Archive for: January 2017

The Action of King of Morocco constitutes Political Bribery: A Response to skeptics to the use of the term “bribery”

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala (Uganda), JAN/30/2017, SSN;

In the recent article by Beny Gideon Mabor Esq and published on Sudantribune, which is entitled: “South Sudan: Strategic choice between bribery and right to self-determination for Saharawi people,” one of the problems that many commentators could not comprehend was the reason why Beny Gideon Mabor chose and used the term bribery.

Briefly, in that article, Beny was writing to explain the rationale behind Morocco wanting to go into bilateral relationship with South Sudan. In that article he warned South Sudan to be careful in dealing with Morocco as the dealing may have implications on her duties under the human rights law.

South Sudan has a duty to enforce human rights including the right to self-determination of the people of Western Sahara which Morocco wanted to suppress.

For that reason, since Morocco’s intention to rejoin African Union after thirty four (34) years of absence from the Union is to use the African Union as a platform to defeat the right to self-determination of the people of Western Sahara, Beny was warning South Sudan and advising its authorities to protect the interests of the people of Western Sahara who have the same history of South Sudanese.

The arguments put forward by Beny in that article read together with the letter of the King of Morocco that he wrote to the African Union in July 2016 in which he informed members of the intention of Morocco to rejoin the African Union as they point to the fact that Morocco is using its soft power (economic power) to ensure that the African Union reverses its previous decision and instead declares the Western Sahara as part of Morocco.

The two sources cited in the above paragraph, show the plan of Morocco that after having gone into bilateral relationships with other African countries including South Sudan and readmitted into the African Union, it will present a resolution of declaring the independent status of Western Sahara as illegal.

Consequently, majority of the countries in bilateral relationships with it will vote in its favour to avoid falling out with Morocco that may bring the bilateral relationships to an end.

To avoid such negative implication, those countries will vote in favour of Morocco and by implication declare Western Sahara as part of Morocco. At that point, Western Sahara will have lost its status as independent entity and the people of Western Sahara will also in the process lose their rights to self-determination.

Beny, therefore, strongly advised the Government of South Sudan that it is free to go into other bilateral cooperation with Kingdom of Morocco for common good of the two countries however, not anything connected with Saharan Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).

Beny further preempted by warning South Sudan of the consequences of ignoring his advice by saying that “Any attempt by the government to support the position of Morocco over status of SADR is a contradiction of the very principle of right to self-determination where the people of South Sudan fought for decades and finally got their independence”.

He then finally advised the government not take the “blood money” in return of what would be blind support to the kingdom of morocco and by extension support continued occupation of indigenous land belonging to the Saharawi people who have suffered in the hands of Moroccans just like the way South Sudanese suffered in the hand of Arabs.

In using the phrase “blood money”, Beny is alluding to the story of Judas Iscariot in the Bible that betrays Jesus by accepting money that was used to bribe him to show them where Jesus was.

In summary, the arguments of Beny Gideon Mabor as clearly outlined in his article and the communication in the letter of the Moroccan King to the African Union clearly support the view that Morocco is trying to bribe South Sudan and other countries that have already gone into bilateral relationships with it over the issue of Western Sahara.

Thus, this article is in response to unwarranted criticisms from those who have failed to understand the meaning of bribery in the context Beny has used it or subscribe to the wrong concept of the word “bribery “that led them to unjustly criticize him.

What is even disappointing is the fact that those individuals who criticized Beny did support their arguments with any authorities they are relying on to show as to why he is wrong but they only argued based on what they think in their own opinion as to the meaning of the word “bribery”.

For instance, one of the people commented that and I quote, “In diplomatic practice, especially treatment of any sensitive issues between Independent States, the weapons used (soft and hard power) are known as tools of influence but, not bribery, buying or selling” but did not tell us the authority he got it from.

Apart from the lack of authority to back the statement I have just quoted above, it is also backed up by wrong reasons. This is because what he did not understand is that there is a difference between diplomacy and the law.

Diplomatically, his statement might be correct though he might not have any authority due to the fact that countries respect each other and it is in rare circumstances that they may use harsh language against each other.

However, that does not extent to the law and it must be made clear to him that diplomacy is different from law and what may be called in different names in diplomacy due to the respect countries accord to each other may be called by its exact English name as in law a spade is called a spade but not a big spoon as it may be the case in diplomacy.

Having pointed out and explained in the above the weaknesses of the critics of Beny’s article, it is important now to explain to them the reasons why the action of Moroccan King in going into bilateral relationship and giving a lot of money and at the same time challenging the legality of the admission of Western Sahara to African Union constitutes bribery by explaining with the help of the authorities the meaning of bribery, what constitutes it and its different forms and why action of Morocco is bribery.

Then after that, I will conclude by stating that bribery simply means giving something to a person who one expects to do him or her favour now or in future directly or indirectly as a result of the gift given; hence the action of Moroccan King can be described properly as bribery.

Definition of bribery
To begin with and accordance with Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, bribery is the act of giving money, goods or other forms of recompense to a recipient in exchange for an alteration of their behavior which is to the benefit or interest of the giver. The Black’s Law Dictionary defines bribery almost in the same language that bribery is the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or other person in charge of a public or legal duty.

In other words, the bribe is the gift bestowed to influence the recipient’s conduct. It may be money, goods, rights in action, property, preferment, privilege, emolument, objects of value, advantage, or merely a promise to induce or influence the action, vote, or influence of a person in an official or public capacity (T. Markus Funk, “Don’t Pay for the Misdeeds of Others: Intro to Avoiding Third-Party FCPA Liability,” 6 BNA White Collar Crime Report 33 (January 14, 2011) (discussing bribery in the context of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act).

In economics, the bribe has been described as a rent. Bribery in bureaucracy has been viewed as a reason for the higher cost of production of goods and services as it manifests itself in various ways and appears in various forms.

Nonetheless, what is clear is that corruption, and bribery in particular, is widespread in most of the countries. According Carl Jan Willem Schudel, Department of Government University of Essex, United Kingdom corruption is a widespread problem in many countries throughout the world, as it slows down economic growth and development and corrupt practices, such as bribery, favors for favors, and nepotism, are costly to companies and thereby reduce chances for corrupt states to attract necessary amounts of foreign capital.

As I have labored above to give the definition of bribery, its forms, forms it takes and its relationship with corruption, it has to be stated that in relation to the prospect relationship between South Sudan and Morocco, the action of Morocco amounts to bribery.

As Carl Jan observes above, corruption and bribery exist everywhere and they may arise in any situation especially where a country depends on financial support from a richer country that has interests which may conflict with the primary purpose of the country it is supporting or that seeks aid from it.

For instance, corrupt governments like that of Moroccan Government (Morocco is one of the corrupt countries in Africa and for more information see; www.business-anti corruption.com/country-profiles/morocco) are interested in private gains rather than in public benefits of the recipient country like South Sudan.

Therefore, Morocco being private-gains oriented Country it does not care about its conduct as long as its achieve what it has set its mind to and the developmental and moral damages its behavior may cause to a recipient country is not a source of direct concern to it.

As Beny clear explains in his article cited above, if South Sudan goes into bilateral relationship with Morocco that may be accompanied by massive financial support as Morocco has indicated in its readiness to build the Palace and other projects in South Sudan, then, South Sudan must support Morocco in all areas as Morocco is a friend in need which is a friend indeed except if South Sudan has put a condition on their bilateral relationship.

In conclusion, as I have exhaustively explained the meaning and the forms of bribery in the foregoing discussion, it can be concluded that bribery means giving something to a person who the person giving expects to do him or her favour now or in future directly or indirectly as a result of the gift given to the recipient.

