Archive for: July 2016

When Killing becomes more affordable than celebrating Independence!

By: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, JUL/12/2016, SSN;

Even by South Sudan’s own standards, the people remain baffled by their President’s weird decision to choose a return to war as a celebratory gift for his people in this month of July 2016 which marks the country’s fifth Independence Anniversary.

Unfortunately that isn’t quite the end of the story. The truth is that the five years of independence have been marked by corruption, incompetence and lawlessness. The leaders even find no shame in openly declaring their lack of readiness to celebrate the country’s fifth independence anniversary because all the money has been spent on war gadgets, lethal weapons, and helicopter gunships.

When fighting broke out in Juba on Friday 8 July just hours ahead of the fifth Independence Day commemorations, there were many people who were not surprised that the fragile peace deal had broken down. It provided even more evidence for those wanting to believe that there will never be peace in South Sudan and crush the hopes of those believing that peace could one day come.

Characteristic of a failing centre of power, it came as a little surprise even after finding itself in this embarrassing situation – completely unable to pay salaries of workers and professionals for months and months and unable to spend on independence anniversary celebrations, President Kiir and his loyal ministers undeniably became mentally crippled.

No wonder they all failed to react quickly enough to prevent the country from sliding back to civil war following the halfheartedly formed transitional government of national unity. All the writings are on the wall for them to read, yet they chose not to.

Now based on the realities on the ground in Juba, South Sudan’s capital city and the seat of its transitional government of national unity, it hardly needs one to be a political scientist to concluded that like peace and democracy, the future of the August 2015 Agreement for Resolution of the Conflicts in South Sudan is hanging by the thread in this troubled country.

As of now the republic of South Sudan is on the verge of collapse unless of course there is some divine intervention. The renewed fighting in the country probably marks the end of the last chapter in the implementation of the peace agreement signed in August 2015.

As of now, and all rhetoric aside, the country has no responsible government in place. The fighting between the two factions who essentially formed the military component of the country’s divided transitional government of national unity institutions, have for all practical purposes long been rendered non-operational as of Saturday 9th July 2016.

In short, anarchy and absence of the rule of Law are now the orders of the day in the country. This may likely continue to be the case until further notice – or sometime to come when Almighty God, the Saviour Lord, chooses to re-bless the people of South Sudan again.

The reasons why the country is on its way back to an all-out far the nationwide, is because President Salva Kiir is not in position to implement the August 2015 Peace Agreement.

If every peace loving South Sudanese believes that the August 2015 Peace Agreement indeed offers the country with a second chance to come out of its conflicts, then they better reconsider President Salva Kiir’s position on the agreement.

Maybe it’s important to recall that President Kiir was very clear when he signed the August 2015 peace agreement and said that it could not be implemented.

In his own words, President Salva Kiir told the IGAD heads of state at the signing ceremony that the agreement was not made to be implemented. For those who have ears, they knew from day one that president Kiir wasn’t going to implement the very agreement that he was ‘forced’ to sign when he detailed the design flaws with the arrangement, saying that the structure of the transitional government of national unity “could be inevitably confrontational.”

He concluded by saying that “(T)he eminent result of trying to implement this agreement would be the total disintegration of the country.”

Of course President Kiir wanted to eat his cake and still have it, and that’s where he went wrong. Looking back from today, one can say that Kiir was aware of the risk he faced in trying to keep the hardliners in his camp on the side, while he compromises to implement the agreement.

It is now easy to conclude that all the foot dragging by Kiir in the implementation of the August 2015 Agreement and the subsequent return of the country to an all-out war at the back drop of the ongoing violence has not only proven that the peace deal has collapsed but it has also proven another important fact that Kiir has no control over his camp – both politicians and army generals.

This is probably the central reason why President Kiir can never implement this peace deal.

So when the suffering masses in South Sudan, especially those who have been displaced once or twice or several times or those who have lost one or several of their loved ones or those who have lost their wealth of entire livelihoods, helplessly hear the United Nation Security Council (UNSC) issuing routine statements like:

“We have urged South Sudan’s leaders to operationalize the security arrangements in the agreement, particularly by establishing Joint Integrated Police units to patrol Juba, empowering the Joint Operations Centre to ensure communication and coordination between forces in Juba, and directing the Joint Military Ceasefire Commission to operate continuously.”

Or hearing the African Union Chairperson saying:

“The peace partners should start working with the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), chaired by H.E. Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana, to ensure scrupulous adherence to the transitional security arrangements.”

The people of South Sudan are left to think that these organisations are not serious given the fact that they have said the same things over and over again but to no effect.

They are also likely to conclude that the thugs now turned rulers in South Sudan are indeed invincible creatures since neither the IGAD and the African Union (AU) on one side, nor the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on the other end, are capable of holding them accountable for the destruction they continue to inflict on these poor and helpless souls.

This time around the statements coming from both the United Nations Security Council and the African Union must be decisive and better still be followed by immediate actions. What the South Sudanese masses need at this crucial moment is action to set the country right.

Unfortunately, all that we hear now is rhetoric which only emboldens the dictator and his cronies to continue with impunity and impede any attempts for the peaceful settlement to the country’s multi-faceted conflicts while remorsefully destroying innocent lives.

Under the very watchful eyes of the international community President Salva Kiir and his chief of staff were still able to unleash their ethnically skewed SPLA soldiers to spread terror and havoc over the city of Wau in the Western Bahr Ghazal.

A house to house ethnic cleansing of the Fertit ethnic minorities was carried out by the president’s loyalist militiamen and SPLA troops, very identical to the Juba massacre of December 2013 in its execution, cover up and preparation.

With these entire track records, one can rightly say that the international community for reasons only known it, has chosen to entrust the implementation of the so-called peace agreement to a president who isn’t even in peace with himself to begin with!

The realities in South Sudan are exceptionally bitter. Everything is in a state of a free fall – from the national currency to the societal values, the human dignity and the virtues.

It is true that under a deranged leadership, a country with a collapsing economy can find it more affordable to kill its own citizens than provide them with the simplest form of independence anniversary celebrations for a hard won independence. This is now a lived with reality in South Sudan!

Author: Dr Justin Ambago Ramba. Reachable at: Justin_ramba@aol.co.uk

SPLA- IO’s Mission to Canada condemns Salva Kiir’s Plan to Capture and Kill Dr. Riek Machar Teny

For Immekiirmacharmalongdiate Release, JUL/11/2016, SSN;

The SPLA-IO’s Mission to Canada condemns in the strongest terms possible underway plans to capture and kill the First Vice President of South Sudan, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, leader of the SPLA in Opposition.

Since Friday, 8 of July to present, the execution plans to eliminate Riek Machar are well underway. Therefore, the SPLA-IO’s Mission to Canada condemns this strongly.

Also, the Mission is here to inform the general public and all the peace loving nations across the globe that the plans to capture and kill the leader of SPLA –IO, Dr. Riek Machar has failed in numerous occasions but not abandoned.

The plan is still intact and being meticulously implemented in the watchful eyes of the international community and the regional players, who in the first place forced Machar to return to Juba with few armed men after opposing his agreed number of 4,920 troops to company him to Juba.

