Category: Featured

The Oil Revenues’ Deal between South Sudan and Sudan: Does it make sense?

Dr. Lako Jada KWAJOK, FEB/07/2016, SSN, (Part Two);

As outlined in part one of this article, the two parties agreed to a 3 billion USDs compensatory package to be paid to Sudan over a three years period. Apparently, it was meant to cover the deficit in Sudan’s revenues following the loss of the oil money with secession of South Sudan.

The mere mention of compensating the Sudan raises eyebrows. It may appear to many South Sudanese as succumbing to the aggressor who massacred thousands of our citizens or rewarding a regime that was involved in acts of thievery and looting of our natural resources.

The question who deserves compensation is a valid one. To answer it, the government of Sudan needs viewing from two different angles. If we all agree that, Sudan was one country with a government responsible to all the people within its borders – then we should be bearing the following in our minds:

The secession of South Sudan relieved Sudan from responsibility towards the citizens of South Sudan regarding spending on health, education, economic projects, security and others.

It means the part of the national budget allocated to spending in South Sudan, has been abolished.

And people would agree that whatever amount of money spent in South Sudan was far less than what it deserved.

Even it could be argued that South Sudan was in reality run by money garnered from international grants and relief organisations.

Many people may not know that as a matter of fact, the budget of Abel Alier’s High Executive Council was far less than that of the University of Khartoum in those days. Hence, there are no grounds whatsoever to support loss of revenue by Sudan and entitlement for compensation.

Despite its turbulent history, Sudan has been one country for over half a century. No one can dispute the fact that South Sudanese contributed significantly to the building of Sudan.

It’s fair to say that the successive governments of Sudan directed all available resources to build the centre of the country and the north while the South was marginalised and left to neglect.

The sweat of South Sudanese and their natural resources were among the cornerstones of the economic growth in the north. The Jallaba traders in South Sudan played a significant role in the building of north Sudan.

Small towns and villages like “Um Doum” near Khartoum Bahri, flourished on wealth acquired in South Sudan.

There is a famous saying among the Jallabas that they buy chickens from South Sudanese at a low price only to sell them later the feathers of the same chickens at a much higher price. Of course, there is more to the saying that we cannot dwell into at this juncture.

The major government projects in agriculture, road constructions, dams, factories, schools, hospitals, government institutions, you name them, were never accomplished without active participation of the South Sudanese.

Therefore we are entitled to a share of all the assets held by the government of Sudan. At the time of the split, our government should have asked for its fair share of the assets.

There are precedence to this – when Czechoslovakia split up to the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic in 1993, the government assets were divided between the two countries in a ratio of 2 to 1 to the level of embassies.

Likewise, the same happened when the former Yugoslavia disintegrated into Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro). We still have the right to claim our share of the assets and not to pay Sudan a penny.

The whole world witnessed the atrocities committed against the people of South Sudan by the successive Sudanese governments. The death from war and its consequences estimated at 2 million lives. That figure ranges between 20 to 25% of the population which is a significant loss for a country the size of France.

The Islamist regime in Khartoum took the situation to a different level. They declared “Jihad” against the “infidels” (Southerners) with implementation of the scorched earth policy in South Sudan.

The meager infrastructure left by the British colonial regime sustained extensive destruction in their “Holy War” against the Southerners. South Sudan deserves compensation for the destruction of the country and victimisation of its citizens.

Again there is precedence that is happening right to this day. In 1952 the Federal Republic of Germany signed an agreement with Israel to pay compensation for the Holocaust victim families and survivors. They were its citizens who have become Israeli citizens following Holocaust.

By 1978, the total amount paid by Germany was 53 billion Deutche Marks, a little below 30 billion USDs. It’s obvious that Sudan does not have money at present to pay us; nonetheless we should set the records straight to counter its unwarranted claims for compensation.

On the other hand, if Sudan’s reign over South Sudan was a colonial rule, then the following arguments are justified:

Firstly, when General Omar Al Bashir ascended to power in Khartoum through a military coup on 30th June 1989, Sudan’s economy was on the verge of collapse. The proof to that is from the mouths of the coup plotters themselves.

General Salah Karar, famously dubbed “Salah Dollar”, and a member of the Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation (RCC), declared that if they didn’t take power through “revolution,” the US dollar would have risen to a Dollar per 10 Sudanese pounds.

Sudan was broke and could not have built the pipeline from its money. The oil revenues paid the costs of the construction of the pipeline and the oil refineries.

Therefore it’s not unreasonable to say that the pipeline is mostly the property of South Sudan although the longest part of it extends through Sudan’s soil. The same applies to the oil refineries and all the facilities related to the petroleum sector.

Sadly, our negotiators seemed to have overlooked the above assets and never contested their ownerships.

Secondly, not far from our borders, in neighbouring Kenya a situation similar to ours did exist and to some extent was reasonably addressed. On 06 June 2013, the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague expressed regret that thousands of Kenyans had been subjected to torture and other forms of ill-treatment during the Mau Mau insurgency over 50 years ago.

The British government would pay compensation for the victims and finance the construction of a memorial in Kenya for the victims of the colonial era torture. As some of you know President Obama’s grandfather was one of the victims.

Whatever the British did in Kenya was way far less than the atrocities committed by Sudan in South Sudan making the case for a far bigger compensation claim.

Thirdly, What about the participation of Northerners in the practice and dissemination of slave trade in Sudan?

Downplaying the issue has been the motto of the successive governments in Khartoum. It’s a well known fact that the Jallabas were the slave traders and brokers and their activities devastated many communities in South Sudan.

It’s outrageous that someone like Al Zubair Basha Rahama is regarded as a hero in Sudan’s history books while he was nothing but a despicable slave trader. Perhaps it’s time for the people of Daim Zubair in Western Bahr El Ghazal State to start thinking about changing the name of their town.

The slave trade is a brutal activity associated with inhumane practices and often wanton killings. Hence, it’s reasonable to believe that we lost thousands of lives at the peak of this horrible practice.

In 1999, the African World Reparations and Reparation Truth Commission called for a 777 trillion USDs to be paid to Africa over five years by “the West.”

Tony Blair, the former British Prime Minister apologised twice on 27th November 2006 and on 14th Marsh 2007 for Britain’s role in the slave trade. But the most remorseful and emotionally charged was what Ken Livingstone, the former Mayor of London said.

On 24th August 2007, he apologised publicly for London’s role in the slave trade. “You can look across there to see the institutions that still have the benefit of the wealth they created from slavery,” he said pointing towards the financial district, before breaking down in tears.

With the above deal in place, the Jallabas have got us exactly where they want us to be. It was an opportunity presented to them on a golden plate and they fully seized it.

The promise by President Omar Al Bashir to consider the request by the regime in Juba to reduce the transportation fees is likely to be an empty one.

Realistically, how much can he reduce to have a meaningful impact on South Sudan’s share while keeping Sudan’s economy afloat?!

For that to happen, Sudan would have to be contented with under $5.00 per a barrel. It will not happen voluntarily as the government in Khartoum initially asked for $36.00 per a barrel as transportation fee.

We must remind ourselves that we possess the strongest card in this oil revenues’ issue because the oil belongs to us. You can have oil in your soil untapped, but there can be no pipelines, refineries and oil companies if there is no oil in the first place.

Thus, the regime in Juba needs to re-negotiate the terms of the deal or declare it null and void.

Sudan should get transportation fees comparable to the international prices. Should Sudan refuse and continue its bullying attitude then South Sudan should stop pumping the oil and close the whole thing down.

Some people may say how South Sudan would survive without its “only” source of income?

Well, we are already in the midst of the worst ever economic downturn and continuing selling the oil under the deal’s terms makes no difference to the ordinary man in South Sudan.

We have other resources that need development and utilisation for the long-term but in the short-term a responsible government in Juba, perhaps the would-be Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) could secure loans with the guarantee of our untapped resources.

We are all aware that despite the oil money, still the government in Juba took loans, hence there is nothing new in having more loans and keeping the oil in our soil for better days.

In the meantime, it’s crucial to slim the government and reduce the sizes of the SPLA and the other security forces to one third of their present sizes. We do not need all those Generals who are a burden on government coffers, and some are good for nothing.

Repatriation of the embezzled 4 billion USDs could be one of the solutions and there are international mechanisms to enforce it.

The compensation of Sudan should have been a non-starter to the South Sudanese government. It’s an insult to the war victims and an act of rewarding an evil regime that waged a religious war against the South Sudanese people.

In law, it’s often said that the law does not protect fools, well in politics you would thank God for the opportunity of having a fool on the other side of the table.
THE END

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

Honest Tribute to Bishop Santo Loku Pio of Juba Archdiocese!

By James Okuk, PhD, FEB/3/2016, SSN;

The Auxiliary Bishop Santo Loku Pio (born in 1969) of Juba Archdiocese has been consistent in his stance on faith and reason in the context of South Sudan. We should keep congratulating him for that faithful shepherding of the people of God, especially the downtrodden and the made-to-suffer, as Luky Dube used to sing for South Africa.

At a tough time like the one we are encountering now, the Republic of South Sudan needs nothing less than revolutionary theology even if not a liberation theology similar to that of Latin America.

But the concern of many analysts is Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro. He is unable to get into the shoes of Cardinal Gabriel Zubeir Wako who managed to stand tall against the oppressive Islamists regime in Khartoum during the SPLM/A just war of struggle.

