Archive for: December 2018

PDM not a Member of SSOA & Neither a signatory to R-ARCSS 2018

For Immediate release –                                                                                                     December 6th, 2018

In the course of this week, the media outlets have been inundated with a surge in statements issued by the compromised factions of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), triggered by the apparent fallout within their ranks.

PDM would like to inform the public, its supporters and sympathizers, that the Movement ceased to be a member of the compromised SSOA factions under leadership of Mr. Gabriel Changson before they signed the R-ARCSS on 12th September 2018. Moreover, PDM has not at any time become a signatory to the R-ARCSS nor joined in its implementation mechanisms.

PDM is hence surprised by the appearance of two new groups purporting to be PDM factions represented by Ms Josephine Lagu Yanga, in Mr. Changson’s faction of SSOA and Mr. Anas Richard Zanga in Gen Peter Gatdet’s faction of SSOA.

PDM would like to condemn the fraudulent use of PDM’s good name by both Ms Josephine Lagu Yanga and Mr. Anas Richard Zanga, the duo are not members of PDM and are not known to be registered members of PDM.

Ms Josephine Lagu Yanga was suspended and subsequently expelled from PDM before R-ARCSS was signed on 12th September 2018.

Mr. Anas Richard Zanga was never known to be a member of PDM.

The public should know that these individuals are fraudulent, masquerading as PDM factions, brought on as convenient substitutes by Mr. Gabriel Changson and Dr. Lam Akol, promising them with R-ARCSS government positions for their support to R-ARCSS of which PDM is not a signatory.

These factions are fraudulent, and the manner in which they were suddenly brought on to assume the name of PDM goes a long way to substantiate the fraudulent nature of the R-ARCSS 2018 and of the so-called SSOA leaders.

The office of the Special Envoy and IGAD mediators are to blame for making the R-ARCSS a flawed, unsustainable agreement in its current form.

PDM would like to distance itself and its name from association with fraudsters Mr. Anas Richard Zanga, and Ms Josephine Lagu Yanga whose PDM-P that she announced on Sudan Tribune a few months back appears to have suddenly vanished and fraudulently replaced as PDM by Mr. Gabriel Changson!

Dr. Hakim Dario,

Chair, People’s Democratic Movement (PDM)

South Sudan: Execution spree targets even children and threatens nursing mothers

FROM: Amnesty International, DEC/07/2018, SSN;

South Sudan has carried out more executions this year than it has done in any year since gaining independence in 2011, with a child among seven people known to have been executed so far in 2018, Amnesty International revealed today.

Amnesty International fears for the lives of another 135 people on death row, who have this year been rounded up from other prisons across the country to two prisons notorious for executions.

“It is extremely disturbing that the world’s youngest nation has embraced this outdated, inhuman practice and is executing people, even children, at a time when the rest of the world is abandoning this abhorrent punishment.” Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

Amnesty International has established that at least 342 people are currently under the sentence of death in South Sudan, more than double the number recorded in 2011.

“The President of South Sudan must stop signing execution orders and end this obvious violation of the right to life.” Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.
Last year, South Sudanese authorities executed four people, two of whom were children at the time of the crimes for which they were convicted. The executions were a blatant violation of national and international laws, which strictly forbid the execution of anyone who was below the age of 18 at the time of their alleged crime.

This year Amnesty International interviewed a 16-year-old boy, who is languishing on death row at Juba Central Prison, after being convicted of murder. Waiting for his appeal to be considered by the court, he described the crime as an accident.

“Before the accident, I was in secondary school. I was a runner, a very good one and I was also a singer of gospel and earthly songs. […] My own aim was to study and do things that can help others. My hope is to be out and to continue with my school. 16-year old on sentenced to death.

He said he had told the judge that he was 15 during his trial.

The use of the death penalty against people who were children at the time of the crime is strictly prohibited under international human rights law and South Sudan’s 2011 Transitional Constitution. Article 37(a) of the Convention on the Rights of a Child, to which South Sudan is a party, stipulates that ‘neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below 18 years of age’.

