Category: Featured

Machar, Lam, Taban, Alor, Lado, Nyaba… et al: Back again to your dysfunctional & degenerate Kiir-led SPLM/A?

EDITORIAL, MAY/23/2016, SSN;

To call this new Kiir-Machar government as being made up of former “enemies” is an understatement. Without any doubt, this is still the same SPLM ‘comrades’ government made up of self-preserving, remorseless and immoral criminals and killers who are very much adept at mutating and recycling themselves back into these lucrative positions of leadership mainly because they shared the similar commonalities.

Verily, the road ahead for the new Kiir-Machar (SPLM-IG and SPLM-IO) is already heavily mined by mutual disagreements, obfuscations, dilly-dallying and endemic paralysis which will again end up in mutual self-destruction and another gargantuan disappointment for our people and the international community helping the new nation.

Once more, in their duplicitous and long political lives, Machar, Lam Akol, Lado Gore, Deng Alor, Taban Gai, et al…, have all come back, once again, to their degenerate SPLM political party and its dysfunctional government under their same incompetent leader, Kiir Mayardit.

South Sudan has within a historic world-record time become the most ungovernable country in East Africa not because of its patient and long-suffering people but principally due its so-called miscreant SPLM leaders that incorporates all of you, so-called SPLM In-and-Opposed to Government.

What’s really new or different this time in this SPLM/A new political marriage? For the second, third and God knows how many times, most of you all have been shamefully labelled as thieves and traitors; almost all of you were at one point, publicly dismissed, imprisoned and disgraced from this anarchic and archaic monstrosity called the SPLM/A by none other your Great Satan, Kiir Mayardit himself.

But again and again, like some Satanic incarnations, most of you, despite the imprisonment, near death-misses and public embarrassment, you all shamelessly have silently capitulated and crawled on your knees back to your ‘Almighty Devil’ Mayardit.

Poignantly, according to the latest analysis by “The Sentry.org,” South Sudan (presumably both SPLM’s) elites, after assuming power in 2005, “have built a kleptocratic regime that controls all sectors of the economy, and have squandered a historic chance for the development of a functional state. These predatory economic networks play a central role in the current civil war, because much of the conflict is driven by (SPLM) elites trying to re-negotiate their share of the politico-economic power balance through violence.”

The Report “acknowledges that the (Machar’s) rebels were also part of this kleptocratic system in the past, and are more likely to be involved again in the event of a negotiated settlement.”

The above assessment is absolutely indisputable, you had the privilege to once again ‘re-negotiate’ yourselves back into the politico-economic realm through a war that future generations of South Sudanese will furiously debate whether it was really necessary as a first alternative.

During your collective involvement pre-2013 political disengagement from Kiir’s government, EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU, whilst in the Kiir’s cabinet, illicitly benefited in one or multiple ways in the on-going massive corruption, either indirectly or directly.

IF ANYONE OF YOU WAS EVER CLEANER THAN YOUR ALMIGHTY KIIR, WHY HASN’T ANYONE OF YOU COME FORWARD AND POINT THE FINGER ON KIIR HIMSELF or OTHERS OF YOUR COMRADES WHO ARE UNASHAMEDLY AND LAVISHLY WALLOWING IN THEIR ILL-BEGOTTEN RICHES AS THOUSANDS ARE DYING OF HUNGER AND DISEASES RIGHT NOW ACROSS THE NATION?

In a rare show of honesty, President Kiir in 2012 shocked the nation by revealing that 75 of his officials had stolen a whooping 4 billion dollars but he stopped short of naming a single individual. Then all of you were in the government and top suspects. Why hasn’t Machar or anyone of you in the opposing SPLM come out and name somebody or all in the SPLM in government who are the suspects, just for political expediency?

Regardless, in the public opinion of most South Sudan, now wallowing in poverty and hunger, they know you are completely involved in the corruption and you are suspects till the end.

Interestingly, your Almighty Godfather, Kiir Mayardit and his clown/vice, Wani-Igga, repeatedly and publicly have exposed the ONLY alleged 30 million dollar theft by Pagan Amum, (money given by Sudan’s el Bashir to build your Juba party headquarters), the now reappointed secretary-general of your party, who’s most unlikely to return to Juba because of the embarrassment, intimidation and threat of prosecution.

Your collective silence on and about the past or current corruption is a duplicitous conspiracy to save your own skins and to reassure the Satanic Kiir that you all agree not to rock the boat, a deliberate capitulation to ensure and guarantee your self-preservation even when one of your comrades, Pagan Amum, is being publicly crucified.

Further, it’s apparently indisputable that the recurrence of conflicts within your degenerate SPLM party and the dysfunctional governments shuffled and reshuffled by your almighty Kiir basically stemmed from the unending, long-running competition among you, the ruling elites, for more power and profits.

Interestingly, Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba, the most leading SPLM ideologue, frankly attributed all the past and present national problems to what he called ‘the SPLM original sin,’ and that the shortcomings of the Kiir’s Government of South Sudan (GOSS) are wholly pegged on the SPLM, the rot began in the SPLM and there is no way the SPLM leadership can escape responsibility for this cataclysmic failure.

Now surprisingly back once again as a minister in this Satanic government, Dr. Nyaba also once wrote that his ruling SPLM had drastically “cost the people of South Sudan more than 10 years of missed development opportunities,” and he clearly attributed this to the “ideology of these SPLM leaders as informed and shaped by their ethnic environment as the SPLM liberation ideology surely failed to penetrate this ossified jieeng ethnic ideology.”

In the most simplified deduction, therefore, the SPLM liberation ideology was subverted by and subsumed into the jieeng ethnic ideology; all other ethnic groups in South Sudan were, as a matter of fact, naively and inadvertently perpetuating jieeng supremacy and domination as now so clearly apparent.

The question is: Why are you so maniacally obsessed with your collective reincarnation back into this dysfunctional government and your degenerate SPLM party and its severely fractured and ill-famed military wing, the SPLA?

Isn’t this what Dr. Adwok Nyaba himself had once described that “Kiir survived by the malice of fate?”

Momentarily, the current tenuous peace will probably be effected under the JMEC monitoring but at the expense of any justice and accountability on a butch of very disagreeable and disingenuous ‘comrades-cum-leaders’ of an archaic, diabolical and self-destructive organization known as the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement/Army, aka SPLM/A.

More infamously remembered for its historical episodes of horrendous and abominable murders, rapes and human rights abuses, practically every member of this SPLM/A without exception has contributed to the stigmatization of citizens of the nation by their collective criminality.

Thus, with this so-called peace accord, these criminals and murderers, be it president Salva Kiir, Riek Machar, Lam Akol, Taban Gai, Deng, Deng Alor… et al, are soon back to business as usual.

South Sudanese must be painfully reminded that right from the first existence of the criminal SPLM/A in 1983, its founder, John Garang, accompanied by those of president Kiir, Kuol Manyang, Malong and others, without any provocation launched the infamous Bilpham, Ethiopia, attack on the already existent Anya Nya liberation movement, mercilessly eliminating those heroes like Gai Tut, Akot Atem and many others.

Again, more infamously, when the same Riek Machar and Lam Akol launched their internal rebellion in 1991 against mainstream SPLM of Garang, thousands and thousands of South Sudanese were murdered and brutalized by either side, this reign of terrorism continued until their reintegration into the SPLM/A.