It was disgusting last month seeing His Lordship Lukudu spraying holy water on 28 states which has been a violation to the signed peace agreement (ARCSS) in August 2015.

He did this when he decided to go to the Secretariat of the former Central Equatoria State Government to bless the three illegitimate governors of the so-called Jubek, Terekeka and Yei River states.

Did His Lordship know the evil he was blessing in that building? Why did he accept to do that when he knew that the ‘three-governors-in-one’ (as they would like to pretend in their operation) and their states are still pending political problems in making?

Is he not ashamed of shifting loyalty from 28 states (he blessed and endorsed for partitioning Central Equatoria State and erasing it from political map) to IGAD’s Communiqué which brings back the disintegrated Equatoria?

Now, thank God, that the Holy Archbishop has turned around to support the IGAD’s Communiqué that demands suspension of the proposed 28 states until it is discussed later by the established TGoNU in competition with other proposed states (Twenty One, Five, Three, None, etc).

Men of God should always stand where the truth is, like what Auxiliary Bishop Santo has been doing (including his homely of the new year 2016 when he told the faithful that he finds it hard even to pronounce some names of 28 states, e.g. ‘Nyamurnyang’ which is an insult to women).

It is high time Archbishop Lukudu start repenting and learning from the young truthful Bishop Santo how Catholic Bishops are supposed to conduct themselves when it comes to issues involving dirty politics of treacherous politicians.

We are blessed in Juba to have an articulate and caring Auxiliary Bishop Santo who has, indeed, proven himself time and again that he is unshakable voice of the voiceless like the known liberation theologian, Martin Niemöller (1892 -1984), who became a soldier in German Navy at age of fourteen and was sub-Lieutenant by the time the First World War began in 1914.

He also took interest in nationalistic politics and became a supporter of Adolf Hitler and Nazi’ regime. Even after he was ordained in 1929 as a Pastor of the Church of Jesus Christ at Dahlem, Rev. Niemöller remained an ardent supporter of Hitler.

However, he got arrested when he started criticizing in his sermons the evils of the Nazis and was sent to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp to be “re-educated” in German patriotism.

Pastor Niemöller refused to change his revolutionary views and was later transferred to Dachau Prison. In 1938 Joseph Goebbels urged Hitler to execute him but Alfred Rosenberg opposed the idea as it would provide an opportunity to critics like Bishop George Bell of Chichester of the Church of England to attack fiercely the German Government and mobilize the Christians all over the world against it. Rev. Niemöller was allowed to live.

With his release from prison after the end of World War II, Rev. Niemöller became convinced that the German people had a collective responsibility (i.e., guilt) for the Nazi atrocities.

He became a pacifist as he realized that military force is never sustainable for political ends.

He joined the World Peace Movement and became an outspoken anti-war activist. On his 90th birthday, Rev. Niemöller confessed that he had started his political career as “an ultra-conservative” and later a “revolutionary”, but if he lived to be a hundred years he may become an “anarchist.”

Rev. Niemöller has remained well known for the following famous poetic quote:
“First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a socialist; Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew;
When they came for me – and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

Milton Mayer in his book, They Thought They Were Free: The Germans (1955) gave a strong tribute that Niemöller is a great man of God who spoke for thousands of the oppressed masses in all corners of the world: “when the Nazis attacked the Communists, he was a little uneasy, but, after all, he was not a Communist, and so he did nothing; and then they attacked the Socialists, and he was a little uneasier, but, still, he was not a Socialist, and he did nothing; and then the schools, the press, the Jews, and so on, and he was always uneasier, but still he did nothing. And then they attacked the Church, and he was a Churchman, and he did something–but then it was too late.”

Together with Bishop Santo of Juba Archdiocese, let’s speak out for peace, justice, community development and prosperity in our dear country before it is too late for all of us to have strong voice of the people, amounting to the voice of God.

May the almighty God give more wisdom and courage to all our bishops and other men and women of God so that they don’t fear to always remind our astray leaders of the righteous path of peace in the Republic of South Sudan.

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Dr. James Okuk is lecturer of politics, reachable at okukjimy@hotmail.com

Why too Many Judges & Justices are discontented with Chief Justice Chan Reec’s Leadership in the Judiciary?

By Tong Kot Kuocnin, KENYA, JAN/27/2016, SSN;

Although judges are servants of the public, they are not public servants. The duty of a judge is not to give effect to the policy of the government of the day, but to administer justice according to law, without fear or favor and without regards to the policies of the executive government.

There are four major aspects of judicial status or performance namely: independence, impartiality, fairness and competence.

The independence of the judiciary from the executive is indispensable if there is to be public confidence in the administration of justice. However, the malignant inertia, unruly and unscrupulous behaviour that has rocked the judiciary since the current CJ took over the administration could warrant unspeakable dysfunctionality of the judiciary and would intrinsically provoke mistrust of the institution trusted as the last hope in retrieving back rights infringed on and maliciously encroached upon aberrantly.

It has become a common saying that the judiciary in South Sudan is in abeyance where many judges whether senior or junior point fingers at the CJ for not doing enough in addressing most pressing issues of concern both for them and the institution to truly observe its boundaries of separation of powers, independence and impartiality which are the tenets of a true judiciary.

The gap between the CJ and his colleagues grows wider every day and causes many junior judges to think of quitting the institution simply because it is not truly elegant as it should be.

Many judges and advocates are discontented with the way the CJ is running the Judiciary and this is manifested by incessant and recurrent lack of papers in the court causing judges and advocates postponing hearing of cases because of the complete lack of papers which the CJ took no measure to correct and avert at all from occurring in the future which a breach of the right to a speedy hearing and trial.

If the CJ travels to a foreign country without any approval of minor things like toilet paper, it will wait until he comes back and nobody, not even the deputy CJ in his capacity as second man to the CJ, approve toilet papers for use in the courts.

This has caused a lot of discontentment in the administration of the institution and raised eyebrows of not only the judges and advocates but the general public as to whether the judiciary has been privatized and has become the property of the Chief Justice.

Many judges are discontented also over prolonged and complete lack of approval of money for medical treatment, a delay which has caused death of many of their colleagues, who even at far places in the remote areas could be asked to wait in the their respective places of work until their medical requests are granted.

As is usual, it takes months if not a year plus to either get approval or rejection based on whether the junior judge has someone senior in the judiciary or government as a whole.

What legacy would Chief Justice Chan Reec Madut leave behind? A legacy of a Chief Justice who has immersed the judiciary into mud?

Or a legacy of a Chief Justice who has recruited Judicial Assistants on who their fathers and uncles are and not on merits of what they can do to the people of south Sudan?

What legacy would he exactly leave behind? A Chief Justice who controls everything from toilet paper, court papers to entirely everything, what a great Chief Justice?

I just don’t have all the answers to these questions but I am sure you have all the answers, if you don’t then President Salva Kiir has all the answers of keeping him on such a prestigious position meant to deliver judicial and legal services to the people but not to worship him if he issued a decree creating 28 states.

Time for Justice Reec to vacate his seat has come because he unproductively and indignantly sat in the office only to either appease the leadership of the nation by praising and congratulating him on certain decisions or by recruiting on the basis of the people in the government who enjoy and have close relationships with the leadership.

Why too many judges and justices are discontented with Justice Reec’s administration is a combination of these issues and others which have not caught the ears of this author.

I respect Justice Reec as a person and as an elder, he is such a highly educated man, very gracious and active and admired by many at the time, but upon his ascension to the position of Chief Justice, the man suddenly detached and divorced himself from the people.

He closed his eyes and ears and disabled himself from even his immediate close friends and only be regularly associated and aligned to only the people who have easiest access to the leadership.

Be independent, impartial and non-partisan if you want to register a clean, gracious and admirable image and legacy to be remembered after your departure. Don’t take it personal, because you occupy a place and position which everyone has constitutional right of expression if things turn into an uncalled direction. Don’t take it personal.

Tong Kot Kuocnin is a Master of Laws (LLM) Candidate at the School of Law, University of Nairobi. He can be reached via: tongbullen@gmail.com

Irresponsibility: How Norway is under-developing South Sudan!

Editorial Analysis: JAN/23/2016, SSN;

Watching the Norwegian Ambassador in Juba, Ms. Tone Tinnes, participating in an undeserving demonstration of her country’s inappropriate so-called ‘development aid’ during the opening of a new building her country constructed for the Juba electricity and water department, one feels utterly disgusted by this misdirected generosity.

Although the building only cost 3 million dollars, this apparent benevolence to the Juba government was an unwise and ill-advised usage of money by Norway to an unworthy recipient, the corrupt Kiir government.

It also seriously begs the obvious question: How come the Kiir Juba government of South Sudan can’t afford to construct for itself such a simplistic and supposedly “modern” building during the last ten years of its failed reign in South Sudan?

By any technical standard, the building itself was a simplistic and normal construction of concrete and glass, and at the price of a mere 3 million dollars, the government of Kiir would have easily paid the entire bill if proper financial prudence was effected in the usage of the billions of oil money received by Kiir over the ten years.

Furthermore, if the oil monies remitted to Kiir’s government by Norway immediately after the peace agreement (CPA) in 2005 was used properly, schools, hospitals, roads and bridges would have been constructed across the country without ever soliciting much of Norwegian generosity and pampering.