From the sheer silence of the international community and the regional players for the last two days, while IO’ forces were being attacks and still are, from right, left and behind, it’s true that the conspiracy to kill Machar speak volume and has long tentacles.

In this regard, the IO’ Mission to Canada condemns this evil conspiracy unreservedly.

We also like to state that the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir and co-conspirators does not have South Sudan have no intentions for peace. Before our eyes and that of the international community and the regional players, Kiir’s government has refused to implement the peace agreement, discuss its root cause, elect national parliament speaker and intransigently refused justice and accountability hybrid court formed. These are clear indicatives that peace is not there option and no more.

However, these things are matters of the past, but now, Dr. Riek is under siege fighting back assassins with sticks. In so doing, we would like to inform all our gallant forces across South Sudan and the people of South Sudan that we are in the all-out war against the evil regime and heartless killers of Salva Kiir.

This war is real. We must take it seriously. We must not be fooled that there is still peace. Our brave and gallant forces in Juba have been and are still under heavy and merciless attacks from Kiir’s regime.

Salva Kiir’s intention is to capture and kill the chairman. However, our brave forces in Juba are doing their very best to the best of their abilities and last drop of their bloods.

James Nguen
Director of Public Relations SPLA-IO’s
Mission to Canada
Email: jamesnguen@gmail.com

Joint Administration and UN Trusteeship Insulting but not Outlandish – Revisited

BY: Kuir ë Garang, CANADA, JUL/11/2016, SSN

“To say that these are universal problems is to assume that we are solving Africa’s problems. No! This should be about our concern for South Sudan as South Sudanese. We are not Somalians or Congolese”;

We are Still in a Labyrinth:

In 2014, following SPLM’s leadership political indecisiveness and power struggle that’d plunge South Sudan into both political and military confrontation, the talk on UN Trusteeship or Joint Administration gained traction. But like any sociopolitical phenomenon, the idea was received with mixed reactions by South Sudanese intellectuals, political elites and policy institutes. Obviously, the reason for this mixed reaction seem facts-based; but it’s rather a question of our general understanding of patriotism.

On March 27, 2014, I wrote an article in response to one of Sudd Institute’s ‘weekly policy briefs’ of March 11, 2019 by Nhial Tiitmamer and Abraham Awolich. And on April 11 the mentioned authors responded to my article by clarifying some of their postulates and the reason why the ‘brief’ didn’t contain thorough and comprehensive policy analysis and alternative proposals.

It’s been more than two years since then; but given the despondent state of things now in South Sudan, it’s prudent that we re-start the debate in order to remind the South Sudanese leadership of their role and the wretchedness (inadvertent or purposed) that’s become South Sudan.

It’s our role as ‘learned’ and ‘informed’ South Sudanese to speak for the voiceless. It is, unequivocally, our duty to remind South Sudanese intelligentsia that criticism and the analysis of what’s wrong with the political class and the general ideological leaning, is the heart of patriotism; the pivotal center around which national well-being revolves.

While I am not going to respond to Nhial’s and Awolich’s article word by word, I am going to answer some of the questions they raised; or some of the issues they believed I didn’t address. Since this is about policy recommendations and our aspirations for South Sudan’s sociopolitical future, it’s crucial that we honestly debate the fate of the country in an exhaustively informed manner.

Besides, unfortunately, the very conditions that necessitated the debate on Joint Administration and Trusteeship are exactly the same way we first debated them two years earlier or even worse. And even worse, the prospects of any better future are even beleaguer.

Insulting but not Outlandish:

The authors charged that “While saying that a UN trusteeship or joint administration is insulting but not outlandish as we stated, Mr. Kuir fails to state why it is insulting.”

I used the word ‘insulting’ to underscore the fact that having our country taken over and ruled (even for a short time) by a committee of both foreigners and South Sudanese obviously gives an impression to the outside world that we are an incapable lot.

Admittedly, it’s a state of affair which, in all honesty, insults people’s sociocultural realities, their sociopolitical creative capacities, and their intellects.

However, I said the two proposals aren’t ‘outlandish’ because there’s nothing strange, bizarre or peculiar about South Sudan been taken over by a different administrative body given our existing, hopeless realities. And these realities are hampering any formidable developmental path towards the South Sudan we had all hoped for.

Fortunately, the authors realized that their usage of the term ‘outlandish’ was in fact inappropriate. “Perhaps it is a mistake on our side to have chosen such a word without explanation or definition. We think the two proposals are not insulting. They have been proposed out of context,” they wrote. Inappropriate or inapplicable, should have been the terms used instead of outlandish.

Falling Short of Recommending the Proposals:

The other question the authors raised was the reason why I shied away from recommending the two proposals, writing that “Mr. Kuir also fails to state why he declines to recommend the two proposals.”

I see myself as a reasonable South Sudanese so I didn’t recommend the proposals by then because I believed South Sudan still had the capacity to remedy the situation and change the course of things towards the future we crave.

Essentially, things don’t have to be perfect for one to believe that socioeconomic and sociopolitical situations would improve. What’s important are the indications that such a case is a possibility. With peace negotiation on-going then, I assumed a signed agreement after the military crisis would change our mindset; and that a brighter future was a possibility. We can all attest to the fact that that’s not a possibility anytime soon. That, I assume, is clear.

Failure to Analyze the Merits of the Proposal:

As regard to why they didn’t do a proper appraisal of the merits of the two proposals, the authors argued that the merits where already mentioned by the first proponents of the proposals [Hank Cohen & Princeton Lyman et al] and that it would be ‘redundant for us to provide the merits again.” But the authors realized the error in that and added that “Perhaps, it can be considered a mistake on our side to assume that people had read the articles we were critiquing.” It’s of course a mistake not just something that’d be ‘considered a mistake.’

As policy institute scholars, their main goal should be the synthesis of policy ingredients into potentially useable policy products. We should always write to make things easy for our policy consumers not make them do our work. Besides, the context with which we [South Sudanese] write might not be the context with which the authors we refer people to, do.

While it’s crucial and expedient to point readers to the original article, it’s imperative that the authors put the merits not only in their own words but also in their context as South Sudanese. To say that “X has already written about merits so go and read them; I’ll here write about demerits” is rather an odd intellectual stance for policy institute scholars to adopt; and I hope that that is corrected for the benefit of the institute’s readers like me.

Legality of Trusteeship:

Admittedly, this is where the authors seem to have a point when things are taken strictly on face-value without rationalized context in regard to South Sudan.

They wrote that “under the UN Charter, article 78 of chapter XII, a territory that has become a member state of the UN cannot be placed under the UN Trusteeship System because the relationships between the member states are based on the principle of respect for sovereign equality.”

Given the fact that the world had just come out of the horrors and madness of second world war, and many colonized peoples were fighting for independence from their colonial masters, it’s obvious why such a clause was necessary. That chapter XII could be used as a pretext by some nations to ‘legally’ occupy and recolonize others was a reality. A respect for sovereignty of others was meant as a protective clause for UN member states.

