Category: Featured

Lt. General Thomas Cirillo’s Resignation Exposes The Tribal Regime Of President Kiir

Press Release, SSDF, FEB/19/2017, SSN;

The resignation of Lt. General Thomas Cirillo Swaka (Mogga Lo Cirillo), the SPLA Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, sent shock waves in all directions. The news is still reverberating in all corners of the Republic of South Sudan. It’s too early to gauge the full impact of this significant development. The glaring fact is that the resignation was welcomed by the majority of the South Sudanese people and probably some of the General’s well-wishers outside the borders of South Sudan.

Lt. General Thomas Cirillo, is a living hero and a role model to many Equatorian and South Sudanese officers and soldiers. His resignation can only encourage more of the same from the real patriots amongst the armed forces.

The South Sudan Democratic Front (SSDF) applauds and celebrates the selfless and patriotic decision taken by our renown General by preferring to be on the side of the people over remaining loyal to an illegitimate regime that’s permanently infested with corruption and tribalism.

His brilliant resignation letter has confirmed what we have been saying all along that the SPLA is not a national army and the government is implementing a divisive policy aimed at domination and hegemony of the Jieng tribe over the other ethnicities of South Sudan.

It’s clear that the General took the decision following plenty of patience and a lot of thought. It was perceived that the General has been under enormous pressure to quit the government from his community and the Equatorians on the one hand, and as a result to the mounting crimes committed by the SPLA and the militias affiliated to it against the civilian populations, on the other.

The General’s resignation letter has exposed what has been hidden away from the public regarding the running of the so-called government of South Sudan. It’s apparent that there is no real institutional work and those at the top of the regime do not adhere to any procedures or regulations. They are above the law, and South Sudan is more or less being run as a Chieftaincy of the Jieng tribe.

The ridiculous attempts to discredit and tarnish the name of Lt. General Thomas Cirillo will all be despised and ignored. His reputation would ever remain immaculate and unscathed. These attempts are cheap and are being propagated by food lovers like Brig. General Lul Rui Koang, the spokesperson of the SPLA , who is not even a real General.

Regarding military education, training, courage and integrity, Lt. General Thomas Cirillo is superior to Kiir, Kuol Manyang Juuk, and Paul Malong. Of course, there are those with twisted minds who seem to tolerate commanders who commit atrocities and kill innocent civilians. Their followers and beneficiaries even call them as brave men and heroes. Well, ruthlessness and savagery are not bravery and massacring unarmed civilians, is not heroism. They are criminals.

Perhaps the only field in which the trio could beat Lt. General Thomas Cirillo without contest – is the field of thievery. Therefore, it was not a surprise that the names of the trio appeared in the Sentry report while the name of Mogga Lo Cirillo was nowhere to be found in it.

In fact, many in his community, who know him very well, have been worrying that his name may get soiled in the course of serving the people of South Sudan in a government full of thieves. His departure is a great relief to his friends, community and the people of South Sudan.

Even if he decides to do nothing more, he has already done the single most important thing which is the unveiling of the fact that we neither have a national army nor an impartial government.

At the time of writing this piece, the social media circulated the resignation letters of Brig. General, Henry Oyay Nyango, Judge Advocate General, Director, Military Justice and Col. Khalid Ono Loki, Judge Advocate, Head, Military Courts.

Now, what would the government say about these resignations? Would the two military judges be accused of misappropriation of funds to blemish their reputations? It’s unheard of that judges resigned their jobs in protest of the absence of the rule of law and widespread impunity in a government. These are testimonies confirming that matters have reached the lowest low. The SSDF commends the patriotic move by the two military judges and encourages others to take similar decisions.

Thomas Cirillo’s departure appears to have the Domino Effect on the course of events within the SPLA. It’s a game changer and would certainly not be confined to the military sector but would include some politicians.

Hence, the SSDF takes this opportunity to appeal to our people in uniform to desert the SPLA and all the armed forces as they were shown beyond doubt to be nothing but tribal and oppressive institutions.

As for the politicians, it’s time to abandon the sinking boat of Salva Kiir and his mentors who are members of the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE).

Lotole Lo Luri,

Deputy Press Secretary – SSDF

Pres. Kiir and Jieng Council plan to hunt and kill General Thomas Cirillo: LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

Feb/14/2017, SSN;

In the latest hysterical reaction to the bold and spectacular resignation of Lt.General Thomas Cirillo from the SPLA ‘tribal’ army, President Salva Kiir, in a top secret meeting with some special members of his ethnic Dinka so-called Jieng council of elders, resolved on the following resolutions:

1- To dispatch secret Dinka security agents to the neighboring countries with the special mission to locate and assassinate General Thomas Cirillo;

2- President Kiir ashamedly has offered millions of dollars whoever can bring to him the head of General Thomas Cirillo, and finally;

3- President Kiir and his nefarious tribal advisers, in desperation, have conspired and decided on launching a nefarious and genocidal plan of killing members of General Thomas Cirillo’s tribe, the Bari community. Already, as widely reported by other media sources, Kiir’s tribal SPLA soldiers have been widely dispatched to all the areas around Juba up to the neighboring East African states, to hunt down and kill General Thomas Cirillo.

As reported by several media sources, the SPLA government soldiers, desperate on the wild hunt for General Thomas Cirillo, raided Kobi village on the Juba-Nimule road where they reportedly committed massive crimes of raping on the women and many of these victims were brought to Juba for treatment.

Gen. Thomas Cirillo precisely accused Kiir and his cabal of Dinka advisers of turning the country’s military into a Dinka “tribal” army that has taken part “in systematic killings of people, rape of women and the burning of villages in the name of pursuing rebels in peaceful villages.”
Stand by for more developments…

Lt.General Thomas Cirillo’s Heroically resigns from Kiir’s “Tribal government:” What’s next?

FEB. 11/2017, SSN;

The best and the most popular top SPLA general, war hero and freedom fighter, General Thomas Cirillo Swaka has finally decided to quit today the so-called tribal government of South Sudan led by Salva Kiir Mayardit. Below is his resignation letter:

To: President Salva Kiir Mayardit,
President of the Republic of South Sudan,
Commander-in-Chief, Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army,
Juba, South Sudan. Dated: 11/02/2017

I, Lt.Gen. Thomas Cirillo Swaka, the Deputy Chief of General Staff for Logistics, SPLA, hereby tender my resignation as Deputy Chief of General Staff for Logistics, and from the SPLA.

