Archive for: August 2018

Let’s face it: There is no DEAL, no PEACE for now.

BY: Akim Salah , Wau-South Sudan, AUG/11/2018, SSN;

The mix reactions to the Khartoum-Kampala coerced peace deal demonstrate the difference between naïve tribal opportunists and rational thinking citizens.

To begin with, the peace is all about maintaining the status quo, keeping the same failed pilot (Kiir) and co-pilot (Machar) with their respective manipulated blind followers to continue dominating the national stage/affairs regardless of contemporary history of disastrous results of epic proportion in their names.

As long as these two safeguarded the interests of the Sudanese and Ugandan demi-gods at the expense of the common people suffering in POC and refugee camps there is no problem.

M7 (Uganda’s president Museveni) turned deaf ears to testimonies of fleeing refugees in his backyard because he reaps big from aid, hence sees no reason to review relationships with Juba or at least ask his partner in crime (kiir) to change the game for the sake of the suffering people.

Yet he can afford to taunt the junior friend for failing to unite the people – What a paradox!!

Much as the old man is keen to bolster the Juba regime, economic realities back home biting hard, the Blood Dollar is no trickling in right volumes hence he has to find a way of getting back the lost trade without compromising his own regime (I will come to that latter).

While the economic meltdown in Sudan, coupled with its ambitious development plans quickly reminded El Bashir that after all, it has always been South Sudanese resources boosting Khartoum’s socio-economic development, even after the CPA, the oil dividends make more resounding proportion for development in Khartoum than Juba.

Whereas, in South Sudan itseif, looters squandered their fraction of the pie on lavish cars, properties abroad, prostitutes, and a good amount going to appease their godfathers in East Africa.

Only stupid optimists will think that the two warlords (godfathers) believe that the signed agreement will last. It was written all over their faces and eluded to only in words.

However, if one has to decode the unsaid statements “do not use these ceasefire to prepare for war” said Museveni. Yet reports indicate that he is training SPLA-IG snippers possibly in fear of a repeat of the humiliating clash in July 2016, when the meager, tactfully superior SPLA-IO forces mourned their brothers (IGs) at Jebel with a terrifying catastrophic speed – Only those who have not been in Juba/jebel can deny this fact.

Reports from credible sources intimate that if only there were 5,000 IO forces armed with artilleries, Juba would have gone, and all the same it took the better trained SPLA Units of National security to dislodge them, much like in 2013 when General Mamur had to wrestle out conquered Giada from the Nuers.

With inferences to these tragedies that cost lives of thousands of young men and women including children some of whom are still an accounted for, it’s safe to say mistrust, suspicion, the old vices of tribal hatred and vengeance have taken root to the extend of foiling any peace effort unless it’s addressed in good faith.

That brings us to the Equatoria puzzle. Relatively muted but heavily marginalized, the Equatorians’ aspirations are grossly ignored in the Khartoum deal.

That’s not because they do not have genuine stake/claim but because their forces are construed weak, not to possess real threat to Juba Regime.

These Groups found their backs against enemy friend’s wall hence logistically challenged, let alone the intelligence gathering.

More so, there is what I can call the Equatorian Phobia by both Juba and Kampala Regimes. Kampala, especially M7, knows too well semi-autonomous or independent Equatoria could pose real threat given its cultural ties with the northern Uganda and DR Congo tribes, if Idi Amin’s reign is something to go by.

It’s in Equatoria, too, that the landlocked country’s major roads linking it to the sea ports of Mombasa and Dar El Salaam are found.

Any major war with the host taking an upper hand will paralyze trade and bring the economy to its knees.

The bitter truth that the regime hates but can’t be denied is the fact that some of the Equatorian Brethren are well advanced culturally, educationally, are hardworking and development minded.

They have to be marginalized to bridge the gaps.

Of late the Equatoria phobia manifested itself in Upper Nile where the youth agitated for Equatorian employees’ expulsion from NGOs.

This was also echoed in some sections of Bhar El Ghazel and still rolling. One can be forgiven to make a guess that some of these moves are politically engineered.

The disturbing question is: will the Equatorians continue to fold their hands, endure the continuous marginalization under the watch of Wani Igga all in the name of peace?

Or will they rally behind Thomas and Bakasero to demand for a version of Federalism that suits their aspirations?

Choosing the latter means war, banditry attacks…etc, hence denying Juba to eat their looted delicacy at peace.

The Way Out:
If lasting peace is to be realized, the governance question must be renegotiated to give each region a fair share of power to run its affairs though we can still have same army, money, etc….

Summarily, mistrust, suspicion, the old vices of tribal hatred and vengeance, the Equatoria-Phobia & marginalization are set to deny lasting peace a chance.

***************Time be my Judge****************************

Why PDM rejects Khartoum Agreement on Outstanding Issues of Governance

People’s Democratic Movement, August 6, 2018, press@pdm-rss.org, UNITED KINGDOM, SSN;

The PDM wishes to share with the people of South Sudan its views and reasons for why it rejects Khartoum Agreement on Outstanding Issues of Governance as proposed by Sudanese mediators, and hence did not append its signature to the agreement for a number of reasons, chiefly:

 The agreement does not put the people first before SPLM factions of IG and IO.

 It is a bilateral agreement in the context of SPLM unification between Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, to maintain the status quo, giving a renewal of lease of legitimacy for the failed TGONU.

