Archive for: May 2017

Ukraine on the spot for massive $264 Million arms sale to South Sudan

By: JOSEPH ODUHA in Juba, THE EASTAFRICAN, May/14/2017, SSN;

The United Nations has accused Ukraine of supplying weapons to South Sudan against an international embargo.

A report by the UN Panel of experts (PoE) monitoring the international compliance with the arms embargo on South Sudan, disclosed that Ukraine was supplying weapons that have perpetuated the conflict in the famine-ridden country.

PoE cited the case of an ilyunshinil-76 transport aircraft that departed from Kharkiv airport in Ukraine, bound for Gulu in Uganda on January 27, 2017.

Jets and engines

It said the aircraft manifest indicated that it contained two L-39 jets and engines provided by Musket OU, a company based in Tallinn, that were overhauled, and that the flight was operated by the Ukranian Defence ministry.

“Subsequently, the government of Ukraine confirmed to the Panel that the two jets were listed as being operated by the Ugandan military and that the end user certificates indicated that the aircraft were to be used only for advanced piloting training,” the report reads.

However, PoE disclosed it was investigating if the aircraft were transported to South Sudan following reports that there was a new military plane with obscured marking, parked at the Juba International Airport.

During battles

PoE also revealed that it was probing another Hungarian fighter jet pilot Tibor Czingali, who was contracted by the Ugandan Air Force, but had allegedly been seen flying South Sudanese L-39 aircraft.

The experts believed that jets based in Uganda were operating in South Sudan during battles between government forces and rebels.

PoE has recently received documentation from a confidential source that details a contract, signed in June 2014 by two National Security Service officers, for a company based in Seychelles to provide weapons to the South Sudanese Internal Security Bureau of the Service, headed by Akol Koor.

Heavy weapons

The contract sum was reported to be $264 million, covering a large quantity of heavy weapons, small arms and ammunition.

“Among the items are 30 T-55 tanks, 20 ZU-23 anti-aircraft weapons, 5,000 rounds of T-55 tank ammunition, 10 BM-21 “Grad” rocket systems, 10, 000 122-mm M21OF rockets, 3, 000 S8 rockets for Russian-made Mi-24 attack helicopters, 20 million rounds of 7.62X39mm ammunition, 50, 000 AK-47 assault rifles and 12,000 RPG-7 rounds. The Panel is investigating this order to establish whether it was executed as outlined,” the report noted.

Key entry points

The panel report also detailed that the border areas between South Sudan, the Sudan and Uganda remained key entry points for arms to Juba, adding that more weapons were reportedly flowing into the war torn country through the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It also alleged that there were persistent reports and public accusations of arms being flown to South Sudan government forces by Egypt.

PoE said it had interviewed one Pierre Dadak, a jailed polish arms dealer who revealed that between January and June 2014, the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army-In Opposition, under Riek Machar command, approached him seeking 40,000 AK-47 rifles, 200,000 boxes of AK-47 ammunition, 30,000 PKM machine guns, 3,000 anti-tank rounds, 300 anti-tank guns and 300 anti-aircraft guns.

Humanitarian crises

South Sudan has been at war since 2013 after a major fallout between President Salva Kiir and Dr Machar.

The country was is currently battling one of the world’s biggest humanitarian crises caused by the conflict. END

The End of Bullying, Harassment and Humiliation: Gen. Paul Malong Awan’s Sacking has changed the meaning of Mutiny & Rebellion in South Sudan

BY: Mayak Deng Aruei, USA, MAY/14/2017, SSN;

At a very young age, children are told to remember the Golden Rule: “Treat others how you want to be treated.” The headlines for the news outlets in South Sudan, and in the Region of East Africa was about the sacking of the SPLA (South Sudan) Army Chief of the General Staff.

For a country that celebrates nothing other than big names, the firing of General Paul Malong Awan caught millions South Sudanese by surprise. The actual facts as to what transpired on May 9, 2017 can be traced to fundamentals of security in the country.

Adding to the fading trust among the high-ranking members of the SPLM & the SPLA, the 32 federal states are proving something else.

It was a rumor until General Paul Malong Awan was relieved, his well guarded place couldn’t be infiltrated, all attempts thwarted and “he ran away to Yirol before handing over the office to the incoming Chief of the General Staff,” according to the President.

The loss of trust between the President and his former Army Chief of the General Staff has little to do with them as individuals, but rather with the inner circle which has a hidden agenda, and thirst for more recognition.

The term “scapegoat for the inefficiencies” was later authored to sugarcoat the rattling clearing of the thorny bushes. In South Sudan, the known facts and patterns make sudden change of command, and a rapid takeoff looked more than a preempted mutiny or rebellion.

For the records, not everyone can be bullied, harassed and humiliated without a price. The departure of the Elephant in the Room (Gen. Paul Malong) marked the end of political mockery in the Republic of South Sudan, and aspiring/young inexperienced politicians ought to re-examine their stances on national affairs.

First and foremost, General Paul Malong Awan should have been the last that President Salva Kiir could humiliate in the face of the struggling country, and the Government he helped stay in place.

Humiliation in the context of the sacking of the Army Chief has much to do with being relieved without prior consultations, and other options put on the table. Example, possible arrest as security assurances entailed.

In 2013, General Paul Malong Awan was quick to side with President Salva Kiir, at a time when political atmosphere was so cloudy, and when coalitions of political opponents posed a very serious threat to the President during the SPLM National Convention.

At the onset, General Paul Malong Awan, then the Governor for the defunct state of Northern Bahr El Ghazal organized a special session for the four states of Barh El Ghazal Region. The gathering of the Governors brought together leaders of Barh El Ghazal Region, and their citizens saw more years of President Salva Kiir in power.

In that meeting, Governor Nyandeng Malek showed little interest in such regional alliance, and Governor Paul Malong Awan called her out, pointing out that Governor Nyandeng Malek should have been the first to back President Salva Kiir since the two hailed from the same state (Warrap).

The gathering was a success, and the people of Barh El Ghazal stood shoulder to shoulder with the President, with some pledging unlimited support should South Sudan’s known patterns take their shapes.

