Archive for: February 2017

What’s a Bad Law: A Commentary on Gok State Taxation Act, 2016

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda, FEB/04/2017, SSN;

A bad law refers to: a law that is oppressive; a law that causes injustice; dumb laws, which are particularly bizarre; a law that is erroneous or a law where an attempted statement of the law is inaccurate or non-law.

In relation to the Taxation Act 2016 of Gok State that imposes 1000 SSP, three tins of durra and three tins of groundnut to be paid by a tax payer, it is a bad law as it is oppressive; it causes injustice, it is dumb law, which is particularly bizarre and its proposition is erroneous as its attempted statement of the law is inaccurate or non-law.

In addition, the Gok State Taxation Act is one of the bad laws because it imposes burden on citizens of Gok State who do not have the source of income as they are struggling to make both ends meet or in other words to survive.

The authorities of State must know that the people of Gok State need support from the government not the government to tax them as seen above. The Taxation Act of Gok State does not follow the role of tax law in general and in Gok State in particular.

The role of taxation law in Gok State is to encourage hard work in a way that those who idly sit under trees all days should be taxed in order to force them to pay taxes that will make them go and work and as soon as they work then they should not be taxed unless they have surplus for sell as a result of their work.

In doing that, the conflict will be minimized as everybody will be struggling to work in order to pay taxes to the government. In addition, the taxation should be governed by the principle of taxation.

A taxation law must put into consideration four principles that are: the system should be efficient, understandable and equitable and those who benefit from publicly-provided services should sponsor and pay for those services through taxes. This means that the government officials should be the one to pay taxes as they benefit from the services of the government but not the poor people in rural areas of Gok State who do not have access to services provided by the government.

Above all and in relation to the above paragraph, the taxation should be determined by a person’s ability to pay, which means that wealthier people should pay more taxes because they are able to do so. This specific principle is also known as a flat tax rate. For example, a tax of 10 percent would have far less of an impact on a person who makes a million dollars a year than on someone who makes $10,000.

However, the Taxation Act of Gok State of 2016 that imposes 1000 SSP, three tins of durra and three tins of groundnut to be paid by a tax payer, is a burden to the Gok people as it is insensitive and it is just intended by the law makers to destroy the communities through turning them into begging population as the taxation law makes them poor.

What the authorities in Gok State must understand is that the taxation law should not be made a means of making people poor on the ground that the government needs revenues. The law should help people to become rich not poor.

People in Gok State are generally poor as they depend on their educated people or their relatives living abroad. Hence, the question is if they are able to get such resources as demanded by the authorities then why should they bother their brothers and sisters from abroad to help them?

In short, such a law was enacted in bad faith as it is absurd since it defeats logic and common sense. It is simply unfair and unjust and citizens must unite to raise this issue before the governor. It is against the purpose of tax law.

The main purpose of taxation is to ensure income distribution so that the rich pay more than poor. Therefore, the tax policy and objective should be the resource allocation. The second objective should be income redistribution, which means that the tax law should be able to lessen inequalities in the distribution of income and wealth.

Above all, the objective of tax should be the stabilization of economy which is implemented through tax policy, government expenditure policy, monetary policy, and debt management. In fact, debt management ensures maintaining high employment and price stability.

The foregoing discussion points to the one fact that the Gok State Taxation Act, 2016 falls short of the above recognized principles of taxation law and because of that there is a need for amendment because it is making citizens poorer instead of helping them to achieve economic development.

Thus, the youth leader, Abraham Ater Dut Dong, who was arrested in Gok State because of appealing to the state Governor to initiate the amendments of the Taxation Act 2016 as Radio Tamazuj reported (in the Article entitled: Gok youth leader in detention over opposition to taxation bill published on its site on February 2, 2017) is right and should not have been arrested or even rebuked because it is the role of the youth in civilized society to fight against injustices.

One of the worst things in this world, worse than death is tax injustices, which mean taxing, people which providing them with services equivalent to the taxes they pay. In such a situation, the people have all rights to fight such taxation injustices, which include appealing to the authorities to reconsider their tax policy.

Thus, Governor of Gok State, Hon. Madhang Majok as I know is the governor of the people of Gok State as people elected him before he was appointed and the people have right to appeal to him without being arrested if the administration and taxation law in particular are unjust to them.