It has been my honor and privilege to have served the people of South Sudan during the liberation struggle and during the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which led to the conduct of referendum on self-determination and attainment of independence of South Sudan. I am proud to have been part of the Liberation struggle and generally in having served the people of South Sudan in numerous military and political assignments over the last three decades.

I am resigning from the position of Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics and from the SPLA because of the following reasons:

1. I am convinced the violence which erupted in Juba in December 2013 and swiftly spread to several parts of South Sudan, in due course becoming a devastating war, was planned and orchestrated by design. This TRIBALLY engineered war resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent lives and the displacement of at least two million people….mainly innocent civilians, women and children currently living in miserable conditions either as internally displaced (IDPs), virtually prisoners in the UN camps or as refugees.
In August 2015, after almost 2 years of civil war and suffering of the people, the warring parties signed a deal, the ARCSS, brokered by IGAD. Unfortunately, the Government of South Sudan deliberately orchestrated violations of the peace agreements which led to fighting in Juba in July 2016, total collapse of the Agreement and resumption of war in the country.

2. I am dissatisfied and have lost patience with the conduct of the President and Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C), the Chief of General Staff and other senior officers in the HQS of the SPLA as well as Unit Commanders. The President and these SPLA officers have systematically frustrated the implementations of the peace agreements and pursued the agenda of the JIENG COUNCIL OF ELDERS of ethnic cleansing, forceful displacement of people from their ancestral lands and ethnic domination.
I can no longer continue to be part of the ongoing destruction of our beloved country by the same army.

3. The SPLA is supposed to be transformed and professionalized into a national, non-partisan army as stipulated, however, President Kiir and his Dinka leadership clique have tactically and systematically transformed the SPLA into a partisan and tribal army. It’s a militia loyal only to its tribal leadership of Pres. Salva Kiir and Chief of General Staff, Paul Malong Awan. The SPLA has lost respect of the South Sudanese people and even the International community. Worst of all, it has shattered the dreams, hopes and aspirations of the people, and it has taken the lead or participated in the systemic killing of the people, rape of women and burning of villages.

4. Pres. Kiir and Jieng Council of Elders (JCE), which is the real Cabinet of the Government, failed to recognize the sacrifices and struggle of other nationalities and they even go to the extent of denying the contributions of other nationalities during the liberation struggle. The President and his tribal JCE have concentrated on entrenching Dinka ethnic domination, turning other organized forces and the SPLA into brutal tribal forces, terrorizing and intimidating their opponents.

5. To implement the above policies, the President and his clique systematically recruited Dinka in all security sectors and units, paying particular attention to promoting and appointing Dinkas from sections hailing specifically from Bahr el Ghazel region, the home area of the president and Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Paul Malong Awan. Most of these recruits are promoted to officer ranks and made commanders of most SPLA units. The same for the Police, Prisons, Fire Brigade, Military and National Intelligence, CID and Customs, all commanded by Dinkas. By design, other nationalist revolutionaries who fought the liberation war have been humiliated, demoralized and effectively demobilized from the service.

6. Mathiang Anyor and Dut ko-beng tribal militias who have taken over the SPLA have become an occupation force in some parts of the country, consciously in pursuit of a policy of ethnic targeting and a campaign of systematic rape, killing, mistreating, humiliating and torturing civilians. All these done in a culture of impunity. Mathiang Anyor have deliberately applied a policy of scorched earth by burning whole villages and grabbing land, especially in Equatoria, Chollo land in Upper Nile and the Western Bahr el Ghazel. For instance, during December 2013 and July 2016 violence, these tribal forces, including President Kiir’s own Tiger Division, brazenly went on the rampage killing, rape, torture and looting systematically in an unprecedented manner.

7. The continuous insecurity happening right now across the country is caused by the SPLA militia and other ethnically organized forces and security organs. They are the ones killing people in the capital, Juba, and other towns in the name of ‘Unknown Gunmen.’ In fact, these are ‘known gunmen.’ This is why many South Sudanese are fleeing to become internally displaced or refugees. The President and the Dinka political leadership only came out and condemned these kinds of atrocities when Juba-Yei road incident took place in October because the victims were from the Dinka ethnic group.

8. The SPLA militias and other security organs are looting government assets and hijacking government vehicles and taking those stolen properties to their states to use or sell, there is no remedy for the aggrieved.

9. Innocent civilians, especially Non-Dinkas, are being arbitrary arrested, detained and killed by the security organs all over the country. Those detained are subjected to torture and humiliation in what is called ‘Safe Houses.” In Jebel Luri, where the President’s special residence is built, and in Gorum military area controlled by Tiger Division of Kiir and the Mathiang Anyor militia, many innocent detainees are dying in these “prisons” falsely accused of either expressing opposing views or supporting rebels.

10. Until this time that I am submitting my resignation, many years have elapsed without holding official meeting of Command of the Army, especially after General Paul Malong took over command of the SPLA. There is total collapse of the chain of command; the Commander in Chief (C-in-C) and the Chief of Staff mostly meet in their own residencies with close and trusted officers who are their tribesmen (tribal commanders).
These officers are labelled as “Loyal Officers.”
*** Strangely, included in these meetings are some members of the Jieng Council of Elders, (perhaps as ‘non-uniformed officers’- essentially tribesmen directing or advising the army).
*** All the powers in the army are confined to the Chief of General Staff who uses them to build and consolidate the military strength of “SPLA militia” for implementing the “Dinka Agenda” of subjugating, humiliating or destroying any of the other tribes who dare to stand in their way.
*** The small number of SPLA soldiers are deliberately neglected, without deployment, unarmed, even during emergencies.

11. Since 2005, after CPA was signed, most SPLA from non-Dinka (mainly from Equatoria Region) are deliberately deployed out of Equatoria to Bahr el Ghazel and Upper Nile regions.
*** As a policy, they have been kept out of Equatoria since the signing of the CPA in 2005, and even denied leave or permission to visit their families.
*** Those who have been in the Eastern Sudan from during the liberation war and were subsequently deployed to Upper Nile, Abyei and Bahr el Ghazel areas after the war, are still in those places up to this moment.
*** They have lost contact with their families, children and parents. Many have lost their lives in those wars after the CPA, during the wars with Sudan, Gen. George Athor’s rebellion, the Cobra wars of David Yau yau and the 2013 by the split within SPLM and the fight over power.
*** Upto this moment, these dear sons of our nation who offered their lives for the liberation and freedom of our people are being treated in an inhuman way just for the sake of massaging the egos of a small clique of people pursuing a futile agenda of tribal hegemony.
*** On the other hand, SPLA soldiers from the Dinka ethnic group have been strategically deployed and posted in non-Dinka areas to support the policy of land occupation and enforcing the agenda of forceful DINKANIZATION and domination of the country.