Secondly, General Paul Malong Awan mobilized and trained the youths (Mathiang Anyoor) from his home state of Northern Barh El Ghazal, left Governorship at the dawn of rebelling forces, and became the Army Chief of the General Staff.

The fight was a tough race, and General Paul Malong Awan, nicknamed King Paul, kept on with the fight against Dr. Riek Machar of the SPLM-IO who declared Armed Resistance against the sitting president after his chances for running for presidency were demurred.

For more than three years, General Paul Malong Awan was the man of the people, Hero of all times, and the only General who had the guts to protect the territorial integrity of South Sudan.

As the dust settled down, the inner circle of President Salva Kiir closed their eyes, debunked everyone’s contributions, and put their own interests above that of the nation.

Thirdly, General Paul Malong Awan is a decorated General who has won the confidence of Jieng Council of Elders(JCE), an Advisory Committee made up of influential veteran politicians who served both in the old Sudan as well as in the Liberation Movement.

With all of that, the sacking of General Paul Malong Awan without proper consultations put President Salva Kiir in a very awkward position, and the Army became divided more than any time since the civil war erupted in 2013.

The challenges for the President intensified, and quite a number of active Generals reportedly left with General Paul Malong Awan when he reacted to his firing on South Sudan Television(SSBC).

The social media, a platform used by young literate South Sudanese and well established elites was jammed few minutes after the airing of the news.

Fortunately enough, the Army listened to the voices that called for calm, and General Paul Malong Awan took off with almost anything he wanted, and soldiers watched the convoys as they exited Juba.

It was one of the few recent times change of command where the Jieng Nation was asked to apply what make them unique among other communities.

The “wait a minute/let’s wait for more details” attitude, saved President Salva Kiir from being savaged by the most feared General of all times.

The term “Jieng Nation” does not refer to South Sudan as a Jieng’s nation, rather, it refers to Jieng’s society or society in the image of Jieng as a unique Group in South Sudan that has characteristics of a nation-state.

In their vast territories, Jieng have norms that are hard to be broken by their own people, they ask a lot of questions before starting a fight, and those compelled to go on their own become outcasts.

Three days into the military standoff, President Salva Kiir addressed news media, and had this to say: “So I am here to assure you, that the security situation remains normal and all citizens are urged to continue with their daily routine duties, because there is really nothing that people should worry about.”

With that being the rhetoric after the facts, there is a good reason to doubt the way and thoughts that led to the sacking of General Paul Malong Awan were put together and finalized into actual decision.

Some quarters, particularly the President’s inner circle, are illogically following the path not accustomed to by a politically fragile nation like South Sudan.

Like, seriously, why would people push the President to make such rushed decisions in the middle of the war that has taken unforgiving twists?

Those further attempts by the President to calm down the enraged General didn’t seem to help much: “Gen. Malong is now in Yirol, I didn’t talk to him this morning, I tried but I found that he was resting because yesterday his blood pressure shot up very high because yesterday when I talked to him, he was not in a good mood, he was in fighting mood.” This part explained something else in the mix of a murky military showdown.

On a final note, the sacking of General Paul Malong would have not made headlines had it been done logically and professionally, and without letting speculations move the desperate crowds.

The way it was done raised a lot of questions, and unearthed doubts that stemmed from behind the scene dealings.

The subsequent appointment of Gen. James Ajong’o Mawut was rushed, but nothing in the records to say something negative about the new SPLA Army Chief of General Staff. From the tone of the new Army Chief, the man is so logical, talked in a well organized manner, highlighted duties associated with his position, recognized the negative impacts of the ongoing war, aligned his tasks with those of other Army Chiefs elsewhere, and made important notes about the pending Peace Agreement.

The people of South Sudan should not be put into conflict for unknown reasons, and changes in the military, specially in wartime must be done professionally and ceremonies of outgoing officials must follow traditions expected in the military so as to avoid backlashes.

In ending this dreading piece, South Sudan’s ruling elites have lost integrity as the custodians of the new nation; they have tainted the founding principles, they have made it difficult for citizens to grow politically, they have derailed the smooth running of Government’s institutions, and they have impeded what should be normal transfer of servicemen from one branch to the other.

The sacking of General Paul Malong Awan is no different from cases where the political organizers/Ringleaders have been treated as Rebels, apprehended or pursued to the bushes.

Above all, those who are still in the game should be advised to avoid belittling, bullying, harassment and humiliation by surrounding themselves with trusted guys.

The coalition of community’s leaders, particularly Eastern Lakes state have saved the nation of South Sudan from irrational decision that would have ignited infighting within the ranks of the national army.

For another year, mutiny and rebellion would be meaningless to sycophants who have been mouthpieces for select groups. As a nation, South Sudanese need to deploy professionalism everywhere, approach political differences methodically, and free themselves from collusive partnerships.

©2017 Mayak Deng Aruei: He can be reached at Kongor.da.ajak@gmail.com

South Sudan rebels form alliance to oust President Kiir

By REUTERS, The EastAfrican, May/13/2017, SSN;

IN SUMMARY:

***Seven South Sudan’s opposition groups agree to work together against government.
***The opposition leaders say they would hold a conference “with a view to seeking a united front on common strategic and operational issues”.
***Presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said the government would not negotiate with any new opposition members.

Seven South Sudanese opposition groups, including that of rebel leader Riek Machar, said on Saturday they had agreed to work closely in their bid to oust President Salva Kiir’s government, as the civil war drags on in the oil-producing nation.

Signatories of the agreement included former government ministers Kosti Manibe and Lam Akol, as well as Thomas Cirillo Swaka, the military’s former head of logistics, who resigned in February citing rampant human rights abuses by the military and the dominance of President Kiir’s Dinka ethnic group.

“In working together, our efforts – political, diplomatic, and military efforts – can be more effective than when we operate as different units,” said Nathaniel Oyet, a senior official in Machar’s SPLA-IO group.

South Sudan won independence from Sudan in 2011 but plunged into civil war just two years later after Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, fired his vice president, Machar, an ethnic Nuer.

