Category: Featured

Looking beyond Gen. Paul Malong’s Rebellion: What’s he up to?

BY: Nicola Bringi, APR/19/2018, SSN;

Right after the Juba massacre in 2013, Gen. Paul Malong, a Dinka, then governor of Aweil State, was brought in as SPLA Chief of Staff, to replace Gen. James Houth, a Nuer, based on the recommendation of the so-called Jieng council of elders, to preserve and guarantee the security and continuation of the status quo regime.

Basically illiterate, he was given the job by the Jieng council of elders to ensure all those who oppose President Salva Kiir are crashed and bulldozed, so he began with the mass killings in Juba against the Nuer and any non-Dinka tribes.

Paul Malong then ruthlessly expanded his operations to the Upper Nile, Wau and non-Dinka towns and villages around Wau. The ground troops, infamously known as the ‘Mathiang Anyoor,’ mercilessly burned down houses and killed civilians while helicopter machine guns were in the air to wipe out those who tried to flee the aggression.

All of these operations were targeting civilians who have nothing to do with politics. The main agenda of the Jieng Council is to wipe out the non-Dinka tribes in Wau and surrounding areas so that the Dinka can take over their land.

To execute these plans, Governor Rezik Zakaria was instructed to move the capital of Wau County from Wau City to Baggari town. When the indigenous tribes of Wau went on a peaceful demonstration to protest this decision, they were brutally gunned down; 13 protesters were killed and 15 were injured.

This is all happening with complicit directives of President Salva Kiir, and in the presence of Gen. Paul Malong and Salva Mathok in Wau as they supervise the execution of the plan.

One of the reasons for Malong’s recent so-called rebellion is because Pres. Salva kiir has not implemented the Dinka agenda tough enough, for he is only ruling by the Dinka council of elders ideology.

According to Paul Malong, he wishes for South Sudan to be turned into a Dinka Kingdom with himself as the King.

The second reason for the Paul Malong rebellion is a pretext coordinated by the Jieng council of elders to fool the opposition and enable Malong to infiltrate among them and create division to ultimately weaken them; that way the Jieng council and Salva Kiir regime will continue to rule South Sudan for an unlimited time.

Interestingly, in the Malong’s rebellion declaration paper, he mentioned that he is for Federalism, which is his plan C.

According to Jieng council, they will turn to it if they fail to defeat the oppositions and stop the angry South Sudanese people, or if their government collapses.

The Dinka jieng will have nowhere to go or stay as both Equatoria and Upper Nile will not tolerate their arrogance. As such, The Jieng council now needs to prepare for the worst-case scenario.

To safeguard the future of the Jieng council, Malong must declare a pretext rebellion and go to Bhar El Ghazal region and complete the unfinished plan of 2012 by capturing and taking control over Bhar El Ghazal.

Then, whereby they can declare their Federal or confederal state, or even declare Bhar El Ghazal a separate country as a pressure point for reconciliation with the opposition made of the other regions.

Clearly, the mass atrocities that took place in Western Bhar El Ghazal in 2012 were executed under the direct supervision of Gen. Paul Malong, Governor Rezik Zakaria, Salva Mathok and Damiano Alieu, under the direct orders of President Salva Kiir and the Jieng council.

The Fertit Land of Raga was forcefully annexed to Aweil creating the so called Lol State. With this new revolving Jieng Council plan, Wau will be the nominal capital of Jieng Bhar El Ghazal Federal government.

This is all a prime example of divide-and-rule policy. Eventually the Fertit who are the indigenous tribes of Wau will be expelled from their land, just like what the Dinka did to the Jur tribe in 1958, in both Aweil district and Tonj district.

As a result, the Jur tribe was compulsively uprooted from their land and left to take refuge in areas around Wau whereby they were kindly received by Fertit tribes and now live in harmony. (See Ethno-Geography of Bhar El Ghazal written by Santa Andria).

Based on this narration, we, the people of Western Bhar El Ghazal need to maintain safety and prepare ourselves for any potential harm.

Nicola Bringi
A member of Western Bhar el Ghazal community.

Don’t Blame Citizens for the Leadership Failure & Collapse of Country

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda, APR/16/2018, SSN,
Daniel Juol Nhomngek ;

Viewing South Sudan critically points to one conclusion that it’s a collapsed nation. In other words, it is a failed state. According to Wikipedia, the failed state is a political body that has disintegrated to a point where basic conditions and responsibilities of a sovereign government no longer function properly.

The failure of the State comes about when a nation is weakened as its standard of living declines, which eventually leads to the total governmental collapse.

In this respect, Fund for Peace characterizes the failed state as having the following characteristics:
(1) loss of control of its territory, or of the monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force therein;
(2) erosion of legitimate authority to make collective decisions;
(3) inability to provide public services; and
(4) inability to interact with other states as a full member of the international community.

The above common characteristics of a failing state make a central government so weak or ineffective that it has an inability to raise taxes or other support due to rampant corruption, and consequently, has little practical control over much of its territory and hence there is a non-provision of public services.

In the failed State, there is a lot of widespread corruption and criminality as there is intervention of non-state actors, the widespread appearance of refugees and the involuntary movement of populations and sharp economic decline occur.

All these scenarios exist all over South Sudan.

In South Sudan, there is a lot of widespread corruption throughout the country as witnessed in some of the states. The clear examples of these states where corruption has reached the highest levels are:

In Gok State, the governor is running the State like personal enterprise as he has taken control of everything while using state powers to silence citizens who are conscious about the duties of the State that Gok State are not executing.

The Governor in Gok State has criminalized majority of the youth who are vocal of his mismanagement of the State. While some youth are blindly supporting him because he is from their county. Therefore, every person in Gok State who criticizes the Government is seen as interested in politics and therefore outlawed.

In order to survive in Gok State and get some employment, one must at all the times praise the governor even at the face of very clear apparent failure. Some of the youth by implication become submissive as conditions demand.

Another state with high levels of corruption and mismanagement is Western Lakes. In this State, the Governor is running the State like one-man enterprise as already pointed out in the discussion on Gok State.

To make the matters worse after failing to unite the people of Western Lakes through implementing the rule of law, the government is now trying to use force to bring people together that he is creating unity, which may lead to the destruction of the community settings.

What the governor of Western Lakes should have known is that unity of the people is not brought through the use of force or putting people in one room but it is brought through making unity attractive as the Late Dr. John Garang Mabior used to say.

Another State that is corrupted is Ruweng. In Ruweng State, the governor is using force to silence those complaining about his mismanagement of the State. This is despite the fact that citizens of South Sudan inhabiting Ruweng State are being affected by careless production of oil. The plights of citizens in Pariang who are affected by oil production are not heeded to.

Though I have only mentioned the three States above, it should not be understood that there is no corruption in other states no referred to. In fact, there is a lot a lot of corruption going on there.

When it comes to the issue of criminality, there is now rampant crime at every level and in every state of South Sudan as the States are using the intervention of non-state actors to champion their interests and to protect leadership not the citizens. This explains the strong presence of unknown government though they’re known.

Indeed, the issue of unknown gunmen has now even become a major concern to every citizen as they are killing big people as well as common citizens that are perceived as threat against the government.

This has led to the widespread killings that are not accounted for but the State does not even take any measure to protect citizens which means that they are killing in protection of the State.

Apart from the above crime, there are also a lot of widespread cattle wrestling or raiding which has made the keeping of animals to be a very risky project in various cattle communities in South Sudan.

This has deprived the citizens of the source of their livelihood that has pushed them to the streets in all major cities to beg in order to earn a living.

In terms of public service, there is none at all. Public servants working inside South Sudan and different embassies of South Sudan are now over ten months without salaries yet we still believe that there is a State.

The failure to pay government employees and the soldiers in particular has pushed some of them to engage in robbery and begging on the streets in different States.

It is very sad indeed and raises the vital question as to what does the State mean to those who believe that there is a state called South Sudan?

It is the fallacy of our understanding of the word STATE. A state that does not give her citizens services is the illusive State that exists in the state of minds of those who believe in its existence.

The absence of the State or inability of the State of South Sudan to control crimes is explained by the fact that the rampant crimes coupled with the ongoing civil war have led to a very serious refugee crisis.