In addition, corruption may appear in any form depending on the interests of the briber if his or her interest is just to see the country he or she is supporting develop then there will be no bribery but if the interest of the one giving is to influence the conduct of the receiving country to do something for him or her then there is bribery and corruption.

On that note, it must be concluded that the action of the King of Morocco in going into bilateral relationships with different countries in African and that may include South Sudan and massive financial supports that follow such relationships amount to bribery thus political corruption.

Hence, in this case the argument of Beny that Morocco is bribing countries to destroy the right to self-determine of the people of Western Sahara is correct.

NB//: the author is South Sudanese lawyer residing in Uganda and can be reached through: juoldaniel@yahoo.com

Uganda holds the key to South Sudan question: Prof. Miamingi explains problems the country faces

JAN/29/2017, SSN;

Before the signing of the Peace Agreement, we were talking about crimes, after the signing of the Peace Agreement, we are now talking about genocide unfolding in S.S.

The chaos goes on seemingly unabated in South Sudan. Uganda’s New Vision website Public affairs Editor Paul Busharizi sat down with human rights and governance expert, S.S Professor Dr Remember Miamingi, to understand the mess in the new country.

Question QN: What is the state of Affairs right now in South Sudan?

ANSWER: The state of Affairs right now in South Sudan at the moment is tragic and to put it in perspective before the Peace Agreement was signed in August 2015, S. Sudan had less than 200,000 internally displaced persons, less than 100, 000 refugees that we had outside the country.

After the signing of the Peace Agreement, today South Sudan has close to 2 million South Sudanese outside as refugees, over 500,000 internally displaced South Sudanese.

In 2013, we had around 2m people that were said to be facing famine. Today, 6 million South Sudanese are facing starvation in the country.

Before the signing of the Peace Agreement, we were talking about crimes, after the signing of the Peace Agreement, we are now talking about genocide unfolding in S.S.

So after the signing of the Agreement, the situation has deteriorated significantly that the UN, AU and international Agencies are now saying genocide is unfolding in S.S in a rate that is extremely disturbing.

QN: Who is perpetrating the genocide?

It is both ways; it is the armed practice to the conflict. But what has happened is that we had a political conflict which degenerated into an ethnic conflict and this ethnic conflict has been excavated by a rhetoric of dehumanising other people on the base of their ethnicity and that which started in 2013, you had a conflict which picked the Dinka ethnic groups and Nuer ethnic group.

But right now we are having ethnic groups within Equatoria region have taken arms predominantly in response to abuse they have received but also the government’s targeting other ethnic groups on response of their ethnicity.

So you have a gov’t that is embarked on a policy of ethnic cleansing on the base of ethnicity but you also have armed groups that have gone back to return the same policy and targeting communities, wiping out entire communities on the basis of ethnicity.

And when you have a country where ethnicity, ethnic hatred is as deep as we have in S.S where dehumanisation of others is a state policy while conflict has provided a symbol of context for it, and the economy has completely collapsed and there’s a war for survival, genocide in that context is devastating.

And so what we are seeing in S.S if not arrested will be than worse than what we witnessed in Rwanda.

QN: How many ethnic groups do you have in S.S?We have 63 ethnic groups in S.S. Sixty three a big number to have a genocide. Who would be killing who? Probably it’s not a genocide

What you have is that even though there are 63 ethnic groups in South Sudan, you have a gov’t that is predominantly one ethnic group and that is the Dinka. You have the rebellion that is predominantly one ethnic group and that is Nuer.

And so when the gov’t attacks the Nuer community through militias and armed groups, they wipe out the entire community not because they are rebels but because they are Nuers.

And when you target one ethnic group primarily and mainly on the basis of that ethnicity with the intention of wiping it out completely, that is the classical definition of genocide and you also have a return, that when this rebel group attack either predominantly Dinkas, they carry out the same policy.

So it is even though they are different ethnic groups, you have primarily two main actors that are engaging on a very devastating act of threatening to wipe out the ethnicity of the other in the context of war that is unfolding.

And so when we are talking about the genocide, we are not undermining the fact that there is massive killing, we are not undermining the fact that there is rape; the rate of sexual violence we have in S.Sudan, we have not witnessed it since we started fighting the Arabs for close to 30 years. The scale of brutality that we as S.Sudanese are meting on each other today, not even the Arabs figured it that way.

QN:So how did it come to this?

That is the 1 billion dollar question because S.S was born a Golden nation to so much virginity and potential with Good will in the region and international.

My answer to that question is that first, S.S suffers from leadership deficit; when we had independence everything was prepared and dreamt around Dr. John Garang de Mabior who was the vision of the movement and the man who articulated and provided direction to where the country was going and demised in 2005, providing a leadership vacuum and the comrades stepped into, who had no vision, had no national interest, they were completely committed to quality of their bellies, it was corruption, it was anything other than the nation building and therefore this leadership deficit led us to where we are today.

Secondly, in my opinion it was the capacity deficit, what we could have done as a country was to say we have a country, we have not governed before, we do not have experience in this, we could have gone to Uganda and say Uganda, we have one of the best civil services in the region. Can you second some men and women to come and help us? We could have gone to Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania and amass capacity to help us do institutions.

So in the absence of institution, in the absence of systems, we had a complete collapse between party, government, the state and the army.

In fact our parliament became like a cantonment area where generals would go if you did not find work somewhere else, you ended up in Parliament. So we had the entire system that was conflicted together because of capacity issues.

But thirdly, in my opinion, is that when we fought North Sudan, we had our own differences and problems and some atrocities that were committed by S.Sudanese against others. They were not addressed at all because we said let us first and foremost deal with the North.

Once we are finished with that, we will come and deal with our own nation and when we finished with the North, we had no opportunity to deal with those issues not that we didn’t have an opportunity, we did not prioritise solving our own post injustices, solving our own grievances and the same people we have in the North that we fought could easily capitalise; took advantage of those differences we had and from there could help in generating the kind of situation that we are having today.

We also got here in my opinion because of the role that our neighbours had played in Sudan in South Sudan during the war. Uganda sacrificed so much during the war and when for example Uganda was expected to play a role when the country was going forward and so was Ethiopia and Kenya.

And so that, different players playing with the different actors in S.S in trying to push one national interest against the other national interest and the conflict that arose also helped feed into the conflict that we are having today. SO it’s a number of issues from leadership through down to regional geo-political dynamics.

QN: What role did South Sudan’s neighbours have in the chaos we see now?

I want to agree that yes, the conflict we have in S.S today, apart from we can’t take responsibility away from National actors, but that our brothers and sisters in the region have also contributed in complicating a search for solution for the problem and I will also give a good example: Uganda played a significant role in fact if you are to rank countries together, the kind of support we receive from Uganda in liberating is monumental.

But when the conflict broke out in 2013, the government of Uganda took one side in the conflict; this was a fight between brothers. The government went in through Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) and then supported one side to that conflict and that was to the government.

Now of course government to government support is reasonable except that in the context of South Sudan, we had a government that was predominately bigger that have just been accused of committing crimes against humanity -war crimes and possibility genocide against another main ethnic group the Nuer.

And now when you dare come and help one side, you are actually strengthening one ethnic group against the other. And there strengthening the divide between the two ethnic groups.

Uganda has probably one of the most important opportunities to bring the conflict in South Sudan to an end. It is able, it is capable but I do not know if it is willing to do it.

Let’s go to Ethiopia, Ethiopia seeing Uganda on one side inevitably because of the different dynamics in the region, but also because of the sacrifices Ethiopia made in Sudan then. We had Ethiopia supporting the armed groups and so when you add this to Sudan who basically had interest in ensuring that S.Sudan was as destabilised as it can be, so that at least its armed industry can thrive and so that its own security might be strengthened by a weak South Sudan.