12. This discrimination and crimes against humanity are committed not only on non-Dinkas alone but also visited on the Dinkas who are opposed to the policy of discrimination on ethnic bases and destruction of the country. Such Dinkas are regarded as enemies as well.
*** The policy of ethnic domination and subjugation being pursued openly by the President and his close associates has made Dinkas to be painted with the same brush by the other communities/nationalities, without making distinction between the good Dinkas and the bad ones.
*** As a result, the Dinka community has come to be hated by their own brothers and sisters from other communities. Pursuit of this wrong-headed policy has also destroyed the fabric of South Sudan society.

13. All this time we have been talking to and persuading the C-in-C and members of the Army Command hailing from the Dinka ethnic group, especially those who are known to be members of Dinka ruling clique, to refrain from this tribally oriented policy that cannot promote nationalism and unity, and which can only destroy the country to no avail.
*** All these efforts went in vain as they have fallen on deaf ears. Therefore, it has become important at this crucial moment of our history not to continue working under the leadership of President Salva Kiir that is intentionally subjecting the people of South Sudan to unprecedented and unacceptable cycles of violence and human suffering.
*** This type of inhuman treatment and the human agony it entails has never happened before, even during the time when Khartoum was ruling South Sudan.

14. IN LIGHT OF THE ABOVE AND IN CONCLUSION, YOUR EXCELLENCY, I WOULD LIKE TO TELL YOU FRANKLY AND IN HONESTY THAT IN MY VIEW,
*****YOU HAVE DISGRACED YOURSELF AND THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC.
*****YOU HAVE DISGRACED THE DINKA PEOPLE AND MADE THEM TO BE HATED BY THEIR BROTHERS AND SISTERS FROM OTHER NATIONALITIES,
*****AND ABOVE ALL, YOU HAVE BECOME A DISGRACE TO OUR COUNTRY BECAUSE YOU HAVE CONSCIOUSLY, WILLFULLY, PERSISTENTLY, DEFYING ALL SENSIBLE ADVICE, AND BY DESIGN, FAILED THE PEOPLE OF SOUTH SUDAN.

Given the above reasons that are by no means exhaustive, I hereby resign from the position of Deputy Chief of General Staff for Logistics, and from the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).

Signed……………….
Lt. Gen. Thomas Cirillo Swaka,
Deputy Chief of General Staff for Logistics, SPLA.

cc: Minister of Defense
cc: Minister of National Security
cc: SPLA Chief of General Staff
cc: Deputies of Chief of General Staff
cc: SPLA Inspector General
cc: Director of National Security
cc: Directors in the G/HQS
cc: Sectors/Division Commanders
cc: Specialized Units Commanders
cc: Gallant Women and Men of the Historical SPLA
cc: The Public

E_N_D

Who’s actually being ruled in South Sudan?

BY: Kuir ë Garang, Author and Critic, FEB/06/2917, SSN;

There are many South Sudanese who talk of ‘public opinion’ or ‘popular view’; but how do you gauge that such a view is actually an unsolicited opinion which people hold without fear of retribution?

In a nation where holding a contrary opinion is considered a national security threat, it’s dishonest to say that there’s such a thing as a public opinion because the available ‘public opinion’ is conditioned into existence by the vicious political class.

Those who oppose some of the government’s ridiculous, aimless decrees and actions on civilians, have either been silenced, killed or threatened quotidian.

This leads me to this unsavory question: In whose interest the government of South Sudan governs?

Admittedly, the government isn’t governing in the interest of the people and we still wonder why there’s so much inter-tribal hatred and rampant rebellion. When will SPLM and the government actually listen to the people? Apparently, never!

In June and August of 2012, the SPLM and government of South Sudan carried out a study (survey) to gauge ‘public opinion’. It was no surprise that, while the people were somehow hopeful about the future, they were categorically dissatisfied with how SPLM was running the country.

This should have been a wake-up call for the SPLM leadership to start listening to the people.

SPLM ignored this honest and valuable ‘voice of the people.’ The 2011-2013 South Sudan Development Plan was also a good development document that could have addressed all the grassroots grievances. Again, it was ignored!

There’s nowhere in the world where people can rise up against a government, which listens to the people and addresses their concern.
Are Nuer, who support SPLM-IO, fighting the government because they love to fight? Are folks in Equatoria fighting the government because they love to kill people? Are Shilluk fighting the government because they love to kill president Kiir’s tribesmen?

The answer is obviously NO!

These people are fighting because of the failure of the government to address their grievances. SPLM, coming from a militarized governance mentality, feels that force is the appropriate manner in which such grievances should be addressed.

Another flawless method is to appease some people by offering jobs without actually addressing the underlying causes of the problem.
Molding opinion by coercion or appeasement is dangerous in the long run.

Rebellion, insecurity and inter-tribal feuds will continue in South Sudan unless the government actually talks to the people and addresses their grievances in an honest and comprehensive manner.

For instance, a fact-finding mission to the Fertit would find out their grievances and then the government can work closely with them to come up with a method to address their grievances for the long-term. Offering their leaders jobs without actually making sure that the people are ‘happy’ with the fashioned solution is a myopic leadership fancy.

Conditioning people to sing government praises in Juba doesn’t get rid of the actual sentiment people hold. You can militarily force people to surrender but you can’t militarily force them to like, with emotive honesty, a government that’s oppressing them.

If there are things that make it hard for the government to perform some duties, then it needs to be honest with the people so that people don’t assume things.

Juba is not the only South Sudan and the residents of Juba are not the only population of South Sudan. The zombified (knowingly or unknowingly) people of Juba can’t be used to gauge the actual ‘public opinion’.

South Sudanese have fled to Sudan, Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda; and some are living in displaced camps inside South Sudan. Yet, some of us have the audacity to say that there’s an overwhelming, positive public opinion of the government!

GET UP! WALK THE COUNTRYSIDE AND TALK TO THE PEOPLE! Without that, we’ll be in a perpetual state of war, insecurity and inter-tribal bloodbath! LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE! This is our only way out!