The widespread appearance of refugees and the involuntary movement of populations and sharp economic decline are the clear description of South Sudanese State, which are the signs of non-existing state.

However, what surprises me and others who are well informed about the vital nature of the government and leadership is the fact that many individuals though educated keep on blaming the citizens of South Sudan for the collapse of South Sudan State and economy.

This shows that they have totally failed to understand the role of leadership in maintaining law and order and state stability in general. The question that they have not addressed their minds to, is if citizens where the ones responsible for the state stability why then do, we need the government?

In order to understand this question properly, there is a need to define the term government. The government is defined as a body that has the power to make and enforce laws within an organization or group.

In the broadest sense, “to govern” means to manage or supervise, whether over an area of land, a set of people, or a collection of assets. It is for this reason some writers point out that a God-ordained government acts like a restraint on man’s selfishness and regulates his societal interactions when necessary.

As it is already pointed, the primary duty of a government is to reward the people who do good things and punish the wrongdoers. In that respect, the overall supervisor of any government is the head of state. The head of state plays an important role of being an impartial guardian of the constitution and representative of the people.

The Government plays the role of: ensuring a secured and stable environment to enable free trade, innovation, development, quality education and production through securing the national borders, and protecting against internal threats such as racketeering, intimidation, violence and corruption, and defend the country from any external threat to our way of life.

As seen in the above discussion, government and leadership are what define the state and without them the state will be a failed state as it is the case of South Sudan. It is somehow said to see that in spite of this fact, some people who claim to be educated keep on blaming the citizens for the crisis in South Sudan.

Blaming citizens for the collapse of the country is the failure to understand that leadership and government are everything. The country that does not have an effective government and leadership is the failed country.

The effective government in this context is that government that delivers quality public services, the government that has the quality civil service, which is independent from political pressures.

To sum up, it must be stated that the problems of South Sudan are not due to the weaknesses of citizens but the ineffective leadership that has made the government ineffective.

The author is South Sudanese lawyer residing in Kampala and he can be reached through juoldaniel2003@gmail.com

Pres. Salva Kiir’s Gestapo Mentality is killing South Sudan

BY: Duop Chak Wuol, South Sudanese, MAR/24/2018, SSN;

It was a common perception in Adolf Hitler’s Germany that working as an assassin for the notorious Nazi’s secret police, the Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo), was a noble career in the Deutschland. It is now clear that South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has adopted Gestapo-like tactics to terrorize the people of South Sudan.

Kiir’s use of a Gestapo against his critics, political opponents, and civilians is not just wrong, it is hauntingly familiar and a threat to the very existence of South Sudan.

Most politicians like to make bold political statements, proclaiming better days ahead for their citizens or countries even when they know their promises are unjustified— or, rather, absurdly imaginary.

This is also the case in the minds of many ruthless tyrants. In Kiir’s mind, it is all about killing anyone who refuses to abide by his cruelty, imposing an ethnic reign, looting state resources and blaming it on unidentified culprits or unknown gunmen whom he owns.

This is exactly what Hitler did when he conducted a brutal campaign against those he believed to oppose his leadership.

It should be clear to the people of South Sudan that Kiir is a modern admirer of Gestapo methods who believes that he can kill with impunity and remain untouchable.

There are many similarities between Kiir’s unknown gunmen and the Gestapo’s assassins. For many years, Kiir’s unknown gunmen have terrorized, arrested, tortured, kidnapped, and killed people, and yet none of the assassins have ever been put on trial.

The reason why Kiir did not use his submissive Judges to punish members of his killing squad is the fact that he is the one who employed them to commit atrocities on his behalf.

What intrigued me about Kiir is the fact that he likes to accuse people whom he disagrees with of wrongdoing. He believes that anyone who refuses to abide by his brutality is wrong and that such a person deserves punishment.

For example, Kiir, with the help of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, orchestrated a scheme to make his rivals look as if they were working on a plan to topple his government.

He put his plan in motion on December 15, 2013 by accusing them of plotting a coup, presenting groundless evidence to support his self-managed claim, and then turning around to blame them for being the ones who started the war by attempting to remove him from power.

This was, in fact, a colossal lie. Kiir later used this misleading allegation against his opponents the morning following the outbreak of war.

He declared that his then-deputy Dr. Riek Machar, along with many senior leaders of the Sudan People’s s Liberation Movement (SPLM), planned a coup against his government and that some of the plotters were detained.

Kiir also demonstrated this seemingly blame-the-victim strategy in July 2016 after he colluded with Taban Deng Gai to try to assassinate Machar at Juba One (J1), his residence.

Most South Sudanese were shocked when they saw Kiir accusing Machar of starting the J1 fighting. Kiir’s policy of blaming the victims is the same tactic Hitler used against his rivals.

The recent politically motivated death conviction of former Machar’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, and South African William John Endley has exposed Kiir’s deceit in a stunning way.

The decision by the court proves that Kiir’s mentality is no different from the former Nazi leader, who was very good at targeting his critics.

Kiir, through his sycophantic Judges, alleged that Dak committed treasonous acts and that Endley was a spy for the rebel leader Machar.

Kiir then falsely blamed the two men for being the masters of their legal troubles — troubles that were carefully fabricated at J1 and given to a Kangaroo court in Juba to punish the men.

All the charges labeled against both men were unreasonable in merit. The truth is that Mr. Dak was a critic of Kiir’s regime and Mr. Endley was simply an ordinary South African who happened to be a friend of Machar.

In a logical sense, Juba’s tyrant does not want anyone who likes Riek Machar. The man has developed a very serious hatred towards Riek Machar. His hatred for the rebel leader has reached the level of madness.

Kiir’s policy of rewarding the killers and punishing the victims reminds me of an ancient King who is so consumed by the fantasy of wanting to make people embrace his cruelty, justify his atrocities, and glorify his madness.

The real reason behind the convictions was simply an attempt by Kiir to tell his critics that he is capable of punishing anyone who criticizes his leadership — this is exactly how Hitler operated through his Gestapo-managed courts.

Kiir’s decision to use a court to punish Dak and Endley is probably the biggest act of hypocrisy to ever be committed in South Sudan.

There are many people who have carried out far more serious crimes than Endley and Dak, and these people are still working for Kiir’s government.

So, if Kiir wants to punish people, he could have started with his tribal militiamen who massacred innocent Nuer civilians in December 2013, crooked elites, and former ministers who looted hundreds of millions of dollars.

Salva Kiir is simply not a national leader as I indicated in some of my preceding writings. His actions will be an indisputable living testimony in the history of South Sudan.

The man is simply too destructive for the country. For instance, prior to the outbreak of the war in Juba, Kiir became increasingly brutal, visibly enraged, spoke out in a tribally-motivated tone, and publicly recalled past divisive events.

This was a dangerous move displayed by the very person whom the people thought was their leader.

I believe Kiir’s political opponents also contributed to what was then a looming political tragedy by not speaking out against his divisive language.

All these actions led Kiir to falsely accuse his rivals of planning a bogus coup, which resulted in a spate of targeted killings in Juba — it was a gruesome display of his leadership that went down in history as his biggest political blunder.

The South Sudanese tyrant has turned the country into a graveyard for greedy empires. It is good to remind people that the empires in question are Uganda, Egypt, Ukraine, Morocco, Kenya, and Eritrea.

There is no doubt in my mind that these nations are the main investors in Kiir’s atrocious regime and benefit from the ongoing war, all in complete disregard of humanity.

The leaders of these greedy countries are fueling the conflict by dressing up in sheep’s clothing, crying peace, and shedding crocodile tears.

Kiir always likes to accuse his critics of treason and other crimes, but he is the one who should be accused of committing treasonous acts because he has sold South Sudan to these greedy kingdoms.

Salva Kiir has no feeling for any loss of life unless such a loss poses a direct threat to his own life. Kiir is a cold-blooded leader who would kill, smile, and then blame the victim.

What I find puzzling about his tyrannical mindset is that he does not recognize the fact that those who feel oppressed by his leadership have the right to fight for their rights; be they cultural, social, economic or political rights.

It is worth mentioning that many dictators who persistently oppressed their citizens ended up facing serious ramifications. This is what happened with Hitler: he announced that those who opposed his leadership had no reason to live, yet he ended up being the victim of his own brutality.

