Category: Featured

Public Opinion indicates support for Machar’s SPLM/A-in-Opposition

BY: MOHA THABO, SOUTH AFRICAN, JUL/19/2014, SSN;

As an expert in South Sudanese and Sudan’s affairs, and someone who has worked in the Sudan for more than 30 years, and after interviewing so many South Sudanese citizens, community leaders, intellectuals, academia and political and civil society groups outside and inside south Sudan, the result of the interview indicated a very strong support for SPLM/A in opposition under Dr. Riek Machar.

An estimated 80 percent of south Sudanese said there was no coup, but there was a clear plan by the ruling clique under president Salva Kiir to assassinate opponents within the SPLM to keep themselves in power and that plan was premeditated a long time ago.

Private army were illegally trained, graduated and armed and paid by tax payers’ money, reshuffling of those who want reform within the SPLM party so that it became democratic immediately took place.

I have also interviewed a good number of members of Parliament, ministers, officials in state and county levels about their opinion on the current crisis. Majority of them said they are just taking their time; they don’t like the government but because they are being bribed with lots of money, they want to continue getting paid for a certain amount of time before they could join opposition under Dr. Riek Machar.

I could not publish their names for security reason and as requested by them. The first thing they ask me was assurance that I would keep their names secret. This is quite telling that those against the government are above the estimated 80 percent.

It appears to me that no one wants to be associated with the government but because money is being poured to bribe many to act as if they are with the government while at heart they are with SPLM/A in opposition.

“THE 1991 Bor Massacre”

I have come to understanding that majority of South Sudanese are not interested in hearing the incident of 1991 Bor massacre because they believe Juba is using it as a way of garnering support from South Sudanese and that is the only think they could think of to make Dr. Riek Machar look bad.

The world was surprised to see that the majority of south Sudanese including Dr. Garang’s family and officials from Bor in the area are not interested in hearing about the massacre as they consider it as past history.

Instead they accused and threatened to take legal action against those who are using the incident to score their political goal which according to public opinion will not succeed.

When we look at the history of the Sudanese people liberation movement since 1983, we notice lots of horrible things happened, rape, killing, looting, force marriage and so many unbearable acts. All these were against international law.

When Garang was interviewed about those horrible acts done by soldiers under him, he said whatever destruction that his soldiers have done is unacceptable but it is part of a war; that is the reason he reconciled with Dr. Riek in 2002 because he believes whatever happened in Bor was part of war and in war anything is possible.

I was in Western Equatoria in 1992 and Eastern Equatoria, Ikotos, 1993, I have witnessed soldiers from Nuer and other tribes being slaughtered in large numbers because they are suspected of being associated or supporters of Dr. Riek and Lam Akol group.

When South Sudanese leaders reconciled in 2002 and said in a document that we will never scratch old wounds but move forward. Just like the Bible says, if you make mistake and you reconcile with your brother, God will forgive you and your brother will not judge you on the past knowing that any human being is capable of making mistakes but should be judged on the present and not on the past.

Dr. Riek Machar according to international public opinion is now recognized as a legitimate leader of South Sudan and Salva Kiir is seen as a trouble-maker who just wants to stay in power and a promoter of tribalism, nepotism, corruption and you name them.

Dr. Riek is seen as someone who can bring democracy to the people of South Sudan; he is seen as someone who can uplift the lives of the suffering and bring them to the level of world stage through implementation of justice, democracy, equality, peace, development and prosperity.

People don’t see him as a Nuer but people see him as someone who can improve the lives of all including those with the president.

The main disagreement between Dr. Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir were:

*Dr. Riek wanted SPLM to be transformed into a democratic party: leaders should be elected and it should be a universally acceptable secret voting: President Salva Kiir was against and called for a show of hands which allows intimidation.

*Dr. Riek wants term limit in the constitution, a term limit allows you to stand for 2 terms and leave the chair to the new blood: President Salva Kiir is against and called it a red line.

*Dr. Riek calls for a democratic federal system so that services can be taken closer to the people but president Kiir is against because he is interested in keeping the power in the hands of one man:

*Dr. Riek was against removing elected governors and officials unless there are serious issues, Salva Kiir removed without consultation and called himself a democratically elected and yet remove democratically elected official.

In addition, the survey of the SPLM secretariats in South Sudan and abroad said SPLM under president Salva Kiir has lost vision and direction and those who try to correct it were intimidated or killed.

It is also worth mentioning that Pagan Amum, former secretary general of the SPLM was removed because he had requested for a meeting of the political bureau to be held to set the agenda for the convention as stipulated in the SPLM constitution and has requested for it more than 30 times but Salva did not respond to it.

Ann Itto tried few times, no one listens until December 2013 when Salva illegally by-passed the political bureau and went direct to convene the convention. The speech was very hostile.

The opening speech said there are people here who want to divide the party and are traitors. They have stabbed the movement in 1991.

Many south Sudanese told me, Is this the way a leader can talk? Given that SPLA have done horrible crimes and including Salva himself, all were forgiven by the various tribes for the sake of peace, why would anyone scratch old wounds.

Is South Sudan to be ruled by one person without challenge? These are some of the questions I got from angry south Sudanese who said they are preparing and mobilizing to join rebels should peace fail.

The strong impression I got from people is that, they want Salva Kiir to go in order for the country to be in peace. World opinion also indicates that Dr. Riek if peace fails will take over the country by military means.

My colleagues with the BBC who have been walking and driving with the government army in towns of Bor, Malakal, Bentiu and other areas told me, the government troops have very low morale, some are escaping to their states saying they have no reason to fight the rebels after understanding the cause of the conflict.

Lots of soldiers from Equatoria are saying why should we fight against rebels; they are calling for a federal state and that is what Equatorians wants. I talk to one General from Equatoria and he told me that; he is not motivated to fight because he feels that he is fighting against his interest; he is cutting the hand that feeds him.

Implying that Dr. Riek is calling for a federal system and Salva is against and as an Equatorian, he is for a federal state and he is defending those who are against his interest.

He told me, the rebels will take over easily if the peace fails and that he has sent a lot of soldiers back home as there is no reason to fight.

I ask why he is still with the government, he said he is getting big money though the government is tribal but he is waiting for his time.

In conclusion, I think the people of South Sudan should sit down and try to sort out things by themselves and come to a definite conclusion if they want to end the suffering.

Millions have been displaced, thousands have been killed and properties lost in massive numbers. Researchers like me feel bad. Though am South African, the war hurts me a lot because I am an African and I don’t want to see my fellow brothers and sisters killing each other.

As in South Sudan, we had undergone a very horrible moment due to apartheid and seeing people being killed, displaced… it’s jut unimaginable. I wish South Sudanese good luck. God bless.


There’s fundamental difference between decentralisation or devolution of powers & federalism

By: Jacob K. Lupai, JUBA, JUL/17/2014, SSN;

The debate on federalism for South Sudan has produced some mixed feelings and reactions. Some people are totally opposed to it, claiming that the system of governance in South Sudan is already federalism. They argue that the present decentralization or devolution of powers is already a federal system of government in South Sudan. For others federalism is perceived as dangerous to national unity.

Furthermore some people are very suspicious that the proponents of federalism have a hidden agenda. In their paranoia the opponents of federalism relentlessly assume that once federalism is adopted they will be thrown out of the states of proponents of federalism.

For obvious reasons the vocal proponents of federalism are people of Equatoria. The opponents of federalism reason that when people of Equatoria call for federalism it is kokora. The opponents are very fearful that once federalism is adopted they will be unceremoniously evicted from Equatoria.

The paranoia of the opponents of federalism even caused restriction of open debate. There was intimidation for any mention of a federal system of government. The opponents of federalism wanted the mouths of proponents shut. This was despite the government’s clarification on censor on federalism debate through a letter by the Minister of Information and Broadcasting to newspaper editors. However, newspapers were still being confiscated.

For example, the letter of the Minister of Information and Broadcasting dated 2nd July 2014 in part outlined that, “It is the policy of the Government to encourage the people of South Sudan to participate in debates on topics or agendas which are of National interest among others, the debate on federalism”.

Despite all this The Citizen was still confiscated on the 6th July well after the Minister’s letter. This seems to show clearly that deeper below the surface the debate on federalism was indeed hated. One can only speculate as to why there was such a poor coordination between government institutions in observing government policy.

The debate on federalism turned ugly when a soldier became undisciplined and shot dead a civilian in Maridi County in Western Equatoria State. Apparently the soldier was opposed to federalism and as with opponents of federalism, must have assumed they were the target for eviction from Equatoria.

It is a pity that both illiterate and literate opponents of federalism have no any other positive perception except the paranoia of terribly missing all that is good of land of Equatoria. They do not give themselves a minute to think of anything positive that federalism can offer. This type obstinacy is a problem because people do not stand back and be a little bit reasonable in looking at the wider picture.

Opponents of federalism live in deep rooted suspicion and will never appreciate an inch of federalism. This becomes worrying when people are being murdered in cold blood such as the murder in Maridi of an innocent civilian simply for advocating federalism. However, there will come a time when enough will be enough that the murderers will be accountable for their heinous crimes. Killing people with impunity for expressing a contrary view is not the way to build national unity when others have the license to kill while the victims have no justice.

Coming back to centralization or devolution of powers and federalism which are considered to differ fundamentally, it is appropriate to look at them separately.

Decentralization or devolution of powers

Decntralisation or devolution can simply be defined as the transfer of part of the powers of the central government to regional or state authorities and it is in response to demands for diversity. In general decentralization or devolution is a response to the problems of centralized systems. It is seen as a solution to problems like economic decline, government inability to fund services and the demands of minorities for greater say in local governance. Decentralization or devolution of powers is linked to concepts of participation in decision-making, democracy, equality and liberty from high authority.

The processes by which entities move to decentralized state vary. They can be initiated from the central government in a top-down approach. Top-down decentralization may be a political gimmick while bottom-up decentralization initiated by individuals or states may be opposed as is the case with federalism we are now debating. At any rate whether it is top-down or bottom-up decentralization or devolution, it may not be constitutionally binding. Such decentralization or devolution may depend on the whims of the central government either to implement or ignore it.

Can anybody say for certain that the decentralization in the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 is being implemented as expected of a decentralized system? If the decentralization in the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 were being implemented as expected, there wouldn’t have been a loud demand for a federal system. The level of demand for federalism seems to correlate to the level of regression to centralized system of government in South Sudan.

Federalism

Federalism is a political concept used to describe a system of government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and constituent political units such as the states in South Sudan. In comparing decentralization or devolution with federalism it can be observed that there is a fundamental difference.

