Archive for: August 2016

Peace and Stability can return to South Sudan as result of Good Political Discourse

BY: Gabriel Pager Ajang, Political Science and History Instructor, USA, 11/AUG/2016, SSN;

US President Washington knew it better than many of his successors, peace and stability are more important than the presidency. James Madison, vice president and Thomas Jefferson, his secretary of state disagreed while serving in Washington administration. They disagreed over policies and directions the United States could take at that time.

Nevertheless, Washington did not like political parties. He did not like the fact that Jefferson and Madison had formed their own parties. And he articulated his points at his Farewell Address Speech to the nation. He declared that he would not seek second time for presidency because that would not serve national interest—it can only play into simmering divisions and conflicts.

He alluded in his speech that he never wanted to be part of political parties. He suggested that he was better off to remain above national politics and a true nationalist. He thought that his accomplishments were enough to solidify his legacy, at least in his opinions: he led the revolutionary war, won and gained independence. Washington allowed Jefferson and Madison to engage citizens in political discourse that would be vital to America’s political history for centuries to come.

Washington knew very well that United States constitution provides political parties a forum for debate, liberty and election. Hence he delineated his opinions from constitution. Those very decisions Washington made were fundamental to peace and stability at the inception of United States. Citizens were given voice and rights to political participation from the onset.

This is vital to emphasize because once you eliminate voices of people from national discourse you risk conflict and war. So as long as leaders of South Sudan focus what game can be employed and who can be employed to get which constituencies as means of clinging to power– war and instability would continue to define South Sudan future.

Only honest political discourse among leaders and citizens can bring peace and stability to South Sudan not allocation of positions among elites.

Therefore appointing Riek as vice president, deployment of security forces to Juba and silencing voices of citizens in pivotal political discourse would never bring peace and stability.

Peace and stability would come to South Sudan when leaders stop backroom deals, bargain games and be honest to the nation. Peace and stability would return to South Sudan —when people are given forum to voice their opinions and their rights.

There is no normal citizen that would support a government that does not give salt to you or your family. Country is not something that people wear on their sleeves…it is a tool that provides families with health care, security, education, roads, housing and many more but if the government does not provide basic need, citizens to have options to find other leaders.

Apparently, South Sudan had accomplished the following since time of Dinosaur:
1. To his credits, Kiiir had achieved destruction of Riek Machar’s career and his dreams of presidency. And I may add, Riek’s career was destroyed at expense of all citizens’ lives and national resources. Why would you sacrifice so many lives for a person you can beat in an election. My own dad would beat Riek in an election let alone Kiir mayardit.

2. United States government had built tarmac road between juba and Nimule.
South Sudan government hasn’t implemented any of her ambitious programs since 2005 and it simply has not because it lacks capacity building and institutions to deliberate on real issues. Insane citizens can wear their sovereignty on their sleeves but the current sovereignty does not exist if the country does not offer basic security.

The government had a responsibility to protect all her citizens and if the government does not protect its citizens, it loses her sovereignty. This is reminiscent of miscarriage, once your wife lost her first unborn child; you are not called a father of child.

It a political suicide to en gage in a political discourse that yields no results at all. Not a single statements from Juba pertaining South Sudan’s aspirations had been proved to be true….and that alone is concerning. It concerns me for senior government officials to be saying. A lie travels faster than truth and history proves that truth win at the end. Only truth will bring peace and stability to South Sudan.

It is self-deprivation to think that the country belongs to you and you have all rights to silence particular groups of communities who have equally sacrificed like you in the liberation struggles. It is self-defeating and destruction to think that if I constantly lie to the world and citizens, they would believe me. It is self-defamation to continue to say that these groups are the most corrupt in South Sudan, for instance G10, when you–yourself is corrupt to the core.

I would certainly agree that challenges and issues facing South Sudan are becoming problematic and complex each day. It is now very clear that South Sudanese people have legitimatized and affirmed division as a powerful tool of governing a state.

Tribalism is used to inject fear into citizens. The fear of unknown has clouded South Sudan since 2005. Citizens of South Sudan are brained washed to solely secure the principal leaders.

Dinka and Nuer are lionized to finish each other while leaders watch it like movie on a television. Folks killed themselves and their killing is affirmed and legitimatized by Juba and Fagak Leaders and their surrogates advanced hatreds to maintain powers. Juba surrogates argued that Riek is a terrorist and monster. The man had killed people in 1991. This argument was not engineered by Bor intellectuals. It was started in early 2013 by people like Gordon Buay and his cohorts in Nuer community, folks who saw it best for them to push Riek off the rail of leadership to get employments. They didn’t know that this saga would cost lives. This idea that Riek would stage a coup d’état to secure state arsenals was sold to Juba surrogates. It was never within to stage a coup when majority long for free and fair election.
The fear of unknown that engulfed Kiir‘s Kitchen cabinet was escalated by Awuwau (preemptive fear). Kiir’s administration continues to be restless. Juba restless forced them to accuse Mach Pual, Dr. Majak D’Agoot, and Oyai Deng Ajak of coup. It gradually became clearer that these Lieutenant Generals had never organized even unit of 50 men and women to secure presidency. Evident of their false accusation became apparent after their court in case of South Sudan vs. the detainees. So these Lt. Generals were declared not guilty. In the light of South Sudan dissension to tribalism and abyss, president Kiir groomed Dr. Riek Machar and deceptively gave him gesture of even succeeding him. In normal democracy, presidents are mostly succeeded by their vice presidents through contested elections.
Nevertheless, Kiir appointed Riek as a vice president in 2005. He entrusted him with South Sudan affairs while serving as vice president of Sudan. 1991 SPLM/A split that resulted Bor massacre, a case that was not contextualized in vetting for vice president. Hence, Kiir appointed Riek as vice president in 2005. But 1991 should have been used as litmus test for his appointment but it was disregarded. Good leaders get thing right from onset because walking backward work to derail the nation and it is an illustration of incompetent in leadership and decision-making. Subsequent to 2005, the fear of unknown kicked in because the SPLA was flooded by the Rebels of Peter General, Gatdet Yak, L.t, general, Paulino Matip Nhial, L.t, General Monytuil, Gabriel Tanginya, Olony and many others.
War broke out in 2013 in presidential guards—it started because of fear of unknown. Guards of Riek, Matip and Kiir fought for almost a week in the capitol-Juba. Riek called for national army to overthrow the national government. Immediately, three states of Upper Nile were embroiled in vicious conflict. Three capitols of these states were completely annihilated in periods of two months. Fagak propagandists and surrogates succeeded to convince white army to ransack Bor Town, and other youth were told to attack Malakal and Bentiu. Riek lured white army to attack Juba. Joint operations of Juba and Kampala unleashed deadliest on attack untrained youth. These children of South Sudan were badly defeated by joint fighting.
The international and regional states leaders call for moratorium on conflict and cessation of hostilities. Juba and Fagak lend no hear. The rival leaders and surrogates found their voices in deceptions and slowly became lucrative. Juba created among South Sudanese people and wielded her messages and policies on the premise that Rebels leader, Riek is being supported by the WEST. Little did they know that the West lost interest South Sudan let alone supporting a leader that had blood on his hands. Fagak surrogates found their voices on NGUNDENG, a prophet that had prophesied that Riek Machar would be president of South Sudan. Little did they know that—even in fair and free election, Riek would have a hard time to win let alone fighting wars—he had never won single battle? In 1991 and 2013, Riek won few battles but never maintained those cities for a year. Riek and Kiir entered into peace negotiation to end the bloodiest civil war in South Sudan. The two principals signed agreement to form a transitional government, with Kiir president and Riek vice president.
Dr. Riek sent his messiah, Taban Deng Gai to Juba to prepare his way. While in Juba, Taban cozy up with Kiir and Nhial Deng to build mutual and exclusive relationships, while Riek enjoyed his security in Fagak with dried old men and unenlightened youths killed themselves. Kiir, Taban, Nhial and IGAD leaders persuaded Riek to come to Juba—to possibly implement the signed provisions. Riek came to Juba in 2016, —- President Kiir reappointed as a vice president as stipulated in the accord. The two leaders had one month in Juba and not scheduling one physical meeting. The Kiir and Riek were told and pressed by IGAD and friends of South Sudan to meet because of developing unhealthy and dangerous brewing environments. They agreed and met at the presidential palace.
Because of fear of UNKNOWN, miscommunication, and coup allegations led to another war. Kiir was advised to protect Riek because killing him would ignite international outcries or his advice come as a result of fear of UNKNOWN. Hence, Riek was protected in Juba but as soon as he went to bush, he became Bin Laden. Apparently, they did not know that Bin Laden is Bin Laden whether in Juba or Jungle. We need each other. Calling some a rebel and pushing him away by making bizarre statements does not solve our problems. In fact it escalates hatred and divisions.
Sequences of 2016 Conflict Claims
First claim: It was believed that the low level SPLA/M/O generals/guards set a false alarm and circulated a message in the SPLA/M/O headquarter that Riek Machar was arrested. They alleged that the meeting between Riek and Kiir was not actually a meeting; it was orchestrated platform to arrest Riek.
Second Claim: Fighting erupted at the presidential palace in Juba. Kiir and Riek made a joint statement, asserting that both of them were not aware of what caused conflict. They went on a state national television and called for national calm, the Two warring parties restrained from fighting and they finally vowed to implement peace agreement.
Third claim: Kiir provided Riek with bulletproof vehicle, guards to protect him and was transported to his house.
Fourth claim: Juba Coup narratives, Riek Machar came to the meeting with pistol. He ordered his guards to kill president Kiir. Machar’s headquater was attacked and his base was captured.
Fifth claim: Riek was given 48 hours to come and assume his roles as a vice president. After no show, SPLM/O poliburos and NLC convened and replaced chairman of SPLA/M/O, Riek Machar with Lt.general Taban Deng Gai. Taban was sworn in as vice president of Sudan.
Sixth claim: Machar became a private citizen and government cannot pursue a private citizen, said Ateny Wek.
Essentially, Kiir is not just Salva Kiir Mayardit from Awan. He is state man, the symbol of our nation and president of South Sudan. Hence, protecting him is paramount. Kiir Mayar and all the presidents around this world would agree with me that if Machar had indeed staged a coup, all the appropriate military and security operation would have been applied in such situation. The coup orchestrator could have been arrested or killed…it is bizarre to protect a coup plotter. So why president kiir did provides guards to protect Machar if he indeed staged a coup? It is puzzling to me and many leaders around the world.
Conclusion
We, citizens need to start building trust among tribes and leaders. Trust has been erased by our leaders among south Sudanese tribes. In Juba, leaders working for the same government fear, they fear of themselves, citizens and competence well informed citizens. How can we bridge tribal gap, engineer trust to stabilize South Sudan and bring lasting peace? How can we overcome tribal hatreds? This is not easy to do folks. Our country is fundamentally more important than current leaders that would leave leadership anytime. It is about time to speak in unison to end war and call for peace because any minor war makes our country weak and make president Kiir even weaker. This extremism that being shown in in the country and in peace process and it is not part of peace and caring, it will place the country on the wrong hands. Political elites focus on positions metric and division of positions and do not look onto their suffering citizens. This idea of awarding themselves with positions first before peace isn’t reflective of stewardship and faith people entrust in them. Peace among citizens is ultimately and principally important than peace among leaders. Killing Riek or replacing can never bring peace and stability to South Sudan.