However, we need to remember that Chapter XII (“International Trusteeship System”) was initiated as a solution-focused idea to deal with a given problem.

“The United Nations shall establish under its authority an international trusteeship system for the administration and supervision of such territories as may be placed thereunder by subsequent individual agreements. These territories are hereinafter referred to as trust territories,” Article 75 states.

To argue that it should always be applied in the manner in which it was initiated without context is to lose sight of the content of the problem we are talking about. We always need to remind ourselves, as South Sudanese, as to why we are even talking about Chapter XII.

Did it occur to the authors [Nhial & Awolich] that Chapter XII, Article 78, can be amended to include sovereign states in extremely special circumstances?

Isn’t the severity of the problem and the fact that South Sudanese leadership has failed to even show a single way-forward not enough to alarm us? South Sudan is leading nowhere and what we need to talk about now isn’t the fact that “Most fragile states should have been put under the UN trusteeship system, if fragility is an automatic invitation for the UN to take over a country.”

We need to think about what can help end death, political instability and economic hardship in South Sudan. Thinking about why certain solutions aren’t proposed for other fragile states (such as Somalia and Congo DRC for example) is to believe the problem in South Sudan isn’t severe enough yet. And why do we worry about other states?

It’s neither our problem that they are in crisis and neither is it our problem that they’ve never considered “International Trusteeship System”. We need to think about quintessential realities of our nation and our problems.

I can entertain the argument that Joint Administration and Trusteeship cannot work in South Sudan with reasons given. To say that these proposals were presented out of context as the authors had argued, is to ignore the central article of Chapter XII (76). However, the argument that Chapter XII doesn’t apply to our realities in South Sudan is to lose sight of the fact that laws are made, nullified and remade. This therefore takes care of the legality question.

No Convincing Ground for Trusteeship and Joint Administration:

I always assume that the gravity of the problem affects us in the same manner so to say that “the two proposals we assessed do not provide convincing proofs” troubles me. I know the two authors, more than anyone I know, care deeply about South Sudan and they understand the gravity of the problems South Sudan is in more than many of us. However, I don’t know if they realize the impression they convey by saying that there’s no convincing proofs for the two proposals.

Two questions present themselves in this context. Is what isn’t convincing the viability of the two proposals as possible solutions for the problem, or the fact that things are not yet bad enough for us to consider things like trusteeship?

I am convinced that the current systemic problems and the leadership’s inabilities are beyond bad within the current context. It’s simply inconceivable that the current system and leadership is able to ease the suffering of the people and bring in economic and political stability. I am also convinced that:

1. Government officials embezzle funds and get away scot-free
2. Security officials intimidate opponents and the media if they don’t toe the government line.
3. Military intelligence, military police and the national security kill citizens anyhow
4. Inter-tribal relations are at their lowest in all corners of South Sudan
5. There are no functional institutions and structures for sound decision making.
6. There’s no room for political disagreement and debate
7. Government officials say what they want and do what they want.
8. Workers go for months without pay but no one is held accountable
9. Hunger and diseases are a common occurrence
10. Infrastructure are nonexistent

(To say that these are universal problems is to assume that we are solving Africa’s problems. No! This should be about our concern for South Sudan as South Sudanese. We are not Somalians or Congolese)

So to argue that there are no ‘proofs’ is to either be in denial or believe that things need to get worse than they already are now. This would be a terrible state of affairs as South Sudanese have suffered in the most grotesque manner possible. We need to conscionably look at the suffering of South Sudanese to realize that we have convincing proof that alternative methods of governing South Sudan are necessary now. Our suffering civilians are proofs enough.

Alternatives to Joint Administration and Trusteeship:

While the five points Nhial and Awolich present as alternatives are part of the general solution structure, they are merely part of the regular government functionality. What a given, nascent government hasn’t’ done yet isn’t an ‘alternative’ but the goal towards which it is aiming. Below, I summarized and contextual the author’s ‘alternatives.’

1. Liaising with foreign governments for credible skills transfer to South Sudanese to strengthen capacity building
2. Giving assistance in form of goods to curb funds embezzlement
3. Offering cash payment in a conditional manner that helps in changing bad institutional practices and behavior
4. Building accountability model with good cooperation between funders and South Sudanese officials
5. Making sure South Sudanese are assisted in taking over institutional responsibility as foreigners leave. (Please read Nhial’s & Awolich’s original response.)

Unfortunately, these, in my view, aren’t alternatives but what any conventional government SHOULD perform or aim to achieve if it isn’t doing them yet. To call them alternatives is to assume there is something else a government should do.
Viable alternatives aren’t merely prescriptive itemizations, which the current government should execute. South Sudan needs more than that. The leaders have proven beyond any reasonable doubt that they have neither the will nor the capacity to implement any of the ‘alternatives’ the authors mentioned.

What’s required in South Sudan is a complete overhaul of the top governance system and decision-making infrastructure. Assuming that the current leadership will perform the above tasks is to still have confidence in the current leaders; and to still entrust the future of South Sudan and lives of the people into the hands of two men who’ve shown total disregard for human life.

President Kiir recently compared the genuine grievances of the citizens to football fans’ complaints about the performance of the players. That’s to take the lives of the people and their suffering lightly, a dangerous state of mind for a national leader. Dr. Riek Machar asked Stephen Sucker of BBC ‘Hard Talk’ in 2014 who he should apologize to, saying with straight face that “I am the victim.”

These two men can’t work together and they have shown that building military strength around them is their primary objective. Are these the people to implement these ‘alternatives’ or are we expecting a miraculous change in their mindset? The problem in South Sudan isn’t merely what is to be done but WHO is to do it.

And to argue that “South Sudan has been under a UN Mandate in the last 9 years with little to show in terms of political and social stability in the country” is to assume that the UN has a greater role in the actual governance than it actually does.

Why I Entertain Joint Administration or UN Trusteeship:

I need to first remind my readers that should South Sudanese leaders change from self-interested stooges and in their obsession with quest for power and riches at the expense of the people, it would be ridiculous for me to talk of the above two proposals. We are talking about these proposals, not as the ultimate solutions, but as viable alternatives that can give South Sudanese a small room to build their country.

While Trusteeship or Joint Administration wouldn’t be the ‘magic wand’ that’d solve all our problems, there’s a very patriotic, conscionable reason why I would now recommend them.

Embezzlement of public funds:

If the instituted leadership under the mandate of the would-be initiated clause under amended Chapter XII reports to the UN General assembly on regular basis on how developmental money is used, the chances of national funds being misappropriated would be minimized. Most of the development dollars would go to the purpose for which they are intended. Money for roads, hospital, schools, and salaries would easily and transparently go towards the purpose for which they are intended.

Institutional Structures and Decision-Making protocols:

Decision-making now in South Sudan is concentrated in the hand of the president and a few trusted individuals. This allows junior officials who believe the president would back their wild thoughts to say what they want whenever they want. Under the guidance of experts, South Sudanese officials would learn to treat the functionality of institutional structures and administrative protocols based on research facts as sacrosanct.

