Archive for: December 2016

Response to Pres. Kiir’s Call for National Dialogue: UK Equatoria Leaders

Press Release
From: Equatoria Leaders in the Diaspora
Issued: 27 December 2016;

1. We, the Equatoria leaders in the Diaspora, welcome the admission by President Kiir and the concerns he shared regarding: the sufferings of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees; the rising ethnic hatred, division and tensions in the country; the inability of parents to feed their children due to the economic situation; and the rising number of street children in the country. These are evidence of state failure.

2. We advocate for a genuine National Dialogue. After careful consideration of the speech by President Kiir on 4th December 2016, we have determined that his call for National Dialogue falls short of being genuine. In order to be acceptable to the South Sudanese people, and restore the country back to the path of peace, some fundamental changes are needed.

3. The motive behind President Kiir’s call for National Dialogue does not appear to be a genuine one. It is a manipulation to consolidate his stay in power for the next election. Evidence shows that processes of National Dialogue can be misused, should certain key criteria not be met. We believe that the President’s call for National Dialogue does not meet the requirement for achieving a successful outcome: Peace in South Sudan.

4. There are a number of reasons why President Kiir’s call for National Dialogue is not genuine:

a. The Framework: The framework for the National Dialogue is baseless. The Agreement for Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) has been dead since July 2016. It is being implemented unilaterally by one party to the Agreement. Independent observers, such as the Secretary General of the United Nation, Ban Ki-Moon, remarked on the status of the ARCISS, saying: “President Salva Kiir has pursued an ethnically-based strategy to suppress dissent, muzzle the media, exclude significant South Sudanese actors in the peace process and unilaterally implement an agreement to reach elections.” Without a new agreement the current Government and Parliament are illegitimate. This includes the Presidency. President Kiir needs to reach out for talks with all those who have taken up arms in order to establish a new framework for peace-building.

b. Exclusive Dialogue: By holding the dialogue process wholly internal in the country, this excludes those in refuge in other countries, and those who are opposed to his Government. Despite a verbal security assurance by him, there is no guarantee for safety of citizens for open criticisms and dialogue in the country.

c. Patron: President Kiir is part of the problem of South Sudan, and will be a stakeholder in the Dialogue. His self-appointment as Patron is unsuitable and unacceptable due to a conflict of interests. President Kiir cannot implement justice, which might be demanded by the people, against himself as part of the National Dialogue. A neutral personality is required. This personality should be appointed by the United Nations (UN), African Union (AU) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development Plus (IGAD-Plus).

d. Past experience: The National Dialogue Mini-Conference held in Western Equatoria State (1st and 2nd August 2016); and Western Bahr el Gazal State (2-4 September 2016) – launched by Vice President Wani Igga and Facilitated by Ambassador Dr Bethuel Kiplagat of Kenya included the following recommendations, among others:

• That all IDPs and cattle herders in the State should be repatriated and their weapons are collected;
• That the interim period should not be led by any of the two leaders i.e. H.E. President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar;
• The name of the army SPLA has been overtaken by events and it must be changed to suit an independent South Sudan.

It can be argued that because the Government did not wish to implement the above recommendations, due to a conflict of interests, the findings of the dialogue process were ignored. What assurance is there that the recommendations of the recently proposed National Dialogue will be honoured and implemented?

e. Forgiveness: In his speech, President Kiir asked the people of South Sudan to forgive him for any mistakes he may have committed. It appears the President does not know the mistakes he has made against the people of South Sudan or he is denying knowledge of any mistake. The President needs to come clean. He must reflect on his mistakes and correct them if he is to be taken seriously. We can remind the President of his Establishment Order that created 28 states in the country; his unwillingness and failure to implement the return of cattle and internally displaced persons from Equatoria, the causes of war in Equatoria and the country, among his other mistakes. In addition, if he cannot forgive his political opponents, how can he expect to be forgiven?

5. The Proposed Way Forward: In order to achieve a genuine National Dialogue, the following steps should be undertaken:

a. A new, inclusive peace conference is needed, under the auspices of UN, AU and IGAD-Plus, that should be conducted outside South Sudan.

b. A reconstituted Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) and Parliament is needed without Salva Kiir and Riek Machar. The new TGoNU must include those excluded from the ARCISS of August 2015.

c. The Establishment Order for creating 28 states in South Sudan must be rescinded.

d. Internally displaced persons (IDPs) must be repatriated to their ancestral homeland, including all historical IDPs in Equatoria.

e. An interim neutral leader must be appointed to run the country during an interim period. This person must be someone who has not been involved in the current administration in Juba since 2005 – to be agreed as part of the Peace Talks.

f. The Patronage for the National Dialogue process must sit with UN, AU, IGAD-Plus in order to ensure the integrity of the process; and not with President Kiir.

g. Security guarantees must be established throughout the country, as part of the new peace agreement; and the Regional Protection Force must be deployed.

h. The agenda, scope, and steering committee (or any other bodies) for the National Dialogue process must be set and agreed upon by all the stakeholders.

i. Call for, and hold National Dialogue.

The National Dialogue process should give way to writing a permanent constitution, conducting national census, and holding general elections. The AU is reminded to deliver on the outcomes of their Report on South Sudan related to human right abuses committed in the country. This is part and parcel of achieving peace and justice to the country.

THE EQUATORIA LEADERS IN DIASPORA:
Federico Awi Vuni; Chair, Equatoria Community Organisation in the UK
Juma Piripiri; Chair, Federation of Equatoria Community Associations in Australia
Kwaje M. Lasu, MPH, RCP; President, Equatoria South Sudanese Community Association-USA (ESSCA-USA)
Joseph Modi; President, Equatoria South Sudanese Community Association-Canada (ESSCA- Canada)

For Correspondence: Federico Awi Vuni; federicovuni58@gmail.com

The Warning of a Looming Genocide in South Sudan is a mere Scam

QUOTE: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Joseph Goebbels, a Nazi politician and Hitler’s Propaganda Minister.

Taban Abel Aguek, MP, South Sudan, DEC/26/2016, SSN;

In the last few weeks, there have been sustained warning of looming genocide in South Sudan. As reported by Sudan tribune, UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki Moon, was the latest to add his voice to the matter saying before UNSC Monday last week, “If we fail to act, South Sudan will be on a trajectory towards mass atrocities.”

UN Special Advisor on Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, had earlier also expressed fear of genocide occurring in South Sudan just after a brief visit to the country. The statements by both Mr. Ban Ki Moon and Mr. Dieng were not any different from those of US Permanent Secretary to the UN, Ambassador Samantha Power, who without a bit of shame compared the situation in South Sudan to the one of Rwanda of 1994.

Without fair evaluation, these UN elite personalities bought into false reports coined by Yasmin Sooka, Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, some bogus ‘paid’ civil society organizations and some wicked elements of the Enough Project. All connived on how to influence and usher quick move for sanctions and arms embargo on South Sudan.

For genocide warnings to be issued, there must be strong indicators, carefully examined and clearly justifiable, to unleash such warnings. According to media reports, Mr. Ban Ki Moon cites only two indictors: first, that President Kiir and his loyalists are “contemplating a new military offensive in the coming days against the armed opposition led by Machar”.

Secondly, that there are clear indications that Riek Machar and their opposition groups are pursuing a military escalation.

