Category: Featured

President Salva Kiir declares SPLM/A crimes “a normal process” of creating an ethnic state

BY: ELHAG Paul, South Sudanese, JAN/13/2019, SSN;

Last month on 15th December 2018, the people of South Sudan commemorated the 5th anniversary of the Juba ethnic cleansing of the Nuer people by the Juba regime.  That was a very tragic event that shocked South Sudanese to the core. 

No one in their wildest of dreams ever thought or expected that a South Sudanese government would be able to do such horrific things on fellow South Sudanese. 

The history of this country under the Sudan had conditioned them to expect such things from the Arabs of Khartoum.  For similar events carried out by the Arabs on 8th July 1965 in Juba and within that very week Wau and Malakal the other two major towns in South Sudan were also subjected to the same fate. 

South Sudan lost a huge section of its intellectuals and civil servants in these carnages with a big number fleeing into refuge in the neighboring countries of Uganda, Congo, Central African Republic and Kenya.

The madness of 15th December 2013 brings memories of the carnage meted out against the then southern Sudan vividly to the mind of the people who experienced it.

Shock, confusion, disbelief and despair hit the people of Juba in particular, and South Sudanese in general, sending the entire country into a state of helplessness. 

The sight of military trucks in broad day light ferrying the dead with limps dangling as if these murdered beings were animals traumatised the public.

Noticeably, on the day of the 5th anniversary neither the newspapers nor the government made any reference to this dark event in the history of the country.  However, the social media was awash with articles of remembrance. 

In all those articles none said “Never again”.  Without a clear stand against the prospect of such horror taking place again, it does not bode well for the future. 

Without emphasis and belief in the phrase “Never again”, it means most South Sudanese still have not committed themselves to a violence free future.  It suggests a large section of the society may be contemplating revenge at a certain point in the future. 

In ‘The Storm of Change Gathering to Sweep Kiir and JCE from Power’ (http://www.southsudannation.com/the-storm-of-change-gathering-to-sweep-kiir-and-jce-from-power/) we learn how the feelings of revenge can be suppressed by the victims in their time of weakness in anticipation of pay back. 

This is why it is all the more important that the perpetrators of the Juba 15th December 2013 horror be brought to book, so that society as a whole holds them to account in order to take away and put to rest any feelings of revenge. 

The enlightenment thinkers worked out long ago that nobody remains powerful forever because nature itself through the cycle of life dictates that from birth to the grave people go through phases of change: at the time of birth, one is helpless and vulnerable and so one is looked after and cared for.  

When one grows into adolescence one becomes strong and stronger and continues with strength until they hit 50s for the down ward spiral to set in.  From this point degeneration kicks in together with weakness. 

So, the fallacy of remaining strong is stuff of utter short-sightedness.  The realities of our life cycle dictate that everybody will experience strength and weakness in their life time. 

This same process also is applicable to societal affairs.  No human group remains powerful forever. 

It is for this reason that Jean Jacque Rousseau, the French enlightenment thinker, coined the concept of social contract where people pool their whole resources together to protect each other all the time, in strength as well as weakness. 

This concept is what gave rise to the development of states and governments as we know them now.  

In theory the government in Juba has a duty to protect everybody, citizens and foreigners residing in their territory alike. 

Unfortunately this is not the reality with South Sudan as played out on 15th December 2013 as well as other incidents.  It suggests that the SPLM/A party of blood-spillers may not actually understand what a state or government is. 

This in itself raises the question of the viability of the state of South Sudan. 

Unless South Sudanese respond to the abuses of the current regime in a matured manner, this country is likely to remain unstable for the foreseeable future with the state being abused constantly by various tribal cabals.

Why then is the Juba regime committing ethnic cleansings? Initially, everybody attributed it to the political wrangling in the party of the blood-spillers: the SPLM/A. 

With the benefit of hindsight now, it turns out that the SPLM planned the current chaos back in 1980s.  President Salva Kiir whether knowingly or ignorantly revealed the secret in Lobonok in his speech during the blood-spillers retreat over there. 

Careful studying of the period from 5th March 2013 to the implosion of the SPLM/A in December 2013 indicates the regime in Juba seized the political turmoil in the movement to implement its overall central plan of creating an ethnic state. 

So the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer in December 2013 was the start of the implementation of the policy of panel beating South Sudan into an ethnic state. 

According to President Kiir, the cleansing of the Nuer and all the crimes going on in the country is a “normal process” to shape the state. 

This phase in the plan of the party of blood-spillers is earmarked to take 15 to 20 years from now.  Please see ‘President Kiir’s speech at the SPLM Retreat at Lobonok, South Sudan’. (https://paanluelwel.com/2018/12/06/president-kiirs-speech-at-the-splm-retreat-at-lobonok-south-sudan/)

Shaping a nation in sociological perspective simply means construction of a country to certain ideological characteristics.  President Kiir’s use of the word confirms his JCE’s obsession to establish an ethnic state with them being the masters.

The evidence is everywhere in the country.  Look at the army, security services, judiciary, higher education, ministries and Foreign Service is 90 percent replete with the president’s kith and kin. 

This filling of government offices with the President’s ethnic group has nothing to do with qualifications and merit.  Semi illiterate people are just promoted and appointed to fill offices to ensure proper domination.  

In a sense President Kiir is creating and normalising their construct in the country.

No wonder, chaos is everywhere in the country.  This chaos makes sense because it is crucial if the other ethnicities have to be subjugated, displaced and replaced by the expansionist agents of President Kiir.

Basically, the President is talking about the establishment of a Dinkocratic state in South Sudan. 

Unfortunately, Dr Riek Machar who could have provided a patriotic leadership of the people of South Sudan regressed into the very tribal politics of President Kiir and the JCE. 

From 15th December 2013 to date, Riek failed to show any patriotic leadership.  He has ended up dividing the Nuer igniting Nuer on Nuer violence that is the whole mark of the current conflict thereby complicating the dynamics of the struggle. 

The wars going on in Upper Nile is Nuer on Nuer carnage supervised by President Kiir through his commanders on the ground.  Most Nuer up to this point have not yet worked it out that they have lost the war with President Kiir and JCE emerging victorious. 

Some people may dispute this fact – the regime of blood-spillers has won.  But if one carefully analyses the divisions within the Nuer and the greed over political posts, evident with their scramble to Juba for jobs; it becomes apparent the Nuer have lost while Kiir’s agenda reigns supreme.

Riek’s capitulation to sign the Khartoum Peace Agreement (KPA), which is manifestly worse than the Agreement for Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan of August 2015 (ARCSS), is the concrete evidence of his total surrender to the regime in Juba. 

It must be noted, it is not Riek alone who surrendered to the regime.  All the opposition parties that joined him and affixed their signatures to that worthless document equally surrendered under the slogan “We want to bring peace to our people.”  Really?!! 

How can legitimising President Kiir’s rule for 3 more years and granting him total control of the parliament in R-ARCSS to continue with his violence be called “peace”?  

How can blessing President Kiir and the JCE to ‘shape’ South Sudan into an ethnic state be called working for “peace” and “development? 

Am I going mad or something is wrong here with those who surrendered?   Something obviously is amiss when all those people who signed their rights away in R-ARCSS do not see the bigger picture.

Perhaps their action is in some form a herd mentality responding to the carrots of political positions dangled by the party of the blood-spillers.  What a shame and disgraceful act?

The shameful capitulation of the opposition under the banner of peace now means the resistance and struggle for a bright future in South Sudan is left to the South Sudan National Democratic Alliance and the People Democratic Movement under Dr Dario Hakim.

This behaviour of the signatories of KPA should not surprise anybody as such behaviour according to literature is associated with oppressed and subjugated people who have lost hope. 

It has been proven beyond doubt that oppressed peoples as in the cases of domestic violence and hostage-taking in a weird way develop sympathy for their abusers (Stockholm syndrome). 

No matter what advice or persuasion is given to such people it is met with irrational excuses.  Therapists know the hard work and the long time that must be invested to save people from that state of mind.

Sadly the oppressed (politicians masquerading as leaders) who have lost total hope will choose to joyfully serve their oppressor in the false belief that they are doing something helpful and in the worse case as that of the KPA they may even think that they are fighting their oppressor. 

They wilfully shackle themselves blissfully.  They will irrationally give a lot of excuses and baseless justifications for their sorrowful actions.  

Just think about the signatories of KPA. Some of these people were jailed and abused by President Kiir as recently as in the Autumn of 2017 and yet in delusions they joyously take photographs with President Kiir expressing feelings of pride. 

Ironically, they have the cheek to point fingers at those who are resisting their abuser as ‘spoilers’.  Do you see the madness being displayed here?

Abuse does wonders to the mind of the abused.  It is unbelievable with all the experiences (ethnic cleansing, displacement of people, mass rape, killing of women, children and the old people) of what the party of the blood-spillers have done already and what they are planning to do – hitting the opposition once and for all, the abused flock to sit near their abuser like sitting ducks waiting to be shot.

This behaviour of the signatories of KPA unfortunately sends messages of hope to President Kiir and the JCE that they are succeeding in their callous plan to construct an ethnic state.  So they may be thinking that they are on the right track with their murderous policies. 

Hence, President Kiir’s statement that what is going on in the country is “normal process”.  Luckily, these very messages that give the regime of the blood-spillers hope equally to a large extent is misleading to them. 

The hope they have will turn out to be a false hope for something that is still working its way in the collective pyche of the people of South Sudan. 

Many people have not noticed that South Sudanese have been in a state of shock for the last five years and this has disabled them.  This shock is now ebbing away and it will be replaced by anger as is the case in all situations of catastrophes. 