State-sanctioned killings

Since independence in 2011, South Sudanese courts have sentenced at least 140 people to death, and the authorities have executed at least 32 people.

This year’s spate of state-sanctioned killings seems to have been sparked by a directive by the Director-General of the National Prison Service of South Sudan on 26 April 2018.

In it, he ordered all death row prisoners held at county and state prisons to be moved to two of the country’s most notorious death chambers – Wau Central Prison and Juba Central Prison.

This year’s spate of state-sanctioned killings seems to have been sparked by a directive by the Director-General of the National Prison Service of South Sudan on 26 April 2018.

In May, 98 death row prisoners were transferred from Kuajok, Tonj, Rumbek and Aweil state prisons in Bahr el Ghazal region, in the north-western part of the country, to Wau Central Prison.

Another 37 death row prisoners, including at least one child and a breastfeeding mother, were also transferred from prisons in the Equatoria region in the south of the country to Juba Central Prison.

Thirty-four people were moved from Torit State Prison in September 2018 and three from Kapoeta State Prison in November 2018 to Juba.

“The South Sudanese government must immediately establish an official moratorium on executions, commute all death sentences to prison terms and abolish the death penalty altogether.” Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

The transfer of 135 death row prisoners to prisons in Juba and Wau where all executions have taken place so far is deeply alarming.

The South Sudanese government must immediately establish an official moratorium on executions, commute all death sentences to prison terms and abolish the death penalty altogether, said Joan Nyanyuki.

“Any attempt to execute a breastfeeding woman would contravene South Sudanese law and international human rights law and standards.”

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature of the crime, the characteristics of the offender, or the method used by the state to execute the prisoner.

The death penalty – the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state in the name of justice – is the most fundamental denial of human rights.

It violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

 Background

In South Sudan, the Penal Code provides for the use of the death penalty for murder; bearing false witness resulting in an innocent person’s execution or for fabricating such evidence or using as true evidence known to be false; terrorism (or banditry, insurgency or sabotage) resulting in death; aggravated drug trafficking; and treason.

Hanging is the method of execution provided for in the Code of Criminal Procedure. Before a person sentenced to death can be executed, the Supreme Court and the President must confirm the death sentence. END

First Legal Case against Kiir’s Government for Gang Rape & Sexual Slavery Lodged.

DEC/06/2018, SSN;

The Legal Action Worldwide (LAW) has lodged the first case against the government of South Sudan led by President Salva Kiir for sexual violence against 30 South Sudanese women and girls by members of the South Sudan army, currently known as the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) and formerly the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the Presidential Guards.

The complaint outlines brutal sexual violence, including sexual slavery, sexual torture, rape and gang rape against women and girls during attacks on their villages and whilst they fled the violence from June 2016 to September 2017.

The case has been lodged at the UN Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in Geneva.

The 30 women and girls represented by LAW include ‘K2,’ who was subjected to mass rape with her three sisters and a family friend in front of each other in their kitchen. She was 12 years old at the time.

Muding, 42 years old, was gang raped by SPLA soldiers whilst another soldier blew a whistle indicating when the perpetrators should finish.

Joanna’s nine years old daughter was beaten outside while she was raped inside in her home.

Scovia, a 27-year-old mother of four, was gang raped by five Government soldiers. Whilst she was being gang raped, two of her children disappeared. She has not seen them since.

And Viola, 29 years old, who was tied to a tree, tortured and gang raped by Government soldiers in an army camp.

“The conflict in South Sudan has been ongoing for five years and during this time, tens of thousands of young girls and women have been subjected to horrific sexual violence by Government security forces.

To date almost no one has been held accountable. We have to ask ourselves: Why are we not doing more to protect them?” asked Antonia Mulvey, Executive Director of LAW.

“This is a landmark case which is the first step on a long road to justice for all women and girls in South Sudan.”