Kuir ë Garang is the author of ‘South Sudan Ideologically.’ For contact, visit www.kuirthiy.com

Kenya will find siding with Kiir’s Juba Govt. is a risky game to play

By: Muthoni Wanyeki, THE EASTAFRICAN, FEB/01/2017, SSN;

IN SUMMARY: While the Kiir’s SPLM may seem to have sway right now, the region’s patience with it has long run out. Taking sides isn’t good for Kenya in the long-run. Neither, in the short-run.

The news broke this past Wednesday. Dong Samuel Luak, former secretary-general of the South Sudan Law Society — who has refugee status here in Kenya — and Aggrey Idri, chair of the humanitarian committee of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition, had both gone missing.

Dong Samuel Luak was last seen Monday evening and Aggrey Idri was last seen Monday morning. Both were reported to be in the custody of the Kenyan police, pending deportation back to South Sudan.

Searches by their families, together with legal representation and representation from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, began. No entries were recorded in the Occurrence Book at the Nairobi area police headquarters. By Thursday, the search had extended to Langata and Nyayo police stations, where at least one of them was reported to have been moved.

The Kenyan police continue to deny having them in their custody. It is during such periods of unacknowledged detention, before production in court, that detainees are at the most risk of torture and ill-treatment.

We all followed the deportation from Kenya to South Sudan of James Gatdet, spokesperson for the SPLM-IO at the end of last year. At the behest of the shambles that’s left of what was meant to be a coalition, transitional government. James Gatdet is now held in solitary confinement in South Sudan — reportedly in a cell no larger than 1.5 × 3 metres.

That deportation, given Kenya’s dominance in the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development — initially tasked with leading the regional effort peace — raised questions about Igad’s competency and independence.

The AU itself has had to step in —as well as the old so-called Troika of external actors. On Friday morning, in the presence of a large representation by the South Sudanese community, including former first lady Rebecca Garang, the High Court issued orders to the Department of Immigration to ensure no deportation of the two takes place; and directed all mobile telephone providers to make available all data relating to all known mobile numbers of the two as well as a mobile number believed to belong to a member of the South Sudanese National Security Service operating in Nairobi.

The decimation and scattering of the SPLM-IO’s leadership has meant that, on the surface at least, the SPLM proper holds sway. Which it is using to devastating and terrible effect.

The AU, for instance, is reported to have in hand a draft agreement between itself and what passes as the Transitional Government of National Unity of South Sudan on the establishment of the hybrid court to try those most responsible for the abominable mass atrocities committed in the course of the crisis. But the GoSS has had the audacity to refuse entry to the AU to even discuss these drafts.

A high-level meeting will thus be held during this AU Summit on reinvigorating the peace process. What the TGNU needs to be aware of is that the idea of an AU trusteeship for South Sudan is gaining traction given its continued belligerence.

So, while the SPLM may seem to have sway right now, the region’s patience with it has long run out. Taking sides isn’t good for Kenya in the long-run. Neither, in the short-run, is it good for the safety of Kenyans and Kenyan businesses in SPLM-IO controlled territories in South Sudan.

L. Muthoni Wanyeki is Amnesty International’s regional director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes

“Weapons of Mass Corruption:” New Report Exposes Massive Corruption in South Sudan’s Army (SPLA)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 26, 2017;

A new report, “Weapons of Mass Corruption: How corruption in South Sudan’s military undermines the world’s newest country,” published today by the Enough Project, details massive corruption within South Sudan’s army. Corrupt activities within the army detailed in the report include procurement fraud, irregular spending unchecked by civilian authority, and bloated troop rosters featuring thousands of “ghost” (non-existent) soldiers.

Link to full report- Click Here: http://eno.ug/2iGE9Qw

Brian Adeba, Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “The effect of corruption in proliferating insecurity in South Sudan cannot be underestimated. The country’s politicians can only begin to realize the fruits of security for their citizens if they tackle the graft in the army.”

The report, fifth in the Enough Project’s “The Political Economy of African Wars” series, describes how despite widespread suffering in South Sudan, including famine-like conditions and the severe economic hardships South Sudanese people experience, massive amounts of the country’s dwindling funds go to the South Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), where they are diverted and misspent without accountability.

Jacinth Planer, report editor and Editor/Researcher at the Enough Project, said: “On paper, South Sudan’s legal and institutional frameworks enshrine civilian, not military leadership. The SPLA is meant to protect, defend, and hold itself accountable to the South Sudanese people. But the destructive system and practices that have developed now instead work against these purposes, and the South Sudanese people who face great personal risks have paid the highest price. The international community should steadfastly support the South Sudanese people and especially those who try to uphold the institutions that are being undermined today.”

The report finds that within what Enough identifies as a violent kleptocratic system in South Sudan, a lack of financial oversight over military expenditure, combined with heavy influence by political appointees, has created opportunities for mass corruption in the SPLA.

John Prendergast, Founding Director at the Enough Project, said: “There is no accountability for the looting of state resources in South Sudan, especially with military spending. The missing piece of an effective international response is the creation of leverage to shift the calculations of these violent kleptocrats from war to peace, from mass corruption—including in the military—to good governance and accountability in spending. The incentives that reward violence and theft must be changed. The international community needs to help make war costlier than peace for the leaders and create targeted and personal consequences for corrupt war-mongers.”

Selected report excerpts:

Lack of financial oversight for and within the SPLA constitutes a major organizational weakness and creates opportunities for corruption. This deficiency does not stem primarily from a poor legal framework, underdeveloped institutional capacity, or lack of knowledge about international best practice in financial oversight. The deficiency stems from willful, systematic obstruction of financial oversight.

An army of approximately 230,000 on paper, with a large share of ghost soldiers has little practical purpose. A payroll for a ghost army of that size, however, can have a very important purpose: providing a large opaque budget line to the military. This budget line has not successfully been subjected to rigorous public oversight and auditing.

Corruption in South Sudan has shifted from being an integrated and self-sustaining system to a disintegrative and self-destructing system in the wake of economic collapse.

In a nation where resources are scarce and contested, and many people are unable to provide for their basic needs, political appointments in South Sudan empower certain individuals to access public accounts and manage scarce financial resources. There are few effective institutional mechanisms to check the use of public office and public financial resources for individual gain.

RECOMMENDATIONS: The international community, with U.S. leadership, has the opportunity to create consequences for these predatory actors that harm South Sudanese people. Consequences should include:

a new U.S. executive order on South Sudan that makes public corruption and misappropriation of state assets grounds for sanctions, as current U.S. sanctions programs do for Belarus, Burma, Libya, Syria, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, and Ukraine/Russia.