Therefore, the collective is just emerging from this shock and confusion.  The intense anger that is now building in the South Sudanese community against the regime will be such a force that will sweep everything in its way. 

This brings us back to the point that there is a need for a scheme of comprehensive accountability for all the crimes committed in South Sudan since 1983. 

At the root of these crimes, which also is the root cause of the problems in the country, is the conviction of the JCE that they are superior to all others and the country should be shaped to their liking. 

President Kiir has declared this intention clearly in Lobonok.  What is taking place in the country as far as President Kiir is concerned is a ‘normal process’ of shaping the country. 

So the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer, mass rapes, mass murders, mass displacements of the various ethnic groups, and wilful distribution of the country’s resources to the benefit of President’s ethnic group etc, are done so as to cause the vision of an ethnic state to become a reality on the ground.

It is sad that President Kiir and the JCE have not learnt anything from the history of the world. 

They would have benefited from the wise observation of Frederick Douglass, the American social reformer and abolitionist who preached in his Speech on the 24th anniversary of Emancipation in 1886 in Washington DC that, “where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails and where any one class is made to feel that society is organised conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them neither persons nor property will be safe.” 

In short, the project of ethnic supremacy which the regime in Juba is pursuing at all costs, is likely to end in disappointment.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul

elhagpaul@aol.com

@elhagpaul

Gen. Cirillo’s NAS International Relations Committee (IRC)’ Response to Kiir’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs

From: Dr. LAKO JADA Kwajok, NAS Chairman of the IRC, Jan/05/2019, SSN;

Further to the statement by the SSPDF (the South Sudan National Army) Spokesperson regarding the recent clashes between the National Salvation Front (NAS) forces and the regime forces in Goroum in the Luri area near Juba, the Kiir’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation came up with a statement of its own carrying the same unfounded allegations and lies against NAS.

The IRC would not dwell into the matter any further as the facts were explained thoroughly in the statement by NAS spokesman yesterday.

It’s, however, outrageous for the regime to accuse NAS of terrorism when all the indicators point towards brutality and State terrorism brought by the government upon the citizens of South Sudan.

The regime committed hideous crimes against communities in the Pibor area between 2010 and 2013. In December of 2012 it shot 25 innocent civilians in Wau town while exercising their constitutional rights of peaceful demonstration.

That was the reported number of the victims by the controlled press. The fact of the matter is that afterwards the regime forces went on a killing spree for three days that caused the death of unknown number of civilians.

It also caused mayhem in Malakal town in 2014 that led to the loss of innocent lives and utter devastation.

Furthermore, in February 2017, the regime pursued its war against the communities in Upper Nile region by the bombing of Wau Shilluk village that left many civilians dead and resulted in extensive destruction and famine.

It’s worth mentioning that the Information Minister, Michael Makuei Lueth, the Chief of Staff of the SSPDF, Gen. Gabriel Jok Riak, the Deputy Minister of Defense, Gen. Malek Reuben Riak, and the Commander of the Ground Forces, Gen. Santino Deng Wol, are all under the UN sanctions for committing or instigating atrocities against civilians.

Hitherto, the whereabouts of Dong Samuel Luak and Aggrey Idri remain unknown. The two were kidnapped by the regime agents from the streets of Nairobi, Kenya on January 23 and 24, respectively. The above examples show that State terrorism in South Sudan is not speculative but a reality.

The African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan (AUCISS) report in October 2015, is in keeping with the above conclusion as the atrocities investigated by the Commission were deemed part of State policy.

Whilst Pres. Kiir’s regime talked about Christmas and the New Year celebrations in an environment of false peace – it wouldn’t spare a thought for the tens of thousands of innocent lives that were slaughtered in Juba in cold blood in mid-December 2013.

A responsible and considerate government would have dedicated a day in commemoration of the victims of those horrific events. Of course, the regime would like the memory of those who lost their lives forgotten.

The National Salvation Front condemns in the strongest terms possible the belligerent acts by the regime against the local population and the continuation of its scorched earth policy in Equatoria and other parts of South Sudan.

Untold suffering and crimes were inflicted upon the local populations in Yei, Wonduruba and Parajok. The regime uses this policy to punish the community of any dissident leader.

They did it to the community of Gen. George Athor before he got liquidated. The same happened to Dr. Riek Machar’s community in the Leer town area in Unity State.

We call upon the UN and the humanitarian relief organizations working in the area to be on alert for the unfolding humanitarian tragedy in the aftermath of the clashes.

It’s ironical that the government is now calling upon the CTSAMM, UNMISS to look into violations it claims to have been committed by NAS forces.

It’s the same government that has been all along intransigent to the peaceful settlement of the conflict and had committed numerous ceasefire violations.

The recent shameful and criminal abuses against some members of the CTSAMM in Luri underpins a pattern of behavior by the Juba regime against some foreign entities. It includes harassment of foreign nationals involved in relief operations, the killing of journalists and rape (Terrain Hotel incident).

The National Salvation Front has repeatedly reaffirmed its position of full support for a peace agreement that would be inclusive, just and ensures the realization of FEDERALISM and the establishment of a process of full accountability.

The Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) has fallen short of tackling the root causes of the conflict, hence, isn’t a recipe for lasting peace in the Republic of South Sudan.

Nonetheless, NAS would continue to work with our brethren in the other opposition Movements and organizations to coordinate our efforts for the resolution of the conflict and the benefit of our people.

At the same time, NAS would value any engagement with IGAD, the AU, the Troika and the UN towards achieving sustainable peace in South Sudan. END

SIGNED BY: Dr. Lako Jada Kwajok, Chairman of the IRC

South Sudan’s Fundamental Problems: A New Year’s Perspective

By: Nguen Nyol. Critic and Advocate, DEC/29/2018, SSN;

I write this piece to help project a narrative of peace, stability and good citizenship. It’s my New Year GIFT to the nation I spent my childhood, my youth and now my prime life fighting for it to be a free nation from war but developed and prosperous.

It’s my hope that this article shall not be censored. It’s an uncensored opinion about peace, stability and war in a country that we all fought for, for over 192 years to be a nation among nations.

The point therein is to go beyond mediocrity and understand our country’s fundamental problems – South Sudan’s problems.

Many people have projected false narratives as our country’s fundamental problems. These false narratives are still being projected today to advance hell bent false agendas of misconstrued representation of facts. Therefore, this can’t be allowed!

Amateurs or not, many emerging political analysts, veteran politicians and educated men and women, made some attempts and identified leadership failure and corruption as our fundamental problems in South Sudan.a 

Through my observations, leadership failure and corruption are not our fundamental problems in this country. Leadership failure and corruption can’t be our fundamental problems that have killed half million people, sent 4 million South Sudanese to refugee camps in the neighboring countries and 2.3 million to IDPs in the last five years.

It’s my understanding that greed, insincerity, tribal mindset and faulty old-man-know-how mentality are our problems.

Leadership failure and corruption are misplaced labels, positioned to conceal the truth in the name of preventing the nation’s decay. These are wrong means to allow South Sudan to free itself from abyss and its man-made disasters.

That being said, these attempts are good for general characteristics of our consequential problems, but failed to capture the essence and gist of South Sudan’s fundamental problems.

At this juncture, it’s imperative to stress that the problems we have in this country aren’t the old Sudan’s problems, but the new South Sudan’s fundamental problems, which include greed, insincerity, tribal mindset and old wise man syndrome of faulty know how.

For your information, these days in South Sudan, old age does not equate to wisdom. It doesn’t any longer reflect real meaning of African proverb which says, “what an old man can see while sitting can seen by a young man while standing.”

After having returned to South Sudan for the implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS), I have observed our people’s behaviors and actions with keen interest. Surprisingly, I was taken aback by the mediocrity – sheer idiocy and lust for money in our people.

Most of the problems of our old age folks, learned men and women, veteran politicians and political leaders of different political strips are indifference and succumbing to the reality of the day.

They are far removed from our country’s situational problems. Indeed, their actions and behaviors showcased a pathetic approach to nation building and a new political dispensation in this country.

As such, I came to terms with this sad reality that our people have lost focus. They deviated from managing our crises in order to make this country a viable state among nations.

These issues of greed, insincerity, tribal mindset and old wise man mentality, solely rooted on a faulty “know-how” have destroyed our social fabrics. As a matter of fact, these items are strategically deployed to enhance ill-conceived quest and accumulation of wealth and power.

While I familiarize myself with these realities, I am also mindful that few individuals might argue otherwise.

Settled for the fact that our fundamental problems are nothing but anchored on leadership failure, absence of law and order and rampant corruption, which I respectfully disagree.

However, I gave these positions marginal respect and precautionary understanding in the name of personal opinions.

An essence, this is the beauty of having a diverse political view, opinion and school of thoughts in a country that’s supposed to prosper and develop on a solid foundation, cemented by one people’s blood and sweat.

My fundamental disagreement in this regard is not to deny the fact that we have no leadership problems or law and order and rampant corruption challenges, but rather to point out that these are signs and symptoms of the biggest problems.

These biggest problems in this context are centered on products of greed, insincerity, tribal mindset and entitlement, which I correctly put as an old wise man syndrome. In my best judgment, these are South Sudan fundamental problems. They must be correctly identified, named and address amicably.

Greed

Surprisingly, everyone in South Sudan want to be insanely rich, insanely powerful, and overnight becomes supreme king of all bosses with unquestionably power and wealth but with zero deeds and little education or at times none.