Rape has been used as weapon of war against the civilian population and until today, there has not been a case against the Government for its actions.

The women and girls that LAW represents are so frightened of reprisals from their Government and its agents that they have fled their own country and are now living as refugees.

Due to serious concerns for their safety, LAW has requested that the UN Committee protect their full identities during the consideration of their case.

About Legal Action Worldwide (LAW): LAW is a unique non-profit network and think tank of human rights lawyers who provide creative legal assistance to individuals and communities who have suffered human rights violations and abuses in fragile and conflict-affected areas.

LAW works in Africa, Middle East and South Asia and predominantly focuses on addressing sexual violence through legal intervention.

In Bangladesh, LAW co-represents 400 Rohingya women and girls in their victims’ submission before the ICC.

WOMEN, PEACE & SECURITY

LAW will shortly begin an exciting new project that seeks to ensure the UN Security Council Women, Peace & Security Agenda, (UNSC Resolution 1325) is fully incorporated into South Sudan’s peace process and that women and girls, including survivors of conflict-related sexual violence, can effectively participate.

LAW and its consortium partners will empower South Sudanese women to engage with transitional justice mechanisms, and to reduce impunity for conflict-related sexual and gender based violence (SGBV). This will be done through a comprehensive approach.

On 19 May 2016, LAW held an expert panel on accountability for sexual gender based violence (SGBV) in South Sudan to launch the report along with the South Sudan Law Society and Amnesty International. Panellists included: David Deng, (South Sudan Law Society), Ferdinand Von Habsburg-Lothringen, (Committee for National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation), Elizabeth Deng, (Amnesty International) and Alicia Luedke, (Justice Africa). LAW’s Executive Director Antonia Mulvey moderated the panel discussion, which highlighted several ways forward for increasing accountability in South Sudan. 

Martyr Isaiah Abraham in the 6th Anniversary of his Death Fights the Juba Regime of Terror.

BY: ELHAG Paul, South Sudan, DEC/04/2018, SSN;

It’s 6 years since Isaiah Abraham was attacked in his own house in the dead of the night by members of the intelligence team of the Tiger battalion directly under the control of President Salva Kiir Mayardit.  Isaiah was shot in the head in cold blood in his own compound.  Isaiah’s sin was to speak the truth about President Kiir.

In one of his last articles, ‘South Sudanese skepticism on security deal with Sudan is real’ published on 19th October 2012 by South Sudan News agency, Isaiah vociferously lamented the sorrowful leadership of President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar for failing to protect the territory of South Sudan from the encroachment of the Arabs in Sudan.

Isaiah wrote, “President is to blame squarely on our lands being occupied by the Arabs and now he has gone further to sign away Mile 14. His statement that he will not cede an inch of land to North comes too late, too little.  We are not buying this belated chest-thumping statement from a man we all know his frequent promises.  We know him better.”

Isaiah, in voicing the concerns of the people, paid with his life.  In his criticism of President Kiir, Isaiah spoke as a true son of South Sudan.

Though he was a Jieng, an SPLM/A die-hard member and an officer of the SPLA with the rank of  ‘Major,’ he took his duties to South Sudan seriously.

This principled stand made him to contradict his allegiance to the SPLM/A.  He certainly was in a dilemma to chose between standing up for South Sudan or remain firmly loyal to SPLM/A.

To his credit, he chose the former and dared to speak the truth to protect South Sudan.

Did his patriotic stand constitute treason to cost his life?  No! Isaiah as a human being and a citizen of South Sudan has the right to express his views as in the international instruments South Sudan has signed to and also as coded in the interim constitution of South Sudan.

Now even if Isaiah was wrong, why wasn’t he accorded/offered the right to defend himself  in a proper court of law?

The answer is simple, were Isaiah to be howled to court to answer for the contents of his articles, he’d no doubt win in any fair court of law.  This might put President Kiir and his regime in a bad place, possibly with hemorrhaging support of the people.

