Category: Featured

Machar shouldn’t be rewarded with position of first vice-president: Kiir

By: Fred Oluoch, NATION REPORTER, FEB/28/2015, SSN;

As the South Sudan peace process continues in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, President SALVA KIIR spoke with The EastAfrican at State House in Juba.

QUESTION-1: You have often complained about Igad mediators unnecessarily postponing talks even when the two parties are making progress. Do you believe Igad can successfully mediate a lasting peace?

Pres. Kiir: If they don’t change the current tactics which they are using, then they will not bring peace. Whenever there is a recess and the parties go back to their principals for consultations, they always have the agenda which was on the table.

But when the parties resume discussions with full briefing from their principals, the mediators often shelve the agenda that was on the table and bring new issues which the two protagonist parties did not consult about. Such an approach cannot bring peace.

QUESTION-2: As the president of South Sudan, why do you think your country is facing an internal war only three years after Independence?

KIIR: The conflict came as a result of personal ambitions of individuals who wanted to take power by illegal means because they were afraid that they would not be elected if they went to the people. They opted for a military coup; when they failed; they transformed themselves into a guerrilla insurgency.

Q-3: Your close associates have categorically said that Dr Riek Machar can never be your number two. Are you ready to work with Dr Machar without reservation or retribution?

KIIR: Well, my personal position and that of my party is that Dr Machar should not be the First Vice President. He can come in as number three like what was agreed on in Addis Ababa last August. He wanted the position of prime minster and I accepted despite the fact that we don’t have it in the Constitution.

But when the proposed government structure was put forward by the mediators, they put president, vice president, prime minister, two deputies and then the council of ministers. Dr Machar rejected it because he wanted to be an executive prime minister who will exercise all the powers in the country and the president becomes ceremonial. He was told ‘no, because this was an elected executive president.’

If you want to be an executive prime minister or president, then you wait for elections and keep out of this government.’ He wanted to share executive powers with the president and yet these powers were given by the people.

Q-4: The Arusha Accord of January 21, talked about reforms within SPLM as a way forward. Do you think the fighting could have been avoided if SPLM had initiated internal reforms earlier as had been demanded by Dr Machar’s group?

KIIR: Talks of internal reforms are not new because we have been talking about reforms in the SPLM even when we were fighting Khartoum. But the problem is that many of the people who are now spearheading the rebellion were not part of the movement and were co-operating with Khartoum. So they know less about SPLM than those of us who stayed.

Q-5: Do you believe the Arusha Accord that seeks to reunite the three factions of SPLM can be used as a stepping stone for a final peace settlement?

Kiir: I believe that it laid the foundation people can work from, if all of us are sincere about the wellbeing of South Sudan. But that is not what Dr Machar wants. He wants by all means to be the president and if he cannot get it on the negotiating table, then he has the military option to defeat the government and take over government

Q-6: It has been said that you also strongly believe in a military option.

Kiir: Well, I don’t believe in a military option because I have been fighting for many years and I know the difficulties of war. When we were fighting the Sudan government, Dr Machar was in Khartoum after rebelling against Dr John Garang in 1991 — just like he did in 2013. Slaughtering innocent civilians and later on enjoying the support of Khartoum and he was fighting us as the militia of Sudan.

But all the same, he was hoping that Khartoum would defeat us, which did not happen. So he decided to surrender fully, signed an agreement with Khartoum and became number four in the hierarchy of the National Congress Party. So he does not understand the dynamics of the war.

Q-7: Do you believe that this final session of the Addis Ababa peace talks will bring a lasting peace?

KIIR: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development [Igad] can only bring the conflict to an end if it can differentiate between coup plotters and normal conflict. The problem is that Igad is treating the coup plotters as innocent people who simply protested against the government, yet there was nothing wrong with the government.

We did not differ on our objectives or any issue. We were discussing internal issues within the ruling Sudan’s People Liberation Movement (SPLM). So the group which was not contented with whatever was happening in government, because they found themselves out of the government, resorted to violence. But the mediators in Addis Ababa are not taking these issues into account.

Q-8:Are you saying the issues of the coup and rebellion should be highlighted and not mixed up with the need to stop the fighting and people’s suffering?

KIIR: The situation in South Sudan is different, for instance, from what happened in Kenya in 2007/2008 where violence was caused by the results of the elections. That is why the region came in to talk about power-sharing between Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga. This was definitely a conflict over the results of the elections but in our case, it was a coup.

Where in the world is somebody who planned a coup brought in to share power that he wanted to take wholly for himself?

Q-9: South Sudan has applied to be a member of the East African Community. But some in your government are wary that this could stifle the growth of the manufacturing sector. What is your position?

Kiir: I believe that joining the EAC has benefits. We are not producing anything besides the oil, but we believe that we can contribute to the EAC because we have abundant fertile land yet we have no capacity to engage in commercial agriculture for export.

People in other EAC countries have the technology and the capacity to do that. I believe agriculture will uplift the livelihood of our people, so the people who have fears will later on understand that joining EAC is in their best interest. END
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LATEST: South Sudanese Pres. Salva Kiir says he will not accept Dr Riek Machar, who led a rebellion against him, as the first vice-president in the current peace negotiations.

In an exclusive interview with The EastAfrican from State House, Juba, Pres. Kiir said he would only agree to Dr Machar coming in at position three as the second vice-president or non-executive prime minister.

PERSONAL POSITION

“My personal position and the position of my party is that Machar should not be the first-vice president. He can come in as number three as agreed in Addis Ababa in August last year. He wanted the position of prime minister and I accepted, despite the fact that we don’t have it in the Constitution.

“But when the pecking order was put forward by the mediators, they had the president, vice-president, prime minister, two deputies and council of ministers. Machar rejected it because he wanted to be an executive prime minister who will exercise all the powers and the president becomes ceremonial. He was told ‘no’, because this was an elected executive president. If you want to be an executive prime minister or president, then you wait for elections and keep out of this government. He wanted to share executive powers with the president and yet these powers were given by the people,” Mr Kiir said.

President Kiir added that the Igad talks in Addis Ababa after violence broke out in South Sudan in December 2013, could only end the conflict if the mediators acknowledged that Dr Machar’s men were “coup plotters”.

He also spoke about the pressure from regional leaders and his views on claims that Kenya supports the Machar group.

In Summary
President Kiir added that the Igad talks in Addis Ababa after violence broke out in South Sudan in December 2013, could only end the conflict if the mediators acknowledged that Dr Machar’s men were “coup plotters”.

In an exclusive interview with The EastAfrican from State House, Juba, President Kiir said he would only agree to Dr Machar coming in at position three as the second vice-president or non-executive prime minister.

(From The EastAfrican)

Can a Democratic Government extend its own Life?

By: Dr Lam Akol, SPLM-DC leader, JUBA, FEB/22/2015, SSN;

Last Thursday Feb. 19, the government tabled before parliament an amendment bill in order to amend the Constitution for the Government to extend its life for two more years. In a democratic setup, is a government allowed to extend its own term of office?

Before answering this question, let us consider our system and compare it to similar systems and experiences the world over.

Our system is a constitutional presidential democracy. In a Presidential Democracy, the president serves for a specific term and cannot exceed that amount of time. Elections too have fixed date not subject to change.

This is in contrast to a parliamentary system in which the Prime Minister may call for elections any time he sees fit but, even here, there is always a set number of years he cannot exceed without calling for a general election.

All these measures are necessary to ensure a basic requirement of democracy; and that is guaranteeing smooth transfer of power. The essence is that the political party that wins a majority does not lengthen its term of office using the same majority to deny the rest their opportunity to be voted to power by the people.

Such a move can be termed “Democracy Once” dictatorship; which is no democracy at all. If a need arises to change the terms of office, the matter must be referred to the people in one way or the other. These guarantees may be included in the constitution as explicit provisions or be understood as a given without which democracy is compromised.

We are governed through the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011. This constitution provides for a presidential system in which the president was to serve for four years up to 8 July 2015. This is the same period set for the election of a new Parliament.

By tabling an amendment to extend the terms of office of the President of the Republic and the National Legislature without returning to the people, the government is breaching a fundamental principle of presidential democracy.

If we accept its claim that it was elected by the people in 2010 up to 2015, by whose mandate does it want to rule up to 2017? Does the political party that enjoys the majority in parliament have the right to amend the constitution at will to continue in power for a period more than what the electorate gave them?

