Archive for: January 2017

Machar Versus Kiir: Two dangerous enemies who can’t work together

By Michael Abraha, Kenya, JAN/17/2017, SSN;

We know Pres Kiir and Dr. Machar are not only political opponents but dangerous enemies who have no heart for each other. The reality is that their self-serving rivalry has cost South Sudan so much bloodshed and the nation is at a stand still because neither side is willing or able to play a fair political game.

I believe it was wrong, ab initio (from the beginning), for these two ambitious men to try to work together as president and Vice President.

Machar should learn from Kenya’s Raila Odinga and be only an opposition leader without any portfolio. This would give him ample time to articulate inclusive ideas and policy agendas with the forthcoming elections in mind.

Meantime, some of his SPLA/IO members should be allowed to serve in the various branches of the interim administration under Kiir.

Given the current hostile environment, Machar and his party should be given full security guarantees. And there are many ways he and his organization meet their financial needs.

Equally crucial in this equation is for Kiir to try to emerge as a renewed statesman devoting more of his time and energy to the task of healing and unifying the nation. No external force can bring peace and unity for S. Sudan.

He can achieve statesmanship of the Mandela stature if he can convince himself and his ardent supporters that their economic benefits and privileges cannot be permanent and may have to be sacrificed for the sake of the nation.

Finally, Kiir and Machar should realize there can be no South Sudan without the Nuers or without the Dinkas. Ethnic violence is a shame in the 21st century.

National Democratic Movement (NDM) condemns creation of more states by Kiir

Press Statement:
The National Democratic Movement (NDM) strongly condemns the Presidential Decree issued by President Salva Kiir Mayardit on the 14th instant creating additional states in the Republic of South Sudan, bringing the total number to 32.

The decision by Kiir at this penurious time in the history of our nation, where the economy is on the verge of collapse and social fabric tattered by the SPLM man-made civil war, will further accelerate the disintegration of South Sudan on ethnic lines and provide fertile ground for the escalation of conflict in the nascent nation with serious ramifications, including the imminent commission of genocide by the government.

Salva Kiir has been using the proliferation of States as a tool in his divide-and-rule politics. It is meant to divide the armed Opposition by luring in some week-kneed elements within it.

The areas that received new states are the Nuer, Chollo and Western Equatoria territories where the armed struggle is more intense. A few of them bought the bait and sold their souls but the problem will persist as long as the root causes remain unaddressed.

The creation of more states means more poverty to our people and adds more pockets to loot the resources of South Sudan.

Like the previous decree dividing the country into 28 States, this one is a poignant violation of the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan signed in August 2015.

IGAD had in its Communique of the 55th Extra-Ordinary Session of the IGAD Council of Ministers, January 30-31, 2016, in Addis Ababa directed the government of South Sudan to suspend further actions on the implementation and operationalization of new states until the issue is resolved through an inclusive National Boundary Commission.

This IGAD decision was unanimously endorsed by the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) in its meeting on the 2nd of February 2016.

Kiir has disregarded this decision by IGAD and is arrogantly implementing his own version of the ARCSS, and creating political and social unrest in the Republic of South Sudan. JMEC is morally and politically bound this time to stand up to be counted.

The National Democratic Movement (NDM) calls upon IGAD and the United Nations Security Council to condemn this unconstitutional and callous Presidential Decree by Kiir and to urge the government of South Sudan to rescind it and genuinely commit itself to achieving peace and stability in the country.

The ethnocentric, corrupt and kleptocratic regime of Kiir has shown poor leadership and lack of sensitivity towards our suffering masses.

The leaders of this government are completely detached from the suffering of the South Sudanese people. Only a popular revolution would put the country back to the correct track. It must be rebooted to be re-programmed.

Long live the struggle of our people
Long live South Sudan
Aluta continua

THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT (NDM)
16th January, 2017
Ambassador; Emmanuel Aban
For/ the Spokesman National Democratic Movement (NDM)
ojwokj@hotmail.com

Unity of South Sudan doesn’t depend on number of States it has but on the Good Administration

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Lawyer, Uganda, JAN/15/2017, SSN;

When the CPA was signed, ten states were created but what did we have? Corruption and citizens killing each other were common yet there was no war. Many people complain today that creating more states is not good for development but what do they understand by the term development?

What is important, is it to have few states or is it to have more states to protect citizens so that they live free of fear and develop their own self-reliance mechanisms?

In my understanding, what is important for the development of any country and people are not few states but protection of citizens externally and internally so that they are free from fear and be able to engage in economic activities.

There is a difference between development of a country and the number of states that the country may have. The country may have fewer states but will not develop but some countries may have many states but can develop.

What complicates the matter in South Sudan is the fact that people associate states with money and employment which is a misunderstanding of what South Sudan as a country is. Whereas the purpose of the country is to create employment for every citizen, it is not worthwhile for a country like South Sudan to encourage dependency syndrome.

When we were under few states, we used to get a lot of money and could not think of any problems so everybody just sat under a tree like we still do today, hoping to get free money. Therefore, politics became as it is now, the easiest way of getting into power in order to get money and because of that, politics was extended up to the family levels and families were divided.

In addition, people learned how to lie and honesty was thrown to the dogs because individuals did not want to tell the truth lest they will be quoted.

Corruption as it is now became the order of the day. People even those who were living under the worst roofs instead of building good houses,instead bought cars that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Because they just get the money for free.

Today, there is a vacuum as many are sleeping with empty stomachs because money is no longer there. Instead of reflecting over their contributions to the problems of South Sudan, they are now looking at more states creation as the source of their solution and an end to their predicaments.

Moreover, they contradict themselves that more states lead to corruption and at the same time they are saying that no money under more states but if no money under more states, then where do these people they accuse of stealing money get it from? That is a fallacy of their argument!

What I wanted to say about corruption is that all human beings are inherently corrupt because corruption is putting personal interests above other peoples’ interests. Hence, what controls individuals from corrupting the system is the strong system itself. So, corruption is independent of the number of States therefore, I do not accept the argument that more states increase corruption.

It is sad to say some people even go to the extent of saying that under more states money goes into few people pockets but if that is the case, is it any different from what used to happen when we were under few states?

As far as I know fewer than ten states money used to be pocketed by few who were in politics and at the same time could not even protect citizens. Thus, citizens were the losers in term of development and security.

My position is that it is even important to create hundred states so that no free money should come to everyone. This is because it will make us learn how to work hard to get our own money and spend it wisely instead of getting money for free that may throw the country into dependent syndromes.

Furthermore, I must add that t is even better for the country to go bankrupt if the people are able to be protected rather than individuals becoming rich at the expenses of the majority.