Now you have Egypt coming into this picture through Uganda and with support from Uganda to support Salva Kiir. The moment Egypt is in S.S, Ethiopia is with the rebels, the moment Egypt is in S.S, Sudan is with the rebels. So already all this put together, you have Kenya that has its own interest that has played significant interest in bringing together the Peace Agreement also having its own competition and its national interest.

So these national interests as valid and genuine as they are, not managed well, contributed significantly to the intractability conflict that we have today.

But there is no solution in S.S that is not a solution that is accepted by the region and that is why it is extremely important and we are already asking whether we need mediators to mediate the regional mediation because the differences between the different countries in the region have almost paralysed Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) the ability to provide mutual, impartial mediation to the conflict to the extent that IGAD as an institution has been compromised.

And so without the new incredible mediation and without a united regional front that the AU and UN will depend on to address the conflict in S.S. we are in a situation that as the conflict is deteriorating, solution is going further and the ordinary people in S.S are looking for leadership.

My coming to Uganda was basically to talk to Uganda leadership and so you have the golden opportunity, you can use your experience, you can use your expertise you can use your capacity and have a big nation as a big brother to rise above narrow personal relationships, narrow personal economic and political interests and provide leadership in those regions and if not for any other reason, the outgoing Chief of staff in Uganda in an interview just about a few days ago said the greatest security risk to Uganda remains S.Sudan.

So even if it’s not out of solidarity for S.Sudanese, from a security interest of Uganda, you have over 2m people crammed between the border of Uganda. These people are coming from some of the most traumatised experience, they are interacting with Uganda across that border. You have the flow of arms either to S.S or from there for survival along that border.

You have the social consequence that comes with a small country that was may be 5 or 20 or 30, 000 people right now hosting over 400,000 people in their communities. You have the socio-economic burden that brings in.

So it’s not just not a security threat in that sense but it is also an economic threat because the international community is not putting its money into United Nations system sufficient enough to provide for this.

It is the community that will subsidize them. It is the community that will carry the burden and those people are Ugandans.

It is also a social threat because nobody is providing social and psychological support to these people. Traumatised as they are, the cultural violence, the culture of treating things from the way they came from will begin to interact with local culture there and that is an issue Uganda will have to deal with tomorrow.

And so from that perspective we are saying, you can and you should because the Americans are not bearing this, Ethiopia is bearing this but not every other country in the region is carrying the burden. And we are just talking about those apart from so many 100s of 1000s of persons scattered across Uganda here in Kampala and everywhere who basically depend on this.

Students across the schools here can’t pay their fees because S.S has collapsed. Business men that had invested so heavily in S.S have gone bankrupt; they are having social issues to deal with here. So it is in the interest of Uganda as it is in the interest of S.Sudanese that as brothers, that we fix this.

QN: Where do you derive your confidence that Uganda holds the key to the resolving the situation?

When the war of liberation in S.S was almost failing, failing because of the same compromises in the region, Uganda stood its ground. Uganda did not only provide material support, Uganda in certain circumstances put boots on the ground in S.S in support of the liberation war.

It did it despite the divisions, it did it despite that some people were compromised like Moi, like other people in the region by the government of Sudan.

So historically, Uganda has stood on the right side of history. But in addition to that, I personally do not see President Museveni, just as a president. He is an elder and a statesman who has been in this region long enough, to understand this region long enough, whose actions have impacted heavily negatively or positively on this region to build networks and respected beyond his region.

The utterances that President Museveni makes here become policies in Washington DC, the utterances that he makes here become AU policies sometimes. So there is a cloud. the only unfortunate thing is that that socio capita has been underutilised, that social capital has been limited because of what i perceive as complete distrust from the leadership in Uganda of the leadership of the rebel movement in S.S and because of that distrust, Uganda cannot come to see itself bringing these two people together; some body that you do not trust at all, you do not respect at all; that is causing havoc in the country.

I think as a leader and as an eldest states-person, it is incumbent that you, Museveni, bring these people together. Let there be peace and let South Sudanese be given opportunity to choose who their leaders are. All that they want is peace.

Today, if Uganda closed down the bank accounts of all the generals who are fighting in South Sudan, their monies are kept here, their houses are here and their children are here. Uganda has leverage. If it speaks today, Juba listens because if Uganda closes its door today, the government in Juba will collapse within days, it has the power.

And so I’m convinced from the historical perspective, we are connected as people, culturally we are connected, our burdens become your burdens. But also from the capacity of this country the experience of dealing with conflicts in the region, Uganda has the expertise to deal with us and to deal with our problems each and when it wants.

QN: The distrust between Uganda and the rebel side in S.Sudan. What is the genesis of the distrust?

My understanding and perception is that one of the greatest setback to the entire liberation project in South Sudan was when the rebel movement broke into two in 1991 and that break was instigated by Dr Riak Machar and in Lamako and that pushed the movement back 10 years.

So the effort that Uganda had put into and other countries was almost brought to a total failure but act of a man from a perspective of a Ugandan Government, That was selfish. There was ambition, and on top of that he went back to Khartoum where their image was, there so there was the issue of destruction.

But in addition to that there was history around the conversation to deal with the LRA, the negotiations that had to do with LRA, the understanding and I have no evidence is written down and I have spoken about, I have not verified myself, is that during that 1991 break, one of the conduits that Sudan was providing support to the LRA was through the breakaway movement of Riak.

And so even then when Riak came to Juba and was managing the peace conversation between the governments here, the trust on the side of the government wasn’t there. So the government here sees Riak… that is my perception from far, as not being a reliable leader and not being a true Nationalist and therefore not being a kind of core liberator that will go with a tradition of NRM and ZANU–PF and all those.

So when in 2013 the same Dr Riak Marhar again was alleged to have been involved in an attempted coup, which could have thwarted the project of the nation building, my thinking was that some people in this country had enough. And so it acted and allowed that personal hatred to then inform a national strategic approach.

QN: There was an issue too that the SPLA is not a coherent force and therefore the chaos?

The SPLA before 2005 was one of the most disciplined, professional forces in the region in terms of even though were rebels. Then came in 2005 and the finding of the disagreement under the death of Dr John Garang de Mabior now when Salva Kiir came to power one of the greatest threat to Salva Kiir control over the army was the so called Garang boys.

The Garang boys were the Generals, professional and the training core OF SPLA who probably didn’t have so much respect for General Salva Kiir and what President Salva Kiir then did was one by one, systematically eliminate these people.

These also owned the regional dynamic that Garang was from Bor and you had Salva Kiir come from Bahr el Ghazal and that before Salva came in, that all the people who were probably Dinkas from the Bor. So they then went ahead to balance that. So that was one major diluting factor.

Now the second diluting factor, was as we approach the referendum, Khartoum was busy providing arms to different rebel groups across South Sudan and to avoid these spoilers, spoil the chance of this country to vote in a referendum.

Salva Kiir invented these eviction policies where all those militias were incorporated into the SPLA, they came in with their ranks. That today, it is important to note that we have 745 generals in the army and these people came in with their culture, traditions, they had no training, they came in with the structure, they maintained their ranks; that second diluting factor then completely took away whatever professional advantage that the SPLA had.

The Third diluting factor is corruption when we got independence, S.Sudan suddenly had at that its disposal, it was dealing in billions of dollars from the proceeds of oil and when this money used to come in first, and we had no banking system. The money would come in cartons, millions of dollars in cartons that was kept at the SPLA secretariat.

The SPLA secretariat was the Minister of Finance. Suddenly people had to deal with money and with no accountability at all.

And so every other consideration gave way to corruption and patronage and so the professional disciplined solders that we had completely disappeared that today, it is even worse because when the conflict broke out in 2013, by that time because of these big tribes, most of the malice were from Nuer tribe. So when the conflict broke out, 70% of the army broke and went with the rebels.

