Archive for: May 2016

What went wrong that should’ve gone right: Holes the TGONU should seal

BY: Kon Joseph Leek, MAY/04/2016, SSN;

‘They shouldn’t have been sworn-in with bibles!’ a young man jokingly said while watching the swearing-in of the cabinet on SSTV last Friday, ‘how do you expect God not to run away from those who consult witch-doctors to help them remain in the cabinet?’ he asked.

He believed that for corruption to subsidize from those old faces is to make them traditionally sworn-in, for instance, by making them jump over an ax or something because for traditional things are always conditional and for this, they would fear. There is no way you can mix up two powers (Devil for lobbying for a position on one side and God for swearing-in on the other side), and expect good performance!

But to me, I have no problem at all, whether to be sworn-in with the Bible or ax doesn’t make any different to me. All we wanted in the first place is this; their unity was all we yearned for.

Getting reunited and getting back to their feet with their cunning and conning us once again because this is what fate has subjected us to, a new form of punishment; your own mother whipping you with barbed wire, scorpion and fire!

It is not news to me and to some of us, for I expected it, seeing the same faces in the system getting back to their usual business of looting the Country with their pistols in their right hands and looting with their left hands!

But we are happy with the fact that their reunion will silence the guns [I hope forever]. We don’t want to lose anybody again, not even an old man to poverty or young man to criminality.

What we, the governed [ruled] need especially from the top leadership made up of the three [president, first vice president and the vice president] is to stop living spiritually in this country; I am simply telling them to start living physically here.

I wholly agree with Achebe’s statement that many presidents especially Third World presidents do not live in their countries, one of the penalties is loneliness. Harnessed to the trappings of protocols and blockaded by a buffer of grinning courtiers and psychopaths, even a good and intelligent leader will gradually begin to forget what the real world looks like.

When our president set to see things for himself, say in Gudelle, what does he see? Highways temporarily cleared of lunatics and beggars, Juba Town Council doing its best of watering the roads for time-being in order to keep the dust down, the president sped on his destination in order not to have enough time to see the happenings of the area with his own naked eyes.

And if he is attending a party, the party is strictly controlled about 1000 meters away attended by the deserving type! In short, the president is only made to see such scenes of contented citizenry but history tells us of wise rulers at different times and places who achieved rare leadership by their blunt and who simply refused to be fooled by guided tours of their own Country, Chinua advised.

In antiquity we read that, for example, Haroun al Rashid, an eighth-century caliph of Baghdad who frequently disguised himself and went unaccompanied into the streets of his city by day or night and saw the life of his subjects in its unvarnished and uncensored reality.

What many fear and dread here is simply corruption, corruption in our state has reached its fatal stage. It is corruption that leads to poverty and other violent crises like robbery, demonstrations etc….

I sometimes in the past said that if you could corrupt and open up factories and companies then you can create employment opportunities for the unemployed but where you steal the money and keep it under your beds or you run to another country and buy houses or marry more wives then you are just a damned devil!

Corruption is already chronic in our blood, it is the blood that moves in our veins – but can’t we really reduce it like ARVs against AIDs?

South Sudanese have been and still are corrupt because the system under which they live today makes corruption easy and profitable; they will cease to be corrupt when corruption is made difficult and inconvenient.

To eat is when you are hungry, and to corrupt is when you make other(s) hungry, isn’t it? For some of our leaders, they believe that liberating this country was to eat it, but they don’t even know that they are malnourishing their best country. They are sucking it so bad!

Who can blame someone who swallows little saliva that comes out of the sweet he was told to keep in his mouth? Children make big people do that. Corruption is when you swallow that very sweet.

Doesn’t a goat eat where it is grazed? Who can blame or stop someone from taking the milk of the cows he keeps? Isn’t corruption killing those cows and eating it all alone? It is service delivery that we need this time, security, roads, electricity, hospitals name them all.

You all need to bend to work this time, we shall not endure more anarchic system based on egotistic competition among the leaders instead of competition for service delivery to the destitute populace of your beloved country.

Anarchic nature of the system is the cause of most conflict around the globe, and for this, we should all cooperate for common interest in order to achieve mutual benefits of lifting this state up from the ashes of 2013 destruction. Your joint task now is to work with the assumption that other countries will not help you unless it is their own interest.