U.S. lawmakers should also leverage U.S. anti-money laundering authorities by having the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and other financial intelligence units issue advisories and investigative requests related to South Sudanese military transactions.
Link to full report: http://eno.ug/2iGE9Qw

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606, gh@enoughproject.org.

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT

The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org.

Need to adjust the Kiir’s National Dialogue for successful outcomes

BY: Lomuchie Nyaloro, JAN/20/2017, SSN;

The declaration of the National Dialogue process by President Kiir in December 2016 has drawn mixed feelings among South Sudanese and the international community. Some people welcome it while others dismiss it as just a bogus ruse for Mr. Kiir and his Jieng advisors (The Jieng Council of Elders, JCE) to consolidate power after they have violently ejected the armed opposition from Juba.

Those who are dismissive point to recent utterances by the members of the Kiir regime as evidence of lack of sincerity regarding the declaration: Members of government contradict each other whether or not the 4,000-strong protection force approved by the UN Security Council are welcome to deploy in Juba; a junior official makes serious allegations against key supporters (the Troika) of peace in South Sudan of seeking to topple the Juba regime; the President himself revealing his nostalgia for the death of his predecessor (Dr John Garang), which made it possible for him to take the mantle of leadership.

(Is this a secret wish of the President for the death of Dr Riek Machar, his opponent, so that Taban Deng Gai can effortlessly succeed the latter?). All these sayings undermine any positive reception of the National Dialogue.

Despite these worrying signs, the National Dialogue can succeed if certain adjustments are made to its form and procedures.

In its present form, where the membership of its steering committee is wholly chosen by President Kiir and its unstructured method of consultations with grassroots that excludes the armed and other opposition groups, the National Dialogue has very high chance of failing.

For some observers, the desire of the President to come up with the National Dialogue might have been prompted by the realization that the country is at a great and an unacceptable risk of disintegration as the war and the attendant bitterness escalate.

In other words, there is now a “hurting stalemate” in the civil war. When there is such a stalemate, then the protagonists opt for negotiations. This stalemate is not just hurting for the government, it is also hurting for the armed opposition, because the violent rupture of July 2016 has not only removed it from Juba but the rupture has also weakened the opposition militarily and diplomatically.

The only way for the opposition to be relevant in charting the future of the country is now through negotiations. If it hurts both ways, then the stalemate becomes “mutually hurting.”

To most watchers of the civil war, the extension of fighting to Equatoria region represents a dangerous escalation. The widely expressed apprehension about the impending genocide and the flight of hundreds of thousands of civilians into refuge give credence to this view.

Less obvious to external observers is the creeping radicalization of the Equatorians who now demand that their region be exited from the Jieng-dominated South Sudan.

This demand should be taken seriously, because it was in Equatoria that the war for liberation from the Arab-dominated Sudan was started in 1956 and sustained until 1972. So, the Equatorians determination and endurance in fighting for their rights should not be doubted.

The other source of concern about this demand is that a number of Equatorian ethnic groups (the Kakwa of Yei, the Madi and the Acholi of Magwi, the Azande of Yambio) have also their kith and kin in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo).

If there were to be a political change in Uganda that replaced the present government, (which is perceived by some people to be indifferent to the sufferings of the Equatorians), with a more sympathetic one, then the war could take a more regional and international dimension.

Therefore, there is every incentive for the government to bring this war to a speedy end. A prolonged war in Equatoria, will eventually exact a higher price for peace, suck in the neighboring countries, and lead to adjustments to national borders among South Sudan, Uganda and DR Congo. There are justifications for holding this view.

Historically, Central Equatoria was called the “Lado Enclave” and had belonged to Belgian Congo (the present DR Congo). Furthermore, a significant portion of Eastern Equatoria was an integral part of the colonial Uganda Protectorate.

To date the border between the Equatoria region and Uganda has not been officially surveyed and ratified; thus, this unfinished colonial business makes the demand of the Equatorians for self-determination abundantly credible on historical grounds.

Here, a warning for those members of the Jieng community who routinely refer to the Equatorians as foreigners or Ugandans is in order: Beware; your prayers may be granted sooner or later.

A modified National Dialogue that will be inclusive and capable of bringing a satisfactory agreement can prevent such an existential threat as expressed above.

In this new version of the National Dialogue, the Steering Committee can be converted into a delegation representing those citizens who are still in the country and are in agreement with the government to some extent. The delegation can be called, for example, the “Home/Internal Front”.

Facing this front at a negotiating table will be a united opposition group, comprising those who, for political reasons, are in exile and are either armed or are just political opposition parties. The latter grouping can be dubbed the “Opposition Front”.

Joining the two delegations at the table will be a credible, dispassionate, well resourced, and diplomatically strong Mediator. Preferably, the mediator should come from among the Troika countries.

The two delegations should accept a mediation role for the Troika country this time round; South Sudanese have been greatly disappointed by the IGAD and the African Union roles in mediating this conflict so far.

Norway and the US have in the past mediated conflicts in the Middle East (e.g. Syria and the Palestinian-Israeli issue) despite the existence of regional organizations such as the Arab League; the same approach can be made for South Sudan to avoid reliance on the discredited IGAD.

In conclusion, irrespective of what motives that prompted the President to declare the National Dialogue, South Sudanese and the larger international community should seize this opportunity in order to bring about the sorely needed peace and respite to South Sudanese.

The National Dialogue has the potential to succeed if it becomes inclusive and is transparently implemented. The government should ensure complete unanimity among its members in support of the dialogue and its outcomes.

Equally, the opposition should be united in their aspiration for and participation in the dialogue. This opportunity must not be missed.

Lomuchie Nyaloro, a concerned South Sudanese.

The failure of forced peace: South Sudan’s apprehensive future

BY: Andrew Edward Tchie, Conflict Advisor, Ph.D. candidate and Associate Fellow, University of Essex, JAN/16/2017, SSN;

In July last year opposing forces loyal to South Sudan president Salva Kiir and his then first vice-president Riek Machar engaged in heavy fighting in the capital Juba. The date marked nearly five years since South Sudan had secured formal independence from Sudan.

The fighting in Juba may have come as a surprise to many. But it had long been expected among people living and working in the world’s newest state. The country had spiraled into civil war two years earlier after Kiir, from the dominant Dinka ethnic group, sacked Machar, a Nuer.

Juba’s political crisis took a turn for the worse in December 2015 when Kiir decreed the formation of 28 new states after dissolving the country’s 10 regional states. This was just a few months after he had signed a new peace agreement.