The move triggered a conflict fought largely along ethnic lines, pitched parts of South Sudan into famine, and forced a quarter of the population – 3 million people – to flee their homes.

The United Nations has said the violence amounts to ethnic cleansing and risks escalating into genocide.

Splinter rebel groups:

Machar’s SPLM-IO group has battled soldiers loyal to Kiir for more than three years but several of his generals broke off to form their own movements or to join Kiir’s government.

Other anti-government groups have also emerged since the conflict erupted. Some have battled each other.

In their statement on Saturday the opposition leaders said they would hold a conference “with a view to seeking a united front on common strategic and operational issues”.

“We feel that if we have one objective that is to remove the government … then we need to coordinate our effort and we need to speak one language,” said Oyay Deng Ajak, a member of a group of exiled former officials of the ruling SPLM party who have stayed neutral in the conflict.

Ajak said some contentious issues remained, including over the appointment of a chairman.

The opposition’s move toward unity comes as cracks appeared in Kiir’s ruling coalition. This week, Kiir fired his army chief Paul Malong, raising fears of armed confrontation.

Presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said the government would not negotiate with any new opposition members.

“The government is not recognising this kind of group,” he told Reuters. “We have no timetable for them.”

Malong returns to Juba

Meanwhile Gen Malong returned to the capital Juba on Saturday, saying he had no intention of staging a revolt against Kiir’s government.

On Friday, Kiir said Malong was in a “fighting mood” and had not obeyed orders to return from his home state to Juba three days after his sacking, raising the prospect of further turmoil more than three years into an ethnically-charged civil war.

Protest to the International Community for genocide committed by Pres. Salva Kiir in Collo Kingdom of South Sudan

MAY/12/2017: Since 2015, the Collo Community Council has written many complaints to the world bodies against the Government of Salva Kiir in connection to atrocities and ethnic cleansing committed by his tribal militias and mercenaries.

But those warnings received no attention from the international community except on only one occasion; when unarmed citizens were killed in Malakal PoC by the government forces in the present of UNMISS. The then UN General Secretary, Ban Kim Moon, visited Juba.

The issues we have been expressing in those complaints have now become clear to entire world. Nobody can deny that reality on the ground. Salva Kiir uses whatever weapons to wipe out people in their ancestral land. In recent aggressive and offensive war against innocent civil in Tonga, in Upper Nile Region, the forces of the government used chemical weapons that led to death of many civilians from asphyxia.

All the criminal acts employed by Salva Kiir are aimed at eliminating as many people as possible and assimilating the few who survive from other communities into Jieng, in order to accomplish Jieng dynasty in South Sudan as it was proclaimed by Bona Malwal world-wide that South Sudan is Jieng nation.

All hiding places in Collo kingdom, from Tonga to Kodok, are destroyed by Kiir army and the people were forced to run for safety, but on the way many lives perished from bullets, hunger, thirst and asphyxia of chemical weapons used by the government soldiers and mercenaries.

Majority of the people are still in the bushes and no one can determine who is still alive or dead and those who reached Sudan look exhausted, pale to the point of death and their conditions are unpredictable between survival and death.

The war monster, President Kiir, has grown immune to voices advising him to stop killing his own citizens and doesn’t feel pain of tribulation, agony and suffering of other communities. Encouraged by the Jieng Council Salva Kiir is ready to kill anybody in the interest of his Jieng tribe.

On many occasions the International Community advised Salva Kiir to desist from war but their advice fell on deaf ears because it was not followed by concrete punitive action. We hereby enumerate a few cases in support of our claims.

On 15 April 2016, Peter Lokarlo Ngirima wrote a letter on behalf of South Sudanese living in Australia to Ethiopian Hailemariam Dessalegn, warning that ‘the South Sudan’s Peace implementation process was most likely doomed to failure due to lack political will on the part of the regime in Juba to ensure its timely execution coupled with indifference and the clear lackluster stance adopted by the IGAD and Troika partners.

According to Ngirima, the peace process was hanging by a finger nail, because the tribal regime in Juba continues to infringe on and obstruct the peace execution process on a consistent basis. That letter was in a way an eye opener for the world body to see clearly what was happening in South Sudan. But nobody was ready to listen and that led to the demise and collapse of the Compromise Agreement they toiled for.

On July 12, 2016, the Moderator of South Sudan Advocacy Action Forum wrote an urgent letter to Ambassador Donald Booth, the US Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan with this assertion ‘There is a sense of failure and profound regret, we must acknowledge that South Sudan is a failed state. South Sudan’s leadership – fueled by greed, nepotism, incompetence and ethnic pride – has failed the people of South Sudan.

The result is starvation, anarchy, corruption, death and unending conflict. While we held out hope for the Transitional Government of National Unity, to the extent that it actually exists, it seems to have made no progress and must also be recognized as failed.

Thus the entire Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan which was negotiated by IGAD+, but never fully accepted by the protagonists, has failed.

The African Union in its work in Sudan has demonstrated that it is unable, even in partnership with the U.N, to effectively end genocide in that nation. The IGAD nations have national interests that supersede their concern for the people of South Sudan. Thus another entity must rescue the people from their leadership.’

On December19, 2016, the Ambassador Samantha Power gave sympathetic remarks at a UN Security Council meeting stressing that ‘The Council asked for an arms embargo and targeted sanctions but had never delivered anything tangible”. She asserted that if the Council failed to act, South Sudan would be on a trajectory towards mass atrocities, and we have known that as a Security Council- each and every one of us.’

She expressed her disappointment on the fact that ‘despite the terrible experiences, testimonies and dozens of accounts from the region, yet some members of the Council were saying things were getting better’.

Ambassador Power reiterated that ”the situation was not getting better, it’s getting worse – and we’re sitting on our hands as a Council. We have to try to stop atrocities in South Sudan. And the question was not whether we should do that, but how quickly. She urged the Council to adopt an arms embargo, targeted sanctions, because violence was tearing South Sudan apart, and the government undermined virtually all international efforts to help.