Ambassador Tone Tinnes must surely be fully cognizant of the prevailing realities in Juba; 3 million dollars is just small personal change for both president Kiir and his vice, Wani-Igga, the latter, who whilst officiating the ceremony must be laughing at the sheer Norwegian stupidity to so easily succumb to the government’s scam.

It must be clearly recalled that Norway was the country chosen to take custody of all the money accruing from the sale of South Sudanese oil during the war years and it was Norway itself that repatriated all those billions (over 50 billion dollars) to president Kiir Juba regime.

Most certainly, Ambassador Tinnes must have some delegated responsibility of keeping an eye on how and where the billions have gotten out or misused, or who has siphoned this money to foreign bank accounts since Norway, like the good matron, must morally assume some responsibility on how that money was being utilized or misappropriated.

Unfortunately, almost all the money was avariciously looted and most of it eventually ended up in the pockets of Kiir, Wani and the rest of the SPLM/A gangsters. A shinning example, Arthur Akuein once the finance minister initially responsible, was accused of stealing the money and briefly incarcerated but was expeditiously released by fellow tribesmen.

Norway obviously stands morally culpable of criminal negligence in the eventual massive corruption seen within the Kiir SPLM/A monstrosity that expeditiously ensued and consumed the entire oil revenues.

Basically, Norway and the others like the USA, who expedited the CPA deal between North and South Sudan and subsequently took up the responsibility of midwifying the new nation, should have continued with the responsibility of dishing out the money according to some approved financial modality.

Giving president Kiir all the money at once and at the same time generously providing massive so-called ‘donor support’ only served to increase the Juba ruling mobsters’ appetites and propensities to loot.

Furthermore, it must be recalled that when the British ambassador in Juba reportedly exposed that infamous list of those 75 corrupt individuals in Kiir’s government who allegedly looted over 5 billion dollars, the Norwegian Ambassador in Juba must have certainly been one of the few privileged diplomats who accessed the list of the 75 alleged thieves.

Unfortunately and inexplicably, up to date, Norway, like Britain and the rest, is conspiratorially silent about exposing these very thieves who blatantly looted the nation’s resources.

The badly depraved people of South Sudan deserve to know who the thieves are so that they are prosecuted in the courts of law and the money stolen is rightly repatriated back to the national coffers.

Norway, in most South Sudanese eyes, has been justly regarded as a truly committed friend of the people and thus its support was most expected in the exposition to the public of that list of thieves.

Sadly, Norway has unwisely chosen not to divulge the kleptocrats and this act of irresponsibility has severely disappointed many in South Sudan.

Instead, in spite of the Kiir’s regime becoming increasingly repressive and having committed a terrible genocide against its people in 2013, Norway and its embassy in Juba under Ambassador Tone Tinnes are blatantly in full collaboration with and abetting the terror regime of president Kiir.

One is forcefully reminded of Walter Rodney’s famous book, “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa,” and it’s becoming more apparent that Norway today is obviously contributing to the ongoing ‘underdevelopment’ of South Sudan by its collaboration and collusion with the corrupt ‘tribal colonial’ regime in Juba.

Walter Rodney aptly contended that, “Colonialism created conditions which led not just to periodic famine but to chronic undernourishment, malnutrition, and deterioration in the physique of the people.” Isn’t that what is now happening to the South Sudanese people?

Predictably, Ambassador Tone Tinnes of Norway in Juba is unfortunately an unwitting accomplice in the perpetuation of the corruption in Juba, she’d be made fully aware that monies probably allocated earlier by Kiir’s government for the building of this very same structure for Water and Electricity might have long been callously pocketed by the same ruling regime of Juba.

One is compelled to assert that Norway is currently behaving like an insidiously active imperial power in South Sudan by its over-domineering presence in practically all facets and events taking place within and across the country, from war to peace and again to war and back to peace.

Since first coming to the country in a big way in 1972 after the Addis Ababa peace agreement and the establishment of the first self-rule government in South South, Norway has been favorably accorded a special status and an unfair domineering role in the country.

Norway was allowed then to literally ‘colonize’ the then Eastern Equatoria province but, arguably, in spite of its preponderance in those so-called ‘development’ projects, there was little that can truly be classified as tangible development of the people in those areas allocated to Norway.

However, despite the altruism and benevolence renown of the Norwegians, in reality the Norwegian NGO’s practically provided little in terms of tangible ‘development.” Most of the men in the area became bonded employees of the NCA and their women ended up doing basket weaving and other futile projects just for petty cash.

The Eastern Equatoria area, unfortunately, after a decade of Norwegian dominance, never achieved any self-reliance or self-sufficiency, instead, the NCA callously impoverished the area and its people.

Quoting Rodney again, “wealth has to be produced out of nature, from tilling the land or mining metals or felling trees or turning raw materials into finished products for human consumption. These things are done by the vast majority of the people who are peasants and workers.”

South Sudan is providentially blessed with a lot of natural resources which could go into making a better life for its people. A country like Norway itself which is also blessed with plentiful of natural resources like us, should direct more of their aid to helping the common people in exploiting these possibilities and not in only fattening or comforting the leaders in Juba.

This is where Ambassador Tone Tinnes should now direct her country’s efforts and money to, instead of paying for the construction of a luxurious building for a government agency better known to the entire residents of Juba for gross corruption, inefficiency and thievery of fuel and other materials by its employees while Juba residents perpetually wallow in darkness and thirst.

When the second liberation war erupted in 1983, once again, Norway and its NGO’s intruded massively on the side of the SPLM/A and this perhaps explains its contagious and misguided infatuation with the corrupt regime of Kiir.

Arguably, just like turning a blind eye to the egregious human rights abuses that were being blatantly perpetuated by the Garang’s SPLM/A, Norway today is shamefully and financially abetting the genocidal and kleptocratic Kiir’s Juba regime whilst the citizens are being deliberately oppressed and impoverished.

In her benign infatuation to perpetuate the well-acclaimed generosity of the Norwegian people since 1972 to the people of South Sudan, Ambassador Tone Tinnes, is being blinded by her impulsive compulsion to pamper and appease the ruling gangsters in Juba.

Finally, whether in terms of rendering development aid or participating as a Troika member in the current peace talks between the Kiir junta and the SPLM-IO, Norway must assert fairness and a clear stance on the side of the common people of South Sudan.

An Appeal to Jieeng Council of Elders (JCE): You’ve destroyed Pres. Kiir!

BY: Kuir ë Garang, CANADA, JAN/12/2016, SSN;

To argue that the 28-States proposal is what the people of South Sudan want is to be opportunistically dishonest. Learned people always make decisions based on empirical studies that can be independently verified. In South Sudan, the learned ‘elders’ are an authoritative, opportunistic clique that hides behind the president under the banner of Jieeng community.

In a society where people support everything the leadership decides, the people can’t be the best judges of what’s really good for the country when presented with face-value importance. The pros-and-cons of the proposal need to be discussed and adequately addressed with the people before the consideration of such an unfortunate, segregational proposal.

What’s the rush? The rush is meant to derail peace and prolong the people’s suffering! How can a leader, a learned elder, just assume something will work without it being subjected to the needed scrutiny? This speaks volume about why things are going wrong in South Sudan. Decisions are made on a whim!

South Sudanese rely on the learned to make their decisions, unfortunately, the elders they trust don’t have the interest of the citizens at heart. People need peace not slicing up of the country into tribal enclaves.

Even when the Juba-JCE knows very well that the proposal could jeopardize peace in South Sudan, they went ahead and coerced the president to go ahead with it. Peace is obviously not one of these ‘elders’ wish.

Western nations are plagued by discrimination and racial hatred because of the racial segregation imposed by economic and class differences and the not-admitted subconscious view of others as inferiors. Children grow up in racially homogeneous neighborhoods with the view of racial others as different and inferior. Since they [children] don’t meet racial others to personally ascertain the claim of ‘inferior others,’ they grow up believing that false assumption.

The 28-States proposal will do exactly that. It will keep South Sudanese apart and limit the crucial interaction that reduces tribal animosity. To say that keeping people apart in their ethnic states will bring peace and harmony is a parochial, naïve thinking not worthy of a learned, 21st century African elderman.

Tribal states were created by colonial administrators to help them control the ‘natives’ as they called us then. Those states were created in the interest of His Majesty not the colonized subjects. For the Juba-JCE to argue that these tribal divisions were good for us is ignorant.

I wished my dad were alive. I would have asked him if this is the nature of Jieeng; or if this is how Jieeng elders acted in the past.

It’s crucial for you [Jieeng] elders and leaders to remember that we are the ones to appraise your deeds and achievements once you’re gone. You’ve destroyed President Kiir Mayardit and his legacy and it’s time for you to remember that history will judge you in a very unkind way.

President Kiir now says ‘Order number 36’ doesn’t violate the peace agreement. But what part of the agreement allows it?

We’ll not write ‘facts’ you’ve not presented. You’re living like immortal beings. A man is as good as his legacy; something Juba-JCE is denying president Kiir.

You’ve showed how you disdain inter-tribal unity. You’ve shown how little you care about the well-being of the average South Sudanese except the size of your wallets. You’ve shown how little you care about peace in South Sudan and that’s why you support a controversial decision that could derail peace and keep the nation in a perpetual state of insecurity and instability (political and tribal). And you’ve shown how little you care about the future of South Sudan because you’ll never be in it.

