Archive for: May 2018

Culture of Revenge Destroys: A Call for Political Tolerance across South Sudan

BY: Mayak Deng Aruei , USA, MAY/22/2018, SSN;

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Martin Luther King proclaimed. Having just concluded the SPLM/SPLA’s historic Day-May 16, I’d like to encourage South Sudanese to reconnect with their past, recall the many wars they fought against the colonial powers, and against the successive Sudanese governments.

The quest for independent South Sudan dated back to 1947, but the liberation struggle that started in 1983 gave birth to the nation called South Sudan. Freedom as it was the basis for five decades struggle cannot be realized until peace is every citizen’s Motto.

For the record, war destroys good conscience, bankrupts countries, and corrupts the intelligentsia. In South Sudan, the culture of revenge, vicious cycles of violence and cattle-rustling have contributed to political intolerance across the country.

The nation’s founding principles have been suppressed; freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, justice and equality. Fear of unknowns, aided by deliberate obstruction of democratic governance has undermined South Sudanese collective efforts. Take your time and read the article in its entirety.

Why are South Sudanese fleeing their homes?

The outflow of South Sudanese into neighboring countries is a proof that they cannot live in their country whilst the war rages. In the aftermath of the ongoing civil war, many civilians were forcefully uprooted from their villages, crops production in rural South Sudan hit all times low, and attempts by the Regional Bloc to resolve the conflict were met with steep resistances.

Because of the unbearable economic conditions, civilians who have no other sources of income apart from local production chose to leave the country for refugee camps, and some took up residence in internally displaced camps.

The conflict has disturbed people’s livelihoods in many ways: frequent raiding of cattle ensued, trading activities declined, boundaries and territorial disputes have proliferated over the newly created counties and states.

With all that, mistrust among neighboring communities has deteriorated “bigly.” To make matters even worst, South Sudanese warring Factions acted more like racist rival gangs.

State’s power and Media in Crisis!

As part of the recent history, those who have had the courage to write history as it occurs have been preyed upon by agents of destruction.

A short-lived politics where those in power use their positions to make gains has ripple effects and negatively impact on the society as a whole.

Intolerance in its all forms should be discarded. The new wave of unknown gunmen has resulted in mysterious deaths of vocal cyber-critics.

The Republic of South Sudan is known in papers as a democratic State, the Interim constitution is colorful in terms of what it says, and how it envisioned South Sudan as a country governed by laws.

Despite to all that, South Sudanese leaders have made themselves unattractive; failed to acknowledge all they have caused onto the governed.

There should be no any doubt; those in charge have failed the leadership’s test, and have tarnished their legacies.

The world at large has written extensively about South Sudan as the world’s newest State, and the challenges it had faced in the past 6 years of its independence.

This leads me to the next point; governance and politics in the new nation.

Misguided national politics!

The political landscape of South Sudan is barren and rough, not a lot of rooms for citizens to contribute freely to the nation-building.

The politics of “divide and rule” is not new in South Sudan; it has been used numerous times by select politicians to rise to power.

The causes of the mini-wars in South Sudan have been spelled out in the last itemized points. Social media has helped expose so many hidden and behind the scene political dealings.

The raging war has destroyed citizens’ expectations, and undermined goals for South Sudan’s independence. The displacement of civilians speaks volumes.

The unequal civilians’ access to public good is a primary problem in South Sudan, and it’s often exploited by disgruntled Groups, and uses it as a recruiting political message.

This is where the Interest Groups in the Region and around the world get their chances to meddle in internal affairs of South Sudan.

Humanitarians’ organizations that bring in assistance: food and medical supplies are not immune from influencing the political process in the country.

It is also relevant to point out that their donors want to see positive impacts, and organizations want to stay there as long as war continues.

Solutions!

For South Sudanese to coexist, to harvest fruits of their hard earned independence, peace must prevail in South Sudan.

The nation of South Sudan started on a wrong footing, the first rebellions (2010-2012) were just the beginning of bigger political wrangles.

It was a matter of time, but things were going to explode.

The current crisis is no longer what it was between 2013 and 2015, it has evolved into something else.

The wounds of this conflict are deep, clans are competing against clans, and neighbors are constantly in heated arguments.

The incentives for peace are many: economic prosperity, free trade, high crops yield, and cheaper homemade commodities.

The treasures of war are many: political unrest, economic despair, and widespread poverty.

In summary, it’s fair and safe to conclude that political tolerance is the way forward. The problem(s) of South Sudan are better termed as systemic:
— lack of meaningful political structures, breakdown of social relationships, and lack of adherence to the nation’s founding principles.

As a multicultural and multi-ethnic State, South Sudan needs laws and policies that can protect citizens equally, institutions that will accelerate nation-building, and leaders who’d follow through with people’s aspirations.

Just to touch up edges, Martin Luther King further emphasized, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

This piece of writing is for the voiceless, and for invigorating nationalism among South Sudanese.

May the ongoing peace conference end the conflict, and may South Sudanese find a common ground for all their political differences!


The writer is Mayak Deng Aruei, a Peace Activist & Human Rights Advocate. He can be reached at Kongor.da.ajak@gmail.com

ARCSS & its Institutional and Judicial Reforms Agenda: Achievements and Failures

By Tong Kot Kuocnin, LLB (Juba), LLM (Nairobi) MAY/21/2018, SSN;

I. Introduction

Since the establishment of the government of Southern Sudan in 2005 following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, South Sudan failed to embark on extensive judicial reforms with a rigorous process of impartial and non-partisan appointment of the Chief Justice, justices, judges and other judicial officers where applicants should have been publicly interviewed by a revamped Judicial Service Council (JSC). Subsequently, parliament should have vetted and passed the nominees before full appointment by the President.

However, as I always share different and contending opinion, my contention has always been that, the effectiveness of judicial reforms depends on wider reforms in the entire justice sector. This would include critical stakeholders, such as, the prosecuting authorities, penal institutions and the police – and even the executive and parliament which put forward and approve budgetary allocations.