The president’s decision has been viewed by many as a way for the Jieng Council of Elders to create states that benefit the Dinka communities. The council is a group of Dinka elites and elders who control the political scene in South Sudan. The result is that the country’s oil fields are now placed in the hands of one dominant ethnic group, further dividing and intensifying tensions along ethnic lines.

Kiir took the decision to form the new states to a new level in June 2016 when he ordered the appointed of the governors of all of them as interim leaders of the ruling party in their respective states. He did this in his capacity as chairperson of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

The recent bout of unrest has led to one in five people in South Sudan being displaced as 2.3 million citizens have been forced to flee their homes. Over 720,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries in search of safety.

If violence continues and the controversial policies are not reversed, full scale fighting across the country is highly likely. Hundreds – if not thousands – of civilians are likely to die as ethnic groups form small militia groups and take up arms to defend what they see as their territory.

The straw that broke the camel’s back

The president continues to buckle to pressure from his peers in the SPLM despite calls from international bodies to reverse the presidential order. These calls have come from the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission of South Sudan, the eight-country East Africa bloc the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and the United Nations (UN)2015.

Kiir’s move is creating a detour away from peace, despite recent efforts by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) to reconcile and move towards a Transitional Government of National Unity.

Civilians living in the newly created states were never consulted about their formation or the demarcation of land. Many are not happy.

At the time of the decree, tribal leaders in the Raja County area rejected it saying they would not accept being merged with the Dinka-inhabited counties of Aweil West and North. Under the 10 states system of South Sudan’s constitution, Raja County belongs to Western Bahr al Ghazal State with Wau as the state’s capital.

There are reports that the army has been conducting heavy military activities in several of the contested states. These include the Upper Nile, Unity State, Equatorias and Western Bahr el Ghazal.

In May last year clashes between local militias and government-backed troops erupted in Lol State, one of the 28 states created by Kiir’s decree.

Machar’s departure from South Sudan to Sudan and then on to South Africa has not helped quell the fighting in many parts of the country. Battles continue between forces linked to the opposition or local militias who oppose the president. As recent as October last year there was fighting in Malakal town where opposition forces attempted to take back the town, leaving 58 rebels killed.

Another civil war?

The attacks in Juba highlighted the instability of South Sudan. And it appears that the government is gearing up for another civil war.

There is also no clear plan addressing disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of the country as an integral part of a post-conflict peace consolidation.

And there are concerns that peacekeepers working under the leadership of the United Nation Mission aren’t equipped and prepared to deal with another ethnically driven civil war in the country. A UN investigation into a raid in Malakal found that peacekeepers had a “lack of a proactive mindset with regards to the protection of civilians” and “confusion with respect to command and control and lack of coordination”.

Nothing has been done to address these failures, as many of these same peacekeepers are still serving in Malakal. This means that there’s no guarantee that peacekeepers will be able to protect civilians in the way the Security Council mandate intends them to.

This situation points to gaps – and highlights the fragility – of a peace agreement that was forced through by the international community. The failure by the international community as well as international monitoring bodies to address flaws in the agreement has in fact contributed to South Sudan devolving into a failed state.

In principle, the Proposed Compromise Peace Agreement (CPA-II) hammered out in June 2016 and backed by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development member states and international community, should create a political arena which has a single coordinated purchaser of loyalties. This would reduce uncertainty and competition which in turn would reduce the price of loyalty and allow the political class to focus on longer term issues.

But state and political leaders are engrossed in short term political management. Political leaders are generally unconcerned about the urgent prospect of the country’s macroeconomic crisis. One of the indications of this is rampant inflation.

Conflict resolution, peace-building and reconciliation initiatives at local level have become extremely challenging. For example, the Upper Nile and Eastern Equatoria and Equatoria regions have become ethnic enclaves, each with its own defence forces. Inter-communal violence is widespread.

The question is whether the international community can establish a more practical peace agreement that will prevent further escalation in violence against civilians. END

Why Economic & Political Uprisings are Civil means to end the Kiir’s Repugnant & Unproductive Government of South Sudan

By: Tong Kot Kuocnin, LL.M. Candidate, Law School, Univ. of Nairobi, Kenya, JAN/14/2017, SSN;

South Sudanese are indeed a great people, they’re a people endowed with very strong hearts who continuously suffer in dignified silence even when there’s need to rise up in demand for certain rights. This is exactly the situation South Sudanese find themselves in at a time when their own government should have stood up for them.

The economic hardships we’re facing are not less than the economic hardships and situation which caused President Ben Ali of Tunisia to flee, President Ali Abdallah Saleh of Yemen to leave office and flee and the great President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt to resign and be put on trial till now.

The causes and conditions of this so-called Arab Spring which almost swept through the Arab world are not less than the economic hardships we’re facing here in South Sudan. Our economic situation is much worse than that of the Arab Spring World.

Our unemployment rate is beyond hundred per cent level. Hundreds of south Sudanese go to bed with empty stomachs. Some are already dead and the rest are on their way to the grave. This is worse than that of the Arab Spring.

The only difference is that we’re used to enduring hardships of all sorts while the citizens of the countries where the Arab spring burst aren’t used to this kind of situation.

But the questions many south Sudanese are asking: what’s the government of South Sudan really doing? What exactly is the role of the Ministry of finance and Economic Planning? How about the Central bank, what’s its role? Which institution is truly responsible for economic policies and planning? And which institution is responsible for the implementation of national monetary policies in South Sudan?

Hard questions a layman like me is grappling with. But, to answer some questions on matters of facts and law, the Central Bank has its own share of failure for it is the one that is charged by law to formulate monetary policy, promote and maintain price stability, maintain a stable exchange rate, and maintain sound, efficient and effective banking system.

But the Central bank instantly failed in its function to strictly regulate, maintain sound, effective and efficient banking system when it allows all Forex Bureaus and Commercial Banks to commercialize the dollar instead of keeping it as a medium of exchange.

The Central Bank commercialized the dollar, making it an item for trade and not a medium of exchange causing hikes in almost every item on sale in the market.

Today, the rate of 1 dollar stands at 10.2 SSP, meaning that one hundred dollars equal to 10,200 SSP (South Sudanese Pounds), causing the inflation rate to shoot up to more than 800%, something which never happens in any country around the world.

The two institutions, ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and the Central Bank have completely failed us with their weak measures and an untenable modality of strategizing the efficiency of economy. It seems that in South Sudan, everything runs on its own.