For all these reasons, I pity those who say that more states are not needed in South Sudan as they may lead into disunity. This is based on the belief that they create disunity as the proponents of this argument believe that unity comes through putting people together even those who are incompatibly related.

What they need to know is that unity of the people does not come through putting people together like goats or cows but it is an organic process which is achieved through slow natural coming together by the people.

People come naturally together to form one unit not because they are forced to do so but because they benefit from coming together. The unity of the people, therefore, does not depend on a number of states a country may have but on good administration.

The clear example to the effect that the unity of the country does not depend on the number of states is that of Sudan before the breaking away of South Sudan. Sudan before the independence of South Sudan was stated to be the largest country in Africa followed by Democratic Republic of Congo but these two countries had never been at peace within themselves though Sudan had few states as well as DR. Congo, which still has few states today.

In general, the confusion we have today about more states does not come from rural people but from some few individuals who claim that they are educated yet they do not even know what is good for themselves leave alone the people of South Sudan.

If I ask them to explain the difference between the lives of South Sudanese under few states from the period of 2005-2015, they will not tell me any difference except that there used to be a lot of money under few states but went into few pockets of individuals. Hence, the whole thing becomes a fused argument and baseless.

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

Message of unity and hope to all the Opposition political movements in South Sudan

BY: David Lokosang, JAN/14/2017, SSN;

My 2017 message to all opposition movements in South Sudan is, you have to unite and you must unite to bring to an end the suffering of our people sooner than later.

Operating separately doesn’t only prolong the current criminal dictatorial regime in Juba but it prolongs the suffering of our people who deserve the rights for equal opportunities as equal citizens of our nation.

Let us learn from our contemporary history. We have endured more suffering in our quest for freedom than any other citizens in the world. Let us revisit our history in order to correct ourselves and devise a way forward how to put concrete democratic institutions that will bound us together for common good.

When we were divided in 1991 the result was catastrophic but when we united our ranks we were able to defeat our enemies militarily, politically and diplomatically. And it is only then we were able to force the regime in Khartoum for a genuine political negotiation which resulted to CPA agreement.

The recent fighting that took place in Upper Nile which resulted in the death of two generals from Lam Akol’s movement, reminded us of 1991 split which won’t help our endeavour for social justice, equality, freedom of speech, equal opportunities and socio-economic development. Let it not repeat in other places in the greater Upper Nile, nor Equatoria nor Bahr El Ghazal.

What is it that each group wants? If the objective is to change the current rotten system and put in place a robust system of governance, then you must all unite for common objectives acceptable for all.

Believe me or not, operating separately gives a wrong signal to the international community, to our friends and more division among our people. They will look at us as fragmented tribes and power hungry people. It is not about individuals rather the system. Individuals come and go but a good system of governance and the solid democratic institutions will remain.

Every day I see the suffering of our people, the killing of innocent people orchestrated by JCE and the war lord elite in Juba and by unknown gunmen in the name of Transitional Government of National unity or National Dialogue or whatever name they give, make me sick and make me feel I have wasted my time in the last 36 years proclaiming the vision of SPLM which proved to be difficult to achieve under the shallow minded leadership of Salva Kiir.

Kiir and all those war lords around him have failed us and have retarded us 200 years back in human history.

My advice to all political movements in South Sudan, I believe it is reasonable enough to urge all of you to initiate a forum in order to create a South Sudan Democratic Alliance with common objective.

The objective is to remove the current rotten system of government and put in place an interim system that will create solid democratic institutions that recognise freedom of speech, justice and equality, Socio-economic opportunities, rule of law, international human rights and accountability.

The region and the international community will reckon you as the genuine alternative if you are united but if you are fragmented, believe me or not, you are indirectly prolonging the regime and the suffering of our innocent people.

Logically, how are you going to unite the country if you are fighting along tribal lines? You must propagate unity among the fighting force and civilians under your control areas which will then be reflected in the activities of the day when you become the legitimate government.

There is a Chinese saying that ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’ Therefore you must unite your ranks now with one objective that is easily to be sold to the general public and the international community.

If you are not united, if you cannot inform, persuade and remind your supporters, international community and regional key players, how then would you succeed to achieve your objectives?

In business, no matter how good your products and service are, if you don’t inform and persuade the potential and current buyers about their features and benefits they will never buy from you. Instead they buy from someone who has invested in major promotional activities.

The reason why East African countries are closing doors for the opposition is because since the events of July 8th 2016, the opposition group has not consolidated itself to mobilise its human resources to counteract the lies being played by the regime propaganda machinery.

I hope 2017 will be a year of change. God bless all of you and God bless South Sudan

David Lokosang
lokosangdavid@yahoo.com.au

Why Economic & Political Uprisings are Civil means to end the Kiir’s Repugnant & Unproductive Government of South Sudan

By: Tong Kot Kuocnin, LL.M. Candidate, Law School, Univ. of Nairobi, Kenya, JAN/14/2017, SSN;

South Sudanese are indeed a great people, they’re a people endowed with very strong hearts who continuously suffer in dignified silence even when there’s need to rise up in demand for certain rights. This is exactly the situation South Sudanese find themselves in at a time when their own government should have stood up for them.

The economic hardships we’re facing are not less than the economic hardships and situation which caused President Ben Ali of Tunisia to flee, President Ali Abdallah Saleh of Yemen to leave office and flee and the great President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt to resign and be put on trial till now.

The causes and conditions of this so-called Arab Spring which almost swept through the Arab world are not less than the economic hardships we’re facing here in South Sudan. Our economic situation is much worse than that of the Arab Spring World.

Our unemployment rate is beyond hundred per cent level. Hundreds of south Sudanese go to bed with empty stomachs. Some are already dead and the rest are on their way to the grave. This is worse than that of the Arab Spring.

The only difference is that we’re used to enduring hardships of all sorts while the citizens of the countries where the Arab spring burst aren’t used to this kind of situation.

But the questions many south Sudanese are asking: what’s the government of South Sudan really doing? What exactly is the role of the Ministry of finance and Economic Planning? How about the Central bank, what’s its role? Which institution is truly responsible for economic policies and planning? And which institution is responsible for the implementation of national monetary policies in South Sudan?

Hard questions a layman like me is grappling with. But, to answer some questions on matters of facts and law, the Central Bank has its own share of failure for it is the one that is charged by law to formulate monetary policy, promote and maintain price stability, maintain a stable exchange rate, and maintain sound, efficient and effective banking system.

But the Central bank instantly failed in its function to strictly regulate, maintain sound, effective and efficient banking system when it allows all Forex Bureaus and Commercial Banks to commercialize the dollar instead of keeping it as a medium of exchange.

The Central Bank commercialized the dollar, making it an item for trade and not a medium of exchange causing hikes in almost every item on sale in the market.