The Youth Leader whose name has been referred to above that was arrested because of appealing to the governor of Gok State about that bad Taxation Act was arrested illegally as it is contrary to the constitution of South Sudan.

The reason being that he has not committed any offence and the Commissioner of Wat Adol County, Hon. Makuer Majuec’s statement that he would be taken to court for investigation does not have any basis in law and the Court should set him at liberty.

In summary, the Taxation law of Gok State is a typical bad law, an absurd law and an exploitative law that should not be implemented. The SPLM authorities at higher level must intervene to amend the law in question as it defeats the policy of development which underscores the policy of taking the town to people and if the authorities fail to do that then the citizens of Gok area have all rights to ask the President of the Republic of South Sudan to take town back to town and leave people of Gok alone.

NB//The Author is the Concern Human Rights lawyer from Gok State and residing in Kampala Uganda and can be reached through: +256783579256 or email: juoldaniel@yahoo.com

SPLA-IO Equatoria Region Forces repulse Kiir’s Genocidal Mathiang Anyoor militia in Yei County

Date: 04/02/2017, PRESS RELEASE;

Yesterday on Friday 3rd February 2017 at 7:35 am, the SPLA-IO position at Ombasi in Yei River County came under intense provocative attack by Kiir’s atrocious militia.

Responding in defense, the SPLA-I.O gallant forces of Divisions 2A and 2B of Sector Eight (8) under the command of Lt. Gen. John Kenyi Lo-Buron overpowered and repulsed the genocidal Mathiang Anyoor militia, and eventually captured the whole of Ombasi.

Now the SPLA-I.O heroic forces are in full control of Ombasi and all of its surrounding territories.

Thirty Two (32) dead bodies of the regime militiamen were found at the battle scene following the deadly fight.

Some of them are scattered into the forests while others ran and are being pursued towards Yei Town by the gallant SPLA-I.O forces.

Seven (07) PKMs, Thirty Five (35) AK-47, Three (03) RPGs and a good number of ammunitions in good condition were captured by the SPLA-I.O victor forces after the combat.

Signed:

Wayi Godwill Edward,
SPLA-I.O Spokesperson of the 2nd GHQs, Equatoria Region.
Tel: +211 956 096 988
——————-

SPLA-IO defeats attack by combined SPLM-North and JEM mercenaries in Upper Nile

Date: 04/01/2017; Press release

At around 8:00 am Thursday, February 02, 2017, the brutal and ruthless Juba regime allowed and sneaked into South Sudan from Angathna base in Blue Nile a 70-vehicle convoy of four battalions of heavily armed Sudanese rebels of the SPLM-North (SPLM-N) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) to attack and retake Mustakbal, Wadekona and Detang which the gallant SPLA-IO forces had taken full control of after defeating a combination of Juba regime solders and other Sudanese rebels late last month.

The fighting that followed between them and the gallant SPLA-IO forces left so many dead bodies and forty three (43) PKM and 300 AK-47 were captured. This devastating and catastrophic defeat of the Juba regime soldiers and mercenaries by the gallant SPLA-IO forces forced the remaining JEM and SPLM-N elements to Makal (Malakal), Renk and Palouch.

At around 8:00am this morning Friday February 03, 2017, the Juba regime Sudanese mercenaries once again attacked SPLA-IO positions at Detang. The gallant SPLA-IO forces repulsed the attack and pursued the Juba regime aggression to Lelo.

Also the Egyptian air force was dropping more than nine (9) bombs and explosions on the gallant SPLA-IO positions in and around Kaka today.

In addition, the gallant SPLA-IO forces encountered yesterday Thursday February 02, 2017 another Juba regime aggression in Booth and Mayom road, Unity State (US).

In the fighting at Ataam, the gallant SPLA-IO of the Special Division captured one Juba regime soldier alive and he is being held as Prisoner of War at the SPLA-IO Special Division Ataam Headquarters.

In that of Mayom road, the gallant SPLA-IO forces captured eight (8) regime soldiers alive and four (4) Juba regime military vehicles were destroyed.

The continuous involvement of the Sudanese rebels and the escalation of the Egyptian participation in the ongoing war in South Sudan are clear indications to the people of South Sudan, the African Union (AU), the United Nations (UN) and the international community that the Juba regime is provoking the region and tilting South Sudan for a regional war.

