Archive for: September 2016

Could the killing of Dr. Riek Machar be the end of suffering in South Sudan or the beginning?

BY: Lino Yobwan , USA, SEP/09/2016, SSN;

The good-hearted man is always rewarded by his Almighty and for “40 days of walking in the wilderness toward the Congolese border without water and food is a miracle from God;” for Riek Machar to accomplish his mission once and for all as he did with the self-determination which brought South Sudan as an independent nation.

What does that mean? Any religious will conclude something about his journey of the 40 days and relate it to something from the past.

Dr. Riek Machar became the lasting hope for millions of South Sudanese especially the suffering class with the exception of a few who are milking the government by applying the cattle camp mentality by squeezing its nipple harder in order to finish it.

It took Moses 40 years of wanderings in the desert through the wilderness en route to the promised land which finally he accomplished through his man Joshua who he sent to explore the land of Canaan. After the death of Moses, Joshua led the Israelite tribes in the conquest of Canaan, and allocated the land to the tribes.

It remains in the history for generations to learn from it as a leader can struggle to get it people out of danger which applied to South Sudan where the entire populations are suffering. Dr. Riek Machar can represent both for now as Moses as well as Joshua to get South Sudanese people out of the danger of tribal government oppressing the people who gave them South Sudan on golden plate which represent democratic process.

The grabbing land in Equatoria and in particular Juba can be of that similar of the story of the Israelite tribe as the land of the poor indigenous tribes of the Equatoria taken by the government tribal men, politicians and the SPLA army. The indigenous and the poor tribes are waiting for a person of Moses or later Joshua to allocate their land back to them.

Jesus Christ fasted and prayed for 40 days to prepare for the ministry God assigned to him. In the New Testament, the gospel of Luke, Mark Mathew has passages that refer to Jesus stay in the wilderness.

For Jonah it was three days in the belly of a huge fish. In December of 2013, Dr. Riek Machar disappeared for three days but was on the run for his life until he reappeared in the Upper Nile as he survived the assassination by the tribal government in Juba.

Later when he hit back on the corrupted government in Juba and across the country, they agreed for peace negotiation as they feared for their lives. When the heat were close to the cold city as they were ready to fly because they couldn’t afford to fight due to the lack of morale.

Later the country becomes dry from dollars as well as food shortages became the factor in the newest nation as the war continues. Dr. Riek Machar at the time became the only remaining hope of the millions starving to death including the government themselves in South Sudan at home and aboard as their pockets as well as their stomach were affected by uncalculated decision by those who run the system.

Those at home are the people who were blocked from leaving by the government to the neighboring countries especially those in the UNMISS protection camps. While those in aboard whom are in critical conditions in the refugee camps are willing for returning home.

Millions in South Sudan view Dr. Riek Machar as “Moses to Joshua” to make sure the people get fair share of the sovereignty which has been occupied by few tribal clans, misusing it as their private property and whoever, spoken against it has been killed or been chased out of the country.

Isaiah Ding Abraham Chan Awuol is an example for those who were killed, and Dr. Luka Biong Deng, Dr. Lam Akol and many more are examples of those been chased out of the country.

For those who believe that the killing of Dr. Riek Machar will be the end of the rebellions and violence are misleading the public but in fact it will be the beginning of authoritarian and dictatorial regime in South Sudan just like the Sudan which was the main reason for South Sudan to separate from it.

Therefore, there will be no leaders who can bring the armed groups and militias across the bushes of South Sudan which make South Sudan the perfect environment for rebellions.

However, as Dr. Machar was able to do so in the past by uniting them together and accepting every blame conspired against him by the government, therefore the result will be like the case of Somalia after the killing of Mohamed Siad Barre which Somalia remained in chaos for 25 years without proper government until and the country failed totally as Somalia was run by guns and bombs from far neighboring countries to peacekeeping.

Unknown gunmen and roads robberies in South Sudan are example of Somalisation in the making without denial.

It is now reflecting in South Sudan where gun is the only language spoken in the country. In the modern world, the sound of guns chases investors and prevents foreigners and tourists from entering the country. Even South Sudanese who are aboard they are not willing to enter into South Sudan fear for their lives from their own people.

Can someone think of what had happened to Somalia for the past 25 years, or Eritrea for the past 23 years, or Northern Uganda for the past 30 years, or Sudan for the past 22 years before South Sudan spilt, DRC for the past 19 years, CAR in the recent years and finally South Sudan for the past 11 years including 5 years in the Government of National Unity (GoNU) with Sudan?

Look at South Africa in the past 22 years of gaining their independent from the white men, today it is the only top economy in Africa, peaceful and democratic. Should the rest learn from how they coexist?

Another example from assassination of Juvenal Habyarimana of Rwanda and Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi resulted into Rwanda Genocide of 1994. It was one the bloodiest events of the late 20th century because of greed of power.

Also we have seen and witnessed the First Congo war of 1996-1997 as foreign invasion of Zaire led by Rwanda that replaced Dictator Mobutu Sese Seko with the rebel leaders Laurent Desire Kabila and later by his son, Joseph Kabila as a revenge for what had happened in Rwanda.

What had happened in Juba in December of 2013 where the government soldiers massacred many Nuer tribes-people through set up of road blocks across Juba and divided it into zones creating insecurity up to date?

Destabilization in South Sudan resulting from the Juba massacres can be view as similar to the Rwanda Genocide was the final factor that caused numerous internal and external factors to align against the corrupt government in the national capital Kigali, so do Juba?

South Sudan’s resumed civil war: Why the world must look beyond Kiir and Machar!

By: Biel Boutros Biel, SEPT/09/2016, SSN;

South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation has been going through a brutal civil war waged by former ‘liberation-comrades-turned-enemies.’ Former Vice-president Riek Machar, narrowly fled capital Juba on 16 December 2013. President Salva Kiir accused him of a ‘coup.’ Machar denied, terming it a ‘plot’ to eliminate him within the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement(SPLM).

Machar then formed an armed faction; the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement or Army-In Opposition(SPLM/A-IO) to fight what he called ‘Kiir’s dictatorship’. A peace deal signed in 2015 by the two leaders, gave a break to violence. The deal also stipulates a power-sharing. The SPLM/A-IO takes the post of the First Vice-President for Machar.

After more than two years in the Jungles, Machar returned to Juba on 26 April 2016 to form with Kiir the Transitional Government of National Unity(TGoNU). On 8 July 2016, a deadly fight flared up at Presidential Palace in Juba between the guards of Kiir and Machar. In a respite of about three months after Machar’s return, South Sudan is docked in a theatre of flames.

Who pulled the trigger? Indiana University’s Professor Clemence Pinaud reveals that the one returning South Sudan to violence is Kiir’s Chief of Staff, General Paul Malong (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/the-conversation-africa/whos-behind-south-sudans_b_11008018.html).