If this is allowed once, what prevents it becoming a precedent to be repeated time and again? Where will such a precedent leave the democratic requirement of the “transfer of power” between political parties through the mandate of the people?

True, our constitution has a provision that allows for amendments to be made to the constitution (Article 199). But does this provision apply to all articles in the constitution without affecting the nature of the state as provided for under Articles 1(4-5) and 2 of the same constitution?

For example, is parliament allowed to amend the Bill of Rights (Articles 9-34)? It is the contention of this author that it cannot. By the same token it cannot amend the articles on the cyclical “transfer of power” (Articles 66 and 100) without seeking the consensus of the people from whose will the Constitution is derived (Article 3).

These articles cannot be amended because they form the core of the constitutional presidential democracy we have adopted. This is the crux of the matter.

This matter becomes more critical if we look at the Parliament entrusted to amend the constitution on behalf of the people. The current National Legislature is composed of 332 members: 282 members of the National Legislative Assembly and 50 members of the Council of States.

Only 170 members of the National Legislative Assembly were elected to the Legislative Assembly of South Sudan in 2010. The entire membership of the Council of States was appointed by the President in 2011, who also appointed the other 112 members of the National Legislative Assembly.

Hence, the total number of appointed members in the National Legislature is 162 members. That is, 49%, which is about half the total membership< of the National Legislature is appointed. This is the body expected to make such a serious amendment!

The government was cognizant of this fact when it insisted on holding elections to renew its legitimacy. It was fully aware that it alone cannot amend the Constitution to attain that objective. If it did, that would be a breach of the Constitution on matters that are taken as given by practice and precedents.

When President Museveni did amend the Ugandan Constitution to run for a third term, the move was resisted. This was the same reaction in a number of other countries which underwent similar experiences, the most recent of which was what took place in Burkina Faso last October.

Beginning on 28 October 2014, the people of Burkina Faso went on the streets in Ouagadougou to protest against moves by President Blaise Compaore to amend the constitution so as to extend his rule by allowing him to stand for re-election in 2015. Indeed, the protesters did on 30 October force the MPs to suspend the vote on changing the constitution, leading to the overthrow of the President.

All this goes to underline the point that there are articles in the Constitution that cannot be changed without changing the rules of the game. And the only accepted game changer is the people.

We all know that the main reason why the 2015 elections were not possible is the destructive war that broke out on the 15th of December 2013 and is still raging in the country. Insecurity is also prevalent in some parts of the country that is not related to the civil war, notably in the Lakes state. The insecurity militates against conducting a free and fair election.

It was, therefore, obvious that attaining peace must be the priority so that the situation returns to normalcy, after which the people will be able to exercise their democratic rights including taking part in the elections.

However, both the government and the rebels could not make progress in the peace talks and, in fact, the Cessation of Hostilities agreement they signed in January 2014 was not respected and the fighting continues unabated. Despite this obvious reality, the government closed its mind and insisted on holding partial elections for the sole reason to gain legitimacy.

After spending money on a futile exercise it finally realized that it cannot proceed with the elections but did not give up its determination to cling to power by all means. Hence, came the idea of unilaterally amending the constitution.

The consensus of the South Sudanese to amend the terms of elected institutions stipulated in the Constitution may come about in either of two ways. First, if the stakeholders in the peace talks reach a peace agreement, then this agreement will be incorporated into the Constitution by carrying out an amendment that includes the term of office of the transitional government.

Second, if the peace talks are not conclusive, then all the political forces in the country shall hold an inclusive national conference that will deliberate on how to bring about peace to the country. The resolutions of the conference shall constitute the program of the new government of national unity.

It is this program that will determine the length of time it takes to get it implemented by the new government, and in turn, determine the amendments to be made to the constitution on the strength of this consensus.

The amendments tabled by the government on Thursday were unilateral lacking the consensus of the people as shown above. The government should have waited for the outcome of the current round of peace talks (which started on the 19th instant), which, according to the government and the rebels in their first of February agreement, will see the conclusion of a peace agreement.

If they conclude a peace agreement, then the first scenario becomes applicable. If they fail to reach a peace agreement then the second scenario becomes the course of action by default.

Making a unilateral move to amend the constitution is a breach of the constitution as explained earlier since the proposed amendments are not backed by the consensus of the people of South Sudan.

22 February 2015

‘A government that wages war against its own people isn’t a legitimate government’

BY: ELHAG PAUL, South Sudan, FEB/20/2015, SSN;

At the beginning of this month a phenomenal declaration was made by the South Sudan Catholic Bishops which under normal circumstance should have caused political tremors. However, surprisingly this extremely important event passed on without South Sudanese noting its importance as one of the most potent weapons to end President Kiir’s government.

It would be an abdication of duty to refrain from bringing this topic back to the attention of the people of South Sudan because that would be tantamount to condoning the wrong going on in South Sudan.

“Citing a Biblical passage (Mark 10: 42 – 45) in which Jesus criticizes the ‘rulers of the heathen’ for lording it over their people rather than serving them, the Bishops argued that a government that wages war against its own people is not a legitimate government.” Please see, ‘Bishops declare that South Sudan ‘has abandoned God’”. https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/bishops-declare-south-sudanese-nation-has-abandoned-god.

This bold declaration by the South Sudan’s Catholic Bishops offers the quickest solution to the ongoing conflict in the country. However, it appears that the Intergovernmental authority on development (IGAD) has brushed it aside in its quest to see the SPLM/A warring parties share power and wealth at the expense of the people of South Sudan.

This of-course is not a solution in any way as it does not address the root causes of the conflict. It is only a postponement of the conflict to some future date.

IGAD needs to note that the government of President Salva Kiir is illegitimate as highlighted by the Bishops and therefore there is no ground for allowing IGAD to dictate things in Addis Ababa. President Kiir is a war monger. He started the war based on the lie that there was a coup. Please see, ‘President Kiir’s strategy to cover up ethnic cleansing collapsed in London.’ http://allafrica.com/stories/201402241137.html

In the middle of 2013 President Kiir recruited and formed his own personal tribal militia in Bahr El Ghazal in violation of the constitution and against advice of the then Chief of the Army, General James Hoth Mai. He then relocated this force of over three thousand men to Luri, a Bari village south west of Juba for further training around October of the same year.

In the first week of December 2013 President Kiir made speeches rekindling the emotive event of 1991 schisms between the Jieng and the Nuer in the SPLM then under Dr John Garang. This prepared grounds for the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer in Juba and country wide starting from 15th December 2013 and thereafter.

The Revolutionary Movement for National Salvation (REMNASA) in their document, ‘REMNASA: view on the South Sudan crisis and approaches to solving it’ provide the context for the grave crimes against humanity committed by President Kiir and the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE). http://nyamile.com/2015/02/16/remnasa-view-on-the-south-sudan-crisis-and-approaches-to-solving-it/

Having plunged the country into a senseless war and prevaricated for 14 months President Kiir is now contemplating further violence. He confided in one of the IGAD head of the states on 26th January 2015 that “when I come back from Addis Ababa don’t expect me to obey your rules.” Please see, ‘South Sudan talks adjourned without power-sharing deal’. https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/s-sudan-talks-adjourn-without-power-sharing-deal

“This war is evil”, the Bishops strongly stressed. This observation of the clergy is something that most people familiar with South Sudan would completely agree with. President Kiir due to his limited education seems to believe that he can do anything because believing he is a legitimate president, when in actual fact as already noted he is not.

President Kiir’s continued insistence to legitimise himself by singing: ‘democratically elected!’, ‘legitimate government!’, ‘democratically elected!’, ‘legitimate government!’ etc is simply a load of trash. It is crass and demeans the office of the presidency.

The regime has lied to itself and the people so much so that it now believes its own lies. Confronted with the fast approaching expiry of the fabricated legitimate period, they are running around like headless chickens. Initially, they tried to stage a fake election to refashion their legitimacy which did not work. With lightening speed they switched to the parliament to get legal extension to allow them to govern for two more years.

Will this work? No, it will not. The reason being the parliament itself has no powers to extend life of a government and itself. Dr Lam of SPLM-DC has already made this point clear in his article, ‘South Sudan opposition parties welcome election cancellation, condemn terms extension,’ published in South Sudan News Agency. http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/

Even if the parliament were empowered to do so, it has no legitimacy because among the MPs in the House, there are over 66 legislators appointed on the whims of President Kiir. For example the NCP (National Congress Party of President Omar Bashir) converts and others. These MPs do not have any constituency in the country. They are cronies of the president in corruption and abuse of power. They represent no one but themselves.