Decentralisation is devolution of powers by the central authority to lower levels. The central authority may withdraw the devolved powers at will.

In contrast, in federalism powers are constitutionally divided. There is a covenant between the central authority and the state in the division of powers in federalism. This is the fundamental difference between decentralization or devolution and federalism.

Unlike in devolution of powers, in a federal system the central authority cannot easily withdraw powers from the state without the ruling of a competent constitutional court. So federalism is more just and fairer than decentralization or devolution because the aggrieved party has a chance to challenge any infringement on their powers through the constitutional court for justice. There is no any other fairer system than that justice must be seen to have been done.

Development under federalism

The high level demand of Equatoria for federalism is precisely to accelerate development but not to evict others as the alarmists would like to claim. It can be asserted with confidence that it is not to throw others out of Equatoria. Equatoria is an integral part of South Sudan. So it is mind boggling for people to fear the adoption of federalism as tantamount to Equatoria being a no go area for others.

What is very clear, though, is that people with hegemonic tendencies fear federalism the most because they want to cling to be rulers at any cost. However, adoption of federalism wouldn’t have been a big issue if it were seen from a developmental angle.

Right now federalism is seen from an ethnic angle and so it is perceived as targeting other people of different ethnic group. In fact the opponents of federalism are thinking they are under attack. This is of course false and baseless.

The centralized system is favored simply to maintain the status quo. The people of Equatoria would have none of this and so the demand for federalism would always be there. Federalism is seen as a means to accelerate development.

Dr John Apuruot Akec, the Vice Chancellor of Juba University, in his article Decentralisation or devolution and federalism are faces of the same coin, which appeared in the opinion column of The Citizen and quoting my article in Juba Monitor of June 12, 2014, said I miss the point about the yardstick by which the strength of a federalist system of governance is measured. Dr Akec added I should have acknowledged that for every 10 South Sudanese, 4 are Dinka and that in the 10 states of South Sudan, 7 states have Dinka population.

Another interesting point Dr Akec raised is that 85 per cent of South Sudan government revenue is currently spent in Central Equatoria State and that Central Equatoria State continues to lead the whole country in most development indicators. I may say I have no quarrel with the assertion made but to make my own observation.

I agree with Dr Akec that in the 10 states of South Sudan, 7 states have Dinka population.

However, my observation is that in some of the 7 states, for example in Jonglei, Upper Nile, Unity and in Western Bahr el Ghazal, the Dinka are a tiny minority and could hardly be a dominant force to reckon with. Nevertheless, they are the overwhelming majority only in Lakes, Warrap and Northern Bahr el Ghazal. So the Dinka are mostly concentrated in only 3 states of South Sudan. Giving an impression of Dinka dominance in 7 out of 10 states for numerical superiority should not be used to justify domination which is any way irrelevant in terms of quality.

The claim that 85 per cent of South Sudan government revenue is currently spent in Central Equatoria State for its development is disputable. Dr Akec has not specified clearly budget line items from the revenue corresponding to development activities carried out in Central Equatoria State that amounted to 85 per cent of the revenue. The bulk of the alleged 85 per cent spent in Central Equatoria State if any may actually be for salaries and. the security and law enforcement sector.

A very insignificant percentage of the alleged 85 per cent revenue may go for some minor development but not for the sake of development of Central Equatoria State as it is home to citizens from the other states. When asked whether the national government was really spending 85 per cent of its budget for the development of Central Equatoria State, the respondent said that was laughable. He said if that were the case why then should people of Equatoria demand federalism. The respondent concluded by saying it was a white lie and that high rising buildings in Juba is the result of individual efforts but not of any government budgetary intervention.

Dr Akec may need to visit the residential areas in and around Juba including the city centre, to travel on Juba-Yei main road and to establish what development projects in Central Equatoria State are being financed by the central government. This is in order for him to be realistic about claiming that 85 per cent of the government revenue is spent on development of Central Equatoria State. This is to avoid making misleading assumption.

The development in Central Equatoria State is because the people here are industrious. They make the use of Constitutional Development Fund (CDF) to build schools and health centers, and improve existing hospitals and roads for access to agricultural production areas. When others do not use the CDF and their budgets as intended it is not the problem of Central Equatoria State. The government of Central Equatoria State is also keen on development as shown by Central Equatoria State leading in most economic indicators.

National unity of South Sudan

It is always quoted that there are 64 ethnic groups in South Sudan. However, my little research seems to show that there are more than 64 ethnic groups. This suggests that more research needs to be carried out. People should also share information about ethnicity in South Sudan so that they are knowledgeable about their history.

Each and every South Sudanese yearns for unity because it is strength. When united people can move mountains but divided people are weaklings. The problem is how to promote national unity. There may be many theories. One theory is that development can bring national unity. The question is how?

Well, equitable power and wealth sharing can go a long way to promote national unity. With the diversities in South Sudan the only known system of government that will accelerate development hence promotion of national unity is a federal system.

We have seen how people are in despair when service delivery is poor and when development is accelerating at a chameleon’s speed. A federal system will accelerate development at the speed of a rabbit.

The economy of State of California is the 8th largest in the world if the states of the United States were compared with other countries. What is the secret of such a gigantic stride in development of a state within a country? The answer may not be that so simple.

However, like some states in South Sudan, California is endowed with abundant resources and besides, it does not need to depend on decisions and funds from the federal government in Washington, DC for its development strategies and plans.

California’s success story in development makes federalism very attractive as powers are constitutionally divided that the federal government has no business to interfere with California’s development plan.

For the states of South Sudan with their abundant and untapped resources, a federal system will tremendously accelerate development in the states with the added effect of promoting sustainable national unity as confidence increases with development.

South Sudanese must be informed that the struggle to maintain the status quo is a liability to national unity.

Conclusion

The One Nation, One People sloganeering is misleading and a mockery. How on earth can one people have no mercy on each other? How can people hate each other and slaughter each other and yet call themselves one people? The correct slogan should have been One Nation, One Destiny.

It is the oneness in destiny that can pull people together. This precisely explains how people of South Sudan with their different ethnic groups had fought jointly against Arab domination and marginalization because their destiny was one. Being of one destiny and regardless of whether one was a Zande or a Murle, Southerners had fought and died together in trenches defending their destiny.

It must be understood, though, that it is not only domination and marginalization that may pull people together as of one destiny. Challenges of development and nation building for a better future for all should also pull people together for strength in order to eradicate poverty. It is poverty that may be tearing people apart.

In conclusion, federalism is the most appropriate and peaceful means of accelerating development for a higher standard of living while a centralized system serves nothing but only hegemonic tendencies of others to terrorise, oppress and rule.
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author.


The Brainlessness in South Sudan: The Ungrateful & the Notorious Gangs

By: Gabriel M. Tor, JUBA, JUL/14/2014, SSN;

Though, I am saddened like never before in our fragile lives and story, I am mourning but not mourning the dead, whom I sincerely respect, the fallen poor comrades in uniform and civilian clothes, but inside my heart, am mourning our brainlessness’ disaster of the South Sudanese and the leadership in Juba and across the Diasporas and the actual lack of true patriotism to the nation among South Sudanese people.

Just to borrow, Marol Deng’s prophetic vision in 2010, during George Athor Deng Dut’s insurgency, Mr. Deng said, “I am not mourning about the dead, but the brains we have.”

People were sending their condolences to the fallen comrades and their families, due to a violent fiery confrontation between Kiir’s SPLA and Dut’s defected SPLA armed forces from South Sudan army, who were agitated by Kiir’s government!!

There will be no fear of all the bad things we do to ourselves or the disasters we encountered if we have the change of hearts and honesty in us, to be able to pass the right judgment regarding any situation at hand, which we gravely lack at the present time, including the young ones and scholars of the nation, who are seen as hope of the nation’s future. So bad for S.S. survival.

Blaming Salva Kiir and his GOSS is not a justification of rebellion nor is it a support to Riek Machar’s rebel camp, but a better narration of where things had gone wrong in the Country in the first place.

Asking Kiir to step down is not an authorization to put Riek in power, but a dose of peace and calm to both government and oppositions.

Both men are an open grave for the nation: Kiir beating his chest for a Country he can’t defend – that’s a military failure, while decreeing a coup he can’t pass through politically and domestically. This is a political failure.

You (Kiir) have people in your government who rolled their eyes inside out, throwing hate speeches around, like a kid’s ball; with reckless hatred and divide drive. This shows political and social failure in the Country.

Dr. Machar also failed to be an alternative to Kiir, because his armed forces fight on a tribal base, killing vulnerable civilians and foreigners living in the Country where they occupy, looting properties from individual businesses as well as of the nation and non-governmental organizations, and destroying the nation’s developmental infrastructures . This is far from a fake promised democracy.

Disrespecting our men and women in military service:

The widows and orphans of South Sudanese fallen comrades in military uniforms have been abandoned and are living a life that shows they have been thrown to wolves, after huge sacrifices which their fellow kith and kin in the role of honor had given their lives for without reservation, because they believe, their loved ones whom the left behind could be honored and taken care of as they did for their country South Sudan – dying as martyrs so the nation could be free and dignified.

What I heard and saw in 2014, with South Sudanese orphans and widows living in Kenya, Uganda and S. Sudan are humiliating for the families who are the victims of our freedom liberation struggle.

These folks should be paid a big respect by shouldering the care of those left behind with no one to care for. I found families, who once lived in big cities or towns in East Africa because their loved ones: Their partners, fathers, brothers, mothers, and sisters, sons and daughters were still on active duty defending the nation, but whereas they were gone, the salaries were cut without remorse by Kiir’s government and this forced kids of the fallen comrades out of towns, where they were going to school, because no one could pay for their rent and school fees.

Do you know where next, do these kids of our heroes and heroines live?
The kids are forced to live under unspeakable condition in the cattle, displaced, and refugee camps in the East African region or in remote villages in the Country; where they live without school or good roof under the sun and the trenches of sandstorm and muddy floors, where mosquitoes and cholera are in rampant epidemic.

So, where in the world would a government that calls itself functional, desert the kids of our fallen comrades in arms – to just notice the reason that the bread providers have gone and no longer provide for their loved ones.

Would GOSS not organize and continue the support to our widows and orphans, whom their husbands and fathers never returned home, or were wounded on the line of duty for the sake of their country they loved and defended very much with their own lives?