If this is what Kiir wants, then he must publicly declare that he is the enforcer of a 21st century Gestapo and that he has decided to deny the South Sudanese much-needed democratic changes.

Kiir is now the obstacle to the democratization and development of South Sudan. The only reasonable thing for him to do now is to denounce his destructive leadership and vacate the presidency.

Salva Kiir’s leadership is built on the ideology of a tribal supremacy. He empowers ethnic ideas created by the hooligans of the infamous Jieng Council of Elders (JCE), deceives everyone in his inner circle, and robs the people of South Sudan from their national pride by cunningly changing the constitution to legitimize his tyranny.

The sheer size of his crimes is appalling for any reasonable person to comprehend.

If there are people who still support Kiir’s Nazi mentality, then I’d argue that allowing him to continue ruling the young nation will be a bonanza for his viciousness.

The Republic of South Sudan is now a modern version of a Gestapo-run state where everyone is expected to think sycophantically.

The South Sudanese must not allow Kiir’s Nazi mindset to give birth to a Gestapo baby with a “kill-with-impunity” statement written on its forehead.

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

BREAKING NEWS: U.S. Adds South Sudanese Oil Entities to Department of Commerce Entity List

Press Statement, Heather Nauert, Department Spokesperson, Washington, DC, March 21, 2018;

Today, the United States is taking action against these fifteen South Sudanese oil-related entities (published below) whose revenues have contributed to the ongoing crisis in South Sudan.

This action reflects the U.S. commitment to doing all it can to protect the innocent people of South Sudan.

By placing these entities on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Entity List, the United States will impose a license requirement on all exports, re-exports, and transfers of any U.S.-origin items to those entities.

The names of these 15 specific entities below published by the Federal Register of the US Bureau of Industry and Security, Commerce included the following to a sanction list:–

1- Ascom Sudd Operating Company;
2- Dar Petroleum Operating Company;
3- Dietsmann Nile;
4- Greater Pioneer Operating Co.Ltd;
5- Juba Petrotech Technical Services Ltd;
6- Nile Delta Petroleum Company;
7- Nile Drilling and Services Company;
8- Nile Petroleum Corporation;
9- Nyakek and Sons;
10- Oranto Petroleum;
11- Safinat Group;
12- SIPET Engineering and Consultancy Services;
13- South Sudan Ministry of Mining;
14- South Sudan Ministry of Petroleum, and,
15- Sudd Petroleum Operating Co.

Technical questions regarding the details of today’s action should be addressed to the Department of Commerce.

The listed entities are a source of substantial revenue for the Pres. Salva Kiir’s Government of South Sudan.

Unfortunately, the South Sudanese Government, and corrupt official actors, use this revenue to purchase weapons and fund irregular militias that undermine the peace, security, and stability of South Sudan rather than support the welfare and current emergency food needs of the South Sudanese people.

We call on the region and broader international community to join us in limiting the financial flows that fuel the continuing violence in the country.

The Kiir’s Government of South Sudan can do better.

The United States expects it, as well as the armed opposition, to fulfill their commitments to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and to their own people to cease hostilities, allow unimpeded humanitarian access, and pursue a negotiated peace in good faith.

As the largest donor of aid to South Sudan, the United States is proud to uphold humanitarian values and deliver vital assistance.

The Government of South Sudan must not squander that generosity and should take concrete steps to provide for the vast needs of the South Sudanese people.

Today’s actions are part of our ongoing effort to hold to account those who foment violence, commit human rights violations, obstruct the peace process, or engage in illicit financial activities against the interest of the South Sudanese people.

We remain prepared to take additional actions, including sanctioning those who threaten the peace and security of South Sudan.

    Why is today’s announcement noteworthy?

The Entity List is a list maintained by the U.S. Department of Commerce for broader export controls. It does not freeze assets but requires U.S. as well as foreign exporters re-exporting U.S.-origin goods and technology to get a license from the Commerce Department. This means that even non-U.S. companies with U.S.-origin parts or technology in their oilfield equipment would need to apply for a license, which is unlikely to be granted because there is a presumption of denial for all applications.

In their due diligence, banks and others in the private sector often include listed entities in the same filters as the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List. There is usually a flag that distinguishes the meaning of the Entity List and indicating that it means a license is needed rather than being a no-go; however, it clearly warns the user that these are high risk companies and ministries.

South Sudan is now the African country with the most number of entities on the Commerce Department’s Entity List, and the only African country with government ministries included.

    Joshua White, Director of Policy and Analysis at The Sentry, said:

“Today’s announcement by the Commerce Department is only the latest action taken by the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia to hold the Government of South Sudan accountable for its violent kleptocracy, which fuels the conflict in which millions of its people have suffered.
The corrupt elites of South Sudan only have to look to the cases of Iran and North Korea to understand the financial consequences that this strategy of pressure can have on those who commit human rights abuses, their supporters and broader networks.”

    Brad Brooks-Rubin, Managing Director at The Sentry and the Enough Project, said:

“Today’s action by the Commerce Department is an important use of non-sanctions measures to build pressure for peace in South Sudan. With these new requirements, South Sudanese entities will be forced to show that their work will benefit the country rather than provide funding to militias or line the pockets of corrupt leaders.
The private sector, including both the extractives and financial sectors, should follow these measures carefully and ensure that they are not facilitating further conflict and corruption in South Sudan.”

    Brian Adeba, Deputy Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said:

“This move is an important step in the search for peace in South Sudan. As the next round of the South Sudan peace talks approaches, it is important for the United States and its partners to continue to build leverage by increasing these types of pressures to target as wide a network as possible to ensure that the parties to the conflict change their calculations in favor of peace.” END

Where the Machar-led SPLM/A (IO) faltered: Latest Serious Criticism from Inside

South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA)

By: Peter Adwok Nyaba, MAR/05/2018, SSN;

On 1st March 2018, the eight-member South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) released a press statement on the launch of the opposition alliance. It was unbelievable that the SPLM/A (IO) was not among the signatories.

I made an inquiry on the PolitBureau forum and the Chairman, Dr. Riek Machar, responded thus, “There are differences in the draft charter. They have a vision and we have another. They decided to go ahead. We agreed. Still we will continue cooperating meanwhile discussing those differences.”

I did not agree with the Chairman response. A colleague in the PB posted the SPLM/A (IO) response to the draft alliance charter. I was shocked that it was a dialogue between the Chairman and the deputy Chairman as can be gleaned from the quote below.

“… [After] sharing the Charter with the Leadership of my Organization (IO), I would like to give a summary of the changes (minor and major). You may question why major change after we agreed. Well, as I did explain on that Friday, I did not have the direct authority to make the ultimate decision, so I had to share the content of the draft Charter. The fact that an attempt is made to enrich the draft, it shows the seriousness IO has placed on SSOA. Please look at the changes as genuine concerns instead of taking the idea that IO does not want SSOA playing some delaying tactics.”

I thought it was out of order for the deputy chairman to tell the leaders of the other opposition groups that he did not have direct authority to make ultimate decision and so had to share the content of the draft, although that really goes without saying.

It makes him more of a puppet rather than SPLM/A (IO) deputy Chairman; worst, when it becomes public knowledge by his own admission.

I am hearing that Dr. Lam Akol circulated this response. This episode creates serious leadership crisis in the SPLM/A (IO) suggesting that the focal point is not up to the task and that explains the admission by the deputy Chairman of not having direct authority to make the ultimate decision.

The ultimate decision lies with the SPLM/A (IO) Political Bureau, which he and the Chairman short-circuited in what appears like an operation of Limited Liability Company dealings.

There are two or three things involved here.

First, the question of building alliance with other opposition groups. On 11 January, I circulated a paper where I discussed the necessity of forging a working relationship with the groups opposed to the ethnocentric totalitarian regime.

Nobody in the Political Bureau had the courtesy of either agreeing or disagreeing with it. Not even any in the so-called focal point discussed although they knew that they would come face to face with some of the issues I raised.

Secondly, the issue of internal democracy in the SPLM/A (IO). It is obvious the Chairman, the deputy Chairman and Dr. Riek’s appointed Secretary-General (because he unconstitutionally appointed Tingo Peter – the Chairman could have only tasked him in an acting capacity) have no knowledge and/or experience with democratic practice.