Today, the rate of 1 dollar stands at 10.2 SSP, meaning that one hundred dollars equal to 10,200 SSP (South Sudanese Pounds), causing the inflation rate to shoot up to more than 800%, something which never happens in any country around the world.

The two institutions, ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and the Central Bank have completely failed us with their weak measures and an untenable modality of strategizing the efficiency of economy. It seems that in South Sudan, everything runs on its own.

Traders are selling and raising prices on their own, the Central bank floating the rate of the hard currency as it wishes unquestionably.

The luckiest rich few are manipulating everything from the Ministry of Finance to the Central Bank to the market at the expense of the majority downtrodden poor South Sudanese who have no ability or the energy to do anything about it or change the status quo.

The authorities both at the ministry of finance and economic planning and the central bank together with their cohorts are responsible for this economic downturn.

We entrusted hyenas with responsibility to look after our goats and sheep. We gave them power to roast any goat or sheep they wish amongst the flock. This is why this economic turmoil ensued and is the sole reason you can’t understand the head and the tail of who is responsible or not responsible in this country.

The country seems to have been left on its own economic downturn. We’re convinced that truly our government is indeed a boondoggled government.

Where’s the supposed Joshua? Or is he the same driver of this vehicle that is taking South Sudanese to hell earlier than the day that God planned?

Let our government know that the root causes of the Arab Spring aren’t more worse than ours and that an Arab Spring may inevitably ensue in this part of the world as we may be forced to violently demand our socio-economic rights to food and decent living like others.

We can’t permit others to enjoy live at our expense on resources that belongs to all of us. What a country?

If the president can’t think twice to bring in responsible personalities with expertise especially at the Central bank to turn things around, he must be prepared for eventualities for the people of South Sudan will not in any way continue to suffer at the hands of selfish and corrupt leaders who buy their positions at the expense of the people.

There will be time when the people of South Sudan stand up to forcefully demand their socio-economic rights from these oligarchs and mafias. We will surely touch these untouchable mafias and oligarchs who scoop all our money for their selfish enrichment unless they rescue themselves from these shambles.

I assure you, economic and political uprisings as civil means of ending the life of a repugnant and an unproductive government like the government of South Sudan will be inevitable.

Mr. President, this is a fact. Look at the faces of South Sudanese; listen to their voices on the streets on how they are suffering and you will dismiss these failed leaders who buy their positions using public money.

You’ve a weak, lousy and ailing governor of the Central Bank and this is a danger that’s haunting you and it will surely reach your gates if you don’t act swiftly.

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

Collo (tribe) must mend fences or face ultimate doom!

By Gwado J. Ador, United Kingdom, JAN/12/2017, SSN;

The snobs are out again managing an atmosphere of hate and fear amongst sons and daughters of one mother and father. With the heroes falling one after another, the battle for Malakal is certain just at our doorsteps and will soon be decisive.

Brave Collo young men and women are ready to respond to the calls of liberation in Collo land. As natural soldiers by birth, it was possible by the grace of our ancestors for Collo youth to defeat forces of occupation at every available opportunity. Collo would surely determine the outcome of war. They will eventually win the battle for Malakal in just a brief encounter on leveled ground.

Beforehand, Collo will have to come to terms with the inevitable consequences of vulgarism and fatal consequences of infighting among themselves, which benefits none other than prophets of doom in South Sudan.

The issue at stake is the claim staked by Dinka Apadang on a chunk of Collo land. Apadang said Malakal and other Collo areas lying East of the Nile belong to Dinka. This claim which was based on a false ground was duly effected by Kiir’s Presidential Order No. “36/2015” which enhanced the practical annexation of Malakal town to East Nile State.

Since then, Collo young men and women have formed armed resistance movements. Training centres were opened and started to spring up in many areas. Collo were ready to wage armed struggle against Dinka Apandang’s forces on legal and moral grounds.

Many bitter wars have been fought along the Nile and in Collo areas. Agwelek forces managed to put up fierce resistance and defeated the heavily armed SPLA and its Dinka militias of Abu Shok and Darfur Rebels on numerous occasions. Juba however, sustained defeat and embarrassment of losing battles on high tech military equipment to Collo liberation army.

Against all odds, the regime in Juba and its strategist from Jieng Council of Elders “JCE” have become hysteric and paranoid about the ensuing revelation in Upper Nile. A new strategy to deal with what they have termed as “Shilluck menace” have been adopted.

Skillfully, President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his Jieng Council of Elders ‘JCE’ started to move buying off some wicked elements who were adept to serve selfish interests. A congregation of disgruntled groups in Juba known for their lust for power and money relentlessly competed for kiir’s trust and favors. Some of them ended up being appointed into fake positions of elusive states.

Hence, sharp divisions coupled with military provocation started to surface among Collo sons and daughters. Competing factions who were pledging to fight for ancestral land turned the barrels of their weapons against one another.

Shot by friendly fire, heroes and heroines started to fall one after another. All have happened as a result of lust for power and money. The enemy exploited this and the issue of Collo land confiscation has become even more real than at any time before.

Collo military leaders from both sides have been engaged in polarising public opinion to the extent that desperate Collo natives and victims of injustices became confused. They were sharply divided antagonising one another and on social media platforms.

In order to win our objectives for which we have taken up arms, Collo should vigorously start mobilising youth to face Apadang aggression aimed to confiscate our ancestral land. By now we should have learned how to live together in peace and harmony especially following last incidences of which we lost fine lives of our young men and women. At our political and social spectrum, we must always strive to avoid provocation at all cost.

The fact that Collo traditional leaders worked tirelessly to mediate between the opposing Collo forces but unfortunately these forces often agree to work together half-heartedly. There are threats still casting a shadow on peaceful coexistence among Collo forces, which were bound to fight for our heritage and values. The ensuing threats in the Collo Kingdom might likely cost serious setback and loss of our ancestral land to our enemies.

What struck me further is the amount of death and the quality of fine lives of our young men and women being lost in ‘Upper Nile killing fields’ as a result of the work of twin evils within our midst, which turned Collo people into a laughing stock.

Undoubtedly, this has set a record that some Collo elements could even stride further to accept being bullied or used to fight in order to protect the interest of the enemy for food and positions. Overwhelmed by power, they were ready and could even be fooled to butcher themselves to the finish.

While nothing is being done to stop the bloodshed in the Collo Kingdom, some circles with ulterior motives started to move horizontally causing more chaos and mayhem and the latest is Hamara incident.

How many hero’s and heroin would we want to see falling before we could come to our senses and to conclude saying enough is enough?

On whose account are we paying the high price in terms of lives being lost in the course of our struggle?

Why do unnamed politician(s) and some food lovers keep on provoking the situation of hatred and unnecessary blood being spilt within Collo circles?

