Archive for: February 2018

Unfair Justice: South Sudan Government & Kenyan Allies should be held accountable for the life of James Gatdet Dak

PRESS RELEASE:

The South Sudan’s human rights groups in the Diaspora call upon the South Sudan government to drop all charges against, and release unconditionally, Mr. James Gatdet Dak, former journalist and spokesperson of the South Sudan Liberation Movement -In Opposition (SPLM-IO) with an immediate effect.

On 12th February, 2018, James Gatdet Dak, was sentenced to death penalty on charges of treason and war incitement against the government of South Sudan by the rogue regime in Juba after spending one year in detention. Dak was innocently accused and his imprisonment was only politically motivated by his affiliation to an opposition group.

James Gatdet Dak was kidnapped on November 4th, 2016 at his residence in the capital of Kenya, Nairobi, by the Kenyan authorities after his comments on his Facebook page regarding the dismissal of Mr. Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki, a Kenyan citizen, working as a commander of the United Nations’ forces in South Sudan.

Mr. Kimani was dismissed on allegations of failing to protect civilians during clashes on July 8, 2016 in Juba between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and the opposition forces under Dr. Riek Machar.

The Kenyan authority acted in an irresponsible manner by violating the international law for refugees’ protection by deporting James Gatdet Dak to South Sudan regardless of his refugee status.

Dak’s judgment is a total violation of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan article 19.6 which stipulates a right of any accused to defend himself/herself through a lawyer of their own choice.

Dak’s verdict was pronounced few months after his defendants walked away in protest of unfair trial conducted by the South Soudan high court.

The court is also dishonoring the High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CoHA) Article 8.3 of demobilization signed on December 21st, 2017, which states that all the political prisoners and detainees shall be released within 14 days after the signing of the agreement.

The government of South Sudan needs to demonstrate its commitment to freedom of expression and the protection of civilians instead of conducting politically motivated prosecutions.

Real leadership is needed if Kiir’s regime is to convince South Sudanese and the world that his government is genuinely supporting public opinions and the freedom of press for pursuit of peace.

The human rights groups call on South Sudan government to respect its own constitution and the recent CoHA to release all political detainees and to give room for peace to prevail in the country.

South Sudan human right groups in the Diaspora call on the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), U.S congress, European Union, IGAD, Troika countries, African Union, all the international human rights organizations, Faith based groups and human rights activists to use their power and immediately intervene and stop the politically motivated prosecutions on James Gatdet Dak by the Juba regime.

Sincerely yours,

Alliance for South Sudan in Diaspora – Dr. George Phillip Imuro. imurot@yaoo.com
Global Partnership for Peace in South Sudan – Theresa Samuel, gappss.info@gmail.com
Human Rights activists – Simon Deng, sdengkak@yahoo.com
Nile Peace Development Relief Agency USA – Dr. Gatluak Deith, gatluakdieth757@gmail.com
South Sudan International Advocacy for Human Rights (SSIAHR) – Peter Gatkuoth W. Kuel, peterkuel@yahoo.com

To IGAD, AU and Troika: Time to Call off Addis Peace Talks & Declare Regime Change in South Sudan

By: J. Nguen, Commentator, analyst & advocate, FEB/14/2018, SSN;

The question today isn’t whether the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCISS) be revived or not, but rather, it’s whether those who invariably refuses the resuscitation of the agreement must be punished and held to account.

We know for certain that the ARCISS had collapsed on July 8th, 2016, when Dr. Riek Machar was violently pushed out of Juba in what many analysts characterized as a “well-organized assassination” attempt on the life of a man who came to Juba to implement the peace agreement.

We also know that the regional (IGAD) and the USA Administration under former president, Barack Hussein Obama, sided with President Kiir’s regime and placed Dr. Machar under house arrest in South Africa. These are tried cases, but hit dead end.

As a matter of fact, these desperate moves were falsely intended as shortcuts to end the contradictions and bring unfounded peace in South Sudan.

Without any doubt, these fraudulent efforts failed in earnest. Instead, suffering worsened and civil war spread like a wildfire across South Sudan.

In addition, for a year and half, President Kiir was licenced to rein terror on the lives of innocent South Sudanese –free hand; while the world watched on in deafening silence with no condemnations even on moral ground.

Uganda’s President Y. K. Museveni went as far as congratulating Salva Kiir for killing innocent South Sudanese. What a world!

Because of these hopeless contradictions, thousands of innocent of South Sudanese died in the mix. And this is tragic when a rogue regime is unleashed and left unchecked.

In this regard, Salva Kiir’s regime went on rampage, murdering, raping, displacing and destroying innocent South Sudanese’s lives and properties in this unscrupulous world of paradoxes.