Impulsive decision-making based on whims would be avoided and new decision-making methods and apparatuses learned. In a situation where a presidential spokesperson overrules two Vice Presidents because he belongs to unquestionable tribe, a nation leads nowhere.

Curbing Insecurity:

Insecurity in South Sudan is caused by lack of accountability. And this lack of accountability stems from the tribalized nature of the security sectors. Having a person, no tribe would accuse of favoritism would be a sound way to make sure the national security sector is not only overhauled but also de-tribalized. The president has his own brand of body guards, who seem to fall outside the regular South Sudanese army.

This forces Vice President Riek Machar to copy the same by having his own brand of body guards. All these contribute to insecurity by fomenting mistrust and fear. The leaders should have a non-tribal secret services to guard them.

SPLM & SPLA:

The historical link between SPLA, which is supposed to be the national army, and SPLM, which is the ruling political party, has proven to be problematic. A Joint Administration or Trusteeship would make sure the way SPLA meddles in the political affairs of the nation is completely checked. Our current leadership isn’t able to ensure that the SPLA doesn’t interfere in political affairs because many politicians use this historical tie to make SPLA an intimidation tool. Most of SPLM’s politicians are army generals.

Media Censorship and Freedom of Speech:

Media is one of the mirrors of society and it’s one way through which government’s performance is discussed. The current leadership sees the media as an enemy rather than a tool to evaluate its performance and inform the nation through unbiased news reporting.

Besides, the manner in which opinion writers and people with different opinions are intimidated or killed, compromises the development of sound national conscience and moral consciousness.

Nations develop when different ideas are allowed and available governance ideologies critiqued thoroughly. This isn’t an atmosphere that’s possible now.

Applying Laws in Practice not Merely having them on Paper:

South Sudanese constitution has guarantees that could ensure the nation develops soundly and freely. Trusteeship or Joint Administration would be led by people who value laws and can apply them rather than using them as smokescreen while using informal, unwritten laws to run the country.

I don’t suggest these things because I don’t care about our sovereignty or the well-being of our civil population. I suggest these proposals because the suffering of our people has become unbearable to me and I don’t see any way forward with the current leadership.

The situation that led to this state of affair is grander than we usually realize. And Mahmood Mandani sums it up brilliantly in this article, Who’s to Blame in South Sudan, in Boston Review that “To think of South Sudan as a failed state is to overlook the simple fact that the very political foundation for the existence of a state—administrative, technical, and legal infrastructure or a political compact as its foundation and direction—has yet to be forged, either within the elite or between the communities that comprise South Sudan. There was no bureaucracy, no judiciary, nothing to fail; the leadership of this non-existent state was propped up and lionized by important sections of the international community, led by the troika, and now the country is in chaos. Rather than a failed state, South Sudan was a failed transition.”

This makes it inconceivable that the said ‘alternatives’ have any leadership or structure to implement them. With this in mind, Mandani’s question becomes imperative: “Is it possible to put together a political authority with the credibility, the vision, and the experience for a task that combines elements of tutelage with that of a democratic project?”

The answer is yes! But the question is the composition of such a ‘political authority.’ The nature of this ‘political authority’ can easily be instituted by the UN, Troika, AU and IGAD and South Sudanese technocrats.
____________________________________________________________________________

Kuir ë Garang is a South Sudanese poet, writer and author living in Canada. He’s currently visiting family in Perth, Australia. To contact the author, visit www.kuirthiy.com

LATEST: Heavy fighting erupts again in Juba, South Sudan’s capital, Machar’s base under attack

Sunday, JUL/10/2016, SSN;

Forces loyal to the vice-president of South Sudan say their positions in the capital, Juba, have been attacked by government troops, reports the BBC.

UN representatives reported heavy exchanges of gunfire near their headquarters in the suburb of Jebel.
The clashes follow days of fighting between supporters of President Salva Kiir and Vice-President Riek Machar.
The violence has raised fears of renewed instability, with a 2015 peace deal failing to quell unrest.

Heavy gunfire was reported on Sunday in the Gudele and Jebel suburbs of Juba, near a military barracks occupied by troops loyal to Mr Machar.

“For about 30 to 40 minutes we heard sounds of heavy artillery in the direction of Jebel area,” an aid worker based in Juba told Reuters.

From Al Jazeera: Latest— Intense fighting has resumed in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, as an increasingly tense security situation threatened to send the young country back to all-out civil war.

Al Jazeera staff in the city on Sunday heard loud booms, characteristic of heavy weapons, and gunfire coming from the area near the airport, which local sources said had closed. In a post on Twitter, Kenya Airways said they had suspended flights to Juba “due to [the] uncertain security situation”.

Gunfire had earlier been heard in the capital’s south-west near an army barracks and a United Nations base.

Violence from Thursday to Saturday killed more than 100 people, mostly soldiers from different armed factions, after gun battles broke out across Juba.

Our correspondent said the latest bout of violence meant “that the hopes of peace were dimming” in the country, which reached its fifth independence anniversary on Saturday.

“These are not good times,” Hendren said on Sunday.

“Two days ago, the presidential palace was struck – that is a major strike into the heart of government here and shows just how shaky it is.

“And on Saturday, the fifth Independence Day was completely silent because Juba was shut down – it was militarily occupied, which is exactly the opposite of what is supposed to happen here under a peace accord in August.”

ANALYSIS FROM JOHN HENDREN IN JUBA

I don’t think anyone here is talking about advancing peace right now.

The president and the vice president have both said they are committed to doing so, and they of course are the rival factions that came together to form this coalition government – but their armies remain separate, they are clashing and have done so over the past week and sporadically before that.

So this obviously dims hopes for peace anywhere in the near future.

The concern is now that if the fighting continues you might have a humanitarian crisis because you will have people trapped in a country where people already are having great difficulty subsisting because of inflation, poverty and other problems here.

So it could be a crisis in the very near future if this fighting does not stop, and that is probably the more immediate concern than the overall peace agreement moving forward – although both the president and the vice president have said they are committed to doing that.

More to follow…………….

South Sudan: A Nation with Two Commanders-in-Chief

BY: Malith Kur, London, Ontario, Canada, JUL/09/2016, SSN;

The clashes that have occurred in Juba this week have not come as a surprise to most South Sudanese. It was a matter of time before those clashes could take place. They are a result of the political and military experiment that the Troika countries and their passive partners represented by the IGAD nations and the AU are trying in South Sudan.

The experiment to have two rival armies and two rival commanders-in-Chief in one country has no precedent in history. This arrangement was not designed to stabilize the situation in South Sudan, but it was designed in haste for a number of reasons.

First, the arrangement was planned to punish the government for expelling the UN envoy, Hilde Johnson, because of her open support to Mr Machar. Ms Johnson represented the interests of the Troika countries in South Sudan, not the interests of the UN.

The Troika countries feel that they are the guardians of South Sudan’s independence because they supported and sponsored the peace agreement between the Sudanese government and the SPLM/A up to the declaration of independence on July 9, 2011.

They are also the donors who support 90% of the developmental schemes and the humanitarian work in the country. For these reasons, they want to have a greater say in the political and military arrangements in the country.