So the easiest way was for Isaiah to be brutally silenced for the truth to be buried and also for his murder to act as a warning to other writers.

Now, has the silencing of Isaiah worked? You the reader can guess for yourself.  It’s sad that the people of South Sudan didn’t make a deafening noise to call for proper investigation and accountability.

At the time there was a talk of the American Federal Bureau of Investigation joining their counterparts in Juba to investigate the murder.  Unfortunately nothing happened or materialized and the story died without the public realizing it has been swept under the carpet.

The murder of Isaiah mirrors the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi Arabia’s journalist and a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman widely known as MBS.

Khashoggi, according to reports (Aljazeera), was lured by security agents of Saudi Arabia to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, where he was brutally murdered with his body dismembered.

Unlike in the case of Isaiah, Khashoggi has the Turkish state on his side pursuing justice for him.  Will Khashoggi get justice?

This remains to be seen as the case has become a highly complex diplomatic game internationally in nature drawing in arguments about business dealings and regional politics.

On the other hand, will Isaiah get justice? I’d like to believe that he’ll because the South Sudanese are committed to bringing President Kiir, the Jieng Council of Elders and the entire SPLM/A leadership to the book.

It may not happen now but it’ll certainly be in the future.  Ultimately Isaiah’s case will have to be handled by any of the courts to be set up in South Sudan.

All the horrific crimes against humanity committed by the SPLM/A leadership must be addressed if South Sudan is to see peace and prosperity.

Since the murder of Isaiah, a total of 9 journalists have been murdered by the Juba regime.  These are: Adam Juma of Raja Radio, Randa George of Raja Radio, Dalia Marko of Raja Radio, Boutros Martin of South Sudan TV, Musa Mohammad of South Sudan Radio Wau, Pew James Raeth of Radio Tamazuj, Peter Julius Moi of South Sudan Corporation weekly, and John Gatluak Manguest of the Radio Community Interview South Sudan.

The murder of these talented young professionals simply because they’re doing their jobs – telling truth isn’t only a horrendous crime but it’s also the destruction of valued human resources South Sudan desperately needs for its development.

The targeting of journalists is the rejection of truth by the privileged dictators who’re enjoying resources of their countries without providing any basic services to the people.

That privilege is derived from the current reigning ideology of neo-liberalism whose values don’t cherish human rights and humanity.  Neo-liberal economic values strictly promote markets, profits and growth.

Human life has a price which seems to be categorized by the standing of each individual in their society.  People from lower strata of society may be expendable.

So in South Sudan journalism hasn’t yet developed to be a profession to be reckoned with.  Without adequate support of the masses journalists will continue to pay with their lives.  Therefore, they’re expendable.

Perhaps President Trump of USA was right when he described the world as a dangerous place in reference to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

How does the ‘West’ see this behavior by Juba regime and other dictators?  In principle, the ‘west’ condemns and announces it cares, but in reality they may not support the suffering people to free themselves from the tyranny of the dictators.

What is important for the ‘west’ is pursuance of business in line with the reigning economic ideology.  So long as they can make profit from these dictators they don’t care what the dictators do to their people.

Indeed, this is now a ‘dangerous world.’  In terms of the abuses in South Sudan by the SPLM/A, it appears that the ugly dragon called racism plays a big role.

Culturally, racism has been inculcated into the minds of people in the West through false scientific teachings and derogatory story telling using the media to the extent that the English language itself subtly has become a purveyor in the continuity of racist discrimination against people of color.

Slavery in the last couple of centuries has helped to cement the belief that the “other” are inferior and unequal to White people.

Eric Williams in his book, ‘Capitalism and slavery’ shines the light on how capitalism dehumanized people of color to justify their commodification for the ‘west’ to make profit and grow their economies.

Black life does not matter whether a single life or tens of thousands of lives.  So South Sudanese shouldn’t expect much that they’ll be supported by the international community.

The songs of we (west) care about the people of South Sudan doesn’t add up.  The way forward is D.I.Y, do it for yourself and rely on yourselves.  Raise your own funds, and do your own thing to prove your sovereignty.