Prof. Pinaud’s argument is right. Malong instigated the violence in alliance with South Sudan’s Minister of Defence General Kuol Manyang and other key leaders of the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE), a Dinka tribal think-tank that advises, initiates and influences Kiir’s public decisions.

The violence is further incited by hate speech propagated on South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) by Brigadier-General Malaak Ayuen, an ally to Malong. Part of the song is tuned by Minister of Information, Michael Makuei Lueth, through his hate and violent outbursts.

Why Malong instigated the violence again?

The first reason is Malong’s hatred of Machar as of Nuer ethnicity. Machar’s ambition for South Sudan’s Presidency, to Malong, is equivalent to robbing Dinka elites of power by a Nuer. Malong once stated; ‘I will wait to see how Riek Machar would be the president in this country in our presence. He would be a president in my absence.’ (http://sudantribune.com/spip.php?article58570).

Failure to kill Machar in July violence must have deeply wounded Malong’s conscience.

The second reason is Malong’s dislike of the Peace deal provision of a hybrid court to try perpetrators of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and sexually related crimes.

Malong’s calculated violence is to, first, ensure the demise of the Agreement to save themselves from criminal trials. With absence of Machar in TGoNU, Malong is comfortable with Machar’s former Chief Negotiator General Taban Deng Gai whom they used to replace Machar as the First Vice-President. Malong knows that Taban is vulnerable for his own safety in Juba.

To end the deal, Malong’s security agents initiated provocations to the SPLM/A-IO forces in Juba including the killing of their security officers; Lieutenant Colonel George Gismala and Sergeant Domach Koat Pinyien at start of July 2016 as to set ground for war.

Secondly, is Malong’s assumed military defeat of the SPLM/A-IO which he believes as possible with military assistance from Uganda, Russia and China. Malong and JCE will remain a brain behind Kiir’s weakling leadership.

The third reason is impunity. In 1980’s, the SPLM/A under John Garang, killed Gajaak Nuer civilians. In 1991, Machar and Lam Akol’s SPLM/A Nasir Faction killed civilians in Garang’s Dinka Bor. The SPLM/A in retaliation killed civilians of Lou, Gawaar and Dok Nuer among others.

The army has been killing civilians; Lou-Nuer in 2006, Bul Nuer in 2011, Murle in 2011-2012, people of Wau(Fertit) in 2012, Nuer in Juba in 2013, Moro and Madi in 2014 to date. No one was held accountable. Absence of criminal justice warrants the generals a free ticket to constantly kill.

Is it Malong and JCE leaders alone causing Juba violence without SPLM/A-IO’s contribution? Taban Deng Gai’s hidden rivalry with Machar made him associate with Malong to ensure elimination of Machar in order to replace him. Apart from Taban’s alleged role, it seems the SPLM/A-IO forces never contributed to the July violence.

In March 2016, they were persuaded by President Festus Mogae and the world to come to Juba with a force of about 1500. Aware of the SPLA forces heavily deployed in Juba, the SPLM/A-IO forces would have been on suicidal mission if they were to cause violence in Juba.

The way forward for South Sudan:

A well equipped protection force should be deployed immediately in Juba under the United Nations to protect civilians, the Presidency alongside a limited and equal number of bodyguards of the two leaders. The same force should be deployed to any other conflict areas in South Sudan. The rest of SPLA and SPLA-IO forces must be deployed outside Juba in cantonment sites.

The Hybrid Court has to be set up to try all suspects of human rights abuses. The world should ensure that the TGoNU is reinstalled with Machar resuming as the First Vice-President. The protection force should ensure that the Peace deal is fully implemented.

Men like General Malaak Ayuen and Makuei Lueth of hate speech on SSBC must be stopped. Arms embargo be imposed on South Sudan. Countries providing arms to warring parties must be stopped as members of United Nations that promotes peace and security.

Finally, the world has to face Malong and JCE if South Sudan is to hold.

The author BB Biel is the Executive Director of the South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy(SSHURSA); a nonpolitical and nonprofit-making national human rights organisation founded in 2007. He is 2013 Human Rights Advocate at the Institute for Study of Human Rights, Columbia University’s School of Law, New York City, USA. Biel is also a former co-chair of the National Human Rights Forum with the Chair of South Sudan Human Rights Commission and too recently served as a Technical Member of the South Sudan’s National Constitutional Amendment Committee. The views expressed here are his own and NOT attributed to any of the institutions he is associated with.

E-mail: bielbb2015@gmail.com.

MONDAY, SEPT/12: Groundbreaking Investigation to Reveal War Profiteers Fueling Corruption-Driven Conflict in South Sudan

PRESS CONFERENCE:

George Clooney and John Prendergast, co-founders of The Sentry, join Don Cheadle and investigative team to present findings in Washington, D.C.

WHAT: On Monday, September 12, The Sentry, an investigative initiative co-founded by John Prendergast and George Clooney, will present the findings of a groundbreaking two-year investigation into the networks of South Sudan’s senior officials and their international facilitators, whose violent competition over corruption opportunities has turned their country into one of world’s deadliest war zones.

During Monday’s press conference, Clooney, Cheadle, Prendergast, and members of the Sentry team will discuss the findings of this investigation and feature a question-and-answer session with attending media. The Sentry is a collaboration between the Enough Project and Not On Our Watch, with their implementing partner the Center for Advanced Defense Studies.

The Sentry will release a report summarizing the results of nearly two years of following the money in South Sudan’s shadowy war economy and the links to an array of international facilitators and enablers, which include bankers, arms dealers, and businessmen. This will be the first public presentation of The Sentry’s multi-country investigations into the links between massive corruption and armed conflict.

The Sentry brings together an experienced team of investigators, including former employees of the FBI, Treasury Department, other government agencies, intelligence communities, and Congress, as well as contributions from field researchers, country experts, academia and press. Researchers pored through thousands of pages of legal records, corporate filings, financial statements, transaction and shipping documents, and other official correspondence; tracked suspects’ online social media footprints; and utilized satellite imagery to gather and analyze data about their assets and movements. Investigators traveled to multiple locations including Melbourne, Adelaide, Addis Ababa, Kampala, Juba, Cairo and Nairobi, to gather evidence and interview hundreds of experts and eyewitnesses, many of whom spoke under the condition of anonymity.

WHO: The Sentry co-founders George Clooney and John Prendergast, Not on Our Watch co-founder Don Cheadle, report author J.R. Mailey and key Sentry investigators. Interview opportunities with report authors should be requested prior.