After a year of extreme bloodshed, when no news was a good news, when facts there were news of mass murders, raping, displacement and destruction of properties in South Sudan. When hope was so far and beyond reach.

Then, by default, President Donald J. Trump came to power in 2017 in US. Remarkably, President Trump saw the appalling flights of innocent souls in South Sudanese, in an unforgiving million ways and in unforgivable world.

Then, President Trump, moved on moral grounds, sent his top ambassador, Nikkie Haley to south Sudan to see developments, first hand. Amb. Haley was so disgusted and appalled by the flights of decomposing South Sudanese in IDP camps inside the country and in the refugee camps in the neighboring countries.

Like any sane and moral human being, Haley was taken aback by the narrated stories and experiences shared by the victims concerning Salva Kiir’s “scorched earth policy” of ethnic cleansing on all tribes in South Sudan with the exception of Dinka, where Kiir belongs.

For Trump’s administration, this experience revealed the ugly side of Kiir’s regime, and the fact that Kiir doesn’t care about the life and suffering of South Sudanese. This revelation changed the course of President Trump’s administration and its approach toward the civil war in South Sudan.

As a result, President Trump through Amb. Haley, endorsed the resuscitation of the collapsed Peace Agreement in South Sudan in the name of High Level Revitalization Forum under IGAD.

As a result, on the 21st of December 2017, the Cessation of Hostility and unfettered Humanitarian Access Agreement was signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. However, before ink went dry, President Kiir violated the agreement by sending his lieutenants and First Vice President, Taban Deng Gai on offensive in Upper Nile, Unity and Jonglei States.

As a result, thousands of civilians were displaced. And as I write, this violation continues, which in many ways showcase that Kiir and his lieutenants in crime can never be persuaded peacefully.

Despite Kiir’s intransigence, on February 5th, 2018, the High Level Revitalization Forum begun. The aim of the talks is to ensure that peace returns and prevails in South Sudan so suffering of people ends.

However, because President Kiir is so removed from the reality, so stubborn, and the fact that he does not care and fear no one, his troops continued to violate the Cessation of Hostility and restricted humanitarian access to the needy.

Not only that, the regime has arrogantly refused to follow through with the rules of the talks, by overcrowding the venue with un-commissioned personalities just to show defiance and arrogance.

To make matters worse, Kiir gave a middle finger to the IGAD, African Union, EU and Troika by refusing to sign the Declaration of Principles (DoP) for the talks.

Kiir’s delegation refused to sign the DoP on the ground that article 28 on the DoP, which states that “punitive measures” be taken against anyone found to be obstructing the implementation of the peace agreement, is unnecessary and not needed.

In this regard, in my view, this is a fine and explicit defiance and test case for IGAD, AU and the Troika countries. It’s also a serious indication that Salva Kiir is not committed to any peaceful political settlement aimed to end South Sudan’s conflict.

Furthermore, the regime has today sentenced Mr. James Gatdet Dak, former spokesman of Dr. Riek Machar to 20 years life in prison and death by hanging. Note, this is happening while the region and the world is searching for peace to return to South Sudan.

Without any doubt, these undertakings by Salva Kiir are aimed to derail any chance for peace in South Sudan. Salva Kiir rendered peace talks underway in Ethiopia irrelevant and useless.

The question now is, why do we bother for something considered dead on arrival by one party to the conflict? Is this not waste of time and of scarce resources?

In my honest opinion, moving forward with High Level Revitalization Forum is irrelevant, at this point. Therefore, what must be done moving forward, and to make sure that Salva Kiir listen, is a declaration of regime change agenda.

The prospect of the High Level Revitalization Forum succeeding is highly minimal and limited. Salva Kiir’s regime has made it very difficult and revealed that he will not respect it.

With all these signs written on the wall, it’s time for the world at large to change course and abandon this delusional view that Salva Kiir and cohorts might change their minds.

President Kiir believes in military Solution and will not change his mind any time soon, comes rain or sunshine.

As such, I proposed the following grand strategies and options to achieve desirable peace and positive outcomes for conflict in South Sudan:

1. That IGAD, AU, European Union and the Troika countries should immediately suspend peace talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It’s rather useless to force a donkey to drink when all the indications showed his/her unwillingness.

2. That Troika countries, European Union and the African Union must convene an urgent meeting of “coalition willing” with the Islamic Republic of Sudan, and requests the Khartoum authorities to immediately suspend transportation of South Sudan’s crude oil through its territories. In return, the Troika countries, EU, IGAD and the African Union will divert all the necessary aid.

3. That IGAD, EU, AU and the Troika countries must immediately impose more targeted individual sanctions and travel ban on South Sudan government officials including President Salva Kiir himself and First Vice President Taban Deng.

4. That IGAD, European Union, African Union and the Troika countries must suspend all diplomatic ties with Juba immediately.