This explains why they quickly reached a deadlock, which the Chairman categorizes as ‘difference’.

Differences in an alliance are to be expected but cannot be cause for isolation, unless we admit that we have run out of ideas and what remained in our heads is only power.

I believe once the focal point presented the draft charter, the Chairman should have triggered a discussion on the Political Bureau forum for those not in the focal point to ventilate and make suggestions.

This did not happen and became a two-persons dialogue, in which they acted subjectively occasioning the break.

Thirdly, the issue of SPLM/A (IO) operating in isolation of other political groups whether outside or inside the country.

I could understand the position of the SPLM Political Leaders (FPDs) but their refusal to join the alliance will definitely compound their dilemma of being in and out of government at the same time, which is the falsehood of SPLM reunification and attending various forums on that issue drive.

I am convinced that the SPLM/A (IO) action of boycotting the signing of the SSOA charter on grounds not known by many members of the PB will have resounding negative effect on our standing as people who want to transform the current situation in the country.

We faltered in this and I do not know how we’d mitigate this damage.

In the paper I circulated on 11 January, I said clearly that the opposition group leaders were members of the SPLM/A at one time or the other.

We were all in the national liberation struggle therefore we know each other, which should have been a rallying point to negotiate an alliance.

We in the SPLM/A (IO) seemed to have not learned a lesson. The eruption of violence in July 2016 and the return to war created a dynamically new and different political situation in the country, which required a strategic analysis and a different political thinking.

We assumed that people would just join us in a leadership structure ante. That is why some comrades castigated me when I accepted and committed the SPLM/A (IO) to the Consultative Meeting called by Dr. Lam in August 2016.

I believed and still believe it was the correct line of action. The outcome of that meeting is available for perusal. Whatever happened after that was not my responsibility.

The PB deliberated on it in Khartoum but nothing substantial came out. We were then the only known armed opposition.

However, as I said that a new and very different political situation arose and consequent to the oppressive policies of the regime, other opposition groups…armed or not, sprouted onto the political stage.

This was their inalienable right to be independent and to oppose the oppressive regime.

However, as the dominant armed group, we should have offered cooperation and agreed on how this cooperation would play out in terms of general principles, strategies, tactics and geographic domain of this cooperation.

I thought that was the essence of the Consultative Meeting in Nairobi in August 2016. A politician conversant with multiparty political engineering would quickly capture this evolving political environment and turn it to the advantage of his party and/or movement.

Nevertheless, to hope that others opposed to the regime would come running to join us would be the height of naivety or a demonstration of jejune character not appropriate in complex socio-political situations as obtaining in South Sudan.

The SPLM/A (IO) has failed to capture the political situation on account of the absence of clear political objectives. Whether it was regime change or reform that dominated the debate in the SPLM/A (IO) since its inception in 2014; however the reform agenda driven by Taban’s personal ambition to capture the petroleum portfolio in the TGoNU won the day.

This came to be because of the triangular socio-political relationship [Dr. Riek Machar – comrade Angelina Teny – Gen. Taban Deng (SPLM/A (IO) Chief Negotiator)] had always played the harbinger of SPLM/A (IO) lack of clarity, which Dr. Riek exacerbated through naivety, indecision and/or cowardice to break this triangular socio-political relationship until the disaster stroke in July 2016.

Do we in the SPLM/A (IO) believe others do not see this political/leadership weakness? Why would they follow a person who does not listen or treats his colleagues like pawns?

The SPLM/A (IO) lack of clear political objectives stems from Dr. Riek’s complete ignorance and lack of clear ideological underpinnings of South Sudan socio-economic and political context.

His ambition for power is completely detached from any ideology linked to the socio-economic and cultural underdevelopment of South Sudan and its people.

He believes he has ideas, which he can only implement when in power.

That explains for eight years as first vice Chairman of the SPLM and vice President of GOSS (2005 -2011) and deputy vice president of the republic of South Sudan (2011 – 2013), he remained dormant under Salva Kiir; neither departing to give room to those who would honestly and loyally work under Salva Kiir to make the country move forward.

Nor did his show dissatisfaction with the ongoings in South Sudan for eight years but was deeply involved as minister of housing overseeing the rehabilitation of dilapidated Southern Regional Government infrastructure instead of building new one with the huge budget he managed.

It is not enough to have ambition for power; one must have the ideological and strategic political clout to managed that ambition.

The SPLM/A (IO) started in 2013/2014 with nearly sixty thousand armed combatants [SPLA, Police, Prison warder, Wildlife wardens and Civil Defence officers].

In 2015, the Agwelek Forces under Gen. Johnson Olony joined the SPLM/A (IO), captured Malakal, Akoka, and Melut. They were poised on attacking in order to capture the oil fields in Adar and Paloich, when the Dr. Riek and Taban conspired to sabotage the operation by ordering the withdrawal of other forces from Lou and Jikany eventually leading to the government recapture of Malakal and Melut with the loss of life and the gunboat.

Now, how would Dr. Riek dream of capturing power from Salva Kiir when he lacked the strategic planning of denying Salva Kiir the financial and economic resources for prosecuting the war?

How would Dr. Riek win military victory without organizing and sourcing a combat-capable army but preferring to rely on the Nuer white army who do not subscribe to the laws of war or to the political objective of war?

What next after refusing to sign the charter on account of ‘difference’ with the other political groups?

This is my take on our dilemma, which is different from FPDs dilemma in that we are still the largest political military movement in the opposition but with diminished political and military clout.

Let me warn us here; what we have now is only potential political and military power, which also is diminishing at an exponential rate due to the obvious mistakes we make.

It is not true that the US administration sanctioned us because of the decision in the PB to pursue armed struggle. The US administration sanctioned us because we acted nuerly (announcing publicly our intention to war.

The very idea of publicly circulating classified SPLM/A (IO) documents is not only naïve but also a security risk.

No political party operates with its doors and windows opened to the public and expects to win genuine and actual political victories; perhaps may be only imaginary victories triggered by wishful thinking.

We could transform this potential power by acting strategically within the opposition looking not at the power sharing in the transition period but the long-term socio-economic and political engineering of South Sudan.

This should be the starting point with the opposition groups when the HLRF (IGAD-sponsored talks) resumes.

It is not the short-term gains the parties will collect from the revitalized agreement but rather the long-term impact of the agreement on South Sudan context, which should drive the relations among the opposition groups.

This requires looking at the issues or what the Chairman categorized as ‘differences’ from an objective and patriotic prospective.

The condescending and paternalistic attitude we display towards other compatriots has no basis and should cease henceforth.

We must accept that the Chairman and the deputy Chairman have faltered in deciding to let go the alliance on account of minor and non-fundamental ‘differences’ with the other opposition groups.

It puts the SPLM/A (IO) at par with president Kiir’s SPLM (IG) focused only on power and not the concern for the suffering people of South Sudan.

Kind regards

Peter Adwok Nyaba

2nd March 2018

A shattered hope: Revisiting the horrors of Kiir’s Juba’s massacre

By Duop Chak Wuol, FEB/22/2018, SSN;

Sometimes it is better to immerse yourself in other’s experiences to get an understanding of your own imagination. It is not rational to conclude that what you imagine is necessarily the case. However, it is logically valid that putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is a reasonable way to understand his or her inner self.

It was more than four years ago when a hopeful five year old boy was slit in the throat in Juba and died instantly. His name was Peter Gatwech Nhial. This heartrending episode transpired in front of his parents. A few minutes later, the killers shot his father and mother. Fortunately, his father survived.

Peter’s life was ended by a ruthless ethnic militia employed by South Sudanese President Salva Kiir to kill people. His death was a hope shattered: the life of an innocent child unjustly terminated, leaving his father to continue living life in pain. It was an act of violence committed against a helpless young South Sudanese child.

In January 2018, I visited one of the South Sudanese refugee camps located in Ethiopia’s western region, Gambella. The name of the camp is Nguenyyiel, and the site is also known as Kule Three. After my arrival in the camp, I asked for permission from the local authorities to be taken to a public place like a market, health center, or school.

My intention was to see, assess and experience the current refugees’ situations in the camp and compare them with the life I once lived in a refugee camp in Ethiopia. But I did not expect my tour to be overshadowed by this boy’s shocking story.