As all of us followed the process of negotiations in Addis Ababa, the agreement was not a result of negotiations between the government of South Sudan and the rebels. The agreement was prepared and imposed on the country to counter the tendency from the political and military leaders in Kiir’s regime to ignore the interests of Troika countries.

Second, the Troika countries want to see a regime change in South Sudan. The clauses in this agreement have a potential to do just that. They want to install a government that listens and heeds their policies in the region.

Since South Sudan emerged as an independent nation in 2011, the policy makers in Kiir’s government have been leaning towards China economically and perhaps politically. These moves have strained the good relationships that once existed between South Sudan and the United States during George Bush’s presidency.

Therefore, the Agreement for the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) was designed to facilitate the Troika nations’ policy of regime change to reduce Chinese influence in the country.

When Mr Kiir fired Riek Machar as Vice President, the Troika countries saw him as the perfect man to oust Kiir from power. But when the possibility of overthrowing Kiir from power through military means failed, the peace agreement was devised to make it difficult for Kiir to retain power.

Third, some IGAD nations, particularly Ethiopia, Sudan, and Kenya are silently working to facilitate regime change in South Sudan. These countries have diverse interests in South Sudan. Ethiopia, for instance, wants to please its Nuer’s population and keep their support in favor of the ruling party in Ethiopia.

Addis Ababa has been the headquarters of Riek Machar for the last two years and has been providing refuge and training to the rebels. The Ethiopians are doing this work with the American approval.

Sudan, on the other hand, is a natural ally of Riek Machar. The alliance between the National Islamic Front (NIF) regime in Khartoum and Riek Machar dates back to the time when the SPLM/A split in 1991. This alliance allowed the government of Bashir to extract oil in the South during the war.

In addition to this alliance, stable South Sudan is not in the interest of Sudan because of Abyei and other border issues. As a result, Bashir provides weapons and other logistics to the rebels led by Riek Machar to keep South Sudan unstable indefinitely.

As for Kenya, the regime led by Uhuru Kenyatta has territorial ambitions in South Sudan and has found Riek Machar as an ally who could fulfill these ambitions.

Kenya, since the conflict began in 2013 in South Sudan, has been welcoming Riek Machar as if he were the president of South Sudan in waiting, and last year, on the eve of South Sudan’s independence, Riek Machar declared in Nairobi that Kiir’s government and all its institutions were null and void because its mandate had expired.

Can Kenyan opposition parties do this in Juba without protest from the government of Kenya? Mr Kenyatta wants to squeeze the regime in Juba to allow the annexation of the Ilemi Triangle to Kenya without opposition from South Sudan’s government.

Therefore, the agreement that was signed in August 2015 was a product of these competing interests, not for the interest of peace in South Sudan.

Had the agreement been designed for the consolidation of peace in South Sudan, the provision that set up two rival armies and two rival commanders-in-chief in one country should have never been contemplated, leave alone being part of the accord.

This accord is bound to fail and the Troika nations along with their partners in IGAD and the AU bear greater responsibility for trying something they cannot do in any other countries but only in South Sudan.

Most South Sudanese do not support the existing side by side of two hostile forces in the country, but because of the regional and international competing interests in the Republic of South Sudan, public opinion has been ignored.

The voice of the majority in the country is regarded by foreigners as a tribal agenda in order to weaken the authority of the government. This unrestrained outside interference in the political affairs of South Sudan has encouraged lawlessness and legitimized rebellion in the country.

But the government of South Sudan has its share in this game. The regime in Juba has squandered its legitimacy by allowing individual politicians a free rein to steal public resources without consequences. This practice has left the country bankrupt and dependent on aid.

Now the economic situation in South Sudan has deteriorated to the point of uncertainty. The country has become the largest refugee camp on the global map. At this point, the UN and its agencies are now the de facto government because they are the ones meeting the daily needs of the population.

The only thing that will stop bloodshed is for the signatories of the Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan to return to the drawing board and establish a clear political roadmap to build peace across the country.

The agreement in its current form — particularly the provision of having two rival commanders-in-chief and two rival armies in one country — will not work because it lacks popular support. The agreement needs to be reviewed for the interest of peace in South Sudan.

Malith Kur
London, Canada
Malith_kur@yahoo.ca

Little to celebrate on independence day as South Sudan turns five

BY: AFP, JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN, JUL/08/2016, SSN;

In Summary:
Tens of thousands have died in a civil war since December 2013 that has left the economy in ruins, forcing the government to abandon independence celebrations for the first time since secession from Sudan.
The International Crisis Group (ICG) has warned backers of a stalled peace process to act “urgently” to save it “and prevent the country from returning to full-scale combat”.

South Sudan marks five years of independence on Saturday with celebrations cancelled in the face of a deepening hunger crisis and fears the world’s youngest country could slide back into war.

Tens of thousands have died in a civil war since December 2013 that has left the economy in ruins, forcing the government to abandon independence celebrations for the first time since secession from Sudan.

The International Crisis Group (ICG) has warned backers of a stalled peace process to act “urgently” to save it “and prevent the country from returning to full-scale combat”.

The conflict has triggered a humanitarian crisis with over two million people forced from their homes and almost five million in need of emergency food — over a third of the population.

“Life is as bad as it has ever been in South Sudan,” said human rights lawyer David Deng, pointing to soaring inflation, rising attacks by gunmen, hunger and intense distrust between rival forces.

“If this situation isn’t salvaged soon, I feel we may be looking at a protracted conflict every bit as bad as the 22-year war” that preceded secession, Deng said.

Prices of goods and services have soared since 2011, with inflation running at almost 300 percent, and the currency slumping by 90 percent this year.

“The fact that government does not have money to celebrate the anniversary highlights the magnitude of the economic problem,” said James Alic Garang, an economist with the Juba-based Ebony Centre think tank.

‘PREPARING FOR WIDESPREAD CONFLICT’

After a 1983-2005 civil war, the country split from Sudan on July 9, 2011, following a referendum six months earlier.

Since then South Sudan has fought a brief war with old enemy Sudan over oil, before turning on itself in a civil war that broke out in December 2013.

Rebel chief Riek Machar returned to the capital in April as part of a peace deal which saw him become vice president, forging a unity government with President Salva Kiir.

Yet fighting continues.

Babikr Yawa, a mother of three, fled fighting last month in the Kajo-Keji district, close to the border with Uganda.

“We are suffering here. There is no food, no good shelter,” Yawa said. “What we want is that President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar should end the conflict.”

‘EPIC CORRUPTION’

In June, fighting in the town of Wau — now the country’s second city after Malakal, Bor and Bentiu were razed during the war — forced some 88,000 people to flee their homes, with almost 20,000 seeking shelter beside a UN base.

The peace deal is simply being ignored, the ICG said.

“Formerly warring parties are now flouting it and increasingly preparing for widespread conflict,” ICG said.

“Unless something is done, it is a matter of only a little time before there is a return to war, and the agreement collapses.”

The mood on the streets is very far from the celebrations of 2011.

Earlier this year UN chief Ban Ki-moon recalled the sense of euphoria, “the pride, the spirit, the hope”, when he witnessed the raising of the new country’s flag at independence.