By Col. William Gatjiath Deng
Spokesperson for SPLA-IO

Uganda rules out military intervention and UN trusteeship in South Sudan

By Ed Cropley, THE EAST AFRICAN, FEB/03/2017,SSN;

IN SUMMARY:
**** Patience towards President Salva Kiir’s government in Juba has worn thin as the refugee numbers have grown, fueling talk in international policy circles that “trusteeship” is a viable solution.
*** However, Ugandan Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Okello Oryem, rejected the notion, saying such interference would be opposed even by Kiir’s sworn enemy, Riek Machar, currently under house arrest in South Africa.
*** Uganda sent in troops when hostilities first broke out in 2013, a move that Kampala says prevented ethnic slaughter on a similar scale to the 1994 Rwandan genocide. However, it was criticised for its action amid suggestions that it had ulterior motives.

Imposing an external “trusteeship” government on South Sudan to try to end a three-year ethnic civil war and potential genocide in the world’s youngest nation would only make its security situation worse, Uganda said on Thursday.

Patience towards President Salva Kiir’s government in Juba has worn thin as the refugee numbers have grown, fueling talk in international policy circles that “trusteeship” is a viable solution.

However, Ugandan Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Okello Oryem rejected the notion, saying such interference would be opposed even by Kiir’s sworn enemy, Riek Machar, currently under house arrest in South Africa.

Colonial mentality

“I don’t think it’s a good idea,” said Oryem, the principal foreign policy voice in Uganda, one of South Sudan’s most powerful neighbours.

“That’s a colonial mentality. If an attempt was made to have trusteeship in South Sudan, then I think even the Machar side would resist it and fight it,” he told Reuters in an interview. “That’s an idea that should not be mooted.”

South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan in 2011 but tensions between its many different ethnic groups quickly surfaced and civil war broke out in 2013 between Kiir’s largely Dinka security forces and units loyal to Machar, a Nuer.

An internationally brokered peace deal restored some calm, although that broke down in July last year with heavy fighting between the rival forces in Juba, after which an injured Machar managed to flee to neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Misunderstood

Uganda sent in troops when hostilities first broke out in 2013, a move that Kampala says prevented ethnic slaughter on a similar scale to the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

However, criticism of its action and suggestions it had ulterior motives meant Uganda was not prepared to re-commit any troops, even under the aegis of a Regional Protection Force mooted last year by the African Union, Oryem said.

“We were misunderstood by the international community and all hell broke out – we were being accused of everything under the sun and being told to leave,” he said.

“We’ve told them we are not going to go back,” he added. “Uganda has no more interest in sending its troops and boys to South Sudan.”

Separately, army spokesman Richard Karemire said the overall security situation in South Sudan had improved since Machar’s flight from Juba. He also voiced support for the removal of Machar, once Kiir’s deputy, from circulation by South Africa late last year.

“Would South Sudan sleep in the absence of Riek Machar?” Karemire said. “Every time there is a problem, he is in the middle of it. This is something we’ve got to ask ourselves.” (Reuters) END

Kenya will find siding with Kiir’s Juba Govt. is a risky game to play

By: Muthoni Wanyeki, THE EASTAFRICAN, FEB/01/2017, SSN;

IN SUMMARY: While the Kiir’s SPLM may seem to have sway right now, the region’s patience with it has long run out. Taking sides isn’t good for Kenya in the long-run. Neither, in the short-run.

The news broke this past Wednesday. Dong Samuel Luak, former secretary-general of the South Sudan Law Society — who has refugee status here in Kenya — and Aggrey Idri, chair of the humanitarian committee of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition, had both gone missing.

Dong Samuel Luak was last seen Monday evening and Aggrey Idri was last seen Monday morning. Both were reported to be in the custody of the Kenyan police, pending deportation back to South Sudan.

Searches by their families, together with legal representation and representation from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, began. No entries were recorded in the Occurrence Book at the Nairobi area police headquarters. By Thursday, the search had extended to Langata and Nyayo police stations, where at least one of them was reported to have been moved.

The Kenyan police continue to deny having them in their custody. It is during such periods of unacknowledged detention, before production in court, that detainees are at the most risk of torture and ill-treatment.