She lamented that “and I say this much more in sorrow than in anger, given how closely the United States works with that government and has wanted to work with that government, even throughout this crisis. Three million people are displaced inside and outside South Sudan, and more than half the country faces food insecurity’.

That humane and sorrowful appeal made by Ambassador Power fell in deaf ears of the world body due to conflict of interests. Some members of the Council rejected the proposal because they were more concerned about oil benefits (China) and not in people. Other members rejected the proposal because South Sudan was a dumping ground for their weapons of mass destruction that were not being used for decades (Russia). The United States must also accept the blame because they were not keen in dealing with the mad son they were midwives at his birth and later they enthroned in South Sudan.

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, called on the government and all armed opposition movements to immediately desist from fighting, arguing that “renewed fighting in the country continued to negatively impact on the security, safety, and life of civilians”.

This was a powerful word from a concern leader but it will always remain ineffective if the leader failed to follow-up his words with action. African Union has become toothless to respond to any problem occurring in continent due to financial constraints and selfish interests of its leaders, especially East Africa countries.

To avoid generalization the West Africa countries are better because they act immediately in case there was trouble in one of their countries.

Sudanese President Omar El Beshir has reiterated that his government is ready to intervene in South Sudan in order to avert what he describes as “war and famine.” Famine was declared in parts of the former Unity State in mid-February. President Beshir said Sudan is concerned about the situation and his country has a responsibility for ensuring that there is peace in South Sudan.

First of all we very much appreciate President Beshir’s decision to open the border for South Sudanese refugees who are now living in relative peace inside Sudan. This later stance is further proof that President Beshir really cares about the situation of the people of South Sudan. It is our wish and hope that the President forges ahead with his humanitarian plans without being hindered.

UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, has urged parties to the conflict in the country to cease hostilities and uphold responsibilities of protecting civilians. Mr. Guterres described the escalation of violence and subsequent suffering of civilians in the country as disturbing.

The International body must draw lessons from the unpleasant fact that unarmed civilians were massacred, on several occasions, in front of the so-called UN civilian protection forces. The first incident took place in 2013 where innocent civilians were massacred for three days in Juba. Again, displaced citizens were murdered in Bor PoC in the present of UNMISS. The same thing occurred in Malakal PoC.

All the same unarmed civilians were massacred in Wau Bahr El Gazel and in the same the same killings have been happening in the whole of Equatoria regions ever since. The UN force has failed to apply Chapter Seven within in its mandate. We, as well as the communities being killed, have difficulty in understanding why those forces are there on the ground?

We thought they were there to protect people for whom they took blue helmet. Are they there just to keep count and take pictures of the dead bodies of people murdered in front of their eyes? Are they pleased to be witnesses of murder cases they could have prevented?

Like their forces on the ground the higher UN officials are inactive or may be complacent towards the government in Juba. How many times did the UN Secretary General urge parties to the conflict in South Sudan to desist from war? The parties didn’t respond to such feeble requests. Knowing that it was rhetoric as usual the parties continued doing their evil acts of killing civilians in mass.

Out of frustration the communities being targeted imply that the United Nations has become part of the perpetrators of violence against civilians in South Sudan. We strongly believe that putting the chapter seven mandates into action, even once; will be enough to make President Kiir feel that there is a world power that cannot allow him to get away with every crime against humanity.

The midwife, as Ambassador Power called the United States of America, has allowed Salva Kiir to kill his people using prohibit chemical weapons against targeted communities, which Kiir wishes to eliminate. USA is known for taking appropriate punitive action against rogue regimes around the world.

Recently the United States decided to strike certain areas in Syria that used chemical weapons to kill innocent people without approval from UN Security Council. Why is the United States failing to apply the same strategy against Salva Kiir?

As Ambassador Power stated the United States, like the rest of the world, must accept her part in the problem. To us giving relief to South Sudan without addressing the root causes of the conflict is a great waste of resources and bidding time for President Kiir to remain in power longer. And that means more murders and misery. We know that USA has ample power to make Salva Kiir stop what he is doing now.

Finally we strongly feel that the only viable solution left to stop genocide in South Sudan is to remove Kiir and his entire government machinery from power. The International Community must compel Salva Kiir to leave the government peaceful or by force as they did in some countries around the world. In fact, warning, and urging the tribal entity in South Sudan will not work anymore.

Thanks
Samson Oyay Awin
Chairman of Collo Community Council

CC. Security Council of the United Nations.
CC: The Secretary General of the United Nations, New York, USA.
CC: Troika member Countries (USA, NOWAY and UK)
CC: Chair Person of European Union, BRUSSEL, Belgium
CC: Chair Person of Human Rights, Geneva, Switzerland

No National Army in South Sudan: A Lesson learned from Malong’s sacking

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda, MAY/12/2017, SSN;

On May 9, 2017 South Sudanese national army (SPLA) Chief of General Staff Paul Malong Awan was fired by President, General Salva Kiir Mayardit and replaced him with General James Ajongo Mawut. Consequently, tension began to grow between the President and the sacked general.

In fact, the tension was more exacerbated due to the fact that soldiers were deployed on Juba streets and around the sacked General’s home while plainclothes national security agents drove in and around the capital telling people to go inside their houses (according to www.southsudannewsagency.com/index.php/…/south-sudan-army-chief-sacked-2/).

As the government went on preparing for war as seen above, Malong was preparing for peace. Therefore, he left Juba with intention of going to his hometown, Aweil, the same night as a way of reducing tension. However, leaving Juba was another problem as the government began panicking.

That kind of hysterical behaviour shown by the Government stroke the nation with fear and in particular, those who were overwhelmed with fear were those along the path he was about to pass when he was going to his home area, Aweil. The places that he was about to pass through were: Yirol, Rumbek, Gok State, Tonji and other places he would have passed as going to Aweil.

Many friends of mine I talked with in Rumbek in respect to the same matter expressed the same fear of war breaking out at any time. This was made worse when General Matur Chut laid the ambush to attack General Malong if he had passed through Western Lakes.