Further, the parliament is supposed to uphold the constitution and it has not done so since coming into life at the time of independence. President Kiir breaks the law left and right without the parliament holding him to account, for example, in the case of Panthou war and the formation of a private tribal militia funded by the state. The real test was the events of December 2013 when President Kiir committed grave crimes against humanity. No one in the parliament raised a motion to debate the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer to hold the leadership to account.

That parliament is a joke. It is a house of dummies. Whether the parliament extends President Kiir’s term or not, it does not matter. The whole government with its three branches of judiciary, parliament and executive have lost legitimacy and the South Sudan Catholic Bishops have now certified it. What more?

Dr Luka Biong Deng in his self serving or rather Jieng serving article, ‘Why government is right to postpone election is South Sudan’ tries hard to present the Dinkocratic system as a democracy seeking the right legal avenue to remain in power. This kind of antics does not wash. He and the Jieng controlled SPLM should shed the delusions and accept that their entire system is illegitimate with or without parliament approval. http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article54003

Now the South Sudan Catholic Bishops have given their verdict that President Kiir is illegitimate. They unequivocally stated that “a government that wages war against its own people is not legitimate government.” These words are weighty. Churches are known for discreet ways of approaching issues. Seldom do clergy make such statements unless the issue has really reached a critical boiling point endangering the country.

The declaration therefore is very significant because the Catholic Church represents a considerable percentage of South Sudanese people. The population of the Catholics in South Sudan according to World Christian Encyclopaedia is around 2.7 million people. This makes roughly 30 percent of the entire population of South Sudan. The other Christian denominations combined could make about 40 percent with the rest being people who practice traditional religions.

In South Sudan Christians do not segregate themselves according to their sects. They socialise and pray freely among themselves. They too respect all the clergy of the various churches. This is always evident in social occasions such as birth, celebrations, marriages, death and so on. In such occasions the Christian inter-mingle freely with each other regardless of their sects. This phenomenon is Characteristic of the South Sudanese, though it may astonish outsiders watching.

So the call by South Sudan’s Catholic Bishops would practically be taken seriously by all the Christians in the country. What does this mean? It means that the Church has expressed the will of its adherents who make up 70 percent of the country. Democratically speaking the edict of the clergy translates into a vote of no confidence in the government by majority of South Sudanese.

The illegality of president Kiir’s government is something that can no longer be disputed. His presidency from a legal point of view as well as on constitutional grounds can not stand. This view has been argued elsewhere exhaustively. However, with the church finding President Kiir illegitimate according to scriptures does not only concretise the facts but urges him to vacate the presidency at once.

Christians around the world must take South Sudan’s Bishops declaration as basis for action. The Vatican, Canterbury and others should now put pressure on their members of parliament s in their respective countries to ask their governments to cease cooperating with the ‘evil’ regime of President Kiir. This issue now is clearly more of a moral problem requiring instant action.

The South Sudanese Diaspora should now mobilise and wave the declaration of the Bishops to the clergy of their local churches as well as their members of parliament demanding their support in calling for their government to take action against the criminals in Juba. South Sudan’s Bishops recent declaration is a spiritual manifesto that no local church can ignore.

South Sudan’s Bishops declared position further means that the basis of the talks in Addis Ababa is now futile because there can be no grounds for negotiations with an illegitimate regime which basically, “wages war against its own people.”

Thus the talks in Addis Ababa should be re-opened under new impartial mediators, preferably under one or some of the eminent persons to bring all the people of South Sudan (stakeholders) to a table to hammer out an interim government with clear objectives.

In conclusion, the Bishops guided by the Holy Spirit have helped in shining light on the darkness in Juba. Now that the regime is certified as illegitimate it is up to the people to use this certificate effectively to realise a peaceful change in the country.

This said it must be remembered that the Bishops call is a duty to Christian people wherever they are to do their bit to rid South Sudan of evil. That evil is the SPLM/A in its totality.

In other words this call from the church endorses resistance against the evil doers in Juba for a humane and caring government that fears the Lord to be established to care for God’s people. So, “together let us once again make South Sudan a God fearing nation.

[Truth hurts but is also liberating]

Elhag Paul

elhagpaul@aol.com

Gen. Lul Ruai Koang, Machar’s ex-Spokesman defects to Kiir’s Army

For Immediate Release. February 18th, 2015, SSN;

The SPLM/SPLA office in Canada would like to take this opportunity to clarify some misinformation in the light of comrade Gen. Lul Ruai Koang’s defection to the Government of South Sudan under Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit as of 18th of February 2015.

In this regard, the people of South Sudan and especially the supporters of the SPLM/SPLA –Resistance Movement and the gallant forces of the Freedom Fighters under the able leader Dr. Riek Machar ought to know nothing but truth.

Therefore, it’s unfortunate to the public that Gen. Lul Ruai Koang has surrendered to the government of Salva Kiir and did not form alleged new Armed Group. The claim that Mr. Lul has formed a new Armed Group was a purge to confuse the general public about Gen. Lul Ruai’s surrender to the genocidal government that has killed 20, 000 innocent Nuer civilians in cold blood.

At the time of writing this press release, our SPLM/SPLA office in Nairobi, Kenya has confirmed that Gen. Lul Ruai Koang has made the pronouncement of his defection to the government in a public briefing organized by the Government of South Sudan’s Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.

While in the briefing, comrade Lul Ruai himself was accompanied by none other than Mr. Paul Malong Awan, the current Chief of General Staff in the Government of South Sudan, Mrs. Rachel Nyadak Paul, Deputy of Minister of Information and broadcasting in the Government of South Sudan, Gen. Philip Aguer Panyang, current Military spokesman in the government of South Sudan, Mr. Ghai Riam, former of Minister of Cabinet Affairs in Jonglei State and still with the government and Mr. Paul Bol who is also a staunch supporters of Salva Kiir Mayardit’s genocidal.

Besides, the people of South Sudan should also ascertain Gen. Lul Ruai Koang’s cowardice surrender to the genocidal government of South Sudan under along these lines in his press release:

1. “Cognizant that the ongoing civil war caused by December 15th, coup attempt has resulted to huge human losses of lives and properties;”
2. ‘Mindful that Dr. Riek is soliciting support from the Government of the Republic of Sudan in order to continue to destabilizing the country and
3. “Concerned that Dr. Riek Machar continues to obstruct peace by presenting impossible demands which in turn make it difficult to achieve peace in short time.”

These statements and circumstance of which Lul Ruai made his pronouncement are serious indications and proved that comrade Gen. Lul Ruai Koang has surrender to the same ruthless regime that he once rightful criticized of being genocidal and authoritarian to the core.
In closing, we would like to urges our people to remind calm and inform our supporters that Gen. Lul Ruai Koang has surrendered to President Salva Kiir’s genocidal regime alone.

And above all else, your movement, the SPLM/SPLA will never betray people’s cause on short change. We are committed and determined to bring lasting peace to South Sudan by whatever mean necessary.

To bring this lasting peace to realization, the SPLM/A shall ensure that the root cause to the conflict is addresses amicably and culture of impunity completely discarded once and for all.
Victory is certain and we are committed to stay the course!
Signed by:

The SPLM/SPLA office in Canada’s
PR office

Federalism Now, Not Later

By: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, FEB/10/2015, SSN;

As the peace talks in Addis Ababa enter its critical stages, several positions taken by either sides will have to come under scrutiny.

Nevertheless the important issues will have to centre around the ability of the anticipated peace agreement to tackle the very root causes that led to the unprecedented levels of corruption, bad governance, lawlessness, impunity, lack of political space, human rights violations, lack of freedoms …etc .

On a very special note we would all want to believe that the people of South Sudan deserve to live under a better system of governance, for it would be a gross injustice to leave them entrapped in the status quo.

We would also want to make it abundantly clearly to the IGAD mediators that no any amount of struggles over power, influence or positions should be allowed to overshadow these core issues.

Besides ending the viscus cycle of killings we believe that there is much that this peace agreement can bring to South Sudan. We also believe that the transitional government of national unity is capable of setting the right foundation for the country.