It is believed that more South Sudanese have been killed and severely traumatized by you, the SPLM/A leaders, Garang, Kiir, Machar, Lam…. et al, than by our erstwhile enemies, the jellaba Arab North Sudanese.

The current national circulation of the propaganda and euphoria of so-called heroes and peace is a falsification of the reality, what have president Kiir and Rebel Riak Machar seriously accomplished? Where is justice for those South Sudanese needlessly murdered by Kiir and Machar?

It’s only in South Sudan, a nation and a people the SPLM/A has so much traumatized, that criminals freely recycle and reincarnate themselves back into power without repentance, remorse or prosecution.

South Sudan is admittedly a failed state and an outlaw state that has in a stupendous world record time gone through the infamous combined ‘somalization’ and ‘Rwanda genocidal traumatization by its rebels-turned-leaders and with their return, the nation’s and people’s future is once more in the balance.

So, very soon, our murderers and thieves, Kiir, Machar, Lam, Taban, Manyang, Alor and all the infamous SPLM/A comrades will be unashamedly back into the top national leadership and once again recklessly and irresponsibly steering the nation’s ship into another calamity.

Dr. Lual Deng, another SPLM ideologue now sorrily relegated to a mere ‘SPLM headquarters office-boy,’ was rightly suspicious of President Kiir’s choice to replace the dead Garang and of Kiir’s inherent inability to leadership, by writing down that, “..the development of the promised land (South Sudan) is a different mission that requires a different leader, and we expect divine intervention in this respect….”

Has God really not abandoned South Sudan when priests, bishops, archbishops, deacons are immorally cohabiting with those ruling sinners of South Sudan, attending their ostentatious parties and dinners and even blessing the exotic foods, whiskies and beers while the majority of Juba residents are barely eating one meal a day?

Again, Dr. Lual Deng, Ph.D., further opined that, “A government that murders its own people has no moral basis or legitimacy to govern whatsoever,” in his book, ‘The Power of Creative Reasoning.’ He was directly referring to the Kiir Juba junta but sadly, this supposedly top SPLM intellectual, has been mysteriously sucked into this monstrosity, in spite of his hitherto vociferous writings against president Kiir failed and corrupt leadership, perhaps the tribal force known as ‘jieengism’ is more powerful than nationalism, as he’s unscrupulously abetting what he once called the “sclerotic management in the SPLM bureaucracy.”

In conclusion, from 1983 to 2013, most of you have again and again deliberately, conjointly or duplicitiously involved in the deadly and cyclical episodes of political and ethnic, as well personal rivalries in which innocent citizens have needlessly perished.

The conclusion reached by experts is correct: You, “the country’s elites have built a kleptocratic regime that controls all sectors of the economy, and have squandered a historic chance for the development of a functional state.”

Since independence, South Sudan has been controlled by a small, rotating set of elites who move seamlessly between positions in government and the frontlines of the rebellion, as political situations change.

TheSentry.org report ends by the conclusion that, “only reforming and forcing the South Sudanese state to actually serve its people, instead of its leaders, can the country actually move towards a more sustainable peace.”

There must be some accountability and transitional justice, these SPLM/A murderers can’t be simply allowed to evade justice for their habitual acts of criminality. END

The SPLM Leadership fails to fix the most pressing challenges of South Sudan

By: John Juac, Windsor, Canada, MAY/18/2016, SSN;

The greatest problem facing South Sudan is a leadership crisis in all areas of the state activity, and this leadership crisis stems from the inability of those in power to meet the basic material needs of their population. In terms of natural resources, South Sudan is one of the richest countries on African continent and yet the bulk of its people live as if they were citizens of deserts.

In rural South Sudan, most villagers either live in unnecessary frustration, hopelessness and die of poverty and preventable diseases or move away from the countryside to the major urban cities to gain appreciation. Some 85 per cent of South Sudan’s poor live in rural areas and depend predominantly on traditional agriculture for their livelihoods.

Cities ought to play a key role as drivers of growth in a country’s development. In the newly independent state of South Sudan, they play opposite role.

Populations of the major urban cities like Malakal, Wau and Juba have grown larger than ever before. This huge influx of new settlers in South Sudanese cities has not been matched by a growth in widespread structures, facilities or public services like water systems, electricity, roads, houses, sewer, schools or health facilities.

Deep poverty, leave alone urban slums, is the fate of most South Sudanese city dwellers. Unemployment and underdevelopment are the rules rather than exception.

The vast numbers of newcomers are driven to urban areas by the harsh conditions of peasant life. Most soon become disillusioned, discovering that their only escape from chronic urban poverty is to eke out a meager living through the informal economy.

Few have become better workers for foreign capitalist investors exploiting the cheap labor, consumers of the expensive imported junks, as opposed to being producers of their own food crops in the rich land. Vastly more South Sudanese rely on this informal and haphazard way of making a living than on the formal economy that characterizes developed countries.

President Kiir and his cabinet ministers never give urban issues, especially urban poverty, substantial attention in their analyses or their policies and the international institutions that profoundly influence them have equally failed to make it a priority.

In the view of the local rights activists, the lack of work for young South Sudanese is a political and social time bomb waiting to explode. Many are under twenty five and are unemployed.

All these indicate that the Juba regime must find ways to disarm this time-bomb, but its leaders cannot figure out where to find the tens of millions more that are needed. It is no laughing matter because millions of South Sudanese are suffering for no reason other than the terrible choices and failures of the so-called nationalist leaders.

This crisis in South Sudan is not due to the civil war and famine as most foreign observers would make us believe, said one rights activist, noting that all those things are tied to the leadership in some capacity.

In fact, the failure to give a substantial attention to poverty, unemployment, and a mobilization of the population to produce its own food from the millions of natural resources, is primarily due to backward type of non-progressive leaders of the ruling party.

These leaders are naive, vision-less, opportunistic and totally compromised. How can they be good leaders when they have failed to fix the most pressing challenges of their nation?

They have left brothers and sisters behind the enemy line of poverty, and this is in contrast to the view that the people do not struggle for things in the heads of individuals. The people struggle and accept sacrifices demanded by the struggle in order to be able to live a better life in peace, to see their lives progress and to ensure their children’s future.

The struggle against colonialism, working for peace and progress- independence- all these are empty words without meaning for the people, unless they are translated into a real improvement of standards of living.

There are testimonies in South Sudan of the older people asking members of the ruling party when they can see political order and economic and social benefits of independence. This is a strong indictment of the failure of the post-independence state to provide at the very minimum the basic necessities of life, health centres and schools with adequate equipment, furniture and supplies in the rural regions, and good roads and transportation facilities to make it easier for peasant farmers to bring their products to urban markets.

Liberation from colonial domination is meaningful only when it goes beyond the political realm to involve the development of production, education, health facilities and trade. Some experts have argued that priority must be given to the development, modernization and transformation of agriculture.

Then the real challenge for the rulers of South Sudan is to be able to conceive and execute development strategies that satisfy the deepest aspirations of the popular masses for economic development and material prosperity. The rulers must also make common cause with their people by opting for those policies that meet their needs.

Nevertheless, the pathological rulers have sided with the international capitalists and accepted antisocial development strategies and polices imposed by the international institutions like the IMF and the World Bank. When one considers the topic of development it is important to realize that all conceptions of development necessarily reflect a particular set of social and political values.