FOR MEDIA: Credentialed media are encouraged to attend the press conference. Please RSVP for the press conference (include your full name and media outlet) to gh@enoughproject.org

LOCATION: THE NATIONAL PRESS CLUB, Holeman Lounge
529 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20045

DATE/TIME: Monday, September 12, 2016
10:00am – 11:00am ET

LIVESTREAM: For media unable to attend the press conference in person, a livestream of the event of the event will begin at 10:00 am ET at www.thesentry.org/live

About THE SENTRY
The Sentry seeks to disrupt and dismantle the networks of military officers, government officials, businessmen, arms dealers, bankers, and other enablers who benefit financially and politically from Africa’s deadliest conflicts. Our investigations follow the money from conflict zones and into global economic centers, using open source data collection, field research, document collection, and state-of-the-art network analysis technology. The Sentry provides information and analysis that engages civil society and media, supports regulatory action and prosecutions, and provides policymakers and the private sector with the information they require to take effective action. Co-founded by George Clooney and John Prendergast, The Sentry is an initiative of the Enough Project and Not On Our Watch (NOOW), with its implementing partner C4ADS. Current countries of focus are South Sudan, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, and the Central African Republic. Learn more at TheSentry.org

Another Road to Hell: The Failure of UN Peacekeeping Forces in Africa!

By Deng Mangok Ayuel, Jonglei, South Sudan, SEP/06/2016, SSN;

The United Nations has dispatched numbers of peacekeeping forces to Africa for years, deploying soldiers to trouble spots countries such as the DRC, Central African Republic, Darfur and South Sudan. Yet the “blue helmets” or the “men in white mercenaries” as known to South Sudanese have failed to prevent fresh wrinkles of violence in Africa.

The recent clashed in July, 2016, between government and Dr Machar’s forces in Juba, South Sudan, couldn’t surprise the AU and the UNSC because “the Compromised Peace Agreement” mediated by IGAD-plus has terrible errors.

The UNMISS has been in the country for years but contributed less than expected. In 2013, the war broke out in South Sudan but UN couldn’t do anything to minimize rape, killing of civilians or provide enough food for the IDPs in the camps where some of the civilians had starved and others grabbed near UNMISS’ house in Malakal and killed while UN peacekeeping forces kept watching to tell the stories. The mission is not mandated to involve in local affairs but there is a need for peacekeeping forces to be signally alert and watchfully enforcing as protection forces.

The United Nations is mesh-meddling in local affairs. Former head of UNMISS in the country, Hilde Johnson was perceived by critics, citizens and observers as an agent of regime change in South Sudan. However, Ms Johnson was accused of supporting Dr Machar after the rebel leader was flown to Bor from Juba by UN helicopter.

The same UN had recently air-lifted Dr Machar from South Sudan-Congo border, together with sanctioned rebel commander, Simon Gatwich Dual to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Is it right for UN to air-lift a sanctioned military commander with its helicopter? What is the so-called sanction by khawaja?

The UNMISS puts itself in a confused situation in order to become part of confusion for more donations in the west. The mission is also marred by confused international staff and chauvinists with western conflicting interests. Mr Ban Ki-Moon, why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? Here are the countries UN had failed to do its mandated job in Africa:

1. Darfur

In 2003, a conflict erupted in Sudan’s Darfur, as various militia groups criticized and attacked the government for oppressing non-Arabs. Early in the war, rebel forces defeated the Sudanese military in more than thirty battles. Seeing that defeat was looming, the government funded the Janjaweed, a group of Arab militants. By 2005, the Janjaweed carried out attacks on populated villages using artillery and helicopters, prompting condemnation by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Despite this condemnation, the UN did not enter into Sudan, instead urging members of the African Union to intervene. Despite overwhelming evidence of the Sudanese government’s direct and indirect participation in the killings of civilians, and its repeated failure to disarm the Janjaweed militia, the Security Council’s response fell far short of what is needed to end the atrocities in Darfur. The war fulminated continuously for years.

President Omer el-Bashir was indicted by the ICC for war crimes and crimes against humanity but wasn’t taken to the court because regional actors and UN are toothless. The UNMID has been in Darfur for years but peace couldn’t be realized. Only God can bring change and peace in Sudan, not United Nations.

Peter Takirambudde, executive director, Human Rights Watch’s Africa Division once said, “The UN Security Council’s new resolution on Sudan fails to provide protection for endangered civilians in the country’s western Darfur region. The Security Council will be judged harshly by history.”

2. Rwanda
The Rwandan genocide in 1994 details the gross inability of the United Nations to carry out its sworn duty to maintain peace and security. Following the Rwandan Civil War in the early 1990s, tensions between two ethnic groups, the Hutu and the Tutsis were high. And in 1993, UN peacekeeping forces entered the nation, attempted to secure the capital to enable humanitarian aid operations.

In January, 1994, a cable was sent from the Canadian Force Commander to the UN headquarters detailing the imminent threat of genocide by Hutu masses on Tutsi minorities. The Security Council never received the cable, and the notice was largely ignored. Following the killing of eighteen American servicemen in the Battle of Mogadishu, the United States was largely unwilling to help in any intervention.

The most shocking in this series of events is the desertion of a school by Belgian peacekeepers after ten soldiers were murdered. Thousands of people had flocked to the school for UN protection, and roaming gangs of Hutu supporters killed nearly all of them. At least, a million Rwandans were killed in the genocide, amounting to twenty per cent of the population. The UN was there in Kigali.

3. Somalia
The UN peacekeeping forces were used in Somali for humanitarian interventions purposes. However, the peacekeepers were met with a hostile reception in Mogadishu. Several of them were killed and the bodies of dead US soldiers were paraded on the streets by the Somali warlords. When an American Black Hawk helicopter was shot down in the Battle of Mogadishu, the US withdrew its troops. In 1995 the UN withdrew all peacekeeping troops in Somali. It was described at the time by one UN official as “the greatest failure of the UN in our lifetime.”

5. DRC
The charter of the United Nations is to ensure world peace, but this mandate is being sorely tested in Congo, where the organization has 10,800 peacekeepers and has done nothing to protect the civilians and their wealth in a country full of diamonds and gold.

The United Nations Mission in Congo, known by its French acronym MONUC, embodies the failure and all the contradictions that have characterized the organization worldwide in the last decade. In eastern Congo, where rape and insecurity are the daily lot of hopeless civilians, the mission has, in fact, become the symbol of impunity. The UNMISS forces are part of the hot love in DRC, no wonder.

The UN troops were sent to DRC in 1999, in the midst of a civil war that killed more than 3.3 million people. The war drew in many of Congo’s neighbours, including Uganda and Rwanda. The MONUC has been in DRC and will still be there tomorrow and the Congolese shall keep suffering and suffering for more years.

6. CAR
A report by group of lawyers in CAR has condemned the UN for failing to respond to allegations of child abuse against peacekeepers in the Central African Republic (CAR). The independent investigation released on Thursday, May, 2014 said the UN handling of the case was “seriously flawed”, accusing it of not taking the required action after the alleged abuse of young boys by French soldiers. The end result was a gross institutional failure to respond to the allegations in a meaningful way.

Those on the investigative panel, chaired by Jean Eric, a former Justice of the Supreme Court of CAR, condemned the organisation for passing responsibility to those who tackled allegedly abuse from “desk to desk and inbox to inbox”, with no one willing to take responsibility for the allegations.