In this piece of opinion article, I don’t intend in any way to go back in time and discuss those traditional areas of federalism, definition, types, cons and pros…..etc.

It is my believe that the readers have over the past four years or so read enough of that stuff from either myself or many other better articulated writers. So I will limit myself to the ongoing peace talks and its position on federalism.

South Sudan needs a peace agreement that clearly spells the federal system of government as its new system starting right in the transitional period and beyond. Of course we are aware as to why a handful of politicians in the incumbent regime are having a second thought about it.

Unfortunately our country has had a whole decade of the current fake decentralization under President Salva Kiir Mayardit. If anything to go by, it is this existing system of governing the country which has landed it into the current mess.

In the case of South Sudan the federal system of government has ever since been the one popular demand that the majority of South Sudanese will go to an length to see it implemented.

At this critical moment in our history the decision to implement federalism cannot be left at the mercy of the incumbent politicians in Juba to have the final say when we already know that they can be more than happy to have it suspended altogether indefinitely.

Worse still we are seeing a worrying shift in initial stand on federalism among a few politicians from Equatoria who beforehand had identified themselves as supporters.

Although we have had our doubts from the very beginning and rightly suspected that the genuine call for federalism among Equatorians have long been hijacked from the masses by certain well known quarters, we still call upon them to cease from doing what clearly is not in the best interest of their people in the long run.

For as things begin to unravel we are seeing more of those opportunist politicians changing camps and the call for federalism to them is a way of winning political support. A call that they can easily sell to the highest bidder once the going gets tough.

If some governors think that they can now trade federalism for top jobs during the transitional period and those from Equatoria included, it better be said that they are about to board the wrong ship.

Why don’t we want to part ways with old habits and begin a transitional period that embraces plurality, and less power in the hands of a ‘One Man Ruler? After all unless it is so or otherwise there won’t be peace any soon!

One can sense the degree of resentment that some old-school politicians have against the project set forward by the SPLM-In-Opposition to restructure the country into 21 federal states.

Solely basing the 21 federal states on the old colonial districts of the former southern Sudan that existed during the Anglo-Egyptian rule, the SPLM-In-Opposition has given us the best structure on which to implement new federal system of governance.

In fact only a few who harbour anti-progress beliefs can be seen disagreeing with this.

Incumbent state governors are obviously anticipated to resist the most. Seeing their current power base divided into two separate states to make the total of 21 federal states may not go well for some of them.

But to say the least, everything suggests that there a great deal of wrong reasoning associated with this kind of thinking.

Our historical records state that what became known as the Bahr Ghazal Province was in fact part of the Equatoria Province after South Sudan ceased to be part of the former Lado Enclave (Congo Free State).

If any of these never happened then Southern Sudan would have remained only as the two provinces of Upper aged Nile and the Equatoria.

This clearly shows how administrative requirements have long dictated the division of bigger provinces into smaller ones for better management and governance.

Later on successive regimes in Khartoum also divide the Southern provinces into smaller ones. The three old provinces became six under late Ga’far Nimeiri .

Even the existing ten states which some people want to cling to as if it were their grandfathers heritages are in fact the works of ‘Jallaba’ National Congress Party of Omer Al Bashir and his mentor Sheikh Hassan Abdalla Al Turabi.

The irony now lies in that our land had witnessed all kinds of administrative restructurings under the previous colonial rulers, the last being the Jallaba of Khartoum.

All that was seen coming from us was and still is how we comfortably embraced those restructurings, although none of them actually devolved any true powers and funds to those new administrative units.

Going back to the new position of the Equatoria governors who almost succeeded in deceiving us that they were indeed pro-federalism to the last drop their blood, only tells us that we need to step up our efforts for the enemy is not sleeping.

The incumbent system with all its icons have for a long time perpetuated and protected the fake decentralization system which they solely inherited from the ‘Jallaba’ and they are still prepared to continue doing just that if given the choice.

Over the past ten years they have gone on to perfect every vice they learned from NCP in Khartoum.
From underfunding strategic service sectors like education, health, roads…etc, to never funding them. They have also heightened levels of corruption, of impunity, of tribal favouritism and of course of lawlessness.

With reference to federalism our people have had many bad experiences with the way politicians sometimes triumph through the use of ‘delaying tactics’.

And any attempt to defer federalism still further this time around is no different to deny it altogether. The question that must be asked is, “who are you to hold the people of South Sudan hostages this time around after they have seen the light of independence”?

Let us face it for South Sudan has had enough of policies that are wickedly sold to its lovely people all wrapped up in the name of nationalism.

So what does a non-representative tribal micro-nationalism got to do with a multi-national society like South Sudan when we all know that it doesn’t even have what it takes to appeal to the other nationalities in the country.

Thus one ethnic group’s nationalism regardless of how big the group is, it still doesn’t speak of everyone in the country. At best it remains a non-inclusive approach and incapable of representing the multi-ethnic nature of our country.

Neither can such micro-nationalisms provide for the much needed spirit of pluralism often required in such situations.

It is true that while our individual tribal nationalisms is likely to set us against others, federalism in its crudest form has never been meant to promote any of the currently existing ‘strong’ regional sentiments.

These regional sentiments are often sought after as means of facing up to other regional blocks. But federalism is the opposite of the prevailing regional political polarisations and antagonisms.

Yet federalism doesn’t in any way aim at disrupting any of traditional ties that our people have built between themselves over the years; individuals, families, or even communities.

Where the peace talks now stand, the important issue is no longer about the proposed 21 states as it came in the documents of the SPLM-In-Opposition. To me they have perfectly settled that issue. It just can’t be any better!

Hence, anyone finding problems with the 21 federal states’ structure, but claims to support federalism is in fact being a hypocrite who is serving the interests of the anti-federalists.

However what we as support of federalism have to tackle head on is the ‘sick centralism mentality’ which still exist among the old fashioned – the Neo-Jallaba expansionists, a.k.a the liberators.

These kind of politicians have traditionally blocked any powers and funds from finding their way to the states, counties, payams and bomas. Even the little that found its way outside the centre in Juba will quickly be brought back one way or the other.

As I write now the quest for federalism in South Sudan has already reached the point of no return.

Through an irreversible ‘collective position’ on governance, we must seriously acknowledge that the implementation of federalism is a popular demand that has been there even long before the independence of South Sudan.

And to be very sincere to you my dear reader, many of us were terribly shocked when the ‘John Luk’
Transitional Constitution for South Sudan kept silent on the adoption of federal system of government in the newly independent country.

The independent South Sudan by all measures is still a multi-ethnic country very much so like the ’Old Sudan’ and can hardly be successfully governed from one single centre.

To the many compatriots who don’t know, I would like to draw their attentions to the dirty tricks that the incumbent government of South Sudan has chosen to play in the peace negotiations in Addis Ababa, especially on the issue of federalism and its implementation.

A few but dangerously manipulative politicians and interest groups representing the ‘ centralists’ in Juba are now on an all-out aggressive diplomacy in which they plan to misrepresent the positions of the so-called internal front.

It is unfortunate that the heads of the IGAD member states are now acting under the spell of the self-proclaimed Patron of East African, President Museveni of Uganda.

The plot to block other parts of the negotiation agenda in which federalism and power sharing are the top priorities, is squarely planned to find its way through him (Museveni).

As you can see, the anti-federalism camp are not all imbecilic. They too have some strategists who know what to say without giving away the government’s true intentions.

Thus on federalism they have adopted the sweet expression that, “Federalism is indeed a popular demand by South Sudanese”.

Unfortunately they don’t intend to stop there. They will continue to seek ways of blocking it using the old Jallaba tactics of buying time by deferring it for the constitutional committee to decide on or better still leave well after the transitional period.

In this time period they expect to frustrate any attempts at implementing true federalism or probably set it on a tract to either die a natural death.

They may even attempt to politically strangle the life out of it through the combined actions unfavourable executive policies and an augmentative manipulation from a rubber stamp parliament.

But the bottom line is that neither Salva Kiir Mayardit nor his coterie who all flourish on the corruption that centralism guarantees for them, will never at any time implement federalism. Not now and not in a million years to come!

The truth be said and be said loud. The people of South Sudan cannot allow themselves to be bitten twice from the same hole.

Any delays to implement federalism immediately during the transitional period should remind us of how the former northern Jallaba politicians deceived our fathers and elders in connection to this very issue of federalism during the run up to the 01/01/1956 partial independence of the Old Sudan.