 The agreement, with IGAD’s blessing, is rewarding impunity, illegality of 32 states and violations of the Constitution TCSS 2011 and ARCSS 2015 by President Salva Kiir. The IGAD, AU and the International community is not standing with the people of South Sudan, are oblivious of over 4 millions of the population in refugee camps, IDPs and POC sites who are not consulted in the decision making process for a sustainable peace in the country.

 The agreement entrusts corrupt leaders with power to lead fundamental reforms in the country that they failed to deliver since independence in 2011.

 ARCSS 2015 made provisions for adoption of federalism, and three years on, the Ministry for Federal affairs established by terms of ARCSS 2015 has reached no conclusion nor made a recommendation for the type of federalism suitable for the country. The agreement, unjustifiably, does not provide for implementation of a federal system during the transitional period.

 Federal Governance during the transitional period, based on three (3) autonomous regions with their borders of the three provinces of Upper Nile, Equatoria and Bahr al Ghazal as they stood on 1st January 1956, provides the most optimal number of federal units of governance amid the country’s collapsing economy.

 By comparison, ten (10), twenty one (21) or thirty two (32) states represents excessive burden on the country’s economy during transitional period, and results in a bloated government of over 100 Ministers at state level alone, 550 members of national legislature, 50 senators, 32 governors, 32 state legislative assemblies and their MPs.

 The Agreement does not promote a people-centric power sharing between the people in three federal regions on 33.33% for each region, and not allocation of power to political elites and their movements by a stroke of a pen. The mediators proposal for power sharing is elites-centric, with high concentration of parties to the agreement from one or two regions only, which makes elites-centric power sharing unfair to the people of South Sudan three regions of Upper Nile, Equatoria and Bahr al Ghzal.

 In SSOA alone, there are 9 parties, 3 from Equatoria, 5 from Upper Nile, 1 from Bahr al Ghazal and a host of other political parties in Juba, without a fair formula for power sharing between them, IO and the IG

2. PDM proposes that the responsibility sharing at all levels of government shall give representation and power back not to the elites but to the people in the three regions. Therefore the responsibility sharing shall be only through the people in accordance with the following percentages for each autonomous Region of Upper Nile, Equatoria, and Bahr al Ghazal:
a- Upper Nile Region: 33%
b- Equatoria Region: 33%
c- Bahr al Ghazal Region: 33%

Through regional people’s convention in the pre-transitional period, the parties to the Agreement shall seek mandate by the people in each region for each region’s share of 33%.

This is to ensure legitimate and fair participation of the 64 ethnicities of the people of South Sudan in the decision-making processes.

This avoids elite-centric responsibility sharing, which allocates percentages to elite political groups by the stroke of a pen without putting people first and their participation in the process.

Addressing root causes to the civil war:

The critical issues that have surfaced post-ARCSS which have not been incorporated in the Agreement and proposed structures of the Transitional Federal Government and its institutions are:-

 The root cause to the civil war is the determination by ethnic-based political elite to dominate power in South Sudan since 1972, when South Sudan became for the first time ever, a self-governing autonomous region in Sudan. The 2013 incident which triggered the present war was, therefore, the latest manifestation of this same attempt to dominate power in our country.

 The power-sharing proposals on %ages for IG, IO, SSOA and OPPs, tabled during the last phase of Khartoum talks are unrealistic, and any such effort to bridge the divide between the parties to the HLRF on power sharing should be holistic and beyond mere arithmetical computation of the Executive and the Legislature composition.
A holistic power sharing approach should now become synonymous with ‘inclusivity’ of the people from all of the 64 ethnicities who are not represented in the HLRF but are entitled to participation in various arms of government and institutions. At present these institutions are dominated by one single ethnicity, the Dinka.

 Power-sharing should be based on a broad set of pillars and principles that include at a minimum, the following five core categories of institutions and territorial or regional population:-

1. The Army and the Security Sector
2. The Executive
3. The Legislature
4. The Judiciary
5. The Territory or Region Population Representation

1. The Army and the Security Sector.
The present army is a tribal, Dinka army. Even President Kiir has acknowledged this fact.
The power-sharing (inclusivity) proposal in the army rests on the call by the Opposition that a new army, in which all the 64 ethnic groups are represented, equitably and qualitatively be established.
This should follow a review of the entire security sectors-the army, the police, National Security Service, Wildlife, Fire Brigade, and Prison- to come up with new doctrines and criteria, which must encompass equal representation of the ethnic groups.

2. The Executive.
In the Agreement, the mandate for being a president must ultimately come from the people. Therefore, the rump population in the regions of Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria and Upper Nile should and shall organize respective People’s Convention to nominate whom they want to be the President.

This Convention must also nominate those they want to be their Ministers at National and Regional levels. They shall also nominate the Governor of their region.
It is not right that SPLM/A-IG or SPLM/A-IO leaders should be the ones selecting Ministers from other regions, the people of the region shall select their Ministers so that they are made accountable to the people.
The distribution of the Ministerial portfolios shall be non-discriminatory; members from any ethnic group should be able to head key ministries of Defence, Finance, Petroleum, or Central Bank etc.