Indeed, it is true say that development can be conceived only within an ideological framework, and this is evident in the dominant understanding by the majority of governments and international institutions which view development as synonymous with economic growth within the context of a free market international economy.

Economic growth is identified as necessary for combating poverty, defined as the inability of people to meet their basic material needs through cash transactions. A key issue in the debate about economic system is the choice between economic growth and economic development and one starts by drawing a distinction between economic growth and economic development.

One can have economic growth without economic development. Economic growth is a necessary but not sufficient condition of economic development. Economic growth simply means that the pie measured by GDP has grown bigger, but it says nothing about how the pie is divided. Economic development differs in being concerned with whether the average person’s standard of living has increased and whether the person has more freedom of choice.

Economic development can be measured by the Human Development Index (HDI). The HDI takes into account literacy rates, gender parity and life expectancy, which affect productivity and could lead to economic growth. Economic development implies an increase in real income for most families.

Economic development seeks to alleviate people from low standards of living and works toward providing citizens with jobs and suitable shelter. It seeks to improve lives without compromising the need of future generations. On the other hand, economic growth does not address the question of the depletion of natural resources and pollution and global warming.

The difference between economic growth and economic development can be well illustrated by Angola, where the GDP grew by 20 per cent and yet poverty increased substantially. Much of the higher GDP flowed into the pockets of the ruling elites and their relatives and cronies. The daughter of the president of Angola herself was a billionaire and yet did nothing to create value for Angola. By contrast, Bill Gates built a business called Microsoft that made him billionaire many times over, but at least the business contributed to the development of the U.S. economy and jobs

Furthermore, Egypt’s past ruler, Hosni Mubarak, had a fortune estimated at $42 billion, but also did nothing to create value for Egypt. In South Sudan, the central and state ministers are billionaire. But where did this money come from? A great deal came from petroleum dollars and foreign assistance designed to help with the economic development. Many South Sudanese blame poverty and unemployment problem on the incompetency, the corruption and the greedy of their leaders.

On final note, think South Sudan and many people think of endless ethnic strife, brutal civil war, pervasive corruption, universal poverty, diseases out of control and unworthy rulers. South Sudan faces a daunting list of challenges and its citizens live with no hopes and dreams. Their dreams of peace and prosperity have been shattered by the greedy, corrupted and unscrupulous rule of the nationalist leaders for most years of independence.

One would be contented with just a modest of development of better opportunities, health services, better education and eradication of poverty in urban centres and rural regions. But unfortunately even these modest goals are being thwarted by power hunger and rapacious leaders who can only achieve their very goals by depriving their people of the basic needs.

That much is understood by most southerners. What is less clear to an outsider is why many good people accept the warlords as their rulers and even celebrate their bad governments?

The answer has two parts: administrative corruption and traditional culture. Tribalism is the stumbling block to peaceful coexistence and progress. Ethnic ties in South Sudan are a magnified expression of family loyalty that become a fault line at times of political and economic distresses.

Like Islam in Muslim Arab Sudan, tribal attachments indeed can be convenient lever for a divide-and rule ploy by cynical political leaders. But, like nationalism, such solidarity is not necessarily a destructive force. South Sudanese are patient and long suffering to an extent probably unparalleled in East African region.

Indeed, any foreigner who knows the daily lives of most southerners must marvel that a percentage of the new country’s people is in civil turmoil. And those conflicts are largely the result of small groups vying for control of the nation’s resources rather than mass movements of protest against unjust governments.

Many southerners had sacrificed their lives during the national struggle to winning political freedom, but now most are passive and unwilling to interfere with what they see as the natural wheels of life. In this respect, they are like the rest of people in Western world. Few people in free countries write letters to the editor or campaign actively to change laws. But the extent and duration of dictatorship in South Sudan are such that political police or military force is not enough to explain it.

The ability of southerners to put up with difficult and mistreatment is reflected in the historically low incidence of depression and suicide in the country. There is a pain and suffering in South Sudan and yet people continue to accept bad governments for three reasons. First, the local culture induces them to respect their elders and accept their fate.

Second, patronage and corruption have a complex stranglehold on national life. Third, South Sudan has become a heavy-handed police state and dictatorship, where President Kiir and his cohorts do the dictating. Like the former colonial master, it is a one-party state, but the ruling elite is not disciplined and serious.

It lies on an elaborate network of the cell leaders who suppress inconvenient points of views, and these kleptocratic leaders have given South Sudan a bad name. They have plunged their people into abject poverty and despair, and incited bitter ethnic violence and even armed conflicts. They are the ones largely responsible for underdevelopment, food scarcities, rising infant mortality rates, soaring budget deficits, human rights abuses, breaches of the rule of law and prolonged serfdom for million South Sudanese.

They have, in short, brutally complicated the very sever political, economic, ethnic and health issues that challenge South Sudan. The new state will most probably continue to crumble until the new leadership come to value the long-term betterment of its population over its own personal and political interests.

With terrible weak national and state governmental institutions exacerbating South Sudan’s trauma, the leaders of the capitalist West, whose timorous approaches to African problems have been documented, cannot be expected to take strong hands in helping to resolve the political, social and economic problems.

Even as regards peace making and conflict prevention, only other African countries are likely to see the Western activity. On the other hand, there are ongoing conversations in the various South Sudanese online media about the lack of political democracy, but elections are merely indicator of the democratic process. They are not worth very much if one leader, or group totally dominates the system and if oppositions are harassed, intimidated, often shoot at, even arrested, and obligated to campaign fearing for their very lives. Sometimes they are even killed along with critical journalists.

South Sudan held elections in 2010, the year before independence, but now it is a new authoritarian state dominated by Kiir and Machar and their respective supporters. The lack of political democracy overall, the general weak economic growth, poverty, rampant diseases and sweeping neglect of the country’s agriculture by politicians does not bode well for South Sudan’s near-term future. As some local rights activists have indicated, South Sudan’s positive role models need to be offered to the new leaders.

John Juac Deng
Journalist/writer,
Juacd@yahoo.ca
Country: Windsor, Canada

Prioritising the Solutions to South Sudan’s Problems of Political & Tribal Bigotry

BY: Dr. Lako Jada KWAJOK, MAY/07/2016, SSN;

At this point, only a few among the countries of the world could rival South Sudan regarding the massive problems facing it. The simple fact that many tend to overlook is that the majority of these problems are man-made disasters. South Sudan didn’t suffer an environmental catastrophe but what we went through over the past couple of years resulted in devastation on the scale of a tsunami or a major earthquake. These disasters shouldn’t have happened in the first place and were entirely avoidable.

Political and tribal bigotry coupled with incompetence and corruption were what got us into the current sorry state. Clearly, we have a lot on our plates to handle at any particular time. In such a situation the conventional wisdom entails prioritisation as the best line of action to be taken by the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU).

Presently, the most pressing issues are the widespread insecurity and the absence of the rule of law in many parts of South Sudan. Insecurity is the single most crucial matter that needs to be resolved urgently by the TGoNU. I cannot overemphasise how important is the settlement of this issue for the full implementation of the peace agreement and for the maintenance of stability of the country.

People do realise that without significant progress in the way of improving the security situation in the country, there would be modest achievements or not at all on the other fronts. For example, those who have taken refuge in UNMISS camps all over the country, would not leave them if they don’t see tangible results that dispel their fears.

