Category: Featured

South Sudan a country for Dinka only, Bona Malwal tells Dinka in USA

BY JUSTIN S. KWAJE, MAR/25/2015, SSN;

Bona Malwal, once a long-time antagonist of the late Dr John Garang De Mabior and the anti- separatist of South Sudan, emerged from his hiding place in Sudan only to come to the USA purportedly having been sent by President Salva Kiir with messages of hate against the Nuer people and South Sudanese in general.

During his visit to Kansas City, Kansas, USA, on Saturday March 21, 2015, Mr. Malwal, who’s a member of the secretive Jieng Council of Elders which in effect acts as a tribal advisory council to President Kiir, said the government of South Sudan dispatched him with solid missions: to meet and brief the Dinka community in the USA about the success of the Kiir government in holding the Nuer at bay and about the imminent defeat of the so-called Nuer Rebellion, invoke the diaspora Dinka support and rally the American law makers and her people to support the Kiir’s government and stand against the UN proposed sanctions.

Accompanied by some dignitaries from the South Sudanese embassy in Washington, DC, upon taking the stage but before commencing his speech, Mr. Bona Malwal, whose briefing carried hate messages against the Nuer people and the other 62 tribes of south Sudan, asked the attendees whether there were people in the audience who did not speak Dinka.

However, since no one raised up their hands, and therefore assuming that all in the conference room were Dinkas, he, Bona Malwal proceeded with the briefing in Dinka language not knowing there were some non-Dinkas in the audience who spoke the language fluently.

Mr. Bona Malwal said South Sudan existed thanks to the Dinka and therefore belongs to the Dinka people, and the Dinka have earned it and are where they are now above all others in South Sudan.

Bona Malwal stated they, the Dinka, are justified and deserved to be honored and respected for the hard-earned independence of south Sudan, but the Nuer are destroying this hard earned right, which was achieved by the blood of Dinka.

He said the Nuer had come to USA in the early 1990s but they had neither political weight nor influence in the USA Congress and they therefore contributed nothing to liberate the people of south Sudan.

In comparison, he said, the Dinka in USA at large arrived in the 2000’s and it was their influence that lead to the American support for the Independence of South Sudan.

Stating the Dinka at home bled while those in America used their intelligence to rally the American congress for which we now have an independent South Sudan.

This was earned by Dinka thus the republic of South Sudan belongs to the Dinka and they must not allow the Nuer to ruin and steal the hearts of the American Congress and the American people so that the hard earned country achieved by the blood of Dinka isn’t robbed from the them, Dinka, by the proposed sanctions drafted by the USA, which in his view will weaken the Kiir government for the benefit of the Nuer.

Concluding, Bona Malwal says he sees a real and tangible danger in these sanctions if it were to go through, thus this is the significance of his trip to America.

Bona Malwal said Dinka in America must do all within their power to lobby the American congress and to influence the White House so as to withhold the awaited UN Security Council sanctions on the warring parties in South Sudan.

He feared this will largely affect what he called their government. Bona Malwal acknowledged to the audience that he was dispatched by the government of South Sudan with enough resources to lobby the congress and dispatch members of the Dinka community to begin distributing the copies of the letter he himself brought from Juba, drafted by him, approved by President Kiir and the Council of Jieng Elders.

He stated this letter must be in the hands of the American law makers by March 28, 2015.

He added that the main objective of his visit in addition is to enlighten and educate the intelligentsia, specially from his Dinka community and to solidify what he referred to as “our government” position.

He urged the young people from his Dinka ethnic group not to give any inch to the Nuer both in the war frontline and in the political front, especially in the USA.

He claimed the latter should be easy as the Nuer are not as sophisticated and educated as his Dinka tribesmen.

Mr. Malwal swore the Nuer shall never ascend to nor assume power in South Sudan because when it comes to population the ratio is 1 Nuer to 5 Dinka. Thus he urges the Audience not to allow their country be taken away by Nuer who are the spoilers in South Sudan.

That the real danger to their ownership of South Sudan is the Nuer, adding the other tribes are no match for the Dinkas and remain no factor in the current conflict.

This vitriolic rhetoric is not surprising given that Mr. Bona Malwal is the architect of the Dinka superiority policy and the ideology of the born to rule.

Bona Malwal, who is fighting for his own political survival, attempting to gain favors from Kiir and Jieng council of elders, should not be allowed to intimidate the nation of south Sudan and drive wedges among tribal lines thus hindering peace.

The Nation should not stand in silence.

First of all who is Bona, all South Sudanese know his wretched ambition led him to attempt make a political coup against the founding leader of SPLA, Dr. John Garang.

Therefore becoming irrelevant since the CPA and going into hiding and silence as if he was dead only to resurrect this time to come to USA with dirty ambition to influence Dinka people who have peacefully coexisted with the Neur in the USA.

Mr. Bona Malwal encouraged his fellow Dinka in USA to rise against the Nuer community in America, mobilize human resources more so than money and to deny the Nuer the right to exist in South Sudan, because the Nuer did not deserve to enjoy the privileges of the new nation.

Bona Malwal urged all the able-bodies Dinka youth in America to go home so as to defend the territories of what belongs to them and never allow the Dinka-led government to be driven away by the Nuer and the other minority tribes of Equatoria.

He Bona said the Dinka in America are like the Jewish people scattered all over the world, and he encouraged them to fight the Nuer, that anyone who returns will be rewarded with job offers especially as the President Kiir has planned a full reshuffle of his government to remove some non-Dinka in directorship, and ministerial positions to make room for the Dinka in diaspora who hold valuable Diplomas from American Universities but more so those who distinguish themselves in advocacy for the current government.

It is very clear that this speech in Kansas City, Kansas, USA by Bona Malwal is in direct opposition to the American values and positions and her proposed sanctions that is purported to target those who stifle and promote antagonism and are pro conflict.

The question is: Given Bona’s history of being the father of Dinka Superiority thus in essence the father of this civil war, how did the American embassy not know and why give a Visa to such known war monger and divisive figure to reach the American soil?

