions in government and the frontlines of the rebellion, as political situations change. report ends by the conclusion that, “only reforming and forcing the South Sudanese state to actually serve its people, instead of its leaders, can the country actually move towards a more sustainable peace.”

There must be some accountability and transitional justice, these SPLM/A murderers can’t be simply allowed to evade justice for their habitual acts of criminality. END