Propaganda of baby nation – How Old Is South Sudan?
South Sudan is not as old as you are or have been singing all along. S. Sudan is not 3 years old Country but 9 years old Country that you got lost in it wealth’s consumption and theft, then you forgot to count.

Start counting from 2005, the interim period, because here S.S. people had gained a complete power of ruling themselves as a nation as well as earning billions of dollars from the Country’s oil wells. The 2011 was just an official breaking away from the North.

Ungrateful and Notorious Gangs
I had a chance in February, 2014, to travel a route I trekked over 20 years ago as a child. I took the bus from Lokichogio, Kenya, through Nadapal, a Kenyan/South Sudanese border town, riding through Narus, Kor Napodpod and Loyoro to Kapoeta town. The first journey ended in Kapoeta on one of the nights.

On my next day’s journey, I took another bus trip through Torit to Juba. All these buses trips, I was blamed for risking my life by friends and relatives, because of the notorious gangs in those bushes.

On my way to Juba, I was riding with my fellow Country comrades in full uniforms, who were also travelling on that same bus and the conversation began between those in civilian clothes and those in military uniforms.

“Being in the South Sudanese military isn’t not worth it: 1, the pay cannot make you raise a kid or help you help yourself stand on your two feet. 2, the payment takes between 3 to 6 months without being paid, while you have a nation to defend, a family to feed and yourself to look after” said one civilian passenger.

One of the guys in uniform responded, “We don’t do it for money but for the love of our country”. All these were made in response to those who have sought employment in personal businesses, private companies or non-governmental organizations working in the country.

According to Apostle Paul, no one is denied the milk from the cows that one takes care of. So why is South Sudan starving their people?

When those with squandered billions of dollars are never asked or even ordered to return the money stolen for the past 9 years for a 9 years old nation. And the theft of money and other national wealth is a daily service to those in Kiir’s government of self-service.

What future are we trying to build for the country South Sudan and individual builders?

When I hear S. Sudanese delegates from both sides, taking a break from peace talks in Addis Ababa to go finish their crates of beers, because of lame blames, that so is so and such; to kill time and people back home is so shameful and brainless – a disgraceful demeanor in our people leadership.

It’s not about what they have said or done? It’s all about what did we do to ourselves, our lives and our interrupted progress in life, it’s about what can you do to your poor Country, where leaders are killing, dividing and starving their own people to death.

It’s about leaders who steal, refused an office appointment to someone who disagrees with them in opinion, or corrupt the national wealth and constitution for their own ego and folly. You don’t have to compare yourself with someone to be victorious or a winner!! You have to stand alone, firm and clean for the love of people, but not lust of money and office.

Unreadable South Sudanese Brain or Events
When Telar Ring was accused of academic fraud on how he gets his degree and other corruption ingredients in public service, after close examination by the Country’s representatives in charge of evaluation regarding president Salva Kiir’s nomination of Mr. Ring, in 2013 as the Country’s chief justice, Ring was denied to be the Country’s chief justice by the parliament, due to his tainted nature of leadership.

Kiir came around and picked the same Ring for presidential legal advisor and Kiir threatened to send the country’s lawyers homeless, should they reject Ring as Kiir’s presidential legal advisor nominee.

Looking at how the values and integrity of South Sudan is going down the drain, the advisors would be greatly blamed for driving the nation headless. Quality advice is seen in how people are being led. Ring is a bad mirror for South Sudan leadership and South Sudan scholars with grain of wisdom know this very well. So there is need to mourn for the brains in S. Sudanese leadership.

You heard his Grace, Daniel Deng Bul, who is part of Peace talks in Addis Ababa being called rebel, because he disagreed with S.S. government’s version of what caused the war and how to solve it, while real rebels like David Yau Yau are called brothers among other praises and given a heroic welcome during his return to Juba in 2014, after almost half decade of his armed forces’ killing innocent civilians and members of the Country’s security forces, raping women and abducting South Sudanese children in Jonglei State.

So, what is South Sudanese’ definition of “a rebel?” and to millions of South Sudanese’ citizens’ disappointment, S. S. government did not appreciate nor spare George Athor Deng Dut’s life, a man whom his achievements are far greater than that of Riek and Kiir combined during the decades of civil war, due to his bravery that saved millions of South Sudanese lives during the 21 plus years of North-South Sudan’s war.

Dut, after his disagreement in 2010 election in Jonglei State gubernatorial election and Kiir’s involvement and favoritism at the State level on who is to lead a particular State.

There is need to “mourn the brains we have”.
Juba’s flame in December 2013 was not a surprise to many, though it came so soon, because Kiir’s government is a trouble inviter.

Many South Sudanese locals and religious staff had the vision of Juba being on fire. Visions from South Sudanese citizens show Juba burning and those who carry those visions and dreams started telling their stories and initiating an approach to the top government officials but they were branded named as prophets of doom or ignored all together.

But when a Nigerian Joshua tell his YouTube version of what was awaiting unknown Country in East Africa, that was not Kenya nor Uganda, S. Sudan VP and Kiir’s wife rushed to Nigeria to hear Joshua re-telling his vision, while we ignored our prophets at home who have the same or better prophetic vision of what had engulfed S.S.

So, there is need to “mourn the brains we have” because these brains will still do more damage to ourselves and the Country. Juba authorities talked to Joshua after Dec. 2013 incident, whereas they ignored advices and visions told to them before Juba’s Dec. 2013 violence.

Almost everything South Sudan government and its supporters are doing are so unappreciative, insulting and disgraceful to the sons and daughters of our martyrs, whom their fathers and mothers died protecting the rights and integrity of S.S. and also to friends across our borders and around the world and UN who took charge of our feedings and security over the decades.

We could think and do better than this ya Junubeen. We must change, or not hope for change to come.
By Gabriel M. Tor
Disclaimer: views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author. Agok Takpiny is a concerned South Sudanese in Melbourne Australia. He can be reached on agoktakpiny@ymail.com


South Sudan’s 3rd Independence Anniversary: Re-imagining Peace?

By: Tongun Lo Loyuong, UK, JUL/09/2014, SSN;

After three years of independence, South Sudan has drastically dashed the widespread hope, expectations and optimism not only of the people of South Sudan but also the well-wishers and contributors amongst the members of the international community to its independence, which was first celebrated on July 9th, 2011.

No sooner did our dream of freedom and independence came true than these same global actors who assisted in the birth of South Sudan watched as South Sudan turned into a nightmare.

With the country now wallowing in blood, rampant death and abject suffering of the masses, South Sudan has exceeded even negative expectations and predictions, thanks to sorry political leadership.

We are ranked number one failed state in the world. Tens of thousands have died and sanctity of human life has been rendered meaningless in a senseless and brutal civil war of greed for political power that has left more than a million and a half displaced.

Famine looms within weeks as political and humanitarian crisis reaches a nadir, subjecting a third of South Sudan’s population to the risk of dying from hunger while yet again reducing our people to the undignified, shameful and dishonorable state of having to beg for humanitarian assistance that remains elusive to prevent further loss of life.

Water borne diseases and malnutrition are acute and in the past couple of months have claimed more than two hundred lives of mostly children in Unity State alone.

Our daughters have been reduced to harlotry and prostitution as an alternative means to secure livelihood and survive. Wanton human rights violations, rape of women, war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed and are well documented.

Requiems have been written about us and South Sudan has already been dismissed as the death of a dream to create a viable state. The list of failures is endless and arguably justifies the prevailing skepticism and awe.

Indeed, the current poor political leadership has ill-advisedly demonstrated as predicted that South Sudanese cannot govern themselves. They have fulfilled the predictions that we cannot create a viable state or forge a cohesive nation in the new country.

It can now be confirmed that the country’s independence has caused more evil than good, is more of a curse than a blessing and has contributed to more suffering of our people like never before. As such our future looks bleak, we remain hapless and only God can have mercy.

In this regard and as I wrote during the second independence anniversary and the one before it, there is nothing worth celebrating in the first three years of South Sudan’s independence.

This remains true today as several analysts have already poignantly opined, and will remain true as long as the status quo continue to prevail or the one before the July government reshuffle is reinstated.

Question then is: can we re-imagine peace in South Sudan under the current grim state of affairs? Or is this the death of a dream and of South Sudan?

The pessimist in me has resigned to South Sudan being the death of a dream to live as a united, viable state and a cohesive nation. It is only a matter of time before South Sudan disintegrates into independent tribal enclaves forever locked up in the logic of war, animosity and cross-border inter-communal violent carnage.

But the optimist in me believes against all the prevailing odds, dismissals and resignations that a viable and prosperous state will emerge from the present wreckage of violent mayhem and a cohesive, peaceful and just nation that will become the envy of many can still be forged in South Sudan once the present generation of leadership has passed on.

Nonetheless, in the meantime in order for current pessimism and despair to be overcome by renewed hope and optimism, we will have to re-imagine peace in South Sudan and collectively work to set its foundation, along with the foundation of justice, national reconciliation, healing and forgiveness.

Re-imagining peace in South Sudan as such pertains to soberly raising and addressing new set of questions at the center of which is the question of how exactly did we get it wrong in the first place?

There are several angles to examine South Sudan’s failure, which I have articulated on many previous occasions, most notably in “Why South Sudan Liberation is Gone Awry,” and “Reloaded.” I have also extensively discussed numerous causes that brewed the current civil war in “Cry the Beloved South Sudan in its Second Independence Anniversary,” “What are they Waiting for in South Sudan?,” “the Dinka Problem in South Sudan: I & II” and in the “Absurdity of Peace-building in South Sudan: I, II & III,” among others.

While it is true that it takes approximately the same amount of time it took for a violent conflict to fester to redress the underlying causes of the conflict and effect lasting peace after the signing of a peace agreement, the main problem in South Sudan’s current crisis is leadership deficiency exacerbated by misguided foreign and humanitarian policies of our regional and international stakeholders and the humanitarian community.

On more than one occasion leadership as a catalyst for South Sudan’s problems have been identified and acknowledged by the same international actors who have partnered or as some prefer to describe them were bedfellows of the myopic and draconian Juba regime.

Most recently the departing Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) in South Sudan, Madam Hilde F. Johnson has acknowledged this fact.

In a strongly worded farewell message before boarding her plane to her safe haven, Madam Johnson is cited as squarely holding South Sudan’s political leadership responsible for the current abysmal plight of the South Sudanese.

“The leadership, across all factions of the SPLM, whether they are inside or out of government, released from detention or in the bush, are responsible for this,” reiterated Madam Johnson emotionally.