We all followed the deportation from Kenya to South Sudan of James Gatdet, spokesperson for the SPLM-IO at the end of last year. At the behest of the shambles that’s left of what was meant to be a coalition, transitional government. James Gatdet is now held in solitary confinement in South Sudan — reportedly in a cell no larger than 1.5 × 3 metres.

That deportation, given Kenya’s dominance in the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development — initially tasked with leading the regional effort peace — raised questions about Igad’s competency and independence.

The AU itself has had to step in —as well as the old so-called Troika of external actors. On Friday morning, in the presence of a large representation by the South Sudanese community, including former first lady Rebecca Garang, the High Court issued orders to the Department of Immigration to ensure no deportation of the two takes place; and directed all mobile telephone providers to make available all data relating to all known mobile numbers of the two as well as a mobile number believed to belong to a member of the South Sudanese National Security Service operating in Nairobi.

The decimation and scattering of the SPLM-IO’s leadership has meant that, on the surface at least, the SPLM proper holds sway. Which it is using to devastating and terrible effect.

The AU, for instance, is reported to have in hand a draft agreement between itself and what passes as the Transitional Government of National Unity of South Sudan on the establishment of the hybrid court to try those most responsible for the abominable mass atrocities committed in the course of the crisis. But the GoSS has had the audacity to refuse entry to the AU to even discuss these drafts.

A high-level meeting will thus be held during this AU Summit on reinvigorating the peace process. What the TGNU needs to be aware of is that the idea of an AU trusteeship for South Sudan is gaining traction given its continued belligerence.

So, while the SPLM may seem to have sway right now, the region’s patience with it has long run out. Taking sides isn’t good for Kenya in the long-run. Neither, in the short-run, is it good for the safety of Kenyans and Kenyan businesses in SPLM-IO controlled territories in South Sudan.

L. Muthoni Wanyeki is Amnesty International’s regional director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes

Kiir’s tribal militia and allied foreign mercenaries commit atrocities in Yei and Kajokeji

PRESS RELEASE:

In the morning of the 22nd January 2017, Kiir’s tribal and ruthless militias and their allied foreign mercenaries moved out from their barracks in Yei town and attacked the SPLA-I.O positions at Jansuk and Minyori areas about 3 Miles Yei-Maridi road.

Similarly, in Kajokeji County of Yei River State the ruthless regime militias attempted to attack the valiant SPLA-I.O base at Mondikolo just a couple of miles from Mere Town.

In response, the SPLA-I.O gallant forces of Division 2B, Sector 8 under the overall command of Lt. Gen. John Kenyi Lo-Buron ambushed, repulsed and pursued them back to the towns with heavy losses.

9 lifeless bodies of Mathiang Anyoor militias were found laid down after the battle around Yei Town and 6 in Kajokeji. A number of AK-47, 4 RPG-7 and 5 PKMs were captured by the gallant SPLA-I.O forces in these triumphs.

Frustrated with the defeats, Kiir’s disgruntled, genocidal and ruthless elements carried out a scale of atrocities against the civil population. They killed 05 civilians in Yei and 06 in Kajokeji after losing the fierce combats.

Additional atrocities committed by them were ill treatment of civilians, setting ablaze their huts, plundering of property and carrying out of mass systematic rape of women and girls. They further burnt into ashes Lutaya Pastoral Center of the Catholic Diocese of Yei and all of its vicinities.

As usual, on the 27th and 28th January 2017, the SPLA-IG tribal and ruthless militias moved out to continue with their outrageous activities to terrorize, pillage and wipe out civilians and their property at Jansuk area located 2 miles away from Yei Town and Mukaya area in Lainya.

They slaughtered dozens of civilians in cold blood, arrested some youth, raped women and girls, while others had to desert their homes during this atrocious move.

Kiir’s mafia militias went back to the town with goats, chicken and other valuable belongings of the victimized civilians.

It is obvious that these systematized monstrous and ailing actions are predetermined by the oppressive and criminal regime of the JCE against other ethnic identities for the ongoing popular resistance to their pseudo rule that has displayed no respect to the people of the country.

By Wayi Godwill Edward,
Spokesperson of the SPLA-I.O 2nd GHQs: Equatoria Region.