The allegations of abuse were brought forward by 10 children and allegedly took place in a centre for displaced people near Bangui airport between Dunforceecember 2013 and June 2014. The children, who were as young as six, reportedly approached French soldiers looking for food and were told by the troops to perform sex acts in exchange.

Deng Mangok Ayuel is a humanitarian worker, freelance writer and South Sudanese blogger. He currently lives in Jonglei State and can be reached via mangokson@gmail.com.

UN Security Council should also give Kiir an ultimatum to implement peace accord or else….!!

QUOTE: “The challenge now is to make sure that a piece of paper becomes operationalized,” UN head of delegation, Samantha Power, told reporters after meeting Kiir. “Now we have to turn it into steps to improve life for people in great need.”

EDITORIAL: SEP/05/2016, SSN;

Now that the cowardly and murderous dictator, so-called president Kiir Mayardit of Juba, has finally acquiesced to the UN Security Council delegation to South Sudan, it’s time all South Sudanese opposed to the ruling and much-influenced-by-the Jieng-council-of-elders junta should come together to give the final kick of death to the killer Kiir’s regime.

Although these latest developments in Juba might superficially seem exciting and encouraging that a resolution to the impasse is finally in the horizon, however, the past history of the duplicitous and unreliable monstrosity called the SPLM/A, calls for some extreme caution.

Just in the short period of our so-called ‘independence,’ the Kiir junta has persistently and unashamedly proven itself as an utterly unreliable government to its oppressed citizens as well as to the international community of nations that has so much invested in the success of the South Sudan nation as the world’s newest country.

The 15-member UN Security council last month authorized the deployment of a 4,000-strong regional protection force as part of the U.N. peacekeeping mission already on the ground, known as UNMISS. It threatened to consider an arms embargo if Kiir’s government did not cooperate.

“To improve the security situation the (Kiir) Transitional Government of National Unity gave its consent to the deployment, as part of UNMISS, of the regional protection force,” the South Sudanese government and the Security Council said in a joint communique.

The countries contributing troops to the force, UNMISS and the government would “continue to work through the modalities of deployment,” the statement said. East African regional bloc IGAD pushed for a regional protection force and has pledged to provide the troops. The Kiir junta said they’ve no objection to who contributes soldiers.

In the resolution, the UN Security council pledged to discuss imposing a possible arms embargo on South Sudan if U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reports back in mid-September that the government was not cooperating on the force and was obstructing the work of peacekeepers on the ground.

In their acceptance, “The Kiir’s Transitional Government of National Unity commits to permit free movement to UNMISS in conformity with its mandate, including to protect civilians,” according to the statement on Sunday. The government and the peacekeeping force will come up with “concrete steps to remove impediments to UNMISS’ ability to implement its mandate.

“The challenge now is to make sure that a piece of paper becomes operationalized,” US Samantha Power told reporters after meeting Kiir. “Now we have to turn it into steps to improve life for people in great need.” The government and the Security Council agreed “that the humanitarian and security needs of the people were paramount.”

Furthermore, the UN Security Council has instructed the African Union to establish the recommended Hybrid Court to try all those who have committed or commissioned war crimes in the South-South war of December 2013, against the people of South Sudan especially that the AU Commission of Inquiry under former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo had completed and presented its report.

Under no circumstances should this Hybrid Court be premised and stationed in Juba or anywhere in South Sudan, due to the high security difficulties and impediments that will be encountered or exacerbated by the ruffians in the Kiir’s security as or since most of them will be probably standing in for possible prosecution.

Let’s have the court and trials conducted somewhere in Zanzibar or the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean, or the serene environment of Botswana or Swaziland, period.

Moreover, since a second war has taken place in July 2015, instigated and prosecuted by none other than president Kiir himself against his vice, Machar, where more egregious crimes against humanity on the people of South Sudan were re-commissioned and re-committed, specifically by none other than by the same Kiir’s junta, and these have also to be included in the process of the proceedings of the Hybrid Court on South Sudan (HCSS).

Of course, it’s imperative, as a pre-condition, that SPLM-IO leader and former vice president, Riek Machar, must be reintegrated in the new government otherwise the UN security council actions will be completely meaningless as war is likely to continue.

Incorporating the SPLM-IO and other opposition forces into a new post-war government is very important if the world community is seriously interested in seeing peace come to the people of South Sudan.

Basically, and for the information of the unknowledgeable international community, the basic problem leading to the repetition of these cyclical ethnic wars in South Sudan is this inept and evil ethnicized association called the SPLM and its military wing, the SPLA.

Quoting from former UN Security Council Representative in South Sudan, Hilda Johnson’s latest book, “South Sudan: Th Untold Story,” “it’s impossible to build a nation out of a broken society that has not dealt with its past. When people primarily identify themselves with their ethnic group and not the nation, ethnicity rather than the larger common good will drive their actions.”

Inarguably, as Hilda Johnson asserts, the recent spates of ethnicized fighting which were evidently started and sustained by these tribal leaders in Juba and quickly spread to all parts of the country, have “severely torn apart the social fabric of the society and aggravated multiple grievances and tensions between communities and escalated local conflicts.”

Today, even the Equatorians and the Fertit in Bahr el Ghazal, a people separately known for their long patience, acceptance of aliens within their communities and tolerance, have all now risen up in rebellion against the jieng-council-of-elders-influenced tribal junta in Juba, which has been subsumed by an unsustainable idiocy of a supposedly imperialistic policy of colonization of the entire country as their own, that’s now being widely resisted by all of the Nuers, Collos, Azande, Bari-speakers, Moru, Madi and others.

These deliberately re-marginalized peoples have no political influence in the affairs of the country and they have lots of accumulated grievances, hence the palpable dissatisfaction within, and they have understandably resorted to violence against the jieng-council-of-elders-dominated government in Juba and its army.

Again, as Hilda Johnson knowledgeably asserts in her latest book, “the recent fighting has torn the social fabric of the society and aggravated multiple grievances and tensions between communities. This cumulative impact of the past and the present that’s now complicating the efforts to achieve peace.”

Unfortunately for the South Sudan nation, the dominant jieng-led government is morbidly and mortally frozen in the past and as such, “a peace agreement that tinkers with the basic structures of government and the distribution of offices as a solution won’t address the trauma that threatens to divide South Sudanese from one another.”

Also, “no amnesty, accommodation through political positions, military ranks or other forms of benefits, isn’t a true reconciliation.”

Hilda Johnson summarizes that, “for peace to be sustained, major changes are needed in the ways the leadership deals with the drivers of conflict, and in the processes of reconciliation between communities and adversaries. These provisions in the CPA were unfortunately avoided and as such, long-standing grievances between the SPLA and the communities, and between opposing communities were totally ignored.”

She concludes that “reconciliation must occur in tandem with healing and accountability processes, because the ghosts of the past are the real conflict drivers fueling fresh conflicts, otherwise violence will reappear.”

Isn’t this truly prophetic, with the resurgence of violence and tribal conflicts now being witnessed across the nation?