Our leaders are “self-serving elite,” on whose behave development in South Sudan has been “set back [by] decades.” They are single-handedly accountable for causing the impending “man-made famine,” and are sick with the “cancer of corruption,” Madam Johnson is further reported as venting her frustration.

Madam Johnson’s remarks are spot on. But the bitter irony is that the political leadership under president Kiir would not have thrived in their policies of South Sudan destruction without feeding off the poor policies of Madam Johnson’s United Nation Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), together with the humanitarian policies of other organizations and the foreign policies of South Sudan’s regional and international stakeholders.

As Alex De Waal has recently rightly observed, South Sudan’s “[mal]functioning cannot be separated from those global forces and how they incentivize and facilitate certain kinds of elite behavior.” In effect De Waal is stating that our crisis has been nurtured perhaps deliberately so in a globally self-serving elitist, naïve or perhaps even ignorant and apathetic environment to the real plight of our people.

If this true, the involvement and intervention (or the lack thereof) of these actors in South Sudan has equally contributed to our downfall.

This is amply evident in their foreign policies in South Sudan as elsewhere which continue to be shaped by the exigencies of realpolitik or “interest but friendship,” and which have sadly also influenced the humanitarian policies of international “non-governmental” organizations (INGOs).

In lieu of these national interest driven considerations a more pro-active preventive policies and approach would have been pursued to pre-empt the conflict and prevent the needless loss of lives when all indications suggested all was not well in South Sudan.

Instead business as usual and politics continued to dominate policymaking pertaining to South Sudan globally, regionally and locally.

Within South Sudan, the government benefited from this global political trend of promoting self-interest by scaling up patronage politics for instance, to determine the reshuffling of the government in July, 2013 and to decide the firing and hiring of civil servants, including the assigning of religious and spiritual related state and national functions to the clergy. Even the much needed national healing, peace and reconciliation came to be politicized.

Obstructionist and derailing tactics were used to stall the smooth functioning and democratization of the ruling party leading to frustrations within its leadership that ultimately triggered the violent outbreak.

Of course, while all this is unraveling the international actors turned the other way or tried to explain things away as normal part and parcel of challenges associated with building a new nation and state, keeping with the government corruption and nepotism cover up tune of “starting from scratch.”

As an example, when South Sudan was ranked fourth failed state last year, a number of these global actors, including the American Ambassador to South Sudan, refuted this ranking and asserted that South Sudan was not a failed but a “fragile state.” Sure enough when South Sudan finally assumed the number one status of a failed state in this year’s index the name has been altered to “fragile states” as opposed to the long standing “failed states” description when Somalia was scooping the prize. How convenient?! Simply no one wants to be associated with failure!

The apologetic international politicking related to South Sudan is equally expressed by other international actors in South Sudan. For instance, on numerous South Sudan Security Council briefings, instead of stating the facts as they are, Madam Johnson regularly expressed what she called “cautious optimism,” despite a visibly alarming evolution and deterioration of the political, economic, social and even humanitarian terrain in South Sudan.

At time “cautious optimism” was expressed while the government in Juba was increasingly iron-fisting and strongly licking its lips to create a police state in South Sudan, through widespread human rights abuses, including of international humanitarian workers who were often manhandled by security agents and arbitrarily detained or even expelled from South Sudan.

In fact Madam Johnson continued to hold on to her imagined “cautious optimism.” This is until the civil war broke out and the government began to embark on what New York previously described as negative campaign against UNMISS for allegedly supporting the opposition forces.

Ultimately she threw her hands up and declared that she did not see the violent eruption coming, just days after the investment conference was held in Juba last December, a view she held well into her last Security Council briefing while speaking to the media. What a shame.

Up until the civil war erupted the role of regional countries in South Sudan’s brewing conflict largely went unnoticed but was thrust into the limelight with Ugandan military involvement in the civil war to protect its interests, and the mediating efforts of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in the peace process aimed at ending the violent conflict.

Despite IGAD’s tireless and constructive efforts to bring the conflict to a swift end, the peace process continue to derail in part due what has been described as the “stupidity” of the warring parties, but more significantly because of the self-serving politics of “national interests” of all the conflict stakeholders, including of the IGAD member states.

But we will examine the various “national interests” calculations of the IGAD member states in the South Sudan’s civil war on another occasion.

However, clearly what is needed from all conflict stakeholders in South Sudan moving forward, particularly from our regional and international actors is their robust collective stance to purely geared toward ending the civil war in South Sudan.

Surely this can be aided by re-orienting the demands of dictated by their political realism considerations or their politics of national interests. Essentially our interlocutors need to grasp that in fact their long term genuine national interests in South Sudan are better served by bringing the civil war to a swift conclusion.

All South Sudan’s stakeholders must therefore, collectively re-imagine peace in South Sudan anew and work to realize it through robust punitive measures and holding accountable the parties who have instigated the conflict and are derailing and spoiling the peace process to end it.

It is as simple as that come the warring partied to the negotiation table or not. They will still need to be held accountable and the longer they continue political bickering and exhibit lack of political will to end the war, the lesser leverage they will have to negotiate their way out.

The current peace process must be re-convened to end the crisis immediately. And it must be held on IGAD’s terms not the terms of those who have massacred civilians and compromised regional and international peace and security.

Else a peace process dictated by the terms and conditions set by the belligerents to the conflict is not a genuine peace. It will wound up incentivizing violence by leaving the impression that picking up arms and meddling with national, regional and international peace and security can be rewarded with a place in a peace negotiation table rather than be punished in a place behind bars in The Hague.

There are several punitive measures that can be used to induce a swift signing of a peace agreement to end the conflict in South Sudan and restore normalcy in the event that political intransigence of the warring parties persists.

These include regionally and internationally enforced targeted sanctions, asset freezes and traveling ban of the lead conflict belligerents and their associates.

Regional and international institutional actors will equally do well to expedite Security Council referrals of potential perpetrators of the well-documented human rights abuses and the mass atrocities to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for further investigation and prosecution.

Threat of punitive measures is the only way to expedite a peace agreement in South Sudan but has for far too long been discussed and by now ring hollow. This goes to show that there is little political will overall and regional and global politics of interest continue to dictate the fate of our people despite their unspeakable suffering, thereby entrenching the culture of global impunity. This must stop.

Lastly, as South Sudan commemorates its third independence anniversary, perhaps we should all take this opportunity to mourn our dead rather than celebrate our independence. We should take this opportunity to soul-search and contemplate on how it all went wrong for us in South Sudan in order to make it right.

When we collectively reflect and acknowledge our different roles and responsibilities in contributing to where we are three years on after South Sudan’s independence, we may begin to grasp the scope of the tragedy and the suffering of the people of South Sudan as it is.

This way we may begin to make real progress to ending the violence, re-imagining peace and working to realize it in earnest in spite of self-serving politics of national interest or what not.

May the souls of all fellow South Sudanese, who have lost their lives in this civil war and the souls of those who died since South Sudan’s independence was achieved and first celebrated on July, 9th 2011 as well as those who departed after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in January 9th, 2005, rest in peace.

Tongun Lo Loyuong is a PhD student in the U.K. beginning from September, 2014. His research interest is on the role of civil society in transitional justice and reconciliation in South Sudan. He holds two Master’s Degrees with honors and academic excellence from the United States. The last of his MAs is in International Peace Studies and Policy Analysis for Political Change, from the University of Notre Dame – Indiana. He is reachable at: tloloyuong@gmail.com.
Disclaimer: views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author. Agok Takpiny is a concerned South Sudanese in Melbourne Australia. He can be reached on agoktakpiny@ymail.com


IGAD & International Community (TRIOKA) aren’t doing enough to end Conflict in South Sudan

BY: Juma Mabor Marial, JUBA, JUL/08/2014, SSN;

From the very outset, I want to lay a renunciation that the above title shouldn’t be construed to mean I am against the international community or the IGAD mediators in particular. As we recite along, you would realize that my objective is to address the loopholes and incongruities that both the IGAD and the international community have committed since the crisis in south Sudan began.

IGAD and TRIOKA Countries (i.e. Norway, United Kingdom and the United States of America) are some of the important and long-time allies that have been with South Sudan since the years of freedom struggle and their pivotal role in the CPA was outstanding and that is why, up until today, south Sudanese appreciates them for the incredible contribution towards freedom and eventual independence that they have helped them gained.

It is also on this basis that many south Sudanese sees the two organizations as their alternative avenues for resolving any socio-economic and political challenges that befallen their nascent state.

This is why soon after the crisis broke out in south Sudan, subsequent attempts to arrest the situation and return the country to normalcy were suggested by the IGAD Heads of states supported by the international community and especially the TRIOKA countries.

The warring parties were too enthusiastic about the determination of these parties to bring an end to the crisis although there were reservations from SPLM/A in Opposition over the participation of Uganda in the mediation as the latter was being accused of supporting the government and therefore partial.

Soon after the endorsement that the peace process is imminent, it was resolved that the regional body-IGAD would now lead the process with donor support from the international community and TRIOKA countries.

It was almost unanimous that IGAD would do it best to bring peace and stability to south Sudan in the spirit of “African problems need African solutions”. Museveni factor was still contentious but at least IGAD managed to persuade the parties to sign the cessation of hostilities agreement and allow humanitarian access to the affected areas.

This was a positive phase although it was characterized by accusation of violations by both belligerents. In fact there wasn’t any implementation of the agreement as the incident of Bentiu and other occurrences across greater Upper Nile would confirm.

A month later, Kiir and Machar met in Addis and as they claim, signed “under duress” another cessation of hostilities agreement but this time reiterating the need to absolutely cease hostilities, allow humanitarian access and most importantly signed a road map and framework for the next round of talks which would discuss among other reforms agenda, formation of transitional government of national unity.

It is also here that the involvement of other stakeholders and across- section of the south Sudanese society would be required and the two leaders appended their signatures to it.

Whereas the government had continued to oppose any involvement of other stakeholders including the group of the SPLM former detainees. The opposition was of the contrary view and this fact persuaded the IGAD to convince the government to allow for the involvement of the stakeholders on consultative basis.

The altercation that follows the nomination of delegates among the stakeholders apart from the group of the SPLM former detainees became too chaotic but I felt it is insignificant to discuss it in details here.

Despite the battle over the selection of the stakeholders from political parties to faith based groups, academia to civil society organizations, youth to women representatives, disabled and other interested groups, a symposium that was scheduled to take place three days prior to the next round of talks failed for two days because of failure by the main warring factions to attend over one reason or another.