5. That Troika countries, EU, IGAD and the AU must immediately impose blanket armed embargo on the Government of South Sudan and suspend all financial support both military and bilateral cooperation with any Eastern and Northern Africa country found to be supporting or colluding with Salva Kiir regime, even remotely.

6. That Troika countries, EU, AU and the IGAD must overwhelmingly support military “regime change” as the only option to depose Kiir regime from power.

These must be the options to walk away with. Because, under the current political configuration in South Sudan, the region’s stability is under serious threat. Under Salva Kiir’s regime, the region is unlikely to be stable.

Evidently, South Sudan is currently a hotbed for the Al-Shahab’s financiers. Secondly, South Sudan Government is harboring and supporting Ethiopian and the Sudanese negative forces -the rebel groups.

Therefore, with these indisputable facts, it’s imperative to note that “REGIME CHANGE” in South Sudan is ONLY the best option. It will bring needed peace in South Sudan and stability to the region.

J. Nguen is a South Sudanese political commentator, analyst and advocate living aboard. He can be reached at jamesnguen@gmail.com

Response to VP Taban Deng on blaming American Administration for imposing Arms Embargo on South Sudan

By: Hoth Giw Chan, Jurist Doctor, Unvi. of Massachusetts School of Law, FEB/12/2018, SSN;

Truth hurts, but, it’s the only way out of South Sudan Situation. The American leadership under the President Donald J. Trump, wisely took unprecedented steps to end the suffering of the South Sudanese people who are roaming around in Refugees Camps inside the country (UN-Protection Camps) and in the neighboring countries, due to the failures of their government.

In dealing with the uncompromising stand of the government of South Sudan not to give peace a chance, the U.S, administration selectively sanctioned individuals who were impediments to the peace and who also used their financial powers to finance the conflict.

This was how those of Makuei Lueth, Paul Malong Awan, and Malek Reuben Riak, and Benjamin Bol Mel, got blacklisted by the American government. That was the first step for Trump, administration in taking a serious measures regarding South Sudanese conflict.

This past week, the Trump, administration took another positive step to impose an arms embargo on the Government of South Sudan, as a result of its failure to respect the signed Cessation of Hostility Agreement by the parties.

This step was taken by American administration after it failed to convince the UN Security Council to do the same. Russia and China refused as expected, but that did not deter the American Administration to take a unilateral action on the South Sudanese government.

It shows that the U.S is concerned about the South Sudanese people more than their own government in Juba. In fact, the civilian are now under UN Protection in the UN Camp outside Juba—being protected from a brutal dictator, with minority government ruled by tribal chiefs (JCE).

In response to the action taken by the U.S administration, the Minority Government of Juba (Kiir regime) did the followings:
….(1) recalled its Ambassador based in Washington DC, to Juba,
….(2) summoned U.S, Ambassador to South Sudan, to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, to explained the reason why U.S imposed the sanction,
….(3) decided to build their relationship with China and Russia, and
….(4) rented the crowd to protest on the street of Juba, about the U.S, government decision (the crowd were directed or threatened by the government to protest).

That Minority government of Juba, even went further to issue a threat to the American government when it’s illegitimate Vice President Taban Deng Gai, stated that: “It is the Chinese who will build the roads in South Sudan, not Americans because they are not our partners in our economy. The partners are Chinese and the other potential partners are Russians, they are building a refinery, the first refinery in South Sudan. So these are the people who have been defending us,” said Taban Deng Gai, South Sudan’s First Vice President, on Sunday.

“During the war of liberation, I have never seen the American M16 … I know AK-47, I know the support from Russia, I know the support from Libya, I know the support from Ethiopia and I know the support from Yemen.”

Adding further that “I don’t think he [Trump] is for peace because if peace comes to South Sudan … we shall eat our cassava, we shall eat our sweet potatoes and we shall eat our corn,”

Let me clarify why I think that Minority government in Juba lost it mind, by threatening the U.S. government for taking a right decision to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan.

First, as we all know that the American Government—several administrations, invested heavily on South Sudan to be an independence country. This began after the 1990s, when the Socialist Camp (former USSR) collapsed and the international politics favored Western Democratic form of government.

SPLM/A under the leadership of Dr. Garang, switched side, and eventually received humanitarian assistance from the Western countries.

Indeed, at the end of 1990s to early 2000s, the U.S, government helped finance the establishment of the current IGADD (Inter-Government Authority on Drought and Development), which became instrumental in the North-South Peace Process (CPA).

In fact, it was the American pressure through the UN, which brought the CPA—making the establishment of the regional government of Southern Sudan a reality. Without American pressure, it would have taken us some time to defeat the Islamic Government of Bashir, in Khartoum.