Fortunately, the governor of Eastern Lakes, Bor Phillip and the goodwill of the sacked General saved South Sudan from bloodshed. For that reason there is a need to appreciate the two personalities for the good work they have done.

Nonetheless, the incidence exposed the weaknesses on the side of the government in Juba as it’s shown that it does not know how to handle the matter. The same weaknesses explains the outbreak of 2013 South Sudanese war, which is still ongoing now. Had the SPLM handled the crisis within it at that time, the war would have been averted like it is done now.

However, that was not my interest as my interest was not whether there would be war or not but my interest was to see the reaction of “South Sudan National Army.” I have put the word South Sudan National Army in quotation because in reality there is no national army in South Sudan.

The above assertion was confirmed by what happened during the present crisis as it has clearly exposed the true nature of the national army of South Sudan. In short, there is no national army as I will give the reasons shortly but first, what is the national army.

The term national army typically means the lawful army of the state as distinct from rebel armies or private armies that may operate there. For the army to be regarded as lawful, it must be established by law of a country duly passed by the Parliament. In that respect, the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, 2011 in Article 151 establishes the National Army of South Sudan and its functions.

The functions of the National Army (SPLA) are to:
—(a) uphold the Constitution;
—(b) defend the sovereignty of the country;
—(c) protect the people of South Sudan;
—(d) secure the territorial integrity of South Sudan;
—(e) defend South Sudan against external threats and aggression; and
—(f) be involved in addressing any emergencies, participate in reconstruction activities, and assist in disaster management and relief in accordance with this Constitution and the law.

In order to perform the above functions, the national army must not be controlled by an individual person or it must not owe allegiance to an individual. The national army is other words must be there to protect the nation but not the interest of any person including the president.

This was proved by the Egyptian Army in 2011 when it asked Muhammad Hosni El Sayed Mubarak to step aside when people went on the street demanding for his resignation. The same army did the same thing with Islamist President, Morsi.

As explained above, where the army is national then it also strong army. In addition, where the army is strong, there is also strong law and rule of law. This has been observed by Niccolo Machiavelli in his book, the Prince, “the main foundations of every state, new states as well as ancient or composite ones, are good laws and good arms you cannot have good laws without good arms, and where there are good arms, good laws inevitably follow”.

I wished the President of South Sudan would read the Prince by Machiavelli and put it into practice and had he done that South Sudan would have had strong army and the good law.

It is also important to stress based on the above quotation that without strong army, no matter how good the laws are there will never be strong law. In simple term, strong army is the foundation of strong law.

Nevertheless, with regard to South Sudan, there is no national army and this is why there is no bad law. The weaknesses of the army of South Sudan are rooted in the fact that the army is highly politicized, polarized and composed of bunch of militias and auxiliaries.

Thus, it is the fact that has been exposed by the removal of Former Army Chief, General Paul Malong Awan which is troubling. The main lesson learned about the nature of the army we have in South Sudan in the recent incident is that our army is tribal army but not national army. This is because a national army defends the nation not tribe mate as seen in the case of General Malong.

When the army heard that Malong was sacked, many SPLA soldiers from Aweil took their guns and followed him, which shows that the SPLA from Aweil are not there for the interest of South Sudan but to protect personalities. What saved South Sudan, however, was Malong not National Army because the SPLA Army from Aweil was ready to shed blood if Malong had not changed his mind to come to Juba.

The incident has also proved what happened in 2013 when the conflict broke between Riek and Kiir. As soon as conflict started, all the SPLA members from Nairobi ethnicity deserted the government in defense of Riek. At the same time, Dinka SPLA members began targeting Nuer members because of their ethnicity and moreover, both sides have been accused of killing South Sudanese citizens because of their ethnicity.

In addition, the recent conflict between Bor and Murle and Bor and Mandari, exposed the same fact that SPLA is not a National Army. This was shown by the fact that the SPLA members from Bor Community supported Bor Youth in killing Murle forgetting that they have a national duty to defend South Sudan.

Defending South Sudan means defending citizens of South Sudan and all people inhabiting South Sudan including Murle are citizens of South Sudan. This further means that the SPLA has a duty to protect all citizens where their lives are under threat.

In the same way to show that there is no national army, it is not wrong to state from personal observation that almost all SPLM leaders including the President are guarded and protected by their tribe-mates.

In addition, people are appointed in the SPLA based on tribes not because a person desires to serve the nation called South Sudan. The SPLA has been turned into business and employment forum where generals employed their own people leaving tribes without any generals out in the army no matter how capable a person is.

Because of that the army is highly fragmented as all members have different agenda and expectations.

In summary, as one of my friends observed sometime back and which I have learned in the present crisis caused by the removal of General Malong, I can simply conclude that there is no national army in South Sudan.

What is there is not national army but something composed of militias, auxiliaries, businessmen and women, untrained individuals.

All the above groups are made up of different persons with conflicting loyalties and interests; hence they are always weak in protecting interest of South Sudan since they put their interests or interests of their tribe mates above the nation.

In order to have strong national army that puts the interests of South Sudan above their own interests, the Government should sieve the present army to find out who are really trained and who are not. Those who are trained should be reoriented to take up responsibility of protecting the nation not individuals. Then, those who are not trained must be sent to the field for at least three years to undergo intensive training.

If the above is not done, then, I am afraid, South Sudan will remain weak in everything and people will continue to suffer as they bear the brunt of negative force of bad governance caused by corruption, or which causes corruption as the two are symbiotic.

Therefore, if there were a strong army and good law, then, the bad governance and corruption would have been controlled and citizens lead happy lives. As a result, South Sudanese would have lived in justice, liberty and prosperity.

NB//: the author is Human Rights lawyer that can be reached through: juoldaniel@yahoo.com

Pres. Salva Kiir sacks murderer and tribal ally, SPLA chief Paul Malong but appoints Malong’s Dinka relative as next chief

From Various sources, MAY/06/2017, SSN;

South Sudan President Salva Kiir sacked his powerful, hardline army chief Paul Malong on Tuesday, a government spokesman said.