This insane quest of richness and power grab out of thin air and in the midst of abject poverty took root, and few have succeeded.  As a result, it has emboldened and created leadership failure and corruption argument simply because our people have lost moral compass but set a stage for crooks to thrives and kill in earnest.

Our big men and women in position power, centre of power if you will, educated or not, are after uncontrolled search for richness and power without deeds involved. This is solely based on my observation for the last two months in Juba.

Our people are in desperate quest to be rich and wealthy for no good reasons and deeds. But simply because they were in the bush during the war liberation or were in Khartoum making their living in the name of those who were in the bush-fighting or that they are simply from a certain tribe(s). These are the sad realities we have in this country.

Another sad thing is, these issues aren’t rhetorics and politicking anymore. They are the gist of a nation’s dynamic and misplaced development ideals.

As a matter of fact, these people would kill in the name of getting rich and becoming powerful. They have done so even to the maximum and with lethal consequences against those whom they wrongly think have crossed their lines and would hinder their speeds of accumulating wealth and rise to fame.

As these crooks bulldoze their ways through to richness and fame, few learned men and women in this country who still possess some moral compass cowardly refused to say no even for the sake of illiterate innocent and voiceless majority in the village. We are doomed! This country is doomed if nothing changes.

For this reason, it’s fitting to state that there is no more logic and no more good ideals, old days, which sanctioned moral duty for nation’s prosperity and empowerment. Instead, an uncontrollable quest for wealth and fame leads but often patched up by fake lip service.

This is to say that our good old days of moral ideals and nationalism, which were often duty driven by national agendas have died and were buried six feet deep down with our forefathers.

Our people’s nationalism and patriotic zeal died without autopsy. Today’s politics and country national interest in South Sudan are driven by perpetual self interest and tribal agenda.

Almost everyone in South Sudan now is after money, wealth and fame. No political agenda for common man and woman on the street and the next generations.

Few individuals who have consolidated richness and power through faulty schemes are often showing off wealth and richness daily. Sadly for wealth, richness and power they did not sow or sweat for.

When one asked how they could have managed to acquire such a massive wealth in such a short time? Instead of answering the question, they often revert to tribal bigotry and even would want to chop off one’s neck for asking a question just to conceal their ill-gotten wealth.

This is a fact and applies to anyone irrespective of their tribes in this country. Everyone has been and can be a victim.

This is the saddest and paradoxical reality in our country. A country we all fought for with our sweat and blood in order for us to find everlasting peace and stability. It’s sad but true, that any assigned portfolio in South Sudan is deemed a project to gain instant wealth.

This is true across this country, which is the reason why I agreed with president Salva Kiir Mayardit of late. When he stated that all along, all supposed good comrades, men and women whom he has deployed and entrusted to lead in various portfolios in this country turned looters.

To my readers, this is the sadistic state of affairs our country is in. To make the matter was worse, few cadres can thump their chests in agreement but no action.

Vast majority of our people chose insincere route and mistook it for unshakable loyalty, which is wrong. Unshakable loyalty for nation’s prosperity and development isn’t about faulty sincerity but genuine honesty.

Insincerity

Most learned South Sudanese in position of power in South Sudan particularly are amazingly insincere to the core. There are particularly insincere on matters that required nothing but genuine honesty and frankness. The fact of the matter is, our political leadership has not been honest to us – the populace.

For instance, our people were kept in the dark even when South Sudan was becoming independent. We became a nation prematurely with no plans for development, good governance, prosperous and principled frameworks for stable nation.

To put it bluntly, the instruments meant to ensure lasting peace and nation’s viability were not set forth.

Our records have revealed that machinery for nationhood with respect to institutions were left to chances. No prior preparations to prevent internal contradictions after independence.

Especially, internal contradictions such as tribal politic, greed and tribal hegemony which eventually cause civil war in 2013. Our country has no proactive plans then, after independence, and even now.

South Sudan then and currently is operating on the emergency basis, which is often based on tribal undertone. In a layman’s term, we react to events and expect miracles and positive outcomes when in fact failures are proven outcomes in such scenarios.

On a similar note, most of our political leaders and academia have outrightly lost sincerity, intellectualism and moral ideals of revealing nothing but truth about our nation’s decay and misdeeds that caused nation’s decay.

This is the sad state of affairs our country find itself in now and possibly for unforeseeable future if nothing change.

To that effect, few morally conscious political pundits and academia are sadly cowardly to hiding by opportunists and illiterate majority. Especially those who controlled our country’s political stage through gossip, intimidation and threat.

As a result, the nation is paralyzed. Nothing moves and no progress. Yet, up to this point in time, no one dares to tell the ugliest truth.

In the face of these gruesome mistakes, our people still meticulously expected things to change for better, when zero efforts, zero sincerity and zero accountability  prevail. This is the overall situation and behavior of our men and women in this big village, called Juba.

To be honest and for these things to change, and for South Sudan to be peaceful and stable, we must be honest to ourselves and correct our wrongs. We must be proactive; we must plan things ahead. And above all, we must accept the fact that our lack of sincerity is one of our country’s fundamental problems.

Tribal mindset

The question of tribal mindset is huge in South Sudan. To be specific, the Dinka and the Nuer are battling this out in an open. In the field of AK47 where thinking and power of the brain is limited. This is what caused the Juba Nuer massacre and the war of December 15th, 2013.

This tribal mindset is an issue and it’s one of our fundamental problems in South Sudan. To be precise, it’s more prevalent among and mostly pronounced by our elders, who are politicians and military leaders.

For example, these elderly politicians and military men and women have gone as far as labeling tribes with certain names. This is wrong, dangerous and it must be challenged and stopped in earnest.

These false narratives and narrow perceptions of tribes are concocted political realities with selfish end gains. By and large, such concocted political realities have tarnished South Sudan’s good image and reputations aboard.

South Sudan and South Sudanese aboard are nobody but no one business. If anything, we are considered failed state and savages of tall order. Our elders don’t see and hear things because they don’t venture out of  South Sudan. They think everything is good for South Sudan and its people aboard, which is quite the opposite.

It’s time to change course without forgetting that those who’ve committed heinous crimes against innocent South Sudanese, for the last five years of war, and in the pursuit of selfish end gains of wealth and fame, must be held to account on both sides.

Old wise-man syndrome

In South Sudan, old wise-man syndrome is an issue and real. Imagine, in South Sudan, 80 years old men and women are still politically active. They still consider themselves relevant, wise and are heading liquidative portfolios, yet, they cannot think or are physically able. They seem to forgot the fact that they have impaired abstract thinking and level consciousness due to old age.

Because of these impaired abstract thinking and level consciousness, in the line of duty, they nap, sip tea in hotel boardrooms with zero papers, play cards under trees, get married day-in and day- out, and more importantly glorify tribal politics as nation’s agenda.

Thus, as a good citizen, it’s my honest opinion that these veterans, these old men and women have done their part. The time is now for them to transition to glorifying retirement with good legacy intact.

Our elders can no longer pretend and claim to know better, and growing younger yearly without considering natural human’s biological clock kicking in.

It is time for our elders to lay back, take a back seat and allow our young, energetic and educated South Sudanese men and women to take the lead. To stop this nation’s decay, tribal conflict and war but allow development to reach a new height in South Sudan.

Our country is in crisis, and in times like these, we must not allow tribal mindset mentality. It’s a backward thinking and it’s no longer relevant. So much so, it’s an outdated – old age tribal strategy meant to pit tribes, brothers or sisters against each other. We are better than this; South Sudan is better than that considering our long walk to independence.

Thus I asked our elders men and women, to let go of old tribal thinking but pave ways for our young and energetic men and women to challenge themselves intellectually and politically on how to develop South Sudan.

How to mature South Sudan socially, economically and politically among other nations without a single drop of blood.

In closing, I must reinstate that our fundamental problems in this country are not leadership failure and corruption but greed, insincerity, tribal mindset and old wise-man syndrome crowned by faulty know-how.

It’s time to do way with these devious attitudes and correct ourselves for the betterment of this country. We got no time left for wheels spinning or merry-go-around.

Finally, I must remind our people that sincerity, cemented by law and order is key. No nation has thrived and reached a new height based on tribal mindset. So much so, there is nowhere in the world where old men and women died politicking with never-ending political brightness or un-diminishing talents. We are not an exception; South Sudan cannot be an exception.

This is my New Year GIFT to our nation and its people. Happy Holidays! Let’s embrace peace and stability as we celebrates Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2019.

  1. Nguen is a South Sudanese political analyst, commentator and advocate. He can be reached at jamesnguen@gmail.com

The Party of Blood-Spillers: SPLM holds a retreat in Lobonok County (Central Equatoria)

BY: ELHAG Paul, South Sudan, DEC/17/2018, SSN;

SPLM/A, the party of blood-spillers is a stranger to retreats, conventions and conferences.  Since its inception it was built up to function as a politico-military machine on orders from the top.  From 1983 to 1991 no one dared to question what its leaders did.

I was informed at the time that, when members dissented they got sentenced to firing squad with appeals done after the sentence was carried out.  Terrifying stuff!  In short, the party of blood-spillers does not believe in due process and justice let alone democracy.  The words of its leaders are final and must prevail in their world.

So, any talk of retreat, conventions and conferences is something unheard of.  One had to be crazy to utter these words.

In 1991 the intense battle for the control of Ethiopia between the ruling Dirge (Ethiopian Communist Party) and the revolutionaries fighting alongside the Eritrean separatists influenced the political dynamics in the SPLM/A and the war in the Sudan.

Dissatisfied elements in the SPLM/A party of blood-spillers saw an opportunity to change the leadership of Dr John Garang De Mabior in order to institute structural and ideological reforms.