Until when will we remain to dig our heads into the sand, and be in utter denial about the threats surrounding Collo motherland?

Fair enough, under the auspices of Collo Kingdom, Reth (King) Kwongo Dak Padiet made several attempts to bring Collo youth together so as to discourage acts of defiance, especially sentiments of hatred and antagonism within the same members of one family.

Thus, Collo competing forces of Agwelek Under Gen. Johnson Olony Thubo and New Tiger under late Yoanes Okic were ritually bound to harmonise their aims and objectives so that they could bottle up their differences. They were set to fight shoulder to shoulder should there be any threats from outside, mainly from forces of marauding vulgarities surrounding Collo land.

But, on many occasions than not, the spirit of unity forged with the blessings of our great grand ancestors of which the two sides pledged to respect have often been a waste. It is abrogated in mysterious circumstance unleashing thus terror and latent hostility in the area. Collo young men and women arrogantly revert to challenging and savagely killing one another.

The sad news is that, following the latest incident, Agwelek and Tiger staunch supporters on social media, instead of investigating the circumstances under which this incident took place, they reverted to antagonising and abusing one another in stark contrast with the past incidences. This situation has unfortunately let to hurting and savage killing among members of one family. This situation has never been witnessed before.

Subsequently, supporters of both parties on social media were seriously embroiled and engaged in cyber warfare. Blame game flared up making most of them busy to mock one another. They often point fingers of accusation of siding with Juba’s “Mathiang Anyor” making it further hard for some of us to believe and digest the ensuing revelation.

But thank God, nothing serious has been advanced to substantiate the wild allegation made against our gallant forces and their leading figures in the battlefield.

It is being rumoured, however, that Kiir’s regime has mysterious hands behind what was going on in Upper Nile because, his forces have failed miserably to achieve their military objectives in the Collo Kingdom and now would want to attain these objectives through other means, including playing each individual against one another.

The question being raised today is how much success has Kiir achieved his military objectives in Collo land? The answer is perhaps a score of 75% certainly because his forces of Mathyang Anyor and other militia allied with the rebel groups in Northern Sudan are still occupying Malakal town including the entire Collo land on the Eastern part of the River Nile.

However, Mathyang Anyor and Dinka Apadang are entrenched in Collo land since Presidential Order “36/2015” of which Malakal was illegally annexed to what they named as “East Nile State”. Stephen Dhieu who comes from Baliet area makes necessary funds available.

The portion of war efforts is estimated in Billions of US Dollars to advance the cause of land confiscation in Collo areas. Dhieu was appointed in various lucrative economic positions to ensure the blazing fire is kept blowing and burning everything in the Collo Kingdom. It should consume the last soul and must erase traces of Collo heritage in that part of Upper Nile.

Strangely enough, others are still leaving in delusions and in abject denial arguing that things will soon become normal under Kiir’s leadership. They said only 25% of objectives have been realised and that explains why Kiir and his ‘JCE’ resorted to discreetly buying-off some top politicians and high ranking military officials who in turn would unconditionally join the government later as part of Gen. Taban Deng Gai’s IO ‘desperate mission for power and recognition’.

Although Gen. Taban Deng Gai was the top leading figure at the negotiating table on the side of IO during peace talks; both ‘SPLA IO and IG’ sides have explored to renegotiate the deal and resolved to settle the issue of decentralisation and federalism based on the new reality on the ground. Kiir and JCE stuck fast on the 28 States and for now, they were not ready to back down.

Taban was warned not to touch the issue of 28 States but allowed to operate within the small margin. He was given an opportunity to slightly improve on the deal by proposing additional states so as to resolve competing interests in certain areas.

Thus, Taban was forced to speak a different tongue. He would want to appear that he was still in control. Taban however, wants to pursue another phase altogether with risks to his safety, guarding thus against any threats which could jeopardise his newly acquired position.

After joining the government following July 2016 Palace Coup conspiracy, Taban alleged success in ousting his former boss Riek Machar Teny. As First Vice-President, he wants to put on a brave face to show his supporters that he was still capable to protect and to safeguard their interests. But sooner doubts started to overwhelm him, especially His uncertainty to take up his responsibility and poor perception on how to follow in his boss’s footsteps.

He embarked on subtle campaign to challenge Riek Machar in an attempt to keep him out of politics in Juba. Taban ensured that Riek is kept away as far as possible, and preferably in exile so as to prevent him to come back and to resume power as the legitimate IO Chairman.

Shortly, Taban became disillusioned with his position, he was in constant nightmare about Riek’s come back. At every opportunity he seizes, Taban vigorously started to dismiss Riek as irrelevant, who is like ‘a vehicle parked in exile without wheels’. President Kiir confided in him and entrusted him to chattel flights abroad to pursue this strategy, which will make Riek confined to one place in exile.

Simultaneously, Taban started to chattel flights between Juba and Khartoum on official visits to iron out issues of bilateral nature, including meeting with some opposition groups active at the border with Sudan.

Observers believe that Gen. Taban managed to strike a deal with some top military (IO) officials, including Collo high-ranking commanders in the area. His mission to attract followers and boost support for his leadership has yielded very little results and subsequently managed to barely lure Nuer or Collo forces to his own camp.

Implausibly, Taban with his bizarre character proposed to create Upper Nile Central States, which will include Panyikango and all areas of the Collo Kingdom lying on the Eastern bank of the River Nile joining thus, Dinka Areas of Akoka, Baliet and Adong with Malakal as the capital city. But, ironically, Dinka Apadang forced Taban to shut-up hinting, “non-coexistence with Collo people under one roof in Malakal.”

Emerging reports have obviously revealed that Taban has thoroughly discussed the issue of Malakal at different forums including church centres showing a clear departure from his previously held position to maintain JCE interests in Upper Nile.

Apparently, Taban would want to bring about peace and tranquility in the remaining conflict prone areas through newly set strategy provided that his proposal would not anger his new boss Salva Kiir Mayardit, and his Dinka supporters who maintained saying the issue of Malakal is non-negotiable. He has appealed for both Collo and Apadang to accept coexistence in Malakal as before, but neither side would want to back down on held positions.

Interestingly enough, Kiir’s recent expression which revealed saying he has done nothing wrong and that he seeks forgiveness for mistakes he might have committed unknowingly has cast doubts about his genuine search for peace and reconciliation.

It was rather unpalatable because of the nature of his approach and the character of his appointees whom some of them under no delusion were people with past bad records on the management of public resources and peaceful coexistent.

Take, for example, Simon Kun Pouch who served as the governor of Upper Nile State for more than two decades has been presiding over the ruins in Malakal. His reign as Governor during those days showed wanton destruction on physical infrastructure, including social fabric in the area. Thus, Malakal was reduced to just a mere rubble.

