Archive for: April 2017

Crisis of the Judiciary of South Sudan: A Leadership Problem NOT Lack of Resources

By: Tong Kot Kuocnin, LLB (Juba), LLM (Nairobi), Specialist in Law, Governance & Democracy
University of Nairobi, Kenya, APR/27/2017, SSN;

In the previous article I authored titled ‘The Nation Needs a New Face in the Judiciary NOT Justice Chan Reec Anymore,’ and another piece titled, ‘Why Too Many Judges and Justices are discontented with Chief Justice Chan Reec’s Leadership in the Judiciary?’ I explored hitherto issues that, if the judiciary of South Sudan could indeed position itself in its rightful place.

These articles plus many others were greeted with hostility by many stooges and kitchen supporters of the Chief Justice leadership. They turned a blind eye to the important issues tackled in the articles for a simple fact that they are beneficiaries of that messed up leadership and care less of the important place the judiciary occupies as an institution in our country.

In this article, I ironically intends to bring to forefront the crisis which has pervasively infested the judiciary of South Sudan which lies not in the judiciary as a juridical institution but in the leadership of the incumbent Chief Justice.

However, the malignant inertia, unruly and unscrupulous behaviour, that has rocked the judiciary since the current Chief Justice took over the administration could warrant unspeakable dysfunctionality of the judiciary and has intrinsically provoked mistrust of the institution trusted as the last hope in retrieving back rights infringed on and maliciously encroached upon aberrantly by the most powerful and untouchable mafias and oligarchs.

It has become a common saying that the judiciary is in abeyance where many judges, whether senior or junior, point fingers at the Chief Justice of not doing enough in addressing most pressing issues of concern both for them and for the institution to truly observe its boundaries of separation of powers, independence and impartiality which are the tenets of the true judiciary as a third arm of the government.

The gap between the Chief Justice and his colleagues grows wider every day and causes many judges to think of quitting the institution simply because it is not truly elegant as it should be.

Many judges and justices are discontented with the way the Chief Justice is running the Judiciary and this is manifested by judges and justices incessant strikes since 2013.

Even with intervention of H. E. the president and his learned Advisor on Legal Affairs to address judges and justices demands in 2016, the Chief Justice again went and slept on the rights of the judges and justices.

The president resolved judges and justices strike in 2016 by releasing vehicles that were parked for the last six years to be distributed to them but the Chief Justice went and took all the keys and stored them in his living room, in his residence.

The Ministry of Finance was directed by the President to release their long overdue salaries into the account of the Judiciary but again the chief justice, being the sole signatory to the account, refused to release the money to the judges and justices again, causing the current ongoing judges and justices’ strike.

This is not a problem of the state anymore, but a leadership problem within the judiciary in which our learned chief justice perceives the judiciary as his own private property with which he can do what he likes at his own discretion.

Why too many judges and justices are discontented with Justice Reec’s administration is a combination of these issues and that’s why it has become a leadership problem not a crisis that other arms of government created.

The Chief Justice is of course the head of the judiciary and one charged by law with day-to-day running or administration of the judiciary. It is on his directives that the director of judges affairs in the judiciary acted upon a communication and if he happens not to be in town, then no toilet papers, ream papers, no transport and no cleaner to clean the court-rooms and everything comes to a standstill.

The nation needs a new face in the judiciary to salvage the credibility of the judiciary and restore confidence and trust of the people in the judiciary.

The hedge is against the president to come to his senses and correct the image of the judiciary by relieving the indignant chief justice due to his heedless consideration of opposing views which heisted the people of South Sudan off their legal and constitutional rights of access to justice, a crux that will not only cost him dearly but the admired and most respected institution among all institutions of the government in the world.

The nation needs a new face in the judiciary, a face that is herald to meeting the demands of judges and justice for the people of South Sudan.

A face which doesn’t worship the appointing authority and turns his back at the institution and the people it’s meant to serve.

A face determined to reshape the chattered image of the institution of Judiciary because the administration of the judiciary under Chief Justice Chan R. Madut is heretical not only to the members of legal fraternity but to the general public which resort to judiciary as the only hope in getting rights they deserved.

Heretofore, the nation needs a new face that is not detached, divorced and disabled from the members of the judiciary, the legal community and general public.

The nation needs a new face in the judiciary not Justice Chan Reec Madut anymore. The judiciary, judges, advocates and the general public have suffered more than enough during his tenure as Chief Justice and President of Supreme Court of South Sudan.

It must be admitted that the crisis that have now engulfed the judiciary were brought about by his dictatorial and weak leadership style. It is leadership problem that is now facing the judiciary not because resources aren’t available.

African Union: Which AU??…. Do not be vague, take them to The Hague

By: Samuel Atabi, South Sudanese, APR/27/2017, SSN;

In the last few weeks, discerning South Sudanese have detected a slight movement of the needle in the attitudes of the international community towards the government’s violence against its own citizens in their country.

First, the Rt. Hon. Priti Patel, the UK Secretary for International Development, called the scorched-earth campaigns of the Kiir’s regime, with its proper name, ‘Genocide.’

This was followed by the UN-appointed Panel of Experts on South Sudan’s letter which acknowledges that …[B]y far the largest-scale of campaigns have been planned and executed by SPLM/A in Government under the leadership of Kiir.’

Furthermore, the letter clearly states that these campaigns are carried out by a combination of tribal Dinka SPLA forces in conjunction with Dinka militia known as the ‘Mathiang Anyoor.’

Never before has a UN-inspired document been so explicit on stating the tribal character of the government forces.

Then, on April 25, 2017, the US Ambassador to the UN, Hon. Nikki Haley excoriated the Kiir government on the causes of the devastating famine and violence, while at the same time threatening arms embargo against the regime.

But can these welcomed and apparent shifts be viewed as hopeful signs for the much needed resolution of the conflict? Only time will tell.

But, while the same South Sudanese welcome these slight movements, they have also noted the reference, by these sources, to the African Union (AU) as a necessary partner in ending the genocide; most right-thinking South Sudanese do not envisage any arbitration role for the African Union in this war.