Traders are selling and raising prices on their own, the Central bank floating the rate of the hard currency as it wishes unquestionably.

The luckiest rich few are manipulating everything from the Ministry of Finance to the Central Bank to the market at the expense of the majority downtrodden poor South Sudanese who have no ability or the energy to do anything about it or change the status quo.

The authorities both at the ministry of finance and economic planning and the central bank together with their cohorts are responsible for this economic downturn.

We entrusted hyenas with responsibility to look after our goats and sheep. We gave them power to roast any goat or sheep they wish amongst the flock. This is why this economic turmoil ensued and is the sole reason you can’t understand the head and the tail of who is responsible or not responsible in this country.

The country seems to have been left on its own economic downturn. We’re convinced that truly our government is indeed a boondoggled government.

Where’s the supposed Joshua? Or is he the same driver of this vehicle that is taking South Sudanese to hell earlier than the day that God planned?

Let our government know that the root causes of the Arab Spring aren’t more worse than ours and that an Arab Spring may inevitably ensue in this part of the world as we may be forced to violently demand our socio-economic rights to food and decent living like others.

We can’t permit others to enjoy live at our expense on resources that belongs to all of us. What a country?

If the president can’t think twice to bring in responsible personalities with expertise especially at the Central bank to turn things around, he must be prepared for eventualities for the people of South Sudan will not in any way continue to suffer at the hands of selfish and corrupt leaders who buy their positions at the expense of the people.

There will be time when the people of South Sudan stand up to forcefully demand their socio-economic rights from these oligarchs and mafias. We will surely touch these untouchable mafias and oligarchs who scoop all our money for their selfish enrichment unless they rescue themselves from these shambles.

I assure you, economic and political uprisings as civil means of ending the life of a repugnant and an unproductive government like the government of South Sudan will be inevitable.

Mr. President, this is a fact. Look at the faces of South Sudanese; listen to their voices on the streets on how they are suffering and you will dismiss these failed leaders who buy their positions using public money.

You’ve a weak, lousy and ailing governor of the Central Bank and this is a danger that’s haunting you and it will surely reach your gates if you don’t act swiftly.

The writer is a Master of Laws (LLM) candidate at School of Law, University of Nairobi. He can be reached via: tongbullen@gmail.com

South Sudan Bishop Santo condemns South Sudan political leaders of bad governance

BY: JOSEPH ODUHA, TheEastAfrican, JAN/03/2017, SSN;

A South Sudanese cleric has warned political leaders in the country against violent takeover of power.

The Catholic bishop, Santo Laku Pio, lamented that last year was associated with fear, rape, hatred, and lack of political will to implement the peace agreement.

The bishop made the remarks while celebrating the New Year mass at St Theresa Cathedral, Kator, in the capital Juba.

He cited bad governance and misuse of resources for personal and political gain as key elements retarding the progress of peace and development in the war torn country.

“2016 was associated with bad governance. Our resources have been mismanaged. Our ethnicities have been used for personal and political gain,” he said.

He urged the political leaders across the country to embrace dialogue for the development of the nation.

The bishop further condemned the destruction of properties including food, deliberate killing, robbery, unnecessary use of force to displaced people and war propaganda by the parties to the conflict in the country.

“You can’t say I signed peace with reservation, reservation is lies. Peace is peace and nothing else,” he said.

He criticised both the government and opposition leaders who don’t want peace to prevail in South Sudan saying they wanted to continue looting the nation.

“It is true that there are people among us who don’t want peace. They want war and they are sons and daughters of violence.

“Don’t follow them. Don’t follow the violent people in our country. Make the violent people irrelevant in our community,” he told the congregation.

Two years after seceding from Sudan, South Sudan plunged into a war on December 15, 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy, Riek Machar, of plotting a coup. A peace agreement signed in August 2015 has since crumbled after fresh fighting erupted in July last year.

Time for Pres. Museveni to reconsider his unlimited support to Kiir

BY: Dr Lako Jada Kwajok, Chairman and C-in-C of the SSDF, JAN/01/2017, SSN;

President Museveni’s persistence to prop up Kiir has been the subject of discussions in the South Sudanese intellectual circles, particularly among the Equatorians. It’s also true that the lay people are aware of the ever-increasing influence of the Ugandan leader over the ongoing conflict in South Sudan.

Many believe that had it not been for the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) intervention, the regime in Juba would have collapsed in early January 2014. Museveni’s intervention gave the embattled government a lifeline.

In reality, the regime is heavily dependent on Uganda for its survival. The UPDF has been deployed in Western Equatoria since 2005. Its mission, as we were made to believe, was to pursue and uproot the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in collaboration with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).

The Americans were also involved in providing logistical support, special forces and funding. The Garamba Offensive (code-named Operation Lightning Thunder) between 2008 and 2009 was the culmination of the coalition’s efforts including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to eradicate the LRA.

But for the last 5 to 6 years, the LRA is nowhere to be found in Western Equatoria. Many observers are now of the opinion that the LRA is no more or if at all it existed, it will be in the form of a negligible group in the depths of the remote jungles of the Central African Republic (CAR).

As such it fits the description of a group of bandits rather than a rebel group to be reckoned with. Yet the UPDF remains deployed in Western Equatoria State. There are now reports that they are present in Eastern Equatoria and even in disguise within the capital city, Juba.

No one would dispute the fact that President Museveni has done a lot of good things for the people of South Sudan during the war for independence.

In addition to whatever legacy he is going to get in his country, the people of South Sudan would remember him as one of the few African leaders who gave them unwavering support.

However, that good reputation is in jeopardy or has already been damaged following his involvement in South Sudan’s conflict.

An operation aimed at evacuating the Ugandan Nationals as was initially announced by the Ugandan authorities was swiftly modified into safeguarding the strategic infrastructures in Juba in the aftermath of the December 2013 massacre of the Nuer civilians.

Ultimately the operation ended up with the UPDF taking sides and decisively tilting the power balance in favour of the government.

People were told that there was an Agreement/Treaty between the government of South Sudan and the Ugandan government to intervene in such a situation. The fact of the matter is that if such an Agreement/Treaty ever existed, it would have been unconstitutional because the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) did not deliberate on it or pass it.

In fact, the NLA was unaware of such an arrangement between the government of South Sudan and the government of Uganda.

Furthermore, a Mutual Defence Treaty is universally for defence against foreign invasion and not for defending the government against the opposition or an uprising of its own people.