It would even be unrealistic to talk about mending what has been torn apart let alone enacting the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing (CTRH) while insecurity remains rampant and unabated.

Furthermore, there would be no hope for a robust economic growth and a speedy recovery if the working class and the farmers continue to feel unsafe in their homes.

At any rate, the formation of the TGoNU is the way forward but is not by any means the endgame in the political saga involving the country. Quick and favourable results are needed badly by the populace.

Regarding the issue of insecurity, the three Ministers required delivering sooner than later are the Minister of Defence, the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Interior. The Minister of Defence, Kuol Manyang Juuk, represents the status quo and the way he works and conducts himself is well-known to many on this forum; hence, meaningful reforms are very unlikely under his watch.

However, some degree of change is bound to happen as a consequence of the implementation of the security arrangements and the fact that SPLM-IG is no longer the only political entity running the government.

As for Paulino Wanawilla, the Minister of Justice – he did express frustration with the state of affairs in his ministry back in November 2015. The following are what he said then: “I know in South Sudan corruption is not in one place, but it’s very sad when everybody is stealing. I know there is corruption. I have evidence of people in this ministry (of Justice) who are legal counselors and taking bribes.”

It’s unclear as to whether Wanawilla managed to get rid of his corrupt officials or not. Perhaps the new dynamics emerging with the formation of the TGoNU would offer the opportunity to prosecute and weed out those corrupt elements. A clean up at the top should go hand in hand with a real effort to facilitate justice delivery at the courts. Wanawilla is probably aware of what has become a common knowledge where criminals are apprehended one day and set free the next day without ever being tried in a court of law.

The real potential for reforms emanates from the Ministry of Interior under the newly appointed Minister of Interior, Alfred Lado Gore. Some may say he is not a newcomer to the government as he had previously held the portfolio for Environmental Affairs thus not much of a reformer.

Well, it could also be argued that advocating reforms and democratisation of the SPLM party were the very reasons that led to the purging of him and his colleagues from the government and the SPLM party.

Alfred Lado Gore is a dedicated leader with an unwavering stance. He is a sort of a perfectionist that often set him at odds with his corrupt colleagues in the SPLM party before the split. It’s no wonder that the regime’s cronies regarded him as a thorn in their sides. Also it explains why he was made to lose the 2010 Central Equatoria Governorship election through extensive vote rigging by the regime.

Addressing the issue of insecurity requires setting up a policy blueprint with achievable targets and measurable outcomes. The Minister of Interior, Alfred Lado Gore, certainly has the political will to bring about change in the way things are done in his ministry. He probably has plenty up his sleeve that would define his leadership style.

Nonetheless, talking about the obvious matters that need fixing without delay is worthwhile. There is a consensus across the board, particularly in communities hit hard by insecurity – that something needs to be done now and fast.

In the first instance, the Inspector General of Police, General Makur Arol, ought to be sacked. He has convincingly failed to contain let alone eradicate the cycle of violence that has plagued our cities, towns and villages. He appears to be following the footsteps of his predecessors, General Achuil Tito Madut and General Pieng Deng Kuol.

The infamous phrase, “Killed by unknown gunmen,” came into common use during Achuil’s tenure, flourished under Pieng and reaffirmed with Makur Arol at the helm. Their legacies as the first three Police Chiefs would ever be marred by that telling phrase. And if not an act of sheer tribalism, why the Chief of Police post remains the monopoly of one tribe, the Jieng, despite repeated failures?

Why not give the opportunity to serve the country to a competent officer from another tribe?

The Minister of Interior knows that to succeed, he needs to start with a fresh team at the top of his administration and never “inherit” the same old faces that have failed. An overhaul of the ministry and demotion or purging of incompetent officials can only boost his popularity among the South Sudanese people.

The insecurity in Juba would be the biggest challenge for the Minister. One could argue that the reason for lawlessness is the fact that hitherto the people who have been entrusted with the duty of policing Central Equatoria state, have neither the knowledge of the people and their cultures nor relation or strong ties to the area.

It’s a well known fact that a significant number of crimes have been committed by individuals in uniforms. The time has come for sons and daughters of Equatoria to take over the responsibility of policing their areas. There is absolutely no reason that the Chief of Police in Central Equatoria state should not come from its community.

By the same token, the Police Chiefs and the bulk of the police forces in the other states should be from the indigenous populations. There are clear benefits in adopting such a policy as enthusiasm to tackle crimes would be at the highest level possible if someone is assigned to work in his or her community.

On the other hand corruption and police brutality would be at its lowest as no one would like to be seen mistreating his people. Moreover, it would lead to a substantial revenue savings by cutting down the costs of policing our communities. For example, accommodation and travel allowances would be kept at their minimum as there would be no justification for them if officers are stationed in their areas.

Finally, one could only hope that those who have been calling for reforms and even putting their lives at risk for effecting them – realise that a lot are at stake including their popularity and political survival.

There should be no room for tolerance of incompetent officials or officers. Failing to deliver the goods should equate with getting kicked out of office.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

Resolving Madi land grabbed for Dinka by SPLM/A Government stooges

BY: Micheal Okia Amuru, Magwi, MAY/05/2016, SSN;

Do not cheat each other; tell the truth, and the truth will set you free. Long before December 2013, I published an article depicting the act of South Sudan government in Magwi County. The SPLA/M inaugurated Magwi as a county before the independence. The Madi and Acholi were brought together in one County supposedly as good neighbors and above all as a family, because we the Acholi and the Madi ethnic shared a lot of things in common.

As an Acholi, I was critical about some developments in Magwi County, in particular how the government of South is treating Madi people. It was clear that some SPLA generals like JJ Okot and others were directly used by South Sudan government to punish the Madi tribe as the land of Nimule and Mugale was forcefully taken and given to Dinka settlers.

Today, I would like to assure South Sudanese that it was a mistake that Magwi County officials supported the act of violence imposed by the government of South Sudan in Madiland.

As I said it before, and I will mention it again, JJ Okot and his legion that signed a document with SPLA/M in 1980’s on behalf of the Acholi Community against the Madi tribe was a grievous mistake.

As an Acholi, personally I regret when Simon Deng exposed the secret and threatened us for breech of a treaty. Today, I would like to assure South Sudanese that the treaty JJ Okot signed with SPLA/M in the 1980’s was not on behalf of the Acholi tribe.

That was a treaty between JJ Okot, his legion and the SPLA/M. We the larger members of Acholi Community are innocent until Simon Deng exposed the secret in 2014 when some members of our community joined the SPLA-IO.

The claim that Kit, Amee, Opari and Owiny Ki Bul areas belong to us, the Acholi Community, was a nightmarish imagination of SPLA/M and JJ Okot. It was an illusion set to keep us divided so that Dinka can do what they want in Madiland and other part of Equatoria.

SPLA/M claim of land for resettling Dinka in Equatoria is not felt in Madiland only, but across the wide Equatoria region. Nakapal in Taposa land was taken. Yei, Tombura Yambio, Mundri, Juba, Western Bhar el gazal were subjected to the same situation.

Pitching one tribe against another tribe was a policy of SPLA/M and the problem between Madi and Acholi was not exceptional.

Surprise! The same government of South Sudan decided now to grant Madi people a County. The land, Owiny Ki Bul, Opari, Kit and Amee which SPLA/M and JJ Okot and his team signed to be given to us Acholi people was declared by the same government to be land that belongs to Madi people by right and now it falls under Pageri County.