The symposium eventually kicked-off and another arrangement was made by selecting representatives from these groups to participate in the negotiation. This procedure despite the hitches was a step towards peace.

However, as the main discussions on the substantive aspects of the peace were expected to resume, the real troubles began and here comes the mistake and this gaffe is what I blame the IGAD and of course the international community of.

First, during the initial stages of the crisis, the government was at loggerhead with the UNMISS, an international body that is known for its impartiality with regard to the internal affairs of any country that it’s operates at.

The grievances presented by the government were that the UNMISS is pro-rebels and their evidence ranges from the arguments with government minister in Bor to the impounding of arms caches in Lakes state.

The explanation given by the UNMISS officials didn’t help the situation and this consequently resulted in the country-wide demonstrations undertaken by the pro-government supporters against Hilde F. Johnson, the head of UNMISS in South Sudan.

The fact that Hilde is a citizen of Norway, one of the TRIOKA member states was also inseparable from her position and so was the locus of the international community.

Apart from UNMISS misgivings, the United States, United Kingdom, China have not said much to pressure the parties to reach at the convenient time, a solution to return peace to south Sudan.

The best these countries did was advocate for the release of arrested politicians and call for speedy formation of transitional government of national unity.

The circadian sufferings that the people of south Sudan goes through is not a priority for them talking about it being another thing perhaps because they have not been to the grassroots and experience the plight of the helpless women and children in the camps.

This is not to say that international community has not done it best in supporting peace but there is still impartiality question that hangs in the balance about America in particular and its opinion with regard to the conflict as it and most of her allies cogitates that the conflict in south Sudan is more about political reforms and democracy but less of any other issues.

Secondly, IGAD as a regional body that has positioned itself in epicenter of the problem with the intention of resolving the conflict is now getting confused with the many advisers that are behind the scene trying to advance private interests through it mediation position.

These interest groups have instilled doubts and challenged the neutrality of IGAD and as such, the parties to the negotiation are gradually withdrawing their confidence over this body.

A scenario that is not good for the ordinary citizens of south Sudan who are eagerly waiting for peace.

The reasons behind this mistrust are, one, on the government side, the IGAD Executive Secretary called their President “STUPID” while to the rebels, the question of stupidity is taken lightly but the complaint about the selection of stakeholders became their priority.

So, looking at these two sides of the same coin, it is apparent that the credibility of the mediator (IGAD) is already in question and the parties’ maybe reluctant to listen to its proclaimed neutrality.

The rebels leadership has already complained about IGAD trying to impose on the parties and trying to take decisions on their behalf which in other words, means IGAD seemed to have the outcome of the problem that is going on in south Sudan but only disguised to negotiate in an attempt to portray to the south Sudanese and the parties that, it has indeed done something.

This preferred outcome is most likely suspected to have been cooked by the western or for that matter, TRIOKA countries.

It also means that IGAD has just been informed of the ingredients of the food that the TRIOKA has already cooked perhaps to help the former know how to prepare its meal next time there is similar crisis in the Dark Continent, Africa.

I wouldn’t want to captivate so much into that imagination but look at it critically, the basic techniques of mediation as one of the main types of disputes resolution mechanisms that I was taught in school are that, the mediator should be a facilitator, a moderator, a peace-maker, a tempers calmer, a neutral person and all that translates to impartiality and honesty.

IGAD, as the parties tells us, does not fit these features and therefore, its ability to bring peace to south Sudan is now showing signs of shrinking as recently observed when it indefinitely adjourned the talks without consulting the concerned parties.

It has also emerged, through the reaction of the warring factions after the adjournment of talks that, the question of stakeholders inclusion was not a fundamental wish of the parties but a project that IGAD had conscripted to widen its activities in as far as the south Sudan conflict offered that opportunity.

Why do I certify these verdicts, simple, at the beginning of the negotiations, the government had made it abundantly clear that, there shall be a national dialogue conference that would bring on board all the stakeholders and here, the issues on state cum nation-building would be exhaustively discussed.

This I hope was made on the vantage point that, the negotiations in Addis were to be restricted to the warring parties with specific issues to be discussed after which a roadmap would be put in place for the national dialogue which could be held in the country.

This was a great idea that the government failed to defend but it was worth fighting for.

Furthermore, the SPLM/A in Opposition that advocated for the inclusion of civil society now turned around and says that all the selection was one–sided and therefore wanted the civil society from outside to be involved in the talks thus complicating the resumption of the next round of talks and eventually led to the boycott and ultimate adjournment of the talks.

This scenario shows too the nature of our civil society and other stakeholders. The concerns raised by the opposition tells us that, the civil society that we have in south Sudan together with their political parties colleagues are either pro-governments or pro-opposition leaving the page for neutrality completely blank.

This means and as most citizens believe that these so-called civil society organizations and political parties are a group of self-proclaimed network of individuals who seek self-fulfillment instead of advocating for the general rights of the voiceless public and act as an oversight to both the government and the opposition.

It is known that, some of the stakeholders that went to Addis had one or another MOU with either the government or the opposition for rewards with positions in the upcoming transitional government of National Unity.

This guess is too fascinating to be rubbished aside as history has shown that those who disguised as civil society activists shut up as soon as they are appointed to either side of the divide.

It is because of this peculiarity of having your own political parties and civil society organizations to support your stand in the issues being discussed that has subjugated the opposition as they thought the government has pocketed the support of the political parties and civil society that it had left in Juba and therefore, it felt that it would only rely on the civil society organizations and political parties that it has planted in the diaspora.

Quite unfortunate endeavor to ponder about but my analysis of the war over the selection of stakeholders to join the peace talks in Addis begins and ends at this point but it still all goes down to IGAD idea of supporting the impression of including the stakeholders in the negotiation as some of these stakeholders were just fighting over nominations because one want to fly and see Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, ally itself to either party and at the end of the day, derive political benefits through appointments into political positions or other accommodative opportunities.

Ways Forwards:

After it has been proven that, the whole idea of involving stakeholders was an exercise in futility, I now advise IGAD to:

1. Confine the talks to the conflicting parties i.e. the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and SPLM/A in Opposition.

2. Stick to its 60 days ultimatum, recent adjournment notwithstanding.

3. Reclaim and reaffirm its neutrality and allow the parties to take charge of the negotiations while its role should be to act as a moderator/facilitator until the much needed peace is achieved in south Sudan.

4. Stop wasting time in the procedural aspects of the negotiations but should instead, go straight to the substantive aspects to bring peace to the people of south Sudan because more delays mean more suffering for the citizens of south Sudan.

5. Make it clear that the involvement of stakeholders would be needed at the national dialogue conference and this should take place in Juba, South Sudan after the peace is signed. It should be one of the terms of reference for the transitional government of national unity and this is where a wide range of issues can be discussed.

6. Advice the opposition to drop their demands for the inclusion of stakeholders because as the experiences in the symposium have shown, these stakeholders are more confusion than being part of the solution.

7. Advice its officials particularly the Executive Secretary to mind their language and at least research on diplomatic issues before they release any words that would chase these parties away from the negotiations. As a mediator, you must know how to handle the parties because controlling the warring parties is as fragile as carrying an egg.

Conclusion

As I had earlier mentioned in my opening remarks, I am neither against IGAD nor the International community but I just felt that, it would be helpful to fix the gaps that the mediators might have knowingly or otherwise missed to incorporate in their pursuit to bring peace to the people of south Sudan.

It is equally crucial for our leaders from both sides of the divide to let go of their pride and reach a compromise by owning the peace process and heeding to the calls of bringing back peace to their country and their people.

IGAD and TRIOKA cannot and shall never bring us peace if our leaders are unwilling to bring it themselves.

With this, allow me to say, do all have a happy 3rd independence anniversary by embracing the Theme: South Sudan, One Nation, One People!

Juma Mabor Marial is a Trainee Advocate based in Juba, South Sudan
Reachable at: jummabor@gmail.com

SPLM, a curse to South Sudan

BY: ELHAG PAUL, South Sudan, JUL/06/2014, SSN;

This thing called the SPLM is a curse to South Sudan. Built on contradictions in 1983, it frequently implodes violently and morphs into different SPLM factions. In doing so the off shoots hog the mother organisation’s name defensively but differentiates themselves with mini adjectives without any clear identity in terms of what they stand for.

Now the SPLM has given birth to four SPLM factions namely: SPLM Oyee, SPLM-in-Opposition, SPLM DC and SPLM G11. Previously, in early 1990s there were other two which have now died out. These were SPLM Nasir faction and SPLM United. At least the latter two had a clear vision of what they wanted for South Sudan which was self determination contrary to what Dr John Garang wanted.

It is important to highlight here that the idea of self determination was neither the creation of Dr Riek Machar nor Dr Lam Akol. This was a vision laid down by the leaders of Anyanya One in early 1960s when both Riek and Lam were perhaps in primary school at the time.

So Dr Machar and Dr Akol picked up the idea and asserted the wish of the people of South Sudan against Dr John Garang’s clearly stated objective of a united Sudan.

As for the four SPLM factions now combining both groups with their opposing ideologies, no one knows what they really stand for since South Sudan is now an independent country. The issues of secession and unity are largely irrelevant now.

The crucial issue now facing South Sudan is how it can be managed for the well being of its citizens and the reality is that all these SPLM factions have no idea of what to do.

Now the SPLM and its off shoots are to all intent and purpose confused without any identity of what they stand for. This confusion reflects the minds of the so called leaders of these various SPLM groups. It manifests itself in the lack of clarity in these groups.

They do not know why they maintain the name SPLM which does not rhyme with the name of the new country they have violently imposed themselves to chaotically lead.

It also manifests the clouded mind of their leaders who can not see that they are confusing their organisation with the country, South Sudan. For instance, the flag of the SPLM/A has been imposed without consultation with the people of South Sudan as a national flag.

By default, this imposition assumes everybody in South Sudan is an SPLM/A. This fusion of organisation and country creates a detrimental enmeshment in the country.

Another off shoot in the Sudan (the country north of South Sudan) calling itself SPLM North also uses this very flag in their country. The rebels there wear the SPLM flag on their uniforms which also is the flag of South Sudan posing potential risks for a mistaken identity that could flare up in a conflict between the two countries since the army of South Sudan wear similar uniforms.

Another anomaly also lies in the fact that the army of South Sudan continues to be called SPLA. What is really going on here? Do these people not know that South Sudan is a different independent country and bigger than their party?

Until this confusion in SPLM/A and its mini groups is cleared out of South Sudan, our country will always remain unstable and confused.