After a short walk, I met Peter’s father, Nhial Goy, at a nearby health center’s compound. I have to admit that my meeting with Nhial was accidental. When I first arrived at the compound, I saw a middle-aged man sitting on the compound with his head down. A few minutes later, his face was still leaning downward.

I then felt a moral obligation, though it was probably not a coherent choice, to greet him and perhaps attempt to ask him why he kept his head down for such a long time. It was an uncomfortable decision and my heart was, for reasons unknown to me, beating heavily.

I walked to him, greeted him, and extended my hand to him. A brief conversation transpired between the two of us — I asked him if he was well. He replied, “Yes, of course.” I then asked him why he kept his head down for many minutes. “Is there anything wrong?” I asked.

To my surprise, Nhial responded by lifting his head up, looking around, and bursting into tears. I was stunned to see Nhial’s face covered with seemingly endless tears. It was a throbbing moment — a moment that caused me to keep quiet for a while.

Astonished and not knowing where to begin, I asked him if I could get him a cup of water. Nhial replied, “No, I am fine.” I was baffled. I remember having a strange feeling in my mind that something was just not right about Nhial’s tears. After wrestling with my conscience, I decided to ask him again about his well-being and why he had cried.

Nhial had enough, tearful and determined to share his grief: “I am here to seek medical attention for my gunshot wounds,” he said. “My son and wife were killed in Juba. My only hope was shattered by Salva Kiir,” Nhial added. He explained that his wife, Nyabiey Ruon, died of her wounds a few hours after the attack.

Nhial disclosed to me that they were shot in the early morning of December 16 and he could not remember the exact time. He stated that he was waiting for his wounds to heal so that he could join the fight against South Sudan’s government, saying, “I am willing to fight against the person who took the lives of my wife and son.”

While I was stunned and did not know what to say, Peter’s father decided to take the lead and voluntarily showed me three huge permanent scars: one on his forehead and the other two on the right side of his lower abdomen — a chilling reminder of how horrifying the attack was. How he survived puzzled me, and I know for a fact that his miraculous death-escape needs medical explanation.

Nhial told me he thought he was going to die and that his rescue was God’s work. He explained that he was inside his house in Gudele with his dead wife and son when he heard the sound of an ambulance the morning of December 17, 2013 and decided to crawl out of his blood-filled home.

He said he was lucky enough to reach outside his gate before the ambulance arrived. There, one of the medical workers saw him and asked the driver to stop the car. He was then put into the ambulance and rushed to Juba’s teaching hospital.

As we continued our conversation, I noticed a continuous flow of tears from his eyes: it was one of the most painful moments in my life — my heart was bursting with sadness, I had to end the discussion about the tragedy.

Nhial later revealed to me that he was snicked out of the hospital to a UN-run camp in Juba by humanitarian aid personnel after he was told by a doctor that he was free to leave the hospital. The doctor advised that he should seek further medical attention in another hospital as Juba’s hospital did not have the right medications for his head wound.

He said he did not know whether his wife and son were buried and that he kept thinking about what happened to their bodies. In the back of my mind, I also knew that there were countless numbers of people who probably experienced the same cruelty.

Nhial was lucky enough to be snuck out of the camp by his relatives and escape to Kenya before his final destination, Nguenyyiel refugee camp.

Nhial’s horrifying story kept me thinking for three weeks and helped me to understand what Salva Kiir’s leadership is all about. It was a tough and touching experience for me, but it was an account that I would embrace even though it echoed the pain in my soul.

This narrative gave me opportunities to cry and laugh. But there are times when I get enraged with the level of brutality inflicted on Nhial’s family – especially when emotions get the best of me.

I tried my best to separate my personal feelings from the brutality Kiir’s regime inflicted on Nhial and his deceased family. What enraged me the most about this particular tragedy was the fact that none of Peter’s parents had blood relations with any of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement’s (SPLM) senior political leaders, whom Salva Kiir accused in December 2013 of plotting a coup.

Nhial, Nyabiey, and Peter were all innocent civilians who were living the life of ordinary South Sudanese. They were not active in South Sudan’s politics and had no known records of supporting any particular political leader or party.

Kiir’s ethnic militia targeted Nhial’s family simply because they were of Nuer ethnicity. Peter and his mother were brutally murdered due to tribally-motivated political madness — it was, indeed, a hope shattered.

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

How likely are states to implement the US proposed arms ban on South Sudan?

BY: Mark Deng, a Law Ph.D Candidate, Univ. of Queensland, Australia, FEB/20/2018, SSN;

The Trump administration has recently announced an arms ban on South Sudan as a response to the seemingly intractable civil war in the country and the resultant humanitarian crisis. President Trump has called on both the regional countries in Africa and the UN Security Council to implement a global arms ban on South Sudan.

The arms ban came a few days after the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, called the government of South Sudan an “unfit partner” in the international effort to resolve the South Sudanese conflict.

While the comment may not have been an appropriate diplomatic thing to say to a foreign leader, and, indeed, an ally, it was made out of a frustration at the persistent failures of the South Sudanese leaders to make necessary compromises to break the impasse and bring durable peace to the country.

Adding to the frustration is the fact that the US government has invested over $11 billion dollars in South Sudan since 2011 to support the transitional process, peace talks, and development. Yet the situation in the country seems to be only getting worse.

The war has deeply divided the South Sudanese society and the arms ban was received in the country with mixed reactions.

The rebels and their supporters, on the one hand, welcome the ban as a necessary step to influence the government’s intransigent position on the ongoing consultations to resurrect and implement the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCISS) signed in 2015 between the government and the rebels.

The ARCISS collapsed in July 2016 after a ferocious fight erupted outside the State House in Juba between the presidential guards and the bodyguards of the rebel leader, Dr Riek.

Dr Riek instantly claimed that the incident was a government’s calculated attempt to assassinate him, prompting him to withdraw from the Government of National Unity in fear for his life.

The government’s response to the arms ban, on the other hand, has not been positive. The First Vice President of South Sudan, Taban Deng Ghai, was quoted recently in a newspaper, saying that the US is no longer a partner in peace.

The Vice President gave this statement shortly after the government of South Sudan recalled its ambassador to Washington in protest to the arms ban. It is unclear as to what these growing diplomatic tensions between the US and South Sudan would lead.

Whatever disappointments the arms ban may have caused to the government of South Sudan, however, the people of South Sudan should never see the US government as an enemy, bearing in mind the indelible role that the Bush administration played to help the South Sudanese achieve their independence.

It is clear that the arms ban raises with it a number of issues, one of which is state sovereignty. According to the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia, states are to respect each other’s territorial integrity. Put differently, no state should engage in acts that undermine another state’s capacity to maintain its national sovereignty.

The Treaty of Westphalia still holds today, however, it has come under heavy criticism. Some have argued that globalization and other factors that the treaty did not foresee and addressed have rendered the treaty ‘anachronistic’.

Mindful of the need to preserve the treaty, however, others have suggested that there should be exceptions to it. For example, it has been suggested that humanitarian crisis and breakdown of government in a state should be exceptions to the treaty.

I find myself in agreement with this view. A state sovereignty under which citizens do not enjoy the protection of their lives, rights, and freedoms serves no purpose.

The government of South Sudan may claim that the arms ban undermines its sovereignty but the ban, in my view, is justified as it is intended to stop human suffering in the country and further complications to the conflict.

However, the arms ban may have a justifiable ground, but it remains doubtful whether states will follow suit and implement it.

States are generally guided by their own national interests and international treaty obligations in implementing sanctions against a particular state.

The international arms trade is governed by the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) 2014, which is yet to earn the support of all states. As of present, only 93 countries out of the 193 UN member states have ratified the ATT. Among the non-signatory countries are China, Israel, Russia, and Ukraine, which all are the leading arms suppliers to South Sudan.

It is possible that Israel and Ukraine could implement the arms ban on South Sudan, given their close diplomatic ties with the US.

However, it is unlikely that China and Russia could do the same for two main reasons: (1) both countries have vested interests in mining the oil in South Sudan and may not be prepared to jeopardize these lucrative investments; and (2) they are not under ATT international obligations to implement the arms ban on South Sudan since they are not state parties to it.