This is to ensure that complementary reforms are taking place within all those other institutions in order to ensure effective and timely delivery of justice.

Since 2005 to date, weak institutional culture and structural impediments have stood in the way of judicial reforms, but this should not be allowed to retard efforts to implement an ‘ambitious plan to make the courts more efficient and open, increase professionalism, and expand the court system’ if at all the judiciary leadership was willing to undertake much needed reforms.

The process of judicial reforms has to revamp an opaque system, many of whose members have historically had strong senses of entitlement as liberators of the country. These reforms, should aim at overcoming internal resistance, strengthening weak accountability mechanisms, and finding the necessary resources in order to stir forward the reforms sought.

Another key component of judicial reforms is structuring judicial accountability. Accountability is a particularly tough challenge because many South Sudanese do not understand how the court system works. Thus, for such institutional and judicial reforms to take root, users of the justice system – whether lawyers or everyday citizens – have to understand how the courts should function and demand that judicial officers deliver quality judicial services. This requires high and consistent levels of sensitization.

The Compromise Peace Agreement commonly referred to as the ‘The Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (2015) contains key fundamental recommendations in justice sector reforms.

Access to justice has been pointed out as the first pillar and key result area. This should ‘encompass such actions as the establishment of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan to try those who bear greatest responsibility of the atrocities during the conflict.

The establishment of an independent judicial body to known as ‘hybrid court for South Sudan came as a result of disregard of the laws and customs of war resulting to a serious violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The court, according to the terms of the ARCSS, shall have jurisdiction with respect to genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as well as other serious crimes under international law and relevant laws of the Republic of south Sudan including gender based crimes and sexual violence.

This entails, in part, an attempt to in this regard break the ‘traditional refrain of the soldier and the bureaucrat that “I was only doing my duty” is no longer an acceptable ground for abrogating the rights of humanity in the person of the other’ as much of the power of government is exercised by the president through bureaucrats who regulate the daily lives of citizens and therefore exercise broad delegated powers.

Thus, inspiring public confidence in the redress of grievances, human rights violations and various forms of injustices obtainable through legitimate means within known structures and predictable processes is important in the consolidation of peace in South Sudan.

Legitimate structures for peaceful settlement of disputes and fair administration of justice within strong democratic institutions of governance are amenable to peace consolidation only if these institutions are transparent, accountable and non-corrupt and the power isn’t absolutely control by the elite heading the institution.

This has hitherto been tested that States with high institutional quality are less likely to experience civil war or conflict due to their responsiveness to the needs of their citizens; whereas those with low quality institutions can lose the loyalty and support of their citizens, and consequently fall prey to violent conflicts. This has been our challenge since the inception of the then government of Southern Sudan in 2005.

As already said, peace, stability, and development are more likely to happen in countries with strong democratic institutions not held hostage by the few elites who wields an absolute power, not only because they are inclined towards upholding justice, human rights, equality and the rule of law, but due to the high level of political inclusivity, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms they exude.

II. Achievements

Since weak or lack of strong institutions is not only the cause of state failure to prevent human rights violations but also the reason that state power is used to perpetrate injustices. It is to be underscored here that there are no much achievements made thus far by the current government since the signing of the Peace Agreement in August 2015.

The institutional reforms sought as enshrined in the agreement remains largely an untenable dream as there exist a serious lack of political will to undertake such reforms as these reforms predictably brings unwarranted and an unexpected complete change and overhaul of the current dysfunctional system.

Strong democratic institutions are remedial and can facilitate the movement from instability to stability; from human rights violations to a situation where such rights are universally upheld, respected and protected.

The economic reforms as stipulated in the agreement remains on the paper to be realize as the government took no attempt to institute such reforms as required by the agreement.

The spirit of the agreement hasn’t been implemented as expected as the leadership of the country indulge in mockery not only of its citizens but equally to the region which brokered the agreement and the international at large.

III. Failures

In terms of implementation progress, leaders in South Sudan have not been moving as fast as expected when their progress is measured against the milestones stipulated in the ARCSS.

The leaders in Juba should be credited for managing to form the TGoNU, as well as constituting the Council of Ministers in April 2016, as provided for in the ARCSS. But it is sad to say that they have not started establishing the necessary institutions of governance provided for in the ARCSS.

However, the implementation of other provisions of the ARCSS has been slow, poor and above all, not been implemented as FVP Taban Deng Gai, who took over the leadership of SPLM-IO after the June 2016 J1 incident was only working to appease his BOSS.

Not only that, there has been slow implementation of the ARCSS as evidenced by the delays in the formation and reconstitution of transitional institutions and mechanisms, provided for under Chapter 1 (14.1) of the agreement which include, inter alia, the institutions such as the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing (CTRH); Hybrid Court for South Sudan (HCSS); CRA; and the Board of the Special Reconstruction Fund (BSRF).

All these have not yet been established – yet most were supposed to be in place within the first month of the TGoNU, as provided in the ARCSS.

The slow progress recorded in implementing the ARCSS is one of the main causes of this return to violence. Political will has also been singled out by the JMEC as one of the key factors behind this limited implementation progress.

The fact that key signatories to the peace deal – specifically Kiir – signed the peace pact with many reservations, obviously has a bearing on his will and commitment to the agreement. This, however, does not in any way downplay the other factors contributing to the limited progress in implementing the ARCSS – notably the struggle for power and control between SPLM/A-IG and SPLM/A-IO leaders Kiir and Machar; the exclusion of other stakeholders to the conflict in the ARCSS negotiation process; and nation-building complexities that naturally face the South Sudanese, as the state is still in its formative stages with very little institutional infrastructure to anchor governance and other systems.

IV. Conclusion

This article therefore accentuates the need to have robust institutional reforms as the basis for institutional and judicial reform mechanisms to avoid replication of failure of institutional and judicial reform measures as South Sudan is still trapped in violence and political uncertainty.