What could we expect from a bunch of idiots who knew nothing besides hatred? Simon Kun in league with other like-minded Nuer and Dinka individuals destroyed the whole town of Malakal beyond recognition. They massacred thousands of innocent people, including children, women and elderly in just a matter of some few days, what a farce!

Similarly, Bona Malwal who is currently serving, as a leading member of JCE is known for his avid dislike for unity and non-sharing resources with other non-Dinka in South Sudan. He strongly believes in disunity, and a tribesman at heart.

In fact, Bona Malual is the very person behind the idea of ‘Dinka absolute power for two hundred years to come’. He has relentlessly traveled around the world to preach for Dinka super power and imposition of the policy of divide and rule in the Republic of South Sudan.

However, both men and some more others are posing real threats and insecurity for the people of South Sudan. They will certainly defeat the purpose by which any genuine call for dialogue and reconciliation. With their likes on top of affairs, the prospects for dialogue will not only become harder to realise, but it will be a more risky venture in the context of South Sudan.

As devoted Churchgoer, President Kiir is still far away from the spirit of true repentance, thus he is not worthy to receive the divine of forgiveness or remorse yet. God the almighty saviour has not yet come any closer to his side, because of the amount of sins he committed against innocent people of South Sudan.

Honestly speaking, if he were serious about his recent intention, he would have at least scrubbed his establishment order No. “36/2015” as a gesture to attract sympathy and to remove suspicion and doubts still lingering around his neck.

Secondly he would have accepted without any precondition to dismantle all the illegal establishments crippling political, economical and social welfare institutions in the country.

Thirdly, he would have taken a courageous stance to dismiss JCE as unconstitutional non-existence.

Lastly, he would have shown signs to step down voluntarily, paving the way for the advent of real democracy and unity of the people in the country. But instead, President Kiir ignored all these vital gestures. Therefore, he was not really serious about his latest call.

The good news is that many people, however, have not taken him seriously, because he was known for such misleading and compelling appeals. Obviously, he was making a mockery of the system. However, fighting against injustices will still go further. We will preach and call for unity of all the tribes to rise up against policies of ‘Kiir’s fascism’.

Albeit, Collo must be prepared this time to fight for survival. Collo must come together united with other communities facing the same enemy to fight against injustice, corruption and malicious antagonism within South Sudan. Threats are real and will go nowhere any sooner. Collo forces should take the lead and put its forces on alert to response rapidly for calls of duty against forces of disunity and destruction.

The established social spectrum on various media platforms must observe the spirit of brotherhood and desist from making unnecessary provocations or irresponsible move. Collo various military forces must abide by pledges made before the King of Collo people and paramount chiefs in respect for the spirit of our ancestors and for the sake of our motherland.

Let us stand side by side for the protection of our traditional values and our rights to leave decent life. Let us reject forces of evils in our midst by assuring that we wouldn’t be intimidated or misled by forces of darkness again.

The spirit of our ancestors reinforced by the blessings of Jesus Christ will always be upon all the Collo people, especially those who have taken up arms to fight for our rights against forces of occupation and disunity.

Finally, the issue of Malakal is central to everyone in the Collo Kingdom. This is not a private affair or a monopoly of politicians or groups of individuals armed or otherwise. We will never accept any bargain that would not place Malakal at the centre of final peace to resume its role as inherent Collo commercial town.

Certainly, Agwelek and New Tiger forces, including the entire Collo people won’t take any further provocation or aggression lightly while lying down. Victory is ours and certain.

To our fallen heroes, have mercy and rest in peace.

PDM calls for AU to assume South Sudan peace process and for the Resignation of Chairman Festus Mogae

THE PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JAN/10/2017:
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) that established the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC ), have been leading and mediating the peace process in South Sudan with the sole responsibility to monitor, oversee and support the implementation of the ARCSS and to ensure that the parties to the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) adhere to agreed timelines and schedules of 17th August 2015 Agreement implementation. T

he former President H.E Festus G. Mogae, leader of JMEC has this to report in the last JMEC Plenary of 2016 :
“I leave the verdict to each one of you, but I think we can all agree that we have not fulfilled our obligations to the Agreement or to the long suffering people of this country. We all know very well that our modest accomplishments have been outweighed by a number of squandered opportunities. Suffice to say, however, that, if it weren’t for the unfortunate events of July, we may very well have achieved something more substantial.”

JMEC is expected to recommend corrective action in the case of non-compliance by the parties including taking appropriate remedial measures. JMEC is also responsible for overseeing the work of Ceasefire and Transitional Security Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM) and the Economic and Financial Management Authority (EFMA) including all other transitional institutions created by the Agreement. More specifically, on accountability:

• JMEC, under H. E. Festus Mogae, has failed to achieve nor has it enforced compliance with any of the ARCSS provisions on security, governance, and economic reform mandates and obligations;
• JMEC failed to ensure establishment of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan (HCSS) under Chapter V. On transitional justice, accountability, reconciliation and healing. The court could have given the Chairman an additional tool to exert pressure on the parties to implement the agreement;
• JMEC has failed to ensure that an all-inclusive cantonment of the warring forces was set up as called for by the resolution to move the peace process forward, nor did it expedite efforts for the deployment of the 4000 regional protection force to stabilize the security situation.
• JMEC failed to hold the parties to the transitional government accountable for lack of political will to deliver on the security arrangements and demilitarization of the capital Juba and other major towns;
• JMEC’s leadership failed to get the TGONU parties’ compliance to amend the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, 2011 to incorporate the ARCSS agreement.

It’s notable that JMEC’s mandate was established by terms decreed under Chapter Seven of the ARCSS, signed on 17th August 2015 in Addis Ababa, and in which the Agreement recognised President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar, leader of the SPLM-IO as the principal signatories.

The agreement that was painstakingly put together remained a fragile one and at risk of collapse if any of the principals refused to cooperate with its implementation or commit actions in direct violation of the agreement.
President Salva Kiir’s resort to violence for the second time in July 2016, and the replacement of the Dr. Machar and his representatives in the Transitional Government constituted a gross violation of the peace agreement and rendered it inoperable.

By condoning President Kiir’s violence, JMEC breached its mandate under the terms of its establishment by refusing to take corrective action to ensure compliance with the implementation of the peace agreement. Hence, JMEC can no longer be seen as a neutral broker of peace in South Sudan.

Instead of seeking robust powers to enforce the agreement and ensure an effective and legitimate transitional government as mandated by ARCSS, JMEC stood by the side lines while President Salva Kiir swiftly:

• Unilaterally establishes the 28 states in violation of the agreement
• Engulfs the rest of the country in violence and war against the innocent people of South Sudan.