Gabriel Pager Ajang, Political Science and History Instructor
He can be reached ajangassociates@gmail.com

Prospects for a UN Arms Embargo on South Sudan: IGAD, AU and Security Council in support!

By Luuk van de Vondervoort, a former member of the UN Panel of Experts on South Sudan, AUG/11/2016, SSN;

With clear signs that the UN Security Council may be ready to implement a proposed arms embargo on South Sudan, the HSBA recently published detailed assessment found out that there are important dissimilarities between Darfur and South Sudan that could make an embargo in South Sudan more impactful, with positive implications for the protection of civilians and the stabilization of the security situation.

There are signs that the UN Security Council may be ready to take this step in South Sudan.

But, unlike Sudan, South Sudan is a relatively isolated country with very limited infrastructure, including roads or airports capable of accommodating aircraft with heavy-lift capacity. The country is heavily dependent on foreign
aid, particularly since the near complete collapse of revenues in the wake of falling oil production and global oil prices.

The country has virtually no indigenous manufacturing capability and therefore currently imports all weapons and ammunition. Similarly, there is limited capacity to service or repair damaged equipment, as evidenced by the abandoned military hardware that litters many areas in the country.

Instead of seeking spare parts to repair such hardware, South Sudan frequently looks to import entirely new
equipment, also as this is more lucrative for those signing the contracts.

All of these factors mean that, from a technical perspective, the implementation of an embargo is much more feasible in South Sudan than in Darfur. Active monitoring of the few main entry points into the country would make weapons importation much more difficult.

It is often pointed out that the country is already awash with weapons, which would limit the impact of an embargo. This is true, but it ignores the role of heavy weapons in the conflict.

The recent July 8 fighting in the capital, Juba, saw the use of Mi-24 attack helicopters, tanks, armoured personnel carriers, and other heavy weapons. The continued availability of these weapons has significantly encouraged those who seek a military solution at the expense of political compromise.

An embargo is likely to have its greatest impact on these heavy weapons systems — as it has in Darfur, and as the HSBA report noted—as they are the easiest to track and monitor, including by satellite, as has been already demonstrated by the UN Panel of Experts for South Sudan.

An embargo would also inhibit South Sudan’s efforts to establish its own internal weapons manufacturing capability, which the government has shown recent interest in advancing.

Given South Sudan’s high dependence on donor support, there is a drive for transparency in the country’s finances that would also support the efficacy of an embargo.

Donors do not want their funds being diverted for the purchase of attack helicopters, so those member states supporting the humanitarian response in South Sudan have a strong incentive to report on violations of an embargo.

The likely necessity of South Sudan receiving comprehensive international support to alleviate its acute financial crisis will mean stringent conditions and controls on expenditure.

Contrary to the situation in Sudan, this international financial scrutiny would lower the additional resources and
political capital required for monitoring and thus enforcement of the embargo.

With regard to regional support for an embargo and the dynamics of the Security Council, once again there are important differences between South Sudan and Sudan. The key suppliers of weapons to Sudan, the Russian Federation and China, as the HBSA report notes, have consistently rejected active policing of the embargo.

But in South Sudan, China, Israel, and Ukraine, all previously important weapons suppliers, have all expressed
significant reservations over the conflict in the country. There is evidence that some of these suppliers have begun to unilaterally withdraw — or at least limit — support for weapons sales to South Sudan.

Ukraine, for example, has found itself in a difficult position: it requires the support of the United States and the European Union in response to its conflict in eastern Ukraine, and seeks to align itself with EU policy, which includes the Union’s own arms embargo on South Sudan.

Ukraine is therefore both a significant weapons supplier, having provided the Mi24 helicopters, but now supports an arms embargo. Ukraine’s shift in position is indicative of a broader change among Security Council member states on the embargo in recent months, illustrating a concern that the conflict is spiraling out of control and likely to lead to regional insecurity if left unaddressed.

The role of some regional states, specifically Uganda, is a concern. Uganda has been vocal in rejecting a weapons embargo, and has been a significant conduit for weapons during the conflict. However, there is reason to believe
that Uganda’s resistance to the embargo would be moderated if it was put into effect.

The Ugandan government was not happy to be mentioned in the UN Panel of Experts’ report to the Security Council and the international scrutiny that accompanied it.

Furthermore, Uganda’s strategic importance to key allies, such as the United States, has somewhat declined as it has sought to limit involvement in both the counter-Lord’s Resistance Army operations and the African Union (AU) mission in Somalia.

The recent AU meeting in Kigali showed Uganda to be largely out of step with most of the region on South Sudan. Ugandan President Museveni is seemingly reassessing his position, as evidenced by his call on South Sudanese President Kiir to accept a regional intervention force.

