BY: Hüstin Läkü, USA, DEC/2017, SSN;
This paper discusses military, police, prison, customs, wildlife, foreign services officers and public servants promotions, assignments and deployments system in South Sudan. The paper argues that since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA 2005-2011) and Post-Referendum eras, promotions, assignments, deployments, recruitments, hiring and rehiring of organized force personnel, foreign services officers and public servants lack fairness, transparency and equity.
This is one of the many reasons that led the country into this current political and humanitarian crises as well as the culture of killings, rape of young girls, boys, women, and aid workers, land grabbing, looting of civilians’ properties with impunity, because Kiir, Gen. Malong, Gen. Achuil Tito and Jieng council of elders assigned and promoted illiterate, unqualified, incompetent, untrained, and inexperienced close relatives, son-in-laws, daughter-in-laws, and tribesmen/women in important and sensitive government institutions to run these government offices as Animal Farms.
The culture of discrimination, injustice, unpunished crimes committed by SPLA soldiers, killing, rape and land grabbing of non-Dinka in their areas, dated back to the liberation time and it is not something that started under Kiir, but during the liberation era.
It is said that the SPLM commanders and leaders brainwashed many young persons whom they recruited to ignore the ethnics of their culture all in the name of freedom from Khartoum.
An independent eye witness recalled one of the commanders in the Rumbek area who started attacking unarmed civilians even though he fully knew it ran against the ethnics of the Dinka law never to slay an unarmed person and similar events of Rumbek are been repeated in the independent South Sudan.
Kiir has just perpetuated it and developed it to high level with the support of the unpopular Dinka militia groups known as Mathiang Aynor, Gelweng and Dothubany.
Further, it argues that the current dysfunctional state of affairs in South Sudan is clear evidence of a mess created by Kiir, Jieng council of elders (JCE), Mathiang Aynor, Gelweng and Dothubany.
Finally, it sheds light on study carried out from June to December 2017. As this is work in progress, the study faced some limitations in accessing complete data on some individual officers and foreign services officers.
The study shows that, there are injustices, discriminations, and lack of fairness and equity in recruitments, hiring, rehiring, promotions, assignments, and deployments of non-Dinka in government institutions. The paper offers concrete way forward and it commences with promotions, recruitments, hiring and rehiring policy in the Post-CPA and Referendum periods.
Only a year or two after the CPA came into effect, Gurtong online newspaper has published an article on the unfair distribution of positions in the Ministry of Justice under Michael Makuei. Gurtong made it very clear that, there was a dominance of Dinka in all Southern Sudan government institutions as well as organized forces.
Therefore, knowledge of this has been going on for a long time, but nothing was done or taken seriously by the international donors, African Union (AU) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). The fear of dominance by the Dinka in the liberation movement was clear in the proposals of federalism coming from 64 ethnic intellectuals.
In the Post-CPA period, the promotions, recruitments, hiring, rehiring policy was designed to favor SPLA/M cadres of two ethnicities of Dinka and Nuer. Within SPLA/M non-Dinka cadres were deliberately deprived of promotions, deployments and assignments and most were placed on non-active lists, while their Dinka cohorts were promoted to high ranks and assigned to lead important and sensitive organized forces departments in non-Dinka states.
Dinka government in Juba is using similar tactics of former Sudan – suppressing opponents specially Equatorians, the fathers of federalism and Kokora…. It is payback time!
Below are some examples to illustrate administrative corruption, nepotism, discrimination and injustice against non-Dinka in organized forces, foreign services and public services. This same discriminatory policy under the Khartoum era that is, promoting northerners in higher military and public services positions over competent southerners is what led in part to the mutinies and liberation wars of 1956 and 1983.
Hence no surprise what occurred in the South. Same discriminatory patterns prevailed. The 2016 South Sudan Police Service promotions process was planned, and doctored at Gen. Achuil Tito’s, Chief of South Sudan Police, residence in Juba.
Maj. Gen. Salah Samsona was born in Juba, and citizen of Central Equatoria State (CES). Gen. Samsona is a graduate of a Conflict Resolution program and School of Management, school of law, Omduraman Al-Ahlia Universities (OAU) and Sudanese Police Academy.
Gen. Samsona was forced into early retirement and placed on non-active list, while illiterate Majak Akec Malok without formal education and police training was promoted three times in a short period of time from Colonel to Brigadier, Major General, finally to Lt. General and assigned as Director of Nationality, Passports, and Immigration.
On the other hand, highly qualified, experienced, competent, well trained and skillful non-Dinka officers who held similar positions in the former Sudan’s Directorate of Nationality, Passports and Immigration were either demoted, deprived of promotions, assignments and deployments or placed on non-active list.