Those who don’t know it let them understand that in the run up to the Old Sudan’s independence from the Anglo-Egyptian rule, the Jallaba promised to declare a Federal Republic in Sudan on January 1st 1956 as demanded by the Southern representatives in return for their votes in favour of an independent United Sudan.

The way the Jallaba reneged on federalism in 1955 continues to influence our relation with them even after we have become to separate countries.

That infamous backtracking on federalism by ‘Jallaba’, started the Old Republic of Sudan on the wrong footing, setting the scene for all subsequent wars that consumed the country.

It can be said that even following the secession of south Sudan, the republic of Sudan it is still paying the price through the multifactorial civil wars that are going on now in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains and the Southern Blue Nile regions.

Of course a naïve person support the incumbent regime in Juba may argue that, how can I dare to compare those of Salva Kiir Mayardit, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, Michael Makuei and Nhial Deng Nhial to the Jallaba of 1955.

Good point! But what do you say about the overwhelming similarities that exist between these politicians and their counterparts in Khartoum!

My fellow reader, apparently South Sudan is no longer ruled by Northern Sudanese Jallaba politicians, at least that is what appears on the surface.

However following the details of how the SPLM/SPLA government of Salva Kiir Mayardit ruled South Sudan from the date they took office in 2005 to date, there is a lot that raises the eyebrows.

All that President Salva Kiir and his severally recycled colleagues did and are still doing was and is still typical of not only the Jallaba, but in fact his regime by all accounts is the twin sister of the NIF/NCP iron fist regime in Khartoum.

When it comes to reneging on agreements and promises no one can do it better than the trio, President Salva Kiir Mayardit, Barnaba Marial Benjamin and of course their mouth piece Michael Makuei the incumbent minister of information, but mostly disinformation in Juba.

Talk of the mistreatment of journalists, summarily executions of opinion writers, absence of free speech, lack of political space and so on.

You may even say they have learned well from the Jallaba and now they even gone not only to perfect it, but in many cases they are now the authors of their own methods.

On the very dark side, while Omer Al Bashir massacres his victims in the remote Western Regions of Darfur, Nuba Mountains, the Southern Blue Nile, President Salva Kiir Mayardit might have done what the mass of murderer of the neighbouring Sudan failed to do when by carrying out a full three days massacre right inside Juba, the seat of his government.

The massacre of civilians in Juba happened right on the watch of all the diplomats representing their foreign missions in the country, the international bodies and even organisations including the United Nations as represented by the 12,000 strong Peace Keeping Forces, the UNIMISS.

Down the line new strategies have to be sought by all supporters of federalism as we put up temporarily with the fact that the IGAD has again limited the final negotiations to the principals of the two warring Parties to the exclusion of the other stakeholders.

With this being the case, many of us are left with very limited options to pick from, and there isn’t any better decision than to give all our support to those who are for the immediate realisation of federalism in the transitional period and not otherwise.

In the end one can only say that the true intentions of these two leaders can only be verified by the contents of their positions a wide range of issues and not just limited to power sharing and security arrangements as it clearly ascertains to us how genuine their approaches are. .

Again it is equally important if not the most important, how the issues around justice and accountability and a genuine devolution of powers and finances to the 21 new federal states are addressed and given the top priorities they deserve in the final agreement.

And again without any element of doubt the immediate implementation of federalism beginning right from the transition period is in fact in the best interest of South Sudan. This is so because there aren’t any other options left if we are ever to realise our dream of making South Sudan a home for all.

Dr Justin Ambago Ramba. Member of the South Sudan Political Parties Delegation to the IGAD Mediated Peace Talks for South Sudan and a Voice for the Voiceless.

Arusha resets SPLM for another round of senseless violence

BY: ElHAG PAUL, South Sudan, FEB/02/2015, SSN;

The agreement for the unification of the SPLM signed in Arusha, Tanzania, on 21st January 2015 by the three factions of the SPLM party must not be bought by South Sudanese as a solution for stability in the country. Right from the word go the IGAD leaders believed that for the ragging conflict in the country to come to an end, the SPLM/A needs to be united.

This belief is based on assumptions that the SPLM represents the entire people of South Sudan. How they reached this conclusion nobody knows. IGAD ignored all the facts presented to them by the media and continued to pursue their misguided plan. Please see, ‘IGAD inadequate strategy in South Sudan’ http://allafrica.com/stories/201404140864.html and ‘The solutions to South Sudan’s political problems lies in new blood’ http://allafrica.com/stories/201404040507.html

What is clear is that the SPLM represents the interest of a single social group and it is this concrete fact that is responsible for the chaos and fragmentation of the country.

SPLM/A is the cancer of South Sudan and reunifying it and supporting it will just lead to more uncertainty and insecurity as there is today.

The IGAD leaders exerted all their efforts to realise that end. Now they have their agreement. Will it really bring peace and stability to South Sudan? This remains to be seen.

SPLM/A is incompatible with the state of South Sudan. It’s very foundation is anti-South Sudan and because of that it has not visualised itself governing an independent South Sudan.

Its vision looked towards seizing power in Khartoum and configuring the entire Sudan to realise its objective of the so called “New Sudan”.

The very notion of independent South Sudan has always been an anathema to the SPLM/A. To embed this fact, let us revisit the words of this infamous organisation’s late leader Dr John Garang.

In his speech of 3rd March 1984 he boldly and confidently declared, “The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) has been founded to spear-head armed resistance against Nimeiri’s one-man system dictatorship and to organise the whole Sudanese people under the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), through revolutionary protracted armed struggle waged by the SPLA and political mass support.” (John Garang Speaks, 1987 p19.

The following year, Dr Garang went on to elucidate this position in his speech of 22nd March 1985 (ditto pp 25 -37).

SPLM being broad based movement adapted policies reflecting its main objective. For example, it promoted a wide multi-isms in the social and political space intended to destroy the dominantly imposed Arab culture and identity of the Sudan to realise a ‘New Sudan.’

Theoretically, there was nothing wrong with this policy except that practically South Sudanese had had enough of Arab oppression based on culture and religion and they wanted an out from the Sudan.

As SPLM had been concentrating on its grand objective it failed to develop plan ‘B’ policies for governing South Sudan should it break away. So when the South Sudanese voted for secession SPLM was caught with its pants down.

All of a sudden, it lost its objective as a liberation movement and became a hollow shell. It no longer had a ‘vision and direction’.

The internal report which identified the loss of vision and direction of the organisation in 2013 appears to have failed to pinpoint the real cause of this situation.

Dr Riek opportunistically on 5th March 2013 seized on this finding and nominated himself to the leadership of the organisation in its national executive meeting.

Impatiently and imprudently, he heaped the entire blame of failure on President Salva Kiir while distancing himself from everything that had been going wrong. For example, the massive corruption and lawlessness crippling the country.

It must be remembered that this was the source of the current conflict destroying innocent lives in South Sudan.

Dr Riek all along since 2005 till 23rd July 2013 had been a member of the leadership of SPLM running the country. He bore equal responsibility for the failure of SPLM like President Kiir and the others.

The reality is: the loss of vision and direction of the SPLM is neither President Kiir’s nor Dr Riek’s making. It is the result of a default occurrence emanating from the secession of South Sudan from the Sudan. President Kiir being semi illiterate can be forgiven for failing to foresee this important development.

However, Dr Riek who is highly educated should have identified the vanishing vision with the emerging ideological vacuum in the SPLM.

The supposed apparatchiks of this infamous organisation – Pagan Amum, Dr Anna Itto, Suzanne Jambo and so on who are well educated should have equally identified this very problem and reacted to it.

No one among them asked the simple question in January 2011 after the referendum: Now that South Sudan had decided to go its own way, what would be the vision of SPLM?

The answer to this question would have helped them to think of alternative ways to adapt their party to realities of independent South Sudan.

Unfortunately all of them were asleep and busy plundering the new country of its resources. Please see, ‘Corruption saga: The SPLM five big guns or the quintet squirrels’ http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/articles/corruption-saga-the-splm-five-big-guns-or-the-quintet-squirrels

It is surprising that all of them latched on to the finding of the SPLM report to advance their own personal interests without examining the root cause: the secession of South Sudan has rendered SPLM irrelevant in the new environment of a new country. It has become like an empty shell abandoned by the snail owner.