They view the prescription to involve the AU as a mistake because of the nature of AU and its track record in solving problems on the continent of Africa.

More specifically, South Sudanese’s historical experience with this institution is at the root of this rejection. The postures of the AU, and its defunct predecessor, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), have always been against the political interests of the people of South Sudan. Evidence exists to support this claim.

The OAU was founded in 1963, at the time when most African nations were gaining their political independence from the colonial powers. At that time, the prevailing unifying ideal for these young countries was that of Pan-Africanism.

This ideal had espoused solidarity and unity among African states. In conformity with this ideal, one of the OAU’s main aims was, and still remains, ‘to defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of the African states.’

The South Sudanese war of independence, from the Sudan, had predated the birth of the OAU by eight years, and the war was therefore, seen, by the founders of this outfit, to be inimical to the unity that was championed by the new regional institution.

To prove their credentials as stalwarts for Pan-Africanism, the first crop of the African leaders in the 1960’s and 1970’s competed with each other in condemning this South Sudanese war of liberation.

The competition took the form of harassment, detention and even killing of South Sudanese refugees in countries such as Uganda.

In one particular prominent example, the founder and the first leader of the Southern Sudan Liberation Movement, Fr. Saturnino Ohure and his fellow priest, Fr. Leopoldo Anywar, were murdered in Uganda.

As we write, some countries in the region are still involved in similar actions which now include kidnapping, forced disappearance and deportation of South Sudanese refugees who are residing within their borders.

The OAU was succeeded by the AU in 2002. The AU inherited the original objectives of the former as well as its hostility against any group intending to challenge the received colonial borders.

South Sudan was in the midst of a second installment of the independence armed struggle when this succession took place.

In an effort to avoid the hostility of the OAU/AU and its consequences, the then leader of this new independence movement (the SPLM/A), Dr. John Garang, had to disguise its true intention (that of secession) as that of a united New Sudan.

South Sudan became independent in 2011. Clearly, there is no goodwill among the members of the AU towards South Sudanese because of the perception that the latter have defied the objective of the organization as indicated earlier.

Therefore, the AU is incapable, unwilling and ill-suited to be an honest broker in the present conflict in South Sudan. For example, the AU has so far failed to create a Hybrid Court, as recommended by its own Commission, to try those who are suspected of having organized the on-going genocide in South Sudan.

Another hostile regional organization, which is being recommended as an arbiter in the conflict, is the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD). This organization has even proved to be worse than the AU.

Its membership has opted openly to side with the Kiir’s regime in Juba.

The UN Panel has this to say about IGAD in their letter: ‘…The regional body has also fractured in its response to the conflict, and coordinated pressure within the region to enforce the (August 2015) agreement has dissipated in favor of bilateral arrangements between its members and SPLM/A in Government, dictated by these States’ national security and economic interests.’

To many South Sudanese, any insistence on further mediation role for IGAD in this conflict, as is espoused by the Russian delegation to the UN Security Council, will be viewed as a hostile act against their interests and a ruse to prolong their suffering in the hands of the rogue regime in Juba.

The perpetrators of what Hon. Patel calls a tribal genocide are known; they should not be allowed to get away with impunity.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the court of last resort and as the possibility of instituting the Hybrid Court recedes, because of the AU’s machination and subterfuge, the ICC should take over the responsibility for trying these genocide suspects.

The international community should be resolute in sending these people to ICC.

To quote the Kenyans during the debate on how and where to try their own suspects of political violence in 2007, we repeat, ‘Do not be vague; take them to The Hague’.

Samuel Arabi is a concerned South Sudanese. He can be reached at samuelatabi@gmail.com

South Sudan as the Jieng State in the Image of Salva Kiir

By: Stephen Par Kuol, APR/24/2017, SSN;

After half a century of armed struggle by successive generations of our people, the Republic of South Sudan was founded with optimistic and euphoric celebration on July 9, 2011. The flag of the nascent nation was hoisted with tearful hysteria. It was like daydreaming, but in real life, we became a sovereign geopolitical entity under the international law.

The new geopolitical creation changed our national identity in earnest. Our new nation became the Republic of South Sudan and we then became South Sudanese (not Southern Sudanese).

Paradoxically, the new country we all created with blood, bullets, ballots, sweats and tears has been turned into a slaughterhouse for us (the humans) in no time.

Subsequently, the Republic of South Sudan has become a failed state by all conventional definitions of the term.

Among other institutional shortcomings, South Sudan under Salva Kiir has miserably failed to uphold the most cardinal responsibilities which according to Hobbes Doctrine legitimizes the state in its social contract with the populace: public security and equal protection under the rule of law.

Without any morally convincing cause, we have been locked in a protracted war of self-destruction fragmenting the very common national identity we have been laboring hard to forge.

Even the sovereignty we have been clamoring for is diminishing by the day. In shame and emotional anguish, we have been flocking back to seek refuge in the same nation (Sudan) whose citizenship we renounced through the ballot to create our own nation in January 2011.

At home in South Sudan, we have been reduced to destitutes and displaced within our own Promised Land of “milk and honey.” So, far and wide, the people of South Sudan have become the laughing stock of the world!

Currently, South Sudan is known on the world map for nothing but political violence and humanitarian crisis. Our downtrodden people have been plunged deep into a bottomless pit of death and destruction.

Lives and properties have been destroyed in scale and magnitude we have never seen even during the decades of war with the Republic of Sudan. Far worse, this disaster of shame has wrecked the social fabric of our society beyond description.

In sum, it is a history of failed state, systemic genocide, civil war, famine, intra-communal violence, institutionalized corruption, economic crisis and mass trauma.

The question lingering in so many heads is: what is it that has gone wrong to turn us into this pathological society of murderers?

You can do all the diagnoses modern science would allow but end up with empirical findings that the prevailing violence is not predisposed in our DNA. In another word, there is nothing wrong with the people of South Sudan.

Our predicament is squarely that of leadership failure in the person of none other than our inept and accidental President. Whether it is death by famine or bullets, President Kiir is the culprit.