If this highly educated person is talking this way, is it any wonder then that peace could not find its way in South Sudan?

Indeed, the American government and her congress must not allow itself be duped by such a pro-war politician, the likes of Bona Malwal and must be denounced and banned from America.

Justin S. Kwaje

Juba SPLM-dominated Parliament extends Kiir’s term to 2018

Different sources: MAR/24/2015, SSN;

South Sudan’s parliament, predominated by the Kiir’s own SPLM in Juba voted Tuesday to extend President Salva Kiir’s mandate by three years, from 9 July 2015 to 9 July 2018, an official said, formally ditching any plans for elections to be held this year in the country.

The parliament also extended its own term as well as that of all the states’ legislatures by three years.

270 members of parliament attended the sitting, with 264 voting in favor of the bill and 6 against, according to an unofficial tally.

The passing of the amended bill came after five hours of debate by the parliamentarians.

“The Transitional Constitution 2011 Amendment Bill of 2015 has been passed unanimously by more than two thirds majority,” said the parliamentary speaker Manasseh Magok Rundial after the vote.

Magok said the Parliament acted in accordance with the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan to amend Articles 66 and 164 to extend the president’s and legislature’s terms.

The move has been seen as going against peace efforts by regional mediators, who have been pushing President Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar to share power in a transitional government, although officials insist Kiir is seeking to avoid a power vacuum following the collapse of peace talks.

“The tenure of the office is extended by 36 months,” said parliament official Thomas Wani Kundu, adding that the government’s proposal to extend its mandate “was passed overwhelmingly”.

Elections in the bitterly divided nation had been due before July 9 — the end of the parliament and president’s mandate under a provisional constitution — but they were opposed by international donors and civil society groups who say any vote held in the midst of civil war would be a sham.

Talks between President Kiir and Dr Machar, which have been hosted by neighbouring Ethiopia, collapsed earlier this month after the two sides failed to agree on a proposal that would see them share power again.

Barbed wire

Both sides have since signaled their intention to fight on. Mr Kundu, however, said the extension of President Kiir’s mandate was designed to give the government time to reach a peace deal.

“All these amendments were initiated by the President in order to give peace a chance. These (extra) three years are in order to give us a chance to get prepared… so we can conduct free and fair elections,” he said.

Dengtiel Kuur, chairperson of the legal affairs committee, said the country is passing through a civil war which may make it impractical to conduct elections with a peaceful transfer of power in accordance with the schedules and timelines provided by the constitution.

Dengtiel said the president and the legislature are empowered by Article 100 Subarticle 2 of the constitution to introduce and enact amendments to the constitution.

Article 202 was also amended to extend the mandate and tenure of the constitutional review commission to 31 December 2018.

Fighting broke out in December 2013 when President Kiir accused Dr Machar of attempting a coup, setting off a cycle of retaliatory killings across the country.

Over half the country’s 12 million people need aid, according to the UN, which is also sheltering some 100,000 civilians trapped inside camps ringed with barbed wire, too terrified to venture out for fear of being killed.

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Better sanctions than signing a bad peace in South Sudan

By: Taban Abel Aguek, Rumbek, MAR/19/2015, SSN;

The efforts for peace in South Sudan by IGAD and the International Community since the conflict broke out in December 2013 indicate how the world cares about South Sudan.

Much as the coup did fail in Juba, the carnage that has been precipitated by its overflow in places like Bor, Malakal and Bentiu remains the worst. It resulted in a piece of shame that we will never erase in the history of South Sudan.

For more than fourteen months now, IGAD, TROIKA and the UN have been exerting tireless efforts for peace in South Sudan. However, it is important to note that availing a wrong peace is worse than war itself.

It is a serious waste to place on table a peace agreement that will never stay.

It may be in the best interest of South Sudan and the region to expedite peace; but signing peace is one thing and keeping it is another.

That is why peace negotiations cannot be given a fixed time. And that is why peace is being negotiated between Palestine and Israel for years now. Maybe Kenyans are right in their saying, “haraka haraka haina baraka”, (hurrying up with things carries no blessing).

So, why rush with negotiations when tangible issues are not agreed? Human lives continue to be lost but that is due to the fact that Riek and his group fail to respect the cessation of hostilities agreement.

When making peace, it must be efforts of both the mediators and the negotiators to ensure a complete remedy is availed. All in all, peace can never be designed in a way that it serves the interests of one tribe in a country inhabited by more than 60 other tribes. Otherwise, it would result in another endless conflict.

The war in South Sudan is indeed a senseless war. But should not make it deserve senseless solution as well. Rather, it must be matched with solutions that are realistic and acceptable to all people of South Sudan.

If IGAD and TROIKA representatives have the same feelings as we do and try to put themselves in our shoes today, they could certainly see these useless demands by Dr. Riek Machar quite differently.

Dr. Riek’s demands at the peace talks are not only impossible but they also show the world that Riek does not want peace in South Sudan.

The Government of South Sudan has conceded a lot of issues at the talks just for the sake of peace; but that has been badly abused by the opposition. The opposition needed to have reciprocated the Government’s faithful concessions at the talks instead of using the same as the point of weakness to exploit.

The argument by the opposition to keep two armies in the country does not indicate any readiness for peace. Riek as reported in the media claimed that seventy percent of the army defected with him at the start at the conflict. But there is no baseline from which it can truly be placed. The Nuer tribe prior to the conflict had a big representation in the army but still it could not reach the claimed 70%.

It also happened because of the reintegration of several Nuer based militia groups that were aligned to Sudan before the South–South Dialogue.

Dr Riek should be made to drop the argument about the two armies or anything like amalgamation and go for the reintegration of the two armies under one command to ensure trust and togetherness in the SPLA once and for all.

Amalgamation of the two armies may plant in the SPLA the rebel White army that was mobilized and armed without proper training.

And the admission of the White army may amount to calling for the ‘gelweng’ of Dinka and the ‘Arrow boys’ of Equatoria to be included in the army. To allow this to happen may render the national army not only fragile and fragmented but also inflated and bloated.