South Sudan should relentlessly embark on the path of reforming structures of governance through designing institutions responsive to current demands of peace-building, reconciliation, and national cohesion.

To surmount such challenges, the inevitability of institutional reforms comes to bear since the process largely depends on the nature of government and democratic institutions in place in the country. There is a need to exert more pressure to procure workable political will to institute such reforms.

Thus, this article maintains that strengthening of institutions, as a strategy of peace-building, is most likely through implementation of various judicial reforms mechanisms. Such mechanisms should aim at confronting the past, ending injustices, fostering reconciliation, redressing the victims, ending the culture of impunity and building structures that can prevent recurrence of past injustices.

The author holds Bachelor of Laws (LLB) Degree from the University of Juba and a Master of Laws (LLM) specializing in Law, Governance and Democracy from the University of Nairobi. He an advocate before all courts and his areas of research interest are: constitutional law and human rights, access to justice and transitional justice, rule of law and good governance.

Pres. Kiir’s cunning strategy only prolongs the conflict

By Duop Chak Wuol, MAY/21/2018, SSN;

Salva Kiir likes to preach democracy to confuse people, looks for ways to legitimize his atrocious regime, uses deception to promote his despotism, and calculatingly waits for the right time to obliterate his political rivals.

His supposed recent quest for peace through the reunification of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) appears more like a cunning strategy.

The recently concluded SPLM reunification meeting in Juba was a good gesture, but the conference was not meant for party reunification as Kiir would like people to believe.

The move was an elaborate deception intended to validate Kiir as the only leader of the SPLM and to legitimatize his tyranny.

What Kiir is trying to do is to build trust between himself and his rivals using a fake party reunification so that he can later purge of them permanently.

Kiir’s cruel attitude is a copycat of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s, who is known for killing his political adversaries and blaming their deaths on unknown gunmen, car accidents, heart attacks, or other strange illnesses.

The reunification plot worked in Kiir’s favor after he successfully tricked his First Vice President, Taban Deng Gai, into signing the bogus reunion pact. Kiir also won when Taban ordered his fighters to be integrated into government forces.

If the agreement between Kiir and Taban is a genuine deal, then we can logically conclude that there is no such a thing as the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) between Taban and Kiir because the two men now represent the infamous Juba regime.

The people of South Sudan know very well that the reunification process managed by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is not a credible peace.

Museveni and el-Sisi are using the reunification card to fool other SPLM leaders into believing that the party is united under Kiir and that the conflict has ended.

Their strategy is questionable since the two men have known interests in South Sudan and the East African region.

What the Egyptian and Ugandan leaders are doing is keeping Kiir in power so that Kampala can continue benefiting from South Sudan’s war while Cairo maneuvers on how best it can prevent Ethiopia’s Nile dam from being completed.

Unity of the SPLM cannot be imposed on the party leaders by known supporters of Kiir’s regime. Museveni and el-Sisi have South Sudanese blood in their hands. Any person who thinks rationally would not accept such a self-serving strategy.

Museveni and el-Sisi should just keep their immoral investments in Juba’s atrocious regime. The South Sudanese know the two men have been fighting alongside Kiir’s regime against the armed opposition, SPLM/A-IO.

The Egyptian President must know that his opposition to Ethiopia’s Nile dam project will not succeed by supporting a murderous regime in Juba. Addis Ababa has the right to build its Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam since Cairo does not own the Nile.

Salva Kiir’s leadership only brought more destruction to South Sudan. Under Kiir, the Republic of South Sudan has become like a mafia corporation.

Kiir’s leadership is all about deceiving, purging, looting, killing, torturing, raping, and destroying. Salva Kiir fits the persona of a cruel tyrant.

His refusal to allow peace to prevail in the country is deeply rooted in his mythical belief that he can win militarily against the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO).

The fact is that the war is still raging on, and millions of South Sudanese are still living in United Nations-run camps in South Sudan and neighboring countries.

There is no justification for Kiir’s SPLM reunification. It is clear, however, that his call for peace through SPLM reunion is nothing but a fishing tactic to lure his opponents to Juba, eliminate them, and remain unchallenged.

Peace under Kiir is not feasible because he knows Uganda, Egypt, and Kenya are backing his regime. If the international community wants peace to prevail in South Sudan, then it must impose stiff sanctions on Kampala, Cairo, and Nairobi.

Kiir is a leader who cannot be trusted when it comes to South Sudan’s peace. The man has a habit of claiming without any evidence that rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar and other South Sudanese political leaders who oppose his leadership are not for peace and that he is the only one who wants peace to return to the country.

Kiir is the one who does not want peace. For instance, prior to signing the 2015 peace deal, he broadcast a list of ‘serious reservations,’ claiming the agreement was not fair to his regime.

Those reservations were a part of his plan to impede peace implementation. Kiir was also laying the groundwork for his next move, which became the July 2016 assassination attempt of Machar.

His failure to demilitarize Juba as stipulated in the 2015 agreement was also part of his “serious reservations” tactic. This is exactly how Kiir’s mind works.

Kiir is unquestionably a cold-blooded killer who would cut someone’s throat and then would smile as if he did not do anything. His recent announcement that he has forgiven Machar and that he wants him to go to Juba without a single soldier shows that Kiir’s manipulative personality is beyond common sense.

Kiir is not fit to forgive people. The people of South Sudan are the ones who have the choice to forgive Kiir because he has committed tribal-motivated massacres against South Sudanese.

What Salva Kiir is trying to do is lure Machar to Juba in a pretext of peace and then finish him off politically. Kiir is clearly not for peace. He recently instructed his peace negotiation team to work for a deal that will only accommodate rebels and other opposition leaders.

Kiir is only interested in prolonging the conflict so that he can keep looting the nation’s oil wealth.

Kiir has no vision for the country and his regime is morally bankrupted to the core. His sense of reality is solely focused on seeing himself ruling the nation as long as he lives.