Moreover, Gen. Salah Samsona is same cohort 47 as Lt. Gen. Syed Chawul Lom. Both officers worked in Khartoum for many years where Gen. Chawul was dismissed three times for breach of police work ethics and conflict of interest.
During the CPA period, both Generals were reinstated into South Sudan police services, and Gen. Chawul was promoted to rank of Chief of police while Gen. Samsona with a strong academic background in policing, law, conflict resolution and management and experience, was placed on non-active list (see the 2005-2016 South Sudan Police Service Promotion Lists).
Atem Marol is citizen of Jonglei State, SPLA soldier with no knowledge and experience and skills in policing. As a result of administrative corruption and nepotism Gen. Achuil promoted Marol to Major General and assigned him as Dean of South Sudan Police College in Rajaf, to replace Major General Martin Wani.
Gen. Wani is well qualified, experienced, professional Sudan Police Academy with many graduate and post graduate degrees in policing, security and legal studies.
These practices of Kiir’s government explain why South Sudan Police system is not efficient, and corrupt and the police are using color of their authorities to kill, terrorize, rape, and arrest non-Dinka and detain them at South Sudan National Security (SSNS).
The current detainees at the SSNS are all non-Dinka mostly from Equatoria States and there is no one detainee from Kiir’s home State of Warrap and JCE States (See detainees list of period of 2015-2017).
Maj.Gen. Rhabi E. Mujung was born in Juba, and citizen of (CES). Gen. Mujung is a graduate of School of Sciences Management with emphasis in Business, University of Juba, South Sudan; Sudanese Military Academy; the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) in London, U.K. Gen.
Mujung was a classmate and roommate of King Abdullah II of Jordan. He holds Certificates and Diplomas in Standard Military Course (SMC), and Regular Career Course (RCC) and Certificate in senior military Command and Leadership from the US-African Strategic Research Centre.
Gen. Mujung is well-respected senior military officer who commanded several fronts during the war of liberation and by far is the most qualified, experienced and skillful SPLA officer, but as a non-Dinka he was deprived of promotions and benefits such as vehicle and others for over 10 years, even though he is an SPLA officer who fought in Southern and Eastern Sudan bushes, while illiterate Paul Malong without formal education and military training was promoted to Lt. General and Chief of Staff of SPLA to preside over qualified, competent, experienced, skillful and senior non Dinka Officers (The 2005-2017 SPLA Promotions List).
Brigadier Joseph Kornelio is a citizen of Western Bahr Al-Ghazal and member of Fertit ethnic group. Brig. Kornelio is a graduate of Sudanese Military Academy 1978, cohort 27. Brigadier Kornelio is very senior and highly qualified having the rank of Brigadier, this is an example of a non-Dinka highly qualified, but reinstated at lower rank despite his extensive and outstanding military career experience.
Similarly Col. Juwang Taktak, is a member of Murle ethnic group. Col. Taktak is a graduate of Sudanese Military Academy in Khartoum in 1988/cohort 38. Col. Taktak was reinstated at the rank of Colonel, this is another example of discrimination.
Brigadier. Oben George, is a citizen of Upper Nile State and member of Shilluk ethnic group. Brig. George is a graduate of Sudanese Military Academy in Khartoum in 1981/cohort 30.
Brigadier. Obour Chol, is a citizen of Upper Nile State and member of Shilluk ethnic group. Brig. Chol is a graduate of Sudanese Military Academy in 1981/cohort 30.
Both Brigadiers George and Chol are very senior, highly qualified officers than both Paul Malong and James Ajongo, the current Chief of Staff. Both Malong and Ajongo experiences and academic backgrounds cannot match the two Brigadiers’ experiences and skills and will never come close to these non-Dinka senior officers.
But the worst case of all is William Philip Subek. Officer Subek is a citizen of Central Equatoria State. Officer Subek is a graduate of Sudanese Military Academy, reinstated in the organized forces in South Sudan, then demoted to rank of Sergeant, while his Dinka cohorts and illiterate Paul Malong and others such as Gordon Buay were promoted to full Generals, assigned and posted to D.C., as Deputy Head of Mission. Buay holds B.A., in legal studies from Carleton University in Canada, and never had any professional job in Canada nor a one-day military training.
Both Dr. James Alphonse and Dr. Lado Luate are citizens of CES, and graduates of School of medicine and Sudanese Military Academy. Both Doctors were placed on the non-active list without assignments in the country though there is a need of well qualified and experienced medical doctors.