PDM recalls how Chairman Festus Mogae lifted the hopes of many displaced citizens when he visited the UN run Protection of Civilians (POC) sites around the country. Acknowledging the warm welcome, Mr. Mogae said he felt like “the President of South Sudan.” On the contrary, President Salva Kiir Mayardit has never left the capital, Juba, to interact with his fellow citizens.

JMEC’s support of President Salva Kiir, a man who has publicly incited genocide in pursuit of an ethnic agenda, betrays the hopes of millions of South Sudanese who pinned their hopes on JMEC to realize the full implementation of the peace agreement in letter and spirit.

Mr. Festus Mogae has failed to manage the different vested interests of IGAD countries impinging on the agreement.
Since the renewed outbreak of violence, which the UN investigative report concluded was planned and executed by President Salva Kiir in July 2016 , the humanitarian situation in the country is worsening by the day.

Over 50% of the population is facing life-threatening hunger; there is genocide in the making, and Equatoria region is a new theatre of war. The economy has collapsed, an inflation rate of over 1000%, a failing local currency and the government not able to meet important obligations, including salaries for civil servants and the army.

H.E. Festus Mogae, on the other hand, is presiding over this unfolding catastrophic failures and JMEC’s oversight abject leadership to deliver on its obligations under the agreement.

PDM draws on the lessons learnt from the success of the IGAD mediation of the Sudan – Southern Sudan conflict in 2005, the success of which was due in part to:
 The parties realized there was no victory to be achieved through combat
 The international community firmly stood with the people of South Sudan and actively supported their need to exercise their rights to self-determination.
 No one party dictated the rules of the game.

While recognising that the responsibility for the protection of South Sudanese civilians rests first and foremost with the Government of South Sudan, PDM is gravely perturbed and alarmed that the sponsors of IGAD have changed the rules of the game this time around, and consequently, JMEC is now abandoning the people centric and inclusive approach to bringing peace to South Sudan.

PDM therefore calls upon the leadership of JMEC in the person of H.E. Festus Mogae to resign and on the African Union to assume responsibility for the peace process in South Sudan guided by principles of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPRs) and put in place the necessary capacities to initiate an inclusive process for implementing a revised and people-centric Agreement that is able to hold intransigent leaders accountable for the vialotions of the agreement.

PDM calls on the African Union to act now so as to avoid new ethnic conflicts from emerging and stirring old ones that could potentially turn into regional wars.

Republic of South Sudan
PDM PRESS STATEMENT, 10th January 2017
PDM CALLS FOR AU TO ASSUME SOUTH SUDAN PEACE PROCESS AND RESIGNATION OF JMEC’S CHAIRMAN H.E. FESTUS MOGAE

Dr. Hakim Dario
Signed: ____________________
PDM Chair

CC: JMEC, AU, UNSC, TROIKA, IGAD, Political Forces, SS Community Leaders, Media Houses
For all comments, queries and opinions, please communicate topress@pdm-rss.org website https://pdm-rss.net

“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.

UK, Norway plan Doha meeting to restore Sudan Sudan peace talks

By FRED OLUOCH, JAN/10/2017, TheEastAfrican, SSN;

IN SUMMARY:
***Igad will only be an observer in Qatar where a deal to review the peace agreement is top on the agenda.
***The EastAfrican has learnt that the main agenda is to bring back rebel leader Riek Machar as a key partner in the peace talks.
***Kiir and Machar sides concur that the Aug 15 peace pact has broken down and needs renegotiation.

Two key sponsors of the South Sudan peace process are organising roundtable talks next month in Doha, Qatar, between the government, the rebel movement and other stakeholders to review the August 2015 Peace Agreement.

The talks being organised by two Troika members — United Kingdom and Norway, who have been the main funders of the peace talks together with the United States since the war broke out in December 2013 — are expected to begin in early February to look at the Peace Agreement and challenges facing its implementation.

The EastAfrican has learnt that the main agenda is to bring back rebel leader Riek Machar as a key partner in the peace talks.

The new efforts were initiated by the UK and Norway in conjunction with the African Union. The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad), which mediated the peace agreement, will be represented as an observer, but will not be an active participant.

This is because key Igad partner states such as Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, with the support of the US government, have actively participated in sidelining Dr Riek Machar after intensive lobbying by President Salva Kiir’s government. But the Troika feels that this has not improved security in South Sudan.

President Kiir’s government had declared that Dr Machar, who was replaced as first vice-president by Taban Deng Gai in August last year and is currently living in South Africa, should stay out of South Sudan and await the next elections, which is supposed to be held in 2018.

Mr Gai recently confirmed that regional countries have denied Dr Machar entry in their territories and he will be locked out for a foreseeable future.

The new initiative comes after both the government and the rebels concurred that the August 15 peace agreement had broken down – when war broke out again last July – and needs renegotiation.

But on December 14, President Kiir came up with the idea of a National Dialogue that will start at the grassroot. The rebel movement is sceptical about its success, especially without a permanent ceasefire.

Jimmy Deng, the South Sudan deputy ambassador to Kenya, said that the government is aware that Troika has initiated plans for fresh negotiations, but Juba is yet to be officially contacted on the issue.

Mr Deng, however, said that the government’s position is that there is no need for fresh negotiations because the August 2015 peace agreement is implemented.

“The National Dialogue Committee and top government officials are currently at the grassroots talking to people and promoting peace and national unity. We want the church leaders and chiefs to be involved because they represent the view of the grassroots, while the opposition is free to come back to the country because they have been given amnesty,” said Mr Deng.

President Kiir sacked Dr Machar from the Government of National Unity and replaced him with Mr Gai but this did not end the war.

Mr Gai’s biggest challenge is that he does not have sufficient following within the rebel movement to implement security arrangements such as the cantonment and the integration of soldiers from both sides as per the agreement.

Struggling to restructure

According to the latest report by the International Crisis Group, Mr Gai faces an uphill task to gain wider domestic credibility and bring armed opposition groups into the Government of National Unity.

The report says that since most cadres of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) rejected his elevation, the rebel movement, without an internationally recognised leader able to negotiate on its behalf, is struggling to restructure.

In the meantime, the government has been pushing for a military option.

The SPLM-IO presentative in Kenya Lam Jok said that the armed opposition is willing to dialogue with anybody anywhere, but first the security arrangement provision must be implemented if the talks are to bear fruit.

“Any efforts for peace, including the National Dialogue called by President Kiir, are good, but we must first silence the guns because you cannot talk while there is fighting,” said Mr Jok.

The SPLM-IO maintains that future talks should be preceded by the withdrawal of the Mathiang Anyor militias that fight alongside government forces, from the villages of Equatoria and Western Bharel Ghazal, where, according to UN Special Advisor on Prevention of Genocide Adam Dieng, genocide looms.