Thus Dr Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon, Dr Lam Akol Ajawin and Gordon Koang launched a coup on 28th August 1991 which failed, splitting the party into two movements: SPLM/A United and SPLM/A Torit factions.

The SPLM/A Torit faction of blood-spillers under Dr Garang was shaken to the core by the failed coup and for it to maintain support of the people it had to accept changes… therefore in 1994 it held its first ever convention in Chukudum, Eastern Equatoria to democratise and also accept the principle of self determination with federalism.

Since this convention, no further voluntary conventions of this kind were done because the leadership did not like them.

However, a second convention was held only as a result of the demands of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of 2005, which mandated a general election in the Sudan prior to the referendum in South Sudan.

So in 2008, the party of the blood-spillers had no option but to hold a convention and as expected there was a split, but this time it was Dr Lam Akol who parted company with his colleagues in arms.

After a decade, Surprise! Surprise! SPLM/A the party of blood-spillers out of character and on its own volition holds a retreat in Lobonok county in Central Equatoria from 3rd  to 6th December 2018.

Wonders never cease – of all places President Salva Kiir chooses Lobonok to pontificate about SPLM/A’s liberation of South Sudan.  I will not delve into the possible reasons for this retreat being held in Lobonok together with the newly espoused colour red to represent the party.

In delivering his speech titled, ‘Retracing the footprints of our long liberation’ to the retreat of the faithful, President Kiir stated in clear terms that in order for them to achieve the aims of the revolution they planned it in four phases.

Out of these phases the most important phase for this article is phase three because it proves beyond doubt that what is taking place in South Sudan now was planned and executed according to script.  In short all the grave crimes going on now in the country are premeditated.

President Kiir accentuated that phase three of the liberation is the formation of the state and establishment of the nation being founded.

This stage, according to him, is the most challenging stage because they are all fighting and struggling to find their right places in the free Republic of South Sudan.

The political upheavals South Sudan is undergoing, in the belief of SPLM/A party of blood-spillers, are normal process of shaping and forming a great nation. Through this process they will get to know their allies, their friends, and their enemies alike with the regional and international structures.

They are also learning internally about the best ways they could manage politics and resources.  Going through this stage might take 15 or 20 years to get to phase four and the last of our liberation process. (https://paanluelwel.com/2018/12/06/president-kiirs-speech-at-the-splm-retreat-at-lobonok-south-sudan/)

The most important excerpt in President Kiir’s speech is: “we are all fighting and struggling to find our right places in the free Republic of South Sudan. The political upheavals we are undergoing are normal processes of shaping and forming a great nation.”

The key words here are: ‘fighting’ ‘struggling’ ‘shaping’ and ‘forming’.  Fighting and struggling obviously translate into a calculated engagement in violence to realise/achieve an aim.

Whereas, shaping and forming in political as well as sociological speak means that SPLM/A party of blood-spillers want to frame South Sudan ideologically, socially and economically in such a way as to suit the interest of the ruling group.

So in their calculation the best way to go around it is to wage war against the people in order to establish an ethnic state hegemony in South Sudan.

President Kiir at last has acknowledged that the ongoing ethnic cleansings, massacres of other ethnicities, mass rape, mass displacement etc are part of what he calls, “normal process of shaping and forming a great nation.”

To him or rather the SPLM/A party of blood-spillers, the loss of three quarters of a million lives through violence, destruction of the economy and depopulation of various regions is a price worth paying to establish an ethnic state.

In a nutshell, the African Union Commission Report into South Sudan is spot on by concluding that the ethnic cleansings are policies of the state.

Please see clauses 1135 and 1136 of the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan (http://www.peaceau.org/uploads/auciss.final.report.pdf)

Given that this plan was hatched back in 1983, it must be the work of the Dr John Garang the first leader of SPLM/A who was educated in the USA.  President Kiir and the JCE now are merely executors of the plan, dare I say, for the greater good of their ethnic group.

The ideas of domination and subjugation might have been learnt from educational institutions in America.  In the minds of SPLM/A strategists they want to create an ethnic state just as the white settlers have done in Canada, America, Australia, New Zealand etc.

These countries were constructed by “shaping” the state through the eye of the ‘White’ settlers.  Although this method of domination succeeded in the mentioned countries by extermination of the indigenous people (Indian tribes, Aborigines and other people), in South Africa and Zimbabwe it did not work because of the fierce resistance erected by the indigenous people.

This so called phase three is completely unnecessary.  The reason being South Sudan was created or rather formed on 9th July 2011 through the struggle of the people from 18th August 1955.

Therefore the “shaping” of the state of South Sudan should be to achieve a democratic state ruled through law and order under a robust constitution that safeguards and enables the various ethnicities in the country to live freely as equals. Not the nonsense of creating an ethnic state.

The SPLM/A party of blood-spillers should look to the constitutions of most professed democratic states and learn a lesson about the inclusion of its citizenry in the affairs of the state.  This is what is wanted in South Sudan – Democracy!! Not Dinkocracy.

The most surprising thing is that President Kiir and the SPLM/A party of blood-spillers have failed to see that their implementation of phase three, negates the struggles they sing about in phases one and two of the same plan.

The reason for this is because it simply allows for the emergence of the same conditions of marginalisation, peripheralisation, sectarianism and ethnicisation which blighted the Sudan causing the birth of South Sudan.

This contradiction tells us that the story of South Sudan’s liberation is not about true liberation but rather a problem of jealousy of the SPLM/A party of blood-spillers with the elites in the Sudan.

They hijacked the agenda of South Sudan’s wish to secede for them to shape the new state like the Riverian Arabs shaped the Sudan into an Islamic and Arab nation in defiance of the reality of the diverse people of that country.

The leaders of the party of blood-spillers envied the elites of the Sudan and wanted the same privileges which they felt was not available to them.

Now that they have curved for themselves these goodies in South Sudan the country should move ahead by adopting welfare programs as the final phase four.

What these blood-spillers of South Sudan do not see is that by recreating the same conditions of the Sudan in South Sudan will also recreate similar conflicts and instability as in the Sudan.

The Sudan has been at war with its self since its independence in 1956.  Equally South Sudan is now at war with itself for the last 5 years and it continues.

As President Kiir honestly put it: “Going through this stage might take 15 or 20 years to get to phase four and the last of our (their) liberation process.”

So the liberation of South Sudan according to SPLM/A party of blood-spillers is incomplete without South Sudan being panel beaten into an ethnic state.  The job to shape it started in December 2013.

Indeed now there is a serious conflict and those struggling for the rights and survival of the people will continue as there are no options left other than to resist the ideologies of domination adopted by the regime of terror underpinned by their policies of reshaping South Sudan into an ethnic state.

President Kiir has categorically stated that the reshaping of South Sudan will take nearly quarter of a century.

So the recently signed Khartoum Peace Agreement under the auspices of IGAD is a ploy – to lull the opposition signatories before the big bang for the reshaping of South Sudan to move on.

This latest IGAD engineered Khartoum Peace Agreement is a fake peace forced on South Sudanese through violence by Khartoum, Kampala, Juba and IGAD.

It will not work and it will not translate into real peace.  Temporarily, it may do but ultimately it is bound to self-destruct.

To be fair to IGAD, the South Sudanese job hunters masquerading as opposition politicians in SSOA got carried away by the dangled carrots of positions in the proposed bloated transitional government in the agreement and they sold out to the regime.

Most unfortunately they let the people down and granted President Kiir legitimacy to continue abusive ruling.

If peace is to be attained in South Sudan, it is imperative that a new process of peace making is started with all the stakeholders in South Sudan included and the principle leaders of the party of blood-spillers specifically President Kiir and Dr Riek Machar excluded – these are the creators of chaos in the country full of delusions of ethnic supremacy.

Such a peace negotiation must be in a neutral place without any intimidation and threats with the participants allowed to negotiate in good faith without any conditions of time or unnecessary pressure from outsiders.

In the face of SPLM/A party of blood-spillers plans to ethnicise South Sudan, there needs to be a peaceful re-negotiation of the social contract.

Therefore, in any future negotiations the mediators should adopt the transcendent approach of peace making of professor John Galtung which emphasizes understanding of the core issues of the conflict, legitimacy anchored on legal instruments and human rights conventions.

((Please see Galtung’s method on Youtube video: ‘Breaking the cycle of violent conflict with Johan Galtung’)) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16YiLqftppo)

Jamming the break, so far South Sudan has paid with three quarters of a million people dead; quarter of a million people politically quarantined in the United Nations Protection of Civilians Camps around the country; over three million people are displaced…. forced into refuge in the neighbouring countries; destruction of the economy and opening the country up to ethnic and foreign looters.

Is this acceptable to the Jieng people? The ball is in their court either to sincerely oppose President Kiir and the JCE and side with the people to say clearly ‘Not in our name’.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul

elhagpaul@aol.com

@elhgpaul

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul

elhagpaul@aol.com

@elhagpaul

Does State Terrorism exist in South Sudan? 