The people of South Sudan have had enough of his disparaging ego — his political demise would be a blessing to the county.

Those who believe the reunification of the SPLM is the only way to achieve peace in the country are wrong. Reuniting the SPLM entails that Kiir would remain as the chairman of the party; this process can only be accepted by conscience-stricken people.

Allowing a murderous tyrant to lead the same party he once used to slaughter innocent people is not acceptable. Those who want SPLM to reunite under Kiir should first explain to the people of South Sudan why they want a killer to lead again.

Kiir’s cunning mentality is a known fact throughout South Sudan. The man is too ruthless to win back the hearts and minds of the South Sudanese. He must not be allowed to deceive people again.

His destructive presidency style does not permit room for opposing views. Kiir’s mind seems to be only capable of consuming praise and glorification of his brutality.

South Sudan rebels and other opposition leaders must not allow Kiir to use a bogus SPLM reunification to extend his vicious rule.

SPLM does not belong to Kiir, so those who want the reunification of the party while Kiir remains as its leader are the same people who conspired during the December 2013 Juba massacre.

This reunification nonsense must be rejected until the tyrant exits the presidency or drops all his misguided plans against the peace process.

Salva Kiir is not interested in real peace. His main goals are to eliminate any potential South Sudanese leaders and to surround himself with sycophantic and tail-waving politicians, rendering him a disgrace to the people of South Sudan.

The author can be reached at duop282@gmail.com.

South Sudan Addis Talks: Why Peace accord is likely or unlikely to be signed?

By: Peter Gai Manyuon, Journalist, MAY/17/2018, SSN;

As a fact, the 2013 crisis of South Sudan was caused by suspicion of the unknown among the so-called SPLM leaders. The ongoing peace talks or side meetings in Ethiopia’s Capital, Addis-Ababa, might not bring a genuine peace and stability in South Sudan unless otherwise President Trump of United States goes to Addis Ababa in person to witness what is currently going on among the SPLM factions or serious measures are taken by the world.

So far, the SPLM factions are only looking for what accommodates them not what benefits the common citizens in the Country.

On the same note, the issue of setting up the hybrid court is not in the interest of the SPLM factions mainly, SPLM in government and SPLM in opposition, since all these groups or factions committed crimes against humanity in one way or the other.

What’s likely, the two rivals are looking for the forming of a government where they’d together continue looting the country’s resources like what they did since 2005-2018.

According to their supporter’s comments on various social media platforms, any agreement that doesn’t recognize Salva Kiir Mayardit and Dr Riek Machar is not an agreement.

The two factions of the SPLMs (SPLM in government and SPLM in Opposition) are confusing their supporters day by day.

Another issue could be their families’ resources that might be frozen and the restriction of their travels in different parts of the world in case the two main parties to this crisis don’t agree on the peaceful resolution of the four years crisis.

Furthermore, the issue of two posts (First Vice President, Vice President) if not handled well in the peace talks will lead to the collapse of these talks in Addis. Only if the two groups compromise on the two positions then peace will be signed automatically.

Kiir and his group, on the one hand, wanted to be in top leadership of the Country in order to sabotage any accountability on their part.

Likewise, Dr Machar also wanted to be in the top leadership in order to protect himself using the little resources he might get in the process of running the government of National Unity along with Kiir.

In fact, these two leaders of the SPLM’s main factions wanted to work together again, however, it’s only their supporters and the G10 or G6 that wanted the government without the two, which is impossible at the moment.

The two leaders (Kiir and Machar) will be forced to work together by the issue of accountability since the two don’t want any process of accountability which might impede their participation in the coming elections.

Importantly, Kiir himself is under serious threat from the world regarding the setting up of a hybrid court and as well, Dr. Machar is partially in support while in fact, he doesn’t want any accountability himself since they both view the accountability process as a threat to their ambitions of contesting any future elections in the Country.

They don’t know organizing elections will come after the full agreement and from there, the world will decide to engage the two to account for what transpired since 2013-2018 or more.

The issue of elections should be left to the citizens of South Sudan but currently, the two leaders are soon facing serious isolation from the world and regional leaders, if they are not careful.

Evidently, the two are having serious threats from Trump administration and therefore, their only focus at the moment is how to tackle this issue of peace initiative and thereafter; they will do away with accountability or any threat regarding their positions.

Therefore, those are the issues that might affect and impede any progress in Ethiopia or bring peace in the Country in one way or the other.

Partly, President Kiir doesn’t want any negotiation since he believes on Uganda’s President Museveni’s support while on the other hand, the opposition of Dr. Machar only believes on the United States President Trump’s recent comments toward the government of Kiir in Juba and nothing else.

However, the two groups are believing in lies and unknown support, what they don’t know is that the United States doesn’t want anyone from the so-called SPLM to lead the Country.

But since the entire population of the Country is severely divided themselves mainly between the two rivals (Kiir and Machar), these two protagonists will be compiled to sign any peace whether shaky or genuine.

Thereafter, hopefully, some serious measures should and must be taken against the duo by the world.

Obviously, what is prolonging the crisis in South Sudan is the fact that the International community hasn’t identified the right choice of the candidate who could unite the Country.

All groups of the SPLM that have divided into the SPLM-IG, SPLM-IO, SPLM-FDs and the other stranded briefcase parties, have the same vision and philosophy of only looting national resources.

All lack focus and direction politically and each one of them for himself or herself and currently 80% of them are criminals blacklisted for crimes related to corruption in South Sudan.

In addition, the regional body conducting the peace talks is only interested in prolonging the conflict in South Sudan as a business to make money.

Unquestionably, leaders in South Sudan lack political ideologies and only focus on divisive politics characterized by hooliganism, desperation, primitiveness and worship of idols.

Similarly, these SPLM/A fragments, whilst not only confusing, dividing and killing the citizens, they sadly have the same goal of self-enrichment by looting the nation’s resources.