The question now is, are these indicators tangible enough to warrant the alarm of genocide? First of all, one has to carefully assess the size of the army accumulated at one point targeting what community to come to a conclusion that genocide is planned on that community.

Secondly, military offensives by both parties to the conflict have taken place from the onslaught of the conflict and no one has ever raised an alarm. Riek Machar on his part has declared war from day one, what is being hyped as of late about his war?

Neither are the indicators enough to point at a genocide nor the language befits the proper description of genocide itself. If Riek Machar is still in the bush and is still pursuing war, then he has to be fought. Fighting negative forces does not amount to genocide. UN telling South Sudan government not to fight opposition forces is like anyone telling the US to stop war against terrorism.

The people campaigning on genocide in South Sudan are very unlucky. Whatever their intention, I must say, they have mistimed their campaign. South Sudan’s days for fearing genocide are long gone.

Between 2013-2014 there was very much likelihood of genocide taking place. This was the time when major cities like Bentiu, Malakal, Bor and Nasir changed hands between rebels and government forces several times in very brutal mass attacks.

The best time to have warned of genocide in South Sudan should have been at a time 25,000 Nuer armed youths locally known as ‘White Army’ attacked and captured Bor before they were defeated while attempting to march to Juba.

At that time, when the war was at its climax the same people who are shamelessly warning of genocide rejected arms embargo and sanctions on South Sudan. It is strange and ironical that the same people who rejected sanction and arms embargo on South Sudan at the height of the conflict are now dirtily campaigning for the same at the time things have significantly normalized.

There is now a suspicious feeling across South Sudan that some well paced individuals did not pursue arms embargo at first because they either had expected the rebels to win the war or were part of the groups supplying arms to rebels.

Otherwise, talking about genocide in South Sudan now is a laughable scam. It does not only challenge the honesty of its campaigners, it actually makes them appear very stupid. War has greatly scaled down in Upper Niles. There are no large military offensives akin to those of 2013 – 2014.

There is no valid justified indication any tribe planning to launch a major attack on another. And again, there is in place a peace agreement and the Transitional Government of National Unity is existing and very active.

Well, Dr. Riek and a few others jumped off the peace wagon. And of course, there are pockets of insurgencies in some parts of Equatoria largely operating like terrorists and targeting members of certain ethnicities.

But that has been going on since the conflict started and the Dinka have never planned any revenge. The number of the Dinkas killed by Nuer is many times bigger than the number lynched on roads by the elements of rebels in Equatoria.

So, if the Dinka have never mobilized against Nuer, how can they do that against attacks of the Dinka on roads.

Lies as seen in the quote above have come a long way with the human race. The Dinka people say a false news of death of a dear one becomes a good news when it turned out in the end to be a lie. Similarly, if these warnings and nothing else, then we shall have to be happy with these lies because ‘genocide is worse than the lies about it’.

I actually thought Mr. Ban Ki Moon was going to be a bit cautious after it emerged in a recent report published by many media outlets that the institution he leads, UNMISS, gave a lot of arms to rebels in Bentiu, the same arms they used a few weeks later to massacre civilians in large, shocking numbers including those in mosques, churches and hospitals.

With the lid blown off the corrupted system he leads, Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, chooses not to restore its values and cleanse itself but instead delve into loose stories created by the godfathers of regime change and stories damaging and full of vulgarity.

It is hard to see people that should advocate for peace working to jeopardize it. That is being irresponsible.

All in all, South Sudanese are not worried about the hyping or sending out of alarm of genocide in the country. However much it is repeated and no matter the weight of those who hype it, South Sudanese should not be moved about what is called ‘impending genocide’. The real problem, rather, is the implication of the song sung in its name.

Stories like these stoke fear in people, increase suspicion and kill trust among people. There are chances that hyping genocide may triggers genocide to happen. Sometimes, those who warn of what is basically a lie have the intention to have what they lied about take place.

In this case those who unleash warning on genocide in South Sudan are actually campaigning for genocide to take place because they will badly be left ashamed if the said story did not happen.

There is this famous saying in South Sudan that “If you warn a mad man against setting a house on fire, then you could have reminded him to do so”. So, these people should not tell people of South Sudan what they have not thought of.

When UNMISS separated IDPs in its Malakal POC into Dinkas and Nuer, they eventually fought inside the POC because they were made to see and feel it that they are not one people.

We know the story has remained around regime change. Sometimes it goes from Trusteeship to international administration and from sanctions to arms embargo but it all revolves around one thing: regime change.

Many other things around these are just lies and propaganda coming from people within the circle with that notion and supported by the media that they control. It is a pity this is still not known to some Africa’s big names like Prof. Mahmood Mamdani and Prof. Anyang Nyong’o.

Good enough, truth has already triumphed over the devil as the issue of sanctions and arms embargo on South Sudan were defeated yesterday at the UNSC. I applaud the nations that chose to stand with the truth now rather later after the damage is done.

Many years after the invasion of Iraq, many prominent leaders who hyped the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq admitted that they were wrong and badly regretted their role in the war created out of a baseless lie. I wonder why would some people want to repeat the same mistake in South Sudan?

It is our hope that South Sudan is going to survive the devil scheme, and by the grace of God, surmount all it challenges prove its prophets of doom wrong.

Taban Abel Aguek is the Government Chief Whip in Eastern Lakes State, Yirol. The opinions raised here are solely his own. He can be reached at abelaguek79@gmail.com.

Season’s Revolutionary Greetings to All Freedoms Fighters!

By: Justin Ambago Ramba, DEC/24/2016, SSN;

Those privileged to access the mainstream world media outlets will have long noticed the huge disparity this industry has shown over the years in the way it reports on the ongoing crisis in South Sudan as compared say to other hot spots like Syria, Iraq or Yemen.

Furthermore, if you live in the western world, you are likely to get more news about the relatively peaceful Egypt of Abdelfatah Al-Sisi than any of the massacres taking place on a daily basis in the Greater Equatoria region of South Sudan. The pro-government ‘Mathiang Anyoor’ Dinka tribal militiamen have for the better part of the last five months carried out a state-sponsored ethnic cleansing coupled with a Scorch Earth campaign in and around the Yei River County. None of the news about these heinous events ever made it to the CNN, MBC, Sky News or even the Aljazeera TV.

So, some would say, then what is the point of dedicating a season’s revolutionary greetings to all the freedom fighter operating deep in the jungles and swamps of South Sudan given the circumstances? Is it not possible that they may never get to read it or will only do so around Easter time, three months or so from now?

The answer to the above question is that not all media houses are hostile to the cause of the people of South Sudan. And when it comes to this, the SouthSudanNation.com website has been on the forefront of South Sudan’s political cause since its first inception in 2003. It has been in the center of the struggle between the forces of darkness and the forces of light in this new country’s long political journey, and it still is.

Southsudannation.com is a dedicated website has often promoted South Sudan peoples’ struggle for human rights, justice & equality and good governance. It has always been the voice, the space, and the forum. As such whenever we talk about any South Sudanese people’s struggle in the past decade or so, that talk will never be complete if we fail to appreciate and openly acknowledge the huge role often played by the SouthSudanNation.com websites in disseminating the word.