Beyond any reasonable doubt, that cowboy clown legally named Salva Kiir Mayardit is guilty by both omission and commission.

President Kiir has created South Sudan in his own image to rule it without reference to any institutions. He deliberately abandoned all the constitutionally mandated public institutions including the national army (SPLA) and invested heavily only on his tribal killing machine infamously known as Manthiang Anyor and the security agency he single-handily established from his bush heydays to eliminate political leaders in the SPLM/A.

Kiir has also politicized the civil service and institutionalized mediocrity, nepotism and corruption in the national public institutions. With straight face, Kiir has institutionalized tribalism by syndicating his Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) to serve as a law giving institution and shadow cabinet.

Kiir’s apologists and the pundits in his pay-roll have been toiling hard to deny that JCE is the government of the day but its heading letter which reads as “Republic of South Sudan, Jieng Council of Elders (JCE)” exposes the clumsy image of the elephant in the room that JCE is a state institution.

It thus goes that Jieng is the state and the state is Jieng. The rest of the 63 ethnicities are condemned to second-class citizenship at will and whims of the ruling Jieng ethnicity.

In practice, the ethnocentric police state can accommodate only those who have accepted eternal servitude and their lower caste status as subjects of the ruling caste (Jieng).

Those who dissent, whether they are Jieng or non-Jieng face the violent wrath of Mathiang Anyor and Kiirs’s hoodlums. The records must be informed that Kiir ordered his first atrocities against the Jieng community of Luach in Khorfulus County during his war with George Athor in 2011. The first journalist to be murdered by his security operatives was also a Jieng man by the name of Isaiah Abraham from Twic East County in Jonglei State.

Just like his cowboy hat, Kiir’s trademark is the political violence. As well documented in the AU Commission of Inquiry Report, it was Kiir who fabricated a coup as a ploy to eliminate his opponents in December 2013 and committe genocide against ethnic Nuers in the process.

According to the findings of the UN Penal of Experts report, it was the same Kiir who reintroduced violence by attempting to murder his First Vice President in violation of the Agreement (ARCISS) last July, returning the country to the ongoing bloodletting.

It is Kiir who has just introduced state terrorism kidnapping journalist and civil society activists in the neighboring countries. It is Kiir who is killing aid workers and journalists.

It is Kiir who is pitting communities against one another other in his proxy war of counter-insurgency in Greater Upper Nile. His current project of fueling Murle–Dinka Bor intra-communal violence by supplying both communities with lethal weapons is the hallmark of that deadly policy.

It is Kiir who is committing genocide by famine, killings and forced displacement to the swarms in Dr. Riek Machar’s constituency of Southern Unity State. Kiir has also refused to acknowledge prevalence of famine in the government-controlled areas delaying international humanitarian intervention to save lives in those areas.

It is Kiir who is using food as a weapon of war by denying humanitarian access to the opposition controlled areas.

It is Kiir who is now launching a dry season scorched-earth campaign of genocide throughout the country. Fresh in mind are the most recent mass killings in Cholo Kingdom, Wau, Pajuok, Keju-keji and Yei River county.

It goes without telling the cold truth that with the ongoing orgy of genocide in the name of Jieng Power, Kiir is committing the worst moral crime against the Jieng Community he has been pitting against all other communities to mobilize political support.

Kiir’s mischievous administration and divisive local politics have caused even more deaths in his own Jieng communities of Lakes and Warrap states where inter-communal violence has claimed thousands of lives since 2005.

As elaborated afore, South Sudan in the image of Salva Kiir is violent, corrupt, politically incompetent and ethnically polarised. That is an unacceptable image of the proud people of South Sudan.

Hence, we must all unite our ranks to change this ugly image of our nation by ousting this monster. Only then can the people of South Sudan mend their social fabric and chart a new path to peace and prosperity. END

A Call for Unity among Western Bahar Ghazal People: From State Governor-SPLM-IO

Press Release, APR/22/2017, SSN;

Whenever people act in unison with one another their strength increases a thousand fold. Therefore it is advisable for the people in Western Bahar Ghazal (WBG) to stay united under the leadership of SPLM-IO, in order for them to effectively liberate their land.

Few of WBG leaders have chosen to defect from the SPLM-IO movement and join other parties. There are several questions that WBG citizens should ask those defectors, to know why they are defecting.

Is the leaderships of the joined parties better than of the SPLM-IO? What are the benefits that they brought to their community of WBG, after joining other parties? What are the benefits that other parties are offering to the people of WBG better than of the SPLM-IO?

And finally the most important question is for how long the WBG leaders will continue to be followers?

The SPLM-IO, under the leadership of Dr. Riek Machar Teny, has helped and supported the people of WBG several times in the past.

It is unfortunate to quickly forget that the support that’s given by the leadership of SPLM-IO, which led the WBG people to be capable of defending themselves today, is brought to them by the leadership of the SPLM-IO.

How could the WGB leaders take the support that is brought by SPLM/IO and join other movements?

Furthermore, the Western Bahar Al Ghazal Lion Forces WBGLF is entirely organized and given ranks by the SPLM-IO.

Calling SPLA-IO generals, by the leaders and/or activists of other opposition parties, in order to encourage them rebel against the leadership of the SPLM-IO, with attention to recruit from the SPLM-IO members would only serve the interest of president Salva Kiir Mayardit, divide people of South Sudan, prolong the president term in power, and encourage the president to take more South Sudanese innocent lives.

The people of WBG should refuse the unfortunate event that happened in Upper Nile region, to happen in their region. In which Generals Gabriel Gatwech Chan, who is also known as Tanginye, and General Yuanis Okiech were killed, both in fighting with the SPLA-IO troops.

The two Generals were killed as a result of Dr. Lam Akol, the leader of NDM party, encouraging the two SPLA-IO Generals in Upper Nile region to turn their back against the leadership of SPLM-IO.

Over the last years, due to war that Salva Kiir Mayardit is instigating against the people of South Sudan, mothers have lost sons, daughters have lost fathers, and entire families have been murdered.

Tens of thousands have been killed. People are still starving in the South Sudan today. Poverty is still killing children every day. Access to clean water and sanitation is still a problem for thousands.