What increases tribalism and corruption now is the assumption of some of our leaders of putting their interest above the country and its citizens. The state is a possession of its citizen rather than the leaders.

We the citizens cannot be too nationalistic when we are not guaranteed a right to be. Nationalism starts with the belief of statehood. In order to insert nationalism into the citizen, it is to insert the idea that the state is the property of its citizens. This is the key element of nationalism. If the state is the agent of the people, then the people should decide what policies the state should pursue.

Some of my friends criticize the current cabinet citing the claim on what they will do what they did not do in their previous tenure, and what level of trust can be put on the same people who messed up this country in 2013 that they will not do it again. H

ow do we trust the people whose hands are tainted with blood?

To me, it is all politics; Max Webber (1864-1920) said that the decisive means for politics is violence. Anyone who fails to see this is a political infant, he added. Whether one considers war as a tale of tragedy or a saga of heroism, the fact is that, force and the threat of force is ever present.

What I have just said above is attributed to “when control eases, chaos occurs.” “Control” is all about not making the law of the land too compromising to make the devils loose to hunt and cause havoc, it is not about making the laws of the land too ceremonial to act, and it is not also about taking the laws of the land for granted.

“Control” is about putting the rope of the law on the neck of every native and tethering its notch to a very strong stick that whoever wants to loosen it stubbornly gets hanged.

The writer can be reached
On j.konleek@gmail.com

Open letter to President Salva Kiir Mayardit: Imminent reforms expected

By: Ater Garang Ariath, MAY/04/2016, SSN;

Mr. President,

As the nation moves toward its dream of hope for peace, stability and sustainable development upon the return of Dr. Riek Machar Teny to South Sudan as the First Vice President, South Sudanese people foresee the realization of harmony again in the country.

Mr. President, when you, Dr. Riek and Igga shook hands after First Vice President took oath of office, it far demonstrated a sign that you are partners in peace and the announced Transitional Government of National Unity.

The Transitional Government of National Unity should of now work to embrace national healing and reconciliation among all South Sudanese common men and women that were psychologically fractured in different areas during the conflict.

The genuine realization of peace and national cohesion among all South Sudanese within and outside the country can only be achieved if your leadership appoints competent, skilled and experienced Advisors in the latest cabinet.

Like any other South Sudanese citizen, I would like to take this opportunity to call for appointment of Presidential Political Advisor, whose credentials were of course impeccable, highly intelligent, a superb linguist and a born diplomat to revamp our diplomatic relations.

Appointment of senior experienced and political acumen South Sudanese man or woman as Presidential Political Advisor after the formation of Transitional Government of National Unity(TGONU) will be of great asset toward refurbishment of South Sudan political exposures within and outside the region.

The Political Advisor with strong vision of South Sudan loyalty as nation “first” should work on programs that will revamp South Sudan’s diplomatic and political exposure in the region and beyond.

As we move together as nation to rebuild damages that were brought on our societies by recently elapsed civil war, there is a high need to appoint an impeccable Presidential Political Advisor in the Transitional Government of National Unity.

The crises faced by our country are merely political ones, which need your leadership to fix by ensuring that white-headed South Sudanese, who care for national interest, are appointed to hold strategic presidential advisory roles in order to avoid another pitfall path caused by recently concluded war in our history as a nation.

Mr. President, behind every successful leader, there are sharp and wise handful or bevy of strong advisors, whose appointments are based on skills, competence and professional experiences especially to harness direct areas whereby a leader lacks certain abilities.

We had suffered from inadequate leadership in all spheres of life, political, social, economic, religion and so forth and so on, they (leaders) whom you bestowed national trust upon them, raised our expectations sky high only to disappoint us on many occasions, however, as citizens, we are patiently waiting upon recently appointed authors in your cabinet to introduce their chapters to the nation.

Worse still, sufferings caused by unprincipled leaders who seek scapegoats for their failures and gross incompetence by stringed up tribal hatred among our beloved communities, well-known example is the recently concluded senseless three-year war that eroded our social fabric as South Sudanese society, which I hope the Transitional Government of National Unity should first address problems of internally displaced citizens that are in United Nations Camp before any other thing.

As a committed and staunchest member of the country’s ruling party, Sudan’s People Liberation Movement (SPLM), I felt that South Sudan after attaining her hard–fought sovereignty should not follow the painful path experienced by most African revolutionaries in those liberated countries.