At the same time as Uganda has become more isolated over South Sudan, Sudan’s relationship with the international community has been more cooperative than at any time in the past decade, and this may be affecting its role in providing arms to South Sudanese elements.

While there is evidence that Sudan has supplied weapons to the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in Opposition (SPLA-IO), Khartoum appears to have resisted the rebels’ requests for heavy weapons, which suggests that it is closely monitoring the situation and moderating its engagement accordingly.

Ultimately, it is a matter of degree to what extent an embargo will reduce the arms flow to South Sudan. But an embargo will have at least one foreseeable impact, which is that certain sellers who do not wish to be seen as
contravening international law will withdraw from the market.

This will not discourage individual arms smugglers and the countries that supply them. But the black market tends to deliver bad quality or inappropriate weapons at excessive prices, thereby increasing the cost of doing business in South Sudan, both literally and politically.

Apart from such technical aspects, an embargo serves an important political function that is mentioned in the HSBA report but easily underestimated.

So far, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development-IGAD, the AU, and the UN Security Council have only threatened an embargo. The Government of South Sudan appears increasingly immune to these threats and expects no action.

The embargo would signal, first of all, that there is resolve inside the Security Council to push through with new, previously untried measures—and that more may follow. This would signal that the government does not act on an
equal standing with other sovereign nations that are allowed to freely purchase weapons on the international markets, because these countries do not use weapons to systematically kill their own citizens.

Juba has been incredibly sensitive to any such signalling and understandably so: the implicit message is that the current crop of leaders is unworthy to be the representatives of its people.

Delegitimizing the current leadership on the basis of its actions, particularly if the embargo is clearly tied in with language on human rights violations, can drastically change the tone of the debate and demonstrate that the international community is looking beyond the Kiir-Machar dichotomy.

Embargoes can outlive their use when they are not sufficiently tailored to support diplomatic efforts and political developments. In South Sudan, the Security Council should introduce the embargo while simultaneously outlining a pathway to its lifting by tying the embargo to milestones that the conflict parties need to achieve.

Conditions for partial lifting could include a lasting cessation of hostilities and an integration of forces.

Ultimately, the embargo could be fully lifted once a newly-elected government is in place that meets basic criteria of governance and protection of civilians. This requires more committed diplomacy that’s based on active monitoring and a solid understanding of the power dynamics inside South Sudan and the region.

But this would make the embargo a fully-fledged part of a political solution for South Sudan’s future instead of an empty gesture setup to fail.

(Luuk van de Vondervoort was the arms expert on the UN Panel of Experts on South Sudan until mid-2016.
For questions, comments on content, or feedback, contact:
Emile LeBrun
HSBA for Sudan and South Sudan
Small Arms Survey
emile.lebrun@smallarmssurvey.org)

Time for Dr. Riek Machar to restrategise

BY: ELHAG PAUL, AUG/11/2016, SSN;

Dr. Riek Machar, having been forced out violently from the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU), has no options left except to resist. But his resistance must be focused on new ground if he is to rally support from the whole country. To build such a support Dr Machar would need to thoroughly review his entire political experience to learn about his own personal strength and weaknesses.

To be effective it helps to be aware of this fact. Dr Machar’s leadership has consistently generated divisions in organisations led by him within a very short period usually starting from about a year.

The time has come for Dr Machar to take a hard look at his leadership capability. He needs to address his weaknesses if he intends to eventually succeed in his political aspirations.

It is not good for him to continue leading fractious organisations and committing trivial mistakes that cost tens of thousands of lives. The cost is just not worth it. Therefore, it would be helpful if Dr Machar could receive professional support in leadership.

Most political leaders around the world usually receive such support to improve their effectiveness and personal image. Investment in this area would not be a waste but a source of success.

Now a personal image is only a part of the whole. The other part is the political identity. This encompasses things like beliefs, values, ideology and so on which are very important. These are things that allow a leader to attract follower-ship and support from the masses.

The SPLM/A from its inception would not have garnered the support of people throughout the whole Sudan if it did not articulate the values and ideologies of equality, anti-discrimination, multi-culture, multi-faith and so forth which enabled the unionist, Dr John Garang, to bask in as the would-be Messiah of the Sudan.

With hindsight this would-have-been expected Messiah has been proven to be a false one.

It was unfortunate that the beautiful ideals Dr Garang sold to the Sudanese people were hollow. He did not in person live it. He did not follow the wise saying, ‘preach what you practice and practice what you preach.’

The product of his leadership of the SPLM/A as we see it now is the proven evidence of his double standards and hypocrisy. The fruits of Dr Garang’s leadership are the entrenched tribalism, poisonous discrimination, kleptocracy and murderous SPLM/A regime in Juba.

Though Dr Garang’s approach made the SPLM/A a national movement fighting for the whole Sudan, the unionist ideology was not bought in south Sudan. Other powerful ideologies of secession and tribalism festered underneath to undermine the official objective of SPLM/A of creating a “New Sudan” due to strength in beliefs of identity.

In the end, the secessionists in south Sudan won while on the other hand the new country got hijacked by a tribal group, the Jieng Council of Elders, who had been working underground since 1970s.

So Dr Garang the highly praised thinker, suave political operator and an aspirational unifier ended up a total failure. He neither realised his united “New Sudan” nor achieved an equal, multi-cultural, multi-tribal, multi-faith independent South Sudan, a country he vowed not to see happening.

Yet in the face of this glaring evidence the tribal regime wants to promote Dr Garang as the founder of South Sudan. The question is: how could a failed unionist and militarist politician who constructed a vicious tribal movement be a founding father of a country he did not want to exist?

Nobody can argue against the fact that SPLM/A has been a disaster for South Sudan. It has reduced South Sudanese to be seen as savages – the laughing stalk of the world. The comment made by the chairman of Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, former President Festus Mogae, sums the tragedy of South Sudan in few words: “South Sudan is run by guns and not reason.” Nobody can be motivated to dispute this fact except the beneficiaries of the regime in Juba.

Given the fact that the SPLM/A has been proven beyond doubt to be a criminal organisation led by idiotic blood thirsty people it is time that the resistance distances itself from this irreparably damaged brand (SPLM/A).

What this means is that there is urgency for the resistance to jettison the name SPLM-IO and rebrand itself to clearly identify itself with the right values and ideology on which the people of South Sudan can converge and coalesce to realise a total change.

Without such a foundational change, the brand SPLM/A as usual ensnares political actors who disagree with it to constantly at best to return into the fold or at worst to end up being killed. This is something time and again that keeps happening. The members of SPLM-IO got themselves ensnared and Dr Machar was lucky to escape with his life, but many of his fighters and innocent civilians ended up paying the ultimate price.

The new resistance created by the recent violence of the Juba regime (2nd July to 11th July 2016) should break with this culture of hogging the brand SPLM/A to free itself from being institutionally trapped to promote violence and Jieng tribalism indirectly.

Brand SPLM/A is tarnished beyond repair. Its attributes consist of some of the worst values and ideologies practised by horrible political organisations like that of Nazi Germany. The Nazis believed in identity politics (White supremacy) and their method to achieve their objective was through practising extreme violence against others.

Similarly, in South Sudan the Jieng Council of Elders believe that the Jieng are ‘born to rule’ which translates itself to the Jieng as being people of superior race. Unsurprising they have chosen the same method practised by the Nazi to achieve their objective in South Sudan. The recent examples are: the ethnic cleansing of December 2013 and the painful events of July 2016.

So the values and ideologies associated with brand SPLM/A are outright incompatible with democratic ideals. Since Dr Machar has consistently said he wants to see democracy implemented in South Sudan, the onus is on him to distance himself and his organisation from the monstrosity called SPLM/A.

Setting foot on this track would be the first step towards freedom from the shackles of a hopeless criminal organisation that has taken away everything from the South Sudanese people.

The resistance should remind the regime of Aleksandr Solzyhnetsin’s wise advice to rulers. This great thinker and author warns rulers that they only have power over people so long as they do not take everything away from them. But when they the rulers have robbed a man of everything, he is no longer in their power – he is free again.