This is precisely what Isaiah was talking about when he said “What is this argument that if the President signs it, the document, it can’t be challenged (?).

Who is this god in South Sudan that when he does something it can’t be reversed?  Whether Kiir or Garang signed it, people are more supreme.  They can redo what has been botched for the good of all.”

Here Isaiah is telling the people that they can do whatever they want that is in their interest to restore their dignity.  It is a matter of determination, conviction and organisation.

Paradoxically, on this 6th anniversary of Isaiah’s silencing, the same President Kiir, Dr Riek Machar and the compromised SSOA have connived with IGAD and the international community to distribute the resources of South Sudan among themselves under an ersatz agreement known as Khartoum Peace Agreement (KPA) of 12th September 2018.

For those who don’t understand the impact of this sell-out agreement, please read the full article of Isaiah.  The agreement is about the negligent management of the abused people of South Sudan (willfully murdered, raped and displaced) and its resources.

The KPA has all the ingredients that led to the collapse of Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) of August 2015 which blew up in July 2016.  So it is highly likely that this fake peace would take the country back to square one in the nearest future without any change to the people – the suffering just continues and the looting of resources of South Sudan goes on unabated.

Think about it, the displacement of people in areas with natural resources is not by accident.  It’s deliberately designed to enable the exploiters of the people’s natural resources to continue looting without any obstacles or alarms being raised.

What does this mean?  One thing is clear: the South Sudanese through President Kiir, Dr Riek Machar, compromised SSOA and IGAD, are being killed and destroyed for their resources to be stolen.

In a sense, The Sentry to a certain extent states the truth when it argues that the problem of South Sudan is grounded in Kleptocracy.  But there’s more to this than meets the eye.

Please see, ‘Kenyan court halts South Sudan’s ‘gold rush’ by Brian Wasuna of Daily Nation. (https://mobile.nation.co.ke/news/Kenya-South-Sudan-gold-rush/1950946-4868608-125mmwl/index.html)

Isaiah sought to enlighten the masses 6 years ago and he paid with his life.  His sacrifice was not for nothing.  What he said then is still the reality of today with the fake KPA.

South Sudan land is being stolen, South Sudan mineral resources are being carted out to Khartoum and Uganda to maintain the ethnic regime in Juba.  South Sudanese people are being massively displaced, murdered, raped and sent into refuge without anybody caring.

Please see, ‘How European and Chinese arms diverted to South fuelled its civil war’ by Robbie Gramer. (https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/11/29/how-eu-and-chinese-arms-diverted-to-south-sudan-fueled-its-civil-war-small-arms-warfare-east-africa-conflict-china-weapons-exports-humanitarian-crisis-juba-peace-deal-salva-kiir/)

Welcome to the world of neo-liberal economics.  President Kiir and Dr Machar can freely sell and abuse the people with impunity because they hijacked state power in Juba. Thus they can buy IGAD and the international community to do what they want in terms of promoting their ethnic ideologies.

These failed leaders murdered Isaiah.  In death Isaiah continues to fight the failed leaders of South Sudan and this is what he is telling you the people now which is relevant to the current situation:

“My people have suffered under president Kiir and his heartless clique (IO, FDs and compromised SSOA), I have no kind words against these people.  The demonstration we made as people of South Sudan on Monday, not as Northern Bahr El Ghazal people, will go down in history as the beginning of things to come. 

Mr President is not apologetic and this is worrying.  The people of this country deserve a leader that respects their views.  We’ve never had problems with him since he accidentally ascended to power in 2005, because the situation dictated that people exercise patience.  For the past eight years we have learned bitterly that Mr Kiir is the problem and should be removed.  He has failed us in many fronts, and on this matter of land he must not be forgiven.”

Who can dispute this truism?  Isaiah Abraham, rest in peace and God bless.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul

elhagpaul@aol.com

@elhagpaul

Will Khartoum peace agreement bring reform or maintain Kiir’s tyranny?