3. The Legislature.
The People’s Convention mentioned above should and shall also nominate who they want to represent them at National Legislative Assembly and the House of Nationalities, and at the State or regional legislatures.
It is not acceptable that SPLM/A-IG or SPLM/A-IO should pick a Speaker of the National Assembly on behalf of Equatorians, for example.
The Transitional Federal Government shall upon its inception, institute the House of Nationalities to which each ethnic group shall nominate two of their respective representatives.

4. The Judiciary.
The present Judiciary, headed by a member of Jieng Council of Elders (from the President’s ethnic group), serves at the behest of the Presidency. Recent judgments by courts portray strange jurisprudence, where excessive sentences of death by hanging or imprisonment for life are meted out to the perceived opponents of the regime.
Defendants who are abducted from foreign countries and returned to the country illegally are permitted to be tried by the courts against all modern best practice and internationally accepted standards.
Therefore a complete overhaul of the judiciary shall be implemented, first by a wholesale resignations of the judges at all levels; followed by the institution of a new Judiciary Service Commission based on transparent, non-discriminatory and meritorious criteria in the appointment of the members, who in turn will follow the same principles in the recruitment of judges.

5. The Territory or Regional Population Representation.
The stranglehold by certain ethnic groups elites on the centralized government shall be broken through the establishment of autonomous Regional Governments.
Through the Federal Government, fair distributions of budgets, independent regional judiciary and local government shall be instituted.
This principle shall be applied to the creation and thereby establishment of three (3), autonomous Federal Regions or States consisting of Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria and Upper Nile with their borders as provinces as they stood on the 1st of January 1956.
The merits of sub-division into more number of states shall be discussed at an appropriate time in the constitution making process.
The people of South Sudan in all of their 64 ethnicities are sovereign and they shall be consulted and shall participate in the Agreement implementation during the pre-transitional and Transitional Period.
Their views, which were collected during the pre-HLRF consultations by the IGAD Special Envoy shall be incorporated in the Agreement; and the people shall be the final arbiters on the number of Federal States in the emerging new South Sudan during the Transitional period in the Constitution making process.

Dr. Hakim Dario
PDM Chair
press@pdm-rss.org

Machar signed his Death Warrant as Pres. Kiir refused to shake his hand for peace

BY: Nicola Bringi, Concerned Diaspora elder, AUG/08/2018, SSN;

We have watched the signing of the mockery peace agreement with great concern, since this peace agreement is not going to prevail as it is not addressing the root causes of the conflict.

Some may think that the problem is only between SPLM-IO leader, Riak Machar and South Sudan president Salva Kiir, but the problem is between the Kiir government with the people of South Sudan; because the government of South Sudan has let their own people down.

Instead of focusing on development and services for the people of South Sudan, Kiir turned to nepotism, uprooting other tribes from their land and relocating his tribe into other peoples’ places.

As a result, some tribes such as people of Western Bhar El Ghazal rebelled in 2012 against the Salva Kiir Regime. By that time, Riak Machar was still the first Vice President and he then supported Kiir’s policy toward people of Western Bhar El Ghazal.

In 2013 when the fight broke out between Kiir and Machar, Machar was expelled from Juba and he became a rebel. The people of Western Bahr El Ghazal thought “the enemy of their enemy was their friend.”

Now they know they were wrong, as Machar only focuses on his personal interests and does not care about the people. Many people from the ethnic group of Machar have been killed, yet he does not think about their lives, their families, or communities in general.

Some of Western Bahr Ghazal’s people joined Machar based on the following conditions:
1. The policy of Wau County’s move to Baggari must be reversed
2. The annexing of Raga to Awiel must be reversed
3. Wau and Raga must remain as one state as pre-independence from Sudan in 2005
4. There must be an adaptation of the federation of governance in South Sudan so that every group can work to develop their state
5. Accountability must be taken against those who are responsible for the killing and raping of innocent civilians in Western Bhar El Ghazal.

Now Machar is signing the so-called peace agreement without putting into consideration what the people of Western Bhar El Ghazal agreed to when they decided to cooperate with him.

He has not condemned the attacks following the ceasefire agreement and their counties are currently under attack. As they are signing the agreement, Salva Kiir is still attacking people in Baggari, Bringi, Mboro, Beselia, Bazia, Raga, Dulu, Mangayat, and Demzubier… etc.

The participants of the Khartoum so-called ‘Khartoum Peace Talks’ have never honoured any agreement…. we saw this in 2015. We also saw this with the 2016 agreement, as well as the ceasefire agreement that was recently signed in July of 2018.

They violated these agreements many times in Equatoria, Western Bhar el ghazal and Upper Nile.

Machar needs to understand that he is signing an agreement with a culprit. Salva Kiir has never honoured any agreement. Machar believes he is signing a peace agreement, but to Salva Kiir, Machar is signing his death warrant, as Salva Kiir refused to shake his hand for peace during the ceremony.

Nicola Bringi
Concerned Elder – South Sudan ‘ Diaspora

LATEST BREAKING NEWS: Arab Sudan security coercing South Sudan Opposition Alliance member to sign peace deal!!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE From: SOUTH SUDAN OPPOSITION ALLIANCE (SSOA): FDP, NAS, NDM, PDM, SPLM-FDs, SSNMC, SSPM, SSLM, SSUM, UDRA. Date: 4th August 2018;

Intimidation of SSOA members by Sudan Security Personnel: South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) through its last two press statement in past two days had made it very clear they will not sign nor be part of this Khartoum Peace Agreement in its current form.