Today the core message of this article is to convey a season’s revolutionary greetings to all our freedom fighters in their trenches at the front lines. As they battle the genocidaire regime of Salva Kiir Mayardit, Kuol Manang Juuk, Michael Makuei Lueth, Paul Malong Awan and its tribally based support of the so-called Jieng Council of Elders (JCE), they must know that they are not alone in that noble struggle.

To all the faithful sons and daughters of South Sudan who have put their lives on the line in a genuine effort to liberate our masses from the fascist and dictatorial regime in Juba, we wish you ‘Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.’ As the people’s revolution moves slowly but surely, may the Lord be kind enough on ‘His Birthday’ and grant us a ‘Christmas Gift’ in the form of smashing victories over the enemy! For this can then start to move the wheel of a good peaceful settlement that the arrogant regime in Juba is often inclined to ignore in search of an elusive military victory!

Fellow compatriots and comrades in arms, I would like to assure you that your struggle for a better South Sudan like those of your fathers’ and grandfathers’ before you will never be in vain. For the entire world understands how the rogue and notorious regime of Salva Kiir Mayardit and the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) have imposed this destructive war on you.

It is also now well documented that the regime hasn’t stopped there, but it has of late sought the path of ethnic cleansing and genocide against the other ethnicities as it aims to implement its expansionist policies and sustain its grips on political, social and economic powers in the new country.

While you the freedom fighters deserve every single bit of our season’s revolutionary greetings and best wishes, we too appreciate the great sacrifices from your end as we are also aware of the immense human sufferings of our displaced populations forced into exile, refugee camps in the neighboring countries and the PoC sites under the UNIMISS. None of these sacrifices of our people and the sufferings imposed on them will be allowed to go in vain. For one day and very soon we shall reclaim our country and lay authority over our ancestral lands and territories.

We all know that there is no easy walk to freedom and the price of reversing the expansionist invaders’ scorch earth policy will be measured in human lives, but that too is doable. The dawn of total freedom is just around the corner. And not too long from today that our freedom fighters will embrace full victory, flying our ancestor’s national flag all across the liberated territories and mark an end to this current ’One Tribe Oppression.’

The Christmas season has traditionally been a time for reflections, and this 2016’s is no exception. Some 2000 years ago a savior for humanity was born in Bethlehem in Palestine and in the December of 2013, the seed of the South Sudan people’s revolution was sown in Juba. It was the rebirth of the same quest for freedom, equality, and justices when those who claimed to have liberated us from the tyranny of the northern Sudanese Arab ‘Jallaba’ suddenly chose to become the new oppressors. But it was also the culmination of many years of disappointments which those at the helm of the SPLM/SPLA injustices and corruption empire when they sought to get away with it.

They, by design set the rules of the new engagement when they first unleashed the ruthless illegally recruited one-tribe militiamen on an indiscriminate killing spree all across the Cty of Juba, throughout that fateful week of December 2013. That was a massacre of an immense proportion which could have received an entirely different reaction from the international community had it happened somewhere else other than South Sudan!

But then, not too long, an instant karma happened, and it was indeed sooner that ever expected that if not for the Ugandan Peoples Defence Force’s (UPDF) intervention, Kiir forces were on the verge of being defeated. The very people who set what was later identified as the ‘Fire of Revenge’, were suddenly at the receiving end, for at least that was what the President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s speech at the time while dressed up in a full military fatigue made it appear.

Today in December 2016, South Sudan is at a very advanced stage of that popular revolution, that only a political hypocrite of the first order may dare to deny. Of course, there are a few out there who have made a habit of having their heads always buried in the sand. Remember that their ignorance about something doesn’t say that the thing doesn’t exist. But as they consciously made the choice of playing ignorance, it only helps the revolution to flourish and grow and no matter whether the D-day will find them sober, intoxicated or in a coma! An apologist is always apologist.

As far as we have come, every revolutionary South Sudanese, man or woman, young or old, a refugee in a camp or freedom fighter in the frontline, without exception we all have a national obligation and a human duty towards this popular revolution as it sweeps all across the new country. Little did anyone know where the arms, ammunitions, supplies and logistics needed to resist this evil and the dictatorial regime will come from once the resistance starts.

Today that question has been put to rest, as it is now an open secret that the revolution is continuously benefiting from the enemy both militarily and organizationally. Thanks to the military hardware and ammunitions that the freedom fighters find easy to capture from those ill-trained ‘Mathiang Anyoor’ pro-government tribal militiamen of Salva Kiir, Kuol Manyang, Michael Makuei and Paul Malong indeed making the regime the freedom fighters sole arms supplier for the time being.

In this Christmas season, we are already seeing that the same God who allowed the regime to instigate the very revolution that will uproot it from power – is again rendering it without a choice but to supply the freedom fighters with the necessary military hardware and ammunitions whenever the enemy troops fall in an ambush.

Those who know the difficulties associated with first negotiating and paying for arms destined for a non-state actor and delivering them clandestinely across secure national borders will appreciate what General Paul Malong Awan and his ‘Mathiang Anyoor’ tribal militiamen are doing. They will never disappoint our freedom fighters as long as they continue delivering this military hardware, ammunitions, and supplies on time, and exactly where they are needed.

Viva Christmas – Viva Peoples’ Revolution – and long live the struggle of the South Sudanese masses for freedom, justice & equality.

Author: J.A.C Ramba. A concerned South Sudanese citizen. A voice for the people’s revolution

South Sudan, My Country: A Nation at the Mercy of Madmen!

BY: Mayak Deng Aruei , DEC/23/2016, SSN;

The tears shed and suffering experienced by those who have lost loved ones in South Sudan brutal civil war will be a curse on all the actors. Each morning comes with bad news, highway killings and disappearances credited to the Juba’s unknown gunmen.

The leaders who are supposed to be custodians of the nation are not living up to people’s will and expectations. Their thirst for overarching powers doesn’t yield to the call by people who have known nothing but deaths and hunger throughout their existence.

The population so dependent on what they hear from leaders verbally have their hopes subsidized, and the joy supposedly associated with independent South Sudan disappeared before delivery. Taking issues by the hierarchy of importance, South Sudan security situation must be addressed before anything else can be resolved.

The political elites and their bloodsucking cohorts are directly responsible for the current crisis. With the situation so volatile as entailed by the records, not even the strongest men/women in the country can stop the little known gangs from wrecking the nation apart.

It’s never too late for the citizens to reach to the bottom of South Sudan’s fundamental governance problems. The callousness and political cult that instigate fighting among different ethnic groups in South Sudan must be dealt away with.

To begin with, this article is about the madmen of South Sudan. Who are they, by the way? The madmen in the context of South Sudan present political anarchy are those politicians and warlords who have had a joint venture, and on the rampage of killing everyone who disagrees with them.

If anyone has to ask some of the Dinka/Jieng’s Army officers & youths who joined the death squad on behalf of the SPLM-IO, and why they chose such political path, their answer would not be different from those who had taken up arms against South Sudan’s government in the recent years.

Obviously, it would be presented as a call to reform the corrupt and decayed system of governance in the country. And from the perspective of bystanders(South Sudan political commentators), it’s a quick move to rise to the top without merits.

As I write this piece, key Jieng’s youth leaders have relinquished their allegiances to the SPLM-IO, and are either returning to South Sudan or continuing to reside in East Africa according to unannounced amnesty offered to them by the Government of South Sudan.