As South Sudanese descended into Addis Ababa for the dialogue, it was hoped that the participation of the stakeholders would be able to deal with these serious issues.

Unfortunately, the symposium held in Addis Ababa at the beginning of June 2014 turned out to be a total farce. The reality was that the government in Juba violated the 9th May 2014 agreement. President Kiir’s security unconstitutionally denied the opposition travel to attend the meeting in Addis Ababa.

Unbelievably, neither the IGAD, nor the African Union, nor the Troika intervened to correct the oppressive action. IGAD by not intervening ended up colluding with the government of South Sudan and in the process it violated the very agreement it helped to broker.

Had the talks been inclusive, the stakeholders would be able to speak on behalf of the oppressed people of South Sudan thereby injecting a varied perspective that might help in reaching a positive outcome for the country.

As it is now the talks are actually between the SPLM factions while the real victims (the people) of this crisis are excluded.

SPLM G11 call themselves SPLM leaders. On which grounds are they leaders? President Kiir, the SPLM chairman stripped them from their positions in the SPLM party which means they no longer hold any positions of influence.

This further means they have lost authority and influence in the party. How then can they insist to call themselves leaders? By which authority are they calling themselves leaders?

It is about time they accepted their predicament which is that they are now ordinary members only like any other members.

A good number among them must also know that they were appointed by their tormentor President Kiir to the parliament and positions of influence against the wishes of the people.

Most of them failed to win any seats in parliament during the general election of April 2010 in the Sudan. The best they can do is to form their own party under a different name. They should forget the madness of hogging ‘SPLM’ because apparently “it is a historical party that brought independence.”

SPLM whether it brought independence or not is a party rotten to the core. Its name is tarnished beyond retrieval. The earlier they get this point the better for them and South Sudan.

As for their claim to being leaders – this needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. Leaders are people who care about the masses. They spearhead useful programmes of developments in society. Manage public resources prudently and frugally for the benefit of all.

Do these so called “leaders” have any characteristics of leadership? Have any of them displayed such qualities? The evidence point to the contrary. For full understanding please see:

1-Tear down the SPLM http://allafrica.com/stories/201209030002.html
2-Power struggle in the SPLM http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/editorials/power-struggle-in-the-splm
3-Cattle camp” imperialism in RSS http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/editorials/cattle-camp-imperialism-in-rss
4-Corruption saga: The SPLM five big guns or quintet squirrels http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/articles/corruption-saga-the-splm-five-big-guns-or-the-quintet-squirrels

If and when you have read the articles referred to above, would you still take the claim of SPLM G11 of leadership seriously? Think about it and you be the judge.

Having been rescued by Dr Machar from the jaws of the shark, the SPLM G11 disgracefully kicked their saviour in the teeth. Opportunistically, they distanced themselves from him in the hope of grabbing power with the help of IGAD countries.

This is another point that discredits IGAD as mediators in the South Sudan crisis. Please see, ‘Former detainees discuss South Sudan crisis with mediators ‘ http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article51021

Pagan Amum said, “As SPLM leaders, we are going to participate and engage first and foremost the two parties to stop this war and the conflict, so that we proceed with the negotiation to develop and agree on programmes to urge South Sudan into a transition to peace and democracy.”

Pagan goes on, “His team will fully participate with both parties in restoring peace and democracy in South Sudan as well as in shaping in every future of the country.”

Was South Sudan in peace and democracy before this crisis? If so, does Pagan remember what he said in December 2013 prior to the implosion of the SPLM? Was Pagan not the very person who shouted loud that President Kiir was becoming a dictator and South Sudan a dictatorship? Memories seem short.

What future of South Sudan does Pagan and his group want to shape? Where is their Blue Print? Have they told the masses what they intend to do differently for the country than what they have been doing for the last nine years?

Is the current mess not of their own collective making? And above all, how do they intend to shape the country? Under what ideology and programmes do they want to shape the country? Why did they not do so in the last 9 years?

Since coming out of their incarceration, have the SPLM G11 spoken about the suffering of the people? Have they spoken about their failures collectively in mismanaging the country?

Have they spoken about SPLM’s massive neglect of the country since 2005? These people are not serious. They are only interested in their stomachs. They lie to the people and themselves with speeches like, “The G11 have decided not to side to either party arguing no role in the ongoing conflict.” Really?

These are not leaders. Leaders must have “the capacity to care because this is the thing which gives life its deepest significance.” These are the words of Pablo Casals, the gifted musician.

So far in the context of South Sudan such virtues are possessed by the silent leaders of South Sudan and in my view it is these leaders who can rescue the country. They may enable South Sudan to experience what it means to be governed appropriately and fairly based on the rule of law.

Presently, the shoddy transitional constitution of the Republic of South Sudan is a redundant document. It means nothing at all to the people of South Sudan. The president and the SPLM refer to it when it suits them.

Otherwise, overall everything done in the country is based on the advice and recommendations of the Council of Jieng Elders.

SPLM regularly commits crimes against humanity with impunity. For example, the ethnic cleansing of the Uduk people of Upper Nile in late 1980s, the fratricide of the Nuer/Jieng of early 1990s, the massacres of the Didinga in late 1990s, the massacre of the Chollo from 2008 to the present, and the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer from mid December 2013 to the present.

In all these horrendous cases there have never been any enquiries or accountability.

As I write, President Kiir and the SPLM are seriously planning to commit another pre-meditated ethnic cleansing. This time the targets are Equatorians because of their legitimate call for federalism.

An extensive hit list reportedly signed by the president lists the governors of Equatoria, Equatorian party leaders, Equatorian officers of the various organised forces, Equatorian intellectuals and businessmen.

At the moment the Chief of the Army, General Paul Malong Awan is busy deploying army units predominantly composed of President Kiir’s tribesmen to the three states of Equatoria in preparation for this evil culling plan.

Although this information is now in the public domain, some naive people in Equatoria (together with the sell-outs) minimise its seriousness. The recent publicity of this vile plan of ethnic cleansing may save the lives of the governors but people like Peter Sule remain highly vulnerable in Juba.

The planned targeting of Equatorian leaders is a deliberate thing to decapitate the Equatorian body politic. It has a far reaching ramification in terms of the future identity of Equatoria, but also for South Sudan.

The Equatorians must now seriously think about this very real threat to their own existence in South Sudan. They need to devise a plan to confront and respond to this threat appropriately. Those planning this criminal act should know that they will not get away with it and that they will be brought to book.

The troika and Human Rights Watch have already been alerted and should anything happen the responsibility lies squarely with President Kiir and the Council of Jieng Elders formulating and supervising these evil culling plans.

With the coming of peace in 2005 up to now South Sudan has been under the rule of predatory sharks. SPLM/A does not care about the country and the people. It does not believe in the common good but rather in advancement of its elite members only.

If these so called leaders (including President Kiir and Riek) had “the capacity to care”, South Sudanese would not be dying like flies in their hands.

They would have humanely managed the country with services adequately provided to the people in the pivotal sectors of health, education, housing, employment, and security.

But what have South Sudanese got on their hands? Ethnic cleansing, entrenched tribalism, orgiastic corruption and continuous empty rhetoric.

The contest over the name SPLM/A irrational as it is, is itself a fight against Jieng tribalism as well as a fight for power.

The multiple factions of SPLM in different forms and shapes hogging this name do so because they believe SPLM is the centre of unassailable power and also it is associated with the glory of liberation. They apparently want the timelessness of liberation and heroism associated with them.

The Jieng in their endeavour to wholly accumulate the glory of liberation have falsely convinced themselves that they own the SPLM. To them, since the formation of SPLM is attributed to Dr John Garang and Garang having hailed from Bor, SPLM to them is a Jieng property.

Hence, the declaration of the Jieng in a document of meeting in Ark hotel in Kampala, Uganda in 2009 stating’ “‘The Dinka are the SPLM/A and the SPLM/A are the Dinka’ The two are the two faces of the same coin”. Their motto is that ‘He who wins can not be in the wrong’. www.southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/articles/benign-intervention-is-the-way-forward-for-republic-of-south-sudan

Now that SPLM is the centre of power associated with the liberation of South Sudan, according to them the Jieng are the liberators of South Sudan and the glory is theirs.

This anomaly makes the Jieng to crow “We liberated you.” “We are born to rule” hurting the feeling of others. They commit heinous crimes with impunity freely as with the case of the Nuer in December 2013. Unfortunately, they appear to draw pleasure and satisfaction from this barbarity.

This of course is not true for the following reasons. First Dr John Garang did not form the SPLM. He simply is an appointee of the Ethiopians into the SPLM/A. Please see ‘Dr John Garang was an appointee of the Ethiopian to the SPLM’ http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/articles/dr-john-garang-was-an-appointee-of-the-ethiopians-to-the-splm

On this fact alone the Jieng claim to ownership of the name SPLM falters.

Secondly, although the Jieng through Dr Garang dominated the organisation, many South Sudanese from other tribes played a very crucial role in SPLM’s success. For example, in mid 1990s SPLM/A was practically defeated by the Arabs. The forces of President Omar Bashir captured most of South Sudan from the SPLM with it (the SPLM) pushed to the extreme periphery in Nimule.

If it was not for the Equatorians, SPLM/A would have been smashed by the Arabs and there would not have been an independent South Sudan now.

From this alone, the independence of South Sudan without argument is an outcome of contribution of all the tribes of South Sudan and the Diaspora. So the puerile nonsense of “We liberated you” the Jieng brag about is at best garbage and at worst utterance of lunatics.

But the foregoing should make South Sudanese question the basis of SPLM’s power. This is important to know if the people are to liberate themselves from this monstrous organisation.

SPLM is not the true centre of power in South Sudan. The real power lies with the people of South Sudan. If only the people can grasp this crucial point and its psychological dynamics, SPLM could easily be discarded.

The people just need to withdraw allegiance and membership and the SPLM would be nothing. The power they crow about would evaporate in an instance.

So the intimidation that President Kiir metes out to the supporters of federalism is sustained by the Equatorian allegiance and membership to the SPLM which indirectly gives the Jieng power.

The irony is Equatorians are fighting themselves. They empower SPLM and the Jieng and then they fight what the SPLM and the Jieng impose on them. This is madness. Just quit the SPLM and begin to organise to build a new centre of power to realise your objectives and interests.

Any South Sudanese who wants federalism should quit the SPLM today. Dr Riek Machar’s maintenance of the SPLM name psychologically gives credence to SPLM Oyee granting it higher status which feeds the psychological image of Jieng being invincible.