The regime in Juba has robbed the people of South Sudan of everything, you name it: life, land, livelihood itself, peace, honour, resources and so on. What is there left for the people? Nothing! Materially the overwhelming majority of South Sudanese have nothing. Emotionally and inwardly the regime has dehumanised them, but there is something important that replaces these losses and it is the regaining of true freedom. This freedom will be the Achilles Heels of the SPLM/A regime.

What has been discussed so far concerns Dr Machar’s personality and the issue of values and ideologies. He has since graduating from Bradford University with PhD associated himself with the values of SPLM/A that have now worldwide made him to be labelled as a failure.

With President Salva Kiir’s carefully staged violence intended to wipe out Dr Machar and his group, it is important that he seizes this opportunity and moment to exhibit beyond doubt his democratic credentials.

In short, ARCISS, the agreement Dr Machar signed which brought him to Juba meant something for him. He tried to stick to its terms and his activities in Juba showed beyond doubt that Dr Machar truly did not want war any more. His speeches in churches and rallies around Juba were marked with calls for reconciliation, forgiveness and unity.

What more could he have done? What more could the people asked of him? That the people of South Sudan in that short period chose Dr Machar over President Kiir can not be disputed. The numerous endless warm visits by chiefs and elders of most of the tribes of South Sudan to his house at Korok hill evidence the wish of the South Sudanese people.

It is possible that the strong endorsement of the majority tribes of South Sudan of Dr Machar might have rattled President Kiir and the regime forcing them to plan his assassination.

The warming of the people of South Sudan to Dr Machar is not necessarily because of any attractive policies. For anybody who carefully follows South Sudan politics, the probable reason can be found in the behaviour of the Jieng people.

The regime has allowed the Jieng people to antagonise all the tribes in the country and without any outlet the resistance of Dr Machar became a light at the end of the tunnel. It is the hope for something better. Even with all Dr Machar’s weaknesses he is seen by the people as the better option. This I suppose is the headache of President Kiir and the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE).

With the huge support of the people of South Sudan, Dr Machar now has the opportunity to restrategise and consolidate his power base both politically and militarily. He should build a broad alliance of all the tribes of South Sudan by holding a national conference to decide what the South Sudanese wish to do to save the country followed by a credible election of a new resistance leadership.

Such an act will put to rest some of the skeletons in his cupboard and will also bestow upon the new leadership body legitimacy to act in the interest of the South Sudanese people.

In ‘Confronting the Policy of Land Grab in South Sudan’ it is pointed out that a lesson can be learnt from how the world dealt with Nazi Germany. A comparison of the SPLM-IG was done with the Nazi and the similarity fits well (http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/index.php/2016/05/15/confronting-policy-land-grab-south-sudan/).

The new resistance leadership will need to look at such cases in order to draw the right policy to deal with the regime in Juba. Otherwise, South Sudan faces the prospect of real disintegration.

Remember, President Slobodan Milosevic of former Yugoslavia in 1990s pursued identity politics enforced by the gun which led to the disintegration of his once great country into Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia Herzegovina and Kosovo, leaving Serbia to stand alone.

President Kiir’s regime like Milosevic’s also practices identity politics which has thrown the country into serious problems. The new resistance leadership is advised to examine the case of the alliance in the Second World War against Nazi Germany to make a wise decision to rescue the country, otherwise the alternatives are ugly.

President Kiir intentionally triggered the current crisis by gallantly violating the peace agreement. His plan to assassinate Dr Machar should sound the death knell for his regime.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]
Elhag Paul
elhagpaul@aol.com
@elhagpaul (Twitter)

Implications of the Regional Protection Force for South Sudan

By James Okuk, PhD, JUBA, AUG/08/2016, SSN;

After the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the IGAD Plus held a Summit meeting on 5th August 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to deliberate on the worrying situation of South, the communique that was issued finally released the “genie out of the bottle”, the deployment of regional protection force to South Sudan with a mandate of:

1) Protection of vulnerable civilians including foreign dignitaries and nation’s political leaders whose security is not seen to be guaranteed by the state.
2) Protection of key installations (e.g., Juba Airport and Nimule Highway) to be conducted jointly with TGoNU authorised security units.
3. Revitalisation and reinforcement of permanent ceasefire and security arrangements as stipulated in the August 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS).
4. Collaboration and coordination with the UNMISS peacekeeping forces in order to accomplish the protection mission as effectively as possible.

The language expressed in the 21-points of Communique resolutions is very strong diplomatically. Core synopses are:

1) “Punitive measures” to be considered on those rejecting peace, especially when South Sudan has become “a serious threat to regional peace, security and stability” due to the big number of civilian population who got displaced to the UNMISS camps, to neighboring and other countries since December 2013 as they went fleeing from brutalizing gun deaths and wounds, from looting and destruction of their properties, from serious human rights abuses including rapes and torture, from economic and humanitarian hardship; and also due to “proliferation of illicit small arms and weapons”.

2) “United stance” of the region to intervene with a military protection force into South Sudan against the intransigence of hardliners who want to dilute the ARCSS via fragrant violations for their power interest.

3) “Strong support” to JMEC’s Chairperson so that he could show his superior muscles to government in regards to oversight and remedial actions for smooth implementation of the ARCSS.

4) “The government bears a heavy responsibility” and it is advised to cooperate with the intervening foreign forces and honor the provisions of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) so as not to invoke confrontation with UNMISS and its regional allies in the protection or peacekeeping mission.

5) “Return to the status quo ante in line with ARCSS” by bringing together in Juba President Salva Kiir and the fired First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar so that they could sincerely recommit themselves to ARCSS implementation as they signed it.

6) “The Chairperson of the Commission to urgently transmit this communiqué to the UN Secretary General and, through him, to the UN Security Council for its action as appropriate and to engage all concerned Africa’s partners to mobilize their support and to report on her efforts to the Peace and Security Council” in South Sudan.

With these well-coordinated regional and international messages and undertakings, it could be foreseen that the August 12, 2016 UN Security Council meeting on South Sudan shall automatically vote for uplifting and extending the UNMISS mandate, given the IGAD-Plus communique and the above-mentioned directives given to the Chairperson of the AU Commission.

The Communique’s content and directives sum it all whether we rename the intervening regional force “protection force” or whatever diplomatic words’ manoeuvrings. This can tell how Juba has lost the sympathy of the region and the rest of the world while the common people are terribly disturbed by the high prices of commodities in the markets, which have now taken up more challenging arms to the detrimental of happy life of the people.

What used to sell option at one pound is now skyrocketing at ten pounds with government salaries kept at minimal bay to a poor purchasing power of the employees, who have now qualified to the decadent standards of “the working poor”. What is the way out from this cornering?

The only option left now is to negotiate the entry date and other details for the intervening regional protection force. Nothing much has been left to Juba except ceremonial sovereignty as far as security is concerned. Juba shall not be in a position to stop attack helicopters and drones hoovering over South Sudan and landing anywhere under the new mandate.

No tanks and mounted Toyota Thatchers from warring parties shall be allowed in Juba to protect any South Sudanese leader in the city except pistols as it is a common practice in the civilised countries. But will the security of hearts and minds be there for those who are used to trusting the big guns for everything?

Perhaps the frontline states are now responding to President Kiir’s caution (when he signed the deal in Freedom Hall in Juba last year) that the ARCSS implementation shall be a nightmare if the guarantors fail to impose it by force after they have done it by diplomacy.

This seems to be happening to the disbelief of hardliners and those who were not prepared for Juba’s shift of stance due to the intensified foreign pressure and massive civilian exodus. Juba has exhausted all the cards and there was nothing left in its power to reject the in-coming foreign protection force without being faced with dangerous consequences.

But we must know that no intervening regional actor is there innocently without some interests to secure:

1) The Sudan wants disarmament of its rebels as provided in ARCSS Chapter II.
2) Uganda wants to ensure that the Lord Resistance Army (LRA) and other opposition don’t find a base in South Sudan.
3) Kenya wants to secure its big investments and finance (e,g., KCB, Equity, Mombasa Port and other projects like LAPSSET) from South Sudan.
4) Ethiopia doesn’t want to anger its Nuer and Anuak population who can easily find tribal solidarity and support in South Sudan.
5) Rwanda is there to please the international community so as to continue assisting it with more economic benefits and infrastructure, and harvest the name of a successful post-conflict genocidal county in Africa that deserves international prizes and praises.