By: Duop Chak Wuol, South Sudan, DEC/04/2018, SSN;

Known for operating with a vicious precision, his trademark is ruthlessness, and how he maneuvers his political rivals is irrefutably effective. Salva Kiir, the man in question, is a formidable tyrant with a bag full of cruel leadership practices.

The Khartoum’s peace agreement is one of those political blessings that a calculating dictator like Kiir could easily exploit to further his oppressive techniques.

This is an attempt to show that the Khartoum-brokered deal could end the civil war; however, there are plausible reasons to believe that the pact could merely end up preserving the current tyrannical system, empowering Kiir to further strengthen his grip on power.

It is worth acknowledging that the only best way for South Sudan to move forward would be for peace to return to the country. I assume nearly all South Sudanese are tired of war and ready for peace.

However, there are many contentious issues that, if not properly addressed, will turn the agreement into a pro-Kiir deal, rendering him the ability to continue ruling with impunity.

These issues include hybrid court, legislative, security arrangements, and constitutional amendment body.

All four of these issues are important, but the most important issues that require critical scrutiny are the constitutional amendments committee and future national legislative body.

So, let us dig deeper into the constitutional amendment committee, including the impending role of the proposed legislative assembly.

To refresh your memory, it is good to remember that real political reforms in any established society are done legislatively. This is what South Sudanese expect from the Khartoum’s peace agreement.

Regrettably, a careful analysis of the pact reveals that it would be nearly impossible for the armed opposition and other opposition parties to advance their democratic reforms through parliamentary processes because their anticipated Members of Parliament (MPs) will be outnumbered by MPs representing the incumbent government.

The reality is that opposition MPs will not pass any reform bill Kiir deems as a threat to his presidency. In a logical sense, the incumbent MPs will represent 60.4% while opposition MPs will have 39.6% in the proposed parliament.

Khartoum’s peace agreement stipulates that the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) will have 550 Members of Parliament (MPs).

The deal gives the incumbent TGoNU 332 MPs, whereas the SPLM-IO and other opposition parties will have 218 MPs.

This is not my opinion—it is a mathematical fact. Those who agree with this approach should consult with their consciences.

Precisely, the parliamentary maneuvering is all about the number — the majority to be precise, and back-door deal makings.

Given the nature of the legislative game, Kiir clearly would not allow some of his MPs to be bribed by the opposition leaders, let alone the fact that he will still indirectly be in control of the nation’s financial system.

There are some people within the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) and other opposition parties who care more about making any peace deal with Kiir’s regime so that they can be part of the proposed future Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU).

These people are desperate—shockingly desperate—and eager to exchange their supposedly reformed political doctrines with positions.

One thing is clear: their desperation is logically irrelevant, because they seem to be focusing more on what they want rather than what the people want.

What the people of South Sudan want is an utter political reform in the country. In the case of constitutional reform, Kiir is clearly not into it.

For instance, the Committee formed to amend the constitution should have been given mandates to amend the current anti-democratic constitution before the proposed TGoNU is formed.

Kiir cunningly frustrated the process in September by claiming in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, that the constitution would only be amended four months after the transitional government is formed.

One wonders where on the planet earth the leaders of the SPLM-IO and other parties would have been deceived by this self-serving strategy.

There is no guarantee Kiir will honor his promise. Remember, Kiir knows what he is doing: 16 weeks is enough time for him to fully implement or reject the agreement.

What is ironic about the constitutional amendment process is that Salva Kiir is sure about his true intention while opposition leaders seem to rely on Kiir’s four-month time frame.

In other words, the leaders of the SPLM-IO and other parties appear to have learned no lesson, let alone the July 2016 Juba one (J1) incident.

Given all these political missteps, one can easily conclude that all opposition parties have either given up their political doctrines in favor of reuniting all ranks of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party and then resume business-as-usual or are clueless about what they are dealing with.