In addition, the neighboring countries, particularly Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda, may not be prepared to implement the arms ban on South Sudan. Aside from being members of IGAD, of which South Sudan is a member, these countries face the same issue of political instability as South Sudan.

On that basis, it is difficult to see how these countries can implement the arms ban on South Sudan due to the fear that any of them could suffer the same fate at any moment.

However, if these neighboring countries were to implement the arms ban on South Sudan, the ban could be effective. These countries are the channels through which arms enter South Sudan from arms suppliers.

In 2015, for example, a Chinese cargo ship, carrying different types of Chinese-made weapons, docked in the Port of Mombasa, Kenya. The cargo was unloaded and the weapons were transported by land to South Sudan.

In 2014, it was reported that South Sudan and Uganda signed a military cooperation agreement. The particulars of the agreement have not been made public but it is generally understood that the agreement authorizes Uganda to purchase arms from third parties on behalf of South Sudan.

While nothing is set in stone in diplomatic relations, the close ties between South Sudan and its neighboring countries, as well as the uncertain future they all face in the region, make it unlikely for these countries to implement the arms ban on South Sudan.

Sure, the Trump administration could apply pressure of any sort to these countries to get them to implement the arms ban but how that would play out cannot be predicted with certainty.

When talking about arms bans, it is important to consult history. History shows that arms bans hardly work. An Arms ban was, for example, imposed on Sudan by the European Union in 1994, yet it did not seem to stop arms supply to Sudan.

Reports indicate that China and Iran, two of Sudan’s close allies, continued to supply Sudan with arms despite the ban.

So, the reality is that it is difficult to control the flow of arms effectively, and the reason is that the arms trade is an international multi-billion dollar business. The states and international arms sale companies will always to try to flout and circumvent the rules in order to continue to make profits from arms sales.

The ATT aims to prevent and eradicate illicit arms trade but its regulatory system does not seem to be effective enough, considering the fact that recent arms sanctions against Syria and Libya have not been successful.

So, in the absence of an effective mechanism that ensures compliance with the treaty obligations for all countries, doubts hang over the success of the proposed arms ban on South Sudan.

It is likely that countries like China and Russia will continue to sell arms to South Sudan and it will all be business as usual.

Mark Deng is a law PhD candidate at the University of Queensland, Australia.
Email: mark.deng@uq.edu.au

Australian Police move to seize ex-South Sudanese General’s $1.5m Narre Warren mansion

BY: DAVID HURLEY, Herald Sun, FEB/09/2018, SSN;

POLICE have moved to seize a $1.5 million mansion in Melbourne’s southeast from the family of a former South Sudanese (Chief of Staff) general linked to the nation’s military elite which fleeced millions of dollars from the war-torn country.

The Australian Federal Police took the case against General James Hoth Mai Nguoth, and several members of his family, to the County Court of Victoria on Tuesday as it pushes ahead with a proceeds of crime restraint.

It is targeting the luxury Narre Warren home, which has an infinity pool, sauna and five-car garage, as well as an Audi owned by the family.

Gen Hoth Mai’s family bought the sprawling property in 2014 when his wife and children were living in taxpayer-funded housing commission accommodation.

Investigators from the AFP’s Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce (CACT) launched a probe into the purchase of the property in September 2016 following allegations that several former and current South Sudanese public officials have bought houses in Australia with the proceeds of corruption.

General James Hoth Mai’s family bought the sprawling Narre Warren property in 2014 when his wife and children were living in taxpayer-funded housing commission accommodation.

Police have moved to seize the $1.5 million mansion in Narre Warren. Gen Hoth Mai was named in a 2016 report compiled by The Sentry, a team of investigators targeting those who profit from genocide in Africa co-founded by actor George Clooney.

Gen Hoth Mai served as the chief of staff in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army from May 2009 to April 2014.

Before that he was the deputy chief of staff for logistics. Investigators understand his biggest salary was no more than $58,000 a year.

J.R. Bailey, Investigations Director at The Sentry, said the group found information regarding the General’s purchase of the Narre Warren house in 2016.

“Gen Hoth Mai is a well-known military commander in South Sudan,” Mr Bailey said. “We discovered his purchase of the Melbourne home during a 2016 investigation into the assets accrued by senior South Sudanese military and government officials.”

“The Sentry found Hoth Mai’s purchase of the Melbourne home to be noteworthy — and worthy of additional scrutiny — for several reasons.”

General James Hoth Mai was named in a 2016 report compiled by The Sentry, a team of investigators co-founded by actor George Clooney.

The Sentry report accuses senior officials on relatively low salaries in South Sudan of profiteering from the country’s civil war.

“First, the cost of the home far surpassed what one could reasonably afford on the salary of a general of Hoth Mai’s rank,” Mr Bailey said.

“Second, the Hoth Mai family had purchased the home shortly after having resided in subsidised housing, a major sudden change in the family’s lifestyle.”

“Finally, the home was purchased in the name of Hoth Mai’s son, who had only recently graduated from college.”

“We considered this a possible attempt to obfuscate the General’s connection to the purchase. Taken as a whole, the circumstances of the transaction, we found, merit more scrutiny from relevant law enforcement and regulatory authorities.”

Shortly after The Sentry published its report — War Crimes Shouldn’t Pay: Stopping the looting and destruction in South Sudan — the AFP launched a probe with help from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.

Investigators visited the Narre Warren property in August 2016 and saw a BMW 316i, used by one of Gen Hoth Mai’s daughters, in the driveway.

An AFP spokeswoman said: “The investigation, which included assistance from the ACIC, focused on the acquisition of assets in Australia by the family members of an individual who is believed to have held senior positions including chief of staff in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army between May 2009 and April 2014.”

The General and his family did not appear at the County of Court of Victoria on Tuesday when the AFP’s criminal assets confiscation and proceeds of crime matter was heard. The case, before Judge Susan Cohen, was adjourned for three weeks.

Clooney, writing in The Sentry’s 2016 report, said the organisation’s investigators spent two years “following the money underwriting South Sudan’s war economy”.

“The Sentry’s investigation has generated substantial information indicating that top officials ultimately responsible for mass atrocities in South Sudan have at some time managed to accumulate fortunes, despite modest government salaries,” Clooney said.

The original sale documents for the Narre Warren property lists the general’s wife, Nyawarga Hoth Mai, as the buyer.

The luxury Narre Warren home has an infinity pool. The documents were then altered on the day the sale went through in August 2014 and buyer was listed as the general’s son, Nguoth Oth Mai, an Australian citizen.

Barrister Simon McGregor, for the General’s family, declined to comment.

The AFP’s legal proceedings are a civil matter under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The alleged offences are breach of directors’ duties, causing a loss to the Commonwealth and obtaining a gain from the Commonwealth. Criminal charges have not been laid against the General or his family.

david.hurley@news.com.au
@davidhurleyHS

FROM THE EDITOR, SOUTH SUDAN NATION:
LET’S ALL JOIN IN SUPPORT OF THE SENTRY CAMPAIGN BY REVELING AND REPORTING ALL THOSE IN KIIR’S GOVERNMENT WHO’VE STOLEN THE NATION’S MONEY AND HAVE PURCHASED SUCH ABOMINABLE HOMES OR HAVE SET UP BUSINESSES IN THEIR FAMILIES’ NAMES.

THE SOUTHSUDANNATION.COM IS EVER READY TO PUBLISH ANY DOCUMENT PERTAINING TO THESE CRIMES, WHETHER THEY ARE IN CANADA, USA, EUROPE AND AUSTRALIA.

ONE STEP FORWARD FOR JUSTICE IN SOUTH SUDAN.

The facade of the International Community in South Sudan

BY: ELHAG PAUL, South Sudan, JAN/25/2018, SSN;

At long last the SPLM/A in its different guises together with its off-shoots have called the bluff of the international community. For four years now the international community’s handling of the peace talks and implementation of ARCSS leaves a lot to be desired. During this period, they have left footprints of bias everywhere.

Just before the start of the revitalization talks, the international community issued strong letters sending a message that this time round they meant business. This raised the hopes of South Sudanese and for the first time the people appeared to give the international community the benefit of doubt about their conduct of the talks.

Ms Rebecca Nyandeng Garang, the widow of the late leader of SPLM/A, Dr John Garang, captured the positive feeling of the South Sudanese people in her interview with Mr John Tanza on Voice of America on 2nd January 2018.