This agreement has failed to address the root cause and core issues fueling the crisis in South Sudan.

Following SSOA’s firm stand of not to sign this agreement, this evening Khartoum local time, Sudan Security personnel has resorted to extreme intimidation and armtwisting coercing SSOA members to sign on behalf of their constituent parties.

At this moment some members of SSPM, SSLM, and NAS have been coerced to sign the agreement tomorrow.

SSOA would like to alert the IGAD mediation, the AU, the Troika, UN, USC and the world at large that such mediation of “Peace at all Cost” by the Sudan will not usher a genuine sustainable peace in South Sudan.

Also, we would like to register our official complaint against Sudan mediation and its security personnel interference and intimidation.

To all our members and supporters, we would like to assure you SSOA will continue to stand firm advocating for the interest of people of South Sudan.

We will continue engaging to bring about Just and genuine sustainable peace in South Sudan.
###

Contact: Kwaje Lasu
+1-336-575-5965 (Direct/WhatsApp)
Email: jointoppositionpressrelease@gmail.com

SOUTH SUDAN OPPOSITION ALLIANCE (SSOA)
FDP; NAS; NDM; PDM; SPLM-FDs; SSNMC; SSPM; SSLM; SSUM; UDRA

Equatoria Diaspora Express Concerns on IGAD-led Khartoum Talks

Press Release, 4/AUG/2018;

Equatorian Leaders in the Diaspora express serious concerns about the IGAD-led peace talks on South Sudan being held in Khartoum

The Equatorian community leaders in the Diaspora representing over 30 (thirty) South Sudanese tribes/ethnic groups, are seriously concerned about the direction of IGAD-led peace talks currently underway in Khartoum, Sudan.

The peace talks is characterised by the following:
(1) it is conducted under an environment of threats, and bribery;
(2) it is NOT INCLUSIVE in nature; and
(3) the proposed agreement on governance does not meet the aspiration of the people of South Sudan.

1. The host mediator (Sudan Government) has been accused of having used threats of deporting any party who refused to sign the permanent ceasefire agreement (Khartoum Agreement) from Khartoum to Juba; handing them to their enemy – the Government of South Sudan.
The same threats remains for those who refuse to sign the proposed agreement on governance, which is expected to be signed on the 5th August 2018.
The Equatorian leaders in the Diaspora condemn in the strongest possible terms the approach used by the mediator to force the parties who have genuine concerns not to sign the agreement because they believe it is fundamentally flawed and is unlikely to bring sustainable peace to the country.

2. The proposed Governance Agreement is neither inclusive nor fair. It is the design of the mediators that the proposed agreement benefits President Kiir and Dr Machar thus realising the reunification of SPLM/SPLA. The deal excluded all other opposition groups.
Various versions of the draft agreements produced during the negotiation process maintained the core Entebbe proposal, while the proposals of the opposition parties were ignored or very limited aspects of it were incorporated into the agreement, which did not make any material difference.

3. At its core, the agreement put forward by the mediators maintained the current failed system of government: it rewards corruption; ignores accountability to war crimes and crimes against humanity; and it entrances land occupation/grabbing by maintaining the disproportional share of governance at all levels.
The popular demand for federalism to commence from the start of the transitional period was undermined, while there are moves to legitimise the illegitimate 32 states through a dodgy referendum to be supervised by President Kiir who decreed them in the first place.

4. In conclusion, we are for a genuine, just and a sustainable peace agreement. We therefore call for:

a. Federalism to be instituted from the start of the transitional period. This shall be later enshrined in the permanent constitution.

b. Three regions/provinces as the basis of equitable planning (including resource allocation) and governance with substructures within them that safeguard the interest of all nationalities therein.

c. No threats must be made to any party in the peace negotiation so that any party who is not satisfied with any agreement is free to walk away and not be forced to sign it. The presence of international observers (UN, TROIKA, AU, and IGAD) is needed at the peace talks to ensure transparency and the right environment for negotiation.

d. An inclusive peace process that is mediated by a neutral host. The current mediators are all biased in favour of the Government and they have sought to accommodate Dr Riak with the post of First Vice President. The mediators ignored addressing the root causes of the conflict. A bad agreement is not only short-lived, but it costs lives too. Therefore, a bad agreement is not worth signing.

Equatorian Leaders in the Diaspora:

Mr. Federico Vuni,
Chair, Equatoria Community Organisation in the UK
Mr. Juma Piri Piri
President, Federation of Equatoria Community Association in Australia Inc
Mr. Joseph Modi,
President, Equatorian South Sudanese Community Association, Canada (ESSCA-Canada)

For correspondence: Mr. Federico Awi Vuni; Email: federicovuni58@gmail.com

Kiir Government Troops Violate Cease-fire Agreement in W.Bahr el Ghazal Region

PR, AUG/04/2018, SSN;

1. Although the signing of the 21 December 2017 Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities and the permanent ceasefire on June 2018, by all woring parties in the Republic of South Sudan, unfortunatly the Kiir Government troops intensified its ofensive in the Western Bahar El Ghazal WBG region and some parts of Equatorian region.