But where is the interest of South Sudan in all these self-help regional intervention? Perhaps it shall appear in ‘restoration of peace’ whose sustainability is supposed to lead to exit of the intervening actors once their mission is accomplished even to a satisfactory level.

Nonetheless, this usually doesn’t take less than five to ten years. The fashion has been a quick entry as the bad situation invites but slow exit even when the situation gets improved for a farewell.

The untimely call of the SPLM Secretary-General, Mr. Pagan Amum, for foreign trusteeship is outdated. Knowing him as one of the toughest propagandists and lobbyists the SPLM have had ever groomed, it can’t escape his nuance that ‘UN Trusteeship/Protectorate-ship” per se is not saleable under UN Charter, Chapter VII articles 76 and 77 for an independent country that has a recognised UN membership and a flag with a diplomatic mission accredited in New York, though the contemporary definition of sovereignty is predicated on:

a) Protection of the population without discrimination,
b) Undivided loyalty of the citizens to the state.
c) Enforceability of government powers within the jurisdictional territorial integrity.
d) Cooperation with the UN and other international and regional bodies based on treaties and conventions and with mutual recognition.
e) Viability of the state and sustainability of its government among other nations.

May be Cde Pagan is using his “South Sudan Reborn” campaign for attracting other attentions to South Sudan, particularly leadership change for the old veterans who might not be willing to accept ‘Generational Exit’ from power unless forced to quit by international powers so that the middle age leaders could get a chance of ‘Generational Entry’ to top power positions in the country.

It is high time the country’s leadership reflects deeply on the sorry state of the internal affairs and revise the foreign policy accordingly, especially after the government in Juba lost the international respect and sympathy (unlike what used to be in the past). Dialogue with the intervening foreign force is now a must.

There is a need to repair the sour relations with many former friendly countries. There is a need to knock doors of some new countries for widening the horizon of friendly relations.

This could be achieved through balanced and serious connections between political power, economic opportunities, people-to-people socialization and avoidance of tit-for-tat support for rebels or opposition groups, especially in the neighbouring countries.

Good neighborliness is the safest way to adopt in order to reduce suspicious hostilities and conspiratorial tensions at fragile times like this.

The country’s leadership needs to start paying keen attention to both local and international public opinions so as to scrutinise the accurate truth for a prudent and timely decision-making within the recurring tough, contradictory and complicated unfolding situations.

Succumbing to dangerous deadlocks and arrogant intransigence is not advisable now as the country needs to regain the lost goodwill of the region and the world at large.

The hot case in point here is how the First Vice President, General Taban Deng Gai, will get back to a junior position (i.e., a cabinet minister) when Dr. Riek Machar is back in Juba to assume his lost position as required by the ARCSS’ guarantors.

Since Mr. Taban has been lifted by a tricky situation to the highest level of the Presidency, how will he accept to fall the lowest again in the SPLM-IO hierarchy?

Perhaps by a miracle (which is too holy for power politics), or by totally quitting to join SPLM-IG’s side as he already declared his allegiance to President Kiir (but where there are no highest positions left), or by retiring from any ministerial position (but which is so rare a practice in Third World’s politics).

All in all, it is high time all of us should embrace and learn to handle foreigners without any deadly confrontation for the sake of peace and prosperity of our innocent young generation and posterity so that we don’t leave to them another Iraq, Somalia or Libya in South Sudan.

Our government gave half of Juba International Airport to UNMISS from 2011 up to now and there have been no street protests on that.

Ugandan forces were guarding Juba and Bor Airports from 2013 to 2015 and it was not a big deal to the sovereignty since it was done in the name of good neighborly ‘protection’.

Our Airspace, especially for oil installations in Greater Upper Nile, had been under Khartoum surveillance and no question of sovereignty was raised on that.

Ethiopian Airline used to shift from international to domestic flight by bringing passengers from Malakal to Juba from 2011-2012 and it was not an issue to our government. Why all the “downs-downs and dooms-dooms to the region and UN now”? Height of hypocrisy, isn’t it?

Our political leaders should learn that patience pays as Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere advised Southerners in Juba in February 1974 during his visit for celebration of the second anniversary of the Addis Ababa Agreement. “When we are patient, we shall all come out safer at the end.” Dialogue and Cooperation!
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Dr. James Okuk is a lecturer of politics at Juba University reachable at okukjimy@hotmail.com.

South Sudan under UN Protection: Is Pagan Amum Truly a Patriot & a Nationalist?

By: Tong Kot Kuocnin, LL.M. Univ. of Nairobi, Kenya, AUG/06/2016, SSN;

It came though as a surprise to see that South Sudan is eating its own tail. Its tail is being eaten by the very same people who brought these sufferings and hardships. On Wednesday, the 3rd of July 2016 at 18:30 UTC (i.e. 9:30 South Sudan Local Time) on the VOA (Voice of America Radio Program, “Straight Talk Africa), one Pagan Amum, known to all South Sudanese people, vomited nastily and lashed out angrily against the leadership of South Sudan.

Not only did he vomit nastily and lashed angrily against the leadership, Pagan went further by suggesting the abandoned 20th century idea of placing a region (or country) under the protectorate of the most powerful country to be controlled and protected by that particular superpower state.

He suggested putting or placing South Sudan under direct control and protection of the United Nations if their call for a regional or international force that is equipped to the teeth to come dethrone the current leadership failed.

These two suggestions by Pagan, the third force and the placement of South Sudan under direct control and protection of the UN clearly indicate how unpatriotic Mr. Pagan Amum is, who strongly displayed an unnationalistic behavior.

He suggested the invasion of his own country by a foreign power. Pagan categorically betrayed the cause of the people of South Sudan as well as the sovereignty and independence of the Republic of South Sudan.

He has shown to be a materialistic leader and not a patriot and nationalist anymore and many of us who gave him the respect and veneration of a leader have withdrawn our confidence in him forthwith.

He has deeply betrayed us as a people and a country by calling for the deployment of a third brutal force which is coming into the country with hidden agenda as well as calling for direct placement of the country under direct UN control and protection.

This third force is coming for nothing but invasion of the country and looting of its resources by the foreign power that is collaborating with Pagan and the likes of Dr. Majak D’ Agot.

These are all unhealthy calls, suggestions and procedures by somebody who is interested in material welfare and riches like Pagan Amum and not somebody presumed to be a future leader of a sovereign and independent nation like South Sudan.

We have had enough of these selfish leaders who speak out critically of the government only when they’re no longer serving in the government.

Pagan failed miserably as Secretary General of SPLM with a lot of finger-pointing at him for unprecedented squandering and embezzlement of the party’s funds leaving SPLM in squalid condition and shape.

As Secretary General, he was the chief administrator of the party tasked to draw up party programs which are ultimately supposed to be translated into government programs since SPLM is the ruling party.

This, he absolutely failed to do relegating most of the SPLM Ministers redundant and confused of the programs to implement or execute and hence resulted into lack of service delivery to the people.

Now here we have Pagan again vomiting out nastily against the government he worked tireless to fail and suggest the country he immersed into the toilet to be placed under direct control and protection of a foreign power.

What does Pagan really understand of the intervention force into South Sudan? Or what exactly comes into his mind when he talks about placement of South Sudan under the UN? I may agree sincerely when people say limited knowledge is a disease.

Pagan hasn’t read enough to know exactly what it means to put a sovereign and an independent country under the protection of foreign power, and if he does, then Pagan must see things beyond his nose.

He must not be blinded by his hatred toward the leadership and suggest such terrible and detestable abandoned idea. To dethrone the current government is not a solution for the future of this country and its people.

It is not at all a detox to treating all political ills and shortcomings but it’s a detriment to the future of the country and its people, therefore, Pagan Amum is a devil’s advocate. Pagan must know that a leader comes and goes but the country remains and his jealousy, envy and hatred toward the government and the leader he has once served and adored must not make him become blind both in the eye and in the heart.