Dr. Alphonse and Dr. Luate’s junior Dinka officers were assigned to take charge and be responsible in the military hospital in Juba. For further details about discrimination and injustice within the organized forces, please, consult the attached promotion lists.
Similarly, most of public service senior positions are filled in by unqualified Dinka and well-trained and competent non-Dinka lawyers and judges are either fired for no legal reasons, deprived of promotions and assignments.
Dr. Sam Taban, citizen of (CES). He holds Ph.D., in International Law (I/L) from Poland and worked abroad for many years and returned to help rebuilding broken legal system in South Sudan. Dr. Taban returned to South Sudan and joined Ministry of legal Affairs in 2011 and dismissed early this year 2017.
Justice Jeremiah Swaka, is a citizen of CES. Justice Swaka holds LLM, and law Degrees from University of Khartoum, and M.A., in Conflict Resolutions from University of Juba. Justice Swaka was a senior judge in Southern Sudan in 1980s and Khartoum in 1990s as well as legal Advisor to Sudan Council of Churches in Khartoum in 2000s.
Like Dr. Taban and Dr. Gerey Raimondo, Justice Swaka was dismissed early this year for no reason. Unfortunately, their dismissal occurred in a time where broken legal system in the country requires their expertise.
Ambassador Francis F. Nazario is a citizen of Easter Equatoria State (EES), and a member of Acholi ethnic group. Amb. Nazario holds Ph.D., and M.A., in Political Sciences from France and B.A., from Khartoum University. Amb. Nazario was South Sudanese Deputy Head of Mission in New York, was fired and replaced by a cook helper related to Kirr.
To be fair, and to its credit, Juba regime in fact did promote some non-Dinka loyalists, political disciples of JCE, and other Judases of injustice to high ranks and senior political positions.
The overall tactics and strategy of loyalists’ promotions are to suppress their intuitions, silence and buy their hearts through appointments to conceal the regime’s rape of foreign aid workers, land grabbing crimes, killing campaign against farming communities in Equatoria states and other parts of the country.
The promotions and appointments of non-Dinka loyalists and political disciples of JCE are meaningless if injustice, discrimination, and administrative corruption, domestic terror campaigns and land grabbing still continue.
The regime placed political disciples of JCE in key positions in order to protect the regime’s national and international images, as well as to protect JCE interests in the non-Dinka States.
As John Isbister, the Canadian economist, argues in his book, ”Promises Not Kept, Poverty and the Betrayal in 3rd World Development,” the former colonial systems sent sons of African middle classes to study in the U.K., France, Belgium and Portugal and the purpose was to condition them and later send back to Africa in the Post-Independence era to replace colonial masters/mistresses and to protect the latter’s interests in Africa (Isbister, 2006).
However, the good news according to the African liberation bible is that, some loyalists have realized that the era of self-interests and personal gains are coming to an end and change of hearts is a must, and as a result they formed military resistance and political opposition groups to effect change in the country.
On another hand, some loyalists and political disciples of JCE still maintain their positions within the corrupt system as well as turned blind eye to injustice, discrimination, administrative corruption, inequality and the policy of Dinka tribal dominance Kiir’s regime in South Sudan.
Here is a list of some promoted loyalists in the CPA and Post-Referendum eras, both non-Dinka and Dinka and JCE political disciples who saw the point of Isbister’s arguments and realized they were being used to further the colonialists’ agenda and decided to form opposition against Juba regime:
Dr. Riek Machar,
Gen. Thomas Cirillo,
Gov. Joseph Bakasoro,
Dr. Lam Akol,
Paul Malong and
Suzanne Jambo, former SPLM National Secretary for External Relations.
In e-mails exchange with diaspora members, Ms. Jambo had this to say:
Landi and the good reverend Andrew Henry, Nyatom et al,You guys are so tired of washing dishes and doing dirty manual work in Europe, USA etc… you think your best bet is an 11th hour wake up call to ‘keyboard unguided missiles throwing serve’ your nation after 15th Dec 2013.
If you google some of us, you will see our remarkable career history – some of us are here purely to serve our Nation. So please don’t slither and salivate over nothing. More is yet to come brethren!
Now the former loyalists are fighting the injustice, discrimination, promotion, assignment, and deployment deprivations policy of Juba regime.
The injustice, discrimination, promotion, assignment, and deployment deprivations also include non-Dinka officer graduates of Sudanese military, police, prison, customs and wildlife academies and universities who have served under the national government of former Sudan with competency, efficiency and effectiveness have been reinstated and integrated into South Sudan organized forces at lower ranks, while their peers of the same class were promoted to ranks as high as Major General, Lt. General, Director and Director General.