2. The agressions by the government troops in the WBG region raised a serious question about the benefit of the ceasefire agreement and the current peace negotiation in the capital of Sudan, Khartoum, for search of lasting peace in the country. One may ask what is the government’s real intention of waging daily attacks on the positions of Lion Forces during on going peace negotaiton?

3. Even before the signing of the perminant ceasefire, the government troops continued to attack the Lion Forces, an ally forces to the SPLA-IO, under the Comand of Dr. Riek Machar Deny. In which the Lion Forces managed several times to defend their positions, repulse the government troops and cause them heavy casualities. It has been documented that:

a. On 15 June 2018 the government troops attacked civilians in the liberated areas, under control of the Lion Forces in both Wadhelel and Baggari.

b. On 23 June 2018 the government troops attacked the Lion Forces positions in both Baggari and Mboro area.
c. On 26 June 2017 an attack by the government troops on civilians in Ongo Baggari and Ngisa, where governemtn troops killed, burned civilian houses, and looted their proparties.
d. On 27 June 2018 and July 6, 2018 the government troops initiated multiple attacks on Lion Forces position in the Ngo Khaki area, where they used heavy artilarlies to chase away Lion Forces, in order to rabe, kill, loot and destroy civilian properties.
e. On 9 June 2018 an attack by government troops in Mboro area, where they killed 3 civilians, including a pastor who has been serving in the local Church. In the same event the government troops arrested two (2) civilians, including Lewis Mabrouk. Currently, the two (2) arrested civilians have been transfared to new National Security building in Wau. And the list of violation by the government continued.

4. The answer to the above question of why the government intensifying its agresssion during the process of peace negotioation is that, by keeping violating the ceasefire agreement the government intent to gain more teritority from local tribes in WBG region.
The government wants to have larger control over the WBG region, in order to deny the local citizens any present, rights and therefore their demands for reform. These unsolicited firing incidents also allow them to push both the Lion Forces and the inhabitans into Central Africa border, in order to grab WBG lands.
We strongly condemn the constant violations of the 21 December 2017 Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians and Humanitarian Access, and the recent perminant ceasefire agreement signed on 27 June 2018. the Lion forces reserve their rights of self defence.

God bless the people of WBG and the people of South Sudan.

Hon. Dominic Ukelo
Former Governor of Wau State in Opposition and
Member of NLC SPLMA-IO
4 August 2018.

LATEST: SSOA & SPLM-Former Detainees NOT Signing Khartoum Agreement with Kiir!!

Joint Press Statement by SSOA and SPLM-FDs, AUG/04/2018, SSN;

Further to our press release of yesterday, the 3rd of August 2018, the Mediation today told us in unequivocal terms that nothing will be changed in the agreement that was initialed on Wednesday the 25th and that they are going ahead tomorrow with the signing ceremony. He reiterated that this was their final position, thus closing the door for any further discussion on the matter.
In view of this development, SSOA and the SPLM-FDs have decided not to be part of the signing. It is unfortunate that the Mediation could not see the importance of having an inclusive agreement and decided to rush the process.
For us, this is not the end of the road. We shall continue to be part and parcel of the IGAD led High Level Revitalization Forum and will not abandon our efforts in the search for a just and sustainable peace in our war torn country so that our suffering people could relive their normal lives.
We thank H.E. President Omer Hassan Ahmed El-Bashir for his hospitality throughout the days we spent in Khartoum and for devoting his invaluable time to help bring about peace in South Sudan.
United we stand, divided we fall.
——————————
Joint Press Statement by SSOA and SPLM-FDs: Refusal to sign Agreement

AUG/03/2018, SSN;

Since the “Agreement on Outstanding Issues of Governance” was initialed principally by the SPLM-IG and SPLM-IO on the 25th of July, SSOA and SPLM-FDs delegations have been engaging the Mediation on the possibility of making some changes that will make it possible for other Parties to sign so that the document is owned by all.

The discussion centred on Article 4 (number and boundaries of States) and sub-Articles 6.7 and 6.8 (National Pre-Transition Committee and its fund).

Article 5.1 (responsibility sharing in the States and Local governments) was already bracketed in the initialed agreement.

On Article 4, the contentious issues were related to the composition of the Independent Boundary Committee, its decision making and the default position in the event that the IBC Joint Press Statement by SSOA and SPLM-FDs fails to reach a final decision.

We gave several options on each of the three. For instance, we suggested that the default could be adopting the decision of the 55th Extra-Ordinary Session of the IGAD Council of Ministers dated 31 January 2016 or the seventy-nine (79) Counties as they stood on 9/7/2005 or the three regions or, as a last resort, arbitration.

The imposition of the 32 States was an illegality that contravened the Agreement on the bResolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) signed in August 2015.

It should have just been reversed since we are revitalizing ARCSS. Yet, we went this far because we are keen to bring peace to our suffering people.

Our flexibility should not be seen to be a sign of weakness to the extent that we can contemplate legalizing an illegality by accepting a referendum as a default position.

Also, in relation to NPTC, it cannot be formed by any other than IGAD since it was to work during the Pre-Transitional Period.

We met H.E. the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Sudan who is also the Chief Mediator on 29 July 2018 and presented to him the issues we believe should be bracketed for us to be able to sign the Agreement on Outstanding Governance Issues on Sunday the 5th of August.

He promised to look into these points.