Unfortunately, politicians and opposition parties after years of failures still are not united to fight the common enemy and to make a difference.

We, the Government Wau Federal State in Opposition, would like to call upon the people of WBG to unite. As a minority in the South Sudan, the importance of unity among the people of WBG can never be overrated. Little drops of water make the mighty ocean and little drops of sand make this vast world.

Hon. Dominic Ukelo
Governor of Wau Federal State in Opposition

Jieng Council of Elders rejects Deployment of Regional Force in South Sudan

APR/19/2017, Press Release;

The adoption of Resolution 2304 by the UN Security Council on August 12, 2016 barely a month after Riek Machar’s unsuccessful third coup attempt on July 8, 2017 was a serious mistake by the world’s body as it missed a great opportunity to help South Sudan in its quest for peace and stability.

In the view of the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE), this move is flagrantly un-constructive and conspicuously fails to recognize the sovereignty of the Republic of South Sudan and the will of its people.

The Resolution is sadly a hollow and misguided regime change agenda that certain powers would like to effect in our beloved country.

Feeling a bit emboldened by the passage of Resolution 2304 by the Security Council, proponents of the Neo-Trusteeship international administration in South Sudan and their supporters managed to convene a series of hearings before the Foreign Relations Committee of the United States Senate on September 20, 2016.

The aim of these hearings was to foster better understanding as to the feasibility of the establishment of international administration in South Sudan under the auspices of the United Nations and African Union.

Among the notable “experts” that presented to the Senate committee were Dr. Paul R. Williams and Kate Almquist Knopf.

Dr. Williams acknowledged that there is no legal framework for Neo-Trusteeship but erroneously recommended that it might be a viable means of creating peace and stability in South Sudan.

In a way that directly links the regime change agenda in South Sudan with the so-called Regional Protection Force, Williams added, “neo-trusteeships typically require a robust and sustained peacekeeping presence.”

On her part, Kate Knopf recommended the establishment of “international transitional administration” in South Sudan under the United Nations and the African Union for 10-15 years.

Ms. Knopf went on to state that any opposition to UN/AU transitional administration could be mitigated through:

1) Negotiating President Kiir’s and Riek Machar’s renunciation of a role in South Sudan politics.
2) Leveraging important constituencies’ frustration with President Kiir, Machar and their “cronies to gain these constituencies support for transitional administration.”
3) “By deploying a peace intervention mission with credible coercive force.”

Suffice to say that judging from the position cited above, the Regional Protection Force is clearly a tool for invading South Sudan so as to effect a regime change agenda in South Sudan.

Simply put, everything from the level of armament and mandate given to the Regional Protection Force smacks of the regime change agenda, which we are strongly against.

Moreover, the area of operation for the force, which is Juba, is chosen purposely as a first step towards the establishment of Neo-Trusteeship in South Sudan.

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

If allowed to happen, this situation would certainly spell more suffering for our people.

The Resolution essentially gives this force unfettered powers and an unlimited freedom “to use all means necessary” to meet their operational objectives, a condition that undermines both the security of ordinary citizens and the power of the state and government.

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

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

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

To reiterate, Resolution 2304 is an affront to the South Sudanese people, as it aims to usurp their hard-won independence and sovereignty.

In terms of its content and objective, this misguided document claims to want to fix South Sudan’s crisis by allowing foreign forces to take over the security of our national capital, Juba, including the airport.

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

As a member of the UN family, there is no any legal basis whatsoever for the Republic of South Sudan to turn over its hard-won independence and sovereignty to anybody in the world.

This includes the UN, which is not allowed by its own charter to usurp power of any member state such as South Sudan.

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

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

In light of the aforementioned grounds, the Council strongly rejects in its entirety Resolution 2304, because it is a ploy to exacerbate discord amongst and suffering of our people.

It gives foreign forces a blank check “to use all means necessary” so as to achieve the establishment of the so-called Neo-trusteeship, which others are openly advocating for.

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

Signed:

Hon.Joshua Dau Diu,
Co-Chair, Jieng Council of Elders

South Sudan war strains Uganda’s generous refugee policy: Bidibidi Refugee Camp

From: NEWVISION, Kampala, APR/20/2017, SSN;

YUMBE – Ugandan motorbike taxi driver Sadiq Agotre grumbles as he waits for a rare client among thousands of South Sudanese refugees hoping to receive food rations in the outskirts of his town.

“Business is not good. These people don’t have money,” he says, gazing out over a vast area that in only eight months has transformed from scrubland and trees to the world’s biggest refugee settlement, Bidibidi, which houses more than 270,000 people.

Uganda has been praised for its warm welcome of refugees, but as civil war in neighbouring South Sudan continues to push more than 2,000 people a day into the country, local communities and aid agencies are buckling under the strain.

Many residents of Yumbe district — population around 500,000 — are frustrated that the massive aid effort in their backyard has not translated into more jobs but instead has spread already scarce resources even thinner.

“This (the refugee crisis) has changed the town so much. It has caused a lot of stress, stress for jobs. The food prices have gone up and up. It’s bad for our environment because they cut down the trees,” said Nachal Dovelay, a shopkeeper in Yumbe town.

Bidibidi opened in August last year to cope with a flood of people fleeing fighting when a peace deal between South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and his rival and former deputy Riek Machar collapsed, plunging the country back into a civil war that erupted in 2013.

In a matter of months it has overtaken Kenya’s Dadaab — hosting mainly Somali refugees — as the world’s biggest refugee camp.

But the 250-square-kilometre (97-square-mile) settlement is only the tip of the iceberg. A total of 830,000 South Sudanese refugees have entered the country and the UN expects this figure will reach more than a million by mid-year.

The number of refugees in the East African nation — one of the world’s poorest countries and the size of the United Kingdom — is comparable to the number of mostly Syrian refugees who fled to Europe at the height of the migrant crisis in 2015.

“This emergency is like a tsunami, you know, very high speed,” said Robert Baryamwesiga, the Ugandan government official in change of running Bidibidi.