All of them are vision-less, only interested in what benefits them not the Country or it’s suffering people.

In conclusion, the International Community must impose time limitation on these talks and have an agreement reached sooner.

Furthermore, the world must question the top leaders of all these parties to account for the war crimes committed, crimes against humanity and cases related to corruption in the Country.

There must be seriousness on accountability on the part of these goons of the SPLM/A into an agreement so that a lasting peace returns to the Country and younger leaders take over.

Peter Gai Manyuon, is an author, Independent Journalist, and Columnist who has written extensively on Human Rights and Democracy in South Sudan He can be reached at southsudanjournalist@gmail.com or www.independentjournalistpgm.wordpress.com
Peter Gai Manyuon |

Why seeking an alliance when Machar’s SPLM/A-IO is well armed, big and self-sufficient, Mr. Faruok?

FROM: Deng Vanang, Spokesperson of FDP/SSAF, Nairobi, MAY/15/2018, SSN;

In his interview with one Edward Andrew Ashiek on a live video link from abroad and later published on Nyamilepedia website, Honorable Faruok Gatkuoth was so emotionally charged as he mouthed out venomous tirades around which are full of ironies against the personality of Honorable Changson Chang, Chairman and Commander-in-chief of FDP/SSAF.

According to him, he fingered Hon. Changson as one having no soldiers on the ground among several opposition groups he and others termed as opportunistic briefcase parties to lead opposition alliance.

While continuously insinuating that somebody you welcomed into your house {SPLM/A-IO], could not end up taking over your own house, in reference to Changson whom Machar previously accused of trying to snatch leadership of SPLM/A-IO, while he recently came to join the latter’s own movement.

To set the otherwise deliberately distorted records straight, first of all SPLM/A-IO he, Faruok, termed as Riek Machar’s personal movement supposed to have different name since its membership is drawn from the Nuer people and other ethnic nationalities fleeing indiscriminate mass killings and originally from different political parties before conflict erupted on December, 15th, 2013.

It is the same political usurpation by a handful individuals pursuing self-interest that SPLM/A-IO assumed such a weird name not consistent with realpolitik playing out on the ground.

Secondly, alliances are not forced on those with whom one wants to ally. They are mutual agreements parties to them reached in their common interests.

Thirdly, one doesn’t need to align with anyone he deems useless if he feels sufficient enough.
There must always something lacking to be complemented by somebody one wants to work together with.

And fourthly, when an alliance is already formed and there are others interested to join in, the incoming members must accept already laid down basic rules and regulations.

Once accepted, they are allowed in and be ready to join leadership queue until their different turns come to lead the alliance either via popular consensus or competitive election.

Flaunting being politically big with gallant army to boot that failed to solve the problem chronically facing people, is an act of bullying bereft of an iota of common sense at far with intellectual argument.

Because it is unfortunate for one in person of Riek Machar to give condition that he should join an alliance if only given the leadership of an institution that is already formed by others.

A line which Machar cited against Changson while still in the SPLM/A-IO, but now he, Machar, wants not to be applied in his case to join South Sudan Opposition Alliance, SSOA.

Hence, from where does Dr. Riek Machar get such a natural entitlement and why should he always be the one to lead others?

Over to you big brother Faruok to answer.

Deng Vanang
Secretary for Information, Public Relations and Spokesperson for Federal Democratic Party/South Sudan Armed Forces, FDP/SSAF. He is cordially reachable at: dvanang@gmail.com

Is the SPLM/A 16th/May/1983 still a celebratory day in South Sudan?

BY: Bol Khan, SOUTH SUDAN, MAY/15/2018, SSN;

Should the South Sudanese people continue celebrating the official date of SPLM/A foundation on 16th May of 1983 every year, even after the independence of South Sudan? I repeatedly, on some few occasions, put this question to several South Sudanese citizens since May 2011.

Of course, there were both YES and NO groups of people from those that I asked. However, the vindications and answers the YES group would give me were in some ways ambiguous and contradictory.

They would tell me that 16th May was SPLM/A’s inception day; some say it was the day the SPLM/A’s Founder, Dr. John Garang de Mabior, rebelled against Khartoum, some would say it was the day Keribino Kuanyin, William Nyuon and others mutinied in Ayod, others would say NO, 16th May was the day on which Southern Sudanese people shot the first bullet in a fight for total independence of South Sudan from Khartoum’s successive regimes …etc.

Hence, they all believed that 16th May was a national day which people in South Sudan should celebrate every year, even after independence.

Now, it has been exactly seven (7) years down the line —after South Sudan’s independence, 2011. Therefore, today, I would like to bring up a similar question as I did in 2011: Is 16th May still a celebratory day in South Sudan?

Our recent past observations evinced that majority of South Sudanese citizens, including the SPLM/A members have developed a very huge apathy towards 16th May, that’s it’s less important after South Sudan got its independence from Sudan.

Since then, the expected turnout of ordinary people was increasingly becoming low right from 2012-2016. In May 2017, the day was entirely not celebrated/commemorated at all and as this one of 2018.

This tremendous disinterest developed by the people towards 16th May remembrance day did not come out of the blue. Below are varieties of moral and legal reasons identified to be the main causes:

First, after South Sudan’s independence in 2011, the name “Sudan People Liberation Movement” (SPLM/A) morally and lawfully appeared outdated — it bears the name of another country (Sudan).

Therefore, the Transitional Constitution of Republic of South Sudan talked of both military and political transformation and reform of the Sudan People Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A).

Now, there in the constitution, the ‘Sudan People Liberation Army’ (SPLA) was changed to be ‘South Sudan Armed Forces’ (SSAF). And the SPLM political wing was set to change its name in 2013 National Convention that turned into the 2013 National Carnage.

Again, President Salva Kiir Mayardit, on 16th May 2017, restructured the army and changed the “Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA)—to South Sudan Defense Force (SSDF). All these were legal and constitutional names transformation South Sudan should have used (instead of SPLA) since 9th July 2011 and 16th May 2017 respectively.