Therefore, what had happened has happened and you are now brought together by the Compromise Peace Agreement on springboard as leaders not opponents in the helm of South Sudanese system again, of which critical scrutiny is requires during selection of various Presidential Advisors.

Mr. President, South Sudanese are desperate to see imminent reforms in the system , whereby political appointees
should value most national cohesion, rather than promoting their narrow political interests that override core principles of nationalism.

As South Sudanese common men and women, we are yearning to see leaders in the system , who internally question themselves, what does South Sudanization,a kind of our nationalism as South Sudanese people means to them and the country that the belong to?

In fact, we have a long journey as South Sudanese people to understand or forge nationalism, the spirit of nationalism is
still hovering in South Sudanese thin air ,though with hope and determination , it will take hold in the sub- consciousness of our people.

“The roots of nationalism are nurtured by people who share a common identity in the form of historical memories, pride, humiliation, pleasure and regrets” , attached to common incidents of the past, According to Historian John Stuart Mill, however, South Sudanese past from Arab rule, would provide a platform for cohesive ideology to command the loyalty of all peoples of South Sudan.

The country Mr. President need devoted Advisors, who will begin to devote vast energies to build a nationalistic ideology, which will command loyalty of all South Sudanese people toward their country and the leadership.

South Sudan as nation indeed needed fearless Advisors, with extra astuteness of judgments and ability to make fast decision on spot, of which a nation like of South Sudan always on edge of tribal wars desperately require.

The Presidential Advisors are the first layers of the government, who commit themselves to noble course of the leadership, and more especially to the country and the people whom they serve.

The great leaders know limit of their own abilities, therefore, they surround themselves with bunch of others capable
men and women who can share objectives and work together with, to achieve them.

It is on this same context that I urge, the leadership of Transitional Government of National Unity to remove obstacles and mistrusts been engendered during two years conflict, just to pave way for sufficient will of implementing the Compromise Peace Agreement on the Resolution on Conflict in South Sudan.

Nevertheless, steering nation from current dire situation faced by our people to prosperity , will not only be left to
President Salva Kiir Mayardit , First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar and Vice President James Wani Igga, but all
members of the cabinet along with South Sudanese masses should amicably engage hand in hand to achieve it.

Mindful of the heated debate stirred by poor representations of some states that emerged after the formation of Transitional Government of National Unity on Thursday 28Th April , 2016 by Presidential Decree , but such nonstop debates will not bring sufficient solutions , unless we put aside our bitterness and rally support to the appointed cabinet to deliver desire results by all South Sudanese people.

To conclude my argument here, as one concerned South Sudanese citizen, I call upon the international community, Troika countries, IGAD, China and Japan, which are the immediate guarantors of South Sudan peace, to step up measures of reinforcing peace implementation, through financial support for amelioration of economic shock experienced by the country.

This peace is only our hope of finding justice, freedom, happiness and prosperity that is in fact our inalienable right as South Sudanese people to enjoy.

By Ater Garang Ariath
The Author is South Sudanese journalist Living in Republic of South Sudan
For any comment, contact at atergarang452@gmail.com

Resolving Madi land grabbed for Dinka by SPLM/A Government stooges

BY: Micheal Okia Amuru, Magwi, MAY/05/2016, SSN;

Do not cheat each other; tell the truth, and the truth will set you free. Long before December 2013, I published an article depicting the act of South Sudan government in Magwi County. The SPLA/M inaugurated Magwi as a county before the independence. The Madi and Acholi were brought together in one County supposedly as good neighbors and above all as a family, because we the Acholi and the Madi ethnic shared a lot of things in common.

As an Acholi, I was critical about some developments in Magwi County, in particular how the government of South is treating Madi people. It was clear that some SPLA generals like JJ Okot and others were directly used by South Sudan government to punish the Madi tribe as the land of Nimule and Mugale was forcefully taken and given to Dinka settlers.

Today, I would like to assure South Sudanese that it was a mistake that Magwi County officials supported the act of violence imposed by the government of South Sudan in Madiland.

As I said it before, and I will mention it again, JJ Okot and his legion that signed a document with SPLA/M in 1980’s on behalf of the Acholi Community against the Madi tribe was a grievous mistake.