Federalism has been a call by a section of South Sudanese. But it has no recorded public backing since it has not been put on a referendum. Still, even if all South Sudanese agree on federalism, there can be no way it can be applied straight away after the war.

It is necessary to have census conducted prior to re-division of states into 21 or more federal states.

There are more important things to do before we can embark on federalism. South Sudanese deserve a just peace and national reconciliation first before anything else.

It should be the transitional government to undertake issues that are deemed “firsts” before we embark on federalism now.

The wealth sharing is another issue that got many of us baffled. It is difficult to comprehend why in the first place was wealth sharing included in the talks. The demand for wealth sharing under the ratios the opposition have suggested is a straight call for war.

Dr. Riek and his group must tell us all what did they do in this country to earn them the right to sit and tell us how they want to share out wealth?

It seems the opposition wants to argue for a CPA-like agreement but the first thing they ought to know is that South Sudan was an entity that had existed like a country for decades.

South Sudan was granted semi autonomy and that enhanced for a model that was to suit a two states solution. It can never be applied here now and there is not a single justification for it in solving South Sudan crisis.

Countries like Kenya did experience violence over power in the recent past. And Uhuru Kenyatta should have an insight into what a tribal conflict is since he was accused of supporting his tribe, Kikuyu and in particular a sect of outlaws called ‘Mungiki’ in the fight against the Kalenjin tribe during the 2007 post election violence.

There was sense in sharing power in Kenya because the elections were contested by two parties, ODM and PNU.

But in our case, a former VP sacked under the constitutional jurisdictions of the President, that power be shared is a way to accept peace; otherwise, Dr Riek should have been asked to drop guns and come contest elections either in the party, SPLM or General elections.

South Sudanese are not ready to give away the country in the name of reforms. Reforms cannot be guessed in the faces of negotiators.

Riek is not a reformist; rather he is a disgruntled opportunist who is just trying to cling at every floating straw. His reform agenda is a hoax. He didn’t rebel because of reforms either. If Riek’s demands are the perceived reforms then there is no need for peace at all.

I believe that African dictators are made. And for sure, if Kiir becomes a dictator and South Sudan becomes a hostile state it will be blamed only on frustrations. Mugabe and Zimbabwe may have been frustrated to choose to stand against the West after the realities presented by Zimbabweans were neglected by some external powers.

The West and USA in particular, stepped into Kenyan issues prior to 2013 general elections and declared that “choices have consequences” in an attempt to sway Kenyans from voting-in both Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto. This made Kenyans to become even more defiant.

They chose to look no other way than to point in the eye of the US, voting in what Kenyans wanted and not what the external forces wanted them to.

The ICC was meant to intimidate and dictate what path Kenya should take, but it turned out to haunt its own proprietors. ICC became the launch pad from which the 2013 Kenyan Elections were based as tribal sympathies override the real issues that affect a common Kenyan citizen.

The threats of sanctions on South Sudan could serve the same purpose the ICC was for Kenya: to pressurize the government so as to hurriedly sign peace. Yet, signing a wrong peace agreement means a return to war.

South Sudan cannot manage the situation that happened in Egypt where leadership was swung all around like a pendulum. The talks in Addis Ababa can possibly produce a good agreement but only if the mediators keep away from external influence and stop condoning Dr. Riek’s impossible demands.

It is my belief that IGAD knows South Sudan very well. It is in the expectation of South Sudanese that IGAD and whoever that stands behind it – TROIKA or EU – be bold enough to ask Riek to shove or shelf all his impossible demands.

The circumstances under which the current war broke out are not comparable with those of the last North–South War. Therefore, there is no way whatsoever the same CPA mechanisms can be applied in the case of the current war.

Peace is all South Sudanese need but it must be a genuine one. For signing a wrong peace is signing a return to war.

Better sanctions than sign a wrong peace!

Taban Abel Aguek works in Rumbek – South Sudan. He can be reached at abelaguek79@gmail.com

IGAD-led peace has failed: It’s about time to invite Pres. Omar Bashir to bring lasting peace to South Sudan

BY: J. NGUEN, Canada, MAR/14/2015, SSN;

The value of this honest proposal is humanistic, logical and politically mature. If implemented, will have positive impacts in finding lasting peace in South Sudan and people can once again be at peace. Warmongers will perceive this as a short-sighted because their familiarity with South Sudan and Sudan politics is limited and their scope of understanding is informed by what they gain when this war continued.

Some might disagree with this proposal because they have axes to grind with Sudanese people (north and south) and want no peace to return to South Sudan whatsoever.

Logically, one of the benefits of this proposal is that it will bring normalcy to people’s lives and also prevent imminent collapse of the nation.

President Omar Bashir is a heavyweight political machine as far as South Sudan normalcy is concerned. We can no longer afford ignoring this reality.

To achieve a meaningful in South Sudan, President Bashir of Sudan, the Troika..i.e United Kingdom, Norway and United States must be involved. This is demanded of South Sudanese people since there was no progress in the peace talk and no consequences against those who obstructed peace.

At this point, I am sure most of us are convinced with the narrative that IGAD led peace wouldn’t prevail some days. The idea that IGAD was a formidable political machine capable of bringing lasting peace to South Sudan was a perfect fallacy and unrealistic.

This has been proven before our watchful eyes. Therefore, it’s about time for Sudanese and the world to do the unthinkable. It’s about time to rationalize South Sudan problem and find local solutions with international and region outlook.

Involving president Bashir to take lead in solving South Sudan problem is a positive initiative in the right direction. Involvement of the Troika countries, Norway, United Kingdom and United States in supportive role and in some decision making is also paramount. These countries are friends of South Sudan and will always be there for us when we needed help. Now, our people need their friendly hands.

The IGAD led peace for South Sudan has failed because most of the IGAD’s member states only positioned their representatives in South Sudan’s peace talks only for economic purposes. Call it economic gain if you may.

The IGAD intention was not to bring lasting peace to South Sudan but prolongation of war in order to prolong financial exploitation of South Sudan. This is the dominant motive behind the Uganda president involvement in South Sudan internal affairs.