Food rations stretched, delayed

On a recent afternoon a fierce dust-devil tore through a crowd waiting for food rations, sending people reeling and knocking supplies to the ground.

When calm returned, a girl aged about seven carefully raked up her family’s fallen maize kernels and scooped them back into a sack.

Every scrap of food is precious. Refugees who arrived in Uganda before mid-2015 have already had their rations cut by half. This month food distribution was two weeks late.

“We are hungry. The food is for one month but it lasts less than that and now it’s 15 days late. This is really challenging,” said David Kepo, 41, a traditional chief who fled fighting in his community three months ago.

Cheryl Harrison, the World Food Programme’s (WFP’s) deputy head in Uganda, admits that the logistics involved in delivering 15,000 tonnes of food per month are daunting.

“We try to ensure that everyone knows that we’re going to be late. If people have warning they’re able to cope. They reduce the amount of food they eat and try to make their resources stretch.”

Before the renewed fighting, WFP spent $6 million (5.6 million euros) per month on food aid for refugees in Uganda. That figure has now soared to more than $16 million.

The agency is $450 million short for the next six months.

Last month UN refugee chief, Filippo Grandi, described the situation as at “breaking point”.

Anger growing in host community

Getting water to the refugees in the arid area is another headache, with more than four million litres required a day.

Boreholes have been drilled but the vast majority of the water is trucked in from the River Nile at great expense.

The use of natural resources has lead to tensions with the host community.

In a desperate move local residents recently blocked access to one borehole for several hours, saying that they were not benefiting from the influx of refugees.

“The issue of the use of natural resources — building materials, wood, fuel — that one has been a disaster. With 272,000 people the effect is great and unemployment here is very high,” said local government official Jacob Batemyetto.

In February about 100 people, unhappy that nine local staff had been fired for misappropriating aid, held a protest, holding up signs threatening to attack the settlement, according to NGO staff.

And last month the chief government official in Imvepi — a newly opened nearby settlement — was taken hostage by a group of machete-wielding youths and marched around the area to see the poor living conditions local people are forced to tolerate before being released.

A very fragile situation

Uganda has long been praised for having one of the world’s most progressive refugee policies.

The government allows refugees to work and move around the country while communities in the north have donated land for settlements.

Refugees receive a plot of land to build a shelter and it was planned that land would be allocated for people to farm but in Bidibidi that has yet to happen.

“We can’t feed ourselves because they have yet to set up any agriculture programme and there’s no land,” said Wila James, 40, a former agricultural officer who fled to Uganda last year.

Bidibidi settlement chief Baryamwesiga highlighted the dangers of a growing population unable to produce their own food.

“They will automatically go and steal and stealing will create violence so you’ll find that the coexistence that we’re enjoying between refugees and the host community will collapse.

“It’s a very, very fragile situation.” END

South Sudan: New Spate of Ethnic Killings by Kiir’s government

Nairobi, APR/18/2017, SSN;

Urgent Need for Justice; UN Should Increase Patrols in Wau: Government soldiers and allied militias deliberately killed at least 16 civilians in South Sudan’s western town of Wau on April 10, 2017, in what appears to be an act of collective punishment, Human Rights Watch said today. The attacks were against people presumed to support the opposition because of their ethnicity.

The killings followed weeks of tensions in the area, where South Sudan’s government has carried out an abusive counterinsurgency operation since late 2015.

When the UN Security Council meets to discuss South Sudan later in April, it should condemn these crimes and ask the peacekeeping mission in South Sudan what steps it intends to take to deter further revenge killings in Wau and the surrounding area.

“The pattern of abuses by government forces against civilians in Wau has become predictable, with soldiers taking revenge against unarmed civilians based on their ethnicity,” said Daniel Bekele, senior director for Africa advocacy at Human Rights Watch. “The South Sudan authorities need to call a halt to the killings, investigate, and bring those responsible to justice.”

In November, a special investigation commissioned by the UN recommended that peacekeepers should move around in armored vehicles rather than remaining in their bases to better identify threats to civilian lives and prevent rapes on their doorstep.

The UN is expected to release an update on steps it has taken to carry out those recommendations on April 17.

Hostilities erupted on April 8, outside of Wau, when government forces opened an offensive on opposition-controlled areas and opposition groups counter-attacked. The opposition killed two high-ranking government officers, including a prominent member of the Dinka tribe from the neighboring Lakes region.

On April 10, government soldiers and Dinka militiamen went from house to house in ethnic Fertit and Luo neighbourhoods on the southwest side of Wau, and killed at least 16 civilians, apparently in retaliation for the killing of the two men.

Government authorities prevented UN peacekeepers from moving freely around the town, limiting their access to areas where the violence occurred.

The recent violence displaced nearly 8,000 people, about 3,800 of who sought safety in the Catholic church. Others have moved to a site adjacent to the United Nations’ Mission to South Sudan base, where more than 25,000 people had already gathered under UN protection.

A 26-year-old Fertit, mother-of-four, who is married to a Luo and was living in the Nazareth neighbourhood, said she was at home preparing a fire when she heard gunshots in the morning of April 10: “The attackers came over to my house. They wore civilian clothes, had their faces whitened with ashes, and carried spears and guns. I lied and told them that my husband was a Dinka and they said they would not kill me because I am their wife. They said: ‘don’t go out in the streets because we are killing people.’ When it calmed down, I went to my neighbor’s house. She had been shot in the eye. Her four children, between 3 and 15, were hiding under the bed. They were killed too. I saw their bodies.”

Human Rights Watch expressed concern about the possibility of further attacks on civilians, and urged the peacekeeping mission, UNMISS, to increase the number of troops stationed in Wau and to ensure adequate patrols of sensitive areas, such as around the Catholic church and southwest of the city.

After Kenyan troops withdrew from the peacekeeping mission in 2016, the contingent in Wau has been short staffed.

The UN’s response to the deteriorating situation in Wau will be an important test of the mission’s ability to improve protection of civilians in hostile environments, especially following attacks on bases in Malakal and Juba last year, Human Rights Watch said.