Speaking after his last visit in February, Ban spoke instead of how “that hope has been betrayed… by those who put power and profit over people” in a speech citing “massive human rights violations and epic corruption.”

‘HOW CAN WE SURVIVE?’

The economic collapse is driving unrest and threatening peace, aid workers say.

“A peaceful South Sudan cannot be built without solid foundations,” said Oxfam’s country chief Zlatko Gegic. “South Sudan’s economy is in crisis. Without economic reform, its people will continue to suffer and the fragile peace process will be jeopardised.”

A kilogramme of sugar that used to cost eight South Sudanese pounds now costs 30, while a 50-kilogramme bag of white flour that once sold for 180, now costs 1,200.

“We are just living in problems and nothing is good,” said Etisam Ahmed, sitting in a market on the dusty streets of Juba. “We are just here by God’s grace. If you go to the market today and buy something, tomorrow you will find the price has increased. So how can we survive?”

More than 160,000 civilians are living in UN-guarded camps across the country — down from a peak of more than 200,000 at the height of the war — a clear indicator that many feel it is still too dangerous to go home.

South Sudanese say that there is no doubt independence was the right choice, but many are deeply saddened by the turn their nation has taken and are yet to see the benefits of peace.

“I think it will be hard to find a South Sudanese person who regrets independence, despite all that has happened,” Deng said.

“That’s not to say that independence was the silver bullet that people made it out to be at the time. It is clear now that even without the role of Khartoum.

BREAKING NEWS: Renewed Fighting between Kiir’s and Machar’s SPLA forces in Juba as many killed

From various sources, JUL/08/2016, SSN;

Heavy fighting has erupted inside South Sudan’s presidential palace as President Salva Kiir allegedly attempted to arrest his first deputy, Riek Machar, official sources have said.

There is heavy fighting going on near the Presidential Palace in Juba as we speak,” James Gatdet Dak, Machar’s spokesperson told Sudan Tribune.

He said the fighting started outside the Palace when President Kiir’s security forces opened fire on bodyguards of the First Vice President, Riek Machar, who was inside the Palace for a presidency meeting.

Dak said Machar was called to President Kiir’s office by the President for a Presidency meeting to discuss the clashes which occurred between their forces on Thursday evening.

He said after Machar arrived at the Palace and as the meeting was about to start, heavy shooting started near the Palace.

“I just want to say Dr. Machar is safe under the protection of his bodyguards,” Dak said, without giving more details.

Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said the fighting in South Sudan’s capital Juba today shows the country’s warring parties are not committed to peace process.

Ban said he is “deeply alarmed” by the fighting which engulfed the city today.

“This outbreak of hostilities in the capital, on the eve of the country’s fifth anniversary of independence, is yet another illustration of the parties’ lack of serious commitment to the peace process and represents a new betrayal of the people of South Sudan, who have suffered from unfathomable atrocities since December 2013,” Ban said.

“I urge President Kiir and First Vice-President Riek Machar to put an immediate end to the ongoing fighting, discipline the military leaders responsible for the violence and finally work together as partners to implement the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan,” the top UN official said.

He said he is also gravely concerned by resurgence of violence in Wau and Bentiu, warning that it could lead to a dramatic deterioration of the security situation across the country.

“I demand that international humanitarian law be respected and also that unfettered access to those in need by United Nations and humanitarian partners be ensured,” he said.
——————————————

FROM RADIO TAMAZUJ, JULY/08/2016, SSN;

South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir, first vice president Riek Machar, and vice president stood together and spoke while gunfire echoed outside the presidential palace in the capital Juba Friday night.

Heavy gunfire including artillery fire has been heard from around the presidential compound since about 5:30 pm. Tanks were seen moving around the compound.

According to Kiir, the three men were meeting to discuss the incident of Thursday night when five soldiers were killed in a skirmish in Gudele between SPLA and SPLA-IO forces.

“What is happening outside is something that we cannot explain to you,” said Kiir. “Three of us were sitting inside here meeting, discussing the situation of yesterday what happened in Gudele and then talking about what we can do in the implementation of the agreement and to build confidence among the forces and the civil population.”

According to a witness, there is more heavy gunfire exchanged at Juba Bridge around Gumbo area, spreading toward Cherikat, causing citizens to flee.

Meanwhile, James Magok Chilim, director for South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation, appeared on SSBC and asked the public not to run but to remain in their homes.

More to follow…
————————————————–

PRESS RELEASE: JMEC calls for immediate cessation of fighting as fresh fighting breaks out in Juba and pres. Kiir soon to address the nation.

If anyone calls Juba, you can very clearly hear the sound of gunshots. As I report, fighting is on-going, reportedly it started around J-I, the president’s residence, where allegedly a meeting between the two sides was taking place.

—————

JMEC is deeply concerned by recent episodes of fighting in many parts of the country. As the organization mandated to monitor and evaluate the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, the Commission deems such conflict could be in flagrant violation of the permanent ceasefire agreement. These incidents continue to entail significant loss of innocent lives and destruction of property. Recent reports indicate that in Wau, more than 40 people have died and approximately 90,000 people have been displaced – out of which an estimated 12,000 are currently under the protection of UNMISS. Another 60,000 of the displaced are sheltered at various sites, including schools and churches.

In the same manner, the security situation in Juba is deteriorating. Reports of shooting at various sites, targeting innocent citizens and some members of the international community present in Juba to support the people and government of South Sudan in their pursuit to restore peace and stability in the country.

Reports of exchange of fire between the armed groups of SPLM-IG and SPLM-IO are also worrisome.

JMEC calls on all the parties to refrain from the use of force and engage in dialogue to ensure the implementation of the peace agreement in letter and spirit. It is high time to train and deploy the Joint Integrated Police to assume the full responsibility for security in Juba. The full operationalization of Joint Integrated Police (JIP) and Joint Operation Centre (JOC) should be addressed as a matter of priority. JMEC calls on the Transitional Government of National Unity to do its utmost to reduce the number of incidents across the country that are contributing to an environment of instability, violence and impeding citizens from leading normal and peaceful lives.

JMEC Secretariat
July, 8th 2016

Bishop Rocco Taban: A temptation & disgrace, the Catholic Church should take administrative action

BY: Kon Joseph Leek, JUL/07/2016, SSN;

It was sometimes in May [2016] when a number of aggravated youth carried postcards in to Emmanuel Cathedral [Episcopal Church] demonstrating the allowance of Dr. Riek to pray there a week before. Again, last week [26th June], the presiding Monsignor Rocco Taban Mousa, the Catholic Apostolic Administrator for Malakal [having powers equivalent to that of a bishop] turned into less of what he really is by whimsically crossing beyond his territory by imaginatively rolling out of the priest’s attires.

The Monsignor might have been out of his senses that time that perhaps made him forgot where he was, he filled his heart with hatred and vomited out a quantity of poisons in the holy place!

This was what he said as sourced from Radio Tamazuj: “More than 100,000 people are in the bush being displaced by their own government. This is the country we have chosen, this is the country we have voted for its independence so that our country displaces us, our Country. We are ruled really by monkeys, we have to be very clear we are ruled by monkeys.