On the financial aid of the American Government to South Sudanese people, the $11 billion Dollars the U.S government invested in South Sudan since 2011, are a lot of money, but were mis-managed by people like yourself (Taban) and your brother in corruption (Salva Kiir).

That should not be an American problem why this money were mis-managed by the South Sudan government. I believe you also remember the only paved road from Juba to the Ugandan border (Nimule Road) was built using the American financing.

I have never heard or seen a Chinese or Russian road project connecting South Sudan with an outside world. They might have provided the weapons currently used by those government militia terrorizing civilians in South Sudan.

As for the refinery you talked about being built by the Chinese, the refinery was built because of the contract to pay these Chinese Companies — not that they loved South Sudanese people and donated the refinery to them for free.

It was part of Chinese strategic energy security on the Continent that brought them to South Sudan, when we separated from Sudan.

After separation, we inherited these Chinese Oil Companies from Sudan, when we should have let them go and bring American Oil Companies — the people who actually helped us attain our independence.

As for the statement blaming American government for not providing weapons to SPLM/A during its war with the Sudanese government, I find that pathetic, “During the war of liberation, I have never seen the American M16 … I know AK-47, I know the support from Russia, I know the support from Libya, I know the support from Ethiopia and I know the support from Yemen.”

That statement is pathetic because SPLM/A was a Socialist Movement at the time fighting to instill a Communist form of governance in Sudan. That was the reason why it was assisted by the Socialist Camp, led by USSR.

Why would American government support such an Organization fighting against its principles?

In addition to the above facts on how previous American administrations helped South Sudan, Taban Deng Gai, has forgotten the fact that it was the previous American administration that made it possible for him to bypass the legal process and became the current illegitimate Vice President— thereby bypassing Lado Gore, who was the second man in the hierarchy of the SPLM-IO, and who should have been the head of SPLM-IO, in the absence of the Chairman.

The previous American Administration also help with the detention of the SPLM-IO Chairman in South Africa, thought your minority government is paying for his detention as a way of securing your illegitimate position.

You have to remember that the current American administration under President Trump, is not finished with you yet.

Wait for the next step, which may be to deal with you directly for violating the signed Ceasefire intentionally when you moved your forces to attack SPLM-IO forces in their respective places.

Dr. Hoth Giw Chan.
Jurist Doctor, University of Massachusetts School of Law. Master of Public Administration, Drake University, Iowa. BA, Iowa state university, Ames Iowa.
Email: giwchan@yahoo.com

The catastrophic consequences of South Sudan’s civil war

BY: John Juac Deng, Windsor, Ontario, Canada, FEB/11/2018, SSN;

The independence of South Sudan has been one of the more stirring evens in recent years on the African continent, and yet conflict and instability remain unavoidable in the new state. While there continues to be tension between Juba and Khartoum over oil and several border issues, international community’s major concern is the outcome of the civil war.

Africa’s 55th sovereign state has been mired in bloody civil war since 2013, when President Kiir dismissed Vice President Riek Machar and the rest of his cabinet, accusing them of instigating a coup. Kiir’s move triggered the most full-blow fighting in the capital, Juba, between government forces and rebel soldiers led by Machar and spread to three large provincial cities.

It is still uncertain as to whether Machar had actually planned a coup, but he had intended to challenge Kiir for the leadership of the governing party so that he could run for president in the 2015 election.

South Sudan is new to the ways of democracy and struggling to forge a unified identity out of a patchwork of over 60 often feuding tribes after the longest liberation war.

The only peaceful route to power is through gaining control of the SPLM, and this implied challenging Kiir at the planned third SPLM national convention. Within a more institutionalized political system, the discontent within the SPLM could have left and formed an opposition party. In contemporary South Sudan such a move would be tantamount to a long and possibly indefinite walk in the political wilderness.

The SPLM is thoroughly inter-meshed with the state, and in the stranger world of fact, Kiir is chairman of the SPLM as well as commander-in-chief for the SPLA.

Within the neo-patrimonial state, it is difficult to distinguish between the office of the president, the party leadership and the national army. This has made the state captured by the SPLM different factions attractive.

Consequently, power structures are not transparent, and it is difficult to establish the relative influence of political factions.

In other words, it is much to be regretted that the warring parties are so stupidly blind to their power game that they cannot see the advantage of having a peaceful environment and economic growth in South Sudan.

Despite high-profile mediation efforts by many African and Western governments, they have refused to end the five-year-old conflict that is undermining development gains achieved since independence and worsened the humanitarian situation.

The continuing fighting has killed over 10,000 and displaced 1.5 million people from their homes while a humanitarian crisis threaten many more. The worst fighting has taken place in the oil rich town of Bentiu in Unity State, where hundreds of unarmed civilians have been murdered and their properties either destroyed or looted. Adding to these tragedies is a growing insecurity nationwide.