This assertion seems absurd, but the way opposition leaders embraced Kiir’s notion of revising the constitution four months after the formation of the future government explains it otherwise.

Yes, peace is good, but emotion should not blindfold national leaders who, for five years, vowed to transform South Sudan’s political system.

Under the current constitution, Salva Kiir wields an absolute power. For instance, Kiir can dismiss any government official, including the elected ones.

Kiir’s power does not stop at the national level. The constitution simply made him an unchallenged leader. The man can even dissolve both the national and states parliaments as he wishes.

His powers do not end here. Kiir can also remove state governors and parliamentarians at any time of his choosing. He can do all these through a presidential decree because that is what is written in the current constitution.

Salva Kiir is addicted to these broad powers vested in him by the very constitution he orchestrated.

For the opposition leaders to assume that Kiir, for some mysterious reasons, will allow full amendment of the constitution is a mere joke.

Given all these facts, it’d be irrational for any reasonable person to think that Kiir will allow the constitutional amendment committee to remove the tyrannical powers he has been exercising for nearly eight years.

There is no doubt the five-year civil war has caused so much suffering. The recent estimate released in September 2018 by the United Kingdom-based London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine of at least 382,000 dead shows that the conflict has killed a lot of people, most of whom had nothing to do with the political madness that began in early 2013.

This is the reality any sensible person would not deny. The number speaks for itself. Most of the 382,000 people who lost their lives died because of a political insanity perpetuated by Kiir in December 2013.

History and publicly available data show that most dictators tend to have hard times transitioning into a democratic process.

It is true that some tyrants change, but it would not be a surprise if Salva Kiir happened to be in the category of autocrats who changed their leadership mindsets after their people demanded democratic reforms.

Beware though that it is nearly impossible for a documented dictator who ruled for many years to abandon his or her dictatorial mentality.

It is to be recalled that Kiir was loved by most South Sudanese when he took over the helm of the SPLM soon after the accidental death of late Dr. John Garang in July 2005. This does not mean he is a better leader.

The logic behind this rather reprehensible assumption was that he was the first deputy to Dr. Garang. At that time some people thought Kiir’s personality fit within the meaning of leadership quality.

What many people did not know at the time he was elected as the leader of the SPLM is that Kiir already had a fearsome persona.

It is to be recalled that Kiir captivated this merciless character when he was the head of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) military intelligence.

Consequently, Salva Kiir’s destructive leadership has its roots from the mid-1980’s to the early 1990’s.

The current constitution is indisputably dictatorial. The best way to transform South Sudan’s political system from dictatorship to a democratic process is by completely amending the existing constitution and replacing all autocratic constitutional provisions with democratic ones.

This is the right time to do it, especially when a national constitutional amendment committee was established in the pact.

Kiir’s constitution deserves to be thrown into the Red Sea—in fact, it deserves to be given to the master of hell, if any.

The SPLM-IO and other political groups must seize this opportunity to scrap all the statutory provisions that made Kiir a legal tyrant.

The people of South Sudan did not fight against Khartoum’s regime only to face the same despotic leadership practices that were once imposed on them.

If Kiir is serious about peace, then he must allow the constitution to be completely altered.

The only reasonable way to reform South Sudan’s political environment is by changing the current constitution. The people of South Sudan do not deserve to be ruled through decrees.

The current political leaders must differentiate their selfish goals from what the South Sudanese want.

Stopping the war is a good thing, but ending it should not be viewed as a reform demanded by the people of South Sudan.

The tyranny is alive and well and there is no South Sudanese who is still interested in preserving the current ruthless political system.

The constitution is the host of Kiir’s tyrannical tendency — this host must be thrown into the Nile River if the people of South Sudan want their nation to flourish.

The constitutional amendment committee must be allowed unconditional powers to bury this Uganda-borrowed constitution into Kampala’s tomb.

Enough of Salva Kiir’s one-man constitution!

The author is the editor-in-chief of the South Sudan News Agency. He can be reached at duop282@gmail.com.