Just a day ago, an eloquent colleague online pointed out that some Dinka/Jieng’s youths who left for the bush empty handed are returning home empty handed. What a scar on their names?

On the other hand, if an outsider has to ask the Oil suckers why they labeled their own as being Rebels, threatened their lives and forced them to choose SPLM-IO as an alternative, they would be like… the whole thing was very confusing, but we just need them back badly.

Give us a break, madmen, you have destroyed South Sudan, and have shamed our independence.

More than a decade since South Sudan gained self-governce, different armed groups have operated in the countryside, killing, looting and raiding livestock. And there is more to what emerged after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement(CPA).

As a matter of records, South Sudan’s current governance problems dated back to those days when the Region was governed in Khartoum, and when Southerners believed/claimed to have no freedom to realize living side by side as one people.

In the olden days, successive Khartoum based regimes used “divide and rule”, the very method that worked best to the advantage of the people in the north (rest of the former Sudan). The elites, both northerners and southerners to some extent, exploited ethnic differences and ignited the fire that kept Southerners in a constant fight for many decades.

When the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army emerged in 1983, the political fault lines shifted, and those who once considered themselves pro-Arabs became enemies of the State(Sudan). It was rather a well calculated drastic change that crippled the nation’s economy and displaced millions within the first five years of the war.

There were steep resistances by Southern Sudanese politicians who relocated themselves to northern Sudan, chasing town life. Despite that, the momentum was so huge that other marginalized Sudanese joined the guerrilla warfare.

It was something never seen by the Sudanese Establishment, and majority never thought that a Southern political & military front would ever force Sudanese government to make sense of some of the proposals put forth by the SPLM/A in negotiations that never materialized.

With all of that being an eye opener, proxy war strategy which made Southerners to fight themselves along ethnic lines continued to tear apart their social fabric wherever they lived around the world. Knowing where we all came from can help us deal with future governance challenges of our new country.

Following through with series of events before South Sudan’s independence, tribal conflicts were usually apolitical, fierce fight over resources(pastures & waters). While war raged in the South(1983-2005), power struggle among the officers of the Movement led to internal fighting, and Khartoum gave hands to those who chose to fight the SPLM/A in the South.

In the heart of what was northern Sudan, three fronts(Nuba Mountain, Southern Blue and Eastern Sudan) stayed intact with the SPLM/A Mainstream and helped the Movement to survive until major breakthrough was reached in 2002.

The same Allies who fought alongside South Sudanese in the war of liberation, and who are now known as members of the SPLM-N helped the current Government of South Sudan from being overwhelmed by SPLM-IO fighters in northern South Sudan(2013-2015). Localized wars are hard to win, and defeating armed rebellion has proven to be the hardest thing since guerrilla fighters usually have nothing to lose.

In practice, there are things that don’t come to surface when nations are in peace and doing well economically, but do become exposed in times of war. It serves great importance to point fingers at paranoids who are used to fighting wars on behalf of their masters.

Chunks of the back and forth wrangling in the country would have been settled peacefully if leaders were not too busy off-shoring public money. In every level of the South Sudanese society, grudges built up and matured into actual war.

Deep down the villages in South Sudan, the actions of madmen are seen through crooked officers who often take sides in local conflicts. The tribal elements seen in South Sudan’s many fights aren’t necessarily the launching pads for all the conflicts in the country.

For example, former Lakes and Warrap states scored high in Jieng killing themselves. It was just a matter of time, and the whole situation was expected to explode. Foreign organizations and Journalists based in South Sudan all these years described events as catastrophic, but authorities didn’t take serious notes.

Now come the big bomb, a rift between President of the Republic and his former Vice President whom he sacked after trying to challenge him in a ruling Party democratic exercise. The rhetoric right after December 6, 2013 were very alarming, yet people chose to be muted until mass-killing became the new reality in South Sudan’s major towns(Juba, Akoba, Bortown, Bentiu and Malakal).

Just to stamp on the historical account of the events leading to the independence of South Sudan, quite a number of incidents showed that running the new nation would be hell of a job for those who never had a real government.

Khartoum never had interest in training responsible leaders, and its actions have backfired on them in Dar Fur, Kordofan and Blue Nile states. In 2006, an extension of the Popular Defense Forces resulted into a lethal fight in the garrison town of Malakal.

The long time militias of “divide and rule”, allied to Sudanese government in Khartoum, and commanded by Gen. Gabriel Gatwech Chan(Tangynyang), and Gen. Mohamed Chol felt left out in the central command, and staged a door to door gun-battle.

That conflict should have been an eye opener for authorities in the South, but they failed to take serious notes despite the fight being an entrenchment by the untamed militias to join the organized forces without some kinds of power-sharing.

In the same Region of the Sudan, now South Sudan, junior officers in the SPLA formed their thoughts, flocked to the bushes and started fighting the Government of Southern Sudan in Juba.

The political rivalry among different groups in South Sudan is a syndrome in its own right, and blame had always been on Khartoum. Slowly by slowly, a blame game between largest tribes (Dinka and Nuer) in South Sudan started to gain popularity, and military confrontations ensued.

But with SPLA not being national enough, soldiers turned guns on their closest colleagues in the Army. The skirmishes of the political flip-flopping have left deep marks on all South Sudanese, and Representatives of different ethnic groups in South Sudan, and at different levels of the governments should take blame for failing the country.

As the world watches South Sudan disintegrating and descending into bitter political pieces, the ethnic intolerance shown by politicians holding higher positions in both the Government & the opposing sides is very troubling.

When madmen are termed as being corrupt, organized criminals and so forth, they want to reach for guns or hire a Hit-man to kill the person who talk sense. Duh, they cannot win the fight until they are disengaged from repetitive nature of their deeds. There shouldn’t be any illusion about the current state of affairs in South Sudan because suffering has always been the work of madmen.

Lastly, the recently announced “National Dialogue” as being discussed across the board is rather a new thing given unsettled legitimate leader of the SPLM-IO. I’m afraid that those who termed the new political Machine as “National Monologue” are describing the would-be national reconciliation as a one-sided.

The first few signs of the promised dialogue are troubling, and that has been the nature of things in South Sudan for quite too long. No doubt, the Dialogue include prominent and veteran politicians who have served South Sudanese on different fronts, but it is a little too sketchy for anyone to envision success of such mechanism.

Already, concerned citizens and opposition parties have voiced their fears, and saw nothing tangible coming from the so-called “National Dialogue.”

On its face, it is an assurance to supporters of the Government that power isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. The President has doubled-down on many agendas. Lack of genuine interest in resolving the conflict is a serious challenge, and must be dealt with before lost hopes can be resuscitated.

Had top leadership of South Sudan’s Government and the Rebels put the interest of the nation first, this senseless conflict which has consumed much of our resources, would have ended on January 24, 2014.

The arrival of Advance Team in Juba after the August 2015 Peace Accord (ARCSS) was promising, but skepticism turned into shoddy hope, and faded away when fighting erupted again around the Presidential Palace (J1).

In making the concluding remarks, South Sudan’s ongoing political and military turmoil can be traced back to many things that have gone wrong over the years, and those in charge of the nation’s affairs have failed numerous times to address them appropriately.