So even within the diluted, 70% had gone. So what we have today, when people talk about SPLA today, it doesn’t exist, when people talk about the army, it doesn’t exist because what we have in S.S is a Coalition of miltias whose commanders and control are not to Salva Kiir as the commander-in-chief but it is to the different militias Commanders that brought them together, responsible for feeding them and their salaries and all that they get. So that is another complicating factor.

And that is why if Uganda had not intervened in 2013, ehh… (sighs) the war would have been over from the sense of the rebels because Juba would have fallen because there was no army to provide.

So his right one has not only destroyed the army in the country but has created the greatest security threat as a country. If Sudan attacked us today, we would have no army to fight with because we have finished our army, fighting ourselves.

QN: So how will this be resolved?

Yes, but we are hoping. The resilience of the S.Sudanese people. We started fighting on August 25, 1955. The resilience that saw the S.Sudanese all through those years is the only blink of hope. And that is why we are asking our brothers with the government, the people of Uganda, add your voice to these people, give them the moral support that you can because that’s all they need, the one that will bring about change. And we hope for support as we continue to talk to our conscience as Africans.

QN: You talked of lack of capacity in S.Sudan, the only figures I see is that S.S is two and a half times the size of Uganda, it has about only about 100 km the tarmac road, but what about the people, teachers, professionals and graduates?

Now as they maybe not in the same measure, with many rebel movements across the continent. When SPLA fought during those wars, so many S.Sudanese went into refugee camps and as a result of being in refugee camps, benefited from Education in Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya and other neighbouring countries and many of them got resettled in countries in the West and also went there to have education. So there is a reasonable size of S.Sudanese in all who have gone outside, who are well-educated and who are willing to return home to contribute.

But what happened Is that immediately we got independence, those who fought, felt that while they were busy here struggling and sleeping in the trenches, you went outside eating bread and butter and going to school and now suddenly you now want to come back, and say you’re Doctors, you’re this. NO. This is our time. In fact it is our time to eat. And that first closed the opportunity so that even the diaspora that returns, returns on personal or relational basis to contribute in whatever capacity that they did.

Even if we had the opportunity of bringing all our diaspora back, but still it will not be enough because the art of the governance is not in class. It comes through experience and those who were outside. Not all of there were in governance, they would do different things.

So we still need to depend on our brothers and sisters who in this region stood by us. But again pride. We fought the Arabs. We are capable just doing about anything. So that arrogance and that approach as if we had it all, closed the door. I do not know how many times the presidents of the region…. Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, UN all of them will come back to Sudan and say we can provide, we will pay for the capacity and bring people to support you.

I do not how much the president will say YES YES and nothing will be done. Because we use gov’t institutions and positions as a reward system that will then oil our patronage networks and keep up loyalty.

So bringing people (expertise) from outside we have no control over them, who have a name to protect, institutions where they were seconded from weakens that control and the entire network and therefore corruption will thrive and as a result, we sacrificed the future of our country for our personal and immediate benefits.

QN: Looking forward, what do you think happens given the current context you have described?

I sincerely believe that the war in S.Sudan right now has almost reached the point that is mutually hurting for all the parties. The government that is broke, it does not have enough money to buy loyalties like it should, for all its patronage networks, it is dealing with rebellions.

Right now, in 2013 we had about 14 rebel groups fighting across S.Sudan. Today we just published report, we have 40 across. Conflict was only in two areas in 2013 and now we have conflict across S.Sudan. So the scale of the challenge is enormous for any government even as callous as you can, you just cannot go to bed and sleep. Because you see the country collapsing.

Today we have inflation above 1000%, somebody that was earning 7,000 dollars in 2013 today is not more than 170 dollars’ worth. And so government no matter how proud it wants to be, no matter how strong it wants to appear, it is completely in a very vulnerable position.

So often the rebel movement controls the structure and command by virtue of these being scattered. The economic pressure you cannot sustain and control all these rebels outside, how do you feed them. They cannot continue fighting the war long enough and so this is an opportunity for the region to take leadership.

They have fought themselves to a stalemate.

It is a stalemate. A mutually hating stalemate and it is an opportunity for the region to come in right now and say you know what, we are tired of trying to accommodate you but have not succeeded.

We are going to act on behalf of those boys and girls, women and men who have no issues with what you’re fighting for; who are primary victims. This is for us a Road Map.

Let’s have a credible inclusive National dialogue. Uganda will host it. Kenya will host it. Let’s bring all those people together but also those men and women from the village. Let’s bring them here. Let’s have the Church – the African Council of Churches- the Council of Churches of S.Sudan. Let’s us have the traditional rulers. Let them facilitate this conversation, they have a history of doing it, a degree in comprehensive disagreements, they did it for people with disagreements, they can do it again.

Bring these people together. Let us talk. Whatever we agree on the round table, we are going to enforce. And we are going to put a threat that is crude but credible on the table. But anyone who then do not honour their commitment of S.Sudanese people will be isolated and will be dealt with.

I think there is that capacity in the region to be able to bring everybody together not only the political actors, but every S.Sudanese who has suffered to have a National Plan and Dialogue, agree on that National Plan of Action and solve that plan of action as we have seen the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) doing in Gambia; that is where we want to go. We cannot continue seeing few people spoiling the name of the continent.

– See more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1444981/uganda-holds-key-south-sudan-question#sthash.b5PDq5lq.dpuf

PDM: Position paper on the status of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan

Executive summary: JAN/28/2017;

The signing of the peace Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCRSS) in 2015 sparked cautious hope for a road to peace and putting back on track the state building process. However, two scenarios would determine the relevance of the agreement. The scenario for the best outcome meant some degree of political will and trust would move the implementation of the peace agreement forward, some milestones are reached with signs of economic upturn and reduced levels of fighting in parts of the country.

The scenario for the worst outcome means continued intransigence and a lack of political will illustrated by a collapse of the implementation process, resumed violent conflict throughout the country, increased poverty, human rights abuses, further economic deterioration, and the collapse of the formal market economy.

This policy brief looks beyond the relevance of the agreement and examines its legality. The brief points to the importance of the process given that a law-making system is legitimate when a prima facie duty of obedience exists either:
—(a) if there is actual unanimous consent to the jurisdiction of the lawmaker or, in the absence of consent, —–(b) if laws are made by procedures which assure that they are not unjust. The arguments put forward illuminate the status of the agreement and the legal implications of allowing ARCSS to collapse.

The grave consequences of which bear highly significant risks to long term stability and peace in the region for not doing things right, when the lessons and rules of the game aren’t heeded anymore by those who mediated the 9th January 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA,) between the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Movement and the Sudanese Government least TROIKA (United States of America, United Kingdom and Norway) and IGAD partners. IGAD is the Inter Governmental Authority on Development and its member States include: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.

The implications of the collapsed Agreement:

The following are the legal implications of the collapse of the Peace Agreement:

a) In the absence of a valid and subsisting Agreement, the Government of South Sudan has no legal basis to function as a government. Thus, the decisions and actions of the Government of South Sudan now have no legal backing and thus null and void.

b) In the absence of a valid and subsisting Agreement, oversight institutions established by the Agreement such as JMEC and CTSAMM have no legal basis to operate. The decisions and actions of these oversight institutions, lacking legal backing, are, therefore, of no effect at all. Since these oversight institutions have nothing to oversee or monitor, their continued existence is not only illegal but also a waste of resources.

c) In the absence of a valid and subsisting Agreement, South Sudan is back to full-scale war. It is either that the Agreement be resuscitated, reviewed, revised or a new agreement be negotiated to bring the war to an immediate end.

d) The international community (UNSC, TROIKA) works with the African Union for restoration of a political order and legitimacy in which a revised, more inclusive and people-centric agreement would be implemented under AU and UNSC oversight institutions together with a mandate to enforce compliance.

e) IGAD to play a supporting role to AU and UNSC lead for restoration of legitimacy and doing things right by not changing the rules of the game that led to collapse of the Agreement in the first place.