This is turn makes President Kiir to feel unbeatable and thus make irrational demands. For example, admonishing Equatorians not to talk about Federalism.

Thomas Schilling in his book, ‘The strategy of conflict’ tells us that when certain parties adopt an irrational position and fiercely guard it, it is because they have a reason. Often when this is seen from their perspective it makes sense in that it actually serves their intrinsic interest.

So, the hogging of SPLM’s name irrational as it is for the country, it actually perpetuates and massively promotes the interest of the Jieng.

This is why President Kiir preferred to plunge the country into chaos than to transfer power to Dr Riek Machar which to him would by default mean ceding power to the Nuer.

Thus if President Kiir were to change the name SPLM the only people who stand to lose are the Jieng. So, all the other SPLM groups follow this logic.

At the heart of this hogging of the name SPLM lies a false glory and an imagined fixed absolute power in SPLM. Every one of them wants this supposed power.

This belieF in the invincibility of the SPLM has nurtured a culture of abuse and impunity over the years with the members becoming disempowered to the influence and working of the organisation itself.

For example the unfortunate events of mid December 2013 mostly affected the SPLM (the organisation and the members), yet the victims like Dr Machar still fights tooth and nail to identify himself with an organisation that decimated his own identity.

Do you see the pathology griping the SPLM and its members? After what has happened, why should anybody desperately want to associate with such a dysfunctional organisation?

Dr Machar now is in a better position to ditch the name SPLM because South Sudanese joining him are doing so on principle of ousting the murderous regime of President Kiir and not because of the glory of SPLM.

Further Dr Machar would help the Nuer to heal psychologically faster by ostracising the organisation responsible for their ethnic cleansing. If Machar did that he would eventually emerge clean from the cyclical mess of SPLM with a new organisation formed by him lifting his stature and image.

SPLM is so dysfunctional an organisation that it is no longer good for anybody and the country.

When an organisation has an entrenched destructive culture that can not be influenced by its members for better, the best thing to do is either to overhaul it or to dismantle it and form a brand new one with a new name.

This is what the SPLM members need to do if the destructive culture of SPLM is to be gotten rid of.

Therefore to remove the confusion in South Sudan politics, and for the members of SPLM to liberate themselves from their mental enslavement to an organisation that only benefits a section of one ethnic group and allows this group to abuse the others, they need to throw their membership away and find something else.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]
Elhag Paul
elhagpaul@aol.com
Disclaimer: views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author. Agok Takpiny is a concerned South Sudanese in Melbourne Australia. He can be reached on agoktakpiny@ymail.com


Difference between Equatoria & Riek Machar call for federalism in South Sudan

BY: Jacob K. Lupai, JUBA, JUL/01/2014, SSN;

Federal states have been in existence for the last two hundred years. Although there was no explicit mention of federation, it was in the Juba Conference 1947 that South Sudanese first voiced their fears of domination and marginalization by Northern Sudanese. In the Conference Southerners basically wanted safeguards that they would not be mistreated by Northerners. It can, therefore, be seen that indirectly Southerners were already calling for a federal system of government that would have guaranteed them equality with their Northern counterparts and also sustainable national unity.

As Southerners were not well informed and sophisticated enough like the Northern conferees, they were easily manipulated to go along with the concept of one united Sudan without concrete guarantees. They took what Northerners said by word of mouth in the Conference as a guarantee. This is because in the Conference Northerners stressed that they had no intention to dominate the South.

However, what the Northerners had stressed turned out to be a white lie or deception. It was to take the South two bitter and devastating liberation wars to get rid of Northern domination and marginalization.

Eight years later from the Juba Conference 1947 Southern members of parliament in Sudan put forward a condition for supporting the motion for independence from British colonial rule. They proposed a federal system of government for Sudan to safeguard the interest of the South. The Northern deceptive response was that the proposal for a federal system would be considered after independence of Sudan.

After independence and under no obligation Northerners rejected the federal system for Sudan without any convincing explanation. To add salt to injury Northerners instead drafted a constitution fit for an Arab Islamic State. The Southern call for a federal system of government for Sudan was unceremoniously outlawed. Nevertheless, the Southern response was nothing but an armed struggle for freedom.

The point that is being made here is that the call for a federal system of government in South Sudan is not unique. In 1955 the Southern call for a federal system was to make the unity of Sudan attractive as the basis of sustainable national unity.

Unfortunately the dominant Black Arabs of Sudan were arrogant, insensitive and extremely stubborn to their Black African cousins in the South. The Arabs were only to regret when Sudan ultimately disintegrated into North and South with colorful and magnificent celebrations in the South as that was where most of the resources the Arabs had exploited were found.

Federalism in South Sudan

Equatoria, of the three regions of South Sudan, was the first in 2011 to pass a resolution in a conference that: A democratic federal system of governance should be adopted for the Republic of South Sudan, therefore the establishment of the new country as the Federal Republic of South Sudan.

The motive for the call of a federal system of government in South Sudan is not very difficult to comprehend. It is to promote justice where none is above the law in contrast to selective justice, it is for sustainable national unity in contrast to ethno-centricism and it is to promote prosperity for all in contrast to absolute poor service delivery.

The call for a federal system of government in South Sudan should be seen as a national agenda instead of being narrowly perceived as an Equatorian plot to segregate others. Federalism is for the benefit of all in South Sudan.

The essence of a federal system is its responsiveness to diversities and in defusing simmering tensions that may tear a country apart. The loud call for a federal system of government may co-relate to people’s experience of absolute poor service delivery. Things may therefore be different when a federal system is adopted.

Riek Machar’s call for federalism

Dr Riek Machar was the second most powerful man as the Vice President until July 2013 in the Government of the Republic of South Sudan. In December 2013 Dr Riek Machar declared openly that he was in rebellion against what he described as dictatorial tendencies of the President. In his rebellion Dr Riek Machar wanted support. Knowing very well that the call for a federal system was popular in Equatoria he wasted no time to make the call for federalism the top item on the agenda of the rebellion.

Dr Riek Machar must have calculated that by crafting federalism onto the agenda of his rebellion he would get automatic and total support from Equatoria. This, however, seems to have created a problem as Equatoria is now perceived sympathetic to the rebellion.

A critical analysis is therefore needed of the extent to which Dr Riek Machar’s call for federalism is the same as that of Equatoria. This is in order to allay fears that may cause unnecessary panic and also for people not to get confused.

To begin with Dr Riek Machar’s call for federalism is at best deceptive and at worst a betrayal of the genuine Equatoria’s call for federalism. People must recall that as the Vice President Dr Riek Machar at first supported federalism when the majority of members from Equatoria in the National Legislative Assembly in July 2011 endorsed federalism just before the day of independence.

However, at the last hour Dr Riek Machar rejected the very federalism for which he is now calling. People must take it with some caution as to why Dr Riek Machar is now turning around to claim to be the champion of federalism while he was comfortable in rejecting it.

The difference

The difference between Dr Riek Machar’s call for a federal system and that of Equatoria is crystal clear. The Equatoria’s call for a federal system is genuine while that of Dr Riek Machar is a ploy for support from Equatoria. Dr Riek Machar is unreliable and so it is doubtful that he will ever implement a federal system in South Sudan.

Did he not let down the people of Equatoria during the crucial vote for either federalism or decentralization on the eve of independence?

It is clear that the difference is that Dr Riek Machar sees federalism as a sure way to the presidency while Equatoria sees federalism as a national agenda that does not need the use of force to impose it on the people of South Sudan.

Federalism is a revolutionary agenda for the acceleration of socio-economic development for high standards of living in South Sudan.

In the communiqué that followed the Equatoria Conference 2011, it was affirmed that: “Mindful of the suffering of the people of Equatoria in the past decades, we will no longer accept Equatoria land to be used as a battle ground for any senseless bloodshed.”

This confirms that Equatoria has nothing to do with the rebellion. Equatoria is peaceful and development oriented. It will therefore not welcome to its soil such a rebellion that has caused untold destruction and mayhem in the country.

Conclusion

It is hoped that there won’t be any confusion again between federalism called for by Dr Riek Machar and that called for by Equatoria. Equatoria had called for federalism before the rebellion. The vision was that federalism would not be imposed but rather would be accepted or adopted through consensus. This means people will need to be educated and convinced through open discussions and debates.

People’s fears about federalism must be allayed and federalism must be thoroughly illustrated with examples from around the world.

Putting a redline to discussion on federalism is not helpful because people may be forced to discuss it behind closed doors which may be much more dangerous than discussing it openly for people to gain confidence.

In principle it seems many people in South Sudan have no problem with federalism. One prominent revolutionary and architect of the armed struggle that brought independence said in a function that “federalism is not bad but proposed at the wrong time.”

The implication is that South Sudanese support federalism but their fears must first be addressed and the time for adoption should be right. When should the time be right is the question.

The issue of rebellion and federalism could be addressed concurrently where the states should be involved as important stakeholders. Muzzling free thinking is not helpful in our search for a lasting solution to the problems of South Sudan.

In conclusion, no one appears to be against federalism but the fear seems to be the unseen devil in details of federalism which, therefore, needs our collective effort to reduce the fear for the common good of all.


Kiir is a “Constitutional President,” not a “Democratically Elected President!”

BY: Kuir ë Garang, CANADA, JUN/29/2014, SSN;

Most of us in South Sudan are not independent thinkers even when we pretend we are! Some South Sudanese writers and thinkers in Southern States of the country support Federalism not because they’ve actually looked into the inherent benefits to the constituents of the region but because the majority of the citizens embrace it given their flimsy understanding of the system, or because vocal voices in their areas support it, or that, they believe, it’ll give them an opportunity to get rid of the ‘occupiers’ on their land.

None of the supporters of Federalism has ever advanced any convincing reason that’s not either reminiscent of the infamous 1980s ‘Kokora’ or the regionalized tribalism and regionalist sycophancy.

States have governors, parliaments, state MPs, State laws. We somehow have a system that’s structurally resembling other Federal Systems in the world. What is lacking is to actually give more powers to the states and limiting president’s interference in state affairs.

And those who oppose Federalism do so because they support the government and the government opposes it. And the government has absolutely no credible reason advanced in opposition to the system and why they think Federalism would be bad.

The only reason they have is that Riek has rekindled the flame of Federalism. This is not the first time Riek has done something like this. Riek feeds on popular aspirations of the people and exploits them.

Self-determination wasn’t a darling of the SPLA/SPLM until Dr. Riek and Dr. Lam made it their focal point in Abuja I in 1992. It was only one of the alternatives in Dr. John’s famous multi-layered Vend Diagrams but not the preferred alternative. UNITY of Sudan was!