Another thing that Dr Garang constructed into the working of SPLM is conflict. Conflict is an important part of SPLM’s life. It is what gives it the ability to constantly rejuvenate itself.

For instance in mid 1980s the SPLM/A targeted the Uduk people of Upper Nile and the Equatorians in the far south of the country to advance its unionist policies as well as its hidden agenda of building Jieng power base in the movement simultaneously.

This argument may sound bizarre but careful examination of it makes proper sense. Since SPLM officially is supposed to liberate the whole Sudan, it needed to be seen to bring all the people of the Sudan together.

However, because SPLM also had a hidden tribal agenda, the two can not go in tandem. Bringing the people together meant that it would be impossible to concretise Jieng tribalism.

The way to go round this obstacle was to institute a policy of divide and conquer. Dr Garang openly boasted of his ability to hit one tribe with the other in the then radio SPLM/A beamed from Ethiopia.

Tribalising the SPLM was not difficult for Dr Garang. The schisms of 1970s and early 1980s between the Jieng and the Equatorians discouraged the majority of South Sudanese tribes from joining the movement.

The Jieng incensed by the decentralisation of South Sudan flocked to the movement in massive numbers with the intention to revenge. As a result Dr Garang filled the entire structure of the movement with the Jieng although there were people from other tribes present who qualified for such positions.

This tribal construction has since become the key generator of conflicts in the organisation.

For instance, in mid 1980s saw SPLM/A target the secessionists, the Nuer and Equatorians; in 1991 saw the SPLM/A targeting the Nuer again; in mid 1990s saw the SPLM/A targeting the Equatorians especially the Didinga and Toposa; in 2004 saw the Jieng fighting among themselves over the governance of the movement; in 2008 saw the SPLM/A targeting the Chollo which resulted in the founding of SPLM-DC and then in December 2013 saw the SPLM/A targeting the Nuer for the third time.

In all these schisms except the 2004 one where President Kiir and the late leader of SPLM/A disagreed over management issues, the rest on surface appear to be wars over the objective of the movement but underneath they also were tribal wars of dominance just like the current ongoing conflict.

Whenever a non-Jieng expresses interest or aspires to challenge for leadership of the movement, the Jieng react violently while lying and rallying the other tribes to hit their target.

It has become a habit of the Jieng to constantly vilify any non Jieng who wants to lead as a traitor. In 2008, in defence of Jieng interest Dr Lam was violently pushed out of the party and labelled as an Arab agent.

These internal wars within the movement and within South Sudan together with the larger war with the Sudan government in Khartoum coupled with the abysmal tribal management of the movement ushered in a culture of violence in the society which awfully has taken root in the psyche of the state of South Sudan.

From the foregoing SPLM/A clearly is a violent tribal organisation that does not represent the people of South Sudan. Its very existence is the fuel of conflicts and divisions in the society.

This is all the reason why it is difficult to understand the reasoning of IGAD and the SPLM supporters in promoting its reunification. Obviously the IGAD countries have a reason and that has to do with their own interest which I will dwell on in a later piece.

Nevertheless, anybody arguing that the reunification of the SPLM will bring peace to South Sudan only exposes their ignorance of the organisation and its dynamics. Such a person knowingly and wilfully promotes the destruction of the country.

If anything, the SPLM/A needs to be disbanded or dismantled by any means available for the sake of survival of the state of South Sudan.

SPLM members of-course would not welcome the contents of this piece. They are busy promoting the unification of the SPLM as the only thing that can bring peace to the country even when the evidence point to the other direction.

For example, the writings of Dr Luka Biong Deng which unethically promotes Dinkocracy and those of Dr Peter Adwok Nyaba which mainly is leftist oriented.

I will not waste time to critique Dr Deng for obvious reasons but it is important to comment on Nyaba’s recent new position if only because he is a true patriot.

Dr Nyaba publicly resigned from this monstrous organisation in June 2013 following its implosion. He unequivocally accepts it is a total failure (organisationally, structurally and ideologically). However, he finds it difficult to admit its slow but sure demise.

In his article ‘Our intellectual journey towards a coherent political ideology’ published by South Sudan Nation on 16th December 2014, he nostalgically argues, “The SPLM remains the only viable political force that united South Sudanese across ethnic and regional fault line. It is therefore the only guarantee against fragmentation of South Sudan.”

This argument is grossly misleading because it seems to stem from a surface analysis and not from an in-depth examination of the realities of the struggle in the then Sudan from 1983 to 2005 and thereafter.

SPLM has since its inception been an exceptionally violent, divisive, chaotic and tribal organisation. The evidence litters Dr Nyaba’s own book: The Politics of Liberation in South Sudan.

The current destruction of the resources of South Sudan including its people which the internationally community calls, “man-made” derive from SPLM’s concept of ‘born to rule.’

The Jieng, the owners and managers of this useless outfit proudly proclaim – the SPLM is the Jieng and Jieng is the SPLM. The two are faces of the same coin.

SPLM benefitted from backlash to local, regional and international Islamic violence. Thus the reason South Sudanese joined the SPLM is not because it was a unifier of the people, but rather because Arab intensive oppression coupled with Islamic extremism and intolerance of the ‘other’ pushed the people of South Sudan to the bosom of SPLM.

Khartoum’s theocratic policies left the people of South Sudan with no option but to flock to the SPLM in pretence in order to survive. In essence what appeared at face value as ‘love’ of SPLM by all the people of South Sudan giving it a false image of a unifier is in fact a ploy for survival.

The true feelings and secessionist aspiration of South Sudanese was later to be proven at the referendum.

Remember SPLM’s objective has firmly been unionist in nature and antagonistically to the aspiration of the South Sudanese people. The late leader of the SPLM Dr John Garang proved the point by persecuting secessionists ruthlessly and crowing loudly that ‘our first bullets were fired against the secessionists.’ Garang violently imposed unionism on South Sudan through the killing of Akot Atem and Samuel Gai Tut.

Nyaba undoubtedly is a formidable intellectual and a gallant fighter. He fought for South Sudan as an SPLA officer losing a leg in the process. His fearsomeness and audacity can not be questioned.

Nyaba, while in Juba, the lion’s den, used his pen to demolish President Kiir’s lie of a coup in December 2013. Please see ‘From Dr Adwok: Sorry Sir, it was not a coup.’ http://www.southsudannation.com/from-dr-adwok-sorry-sir-it-was-not-a-coup/

When Nyaba resigned from the SPLM those of us who respected his intellectuality believed he would at last be shading light to the right path for South Sudan. Unfortunately, to our deep disappointment he regressed by rejoining the same hopeless organisation he quit in June 2013.

His current position arguably can be seen as the embodiment of SPLM very pathology. Please see, ‘Arusha agreement briefing: We can’t leave the SPLM party to Salva Kiir’ http://nyamile.com/2015/01/25/arusha-agreement-briefing-we-cant-leave-the-splm-party-to-salva-kiir/

Now the Arusha agreement intends to unify this monstrous organisation yet again, which will reset it for another round of bloodletting, as soon as a non-Jieng aspires to lead it.

However, even before this happens the agreement itself lays the seed of divisions in the centre of Jieng power. If the SPLM truly unites, the Jieng generals and their militia and the Jieng Council of Elders are likely to find themselves pushed away from the centre of power.

This may lead into internal violent squabbles fracturing the delicate unity of the Jieng.

Another scenario which may be more likely is that the generals may take matters into their own hands by seizing power and handing it to one of the members of JCE.

Whichever option that will transpire will be unacceptable to the people of South Sudan which means the conflict may continue to rage on for the unforeseeable future until the SPLM/A itself due to its violent nature hacks itself down into non existence leading to capture of power by the people.

The only positive thing from Arusha is that the process has exposed the facade of the Jieng system in Juba. It has educated the African leaders and shown light on the true culprits in South Sudan. This is highly welcome.

So, neither SPLM-IG, nor SPLM-IO, nor SPLM-G10, nor SPLM-DC (now excluded from the deal), individually or collectively or united can provide a solution to the country.

They have never had a vision for South Sudan other than theft, corruption, killings, tribalism and chaos.