In the first place, I’m glad the government of South Sudan came to its senses to clear the doubts from the minds of those who know nothing about the history of Madi and Acholi people.

On other hand, it was unfortunate because the confusions set by the government and JJ Okot had caused serious damages between the two peaceful ethnic communities. We are neighbours, we are cousins and we are a family.

Now that we the Madi and Acholi learned a lesson from the government. The government was only concerned about the Dinka policy of expansionism, but it does not care about us.

We are in a total dilemma. To be honest, as Acholi, the government of South Sudan had slapped us in the face. We knew the land of Kit, Amee, Opari and Owing Ki Bul belonged to Madi people.

But the policy of SPLA/M exposed us to an illusion which led to the consistent mistake of attacks on the Madi tribe and the Madi people responded violently in self defense and defense of their right to land. There are mistakes from both sides.

Today, I am appealing to both Acholi and Madi community elders. Since the same government had withdrawn their support to JJ Okot and his legion and made a public declaration about the land of Kit, Amee, Opari and Owing Ki Bul as belonging to the Madi people by right and by nature, we now understand the reason why there is too much confusion among us.

The current governor of Imatong State said, “there is no such thing that those lands belong to Acholi tribe, it is politics.” The governor pulled out a document which showed that the disputed land is part of Madiland and no one can argue it.

A lot of people disagreed with me in my previous articles just because they live in the world of illusions, but as a teacher, I vow to tell the truth. It is the Truth which will set us free, not the lies from the government of South Sudan. Those who opposed my previous articles about the Land of Owing Ki Bul, Opari, Amee and Kit as part of Madiland should not sit and watch, but pay attention to the activities of the government of South Sudan.

Now the new era has begun. The Acholi and Madi communities have to do the right thing that will keep us together. Our elders will know how to fix the damages done by JJ Okot and his legion and the government of South Sudan against the Madi people. A true chapter of reconciliation must begin.

I am a teacher and an Adventist. As a Christian, I know it is the right thing to “give to Ceasar what is Caesar’s and to God what belongs to God.”

Although parts of Madiland became an issue in the past, some of us from the Acholi community knew it was not going to be an easy journey to take land which does not belong to us. Thanks to the government of South Sudan for clarification. Such mistakes must cease to exist.

Do not cheat each other, tell the truth and the truth will set you free.

Micheal Okia Amuru
Professional Teacher-Magwi County

Will Juba Government salvage Kenya’s Oil pipeline dream?

By ALLAN OLINGO, TheEastAfrican, MAY/01/2016;

IN SUMMARY:
The EastAfrican has learnt that South Sudan may not be keen on the pipeline deal with Kenya, instead choosing to play its cards safe as it awaits two technical committee reports.
Gabriel Garang Mayik, a Juba-based economist, said that South Sudan currently has no funds to push for a pipeline, so it would avoid any talk of new construction.
Kenya’s Energy and Petroleum Cabinet secretary Charles Keter insists it is not end of the road for Nairobi in the wake of Uganda’s decision to partner with Tanzania for the much needed pipeline.

South Sudan is yet to make a decision on its preferred route for transporting its oil, as it awaits the outcome of talks with Sudan over transfer costs.

Juba was Kenya’s last hope for a partner on the oil pipeline, following Uganda’s recent decision to take its oil to the market through Tanga port in Tanzania. Kenya’s successful pitching and construction of the pipeline was initially hinged on the volume it expected to move from its oil fields and Uganda.

The EastAfrican has learnt that South Sudan may not be keen on the pipeline deal with Kenya, instead choosing to play its cards safe as it awaits two technical committee reports.

One of the committees was formed with Sudan early this year over the disputed transfer costs.

Stephen Dau, South Sudan’s Trade Minister, who last week held the Petroleum docket, told The EastAfrican that he was aware of Kenya’s proposal for the northern route, given that they have been partners under the Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) Corridor project, but had not received any official communication over the same from either the Kenya or Uganda following the recent developments.

“Prior to the talks on the possible route, we were jointly on the Kenyan route with Uganda, but, once alternative routes came up, we decided to let Kenya and Uganda negotiate then we can join later on. Once we have a proposal, our technical teams will meet and advise on the right way forward,” Mr Dau said.

In late January, Sudan offered a fee cut to South Sudan, which culminated into a meeting between the two countries in February.

Mr Dau said negotiations were ongoing with his Sudanese counterpart Mohammed Zayed Awad to have a fluctuating transit fees rate that would be dependent on the prices of the crude globally.

“The new fee would be agreed upon by a technical team in not less than one month. What we have agreed on is in principle but we expect that by now, the technical people will be finalising before we reach the conclusion,” Mr Awad told Reuters.

The EastAfrican has learnt that the new negotiated transit fees could be pegged at below $18 per barrel, subject to the prevailing world crude oil prices.

Juba and Khartoum have over the years been feuding over transit fees leading to disruptions in the flow of crude to the markets. Currently, it is paying $24 per barrel to Sudan.

“The issue with Khartoum is different. We can still negotiate with them on the transfer costs because I believe we have enough oil to transport through both Sudan and Kenya, if they bring to the table a bankable proposal,” Mr Dau said.

Gabriel Garang Mayik, a Juba-based economist, said that South Sudan currently has no funds to push for a pipeline, so it would avoid any talk of new construction.

“The South Sudan government has been hit hard by low oil prices. Back in 2012, when it proposed the construction of the pipeline, crude oil prices were at an all-time high and the government was buoyed by this confidence to even rope in a financier who would have a revenue sharing agreement. They don’t have this advantage now, so they would seek a less costly model with their oil,” Mr Mayik said.

Kenya’s Energy and Petroleum Cabinet secretary Charles Keter insists it is not end of the road for Nairobi in the wake of Uganda’s decision to partner with Tanzania for the much needed pipeline.

READ: Kenya to build own pipeline as Uganda favours Tanga port

Kenya will need $2.5 billion to do the pipeline, with the government expected to offset ten per cent of the cost.

“We will now have to do the needful by identifying where this pipeline will pass and also addressing the finance question. We are only getting 20 per cent of this project’s funding from the exchequer. This means that the difference has to be funded under the public private partnership,” Mr Keter said.

Oil and gas analyst Kibambe Musa said that Kenya’s lone quest for the construction of the pipeline will be in question if it is to transport the Kenyan oil alone.

“In oil projects, numbers are key and this is one bottleneck Kenya will have to overcome to successfully build a commercially viable pipeline. When you look at the numbers Kenya is staring at, they have no choice but convince South Sudan that they stand to gain more through the Kenyan route. They will have to offer the best transfer tariff as the oil industry is sensitive to margins,” Dr Musa said.

South Sudan’s crude production currently stands at about 165,000 barrels per day and, with the new government of national unity in place, it is expected that some of the pipelines will be reopened which will increase the countries production.

Oil company Tullow, with stakes in both countries, has also stated that both Uganda and Kenya’s oil resources can be developed separately, but fell short of providing a financing agreement for the Kenyan pipeline.

But Africa Development Bank regional director Gabriel Negatu said that they are ready to act as a lead arranger for financing of Kenya’s planned oil pipeline.

“Kenya will eventually have to build its own pipeline and we at the AfDB could consider financing a pipeline through our private sector window,” Mr Negatu said. END

Dr. Riek’s Delayed Return to Juba: A Prelude to Resumption of War and Declaration of a Parallel Government In South Sudan

BY: Joseph Oreste Odhok, South Sudan, APR/21/2016, SSN;

There were high hopes and a jubilant mood in Juba city by the citizens as the government and the armed opposition members of the advance team were engaging in preparations for reception of the SPLA/M-IO Leader and the 1st VP designate Dr. Riek Machar. But it appears these hopes are now being dashed because of the government’s refusal to grant flight and landing clearance for the armed opposition general chief of staff plane.

Traded accusations by the opposing parties is seen by observers as lack of political will and commitment by both parties to implement the agreement.

With this new development in the country’s politics, the future of South Sudan looks grim and gloomy. Realistically, since the eruption of conflict in 2013, and what accompanied it of violations of human rights and crimes committed against humanity, there has never been a genuine dialogue between the warring parties to resolve the conflict peacefully.

Both parties had sought military solutions which further exacerbated the situation on the ground and led to more sufferings and displacement of the civil population. This reality increased the rift and polarized the masses along political and ethnic lines.

Regrettably, the government continued to pursue a divisive policy line being led by its tribal wing referred to as JCE (Jieeng Council of Elders). It put to use the state resources in an attempt to crash the rebellion and silence its real and perceived political opponents. It also used and continue to use the mercenaries from Sudanese rebels of SPLM/A – North and the Darfuri rebels of JEM known as TORABORA.

Reports and forensic evidence confirm the participation of those groups alongside government troops in battles fought against the Opposition forces for control of Malakal and Bentieu cities. To date the SPLA/M – N rebels of Southern Blue Nile of Malek Agar still maintain heavy presence in areas of Melut, Renk and Maban counties of Upper Nile State. They are used by the regime as a mobile force and readily available on request.

While government strategies to put down the rebellion proved futile as they could not bring about the desired goal according to plan, the SPLM/A –IO was gaining more territory and following and the war continued to rage indefinitely at the expense of human suffering.

At this hopeless situation, ARCISS was the best thing the International Community and the Regional Groupings could offer to South Sudanese as a means through which the hostilities could be arrested and peace eventually realized.

Although signing peace is an important step in the process of realizing peace and security, implementing it is equally the most crucial and the most difficult step in the process.

Judging by similar instances where signed peace agreements between opposing parties did not see light or endure, it could be deduced that the foot-dragging in implementing the security arrangements with regards to the demilitarization of the capital among others are indications of lack of commitment and political will by the government to implement peace. The agreement is therefore doomed.

Even if more pressure is exerted on the government to respect the agreement and allow for transportation of weapons and military personnel as required by the agreement, the government is likely to put new obstacle in the way of implementing the peace agreement in letter and spirit. Issues such as the question of the 28 states that it unilaterally created and went ahead to put into effect, could be one of such standoffs.

Despite all attempts by the government to block the return of Dr. Machar to Juba, he remains morally responsible to join his fellow comrades on their “Mission Impossible” errand in Juba. The armed opposition VIPs including Riek’s deputy, Alfred Lado Gore and its Chief Negotiator, Taban Deng had arrived in Juba on different dates ahead of Dr. Riek’s anticipated return and are now taken hostage with restrictions on movements and assembly sternly imposed on them.

A situation that makes one wonder if this peace is not a farce.

In the light of the foregoing facts, it is apparent that war is imminent even after the formation of the transitional government of national unity (TGoNU).

Possible Reactions of Sudan and Ethiopia to the Renewed Armed Conflict in South Sudan:

South Sudan’s northern and eastern neighbours, Sudan and Ethiopia, are currently hosting more than half a Million South Sudanese refugees fleeing the war in their country. And with the renewed armed conflict in South Sudan, more refugees would be expected to cross the border into Sudan and Ethiopia, thus increasing the already existing burden on resources and services on these countries at the time when there were high hopes of peace to prevail and subsequent repatriations.

Apart from this, there are security and economic concerns that would surely be put under jeopardy by resumption of war.

Logically, each of these countries is expected to handle the new development in accordance with its national interest and would be ready to devise strategies that better serve this purpose. It will cooperate with any of the warring parties that would respect and work together towards addressing these concerns.

Resumption of War and Declaration of Parallel Government in South Sudan:

As has been explained in the proceeding paragraphs, war will erupt as a result of partners in the newly formed Transitional Government of National Unity failure to resolve any of the contentious issues as provided by the ARCISS. It could also happen as a provocation by the SPLA/M–IG as it is currently doing in Western Bahr El Ghazal, Greater Equatoria Region, and some parts of Upper Nile.

It appears the war will be long as it would include new territories and new elements from some ethnicities. These ethnic groups have their land forfeited and carved to President Kiir’s Jieng ethnic group.

It remains to be seen whether the Opposition forces would stick to their previous strategy and fight on till they capture Juba or may change their vision and mission to a Strategic, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound before they finally march to Juba.

If the opposition forces were to speedily capture the remaining major towns from Kiir’s government in Greater Upper Nile as the situation on the ground suggests, they would likely establish a functional civil administration in order to consolidate the power of the revolutionary forces among the civil population and help them rebuild their lives.

To achieve this, the Opposition SPLM would declare a parallel Government with one of the major towns of Upper Nile as its capital. This step will boost the political standing of the opposition and win im sympathizers and friends from the regional and international circles.

The opposition has the necessary civil service working force with qualifications to run all various civil institutions in territories under the opposition forces.

It would be up to Riek and his envisaged government to use their PR and diplomatic experiences skillfully with the neighbouring countries as well as countries across the globe to establish ties and relations for the common good.

Having firmly established its political system with functional civil and military structures, the opposition will be in a stronger position than before to wage a full and decisive war for total liberation of the country. END

Riek Machar accuses President Salva Kiir of blocking his return to Juba: LATEST

LATEST ASSORTED REPORTS, WED/APRIL/20/2016, SSN;

South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar is accusing President Salva Kiir of “violating” the security arrangements necessary for his return to Juba.

Dr Machar’s office said the government in Juba had imposed a limit on weapon importation by the rebels yet the issue had already been agreed upon.

“There is no reason for the government to refuse these number of soldiers travelling ahead of the Chairman (Machar). The kind of weapons we want to transport to Juba are the weapons they already have there,” Dr Machar’s spokesman James Gatdet Dak told the Nation.

“We are going to be a separate army under the transitional government and we should have our own weapons. If there is a lack of commitment to end this conflict, then it is the government in Juba which is not committed,” he added.

Dr Machar delayed his return to Juba after President Kiir’s government declined to grant permission for more weapons and rebel troops transportation to Juba from Ethiopia.

Speaking on Aljeezira TV from Pagak today, Machar said it was president Kiir who is obstructing the peace agreement by his refusal to allow the SPLM-IO chief of staff to travel to Juba with his contingent of thousands of troops and their weapons.

The rebel leader, who was due to arrive in Juba to be sworn in as Mr Kiir’s deputy, has pegged his acceptance of the new job to the transportation of his troops.


***** In Summary:
The two sides were to establish a transitional government to last 30 months after which there would be elections.
This week, the rebel leader had asked to travel with 200 guards, Juba allowed only 40, a move that forced him to cancel his return. Juba allowed in 1,370 troops and has refused to admit a further 1,530*****

Dr Machar was supposed to travel to Juba on Monday and postponed it to Tuesday before his office issued a further “indefinite” postponement.

ELECTIONS

As part of the peace agreement Mr Kiir signed with Dr Machar in August last year, the two sides were to establish a transitional government to last 30 months after which there would be elections.

But the deal midwifed by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) created two commanders-in-chief and two separate armies as the leaders work on a unification program.

Dr Machar has asked to transport 1500 police and 1,410 soldiers with their weapons, which include machine guns and other equipment.

Juba allowed in 1,370 troops and has refused to admit a further 1,530.

This week, the rebel leader had asked to travel with 200 guards, Juba allowed only 40, a move that forced him to cancel his return.

South Sudan has been at war since December 2013.
The UN Office for the Coordination Humanitarian Affairs has estimated that 50,000 people were killed and two million others displaced by the violence.
A report by African Union investigators led by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo revealed that both sides engaged in cannibalism, sexual assault and use of public radio to foment hatred and violence. END

Kiir and Malong are two sides of the same coin

BY: Dr. LAKO Jada Kwajok, APR/18/2016, SSN;

As much as peace in South Sudan is within reach, resumption of war and descent into chaos is much closer than you think. The return of the opposition leaders to Juba would have naturally filled every heart with optimism. However, this is not exactly the case in the current environment engulfing the country.

What accurately depicts the situation is what I call as a state of cautious optimism. The Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) is an opportunity for the regime to allow the country to climb out of the hole dug by its catastrophic policies. Squandering this precious chance for achieving a lasting peace would lead to one thing only which is a definite and rapid fall into the abyss.

A common theme among the regime’s supporters is the scapegoating of the President’s aides and colleagues in the cabinet for all the shortcomings of the government. Some would even say that the President was let down by people he trusted but failed to deliver.

What they neglected to explain is – why did he keep all his cronies despite mounting failures? And why no one was dismissed for good or ended up in jail? Those who were relieved from ministerial posts were made Presidential Advisors, Ambassadors with or without portfolios or just allowed to go into hibernation in the SPLM party at taxpayers expense.

Moreover, no one among them seems to have the courage of questioning the President’s personal responsibility regarding the dire situation in the country. It’s a misleading notion aimed at presenting the President favourably and rendering him the false image of being a fair-minded person.

The fact of the matter is that President Kiir is no different from his cronies.

Last week, the media outlets circulated troubling remarks from the Chief of General Staff, General Paul Malong, I quote, “I will wait to see how he would be the president in our presence. He would be a president in my absence.” He was referring to the expected arrival of Dr. Riek Machar in Juba to kick start the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU).

The word “absence” in his remarks could mean one of two things – either he would resign his post or that Dr Riek Machar can only be President over his dead body. The former is less likely than the latter as there is no way that he would leave his post without being fired. His words displayed a massive ego and implied authority over the regime’s decision-making process.

In a democratic government or indeed any government, such remarks would have cost him his job. A couple of weeks ago, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation was sacked by President Kiir with a decree read over SSTV.

The reasons for dismissal were not given. However, many observers have attributed it to a document signed by him and sent to the UN High Commission for Human Rights, in which he referred to Dr. Luka Biong, who hails from Abyei, as a Sudanese national.

It was a lie meant to mislead that UN organisation. The former Minister indeed made a mistake, but it’s quite trivial in comparison to what other members of the cabinet did but allowed to keep their positions. The said document affected one citizen and not the whole Abyei community – it did not point out that Abyei belongs to Sudan.

Furthermore, the regime did join the Sudanese government in rejecting the unilateral referendum conducted by the Abyei civil society in 2013 that overwhelmingly supported joining South Sudan. That decision by our government though met with dismay from the general public was not perceived as an admission that Abyei is part of Sudan. What the former minister signed did not mean a change in policy or that our government has forsaken Abyei to the Jallaba government.

Therefore, it’s reasonable to believe that there are ulterior motives and a double-standard policy behind the dismissal of the former minister. With that being said, I am not by any means defending the former minister – he is an integral part of the corrupt and failed regime that has destroyed the country.

Coming back to my main topic, those remarks by Malong, should have led to immediate dismissal from his post. It’s a problem because what he said is very antagonistic to the single most important policy benchmark required to be adhered to by the government which is full implementation of ARCISS.

The problem with those utterances is two-fold. Firstly, there is nothing in the agreement that would prevent Dr. Riek Machar from becoming President of South Sudan should the position become vacant for whatever reason during the transition. Also he is entitled to be the Acting President While President Kiir is outside the country or in the event of being incarcerated by illness.

Secondly, Malong’s job description does not give him the right to wade into matters related to government policy. His job is purely non-political, and we have an example of his predecessor, General James Hoth Mai, who had run the military by the book.

Needless to say, Malong has overstepped his authority on several occasions. His outrageous statement in August 2015 that the regime would rather follow the footsteps of the likes of Al Qaeda and Boko Haram than to sign the peace agreement hasn’t been forgotten. That statement alone should have resulted in a swift dismissal because of its enormous implications.

I was amazed that in a world where a war is being vigorously waged against international terrorism that includes the above infamous terrorist organisations, Malong’s statement drew negligible or no reaction at all from the international community. Perhaps the formidable powers that are engaged in the global war on terror, regarded Malong’s utterances as empty threats from the Military Chief of a government that was saved from collapse by a foreign force.

Lack of action does not mean what Malong has said was entirely ignored. It has already tarnished the regime’s image as a government harbouring elements with terrorist inclination. The consequences may come in the form of difficulties in securing loans from the international monetary institutions, problems with admission into international organisations and plenty of others.

However, the most bizarre situation though was Kiir’s refusal to sign the peace agreement in Addis Ababa on 17/08/2015. The reason he gave was that he needed to go back to Juba for consultation with his colleagues in the cabinet. It was a move unheard of in what is known as state protocols.

The typical approach is for the head of the negotiating team to travel to Juba for consultation with the President in the event of a stalemate during the negotiation. The president only attends the negotiation venue at the final stage prior to signing the deal.

The whole thing was unprecedented because he is the top man in the government and as people say “the buck stops at his desk.” That leaves one to conclude that the president does not have total control over the decision-making process and that other strong players have to be brought on board before a final decision could be made.

The above scenarios have led to speculations about who runs the country. If Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin could be relieved of his duties as stated above, why not Malong who has apparently committed much graver mistakes? The fact that he gets away with any destructive statement and remark indicates one of two things.

Either that President Kiir totally agrees with him, or he is the real centre of power in South Sudan backed by the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE). In either case the prospects for a lasting peace is quite grim. South Sudan would be better off with the likes of Paul Malong kept out of office.

Unfortunately ARCISS does not prescribe removing those who are overtly anti-peace from their positions. Nonetheless, the formation of the TGoNU should offer the tools to tame Malong and his cohorts. It will be inexcusable and detrimental for the opposition to allow Kiir and Malong to do business as usual.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

Insight into Kiir–Machar upcoming power sharing government

By: John Bith Aliap – Australia, APR/13/2016, SSN;

The Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan also referred to as ARCISS, agreed in August 2015 in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa is hoped by its architects to end the conflict in the Republic of South Sudan. Military showdown between Kiir and Machar who are they key principles in the war raged for nearly two years with devastating outcomes.

The conflict remains one of the most brutal conflict in the continent of Africa. Recent UN figures show that more than 730,000 people have fled into neighbouring countries, 1.5 million people are internally displaced and 50, 000 people are believed to have perished.