BY: Dr. Lako Jada Kwajok, South Sudanese, NOV/21/2018, SSN;
On the 4th of November 2018, Vice President Dr James Wani Igga visited Yei in what appeared to be a campaign to garner support for the so-called Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS).
The official statement was that he was there for peace mobilization where he said the opposition groups that are opposed to the agreement would be regarded as terrorists after the pre-transitional period.
In the same vein, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Council of Ministers following their meeting in Addis Ababa on 16/11/2018 issued a communique alluding to what VP Wani Igga said.
It was not a surprise to many as IGAD is a biased organisation for the simple reason that the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is a member of IGAD’s Council of Ministers.
Therefore, whatever comes out from that Council concerning South Sudan, must have been initiated or influenced by the government.
I am glad that VP Wani Igga brought up the issue of terrorism which appears to be at the center of what is going on in South Sudan.
As VP Wani Igga has pointed the finger at the opposition groups that rejected the so-called R-ARCSS as the ones to bear that demeaning characterisation – it’s essential to examine the facts to see if Igga’s allegation carries any substance.
The opposition group that Igga was referring to is SSOA mainstream chaired by Lt. General Thomas Cirillo Swaka, the Chairman of the National Salvation Front (NAS).
In addition to NAS, it’s comprised of the National Democratic Movement (NDM) led by Ambassador Emmanuel Aban, South Sudan National Movement for Change (SSNMC), chaired by Dr Vakindi Unvu, People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) under Dr Hakim Dario, and the United Democratic Republic Alliance (UDRA), led by Dr Gatwech Thich.
Before examining the activities of the above opposition groups, it’s crucial to know what the word terrorism means.
The definition of terrorism is – the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in pursuit of political aims.
No documented evidence links any of the said opposition groups to attacks against civilians, involvement in the kidnapping of aid workers or the blocking of humanitarian relief to the needy in the remote areas.
They were never blamed for the killing or raping of foreign nationals who were endangering their lives to save the South Sudanese people caught in the fight or those in the famine-stricken areas. Some of these opposition groups don’t possess ground forces.
Those that have troops on the ground were never reported to have brutalized the civil population.
The NAS and the SSNMC were under relentless aggression by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army In Opposition (SPLM IO). Their acts were in self-defence in response to the attacks by the SPLM IO forces.
The recent fight in the Minyori area that saw the defeat of the SPLM IO forces brought tranquility and normalcy to the area.
The locals are happy that the SPLM IO forces have finally been chased away from their territory. They are notorious for committing heinous crimes including shooting, looting, and the raping of victims among the local population.
It’s to be noted that the UN and all the humanitarian relief organisations never accused SSOA mainstream of any atrocities committed against civilians.
Similarly, there are no records from the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM) that implicate the group of violation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CoHA) that was signed by all the parties to the conflict.
It’s unclear whether Igga’s characterization of terrorist organisations encompasses the South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A), led by former Chief of Staff of the SPLA, General Paul Malong.
The SSUF/A was never invited to the peace negotiations in the first place. The government blocked its attempts to join the peace process. It clashed with the government forces at its outset.
Such skirmishes are legitimate as they were in self-defence and did not involve civilians. I am not aware that the SSUF/A did attack or mistreat civilians.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the government records and the party that VP Wani Igga belongs to. There are plenty of data that would show to the reader that the SPLM party and the defunct SPLA, where VP Wani Igga holds the rank of a General, is not foreign to what is regarded as terrorism.
To attest to that here are some views expressed by foreign entities:
1. Early last month, US President Donald J Trump, called the SPLM a terrorist organisation that had terrorized the people of South Sudan.
2. The Western media and some organisations like the European-Sudanese Public Affairs Council have dubbed the SPLM/SPLA as the Khmer Rouge of Africa. They contend that the atrocities committed by the SPLA before and after the independence of South Sudan were comparable to what the terrible regime of Pol Pot did in Cambodia in the 60ties and early 80’s of the past century.
3. Priti Patel, the former UK Secretary for International Development, who visited South Sudan in April 2017, declared that the crimes committed in South Sudan, amount to tribal genocide.
4. The UN Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide, Mr Adama Dieng said the following after visiting the Yei River area in November 2016 – “I am dismayed to report that what I have seen and heard here has confirmed my concerns that there is a strong risk of violence escalating along ethnic lines with the potential for genocide.”
5. It was reported over India Today TV and website in March 2016, that in Unity State and elsewhere, the government of South Sudan had sanctioned its soldiers to rape women and loot the properties of civilians in lieu of their salaries that it failed to pay.
6. The African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan finally released its report in October 2015 about the events of December 2013 and beyond. It concluded that what took place was the result of government policy. It further elaborated that a group including some politicians were involved with the aim of “protecting the government and the presidency.”
7. Some of VP Wani Igga’s colleagues are under sanctions by the United Nations Security Council for committing atrocities or instigating such acts. The list includes the Minister of Information, Michael Makuei Lueth, the Chief of Staff of the South Sudan People’s Defence Force (SSPDF), General Gabriel Jok Riak, the Deputy Defense Minister, General Malek Reuben Riak, the former Commander of the Presidential Guards, General Marial Chanuong Yol, and the Commander of the 3rd Division, General Santino Deng Yol.
The above are some of the views of the foreigners regarding the conflict in South Sudan. Mind you the list is non-exhaustive by far. Those expressed views do not differ much from the South Sudanese perspective.
(a) In December 2012, the SPLA opened fire on a peaceful demonstration in Wau town that led to the death of at least 25 people. The victims were protesting against the relocation of Wau County Headquarters to Baggari. Young lives were lost for exercising their Constitutional rights that allow freedom of speech as stipulated in the Bill of Rights. The killings were unlawful and represented State terrorism at its worst.
(b) The door to door killings of the Nuer civilians in Juba a year later after the above also falls within the confines of State terrorism. Similarly, the SPLM IO under Dr Riek Machar, Kiir’s partner in the so-called R-ARCSS, committed atrocities on ethnic lines in Bor, Pibor, and Akobo around that time.
(c) The carnage in Malakal town in 2014 where the lives of inpatients at Malakal hospital weren’t spared, was inhumane and showed how low in morality some people could descend. Both SPLM factions (SPLM IG and SPLM IO) can’t escape the responsibility for the killings and devastation that occurred in Malakal town.
(d) Wau Shilluk, a village in Upper Nile, came under extensive bombing by an Antonov plane that destroyed homes and led to massive civilian displacements and famine. Amnesty International reported how the government troops killed many civilians throughout the offensive and got engaged in widespread looting.
(f) Perhaps the Yei River area disproportionately suffered the worst heinous crimes in South Sudan in the on-going civil war. It’s where the Matiang Anyoor (President Kiir’s Militia) is most active. Some of the crimes are unheard of in South Sudan like the beheadings that included women. Rape and looting of civilian properties are increasingly reported.
(g) In the capital Juba and elsewhere, we have the familiar phrase, “killed by unknown gunmen;” which is used by the authorities to explain the hundreds or thousands of the fatalities across the country. Speculations were rife regarding the identity of the unknown gunmen. It didn’t take General Paul Malong long to uncover the secret after President Salva Kiir sacked him. Malong stated that the unknown gunmen are indeed members of the National Security Service (NSS) led by General Akol Koor, the Director of Internal Security. Regardless of what Malong had done or didn’t do, many would feel indebted to him for decoding the puzzle surrounding the identity of these criminals. It might even indirectly save lives as the culprits have now been exposed.
(h) Juba is the only capital in the world where some citizens live for years in UN Protection of Civilians (POC) sites. There are numerous such sites across the country accommodating hundreds of thousands of civilians. Now, why would a citizen abandon his/her home and go to live in such sites for years?! And why would someone live like a refugee in his own country?! It baffles anyone apart from those who know the real situation on the ground in South Sudan. If citizens are feeling insecure in the capital city, then what would be the state of affairs in rural areas?!
(i) The regime went as far as engaging in the kidnapping of political dissidents from the neighboring countries apparently in collaboration with those countries. The victims were then deported to Juba, detained, tortured, and in the worst-case scenario, liquidated. Where are Justice Peter Abdul Rahman Sule, Lt. General Elias Lino Jada, Dong Samuel Luak, and Aggrey Iddri?  The regime is yet to answer about the whereabouts of these distinguished citizens.
The list goes on and on and points persistently to one thing which is a policy of terror and intimidation practiced by the State against its citizens. It comes in different forms which include curtailment of the freedom of speech, bugging of telephones of those purported to be working against the regime, detention, torture, and liquidation of members of the opposition.
As mentioned earlier, VP Wani Igga was on a mission for peace mobilization. However, many indicators point to the fact that the government had embarked on what I call as “Cyber mobilization” against those viewed as antagonistic to its policies.
It appears; (whether on its own or in collaboration with other regional powers), to have succeeded in influencing some media outlets not to publish materials or any articles from particular individuals, me inclusive.
These websites claim to be independent and stand for freedom of expression within the acceptable universal regulations.
But the truth is that they do practice censorship against individuals and organisations as a result of third-party influence. Sudan Tribune has long been known to be under such control.
However, it’s incredible that some independent websites seem to have fallen victim to such influence.
As for nyamilepedia@gmail.com, the mouthpiece of the SPLM IO, it would only publish a piece if it’s non-critical of the SPLM IO and Dr Riek Machar. The government wants everyone to sing the monologue of the fake peace and accept the status quo.
History has shown the oppressive regimes time and again that such policies are futile. The Nazis tried it exceedingly, but the result was total defeat.
Similarly, the  Communists in the previous Soviet Union applied the iron curtain policy that didn’t save the evil empire, according to President Ronald Reagan, from collapse.
It’s inconceivable that in the 21st century and with all the technological advances in communication and media capabilities, there are still regimes and people who think such policies could work.
The Juba regime thinks it could pull it off by using the resources at its disposal to silence its critics for good. The said objective is unachievable, and the whole thing would end up as a wasteful use of our resources.
The attempt by the government and the IGAD to label the non-signatories to the so-called R-ARCSS as terrorists would undoubtedly get them to nowhere.
They would soon find out that it’s easy to accuse the opposition groups of terrorism, but it’s much harder to make that characterization stick on them. It requires documented evidence coupled with a pattern of conduct and activities.
At present, there’s nothing that could incriminate the opposition of terrorism unless the government and the IGAD consider the refusal to sign a coerced agreement (which is in itself a sort of terrorism) an act of terrorism.
Rather than threatening the opposition, VP Wani Igga should worry much about the precarious situation of his government regarding terrorism.
President Donald Trump has labelled his party as a terrorist organisation and is one step away from branding his government as such.
As for IGAD, convincing the world would be an uphill battle because one of its member States is struggling to get its name off the list of State sponsors of terrorism.
Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

Three Federal States (Equatoria, BharGhazel, UpperNile) during Transitional Period: PDM Release

For Immediate release –  November 16th, 2018, SSN;

The People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) would like to reiterate its position for laying down the foundation and roadmap to a genuinely just and sustainable peace in South Sudan, based on three Federal States during the Transitional Period.