While Kenya and Ethiopia on the other hand have the same interests using subsidiaries as third parties and back door deals to achieve the same financial ends. If for the same reason that IGAD never enforced any threat.

The problem we have in south Sudan needs sound approach and openness in order to find an amicable solution. This cannot be achieved with current approach because the prorogation is wrong.

Similarly, this sound approach will be counterproductive when only extoling current false political elites in South Sudan. The South Sudanese people are glad that IGAD’s head negotiator has admitted that the past approach aimed to bringing peace to South Sudan is wrong and must be altered.

The current governance in South Sudan is too “deformed to be reformed.” For one, South Sudan as a nation is led by a weak and incompetence president. The South Sudan self-serving political class is splintered on tribal basis.

For instance, the G10 and the SPLM/A led by Dr. Riek are currently caught up in rather premature egocentric politics. Simply because the G10 has an axe to grind with Dr. Riek on personal basis and this led to rather a weak opposition.

President Kiir on the other hand has surrounded himself with ineffective tribal hooligans. This state of affairs opened South Sudan up to wolves and serious exploitation by well-established hyenas looking for profitable financial carcasses. The losers at the end of the day are the common South Sudanese people.

Since December 2013, President Kiir has lost constitutional legitimacy after administering the gruesome massacre of the Nuer nationality in the State capital, Juba. A heinous crime ever committed in the 21th century.

Now, the nation has no national army to keep Kiir and cronies afloat. Kiir opted for Uganda’s UPDF’s desperate offer and aimed only for financial prosperity. This useless deal is now keeping Kiir and disgruntled politicians around him afloat by using South Sudan’s petro-dollars while the country’s national identity goes to waste.

For Kenya and Ethiopia, South Sudan’s financial district around the country is run by the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and this has helped Kenya with immense financial growth in its GDP in the past 5 years. Therefore President Kenyatta is determined to keep this status quo alive whatever it takes without any humanistic remorse to the suffering South Sudanese civilians caught up in the senseless civil war.

Besides, every tea shop and water supply in South Sudan is owned and run by Ethiopian nationals. This gives Ethiopia as a country a financial incentive than ever before while South Sudanese citizens languish in the UN bases internally and in the neighboring countries.

Therefore, the only strategic plan used by Uganda, Kenya and Uganda is keeping our people engaged militarily while they continue exploiting the nation wealth.

Dr. Riek and his group plus the G10 have no financial capacities to strike the balance of the petro-dollars used by President Kiir, but instead, depend on handouts from goodwill friends. Because of this, the G10 and the SPLM/A-IO lack political influences over IGAD’s member States.

In fact, G10 is in the worse position compared to SPLM-IO. The group’s survival depends on President Kenyatta’s handouts and they lack political independence and in the course of this conflict will never flex political muscles.

In the view of Kiir and Dr. Riek’s factions, this group is misguided representing political paupers to say the least. The group has no military base anywhere in South Sudan to resort to should roundtable solution withered away like it has.

In the recent past, G10 has used angel-like politics to win supports from the international community particularly the TROIKA and the US but this has failed even though the group back- stabbed Dr. Riek and his SPLM/A -IO after the movement fought fiercely to secure their release from prison.

It was even alleged that Pagan Amum, the leader of G10 has stated that the killing of the Nuer civilians in their thousands should not take the country to civil war. If this is true, the question one needs to ask is what can take a country to war then if peoples’ lives no longer matters?

The South Sudan peace negotiation led by IGAD has failed and the country is now at a free fall. Precisely, the badly needed peace is no more even with strong support from the Troika countries and the United States.

As a result, empty political bickering from IGAD has taken a centre stage but counterproductive as usual. I should say, IGAD is good for nothing and can never be a vanguard to salvage a meaningful peace for my people.

They are toothless and their interests are solely financially motivated and the organization lacks financial and political leverages to stand it grounds.

For the last 15 months of South Sudan conflict, IGAD has made empty numerous political posturing of severe consequences against Dr. Riek and President Kiir Mayardit should peace fail.

Sadly, the result of such threats is that both parties showed defiance and failed to agree on every talking point. Also both warring parties have continued to dishonour signed cessation of hostilities and no single threat of severe consequences from IGAD has been actualized.

As it appears, IGAD made some of these threats against Kiir and Machar after being instructed to do so by TROIKA countries and United States. To date, IGAD has no tangible Plan B should South Sudan’s peace negotiation fail like it has.

All we heard time and again are endless empty political bickering of wanting to protect South Sudanese civilians caught up in the middle of the war.

On the 6th of March 2015, finally, a nail on the coffin was transfixed on South Sudan peace process. South Sudan’s peace process was indefinitely suspended by IGAD’s mediator citing disagreement over every major issue on the menu.

This is expected and every South Sudanese that I know of knew from the onset that IGAD peace process is doomed and destined to fail. The pronouncement made by IGAD only validates our common man’s knowledge on the matter.

As I write, there is no hope for peace anytime soon in South Sudan. Fighting between the two warring parties has resumed and suffering of civilians continues unabated. Death is relentless and no negotiation is expected in the near future. This is disappointing and must not be allowed to continue.

Therefore, to find the solution, there is only one avenue that has not been tapped, Sudan. Sudan has been ignored due to its president’s bad relations with the West and yet this country stands a good chance of bringing lasting peace to South Sudan if utilized effectively.

Sudan as a country is an IGAD’s member State but her president, Omar Al Bashir has been isolated due to indictment by the International Criminal Court regarding the Darfur issue.

Sadly however, the Darfur rebels and its northern Sudanese allies, the SPLM/A -North rebels have proven to be bad partners and merciless bandits who cannot be trusted. They are involved into South Sudan tribal killings as mercenaries.

As I write, they are fighting alongside a genocidal regime of president Kiir; a government that trained and armed troops to carry out the massacre of defenseless civilians on December 2013.

This showed that the Darfur rebel groups have lost their good political stand at the international stage and deserve no political and moral supports from anyone but instead ought to be condemned in the strongest terms possible for aiding in the death of South Sudan civilians.