In Wau, the abuses have followed a familiar pattern in recent years, with hostilities between government soldiers and opposition forces followed by retaliatory attacks by mostly Dinka government forces and militias against ethnic Fertit and Luo civilians.

In May 2016, Human Rights Watch documented a surge in government abuses against civilians in Wau and surrounding villages beginning in late December 2015, after the government deployed a large numbers of new soldiers, mostly Dinka from the former states of Northern Bahr el-Ghazal and Warrap, to the area.

Government soldiers were responsible for a spate of targeted killings and arbitrary detentions and abuse of ethnic Fertit and Luo civilians in February and again in June. The violence and abuses in June forced more than 70,000 to flee.

South Sudan’s government has taken little action to stop these attacks on civilians. Following each round of violence in 2016, president Salva Kiir appointed investigation committees. The first one visited Wau in March and the second in in early July.

A report submitted to president Kiir on August 1 found that at least 50 civilians had been killed on June 24 and 25, more than 100 shops were looted, and tens of thousands of civilians were displaced; but no further criminal investigations or prosecutions were carried out.

While the media reported that the army executed two soldiers on July 22 who had been convicted by a military court for the murder of two civilians in a residential area of Wau, no other steps were taken.

On April 12, President Kiir announced an investigation of the most recent killings. But the government’s track record of investigating these kinds of incidents in Wau and its weak judicial system raise questions about its credibility. Credible criminal investigations and transparent judicial procedures against those responsible are urgently needed, Human Rights Watch said.

The government forces’ continuing crimes against civilians in Wau and the lack of accountability underscore the urgent need for the hybrid court envisioned in the 2015 peace agreement.

Despite the agreement, government soldiers have committed widespread violence against civilians, not just in Wau, but also in Juba, Malakal and the Equatorias, Human Rights Watch researchers found.

Human Rights Watch has also repeatedly called on the United Nations Security Council to impose a comprehensive arms embargo on South Sudan to reduce harm to civilians by increasing the cost of weapons used to attack them.

In December 2016, an attempt to pass an arms embargo at the Security Council failed when eights members abstained. They included Egypt and Japan, which still sit on the Security Council.

“South Sudan’s military commanders have once again shown they won’t stop the abuse or hold anyone to account, and instead they obstruct peacekeepers from doing their jobs to protect civilians,” Bekele said. “The UN Security Council should make it clear that there will be a price to pay for this kind of obstruction.”

Massacre of Civilians by Government in PAJOK and WAU in succession continues unabated: PDM Release

PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 17th April 2017;

In just this month alone, South Sudan is again in the news, not just for the ongoing wide spread famine in the country, but because President Salva Kiir’s illegitimate Government is continuing on its path to tear the country’s social fabric apart.

In a succession of fresh massacres of civilians, the SPLA and Mathiang Anyor on 3rd April 2017 attacked Pajok, Eastern Equatoria and conducted public executions of civilians, burning their houses and forcing thousands of them to flee across the border to Uganda.

In Wau on 10th April 2017, Mathiang Anyor militia members went on killing rampage from house to house murdering innocent civilians in reprisal attacks for the losses suffered by high-ranking SPLA military officers in battles with opposition forces!

It has been proven on several occasions that Kiir’s illegitimate government policy is to exact revenge by cold-blooded murders of innocent civilians whenever the regime suffers losses in battle with the opposition.

PDM press releases in recent months repeatedly highlighted similar atrocities in Yei, Wundruba, and several other villages in Equatoria.

PDM strongly condemns in no uncertain terms Salva Kiir’s illegitimate regime crimes of genocide against the people, for which he bears full responsibility and must be held accountable and brought to justice.

PDM calls on the Region, the international community, the UN, the AU and Troika countries to unreservedly condemn President Salva Kiir’s atrocities and genocide against the people, and isolate this illegitimate regime that is denying UNMISS access to Pajok and makes a mockery of its public claims to promoting National Dialogue in the country whilst carrying mass atrocities.

PDM supports immediate actions to prevent and protect against the continuing massacre of innocent civilians with impunity by Kiir’s regime.

The scorched earth policy of premeditated attacks and massacre of civilians in Pajok, Wau, and Kajokeji are abated and aided by the regime’s continuing access to oil revenue, which the regime spends on armament and killing its own people to remain in power and silence all opposition to it.

The UNMISS is unable to protect the people in what has effectively turned into South Sudan becoming the killing fields of President Salva Kiir illegitimate regime.

The UN Security Council, IGAD, JMEC and AU seem impotent to sanction Kiir’s illegitimate regime for the crimes and atrocities it is committing against the people.

Instead of the oil proceeds being used to fend off the widespread famine in the country and feed the people, it is diverted for business interests of Government elites and their partners in crimes in the regional and international system.

PDM urges and calls on China to stand with the people, its oil resource interests in South Sudan are best served not by a murderous and corrupt regime, which cares less about the country’s and it’s own human rights record.

PDM looks to China for support to the country and the people by its solidarity with UN Security Council efforts to impose sanctions on Kiir’s regime, thus not aiding war on the people by the failed Juba regime, and denying it access to millions of dollars from oil that benefits only the regime.

PDM is at pains to note that UNMISS is unable to effectively exercise its protection of civilians mandate, yet it continues to consume resources for not doing its job, and is being obstructed to carry its duty as in Pajok lately, which makes Kiir’s illegitimate regime get its way to cover up its crimes against the people.

As the recipient of aid from many Western countries to enable its peace keeping mandate in South Sudan, including to prevent commission of crimes and genocide against the people, tax payers of resource contributing countries should demand more accountability and results for their money.