General Paul Malong, long regarded as an ethnic supporter of Kiir’s majority Dinka tribe, was replaced by General James Ajongo Mawut, a close relative of the fired ex-chief. Not surprisingly, Malong has quickly made an about turn and is on his way back to Juba and possible reconciliation with president Kiir.

Not surprisingly to most South Sudanese, President Kiir chose to appoint another Dinka as Chief of Staff to replace the dismissed Dinka chief, a move seen by most other South Sudanese as a perpetuation of the tribal tyranny and domination as well as to continue with the tribal way currently being perpetuated by Kiir’s tribe against the majority.

Meanwhile, Ater Achuil Chol, representative of the Aweil leaders, thanked President Kiir for appointing James Ajongo as the new army chief.

“I am talking on behave of the leaders of Aweil. We thank the president for appointing our son James Ajongo as SPLA chief of staff, so we are very grateful, we stand behind our son to unite the forces to work for the unity of this country,” he said.

“The decrees are two: one for the relief of Chief of General Staff, General Paul Malong Awan, and another decree is for the appointment of former Deputy Chief of General Staff for Administration and Finance General James Ajongo Mawut as the Chief of General Staff,” Kiir’s spokesmen Ateny Wek Ateny told AFP.

Ateny said the move was a routine changing of personnel. “This is a position that can be held between two years and four years and Malong has spent three years so this is the prerogative of the president” he said.

In February several senior army officers resigned, accusing Malong of conducting an ethnic war against non-Dinkas and ruling with an “unqualified clique of friends and relatives”.

Among those who quit was Lieutenant-General Thomas Cirillo who has since announced plans to launch his own rebellion.

Malong is widely regarded as being the mastermind of fighting that erupted in the capital, Juba, last July killing hundreds and dashing hopes of a power-sharing government between Kiir and his former deputy turned rebel leader Riek Machar, a member of the Nuer tribe.

ECONOMY COLLAPSES: While critics say the economy of South Sudan has now “technically collapsed” and that no measures can rescue it, traders are calling for government intervention.

“The economy is now biting, people are suffering, prices of commodities have tripled. It’s only those in authority who can survive the current economic situation. Everyone in villages is crying out for help,” said Lojur Molu, a concerned South Sudanese.

Government officials in Juba, who earn about 1,500 SSP, cannot afford to feed their families and have opted to take their children and wives to refugee camps in Uganda, according to a senior Uganda police officer.

“In 2013, if a government worker was earning an equivalent of Shs700,000 as a salary per month, he would now earn only Shs2,000 if he continues to earn at the same rate,” the source told this newspaper last week, suggesting the crisis is compounded by the shortage of dollar.

“The government in Juba spent all its US dollars in the conflict,” the police officer said.

The Dinka and the Nuer are the two largest ethnic groups in South Sudan and have a history of bloody rivalry.

UN investigators were among those who blamed Malong for the bloody attacks in July in which civilians were killed and foreign aid workers raped.

The US subsequently failed to get Malong sanctioned and put on a UN blacklist, subject to an assets freeze and travel ban, for his role in the ongoing conflict.

South Sudan has been at war since December 2013 when Kiir fell out with Machar, accusing him of plotting a coup.

The conflict — characterised by brutality and human rights violations — has triggered famine in parts of the country, forced millions from their homes and killed tens of thousands so far.

Petition to the Israel Supreme Court: Open a criminal investigation against Israelis involved in the export of arms to South Sudan & training Jieng Mathiang Anyoor militia

This morning, May 5th, 2017, 53 Israeli Human Rights activists submitted a petition to the supreme court in Jerusalem (3684/17) demanding a criminal investigation for assistance to the carrying out of crimes against humanity and war crimes, against Israeli arm dealers who exported assault rifles to South Sudan, and against the Israeli ministry of defense and foreign affairs officials who authorized this export.

The petition was submitted after a UN Security Council report revealed this arms sale. In 2013 a deal mediated by the head of South Sudan National Security Service, by-passing the official South Sudanese proceedings for arms procurement, included the sales of Galil Ace assault rifles from Israel, that were then given to Mathiang Anyoor – the governmental run militia.

They trained in the private farm of the president of South Sudan outside Juba. The guns were used by Mathiang Anyoor for the massacre of people from the Nuer tribe in December 2013 in Juba – a massacre that marked the beginning of the civil war in South Sudan.

Officials in the Israeli ministry of defense and foreign affairs should have known in advance the risk they are taking authorizing such a dodgy deal, exporting assault rifles, through the head of South Sudan National Security Service, for a militia trained in the president’s farm.

Is there an employee in the ministry of defense who finds it reasonable to arm a president of a country on the brink of civil war in a “private deal” for his own private militia?

Did this process not through the governmental channels seem reasonable and innocent to the officials of the Israeli ministry of defense and foreign affairs?

The crisis in South Sudan did not start on December 15th 2013, but long before. During that period the European Union instituted an arms embargo on the country. The mere fact of enlisting and training a private militia such as Mathiang Anyoor should have raised red flags, and be one more reason to prevent sales to the country at large, and to the president’s private militia specifically.

Since January 2016, we petitioned the Israel state attorney and the chief prosecutor demanding an investigation, but unfortunately, they ignored this, while we are now receiving reports that Mathiang Anyoor are involved in ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity in the South and Center of South Sudan.

As the Israeli arms are still in possession of Mathiang Anyoor, we can only assume that Israeli weapons will be used once more in a genocide (like in the genocide in Rwanda and in Guatemala).

The petition (in Hebrew)
https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/19726a4b-55aa-4489-a192-ee3c517966d5

South Sudan Economic Crisis: Presidency is both the blame & the solution

BY: Thondit Ayolcuer Majiec , MAY/03/2017, SSN;

Before I could tell you how the presidency has failed to avert this crisis from occurring, let me remind some of you that our president has done some good things before things started going astray, noticeably, the followings are undeniable good things his administration has done for this nation.

Our president himself is very patient man, it was alleged that during the liberation days, he was not given lots of money that he could have used to rent for his house in Nairobi because he’s a man with vision, he wasn’t seen leading a quarrel with his boss by then, Dr. Garang.