This approach gives power back to the people in the former autonomous regions of Equatoria, Upper Nile, and Bahr al Ghazal.

It would also help to rebuild trust and start the process in earnest to repair the damaged social fabric and governance crsis in the country between all the 64 ethnicities of our peoples.

PDM had earlier during the HLRF process proposed People’s Regional Conventions in Upper Nile, Equatoria and Bahr al Ghazal to ensure participation of the people in all their 64 ethnicities in consultations and decision making processes to nominate and mandate their representatives to a Transitional Federal Government at regional and national levels.

These regional people’s conventions would take place in the pre-transitional period in ample time, for the formation of the Transitional Federal Government of South Sudan (TFGOSS) at regional and national levels, in which all the 64 tribes and ethnicities would be fairly represented.

As it stands, R-ARCSS is devoid of people’s participation except for the elites of the incumbent SPLM-IG, SPLM-IO, SSOA elites and OPP elites, which makes the R-ARCSS exclusively elitist, clearly non-inclusive of all the 64-ethnicities, and falls short of addressing the root causes of conflict, and is thus far without legitimacy and authority of the people.

The National Dialogue Steering Committee on account of media reports (http://sudantribune.com/spip.php?article66607), now seems to echo and recognize the position of PDM throughout the HLRF process to be the more viable way forward, including proposals for rotational presidency between the peoples of the three former autonomous regions of Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr al Ghazal during the Transitional Period.

The R-ARCSS that is sharing power between the elites at the expense of all the 64 tribes of our people is squandering another opportunity to reset the clock for a new start with the people fully onboard the driving seat in South Sudan.

The National Dialogue steering committee further decried SPLM failure but said nothing of its lack of legitimacy to rule by means other than the twin weapons of serial wars and agreements to stay in power as SPLM-IG or SPLM-IO.

The people have yet to question why the SPLM-Xs should be rewarded to rule over the country rather than sanctioned for senseless wars of power struggle and corruption at expense of our people’s innocent lives.

The R-ARCSS needs to be re-opened to make it into a people-centric agreement, with 33% power sharing allocation to each of the three regions of Upper Nile, Equatoria and Bahr al Ghazal.

This would secure a realistic chance for a sustainable peace, and thus give a start to democratic transformation of the country in a strong Federal governance of the three regions by the people’s making.

The country should not be held hostage to failed SPLM IG and IO rule for peace to prevail, and given the opportunity the people of Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr al Ghazal regional conventions may bring the stability that has eluded SPLM elites since 2011, including Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, the twin enduring symbols of corruption `and impunity in South Sudan governance.

PDM takes the opportunity once more to repeat its maiden call to our people in Upper `Nile, Equatoria and Bahr al Ghazal to forge a broad based socio-political National Alliance for Democracy And Freedom Action (NADAFA) in our country, to end SPLM impunity, lead democratic transformation to usher in a just and sustainable peace.

The proposals of regional conventions, through the power of the people, can transform and extricate South Sudan from the uninterrupted tyranny of the R-ARCSS elites rule, and who cannot be trusted with governance of our country for another three years.

The country is for the people, not made for the elites rule.

Urgent recommendations to IGAD, AU and UNSC:

  • Revisit R-ARCSS to open it up for a critical review to incorporate provisions for Pre-Transitional People’s conventions in Upper Nile, Equatoria and Bahr al Ghazal before start of the Transitional Period and its possible extension thereof.
  • Revisit and review R-ARCSS to incorporate provisions for a federal governance system during the transitional period based on three regions and their colonial districts, which are well known and thus avoid the need for unnecessary imposition of the illegal 32 states in South Sudan.
  • Review R-ARCSS to incorporate provisions to address the root causes of conflict, justice and accountability.
  • Review R-ARCSS to limit undue influences or direct infringement upon the sovereignty and economic resources of South Sudan by foreign or IGAD sponsored regional powers, Sudan and Uganda in particular, not to be authorized as Guarantors by the UNSC.
  • Review R-ARCSS to lift the state of emergency, release of all abducted political detainees and prisoners of war, accountability for missing abductees, Agrey Idri and Samuel Dong who were kidnapped from Nairobi and whose fate still remain unknown

PDM calls upon the people of Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr al Ghazal as herein represented by the three shining stars, for NADAFA of their country from endemic impunity, misrule and corruption.

Let no one party rule that, devoid of vision for the country and the people, ruin the new born that is our country and nation, united by the Nile, and by the promise of a bright future.

However, the people must go to work for NADAFA of the country in the regional conference before it is too late to change direction of the country.

Dr. Hakim Dario,

Chair, People’s Democratic Movement (PDM)

What PDM stands for after R-ARCSS: Ending the Tribal Hegemony

For Immediate release – November 5th, 2018, SSN;

The People’s Democratic Movement (PDM), has an obligation to set out in our people’s and the public’s right to know, what it stands for, and reiterate once again, its lack of leaps of good faith in the latest IGAD iteration of the failed ARCSS, the R-ARCSS[1] 2018.

The public needs to know that, our being defined solely by opposition to R-ARCSS in its current form, is an understatement of what PDM stands for. There are fundamental structural deficits in the R-ARCSS, which makes this agreement inoperable as a negotiated and inclusive political resolution to the conflict in South Sudan.

Far from it, the R-ARCSS was not negotiated by all the parties in the HLRF process, rather on account of many participants in the process, it was imposed by the Sudan and Uganda who coerced the opposition into signing the agreement under undue influences in Khartoum, to reward the incumbent President, and serve Sudan and Uganda’s economic and political interests.

A just peace after all is what the people want, and what PDM stands for, is certainly not R-ARCSS in its current shape and form.

The elites and R-ARCSS signatories stood to be the first to benefit, from the desire of our people for peace in their country.

This agreement concentrated power-sharing in the hands of the elites from the incumbent Government, from SPLM-IO, SSOA and other political parties inside the country, in the shape of IGAD sponsored, unprecedentedly bloated R-TGONU for South Sudan in the making.

The sole purpose of which is to give another lease of legitimacy to the incumbent President to rule with impunity and unfettered corruption, which serves the conflicted interests of some IGAD countries.

To make this palatable to the international community, the Entebbe deal of R-ARCSS brokered by Sudan and Uganda, was designed to pacify SPLM-IO by creating a role for Dr. Riek Machar, as First Vice President.

Apart from the position of the incumbent President and revitalized Dr. Machar as FVP with whom power is shared, the R-ARCSS took no notice of power sharing fairly and equitably between the people of South Sudan in their three former autonomous regions of Upper Nile, Equatoria, and Bahr al Ghazal.

This IGAD’s elites-centric design is unforgivable sin, which entrusted continued rule of corrupt elites, with impunity, over our people and country.

PDM stands for an inclusive, and people-centric political resolution of the conflict in South Sudan.

The current R-ARCSS does not meet with that required threshold by the people to reach a political settlement, one that is for the people and not for the elites as it is the case in the current form of R-ARCSS which does not address the root causes of the conflict.

As it stands in its current form:

  • The R-ARCSS which was signed under duress by the signatory opposition groups, and undue influences of Khartoum Oil Agreement 2018, commands no legitimacy and authority of the people of South Sudan who had no significant role in negotiating it.
  • The R-ARCSS approves of direct infringement upon the sovereignty and economic resources of our country by ceding to the vested and conflicted sandwiched interests of Sudan and Uganda governments as guarantors. The two countries dictated the terms of R-ARCSS and its implementation modalities in the oil, economic and security sectors to serve their own interests.
  • R-ARCSS does not meet the minimum threshold required by the people for addressing the root causes of the conflict in our country
  • R-ARCSS celebration is occurring while the incumbent President is carrying on with violation of CoHA[2], refusing to lift the state of emergency, blocking the release of some abducted political detainees and prisoners of war, specifically Agrey Idri and Samuel Dong who were kidnapped from Nairobi and whose fate still remain unknown

The way forward is people-centric in NADAFA of the country by all the people from endemic corruption:

While we stand for peace in our country, PDM is convinced that the people hold the key to their emancipation from the ruling and oppressive SPLM elites policies, who are held responsible for the atrocious civil war in our country, destroyed the social fabric, squandered the country’s wealth and opportunities, economic and natural resources in unfettered corruption for the personal benefits of the elites and their families, without accountability of any of them for economic crimes, human rights violations and abuses, and a genocidal war on the people.

This state of affairs under the current elites is unlikely to be changed by the celebrated R-ARCSS in its current form.