And you’ve shown how little you care about the national constitution and that’s why you had to help the president make an unconstitutional decision. Once you realized that you couldn’t bully Mr. Kurbandy, who’s fortunately not a Jieeng man, you had a recourse to constitutional amendment.

What exactly will you do when the new constitution is written based on the peace agreement? Since SPLM-IO, SPLM-FPD and other political parties reject 28 States, the writing of the new constitution will be a sticky issue that’ll threaten peace. That’s what you want, isn’t it?

You are the very reason why other tribes hate us! But you are living in an insular fantasy so you don’t care what other tribes think of us. You’re stuck in the past that any thought that a future free of tribal parochialism is possible evades you. I’m ashamed of you.

I want a South Sudan in which Gatluak is a minister in my state, Ajullu a mayor of my state capital, and Deng a head of state inter-tribal council of elders. I know mine is a beautiful dream that’ll not materialize because I happen to belong to a tribe in which the wisdom of our village elders has been rejected and replaced with the political opportunism of the callous city dwellers masquerading as ‘elders.’

Kuir ë Garang is a South Sudan poet and author currently living in Canada. For contact, visit his website on www.kuirthiy.com

January 2016 is Month of SPLM’s Do or Quit ARCISS in South Sudan

By James Okuk, PhD. JAN/05/2016, SSN;

The month of January was originally named by the Ancient Greek to signify a god of double heads: one head facing forward to a bright future and another head facing backward to a dark past. This Greek nomenclature mythology seems to be making sense with the current situation of the Republic of South Sudan under the confusing SPLM regime that has not learnt the dignity of revering credibility and truth.

The SPLM leaders have even spoiled the communist favorable term of ‘comrade’ which has now come to connote a ‘thief of public money’ – corruption – in the one-party dominated government. That is why some common South Sudanese react offendedly these days if you happen to call them ‘comrades’ as this liberation virtue got blown away by wind of kleptocracy.

The shameless SPLM’s behaviour could be the core reason that led to failure or hijacking of the leadership of the Republic of South Sudan to the extent that people don’t enjoy what can be called citizenship, peace, justice and prosperity for all.

The previously trusted SPLM liberators have turned around to betray the people’s trust by taking them back to the anguishing situation of wars and tribal hegemonic oppression that came to replace Jellaba’s injustice.

That is why President Salva Kiir Mayardit feels nostalgic at times about the bush life compared to the current terrible SPLM power wrangling situation he has been wrongly managing in futility.

Since the signing of August 2015 Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS), many days and months have been made to pass without putting an end to the senseless war so as to restore the sanctity of life through peace.

However, the month of January 2016 has come to remain the critical and deterministic epoch for ending the shameless SPLM status quo by effecting a rebooting political dispensation.

This January will tell soon that it is irrationally unrealistic to sign a peace agreement on paper and do something different on the ground. It would have been better for the SPLM leaders not to append their signatures on ARCISS if they didn’t believe in honoring it because this would have saved them from the wrath of contradictions and confusions.

Now, the commitment for ARCISS implementation is on their necks with escape routes blocked. The concerned international and regional communities have already entrenched themselves to deal with the SPLM regime even if it means ‘highway methodology.’

The fact that the UN Security Council has approved Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems (known as drones), tactical military helicopters and other sophisticated heaviest arms with additional troops being deployed to South Sudan under Chapter VII of UN Charter, is already a clear signal that leaders of the new country are not going to be left alone to continue misbehaving on their vulnerable citizens.

Peace is going to be enforced down on the throats of the unwilling SPLM regime by nooks and crooks because the biggest UN peacekeeping force in the world with unique civilian camps called PoCs shall not quit in shame.

There is not going to be a new negotiated peace deal but the ARCISS itself under supervision of the most able Botswana’s Former President and his deputies who were dispatched by western superpowers to teach the intransigent Machiavellian SPLM leaders some lessons of good governance and modern political discipline.

As it is commonly said that the whites’ taxpayers money (especially the Troika) can’t be spent with no returns, it has become evident that the SPLM regime has been caught finally at the tight corner of ARCISS they have been lying about in the wasted past months.

Hence, it will be a safer soft landing for the SPLM leaders to implement the ARCISS in letter and spirit in accordance with matrixes and timelines provided by the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC).

As the clock of the first week of the deterministic January 2016 is ticking towards a finishing line and as the second week is already knocking at the doors of the SPLM-J regime, the joint regional and international actors together with internal economic pressure is mounting yet again on the ruling SPLM leaders.

All the rivalling SPLM factions are already in Juba to tell the whole world, including the people of South Sudan, that they are for peace and nothing else. Thus, whoever would attempt to obstruct the peace process by acting unilaterally outside the ARCISS provisions should be designated to carry the cross of undesirable sanctions alone.

The ARCISS should be allowed to overrule the Transitional Constitutions (2011) and its amendments, including the recently created troublesome 28 states that lacks scientific feasibility studies apart from parochial dirty politicking.

The delayed National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) should be allowed to complete its work by second week of January 2016 without any attempt at renewed negotiations on ARCISS provisions.

As it has been stipulated in Article 13 of the ARCISS, the IGAD-led mediation initiated the formation of the 8-membered NCAC with mandate to complete the necessary tasks for transition period and establishment of Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) with all its legislative, executive and judicial branches.

However, it has been very strange as usual for the GRSS representatives to object to the progress of NCAC’s duty on a lame duck excuse that they have not read and studied the ARCISS and should be given enough time to do so, when actually much time has already been wasted in vanity.

The Other Political Parties’ representative to NCAC has not been nominated due to obstruction by the GRSS’ wing who call themselves the ‘Programme Parties’ under satellitic leadership of Martin Elia Lomuro in contrast to the National Alliance under the astute liberalized leadership of Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin.

Nevertheless, the NCAC boat has been moving because the quorum is complete even with the absence of one member of political parties or two members of the GRSS. The draft peace constitutional amendments bill is supposed to be completed within 21 days from the date NCAC started its work (i.e., 22nd December 2015 – 12 January 2016).

Anything that the NCAC is unable to do in the set time shall be done by the supreme supervisor of the ARCISS, H.E. Festus Mogae, so that the GRSS Minister of Justice could receive the draft peace constitutional amendments and other relevant legislations to be tabled in the current Council of Ministers (before it is dissolved) and thereafter within 7 days to the 400-membered reconstituted Transitional National Assembly (TNLA) led by an elected strong Equatorian MP.

The TNLA is supposed to ratify the peace constitutional amendments within 30 days (i.e., by second week of February 2016) so that it is assented to by the President of the Republic immediately and thereafter be used as the supreme legal basis of conferred powers for establishment of institutions and mechanisms that are necessary for legitimatization of TGoNU, with consideration of inclusivity and national diversity of South Sudanese by their political parties, tribal affiliations and gender categorisations for appointments to government posts.

The ARCISS set time could even be shortened so that the loss pre-transition period is compensated all by January so that the actual peace government assumes its total mandate by February after appointments of the 1st VP Dr. Riek Machar, the VP James Wani Igga, the 30 National Ministers and 8 Deputies, and 10 governors of ten states with their ministers in accordance with the ARCISS lottery and quotas of the principal parties (GRSS, SPLM-IO, FDs and OPP).

The Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU), including 10 states governments, has to take up its duties as mandated horizontally and vertically with a new political dispensation for reforms and adjustments in the country.

However, if the SPLM regime misses January 2016 it will not miss U.S plan ‘B’ in collaboration with the IGAD-Plus countries and allies. Under this plan, the UNMISS with its well armed peacekeeping forces may automatically turn into an enemy of the SPLM-J regime, joined by IGAD-Plus stabilizing forces and other armed forces inside the country that are not happy with the political status quo.

The current JMEC leadership may also automatically be tasked with a direct UN-AU Trusteeship for South Sudan for a government of technocrats in the transitional period before elections of politicians takes place later in fair and free atmosphere.

Because of this possibility, a Rational Choice Theory would suggest that the loss that shall be incurred by the SPLM regime could be severe in case of opening up the auction for plan ‘B’ to get effected, compared to reasonable gains that are engrained in the ARCISS (or call it plan ‘A’) if it is implemented willingly.

Therefore, if there are ears left in SPLM leaders, I hope they got to hear it well now in this January 2016 before it is too late for their political salvation after. Let them grab quickly the forward head of January before it is grabbed for them by foreigners.

There is no ‘either or’ on the compromise of peace in South Sudan now because both the regional and international communities will not tolerate a making of another Somalia or Syria. South Sudan is a different gene altogether, especially its geopolitical position.

It would be better and safer to develop good faith for ARCISS implementation so that all of us can enjoy dividends of safety of peace in 2016 and beyond with the NCAC mandate extended up to a maximum of 12 months (i.e., December 2016) for drafting or revising the relevant legislations of reforms and peaceful adjustments in the country.

Otherwise, the GRSS would be left alone in the cold singing the outdated sovereignty song on unviable unilateral 28 states because it doesn’t fit into the ARCISS and it is not easy for this to get swallowed without causing death to the Mother Peace in all corners of our promised land.

With the unpredictability we have known of our President Kiir since the time he assumed the highest office in 2005, things may just turn around positively at the last peak hour as he did it with nomination of GoNU ministers in Khartoum in 2005, with SPLM ministers’ boycott of GoNU in 2007, with national census in 2008, with referendum for self-determination in 2010, and with his signature on ARCISS in Juba on 26th August 2015.