This country doesn’t belong to Salva Kiir but to the people of South Sudan, as the saying goes that, “a devil you know is better than an angel you don’t know.”

Pagan must not sell South Sudan to angels he doesn’t know, he better keep it under the control and protection of the devil he knows.

The writer is a Master of Laws (LLM) candidate at the School of Law, University of Nairobi specializing in Law, Governance & Democracy. He can be reached via: tongbullen@gmail.com

Taban Gai agrees to step down for Riek Machar as Kiir accepts regional troops deployment

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, AUG/06/2016, (Various sources);

Newly-appointed South Sudan First Vice President Taban Deng Gai, who led South Sudan government delegation to the summit known as Igad-Plus in Addis Ababa, emerged to say that he was ready to step down from his position and give it to Riek Machar once he returns to Juba.

Igad is the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development and the IGAD-Plus summit included representatives of the United Nations, African Union, and the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission that monitors the progress in implementation of the peace agreement in Africa’s youngest nation.

The executive secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Mahboub Maalim said the Heads of State of member states have directed the chiefs of staff to go to Juba and discuss the modalities of deployment of the protection force with the government of South Sudan.

According to Al Jazeera, the number of troops and the countries where they will come from will be decided with the agreement of the Kiir’s government in Juba, something that might prove unacceptable to Dr. Riek Machar’s faction, the SPLA/M-IO.

SUMMARY: *Country asked to start cantonment of armed forces to separate the forces.
*Mr Kenyatta pressed the South Sudan leaders to take responsibility for the latest upheavals in their country.

“The government of South Sudan has accepted with no condition the deployment of protection force,” he said.

President Uhuru Kenyatta joined other regional leaders at the summit hosted by Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

EMBRACE PEACE DEAL

Mr Kenyatta pressed the South Sudan leaders to take responsibility for the latest upheavals in their country and work to find a sustainable solution.

Goi Jooyul Yol, SPLM/IO representative to AU, who led representatives of Riek Machar to the meeting, said his team is pleased with the new arrangement although modalities of deployment are yet to be discussed.

He said a joint meeting of chiefs of staff of all member states will be held to discuss logistics of deploying more regional troops to South Sudan.

President Kenyatta, a key player in the South Sudan peace process and the Igad rapporteur on the subject, had urged South Sudan leaders to embrace the peace deal they signed last August to prevent the recurrence of conflict.

President Kenyatta called on the parties to the conflict to live up to the expectations of their people, the region, and the international community by keeping their commitments under the Agreement.

“I assure them of our unwavering support as long as they stay this course and are seen to be doing so,” the President said.

He pointed out that failure to adhere to this Agreement would have catastrophic implications not only to South Sudan but also to the region.

“Certainly, we cannot stand by and let this happen,” President Kenyatta said.

The Head of State emphasised that the leadership of South Sudan has to make a decision to remove the people of South Sudan from the abyss of uncertainty to peace, stability and socio-economic development.

“The South Sudanese look upon you and us for leadership and direction and we must not let them down,” President Kenyatta told the South Sudan leaders.

The President also sought some quick wins.

He expressed the need to, first, address the recent violence in Juba and elsewhere in South Sudan to end the recurrence of the breakdown of law and order.

He pointedly asked for accountability from the South Sudan leaders.

“This would serve to restore a measure of confidence and trust between the parties,” President Kenyatta said.

Second, the transitional government of national unity must urgently establish the security architecture envisaged in the peace agreement, President Kenyatta said.

He said the security plan must also provide unhindered access to the monitoring and verification teams under the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring Mechanism.

CANTONMENT OF ARMED FORCES

The President said the South Sudan government must also embark on the immediate cantonment of armed forces throughout the country, to separate the forces in accordance with the Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements.

“The re-integration of the Defence Forces must begin in earnest,” the Head of State said.

He said the peace deal must be safeguarded at all cost and asked the South Sudanese leadership to embark on dialogue and reconciliation.

“The people of South Sudan must come first, second and third. They deserve and must be assured of peace, stability and economic development,” President Kenyatta added.

The president stressed that a unified and coherent regional and international front must be maintained to bring collective leverage to bear for the full implementation of the Peace Agreement and anchor lasting peace to South Sudan.

The meeting was chaired by the current chairperson of the Igad Assembly of Heads of State and Government who is also the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

Other IGAD member state leaders who attended the meeting include, Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of Somalia and Ismaïl Omar Guelleh of Djibouti.

Why Pres. Kirr Needs to Reverse His Actions Before It Is Too Late!

BY: Dr. Gatluak Ter Thach, USA, AUG/04/2016, SSN;

Pres. Kirr and his First Vice-Pres. Taban have to decide faster before it is too late what they wanted the world to act on –either with them or against them– it is their choice. The actions they have taken violated the peace they claimed still holds.

If they meant a temporary replacement of FVP position and nothing else, which is obvious now that it was not the case, they should have atoned the provisions that are core components for the survival of the peace agreement.

Saying they still wanted to implement the peace while at the same time are strongly violating the provisions of the agreement is hypocrisy.

Vice-Pres. Taban also said he would not allow the nation to remain retaining two separate armies during the transitional period. This, by itself, is a huge violation of the security arrangement of the August peace agreement which he personally negotiated because it would undermine and weaken the smooth integration of unfriendly forces to a trusted and unified national army.

This would exploit and prolong the instability in the country since unfriendly forces would not feel comfortable and safer with such an action as it would emasculate and compromise their security.

Mr. Salva and Mr. Taban “illegally” removed members of the transitional government ministers of IO and members of Legislative Assembly of whom they deemed are not in the same club with and appointed their club members. This is also an enormous violation because these people left out or are not returning to the city for their safety, and they should not be released even if they disagreed with the move.

Mr. Kirr already handpicked a speaker of the parliament within a week and a deputy, a move that does not apply to the provision within the signed agreement.

The consensus is that the peace in South Sudan is dead and if there is anything left or has to be reborn it will be differently reinforced than how it had been implemented in Juba. Already now, the region and the international community has disagreed with Mr. Kirr actions and have already de-recognized Mr. Taban as FVP and wanted Mr. Kirr to reverse the action or else, I guess.

Will Mr. Kirr and Mr. Taban continue to deafen the calls and perpetual rejections of their inhospitable actions or will they notice the calls and reverse their violations?

How about those tricked to accept static positions—will they wait until it is too late with Mr. Kirr and Mr. Taban or will they show leadership and say they are better than the positions?

As I stated previously on my timeline, “It is during a time of crises” that a real person’s conscience is known. I thank those who have shown principles of doing the “right things.”

It is not one’s word that counts but their actions! At a time like this, everyone’s deeds will be noticed, come day or night. Can you, God, please protect innocent people in South Sudan?

Dr. Gatluak Ter Thach lives and works in Nashville Tennessee. Email: gatluakt@yahoo.com

The Question of Sovereignty: Does it trump over human rights and lives of the innocent in South Sudan?

BY: Ocholamero Otir Bure Oroto*, 03/AUG/2016, SSN;

In this essay I would like those who read between the lines to understand that the additional troops as buffer zone is to ensure political solution prevails. This will save lives of thousands and prevent the negative impacts that follows militaristic approach that seems to prevail in South Sudan. Without such approach or related avenues, South Sudan is definitely going the wrong path and it is a failure of proper role of a sovereign state.

“Sovereignty no longer exclusively protects States from foreign interference; it is a charge of responsibility that holds States accountable for the welfare of their people.”(1)

The killing of innocent people right from 2013 across the country, the violation of human rights, the disrespects of human lives has brought the country to the spotlight of the concerned global citizens and international organs.

Think of human lives, think about human rights, think about the innocents who have died and those who will continue to die, how about the raping of women, raping of young ladies. Do mental calculations of the sums of the suffering of the people of South Sudan due to the war that could have been prevented right at the office of Sudan People Liberation Movement/Army. These are realities that make a humane person to accept intervention as the only best alternative to the current lack of security and rampant unidentified gunmen.