Why, because anything enshrined in supreme law of the land or announced by the President in the name of the nation needs to be implemented as long as it is the populace aspiration.

The current SPLM/A’s factionalism are: (1) SPLM/A-N (which is the real SPLM/A without mentioning North Sudan), (2) SPLM/A-IG, (3) SPLM/A-IO and (4) SPLM-FD. Among all these factions, the only faction which took the lead in transforming itself and erasing the name was the SPLM-DC of Dr. Lam Akol.

Perhaps, the SPLM-IO of Dr. Riek Machar was going to change its name in Juba, either in late 2016 or early 2017 (but failed). SPLM/A is plainly extraneous in the Republic of South Sudan.

Secondly, given the past and current events, South Sudanese people have realized that the SPLM/A is a flagrant, hooliganistic and predatory movement which only feigned a war for dictatorship and global terrorism in the name of freedom and democracy.

Historically, the SPLM/A’s ideology is full of hatred, antagonism, blood & loss of lives which are always caused by the ambiguity of its visions and missions!

For instance, going back to those deadly splits that occurred among separatists and unionists in 1983, 1991 and again in 2013, all those events could describe the SPLM/A’s principles in details.

The people of South Sudan are now with such a great dislike of not only seeing the SPLM/A (with all its factions) as ruling party gone but also want to depose its existence in the Republic of South Sudan.

Thirdly, the war and struggle for Independence of South Sudan wasn’t started first on 16th May 1983. The SPLM/A was taking on the same objective which the already existent Southern Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SSLM/A—Anyanya 1 & 2) of those of nationalists Gai Tut and Akot Atem were fighting for.

Sadly, it was SPLM/A founder, Dr. John Garang and current president Salva Kiir Mayardit who colluded and killed these true nationalists in Bilpham, Ethiopia, the name ironically given to the SPLA Headquarters in Juba.

History is a higher mountain of facts!!

Conclusion:

The South Sudanese people from all walks of life have lost appetite and moral support (not interested any more) to continue celebrating the 16th May 1983 after the independence of South Sudan.

The nation now looks up to the day it will officially integrate the 16th May celebrations into the real day. What is the real day which the nation supposes to be celebrated yearly?

That is your delicious food for thought! So, 16th May 1983 is not a celebratory and popular day in South Sudan.

The author is a South Sudanese freelance Writer. He can be reached for comments on khanrom8@gmail.com

Tying national destiny to ethnic extortionists is a fallacy

By Deng Vanang, FDP/SSAF’ Spokesperson, Nairobi, MAY/13/2018, SSN;

Tribalism personifies sense of self-importance and exclusion not premised on national agenda in pursuant to nation building anchored on solid rock of lasting reconciliation, sustainable peace, unity of purpose and shared prosperity.

Having sole and retrogressive aim to promote supremacy of certain ethnic entities over the rest minus forged common national destiny as the painstakingly fought for nationhood begins to degenerate into wanton chaos and oblivion.

Particularly and more adversely on the throes of recycling violence by
repeatedly positioning the same warring tribal chiefs atop the pack as
the savagely adopted egocentric norm rather than necessary exception.

As the considered lesser mortals are abysmally destined for accommodation under the more superior ones.

Far from making everyone first among equals as currently adopted in South Sudan Opposition Alliance, SSOA of which Hon. Gabriel Changson Chang’s led Federal Democratic Party, FDP is a constituent part, with an aim to inculcate the same philosophical ideal in the yet to be concluded High Level Revitalization Forum’s political dispensation as mediated by Igad in Addis
Ababa, Ethiopia.

So that being born to minority ethnic group shouldn’t longer be a fault for one to be condemned to lower rungs of society.

And neither to be wrongfully termed as one’s own making nor to misjudge God’s creation for another individual’s selfish advantage.

Something that is apparently and already seen in most of those planning to join politics as is the case with those who have hitherto done it so far.

Which starts with one having to figure out some basic arithmetic in inner self before making public the intent of political ill will.

How big is one’s tribe, clan and even sub-clan is the political math so much identified with individuals planning to oppress instead of leading.

What is more are resources one has as well as how the tribal land is immensely endowed with natural resources so as to trade them off with national leadership ambition.

With clamor for secession optionally placed on negotiating table as political gimmick to likely mature into reality in more foreseeable future.

Which unfortunately and sorrowfully comes in absence of leadership qualities and exhibited positive contribution in society one must have before throwing hat into the ring.

Once such divisive arithmetic is favorably safe and secure in one’s hand, then blown is the whistle to jump start the leadership marathon.

When the opposite is true, leadership ambition is then shelved till kingdom come as one turns to other mundane professions befitting his/her tribe.

A self-resignation to political cast system in which size of tribe and clan becomes socially constructed curse than normal order of divine pre-disposition.

Contrary to good example worth emulating in far-flung Tanzania where Presidency rotates every ten years between mainland Christian Tanganyika and minority Muslim Zanzibar ever since independence father Julius Kabarage Nyerere stepped down in 1985.

With only minority ethnic groups having been ruling through political parties sanctioned free and fair competition that favors candidates endowed with required moral aptitudes.

However, such dreaded tribal mindset doesn’t just stop with small tribe and clan categorization.

Too, there is no sure safety net in being big per se. Break-neck competition to race up to the top and stay permanently there in the big tribe also rears ugly head.

While in its heat, those likely to be on the top and permanently so must by instinct revert from good democratic governance to more archaic typology. One that is skewed not only to massage personal egos, but to certain extent favors one’s tribe and clan for blind adoration and cultic following.

Which in subsequent begets fast lane thinking to make oneself ethnic sycophancy’s crowned king where there is no history of traditional one.

A scourge demanding quick fix remedy by simply re-inventing the steering wheels of constitution in spreading and rotating executive powers over and between arrays of political players with defined leadership qualifications long before regular and grueling elections come calling.