——-
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.

Bombardment of Innocent Shilluk Civilians by the Kiir’s Juba Regime

THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT (NDM), 28th January, 2017, Press Release;

The National Democratic Movement (NDM) would like to inform and alert the region and the international community about the on-going killing and maiming of innocent Chollo civilians in the (Shilluk Kingdom) by the genocidal and
dictatorial regime of Kiir Mayardit using Antonov plane.

Last night, an Antonov plane belonging to the regime in Juba, dropped bombs on the civil population in Choll (Shilluk) villages of Pamath, Ogod and Wau. Large number of civilians were wounded, some of them very seriously.

This callous and cowardly targeting of innocent unarmed civilians by the bankrupt dictatorial regime must be condemned in the strongest terms possible by all and the concerned countries in the region and beyond should join hands to stop the unfolding carnage.

It is to be recalled that in the last three days, the regime’s forces have been battling the Agwelek forces around Bukieny, opposite Malakal airport west of the White Nile. These are the forces that rejected the deal reached by some of their leaders to abandon the struggle for Chollo land, and join the Bantustans of the regime.

It is worth mentioning that Chollo (Shilluk) land east of the Nile was grabbed by Salva Kiir in 2015 and gave it to his kith and kin, the Dinkas, through his decree that divided the country into 28 states.

Most recently, and as a result of underhand dealings with some weak-knee elements, Kiir’s Bantustans were increased to 32 hoping that the trick would go unnoticed by the gallant Chollo (Shilluk) fighters. This was not to be.

As a result, the regime unleashed its troops on the oppositions of the forces opposed to the deal. Bukieny was the most ideal for them to be used as a bridgehead to attack the civilian centres at Wau-Shilluk and beyond.

The National Democratic Movement (NDM) condemns this sinister action by the regime in Juba and renews its call for an arm embargo on the regime so it does not acquire more deadly weapons against its own people.

The Antonov plane used last night to bomb innocent civilians is a new acquisition by the regime.

We also call upon the United Nations Security Council, especially its humanitarian’s agencies to immediately come to the rescue of civilians in Shilluk Kingdom. Time is of the essence.

Long live the struggle of our People
Long live South Sudan
A luta continua

Amb. Emmanuel Aban
For/ the Spokesman,
The National Democratic Movement (NDM)
Email: ojwokj@hotmail.com

“Weapons of Mass Corruption:” New Report Exposes Massive Corruption in South Sudan’s Army (SPLA)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 26, 2017;

A new report, “Weapons of Mass Corruption: How corruption in South Sudan’s military undermines the world’s newest country,” published today by the Enough Project, details massive corruption within South Sudan’s army. Corrupt activities within the army detailed in the report include procurement fraud, irregular spending unchecked by civilian authority, and bloated troop rosters featuring thousands of “ghost” (non-existent) soldiers.

Link to full report- Click Here: http://eno.ug/2iGE9Qw

Brian Adeba, Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “The effect of corruption in proliferating insecurity in South Sudan cannot be underestimated. The country’s politicians can only begin to realize the fruits of security for their citizens if they tackle the graft in the army.”

The report, fifth in the Enough Project’s “The Political Economy of African Wars” series, describes how despite widespread suffering in South Sudan, including famine-like conditions and the severe economic hardships South Sudanese people experience, massive amounts of the country’s dwindling funds go to the South Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), where they are diverted and misspent without accountability.

Jacinth Planer, report editor and Editor/Researcher at the Enough Project, said: “On paper, South Sudan’s legal and institutional frameworks enshrine civilian, not military leadership. The SPLA is meant to protect, defend, and hold itself accountable to the South Sudanese people. But the destructive system and practices that have developed now instead work against these purposes, and the South Sudanese people who face great personal risks have paid the highest price. The international community should steadfastly support the South Sudanese people and especially those who try to uphold the institutions that are being undermined today.”

The report finds that within what Enough identifies as a violent kleptocratic system in South Sudan, a lack of financial oversight over military expenditure, combined with heavy influence by political appointees, has created opportunities for mass corruption in the SPLA.

John Prendergast, Founding Director at the Enough Project, said: “There is no accountability for the looting of state resources in South Sudan, especially with military spending. The missing piece of an effective international response is the creation of leverage to shift the calculations of these violent kleptocrats from war to peace, from mass corruption—including in the military—to good governance and accountability in spending. The incentives that reward violence and theft must be changed. The international community needs to help make war costlier than peace for the leaders and create targeted and personal consequences for corrupt war-mongers.”

Selected report excerpts:

Lack of financial oversight for and within the SPLA constitutes a major organizational weakness and creates opportunities for corruption. This deficiency does not stem primarily from a poor legal framework, underdeveloped institutional capacity, or lack of knowledge about international best practice in financial oversight. The deficiency stems from willful, systematic obstruction of financial oversight.

An army of approximately 230,000 on paper, with a large share of ghost soldiers has little practical purpose. A payroll for a ghost army of that size, however, can have a very important purpose: providing a large opaque budget line to the military. This budget line has not successfully been subjected to rigorous public oversight and auditing.

Corruption in South Sudan has shifted from being an integrated and self-sustaining system to a disintegrative and self-destructing system in the wake of economic collapse.

In a nation where resources are scarce and contested, and many people are unable to provide for their basic needs, political appointments in South Sudan empower certain individuals to access public accounts and manage scarce financial resources. There are few effective institutional mechanisms to check the use of public office and public financial resources for individual gain.

RECOMMENDATIONS: The international community, with U.S. leadership, has the opportunity to create consequences for these predatory actors that harm South Sudanese people. Consequences should include:

a new U.S. executive order on South Sudan that makes public corruption and misappropriation of state assets grounds for sanctions, as current U.S. sanctions programs do for Belarus, Burma, Libya, Syria, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, and Ukraine/Russia.

U.S. lawmakers should also leverage U.S. anti-money laundering authorities by having the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and other financial intelligence units issue advisories and investigative requests related to South Sudanese military transactions.
Link to full report: http://eno.ug/2iGE9Qw

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606, gh@enoughproject.org.

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT

The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org.

NDM welcomes UN Security Council statement on deteriorating security situation

The National Democratic Movement (NDM) welcomes the statement made on 23rd January 2017, by H.E. Mr. Olof Skoog [Permanent Representative of Sweden to the United Nations] and the President of the Security Council for the month of January, on the situation in the Republic of South Sudan.

The Movement shares sentiments and concerns expressed by the Council members pertaining to the rapid deteriorating security situation in the country.

Since the unilateral abrogation of the August 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCISS)in July 2016 by the Juba regime, President Kiir ethnocentric and kleptocratic government has chosen war instead of the implementation of the agreement.

The escalation of fighting particularly in Greater Equatoria and the recent Presidential Decree creating additional states from 28 to 32 are all indicative of Kiir’s determination to plunge the country further into abyss of war and
destruction.

South Sudan is on the verge of collapse, disintegration on ethnic’s lines and under real threat of genocide under Kiir’s regime considering raising hate speeches characterizing the political temperature in the nascent nation.

Kiir is running away with all the violations of ARCISS and its eventual abrogation as the IGAD countries abandoned
impartiality and sided with him. The region and the international community must stand with the people of South Sudan at this critical juncture and save the country from imminent genocide.

The National Democratic Movement (NDM) also welcomes calls by the United Nations Security Council for the urgent deployment of the Regional Protection Force (RPF) to South Sudan.

The deployment of the Regional Protection Forces as mandated by Resolution 2304 (2016) with the intention of creating enabling environment for the implementation of the Peace Agreement and providing a conducive atmosphere for political discourse, is a step towards stability but not holistic in addressing prodigious Himalayan task of ending war and culture of impunity in South Sudan.