When he succeeded Dr. Garang, he managed to ensure national cohesion for all South Sudanese, his administration managed to exist as a result national cohesion against the common enemy (Arab) and the independence of South Sudan in 2011 was achieved.

President Salva Kiir is a man of peace as evidenced by so many amnesties his administration had been giving to various rebels factions.

However, his administration went astray as evidenced by the following narratives:—
1…Failure to control economically all his executive and legislature. In my view this point is the major cause of this crisis because, if he had controlled what went into the pockets of those who’d been working with him and those large and forged withdrawals from Central bank unless approved only approved by him.

2…More importantly, if he had led by example so that his office is free from corruption and numerous thieves, he’d have averted this very crisis. His signature and stamp were reportedly forged by people who worked in his office on faked payments paid by the Bank of South Sudan.

3…It is one of the reasons that showed his administration’s lack of control. As I write, it’s reported that our nation has depleted its reserves.

4…Due to of lack of control, many people looted our nation and that was how list of 75 thieves emerged.

5…Failure to invest in government parastatals, our government has never invested in any income generating activity but instead relied on oil, no agricultural schemes established, no good roads except Nimule road, no functioning sugar plantation and sugar factory, no functioning cotton farms, no functioning simsim plantations and simsim factory.

6…Because of the education sector’s weakness, our people have their children taken to Uganda and Kenya, as I write our girls in Nairobi are called “black gold” (new term for South Sudanese Prostitutes) while they are selling themselves also in Uganda.

Is that what we fought for, are those girls not possible wives, sisters and daughters of South Sudan?

In short, the president has become friends to those few elites but not to the general public. Because of that, no one had been prosecuted for corruption by South Sudan Anti-corruption commission, nobody has been jailed leave alone recovery of the looted money.

It should be noted that all those that had been in Kiir’s administration are those with personal interests (enriching oneself, nothing more) just revisit the list of 75 thieves and you will concur with me.

For example Central bank is supposed to regulation money supply, control the value of currency through monitoring exchange rates, encourage commercial banks to lend out money to entrepreneurs or general public among others, instead it is just encouraging looting of national coffers.

One thing that has perplexed me in that emotion of appointing Dr. Othom Rago when he was part of the mess that happened in the Central bank…let’s wait for that Miracle of economic recovery with these old faces in the system.

Untimely joining of East African economic integration, I do not who advice Mr. President. Economic integrations are joined for mutual benefits but not just for the sake of joining. As I write our nation is a dumping grounds for fake drugs (medicines), expired food items, center of prostitutes for all East African prostitutes, center for all wanted criminals from East African countries.

In short there is nothing developmental from joining East African economic integration because we do not have what we could export to them in return.

Just move around Juba, you will never find any East African trader that has constructed a shop, restaurant or is involved in large scale business that employs citizens and generates a revenue to the government, they are all here to loot as much as they could and return to their respective countries.

Ever since Kiir administration came to power, there has been no long permanent roads constructed with exception of the Nimule road. The states are not connected to the national capital via tarmac roads, so the question is: what will the general public remember Kiir’s government with exception of being number two in the corruption index.

Talking of employment, Kiir administration has failed to ensure equitable employment of South Sudanese in NGO’s sector even though all NGOs are regulated and monitored by south Sudan relief and rehabilitation commission. As a matter of fact, all NGOs are dominated by few tribes.

Reliance of our nation of black market for exchanging hard currency. As I write if you walk into Forex bureaus in Juba or any commercial bank, you will not get the hard currency as the central bank’s rate, no hard currency in forex bureaus when they are meant to do the buying and selling of various currencies.

Black market now is the forex bureau that is our tragedy. It is only in South Sudan where black market is a parallel financial market. All that is the weakness of Central bank of South Sudan, instead of doing its work they are not doing their work but they are part and parcel to the flourishing of black market in South Sudan.

The last mistake that Kiir administration had done is rushing to become signatory to Human rights, our nation does not require rule of law but it requires jungle laws that used to exist during the bush.

For example when a soldier commits adultery or loots public resources, he is given a firing squad. Because of those laws, South Sudan was peaceful during war time than now. If his administration hds adopted elimination method, he would have eliminated various opponents by now and this nation would have been free from the nonsense of war now, its opponents would have been exiled, executed or lived in fear and that is what exactly in needed here.

When you are a politician, you are not like a priest, as such Kiir would have executed many of his opponents long time so that everyone listens to him, let him visit Rwanda and Uganda to understand what I am talking about.

In conclusion, I would like to recommend that the money that is to be obtained soon from donors to fight famine should be used wisely, we as general public or concerned citizens are concerned with results but not speeches or reading some good news of signing donations, aid or debts, but we care about results.

If citizens suffer under SPLM leadership, they will not forget their suffering now but remember it for years to come and this will negatively affect the party’s credibility. Everyone in your leadership seems to have forgotten what their professional ethics demand them to do but works against you by concentrating on looting.

The South Sudanese civil societies coalition in Nairobi demand for resuscitation of August peace agreement and replacement of JMEC chairperson Festus Mogae

We the undersigned South Sudanese civil society coalitions in Diasporas calls the peace grantors IGAD, AU, TROIKA and UN Security Council to resuscitate the compromised peace agreement, allow Dr. Riek Machar to come back to South Sudan and join his comrade, president Salva Kiir, to declare unanimous permanent ceasefire in the nation as a viable solution to end hindrance four years political crisis.

In reference to intolerable continuous military offensive between two warring factions and subsequent all-out violations of key provisions of the compromised peace agreement signed in August 17th 2015.

The civil societies are so outraged and frustrated by prejudiced decision from the peace partners of holding Dr. Machar hostage in South Africa without giving any public testimonial to South Sudanese citizens on such disturbing man-made catastrophe that’s detrimental to the country, undermining the citizens’ rights and national democracy.

However, we demand immediate replacement of the chairperson of JMEC, Mr. Festus Mogae, due to his bias performance of being not abiding by the IGAD’s principles and neutrality of international obligations toward the implementation of peace accord since July 8 2016 fighting.