Nyandeng expressed optimism about the revitalization talks based on the assurance she received from IGAD. This is what she said, “And I was happy to hear that IGAD said they were speaking in the same voice. Because IGAD in the other hand also have to unite their ranks and file.”

Asked by Tanza, why she was saying so, Nyandeng explained, “I say so because IGAD was divided. From 2013, even during the 2017 there are some leaders in IGAD who are supporting leaders instead of supporting people of South Sudan.”

Given the numerous violations of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement signed on 21st December 2017 by the government, the international community initially went mute only to issue the usual statement loaded with condemnation wrapped up with moral equivalence.

Many people have been asking what the international community is doing given their latest tough statement. Nobody has the answer and unfortunately the hopes of the people have once again been dashed. Nyandeng must be very disappointed.

The South Sudanese people have for over a year now lost faith in the international community following the naked violation of ARCSS by President Salva Kiir’s regime and its subsequent silence followed by their endorsement of General Taban Deng Gai as a replacement to Dr Riek Machar.

Why the international community as guarantors of the agreement chose to ignore Juba regime’s destruction of the agreement remains to be explained? It is something that makes many people to date to scratch their heads.

Worse still, they have gone on to isolate and confine the victim, Dr Riek Machar, the leader of SPLM/A-IO in South Africa. Machar has his own blemishes, but to put the blame of what happened in Juba in July 2016 on him to the extent of victimising him is as unfair and unethical as to reveal the internecine bias by international community against an innocent person exercising his birthright in his country’s affairs.

Machar’s isolation has proven one thing beyond doubt. His absence has not brought any peace. The war has continued unabated and this should be a reason enough to exonerate this innocent man and release him from the crude illegal confinement in South Africa.

Democracy demands that there must be a level field for all to compete for the highest office in the land. At the moment that is not the case in South Sudan. An innocent man is illegally held against his wishes in foreign land while the culprit is allowed to roam freely mismanaging the country.

This culprit, the trouble maker is in Juba. He is called President Salva Kiir, an extremely dangerous tribalist-psychopath who has already committed ethnic cleansing and continues to pose serious risk to himself, the people of South Sudan and South Sudan the country itself.

The facade of the international community in relation to peace in South Sudan dressed up in statements like, “We care for the people of South Sudan”, “There will be consequences”.. etc is unravelling before the eyes of the people of South Sudan and the world.

The revitalisation of ARCSS was meant to be a serious business. Though speeches were delivered by Troika, African Union and IGAD as mentioned above, only for the regime in Juba to instantly rubbish it by violating the CoH openly without any consequences as promised.

    The international community has lost credibility in South Sudan.

The majority of South Sudanese now wrongly or rightly believe that the international community including IGAD are conniving with the government of South Sudan against them. In a sense, the international community is viewed as part of the problem and as such they are perceived as allies of the Juba regime.

Conversations in South Sudanese circles nowaday is riddled with expressions like, “We are fighting the whole world.” This collective belief can be seen from the outcome of the National Dialogue consultations results held in Uganda and Kenya.

Please see, ’19 Things Uganda Refugees Want: An Official Summary by the National Dialogue of South Sudan’ (https://www.ssnationaldialogue.org/press-release/uganda-refugees-want-change/) and ‘Official summary of South Sudan National Dialogue in Kenya consultation in Nairobi, Kenya.’ (https://www.ssnationaldialogue.org/wp-content/uploads/Nairobi-Consultation.pdf)

Gatluke Reat in his letter to Troika titled, ‘What is the difference between Hitler’s Nazi regime and Troika today in South Sudan’ compares the activity of the International Community in South Sudan with the appeasement of the Nazi regime in Germany by some European countries in 1940s.

Although South Sudanese understand that the reigning world ideology of globalisation has made everything to be seen in monetary terms including human life, they can not understand why lessons learnt from the holocaust are ignored. It is clear that the cost of appeasing totalitarian regimes eventually out ways the benefits.

Please see (https://africanspress.org/2018/01/02/what-is-the-difference-between-hitlers-nazi-regime-and-troika-today-in-south-sudan/).

Boumkuoth Gatkouth writing a week after the signing of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement (CoH) questions whether the process would be fruitful. He highlighted the continuous silences of IGAD on the violation carried out by the government.

In his article, ‘The IGAD-led High Level Revitalisation Forum & Its Prospects’ (http://www.southsudannation.com/the-igad-led-high-level-revitalization-forum-its-prospects/), Gatkouth concludes that IGAD is not neutral and can not be trusted.

Why is the international community losing credibility in South Sudan? Primarily there are three drivers. These are: direct intervention of IGAD member countries in support of the Juba regime; the application of policy of moral equivalence by Troika; and the failure of African Union to protect the “African person”.

When the conflict broke out on 15th December 2013 with President Kiir targeting and cleansing the Nuer people around Juba, Uganda joined the Juba regime on pretext of stopping genocide.

The reality on the ground was completely different. It was the government of President Kiir that was committing genocide on the Nuer people. How could Uganda then stop genocide by aiding the genocidaire? This is a question that Uganda needs to answer.

Uganda even sent its jet fighters to bomb the Nuer who were fighting to defend themselves from the Juba regime in Bor using internationally banned cluster bombs.

In addition to this President Yoweri Museveni visited Juba on 30th December 2013 and said, “We gave him [Machar] four days [agreed that] if he doesn’t [comply with the agreement], then we shall have to go after him. That is what we agreed on.”

Please see, ‘South Sudan – Uganda’s Museveni threatens Machar over ceasefire’ (https://africasustainableconservation.com/2013/12/30/south-sudan-ugandas-museveni-threatens-machar-over-ceasefire/).

This declaration by President Museveni on behalf of the regional leaders clearly proves that the region sided with the Juba regime. This explains the fact that none of the countries in region condemned the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer by the Juba regime. The crime was hashed up.

The other country in the region openly siding with the Juba regime is Kenya. Both Uganda and Kenya to date often allow Juba regime’s security agents to kidnap South Sudanese exiles in their countries.

Now all these countries are members of IGAD and given their collusion with the Juba regime, is it any wonder why peace is difficult to achieve. We move on to the Troika.

When President Kiir unleashed his tribal militia known as Mathiang Anyoor on 15th December 2013 to cleanse the Nuer in Juba, everyone who was in Juba was horrifically shocked.

Hilda Johnson, former Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nation in Juba at the time records her observations of the grave crime in her book, ‘South Sudan The Untold Story: From independence to civil war’, on chapter 6 under the subtitle, The Nightmare. The Nuer cleansing in Juba was witnessed by the whole world.

When I talk about the world, I mean all the representatives of the foreign governments in Juba witnessed it. In spite of this fact, the world outside South Sudan was kept uninformed and as a result no country to date has condemned Juba for the grave crimes it committed. The UN and the Troika countries kept their mouths zipped up.

Following the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer and prior to April 2014, the international community did not condemn the grave crimes against humanity committed by the regime.

However in April 2014 when the Nuer wrongly and unacceptably retaliated by killing people in Bentiu, Akobo and Bor, the international community swiftly reacted by rightly condemning the opposition for these heinous acts.

Unfortunately from then on it embarked on a policy of moral equivalence. If the Juba regime commits a crime, the international community will wait until the opposition retaliates and thereafter it will condemn both sides equally.

A good example of their application of this policy is in the areas of sanctions and press releases. All the so called targeted sanctions in South Sudan have been equally applied on the warring parties.

Surely, this can not be right. In any conflict there must be a culprit and in the case of South Sudan the Juba regime without doubt is, yet it has never been held responsible.

Eric Reeves, senior fellow at Harvard University, elsewhere argues that the balancing of moral equities plays into the hands of the aggressors.

I agree with Reeves’ argument because in my view it psychologically distributes the guilt to all the actors which in a sense absolves the wrong doer from acknowledging the reality of his/her actions and the responsibility that accompanies it.

Further, this policy has the potential to fuel the conflict and keep it going endlessly as both sides get corrupted with time and believe that their position is right.

The problem with this policy is that it suggests those applying it do not have a moral position/responsibility on the issue at hand. But is this really true? What has happened to the values flowing from the instruments of the various resolutions of the United Nations?