Media[3] reports and revelations of corruption in South Sudan by investigative journalists and the Sentry[4], including untendered huge oil sector deals, illicit financial transactions by well-connected Government leaders, politicians, army generals and merchants, facilitated by profiteering banking institutions in the region, have littered the media outlets[5] across regional and international capitals[6], carrying a statement of government failure in South Sudan under the watch and current rule of the SPLM elites in Juba.

How does the country hope to break loose from the tight grip of corruption and impunity of the elites in which it is currently wallowing without fundamental changes of leadership and system of governance?

The SPLM leaders under whom all this corruption has festered on unchecked since 2011, conveniently fostered no-system and no-questions asked for years, are to be entrusted yet again with the flawed R-ARCSS implementation to deliver fundamental reforms a second or third chance in vein!

The people seem to have no escape from the grip of the elites tyranny or its imposition by another celebrated R-ARCSS in Juba a few days ago.

The people must find the confidence and capacity to reject R-ARCSS elites and demand to exercise their rights over affairs of their governance and existence in their country, without the dictatorship of the SPLM elites, and break their monopoly once and for all over the country’s resources and pillage by oil merchants in government, with their illicit financial networks.

What the country urgently needs is a rebirth of a new political struggle to cleanse our country from filth of unfettered corruption, impunity and looting of state financial resources for the personal benefit of few elites at public expense, which has destroyed the country’s future and with it that of future posterity.

The incumbent President and his would be FVP partner in R-ARCSS, with other four Vice-Presidential minions, are not competent and credible to transform South Sudan after their pillage, and failure to govern in the public interest.

The country should not be held hostage to their leadership, both are discredited, and both should voluntarily step aside from the R-TGONU and let the people pick up the shattered pieces of their country in peace to move away from their legacy.

This however, will not come about without mass political action, in new wind of change to transform South Sudan.

This political struggle, PDM believes and advocates for, is now urgent at all levels of society.

It needs to take shape in action for freedom and social justice by the thousands of masses of our people both at home and in Diaspora to pick up the shattered pieces of our country from the elites who destroyed it, and to stitch the social fabric back together.

This is our maiden call for the birth of a new National Alliance for Democracy And Freedom Action – NADAFA – in our country, and by the masses of our people.

It is our strong conviction that the elites alone, suffer a high deficit of incentive to bring decisive and fundamental change to transform South Sudan without the people driving the transformation mindset, and move the country out of where it is reeling now in tribal hegemony, endemic and systemic corruption of the elites to maintain political power and control in their hands over the new nation.

This endemic corruption, driven and enabled by tribal hegemony in which our country is reeling under, is what urgently needs #NADAFA, the time of which is now.

The people are possessive of the incentive to be free from Corruption

NADAFA is nothing short of your social justice and democratic political movement for the masses of our people in Equatoria, Upper Nile, and Bahr al Ghazal to take back democratic control of their country, and clean up the system, clean up endemic impunity, clean up the country and its shattered image to regain our dignity and control from the hands of corrupt elites, from the hands of unfettered waste of our country’s natural and economic resources away from tribal hegemonic elites to benefit the public and raise standards of living and service delivery for all our population equitably and fairly.

NADAFA needs to end the parasitic existence of oil merchants in the supply chain of our vital economic and natural resources, which deprives the people of their birth right to development and equitable access to share in the country’s wealth and prosperity.

Across South Sudan, mothers often woke up day in, day out, to clean their homes routinely from dirt and of mess of the other day.

We all know how they do it in routine #NADAFA and we all have the incentive to be free from dirt, who isn’t, and from corruption that has run our country dry without social services, but impunity of the tribal SPLM leaders.

That has to change, that has to stop, and you the people have the power to stop it, not the elites sharing power at the expense of the people without accountability.

PDM is hopeful and optimistic of the message of change that the people can drive, in a new social and political movement of NADAFA in our country. If there is peace, there must be NADAFA for there to be a just and permanent peace, which has to start now with NADAFA of our streets in Juba by the youth to whom the future belongs, in concert with Anna Taban, Anna Mozloom voices of our people.

The NADAFA mission and journey to transform our country, South Sudan, lay in your hands the people. PDM members, our well-wishers, and supporters are obligated to the people to advocate for and to bring about a just and inclusive peace for all. Join in our #NADAFA of the country together and transform South Sudan.

Dr. Hakim Dario,

Chair, People’s Democratic Movement (PDM)

[1] Revitalized-Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan, signed on 12th September 2018

[2] Ceasation of Hostilities Agreement signed on 21st December 2017.

[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCpLfNiMhx8

[4] War crimes shouldn’t pay – https://thesentry.org/

[5] The Profiteers – http://africauncensored.net/the-profiteers/

[6] https://citizentv.co.ke/news/the-profiteers-kenyans-to-protest-alleged-south-sudan-looting-214619/

Protecting South Sudan’s Peacekeeping Mission from the Regional Actors who Brokered Peace

BY: Lauren Spink, Center for Civilians in Conflict, NOV/01/2018, SSN;

“Accepting Ugandan & Sudanese troops in peace-keeping mission (UNMISS) would be a Mistake.”

After five years of civil war, egregious violence against civilians, and seemingly countless failed ceasefires, politicians are celebrating the latest round of South Sudanese peace and security agreements.

Today, President Museveni of Uganda and President Bashir of Sudan will be in the spotlight at the celebrations in South Sudan’s capitol, Juba. The two leaders played an important role in brokering the revitalized peace agreements and now, they are making a bid for inclusion of their troops within the United Nations peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

Accepting Ugandan and Sudanese troops into the ranks of the peacekeeping Mission would be a mistake that would significantly undermine the Mission and expose civilians to harm.

It matters which troops are deployed to a peacekeeping mission. Putting aside the incredibly concerning human rights records of Uganda’s and Sudan’s security forces, their long-time involvement in South Sudan raises two equally important concerns.

In countries like South Sudan where government security forces are a major perpetrator of violence against civilians, peacekeepers are one of the few actors that can offer protection to civilians—but peacekeepers need the will and credibility to do so.

In the eyes of South Sudanese civilians, the impartiality and credibility of Ugandan and Sudanese troops is compromised by their governments’ past support of parties to South Sudan’s war.

Moreover, because of the political alliances of their governments, Ugandan and Sudanese troops would be unlikely to take robust action against the parties to the conflict in order to protect civilians.

Impartiality is one of the core principles on which peacekeeping was founded. It is what distinguishes peacekeeping troops from parties to the conflict and allows peacekeepers to maintain access and consent for their presence from all actors.

It is also crucial to maintaining the trust of the population. When civilians do not trust a peacekeeping mission, they stop interacting and sharing information with the mission, and without vital information coming from engagement with the population, a mission cannot protect itself, protect civilians, or achieve its mandate.

South Sudanese civilians are acutely aware of the politics in their country and region. In displaced person camps where families shelter in makeshift tents without reliable sources of water, people are still well versed in the latest news stories on South Sudan circulated through social media outlets.

Any mention of Uganda or Sudan in these camps will either stir up anger or words of appreciation. That is because when civil war broke out in South Sudan in 2013, Uganda and Sudan took sides with president Kiir.

In 2013 as fighting erupted, Ugandan troops entered the capital and fought alongside government security forces of primarily Dinka ethnicity against opposition soldiers from the Nuer ethnic group.

While South Sudan’s civil war is rooted in a political power struggle between the president, Salva Kiir, and rival politicians, violence by the parties to the conflict has largely been committed against the civilian population along ethnic lines.

A recent report funded by the United States Institute of Peace estimated that the conflict has been responsible for 383,000 civilian deaths, including 190,000 people killed in violence.

Uganda has continued to provide support to government troops since the outbreak of the civil war. The Sudanese government, for its part, has been providing weapons and supplies to Riek Machar’s opposition group.

Both Uganda and Sudan have been far from impartial actors in the violence of South Sudan’s civil war.

If Ugandan or Sudanese troops are deployed under the blue helmets of the peacekeeping Mission, regardless of their actions once deployed, their very presence would undermine the Mission in the eyes of many South Sudanese people.

In addition to undermining the credibility of the Mission, there is good reason to believe that Ugandan and Sudanese troops would fail to protect civilians at risk of attack from the forces in South Sudan with whom their governments are aligned.

The success or failure of peacekeeping missions to protect civilians often depends on the willingness of its troops to take rapid and pro-active action when a threat to a civilian population emerges.

Although UNMISS troops are authorized to take immediate action to protect civilians under threat of violence, because the Ugandan and Sudanese governments have political ties to South Sudan’s warring parties, they will likely avoid any robust action by their troops on the ground against their allies or, at least, delay action while they seek guidance from their respective capitals.

Some regional troops from countries with political and economic ties to South Sudan are already deployed to UNMISS. Ethiopian soldiers currently serve in the Mission and, in the past, Kenyans did as well.

However, none of the troop-contributing countries has been so deeply or problematically involved in the conflict as Uganda and Sudan. If the UN needs additional personnel or specific military assets in UNMISS, it should look elsewhere, even if generating troops is not an easy task.

The regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which led the recent peace revitalization process, has endorsed Uganda’s and Sudan’s drive to have their troops included in UNMISS. That is no surprise.

Uganda and Sudan are, after all, two of IGAD’s prominent member states, and they stand to gain financially and politically from participation in the peacekeeping Mission.

IGAD has taken a concerning additional step related to UNMISS: the body has been pushing for a larger role in reviewing and revising UNMISS’s mandate.

Greater consultation with regional actors on the role of peacekeeping missions and peace processes can help ensure that peacekeeping operations are relevant and reflect political realities.

However, granting regional actors too large a role in shaping UNMISS’s mandate will likely lead to a weaker mandate in relation to the protection of civilians.