Sovereignty rest with the people. It is the duty of government to protect citizens from each other. Ensuring that no one! NO ONE! could take someone’s life. Sovereignty and legitimacy of government depends on fulfilling its roles as protectors of citizens’ lives.

“Thomas Hobbes wrote in his social contract theory that it is the duty of governments to protect citizens from each other. If the government fails to perform at least its most basic function of keeping its citizens safe, then it is no longer a legitimate government, as it has reneged on its agreement in the social contract. It is surely the case in countries which violate human rights, often through murder or genocide, that those governments are no longer legitimate, as they are no longer keeping their citizens safe”(2).

Thinking of the loves one who perished during the last 2.5 years or so, thinking of the human resources killed over the periods, anyone with moral values and who values lives, anyone who respects lives would find it difficult to say no to the help of the global goodwill to come and provide help and protections to the remaining citizens and curve avenues for political solutions.

It is proven that the leaders will hardly die of the war they are engineering but sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, grandfathers and grandmothers grandchildren of other poor and helpless South Sudanese who are just going about their daily lives are caught by surprise and either killed, rape and tortured in one way or another.

Think about the effects of killing one person. Think about the effects of killings hundreds people, think about the effects of killing thousands. Now think about losing your loves one and put yourself in the shoes of those who are going through these situations.

Take the truth from this piece and leave what is of no use. Whatever view expressed here will remain on record. South Sudan cannot improve for better without the people defining what their ‘needs’ are. I am aware sometime people are pushed by situation to fight, but, where there is choice, political solutions are the best approach as a short and long term solutions.

Is it a good thing to have external body to get into South Sudan as a third party that will protect and maintain security in the process of implementation of the peace agreement?

If the world finally think it is about time they do something to protects the civilians from the manmade disaster and the mess in South Sudan, I, personally, as a citizen who loves peaceful lifestyles, would welcome the idea. So, it is a good thing. In the current case, I welcome the idea with a mandate that will ensure political solutions to prevail.

It is therefore vital to note that ‘Sovereignty does not trump human rights, rather quite the opposite is true'(2), because, sovereignty rest with the people. The argument that additional troops to act as buffer zones will interfere with sovereignty have no weight at this particular moment considering the situations of South Sudan. Let me draw your attention to the following passage. I hope it will trigger your desire to follow up on your liberty.

THREE PILLAR FRAMEWORK OF THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon established the three-pillar framework of the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP, R2P), in his 2009 Report Implementing the Responsibility to Protect:

Pillar One: The state bears the primary responsibility to protect their population from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.
Pillar Two: The international community, i.e. the UN, regional organizations, governments and civil society, must assist states in fulfilling their protection obligations.
Pillar Three: When a state manifestly fails to protect its population or is in fact the perpetrator of these crimes, the international community has a responsibility to take collective action in a timely and decisive manner to prevent or halt the commission of mass atrocities. Such action must be on a case-by-case basis using a broad range of political, economic, and humanitarian measures, and should peaceful means prove inadequate, coercive measures, including the use of force as authorized by the Security Council and in accordance with the UN Charter (3).

South Sudan situation is without doubt considered in the third pillar as depicted above. The failure of the creation of good respectful system right from 2005 up to now rest overtly on the top Sudan People Liberation Army/Movement. Instead of Justice, Equality and Prosperity, South Sudanese are greeted by atrocities caused by those they trust would govern the country well.

Tentative Recommendations:

The leaders of South Sudan should respect lives and human rights.
The leaders should put aside the mentality of trying to defeat each other by guns.
The leaders should accept and embark on dialogues as the ongoing method of ironing their differences.
The leaders should lead in peace building and national building.
The leaders should devise mechanism to protects people from other citizens who takes pride in harming others.
The leaders should find out their needs and identify other ways of achieving those needs without going to war.
Embrace peace, respect each other, promote peace and reconciliation.
The leaders should quest for avenues to resolves the issues once and for all politically.
People should learn quickly to support what is right for the entire nation.

Conclusion

Therefore, doing the above among other, will build trust and ensure progress as opposed to continuing with war. The onus is on the leaders; the leaders need to show civility in handling dispute in peaceful manner. The best way to say no to the intervention in the words of my colleague is to ‘STOP war, preach peace, reconcile…’ above all, embark on overhaul political reformation in South Sudan.

This is where people will morally work to reconstruct the country. If these fair steps are not taken, there is no reason to say no to the international body. They should act quickly to rescue people from the current canine environment.

*A concerned citizen driven by moral urge. For better or for worst, collectively, we have choice to make. South Sudan will be a better country if we collectively aim to break the cycle of revenge killings and break the cycle of violence. May peace one day be realized in South Sudan with greater respect of diversity.
Email: ocholamero.oroto@uqconnect.edu.au Facebook: Ocholamero Otir Bure Oroto.

References.

1. United Nation (2016). Office of the special advisors on the prevention of genocide. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/en/preventgenocide/adviser/responsibility.shtml on 21/07/2016.

2. Ringer, Ryan (2006). In defense of others: Does Sovereignty Trump Human Rights? Retrieved from http://www.angelfire.com/vamp/seashore/sovhum.html on 28/04/2016.

3.ICRtoP International Coalition to the Responsibility to Protect At a Glance an educational tool by the international coalition for the responsibility to protect (2016). Retrieved from http://responsibilitytoprotect.org/FINAL%20SouthSudan%20Q%20and%20A(1).pdf on 21/07/2016.

Not to challenge the policies of national leadership is to engage in passive tyranny

By: John Juac, 03/AUG/2016, SSN;

The most ardent champions of South Sudan’s ruling party never tire of telling people they must defend the sovereign authority against social forces and social movements. They think that an uncritical approach to leadership is some sort of patriotism, a way of expressing national pride, but not to challenge the policies of leadership is to engage in passive tyranny.

I have been spending some of my time reading over hate e-mails sent by some die-hard party supporters and have been very much struck by their impoverished analyses of the new nation’s woes. Their comments in the e-mails showed disrespectful language.

They were reactions to my recent article posted in the SouthSudannation website and other national sites which dealt with the failure of the SPLM leadership to lift South Sudan out of its current political and economic morasses.

The blind supporters denounced the critique of leadership and questioned my motives and even the moral duty to publish what they termed ‘a false news’ about leadership crisis. They also accused me of waging a media campaign to discredit amazing things their leaders have done since independence and promised good punishments for journalists who disobey the media rules to which others are subject.

What would be those amazing things? They would probably be the destructive force of tribalism and the tendency of this destructive force to free itself from the rule of law, the lusting for power and the looting of public funds intended for national development.

If a good leadership is fundamentally determined by one’s ability to deliver a good punishment, we are sure to find ourselves in the hands of the sophists and hypocrites. The celebrities are political gangs and thugs who want to intimidate those who criticize the tyrannical Juba regime that pays them and that is why they tolerate the tyranny.

The message to the party-right hand men, however, is that there are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what is not true and the other is to refuse to believe what is true.

We can agree or disagree over what these leaders have accomplished six years in power after decolonialization of South Sudan, but no one side is going to talk the other side into accepting its point of view, no matter many moments of silence are required.

Our moral duty as journalists and citizens of South Sudan is to hold our national leaders accountable and no one is beyond critique.

We cannot afford to let a hero worship impede our ability to review our political leaders in all their capacities. Furthermore, we have no illusions about the fact that the current political rule has in its closet the skeleton of dysfunction, and yet there is the decline of the revolutionary utopia and its constituent power, a revolution emerging that points toward the better future.

It was said long-time ago in the real country that “when the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” Without a sharp critical assessment of the leadership and the duties of the leadership, there is no freedom of public expression of opinions and progress.

Freedom of expression is an important and fundamental tenet of a free and democratic society. If the Juba regime and its blind party supporters wish to infringe this freedom, they must be prepared to offer a good and sufficient justification for the infringement. We must be free to express ourselves in public affairs.

Journalists present objective information that allows citizens to form their own opinions, and we must continue to do that without fear of intimidation and punishments coming from the corrupt leaders of the day. We must make them and their governments responsive to the will of people. The interests of the great majority of the population have been sacrificed to those of the leaders for too long and we must now expose their cold and heartless.