Resolution 2304 (2016) further elucidated that in case of political or operationalizing of the Regional
Protection Force or obstruction to UNMISS mandate, the United Nations Security Council should appropriately consider measures including arms embargo.

However, the regime in Juba, in a well calculated move, first rejected it outright, procrastinated and finally froze the matter as the proponents of the proposal stood impotent.

Given the recent negative political rhetoric by President Kiir concerning some aspects of Resolution 2304 (2016)
mandate of the Regional Protection Force regarding the protection of Juba International Airport, the Movement calls upon the United Nations Security Council to consider the option of arms embargo on the government of South Sudan.

This will transmit strong unequivocal message to the government that enough is enough and that the international
community will no longer tolerate its intransigent and sherry picking.

The National Democratic Movements (NDM) strongly welcomes the United Nations Security Council calls for the expedition of the Hybrid Court.

This timely call is complementary and mutual reinforcing to the September 2015, meeting held at the level of head of states and government which authorized the Chairperson of the AUC, to take all necessary steps towards the establishment of the HCC, including providing broad guidelines relating to the location of the HCC, its infrastructure, funding and enforcement mechanisms, the applicable jurisprudence, the number and composition of judges, privileges and immunities of Court personnel and any other related matters.

Time is of essence for the credibility of the envisaged HCC due process, because justice delayed is justice denied.

The National Democratic Movement (NDM) is cognizant and welcomes calls by the United Nations Security Council for the re-invigoration of the abrogated August 2015, Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCISS).

The ARCISS has totally collapsed since July 2016, and the government we have today in Juba is that of SPLM-in government and its own created surrogate in the name of SPLM-in opposition.

The way forward in addressing the economic, political and social ills in the Republic of South Sudan is to convene a national dialogue conference, that is different from the current monologue pursued by the regime in Juba.

The dialogue must be inclusive in bringing all the stakeholders in the country, not just those carrying arms, in a round table.

The envisaged dialogue should aim at addressing the root causes of the problem and avoid rewarding those who ignited the war and perpetuated it.

Finally, the dialogue must take place in a neutral territory and facilitated by a neutral organization/country or
individual(s), not quarters that have not been seen to be impartial during the implementation of ARCISS.

Long live the struggle of our People
Long live South Sudan
A luta continua

THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT (NDM)
24th January, 2017
Press Statement
Amb. Emmanuel Aban
For/ the Spokesman,
The National Democratic Movement (NDM)
Email: ojwokj@hotmail.com

Why TROIKA Can’t Assassinate Gen. Malong: A Case Study of Late Gen. Rene

By Simon Yel Yel, South Sudanese, JAN/21/2017, SSN;

Today the subject of my pen which Western sympathizers may call it vitriolic is the inscrutable TROIKA. I have written before about it and I am still continuing until TRIOKA stops all its ill plans against South Sudan.

The self-anointed role that the United States, Norway and the United Kingdom have given themselves as “Masters of our destiny” and the way they had drafted the Compromised Peace Agreement, CPA, are two reasons among several others that I have trouble with in recognizing the TROIKA as a force for the good in this ongoing crisis in South Sudan.

In my book, TROIKA is an Unholy Trinity working every second of a minute to topple Salva Kiir’s regime under the pretext of bringing peace. There is no other hard evidence to prove it rather than the current audio clip (in the custody of South Sudan’s Military intelligence and others security organs) of TROIKA’s recent meeting in Nairobi on 3rd January allegedly plotting the assassination strategy on how to kill Gen. Paul Malong.

As usual, the U.S. with its ungoverned mouth has chutzpah to impudently dismiss the existence of the assassination scheme and brand the gathered intelligence evidences as “reckless allegation.”

Indeed it is not a surprise to see United States denying this assassination plot because the fact is that the United States never ever accepted its involvement in all its sponsored assassination plots and coups though it was caught red-handed like in Cuba and Venezuela. The U.SA always has chutzpah to hypocritically dismiss everything and brand concrete evidences as “reckless allegations.”

What is surprising so much is how they always crudely try to make everything suit their interest, calling the same thing black today and white tomorrow. They act as they want; here and there, plotting assassinations and overthrowing democratically elected governments and remaining unchallenged. It is primitive and misanthropic.

The last time I checked in December 2016, Washington has expelled thirty five (35) Russian diplomats based on reports of the CIA and other security organs which charged the diplomats of having influenced the election of Donald Trump; this month I checked, the Washington is branding the intelligence evidences gathered by South Sudan security organs on TROIKA’s assassination plot to kill Gen. Malong as “reckless allegation.”

However, history is always the best guider of the future and there is no doubt that the U.S is in a stern plot to assassinate Gen. Paul Malong and topple Kiir’s government given the current auguries.

Understandably, the recent examination result in CIA’s laboratory for foreign regimes change on how to topple Kiir has indicated that Gen. Malong is a great stumbling block for Kiir’s downfall, and therefore his death is preconditional to kiir’s downfall.

This result indubitably corresponds with the results that the CIA had once obtained when plotting to topple Allende in Chile in 1970.

In Chile, the Chilean Army Chief of General Staff Gen. Rene Schneider was seen as a greater barrier for military officers willing to accept the Washington’s plan to overthrow Allende. In their quest to topple Allende’s regime, Washington organized his successful assassination and Allende’s regime was easily overthrown three years later.

Like Gen. Paul Malong, late Gen. Rene was a staunch constitutionalist. He was known of his doctrine called “Schneider Doctrine.”

In his doctrine, he enunciated that “the armed forces are not a road to political power nor an alternative to that power; they exist to guarantee the regular work of the political system and the use of force for any purpose than the country’s defense constitute high treason.”

You can make plenty cheap connections between Gen. Paul Malong and late Gen. Rene Schneider. Both Generals can be defined by their firm constitutionalism stance whose beliefs of power belong to the people and the primary responsibility of the army is to protect the constitution, country and the citizens, suitably fit the demands of their people.

Before the election of Allende, the U.S. President Richard Nixon was worried that he may win the upcoming Presidential election given the position taken by the army to distance itself from politics. Imperially, Secretary Henry Kissinger had audacity to interfere in Chileans’ affairs and brazenly say “I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves.”

To Washington’s dismay, Chilean voters ignored Washington demonization of Allende and consequences of his election and overwhelmingly voted to elect him on September 4th 1970.

The innocent Rene didn’t know that his refusal to stage a military coup against Allende is an affront to the Washington and the price for it would be his own dear life. Exactly, in less than six months later, CIA and other two Chilean Army Commanders ganged up to plot his assassination and they succeeded in killing him.

As it was expected by the Washington, his successor Gen. Augusto Jose became a cheap simpleton and the Washington easily got ride on him and staged a coup against President Allende three years later.

To relate this case to the alleged assassination plot by TROIKA to kill Gen. Malong, it is incontrovertible truth that Gen. Malong doesn’t have a lust for power to be the President through a military coup nor election and that is why the TRIOKA is planning to kill him with expectation that his successor will be like Augusto Jose to oust Kiir because the SPLA-IO (Riek faction) has spectacularly failed to do it.

Comparatively, Gen. Paul Malong shares the same constitutionalism stance with late Gen. Rene as he assured the public several times that he will never misuse SPLA to further his own interest, Washington, or whoever it is.

He is on record uttering that “The responsibility and duty of SPLA is to protect the sovereignty and integrity of South Sudan from external and internal aggression; protect the constitution and more importantly protect the lives and properties of all South Sudanese from harmful groups; Power is in the hands of the people and SPLA is determined to protect the Constitution from any danger and will never allow the transfer of power by bullet but only by ballot.”