That is because regional countries are sometimes more concerned with reinforcing state sovereignty and their political influence in neighboring countries than they are with saving civilian lives on foreign soil.

Last week, on October 22, IGAD military leaders met in Khartoum to discuss the mandate of UNMISS and deployment of their troops into its ranks. A Sudanese news outlet reported that the military chiefs established a joint working group on the issue.

Uganda and Sudan seem set to quietly but resolutely push forward their agenda. This bid should draw widespread attention and urgent opposition. It would set a dangerous precedent for UNMISS and other peacekeeping missions that would be difficult to walk back, even if it proves a misstep.

There is cause for hope in South Sudan as politicians converge on Juba to celebrate the latest revitalized peace agreements. But these celebrations may be premature.

Violence between South Sudan’s armed factions has not stopped just because ink was put to paper in Juba. Protection of civilians by an impartial actor like UNMISS is still desperately needed.

As South Sudanese opposition leaders fresh off the battlefield return to the capital to begin implementing the agreements they have signed, tensions between the long-time rivals are more likely than ever to rise and violence flare.

Allowing the deployment of Ugandan and Sudanese troops to UNMISS now would handicap the Mission at a time when it needs to be more prepared than ever to respond robustly to violence against civilians.

END

Juba’s Peace Celebration: A Commemoration of Betrayal by SPLM/A Leaders

BY: Duop Chak Wuol, South Sudan, OCT/31/2018, SSN;

The anticipated peace celebration slated to take place on the 31st of October 2018 in Juba will be one of many things to monitor if South Sudanese rival leaders, President Salva Kiir and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) leader Dr. Riek Machar are serious about peace. The people of South Sudan desperately need calm to return to their country and Khartoum’s peace agreement could well deliver it.

However, there are plausible reasons to believe that this deal appears to be an empowerment of the very oppressive system the armed opposition has been against. Kiir premeditated the celebration merely to widen his scheming strategy and to make sure he maintains an iron-fist on power with impunity.

This seemingly self-serving commemoration is not just wrong — it is a glorification of his atrocious regime and a pure betrayal of democratic changes the South Sudanese have been fighting for nearly five years.

There is no doubt in my mind that Juba’s peace celebration under the theme, “Celebrating the Dawn of Peace, Appreciating Friends, Cherishing Reconciliation and Unity,” amounts to a commemoration of betrayal.

There is nothing to celebrate here because real peace has not yet been implemented. This is pure deception at its best. The actual theme for this rather tyrannical glorification party should have been “Celebrating the Dawn of the Empowerment of Kiir’s Cruelty.”

Kiir is known for being a brutal and cunning dictator drunk with power. His claim to prove he is serious about this peace deal through a self-promotion event is logically absurd.

For instance, Kiir signed many peace deals with Machar and yet he violated them in a matter of hours, if not minutes. The man is known for thriving in deceit, always using flattery to get what he wants.

He is eager to find ways to ensure he uses this pro-tyrannical treaty to cripple the armed opposition and make it ineffective so that he can continue ruling without any formidable opposition.

Trusting Kiir on this pact would be an indisputable regret given his established record of using self-serving strategies to preserve his cruelty.

Kiir is arguably a master of trickery when it comes to issues of national importance. He always says he will release all the prisoners linked to the SPLM-IO but has so far failed to do so.

The current one-man constitution should have been amended before the proposed transitional government begins; again, Kiir intentionally demands that the constitution should only be amended four months after the transitional period begins.

Any reasonable person would have a hard time understanding why the armed opposition and other parties believe that Kiir will allow the constitution to be amended. This is one of many indications that Kiir is using his flattery strategy, which has in the past served him well through this conflict.

He has been using this very tactic in the East African region to make sure his atrocious regime maintains power so that he can continue raping, killing, and torturing South Sudanese.

Celebrating the Khartoum’s peace deal in Juba should not be a priority. The priority should have been for the government and the rebel leadership to order an utter ceasing of all hostilities.

Kiir can simply end this madness by ordering all his military leaders to stop attacking any opposing force. But he is not doing it. His forces constantly attack the opposition forces while claiming that he is committed to the agreement.

Machar should also do the same but the SPLM-IO military wing, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO), seems to be on the defensive as evidence indicates. Nobody wants this agreement to be another 2016 disaster.

If the SPLM-IO is truly working for reforms and serious about bringing about a lasting peace to the country, then it should not let itself be fooled by this theatrical celebration.

Kiir is not about reforming the political system he established in the country. His main objective is to make sure every South Sudanese politician in the country follows his wishes, has a constitution that retains his one-man leadership mentality, and keeps appointing and dismissing public officials even if they were elected by their constituents.

This is not a man people should waste their time imagining that one day he will change. The level of hate Kiir has against any reform agenda is immense.

Kiir does not wish for the country to be a democratic society. His fantasy regarding Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s ruthlessness is what destroys South Sudan. Kiir is not normal. The man has established a fantasy of wanting to be feared.

There is absolutely no rationale behind celebrating peace before implementation. There are many logical reasons to believe that Kiir is very happy about the agreement because the pact itself would technically allow him to rule using the same tyrannical leadership techniques he has been using.

One of the key plausible reasons Kiir embraces this deal is because it will be nearly impossible for any court of laws to prosecute him for his war crimes and the fact that the SPLM-IO and other opposition parties will not pose any threat to his leadership, especially legislatively, let alone amending the constitution to incorporate much-need democratic reforms.

Salva Kiir is also thrilled with the fact that those who once opposed his ruthlessness will again live under his control.

In a recent interview with Citizen TV Kenya, Kiir surprised the people by accusing Riek Machar of plotting a coup in December 2013 and in July 2016. These claims are outright lies.

The people of South Sudan know for a fact that Kiir planned the two violent events. Salva Kiir did not even save Machar’s life as he wants people to believe.

The only reason Machar survived in 2016 was the fact that it was impossible for Kiir himself to escape from the carnage because security guards protecting Machar inside the presidential compound were ready to use deadly force at any time of their choosing.

The only choice for Kiir at the time was to order some of his guards to escort Machar to his house while secretly instructing his troops to attack Machar’s house. This man is a cunning tyrant with a history of deceiving people.

His recent claim that he is ready to face the International Criminal Court (ICC) is simply a part of his calculating persona. He wants people to see him as a caring person when his record speaks for itself.

Kiir’s 2013 political madness has resulted in the death of at least 382,000 people, according to a report released by the UK-based London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine last month. This man cannot be trusted by any sensible person.

Kiir is a tyrant, war criminal, murderer, and money launderer who cannot be trusted. This is not the first time he tricked the SPLM-IO into believing that he was for peace.

The July 2016 assassination attempt on Machar’s life must be enough for any thinking being to understand how this man is a cold-hearted leader with so much South Sudanese blood on his hands.

The people of South Sudan want complete political reform in the country and the armed opposition needs to scrutinize the entire peace process to make sure its democratic vision stays alive.

As such, the SPLM-IO — which has a history of claiming to be a champion of democracy in South Sudan should not settle on exchanging people’s freedom with positions. The South Sudanese have no interest in allowing Kiir to trade their rights with positions.

If the SPLM-IO believes that exchanging freedom with political positions is just, then I wonder why it fought for nearly five years against Juba’s oppressive regime. If this assumption is the case, then it can be logically asserted that the SPLM-IO could be covertly working to rejoin its mainstream, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

Machar’s faction appears to be ready to rejoin Kiir’s group so that they can resume their destructive leadership style. If this happens, the losers will be the people of South Sudan who have been hoping for political reforms in the country.

It is increasingly becoming clear that the SPLM-IO reform agenda is slowly being put on a deathbed by the SPLM-IO itself. The armed opposition must know that in any mature political discourse, the political base influences decisions.

In recent months, the SPLM-IO appears more like a desperate entity trying to get whatever it wants to rejoin the very system it previously declared “dictatorial.”

Kiir’s nonsensical peace celebration is an attempt to prove to the world that he is serious about peace. However, it is simply a public relations campaign seeking to promote his tainted image.

The leadership of the armed opposition should not allow itself to be part of this disgraceful commemoration. Kiir’s atrocities should be labeled for what they are: reprehensible.

His victims want justice served. However, if the SPLM-IO cannot transform the nation into a democratic country where justice is truly independent, then it must first explain to the South Sudanese why it believes it can change the existing South Sudanese political system into a democracy after it joined forces with Kiir’s government.

The reality is that facts do not support the armed opposition’s democratic claim.

The people of South Sudan are not interested in seeing the SPLM-IO become another tyrannical political party in the country. For Kiir to call for a celebration of this questionable peace agreement without first implementing it does not amount to a demonstration of a real seriousness.

We cannot allow a documented dictator to deceive people by trying to present himself as a good person through a bogus peace celebration. Kiir’s real character is clear. The man is the destructor of South Sudan who has killed hundreds of thousands of people simply because he wanted to be feared.

This madness cannot be ignored. If Kiir is serious about peace, then he should prove it by changing the current anti-democratic constitution, releasing all prisoners, lifting the state of emergency, and ordering his troops to stop attacking opposition forces.

The commemoration of peace in Juba is clearly a party of betrayal. This elitist pact is only good for those who are desperate for positions. Those who believe that this agreement will bring much-needed political reforms in the country are making fools of themselves.

This agreement is purely accommodative, and the people of South Sudan should not allow job-seekers and peace-fakers to play with their rights. The sad reality is that this deal is a pro-Kiir pact and he is very happy about it. To hell with elitism in South Sudan.

The author can be reached at duop282@gmail.com.