The United Nations has threatened to impose sanctions on both sides as they are guilty of the use of child soldiers and massacre of civilians, but the threat has not had any significant impact on the warring SPLM leaders.

While Machar, languishing in South Africa’s confinement, says his rebel forces are committed to upholding the agreement, he believes that Kiir’s forces have already violated ceasefire.

On the contrary, the Ceasefire Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM) said Tuesday that Machar’s rebel groups violated cessation of hostilities agreement signed last month in Addis Ababa.

The Juba officials have dubbed the rebel chief as a divisive pretender for power. Machar is a wily operator, switching sides on several occasions during the north-south strife as he sought to strengthen his own position and that of his Nuer ethnic group in the murky political waters of South Sudan.

He is very ambitious to take the top office in the land, and nothing else matters, but most people in the country do not see him as a national leader.

On the other hand, the civil war in South Sudan has had major repercussions on the already struggling economy. The economic future will largely depend on the outcome of the civil war and its substantial proven oil reserves.

From the beginning of the conflict until the end of January 2014, oil dropped 20%, which had a huge effect on world markets.

When Kiir and Machar did not reach to uphold the peace agreement, the production decreased even more and the economy continued to struggle. The Juba regime derives about 98% of its budget revenues from oil.

Not only has the civil war had major effects on oil production, but also South Sudan’s relationship with the former colonial master heavily influences its national economy since the new-born country seeks to build another pipeline.

Beyond oil, its economy depends upon agriculture and pastoral activity. South Sudan is one of the richest agricultural areas with its fertile soil and abundant water supply.

Agricultural activity is mainly pastoral, with the main domestic livestock being cattle, along with smaller livestock such as sheep, goats, camels and chickens. The central economic question relates to the length of the conflict and its outcome.

Despite its abundance of natural resources, South Sudan remains one of the most underdeveloped countries in the world. For example, only 15% of South Sudanese own a mobile phone.

Before fighting broke out in late 2013, the country looked to undertake many development projects including railroad projects, tarmac key roads, redevelopment of the port at Lamu and hydroelectric dam.

For these big economic projects to take off, a peaceful environment is urgently needed, so the small business owners call upon Kiir and Machar to focus on restoring peace and economy. The economy has felt significant negative effects from the conflict.

Even before the conflict, South Sudan experienced widespread poverty and now according to the UN, 3.7 million people are in need of food due to the displacement of thousands of South Sudanese and increased poverty.

In conclusion, South Sudanese have known little but war. The current conflict has led to a terrible human slaughter, worst humanitarian and economic crises and intensified debates in social media over SPLM’s capacity and suitability to govern South Sudan.

The intensification of identity politics might also affect the political demands on the opposition and narrow down the range of possible solutions to the conflict.

In the worst-case scenario, it might damage the integrity of South Sudan as a political unit; an integrity which was fragile in the first place.

So, one believes that a solution to the conflict is urgently needed; otherwise, the social media revolutionary warriors should continue to issue a ringing declaration calling upon the nation to rise and strive for national salvation.

John Juac Deng
Independent writer
juacd@yahoo.ca

Australian Police move to seize ex-South Sudanese General’s $1.5m Narre Warren mansion

BY: DAVID HURLEY, Herald Sun, FEB/09/2018, SSN;

POLICE have moved to seize a $1.5 million mansion in Melbourne’s southeast from the family of a former South Sudanese (Chief of Staff) general linked to the nation’s military elite which fleeced millions of dollars from the war-torn country.

The Australian Federal Police took the case against General James Hoth Mai Nguoth, and several members of his family, to the County Court of Victoria on Tuesday as it pushes ahead with a proceeds of crime restraint.

It is targeting the luxury Narre Warren home, which has an infinity pool, sauna and five-car garage, as well as an Audi owned by the family.

Gen Hoth Mai’s family bought the sprawling property in 2014 when his wife and children were living in taxpayer-funded housing commission accommodation.

Investigators from the AFP’s Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce (CACT) launched a probe into the purchase of the property in September 2016 following allegations that several former and current South Sudanese public officials have bought houses in Australia with the proceeds of corruption.

General James Hoth Mai’s family bought the sprawling Narre Warren property in 2014 when his wife and children were living in taxpayer-funded housing commission accommodation.

Police have moved to seize the $1.5 million mansion in Narre Warren. Gen Hoth Mai was named in a 2016 report compiled by The Sentry, a team of investigators targeting those who profit from genocide in Africa co-founded by actor George Clooney.

Gen Hoth Mai served as the chief of staff in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army from May 2009 to April 2014.

Before that he was the deputy chief of staff for logistics. Investigators understand his biggest salary was no more than $58,000 a year.

J.R. Bailey, Investigations Director at The Sentry, said the group found information regarding the General’s purchase of the Narre Warren house in 2016.