Finally, the UN Security Council must issue an ultimatum to the jieng-council-misled president, Kiir, that the latest peace must be honored and fully implemented with the expedited return of Riek Machar to his post and the reversal or cancellation of all those decrees issued by the jieng council of elders (JCE) with the president since the last pre-July, 2015 war outbreak.

Since the president himself is and stands accused in the commission of egregious war crimes and crimes against the people, along with the State and including the SPLA (so-called national army), none of them should partake in any reconciliation process, this has to be absolutely independent and homegrown, from the people themselves.

LATEST DEVELOPMENT: President Kiir on Monday, September 5th, seems to have reversed his position and retracted his own concession on the deployment of the 4,000 UN troops. Samantha Power commented that ‘this is a worrying development.”

Should the UN Security now go to Plan B, to deal with Kiir finally, including issuing a warrant of arrest and imposing sanctions of the leaders?

The Equatoria Community in UK condemns ongoing violence in SS & advocates new approach to peace-building

PRESS RELEASE
03 September 2016

1. The Equatoria community in the UK welcomes the visit by members and representatives of the United
Nations Security Council (UNSC) to South Sudan this weekend.

2. We repeat our condemnation of the resurgence of violence, which began in Juba on the 8th July 2016. The murder of non-combatants and the looting of properties in Juba, coupled with deplorable acts of gender based violence, which targeted both civilians and foreign aid workers, signify the complete breakdown of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS).

3. We also strongly condemn the on-going military campaign in the Equatoria region of South Sudan. We continue to receive credible reports of government forces engaging in both targeted and indiscriminate murders of civilians, as well as the looting of properties and the restrictions of free movement of the people.

4. In our previous press release, issued on 14th July 2016, we urged for a re-commitment to the provisions
and schedule of ARCISS. Unfortunately, it has become clear that this path to peace is no longer viable.
The longstanding opposition to the peace agreement by President Salva Kiir and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Government (SPLM-IG) can no longer be ignored. Their hold on power is threatened by security sector reform. Economic reform is a challenge to the patronage networks that they’ve developed. And the hybrid court promises an end to the impunity that they have long enjoyed.
Since its inception, and starting with the registration of ‘reservations’ against key provisions of agreement, President Kiir and the SPLM-IG have worked tirelessly to dismantle the ARCISS and the collegial presidency it requires.

5. The most recent move to dishonour the agreement is the replacement of Dr Riek Machar with Taban Deng Gai as First Vice President; an act we strongly condemn. We regret, as unfortunate, the endorsement of this move by John Kerry, US Secretary of State, and we urge him not to influence the IGAD leaders against their decisive communique issued during the African Union summit in Kigali. We urge our international peace partners, as guarantors of the peace agreement, to stand firmly by their stated commitment to support the people of South Sudan. We trust that our peace partners will not do what South Sudan’s leaders have done, which is to fail the people of South Sudan.

6. We have heard the asserࢢons of President Kiir and the SPLM-IG that there will be further bloodshed should Dr Machar return to Juba. But we note that even with Dr Machar in exile, the bloodshed, especially in Equatoria, and perpetrated in large part by the Sudan People’s Liberaࢢon Army and its affiliated miliࢢas, continues unabated. We note with regret the recent statement by President Uhuru Kenya‚a, which emphasised the relative peace in Juba whilst ignoring the continuing deterioration of the security situation outside of the capital. It is clear that the collapse of ARCISS lies with President Kiir and SPLM-IG, who have demonstrated their unwillingness to cooperate with Dr Machar in implementation of the peace agreement.

7. We refute the dominant narraࢢve, which trivialises the crisis in South Sudan by portraying it as a power
struggle between the two principals, Salva Kiir and Riek Machar. We urge our peace partners to revisit the underlying root causes of the conflict in South Sudan, which we believe was only indirectly addressed in the peace agreement. We note with regret that the minority report to the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan, issued by Professor Mahmood Mamdani, which advised the exclusion of President Kiir, Riek Machar and all ministers in the government prior to the reshuffle in July 2013, was ignored.

8. We eagerly welcomed the inauguraࢢon of the transiࢢonal government and supported the ARCISS because we truly believed it would bring a lasࢢng peace. In our press release, issued in April 2016, we expressed our disappointment that too many ‘old faces’ with a track record of underachievement were included in the transiࢢonal government. It was our belief that this would threaten any meaningful reforms that the South Sudanese people desperately expected. Unfortunately, four months on, the current situaࢢon has proved that our previous concerns were correct. We are le[ with no choice but to move forward and advocate for a new sustainable peace-building process. The incumbent SPLM
government must be replaced with a broad based coalition government for peace-building to succeed in South Sudan.

9. We appeal to the UNSC to:
a. Support the development of a broad based political coalition, as the most effective means to achieving stability and sustainable peace-building;
b. Facilitate a national conference comprising all political and civil society stakeholders, balanced by grassroots representation from South Sudan’s three regions;
c. Impose an arms embargo on South Sudan to stem the flow of weapons;
d. Impose targeted sanctions on individuals and entities obstructing peace in South Sudan;
e. Continue to provide much needed humanitarian assistance for the South Sudanese people, especially for those recently displaced to neighbouring countries.

Signed:
Federico Vuni.
Chair
Equatorian Community in UK
livi.hope@yahoo.co.uk

The Jieng Council of Elders rejects the UN Security Council Resolution 2304

JUBA, AUGUST 15, 2016;

The Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) wishes to make its position known with respect to the UN Security Council Resolution 2304 authorizing the deployment of regional forces in the Republic of South Sudan. The Council clearly understands the frustration of the international community with the slow pace of peace implementation and the recent political events in South Sudan.

The Council categorically deplores and strongly condemns in strongest terms the unwarranted attack at the State House and the resulting in relapse into violence; a situation that was created by Dr. Riek Machar’s attempt to forcefully take state power.

We sincerely express our remorse for the bloodshed and the suffering these reckless actions have brought to our people. The Council expresses its deep and heartfelt condolences to the affected families, and urges the Transitional Government of National Unity and its partners to expedite the implementation of the peace agreement so as to stabilize the security situation across the nation and arrest the worsening economic conditions.

As a body that works tirelessly to promote peaceful co-existence and harmony among the people and communities of South Sudan, the JCE has been engaging leaders and elders of various communities in the last two years in a bid to foster a peaceful resolution of the crisis in the country.

Towards this end, the Council also recognizes and appreciates the efforts exerted by the region under the auspices of the Inter-governmental Authority on Development, (IGAD), AU, Troika countries, the UN, and other stakeholders in ensuring the return of peace and stability in South Sudan.

Having fully expressed its commitment to work assiduously in concert with all peace loving South Sudanese, the region and beyond, the Council takes the view that any engagements for the interest of peace ought to be done in a consultative and constructive manner that recognizes the long struggle of the people of South Sudan for freedom and their hard-earned sovereignty.