This constitutionally purposed power sharing will no doubt accrue tangible benefits for the country.

One among them is that the queue by those wanting to be leaders will move faster than it could take whining years and decades before one aspiring leader becomes an actual one.

Another benefit is the election must be won using different entry points by all the key players from different ethnic backgrounds and regions with guaranteed lack of post-election violence as opposed to contestation by sore, but non-invincible losers.

In addition to all the key competing political parties’ candidates turned winners, in French style cohabitation system in which the President, Prime Minister and National Assembly Speaker in a full pledged federal system designed for S. Sudan, will strictly checkmate one another against
geo – ethnic identity politics driven mega corruption.

All of whom, including the said fringe losers, shall gain due claims from such collective good governance as foolproof mitigating mechanism against instability that comes with high stake competition.

Which under more often circumstances dismembers the country into tiny dots we call nations and nation-states, ostensibly due to politics of secession arising from hard feelings of systemic marginalization and ethnic minorities alienation.

Deng Vanang
Secretary for Information, Public Relations and Spokesperson for Federal Democratic Party/South Sudan Armed Forces, FDP/SSAF. He is cordially reachable at: dvanang@gmail.com

Riek Machar only to return to Juba WITHOUT ONE SINGLE SOLDIER: Kiir declares

From different sources, MAY/12/2018, SSN;

In the latest development, South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir Mayardit, has set ONE non-negotiable condition, that his arch-rival and rebel leader of the SPLM/A-IO, Dr. Riek Machar, will only be allowed to return to the country without ONE SINGLE SOLDIER OF HIS.

“Riek Machar can come back to Juba here, but without even a single soldier. If they (IGAD) say he will return with his army, I will never accept,” Kiir said at a ceremony of the army flag handover to the new army chief in Juba on Thursday, as reported by Radio Tamazuj.

The South Sudanese president said he would accept his arch-rival, Riek Machar, to return to the country ONLY as a civilian, vowing he would guarantee his protection and safety in the nation’s capital Juba.

“I told them that you people [regional leaders] Riek Machar is a South Sudanese citizen. As government of South Sudan, we have not cancelled Machar’s citizenship. So I told them to bring Riek Machar,” he said.

Kiir said during the SPLM Liberation Council in Juba recently that he wants his exiled former deputy to return to the country, saying he has FORGIVEN him.

However, it’s not clear whether president Kiir’s declared conditionality is also applicable to the other numerous armed groups in the bushes fighting his government such as Gen. Thomas Cirillo’s NAS, Dr. Lam Akol’s group, Gen. Johnson Oling’s, Gen. Paul Malong latest formed armed group and the others.

Machar fled the capital July 2016 after heavy clashes between his forces and troops allied with President Kiir.

He is being held in South Africa to prevent him from going back to his country. The decision was reportedly taken by the region in order to keep him away in the hope of preventing war in South Sudan.

“We cannot allow our chairman to return to the capital without heavily armed forces that are equal to the forces of the government in Juba,” that was the response to president Kiir’s intransigence and stringent conditionality by Mr. Peter Gatkuoth, the deputy head of Machar’s armed SPLM/A-IO opposition’s information committee to Radio Tamazuj.

The official’s remarks came days after President Salva Kiir publicly admitted he had allowed the rebel leader, currently exiled in South Africa, to return the nation he fled from after the July 2016 skirmishes.

Kiir said this during last week’s National Liberation Council (NLC) meeting of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

Also, while addressing a military parade in Bilpham, the army headquarters in Juba on Thursday, May 10, 2018, president Kiir said his call for Machar’s return comes from THE BOTTOM OF HIS HEART.

“I said it all from my heart and I told the IGAD Council of ministers that ‘DON’T FIND A PLACE ELSEWHERE FOR DR. RIEK MACHAR TO BE TAKEN TO,” Kiir stated, meaning Machar should only be brought to him in Juba.

But Gatkouth said the exiled armed opposition leader needed to be protected especially after what occurred when he returned to Juba in 2015.

“Machar will return to Juba when there is a negotiated peace agreement through the revitalization forum. We are committed to peace because we know our people are suffering,” he stressed.

SPLM reunification: Is Taban Deng done politically in South Sudan?

By: Peter Gai Manyuon, South Sudan, MAY/08/2018, SSN;

Taban Deng Gai has been the First Vice President of South Sudan since 2016 after J-1 incident that killed thousands from both Kiir’s forces and Riek Machar’s forces.

Previously, he was the Minister of Mining and the Governor of the Unity State, a position he held before and after South Sudan’s independence in 2011 until 2013 when he was sacked by President Kiir.

On the 7th of May 2018, Taban came out with a press statement amalgamating his bodyguards or his forces to the Kiir forces claiming the reunification of the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) when in fact his closed allies were not part of the decision and many from his group are currently confused about the unfortunate decision from their boss.

It should be noted, General Taban Deng Gai is done politically in South Sudan and what he (Taban) will enjoy now and beyond is the title former First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, nothing more.

You can’t tell me, General Taban will be President after President Kiir or whoever will be the President in South Sudan.

Why do I say so? In fact, general Taban has got four groups of enemies in South Sudan as per politics is concerned.

The first enemy is the general population of the Country because many masses have taken him as the only obstacle to peace in the Country after the collapse of the peace agreement in 2016 July. Taban was taken as an opportunist who only wanted destruction and position, not peace.

The second enemy is Kiir’s group, because they normally say frankly, Taban is the only Nuer man more dangerous than Dr. Riek Machar in South Sudan politics and therefore, he (Taban) covered himself with the name of SPLM in opposition as the only protector in Juba and in the region but now his position and resources are in serious risks.

Don’t ask me why now but ask me after two months from now so that I will be able to give you an answer.

Furthermore, Micheal Makuei Lueth (information minister), General Kuol Manyang (defense minister) and other extremists from Kiir’s camp will eventually introduce a methodology of finishing Taban politically in SPLM since they looked at him as the person who caused the 2013 crisis.