“Gen Hoth Mai is a well-known military commander in South Sudan,” Mr Bailey said. “We discovered his purchase of the Melbourne home during a 2016 investigation into the assets accrued by senior South Sudanese military and government officials.”

“The Sentry found Hoth Mai’s purchase of the Melbourne home to be noteworthy — and worthy of additional scrutiny — for several reasons.”

General James Hoth Mai was named in a 2016 report compiled by The Sentry, a team of investigators co-founded by actor George Clooney.

The Sentry report accuses senior officials on relatively low salaries in South Sudan of profiteering from the country’s civil war.

“First, the cost of the home far surpassed what one could reasonably afford on the salary of a general of Hoth Mai’s rank,” Mr Bailey said.

“Second, the Hoth Mai family had purchased the home shortly after having resided in subsidised housing, a major sudden change in the family’s lifestyle.”

“Finally, the home was purchased in the name of Hoth Mai’s son, who had only recently graduated from college.”

“We considered this a possible attempt to obfuscate the General’s connection to the purchase. Taken as a whole, the circumstances of the transaction, we found, merit more scrutiny from relevant law enforcement and regulatory authorities.”

Shortly after The Sentry published its report — War Crimes Shouldn’t Pay: Stopping the looting and destruction in South Sudan — the AFP launched a probe with help from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.

Investigators visited the Narre Warren property in August 2016 and saw a BMW 316i, used by one of Gen Hoth Mai’s daughters, in the driveway.

An AFP spokeswoman said: “The investigation, which included assistance from the ACIC, focused on the acquisition of assets in Australia by the family members of an individual who is believed to have held senior positions including chief of staff in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army between May 2009 and April 2014.”

The General and his family did not appear at the County of Court of Victoria on Tuesday when the AFP’s criminal assets confiscation and proceeds of crime matter was heard. The case, before Judge Susan Cohen, was adjourned for three weeks.

Clooney, writing in The Sentry’s 2016 report, said the organisation’s investigators spent two years “following the money underwriting South Sudan’s war economy”.

“The Sentry’s investigation has generated substantial information indicating that top officials ultimately responsible for mass atrocities in South Sudan have at some time managed to accumulate fortunes, despite modest government salaries,” Clooney said.

The original sale documents for the Narre Warren property lists the general’s wife, Nyawarga Hoth Mai, as the buyer.

The luxury Narre Warren home has an infinity pool. The documents were then altered on the day the sale went through in August 2014 and buyer was listed as the general’s son, Nguoth Oth Mai, an Australian citizen.

Barrister Simon McGregor, for the General’s family, declined to comment.

The AFP’s legal proceedings are a civil matter under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The alleged offences are breach of directors’ duties, causing a loss to the Commonwealth and obtaining a gain from the Commonwealth. Criminal charges have not been laid against the General or his family.

david.hurley@news.com.au
@davidhurleyHS

FROM THE EDITOR, SOUTH SUDAN NATION:
LET’S ALL JOIN IN SUPPORT OF THE SENTRY CAMPAIGN BY REVELING AND REPORTING ALL THOSE IN KIIR’S GOVERNMENT WHO’VE STOLEN THE NATION’S MONEY AND HAVE PURCHASED SUCH ABOMINABLE HOMES OR HAVE SET UP BUSINESSES IN THEIR FAMILIES’ NAMES.

THE SOUTHSUDANNATION.COM IS EVER READY TO PUBLISH ANY DOCUMENT PERTAINING TO THESE CRIMES, WHETHER THEY ARE IN CANADA, USA, EUROPE AND AUSTRALIA.

ONE STEP FORWARD FOR JUSTICE IN SOUTH SUDAN.

If peace and stability is to return to South Sudan, Pres. Salva Kiir and Dr Riek Machar must be excluded from the interim government

BY: ELHAG Paul, South Sudan, FEB/05/2018, SSN;

The second part of revitalisation forum kicks off on 5th February 2018 with the opposition as usual in this kind of forum on South Sudan under International Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) starting from a position of disadvantage.

The government of President Salva Kiir comes in well kitted with himself having attended the Summit of IGAD Assembly of Heads of state and government on South Sudan. Such an advantage enjoyed by one side in the conflict hardly makes IGAD’s mediation impartial, especially when IGAD member countries like Uganda and Kenya are openly supporting the regime in Juba.

In ‘The facade of International Community in South Sudan,’ it is argued that the international community has sided with the regime and by doing so, it has compromised its position and thus has become part of the problem in South Sudan.

It is hard to dispute the allegations labelled against the international community because it has engaged in things that can clearly be seen as biased.