Drawing from the foregoing, the passage of Resolution 2304 by the UN Security Council on August 12, 2016, in the view of the Council, is flagrantly unconstructive and conspicuously fails to recognize the sovereignty of South Sudan and the will of its people.

The Resolution is sadly a hollow proposition that has no clear direction as to how the proposed intervention force, masquerading as a protection force, would actually bring and achieve peace in South Sudan.

In our view, the Resolution would actually foment animosity among the people of South Sudan. Among other shortcomings, this Resolution would disrupt internal peace processes and embolden the armed opposition against the government, hence, more discord and disunity in our country.

If allowed to happen, this situation would certainly spell more suffering of our people. The Resolution essentially gives this force unfettered powers and an unlimited freedom to use all necessary means to meet their operational objectives, a precondition that undermines both the security of ordinary citizens and the power of state and the government.

Instead of a constructive engagement premised on genuine dialogue, the proponents of Resolution 2304 have now made it abundantly clear that they intend to place South Sudan under the UN/AU trusteeship, an idea that a few disgruntled South Sudanese politicians with their foreign allies, all of whom are hell-bent to effect a well premeditated regime change agenda through illegitimate means.

According to these elements, since they are defeated politically as they have successfully displaced themselves out of the government by their wrong political calculations and misjudgments, they now prefer that the country’s independence and sovereignty, which claimed million lives of our heroes, be turned over to foreign bodies like the UN/AU.

In short, it is either their way or the highway.

For the benefit of readers who might have not seen Resolution 2304 in terms of its content and objective, this misguided document claims to want to fix South Sudan’s crisis by allowing foreign forces to take over the security of our national capital, Juba including the airport.

On some unrealistic and baseless grounds that the security environment in Juba has worsen since the last tragic and violent events that unfolded on July, 8, 10 – 11, 2016, the world body is trying to sanction an illegal activity – taking over and placing a sovereign and an independent nation under a UN trusteeship.

As a member of the UN family, there is no any legal basis whatsoever for the Republic of South Sudan to turn over its hard-won independence and sovereignty to anybody in the world. This includes the UN, which is not allowed by its own charter to usurp power of any member state such as South Sudan.

While it may be true that the security environment is still fragile in South Sudan in a way consistent with that of any post-conflict recovery situation, nothing warrants the deployment of any additional force besides the UNMISS 13, 000 forces already on the ground.

On this note, the world should be informed that, following Riek Machar’s third failed coup attempt this past July and consistent with Mr. Machar’s demonstrated recidivism into political violence of catastrophic magnitudes, the security situation is not bad as anybody would like to portray, particularly in Juba where the UN envisions the need to bring additional 4,000 troops as called for in Resolution 2304.

In light of the above, the Council rejects in its entirety Resolution 2304, because it gives foreign forces a blank check “to use all means necessary” to achieve their ambiguous objectives.

South Sudan does not need foreign troops that are bent on toppling the government. This country rather needs the international community to support with the Transitional Government of National Unity to consolidate peace in order to restore decent livelihoods to our people.

The Council urges the government to expedite internal process to end the suffering of the people of South Sudan and deny the negative international forces the opportunity to wreck our country.

Moreover, the Council calls upon the citizens of South Sudan to reject any external interference with our sovereignty.

It further urges the citizens to embrace peace and avoid getting drawn into the game of chasing shadows, a scheme deployed by war entrepreneurs who cherish and profit in others’ misery and pain.

Long live the sovereign Republic of South Sudan
Long live the unity of the South Sudanese people

Signed

1) Hon. Joshua Dau Diu, Chairman

2) Hon. Ustaz Lewis Anei Kuendit, Secretary General

3) Hon. Charles Majak Aleer, Executive Committee Member

4) Hon. Maker Thiong Maal, Executive Committee Member

Suddenly it has become more and more of New York & Washington in South Sudan, lesser of Addis Ababa

By: Justin Ambago Ramba, SEPT/01/2016, SSN;

“How many more of these ping-pong sessions, before the UN Security Council & the US administration realizes that this J.C.E pariah regime in Juba is in fact the problem and moves to final take action in South Sudan!”

Those following the ping-pong of negotiations that have suddenly developed between the UN Security Council & the US administration on one side and the Jieng (Dinka) Council of Elders (J.C.E) Pariah regime in Juba on the other, over the deployment of the protection force in Juba, will notice that much is now coming from New York and Washington and less and less from Addis Ababa!

If this regime that had initially said it would not cooperate with the newly enlarged protection force, but since then it has said it was still considering its position, thinks this ping-pong engagement would buy it more time, let it rethink the whole strategy over again.

For now we are being told that the U.N. Security Council diplomats are expected to visit Juba this week.

Down the road, the J.C.E pariah regime in cooperation with the SPLM-IO Renegade General Taban Deng Gai thought, their failed attempt on the life of the country’s legitimate First Vice president, Dr Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon could provide them with a carte blanche to run the show the way they so wished!

Unfortunately for the regime this is not to be simply because the US government whose citizens were sexually abused in Juba is also seeking the same carte blanche in order to protect its interests in South Sudan.

With the Juba under the J.C.E pariah regime being characterized as the most lawless spot in Africa today ( Boko Haram Nigeria included), the fierce fighting in the capital Juba last month has only increased fears that the five-year-old nation could relapse into civil war and hence a hot spot for more anti-Western activities.

This is in fact what prompted the United Nations to authorize the deployment of the extra troops for the 12,000-strong U.N. mission there.

It also explains why last month, the Security Council approved a 4,000-strong protection force for South Sudan’s capital of Juba as part of the UNMISS peacekeeping mission that had its mandate extended in July.

For those virtually hostages of the regime in Juba and only rely on Michael Makuei dis-information propaganda broadcasted day in and day out over the SSBC, there is a need for you to know that all is not rosy as Makuie wishes you to believe.

The truth of the matter is that the J.C.E pariah regime has not only complicated matters for South Sudanese by illegally dismissing the legal FVP Dr. Riek Machar and replacing him with this ego-centric renegade General Taban Deng Gai, but it has in fact compounded the poor civilian population’s sufferings,

This is the reality, in spite of the loose talk from people like John Kerry who seems to only see the Democratic party’s immediate interest at an election time like this.

The UNMISS head, Ellen Margrethe Loej is already on record for this, “We will have together with the government and the minister of foreign affairs to work out programs so that the members of the Security Council (UNSC) can meet the President and government of South Sudan (and) continue discussing how we improve the situation making sure we have peace,” she said.

What we are seeing here is that the UNSC has now practically taken over the dossier of “War & peace in South Sudan” from the IGAD regional body and is determined to take on the J.C.E pariah regime head on.

My question to those “oppose first, then reason later, if ever” politicians in Juba is – how many ping-pong sessions did Saddam Hussein or Mua’mar Ghadafi had with the duo (UNSC & US) before they both became history?

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. Concerned South Sudanese residing in the United Kingdom.