As such President Omar Bashir should no longer be held back from playing an instrumental role in South Sudan crisis because of these trivial mercenaries/rebel groups issues.

As far as South Sudan’s crisis is concerned, Sudan’s president holds a very unique and important position. If utilized and given the leading role, he can have a positive and far lethal influence over both Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar financially and politically. This is what is lacking with the Ethiopia’s Prime Minister and Kenya but needed for peace to succeed in South Sudan.

If truth be told, the Republic of Sudan under President Bashir is the financier and life line of President Kiir and by extension the Uganda People Defense Forces (UPDF) and the SPLM/A-North, and in part the SPLM/A –IO led by Dr. Riek, according to Hon. Henry Odwar.

Sudan as a country has both political and financial leverage over these conflicting groups in South Sudan. The Ethiopians, Kenyans and Ugandans have zero leverage to gamble with.

Evidently, the Republic of Sudan allowed President Kiir to collect millions of dollars from oil production which flows through Port Sudan to the international market. Subsequently, President Kiir hired the UPDF and various Sudanese rebel groups to fight for him and against the SPLM/A rebels.

The same Sudanese rebel groups funded by President Kiir are the same group that fight President Bashir in the Nuba Mountains, the Blue Nile and the Darfur respectively. In reality, one needs no political science degree to figure out that President Bashir is directly or indirectly financing those who wanted to oust him by force from office.

President Bashir’s financial assistance to Kiir made president Kiir intransigent and refuses to make concessions in the peace process. If President Bashir takes the leading role in South Sudan peace talks, he can use this advantage to strangulate Kiir in case he decided to drag his feet and refused to compromise.

For SPLM/A-IO, if Hon. Henry Odwar’s utterance on the Canadian public Agency Channel early this month were true, that the SPLM/A-IO is receiving military backing from Sudan to counter Uganda involvement, then, it’s paramount to use president Bashir’s influence to bring both parties together or else.

In comparison, the Ethiopian’s Prime Minister is toothless and lacks political and financial leverages over the warring parties. For example, at any rate, if Kiir and Dr. Riek refused to negotiate peace in good faith, President Bashir can actually stop the flow of oil and support of the SPLM/A-IO if the allegation were true.

These can have positive and paralyzing influence both on the government of South Sudan under Salva and the rebels. As a result, the financial incentive for the UPDF will cease and they will call it quits while the Northern Sudan rebels’ support for Kiir will run short of supply.

On the same token, the SPLM/A-IO under Dr. Riek Machar can suffer the same fate.

This plan would be the quickest, efficient and paralyzing influence the world needs to solve South Sudan crisis. President Bashir is the only hope and paralyzing influence required to curb the rampage and intransigence of the warring parties.

Thus, without President Bashir, the Troika countries, United Kingdom and United States involvement, the pending UN’s sanctions and the Ethiopian’s Prime Minister’s empty threats will not help solve the South Sudan conflict.

Therefore, I call on the International Community and the Africa Union to endorse and support president Bashir to take leading role in efforts to bring lasting peace to South Sudan

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

‘Who will help South Sudan find peace?’

BY: Elhag Paul, Mar/10/2015, SSN;

The London Evening Standard paper recently ran a full page advert by Vice News asking: “Who will help South Sudan find peace?” file:///C:/Users/Rosemary/Downloads/Vice_news_advert.pdf (after accessing the link, please minimise the advert to see the whole advert)

Looking at this advert one can not miss concluding that the soldier appearing in it must be in some form of a transport vehicle on his way to a mission. Clad in light brown camouflage usually worn by western armies operating in desert terrain, this dominant soldier looking directly at you with squarish solid face reveals emotions of anguish. He holds the object of his trade, an AK47 with the barrel facing downwards presumably for safety reasons. He is surrounded by “comrades” to his right and back with one standing whose head is cut out of from the advert.

The bottom of the advert carries the print: “YouTube/Vice news + 974,066.” Another message in large print, partly in red and partly in black stands out on the right hand side saying, “You don’t just watch the news.” Careful study of the advert reveals two main messages. The primary purpose is business. Vice News is advertising itself to increase readership and expand its share of the media market.

The message that may get imprinted in the readers’ mind subliminally here is that Vice News will keep you informed by bringing you the rarest of news from the remotest and dangerous spots of the globe. So, don’t miss out. Subscribe!

The second message which luckily is highly noticeable is the enlightenment of the Western masses about the plight of South Sudan. While Vice News is certainly promoting its business interest it is also doing a very good service to the people of South Sudan. The question, “Who will help South Sudan find peace?” alone will prompt readers to research what is happening in that part of the world and hopefully they may be able to help by writing to their members of parliament for the issue to be taken up and looked at appropriately.

Vice News’ question has come at the right time. It coincides with the failure of IGAD in mediating the peace talks in Addis Ababa. It is now abundantly clear to the people of South Sudan that IGAD will not bring any peace for numerous reasons. Please refer to, ‘IGAD’s inadequate strategy in South Sudan’ http://allafrica.com/stories/201404140864.html

One complete year has now been wasted by IGAD in the erroneous belief that the re-unification of the rotten SPLM party will bring peace to South Sudan. This poorly researched if ever and baseless objective has now failed as expected with IGAD remaining discredited. This failure is likely to intensify the depressed state of affairs in South Sudan. One could argue that the current South Sudanese society in its collective is a disempowered society. The abuses it has undergone over the decades in the hands of Arabs of the Sudan and the SPLM in the latter part has deeply injured it and fragmented its constituent parts.

Independence in 2011 was looked at both locally and internationally as a chance to allow the society at last to have a healing space. Unfortunately, SPLM’s short sightedness coupled with its criminal mind and appalling behaviour pushed South Sudan into a very serious crisis in December 2013 leading into massive loss of life and displacement of nearly two million people.