In conclusion, the truth is that to anyone willing to think with noggin, this assassination plot by TROIKA is true and it is a last fraught plan to achieve their desired goal of regime change after the salient failure of an imperialized Compromised Peace Agreement to achieve it.

This plan is prompted by unexpected exit of Riek coupled with SPLA-IO maladroitness to overthrow Kiir and miraculous ascendance of Taban Deng uniting all the files and ranks of SPLA-IO under him.

Because of these unfolded events, the TRIOKA has realized that their trap is almost missing the targeted catch and hence to salvage the desired goal of regime change from dying, they came up with this plan B of assassinating Gen. Malong with a hope that his successor will be of Gen. Augusto type to cooperate with them and overthrow Salva Kiir’s government. Therefore, dismiss it at your own ignorance!

However, with the help of God, Gen. Malong will defy all their ill plans against him like the late Fidel Castro of Cuba and it will be wiser enough if TROIKA can go to Somalia, Libya, Iraq, and Yemen and wait there till Gen. Malong and Kiir die of Typhoid or Malaria.

Simon Yel Yel can be reached via maandeng2017@gmail.com

Who authorized the Killing of Detainees at Mabur-Zeed Detention Center in Yirol?

By: Tong Kot Kuocnin, Tong Law Chambers, Juba, JAN/20/2017, SSN;

When the people of South Sudan voted overwhelmingly for an independent State, the choice of life over death, it was a choice made as to what kind of future we and the generation to come will enjoy, it was a choice made that we and our offsprings will have a life of freedom, justice and equal rights for all.

This, however, is not the case in Yirol. This hope has been dashed away by the inhumane acts perpetrated on the innocent and vulnerable persons whose freedom and liberties have been unlawfully and arbitrarily restrained.

Mabur-Zeed detention center in Yirol is such an illegal detention center in which most devastating, cruel, degrading and inhumane acts are being meted on the prisoners on daily basis.

As the title of this article suggests, not only did the authorities in Yirol authorized and ordered arbitrary and indefinite detention, incommunicado detention, intimidations and extortion which are common practices, beatings and torture are quite taking a toll as an order of the day.

But most heinous of all, the government ordered a shoot-to-kill on five (5) detainees without any proper due process of the law. The five (5) detainees were shot dead on the orders of the governor of the state in which one (1) died on spot, two (2) died lying on the ground around the detention center as they were refused any medical attention on the orders of the governor.

Worst still, the bodies of the other two (2) detainees were found floating on the waters of Lake Yirol, having been shot and left at the river-bank. This is the state of human rights in Yirol.

Yirol that was hoped by all to be the most peaceful, loving and respectful and the one that is said to be most stable, secured and would rapidly get developed among the 28 states, unfortunately is in complete pain of human rights abuses and violations.

In this part of the world, we’re being subjected to arbitrary, indefinite and incommunicado detention; and we’re being extorted and intimidated on daily basis if one speaks out on matters that concern the wellbeing and welfare of the state and its people and at certain point being killed.

Who authorized the killing of detainees at Mabur-Zeed detention center in Yirol?

Obviously, there’s just no any other person more superior in that particular part of the world other than the governor himself. Reports from most reliable sources and most truth-worthy verified information proved that it was indeed the governor himself who ordered the killings of the detainees under the pretext that they’re thieves who deserve not to live but be killed like chickens.

It was reported too from the close associated circles and right-hand people who fenced the governor that it was the same governor who refused the medics to attend to the badly injured detainees until they died of their gunshot wounds lying on the ground in Mabur-Zeed detention facility.

What kind of leadership is this? This practice of incessant violation of the individual’s rights amounts to a blatant violation of the provisions of article 11 of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, 2011, which guaranteed that every person has the inherent right to life, dignity and the integrity of his/her person which shall be protected by law; and no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her life.

Not only that, continued indefinite and incommunicado detention of uncharged detainees is a clear violation of the spirit of article 12 of the TCSS, 2011, which as well stipulates that every person has the right to liberty and security of person; no person shall be subjected to arrest, detention, deprivation or restriction of his or her liberty except for specified reasons and in accordance with procedures prescribed by law.

A lot is desired to be said here. As the state authorities beginning with the governor himself have no any idea of what it means to observe tripartite principles of the rule of law, respect for human rights and dignity of the person as well as good governance, the law continued to be kept at bay and rights continued to be violated with impunity.

This is the case of detainees at Mabur-Zeed detention center who are subjected to torture on daily basis which violates the provisions of article 18 of the TCSS, 2011, which guarantees that no person shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment.

Who does this law protect really? The worst of all is the violation of the right to life which is strictly prohibited under article 21(1) of the TCSS, 2011, that no death penalty shall be imposed, save as punishment for extremely serious offences in accordance with the law.

Nobody should be arbitrarily deprived of his or her life whatsoever the case. I wish the governor has a wise legal advisor to give him tips on how to deal with people who have come into contact with the law and those who are in conflict with the law, and if he does then I believe his legal advisor reads the law upside down or a fresh graduate who has no any idea of how to give wise legal advice concerning people who have come into contact with the law and those who’re in conflict with the law.

These are two different categories of people you’re dealing with on daily basis. It is however highly recommended that a fact-finding committee has to be constituted to investigate the circumstances that led to the death of these innocent detainees and a proper recommendation as to who is responsible for their death be made public and those responsible be made to answer for wrong doing.

The writer is a Barrister at Law at Tong Law Chambers and can reached at tongbullen@gmail.com

Need to adjust the Kiir’s National Dialogue for successful outcomes

BY: Lomuchie Nyaloro, JAN/20/2017, SSN;

The declaration of the National Dialogue process by President Kiir in December 2016 has drawn mixed feelings among South Sudanese and the international community. Some people welcome it while others dismiss it as just a bogus ruse for Mr. Kiir and his Jieng advisors (The Jieng Council of Elders, JCE) to consolidate power after they have violently ejected the armed opposition from Juba.

Those who are dismissive point to recent utterances by the members of the Kiir regime as evidence of lack of sincerity regarding the declaration: Members of government contradict each other whether or not the 4,000-strong protection force approved by the UN Security Council are welcome to deploy in Juba; a junior official makes serious allegations against key supporters (the Troika) of peace in South Sudan of seeking to topple the Juba regime; the President himself revealing his nostalgia for the death of his predecessor (Dr John Garang), which made it possible for him to take the mantle of leadership.

(Is this a secret wish of the President for the death of Dr Riek Machar, his opponent, so that Taban Deng Gai can effortlessly succeed the latter?). All these sayings undermine any positive reception of the National Dialogue.

Despite these worrying signs, the National Dialogue can succeed if certain adjustments are made to its form and procedures.

In its present form, where the membership of its steering committee is wholly chosen by President Kiir and its unstructured method of consultations with grassroots that excludes the armed and other opposition groups, the National Dialogue has very high chance of failing.

For some observers, the desire of the President to come up with the National Dialogue might have been prompted by the realization that the country is at a great and an unacceptable risk of disintegration as the war and the attendant bitterness escalate.

In other words, there is now a “hurting stalemate” in the civil war. When there is such a stalemate, then the protagonists opt for negotiations. This stalemate is not just hurting for the government, it is also hurting for the armed opposition, because the violent rupture of July 2016 has not only removed it from Juba but the rupture has also weakened the opposition militarily and diplomatically.

The only way for the opposition to be relevant in charting the future of the country is now through negotiations. If it hurts both ways, then the stalemate becomes “mutually hurting.”

To most watchers of the civil war, the extension of fighting to Equatoria region represents a dangerous escalation. The widely expressed apprehension about the impending genocide and the flight of hundreds of thousands of civilians into refuge give credence to this view.

Less obvious to external observers is the creeping radicalization of the Equatorians who now demand that their region be exited from the Jieng-dominated South Sudan.