Fighting has continued in the three Equatorias — West, Central and East — Bahrel Ghazal and of late in Upper Nile State, which had not experienced major fighting since the new conflict erupted in July 2016.

The United Nations Humanitarian Agency (OCHA) reported towards the end of December that the number of South Sudanese fleeing to Uganda continues to grow, with 3,046 new arrivals recorded daily from December 13.

President Kiir had proposed National Dialogue in three phases: Consultations at the grassroots to record grievances; regional peace conferences to discuss outstanding inter-communal conflicts; and the National Conference in Juba to come up with resolutions that would guide the country on the way forward.

But Dr Machar is proposing that the African Union and the international community support a new political process with a reviewed agreement to provide the roadmap for any national dialogue. END

Appointment of Gen. Gregory (Kiir’s in-law): The Question of Nepotism in South Sudan

By: Simon Yel Yel, JAN/09/2017, SSN;

It was on Tuesday, the 3rd of January, the first work day of 2017 when President Salva Kiir Mayardit inked the polemical appointment of Gen. Gregory Deng at J1. It was exactly the third day of the New Year and the New Year’s wishes were still fresh in everyone’s mind. With that appointment, President has controversially coloured the wishes of the New Year.

For some in Gogrial state (Pres. Kiir’s own state) who thought that 2016 was not fair to them economically and politically because of former governor Gum being in power, and they were wishing the New Year to come with many desirable items on its menu ranging from political to economical, I want to say congratulations!

President Kiir has served you with Gen. Gregory on gubernatorial plate as your best New Year wish on the 2017 political menu.

Maburuk! to those who tie their political fortunes to the political success of Gen. Gregory that, please, enjoy but don’t forget that there are many challenges lying ahead there and if you don’t work hard to maintain this seat by delivering what is expected of you to the people of Gogrial state, then be mindful what brought Gregory may take him away any time.

To those who are mourning the removal of Gum and thinking that it is the their end and a bad kick start of 2017, I want to tell them that, be strong, “PINY ATOU ALONG DET”… President Gives and President Takes!

Arguably, the appointment of Gen. Gregory as a governor for President’s home state has glimmered a lot of debate on social media. The appointment did not only draw mixed reactions from Gogrial state natives but throughout the country with some SPLM politicians, writers and analysts defining it in their own terms.

“I disagree sharply with the President’s decision to appoint his brother-in-law as the governor of Gogrial state. This decision is against the SPLM principle of equality and Justice; it is a clear sign of bad governance because this post is electable and any appointment can’t be done based on marital/social or any similar blood/favoritisms relations,” blasts Suzanne Jambo, former SPLM secretary for external affairs (now a opponent of the president).

Meanwhile, Agel Riing Machar, a senior member of SPLA-IO (Vice-president Taban’s faction) Military Council and a former youth leader, chipped in: “The debate should focus on his capability and track records rather than his relationship with the President. He is an excellence choice for the portfolio. The people of Gogrial state can benefit from his connections and influence at the National level as well as regionally and internationally in areas of business and governance.”

To define this appointment based on South Sudanese standard, there is no way that it would fit in any description rather than “nepotism” given the way we view things with our tribal or communal/sectional lenses where one’s relationship with an employer always triumphs one’s capability.

However, to define this appointment based on law, it is on “meritocracy.”

In America, when President John F. Kennedy appointed his younger brother, Robert, as an attorney General, some media pundits and analysts described the appointment as based on nepotism rather than on merits.

Robert Francis was argued to be under-qualified for the job because he was only 35 years old with a few years of legal service as legal counsel to two senate committees; however, with the backing of his brother, he passed the senate vetting.

“It is not simply good enough to name a bright young political manager, no matter how bright or how young or how personally loyal, to a major post in government”, the New York Times editorialized after the nomination.

A member of Senate later observed, “it was nepotism, I mean; he was the brother of the President”. Anthony Lewis, a veteran courts reporter said “though it was simply awful idea, Kennedy was a zealot with no understanding of the terrible responsibilities of an attorney General.”

After the assassination of President Kennedy, his successor, President Lyndon Johnson in 1967 was prompted by the appointment of Robert to lobby and sign into law a Nepotism statue prohibiting a President from appointing a family member.

Legally speaking, it is generally agreed among legal scholars that “Nepotism”, for purposes of the law, refers to the hiring and advancement of un- or under-qualified relatives simply by virtue of their relationship with an employer or officer. In other words, it’s only restricted if the appointee is not qualified for the position.

So, given how nepotism is viewed legally, and therefore could be argued in court, for the purpose of law, Gregory has both academic merits and experiences that can qualify him not only for gubernatorial portfolio but for any portfolio in Kiir’s government or in any other government to come.

The question of nepotism can be licit only if we have anti-nepotism law in our constitution like in the U.S.A and if he were under-qualified for the job. Unfortunately, with the absolute absence of such law as of now in our constitution, we can only objurgate the appointment made by any public officials such as the President, ministers, or governors as based on “nepotism” only if the appointee has no merits or under-qualified to claim that post.

It is also up to our legislators to legislate an anti-nepotism law if they see that the appointment of Gregory could possibly open a Pandora box of nepotism and may be of advantage to some corrupt public officials who might use it as an ambiguity to employ their unqualified relatives.

Therefore, it is upon our legislators whether to legislate it or not or the public should shut up feeble and incoherent arguments of fanciful articles in our constitution being infracted by the appointment of relatives by public officials.

Gregory didn’t become President’s brother-in-law in 2017 nor did he divulge his political ambitions to lead people (in various capacities) after Kiir assumed presidency.

Gregory got his first political assignment in 2002 by late Dr. John Garang as the first commissioner for Gogrial East County. He is brilliant, thoughtful, politically ambitious, undoubtedly articulate, and wondrously learned with good qualities of a leader; however, the history of defunct Warrap politics of “stabbing the back” and his previous records in commissionership office can be the best guide to foretell his success or failure, politically, socially, and security-wise.

He has his own political ambitions to achieve and he had laid bare his desire many times to be a governor of the defunct Warrap state before and after 2010 elections. In 2010, Gregory was among the three gubernatorial aspirants for Warrap state whose names were sent to SPLM political bureau in Juba for final nomination of one candidate to battle it out with other candidates in 2010 General Elections.

Unluckily, Gregory lost the nomination to Nyandeng Malek, however, he accepted the decision of political bureau and campaigned vigorously for Nyandeng to win the election. Sometimes later after her election, Gregory fell out with Nyandeng and joined the voices calling for her removal.

Debatably, with the election time remaining uncertain and the life span of the presidency that you can’t predict, Gregory had run out of long wait for General Election to contest but to lobby Gogrial community and other political deities to support him and convince the President that it is now a high time for Gregory to govern Gogrial state.