Typical of SPLM leaders, President Salva Kiir, Dr Riek Machar and the entire SPLM machine do not care about the suffering of those displaced (within and without the country), especially those in the United Nations protection camps. What matters to them is their relentless pursuit of power. This is what preoccupies them. They are happy to destroy their tribesmen by arming them and unleashing them on each other in this endeavour without any concern for their safety and well being.

This senseless pursuit and vicious struggle for power combined with IGAD’s lack of creativity, lack of objectivity and poor mediation skills condemns South Sudanese to further destruction. Socially and psychologically broken, South Sudan’s confidence is taking serious blows from the bleak environment created by the massive failures of the three witches: SPLM-IG, SPLM-IO and SPLM G-10.

The loss of confidence in IGAD (and the international community) inevitably removes any hope the people of South Sudan have in the global structures to deliver peace. Those displaced people imprisoned in the UN Protection camps due to their ethnicities and political affiliations, and those in government controlled areas policed by the brutal security system are likely to suffer deep depression with the vividly disappearing hope.

Essentially the current system under SPLM/A as always only produces a state of paralysis, state of fear and powerlessness. The people basically are cowed down through violence to allow the beneficiaries of the system to loot the coffers of the state with impunity. This state of affairs further exacerbates the disintegration of the already broken social system.

The downside to this relentless SPLM’s terrorism (which has been going on for three decades) may lead unexpectedly to a violent uprising. All the things happening in South Sudan now are the classical ingredients of revolutions. The literature on revolutions point out that all revolutions start by decay of authority, misery and suffering of the people.

South Sudan indisputably is fast moving into that direction with the masses gradually shading their fear. Note, fear is the very food that nourishes terror and enables the SPLM to prevail. The moment the people stop fearing, that will be the end of SPLM/A in South Sudan.

The prospect of peace and stability in South Sudan indeed looks bleak under the SPLM. Even if the IGAD talks were to succeed in reconciling President Kiir and Dr Riek and re-unifying the SPLM, that would not bring the yearned for security and stability in South Sudan because essentially it would be the entrenchment of the pre 23rd July 2013 alliance of Jieng and Nuer responsible for the status quo: a vicious tribal dictatorship. All the reason Vice News asks the crucial question: “Who will help South Sudan find peace?”

This question from the outset appears to give the impression that the help must come from outside and this means the international community. True to a point, but the international community through IGAD has clearly failed and so far the world powers seem to have no appetite in decisively and conclusively sorting out South Sudan.

For if they truly wanted to help they could simply set up a new mediating body or better still a new facilitating body led by the imminent persons as already suggested in appeals to the Troika. Such a new initiative should then bring all the stakeholders to the table to hammer out a lasting solution for South Sudan.

The United Nations Security Council could easily do that but unfortunately there appears to be no will and the possible reason for this could lie in the historical interaction of Europeans and Africans. If the ethnic cleansing and the naked abuse meted on the South Sudanese people by the SPLM was outside the continent of Africa, the probability is that the UN would have invoked all the powers it has to hold SPLM to account with peace enforced as in the former Yugoslavia.

So, the real answer to the problems of South Sudan lies with the South Sudanese themselves. But as stated above, the people have been abused and disempowered. However, all is not lost. No need to despair.

With or without peace agreement among the SPLM/A, South Sudan as stated above is already ripe for a change one way or the other. The silent majority without doubt is disgusted and fed up with the SPLM tribal dictatorship.

What the people are missing now is the managed connectedness. The conversations that affirm togetherness, the sharing of information and ideas among the oppressed, the articulation of what the people want in this thing called South Sudan, which will provide the fuel for political action.

This should now squarely fall on the Diaspora and the silent leaders to facilitate if SPLM is to eventually be banished once and for all to achieve real freedom, peace and stability in South Sudan.

Which brings us to the diabolical project of SPLM reunification? This fiendish idea has all along been spearheaded by the Jieng because they stand to lose if SPLM is dismantled.

Initially it was Luka Biong who bugled it with the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa and then the Ethiopian People Democratic Revolutionary Front (EPDRF) as healers. This went nowhere as it hit the buffers. Then the Jieng think-tank known as Ebony waded in with the support of foreign nongovernmental organisation (NGO) resulting into the Arusha SPLM meeting.

South Sudan Nation website has published a brilliant and incisive editorial piece on the issue. Please see, ‘Towards SPLM unification, again? What a tragedy for South Sudan’ http://www.southsudannation.com/towards-splm-unification-again-what-a-tragedy-for-south-sudan/

However, it is important to try to understand why IGAD leaders give such a daft idea huge significance. Most if not all the countries of East Africa are led by mass political movements. For example, the National Congress Party of the Sudan, the Ethiopian People Democratic Revolutionary Front of Ethiopia, the National Resistance Movement of Uganda, Chama Cha Mapinduzi of Tanzania and so on. These political movements/parties have a false belief that they represent all of their people in their countries. They are unable to separate a country from a party.

This belief persists even when the evidence is glaringly in the open.
Take for example in Uganda, in addition to the NRM, there are more than 3 credible parties with varied ideologies yet this fact is ignored. Though this perspective is important in understanding the problem, it is a topic by itself and I will not dwell on it in this article. Suffice to say that for the purpose of this piece, the attachment element in it is what matters.

The real problem blinding the countries involved in brokering peace in South Sudan is the issue of attachment or sentimentality developed between the liberation movements in Africa and the people. This allowed these movements to achieve a politically unassailable status such as the Chama Cha Mapinduzi of Tanzania.

Because SPLM rightly or wrongly is seen as a liberation movement, the members of IGAD have taken it for granted that it represents the people of South Sudan and therefore it should not be allowed to perish.

In a sense the issue has become psychological and it depends on the subject of change and loss. The IGAD countries are terrified of change in South Sudan that sweeps SPLM away. The thought of SPLM atrophying scares the IGAD leaders because it exposes the vulnerability of these so called revolutionary movements. Thus it is seen as a contagious disease like Ebola which may infect them.

Look at it; all the movements/parties leading the IGAD countries have got their own problems and if they are to continue ruling they need to maintain the myth of invincibility. Therefore, SPLM must not be allowed to disappear and the best they can do is to patch it up.