He may surprise the JMEC, the regional and international communities by endorsing the supremacy of the ARCISS over any decision he has taken and assenting to the supervisory directives of H.E. Festus G. Mogae who came to South Sudan with good intentions of helping the new country to exit fragility through peace, justice and prosperity so that any attempt for plan ‘B’ is aborted in shambles.

Let’s all converge on ARCISS implementation and other minor things shall get tackled harmoniously later with no abhorrent bloodshed any more. Viva South Sudan Viva!
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Dr. James Okuk is a lecturer of politics reachable at okukjimy@hotmail.com

The decapitation of Equatoria by Pres. Salva Kiir & Jieeng Terror

From: Elhag Paul, DEC/30/2015, SSN;

The attack on Equatoria is evidenced by the series of abductions, detentions and killings of Equatorians in South Sudan and neighboring countries. The recent abduction and detention of Dr. Leonzio Angole Onek demonstrates this calculated attack to eliminate Equatoria leadership in South Sudan, as a means to render Equatoria leaderless, so as to be subject to control and abuse by the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE).

The objective of the JCE and The SPLM to destroy Equatoria is being recorded in contemporary history where a series of Equatorian leaders are presently unaccounted for, such as the elimination of Joseph Oduho, the elimination of Martin Kejivura, the elimination of Cecilia Oba Towongo, the elimination of John Nambu, the elimination of Equatorian police officers, the mysterious death of Dr. Wani Tombe, the unexplained disappearance of Justice Peter Sule and General Elias Lino Jada and many others.

Presently, this regime is actively terrorizing Joseph Bakasoro, the former Governor of Western Equatoria state. As I write he is being subjected to arbitrary detention afflicted with physical and emotional abuse.

If terror and death could extinguish the will for freedom and the ideas that go with it, South Sudan would not have been freed and born as a sovereign state; for the ideas and proclamations made by the pioneers of South Sudan liberation such as Emilio Tafeng, Paul Ali Gbatala, Joseph Oduho, Ezboni Mondiri, Fr. Santurlino Ohure, etc, would have atrophied with them.

However, their words and deeds became the fuel that ran the struggle against Khartoum for over half a century.

With the present oppression of Equatoria by the Jieng, the words of Peter Sule, Dr Wani Tombe etc.. will be the fuel that runs the emerging Equatoria resistance to the Jieng regime. Just listen to some of these words in this YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIcJ6IQw-SI

The abduction of Dr. Onek similar to the detention of Joseph Bakasoro further highlights the undeclared decapitation policy that the Jieng Council of Elders is promoting to destroy Equatoria. This Jieng’s policy eventually will intensify the resolve of the people of Equatoria to double their energies and efforts to assert their right.

The weakness pulling Equatoria down is the division that the SPLM has planted in its midst via vulnerable Equatorians, who are intimidated and bought with government posts. In addition to this the SPLM sets one tribe against the other.

Dr John Garang was the first to device the fragmentation of Equatoria by instituting a policy that any person wishing to join the SPLM must come as an individual. This policy that appeared simple and harmless on face value ensured that Equatorian leaders were stripped of their leadership and subsequently their following.

This was the initial process of decapitation of Equatoria. Please see, ‘The marginalisation of Equatoria’ http://southsudannation.com/opinion/articles/the-marginalisation-of-equatoria

The other SPLM factions similarly use the same intrigues to keep the Equatorians out of positions of power and influence; of all these techniques, the real problem lies in the pitting of one tribe against the other.

Presently, albeit the Equatorians are agreed that the current system in the country is their worst nightmare, they still operate as divided, with each tribe supporting their own in the ranks of the opposition.

For example, each tribe will collect material and monetary contributions to support the cause for their tribe. In this, the Equatorians have failed to see that without coming together under a clear objective and working as one there will be no headway.

Nimule, Wonduruba, Mundri, and Yambio will continue to burn and the other areas will follow too. This is the reality.

Politics, as Niccolo Machiavelli, the Italian thinker and author of the influential book “The Prince,” argues is about power, and getting power involves nasty things like those taking place in the mentioned towns in Equatoria. This is what is called realpolitik.

It is simply pragmatism and it has nothing to do with emotions and civility. Bari on their own means nothing, Moru on their own means nothing, Kuku on their own means nothing, Pojulu on their own means nothing, and Zande on their own means nothing etc.

Because Equatoria is fragmented the way it is, its enemies confidently find it easy to pick on them one by one.

For example, when President Kiir and the JCE abused Peter Sule, they did so, knowing that he did not have group support behind him. They are now abusing Dr Onek and Bakasoro knowing that there is a lack of regional group support.

The behaviour of President Kiir and the JCE is typical of predators preying on their quarry.

If Equatoria wants to regain its lost strength in order to be protective of its people, its people must discard short-sighted approaches and work as one, or Equatoria’s future in the jungle that is called South Sudan is bleak.

Simply put, if Equatorians cannot protect and sacrifice for their leaders, the future looks very bad.

This protection must start at home. First it is important for Equatorians to shun or distance themselves from Equatorian informers and lackeys of the “born to rule”. These informers should be shunned from the society in line with Equatorian cultures.

This is necessary for survival, as informers are used as tools by oppressors to aid in the subjugation and enslavement of a people(s). Addressing the issue of informers, allows for a group to begin addressing the oppressor; this is because the oppressor lacks leverage without informers.

The literature on conquest, social control and domination posits that for powerful groups to exercise their power over a target group that is to be dominated, the target group must not have leaders. Without this, it is next to impossible to succeed in colonising any people.

This is why the imperialists and colonialists in the past destroyed indigenous leaders and replaced them with handpicked leaders serving the masters.

In South Sudan, Equatoria’s handpicked lackeys include the Vice President, some of the national ministers, Equatorian apparatchiks of the SPLM, appointed governors, appointed members of parliament, and one or two appointed ambassadors who distinguish themselves by extreme subservience to the Jieng.

But why do the Jieng strive to colonise Equatoria? This is a big question that cannot be answered in one article. The genesis of this problem is explained in my previous article, ‘SPLM a pathological organisation’ http://www.southsudannation.com/opinion/editorials/splm-is-a-pathological-organization

In the mind of the Jieng, if they are to achieve their objective of establishing themselves as the elites in South Sudan, Equatoria must be destroyed. They believe that Equatorians hate the Jieng and as such it is the main obstacle to their project of ‘born to rule’.

This belief, though unfounded, is real to them.

In his book, ‘Sudan and South Sudan: from one to two’, Bona Malwal vividly conveys the feelings of the Jieng towards Equatorians. He argues that “Unfortunately, Equatoria, this rather unusual indeed non-existing constitutional being in South Sudan, has now got onto the bandwagon of Riek Machar Teny, hoping to defeat and overthrow the Dinka (Jieng) that Equatoria has always hated.”

The tone and sentiment expressed here speaks for itself. While the Jieng assume they are hated by Equatoria, what are the feelings of Equatorians?

In reality, the Equatorians do not hate the Jieng or any other social group in South Sudan for that matter. What they abhor is the uncalled for senseless violence of the Jieng. A good example is what is going on throughout Equatoria presently and the horrendous events of December 2013.

Equatoria, therefore, does not hate the Jieng people but certainly it hates their destructive and abusive behavior. If the Jieng could only discipline themselves and behave in a humane way, nobody in Equatoria would dislike their ways.

For example, the family of Gordon Ayom and the family of Khatir Jubara who hail from the Jieng, are integrated in Equatoria because they know how to interact with people with respect.

Now the United States has come to the same conclusion as the Equatorians about the behaviour of the Jieng and their government. Can President Kiir and the JCE really look the Americans in the eye and ask them as to why the US has a low opinion about their government?

If the Americans can not put up with the Juba nonsense, why should South Sudanese and Equatorians do so for that matter?

Please listen to the Senate Hearing titled, ‘Independent South Sudan: A Failure of Leadership’ http://www.foreign.senate.gov/hearings/independent-south-sudan-a-failure-of-leadership-121015

The paradox in this bitter relationship between the Jieng and Equatoria is found in the Jieng Council of Elders whose actual leadership is not Jieng. The most vocal and hawkish ones who intensely execrate Equatoria are of Equatorian and Jur blood.

These non-Jieng leaders of the Jieng have their own issues rooted in their childhood which unfortunately they internalised and turned them into depraved persons. They strongly hate their Equatorian and Jur traits.

By riding on the back of the entire Jieng they have found a convenient outlet to release their vent-up hatred towards their own people in Equatoria and Bahr El Ghazal.

This may come as a shock to many people as it sounds unbelievable. But it is the truth. Here we have a lost Equatorian and a lost Jur conniving to disguise their true identities in order to destroy the source of their very existence in this world. These are not the only ones in the JCE, there are more.

The behaviour of concealment is associated with many things chiefly among them is the feeling of shame. Shame often makes people feel inadequate and worthless. In order to feel better, some people suffering from shame will resort to cover up traits considered negative in their lives. The hawkish members of JCE appear to be doing exactly that.

Let us have a brief look at their background.