With so many mixtures of what make South Sudanese fight themselves, ethnicity need not be ignored when dealing with the country’s central issues. The warlords who come from all tribes in South Sudan are the madmen, and South Sudan is at their mercy.

Unless citizens look after their lives and properties, these energetic ruthless killers plus aged egomaniacs, Council of Elders from all tribes must be scrutinized and sidelined from making decisions on behalf of those who seem to give them everything they want.

As we move into 2017, we should all be thinking about proper ways for fixing the mess in the country. The huge vacuum left by security apparatuses failing to discharge their functions and uphold their responsibilities accordingly has brought the nation to where it is today.

It is important that solutions be availed to solve the complex issues that keep setting South Sudan ablaze.

The Author here is Mayak Deng Aruei, he holds undergraduate degrees, a graduate degree, and currently a Doctoral student in Organizational Leadership & Organizational Development, and can be reached at Kongor.da.ajak@gmail.com

Why’re the People of Raga Deemed Separatists and Traitors When They Oppose an Ill-Advised Decision by the JCE?

BY: Amma Emmanuel , USA, DEC/24/2016, SSN;

The people of Raga, Western Bhar el Ghazel, like any other agricultural community in South Sudan, are a peace-loving and law-abiding society. For decades, they coexisted in peace and harmony alongside their neighbors from Aweil. Raga people respectfully hosted them when they came and sold their cattle in Raga Market and received competitive deals on agricultural products when they returned back home.

In general, the mistreatment of people not from the area, as the case might be somewhere else in the country, was unheard of.

Furthermore, people of Raga of all faiths— Christians, Muslims, or those who believe in superstition— are god-loving people. They fear and believe in God’s punishment above all man-made rules or regulations.

That is illustrated in the event that, until recently, women left their homes unlocked when they went out to market or left their kids unattended when visiting neighbors or relatives. Likewise, prisons—until recently—were roofed with grass and inmates transported from other areas to occupy empty cells.

It is for these reasons that Raga was the exemplar in discussions about peace and security in Greater Bahr el Ghazal. In sum, these are the norms in Raga and the ways in which 17 tribes peacefully existed with their neighbors.

Moreover, this is how they managed to be the greatest suppliers of agricultural products to various parts of Greater Bahr el Ghazal, reaching as far as Southern Kurdufan and Darfur. Unfortunately, some perceive this to be a sign of inability and cowardice.

When everyone’s right is respected and protected and their lives free from fear, to them, it is a weakness. When God bestowed on his people an abundance of land and valuable resources—from forestry to copper, uranium, and petroleum—they believed they should be entitled to own and enjoy them due to their role as liberators.

Hence, land grabbing and occupation are the new and acceptable practices initiated by Jieng Council of Elders (JEC), facilitated by the government, and executed by security organs—institutions whose lust for money has led the country to its current dire economic situation.

This is what liberation meant to JCE and resulted in the establishment order that divided the country into 28 states.

The main goal of the establishment order was to institutionalize land-grabbing and target other communities’ resources. If this is not the case, then why rush and not reach out to all the stakeholders—as dictated by our Constitution—in order to issue thorough, concrete, and researched results that satisfy all.

And how can the people of South Sudan be convinced that the main vision of the SPLM and its founder, the late Dr. John Garang, of taking towns to rural areas meant taking Raga to Lol or Western Aweil, or meant in any way carving up oil-rich areas in Unity and Upper Nile states and annexing them to other territories of the JCE’s choice?

Did the shadow government in Juba, the JCE, intend to damage the legacy of this great man by alluding to this establishment order as an implementation of his vision?

Is it not absurd to connect what Dr. Garang meant by moving towns to rural areas to this ill, destructive ambition?

The people of Raga unanimously rejected the establishment order from day one. They believed and continue to believe that there will be no harmony among and peace between two ethnically and culturally divergent groups when brought to live together in one area, especially when forced; people should have learned from examples of pastoralists in Western Equatoria and, once again, when President Kiir ordered the pastoralists in central Equatoria to move northward.

They maintain that imposing and implementing this order will add the area and Western Bahr el Ghazal, in general, to the already collapsing regions of Upper Nile, Unity, and Equatoria. They wrote memo after memo to the President and the Parliament in Juba; held talks in Wau; and sent a delegation to Juba to explain their position to no avail.

Lastly, they decided to take matters into their own hands in the form of the famous attack and capture of Raga in under one hour, thereby making their voices heard.

The unexpected attack took Juba by surprise. It took the government in Juba some time to release a statement regarding the alleged identity of the attackers who overran the military and administrative headquarters in no time.

In their statement, which came days after the incident, they talked about the group of bandits behind the attack. In another statement, they claimed them to be a group of terrorists—loyal to Ali Tamim—who intended to annex Raga to Darfur.

In 2011, when South Sudan seceded from Sudan, the people of Raga unanimously voted for the secession. Thus, it is absurd to now accuse them of wanting to be annexed to Darfur due to their rejection of policies that were maliciously created to ruin their lives and that of future generations.

This is an allegation that was fabricated to conceal the huge defeat inflicted upon the army they continue to call the “gallant forces.” The swift capture of Raga was an embarrassment to the governments in Juba and Raga and a symbol of the Lions’ growing vigilance.

Taban Deng, upon his visit to Khartoum in August, promised to solve the issue of Sudanese rebel groups—including the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM)—in South Sudanese territory within 21 days. Accordingly, in October, Kuol Manyang, the Minister of Defence, gave them 30 days to leave the country.

JEM—a Sudanese rebel group founded by the late Dr. Khalil Ibrahim, who was killed in an air strike by the Khartoum government—is being sponsored by the government in Juba and fights for and beside the SPLA in Unity, Upper Nile, and recently in Raga.

Dr. Khalil was known to be a leading figure in the National Islamic Front (NIF), founded by Dr. Hassan El-Turabi, which declared a holy war on South Sudanese people during the liberation war. In that case, if the National Congress Party (NCP) and the government in Khartoum categorized JEM as a terrorist movement, who is to blame for supporting and accommodating terrorists and, thus, betraying the South Sudanese people?

And is the government aware of the atrocities these mercenaries have committed against our people in these regions or is it of no concern because they do not constitute part of the lands considered sacred by the President and his Chief of Staff?

These people—whom JEM and other rebel groups from Sudan have looted, raped, and killed and whose homes they have reduced to ashes—are sons and daughters of this great country. They fought for this country, voted for its independence, and remained loyal to it; they deserve protection and respect.

This is what our Constitution dictates and our religious beliefs teach us. Therefore, any form of discrimination will not be acceptable and a double standard in the treatment of citizens denounced and rejected.

The shooting and killing of innocent civilians while they are exercising their constitutional and human rights in a peaceful demonstration—whether in Wau, Torit, or Warrap—is unwarranted and a violation of freedom of speech.

It is unprecedented, even during the worst era of NIF in Khartoum, that we experienced such brutality. Above all, it is ridiculous for the President of the Republic to salute and embrace such killings instead of comforting the grieved and pursuing justice.

I cannot imagine the repercussions of the massacre of 2012 if it were to have occurred in Madding Aweil or Warrap. This crime deserves condemnation from the international community and the issuance of criminal indictments by the International Criminal Court (ICC). It will remain in the memories of the people of Western Bahr el Ghazal for years to come.