As aging movements with mushrooming problems within them they are afraid of SPLM’s war with itself becoming a catalyst for speeding up divisions in their own movements/parties forcing a wider change in the region. This is something that the dictators of East Africa do not want at any cost.

To them if a “liberation movement” like SPLM can destroy itself without it being supported to unite and restore normality, it follows that their own movements may face such fate. This is a scary scenario for the dictators. Thus they do not want to see SPLM’s demise acting as an inspiration to their own citizens who may be enduring oppression like the South Sudanese.

Every change comes with a new situation which sweeps the old order away. What the new order brings to the dictators and their supporters is loss of power together with the unknown. The unknown generates or evokes a state of uncertainty and fear. Fear disables people and this is what makes change unwelcome to them, especially when what is coming or replacing the old order is not mentally imagined favourably.

Change always comes with loss. The system being thrown out is a loss to its leaders and supporters (beneficiaries). Loss comes with its own difficulties. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (1926 – 2004) and others argue that loss occur in various situations. In death, and in separation of any sort temporary or permanent, it is met initially with denial, anger, and then blame before the final phase of acceptance when the inevitable is acknowledged. This is the bereavement process.

Now there are bereavement like situations that happen before the real loss. For instance, when somebody is struck with terminal illness like cancer. The moment the expected loss is announced, the intense pain resulting from the unexpected news bursts into denial, anger and blame and this may go on until the loss itself happens for the final part of the process of bereavement to be completed.

In politics such situation is very common because regimes and their supporters tend to know when their movements/parties’ decline and lose support of the masses; and also when the masses hate them and call for change as in the situation of South Sudan. When they sense this they basically sense atrophy of their beloved organisations and bereavement sets in.

They first begin to deny the reality and then angrily they move on to blame everybody for their predicament. This behaviour is now so common with the SPLM and its supporters. Just read the various comments in the South Sudanese websites to make full sense of the SPLMers bereaving. Their party is terminally ill and its health is fast deteriorating to death.

Therefore, the project of unification of SPLM started by Luka Biong and followed up by Ebony supported by IGAD is the initial process of bereavement. All of them are in denial of what is coming to SPLM as a “liberation movement”. They are in denial of SPLM’s already slow death.

They are in denial of the fact that SPLM does not represent the people of South Sudan. They are in denial that the people abhor the SPLM because it is a murderous organisation. They are in denial that the SPLM is a criminal organisation. They are in denial that the SPLM is divisive and has failed to govern. They are in denial that South Sudanese have other credible parties with capable leaders and so on and so forth.

Everything and everybody is to blame except the SPLM. This is the real problem of South Sudan under the mediation of IGAD. Unfortunately, IGAD and the other African countries like South Africa and Tanzania may not be aware of this blind spot because it is emanating from the unconscious mind of the organisation. They can not see it and they remain ignorant of it.

So, what can be gleaned from this behaviour of IGAD? The entire IGAD as an organisation may be depressed by the developing bereavement which may be affecting its ability to act rationally and objectively.

People familiar with knowledge of organisations as living entities afflictable by pathologies may easily see and understand the dynamics playing out here. This is the psycho-political perspective.

There is another perspective and that is the economic one whose core argument rests on the countries involved pursuing their own national interests only regardless of what happens to South Sudan. Please see ‘We must not hold South Sudan to ransom’ http://allafrica.com/stories/201410240119.html and ‘IGAD’s inadequate strategy in South Sudan’ whose URL appears above. Both perspectives appear not to offer South Sudan any hope as they do not take into consideration the welfare of South Sudan.

Given the above, IGAD should be pushed aside and a new body created to take the case of South Sudan forward. IGAD clearly is a pathological organisation needing help itself and should not be allowed to play havoc with fate of an entire country of approximately 8 million people.

Therefore, “Who will help South Sudan find peace?” The answer as stated is simple. South Sudanese have to help themselves to find peace. To understand why they must help themselves, South Sudanese need to familiarise themselves with ideas of Frederick Douglass (the American social reformer)in his historic speech, titled, “West Indian Emancipation” presented at Canandaigua, New York in 1857. For ease of reference here is the link http://www.blackpast.org/1857-frederick-douglass-if-there-no-struggle-there-no-progress

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]
Elhag Paul

elhagpaul@aol.com

Kiir and Machar should be arrested & sent to exile to save South Sudan

By MURITHI MUTIGA, DAILY NATION, MAR/07/2015, SSN;

This is simply a conflict between two small men — Salva Kiir and Riek Machar. They should be removed from the scene to allow their country to know peace. Fifty thousand killed. Close to a million displaced. All for what?

The war in South Sudan, which is well into its second year now, is a unique conflict because there is hardly a credible explanation for why the parties are fighting.

Many wars have some rational reason or at least an excuse for why the sides have chosen the path of armed conflict.

In South Sudan there is no grand reason. This is simply a conflict between two small men — Salva Kiir and Riek Machar.

They are both over six feet tall and have been around for decades. But the President and his former Vice-President have shown incredible short-sightedness and selfishness to lead the world’s youngest country, born amid so much hope, into a costly war.

These two men and their overblown egos simply could not agree how to share power.

In the event, they decided to turn to armed forces dominated by their own people, Kiir the Dinka and Machar the Nuer, in an attempt to hold or take power by whatever means.

The talks in Addis were always going to fail because, in attempting to impose the “Kenya solution” — power sharing between the main protagonists — the mediators failed to understand that the attitudes of the Kenyan and South Sudanese elite are very different.

The Kenyan power elite are the main stakeholders in the Kenyan economy. They can duel over power but ultimately do not want the country to burn because they will be the biggest losers.

And in Raila Odinga and Mwai Kibaki, Kenya was lucky to have two individuals who, in spite of the hard-line positions, were willing to back down and meet each other halfway.

LOOTED COFFERS

In South Sudan, the situation is completely different. After many long years of war, the parties that formed the government just decided to loot almost every single coin from the coffers without a care in the world for their impoverished country.