What is needed is a new group with a new vision and humane values driven by the concepts of ‘common purpose’ and ‘common good’.
[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul
elhagpaul@aol.com

Equatoria! Stop fighting for “second” position

By: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, FEB/01/2015, SSN;

As an Equatorian who believes that the people of Equatoria have all what it takes to lead South Sudan into stability and prosperity, I was indeed saddened to see my old school mates like James Wani Igga and Martin Elia Lomuro reducing the Equatorian fight to only a fight for the second office in the country.

We Equatorians, we are better than that and our aspirations must truly reflect who we are. Since we are equally capable of running the country from the top position, why not join in the fight for the top job?

Do it for the top position. Those lower positions like the vice what! Or deputy what! Or assistant what… name it, are not worth our fights. And any fights for that matter!

My call to every Equatorian is that ‘if we have to fight for a position,’ then we go fight for the top job in the country. However we must understand that to get the top job in the country needs more than just following others.

Like football, if you want to be on the top, you must not only be contended with good play, acrobatic styles, skillful dribbling. What counts in the end of the day is the number of goals scored and who scored them, before we even talk about the people who created the opportunities for the scorers to score and win a victory for the team.

We Equatorians, we are better than that fighting over deputy positions. The fact we like everyone else also have the best for the top job, then let our aspirations truly reflect who we have and are capable of doing other than being other people’s deputies all the time.

It is time we join in the fight for the top job the fact that we believe we are equally capable of running the country from the top position!

Whatever Mr Martin Elia Lomuro came up with is not representative of the people of Equatoria. His smart move to rally the three governors and dispatch them to Addis Ababa solely to protest what they perceive is injustices towards Wani Igga and hence the people of Equatoria are all nonsense.

Once in Addis Ababa did the three Equatoria governors remember to talk about their people calls for federalism?

Not only were they silent on federalism, but they have already shunned it because the same view is now shared by the SPLM-In-Opposition. What is the name of this news game, my dear Equatorians!

The truth be said and said loud, “Wani Igga who currently is Salva Kiir’s deputy got that position as a favour from Kiir himself. Kiir is the elected president and the only person to decide who works on his team”.

No Equatorian voted for Wani Igga to deputize the president. And all South Sudanese people for that matter did not vote Wani Igga to his current position.

As President Salva Kiir appointed Wani Igga as his deputy, it is also true that the same president still has the powers to keep him in office or kick him out if he so wishes.

Unfortunately, the three Equatorian governors have been misled by Martin Elia Lomuro to travel all the way to Addis Ababa only to protest in solidarity with Wani Igga to continue being the second man.

Again I doubt how many Equatorians would sincerely want Wani Igga to be the president if they were to choose between many.

The truth of the matter is that, per the IGAD proposal, Wani Igga remains where he is now – vice president. Per the same proposal the three governors also remain secure in their places.

Now the only people who become insecure are the types of Martin Elia Lomuro who are more likely to lose their ministerial positions once the transitional government of national unity is constituted.

Is this not why Mr Lomuro is feeling insecure?

Brothers and sisters, if you want an end to this rampant insecurity and helplessness, then you better do something about it, by ceasing to always limit yourselves to being deputies while people from Bahr Ghazal and Upper Nile are doing everything to top the list.

If you are confused you should know where to turn to. Just look beyond your nose and salvation is waiting for you!

Dr Justin Ambago Ramba. A member of the South Sudan’s Political Parties’ Delegation to the IGAD led Peace Negotiations for South Sudan. A voice for the voiceless.

Revolutionary Movement for National Salvation (REMNASA) – New rebel group formed in South Sudan

Press Statement on Launch of REMNASA, 28/1/2015, SSN;

The forces of Revolutionary Movement for National Salvation (REMNASA) on 27/1/2015 launched a successful attack on the sectarian regime security forces in Maridi killing 6 soldiers and wounding many others. They captured arms and ammunition. This attack marks the official launch of second liberation struggle under REMNASA with the aim to dislodge the murderous regime of Dictator Salvatore Kiir in Juba.

It should be recalled that this group rebelled from the South Sudan Army on 9/1/2015 and on 19/1/2015 attacked the SPLA production unit at Mankakara 2 which is located 8 KM from Maridi two nom Maridi-Rumbek road.

REMNASA was formed by SPLA Officers who have been affected by the poor governance and failed leadership in the country. The failure of the SPLM leadership in South Sudan precipitated the crisis in South Sudan which has lead to loss of thousands of lives, rape, human right abuses and crime against humanity.

The crisis has completely destroyed the social fabric of our people. And for that matter the two protagonists can in no way possible be able to reconcile the people and restore genuine peace even if they are to reach peace agreement now.

It appears the IGAD led peace talk is mainly focusing on sharing of positions and unification of the SPLM factions.

Furthermore so many stakeholders inside the country have been excluded from participating in finding solutions to the current crisis.

As such the ongoing IGAD mediation has been turn into solving SPLM problems while neglecting the fundamentals issues that resulted into the current civil war such as poor governance, tribalism, nepotism, dictatorship, lack of inclusiveness, human right abuses, intolerance, corruption, elitism and lack development.

Therefore the current conflict should have been viewed as a national crisis and unless all the various actors in the political landscape in South Sudan are involved, we in REMNASA believe no sustainable peace will be restored in the country.

Hence any peace agreement resulting from non-inclusive process will not resolve the current conflict in the country.

Therefore,
…. mindful that lack of comprehensive peace agreement that involves all 64 Nationalists shall further result into more chaos and total disintegration of the country;
…. acknowledging the deep division between the two antagonistic tribes that has resulted into continuous struggle for power among them;
…. aware of the fact that the regime of Salva Kiir has failed to develop and implement the much needed reforms that could have save the country from the ongoing meaningless war;
…. deeply touched by the suffering of the people and their desperate need for humanitarian assistance and the necessity to salvage the country from complete disintegration;
…. We the officers from the Sudan People’s Liberation Army together with our people who voted for the independence with the hope of having a country where federalism, Equality, Justice, Diversity, Peaceful co-existence and Prosperity prevails do hereby resolve to launch a Revolutionary Movement called the Movement for National Salvation of the people of South Sudan to dislodge the current illegitimate and sectarian regime of Dictator Salvatore Kiir Mayardit, the President of South Sudan.

The leadership of the people’s Movement will aspire to restore the squandered liberation aspirations of the people and guide the revolution through a new unifying vision to secure an equal, free and prosperous Democratic Federal Republic of South Sudan.

Signed:
Major Losuba Lodoru
Commander of REMNASA Forces
South Sudan.

A.U. must act to end the rape & torture of women in South Sudan

By NAVANETHEM PILLAY, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nationmedia, JAN/27/2015, SSN;

As the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, I visited South Sudan in May 2012, less than a year after its people voted for a better future as an independent nation state.

There were human rights issues to address but also a great optimism. I returned in April 2014, and found my hopes shattered.

Then, I was made hopeful by discussions with South Sudan’s leaders on discrimination and violence against women. The president and senior officials seemed committed to supporting girls’ empowerment and education.

I had returned in April, four months after tensions within the county’s ruling party Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) boiled over into armed conflict in the capital, Juba. Violence spread rapidly among security forces, with civilians targeted based on their ethnicity or assumed political affiliation.

Armed thugs roamed the countryside, raping women and children and taking them as sex slaves. My hopes were shattered.

GENOCIDE MEMORIES

The ruthlessness of sexual violence in South Sudan brings back memories of Rwanda. In 1998, while serving as a judge on the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, my colleagues and I heard horrendous stories of mass rapes and other sexual crimes.

In our judgment in the case of The Prosecutor vs. Jean Paul Akayesu, we held that sexual violence in war could constitute genocide and crimes against humanity as well as torture.

We found that sexual violence was used as an instrument of war aimed at the systematic destruction of Tutsi women and the Tutsi group as a whole.

While South Sudan is not experiencing genocide, the levels of sexual violence are no less shocking. Zainab Bangura, the UN’s envoy for sexual violence in conflict, recently said she has not witnessed a situation worse than South Sudan in her 30 years’ experience.

One of the main reasons we are seeing such extreme sexual violence in South Sudan is the country’s pervasive culture of impunity. The perpetrators — including members of the police, army, and armed militias — know that there is no rigorous justice system and almost no risk of consequences. Unless this changes, the frequency and brutality of sexual violence will rise as one cycle of violence fuels the next.

For those seeking justice, accountability, and an end to the country’s longstanding culture of impunity, the African Union’s commission of inquiry on South Sudan is a beacon of light.