The Equatorian Jieng is a product of colonial intervention in Jieng cultural life. When the British came to Bahr El Ghazal they were shocked by the nudity of the Jieng. They decided to acculturise them, and the plan they put in place was to import Equatorian tailors into Jieng land specifically to produce Chabong – a half robe or ‘Nus Jalabya’ in Arabic.

Initially the British thought the locals would embrace the robe but the Jieng resisted. After a struggle the Jieng showed interest in Chabong. The preference to Chabong may have something to do with the comforts of air fanning the lower parts of the body.

It must be remembered that these specific parts are conditioned to free flow of air since time immemorial and the robe in its usual form blocks the entire body from receiving normal aeration. So the Chabong was the solution provided to introduce clothing to the Jieng.

Like most expats, the imported Equatorian tailors those days did not come with their women and as mother nature does not allow a vacuum, interaction with the local women ensued and there we have our Equatorian Jieng leader in the JCE.

So, in essence a combination of British resourcefulness, Equatorian ingenuity and Jieng nudity produced an angry individual who hates Equatoria, part of his own identity. This person has devoted most of his life to erase Equatoria out of existence.

As for the Jur, his story is tragic. When he was a young child, he was vulnerable and uncared for, he roamed the streets and found his way to Babanousa and then Khartoum through the weekly train service between Khartoum and Wau. Once in Khartoum he became a water boy in a house of an influential political family in Omdurman.

He grew up there in the nooks of the Arab kitchen feeding on daily leftovers under the supervision of Haja (an old Arab house wife). It is said that Haja used to refer to him in Arabic as – da walad kwes kalish, meaning this is a good boy.

The above is the brief background to the most hawkish of the JCE leadership. Is it any wonder why the JCE is doing what it is doing? These are people who are angry with the world.

People who have had a troubled and challenging childhood, and or those who have had an identity crisis, can experience internal conflict, low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness. While some children grow up to be responsible adults who work through these conflicts, trauma and challenges, others grow to become destructive to themselves, their community and their society.

In the case of South Sudan, President Salva Kiir, who is another one with dubious background, refers to the JCE as dogs because he knows their background very well. These are individuals who have no loyalty to anybody on this earth but themselves.

They have now hijacked the Jieng tribe and they are using it to the maximum to fill the void in their lives to make themselves feel good. They do not care about the well being of the Jieng tribe.

Look at the emotional and mental destruction they are inflicting on the young Jieng boys they recruit into the killing machine of the Jieng militia armies (Dootku Beny, Mathiang Anyoor and Gelweng).

Malek Cook-Dwach in his article published by The Sudan Tribune, ‘Tribal politics is what is destroying our social fabric,’ correctly points out that the damages inflicted by the JCE’s war will have long term impact for the recovery of the Jieng youth to return to normality due to the economies lost, lack of education, physical and psychological trauma.

As for the overall consequences of the JCE’s evil plans, please see, ‘The Jieeng Council of Elders, the erosion of Jieeng values and the Jieengization of South Sudan’ http://www.southsudannation.com/jieeng-council-of-elders-the-erosion-of-jieengs-values-and-the-jieengization-of-south-sudan/

Therefore, the hatred of the JCE towards Equatoria is irrational and very dangerous as this group has set itself up to the task of destroying Equatoria. The destruction is being born out in two ways.

First, through the SPLM/A, the JCE is systematically eliminating Equatoria leaders and disempowering the whole community.

Secondly, the name Equatoria is being erased from existence in South Sudan through use of presidential decrees like the Decree 36/2015 Establishment Order. This decree fragments Equatoria into smaller states and wipes out the name Equatoria. Equatoria has no option left but it must rise to the challenge.

Now the abduction of Dr. Onek has its root in what has been expressed in this article. As a professor and a very intelligent person, the tribal system perceives him to be a threat because should he decide to lead his people one day it would be difficult for the JCE and President Salva Kiir to push him aside.

So, in line with Jieng policy of keeping Equatoria leaderless, Dr. Onek has been preyed upon. His abduction like the ongoing detention of Bakasoro is not only humiliation to him personally but in reality it is the humiliation of the whole Equatoria region.

Previously the system did this to the Kakwa chiefs, it did it to Justice Peter Sule whose story now remains an enigma, it did it to the chairman of the Equatoria caucus in the parliament, it did it to the paramount chief of Didinga, it did it to the chiefs of Madi and Acholi, it is doing it now to the former Governor of Western Equatoria, Joseph Bakasoro.

The message in all this is clear. If you are an Equatorian with potential, then your own survival is at risk because the JCE has decided to destroy Equatoria through decapitation. Their practice to achieve this objective includes arbitrary detentions, abductions, killings and terror.

The crucial question is: For how long is Equatoria going to be humiliated? The cases of Dr. Onek and that of Bakasoro are Equatorian cases and they must not be allowed to go on like what has happened to Peter Sule.

If the system has a case against Dr. Onek and Bakasoro, they must be brought to open court and let them have their day in court. It is just unacceptable that people are abused and oppressed to satisfy the ego of the JCE, because they are Equatorians.

This challenge demands the so-called Equatorian Front in SPLM-IO to do something about it because of their unique position as partner of President Kiir in the peace agreement.

If General Alfred Ladu Gore is an Equatorian leader as is claimed, he needs to speak out and ensure that Professor Onek and Bakasoro are safe and released immediately.

This is very important for three reasons. Firstly, this is because it is an act of solidarity. Secondly, it is an act to protect Equatoria, and thirdly and crucially it is an act of self protection – ensuring he does not fall in the same trap.

Equatoria community need to realize that their unity is a must if this predatory politics of the JCE is to be stopped once and for all.

So the Equatoria community in the country needs to write to the trio (President Festos Mogae, President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar) demanding the release of Professor Onek and Bakasoro together with an inquiry on why Dr Onek was abducted and Bakasoro detained. This very piece should serve the same purpose.

Finally in the larger context, the survival of Equatoria depends on the extent to which the people of the region (a third of the population of South Sudan) are prepared to resist in self defence.

President Kiir and JCE’s terror directed to Equatoria leaders and the people must be brought to a halt through a concerted multi-prong action.

If Equatoria wants its sons and daughters to stand for it, it in turn has to protect them by whatever means available. Otherwise the future of Equatoria is bleak in a system run by people who hold deep unfounded grudges against it for no rational reason.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul
elhagpaul@aol.com

Nomination of 28 States’ Governors: Does this mean the Peace Agreement is dead or still alive?

By: J. Nguen, Dec/27/2015, SSN;

As the world awoke to the news that President Salva Kiir of South Sudan has nominated governors of the controversial 28 States and the decree was televised on nation’s owned TV on the 24 of Dec. 2015, the world was profoundly shocked and citizens were deeply shaken and dumbfounded. The news was in-dignifying, unexpected and unwelcome.

Partners in the peace agreement and those who supported the peace agreement from the onset and wished normalcy to return to South Sudan after peace was signed in August 2015 were reported terribly disappointed by the development.

The declaration of 28 States’ governors leave everyone second guessing because the move begged the question whether the signed agreement is dead or alive? This simple question haunts South Sudanese populace.

For example, across the globe uncertainty is the order of the day. Before the declaration of 28 States’ governors, there were hopes that peace was nearing and senseless death shall soon cease in South Sudan. With the surprising decree, these very hopes are dashed.

Besides, question of trust and reliability on President Salva Kiir also emerged. Both at global stage, regional arenas and national circles, Kiir’s controversial decision proved that Mr. President is unreliable and can’t be trusted.

For instance, Kiir signed the Compromised Peace Agreement in August 2015 in presence of heads of States and delegations to witness and affirm his commitment and the accord is based on the ten States.

Therefore, with the establishment of 28 States and their administrative governments, Kiir has clearly violated the Compromised Peace Agreement and showed his dishonesty to the heads of States who witnessed and served as guarantors.

Kiir’s move is a far-fetched decision as far as the agreement and trust and honesty are concerned.

Without sugarcoating the agreement with “defunct” ten States means the agreement is dead. There is no shred of meat left to salvage for peace implementation, so to speak.

The covenant was brutally wounded by Kiir’s order and died overnight when Kiir named governors of 28 States on Christmas Eve.

No “African God(s)” will rescue and restore this broken covenant without restoring the ten States status in the country. In retrospect, the move proved Kiir’s previous statement that the compromise peace agreement was neither “the Bible nor Quran” and ought to be dishonored.

Thus, a repetition of an infamous statement which once trashed 1972 Addis Ababa agreement. A historical agreement aimed to resolve Sudan’s first civil war of Anya-Nya I.

History is repeating itself, but the only slight difference is that Sudan was not sectioned up into tribal enclaves in 1972. Hence, the abrogation of the agreement by President Kiir followed the same trajectory.

To my readers, the surest thing to share is that the covenant which was negotiated and signed in Addis and Juba respectively is broken and “no-more” unless President Salva Kiir revereed the 28 States.

No matter what, the implementation will not materialized in the letter to the agreement without the ten States. However, the sad part is, 28 States is a sure path to balkanization of South Sudan.

Though in the next few days, President Kiir will still claim his failed government’s readiness to implementing the peace agreement, this would be a lie.

Also, I heard Gen. Taban Deng, Dr. Dhieu Mathok and Mabior Garang of the SPLM/A–IO tried to be politically correct and sugarcoating the violation of the agreement. Both gentlemen underplayed the seriousness on the hole pierced through the accord on the pretext of not to give warmongers in the government a chance to bank on. However, such position will soon fade and reality will hit with deadly blows.