The New US Policy and the Implementation of South Sudan’s Peace Agreement

By: Malith Kur, London, Canada, SEP/01/2016, SSN;

The visit by the U.S.A secretary of State, John Kerry, to East Africa last week has created new dynamics in the implementation of the peace process in South Sudan. Kerry’s comments in Nairobi concerning the “replacement” of Mr. Riek Machar with Taban Deng are quite encouraging. They underline the facts that the peace process belongs to South Sudanese, not those who want to sacrifice the future of the country for the sake of personal gains.

This article, therefore, is a brief reflection on the impact of the shift in American policy toward South Sudan with regard to the political development within the SPLM-IO as the country moves forward with the implementation of the peace agreement.

This shift in American foreign policy toward South Sudan’s implementation of the peace process will definitely have some bearings on the regional politics that fuel the war in South Sudan.

In general, the impact of the message that Kerry delivered to the Horn of Africa last week on the South Sudanese political situation is arguably significant because what South Sudan needs at the moment are pragmatic political and economic moves to consolidate peace and security throughout the country. These moves include isolating those who stand on the way to ending the war.

The new American policy will move the peace process forward. Kerry has pointed out the facts that no one in the IGAD nations, the AU, and even the United Nations wants to talk about — that the ultimate responsibility for the implementation of the peace process lies with South Sudanese and the political leadership in the country.

Kerry’s comments, which were echoed by the State Department in Washington, have invalidated the understanding that the peace-building exercise in South Sudan rests on the consent of Riek Machar and Salva Kiir.

It is a misconception of the political reality in South Sudan that the United Nations, the IGAD, and the AU have held for quite some time. It has been an obstacle to peace in the country.

The perception that the success of the peace process in South Sudan is only possible through a fixed leadership and power-sharing between the two branches of the SPLM led by President Kiir and Riek Machar is responsible for the continuation of this unbearable carnage in the country.

It has all come down to this: both President Kiir and Riek Machar have understood that they are untouchable and touching them means the disappearance of peace in the country.

They have always stood their grounds regardless of the consequences of their actions on the civil population in South Sudan. Now, making it clear to either of them that the peace process will be implemented whether one of them or all of them are not there is an important gesture of moving the peace process forward.

The absence of Mr. Riek Machar, therefore, in the Transitional Government of National Unity is a window of opportunity to reduce the likelihood of the perpetuation of the armed conflict in the country.

The political and economic reforms in South Sudan do not need war. As we know it, war destroys. It does not bring any positive reforms but bitterness and deep divisions in the social structures of the society.

On the same token, it is not possible to build democratic institutions in the chaos of war and displacement. Those who claim that they are fighting to bring about democratic change are liars.

South Sudan in principle is a democratic nation. What it needs is peace to strengthen the national institutions which support democracy and build the capacity of political parties to maintain a positive atmosphere for a healthy political practice to flourish in the country.

No one can achieve a smooth democratic transformation in any society in five to ten years. The building of a sound democratic system is a long-term social commitment the whole society needs to make.

For instance, it has taken Americans over one hundred years to build their democracy, which continues to undergo improvements. It is then a silly assertion for anyone to suggest that South Sudan has failed to establish perfect democracy in a period of five years.

Indeed, Mr. Kerry’s initiative to leave the decisions concerning the internal changes in the leadership structures of the political parties in South Sudan in the hands of South Sudanese is a sound move. It is what will bring peace and stable democracy to South Sudan.

The change in the leadership of any political party in South Sudan is an internal affair and cannot be managed by peace sponsors.

The initial demands by some IGAD nations to reinstate Riek Machar as First Vice of the Republic of South Sudan was actually an interference in the internal affairs of South Sudan. This kind of demand was completely unhelpful and was a recipe for a continued war.

It initially encouraged the opposition parties led by Lam Akol and Adwok Nyaba, who met in Nairobi sometime this month, to devise strategies to topple the government in Juba by force. Lam Akol actually left the government with the hope that the AU, the IGAD-Plus will move quickly to overthrow the government of President Kiir and install a new regime in South Sudan.

Dr. Lam wanted to be outside the government in order to open the way for him to be a likely choice to assume the leadership of the country should the AU, the IGAD-Plus and their partners decide to remove the regime in Juba by force.

The move undertaken in Nairobi by the opposition parties to formulate a violent strategy to topple the government is following the line Mr. Pagan Amum and his colleagues have developed, which calls for the United Nations to invade South Sudan.

All of this has nothing to do with the implementation of the peace process in South Sudan. They are a part of the power struggle aggravated by greed and want of power.

The current diplomatic line the U.S.A is taking has heightened hopes for peace in South Sudan. The U.S.A has built a strong case for the implementation of the peace agreement by recognizing the legitimacy of the political changes that have taken place within the ranks of the SPLM-IO.

The emergence of Taban Deng Gai as a man of peace validates these changes and demands a strong support from the international community. Any entity that asks Mr. Deng to step down in favor of Riek Machar is simply endorsing more violence and prolonging the suffering of innocent people in South Sudan.

But it goes without saying that in the last few days, the region seems to be picking up Kerry’s message, and the last move by IGAD-Plus to “isolate” Riek Machar stands on the path to building a better chance for peace in South Sudan and in the region.

What maintains Machar’s pursuant of war in the country is the support that he gets from the region. Since the outbreak of violence in South Sudan in 2013, Machar has been moving openly in East African region and beyond without any problem whatsoever. He has been enjoying diplomatic immunity as if he were officially representing South Sudan.

If the IGAD-Plus and the AU want to stop the war in South Sudan, the one thing they need to do right away is to ensure that violent opposition in South Sudan does not receive support from any member state in the region.

The meeting the opposition parties organized in Nairobi last week is one example of such support. I do not think that Kenya would bless a meeting of its opposition parties plotting to overthrow its regime taking place in Juba in the glare of the international media.

Finally, the IGAD-Plus, the AU, and the United Nations need to understand that they cannot sponsor peace process and at the same sponsor political philosophy of the political parties in South Sudan. They cannot, too, decide the ways South Sudanese political parties run their internal affairs.

Hence, John Kerry’s message which recognizes the autonomous nature of political parties in South Sudan to replace or retain their leaders needs to be respected.

Malith Kur
London, Canada

A South Sudanese who fought and died before July 2011 is a martyr; the one who is fighting in present internal wars, dies a tribesman: Bishop Yugu

By Professor Deng Awur Wenyin, SEPT/01/2016, SSN;

It was Sunday August 21st, 2016. The 11 o’clock English service was on in Juba All Saints’ Cathedral. The preacher was Jackson Moses Pitia, Dean of the Cathedral. The main readings were Psalms 46: 1-11, Jeremiah 1: 4-10, Hebrews 12: 18-29 and Luke 13:10-17. The theme of Pitia’s sermon was: “God is our refuge and strength”. The topical example he gave is the exodus of South Sudanese to other countries as refugees, because of the civil strife which started on December 15th, 2013. He said we inside the country and refugees, our prayers strengthen us.