Museveni’s motives are quite unclear. Following his statement that there was no coup d’etat in Juba, people expected a change in policy towards a more neutral position.

What he said showed a government that fabricated a coup, plunged the country into civil war just for the sake of maintaining the status quo. That alone should have been enough for the Ugandan leader to review his backing of Kiir’s government.

Also, it was reported that Museveni did say while addressing a rally, that if security in Uganda was to be like the state of affairs in South Sudan, he would hang himself.

It’s a clear admission that the government of South Sudan has failed its people. Then why would the Ugandan leader continue to support such a government?!

I believe “It’s the economy, stupid!” if I may borrow President Bill Clinton’s phrase that was first coined by James Carville, Clinton’s campaign strategist in the successful 1992 Presidential campaign. Probably other weird calculations do exist in the Ugandan leader’s mind that are subject to speculations.

There is no doubt that Uganda’s economy is “booming” because of unfettered access to the South Sudanese markets. Foreign trade regulations are rudimentary in the new country with Uganda and the other regional powers taking full advantage of the situation.

Rampant corruption is also attracting bogus foreign investors and traders who hardly pay taxes. Juba has become the centre of attraction for all the thieves in the world.

South Sudan is the top consumer of Ugandan goods with trade deficit almost 100% in Uganda’s favour. However, the policy of shoring up an unpopular regime is short-sighted and risky.

History has shown us that the outcomes are usually grim than when foreign countries show solidarity with the people or at least remain neutral.

The case of Iran during the Shah era is a classic example. The US blanket support for the Shah did not save the regime from collapse or ensure the furthering of American interests and influence in that nation.

Instead, it led to the radicalization of the society, marginalisation of the moderate political figures and extreme animosity against the US. It was apparent that for decades the US lost a big consumer market and a major trading partner in that region. The Europeans, the Japanese, the Russians and the Chinese were quick to seize the chance and fill the gaps.

Even from a practical point of view, the gains to the Ugandan economy under the current turmoil are unsustainable in the long term.

As the war continues to rage in South Sudan, and due to reasons of proximity to a war zone – Uganda’s economy would be negatively affected one way or another. Refugees are crossing the borders into Uganda in their thousands.

Ironically they are fleeing the SPLA atrocities to safety in Uganda, while the government of Uganda is helping the SPLA to acquire lethal weapons to commit those atrocities.

With the steady increase in the refugee population, a drop in the buying capacity would occur coupled with a decrease in the number of consumers. Both would certainly have a negative impact on Uganda’s exports to South Sudan.

There is no doubt that the war will have a significant effect on the flow of goods from Uganda to South Sudan as the major routes between Uganda and South Sudan would be at the mercy of the opposition forces.

Additionally, the Equatorians have reached a level of awareness that may push them towards boycotting Ugandan goods in protest to the support rendered by the Ugandan government to the murderous regime in Juba.

Most of the commodities imported from Uganda are produced locally in Equatoria. It’s the absence of help from the government and widespread insecurity that’s preventing our farmers from producing those commodities.

The best strategy for Uganda to protect its economic gains and ensure sustainability is to be on the side of the people of South Sudan rather than throwing its weight behind a government that has no future.

The relations between the people of Equatoria and the Ugandan people goes beyond politics. There are strong ethnic and cultural ties between the two peoples. The colonial borders are artificial as it has divided families with the result of some having both nationalities among their members.

The constant flow of refugees into Uganda who are clearly in a dire situation is bound to evoke sympathy towards them from the Ugandan people. Museveni’s policy would likely backfire. The heinous crimes that are being committed in South Sudan, would certainly push the Ugandan people into solidarity with their brethren across the borders.

Should that happen; which is quite likely, it would mean that the Ugandan leader has stirred up the hornets’ nest. A host of problems could arise as a result.

The Equatorian people have been instrumental in the efforts to ward off the LRA attacks on Ugandan soil. In particular, the Arrows boys have been battling the LRA in the jungles of Western Equatoria for at least 5 years.

Their contribution cannot be underestimated particularly in providing accurate intelligence about the whereabouts of the LRA. With the current policy of the Ugandan government, the locals will have no incentive to help in the war against the LRA.

That leaves the door wide open for the possibility of LRA resurgence. The UPDF presence on South Sudanese soil would likely be viewed differently than it used to be. Many are seeing it increasingly reminiscent of the infamous 1998 UPDF invasion of the DRC in collaboration with Rwanda.

During a recent unannounced visit to Juba, the Ugandan leader issued statements that raised eyebrows. The following quote which is attributed to him appeared in the Sudan Tribune on December 22, 2016 – “Any other issue that needs to be handled will be handled in order to allow elections should be done now.”

It showed that Museveni is now pushing for early elections in South Sudan. He knows that his friend lacks legitimacy and the only way to overcome that is by organising an election. It will, of course, be a fake one but still carries the name election which is all that Kiir needs to cling to power.

However, the Ugandan leader committed a serious breach of diplomatic protocol by dwelling on a matter that touches the sovereignty of the host state. Such a statement would have caused a diplomatic and media uproar should it be delivered in a democratic or indeed any sovereign country.

In 1967, General Charles de Gaulle, the President of France, during a visit to Canada said the famous phrase, “Long live free Quebec!”

He received harsh diplomatic and media criticism both in Canada and in his country France. De Gaulle had to cut his visit short and return to France. What he said was perceived as an attempt to undermine Canada’s sovereignty.

I am absolutely sure that Museveni’s statement was outrageous to many South Sudanese including members of the media. But with the assassination of journalists like Isaiah Abraham, Boutros Martin, Isaac Vuni, Dalia Marko, Musa Mohammed, Randa George, Adam Juma, Peter Julius Moi and others lingering in people’s minds – any criticism would seriously compromise the safety of the critic.

According to Sudan Tribune, Kiir gave the reporters the following response – “We discussed bilateral issues and listened to his (President Museveni’s) advice and we will do what he told us.”

Kiir’s statement transpires two things; either he is unaware of Museveni’s breach of diplomatic protocol or that he knows it but has become a pawn for Museveni.

Many of us still remember President Kiir and the Minister of Information, Michael Makuei Lueth saying in the face of mounting international pressure to implement the Peace Agreement over a year ago -that Kiir was being treated as a school boy. Well, with the above statement following the meeting with President Museveni, the question that comes to mind is – who is to blame?!

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok,

Chairman and C-in-C of the SSDF