Why are the people of Raga deemed rebels and traitors who wanted to sell the country to Khartoum when they oppose ill-advised decisions by the JCE, while a peaceful solution is sought and an advisory position is created when Abel Baggi Ayii in North Aweil rebels against injustices of Juba?

The people of Raga do not need the counsel of Ali Tamim, just as they did not seek his guidance in voting for independence in 2011—when they overwhelmingly voted for the South to secede.

Yes, Tamim is from Raga and may have pledged to al Bashir and prayed behind El-Turabi—just as Abdalla Deng Nyal, Mongu Ajack, or Suliman Jula and other South Sudanese had done before independence—but, above all, he is a South Sudanese who is free to choose whatever religion to follow and place to reside.

That which the people of Raga, Malakal, and Bantiu will not accept is meddling in their affairs, annexing their lands, and/or using them to achieve any political gains that do not serve South Sudan and its people.

Folks, neither Malong and Mathing Anynor nor the JCE and the 28 states will bring peace to this country; kneeling and kissing Uhuru Kenyatta and Hailemariam Desalegn’s feet will never bring peace; and ordering police to shoot and kill criminals in Juba will not restore law and order in the capital.

Above all, a National Dialogue that is not inclusive of all political parties will never be successful and, correspondingly, bring about peace.

This country will not see peace if we do not embrace one another and uphold legislation that enforces equal treatment irrespective of religious affiliation or linguistic differences.

Lastly, peace cannot be realized under government malice and corruption.

Mr. President, the ship is sinking! Let go of all these deterrents to peace before it is too late.

The SSDF position regarding the National Dialogue for Peace.

For immediate Press Release: DEC/24/2016, SSN;

To begin with, Peace is the ultimate goal of any civilised society or country. Even at the times when civilised people go to war, it’s always a temporary situation because peace is the norm while war is the exception. While a call for dialogue for peace among communities should normally receive everyone’s attention and support; yet it got to be based on solid foundations in order to have a good chance of success.

The foundations for kick-starting such a formidable process by the nature of the conflict are – plenty of goodwill, trust and individuals of good integrity to lead the dialogue.

The timing of the announcement of the National Dialogue on the eve of the third anniversary of the Juba massacre of the Nuer civilians that occurred on December 15, 2013 – transpires lack of a genuine goodwill for peace. To many, it was nothing but an attempt to overshadow the anniversary and to project to the outside world a false sense of unity in South Sudan.

Many still would view it as a covert attempt to abort or frustrate any endeavours by other entities to resolve the conflict by excluding the leadership of the regime from the peace process. It’s also aimed at evading accountability for atrocities committed by the regime during its ongoing terrible tenure.

Trust is the building block of any dialogue or agreement. We also know that trust can hardly meet with illegitimacy as each one cancels the other.

Furthermore, President Kiir is the top culprit to answer for war crimes and crimes against humanity during his rule. What is being presented is another ploy by Kiir and his henchmen to regain legitimacy through the back door and ensure the continuation of their dictatorial regime.

The composition of the National Dialogue team leaves no doubt that the regime wants peace on its terms. There are personalities within the National Dialogue team who are clearly unfit to be part of any effort to bring people together. They are well-known divisive figures whose activities caused disunity of the South Sudanese people on several occasions.

It’s inconceivable that a team led by Kiir and former and/or present members of the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) could be a catalyst for peace in South Sudan.

Unfortunately, the entity that could equitably and effectively steer a national dialogue is often sidelined or ignored. The South Sudan Democratic Front (SSDF) applauds the resolutions of the Church Leaders Consultative Meeting for Peace that took place in Nairobi from December 14 to 19, 2016.

The following are excerpts of the resolutions:

**For any national dialogue to succeed in making peace it must be an inclusive process facilitated by a body trusted by all stakeholders.

**Efforts to resolve South Sudan’s crisis in the manner currently laid out may not bring all stakeholders together and as such, does not guarantee sustainable peace.

**The Church is best placed to lead a national dialogue process.

**In the current political environment with the opposition being muzzled, free Press and free speech being curtailed – the likelihood of a fruitful national dialogue is quite remote. The war will certainly continue unabated bringing on more human suffering.

Kiir and cohorts might have succeeded partially in obscuring the Church leaders endeavours and the commemoration of the Juba massacre of the Nuer civilians but the fact remains that they haven’t solved any problem.

The SSDF remains steadfast behind the people of South Sudan in these difficult times. With the impending genocide in Equatoria; the stakes have never been higher. The international community should act fast and not buy into the regime’s gimmicks.

There shall never be peace in South Sudan while Kiir and the JCE remain part of the Equation.

The SSDF takes this opportunity to wish all the South Sudanese people back home and in the diaspora; a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May the almighty God be with you wherever you are.

Lotole Lo Luri,

Deputy Press Secretary – SSDF

Is the President’s Speech on National Dialogue Initiative a Divine Intervention to Salvage South Sudan from Its Total Collapse?

BY: Juma Mabor Marial (Mr.) LLB, MA (Humanitarian & Conflict Studies), Advocate, DEC/22/2016, SSN;

Just like many other South Sudanese citizens who have been victims of bad governance and greedy politics in this country, I had given up every little hope that I had for this country coming back to stability but when I criticized my decision, I came to realize that hope is the last thing a human being should let go in their life if they aspire to live longer than the present challenges.

Due to this self-criticism, I became optimistic that despite the bad situation our country is in now, things will one day change for the better. This desire seemed to manifest itself in different ways and one of them is the recent speech by the President during the launching of the National Dialogue Initiative.

I have never been a fan of President’s speeches since most of them are cut and paste and are only usually given as occasional gifts without matching them with actions and follow-up.

The case in point is when in several platforms the president talks about “Zero-Tolerance to corruption” yet nothing has changed as corruption remains the top and leading vice across all the government institutions in the country.

This irony only confirms to us the extent of lip servicing in his speeches but as they say, give Caesar what belongs to him and give due respect to he who deserves it, I think I was puzzled and deeply surprised with the change of tune that the president brought out on his recent speech.

Thanks to his recent visit to South Africa where perhaps out of his consultations with President Zuma, he realized that his country is in the Intensive Care Unit and despite the Lab technicians and surgeons that are operating with him to try and save the life of the country, he will ultimately remain the lead surgeon to be blamed and charged with negligence when the patient (South Sudan) unfortunately dies.

When people talk about a National Dialogue, it must be understand that, apart from negotiated peace accords and other forced interventions by regional and international actors in an attempt to bring sustainable peace in many countries in Africa – South Sudan included, there has never been any tangible solution to permanent peace and stability other than a national dialogue where all the stakeholders from varying political affiliations, ethnic diversities, religious denominations and backgrounds comes together and deliberate on issues that affect them and set a proper roadmap on how to move the affairs of their country forward.

Therefore, the importance of a national dialogue is that, the government with all its security apparatuses, oppositions with all their blackmail gadgets and external interest groups and all the stakeholders stand on a level playing field and argue out their concerns without intimidation, threats, fear or favor.

And because of this extent of independence, the think tanks that the president referred to as the Secretariat of the up-coming National Dialogue had in 2014 when the current fragile peace agreement was being negotiated in Addis Ababa, proposed National Dialogue as the best mechanism that could have been used to bring a permanent and long-lasting peace to South Sudan.