In Summary
There have been tremendous advances in tackling impunity for serious crimes over the past 20 years, in particular through the ad hoc tribunals for the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Cambodia, and the International Criminal Court.
For those seeking justice, accountability, and an end to the country’s longstanding culture of impunity, the African Union’s commission of inquiry on South Sudan is a beacon of light.
Ms Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the chairperson of the African Union Commission, is to be commended for her leadership in forming the first-ever African Union investigation of mass human rights violations on our continent.

DAMNING REPORT

Under the leadership of former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, the commission’s final report is expected to be a damning document that details countless human rights violations and even lists names of those recommended for trial. This is what the beginnings of accountability should look like.

Ms Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the chairperson of the African Union Commission, is to be commended for her leadership in forming the first-ever African Union investigation of mass human rights violations on our continent.

Now she faces an even bigger challenge to see life breathed into the commission’s recommendations. It is critical that the African Union Peace and Security Council make Mr Obasanjo’s report public and act upon its recommendation to establish a credible accountability mechanism for South Sudan.

We need accountability and justice to stem the tide of human rights abuses spreading across much of South Sudan. The threat of criminal prosecution can act as a powerful deterrent and may even help convince the warring parties that they have more gain by laying down their guns and committing to the (more difficult) task of making peace and rebuilding their country.

IMPUNITY

There have been tremendous advances in tackling impunity for serious crimes over the past 20 years, in particular through the ad hoc tribunals for the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Cambodia, and the International Criminal Court.

While international and national accountability processes have contributed immensely to challenging impunity for violations of international law, such efforts on their own cannot stop the cycle completely. Political will on the part of governments is essential and usually constitutes the biggest obstacle.

If the government of South Sudan is not willing or able to put a stop to this insidious form of violence that targets women and girls, the international community has a responsibility to step in.

As African heads of state and AU officials convene in Addis Ababa for the 24th AU Summit, they must do all they can to ensure that the report from Mr Obasanjo’s commission of inquiry represents the beginning of the end of impunity in South Sudan.

Ms Pillay was the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2008 to 2014.

Regime sycophants: Talking about elections real or a bluff to change focus on peace process?

BY: Yien Lam, South Sudan, JAN/25/2015, SSN;

I believe this is a public bluffing because there is no reason to believe that a genuine election will be done in south Sudan this time. It is without a doubt in the minds of many if not most people in our country.

People of south Sudan will never be freed under kiir’s leadership. This proposed elections are being manufactured purposely by the regime to sidetrack the ongoing peace process that is being negotiated in Addis Ababa.

This is a known fact that cannot be negated by anyone rather than the decayed regime adherents. It is a naked truth. This is so by the following reasons:

First and foremost, what is an election? According to dictionary, “an election is selection of a person or persons for office by vote.”

If this is its definition, who is going to vote on these elections while people of south Sudan are taking refuge in camps?

Be judicious on this if your rationality is not being impaired by the regime bloody money.

Believe it or not, the regime created this to quell and beguile uprising in the areas that it seems to be safe. There is nothing tangible about this as it has been mendaciously reported on the media by the regime supporters.

This is a simple tactic in order to inveigle the public. It has been designed knowingly to bluff the people of south Sudan. But I believe south Sudanese are smarter that this deceptive regime.

This is laughable if not impossible to do such an elections. It is just a smear tactic as usual. There is nothing as such that would happen in our country at this time until this regime is being ousted out of power.

This government does not believe in power of voters than the power that it got at the expense of south Sudan independence in 2010.

If south Sudanese were not freed from the North at the time, kiir would have not gotten the leadership that he has today because he does not fit to be the leader of the country than being the rustic dweller in the Gogrial.

In this regard, I believe people of south Sudan who have been mentally, physically and spiritually abused by this regime will not buy into this delusive election of this kind.

They must stick on whatever they believe because this regime will never change its divisive tactic on the people of south Sudan. Never!

The only way for the south Sudanese to free themselves is to expel it from the illegal power that it severely abused on the people of this great nation. This will only be the absolute solution in my view for us to once again live in a peaceful society.

This regime has done so much damage to the well being of south Sudanese to live in harmony.

Secondly, a census is the crucial part of an election everywhere in the world if it happens to have any. I believe many of you will agree with me on this point unless one has unknown dementia.

As we all know, there is no census in the country that would determine the representatives in states as well as the nation’s parliament. If there is no census, how are elections going to be done in the crisis as what we are now witnessing in our country?

This plan is ridiculous if not silly in nature because south Sudan population is being scattered into its neighboring countries.

According to Sudan tribune, around 1.9 millions are being dissipated to the neighboring countries as we speak. Namely, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and UNMISS camps within south Sudan.

These individuals are eligible voters. But will not vote if elections are being held today due to this crises. Talking elections while the people that’re supposed to elect their leaders are being dispersed around their neighbors as such shows the world that kiir and his minions care less for the lives of south Sudanese than their leadership in which they did not know come from the people.

As a matter of fact, the regime needs not to bluff South Sudanese again. I certainly believe everybody in the world should have learned this kind of trick in order not to hinder the peace process.

Focusing on the petty elections than being serious about peace is mind boggling. One cannot talk elections while his very country is being engulfed by self-imposed war. This is an absurdity if not insanity. I don’t even know what is going on in the minds of the regime encircled at this point.

Third, the above mentioned facts are not only the reason for the regime to announce an elections. Everybody knows in south Sudan that elections will not have a room at this time to be done. It is a pure fact.

But what the regime means by the elections is different in which it has a full knowledge about the term limit. This is what worry the regime the most.

It knows very well that on July the 9th 2015 will be the end of the kiir’s term in office as our untraceable constitution has been saying.

So, now the regime is erroneously trying to believe in its principle in which many people if not most may regard as the game. Because the dateline is approaching, the regime is now frustrating and trying everything as possible to squeeze in the elections in this circumstance.

It is not an election rather than reinstatement of the regime’s leadership to reclaim its erroneous legitimacy. This is pure and simple. It does not need eyeglasses. There is nothing called election in this sense as we all know that our country is bleeding severely.

Forth, I would like to add what I have been seeing as the passed budget for an election to be held as planned. Is that true? To me, it is not.

It is the same tactic that the regime has been doing since the bringing of this crisis. If there is a budget as it has been the case lately on media, why should the government have a budget for an elections and not having it for building the country’s infrastructures? This is bogus in my view. The elections that the regime supporters are talking about is an empty promise.

This media election is a tactic to restore kiir in power. It is simple as such because there is no point at this time to have successful elections in the middle of the civil war unless one is irrational.

Budget cannot be passed because of an election. Budget is always being passed for the purpose of building the country infrastructure. This is its significance. This budget is a pure propaganda by the regime. What a world!

Believe it for a certain, these elections are intended to distract people’s minds. Not only that, it is too non-factual in my understanding of this regime. It will rather be a show off for the regime to talk elections at this critical time. Singing a song of an elections that it does not lineup with its meaning is ludicrous.

By the way, who is running with kiir in South Sudan now? People! This is a joke. There will never be an election in south Sudan while kiir still is the president. It would be silly for anyone to think as such.

Kiir must go first. When he is gone, south Sudanese will be free to do whatever they want as the citizens. Now, they are being kept hostage in the country they love. Therefore, don’t let yourself be enticed in an empty promise of elections. It is not as you may have thought rather than dictatorial regime reinstating itself.

Fifth, not only those mentioned above, security is a key in elections. Given the magnitude of the situation we face today, how an election would be held in south Sudan while the security is deteriorating as we speak day by day between the regime and the freedom fighters?

Do you think it will be possible for the elections to be held? If so, what would make you believe that in your mind? Do you think the greater Upper Nile will be deserted by kiir’s elections?

This would be difficult for a nationalist to answer those because people of Greater upper Nile matter to the elections of south Sudan. Imagine if you are the ones that being asked with that questions, what would you say to yourself given the fact that the whole region will not participate in the election?

Should this imposed elections relate to what kiir and his circle whisper months ago to keep the war in Upper Nile?

Finally, as we all know, there should be no elections in south Sudan without having census, budget and most of all security. Doing it without the above mentioned will otherwise be considered as the reinstating of the dictatorial regime in the fear of term ending.

The author is a concerned maverick south Sudanese that can be reached at lam981@hotmail.com