And the governor who was protecting people in Wau, who was loved by the people in Wau, General Elias Waya, was removed by the presidential decree and being displaced by a mad man. Do we love our country? Do we love this nation?” End of quote.

And so far the president of the republic did not say even a word. In Australia, three people were killed three days ago. The prime minister came out three times a day to make a statement because of three Australians!

“They are eating, and drinking and sleeping. Devils! These are devils! We are ruled by devils and we are sorry for them.

We don’t want to call fire on them because we will go against Christ, but they have to understand that they are devils and they are ruling us with evil powers. They are criminals. Praise be Jesus Christ”. Monsignor Rocco Taban Mousa on Sunday 26th, June at St. Joseph Church Juba.

This exaggerated hypothesis from the priest was acting as antidote to his illusive pain of the claim that it is the government killing the people, yes, the government carries some blame on how the 2013 war came in the first place but the national quagmire now is a shared responsibility for us all.

We have [Monsignor Rocco included] a shared responsibility of talking to ourselves to accept ourselves through peace and reconciliation not through hate speech that amounts to incitement and later aggravates more hatred that results into more deaths [whether we want it or not, we have to accept ourselves for our co-existence]

Hearing this, you get to wonder what is going on. What is the church turning to be? Many churches are supporting gay rights, some pastors are committing abominable things like adultery, killing, some raping, others stealing, the rest committing pedophilia and come to the church and begin shouting “praise be to the lord!”

Lord! Which Lord? Those are the category of Monsg. Taban [is possibly coming from] of whom I am requesting the Catholic Church to dismiss him or take some disciplinary actions against him such that he doesn’t disgrace the church next time.

The Catholic Church need to look for ways of dealing with such imperious, puerile psychopathic priests.

Impetuous Rocco’s demagogic posture and oratorical nature hit the most climax that sent many in to hysteria [invigorated women to ululate as if they were in a marriage ceremony] and others marched out of the church.

Whatever he said is good to him and his supporters but my problem of which I believe the Catholic Church also knows and accepts it as true, is that the choice of the podium is inappropriate, it couldn’t have been on the pulpit-sacred place! but somewhere outside the church.

The priest had succeeded in his own way by slurring the congregates away from what they came there for.

Well, it is undeniable fact that many of these priests are living embodiments of what they preach but for this Rocco guy it’s just too much and open, preaching wrong thing in the right place in the earshot of everyone!

We just came out of war, some pockets of fighting that are going on do not need to be refreshed with hate speeches and taunting. The stand of the church is love as a holy place where we are supposed to talk of cooperation and rehabilitation not incitement like Rev. Rocco Taban.

I have personally stopped going to the churches these days until further notice because my psychic tells me that one day war will break out of the church. What is going on is quiet mundane and no one cares.

It was in the Episcopal Church last time from some youth and it is now in the Catholic church from the church leader! Let’s wait the other denominations.

It makes one to ask himself that, “Are some church administrators being too assiduous to dismantle the stand of the church to the public?”

In short; the Catholic Church’s authority, to clear the snow on this Rocco guy whose behaviors suddenly dominated the media needs to be de-horned in order to know the reach of his horn when it comes to how the church performs its activities or duties.

This is another character that is a clear symbol of Catholic Church’s administrative stereotype [to the negative perception] if not addressed.

The writer is a commentator on contemporary
Issues, he is reachable on j.konleek@gmail.com

Popular Struggles and Elite Co-optation: The Nuer White Army in South Sudan’s Civil War

The Small Arms Survey’s Human Security Baseline Assessment (HSBA) for Sudan and South Sudan project is pleased to announce the release of a new Working Paper by John Young.
http://www.smallarmssurveysudan.org/fileadmin/docs/working-papers/HSBA-WP41-White-Army.pdf

JUL/07/2016, SSN;

This paper reviews the limited literature on the history, organization, and operation of the White Army in the context of the civil war that erupted in December 2013. Based primarily on interviews, it provides a broad picture of the contemporary white army and attempts to give its fighters a human face.

Second, and in particular, it examines the motivation of white army fighters, their understanding of the war and the peace agreement, what they want for the future of South Sudan, their response to accusations of human rights abuses, and other issues.

The white armies of the Eastern Nuer figured prominently in Sudan’s second civil war (1983–2005), were a major source of instability during the transitional and independence period (2005–13), and served as the main fighting force of the opposition to the government in the South Sudanese civil war that broke out in December 2013.

Despite the long and significant role of the white armies in these conflicts, no major studies of them have been published and only a handful of less than comprehensive research papers.

As a result, the role, interests, organization, hierarchy, relationship to other political and military actors, and general attitudes of white army fighters are poorly understood.

One of the objectives of this study is to attempt to understand how white army fighters view the war and assess their attitudes to the peace agreement and peace process at the time of writing.

The second component of this study takes up issues of a ‘technical’ nature, in particular a comparison with other irregular South Sudanese forces, the organization of the white army, its leadership and hierarchy, its links to Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO) regular forces, its components, recent internal changes, and the way in which it fought government forces.

The study is also based on the conviction that the interests of the white army fighters need to be addressed, even though they are poorly articulated and understood, if there is to be any hope for sustainable peace in South Sudan.

Among the paper’s key findings:
The war of the Eastern Nuer white armies against the Government of South Sudan was a popular war that had the almost complete support of the communities from which the fighters came and involved very little outside support.

The white armies of the Eastern Nuer can be distinguished from other community-level youth-based self-defence groups and militias that developed in South Sudan by their measure of autonomy from external military and political forces, lack of a formal military hierarchy, internal mobilization, strong links to the fighters’ communities, and capacity to fight beyond these communities for broader objectives.

The 1991 attack on Bor led by Riek Machar marks the birth of the Nuer white army, and that attack involved widespread abuse of civilians and looting that were motivated by deep-seated hatred of the Dinka and a desire for revenge.

White army attacks on government-held towns in Jonglei and Upper Nile in the wake of the mid-December 2013 killing of Nuer civilians in Juba, which white army fighters held to be the responsibility of Dinka in general and President Salva Kiir in particular, involved similar motives.

It is common to attribute the December 2013 war to a power struggle within the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) leadership, and both the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)-led negotiations and the Arusha SPLM reconciliation talks were based on this assumption, and thus have focused on elite power sharing and SPLM reconciliation.

However, not one white army fighter interviewed during the course of this research said that this was his motivation for fighting, and nor did any of them say they fought because Riek Machar was removed from the vice presidency or to gain positions for Nuer in a post-conflict government.

Without exception, the fighters said the reason they fought was revenge for the killing of Nuer civilians and family members in Juba in mid-December 2013 and to free members of their families from government-occupied towns.

Although SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar claimed in testimony to the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan (AU CoISS) that from 17 December 2013 he was in control of all the armed opposition forces, which necessarily includes the white army, this claim is not borne out by this study.

An examination of the history of the white armies going back to 1991 suggests that neither he nor anyone else can be said to control them, and nor did Riek or his representatives have any role in the mobilization of the white army after the Juba killings.