However, due to several local, national, regional and international interests then, their suggestion was ignored hence resulting into a half-baked compromised peace agreement that later on led the country into abyss.

Had this advice been considered much earlier, the country could have been saved from more crises but as they say, better late than never, the National Dialogue should now take place since it is the only option on the table for all the stakeholders.

The president has done fairly well in launching the initiative and consolidating it with such soul searching speech which I rated to be the best speech that I have heard from him since he inherited this country from Dr. John Garang De Mabior.

If you need more justifications for my rating, here are a few points that earned his speech my approval:
1. He apologized to the people of South Sudan for bad governance and the unprecedented suffering that they went through as a result of his unpopular government policies;
2. He appealed to the citizens and those who usually manipulate them to go on unnecessary demonstrations to stop antagonizing and demonizing regional and international partners as South Sudan is not an Island;
3. He assured everyone who shall attend the National Dialogue of their security and safety which is very important because it will allow those with opposing view against the government to attend and participate freely;
4. He affirmed that, the government just like any other institution or individual will be equal stakeholder and not a police in the process and this is a significant assurance because people will not be intimidated to abstain from contributing effectively to the deliberations for fear of victimization;
5. He gave think-tank institutions the task and the opportunity to facilitate, design programs and streamline the agenda for the National Dialogue which in this regard is very crucial because academic rather than political lenses need to be strategically worn if the country is to be successfully brought out of the deep crises it is in now;
6. The president also outlined very vital ten specific objectives of the dialogue which, if addressed and exhausted will open up a new path for the rebirth of this country.

Now here, the president has done his best but as usually is the case, there are those of whom we have always suspected to be around him and who, due to selfish political interests would never allow such crucial national projects to see the light of the day, this is the group that we must collectively combine forces with the president and fight so as we are able to have this National Dialogue take place as planned.

There will be enormous challenges along the way leading to the process but since the National Dialogue is the only life-saving machine that we have for South Sudan, we must all put our efforts and surmount the challenges that be.

The dialogue needs adequate time to enable all the stakeholders have the opportunity to exhaust all the problems that are ailing South Sudan and therefore, it will be a process not a one day or one week event and as such, the time no matter long it maybe ought to be properly framed.

The dialogue will also need material, human and financial resources and this is where the regional and international partners that have always presented themselves to help South Sudan come in and avail such resources without any strings attached because National Dialogue means South Sudanese talking to one another and trying to put their house in order without unnecessary interference from outsiders.

Through the Launching of the National Dialogue Initiative followed by the beautiful speech of the President, it seems South Sudan and its leaders have realized that it is about time we talk to each other in order to find a homegrown solution to our problems, the regional and international community should give this process a chance and facilitate rather than interfere with it.

Another big challenge that faces the national dialogue initiative will be lack of Political Will not from the president as he has already made clear his position but from the spoilers within his political camp since not all of them are interested in finding a permanent solution to the crises that are facing South Sudan today, instead, majority of them are beneficiaries of the on-going confusion and for them to maintain this status quo, they will put road block after another to ensure that the process does not kick-off.

Last but not the least, South Sudanese should begin from where the president has stopped by grabbing the opportunity and supporting the president in his possible and apparently final attempt to rescue this country from its total collapse.

It is my belief that God is intervening by granting all of us this final opportunity to rethink and refine the destiny of our country. I hope in the spirit of patriotism and great love for our great country – South Sudan, all of us will try through our own very little ways to ensure that the up-coming National Dialogue succeeds.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Peaceful New Year, 2017

By: Juma Mabor Marial (Mr.)
LLB, MA (Humanitarian & Conflict Studies), Advocate.
Contact: jummabor2gmail.com

Machar’s SPLM/A-IO members defect to Lam Akol’s NDM

THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT (NDM); Press Release
The National Democratic Movement (NDM) would like to inform that on 18th December 2016, seven (7) members of the SPLM/A-IO defected and joined its ranks. They are:

1. Muzemel Ojwok Ajak
2. Michael James Wanh
3. Ms Achol Thomas
4. Brigadier General Peter Yei Deng
5. Colonel Nur Hakim Ogawi
6. Colonel Kornelios Sabit Aban
7. Ms Maha Diejo Othom

The defecting SPLM/A-IO members expressed their frustrations with the SPLM/A-IO political leadership and its failure to articulate clear political revolutionary vision, which is perquisite in jumpstarting the much needed political, economic and social transformation in the nascent republic of South Sudan.

They accused the SPLM/A-IO of turning into a tribal organization which practices discrimination, marginalization and largely driven by selfish leadership, that is bent on achieving individual desires rather than being preoccupied with waging a people revolutionary struggle aimed at salvaging the country from the jaws of Kiir’s dictatorship and tyranny.

The defecting members after lot of thoughts and consultations decided to leave SPLM/A-IO and decided to join the National Democratic Movement (NDM) under the wise and able leadership of Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin as an alternative political movement, through which they can serve the people of South Sudan with honour and revolutionary zeal.

Furthermore, they elucidated that NDM is the only political organization that can emancipate the people of South Sudan from the brutal regime of President Kiir and his Jieng Council of Elders.

The Chairman of the NDM congratulated the new members for their patriotic decision to choose the broad front as a mean for waging a revolutionary struggle in order to free the people of South Sudan who have been subjected to untold misery and suffering under the 11 years of SPLM misrule, and wished them every success in the struggle for genuine change in the country.

The Chairman assured the new members that the struggle to uproot corruption, injustice and tribalism is not easy but with our determination and adoption of the correct means and methods of the struggle, the people of South Sudan shall surely triumph.

Long live the struggle of our people
Long live South Sudan
A lutta continua

Ambassador; Emmanuel Aban
For/ the Spokesman
National Democratic Movement (NDM)
19th December, 2016.

PDM Response to Pres. Kiir’s Call for National Dialogue

Dec/20/2016;
As the world comes together to avert a genocide in the making in South Sudan, that has come about by the direct actions and poor decisions of President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his kleptocratic regime, it is outrageous and disrespectful to the people of South Sudan that the President calls for a National dialogue while a genocide is already taking place in the country and innocent lives continue to be murdered.

PDM supports dialogue as part of a well thought through comprehensive peace building approach for a much needed healing and reconciliation process in the country, however, PDM takes the position that the problems the country is now facing cannot be resolved by President Kiir’s regime same level of thinking that created the problems, in consideration of:

• The current situation that is characterised by continued armed conflict, rape, harassment, torture, displacement, unlawful detainment and massacres of innocent unarmed citizens across the country, which does not encourage the spirit or provide a free environment necessary for an honest and genuine National Dialogue while the President issues shoot to kill statements without due legal process, that his army will not differentiate between civilians and rebels.

• A genuine National Dialogue where all stakeholders to the conflict participate as equal partners requires a credible convener who is respected by the majority of stakeholders and has no political aspirations. As the President meets neither of these qualities, and is rather better known for his role in the establishment and command of the illegal Anyoor Mathiang militia that are engaged in massacres of innocent unarmed civilians across the country, his divisive policy of pitting one ethnic group against another, his hate speeches inciting ethnic violence and publicly declaring war on Equatorians; his attempts to convene a National Dialogue are at best a farce and misguided.