Gregory is an entity, a person with his own political ambitions different from Kiir’s and has a right to enjoy all the rights and privileges that every citizen in South Sudan is entitled to in our constitution; and it is unfair to divest him of these rights because of his mere relationship with the President.

Therefore, what matters the most is not how Gregory is related to the President but whether or not he has what it takes to be in that position; for example, does he have clear track records; does he understand the values and ideals of the state that he is going to govern; does he understand the urgent need of the people of Gogrial state; does he understand that he is now a politician and his high military ranks can’t immune him from being condemned if he does something wrong; does he understand that the military philosophy of “whatever your boss says is true” doesn’t work in politics; and does he understand that in politics, critics or dissents are not jailed, intimidated, prosecuted, or exiled, but are given freedom of expression and debate them with open mind and challenge them with your achievements?

In conclusion, Gregory has been looking for this job for so long and now he has it. It is incumbent on him to clearly spell and work out his programs why had he been after this job for so long.

Gregory must take this assignment as a full time job and prove it to all people that he has political agendas in mind to implement and he is capable of holding any other senior government position than gubernatorial post.

In fact, many rich politicians like him often go for politics to top up their richness with power while others go for politics to change the lives of their people. Whether is he going to top up his riches with power or transform the lives of the people of Gogrial state, only time will tell.

Mr. Governor, don’t smile too much, they will think otherwise; remember always, all eyes are on you!

Simon Yel Yel is co-editor (with Paanluel Wel) of the book of the President Kiir’ speeches and essential writings published in two volumes as “Salva Kiir Mayardit: The Joshua of South Sudan”
He can be reached at maandeng2017@gmail.com or +211914474471

Pres. Kiir and Dr. Machar 1st Presidency 2005-2013: An Analysis of its Achievements, Failures and Weaknesses

By Tong Kot Kuocnin, Lawyer, Kenya, JAN/08/2017, SSN;

The first presidency between president Kiir and Dr. Machar began shortly when the movement lost its historical leader, the great Dr. John Garang De Mabior on 30th June 2005 in a helicopter crush. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, Dr. Garang long time deputy, immediately got installed as the FVP of the Republic of the Sudan and the President of the Government of South Sudan, as per the provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, 2005.

Consequently, Dr. Riek Machar, being the second man after Kiir immediately became the VP of the Government of South Sudan until in July 2013 when the later went on rampage against his boss subsequently causing divorce to their political honeymoon.

In this article, I intend to bring to forefront the achievements, failures and weaknesses of the first presidency of President Kiir and Dr. Machar 2005-2013. Quite obviously, there are major achievements that the 1st presidency of Gen. Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar achieved.

The first and foremost achievement, though it was a common interest of the people of South Sudan was the peaceful and successful conclusion of the conduct of referendum on self-determination for the people of South Sudan. The right to self-determination made all the people of South Sudan of all walks of life to make sure that South Sudan break away from the Sudan.

We successfully voted for an independent state of our own, the republic of South Sudan. We cared less about under whose leadership that the region broke away but what was important was to break away from Sudan and have our own country. We did achieve it for it was our common interest.

The SPLM leadership may brag about it but for sure it was not the making of SPLM but the people of South Sudan for the number of people of South Sudan is greater than the membership of SPLM. We were tired and fed up of all mistreatment in the hands of our brothers and sisters in the north.

President Kiir may brag about it that it’s his success but the fact remains that his only vote can’t determine the fate of a region inhabited by millions of people. But we do give him his credit for although he wasn’t that wise but his being a leader at the time earned him that credit and all its veneration.

The second achievement though it back fired, was his numerous presidential pardons and amnesties issued to pardon all those who took up arms against their own fellow brothers and sisters, notorious warlords and militias and their integration into the national army, the SPLA with which the region relatively had a bit of peace though it didn’t last longer than usual.

The aim of all these presidential pardons and amnesties was to reconcile the people of South Sudan and forge a new beginning in an attempt to build the would-be new state in the map of the world. Quite obvious that his good intentions were taken for granted in which numerous militias took up arms, killed and caused havoc but still they were pardoned and integrated.

These notorious warlords and militias would have surely destabilized the region and caused more havoc and devastation if he had pursued the path that was about to be taken by our late leader Dr. John Garang with all southern militias when he refused to meet with the then known militia leader and the most notorious one, late Gen. Paulino Matip Nhial, in the presidential Palace in Khartoum and threatened to deal with all militias who failed to join either side of the parties to agreement as per the terms and clauses of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, 2005.

However, despite the achievements and successes mentioned above, there were unaccountable failures of the 1st presidency of President Kiir and Dr. Machar, as manifested by the overall records of President Kiir and Dr. Machar 1st presidency, there was a complete failure of the government in maintaining durable peace and security, respect for human rights, human and infrastructural development were disappointing.

The government failed to minimize incessant communal violence and cattle raiding that were rocking Lakes, Jonglei, and Unity and Warrap states, if not putting them into a standstill.

Hence, these failures and several other factors accounted for these poor and disappointing records of the 1st presidency of the two gentlemen.

There were weak institutions of government established along ethnic lines, for instance, if a minister comes from a particular tribe or ethnicity, then eighty per cent of the ministry’s staff comes from his tribe forthwith.

The government failure coupled with weak institutions was responsible for an unspeakable corruption at unprecedented scale where millions of pounds and dollars were siphoned to foreign bank accounts overseas. The president allowed all the state resources to be looted at day time by his ministers, senior civil servants and senior army generals at his watch.

There was complete lack of political will from the president and his deputy to initiate institutional reforms and curb rampant corruption and bring to book of shame and justice all corrupt officials.

During its nine years in office from 2005-2013, the government was marred by a couple of scandals one after another including the famous Dura saga, the four billion dollars stolen by known thieves in which secret seventy-five letters were written to seventy-five officials who were presumed to have stolen the money.

The other scandal was the eight million stolen from the public coffers which led to the dismissal of the former ministers of cabinet affairs and finance and economic planning and the current one being tried before the high Court involving the office aides of the president.

However, many writers argued that not much can be accredited to the 1st presidency of President Kiir and Dr. Machar since they both took oath of office in 2005 until the duo got politically divorced and parted their ways in 2013. It was a kick-backing presidency.

In a nutshell, it can be argued that the 1st presidency of President Kiir and Dr. Machar succeeded in overseeing the smooth, transparent, peaceful and successful conduct of the referendum on self-determination for the people of Southern Sudan but failed in curbing human rights violations, communal violence and cattle raiding, corruption and democracy, rule of law and infrastructure development.

That was the nature of the government we had in South Sudan before the duo quarrel over the national cake in 2013, its achievements, failures and weaknesses.

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