Lam Akol’s statement to the commission of inquiry that Riek ‘took over a rebellion that was not his’ (AU CoISS, 2014, p. 131) is thus an accurate assessment.

It is the white army and not the black or regular forces of the SPLM-IO that largely captured the government-controlled towns of Jonglei and Upper Nile, but the fighters’ lack of interest in sustained military operations meant that they soon returned home, leaving the towns to the regular SPLM-IO forces, who proved incapable of holding them.

Although attacks by white army fighters on government-held towns has led to the popular perception of them as wild, violent, and beyond control, in their home areas they have generally been well behaved, followed the direction of elders and the civil authorities, and are being used by local SPLM-IO administrations as an important element in preserving security.

The fact that Salva Kiir, whom the white army fighters hold responsible for the killing of Nuer civilians in Juba, remains the president of South Sudan and the continuing presence of Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) soldiers in the white army’s homeland means that, irrespective of the signing of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan, white army fighters do not recognize that the war has ended, at best only a ceasefire exists, and in the present circumstances there can be no consideration of a civilian disarmament process, which is critical to any sustainable peace.

The SPLM-IO has made no effort to politically educate the white army fighters and as a result most of them fought simply out of a desire for revenge and hatred of the Dinka.

But the limitations of this approach are becoming clear and the fighters are not happy with the outcome of the war, are increasingly distrustful of the SPLM-IO leadership and the peace agreement, and a minority have concluded they have been betrayed and want to resume the war.

Popular Struggles and Elite Co-optation (HSBA Working Paper 41) is available for download from http://www.smallarmssurveysudan.org/fileadmin/docs/working-papers/HSBA-WP41-White-Army.pdf

For more information, please contact:
Yodit Lemma
HSBA Project Coordinator
Small Arms Survey
yodit.lemma@smallarmssurey.org

Human Security Baseline Assessment (HSBA) for Sudan and South Sudan
Small Arms Survey
Maison de la Paix, Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2E
1202 Geneva, Switzerland
www.smallarmssurvey.org
www.smallarmssurveysudan.org
Follow the HSBA on Twitter (@Sudan HSBA) and Facebook (Sudan HSBA – Small Arms Survey)

Collo Community Council Position on opening the Nile route from Renk to Juba.

To : H.E Festus G. Mogae, Chairman of Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission(JMEC) Juba , Republic of South Sudan.

Your Excellency,
Collo Community Council is writing to you in response to the statement made by the Minister of information, Michael Makuei Lueth in regard to the above mentioned subject.

Allow us to remind you that on 22/5/2016, Collo Community Council wrote and sent you a letter to inform you and alert your office about the movement of a large Government force from Juba to Malakal. A big portion of that force had already crossed and occupied Collo villages of Detang, Lelo and Warajwok on the western bank of the White Nile.

This move is a prologue to launching a full scale war to kill, displace Collo civilian population and grab their land in order to resettle Dinka Padang including Ngok Dinka of Abyei there in, which is the ultimate and strategic goal of President Silva Kiir and his Jieng Council.

In this regard, the request of Mr. Michael Makuei Lueth, the Minister of Information and Spokesman of TGONU to open the Nile route from Renk to Juba on the pretext of transporting food items is too naive to fool us.

Mr. Lueth’s message is a feeble attempt to mislead the public and the international community by hiding the real intention of his government. We hope no one is deceived particularly credible institutions like JMEC.

In actual fact there is no dura grain available in Renk at the moment because insecurity has prevented the farmers from cultivating the food crop since the December 2013 war erupted.

The truth is that President Kiir, his Jieng council and their allies want to use the opportunity of opening the Nile route to load the barges with soldiers, ammunitions and military hardware and equipment for their eminent full scale war on Collo Community land on the Western bank of the White Nile. River route is so crucial for weapons that can’t be easily brought in by aircraft.

Collo Community Council is aware that relief operations across conflict lines are usually done by credible and neutral organizations. Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) was so successful in delivering relief food to former government of Sudan and SPLM areas. The same process could be applied in South Sudan if there were real concern for saving lives that are being threatened by hunger and starvation.

After all, is the government of South Sudan ready to open parts of the river routes under its control? No, of course.

At the moment no Collo person can move from UNMISS camp in Malakal to the river bank. No one can go from Malakal to Waw Collo and vise versa. Collo fishermen trying to fish on the western side are being shot at by government soldiers and their militia controlling the east side of the White Nile.

Since the inception of the current war the government in Juba has never allowed relief barges to deliver food to Collo land. Early this month government soldiers opened fire on NGO’s boats going to Waw Collo displaced camp to assess the situation after a long time without assistance.

It is indeed a poor performance of its created drama that Juba government is calling for opening Nile routes. We volunteer to inform everybody that it was that Government that closed the Nile route in the first place when the war intensified. D

eplorably, it refused to allow international humanitarian agencies to use the Nile route to ship food to needy people outside its areas of control. It employed that methodology to punish the rebels, forgetting (or perhaps knowingly) that it was also punishing innocent citizens, particularly Collo community, who were not party to the baseless war between Kiir and Machar.

However, if the Juba regime is waking up so late to recognize the importance of peace, which should be the basis for opening cross conflict routes, we may want to know what parts or sections of the agreement it is ready to implement.

Is it not that government that is insisting on the 28 states, which grabbed Collo land and lands of other tribes in South Sudan? Is it not the same government that is putting obstacles on the formation of peace implementation committees?

Collo Community Council is well aware about the severe hunger that is affecting many parts of South Sudan. Yet we are equally aware that relief assistance is not a priority to the government of Juba. The general welfare of the citizens is not its priority either.

That government’s top priority is hanging to power at any cost even if that means murdering all the people of the country or leaving them to die of hunger and disease. That is why it has been savagely killing civilians in Collo land since 2009.

As said earlier it has not been allowing relief food to Collo land. The same pattern of killing has been recently applied in Raga and Wau of Bahr El Ghazal. No one should be surprised if that is replicated in all parts of South Sudan.

In view of the above we are urging JMEC, UN, IGAD, AU, TRIOKA and the entire International Community to intervene and stop this unprecedented killing of citizens by its own government. This government must be made to understand what peace means to human beings and obliged to implement the peace agreement to the letter.

The starting point in implementing the peace agreement is none other than scraping the illegal and controversial 28 states and re-instating the lawful 10 states, which the agreement stipulates. All orders that Kiir unilaterally made should also be abolished immediately and peace enforcement committees activated.

Please accept our highest regards.
Samson Oyay Awin, Chairman of Collo Community Council
Khartoum Sudan.
CC: UN Secretary General,NY,USA
CC: Chairperson of UN Security Council, NY, USA
CC: Chairperson , AU , ADDIS ABABA , Ethiopia
Chairperson ,EU, Brussel, Belguim.
CC: Troika Countries(USA,UK &Norway)
CC:Chairperson, Human Rights Violation ,Geneva,
CC: Chollo members of Legislature Assembly, National Assembly, Juba.
CC: Chollo community members in USA, UK,Austalia and the rest.