• A National Dialogue can only maintain legitimacy if it is undertaken in a free and fair space with the participation of the broader population. However given the common knowledge that over 1.87 million South Sudanese (including 212,000 people in UNMIS Protection of Civilian sites sheltering from the regime’s brutality) are internally displaced, and another 1.3 million people have fled to neighbouring countries, it is inconceivable that the President continues his National Dialogue monologue. Furthermore, the President’s consistent clamp down on free speech and persistent policy of censoring media houses, including murdering journalists, defeats the important role of the media vital to the success of such a Dialogue.

• An honest and genuine National Dialogue that seeks to address the underlying causes of conflict in the country and requires a broad consensus on the issues to be resolved, an important factor the President chooses to evade. The President’s intent is obvious in disguising the fact that the main underlying cause of the conflict is this kleptocratic regime’s history of nepotism, corruption, violation of human rights and rule of law, unconstitutional executive orders, unconstitutional firing and hiring of elected positions, misuse of public resources for individual gains, lack of development, restriction of free speech and political space, illegitimate authority, and illegal recruitment and use of militia groups to terrorise any voices of dissent, leading to the failed state characterised by wide spread conflict across the country, a failed economy, a genocide in the making and a people in flight.

PDM reminds the President and his kleptocratic regime that their continued hold on to power is illegitimate now that ARCISS has collapsed. In the absence of any other mandate by the people or any ongoing legitimate peace process, the Transitional Government of National Unity is null and void. The people of South Sudan see through his deflective attempts of a National Dialogue to disguise:

• His prominent role in the ‘genocide in the making’, and the ongoing international efforts to evoke an arms embargo and personal sanctions on prominent individuals in his government, including himself.
• The economic collapse under his leadership that limits his ability to continue pursuing a military solution, and is depleting the remaining internal human resource capacity.
• The increasing lack of confidence amongst his Senior Servants who continue to resign from his government, including the recent resignation after his call for National Dialogue.
• His illegitimate hold on to power, in the absence of ARCISS or any other mandate from the people.

PDM, therefore, calls on the International Community not to be diverted by this latest scheme of President Salva Kiir, from their critical efforts to avert a genocide in South Sudan, mindful that they ‘can and must act’ with urgency. In this regard we welcome the solidarity of the ‘Holocaust and genocide memorials’ with the people of South Sudan, in particular, the reminder of Ellie Wiesel’s words that “We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

PDM urges UN Security Council, the African Union and the TROIKA members to double their efforts towards (i) an arms embargo and sanctions on spoilers of Peace/ARCISS including President Salva Kiir, for his role in derailing ARCISS, and the ‘genocide in the making’; (ii) a speedy establishment of the hybrid court, as justice comes before Dialogue; (iii) expedite deployment of the approved 4,000 UN protection force, where necessary, seeking alternatives to regional contributions from members that have shown partial tendencies in the peace process lately and continue to delay the process of deployment.

PDM appeals to the people of South Sudan, to reject the divisive policies of President Salva Kiir, and instead join us in calling for his immediate resignation. Understanding that without a neutral and peaceful environment where the guns are silent, the internally displaced and refugees have returned home, the hybrid court is running its course and all stake holders, including the wider population, are fully engaged, there can be no honest and genuine National Dialogue.

PDM stands with the suffering and tormented people of South Sudan who continue to endure unimaginable violations, and applauds the resilience and hope they continue to demonstrate in the face of adversity. We appeal to the international community to continue supporting the increasing humanitarian needs both inside the country and among refugees in neighbouring countries, and support us in finding a sustainable solution as soon as possible.

We call on the people of South Sudan to stand in solidarity with each other during this difficult time, and together continue to seek a conducive environment for reconciliation, healing and reconstruction of our social fabric. United we stand.

Dr. Hakim Dario

Signed: ____________________
PDM Chair

CC: UNSC, AU, TROIKA, IGAD, SS Community Leaders, Media Houses
For all comments, queries and opinions please communicate to: press@pdm-rss.org

“The degree of liberty or tyranny in any government is in large degree a reflection of the relative determination
of the subjects to be free and their willingness and ability to resist efforts to enslave them.”
― Gene Sharp, From Dictatorship to Democracy

ABOUT PDM: The People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) is a popular grassroots Movement formed by concerned South Sudanese in the country and the Diaspora; in response to the political crisis and fast deteriorating economic, humanitarian and security situation in the Republic of South Sudan. It seeks to offer the way forward amid heightened ethnic polarisation and devastating conflict in the country, encouraged and abated primarily by President Salva Kiir’s divisive Government policy, incompetent, oppressive and corrupt leadership.

Mr President Kiir: Only free men can negotiate… (Nelson Mandela)

BY: Lomuchie Nyaloro, Concerned South Sudanese, DEC/19/2016, SSN;

Mr Kiir and his advisors in the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) are shamelessly and arrogantly attempting to fool the whole world by calling for a dialogue and peace negotiations with South Sudanese. This breathtaking arrogance is all the more painful when one considers that it comes after they have:-

• destroyed a peace agreement painfully negotiated by the international community;
• committed genocide against the Nuer and other South Sudanese;
• sent their personal and tribal militia (Mathiang Anyoor) to Equatoria to pillage, rape, burn people alive, and force hundreds of thousands into refuge and displacement camps;
• played ‘cat and mouse’ with the UN Security Council on Resolution 2304 (2016) which they have failed to implement;
• silenced all dissenting voices in South Sudan and particularly in Juba; and
• subjected the people of South Sudan to forced and slave labor without paying them their dues and salaries.

Who is Kiir going to negotiate with after he has turned the whole country, and particularly Juba, into a large open prison?

The whole world now knows that nobody is allowed to criticize the Kiir regime or to whistle-blow on its criminality.

Journalists have been killed for reporting on the atrocities of the regime. Foreign journalists have been deported for reporting on the ongoing slow-motion genocide, which is perpetrated by the agents of the regime.

Politicians, local community chiefs and civil society activists are being incarcerated by the ubiquitous Gestapo-type secret police.

No, Mr. Kiir, there is no one left for you to negotiate with in South Sudan. In the past, a repressive Apartheid regime, after keeping Nelson Mandela in prison for over 25 years without cowing his black followers, asked Mandela to negotiate peace while he was still a prisoner. But Mandela replied, “Only free men can negotiate. A prisoner cannot enter into contract.”

Mr. Kiir, you and your people have made prisoners of all South Sudanese by stifling their voices. No, they cannot join you in your call for negotiation and reconciliation.

Mr Kiir, despite the terrible things that you have done to your own people, South Sudanese can still respond positively to your call if you can undertake the following as pre-requisites to the negotiations:-

1. Order the release of all detainees who are being held by the National Security Service (NSS), and at the same time call off the campaign to silence our people through intimidation, arrest and murder by the NSS;

2. Order the release of all prisoners who are being detained in shipping containers at military camps around Juba and all over the country by the military intelligence;

3. Order the withdrawal and disbandment of the private tribal militia, Mathiang Anyoor, from all regions of the country. The presence and maintenance of the militia by the government is unconstitutional;

4. Compel your tribesmen who are occupying the lands of Equatoria to remove their cattle and settlements and return to their original homes in Jonglei and Bahr el Ghazal; and, finally,

5. Revoke the creation of the 28 states and return to the borders of the 10 original states.

These are our bare minimum.

Lomuchie Nyaloro, a concerned South Sudanese