Mr. Mogae failed to condemn and report to UN Security Council all violations of peace agreement such as crimes committed against civilians and serious military offensives in Upper Nile and Equatoria region perpetuated by the two warring factions.

Secondly, his meeting with rebel leader Dr. Machar in South Africa, to declare ceasefire outside of the country while he had already recognized Mr. Taban Deng Gai as the first vice president was a contradictory action to compromised peace agreement.

For permanent ceasefire to be achieved in war-torn South Sudan, IGAD and peace partners should rationally consider and implement this national call without giving any political pre-conditions or delaying tactics.

Failure for regional and international partners to deliberate those magnificent weights, the South Sudanese citizens both at home and Diaspora will forcefully conduct an open-end mass demonstration to express their enshrined constitutional right.

However, we would like to give IGAD one month ultimatum to bring back the parties in conflict on the negotiation table in order to condense the linger suffering of innocent civilians.

We welcome the arrival of the first batch of regional troops in Juba on Sunday 4/30th/2017. And we appeal to international community to expedite the transportation of remaining forces for worthy return of all stakeholders who are part of signatories to the agreement.

Finally, we condemn in the strongest terms the upsurge atrocities committed by army actors engineering regular displacement; aggressive killing and raping of innocent civilians that disrespected both the national and international law.

We are appealing to warring parties to refrain from pursuing destructive military means, rather than to protect civilians and prioritize peaceful co-existence.

BY the following Groups:
1- Achut Foundation (Save the Girl-Child)
2- Congress of South Sudanese Patriots for Peace and Reconciliation
3- South Sudan Peace Coalition, and
4- Youth Pioneers

5/2/2017
Press release

Contacts: +254 733 273 639/+254 728 677 646/+254 792 788 674

It’s Time for A Nonviolent Revolution in South Sudan to remove all SPLM/A Leaders!

By: Kuir ë Garang, CANADA, MAY/03/2017, SSN;

South Sudan has arrived at a point where SOMETHING HAS TO HAPPEN But what that something shouldn’t be, is VIOLENT. Changing governments through violence has never bred any peaceful, inclusive and democratic governance. Violent removal of leaders leaves behind bottled-up bitterness, which usually results in another violent removal.

But we all agree that the government in Juba is not only a failure, but also a destructive, myopic force for any peaceful coexistence of South Sudanese.

While I believe South Sudanese leaders have committed unspeakable and horrendous atrocities, I don’t necessarily see them as bad people. They are just horrible quasi-politicians, who failed to transition from a militarized tradition to a purely, democratized political system.

Additionally, I don’t see them necessarily, contrary to how Alex de Waal’s perceives them, as people who maliciously went out of their way to consciously design a destructive system. Disorganized and jittery of Khartoum’s attitude toward the South, and lacking creative leadership capacities, South Sudanese leaders got lost in the complexities of state-building.

SPLM leaders had no ideological base and creative internal avenues to solve their problems. Lack of leadership, tribalized politics and the general desire to be powerful and wealthy, destroyed South Sudanese leaders.

Instead of focusing on solving their internal political problems, they resorted to building their tribo-military bases to defend themselves against their imagined and real politico-military enemies. This helped create a system in which what politicians and military leaders did was to compete in a survivalist system.

It was about survival. And in a survivalist system, what you need are people you can trust and people who support you no matter what. Sadly, in South Sudan, these people turn out to be one’s fellow tribesmen.

Since these leaders have tribalized the military and politics in a survivalist system, it’ll be almost impossible for them to be the ones to make South Sudan a peaceful environment. They have to be forced out as they’ll not leave on their own accord. Nonviolent defiance is the only way to force these leaders to change.

In 2008, it had to take the intervention of elder statesmen like Joseph Lagu and Abel Alier to avert the crisis. In march of 2013, these leaders failed to compromise their differences so they postponed the problem. In December of 2013, instead of resolving their differences, they resorted to public ridiculing of themselves.

There was no reason why these leaders couldn’t reconcile their differences. Problem-solving is what leadership is about. What John Garang did in Rumbek in 2004 could have been a superb example. Sometimes the leader has to eat a humble pie to avert a crisis.

December 15 crisis was a result of lack of internal mechanism within SPLM to solve problems. This is the problem that continues to break South Sudan apart, and will continue to do so.

But once given a golden opportunity through the Agreement for the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) in 2015, they shamefully squandered the only chance for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in July of 2016. Greed, incompetence and lack of strategic vision continues to plague South Sudanese leadership.

In the light of this, it’s time for South Sudanese from all walks of life and from all tribes in all towns and villages in South Sudan to shout ‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.’ The war has to end!

But the war will NEVER end as long as SPLM is in charge. The current leaders need to be forced out. However, they can’t be forced out violently. They need to be forced out peacefully.

Students, women, youth, wounded veterans, civil servants, shopkeepers, religious leaders, police, prison wardens, need to occupy government offices and Dr. John Garang’s mausoleum until Juba accept to bring peace. Villages and towns should refuse to fight for any rebel groups. SPLM forces should refuse to fight for leaders who don’t care about anyone; those who have brought the country to its knees.

It’s time for the war to stop; but it’ll not stop as long as we continue to support these leaders. We praise these leaders when they brought the very conditions that are now killing civilians.

In 12 years, all that SPLM and SPLA have brought South Sudanese is misery. SPLM is too deformed to be reformed, to use John Garang’s words.

It’s time for Juba to be led by fresh and younger eyes. SPLA and SPLM have done their jobs. It’s time for the names of the mighty two to be archived as someone once suggested. President Kiir and senior military leaders need to be replaced by younger, non-tribal military leaders. You can tell me “good luck with that!” but that’s the necessary reality: they have to go!

There’s nothing left for SPLM leaders to bring to South Sudanese accept destruction, misery and destitution. The people of South Sudan are more powerful than a few politicians. Take your country back! It’s time for a South Sudanese revolution!

Kuir ë Garang is a South Sudanese author living in Canada. For contact, visit www.kuirthiy.com