As an Acholi, personally I regret when Simon Deng exposed the secret and threatened us for breech of a treaty. Today, I would like to assure South Sudanese that the treaty JJ Okot signed with SPLA/M in the 1980’s was not on behalf of the Acholi tribe.

That was a treaty between JJ Okot, his legion and the SPLA/M. We the larger members of Acholi Community are innocent until Simon Deng exposed the secret in 2014 when some members of our community joined the SPLA-IO.

The claim that Kit, Amee, Opari and Owiny Ki Bul areas belong to us, the Acholi Community, was a nightmarish imagination of SPLA/M and JJ Okot. It was an illusion set to keep us divided so that Dinka can do what they want in Madiland and other part of Equatoria.

SPLA/M claim of land for resettling Dinka in Equatoria is not felt in Madiland only, but across the wide Equatoria region. Nakapal in Taposa land was taken. Yei, Tombura Yambio, Mundri, Juba, Western Bhar el gazal were subjected to the same situation.

Pitching one tribe against another tribe was a policy of SPLA/M and the problem between Madi and Acholi was not exceptional.

Surprise! The same government of South Sudan decided now to grant Madi people a County. The land, Owiny Ki Bul, Opari, Kit and Amee which SPLA/M and JJ Okot and his team signed to be given to us Acholi people was declared by the same government to be land that belongs to Madi people by right and now it falls under Pageri County.

In the first place, I’m glad the government of South Sudan came to its senses to clear the doubts from the minds of those who know nothing about the history of Madi and Acholi people.

On other hand, it was unfortunate because the confusions set by the government and JJ Okot had caused serious damages between the two peaceful ethnic communities. We are neighbours, we are cousins and we are a family.

Now that we the Madi and Acholi learned a lesson from the government. The government was only concerned about the Dinka policy of expansionism, but it does not care about us.

We are in a total dilemma. To be honest, as Acholi, the government of South Sudan had slapped us in the face. We knew the land of Kit, Amee, Opari and Owing Ki Bul belonged to Madi people.

But the policy of SPLA/M exposed us to an illusion which led to the consistent mistake of attacks on the Madi tribe and the Madi people responded violently in self defense and defense of their right to land. There are mistakes from both sides.

Today, I am appealing to both Acholi and Madi community elders. Since the same government had withdrawn their support to JJ Okot and his legion and made a public declaration about the land of Kit, Amee, Opari and Owing Ki Bul as belonging to the Madi people by right and by nature, we now understand the reason why there is too much confusion among us.

The current governor of Imatong State said, “there is no such thing that those lands belong to Acholi tribe, it is politics.” The governor pulled out a document which showed that the disputed land is part of Madiland and no one can argue it.

A lot of people disagreed with me in my previous articles just because they live in the world of illusions, but as a teacher, I vow to tell the truth. It is the Truth which will set us free, not the lies from the government of South Sudan. Those who opposed my previous articles about the Land of Owing Ki Bul, Opari, Amee and Kit as part of Madiland should not sit and watch, but pay attention to the activities of the government of South Sudan.

Now the new era has begun. The Acholi and Madi communities have to do the right thing that will keep us together. Our elders will know how to fix the damages done by JJ Okot and his legion and the government of South Sudan against the Madi people. A true chapter of reconciliation must begin.

I am a teacher and an Adventist. As a Christian, I know it is the right thing to “give to Ceasar what is Caesar’s and to God what belongs to God.”

Although parts of Madiland became an issue in the past, some of us from the Acholi community knew it was not going to be an easy journey to take land which does not belong to us. Thanks to the government of South Sudan for clarification. Such mistakes must cease to exist.

Do not cheat each other, tell the truth and the truth will set you free.

Micheal Okia Amuru
Professional Teacher-Magwi County

Will Juba Government salvage Kenya’s Oil pipeline dream?

By ALLAN OLINGO, TheEastAfrican, MAY/01/2016;

IN SUMMARY:
The EastAfrican has learnt that South Sudan may not be keen on the pipeline deal with Kenya, instead choosing to play its cards safe as it awaits two technical committee reports.
Gabriel Garang Mayik, a Juba-based economist, said that South Sudan currently has no funds to push for a pipeline, so it would avoid any talk of new construction.
Kenya’s Energy and Petroleum Cabinet secretary Charles Keter insists it is not end of the road for Nairobi in the wake of Uganda’s decision to partner with Tanzania for the much needed pipeline.