Yesterday, the 2nd of August, His Excellency the Minister informed us that he has made consultations with the Parties and that Juba has rejected to have our concerns taken onboard and as such there was nothing he could do.

In view of this development, we would like to inform the public that we cannot sign the said agreement in its present form.

However, we stand ready to ink it if and when our concerns are addressed by the Mediators as above. END

Condemning Kiir’s unlawful arrest of Peter Biar Ajak, now in Juba ‘Blue House’ Den of Lions

BY: Yom Deng Bul, South Sudanese, AUG/02/2018, SSN;

I am hereby Appealing to the Kiir’s Government of South Sudan to unconditionally free and release the South Sudanese Political Analyst, Peace Activist and a Founder of (SSYLF), Dr. Peter Biar Ajak, who is the PhD Holder from the Harvard University in US.

Dr. Biar was part of the 26000 lost boys/girls of South Sudan who were resettled to the Western world in 2001. Dr. Peter Biar becomes part of the lost boys/Girls who were brought to the USA in 2001.

My Name is Yom Deng Bul, I am a South Sudanese Child Rights Activist, the founder of Achut Foundation (A.F) that came to existence in 2007. The A.F was established in South Sudan as a South Sudanese’s Children Rights Organization. I am A Master Student from the U.O.N, and majoring in Diplomacy.

I fled South Sudan on April 27th, 2012 after South Sudan had just gained her independence on 9th July, 2012. I had survived an attempted murder at Hai-Amarat in my premise in Juba. The attackers on me were allegedly suspected to be members of the South Sudanese National Security.

I had spent seven years in exile in Kenya. I had also survived attempted forced kidnapping in Kenya until my House was attacked and raided in Roysambu Estate in Nairobi, on Feb 17th, 2018.

Currently, I am residing in Manhattan, New York City, US. I came to the US on April 15th, 2018 for a speaking Engagement purposes.

Dr. Biar was arbitrary & unlawfully arrested on Saturday, July, 2018 at Juba Airport. He was harassed and intimidated while he was about to board a Plane to Aweil Town heading to Nyamilil to attend a Red Army Foundation’s Commemoration anniversary-day, as reported by a good source.

Dr. Peter Biar was inhumanely and brutally arrested by the South Sudanese National Security (SSNS) in the VIP terminal building. He was forced into a SSNS car and transported to the Blue House, the SSNS headquarters in Customs Area in Juba where he’s being kept.

There is no proper information about what the SSNS charged him with so far. There is no proper public notice about the arrest although all the media houses and magazines are shut down by the government in Juba.

Unfortunately, such SSNS pernicious and unlawful act of Detention, False accusation & an illegal Imprisonment of an individual South Sudanese Political moderator, Analyst, Human rights and Peace activist in South Sudanese is something very common in Juba.

The South Sudanese National Security (S.S.N.S) under General Akol Khoor can decide to illegally arrest anybody they want for no reason. So this is an act is misuse of power. This continuing act of human rights abuses has amounted to war crime and crime against humanity.

This has been going on in South Sudan since the country gained her independence on 9th July, 2012. Addition to that, I am also appealing to all the International Human rights organizations, and individuals legal bodies in East Africa to join hands in advocating for the release of Peace Activist from unacceptable detention.

The Background to South Sudan’s Conflict Hostility: LEADERSHIP FAILURE

The conflict in the Republic of South began on 15th Dec, 2013. It began as a misunderstanding within the SPLM ruling Party. Due to mistrust in the SPLA/M party, it mushroomed into an out-scaled civil war that has engulfed the whole country into the violence.

The war was fueled by mistrust and power wrangling within the SPLM Party. It started as misunderstanding between President Kiir and his former Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, who become SPLA/M-IO chairman.

The war is sustained by the Government and its corrupt cartels including SSNS agents. There was also malfeasance and stealing of the public funds by the SPLM and its high rank government officials as for the case of the 2008-2010 Dura scandal.

This had led to the disappearance of $6 billion in the economy. There is constant Human Rights Violation by both the Government and opposition armed groups leading to abuses of intellectuals in Major towns, Women, Children, elderly peoples and vulnerable youths.

The civil war has been prolonged and has led to constant rebellions at various state levels but much worse in Greater Upper-Nile Region which is composed of Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity States and currently the conflict has escalated into the Greater Equatoria region, Former Western and Northern Bahr-El-Ghazal States in the Greater Bhar El Ghazal region.

This wide spread of violence is contributing to mass atrocities and abuses of citizens across the country and in a Neighboring countries to South Sudan.

The Social services such as learning facilities have been destroyed by the civil war, civilians have fled to increase the Refugees crisis in the region.

HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES

The war in South Sudan is four and half years now, violence has escalated across the country and if the war doesn’t stop, we will witness the worst. This is because the more the war is prolonged, the more it becomes complicated and complex.

There is no security for intellectual South Sudanese like Dr. Peter Biar Ajak. One could be killed by any criminal agent known as Unknown gun man in South Sudan.

The warring factions are committing more mass atrocities and violating many ceasefire agreements since 2014. The government in Juba has resorted to new tactic of inciting communities to go to war with each other.

The National Security has counted and recorded Juba populations and whoever is a new face or arrival in Juba city is recognized and interrogated.