The integrity of these services and the morale of the officers are threatened by a situation where officers who have been active in duty have been left behind, whilst those who have been out of service for many years or even abroad are reinstated and promoted to high ranks and assigned in high positions.
The issues of promotion, assignment, deployment deprivations were addressed to President and the First South Sudanese Minister of Interior, late Alison Magaya many times, but all efforts yielded no positive results.
Additionally, there are no mechanisms for countering such injustices and any move to resolve is blocked by Dinka Chief of Police and the Minister as well as all complaints landed in the hands of Dinka.
Most of Dinka officers who were members of organized forces in the former Sudan and some have lived in the Western countries for many years with their knowledge of the organized forces system forgotten and out of date were reinstated, promoted, assigned high positions and deployed in important and sensitive organized forces Directorates; meanwhile, outstanding non-Dinka officers with excellent performance records, excellent academic credentials and strong experience are overlooked in promotions and deprived from constitutional rights as well as assignments and deployments.
Unfairness in the reinstatement and promotion process for the South Sudanese officers has demoralized the effectiveness of organized forces. An inequitable environment for job security and advancement in the service results in organized forces incompetence, inaction and corruption, rather than motivating officers to work hard to deter and prevent crime, such as the high rate of killings in Juba and other parts of South Sudan.
Officers have a right to ask why priority for reinstatement and promotion is being given to officers who spent many years abroad and promotions of one ethnicity of Dinka only.
Promotions, assignments, deployments, and postings are designed to serve interests and benefit of JCE members, while demotions and non-active list for non-Dinka especially, the Equatorians, Fertit groups and Nuer. Demotion, deprivation of promotions, assignments, deployments and disarming non-Dinka during Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Standards program (IDDRS) was a sign of one ethnicity hegemony and domination (See 2010-2011 Report of Lakes State Investigation Commission).
The Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Standards program (IDDRS) failed, because the Southern Sudan government plan under Kiir and JCE leadership was to disarmed non-Dinka only, armed Dinka and permit their cattle under security protections to graze in the land of farming communities in Equatoria State resulted in inter-communal conflicts. The policy of arming one ethnicity is the source of current violence, fighting and killings in Lakes region which left at least 170 dead. This is evidence of arming one ethnic group in Lakes, Warrap Northern Bhar Al-Ghazal and Jonglei against the others (Reuters News: December 12th, 2017).
For instance, below are some reasons why DDR failed in Southern Sudan.
Yet the participants from Wau and Aweil, who began the process [DDR] as late as mid-2010, appear equally ineligible. Instead, the verification process is flawed at multiple levels.
The verification problem persists today. Despite calls from the international community for better accountability, and with the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (SSDDRC) apparently unwilling to challenge the SPLA on candidate selection, there remains no external, independent verification process. As a result, there are few disincentives for SPLA state commanders to falsify information or use the DDR programme as a kind of social service to assist selected individuals who have already returned to civilian life (Small Arm Survey, p.7&8, Number 17, May 2017).
The deprivation of promotion, assignment, and deployment study shows that, JCE nepotism, administration corruption, discrimination and inequality is targeting well qualified and trained, experienced, skillful and competent non-Dinks officers in all organized forces as well as across government institutions. For instance; the recent unfair dismissal of Mr. Avelino Andruga, Head Teacher of Rumbek National Secondary School is another targeted non-Dinka qualified public servant (Ministerial Order Number 32/2017, November 30th, 2017).
The purpose of this study is to help the international community, Troika, IGAD, AU and Members of Opposition negotiation teams with valuable and substantive evidence of discrimination, administrative corruption and injustice in the current security sectors, organized forces and public services in South Sudan. It is also clear that, the country was built on the dominance of one ethnic group-the Dinka to control administrative, economic, military and political powers. Furthermore, this may explain why Nuer were targeted in the senseless December 2013 senseless civil war, because Nuer is perceived as a threat to Dinka hegemony, defeats JCE Master Plan and now the system turns against federalist supporters-the Equatorians.
This current injustice and discrimination in South Sudanese organized forces and public service serve as catalyst for future instability and spoiler for peace agreement implementation, nation and state building, peace building, power sharing and power division unless injustice, discrimination and deliberate demotions of non-Dinka issue should be address and give full attention in the current peace revitalization talks in Addis.
The paper argues that, the current peace revitalization in progress is litmus test for the stakeholders to consider the following issues: SPLA and all organized forces should be dismantle and new ones should be establish and rebuild from bottom up, new system of recruitment should be establish and must be based on entrance exams and merits to avoid future political crisis as well as administrative corruption, nepotism, injustice and discrimination in public services and organized forces. As some in the international community such as Hilde Johnson believes firmly that, the current war grew out of apolitical crisis and turned ethnic (Johnson, 2016). My paper shows that is only part of the story. It also grows out of an ethnic crisis in which one group wishes to dominate all the 60 ethnic groups.