For example, in the ‘

    Report: UN, US failed to prevent ethnic cleansing in South Sudan’ (https://www.voanews.com/a/report-un-us-ethnic-cleansing-south-sudan/4075980.html)

, the Associated Press points to numerous failures that could hardly be conceived as errors or lack of capacity or lack of resource in protecting vulnerable civilians.

Such is the disadvantage the opposition are starting with next week in Addis Ababa. However, all is not lost, with the limited representation of 3 persons per group without any support and resource back-up imposed by IGAD to weaken them, the opposition could achieve considerable success if most of the various non-SPLM groups come together and stand firm as a unit with demands for peace in South Sudan based on total overhaul of governance and security sector without President Salva Kiir and Dr Riek Machar.

In the first part of the revitalisation forum, the opposition united their ranks and that was commendable. Now it is even more important for them to deepen their unity in order to save the country from the abuses of the SPLM.

It is unfortunate that the SPLM/A-IO has through its position paper for the talks closed ranks with SPLM/A-IG. These groups are only interested in hogging power to continue destroying the country. Please see, ‘Who will help South Sudan find peace’ (http://www.southsudannation.com/who-will-help-south-sudan-find-peace/)

The opposition must remember they are on their own against the entire world (the emerging South Sudanese collective belief). IGAD has wasted the last four years in the belief that their twin track strategy for peace in South Sudan based on :
1) application of the 2005 CPA model on wealth and power sharing;
and 2) re-unification of the SPLM/A; will work.

IGAD forcefully promoted these theories without shame in spite of the fact that it did not have any studies to back them up. The reality is these strategies are completely unfit for purpose as it has now been proven with the benefit of time.

The real problem of South Sudan is the SPLM/A itself and identity politics. To understand and familiarise oneself with the rational, please see, ‘IGAD’s Inadequate Strategy in South Sudan’ (https://pachodo.org/latest-news-articles/pachodo-english-articles/8499-igad%E2%80%99s-inadequate-strategy-in-south-sudan)

So, what is needed in the coming talks is the total overhaul of the governance and security sector. For a start, in the article ‘President Salva Kiir sabotages the compromise peace agreement’ [https://pachodo.org/latest-news-articles/pachodo-english-articles/11445-president-salva-kiir-sabotages-the-compromise-peace-agreement] it is recommended that: “In line with the Compromised Peace Agreement, President Kiir and Dr Machar having been identified as suspects in the AUCISS Report, must not be allowed to take part in the Transitional Government of National Unity. Their respective parties can choose other persons to represent them. As President Obama of USA and Prime Minister Cameron of UK have categorically said “killers” can not be part of the solution. Therefore, neither of the two qualifies for participation in government of national unity.”

Now the necessity to exclude the duo above is based on their failure as leaders to protect the people of South Sudan in line with their duty. There are further two more reasons why the duo must be pushed aside.

First, the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer in December 2013 has created an atmosphere of huge mistrust between the Jieng and Nuer. With a member of either tribe in power, South Sudan may not see peace. No Nuer will wholeheartedly accept a Jieng president because of what has happened to them.

On the other hand, no Jieng will rest assured of security with a Nuer as a president due to the fear of reprisals for what they have done.

Therefore, genuine peace in South Sudan can only be achieved without any of the two in power. I have abundantly covered this point in my article, ‘President Kiir, Riek and the SPLM are the problem of South Sudan’ (https://pachodo.org/latest-news-articles/pachodo-english-articles/8686-president-kiir,-riek-and-the-splm-are-the-problem-of-rss)

The international community would have helped had they condemned the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer and held President Kiir instantly responsible but their failure has made people to think there will be no accountability for the grave crimes against humanity committed by the Juba regime.

Secondly, historically the Jieng and the Nuer have been in rivalry for centuries. Even during the 21 years of war in the Sudan the two ethnic groups indulged in committing carnages against each other.

For example, between 1986 and 1988 the Jieng using SPLM/A committed such crimes against the Nuer and then in 1991 the Nuer marched to Bor and avenged atrocities committed against them by the Jieng mentioned earlier.

In early December 2013 prior to the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer, President Kiir repeatedly in speeches he made referred to 1991 which may have helped to mobilise the Jieng to commit the grave crimes against humanity that followed few days after.

This unhealthy relationship of the two ethnic groups no doubt is interfering with peace and stability in the country. President Kiir and Riek are unknowingly transposing their negative tribal relationship into South Sudan national issues.

This is not only undesirable but poses serious danger for durable peace and stability in the country. The well being of the people of South Sudan can not be held hostage to the chaotic social relationship of the two groups.

There are 63 tribes in South Sudan and it is irreasonable to expect the rest of the 61 innocent tribes to be living in a state of war endlessly due to the toxic relationship of the Jieng and Nuer.

Therefore, both President Kiir and Riek should bow out of power to allow a neutral person from the other tribes to stabilise the country and begin to build a fair and just society that protects all the people of South Sudan.