There is use of online hate speeches, fueling up of mass atrocities across the country. The individual supporters of the warring factions in South Sudan are using their associate tribesmen and women to help them preach hatred.

This has given rise to an increase of abuses of sexual violence and sexual exploitation of South Sudanese women on the ground.

There are extra-judicial killings, torturing of the prisoners of war, inhuman treatment of abducted political analysts/leaders, Human rights and Peace activists, Journalists, Moderators and philosophers, Recruitment of Child Soldiers in the Refugee camps outside South Sudan in East Africa and including the IDP.

The civil war has increased the corruption cartels such as stealing and Looting of civilian property, cattle and destruction of the agricultural farms and the Foods items.

There has been forced adoptions and transfer of children to the other group.

The above all amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

This war and its effects on Girl-Child population in South Sudan, has increased early pregnancies, rape..etc.

There is an ongoing Humanitarians crisis fueled by warring factions using inhuman warfare tactics in preventing Aid workers transporting foods to the needy people.

Warmly regards,

Yom Deng Bul,

Contact number: yombul2015@gmail.com

Arrest of Mr. Peter Ajak Biar, human rights activist: Release him NOW

OFPDP (Organization of Former Political Detainees and Prisoners)
South Sudan, 2 August 2018.

PRESS STATEMENT: RELEASE PETER AJAK BIAR NOW

We in the OFPDP learned with profound sadness the arrest of Mr Peter Ajak Biar, a non-violent
human rights activist, on the morning of Saturday 29, July 2018 in Juba while boarding a plane
for Aweil, in South Sudan.

Based on our experience as former detainees, Peter is now being held in a tiny room in solitary
confinement at the National Security Service detention centre at Jebel at the outskirt of Juba.

He is being denied access to his family and relatives as well to a lawyer of his choice.

We call upon President Kiir to immediately order the release of Peter Biar. In doing so he will
underscore the promise he made in June to the Ethiopian Prime Minster, in the presence of Dr
Riek Machar, that he would release all political detainees that month.

By releasing Peter he will also restore confidence in the present peace talks and agreements being undertaken in Khartoum.

We also call upon the President to order the release of the following detainees some of whom
have spent more than three years in detention without trial:

1 Nyero Anthony Kenyi
2 James Lual
3 Ladu James Paul
4 Ayume Peter Dada
5 Yahya Babu
6 Ahmed Abdallah
7 Ochaya Godfrey Severio
8 Tartizio Ociini
9 Peter Abderhaman Sule
10 Gen. Elias Lino
11 Aggrey Idri Ezbon
12 Samuel Luak Dong
13 William Endly
14 James Gadet

On Behalf of OFPDP; (Prof) Leonzio A. Onek

SSOA chooses the downtrodden over the elites at the Khartoum Peace Talks

BY: Dr Lako Jada Kwajok, AUG/01/2018, SSN;

The Khartoum round of peace talks provided many South Sudanese with a rare opportunity of knowing whether their political leaders meant what they propagate and preach.

The events of the last four weeks were quite discriminating in the sense that they revealed those politicians who care about the welfare of the ordinary citizens and those who don’t.

Khartoum may seem far away from the small towns and villages of South Sudan, but modern technology has made communications and the flow of news within reach of a significant number of the populace.

Do not underestimate how closely these peace talks were followed by our folks in the refugee camps in the neighbouring countries, in our towns and cities, and in the bushes of South Sudan.

The future of the homeland hangs in the balance thus every citizen is very much concerned and very keen to know what’s going on be it in Addis Ababa or Khartoum.

For the overwhelming majority of our people, South Sudan Opposition Alliance) SSOA’s stance and refusal to initial the Agreement on the Outstanding Issues of Governance represented a breeze of hope amid desperation.

Many never saw it coming. The majority of the observers thought at best there would be a split within SSOA (led by Mr. Changson and Dr. Lam Akol, Gen. Thomas Cirillo & others) and most likely two or three Movements would hold out and not succumb to the enormous pressure exerted on the delegates.

They were proven wrong, and SSOA defied the odds by remaining compact and steadfast to its original positions.

It might not be possible to gauge the magnitude of the widespread support that some SSOA members harvested by standing firm behind popular demands like federalism, the abolition of the illegal 32 States, and accountability.

But from the outset, a bombshell landed and exploded in the midst of the peace talks audience when the news of coercion, intimidation, and the obtainment of signatures under duress was leaked out.

That alone added a new dimension to how the public perceived the political leaders who went through that ordeal.

It depicted to many of them the idiom “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

Some leaders have done themselves a great favour by standing their grounds. Others might not have known that they have curtailed their political future by giving in to pressure and personal gains.

It’s quite evident that SSOA’s popularity has surged as it’s increasingly being seen as the entity presenting real solutions to the root causes of the conflict.

As for the Riek Machar’s SPLM IO, its initialling of the Agreement on the Outstanding Issues costed it dearly. Its popularity has plummeted significantly.

It’s apparent that the SPLM IO is in turmoil due to Dr Riek Machar abandoning the fundamental objectives that persuaded many in the past to join the Movement.

….Riek Machar has dropped the three major issues namely, federalism, the abolition of the 32 States, and accountability. For many SPLM IO supporters, what he did amounts to a deal breaker.