PDM takes the position that the failures of leadership and governance that the country is now facing and urgency to ending the civil war can be resolved by committing to a new approach as follows:
• Proceeds from the oil in South Sudan, should be exclusively ring fenced for feeding the population, averting famine and addressing pressing health service sector priorities, and not a single penny to spend on armament or weapons of any kind. The UN Security Council needs to intervene and exercise the responsibility to protect and to avert genocide against the people by the failed illegitimate Juba regime.
• Acknowledgement and recognition that ARCSS implementation has failed, and Salva Kiir’s regime without ARCSS legitimacy is to be isolated by the Region, AU, international community, IGAD and Troika for his prominent role in the collapse of ARCSS and the genocide in the making
• Security Council to enable UNMISS to effectively discharge its protection of civilians mandate unfettered
• An arms embargo on South Sudan; PDM calls upon China and Russia as leading members of the UN Security Council with a veto power, to play their historic role of protecting vulnerable people against all forms of tyranny and oppression, and to refrain from using their legitimate right of veto to protect or lend support to a genocide and collapse of South Sudan under failed President Salva Kiir leadership against the wishes of the people.
• PDM acknowledges and appreciates the role of the Egyptian people, their stand with the people of South Sudan. PDM wishes to appeal to Egyptian leadership to uphold its long standing support to the people of South Sudan, and their interest as it has done since the 1970s, that Egyptian Government refrains from supporting Kiir’s armament to commit massacres of civilians, which undermines Egypt’s own interests in the stability of the country for mutual best interests of both countries.

PDM stands with the suffering and tormented people of South Sudan who continue to endure unimaginable violations of their dignity and human rights by the conspiracy of world silence on Salva Kiir’s regime crimes, while the country desperately needs to direct exploitation of its abundant natural resources to avert famine and salvage the collapsing economy under the corrupt Juba regime.

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

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

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

As Genocide unfolds in South Sudan, much of the world looks away: From S. Sudan Political Opposition Parties

Press Release, APR/17/2017:

In one of the gravest crimes of the 21st century, President Salva Kiir and his regime are wiping out non-Dinka communities through ethnically targeted massacres in Greater Upper Nile, Equatoria and Western Bahr El Ghazal regions.

The unfolding genocide is a repeat of this same regime’s December 2013 Juba massacres of ethnic Nuer civilians, which resulted in reprehensible reprisal attacks against Dinka civilians in other parts of the country.

This chain of events triggered the still on-going civil war that was imposed on the people barely two years after the country gained independence on 9th July 2011.

By definition, genocide is a state-devised plan to annihilate, in whole or in part, minority communities.

Kiir’s regime, with direct participation of the SPLA army and state-sponsored Mathyiang Anyor militia, are carrying out cold-blooded and calculated executions of community and church leaders, torturing and raping civilians and carrying out other dehumanizing acts.

The intention is to violently expel women, children and the elderly from their homes and villages or exterminate them completely.

This odious scourge policy is unprecedented in scale and has serious ramifications for the survival of South Sudan as a country, and peace and security of the region.

As a result of the ongoing massacres by Salva Kiir’s regime, the United Nation reported that 3 million South Sudanese have been uprooted by the violence, resulting in hugely unprecedented displacement of populations from their homes, which is considered to be the biggest cross-border exodus in Africa since the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

In addition, Kiir’s regime’s policy of “actively blocking and preventing aid access and using food as a weapon of war , has engineered widespread regime-made famine in the country.

As this murderous campaign unfolds, the Region and the broader international community, for the most part, has stood by, excused the aggressor and justified the inaction of the world on the intransigence of the perpetrator.

This impunity and inaction by the world, which continues under the wrong assumption that such acquiescence will earn the trust and hence entice the cooperation of Juba to behave in a more civilized fashion, has only fueled the genocide.

Emboldened by the sense of no consequences for their actions and transgressions, President Kiir and his regime have gone on rampage killing and destroying the country in total disregard for international law.

A commendable exception to this apparent conspiracy of silence is the honest and accurate assessment by Hon. Priti Patel, British Secretary for International Development who, while in Kampala – Uganda on 12th April 2017, said that “There are massacres taking place, people’s throats are being slit … villages are being burnt out, there’s a scorched-earth policy, … it is tribal, it is absolutely tribal, so on that basis it is genocide.”

This frank admission follows similar conclusion reached in the report of Mr. Adama Dieng, the Special Adviser to UN Secretary General on the Prevention of Genocide.

We urge other world leaders to similarly recognize and condemn the genocidal actions of Kiir’s regime; their continued silence and denial only emboldens, encourages and indeed rewards the perpetrators of the crime and punishes their victims.

We urge the region and the international community to urgently investigate, document, prosecute and punish the perpetrators of recent genocide in Wonduruba, Yei, Lainya, Pajok and Kajokeji in Equatoria, Wau in Bahr el-Ghazal, and in all of Upper Nile before appropriate courts or tribunals.

All such targeted killings anywhere of innocent Dinka or non-Dinka civilians are reprehensible and inexcusable and should be subject to the same due legal process.

The Region and broader international community has a moral and legal obligation to prevent genocide and cooperate in prosecuting the perpetrators.

We therefore call upon the AU, the UN Secretary General and the UN Security Council to issue a full, frank, and just acknowledgment of the unfolding genocide as a necessary first step to honor the victims and their families and signal a glimmer of hope for the future.

President Salva Kiir and his regime must be forced to comply and to take full responsibility for their actions and crimes.

Only then can a peaceful political process to end this unprecedented and untold suffering begin.

Signed by:
THE POLITICAL OPPOSITION FORCES, Republic of South Sudan:

The Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement – In Opposition (SPLM –IO)

The Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement – SPLM Leaders (FDs)

The National Democratic Movement (NDM)

The People’s Democratic Movement (PDM)

The South Sudan National Movement for Change (SSNMC)

The National Salvation Front (NAS)

For contact and further information:
Email: jointoppositionpressrelease@gmail.com

Governing under Pres. Kiir & vice Taban Gai is more problematic than we expected

BY: Santino Aniek, New York, USA, APR/16/2017, SSN;

I have lived for almost 40 years; I remember the war between South Sudanese and Khartoum regime, the humiliation and the shameless rebellion of 1991, the assassination of John Garang in 2005, and the senseless war of 2013. But, until now, I have never been ashamed to be a South Sudan citizen.

I always believed that, whether SPLM-IG or SPLM-IO, our leaders are basically good people who are reasonable and thoughtful, even if I did not agree with them.

But President Kiir Mayardit seems be not reasonable, his decision against the will of Ruweng people is not thoughtful, and it is considered as a brutal betrayal.