South Sudan is yet to make a decision on its preferred route for transporting its oil, as it awaits the outcome of talks with Sudan over transfer costs.

Juba was Kenya’s last hope for a partner on the oil pipeline, following Uganda’s recent decision to take its oil to the market through Tanga port in Tanzania. Kenya’s successful pitching and construction of the pipeline was initially hinged on the volume it expected to move from its oil fields and Uganda.

The EastAfrican has learnt that South Sudan may not be keen on the pipeline deal with Kenya, instead choosing to play its cards safe as it awaits two technical committee reports.

One of the committees was formed with Sudan early this year over the disputed transfer costs.

Stephen Dau, South Sudan’s Trade Minister, who last week held the Petroleum docket, told The EastAfrican that he was aware of Kenya’s proposal for the northern route, given that they have been partners under the Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) Corridor project, but had not received any official communication over the same from either the Kenya or Uganda following the recent developments.

“Prior to the talks on the possible route, we were jointly on the Kenyan route with Uganda, but, once alternative routes came up, we decided to let Kenya and Uganda negotiate then we can join later on. Once we have a proposal, our technical teams will meet and advise on the right way forward,” Mr Dau said.

In late January, Sudan offered a fee cut to South Sudan, which culminated into a meeting between the two countries in February.

Mr Dau said negotiations were ongoing with his Sudanese counterpart Mohammed Zayed Awad to have a fluctuating transit fees rate that would be dependent on the prices of the crude globally.

“The new fee would be agreed upon by a technical team in not less than one month. What we have agreed on is in principle but we expect that by now, the technical people will be finalising before we reach the conclusion,” Mr Awad told Reuters.

The EastAfrican has learnt that the new negotiated transit fees could be pegged at below $18 per barrel, subject to the prevailing world crude oil prices.

Juba and Khartoum have over the years been feuding over transit fees leading to disruptions in the flow of crude to the markets. Currently, it is paying $24 per barrel to Sudan.

“The issue with Khartoum is different. We can still negotiate with them on the transfer costs because I believe we have enough oil to transport through both Sudan and Kenya, if they bring to the table a bankable proposal,” Mr Dau said.

Gabriel Garang Mayik, a Juba-based economist, said that South Sudan currently has no funds to push for a pipeline, so it would avoid any talk of new construction.

“The South Sudan government has been hit hard by low oil prices. Back in 2012, when it proposed the construction of the pipeline, crude oil prices were at an all-time high and the government was buoyed by this confidence to even rope in a financier who would have a revenue sharing agreement. They don’t have this advantage now, so they would seek a less costly model with their oil,” Mr Mayik said.

Kenya’s Energy and Petroleum Cabinet secretary Charles Keter insists it is not end of the road for Nairobi in the wake of Uganda’s decision to partner with Tanzania for the much needed pipeline.

READ: Kenya to build own pipeline as Uganda favours Tanga port

Kenya will need $2.5 billion to do the pipeline, with the government expected to offset ten per cent of the cost.

“We will now have to do the needful by identifying where this pipeline will pass and also addressing the finance question. We are only getting 20 per cent of this project’s funding from the exchequer. This means that the difference has to be funded under the public private partnership,” Mr Keter said.

Oil and gas analyst Kibambe Musa said that Kenya’s lone quest for the construction of the pipeline will be in question if it is to transport the Kenyan oil alone.

“In oil projects, numbers are key and this is one bottleneck Kenya will have to overcome to successfully build a commercially viable pipeline. When you look at the numbers Kenya is staring at, they have no choice but convince South Sudan that they stand to gain more through the Kenyan route. They will have to offer the best transfer tariff as the oil industry is sensitive to margins,” Dr Musa said.

South Sudan’s crude production currently stands at about 165,000 barrels per day and, with the new government of national unity in place, it is expected that some of the pipelines will be reopened which will increase the countries production.

Oil company Tullow, with stakes in both countries, has also stated that both Uganda and Kenya’s oil resources can be developed separately, but fell short of providing a financing agreement for the Kenyan pipeline.

But Africa Development Bank regional director Gabriel Negatu said that they are ready to act as a lead arranger for financing of Kenya’s planned oil pipeline.

“Kenya will eventually have to build its own pipeline and we at the AfDB could consider financing a pipeline through our private sector window,” Mr Negatu said. END