It’s incredible that people like Dr Luka Biong seem to have turned 180 degrees against what they believed more than a couple of years ago. He was dismissed from his Juba University lecturing post following a direct order from President Kiir to the University administration. The reason was that he organised a public lecture to discuss the constitutionality and legality of the Presidential order number 36 to create the then new 28 States. The majority of the participants including himself were against the Presidential order. He had to leave the country hurriedly to avoid detention or even much worse.

Now, Dr Luka Biong has criticised SSOA for refusing to initial the Agreement on the Outstanding Issues of Governance that stipulates the maintenance of the 32 new States. So, how can he be against the new 28 States back in 2015 but now supports the expanded number of States in 2018?! It makes no sense at all!

His argument that SSOA shouldn’t have refused to initial the Agreement because it did sign the Khartoum Declaration of Agreement (KDA) relinquishing the sovereignty of the country to Sudan; is unconvincing. It’s not a secret that apart from the Former Political Detainees (FPDs), SSOA was never aware nor negotiated the KDA. Dr Luka Biong precisely knows how SSOA ended up signing the document. Signing an agreement in such circumstances means nothing. Appending a signature to some official document is not enough to constitute a deal, but a commitment to abide by it is all the most important. Contemporary history is full of such examples. Perhaps the most famous was the Munich Agreement of 30/09/1938 where Hitler gave the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain a white paper with his signature on it promising non-aggression before the invasion of Poland the next year. And why even go far, the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) was signed by President Kiir on 26/08/2015 and violated by him in July 2016.

Decrying the loss of sovereignty by signing the KDA is misdirected. Dr Luka biong should have known better as a former Minister of Presidential Affairs. South Sudan sovereignty continued to be compromised since the time he was in office. Was he unaware of the alien forces on South Sudan’s soil?! Did he not know that we do not possess a radar system and that Khartoum and Kampala are controlling our airspace?! Has he ever heard of a sovereign country that does not have full control over its territory and airspace? And being a senior member of the SPLM party, does he not think that his leadership bears the responsibility of firstly, failing to equip the country with a radar system? And secondly, signing the Khartoum Oil Agreement (KoilA) and the KDA? Finally, is it logical to pile up criticism on SSOA for its signature on the KDA while saying nothing about the ruling party?

Dr Luka Biong could have alerted his President to the numerous encroachments on the sovereignty of the State by foreign powers since the inception of the Government of South Sudan. He was the Presidential Affairs Minister, and that was the closest one could be to the President and the decision making process. He chose to do nothing for reasons best known to him because I don’t think he was unaware of such glaring facts. It wasn’t an issue of affordability as a fraction of the loot from the oil proceeds would have provided the country with some of the modern radar systems in the world. He was a member of the cabinet when the South Sudanese people first knew about the list of 75 top-ranking officials who purportedly embezzled 4 billion USDs from the coffers.

Some of Luka Biong’s assertions were contradictory when put to scrutiny. On the one hand, he wants SSOA and the FPDs to form a unified opposition to challenge Juba from within while on the other he admits that Salva Kiir and Riek Machar may not provide a conducive environment for sustainable peace. Without the fundamental changes in the system of governance that made SSOA reject the Khartoum proposal, does he not think that it would be the same political environment that led him to flee Juba in 2015?

It’s inaccurate to say that SSOA has accepted President Kiir and Dr Riek Machar to lead the transition. SSOA has declared it time and again that it’s not seeking power-sharing (responsibility sharing) which would certainly not address the root causes of the conflict. SSOA wants the establishment of a government of institutions based on federalism and the devolution of powers to the States. Once the appropriate system of governance is in place, the participation of Salva Kiir and Riek Machar in the transition would depend on how they meet the requirements of such a system.

His claim that SSOA and the FPDs have got no moral standing to convince the South Sudanese people why they refused to initial the proposal is indeed the opposite. Some of the SSOA member organisations would have perished, had they betrayed their masses by initialling the agreement in the form presented to them. Gone are the days when people follow leaders blindly.

Of late we have seen the eminent scholar trying to position himself in the middle of the political debate between the government and the opposition. Well, actions speak much louder than words. In one of his articles, he suggested that President Kiir should be persuaded to step down amicably. What he alluded to would have been reasonable in a democratic environment whereby a leader was cleared of any wrong-doing but still bears the responsibility of mistakes committed by his subordinates. It isn’t the case in South Sudan. There’s a consensus nationally, regionally, and internationally that South Sudan hasn’t been well-governed since the SPLM party took power in 2005. The country tops the list of the Fragile States in the world (aka failed states) with Fragile State Index (FSI) of 113.4 points. Somalia comes second with FSI of 113.2 points and Yemen in the third position with FSI of 112.7 points.

On the corruption front, our country is number 2 behind Somalia with a score of 12 points on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) and above Syria. Somalia and Syria both scored 9 and 14 points respectively on the CPI. Luka Biong remains loyal to his previous boss otherwise he would have been vocal within his party asking President Kiir to step down. His political allegiance and views haven’t changed a bit although he is now tactically masquerading as a neutral figure.

I am under no illusion that the road would be easy for SSOA to realise a government of institutions, the upholding of the rule of law, and lasting peace in the Republic of South Sudan. Things would most likely get worse before they could get better. But SSOA has shown to the world the kind of leadership the masses are longing for. It deserves recognition and support from the regional powers and the international community.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok