Category: Featured

What are the Alternatives to Pres. Salva Kiir?

BY: Apioth Mayom Apioth, DEC/10/2017, SSN;

By the looks of things, Kiir Mayardit has no intention of steering the nation into the daylight. He has been the leading figure in the South Sudanese politics for twelve unimpressive years. He has become “Mr. Let’s wait and see how this problem is going to take care of itself.” His love of the leadership has blinded his conscientious self.

In ancient Africa, Kings or chiefs wielded enormous power and with this juggernaut of power came novelty. In most cases, they were principally wealthy and gave away their wealth to the downtrodden populace. For this, Kiir Mayar is trying to emulate how the traditional leaders had an open door policy and being all ears to countless number of people all at one go. He just sits there on his presumed throne and families of all kinds come to demand whatever they long for their livelihoods.

Even before his ascendancy to the upper echelon of the South Sudanese politics, his laid-back approach to everything cost many soldiers to lose their lives during our days in the bush. The first task of a leader is to be an initiator. The first to take the first step out. Salva Kiir sleeps on his duties. An influential leader cultivates trust. How does trust come about?

He/she is a selfless being that goes out of her comfort zone to make sure the lives of all individuals are secure from harm. Once the people are secure from danger, then what comes next is trust and a willingness for the general populace to heed his call for commandeering. Trust is garnered through three hard-earned steps.

First, the character of the leader must be put under the microscopic lenses for all to scrutinize. Integrity reigns supreme here. He/she is accountable and must follow through on his/her promises. Up next is competence. Is the leader in question qualified to lead the institution that he/she is vying for? Last, but not the least, is authority.

As things stand today, no one in his right mind would delegate any powers to Kiir Mayar so he can determine the fate of our nation. People began to lose trust in Kiir soon after he took over after the demise of Dr. John. Corruption became the name of the game. Insecurity was rampant and thus making everyone to fend for himself. Money was being carted away in boxes.

For someone that is this inept and incapable of taking care of his duties; one may wonder how he survived the leadership upheaval under Dr. John. What did John Garang see in him that made him stand out from the crowd?

Salva Kiir is a quiet person by nature and by the same token, he hideously swallowed his true corrupt nature so he could feed that monstrous character once the power came his way. According to the United Nations, some 2 million people are taking refuge in our neighboring countries. Another 2 million people are internally displaced.

South Sudanese who first began the refugee life in 1987 have now spent thirty years in those makeshift camps. Thirty years more and they are in their sixties, still living the hard life of a refugee. These South Sudanese nationalities are not entitled to land rights, agricultural subsidies for farming, and low taxes in their host nations; they consistently live on the hand-outs from the United Nations where the daily meal is beans.

What are the alternatives to our current quagmire?

South Sudan as a nation has not fully healed from the traumas we put ourselves through during the liberation era. From the early eighties to the early nineties, SPLA was holding the high ground in our struggle for justice; major swathes of South Sudan was liberated with the exception of few major towns that comprised of Juba, Wau, and Malakal.

After the splintering of SPLA/M into SPLA/M-Torit/Mainstream and SPLA/M-Nasir, respectively, we began to turn on ourselves and chaos started to confuse our national identity. Our adversaries in Khartoum began to buy our loyalties with the simple words of mouth. We began to switch sides to Khartoum, thinking that we can find greener pastures on that side yonder.

No tribe was invincible to the manipulative machinations of Khartoum’s age-old doctrine of divide and conquer. Our leaders ranging from Kerubino Kuanyin Bol, Arok Thon Arok, Joseph Oduho, Riek Machar Teny, Lam Akol Ajawin and even to a certain extent, William Nyuon Bany, all decided to abandon our major struggle for an unknown promise from those we were fighting against.

We were stronger when we were one collective and united force, however, after the 1991’s splintering, Khartoum regime under Omar el Bashir started to push us back into a rabbit hole. Efforts were made to create a reconciliation project and the December of 2013 crisis has shown that the reconciliation efforts were ineffective at best.

Our best bet would be for the group of South Sudan Young Leaders Forum (SSYLM), which includes the likes of Peter Biar Ajak and Manasseh Mathiang to take over the mantle of leadership in the land. This group comprises of 70 bright young South Sudanese leaders who were drawn from all the tribes in the nation.

South Sudan is a highly conservative nation; a year ago, Kenyan girls were harassed in Wau for wearing skinny jeans. Our older generation would easily dismiss the likes of SSYLM members as mere children and thus incapable of taking over the reins from Salva Kiir.

What our people fail to grasp these days, is that our young and upcoming generation lives in two competitive cultures at the same time. They live in the Western culture of iPhone and popular culture, and traditional culture where they still pay the bride price for their betrothed brides. They are the ones that are good at juggling modernity and the old way of life, whereas the older cohorts could easily be manipulated to succumb to old tribal cliches.

The older generation wants to main the status quo and the old way of life, whereby an Azande traditional dance would be deemed inappropriate by Toposa people. The Toposa would see it as an impure custom, infringing on their pure cultured way of dance. The 34 years we have spent in the diaspora since after the eruption of second Sudanese civil war, have taught this young generation to be more tolerant of their differences. Some of them have lived their entire lives outside of South Sudan, coming only for a short family visit after the signing of the CPA.

In case the upper echelon of South Sudanese politics refuse to relinquish the leadership to SSYLM, then they can bequeath the reins to Pagan Amum. Why of all people Pagan Amum? Pagan Amum is neither a Dinka nor a Nuer. He is not an Equatorian indigene, too.

After the eruption of the crisis in December of 2013, it has been the Dinka vs Equatorians vs Nuer ever since. Many would complain again of the Nuer dominance in the government if we relinquish the leadership to Taban Deng Gai or Riek Machar. The same would be the case if we hand it to James Wani Igga or Thomas Cirilo Swaka, or Joseph Bakosoro.

Our situation is quite different from the one the Rwandans face after the 1994 genocide. Paul Kagame is a Tutsi and Rwanda has only two other tribes, namely of Hutu and Twa. The majority of the army that took down the Hutu-led government were collectively Tutsi by ethnicity. As one homogeneous ethnic group, the Tutsi easily understood each other and fought for justice as one collective unit.

After Liberia plunged into two successive civil wars, they elected Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was regarded as a nontraditional leader, because she is a female. Mrs. Johnson defeated the former World Footballer of the Year, George Weah in the general elections and Liberia has been stable ever since.

The Dinka, Nuer, and Azande are the three largest tribes of South Sudan. By choosing Pagan Amum, we would be choosing a nontraditional leader who would stitch together the scattered parts of our nation into a wholesome and cohesive unit. For our people to continue to turn on ourselves for trivial matters as the competition for leadership is truly unfathomable.

We had it worse under successive Khartoum regimes and yet we haven’t learned a thing about how to live together as a nation. History has it that when a people went through a protracted suffering, they rise up from the ashes and used their tragic past to build better communal relations for their betterment.

Our people continue to flock to the SPLA-IO and National Salvation Front to continue to wage a non-victorious war against the inept regime of Salva Kiir. Why do we continue to lure our youth into the lion’s dent when we know better that Salva Kiir won’t budge one bit?

Even though we are one of the poorest people on earth, we should just let our youth rot in the refugee camps in our neighboring countries so they could at least live half-decently on daily meals of beans. Oh! being a refugee is way better than being dead and all bones in the coffin.

Pres. Kiir & Gen. Malong are ‘Fighting like ferrets in a sack’: Will Gen. Cirillo, not Machar, be the nation’s savior?

BY: ELHAG PAUL, DEC/03/2017, SSN;

If there is any person who has caused monumental damage to the society of South Sudan other than President Salva Kiir, it is General Paul Malong Awan Anei. This person is responsible for aiding and abating the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer in December 2013 and in executing the Jieng master plan of making South Sudan an exclusively Jieng land. His affinity to President Kiir is rooted in their military career, ethnicity and shared belief in Jieng supremacy in South Sudan.

Nobody would have thought that any of the two would fall out with the other. Such a thought, though unrealistic because in life some of the mechanisms and rules governing social interaction are not only dualistic in nature but also mediated by power dynamics.

What this means is that when friends bound by politics and power begin to vie for power, enmity kicks in between them and the atmosphere can be really ugly. This is exactly what is happening between President Kiir and Gen. Paul Malong and it does not end with them within the Jieng community.

Divisions also are rife within the Nuer and Equatorian communities on the same issue of power which makes the South Sudan problem complex but not unsolvable. This piece will look at these divisions separately with the aim of providing the reader with what is going on in the country and the way forward.

The distrust and enmity between President Kiir and General Paul Malong must have started last year with the undisguised activities of the latter promoting himself as a president in waiting. Please see, ‘The coin of power: Gen. Paul Malong aspires for president!!’ (http://www.southsudannation.com/the-coin-of-power-gen-paul-malong-aspires-for-president/).

His dismissal in May 2017 by the president became the spark of their current ongoing conflict. General Paul Malong did not take his removal from the post of the Chief of Staff of SPLA with dignity and obedience expected of an army man.

Unlike others before him such as General James Hoth Mai who gracefully vacated the post without any drama, General Paul Malong reacted to his removal by leaving Juba in a company of heavily mechanised troops. He was intercepted in Yirol and for a couple of days he had to be persuaded to return to Juba.

When he was flown back to Juba from Yirol, unbelievably he was received at the airport by thousands of Jieng men, women and children with ululations and chants of ‘King Paul’ etc. That particular welcome of General Paul Malong by his tribesmen posed a serious challenge to the presidency of Kiir.

This act by General Paul Malong in itself constituted disobedience, insubordination and rebellion. In any normal army, the General would have faced Court Marshall. But SPLA is not an army in the true sense. It has ever since been a Jieng militia managed through Jieng kraal rules and Jieng language.

(Please see, ‘The Mighty SPLA, (Tiger Division)’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSQDSn3eaBo)

The behaviour of the General is not for nothing. President Kiir owes him a lot. First, in 2004, prior to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005, Kiir then a deputy to late Dr John Garang, the leader of the SPLM/A had fallen out of favour with his boss prompting him to rebel. Kiir hid in Yei and resisted meeting Dr Garang on his own in fear for his life.

Emissaries after emissaries including Nhial Deng Nhial and Deng Alor were sent to him to no avail. Finally, after assurance by Paul Malong, Kiir accepted to attend a meeting in Rumbek in November 2004 which led to his reconciliation with Dr Garang. That meeting revealed the shoddy nature of the SPLM.

Please see the Rumbek Minutes of 2004 (http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article26320).

Secondly, in September 2013 while President Kiir was on a visit to Akon, his home town, he sought military assistance from General Paul Malong who by then was the governor of Northern Bahr El Ghazal in order to contain Riek Machar and his group comprising Pagan Amum, Deng Alor, Alfred Lado Gore, Rebecca Nyandeng, Oyay Deng Ajak, Majak D’Agoot and many others.

This group since May of that year confronted President Kiir seeking to remove him peacefully through SPLM rules and structures.

According to Peter Adwok Nyaba in his article titled ‘It wasn’t a coup – Salva Kiir shot himself in the foot.’ (http://www.southsudannation.com/it-wasnt-a-coup-salva-kiir-shot-himself-in-the-foot/), President Kiir “in Akon his home town, speaking to Dinka (Jieng), which SSTV aired, Salva had this to say ‘………….look this power which I have belongs to you. You fought and died for it ……….. Now some people want to snatch it from me ……….. we (will) you accept it?

“Aci bag am,” meaning we will not accept, shouted the people back. It was in this context of retaining power that he ordered Paul Malong Awan to recruit and bring to Juba three thousand young men which now constitute his presidential guards.’”

This very militia became the force responsible for chasing Riek Machar out of Juba and cleansing of the Nuer in Juba.

Thirdly, in July 2016, General Paul Malong destroyed ‘The Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan’ (ARCSS) to save President Kiir, JCE and the implicated Jieng militia officers from having to face court for the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer in Juba in 2013 by audaciously attacking Dr Riek Machar’s SPLM/A-IO in Juba using land and air forces. General Paul Malong pursued Dr Riek Machar up to the border of Democratic Republic of Congo.

So because of the above, General Paul Malong has a hold on the president giving him confidence to misbehave. Being a Jieng, rather than being held to account, he was placed under house arrest since his return from Yirol. When his daughter Alakiir Malong sadly died in a fire accident in Kenya in September 2017, President Kiir refused to allow the General to go and identify the body of his daughter in Nairobi as well as to attend the burial and funeral in Aweil.

At the end of October, President Kiir upped the ante by issuing a presidential decree officially placing the General on detention without the right of visitation by his family members. Troops were deployed around his house with orders to disarm him which ended in a standoff.

Juba suddenly turned into a front line between President Kiir and General Paul Malong in a game of power. Alarmed and scarred of the real possibility of a show down between the president and his former Chief of the Army, the JCE, the architect of Jieng hegemony in South Sudan sought to broker peace.

Their main interest as expected is the maintenance of Jieng unity against all other South Sudanese. Ambassador Telar Deng emphasised this point sometimes back by saying, “Our (Jieng) internal front should remain united. This is the only way to defeat our enemies [South Sudanese].” (http://newsafricanow.com/2015/10/s-sudanese-envoy-says-creation-of-new-states-administrative/).

The JCE having failed to reconcile the President and his former Chief of the Army brought one of their renowned son, Dr Francis Mading Deng, to lead a new group they cobbled together to save the situation. This group called Concerned Citizen’s Committee for Peace which is answerable to the chairman of the JCE comprises: General Albino Akol Akol, chairman, Dr Francis Mading Deng, deputy chairman, General Andrew Makur Thou, Hon. Joshua Dau Diu, Hon. Maker Thiong, Amb. Bol Wek Agoth, General Lual Wek Guen, Hon. Oliver Majok Aleu.

Unsurprisingly, even though the name of the group may suggest or give an impression that the group represents the people of South Sudan, the hard reality remains all the group members are ethnically Jieng and hence they only represent Jieng views and Jieng interest. It has nothing to do with the general view and interests of South Sudan.

This new Jieng group fraudulently called Concerned Citizen’s Committee for peace managed to superficially reconcile the president and his former Chief of Army on 14/11/2017. As a result, the President has allowed General Paul Malong to travel to Kenya for medical treatment.

The most interesting thing is that in this struggle for power between the two, General Paul Malong appears to have emerged victorious and stronger if only because he has made President Kiir to eat his Republican Order number 26/2017 for the issuance of Orders to the Chief of Defence Forces of the SPLA dated 30th October 2017.

It is unheard of in this world that a Republican Order signed by president can be challenged by an army man. This is a clear case of disobedience and insubordination.

This is even made worse by the fact that the entire members of JCE and the supposed Concerned Citizen’s Committee for Peace joined General Paul Malong supporters and his family in giving him a dignified send off to Kenya at Juba airport.

The General, acting presidential, “told elders and support[er]s at Juba airport that he would work with them and other stakeholders in and outside the country to ensure peace, reconciliation, unity and forgiveness are consolidated to bring back peace and stability to the country.”

Please see ‘South Sudan ex-army chief cedes home trip, leaves to Kenya’ (http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article64043)

Observers at the airport were in awe to see the members of Jieng cabal listening attentively while nodding in affirmation.

Take the scenes described earlier of the General arriving Juba from Yirol with chants of ‘King Paul’ and add to it this scene from Juba airport, it becomes clear that he has substantial support among the Jieng people.

The bad news for President Kiir is that the JCE is clearly leaning toward supporting the General and he also has been weakened by his inability to enforce his republican decree in respect of the General. Internationally, President Kiir has lost face. Interesting times ahead!

The brokering of the peace between the President and the former Chief of the army has exposed Dr Francis Mading Deng who now cannot escape being under intense scrutiny.

As someone who coined and spearheaded the concept of Responsibility to Protect ‘R2P’ as UN Under Secretary for Prevention of Genocide, articulating rightly that sovereignty can not be the basis to commit crimes against humanity, Dr Deng unfortunately and ironically became an ambassador for one of the worst regimes that has ever existed on earth.

A regime that committed grave crimes against its own people.

To some of us this was not surprising because as a staunch unionist, Dr Deng opposed the separation of South Sudan from the Sudan but quickly jumped into the new independent country to reap the fruits.

This is an opportunist who shamelessly defended an obnoxious regime which as a UN Under Secretary he would have opposed vehemently.

In mediating between President Kiir and the General, he proved beyond doubt that he is comfortable mingling with the worst criminals known globally.

It is possible that Dr Deng may well not believe or respect the duo. In such a situation he would have been acting in the interest of averting war among Jieng.

However, the question would be, why associate with such vile men? Only opportunists do that. If he is one as suggested by his leadership of a tentacle of JCE called Concerned Citizen’s Committee for Peace, it might well be that he could be vying for a ministerial position in the tribal regime of terror.

The government of South Sudan is packed full of people from Abyei and the Jieng acknowledge that technically the Abyei people are not South Sudanese. Bona Malwal in his book, ‘Sudan’s latest peace Agreement’ said, “I also recognise that they [Abyei, the Nuba Mountains and the Ingassina hills’] are part of Northern Sudan.”

If the Abyei people cannot join the rest of South Sudanese in their struggle against the tribal regime now in Juba for fair, just and inclusive society in order for them to prove their true patriotism, then they should better be in their homeland in the Sudan. They should remain with Khartoum.

South Sudan has had enough from the JCE and it does not need another tentacle of the JCE led by Dr Deng, an Abyei opportunist of the Sudan.

The deal brokered by Dr Deng is supposed to have restored the unity of the Jieng. Unfortunately this very deal is very misleading. Jieng unity seems to have long gone.

The Jieng are butchering themselves in their villages. It is just a matter of time before they import the differences from their villages into Juba, the seat of power.

As the group dominating state power, the likelihood is that their bitter differences and the battles that follow from that will usher in a new era in the country.

Dr. Machar’s SPLM-IO:

Turning to SPLM-IO, the divisions plaguing this organisation are not an enigma. The leader of SPLM/A-IO has demonstrated practically that he has no leadership skills at all. All the organisations he has led have experienced splits within a considerable short period of time, and sadly they have not achieved any of their aims and objectives.

In 1991, Dr Riek Machar sought and committed himself to oust Dr John Garang. He failed and eventually in 2002 he returned to Dr Garang with his tail coiled between his legs.

In December 2013 following the cleansing of the Nuer in Juba, he again rebelled with the objective of ousting President Kiir. He failed and returned to a shaky Transitional government of National Unity as deputy to the very person he promised to remove.

This imploded in July 2016 and again he ended up exiled and detained in South Africa.

Please see, ‘President Kiir’s Machiavellian tricks: Machar be forewarned’ (https://pachodo.org/latest-news-articles/pachodo-english-articles/11334-president-kiir%E2%80%99s-machiavellian-tricks-machar-be-forwarned)

The divisions among the Nuer right from the days of struggle against Khartoum are caused by dynamics of power exactly as in the Equatoria case now in South Sudan. The difference between the Nuer and Equatorians is that the Nuer got themselves armed at an earlier stage and so they are able to resist and assert themselves.

SPLM/A FORMER DETAINEES:

While talking about divisions in the SPLM/A, it would be unhelpful if remarks are not made about the SPLM former detainees. This group did not emerge out of natural wishes of South Sudanese or genuine dynamics of South Sudanese political struggle.

It is a making of the international community and the name itself was coined by the international community. To be specific Kenya played a big role in the creation of this group. Some of them like Deng Alor and John Luk are ministers in the Kiir’s Juba regime of terror and others are in the opposition.

What does this tell you about members of this group? I leave that for you to work out. If anything, in a nutshell, one could say the international community created this group to distort the political problem of South Sudan.

DIVISIONS AMONG EQUATORIANS

Now let us move on to Equatoria Region. The divisions in Equatoria, as hinted above, are simply an issue of power.
The malaise afflicting Equatoria is a result of a long sustained oppression on Equatoria designed by the JCE to destroy Equatoria.

Jieng hatred towards Equatoria is contained in Bona Malwal’s book, ‘Sudan and South Sudan: from One to Two.’

On page 207, Malwal points out that,

“…unfortunately, Equatoria…this rather unusual, indeed non-existing constitutional being in South Sudan…has now got onto the bandwagon of Riek Machar Teny, hoping to defeat and overthrow the Dinka [Jieng] that Equatoria has always hated. There is a clear Dinka [Jieng] hate campaign now on in South Sudan.

Even the elected governors of Equatoria have sent a delegation to Ethiopia to plead for IGAD mediators to decree a new federal arrangement for South Sudan – Equatoria’s new way of hoping to get rid of the Dinka [Jieng] from Juba, the land of Equatoria, which happens to be also the capital of South Sudan from which no South Sudanese ethnic community can be excluded.

This is now a hate campaign which will make it very difficult, if not impossible to find a solution to the current problem, the failed attempt to overthrow the legitimate system of South Sudan.

The Dinka [Jieng] have land and space from which to seek to survive and should not be expected to give away power to those who hate the Dinka [Jieng]! One gives away power to someone or those one does not think hate them.

The Dinka [Jieng] have been described, or indeed insulted as a foolish majority. But even a fool recognizes death when they see it. Will the Dinka [Jieng] be so foolish to cede power to those they know hate the name Dinka [Jieng[?

Can the Dinka [Jieng] be so foolish to offer their lives as a solution, in order to provide a second Rwanda of Africa?”

It is unfortunate that Bona Malwal has expressed such a destructive view which in reality can not stand the test of scrutiny.

Gen. Thomas Cirillo and NAS:

The impact of oppression on Equatorians is clearly displayed in the ongoing divisions among them in SPLM-IO and NAS. They are decimating themselves in Kajo-keji for no reason at all other than to please their oppressors – the Jieng and the Nuer.

Equatorians in SPLM-IO who oppose the emergence of NAS argue that, “Thomas Cirillo is a good man who fell into the hands of ethnic and regional fanatics.”

The NAS leader is accused of calling Equatorians with SPLM/A-IO as “blind supporters and/or ‘followers of Nuer’ while shouting with the lobe-side of their [his] months that NAS is a national movement.”

It is only fair that judgment of an individual is done through provision of evidence. In the case of the leader of NAS such a measuring yard stick is absent. Unsubstantiated damaging statements are made against him without any proof.

For example, Thomas Cirillo is alleged to have made speeches during his visit to the USA that fell short of a leader’s standard. These negative criticisms mostly come from the supporters of SPLM-IO. Checks done with other neutral South Sudanese reveal the opposite.

Thomas Cirillo comes out as highly regarded, respected and competent leader with a very good sense of judgement. Remarkably, international media more or less substantiates the favourable views held by majority of South Sudanese.

The critics of Thomas Cirillo who mostly are pro-Riek Machar always try to play down the truth about their preferred leader. For South Sudanese to make an informed assessment it becomes important that contrast should be made.

For most of Thomas Cirillo’s life he remained in the army. He resigned from the SPLA army in March this year. So, he has been in the open political arena of South Sudan for 8 month. During this period he has engaged the nation through speeches to the country explaining his position and offering to liberate the people of South Sudan.

Those speeches were received favorably by the country and there were no criticisms from the SPLM-IO supporters. In fact they welcomed him. With hindsight, it is clear now that this group was expecting Thomas Cirillo to rally behind Riek Machar. Since this did not happen, they set out to demonize him as “good” but “falls” short of a leader.

Unexpectedly, but in line with their value of violence, SPLM-IO switched into military mode and attacked NAS positions in Equatoria to destroy any hope for the emergence of an Equatorian-led movement as a credible option for the South Sudanese people.

In short, the 8 months of Thomas Cirillo in political arena have proven beyond doubt that he is an excellent leader. All the military commanders with their foot soldiers who joined NAS refer to his wise leadership in comparison to the organisations they left and a good number of them are from the SPLM-IO. This is an important point that can not just be dismissed or brushed under the carpet.

On the other hand Riek Machar who has been in politics/military leadership for 33 years…. that is from 1984 to date… has not demonstrated any leadership. In all the organisations he formed and led, splits have been the order of the day.

Although Riek Machar’s supporters try to portray him as a capable leader, they seem to have forgotten that during these three decades, Riek Machar has not delivered any visionary speech that he can be remembered for as a rousing or an explosive one, while under Dr John Garang or as a leader of his numerous failed groups from 1991: SPLM/A United, SPDF, SSIM, and SPLM/A-IO.

Those who are criticizing Thomas Cirillo in this area conveniently ignore the failures of their supposed iconic leader while downplaying the success of the former in his very short period as a patriotic leader.

To date, Riek Machar has not adequately explained why he is fighting the Juba regime. He has not addressed the nation to explain himself since December 2013. The saddest of all is that he has failed flatly to articulate the case of the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer.

Had Riek Machar done that as a concerned citizen and emphasized that he would do the same if it happened to any tribe in South Sudan he would have garnered support and sympathy of most South Sudanese and the world. One of the reasons why the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer was/is muted completely is due to this failure to articulate what happened to the Nuer people in Juba in December 2013; a failure whose cost has been huge in the struggle to oust the JCE regime.

Right from the onset of the conflict, Riek Machar’s supposed major speeches, if at all they are, carried one theme. According to him, he was inspired and motivated by the SPLM/A report of March 2013 that identified among other things SPLM/A’s loss of vision and direction.

This as understood is the one thing driving Riek Machar to challenge President Kiir. Hold on a moment!!

How did SPLM/A lose vision and direction? Who were the drivers of the SPLM/A vehicle? Was it not President Kiir and Riek Machar as partners since Dr John Garang died? If so, how can Riek Machar exonerate himself from the loss of vision and direction?

What was he doing in that whole period when the vehicle was getting lost without destination? This argument pursued by Riek Machar must be a joke.

So the duo plunged the country into chaos only over their party loss of vision and direction? Just think about this warped rational. He uses his own failures in the SPLM/A as Vice President and turns round to justify it as a reason to ousting President Kiir.

In effect it follows from Riek Machar’s argument that all those who are supporting SPLM/A-IO are disgruntled members of the organisation who want to restore it to its glory of “New Sudan” days. However how could the vision of New Sudan be achieved since the country is already split into two?

But even then, SPLM/A from day one has been a criminal organisation which does not regard the interests of the people.

THOMAS CIRILLO VERSUS RIEK MACHAR:

Now compare and contrast Riek Machar’s rational to try to oust President Kiir to the well articulated reasons provided by Thomas Cirillo. Unlike Riek Machar, Thomas Cirillo zoomed straight to the point and articulated the real core problems for a struggle to oust the regime.

These are identity politics, grave crimes against humanity, absence of law and order, lack of national army and security systems, economic destruction with grand corruption, and SPLM/A itself. To this skeleton of problems he added sufficient flesh as he voiced in his speeches from March 2017 to date.

If one analyses the divisions in Equatoria, it is different from the divisions among the Jieng. President Kiir and Paul Malong are fighting for real power base in South Sudan, whereas the Equatorians are fighting the impact of oppression on them.

Because Equatorians have been oppressed by the SPLM/A since its inception from 1983, they have lost self worth and confidence in themselves. They do not believe that one of their own can actually liberate the country. They would prefer to be led by others who project power.

Riek Machar projects that power and so it is safer to stick with the powerful even when that supposed powerful being has no real potential. The literature of liberation explains such situation in terms of power.

A simple example is the battered woman syndrome whereby an abusive husband/partner would batter his wife/girlfriend, yet the victim would do everything to remain in the abusive relationship against all wise rational advice.

In political terms, such play of power in societies since we are talking about Equatorian society is well articulated by Franz Fanon in his book ‘The Wretched of the earth’. So the infighting of Equatorians is the impact of the Jieng/Nuer power over them.

Alternatively, it could be looked at from a religious point of view in similar terms like what happened to Jesus. Although outsiders could see the importance and spiritual power of Jesus, the Jews despised him.

So while others can see the formidable leadership Thomas Cirillo is offering the people of South Sudan, some of his own people despise him. What a paradox?

In the western world, the same phenomenon happens in a slightly different way. Because the powerful political groups use power of persuasion: winning minds and hearts, the less powerful groups vote against their own interest. The recent example is the election of President Trump instead of Hilary Clinton. Basically the majority of the American people voted not to improve their lot.

Having looked at the divisions within the various SPM/A factions, the fight for power between the President and his Chief of the Army is a fight for real base of power among the Jieng who have usurped state power and it can be likened to fight of the Ferrets in a sack.

This fight is just beginning to take root and it will end with the Jieng losing power no matter what they do.

As for the Nuer, their fight for power in South Sudan is characteriZed by the Nuer decimating themselves to sustain Jieng in power. Without the substantial support of the Matips, the Monytuils, the Buays, the Ruais, the Lukes, the Rieks, the Gathoths and the Tabans, Dinkocracy would not have been possible in South Sudan.

This calls for an awakening in the Nuer people to unite under another leader one who is concerned about their well-being and not one that exploits them. That way the wrongs committed against the Nuer can be addressed and accounted for.

As for the Equatorians, their lack of self worth and self confidence is gradually being remedied by the mushrooming of rebellions in Equatoria suggesting they are unshackling themselves from the chains of oppression. Thus their divisions are momentarily.

They will soon understand their predicament and inevitably they will unite under the credible South Sudanese leader General Thomas Cirillo who will lead all South Sudanese into freedom.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]
Elhag Paul
elhagpaul@aol.com

South Sudan civil war, abetted by Uganda’s Museveni, worsening – UN panel

By KEVIN J KELLEY, THE EASTAFRICAN, NOV/29/2017, SSN;

The catastrophic conditions that confronts war-torn South Sudan will likely worsen in coming months in the face of government intransigence and ineffective regional peace-making efforts, United Nations monitors have warned.

“Absent a change in the current conflict dynamics, the coming dry season will see further fighting and civilian suffering, as the government continues to pursue military victory over political compromise,” UN investigators said on Monday.

The UN panel also accused government forces of impeding humanitarian and peacekeeping operations. This, they said, cut-off food supplies to Bagari in the northwestern Upper Nile state.

At least 164 children and elderly people died from hunger and disease in that area between January and September this year, they said. Further, the UN panel said armed forces were using food aid as a weapon of war to target civilians.

Uganda

In a 35-page report to the Security Council, the UN monitors cited Uganda as abetting President Salva Kiir administration’s refusal to end the war.

In addition to allowing arms to reach government forces, Uganda serves as the destination for teak and gold extracted from South Sudan, the panel said. These resources, as well as oil, are sold to finance military operations and enrich South Sudanese elites, the report stated.

Divisions among neighbouring countries, particularly competition between Uganda and Ethiopia for “regional hegemony,” are also causing peace initiatives to flounder, the monitors said.

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni is said to be more invested in the Kampala-led attempt to reunify three factions of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) than in moves by the regional bloc the Intergovernmental Authority on Development to revitalise the peace agreement.

READ: Will Entebbe talks deliver peace?

These parallel processes are “neither complementary nor mutually reinforcing initiatives, despite assertions to the contrary,” the report stated.

Kenya

Kenya, despite its “significant financial interests in South Sudan,” has been sidelined from the peacebuilding efforts due to Nairobi’s preoccupation with the presidential elections, the monitors said.

Kenya’s banking and real-estate sectors, along with those of Uganda, “are key destinations for financial assets and laundered funds from South Sudan,” the report noted.

The Kenyan government has additional reasons to remain actively engaged in efforts to end the nearly four-year-long civil war in South Sudan, the monitors suggested.

They cited mounting insecurity in Eastern Equatoria on Kenya’s border, which could accelerate an influx of refugees. The panel also pointed to “the continued possibility of armed groups attacking and looting poorly secured Kenyan banks in South Sudan.”

Rebels

South Sudan opposition “has become increasingly diverse and widespread as the conflict has expanded to different parts of the country,” the report said.

But the armed rebels are splintered and comparatively weak, the monitors added.

READ: South Sudan army commander defects to rebels

They said exiled opposition leader Riek Machar continues to maintain overall command of the main faction of rebel forces, “although his isolation in South Africa has limited to some degree his day-to-day oversight.”

Machar’s grip is being further loosened by military gains made by government forces, defections by some of his troops to other opposition groups and “the apparent continued lack of significant military resupply to opposition forces.”

Weaponry

Further, the report said South Sudan opposition fighters seem unable to obtain large-scale weapons supplies other than by capturing government arsenals.

The country’s army, however, has been resupplied via transhipments of arms through Uganda, the monitors said.

ALSO READ: Kiir accuses Sudan of being ‘source of weapons’

According to “documentary evidence” obtained by the panel, a cargo flight containing 31 tonnes of weapons arrived in Entebbe, Uganda, on August 29.

Kampala-based Bosasy Logistics is listed as the consignee for this shipment, reportedly from Bulgaria, that includes AK-47 rifles, spare magazines, bayonets and ammunition, they said.

“Panel sources claim that these weapons were destined for onward shipment to Juba,” the report said.

South Sudan plunged into war in December 2013 when Kiir accused Machar, his former deputy, of plotting a coup.

Tens of thousands have died in the fighting and nearly four million have fled their homes. END

Riek Machar is Failing the Opposition against Kiir’s tyranny

BY: Samuel Atabi, South Sudan, NOV/20/2017, SSN;

In her November 15, 2017 remarks at the Holocaust Museum, the US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said two things which gave me both hope and caused me despair on the war in South Sudan.

When she repeated the words of Elie Wiesel (a holocaust survivor and a Nobel Laureate) that “We must always choose side” in the face of extreme human sufferings, I became truly hopeful that this time round the US government will side with the people of South Sudan vis-à-vis their leaders.

But when she spoke of “….South Sudanese government is engaged in a brutal protracted military campaign against a FRAGMENTED (my emphasis) opposition,” I despaired.

We South Sudanese who have philosophically ‘taken side’ with the opposition forces are extremely dismayed by the divisive and fragmented activities of the group.

In any conflict, such as that which is taking place among the South Sudanese opposition, positive, unifying and magnanimous overtures are expected from those who wield the most power.

In this case, the majority of the suffering South Sudanese expects Dr Riek Machar, the leader of the largest and most powerful of the armed opposition, the SPLM-IO, to take the first initiative to unite the opposition.

However, information now available in the public domain unequivocally indicates that Machar and his outfit are the source of the internecine fighting within and the fragmentation of opposition to which the ambassador referred.

The consequence of this internal division is the weakening of the opposition forces which are now ranged against the brutal and tribal regime in Juba.

A recent report by John Young (Isolation and Endurance: Riek Machar and the SPLM-IO 2016-17) brings into the open what many have been suspecting about the true character of Dr Machar.

According to the report, Machar is opposed to the unity of all groups fighting the government in Juba; instead, he prefers to absorb all of them in his SPLM-IO, where he will remain dominant.

He has contrived to make SPLM-IO weak by resisting institutionalization of the movement and formalization of its policy.

This weakness can then ensure his grip on the power and therefore, marginalization of potential opponents.

Most of SPLM-IO nominees to the parliament in Juba, following the August 2015 agreement, are young and political novices; again this is contrived to ensure his monopoly of power.

Prior to the report, many people suspected that Machar was …politically and intellectually insecure;
…that he was distrustful of his peers and colleagues, even those from his own Nuer tribe (several Nuer Generals and leaders have abandoned him);
…that he was a control freak who took advantage of the politically inexperienced youth to enhance his dominance;
…that he disdained the advice of his colleagues and peers (a harsh and close associate describes him ‘as obdurate as a donkey’);
…and that he was militarily careless about the lives of his colleagues and those of his young followers.

The last point is abundantly proven by the death of thousands of Nuer and other South Sudanese soldiers who were his followers at different military confrontations.

In 1991, when Machar separated from the Garang-led SPLA, thousands of his followers were killed on his account.

When he changed his mind and left his erstwhile allies in Khartoum, again the man abandoned thousands of his soldiers at the mercy of the Arabs.

Prior to 2013 pogrom, during which thousands of Nuer and other South Sudanese civilians were literally slaughtered, Machar failed to recognize the risks when Kiir, Malong and others were recruiting private militias to carry out this slaughter; he criminally failed to plan countervailing measures against the impending genocide.

When he fled Juba in 2013, he gain abandoned his own body guards to the guns of the Jieng militias.

Following his return to Juba in 2016, as a consequence of the August, 2015 peace agreement, he again acted to type: he led hundreds of his own body guards to death traps when they accompanied him to the July 8, 2016 night meeting at J1.

As if that was not enough, it is now clear that Machar had no plan for his forces for orderly withdrawal from Juba in case of military confrontations; these confrontations were expected even by non-military observers.

In the disorderly withdrawal, which later took him to DR Congo, hundreds of his body guards perished. Among the dead was a senior general from Equatoria, Lt Gen Martin Kenyi.

This litany of military disasters clearly amounts to accusations of incompetence and extreme dereliction of duty and responsibility for which any military general deserves to be court marshalled.

In October (16-18) 2017, six of the South Sudanese groups that are opposed to the Kiir government met in the town of Nyahururu in central Kenya to consult on how to work together in their effort to liberate the people of South Sudan.

Unsurprisingly, the leadership of the SPLM-IO declined to send a delegation to the meeting.

The outcome of this consultative meeting is the ‘Nyahururu Declaration’ in which the parties, SPLM-FD, FDP, NDM, SSNMC, NAS, and NAM, have agreed to form a broad alliance to achieve their objectives; they have also agreed to respect the autonomy of each group to exist separately but as a part of the alliance.

Again, the suffering South Sudanese can only view with consternation the absence of the SPLM-IO, which they expect to have given leadership to the emerging alliance.

Ultimately, Riek Machar, in the wake of new political and diplomatic reality on the issue of South Sudan, will have to make up his mind as to his own future and that of his organization.

He has two main choices:
1- he can lead his group into the fold of the new opposition alliance and constructively contribute to the freedom of South Sudanese;
2- he can continue with the present, lonely, destructive and divisive trajectory and become politically irrelevant in the politics of South Sudan, both in the short and long term; unless, of course, he capitulates to Taban Deng Gai and rejoins the JCE-controlled regime in Juba.

The choice is his.

South Sudan at the Cross-roads: Give Gen. Cirillo a chance

BY: Toria, OCT/31/2017, SSN;

The two prominent leaders of South Sudan who have witnessed the achievements of their objectives are Joseph Lagu and Abel Alier, these two fought for two parallel visions but also very divisive political agendas, one is for separation and the other for dominance.

Lagu fought to see South Sudan become an independent country and also he wanted his people, the South Sudanese, to be free from being dominated by some ethnic hegemonies and hence the regionalism also commonly known amongst the Southerners as Kokora, which was born to prevent what is happening in South Sudan today.

Contrary to his counterpart, Abel Alier’s vision was to have his people the Dinkas to dominate the other ethnic minority groups based on population size and hence the phrase “born to rule” was born.

Judging from what culminated, Lagu got not only his desires to implement the regionalism agenda coined by the Jellaba in the North but also finally South Sudan got her independence from the Arabized Northern Sudan.

And also Alier got his desires of tribal monopolization in which his Dinka ethnic people became the new face of domination.

To this date these two leaders’ visions impregnated the minds of people in the new nation, it is reasonable to assume that the new generation of South Sudanese are unable to move forward and to come up with new visions.

Most of the new leaderships are embroiled in bitter disagreements of which ways to take to move forward.

Any kind of move to reform the old system is seen as a suspicious move by either side, trust has eroded in our communities so much that even within the same families and clans and tribes to national level, everyone thinks someone is here coming to get me.

The regime in Juba thinks the opposition is coming up with regime change agenda and to levy punishments on regime supporters for the past crimes, meanwhile the oppositions see the regime in Juba are vying for more control and to continue the oppression and to grab power by force in the next elections, if there will be any elections.

If there is anything that South Sudanese will never tolerate is being subjugated to policies that they don’t agree with. This is evident and can be seen from the historical backgrounds of our people’s struggles.

They would rather opt to suffer rather than being treated like second class citizens or more or less like slaves in a country which all our peoples suffered to liberate, they will never put up with dictatorships.

Since the period of colonial eras our peoples resisted the attempts to being ruled by systems that suppressed their voices and neglected their traditional norms.

The real question to ask ourselves and this includes those foreign entities who are trying to implement lasting peace in South Sudan. As much as they have well intention to save the suffering people of South Sudan, but what they need to realize is that any system that they force upon the people without consensus will just be another breeding grounds for hatreds creating more challenges and it will backfire in the future.

By now; we as South Sudanese should understand that forcing each other’s opinions and traditional systems upon other ethnic groups will not work.

By the same token, since Abel Alier and Joseph Lagu are still alive I suggest that it is about time these two need to sit face to face and make genuine peace, to initiate the national reconciliation. For both of them have already have seen the fruits of their initiatives.

Before they leave us they need to make peace and denounce the negative aspects of their visions, namely “Kokora” and “born to rule” visions were their worst failures.

But their vision of independence of South Sudan was the best achievement that 99% of South Sudanese agreed with and that should be the legacy that these two leaders need to leave behind.

Just as recently as we saw in his tours of the US, the leader of National Salvation Front or NAS, Gen. Thomas Cirilo, called for new system, which we as a nation should look at his visions more closely and examine his intentions with some keen interests.

Gen. Cirilo personally declared that his movement is to restore peace and bring about a system that will bring lasting peace, in what he claimed will make every South Sudanese be a shareholder.

We must not just blindly oppose his visions just because Thomas Cirilo comes from Equatoria. You might have heard some people on social media opposing his visions especially those supporting the government are antagonistic that Gen. Cirilo is trying to breakaway Equatoria region from the rest of South Sudan.

I am sure the opposite is true, and I challenge everyone opposed should give a listening ear for once as the General is crying out to everyone. He even mentioned about that they “Dinkas need to be rescued from the grips of the regime in Juba,” there are many examples but that Dinkas are suffering just like everyone else.

Look at what is happening to the former Chief of Staff Gen. Paul Malong Awan. http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article63857

There have never been many leaders who eloquently can admit that the very people who are oppressing his own people and robbing everything like the regime in Juba grabbing his own ancestral soil in Rajaf.

How could anyone still stay calm and call for rescue of the people who torment his people?

This is a unique character of leaders in our time that we haven’t seen for a long time. And perhaps only seen in the context of scriptures that was displayed by two people; Stephen in Acts of Apostles was being stoned to death and yet prayed that “forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing”.

Again Jesus Christ was nailed onto the cross, even at the excruciatingly painful moments of his life he looked up and said “father forgive them.”

These are the real and true hearts of people who today have left lasting impacts on countless believers we call Christians today. I am not comparing Thomas Cirilo to Jesus or Stephen but only giving examples.

I believe part of the solutions of multi-ethnic society like South Sudan should be a secular system in which religion and personal beliefs should be left to individual choices, all that I am referring to are the ideals of self-sacrifice.

Genuine leaders must deny their personal interests and put the national interests first. As opposed to what we have witnessed in the hands of SPLM party, starting from the time of peace agreements with the North to the referendum, until today instead of progress all that we see is digressions.

Hence forth, from their own words we should be able to hold leaders accountable if they fail to deliver as what they promise. https://www.facebook.com/NASAnyaNya2017/videos/1741819869446652/

Putting tribalism aside, Thomas Cirilo went further admitting that his own Bari people are divided and others would say “he is from Rajaf”, and some Equatorians would say “he is from Bari… it’s a Bari movement” and yet some South Sudanese would say “he is from Equatoria, it is an Equatorian movement”.

These are very painful and saddest moments in our lives, as a nation of multicultural heritage we are not the first to experience such downward spiralling, all our neighboring countries are no different but they have learnt to coexist, we should borrow from their experiences to resolve our differences.

In conclusion, Mr. Cirilo has displayed a unique character far from a tribal leader like Salva Kirr and some others, he again reiterated in an interview; https://www.facebook.com/GatKoang20/videos/1440167149392193.

That he wants to see the best of everything to ALL South Sudanese people regardless of who you are. I bet you will disagree with me but I also think many have disagreed with what is happening in our country now but yet we allow it to continue.

And so why don’t we give Thomas Cirilo a chance to prove himself? If he is really who he claims, his fruition should be put to test by giving him our supports.

Thomas Cirilo said a lot of things and I cannot analyze all of them here. Without prejudices anyone should take a moment and listen to his speeches and interviews. Perhaps we have a man of peace right here before us and let us give him a chance.

Just as we have given our previous leaders the chances to prove themselves and when we don’t like them we can as usual remove them from the seat.

I urge the great peoples of South Sudan and particularly the two majority groups of the Dinkas and the Nuers to give Thomas Cirilo a chance so that we could maintain the unity of our young nation. If we don’t act fast enough then we may be risking the inevitability of disintegration.

Sanction the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE)- the obstructer of peace that’s hiding in the open

By: Samuel Atabi,South Sudanese, OCT/03/2017, SSN;

The recent sanctioning of three of Kiir’s henchmen by the US government is having a salutary effect on the slow progress towards peace in South Sudan. However, much more remains to be done, especially further identification of the main culprits of obstruction and anti-peace elements that must include the self-styled Jieng Council of Elders, the JCE.

To most South Sudanese, the JCE is the single most important candidate for sanctions, which it has so far evaded by hiding, under the cloak of a community-based organization, in the plain site of the sanctions investigators; the latter should now turn their searchlight on this shadowy and dangerous anti-peace outfit.

Evidence abounds on the obstructive role that this mafia-like organization has been playing in frustrating effort to achieve peace in our country. When in the past Kiir refused to sign the ARCSS in Addis Ababa in 2015, he gave an excuse that he wanted to first consult with his “people”; the people he meant was actually the JCE.

The same organization has also been responsible for several other objections by the Kiir regime on issues concerned with deployment of peace-keepers in South Sudan.

JCE and its members do not just obstruct peace; they also get involved in decisions of the military council and other security matters that have direct bearing on the war and peace in that country. Consequently, one must therefore, wonder what drives the JCE in playing this negative role in our body politics.

In order to answer this question, it is important to know where the JCE is coming from. JCE is what it is: it is a conspiratorial and tribal mafia-like organization whose main objective is arguably to advance the interest of the Dinka people at the expense of other non-Dinka South Sudanese.

It first came into being in the 1960’s when Southern Sudanese leaders decided to wage a war against the government in Khartoum for the right of self-determination. The war was largely fought in the region of Equatoria and was largely led by Equatorians. Names of leaders like Saturnino Ohure, Joseph Lagu, Pankrasyo Ocheng, Abu John, Gbatala, Jada, Aggrey Jaden, Joseph Oduho, all of whom are and were Equatorians, can easily be remembered.

The Dinka leaders were conspicuously absent in the movement; under the tutelage of Abel Alier, they chose to fight for the same cause in the enemy’s capital in Khartoum! It was there that the budding JCE ideology of ethnic dominance, captured in the epithet “Dinka are born to rule”, emerged.

At its very basic, the ideology postulates that the Dinka are born natural leaders and should prepare themselves to dominate political, military, and economic leadership in South Sudan.

But while expounding this Hitlerite ideology the JCE was also aware at that time that the educational, economic and social backwardness of the wider Dinka population then and now would not provide the necessary structural support for the actualization of this ideology.

To cure this weakness, they preferred that an alliance with the Arabs in northern Sudan was essential; as the power holder in the whole Sudan, the Arabs would hold the ring against their more advanced competitor, the Equatorians, while at the same time promoting the dominance of the Dinka elite in the South.

The opportunity to implement this policy presented itself in 1972, when the mainly Equatorian leaders of the liberation movement entered into peace negotiations with the Arab government, in Addis Ababa. The head of the Khartoum government delegation was none other than Abel Alier, the Chief Priest of the “Born to Rule” ideology.

This was the first evidential confirmation that the Dinka indeed were in alliance with the Arabs. The subsequent autonomous governments of the South which were the result of the negotiations were dominated by Abel Alier with his key lieutenants and acolytes that included an anti-Equatorian politician, called Bona Malual.

But the Equatorians did not take this dominance lying down. In a clever and dexterous political maneuver, Joseph Lagu, and other Equatorian leaders, managed to bring about the division of the South into three autonomous regions of: Equatoria, Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile.

Kokora, as the act of the division came to be called in the Bari language, made Abel Alier and his Dinka people to vacate Equatoria and return to govern and develop their own region. This move expectedly angered the Dinka elite as it spelt doom to their plan for dominating the whole South. The ire directly led to the creation of the SPLA/M.

After the division, the immediate objective of the Dinka leaders of the SPLA/M was to revert the South to the single entity that had existed before the division in order to restore their alliance with the Arabs and revive their plan for the South.

This, as we know, did not happen, instead, the South became independent with the Arabs permanently removed from the South’s political scene. This move again threatened their ideological objective and also incurred the loss of their essential ally.

To counter this loss of an important ally, and rescue their overall plan, the JCE had to go back to the drawing board to reformulate their ideology without their Arab benefactors. The consequence of this reformulation is what is now taking place in the Republic of South Sudan.

Now, the solution for countering the perceived educational, economic and social superiority of their nemesis, the Equatorians, is to devise a situation where the Dinka population, mainly the youth, is preferentially empowered through quality education in foreign countries in Africa and oversees. (Meanwhile schools and universities in South Sudan that cater for the rest and poor South Sudanese are starved of funds and government attention).

This accelerated educational program is fashioned on the Kenyan emergency plan at independence that uplifted young Kenyans to the US where they underwent intensive instructions in governance and administration to prepare them to take over from the departing British colonialists. (The father of President Obama, Obama Snr, was a beneficiary of this plan).

It is therefore not surprising that tens of thousands of Dinka youth are found in towns and cities of eastern African and overseas countries pursuing various levels of education, from nursery to university. These kinds of opportunities are not available to the Equatorians.

At the same time, schemes have been devised for ordinary Dinka to access plundered government money through bogus entrepreneurial companies to empower them economically. The infamous Dura grain scandal is one of the schemes. Other South Sudanese do not benefit from such unjustified favor.

The planners in the JCE further realized that for their plan to produce the desired outcomes there has to be a state of political confusion in the country for at least a generation (25 years). The state of confusion is provided for by the massive and unprecedented level of corruption and the equally massive displacement of South Sudanese through war, assassinations, rape and disappearances.

This tumult in the country affords a free and corrupt access to government money for the Dinka elite and their people and secondly, it delays and holds down any form of development in Equatoria so that, in the estimation of the JCE, the Dinka population can catch up or surpass the Equatorians.

At that future stage, the fundamental tenet, that of ethnic domination in South Sudan as espoused by the JCE ideology, will then be readily achieved.

The membership of JCE comprises of highly educated people, including strategists, diplomats and operators with keen knowledge of the working of governments in the White Hall, the White House, and the UN system. So far they have deftly and successfully managed to conceal this insidious and dangerous ideology from the gaze of the international community to evade a deserved opprobrium.

This Nazi-type of social engineering has no place in the present world, and if left unchecked, will have a devastating effect on the cohesion of the people of South Sudan.

The Chairman of JCE, Ambrose Riiny Thiik, is a well-educated man and a former Chief Justice, who also has lived in a modern and liberal country, the UK. Yet, he is at the apex of a Neo-Nazi organization orchestrating the killing and ethnic cleansing of his fellow citizens in South Sudan.

The US government sanctions committee should investigate him thoroughly with the aim of sanctioning him as a deterrent to his other equally dangerous confederates. Rumors have it that he is a landlord to the US Mission to South Sudan. If proven, this could provide a pressure point through which his divisive action can be curtailed.

His son is said to be a minister in the country’s ministry of finance and is said to be the man behind the recent hiking of the registration fee for international NGOs; the hike is a sinister move to frustrate the delivery of services to the famished and dying South Sudanese.

We look forward to the next list of individuals for sanctions that we hope will include the Chairman of JCE.

Samuel Atabi is a concerned South Sudanese and can be reached at samuel atabi@gmail.com

The South Sudan War and Why Vice-president Taban Deng Gai Should be Arrested Upon Arrival in New York

BY: Abu Deng, SEPT/20/2017, SSN;

The reason for no Peace in South Sudan, millions displaced/starving – And why Taban Deng Gai should be arrested upon his Arrival in New York.

While millions of South Sudanese starve, the Juba elite and their regional and global friends (Enablers) are making millions – such as the so-called humanitarian Republic of Uganda who shelters one million South Sudanese refugees (though it has provided significant military support, troops, equipment to the war) while it exports gold worth $200 million and now has built a gold refinery.

Where is this Gold coming from, their neighbor South Sudan, where several nations involved in bringing peace there, such as USA (pre-Trump, the Kerry Era) Uganda, China and South Africa have firms mining Gold, Diamonds, Uranium, Silver, precious gems, Cobalt, Aluminum, Iron, Nickel and Zinc (The imposed General Taban Deng Gai was the Minister of Mining for those recent contracts.

Uganda opened its first national gold refinery in Entebbe during February 2017 to process raw gold from South Sudan and the DRC (processing over 1.5 tons monthly) – though it has no commercial mines. Its gold exports went from 0 to $200 million in 2016, thanks to South Sudan and its conflict.

At the center of this war-for-profit effort are key co-plotters General Taban Deng Gai and Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, former senior cadre of the SPLM-IO of the Dr. Riek Machar who decided to eliminate him and take over control of the opposition party. General Taban Gai was made Minister of Mining and Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth was made Chief of Staff of Dr. Machar’s office (these assignments both men disliked greatly).

Once Dr. Machar was run out of the country in July 2016, these two: Gai/Lol, engineered a violent takeover of the SPLM-IO party in cooperation with President Salva Kiir that consisted of monetary/position inducements (presidential appointments); threats or blackmail via rape/non-consensual sex filmed for political leverage against key Opposition leaders.

Question: How Rampant is General Taban Deng Gai’s penchant for using rape of Men and Women as a Weapon of War and for Political Maneuvering/Opposition suppression?

With full control of key Opposition leaders and cooperation with the Kiir regime, General Taban Gai helped formed so-called transitional government of national – albeit its focus was not development and stablising the economy, which has steadily been declining since the government’s formation, including exorbitant currency rates, dollar shortages, high prices as well as lack of healthcare, education, security and basic food items.

Mr. Invisible: General Taban Deng Gai –
My sources tell me General Taban Deng Gai initiated a legal case in Dubai, UAE. He sued the sons of a deceased business partner to retrieve tens of millions of dollars (the court ruling issued this year is unknown, but I have been told it did not go in his favor) – though I normally do not like to speculate as a rule, the original source of this information is Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth in this case, Taban Gai’s trusted number two. So where did these millions come from originally?

Given the openness of Dubai, I am sure naysayers can investigate this quite easily – but my point is that Mr Taban Deng Gai has been one of those “invisible” people silently getting rich off of the nation’s woes and these wars, while the majority of citizens suffer. One area I would like investigators to review is whether Mr. Gai while a Governor embezzled some of the oil money designated to Unity State, which receives 2 percent of oil revenue, over $10 million monthly as one of the oil-producing states.

Now he has hornswoggled the VP position, which can reap him power, money and maybe the acutely desired respect he has long sought given he has been disliked in his home state and the capital Juba for a long time, which is why he uses money to “make friends” and buy influence. Given the recent US Treasury announcement, targeting those involved in obstructing Peace or benefiting from this war . . . meaning, Taban Deng Gai and Ezekial Lol Gatkuoth . . . They should be prime suspects/candidates for sanctions as well as listed as war criminals for their central role in atrocities post-July 2016 in South Sudan.

Biography of General Taban Deng Gai
Who is Taban Deng Gai? He was born to a mother from Unity State and a father from northern Sudan — the Shaigiya tribe. Mr. Taban Deng Gai is married with children. He is an astute politician and soldier; he was a key aide of Dr. John Garang and later Dr. Riek Machar. He is well-known to be an ruthlessly ambitious man who hates to lose and is capable of doing anything to win.
_ _ _`

A poignant example is the historic 2010 election in which Ms. Teny lost, two civilians were killed, he kidnapped and held as hostages the country Vice President Dr. Riek Machar and the gubernatorial candidate who had won the race according to international observers (that winner was Madame Angela Jany Teny — Dr. Machar’s wife). Ms. Teny had her car shot at during the campaign and their house was surrounded by tanks and soldiers courtesy of General Gai and President Kiir. The Vice President and Ms. Teny escaped and that same day General Taban Gai was declared Governor of Unity state though votes in his favour were minimal (Mr. Gai himself has acknowledged he lost 7 of 9 counties then).

The most damning evidence should come from the recent Opposition party mutiny and near assassination of President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar at J1 (the Presidential Palace) on 8 July 2016. The ensuing war saw First Vice President Machar and Madame Teny “escape again”, by foot to the Democratic Republic of Congo. And the razing of the SPLM-IO Opposition area called Site I (the VP’s residence) as well as hunting down their officials and advisors (local and foreign).

Post-analysis and reports of the J1 incident show key plotters of J1 were former Chief of Staff Paul Malong; General Taban Gai; Akol Koor Kuc (head of National Intelligence) and Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth.

The goal is said to have been to install General Paul Malong as President and Taban Gai as First Vice President; and Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth as the Petroleum Minister with the “former” leaders Kiir/Machar expected to be killed in the crossfire — which did not happen, complicating the ascension plan of General Taban, who was not particularly trusted by General Paul Malong since he betrayed his long-time leader and friend, Dr. Riek Machar.

Mr. Gai’s ambition and ruthlessness are legendary so not many trust him, for he uses people until he has no need. Many SPLM-IOs of Dr. Machar, post July 2016, have reported they were given a simple choice: serve me (meaning, Taban Gai) or die!

Investigations Needed into General Taban Deng Gai’s Finances
Given recent revelations of Mr. Gai’s loss of millions of dollars in Dubai, and observing the mining ministry’s activities since General Gai’s arrival there in May 2016, a serious review is needed of financial transactions of South Sudan which will likely reveal corruption/connections to General Taban Deng Gai.

A key firm to review is Sabina Ltd based in Unity State, which is partially owned by General Taban Gai and said to be his conduit for siphoning state funds out of the area. This company has been involved in many contracts in construction, roads, electricity, etc. and was the only private contractor approved by the state for several years during the reign of General Taban Deng Gai as governor.

Here are some companies and countries doing mining in South Sudan:

1. Zhonghao Exploration & Mining Company – China
2.
3. Epic Exploration Pty Ltd, West Perth – Australia
4. Equation Mining Inc., Alaska, | Blackstone for Mining Co. Ltd, Idaho – USA
5. SASS Minerals and Petroleum Pty – South Africa
6. LuckyFriends Trading and Construction Co. Ltd (Company number: 102163) – Uganda

The above list points to alternative reasons why several of these countries are/have supported the corrupt and abusive regime of President Salva Kiir: MONEY, GOLD, DIAMONDS, etc. Personal gain perhaps among officials in some of these countries: US, Uganda, South Africa?

But the violent nature of this regime should itself repel US and Europe greatly, particularly since the rape rampage in July 2016 at Terrain Hotel attributable to General Taban Gai’s violent takeover plan. Listening to the below BBC interviews of several rape victims, one sees Juba’s violent State policy against American and European persons and interests as well against it citizens. If you can stomach horrible truths, listen to these heart-wrenching stories:

Massive level of Sexual Assaults in Juba

The one area where it is clear that the government leadership under President Kiir and General Taban Deng Gai is failing miserably is security, intentionally so it seems for their weak responses/irresponsible utterances are tantamount to condoning serious human rights abuse — on a monumental scale — and giving rise to the rampant use of Sexual Violence as a Weapon of War.

Within the capital city of Juba where the government has firm control, its security forces, primarily police and soldiers, have been identified by victims as the main perpetrators of horrendous sexual assaults, gang rapes — all occurring on a massive scale against IDP women according to the UN. See the June 2016 HCT South Sudan report by UNHCR where the survey of the UN Protection of Civilians camps in Juba shows — three out of every four women have been raped. See below, from page 60:

As well, General Taban Gai’s thirst for power and money is threatening regional and even global security, actually destabilising it, for countries like Egypt and North Korea have military cooperation agreements with the Juba regime. See,

North Korea’s Kim Jong signed a deal a military cooperation with South Sudan – link

The question is why the former US administration of President Obama would support a government which the United Nations and its panel of experts have considered one of the gravest abusers of human rights in modern times.

Finally, I have tried to shine a light on a globally invisible, yet influential long-time political figure of South Sudan who I hope the West will not take serious (and avoid association with him) for the monumental blood on his hands is that of a war criminal.

Abu Deng, ig

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No Country for Civilians…..The Largest Exodus ever from war-torn South Sudan!

The sudden exodus from war-torn South Sudan is the largest Africa has seen since the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

BY: Jason Patinkin, Foreign Policy.com, SEPT/31/2017, SSN;

KAJO KEJI, South Sudan — Brig. Gen. Moses Lokujo stood in the ruins of Loopo, a strategic hilltop village in South Sudan’s lush southern Equatoria region. Less than two miles to the east, telephone poles poked over a green ridge, marking the outskirts of Kajo Keji, the seat of the county of the same name, where rebels under Lokujo’s command stared down government forces across a deserted marketplace, one of dozens of front lines in a grinding, three-year civil war that no one was winning.

It was late April, about two weeks after the South Sudanese army had attacked Loopo from the southwest, blasting through two lines of rebel defenses and wreaking havoc through the village. When the government forces eventually retreated to their base along the Ugandan border, the rebels moved back in to find the place destroyed. The homes were torched, the shops looted. A rocket-propelled grenade had cratered the wall of a primary school building, leaving behind sheaves of white ash that used to be books.

The army had attacked again, flanking the rebel positions around Kajo Keji just days before I arrived, but Lokujo’s men had repulsed them under heavy fire. “This is my location,” said Lokujo, a tall, well-built ethnic Kuku armed with a quick laugh and a black 9 mm pistol strapped to his hip. “The enemies will not come out and kill our civilians.”

The reality is that in Kajo Keji, as in much of war-torn South Sudan, there aren’t many civilians left to protect. Loopo was a ghost town except for Lokujo’s troops. The rest of Kajo Keji county, once home to perhaps hundreds of thousands of people, has emptied amid a civil war that has become one of the world’s worst, with government and rebel soldiers murdering and raping civilians for their ethnicity or suspected political affiliations.

Since 2013, tens and possibly hundreds of thousands of people have been killed across South Sudan, though no one is really counting. Untold more have died of starvation and disease. Around a third of the population — estimated to be up to 12 million before the war — have fled their homes.

In the last year alone, 1 million South Sudanese have flooded into Uganda, including three-quarters of Kajo Keji’s population, amid what the U.N. has described as a campaign of ethnic cleansing. It is the largest sudden exodus in Africa since the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

So Kajo Keji is now a land of soldiers. The army, largely consisting of a notorious ethnic Dinka militia called the Mathiang Anyoor, controls key border posts and towns along the road to the national capital of Juba, while the rebels roam the hilly countryside. In between are empty villages, burned huts, and silence. Dense bush overtakes abandoned fields. For three days, I traveled across the county from west to east and didn’t see another car. With a few exceptions, the only people I met were rebels.

“Bush is for guerrillas,” said Victor Moses, a rebel who joined Lokujo in February. And the guerrillas, Moses said, aren’t going anywhere. “We are ready to fight even for more than five years or 10 years or 20 years.”

Moses and the rest of Lokujo’s soldiers are part of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition, the country’s main rebel force. The IO, as it is called, was born in 2013 when the national army, called the SPLA, split following a massacre of ethnic Nuer citizens in Juba by Dinka troops loyal to President Salva Kiir.

In subsequent days, Nuer army units defected across the country’s swampy northeast and, along with Nuer youth militia, sought to avenge the deaths of their brethren in Juba. Banding together under the leadership of former Vice President Riek Machar, himself a Nuer, they massacred Dinka civilians and others, plunging the country into a cycle of violence that continues today.

Machar remains at the helm of the IO, but he has been in South Africa since December 2016, after a brief unity government fell apart and he was chased into exile. Meanwhile, mechanized government troops have routed the Nuer rebel units in the northeast, where most of the fighting occurred from 2013 to 2016. As a result, the war has shifted south to the region that snakes along the porous borders with Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, making Equatorian troops a dominant group within the IO. Victor Moses is one of those troops.

Born in Kajo Keji in the 1960s, he joined the SPLA in 1987, back when it was a rebel group fighting the Arab-dominated government of then-united Sudan. That war ended in 2005, setting the stage for South Sudan’s independence in 2011. Peace was good, he said, but the abuses by Kiir’s government and his allies in the army became too great. So this year, he deserted his post in Juba, came home to Kajo Keji, and went back to war. “If the government reforms, then well and good. If it doesn’t reform, then the government will reform through fire,” he said.

The blackboard in a classroom in Kajo Keji county still shows the instructions for a social studies paper assigned before the conflict broke out.

The first night I stayed with them, the rebels camped in a cluster of primary school buildings that once accommodated some 400 students. In one classroom, guns and combat boots lined the wall beneath a blackboard that still listed instructions for some long-canceled social studies paper. The next day, during the visit to Loopo, I saw a ransacked classroom with the same instructions on the blackboard, suggesting that people fled simultaneously across the county. It was not a slow exodus but an immediate, sudden emptying. “It’s really painful,” said Scopas Peter, a local chief who stayed well behind the front lines. “If there is no education, that means you have lost the future of this place.”

In the mornings, the rebels brushed their teeth, drank tea, and gave each other haircuts. Younger soldiers played with a pet monkey that had the honorary rank of lance corporal. When they patrolled in their pickups, piled in the back with weapons bristling, the rebels sang and teased. Near a displacement camp in the west of the county, where the few remaining civilians have taken refuge, the men whistled as they passed a group of young women walking toward the Ugandan border. The women giggled and waved back. “Beyoncé,” one rebel whispered as the women disappeared out of sight, provoking much laughter from his colleagues. Another soldier, a tall ethnic Mundari with a pointed goatee, shook his head, declaring that he didn’t want a South Sudanese wife. “My first wife is Arab. The next one must be Australian or American,” he said. “It is important to mix.”

Besides Mundaris, Lokujo’s troops count ethnic Kuku, Kakwa, Bari, and a handful of Nuer soldiers who shifted south to fight in Equatoria. With the allegiance of fighters from around the country, such diversity should be the IO’s chief strength as they fight the Dinka-dominated government. But Machar has been unable to manage the mix.

Non-Nuer soldiers have defected from Machar to join other rebel leaders not affiliated with the IO, accusing him of favoring his Nuer tribespeople. In late July, west of Kajo Keji, fighting broke out between Nuer and Equatorian rebels within the IO after one of Machar’s most powerful Equatorian generals defected and joined a rival insurgency. But Lokujo’s forces have remained under Machar, launching attacks on government positions even as Equatorian and Nuer rebels battle each other just hours away.

Foot soldiers donned berets, baseball caps, floppy fisher’s hats, faux fur bucket hats, and Elmer Fudd hunting caps.

The diversity of the rebels in Kajo Keji mirrored their ragtag appearance. One officer wore a shining green police helmet, another a tiger-striped cowboy hat. Foot soldiers donned berets, baseball caps, floppy fisher’s hats, faux fur bucket hats, and Elmer Fudd hunting caps. They wore camouflage army fatigues, blue police uniforms, jeans, T-shirts, windbreakers, and winter jackets. On their feet were rubber rain boots, worn-out sneakers, and flip-flops. Some sported black leather combat boots, shined each morning by a soldier who doubled as Lokujo’s personal photographer.

Their armory was just as eclectic. They carried AK-47 and M16 assault rifles, PKM light machine guns, homemade shotguns, and Bulgarian rocket-propelled grenades. One soldier had a battered Czech submachine gun. Another wielded a flare gun built by a company in Florida. A young insurgent, looking barely 18, cradled an ancient-looking grenade with a wooden handle. Another packed a wooden bow with jagged, steel-tipped arrows in a fur-lined quiver. Unlike the government, which has purchased weapons through Uganda, the rebels have no major arms supplier. Nearly all of their kit has been stolen from the government in battle, including Lokujo’s pistol, which the general slapped on a plastic table before each meal at the abandoned primary school.

“I took it from an NSS officer I killed,” Lokujo said of his side arm, referring to the National Security Service, a government paramilitary force. Sure enough, engraved on the gun’s side were the letters NSS, right above a stamp reading, “Made in Israel.”

At night, the rebels feasted on boiled pork, taken from abandoned farms. Goats and cows were off limits unless purchased because the rebels considered them the property of the people, but pigs were plentiful and destroyed crops, so local chiefs declared them fair game for the IO. With ample food, the men boasted that conditions were better in the bush than in the government barracks, where soldiers often sit for months without pay. “They tell us that we are thieves,” a radio operator nicknamed Lima Tango said of the government forces. “And we tell them we are living better than them.”

Lima Tango had been a secondary school student in Uganda but dropped out this year after government soldiers razed his father’s fields back home in South Sudan. Without money from the farm, he couldn’t afford the school fees, so he joined the IO. Many others in Lokujo’s unit were also new to war. There were child soldiers who looked no older than 15 and criminals, too. One man had been locked up in Kajo Keji for having sex with 13-year-old girl but joined the rebels after they broke into the jail and released all the prisoners. There was one woman among the fighters, Jane, who had her own room in the school building. In the mornings, she brewed the tea before picking up her M16.

Samuel Lokujo, who is not related to the commander, was a taxi driver when the war broke out. In December 2015, he was taking passengers to Juba when gunmen ambushed his vehicle. He ran and hid in the forest. When the gunshots stopped, he ventured back to find his passengers, two women and two men, dead with their belongings looted. The men who attacked Lokujo’s car wore plain clothes, but he believes they were government troops. So later that night, he waited outside a bar in Kajo Keji where a group of Dinka soldiers were drinking. When one of them stumbled out, he shot him with a bow and arrow, took his AK-47, and fled to the bush to join the IO. He was still carrying the same rifle in April.

“They have been shooting me with this one. Now I have this one,” he said, showing off the weapon in the morning sunlight as Jane brewed tea over a nearby campfire. “They are a man. I am also now a man.”

The rebels took a mystical view of their fight. The former taxi driver Lokujo wore charms around his neck with bits of supposedly magic tree bark meant to protect him from grenades. The rebels credit forest spirits for a key victory at a place called Jokat, where they blocked the government’s advance. According to their legend, a tree fell across the road, trapping an army convoy and allowing them to kill the army soldiers and capture two vehicles and many weapons. After the battle, they claimed, the tree righted itself. They believed history was on their side, too. “Definitely we are going to win,” Brig. Gen. Lokujo said, pointing to a mountain that once served as a base for the Anyanya, a southern Sudanese rebel group that fought in the area in the 1960s. “We are following the footsteps of our forefathers.”

One person they didn’t assign mystical qualities was Machar, who has portrayed himself as the rightful leader of South Sudan according to a Nuer prophecy. Though the rebels in Kajo Keji recognized Machar as their leader, none venerated him personally, and they dismissed the idea that the IO was Machar’s personal force. They also scoffed at his sidelining in South Africa. “Even if he is no longer with us, still the war will go ahead,” Moses said. “The movement is not belonging to him. The movement is a movement of the people, and people are the ones who fought.”

But the people are also the ones bearing the brunt of the war. Dozens of civilians have been killed in Kajo Keji alone, mostly by government forces. Rebels to the east, meanwhile, have repeatedly attacked road convoys, indiscriminately firing on civilians and soldiers alike. It’s impossible to say how many IO soldiers have died in Kajo Keji. The officers insisted that they rarely lose men in battle, but they also sought to hide their wounded. In one medical clinic west of Loopo, they told us that a young man with a gunshot wound in his abdomen was a civilian. Later, he was manning a rebel checkpoint.

The only other patient in that clinic was a young boy with malaria with his parents and baby sister. The small family had earlier fled to the forest after government forces burned their village. They stayed for a month in the bush, surviving on wild fruits and leaves, before returning to their village. The clinic’s doctor, a former SPLA physician named Mike Abut Ali, said the boy had come for malaria treatment twice that week, but due to a government blockade of aid deliveries to rebel-held areas, he had only enough drugs to administer half doses each time. Ali begged for aid groups to defy the blockade and deliver medicine. “You cannot forget us. We are not animals. We are human beings, like you,” he said, cradling a rifle as the small family sat on a stoop nearby. “In the government side, you do assist there, but here you don’t assist.”

The next day, bumping along the county’s orange dirt roads in their pickups, the soldiers sang their favorite war song, vowing to bring “fire” to Kiir, the Mathiang Anyoor, and the Dinka. “Seven years! Six years!” they chanted — a prediction of how long they would fight. “Forget your wife! Forget your child!” At one point, the boisterous rebels drove past the small family we had met at the clinic.

The parents, carrying their malaria-stricken son and baby girl, were walking west toward the displacement camps and the Ugandan border. They were one more family leaving South Sudan, a land that is no country for civilians.

Jason Patinkin is a journalist covering East Africa.

Caught in South Sudan’s War: Dinka Juba govt abuses in Equatoria

BY: Audrey Wabwire, EastAfrica Press Officer, Human Rights Watch, AUG/03/2017, SSN;

One hot Tuesday afternoon last January, about 10 South Sudanese government soldiers came to Elizabeth’s village, Romoji, in Kajo Keji county, near the Ugandan border. Many of the farming villages in her area have become the front lines of South Sudan’s four-year civil war.

“The soldiers came close to the house around 4:00 pm,” said Elizabeth, a tall, slender woman in her thirties. “I was cooking at home when my son told me that soldiers had come. My husband Kristofer went outside the house to check. They shot him.”

When her two sons, aged 10 and 5, went out to check on their father, the soldiers shot them dead too. Elizabeth (not her real name), ran from her home, hearing soldiers firing their guns. One soldier chased her and caught her. He was tall, like the rest of them. He did not speak to her, but threatened her with a knife and twisted her arm, breaking it. Elizabeth believes he wanted to kill her, though she’s not sure what stopped him. “Maybe they let me go because they had already killed 3 people,” she says.

Despite a 2015 peace agreement, fighting between South Sudan’s government and rebel forces has spread to the country’s southern Greater Equatorias region, which had been somewhat insulated from the war until late 2015 when it began to spread.

As in elsewhere in South Sudan, the fighting split communities down ethnic lines – with mostly Dinka government troops and armed militia targeting the mostly non-Dinka communities they suspected of supporting the rebels.

The violence and abuses – largely committed by government forces during counter-insurgency operations in western parts of the country and in the southern Equatorias region – have displaced hundreds of thousands in the last year alone, mostly to Uganda, which now hosts almost a million South Sudanese.

Since the conflict started in December 2013, igniting in Juba and spreading north, more than 2 million people fled to neighboring countries with another 2 million displaced internally, making South Sudan the largest humanitarian disaster in Africa today.

Soon after this attack, Elizabeth’s mother and her 3 remaining children fled to Uganda. Elizabeth told Human Rights Watch how she hid in a riverbed nearby for four days, drinking water with one hand because her other arm was broken.

She said she ate soil to survive. When she came out of hiding, her village was abandoned. She managed to find transport with assistance from the UN, and came to Uganda, where she now lives with her family as a refugee.

Elizabeth’s past torments her and her future hangs in the balance. In May 2017, when Human Rights Watch spoke with Elizabeth, she could not stop crying.

Five months later, she is clearly still traumatized – not just psychologically but physically: her arm hangs limp by her side and it is difficult for her to find a way to care for her family. She worries about finding food and does not sleep at night, she says.

When she pauses in her story, Elizabeth stares listlessly into the horizon. “My husband was a farmer, why did they kill him? With one arm, how do I care for the children and my mother? I want to commit suicide,” she says.

Although the camp offers some security, no one truly feels safe. Family members who dare to venture across the border to collect food from home face further attacks. Elizabeth walks back to her tent to prepare an evening meal for her children, a task she used to enjoy, but now struggles to perform. END

IGAD’s High Level Revitalization Forum on South Sudan is a Hoax, Deeply Flawed & Driven by Financial Gains

BY: J. Nguen, JUL/27/2017, SSN;

The Nuer Supreme Council (NSC) would like to take this opportunity to declare that Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is no longer a credible peace broker in South Sudan, but rather, a sham and hallowed financial profiteering institution driven by IGAD’s nation States political and financial gains.

The recent IGAD)’s High Level Revitalization Forum on South Sudan is a Hoax, Deeply Flawed and Driven by Financial Gains. This is showcased by IGAD’s position on the SPLM/A-IO, the main opposition armed Movement in South Sudan.

Due to IGAD’s deeply flawed and monies driven position on the South Sudan peace, the Council demands that IGAD relinquishes its mandate on the South Sudan Peace Agreement to the African Union.

The IGAD’s approach going about with the High Level Revitalization Forum is not genuine. The Revitalization Forum is high selective, ill-conceived and we believe such a method will fail.

Thus, the Council agreed that IGAD’s approach is “exclusionary initiative” and only meant to prolong the war efforts and suffering of the people of South Sudanese, while IGAD’s member States representatives continued to get their paychecks in the name of unachievable peace.

To recap, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is an East African regional bloc, mandated by the African Union (AU) in 2013 to oversee and mediate the peace negotiation efforts on South Sudan. IGAD is supposed to be non-partisan, genuinely honest and objective in all its approaches.

IGAD came to such a prominent position when President Salva Kiir falsified a coup d’état against his own Government, and then, mass murder 20, 000 innocent Nuer civilians, which then caused the civil war. IGAD was entrusted with responsibility to bring the warring parties to the negotiation table.

Despite the murderous nature of the political problem in South Sudan, the East African’s leaders and the African Union maintained that the path to peace in South Susan be an African driven approach meaning – “Africans’ solutions to Africans’ problems”.

The intent was to deny the international community’s involvement and influences on what African’ leaders called “Africa’s state of affairs”. The international community accepted the proposal in principle to avoid false accusation of imperialism or neocolonialism intent by the West in Africa in the 21st century.

However, with this African’ driven approach, of Africans’ solutions to Africans’ problems, the problem arose on the financing. The African nation States are bankrupt and lack financial muscles to ensure ownership in the process and also to guarantee that the method is indeed for Africans, by Africans and on the African continent.

Instead, the Africa’s nation States particularly the IGAD asked for financial supports from the West, particularly the Troika (USA, United Kingdoms and Norway), EU and China to help facilitates the peace process in South Sudan.

This contradictions created a setback on the Africans’ solutions to Africans’ problems objective. In reverse, it created financial dependency. This financial dependency turned IGAD a beggar and hallowed financial profiteering institution meant to benefit no one but themselves. Today, the Council can state this with straight face that IGAD is a sham and hallowed financial profiteering institution.

With resounding confidence, the Council declared that the High Level Revitalization Forum aimed to revive peace in the South Sudan is a scum and subject to fail.

The initiative is nothing but a mockery and grossly incompatible to the 2015 failed Peace Agreement. For example, in 2015, IGAD patched a weak Peace Accord on South Sudan. IGAD did not and still not protecting any peace accord in South Sudan. Its failure in protecting the signed accord add to IGAD’s lack of sincerity and commitments. Therefore, the Council concluded that IGAD can no longer be trusted. It motivation on South Sudan peace is financially driven and not a genuine search for peace.

The weak Peace Accord broker by IGAD for South Sudan collapsed on July 8th, 2016 and IGAD failed to hold to account the violators. Instead, IGAD continued with deafening silence even though people were dying and being displaced in their thousands all-over South Sudan.

Due to the deadly nature of the war, those whose intentions was to achieve genuine peace for South Sudan called for peaceful revitalization process through political means. Sadly, IGAD’s nation States blatantly refused and claimed that the Peace Agreement was intact and being implemented.

Of late, IGAD subtly acknowledged that the peace agreement on South Sudan has collapsed and required a political revitalization process. In June 2017, IGAD tabled the High Level Revitalization Forum and subsequently followed by timeline.

The High Level Revitalization Forum aims to revitalize the collapsed Peace Agreement on South Sudan. To achieve this objective, IGAD has initially declared that the process will be inclusive. All the warring parties and other oppositions would be involves including the estranged groups. IGAD also stressed that all would be engage in a transparent processes.

The Council and the world at large were delighted and endorsed the IGAD’s initiative and change of heart without second guess that IGAD’s initiative could be a financial scum and deeply flawed. We lauded the IGAD’s nation States for such a decisive move at the eleven hour after a year of deafening silence on South Sudan.

To everyone surprise, the IGAD Executive Council, Workneh Gebeyhu of Ethiopia had this to say on July 24, 2017 in Juba, South Sudan: “revitalization forum is not a fresh negotiation or a renegotiation to implement the agreement, but rather an opportunity for all South Sudan stakeholders to return to the implementation of the peace agreement.”

First, the Council would like to reinstate that the peace in South Sudan has collapsed and there is no peace agreement to be implemented by all South Sudan stakeholders. Instead, there is a raging war in the country. In our view, the first attempt must be to stop the war before IGAD’s rubbish talks of implementation of the peace agreement that does not exists.

Second, for IGAD to say that “Dr. Machar will be allowed to send representatives to the Revitalisation forum which is due in September, but will not be allowed to attend the forum by himself” is deeply troubling and irresponsible.

With that statement, the Council believe that IGAD nation States has killed their initiative, the High Level Revitalization Forum and we think this was not accidental but IGAD’s intention in the first place. Similarly, with this position, we suspect that IGAD has secured some financial supports for the initiative which the donors have no way of reclaiming.

Third, it’s improbable to think and talk of peace in South Sudan when the SPLM/A –IO’s top leadership is excluded in the High Level Revitalization Forum. It must be noted with clarity, that the SPLM/A-IO is the main signatory to the Peace Agreement which is falsely being claim to be revitalizes and the only armed force on the ground fighting Salva Kiir’s forces in South Sudan.

Their exclusion by the IGAD in the High Level Revitalization Forum means no peace and no genuine High Level Revitalization Forum for all South Sudanese, which is what IGAD wants. Another IGAD’s intention is continued financial gains which we precisely believe to be a financial profiteering in the name of South Sudan’ peace.

Fourth, IGAD cannot call for an inclusive forum of all South Sudan stakeholders and yet denied the SPLM/A-IO’s top leadership participation in the form. This is hypocrisy and true conduct of a financial profiteering institution.

In closing, it’s fitting to say that the High Level Revitalization Forum was a hoax and meant to lure in Western Governments to fetch-in financial supports to benefit IGAD’s Nation States. The IGAD’s High Level Revitalization Forum is not genuine. It’s a sham and whose objective is to racketeer in the name of suffering people of South Sudan.

Therefore, the Council call on the African Union to take-over the South Sudan’s peace portfolio from IGAD.

The Council also call on the Western nation States, particularly the Troika, EU and other International body to defund the High Level Revitalization Forum under IGAD.

The Council asked the Troika, EU and other International body to only fund genuine and inclusive initiative whose goal is to bring lasting peace to South Sudan under African Union.

The Nuer Supreme Council is an independent think tank, whose objective is to advance peace, research and bottom-up development in the rural South Sudan. The Council is also an advocate for fair treatment and equal representation of all South Sudanese in the South Sudan state of affairs.

J. Nguen
Chairman of the Nuer Supreme Council
Email; jamesnguen@gmail.com