What has happened to the Western values of justice and fairness? Perhaps South Sudanese are not perceived as humans enough and thus do not deserve to be treated as such.

The history of European interaction with Africa speaks for itself. Its vestiges may be what are in the policy of moral equivalence applied to South Sudan. Here is where African Union should have been of help, but perhaps it may have moved on and forgotten about the value of the “African person”.

The report of African Union Commission of enquiry in South Sudan (http://www.peaceau.org/uploads/auciss.final.report.pdf) which went through sieving many times before its release clearly captures what happened in Juba in December 2013.

African Union as the body with power over IGAD has been expected to play supervisory role to make sure that the issues presented in the report are addressed adequately to provide lessons for the future in relation to the continent.

Thus for the sake of the “African person” (the civilians, women, children and old persons being raped and killed) it should have exercised maximum supervision on the conduct of the peace talks and the implementation of August 2015 Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS).

So far the indication is that it did nothing. So, when the Juba regime violently destroyed the peace agreement by turning the city into a battle field in July 2016 forcing the former Vice President Dr Riek Machar out of the country into the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudanese expected the guarantors of the deal and the international community including African Union to hold the regime to account.

Surprisingly, like in 2013 they did not condemn the regime but went on to reward it for violating the agreement. Without exception they endorsed President Kiir’s blatant decision to install Mr Taban Deng Gai as vice president.

All these were done in a lightning speed without any enquiries on the fact that the population of Juba were criminally exposed to serious danger by the government.

Unlike IGAD, the West African regional body ECOWAS regardless of the interest of the member states seems more competent in handling political conflicts efficiently in that part of Africa. When former President of Gambia Yahya Jammeh was voted out in December 2016, he attempted to stick to power by depriving the winner Adama Barrow.

ECOWAS acted swiftly to protect democracy. It mobilised a regional force within a short time which saw Jammeh off with no violence, and the winner Adama Barrow installed in power. Well done ECOWAS for standing up for democracy in Africa. You make the average African person proud.

So South Sudanese for the last four years have been watching some of the regional countries openly supporting the regime that is tormenting them; Troika’s application of equal moral equities and the failure of the African Union to protect them helplessly while their suffering continues.

Now they are making sense of their experiences and translating that into a belief that they are on their own. Are they not right?

Whether the talks in IGAD succeed or not, it does not matter. South Sudanese are beginning to discuss ways of finding their own solution to their problem. That by default is empowerment.
[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul
elhagpaul@aol.com
@elhagpaul

Make 2018 A Year of Decisive Action: A call to patriotic revolutionary & democratic forces in South Sudan

From: Peter Adwok Nyaba , JAN/02/2018, SSN;

South Sudan People Organize Do Not Agonize:

The republic of South Sudan is in deep social, economic and political crises. There seems no exit out of this situation except by complete destruction and transformation of Kiir’s ethnocentric totalitarian regime. The IGAD and international community’s attempts to revitalize the agreement on resolution of conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) signed in August 2015 will only raise false hopes in the people.

The CoH (Cessation of Hostilities) signed on 21st December is already a dead document consequent to its violation before the ink dried on the paper.

The February 2018 resumption is likely to carry no meaningful impact due to competing respective national security, economic and political interests of these countries, their lack of legal and diplomatic tools to force the regime to implement the agreement or any of its variants, and fragmentation of the political and armed opposition to the regime.

The political and military weakness of the SPLM/A (IO), which inadvertently led to the proliferation of political and armed opposition groups and the resultant collective weakness inherent in their divisions and in-fighting created a political military situation that allows the regime to perpetuate itself in power in spite of the deepening economic collapse, state failure and collapse of its institutions.

The regime is banking on the military defeat of the SPLM/A (IO) and ensnaring the people into believing that peace is around the corner.

The people of South Sudan enter the New Year 2018 without hope for peace, social harmony and meaningful change in their economic hardship.

The continued government military offensive throughout the 2017 preventing the rural population from engaging in agriculture and food production means that famine, already recorded in many places, is bound to force mass displacement and heightened humanitarian catastrophe in South Sudan.

In fact, millions are already in refugee camps in DR Congo, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. The civil war has raged this long because the regime, the armed opposition and the political opposition stand on the same ideological platform.

The dominance of right-wing idiosyncrasies prevented the evolution and cultivation in the SPLM/A (IO) of scientific knowledge of the contradiction underpinning the civil war, and the emergence of critical and strategic thinking in the conduct of the war and charting the appropriate solutions.

This rendered peace with the regime its leadership’s overriding preoccupation in order to recapture the lost power position, while Kiir’s lack of interest in power sharing rekindled the fighting and returned the country to war.

Power for its sake rather than destruction and transformation of the totalitarian regime drives the divisions within the opposition and absorbs their political energy. This struggle centred on leadership and personal power will therefore soon lead the opposition groups to a dead end.

The SPLM/A (IO) now managed from a house arrest in South Africa may not sustain itself without an ideological shift, and as long as some individuals in the membership entertain the falsehood that only Dr. Riek Machar can provide leadership notwithstanding his personal failures.

The SPLM as a leading political force in South Sudan has outlived its relevance consequent to the CPA 2005 and the independence of South Sudan in 2011, which both terminated the task of war of national liberation.

The present situation is a direct product of the SPLM leadership failure and explains why attempts at reunification of the SPLM (IG), SPLM (Taban Deng Gai) and SPLM (FPDs) bordering of treacherous auction of South Sudan’s sovereignty in Cairo and Entebbe, is not making any headway.

Although ideological basis exist for reunification of those factions nevertheless their greed for power and lack of concern for the suffering of the people does not allow them to sacrifice individual positions.

The current political crisis in the country should be viewed in positive light as the drivers of change and social transformation.

The fundamental contradictions remain the centuries-old condition of socio-economic and cultural backwardness of the masses manifested in abject poverty, ignorance, illiteracy and superstition that submerged their consciousness and render them susceptible to manipulation by the political leaders.

The ethnocentric totalitarian regime will not succeed to resolve this fundamental contradiction even if it won the civil war as long as it pursues liberal economic policies that link South Sudan, in an asymmetrical relationship, to the global comprador capitalism in the context of extraction and plunder of its natural resources.

The essence of national liberation was to completely free the national productive forces from every kind of foreign domination.

South Sudan is living what the Marxist categorize as the stage of national democratic revolution. The masses of South Sudan are inspired by freedom, justice, fraternity and prosperity. They readily mobilize and engage in armed struggle to realize these ideals.

They did this as Anya-nya during the first civil war against the oppressive regime in Khartoum; they did it again as Anya-nya 2 against General Gaafar Mohamed Nimeri; they rose in their tens of thousands in the SPLM/A in the twenty-one year war of national liberation from the minority clique regimes.

They are now in arms against Kiir’s ethnocentric totalitarian regime.

The missing link in their struggle remains the inability of the right-wing leadership to tie up the struggle against Kiir’s regime to the issues of social and economic development to transform the oppressive reality that submerges their consciousness.

Thus, in the last four years it was a war for personal power not for transforming the oppressive reality. This is obvious in the areas that the SPLM/A (IO) had controlled since 2013. There is nothing to show for the struggle the people have waged.

It has become imperative to break this vicious cycle.

The way to do it is for all the patriotic revolutionary and democratic forces wherever they are, whether in the different political and military factions or in the civil society, to rise to the task of saving the country from imminent collapse, dismemberment and disappearance into the oblivion.

Let us make the year 2018, the year of decisive action against the war for personal power ambition.

We can make a difference by mobilizing, organizing and unifying our ranks across ethnic and provincial lines to transform this situation into a revolution; the national democratic revolution and the construction of the national democratic state to address the fundamental contradictions in state and society.

This requires us to create discussion groups and fora to educate ourselves and our people about the tasks before us and to build consensus around these issues.

Whether a soldier, a civilian, a politician or a laity, you have an important role to play in transforming this situation of apathy and helplessness. Let us raise high social awareness and political consciousness.

The time to save our country is now or never!! 2018 is the year of decisive action!!! Soon, unless there is decisive action, life under the regime will equal death!!!!

Long live the struggle of the people of South Sudan
Long live the memory of the martyrs
Long Live South Sudan.

Peter Adwok Nyaba
31st December 2017