All the churches in their different denominations and the mosques, have been preaching for peace, forgiveness and reconciliation. Some of the preachers even weep in their preaching and prayers. Indeed, our religious institutions are working for peace.

The most senior priest in the service was Assistant Bishop Frazer Yugu. As it is the rule in the Church, the duty was on Bishop Yugu to make the benediction. Normally this authority who closes the service and dismisses the congregation, would make some comments and commendations on the sermon, or at least say something in the form of an announcement.

Bishop Yugu commended Dean Pitia for the splendid sermon by asking the congregation the usual questions: What is this current war for? Who is fighting who? And why? He made a brief analysis of the wars which were fought by South Sudanese from 1955 to 2011 and then declared: any South Sudanese who fought and died in any of those wars, is a martyr.

Then, by way of distinction, he furthermore declared: any South Sudanese who is fighting and killed in an internal war after 2011, dies a tribesman.

When I tried to work out the rationale of that statement, it means to me that the qualification for martyrdom is for a South Sudanese who fought and got killed in a war against foreign invasion. For some of our younger generation who might not have been exposed to our history of resistance and struggle, foreign invasions in our land go back as far as 1821. The start was the Turco – Egyptian invasion led by Mohammed Ali Pasha. At that time the Sudan was a loose territory without strict borders.

That period (1821 – 1881) lasted for 60 years. It was the then southern Sudanese who suffered most because slave trade was applied on them. Then came the Mahdist revolution or the Mahdiya (1881 -1899). Instead of the revolution being a salvation for all the Sudanese, the Mahdists expanded the slave trade in the whole of southern Sudan. The Mahdists reigned for 18 years.

Then came the Anglo – Egyptian reconquest of the Sudan (1899 – 1956) in which the official name of the country became the Anglo – Egyptian Sudan. That period was 57 years. Then came the period which the northern Sudanese called independence (1956 – 2011). That period was 55 years.

It was supposed to be genuine independence for all of us but alas, the old treatment of southerners and outlook of the Turco – Egyptian, Mahdists and Anglo – Egyptian Sudan periods, did not change. In fact the South Sudanese had forecasted and therefore the new struggle started in August 1955, just some four months to independence.

So from 1821 – 2011 there was good cause to continue fighting. With that historical background of having resisted all sorts of foreign invasions and mistreatment for 190 years, why are our people killing themselves these days?

It is unfortunate that historical tribal competitions, ambitions and rivalries have been brought to town to be used for attaining political power. Attainment of political power has its own history in the European civilization.

Great Britain, Germany, France, Belgium and Portugal scrambled for Africa and established the European model of rule. On independence that model was inherited, thus in Africa today we have elections, legislatures, cabinets and judiciaries. The United Nations (UN), which was a result of the European wars which they call World Wars One and Two, has accepted as the standard the European model of acquiring power.

Tribes like the Jieeng (Dinka), Nuer, Chollo (Shilluk), Mundari, Murle, Otuho (Latuka), Boya, Didinga and Toposa, just to mention a few, should not import their cultural conflicts to the town. For example the Jieeng and Nuer have a long history of fighting among themselves in the toch (open plains and swamps) where their cattle graze.

Also cattle rustling is a factor. There they do not fight over any power but mainly for acquisition and control of pastures and watering places. Let the reader be informed that the Jieeng (Jaang in Nuer) and the Nuer are first cousins.

Some individuals would distort that fact but to no success. Observe their languages, names and initiation system, respectively. For example, the forehead marks of my Agaar section of the Jieeng are the same ones on the Nuer foreheads.

Even these tribes know when and where to fight. In December 2013 when the fighting broke out in Juba, the fighting which was, because of Riek and Kiir, taken to be a Jieeng–Nuer war, some individuals from my hometown, Rumbek, tried to mobilise the Agaar youth for war against the Nuer.

But the youth and elders wanted to know where the Nuers were attacking from. When the answer was Juba, they said no, they can’t be mobilized for that war because their Nuers attack from Bentiu, not Juba. The essence was that the fighting in Juba was a government affair, not their customary war.

Regrettably, the Lou Nuer do not see the logic of the Agaar: they have allowed themselves to be manipulated by Dr Riek Machar, wading all the way from Leer in Bentiu area on the West Nile, to raise the white army (jech mabor) to fight the Jaang. It seems to me the Bentiu youth tend to think like the Agaar. This is because Dr Riek could not raise a White army in Bentiu area.

I would like to underline a point which I think is important. Though the Jieeng and Nuer were the majority in the SPLA liberation war, the war which culminated in the independence, nevertheless South Sudan is not a country for two tribes alone so as to compete over it. The country belongs to all the tribes.

Since we have inherited the European mode of governance from the Sudan, we want a political leader to come to power through the will of the people.

In 1978 the people of the then Southern Region of the Sudan, through their Regional Assembly, elected Gen. Joseph Lagu president of the High Executive Council (HEC). Majority of the Jieeng members of the Assembly voted against their tribesman, Moulana Abel Alier and instead voted for Gen. Lagu.

Lagu’s Ma’adi tribe is a minute one on the Ugandan border but notwithstanding, he was elected because of his role in the Anya-Nya Liberation Movement. Gen. Lagu did not organize a fight to be president but presented himself humbly to the people’s representatives.

In conclusion, a question to you, the reader, and to myself as well, is Bishop Yugu right or wrong when he makes a distinction between a person who died in a liberation war, and a person who dies after the liberation wars, in these trivial wars, as a tribesman?

For my part, before I choose, I would like to ascertain the precise meaning of martyr. A dictionary meaning of the word is that a martyr is a “person who … dies for a cause or belief.”

What is the cause or reason to fight to die after the liberation? Riek? Or who? What is the belief to fight to die for? Folktales about Ngun-Deng?

Therefore, I entirely agree with my bishop that those who died during the liberation wars, are martyrs but those who are dying in these uncalled for internal wars, are dying as tribesmen. William Deng Nhial, Aggrey Jadein, Ezboni Mondiri, Dominic Muorwel Malou, Fr Saterlino Lohure and many others died in the struggle while poor. Their riches is July 9th 2011.

Of course Bishop Yugu didn’t make that judgment out of the blue. He is a well-informed bishop about topical issues. He and some of us are aware that, many individuals, civil societies and even the government, have been describing this Riek’s war as a senseless war.

Then he logically concludes that someone who fights and dies in these senseless Riek’s war can’t be a martyr. Such a person would be like an animal killed not according to Jewish or Islamic rituals. The meat of such an animal can’t be eaten by a Jew because it is unclean and a Muslim can’t eat it as well because it is fatis or not pure, because it is not halal. In Islam halal is something allowed and haram is something prohibited. Any unclean meat or thing in Judaism and Islam is negis or nasty.

In our Christian faith taking someone’s life is a sin.

The Nation Mirror daily of August 30th, 2016 had the following title for its editorial: “Can we stop killing ourselves?” My answer: Yes we can. But how and when?