I repeat, as far as the peace agreement is concerned there is no peace if ten States do not exist. The Resolution on the South Sudan Conflict will never materialize without them as reference in the devolution and share of powers between partners in peace during the transitional government.

The IO need their fair share from the ten States. In the agreement it’s clearly articulated that it’s IO’s mandate to nominate governors of Upper Nile and Unity States from its ranks and files. Without this, there is no peace and no matter how much we can be politically correct.

However, it appears that without 28 States in place, Salva Kiir is not going to relent. Then, deadlock is ensued. Therefore, out of this mess, the SPLM/A–IO is now banking on the JMEC’s President Mr. Festus Mogae with unstoppable intervention.

Though hope is not a strategy, the IO is hoping that Mr. Mogae will perform some mysterious miracle blessed by an “African God” and thus will make Salva Kiir relent and withdraw order of 28 States.

On the civil side of things, the declaration of 28 States’ governors by president was a “nasty bitter Christmas Gift” to the people of South Sudan during this “holiday season.” This is one of the last things my people expected and would like to hear.

Not only that, the declaration of 28 States’ governors by President Salva Kiir is also a spat in the face of the IGAD–Plus, AU, Troika, EU, UN and JMEC, respectively. This is why I strongly believe what Mabior Garang, Dr. Dhieu and Gen. Taban is unrealistic. First off, who the heck is JMEC’s president alone for President Salva Kiir to listen to after all?

For example, Kiir has declared war in the form of nominating governors of 28 States in the presence of JMEC knowing quite well that JMEC’s heads and other partners in the peace agreement must be represented in any decision making process moving forward especially when peace was signed. Kiir didn’t care and gave a shit.

So, this is self-evident that JMEC and other partners in peace means nothing to President Kiir. In their face, Kiir made unilateral decision without regard of their inputs. Thus I see no chance Salva Kiir is conceding on the issue of 28 States come rain or sunshine if no tangible action is taken.

Another lame argument that I can see on the pipeline is the constitution review committee as an option to supersede Kiir’s creation of 28 States. Some think that the constitution review committee will fix President Kiir’s mischief.

If this thinking indeed exists among some partners in peace, I should say this is one of the poorest thought out frame of resolution.

Banking on the constitution review committee is nothing short than pure surrender. The fact is President Kiir will still chisel his way through using decree methodology.

So, if Kiir can use decree now, what is that unquestionable logic at hand which will prevent him from decreeing out any attempts to remove any constitutional clause on the 28 States? In my view, nothing of course.

Regarding Troika, AU, EU, IGAD-Plus and the UN, I feel sorry for them simply because President Kiir has betrayed them. These actors have worked extremely hard both financially and physically to ensure South Sudan return to normalcy.

Unfortunately, it appears that their hard work and contributions were rendered useless and trashed before sunset on the December 24, 2015. A man whom some have once called legitimate and elected President of South Sudan made their hard work and contributions obsolete. What a shame!

For the last 2 years, civil war in South Sudan has caused irreversible damage both socially, culturally, economically, politically, and above all on humans’ lives. After momentous glimpse of hope, President Kiir has once again declared continuation of war over peace. That say Kiir wanted more innocent lives to be wasted except his own. The surest way to do so is the recent nomination of 28 States’ governors.

With this mind, there is a need to call for calm but condemn Kiir’s decision in strongest terms possible and strong statement that it must be reversed by all sound minded human beings.

To exert more pressure on Salva Kiir, the writer recommended to IGAD-Plus, AU, Troika, UN and JMEC to perform the following steps:

1. The IGAD-Plus, AU, Troika, EU, UN and JMEC must condemn President Kiir’s unilateral decision and give him (Salva) an ultimatum to withdraw the order.
2. Former president of Botswana, Mr. Festus Mogae must call off all JMEC’s meetings until former notice.
3. The IGAD-Plus and partners must convene an emergence meeting and the agenda must include to urge the Republic of Sudan to withhold the transit of South Sudan’s oil from passing through her territory.
4. The Troika, EU, IGAD–Plus and other world governments must cut diplomatic ties, government to government trades and aides to the government of South Sudan.
5. It’s on public domain that South Sudan has pre-sold its oil to unknown buyers, but, it’s strongly recommended that any South Sudan’s oil shipments on route to the international markets be confiscated and sold and its proceeds held in escrow and used for humanitarian purposes to rescue and feed starving civil population in the country.
6. The IGAD–plus and partners must also impose economic sanctions, armed embargo, targeted individuals sanctions and financial freeze and recovery on those who obstruct peace in South Sudan.

These six items, if implemented, I believe will starve Kiir’s government’s finances and ensure her compliance to the term of the peace agreement without firing a bullet and which may put innocent lives at risk.

J. Nguen is a concerned South Sudanese citizen living in Canada. He can be reached at jamesnguen@gmail.com.

Is The Compromise Peace Agreement falling apart?

BY: Dr Lako Jada Kwajok, DEC/27/2015, SSN;

A quote from what president Kiir said on Wednesday 23/12/2015 reads as follows: “We will do everything to keep our commitments in the implementation of the peace agreement which we have signed with our brothers.” Kiir said that after meeting with representatives of the advance team of the SPLM-IO on Tuesday 22/12/2015 in Juba.

24 hours later he issued a presidential decree appointing governors for the newly created controversial states. This is an unequivocal violation of the compromise peace agreement as it is based on the legitimate 10 states.

The move is clearly not in the spirit of bringing peace and stability to the war-devastated country. It’s mind-boggling that a president could have two utterly different messages to his people within 24 hours. People heard a pro peace message on Wednesday only to be confronted with a pro-war message on Thursday embedded in the latest presidential decree.

So what do we make of what he said on Wednesday?! It does not qualify for political bullshit according to Harry Frankfurt philosophical definition of it. It was an outright lie.

Scepticism never truly parted with the peace process since its beginning. Extreme animosity, mistrust and leaders putting personal and tribal interests before country interests were and are still the order of the day.

The reservation about the peace deal that the president declared at the time of signing the document was a clear indication that a bumpy road is ahead of the peace process. It even became apparent that sabotage and delaying tactics were being employed to frustrate and disrupt the implementation of the peace agreement.

The government initially demanded to be provided with biographies of the advance team members beforehand. This was followed by a demand to limit the number of the advance team to 30 individuals only.

Of course both demands were rejected by SPLM-IO as there are no provisions in the compromise peace agreement that support the government’s demands. The purpose of such demands is unclear but certainly leads to suspicion and further erosion of trust between the two parties.

It was the pressure from the IGAD-PLUS peace mediators and the chairman of the Joint Monitoring and evaluation commission (JMEC), former President of Botswana, Festus Gontebanye Mogae, that brought about the breakthrough in the deadlock and led to rapid movement towards implementation of the peace deal.

Mogae should be applauded for the no-nonsense stance that he has exhibited by serving both parties of the peace agreement with a timetable for tasks to be completed within a timeframe. By doing so he managed to put both parties under pressure to start implementing the peace deal.

In the first meeting of the JMEC involving all the parties, he urged them to work vigorously to pursue their tasks even if it means they have to work during the holiday period. He was very keen to make up for lost time as the implementation of the peace accord is already behind schedule.

It’s somewhat embarrassing that a foreigner is fully aware of the plight of our people and has the understanding of the need to move fast to avert disaster while the government continues to drag its feet all along the way.

From the moment the SPLM-IO advance team arrived in Juba, it became clear that they are up to a rocky start. Neither the government chief negotiator nor the spokesperson of its negotiating team and the chief of general staff of the SPLA were there to receive them.

It has since been revealed that the military command council (MCC) of the SPLA is sharply divided over the implementation of the security arrangements.

The cantonment provision in the compromise peace agreement is facing a stiff resistance and was never adhered to by the SPLA high command. The chief of general staff of the SPLA and a number of high ranking officers are stubbornly opposed to the security arrangements and would not stick to what was agreed upon.

Furthermore, the National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) was supposed to have started its work by incorporating the compromise peace agreement into an amended constitution before the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) next month.

All these tell us that the peace agreement is in deep trouble.

However the appointment of the governors has elevated the conflict to a higher level. It should be noted that Festus G. Mogae made it clear to all the parties in the JMEC meeting that there will be no room for re-negotiation of the peace deal.

Now that new dynamics have come into play, we as South Sudanese citizens should be clear about where the country is heading to.

Key provisions in the compromise peace agreement have been made redundant by the latest presidential decree. The NCAC will not be able to function as stipulated in the peace accord because the government with the help of the illegitimate National Legislative Assembly (NLA) has enacted its unilateral amendments.

With the naming of the new state governors, SPLM-IO has been effectively blocked out of taking up its share of governorships. Also the states that were allocated to SPLM-IO do not exist anymore.

The future looks quite bleak even if the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) is finally formed.

Just consider two characters out of many, Paul Malong, the chief of general staff and Michael Makuei, the minister of information – whether they are kept in or left out of the would be TGoNU, they would still cause problems and not relent in their endeavour to derail the peace agreement.

At this moment in time; it’s fair to say that the appointment of the governors has rendered the peace agreement obsolete unless President Kiir rescinds it or refers it to the JMEC for discussion.