If peace and stability is ever to return to South Sudan, it is also important that the SPLA must be disbanded and a proper national army consisting of all the people of South Sudan is formed. I made this point in my article, ‘South Sudan needs intensive care’.

The 2013 conflict primary broke out because the army was dominated by the Nuer and Jieng which enabled the disagreement of Present Kiir and his Vice Riek to be translated into the current conflict.

President Kiir took advantage of his executive position and used the resources of the state to commit grave crimes against humanity. The REPORT OF THE AFRICAN UNION COMMISSION OF INQUIRY ON SOUTH SUDAN on page 298, article 1135 “conclude[s] that there are reasonable grounds to believe that these [grave] crimes [against humanity] were committed in a wide spread or systematic manner, and that evidence points to the existence of a state or organizational policy to launch attacks against civilians based on their ethnicity or political affiliation.”

President Kiir was/is able to commit these crimes because the army is overwhelmingly composed of Jieng.

Amir Idris in his article, ‘How the International Community has failed South Sudan’ confirms the tribal nature of SPLA by writing that, “President Kiir himself has admitted that his army is made up of Dinka (Jieng), his own ethnic group.” (http://www.newsweek.com/how-international-community-has-failed-south-sudan-514204)

Translating the above into governance and security sector reform in the revitalisation form talks demands a foresighted national approach. The current supposed federal system is all but in name.

The reality is that it is a centralised system of governance which enabled tribalists to exploit it for their benefit thereby destroying the country.

So, the choice of governance must either be a true federal system or a confederal system (I know a confederal system by definition involves independent states, however it not impossible if we agree to have it) without President Kiir and Dr Riek Machar, the failed tribalist leaders who set the country ablaze.

Whatever system of governance is adopted, the structure should be able to distribute the resources of the country equitably in terms of percentages.

Wealth, and power sharing, therefore, equally should be seen from a national perspective rather than the current myopic party/movement frame adopted in ARCSS and highly preferred by the SPLM/A.

The SPLM/A and it’s off shoots and IGAD believe wrongly that the division of the country’s wealth and power must be limited to SPLM only. Hence, their selfish position papers presented to the mediator.

They equate SPLM to South Sudan. This is wrong and a recipe for disaster. For example, the paper presented by SPLM/A-IO divides wealth and power between Kiir and Riek within the SPLM as if the country belongs to them alone.

The crucial question is: have both Kiir and Riek sacrificed the tens of thousands of their soldiers for positions only within SPLM to share wealth and power? Have they destroyed the country just for that? Is it really worth it?

SPLM/A-IO’s proposal paper has conclusively exposed Dr Riek Machar as mere tribal leader who does not have the country at heart. He has no national agenda for the country.

The assertion made by Samuel Atabi in his article, ‘Riek Machar is failing the opposition against Kiir’s tyranny’ is coming to pass (http://www.southsudannation.com/riek-machar-is-failing-the-opposition-against-kiirs-tyranny/)

So wealth and power sharing should be done nationally according to regions or states to reflect equity.

If we choose to have a federal or confederal system based on the three provinces of the colonial period, then wealth and power sharing should be distributed on the basis of 33.3 percent so that each state gets its right share in everything.

If we choose to go by the ten states adopted at independence in 2011, then each state should get 10 percent of the national income in everything. Anything short of this will not work.

The current situation where the Jieng and the Nuer allocate to themselves unjustified percentages within the SPLM/A depriving all others as a solution is unacceptable and will not work. It will not bring a durable peace and stability to the country.

It is possible that the revitalisation forum may not yield any tangible results because there appears to be no will in the region to genuinely address the problem of South Sudan and South Sudanese now more than ever know that it is only them who can get themselves out of this mess.

Discussions with many South Sudanese globally through social media suggest that the international community’s purpose for holding the revitalisation forum is to legitimise President Kiir’s regime whose tenure is coming to an end.

Either way, the international community hopes to grant President Kiir continuation in power through another agreement, or through a shambolic rigged election.

South Sudanese have pointed at ARCSS itself as an example where the international community supported President Kiir to obtain legitimacy in 2015.

Will the opposition give the regime of terror another lease of life without overhaul of the system? This remains to be seen.

In conclusion, if the revitalisation forum is going to bring any peace, the region needs to act impartially with the guarantors being honest to what they have signed up for.

As for the opposition, the message from Riek Machar is clear. He has allied with President Kiir against the people with his proposal of 42 percent stake in President Kiir’s government.

Therefore, the other groups need to close rank and present a joint position paper which:
1) demands the exclusion of President Kiir and Dr Riek Machar in the interim period.
2) Implementation of a national approach to the issues of governance and security rather than a party targeted approach as now.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul
Elhagpaul@aol.com
@elhagpaul