The third enemy is Dr Riek Machar’s group, where currently I don’t see any possibility of Taban assimilating or associating himself in the Nuer-Nation politics is 1% as per now and beyond.

Grassroots Nuer population have taken Taban as an obstacle to peace since Khartoum Peace Agreement and the 2015 agreement that Taban claimed the position of First Vice President through deception.

The fourth enemy to Taban are his supporters in Juba, mainly Hotels officials, there will be instructions from Kiir soon to evacuates the hotels’ accommodations to their various homes in Juba or the States.

In this case, many will defect from the government and rejoin any rebel factions in the Country because the aims of many who are with Taban is money, nothing else.

In summary, since Taban and his group denounced being part of the SPLM in opposition, then he should be ready for serious humiliation both physical and political, and most likely he will be sacked from being the first Vice President and will not also get any position either as deputy chairman of the Party or as Secretary General as he wishes.

Taban will go home in peace after sacking from the second top office in the country and all his supporters especially those in the hotels and other cities will disintegrate and merge with other political parties in the Country.

Peter Gai Manyuon, is an author, Independent Journalist, and Columnist who has written extensively on Human Rights and Democracy in South Sudan He can be reached at southsudanjournalist@gmail.com or independentjournalistpgm.wordpress.com.

A final fake peace and security mediated by IGAD Plus in South Sudan’s conflict

By: Akic Lwaldeng, South Sudan, MAY/08/2018, SSN,

“August, 2015, the Pope Francis, told a group of youth that the greatest challenge in his vocation so far has been finding true peace, and encouraging them to learn how to discern between this peace and the one offered by the devil.” (Source: Catholic News Agency);

South Sudan people are seeking a sustainable peace in the country. In fact, it has been revealed recently that the European Commission Tourist Office advisers warned their citizens about security in Eastern Africa region, such as South Sudan, Kenya and Somalia.

And recently South Sudan, was ranked as the second worst place in the world after Somalia, to live and work in; this is because there is an ongoing conflict in the country and, also, because South Sudan regime faces several forms of malicious violence on foreigners and their own people.

And the question is: what’re the prospects for building a sustainable peace are? What would be the elements in such a peace and how might we bring them about?

In spite of all the militarism that now fills the headlines, I’m feeling less encouraged that the prospects are good for building a meaningful peace over the next few decades.

After all, friends, while I am sharing my thoughts and personal experience on these issues, I often asked myself what motivates a person from Western world to return to the country governed by immoral leaders.

I did study there, but I spent the majority of my life abroad. You could say that my return home represents a reunion with the place of my origin and allows me to gain a more holistic sense of self and identity.

In other words, returning home is an opportunity to be a part of something bigger and better, which could make me positively contribute to the lives of others.

If I could remember well, at the beginning of 2013/14 after having been independent for just two years, South Sudan was deranged, the government was able to control only five regions under the regime, the rest and most of regions were under control by the rebel movement.

There was an incredible number of severe casualties and deaths, women with children were displaced time and time again as we saw many refugees killed by both rebel SPLM-IO and regime SPLM-IG.

Those who were fraught with constant uncertainty many times felt that their freedom has been robbed and they have been disconnected from their family and outside world.

Today they are struggling to maintain a sense of purpose of living, which initially led some of them to leave the country. However, they often contemplated giving up with their lives abroad and just going back to South Sudan.

On the one hand, it was very easy to do it, but on the other hand lack of security was one of the real obstacles and made their returning process difficult, because of causes that prevented them from going back home.

I recognized that the institutional conditions in order to facilitate their returning and integration did not exist in previous years, because of the wicked regime.

In so many years security hasn’t improved, the experiences that I had with my returned colleagues are appalling. They were South Sudanese refugees from the neighbor African countries and all over the globe, but they were not welcome home with dignity.

This is something unbelievable and worthless way of celebrating the returning refugees.

Anybody in this world can easily understand that the current South Sudan regime is an unhealthy system; and that it would be impossible for any sound mind to suggest them to return home.

It is true that the refugees and internal displacement provided by the United Nation camps around the country is a blessing at this stage, but we must acknowledge that a friendly coexistence and the foundations for peace building are not there yet.

In fact, it is unrealistic for refugees from the neighboring African countries to come home to South Sudan under Salva Kiir’s regime: it would be a nightmare for their lives, and it would be the same as we have already witnessed in between 2015 to earlier 2018, genocide in cities such as Juba, Malakal, Bentiu and Bor.

This happened because weak and wicked agreements supervised and undertaken by a failure organisation, so-called IGAD, which was meant to act as a mediating agency, but, in reality, was not able to accomplish this mission at a decent level.

Therefore we are calling them to step down from this worthless negotiation: we realize that to be negotiators became a business for them, and, therefore, the longer it takes, the better and more profitable job they get.

And if we want a real peace, let it be UN or AU to lead the peace process on behalf of South Sudan people and refugees, and not anyone else: in fact, in the past they have done a successful job in Central African Republic. And again they facilitated the entire peace process by the CPA agreement in 2005.

I would give some advice to those who want to help the people of South Sudan, they should put pressure and action on the regime, such as more sanctions on the individual politicians and bans on buying or transporting weapons from some countries, such as Egypt, Uganda and Kenya.

In fact, these countries have no interest in peace in South Sudan, including the toothless so called IGAD plus. In fact IGAD Plus is a dead fish, should not conduct the peace process again, in order to avoid a waste of time.

Africa has so many organisations in the continent such AU, ECOWAS, and others. And I am afraid that IGAD will never ever bring a sustainable peace in South Sudan, with due respect, it looks like a dogs whining and barking with no effect.

Finally, South Sudanese people did put faith and creditable hope on the IGAD Plus to bring peace home, but they have been let down by it.

By Akic Adwok Lwaldeng
email:Akic.lwaldeng@yahoo.com
NDM’s Representation in the UK and member of the Policy Institute for Africa Economy.