The way forward
The administrative corruption, injustice, demotion and deprivation of promotions, assignments, and deployments are deliberately planned under the JCE Master Plan (See The 2015 Dinka Development Plan (DDP)), and for South Sudan to move forward, the peace revitalization process must factor into future Peace talks and agreements the following:
Political system: urgency to draft New Federal Constitutions, and dissolve current parliament.
Requirement to be an M.P.: Minimum: High School Certificate.
Electoral Constituencies: Redrawing Electoral constituencies map base on population’s size.
Council of States (120 Members): Its Members should be elected and in an event of appointment by President, it’s members should be representatives of 66 ethnic group. For instance, each ethnic group should have 2 members in the Council of States
Requirement: Minimum: High School Certificate.
Security Sector: dismantle current SPLA, security organs and organized forces and rebuild and develop national South Sudanese Army Forces (SSAF), police, prison, customs, wildlife, and other security organs that reflect national character. Recruitment should be based on quotas system, entrance exams, medical fitness, background checks as well as merit. The mandate of SSAF is to defend the country and it’s Constitution. Police and other sectors are for internal security only.
Requirement: Minimum: High School Certificate.
Promotions: Should based on performances, medical fitness, practical and written exams.
Public Services Recruitment: should be based quotas system on the three regions.
Requirement: Minimum: High School Certificate
Foreign Services Recruitment: should be based on quotas system of the three regions.
Requirement: Minimum: University Degree, and M.A., and foreign languages is an assessed
Governance system: Should be based on Confederation of the three regions of Equatoria, Bahr Al-Ghazal and Upper Nile. The Confederation system should be based on a consultative constitutional forums to decide Confederation, but Swiss model of Confederation is the most suitable for South Sudan. The Constitution Review should be based on the South African process that lasted over 2 years.
Negotiators should make sure that element of revitalization of peace agreement must include SPLA and other security sectors restructuring and complete rebuilding new national organized forces, otherwise South Sudan will revisit ordeal of July 2016.
Stability of the country and peace agreement implementation will only hold when newly trained, qualified, experienced and competent personnel are recruited and composition of new South Sudan defense forces reflects representatives of 60 ethnicity.
South Sudan has 60 ethnic groups (The House of Nationalities,2002, p.19,&53) and it is not fair for groups such as Swiss peace, United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Chatham House UK based Think Tank and other INGOs that keep promoting one sided ethnic view on the current political crisis in South Sudan rather than promoting inclusiveness. Through their consultative meetings, conferences and interns programs. The current behavior and practices of these groups are helping Dinka hegemony and domination in the country.
This past summer of 2017, Swiss peace organization hosted conference on South Sudan and invited only members of one ethnic group to participated in the conference in Switzerland, similarly, USIP hosted two interns one is Dinka and Nuer for couple months in the U.S., and Chatham House hosted several consultative meetings on the current political situations, but only extended invitation to members of one ethnic group to represent the country. I do hope Swiss peace; USIP, Chatham and other groups will not transfer Juba regime’s unfairness policy to international space as well as refrain from promoting one ethnic group through their intern programs, conference, and consultative meetings and be on the right side of history.
In a nutshell, the mess South Sudan is in today and current political and humanitarian crisis are result of unfairness policy, the one ethnic group domination, control of administrative, economic, military and political powers, and administrative corruption, discrimination, injustice and nepotism.
Peoples of South Sudan fought successive Khartoum’s regimes, because of unfairness, injustice, inequality, favoritism, preferential treatments and discrimination in the old Sudan, and some of South Sudan military, Police, Prison, customs and wildlife officers are experiencing similar administrative corruption, injustice, inequality, nepotism, and discrimination, nepotism, favoritism and preferential treatments in the current South Sudanese system. Peace without justice and equality is not a peace, it is tribalism.
© Hüstin Läkü,Sr
Is a native South Sudanese, and educated in South Sudan, Sudan, Egypt, Germany and Switzerland. His current research topic Title: Evaluating South Sudan Governance: From Perspective of Federated Forms and/or Devolution. Moreover, Hüstin has lectured on Sudanese issues in the United States, Canadian universities, the Canadian military academy in Kingston, Rome, Berlin, Innsbruck, Geneva, London, Slovenia and Amsterdam. Hüstin is recipient of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr life time Dream keeper Award, and Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Model for Humanitarian. He speaks Arabic, French, and Deutsch and read and write Greek and Hebrew.