The peace talks in Ethiopia were the last attempt to bring Kiir and Machar on the dining table to share the national cake. All previous diplomatic efforts had failed, but the U.S. government which is also accused of having a deadly hand in the conflict pressed Kiir and Machar against the wall until they unwillingly signed the peace agreement for the interest of their people.

The final agreement, dubbed as “ARCISS” or “Imposed Peace Agreement” is seen by many as a result of skillful diplomacy and political trade-offs exerted on the main warring parties. However, while the agreement appears to be a path-breaking, war-ending and peace-keeping tool, it does not seem to be an effective framework to end the vicious cycles of violence in the baby nation of South Sudan.

Although ARCISS is crucial in giving the new country a set of principles, rules and institutions; it doesn’t appear to be providing a universally backed direction capable of guiding the war-wrecked South Sudan through the unchartered waters of democratisation and liberalisation – the two principles of peace-building.

However, given ACRISS’ uncertainty, it is important to assess its intention for the interest of my readers and the policy-makers in the areas of peace and state-building. With a war raging in Syria, Iraq, Congo, Somalia, Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Sudan and Yemen such discussions are clearly timely and worthwhile to look into. The idea that Kiir – Machar upcoming “Transitional Government of National Unity” will silence the guns and lay the foundation of South Sudanese’ unity isn’t borne out of experience.

In December 2013 after Machar attempted to grab the power from his would-be boss, Salva Kiir, clashes occurred between their camps of supporters and the civil war quickly appeared on the cards. The international community backed by regional blocks such as IGAD and AU tried to end the bloodshed by setting up a Transitional Government of National Unity with Kiir behind the wheels and Machar as the passenger.

But while Machar and Kiir are forcefully made to swallow their pride and share the much contested power, the conflict on the ground between their tribal-based militias and sections of the security apparatus linked to them will likely continue unabated.

With Kiir–Machar known political rivalry, each side will be yearning to exploit the other in an attempt to seize control of J1 presidential palace; and the so called Transitional Government of National Unity will be a thing of the past.

South Sudan is not the only country in the world where bitter enemies like Kiir and Machar sit together in the government while their forces carry on the conflict. In Iraq for example, the government of national unity, mainly made up of Shia, Sunni and Kurdish was established, but the forces under their direct control continued with, not one, but a number of inter -ethnic conflicts.

In the case of Cyprus, the withdrawal of British and the gaining of Independence in 1960 was accompanied by a handful of uneasy power sharing deals, but these deals collapsed in no time.

So, Kiir-Machar power sharing government doesn’t appear as the step to the elimination of tribal division, but it’s rather an accommodation between the forces that are the architects and expression of these divisions as to how they can carve things up between them.

Kiir and Machar could share the cabinet in J1, while their forces continue to aggressively flex their military muscles on the ground in Jebel Kujur and Luri. Kiir-Machar upcoming Transitional Government of National Unity is a recipe for maintaining tribal status quo, it’s not for achieving reconciliation, or bringing together the tribally- divided communities across South Sudan.

Whether it quickly flies apart or maintained in a relatively stable form for a time will be determined by the intensity of the conflict on the ground, and not fundamentally political miracles performed by those who take their seats in the would-be Transitional Government of National Unity TGONU. Even if Kiir-Machar’s government survives for a lengthy period of time, this doesn’t necessarily indicate the end of tribal feud in South Sudan.

Kiir-Machar power sharing government will only institutionalise sectarianism and perpetuate the conflict in some form. The power sharing government that involves a sectarian politician like Riek Machar isn’t a solution, nor is it a step to a solution. ARCISS has only made Kiir & Machar, who had held opposing positions in a bloody war, sign a document which they may not have agreed with, but which will nevertheless stop them from bashing each other.

John Bith Aliap is an Australia-based political commentator and can be reached at Johnaliap2011@hotmail.com.

Is Dr. Riek Machar “signing” His Death Certificate by Returning to Militarily Fortified Juba City?

BY: J. Nguen, CANADA, APR/10/2016, SSN;

Warmongering is one thing but telling nothing but the truth is another. This piece is one of the truth-telling political commentaries on South Sudan’s political affairs and road to peace and stability. Dr. Machar, the Chairman and Commander in Chief of the SPLM/A-IO, the armed opposition in the country is scheduled to return to Juba, South Sudan 18 April 2016.

This step is in line with the Compromised Peace Agreement signed in August 2015 but I recently developed serious reservations regarding this tentative Machar’s return to Juba based on saboteur evidence or much more.

In March 2016, I wrote a commentary questioning the Government of South Sudan’s readiness for peace, particularly over Lt. Gen. James Gai Yoach saga. I outlined why I was justified and should be concerned over unprecedented prevailing bad intention at the time and still relevant while writing this piece.

On the second week of April 2016, I became more certain over the Government of South Sudan’s intransigence, saboteur attitude toward peace and possible secretive intention to do away with Machar upon arrival to Juba.

My thoughts became more apparent on the following grounds:
I. Juba is not demilitarized as required by the August Peace Deal and this is as one of the crucial steps to ensure Dr. Machar to return to the capital. Unfortunately, this didn’t occur and there are no signs showing its eventuality in the near future.

II. The Government of South Sudan is currently on the military operations; the commanding officer is none other than the army’s General Chief of Staff, Paul Malong Awan. This offensive is ongoing in the West and Eastern Equatoria States and Western Bhar El Ghazal respectively. This is no secret to no one.

III. The operationalization of the illegal 28 States created by President Kiir is also underway unabated despite IGAD’s resolution to suspend such operations.

IV. Gen. Paul Malong Awan has once again mobilized a force outside the regular SPLA-Juba army in Bhar El Ghazal region. This force is reminiscent to the illegal armed Dinka militia which he commanded and carried out the Nuer massacre in Juba in December 2013.

V. Gen. Malong ordered the transportation of this force to Juba and “eight lorries” full of these troops arrived in Juba on the 10th of April 2016 prior to Dr. Machar’s scheduled arrival.

VI. Gen. Paul Malong “vowed never to accept,” South Sudan’s 1st Vice President Designate, Dr. Riek Machar “acting as President in the absence of President Salva.” It was alleged that Gen. Malong has stressed that he will “never allow Dr. Machar to be a acting President or President” but after he is “dead.”

VII. Salva Kiir’s Government has rejected any meeting between Dr. Machar and Salva Kiir to be facilitated by JMEC’s chairman upon Machar’s arrival in Juba. This in itself is an issue of concern since both men don’t talk to each other; maybe, this is where hell will break loose, God forbid!

These articulated points are on the public domain and there are becoming apparent by the day, as Machar’s return to Juba draws closer.

So, the question becomes if indeed, Dr. Machar is “signing” his own death certificate by returning to Juba given the prevailing evidences that Juba is not demilitarized yet and is being fortified with illegal armed militia and by Kiir’s government’s refusal for a neutral body to facilitate the first meeting of these supposed two rivals?

These developments are imminent threats to the implementation of the peace agreement and to Machar’s personal life.

Therefore, I seriously recommend that JMEC take the lead by informing the Peace Guarantors of the apparent troops build up in Juba, possible issue of sabotage of the peace in South Sudan and, finally, Dr. Machar must be advised to withhold plans to return to Juba until further notice because the eventuality of letting these slips go uncorrected would be a grossly deadly ignorance.

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