Now is the time for the heavyweight stakeholders to stand firm in support of the compromise peace agreement. The situation has reached the point of ‘to be or not to be’ for the peace agreement.

Kiir and his ruling clique should be put under maximum pressure to reverse course. Mogae should be empowered and given the support he needs to carry on with his highly appreciated efforts.

At this critical stage in the implementation of the peace agreement, there should be no ambiguity and the possibility of a showdown between Kiir’s regime and the international community should be borne in mind.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

Implementing Monetary Policy on Exchange Rate: Devaluing the Overvalued SSP has been an overdue issue!

By: Ms Betty Imoya Angasi, 22/Dec/2015, Juba, SSN;

I would like to applaud the monetary and fiscal authorities in finally devaluing the overvalued SSP. This is a very positive move and an overdue process that would have taken place right in Aug 2012 after the RSS exhausted its oil reserve following the closure of oil pipeline, but it is a better move than not doing it at all.

This in fact is the first biggest achievement ever in the history of monetary policy instrument in this country.

It is understandable that the monetary authority has been very patient in trying to comfort the peoples’ will by upholding the irrelevant Fixed Exchange Rate (FER) regime throughout the economic difficulties that hit this country from Aug 2012-Dec 2015.

However, the purpose of this article is to answer a key question of: what is the right rate at which the exchange rate should have been devalued or unified that would be sufficiently credible to last?

In order to answer this question, this note revealed the causes of changes in exchange rates behaviour; it analyses the history of Exchange Rate Regime in South Sudan; Disadvantage of Fixed Exchange Rate (FER) Regime; Advantages of Managed Float/Flexible Exchange Rate (FLER); the need for Harmonization of Fiscal & Monetary Policy in particular Areas; and draw conclusions.

To start with, fluctuations in exchange rate are a normal part of development stages. In South Sudan, the Exchange rate reacts to speculations, insecurity and global oil price.

Aware that the BSS (Bank of South Sudan) or MOF (Ministry of Finance) does not print USD or hard currency locally, there is not enough reserve (USD, Euro, GBP, nor Yen, or Yuan) in this country that can defend the FER regime anymore (1USD@2.96-3.17) as much as there is no export revenue to cover the FER gap.

If these institutions are again pushed to print more SSP for full scale salary adjustments, then be ready for 1,000% plus rise in inflation.

There is no country in the world that brings dollar or hard currencies for spoon feeding its citizen but rather citizens can contribute in bringing various hard currencies to their economy through their individual exports or from overseas remittances to top up the efforts of their Govt.

Uganda is a typical life example where citizens cultivate and export to SS and the dollars goes to the Republic of Uganda period, and there is nothing we sell to Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, or Sudan to bring back our USD indirectly, therefore making a kind of holocaust imbalance in regional and International trade because SS became the main sources of hard currency to some immediate neighboring countries, unfortunately.

The International oil price which is the only export commodity in this country has dropped from $100-$107 to $35 per barrel when the USA which was the world’s major oil consumer started drilling its own soil (sand) oil.

Besides not all oil field stations are operational in South Sudan since the beginning of the internal War from Dec 2013. The oil revenue the RSS was enjoying until 2011 has dropped by 76%, leaving the country in a complete paralysis stage.

As the saying goes, when the USA sneezes, 80% of the world can catch flu, this alone is a food-for-thought for some South Sudanese who had consciously and openly propagated against the USA in newspapers eluding that the USA is after the RSS oil.

If that is the case, why are some of you then dying after the USA dollar, a currency that belongs to your presumed foreign enemy??

History of Exchange Rate Regimes in South Sudan:
The fixed exchange regime (FER) as a nominal anchor for monetary policy was adopted by the BSS on July 2011 as South Sudan got its independence with a good intention to stimulate economic growth and ensure macroeconomic stability in the country.

From Aug 2012- Mar 2014, the exchange rate in the black market (parallel exchange rate) soared to 1USD@5.34 SSP and from Jan-Dec 2015 the maximum rate was 1USD@25 SSP, telling there was no enough reserve to supply the rising demand for dollars in SS.

Abusively, 84 forex bureaus & 28 banks emerged in SS much more than in Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda and other African Countries just for the sole reason of foreign exchange business using the FER, making the situation counterproductive to the economy.

Disadvantage of Fixed Exchange Rate (FER) Regime:
As a result between the periods of Aug 2012-13 Dec 2015, the FER regime under-served nothing but instead encouraged recycling of money, created rent-seeking behaviour (black marketeers), diverted Govt reserves meant for development for invisible purposes.

Some people who have access to USD became millionaires overnight by abusing the FER. The FER turns to auction or re-sale our oil in much lower price through subsidies (being it KSH, USH or USD allocations) because at the end of the day we tend to give out our hard currency on less value below the market demand value-subsidies.

The FER had a hypocritical banking system which turned to divert from basic banking business of lending to people for economic development to other unrealistic deals through LC’s Shilling transfers and exchange of USD.

The FER prohibits people who deserve and are direly in need of hard currency from accessing the hard currency; for instances how can you differentiate between a sick person or those with kids studying abroad from the ones who are not sick nor needed hard currency for external purpose if all had the same documents (Medical reports from the Medical Commission and Tuition fee papers)?

How can you as much prohibit LCs rent seekers who have access to hard currency using invisible companies from productive business people?

Where can the RSS get free USD or Euro to allocate to certain group of people every three to four months when there is no enough hard currency entering the economy/country in the first place?.

The hard workers are categories of people who earn their money through sweat; these are segmented group of people during the fixed exchange rate regime the black marketeers robbed their money from Aug 2012-Dec 2015 as they have no access to approvals for USD from the MOF, MOP, BSS, MOC to get the hard currency, and at the same time they want to keep their businesses running or children studying abroad as well cover their medical on their own.

This was a stage of economy of deprivation, imbalance and inequality that cannot bring macro-economic stability or equitable growth but rather nourish false millionaires in the face of rent seekers who have wide access to the little dollar that comes in and it encourages laziness.

Besides, the economic law of one price does not allow any market to clear at more than one price, hence the foreign (US dollar) exchange market obeys the same law and the exchange rate, which is the price in that market, should be unified. This is one of the key reforms of the economic program that the BSS should be highly applauded for finally coming to central bank consensus.

There shouldn’t be much reaction from the market because already prices of goods were throughout priced according to market exchange rate prices, and it is very clear in Uganda and Kenya, the SSP is rightly quoted in forexes according to its right value.

Advantages of Managed Float/Flexible Exchange Rate (FLER):
The Manage Float or rather Flexible Exchange Rate encourages competitions in banking sector and many banks will be willing to lend out money to the public to get profit other than relying on forex exchange profit.

The Banks can merge and reduce unnecessary opening of big forex bureaus under the umbrella name of commercial bank with quasi-business plans that do not contribute to the growth of the economy, it shall differentiate the work of banking and forex clearly.

The FLER is realistic and reflects the truth about an economy, it encourages people to work hard and gives chance for local production of goods and services in realistic price much lower than import goods. It gives opportunity for economies to diagnose and fix up things simply using right approaches, it reduces or clears out the parallel markets or black markets for dollars or fuel because these black markets businesses will not be profitable to the rent seekers any more as same prices will be applicable anywhere with slightly narrow differences of 1 or 2 SSP only.

Harmonization of Fiscal & Monetary Policy Areas:
There could be areas of harmonization needed in some areas especially for low income civil servants, the author suggest that a salary survey scale be carried out by the MOF and Public Services in countries SS trade with; Kenya, Uganda and Sudan to map the salary scales of civil servants of all levels in these countries such that an average salary plus slight addition be drawn for salaries of public civil servants in this country.

It is quite outrageous to note that from the onset of CPA and beyond, the finances that were used for paying civil servants in this country was 80% and development 20% making this country a complete paradox or drama in the world and upside down sort of country because in other countries it is the development finances that take 80% of the budget and 20% is for salaries.

While doing so, the said institutions should be careful in doing the financial adjustments while taking into consideration inflation pressures.

Maybe it is time we cultivate small garden farms in our backyards like before and advise the cattle herders to take care of their cattle from eating people’s farms.

We should be improving production of these cattle too for commercial purposes because we cannot claim to be among the countries with big number of livestock cattle while on the other hand importing meat from abroad- Uganda. We should be the ones exporting meat to others and get dollars from the meat exports not just faking to have the biggest number of cattle over the region with no proofs.

Conclusions:
The unification of the exchange rate has to be presented as a part of package of reforms designed to ensure macroeconomic stability, improve good governance of public resources, and create the conditions for inclusive growth and poverty reduction.

These reforms are supported by the international community, particularly the IMF. It is an economic law that the real market exchange rate is determined by the market forces of demand and supply of dollar for the case of South Sudan.

It is important to underscore that the proposed unified exchange rate is around the prevailing parallel exchange rate at the time of unification. There should therefore not be any negative impact on inflation, particularly of basic food items.

Given the perception among the public that are dealing in the parallel exchange rate as a legitimate business, the authorities should be careful to explain the benefits for the national economy of having one single exchange rate.

Therefore, based on the preceding exchange rate analysis, the newly implementation of a unified exchange rate or managed float, or flexible market rate, call it as in place that is market driven.

The Author is a financial economist in the Central Bank, she can be reached via: 0955322322; bettyangasi@gmail.com or betty.angasi.bss. Please note that this article reflects the views of the author as an individual