The two doctors wanted to outsmart Dr. John Garang. However, the way Dr. John changed astonished not only the doctors, but Garang’s friends in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Garang embraced Self-Determination to the chagrin of the Nasir duo and even made it central to Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA); giving birth to Referendum!

Riek and Lam had met an ideological propagandists, ideological chameleon, and also, an ideological wizard who couldn’t be outsmarted.

So folks who oppose Federalism are doing so because people they support don’t like it. They’ve not presented any convincing reason why they oppose it.

This is our major problem. We ally based on irrational positions we hide in ideological, tribalized regionalism and intellectualized tribalism. We don’t think for ourselves!

That’s why we hear time and again from South Sudanese officials and government supporters that President Salva Kiir Mayardit is a “democratically elected president” of South Sudan!

No! President Kiir was a democratically elected president of the government of ‘Southern Sudan.’ He’s a CONSTITUTIONAL President of the Republic of South Sudan. There was no election held after the independence of South Sudan! None!

We hear from many government officials that President Kiir is the legitimate president of South Sudan because he’s the democratically elected president. Yes, he’s the legitimate president of South Sudan because the Transitional Constitution (2011) says so not because he’s elected.

Chapter II, Article 97 (3) of the Transitional constitution states: “The incumbent elected President of the Government of Southern Sudan shall be the President of the Republic of South Sudan.”

It says elected president of ‘Government of Southern Sudan.’ It doesn’t say elected ‘President of the Republic of South Sudan.’

Article 100 states: “The tenure of the office of the President of the Republic of South Sudan shall be four years, commencing from July 9, 2011.”

What makes the president Legitimate in the Republic of South Sudan is because the constitution says so not because he is elected in an independent South Sudan.

Note that the president tenure is not being counted from the time the president was elected (2010). It’s starting from the independence of the Nation, January 9, 2011.

So it’s utterly wrong to say that President Kiir is a ‘democratically elected president!’ President Kiir’s current legitimacy started on July 9, 2011. Unless I’ve been sleeping between 2011 and 2013 and that a National Election was held then!

Kuir ë Garang is a South Sudanese author and poet living in Canada. For more information, visit www.kuirthiy.info or www.youtube.com/kuirthiytv


Time for actual solutions for South Sudan: Replace IGAD with eminent persons at once!

BY: MARGARET AKULIA, CANADA, JUN/27/2014, SSN;

Failing to achieve peace in South Sudan after more than six months when the issues are so clear-cut is incompetence. Allowing a foolish, self-absorbed and murderous so-called democratically elected President who is also the accused, to “direct” the adjudication of his own case is preposterous.

Enabling a tyrant to protract his murderous rule through foolishness is culpable negligence.

The war in South Sudan is now entering a seven month period and IGAD has achieved nothing even after being “bailed out” by United States Secretary of State John Kerry.

The organization either lacks lucidity or it is in cahoot with the current lawless government of South Sudan!

Simply put, IGAD’S questionable activities have placed the people of South Sudan at risk of injury and death that is why the organization must be disqualified from its so-called mediatory role.

Complete cessation of hostilities, setting up strong security, a competent and trustworthy caretaker government should have been accomplished by now because the correct solutions for these three key areas would have provided the safe environment necessary for National Dialogue respecting Federalism and Healing!

Instead of achieving the three unambiguous deliverables, IGAD squandered money and time while South Sudan bled to death!

That is why the organization needs to pass the baton to a body of more competent, honourable and impartial eminent persons immediately.

TO READ JUNE 19, 2014 LETTER TO THE TROIKA COUNTRIES REGARDING IGAD PLEASE GO TO:
www.savesouthsudan.com/diaspora-ambassadors.html
Margaret Akulia is co-author of the sequel Idi Amin: Hero or Villain? His son Jaffar Amin and other people speak.

She brings to the South Sudan dialogue a multidisciplinary professional background including but not limited to “grassroots activism”.

Additional information at:

https://travellinglearningcircles.com/Save_South_Sudan.html

AND

http://www.savesouthsudan.com/home.html


Federal system of government strengthens national unity

By: Jacob K. Lupai, JUBA, JUN/22/2014, SSN;

A debate on any topic of interest should be seen as a way of increasing understanding for an informed decision. The debate may clear some ignorance about the topic. This should be viewed as something positively contributing to mutual understanding.

The current debate on federalism should be seen as something useful to increase understanding. Some people are expressing outright ignorance mixed with fear of what federalism is all about. Some are even losing their heads as the debate heats up which seems to have touched raw nerves.

Objectivity is fast disappearing, producing sycophants who are trying by all means to please their masters to sustain their high table positions. Intellectualism is being replaced with simplistic arguments where federalism is dismissed outright as non starter.

The sustainability of national unity does not depend on somebody’s subjectivity to prescribe what people should support. Rather it is an objective undertaking and collective responsibility born out of inclusiveness where people can instinctively identify with the nation.

Arguably, inclusiveness can be achieved through federalism when there is an active participation at the state level in addressing local issues that a centralized system is too remote to address.

As will be seen in the text there may be some hidden reasons why some people ardently reject federalism. However, as the debate carries on there will come a time when the majority will either reject or support federalism. Naturally as people gain knowledge of something it is expected that they will make an informed decision which may go either way, to reject or support federalism.

Something that is imposed on people may hardly be sustainable. People should therefore be contented that neither a federal system nor a centralized one will be imposed. Any system of government that will be adopted will hopefully be according to the will of the majority with the rights of minorities respected and dissenting views taken on board. Federalism will naturally be gaining ground.

Debate on federalism

The debate on federalism has produced proponents on one side and opponents on the other. The proponents of federalism are positive as they conceive federalism sustaining national unity.

In a federal system of government the federal constitution allocates power between the federal (national) government and the component units (states), determining which powers are the exclusive prerogative of each government and which powers are shared.

It is to be noted that when powers are shared, the federal constitution defines how conflicts among the governments with regard to these powers are to be resolved. In sustaining national unity the federal constitution regulates the relations among the states and between the federal government and the states.

Adopting a federal system of government should be seen as part of reforms to consolidate national unity in view of communal heterogeneity and complexity as for example in South Sudan. Federalism creates an environment that encourages full participation of people in running effectively their development affairs to improve living standards.

Who will object to services closer to home? Only the naïve may do so. This is in contrast to a centralised system where accountability may be wanting and most of the budget is retained at the centre with the peripheries nearly abandoned. This will hardly be the case in a federal system where peripheries are catered for.

Proponents of federalism are champions of equitable power sharing and distribution of resources for the benefit of all. On the other hand opponents are negative in their imagination and will do anything to reject federalism. They should understand that federalism is like a hedge in between that makes relations greener.

Conception of federalism

The opponents of federalism conceive federalism negatively. This has generated a lot of misconception of federalism. Arguably most of the misconception is based on ignorance, fear and deliberate misinterpretation. Ignorance may be associated with high levels of illiteracy.

Somebody somewhere in the debate on federalism has said, because of high illiteracy rate, 72 per cent, in South Sudan, the adoption of federalism must wait until the illiteracy rate is about 11 per cent. What a strange idea indeed.

On average the literacy rate in Equatoria is 32 per cent, in Bahr el Ghazal 22.25 and in Upper Nile it is 29 per cent respectively. It can be seen that the literacy rate in Equatoria is higher than in the other two former regions. However, the literacy rate in Upper Nile is higher than that of Bahr el Ghazal.

The higher literacy rate in Equatoria may explain the level of understanding of federalism here that the overwhelming demand is for a federal system of government in South Sudan. Partly due to its high literacy rate Upper Nile may also demand a federal system of government. This makes it unacceptable to hold Equatoria hostage because of the others’ low level of understanding of federalism.

In the debate fear is the only factor for the rejection of federalism. For example, somebody in a very simplistic way cited Munuki Residential Area as excluding non Equatorian residents from attending committee meetings. Is this a major issue that can lead to the rejection of federalism? Of course, this can simply be administratively tackled if a genuine complaint is raised.

The fear of federalism cited is that federalism will divide the people of South Sudan. How will people be divided is a mystery that only the fearful may have the answer. The fear that federalism will divide the people of South Sudan is an insult to the intelligence of the people as though they are simpletons who cannot think critically. The people of South Sudan will not be divided but only if they so desire.

Naturally the people of South Sudan are not one people as some would like to preach as if others are daft. However, one thing is certain. The people of South Sudan are of one destiny and this was their only strength that sustained them through the ages in the long and bitter armed struggle for dignity, freedom and equality. As in the old Sudan, in South Sudan we are still people of one destiny united in our quest for justice and fairness for all.

Federalism will never ever divide the people of South Sudan as claimed by the opponents of federalism who tend to be too simplistic in their perception. The people have a bigger goal to achieve, South Sudan that is a paradise for all. Centralisation has obviously brought many problems that solutions are hardly available.

Deliberate misinterpretation of federalism

The opponents of federalism have been relentlessly engaging in deliberate misinterpretation. A crucial discovery can be made at this juncture from this deliberate misinterpretation of federalism. The demand for federalism seems to have uncovered something dangerous to the unity of South Sudan, a neocolonialist agenda of the supposedly informed opponents of federalism. In their fury against federalism the opponents have displayed their true colors and frustrations have got the better of them.

The target is Equatoria which is the lead in the call for a federal system of government in South Sudan. So arguably, the rejection of federalism is not because it is a bad system of government but because it is an obstacle to the neocolonialist agenda.

This is a contradiction to the concept and spirit of a liberation struggle to establish a fairer system of governance that delivers and meets people’s aspirations for a decent life. The turmoil we have may be due to such contradiction. So the venom is now spat out. Neocolonialism will not only target Equatoria but it will go beyond when the project in Equatoria is over.

Conclusion

South Sudanese are people of one destiny. They share the same aspirations for dignity, freedom, equality, justice and fairness for all. How true the saying is that one rotten apple spoils a bag of apples. Some opponents of federalism may have genuine concerns.

However, it is clear that others may have neocolonialist agenda. These people may hardly have the unity of people of South Sudan in their hearts but only their interest.

In conclusion, poor understanding of federalism can be addressed through an open debate and discussion, and possibly through talk show in the media. However, people’s freedom to express their views should not be muzzled.

The Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 is clear and allows for freedom of expression and media as stipulated in Article 24(1). Opponents of federalism may need to demonstrate that they do not have neocolonialist agenda for their position is unconvincing.