Citizens have no say in who run their governments, who are hired, how public money is spent, or what social policies will be. These leaders have taken people for granted and cannot live without them. They are opportunists who have exploited ethnic fragmentation and competing demands to bring people over their sides and divide the baby country into partisan war zones. They have made the most of the problems rocking South Sudan today to get to power or cling to power.

Despite the abundant natural resources, citizens have not yet freed from poverty and insecurity, and it has become harder to feed a family even on a good salary. A gap has grown between the reality citizens can see around them and the truth dictated by these unpredictable and tendentiously reactionary leaders.

For many, life under their leadership means endless search for basic necessities, families crowded into one-room apartments, shabby clothes, inadequate food and youth unemployment.

In other words, too many southerners distrust the existing political system which seems powerless to solve the country’s problems, but they are fundamentally passive in the sense that they cannot act by themselves.

They must be led by their maniac warriors who are primarily tied to the defence of the more archaic past and aimed at preserving tradition in the changing society. The maniac warriors tend to look backwards and prove most acceptable to their conservative backers and that is why they are so susceptible to external manipulation.

Trapped in the political misrule and the never-ending internal warfare, South Sudanese are faced with a crisis greater than any since the liberation struggle, and the consequences of not accepting the challenge of this crisis would be catastrophic.

They either change the existing order that has caused more troubles than it has solved by becoming active citizens or watch their country descending into a barbarism. That is inherent in the amoral nature of South Sudanese political leaders and their manic drive for power and wealth at any cost.

Here is a predicament and there are good reasons to believe that they would not soon witness the emerging of a nationalist prophet to lead them out of this predicament. Without autonomous political actions of their own against their subordination and oppression, there would be no alternative to what is on offer from the ruling elite.

This should be a historic time for them organize and work to toward a democratic change, as this crisis has profoundly discredited the ruling elite in the minds of suffering millions.

On the other hand, some international financial watchdogs tend to think that corruption in Africa is just about stealing public money. It is also about putting bad people with no passion in prime positions, and this is evident in South Sudan, where government departments are full of village friends who have no qualifications to the posts other than being clan members.

The new country’s political structure rarely rewards merit, so those running the central and state institutions are squandering not only the trust but also the potential of those they mismanage. They are not only wasting the opportunities but also the future of South Sudan.

This form of corruption is crippling social and economic development, and as most anti-corruption activists noted, corruption is worse than murder in the country. It has killed more millions of pounds than the internal warfare.

Some national banks have been emptied out of their deposits and sent off to various personal accounts in foreign banks, condemning thousands of people to die of curable diseases and hunger. Some would think, and they would not be wrong, that politicians come from poverty and coming into money they would have empathy for those still trapped in the horrors of poverty.

Once these leaders get wealth and decent houses, they are often the last people on earth to care about the poverty they escaped. Combined with vulgar wasting of money on everything materialistic, they are more likely to kick the ladder down to make sure no one else can climb up.

South Sudan’s politicians use their leadership to enrich themselves and leave their country men and women trapped in the horrors of poverty. They also prey and play to the passions and prejudices of the people they represent and not instruct them in ways which foster their development and enhance the quality of their lives.

If one group is set against the other, any efforts to organize people around economic and social equality issues are made much more difficult, and perhaps more important, focusing on the volatile issues diverts attention from broader social and economic matters.

In conclusion, there is no denying that the problem of leadership is one of the top issues in South Sudan.

South Sudan has the capacity to end a generalized institutional crisis, public corruption, civil war and poverty. What really then is lacking is the will to do so, and that will is largely locked in the hands of those who call themselves national leaders.

There is only one path -organize people to create civil societies that hold leadership accountable. Have clear social policies pushed into governments. Peer review your peers and peer review your leaders. Make it so that any leader that has a hint of corruption, tribalism, nepotism, cronyism- has no hope of getting into public office.

The one-party dictatorships of Africa have long since disappeared, but one-party rule is still alive in the new state of South Sudan, and citizens have no power to put pressure on their leadership nor can they shape the leaders that best represent their interests. The solution must come from the people.

John Juac Deng
Journalist/writer
Juacd@yahoo.ca

Lam Akol resigns from Kiir’s South Sudan govt, says Peace Deal is Over

AUG/01/2016, RadioTamazuj & other sources, SSN;

Dr Lam Akol Ajawin, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security in the South Sudanese cabinet, has resigned his position saying that “there is no more peace agreement to implement in Juba.”

Lam was one of two members of the non-armed opposition parties to be appointed to ministerial positions in the Transitional Government of National Unity under the terms of the peace deal signed last August.

The ‘unity’ government is showing more signs of fractures with the departure of SPLM-IO Chairman Riek Machar from Juba with several other officials and now Lam Akol’s resignation.

The National Alliance chairman in his resignation statement blamed President Salva Kiir for dealing a “final blow” to the peace deal by his actions since the first week of July “culminating in the military attack on the First Vice President, dislodging him from Juba and invoking his absence to fill his position with a person of his choice in the name of SPLM-IO.”

“One cannot with a clear conscience serve under such a regime,” the minister wrote.

Lam cited other violations of the peace deal including the creation of 28 states, delays in forming the transitional assembly, obstructions of ceasefire monitors, and “ethnic-oriented killings in Rajaa, Wau and other ares in Equatoria, [and] refusing to lift the state of emergency.”

The outgoing agriculture minister condemned and mocked the president’s decision to replace Machar with his top lieutenant Taban Deng as first vice president, calling Taban Deng a ‘poodle.’

Lam pointed to the violence last month in Juba as marking the end of the security arrangements of the peace deal. “History teaches us that whenever the security arrangements of any peace agreement collapse the whole agreement collapses,” he said.

The minister has also resigned his position within the non-armed opposition National Alliance and the Democratic Change party, saying that there is “no free political space in Juba.”

Lam Akol, who never endorsed the use of violence during the 2014-2015 period of the civil war, now hints at the possibility of joining the armed opposition, though in his statement he did not specifically say he would do so. He disclosed, “We are consulting with like-minded compatriots so as to build a broad national front to lead our relentless effort to save our country… The people of South Sudan will not sand more of a callous, totalitarian and ethnio-centric regime that seems to thrive on the suffering of its own people.”

Sources confirmed to Radio Tamazuj prior to Lam’s departure that opposition groups are organizing to form a new coalition to battle the Kiir government after the breakup of the SPLM/SPLM-IO government, though the details of these efforts are yet to be reported.

In Juba, meanwhile, Kornilo Kon, the head of the National Alliancein Juba, confirmed to Radio Tamazuj that his former boss Dr. Lam Akol submitted his resignation on Monday to the party members after consultation.

He said that the party members have accepted his resignation and appointed immediately a new leader. Meanwhile, they plan tomorrow to nominate someone from their ranks to replace Lam in the cabinet as agriculture minister.

In the latest developments, forces loyal to embattled South Sudan first vice-president Riek Machar on Sunday warned they would attack Juba if a third force is not deployed in South Sudan.

“We are waiting for orders from the commander-in-chief to give orders and we move on Juba,” said James Gadet, Machar’s spokesman.

He said fighting was going on in the northwest of Juba and also claimed that the opposition (SPLA-IO) had captured a military bases in Katigir.

Gadet also said government forces loyal to President Salva Kiir had carried out aerial bombardments of their bases in Lanya County but the ground attacks had been repulsed.

He also added that in the past one week, their forces had captured 21 military trucks from government soldiers.

Meanwhile, guarantors of the South Sudanese peace deal, which include East African nations, China and Western powers, met in Khartoum on Sunday to discuss the situation of the transitional government after the July violence and the removal of Machar.

Festus Mogae, Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission Chairman, urged the guarantors to “do everything… to prevent a relapse into full-scale war and salvage the Agreement.”

But Lam Akol called the guarantors “impotent” to ensure that Kiir respected the agreement, “a situation that emboldened him more to dishonour the agreement.”

“The agreement was the only hope to save our country from the abyss. Yet, Kiir has opted to leap into the dark. This is the worst nightmare for the people of South Sudan,” said the former minister.