This demand should be taken seriously, because it was in Equatoria that the war for liberation from the Arab-dominated Sudan was started in 1956 and sustained until 1972. So, the Equatorians determination and endurance in fighting for their rights should not be doubted.

The other source of concern about this demand is that a number of Equatorian ethnic groups (the Kakwa of Yei, the Madi and the Acholi of Magwi, the Azande of Yambio) have also their kith and kin in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo).

If there were to be a political change in Uganda that replaced the present government, (which is perceived by some people to be indifferent to the sufferings of the Equatorians), with a more sympathetic one, then the war could take a more regional and international dimension.

Therefore, there is every incentive for the government to bring this war to a speedy end. A prolonged war in Equatoria, will eventually exact a higher price for peace, suck in the neighboring countries, and lead to adjustments to national borders among South Sudan, Uganda and DR Congo. There are justifications for holding this view.

Historically, Central Equatoria was called the “Lado Enclave” and had belonged to Belgian Congo (the present DR Congo). Furthermore, a significant portion of Eastern Equatoria was an integral part of the colonial Uganda Protectorate.

To date the border between the Equatoria region and Uganda has not been officially surveyed and ratified; thus, this unfinished colonial business makes the demand of the Equatorians for self-determination abundantly credible on historical grounds.

Here, a warning for those members of the Jieng community who routinely refer to the Equatorians as foreigners or Ugandans is in order: Beware; your prayers may be granted sooner or later.

A modified National Dialogue that will be inclusive and capable of bringing a satisfactory agreement can prevent such an existential threat as expressed above.

In this new version of the National Dialogue, the Steering Committee can be converted into a delegation representing those citizens who are still in the country and are in agreement with the government to some extent. The delegation can be called, for example, the “Home/Internal Front”.

Facing this front at a negotiating table will be a united opposition group, comprising those who, for political reasons, are in exile and are either armed or are just political opposition parties. The latter grouping can be dubbed the “Opposition Front”.

Joining the two delegations at the table will be a credible, dispassionate, well resourced, and diplomatically strong Mediator. Preferably, the mediator should come from among the Troika countries.

The two delegations should accept a mediation role for the Troika country this time round; South Sudanese have been greatly disappointed by the IGAD and the African Union roles in mediating this conflict so far.

Norway and the US have in the past mediated conflicts in the Middle East (e.g. Syria and the Palestinian-Israeli issue) despite the existence of regional organizations such as the Arab League; the same approach can be made for South Sudan to avoid reliance on the discredited IGAD.

In conclusion, irrespective of what motives that prompted the President to declare the National Dialogue, South Sudanese and the larger international community should seize this opportunity in order to bring about the sorely needed peace and respite to South Sudanese.

The National Dialogue has the potential to succeed if it becomes inclusive and is transparently implemented. The government should ensure complete unanimity among its members in support of the dialogue and its outcomes.

Equally, the opposition should be united in their aspiration for and participation in the dialogue. This opportunity must not be missed.

Lomuchie Nyaloro, a concerned South Sudanese.

The failure of forced peace: South Sudan’s apprehensive future

BY: Andrew Edward Tchie, Conflict Advisor, Ph.D. candidate and Associate Fellow, University of Essex, JAN/16/2017, SSN;

In July last year opposing forces loyal to South Sudan president Salva Kiir and his then first vice-president Riek Machar engaged in heavy fighting in the capital Juba. The date marked nearly five years since South Sudan had secured formal independence from Sudan.

The fighting in Juba may have come as a surprise to many. But it had long been expected among people living and working in the world’s newest state. The country had spiraled into civil war two years earlier after Kiir, from the dominant Dinka ethnic group, sacked Machar, a Nuer.

Juba’s political crisis took a turn for the worse in December 2015 when Kiir decreed the formation of 28 new states after dissolving the country’s 10 regional states. This was just a few months after he had signed a new peace agreement.

The president’s decision has been viewed by many as a way for the Jieng Council of Elders to create states that benefit the Dinka communities. The council is a group of Dinka elites and elders who control the political scene in South Sudan. The result is that the country’s oil fields are now placed in the hands of one dominant ethnic group, further dividing and intensifying tensions along ethnic lines.

Kiir took the decision to form the new states to a new level in June 2016 when he ordered the appointed of the governors of all of them as interim leaders of the ruling party in their respective states. He did this in his capacity as chairperson of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

The recent bout of unrest has led to one in five people in South Sudan being displaced as 2.3 million citizens have been forced to flee their homes. Over 720,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries in search of safety.

If violence continues and the controversial policies are not reversed, full scale fighting across the country is highly likely. Hundreds – if not thousands – of civilians are likely to die as ethnic groups form small militia groups and take up arms to defend what they see as their territory.

The straw that broke the camel’s back

The president continues to buckle to pressure from his peers in the SPLM despite calls from international bodies to reverse the presidential order. These calls have come from the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission of South Sudan, the eight-country East Africa bloc the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and the United Nations (UN)2015.

Kiir’s move is creating a detour away from peace, despite recent efforts by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) to reconcile and move towards a Transitional Government of National Unity.

Civilians living in the newly created states were never consulted about their formation or the demarcation of land. Many are not happy.

At the time of the decree, tribal leaders in the Raja County area rejected it saying they would not accept being merged with the Dinka-inhabited counties of Aweil West and North. Under the 10 states system of South Sudan’s constitution, Raja County belongs to Western Bahr al Ghazal State with Wau as the state’s capital.

There are reports that the army has been conducting heavy military activities in several of the contested states. These include the Upper Nile, Unity State, Equatorias and Western Bahr el Ghazal.

In May last year clashes between local militias and government-backed troops erupted in Lol State, one of the 28 states created by Kiir’s decree.

Machar’s departure from South Sudan to Sudan and then on to South Africa has not helped quell the fighting in many parts of the country. Battles continue between forces linked to the opposition or local militias who oppose the president. As recent as October last year there was fighting in Malakal town where opposition forces attempted to take back the town, leaving 58 rebels killed.

Another civil war?

The attacks in Juba highlighted the instability of South Sudan. And it appears that the government is gearing up for another civil war.

There is also no clear plan addressing disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of the country as an integral part of a post-conflict peace consolidation.

And there are concerns that peacekeepers working under the leadership of the United Nation Mission aren’t equipped and prepared to deal with another ethnically driven civil war in the country. A UN investigation into a raid in Malakal found that peacekeepers had a “lack of a proactive mindset with regards to the protection of civilians” and “confusion with respect to command and control and lack of coordination”.

Nothing has been done to address these failures, as many of these same peacekeepers are still serving in Malakal. This means that there’s no guarantee that peacekeepers will be able to protect civilians in the way the Security Council mandate intends them to.

This situation points to gaps – and highlights the fragility – of a peace agreement that was forced through by the international community. The failure by the international community as well as international monitoring bodies to address flaws in the agreement has in fact contributed to South Sudan devolving into a failed state.

In principle, the Proposed Compromise Peace Agreement (CPA-II) hammered out in June 2016 and backed by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development member states and international community, should create a political arena which has a single coordinated purchaser of loyalties. This would reduce uncertainty and competition which in turn would reduce the price of loyalty and allow the political class to focus on longer term issues.

But state and political leaders are engrossed in short term political management. Political leaders are generally unconcerned about the urgent prospect of the country’s macroeconomic crisis. One of the indications of this is rampant inflation.

Conflict resolution, peace-building and reconciliation initiatives at local level have become extremely challenging. For example, the Upper Nile and Eastern Equatoria and Equatoria regions have become ethnic enclaves, each with its own defence forces. Inter-communal violence is widespread.

The question is whether the international community can establish a more practical peace agreement that will prevent further escalation in violence against civilians. END