The man who President Kiir and the FVP Taban Deng Gai have chosen is a fraudster, a man who have done business with the mob, a discriminator, and a hater who thinks the people of Ruweng are always there only to serve their interest, a man who knows nothing of the world, and has no curiosity about the interest of Ruweng people.

Moreover, I do not believe that these men are good and decent people, and if they were as other people think, they should not involved in this dirty business of the FVP.

For more than ten years, we have been hearing from the so-called leaders in Juba about how horrible those who rebel against the government were, and this was the best description they could come up with.

But when it comes to cake sharing, the same horrible people will be the best people to the government to share the power with. In fact, a cruel and a rush decision by President Kiir and his FVP Taban that does not seem to have any new ideas or a reason to fix the core problems in South Sudan that has been facing our people since 2005.

It is the same reason that causes many people in South Sudan to rebel against the government of President Kiir. And at this point, it seems to prove that his decision is always about creating a conflict and not actually trying to bring every lasting peace to South Sudanese people.

Now, the ball is firmly on the court of Ruweng people, either to reject or to accept this cruel and rushed decision by two men who seem to adopt Khartoum tactic. The two men control the government and they share power by playing dirty politics.

But President Kiir made a promise in the end by assuring every Ruweng citizens around the country to stay home, the Monday rally has been cancelled, and the dialogue should continue by bringing Ruweng people’s representative to Juba.

However, the question in each and every Ruweng citizens is, did President Kiir or the Presidential Advisor, Hon. Tor Deng Mawien has lied to the people of Ruweng?

Basically a version of as a bigger false promise by President Kiir that would be better tells by the people of Ruweng a fairy tale. And now everyone with the knowledge on this issue knew it that President Kiir is not going to keep his promise because he never did.

As always the case, it is actually has to be made up of words that lead to a false promise in the highest office in the nation. Hence, that false promise has to actually tell us something about who will win, who will lose, and the people of Ruweng are the losers while the FVP Taban is now the winner of this dirty game.

Consequently, it tells who will be marginalized and how much it might cost the people of Ruweng for short-term security. And knowing that Ruweng people have the FVP’S plan in place and our people’s interest is getting picked apart by his supporters and interest groups on all sides is serious concern that need President Kiir’s reconsideration.

Because the key is that the FVP Taban is starting to look as popular as ants at a picnic in South Sudan. Today, the people of Ruweng have to guess that with the FVP Taban is running the show in the entire country, our people in Ruweng land will not like the end result of this dirty game of interest.

Therefore, our powerful friends of Ruweng people should start lining up in opposition to the President’s decision in order to reverse this betrayal against the peace loving people in the nation. This harmful decision will make Ruweng people insecure and toothless in the era of Taban Deng Gai.

Yet, perhaps the most threatening to the long-term security of Ruweng people is the return of the FVP Taban to Wuhn Danluel.

As it shows that ninety nine percent of the Ruweng people are complaining about how rushed this cruel decision was and what will likely happen to the security of our people in Ruwëng State.

Meanwhile, the hardline of power seeking want to see this effort as some sort of Taban lighting up a light to them and also as a business as usual. And they are being propelled by outside groups to welcome this cruel decision.

As a result of this cruel and rush decision, there is a lot of bad analysis in the camp of the FVP’S power seeking about what the presidential decree meant in terms of the security in Ruweng land.

But ultimately, sadly, this will be decided by the people of Ruweng of the world whether to give up and let the FVP Taban to continue to marginalize our beloved relatives one more time in the twenty first century.

Nonetheless, when doing big things is never easy, but making a promise is a lot easier in South Sudan, and this is how Ruweng people once again find themselves in the country where venerable people cannot survive.

In this toxic environment, here we stand as people of Ruweng and President Kiir is swinging the full weight of his Administration behind his FVP Taban leaving the entire population of Ruweng State in a dark hole.

But however, maybe this will be enough to wake up the skeptical people of Ruweng who seem to be overwhelmingly opposing this cruel and rushed decision by President Kiir and his FVP Taban. Or maybe this effort will fall apart in spectacular failure in the history of Ruweng people and continue to do nothing as usual.

As a fact, President Kiir has promised people of Ruweng that he will listen to them and told them that Them Machar will not take the oath of office as a governor of Ruweng State until the matter is resolved amicably base on the popular views.

But, it is likely will dramatic political theater if President Kiir and his FVP Taban refuse to listen to this peace loving people in the nation. It is just a horrible shame that the stakes being toyed with thousands of Ruweng people and their security at risk by letting Taban Deng Gai continues to marginalize our people need a serious response now.

Finally, I understand why so many South Sudanese communities are disenfranchised and disillusioned, why there is mistrust of the government, and deep-seated issues with President Kiir, but I never, ever thought that this will result in putting Taban Deng Gai over the people of Ruweng’s interest because this people stood with President Kiir long enough to be rewarded like any other community who are enjoying due to their minimal contribution.

It is true governing in the entire is difficult, but betrayal and difficulty are not the same. More importantly, I know many people believe that smart people and smart policies makers can fix our corrupt system of government in South Sudan. President Kiir seems to think this way.

I’m assuming that President Kiir suggested during the national prayer day that his government and the community relations could be improved meaningfully by accepting responsibility and accountability. Yes, a responsibility and accountability.

With this cruel and rushed decision, I no longer believe that Juba is willing to fix the problem, as though the leadership in Juba is anything other than a mirror reflecting back to us the true nature of our democracy.

They cannot fix the problem without a revolution of values and radical change to the basic structure of their leadership in Juba. Of course important policy changes can and should be made to improve government practices unless President Kiir reconsider this cruel and rushed decision, or it will cause in South Sudan.

Furthermore, if we are serious about having peace in our country rather than a government at war with its own people, then we are going to have to get honest with ourselves about whom our government actually serves and protect or else to unity.

Santino Aniek is a concerned South Sudanese in Upstate New York, U.S.A. He can be reached at santino.aniek5@gmail.com and find me on Facebook, on Skype and on twitter @saniek.