In May 2012, Salva Kiir, under pressure from donors, wrote a letter to 75 officials urging them to return $4 billion (Sh360 billion) they had stolen within just one year of independence.

And as research by the campaigning group Avaaz has shown, most of that wealth is invested in Kenya and Uganda, meaning the South Sudanese elite see little to lose by letting their country burn over a totally preventable conflict.

The casual approach to the peace talks was summed up by commentator Charles Onyango-Obbo who pointed out that the luxury hotels in which the talks were hosted regularly ran out of whisky and the delegates were claiming a daily per diem of $250 to attend talks aimed at bringing peace to their own country.

It is time for drastic solutions. Kiir and Machar will never work together and see no problem with burning their country if the prize is power for themselves.

They should be removed from the scene and, as a report reviewing the conflict has suggested, the nation ought to be placed under a transitional committee to stabilise it and set it on the path to being a functional state.

In colonial times, freedom fighters who the colonialists saw as trouble makers were routinely arrested and sent to faraway prisons on islands or remote corners of the country.

Jomo Kenyatta, the great Cyprian nationalist Makarios III and King Prempeh of the Ashanti kingdom are among those who endured this treatment.

In those days, of course, the colonialists were looting their domain and were the villains. In South Sudan, the new rulers of the independent nation are the villains and the looters.

They should be removed from the scene to allow their country to know peace. There are few stories that I have covered where the collective energy and euphoria of those in attendance was more electric than the Independence Day celebrations in Juba on July 9, 2011.

“We have experienced what it is to be a refugee,” Kiir told the crowd that day. “We hope that this has been our last war and that our people will never have to leave the country to flee from insecurity.”

He and Machar have crushed those hopes. They are villains who do not belong anywhere near power but in a lonely exile far away from a land which is full of promise but which is hostage to these two incompetent egotists.

mutiganews@gmail.com

The Leaked Excerpts of AU Commission of Inquiry’s Report & IGAD’s Threat of Imposing a Govt. in South Sudan

By: James Okuk, PhD, Juba Univ., MAR/07/2015, SSN;

On March 7, 2014 and based on decision of the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) and after consultations with different parties involved in the outbreak of the mid-December 2013 conflict, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma appointed a Five-Member Commission of Inquiry [i.e.
1) H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo – Former President of Nigeria,
2) Lady Justice Sophia A.B. Akuffo – Ghanaian and President and Justice of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights,
3) Professor Mahmood Mamdani – Ugandan and Executive Director of the Makerere Institute of Social Research,
4) Ms. Bineta Diop – Senegalese and AU Chairperson’s Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security; and
5) Professor Pacifique Manirakiza – Burundian and Commissioner at the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights] to “investigate the human rights violations and other abuses committed during the armed conflict in South Sudan, and make recommendations on the best ways and means to ensure accountability, reconciliation and healing among all South Sudanese communities” based on the designated terms of reference: [i.e.,

1) Establish the immediate and remote causes of the conflict;
2) Investigate human rights violations and other abuses during the conflict by all parties from 15 December 2013;
3) Establish facts and circumstances that may have led to and that amount to such violations and of any crimes that may have been perpetrated;
4) Compile information based on these investigations and in so doing assist in identifying perpetrators of such violations and abuses with a view to ensuring accountability for those responsible;
5) Compile information on institutions and process or lack thereof that may have aided or aggravated the conflict resulting in violations of human rights and other abuses;
6) Make recommendations based on the investigation on the following:
a) appropriate mechanisms to prevent a recurrence of the conflict;
b) mechanisms to promote national healing and cohesiveness, particularly focusing on the need for all South Sudanese communities to live together in peace;
c) modalities for nation building, specifically focused on building of democratic institutions and post-conflict reconstruction;
d) and accountability mechanisms for gross violations of human rights and other egregious abuses to ensure that those responsible for such violations are held to account].

The Technical and Administrative Support Team for the Commission was based at the AUC Headquarters in Addis Ababa. The Secretariat established necessary contacts with the AU Juba Liaison Office, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Juba, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and relevant stakeholders, so as to enable members of the Commission to amply carry out their mandate and finalize the required report.

The 60-page report was presented to the African Union’s Peace and Security Council on Jan 29, 2015 but restricted from publication so that it doesn’t spoil the atmosphere of IGAD-led peace talks. According to the excerpts from the leaked report by Reuters:

1) South Sudan’s president Kiir and his rival Riek be barred from transitional government because both of them are responsible for the political collapse in December 2013 and “the organized massacres and the large-scale violence that followed.” The violence “ethnically cleansed” the capital Juba of Nuer, who then sparked revenge attack. The conflict reopened ethnic fault lines, pitting Kiir’s Dinka people against Machar’s ethnic Nuer forces. The United Nations and aid agencies accuse both sides of Kiir and Riek of ethnic-based massacres and grave human rights violations including widespread rape and executions.

2) Ministers who were in power prior to cabinet’s dissolution in July 2013 “be barred from participation in the transitional executive” because they were accomplices in Kiir-Riek conflict and could have been involved in corrupt practices against the development and welfare of the Republic of South Sudan.

3) An AU-appointed and U.N.-backed three-person panel to effectively control and oversee a five-year transition and creation of an executive for South Sudan that would place all oil revenue in an escrow account overseen by the African Development Bank.

4) An African Oversight Force for South Sudan made up of troops “without prior involvement or direct interest in South Sudan” that would be under AU command and “the overall charge” of a U.N. peacekeeping mission.

5) The African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights, instead of the International Criminal Court, be given criminal jurisdiction over “high state officials individually responsible for war crimes and/or gross violation of human rights.”

6) United States, Britain, Norway and IGAD are to blame for creating “a politically unchallenged armed power” and “unaccountable political class” who have been acting with impunity and legitimized “rule of the gun” in South Sudan through the 2005 CPA deal. Particularly, the United States supported Kiir until it lost confidence in him in late 2013. Washington had hoped he could oversee a stable, oil-producing, majority Christian state allied to the West in contrast to neighboring Muslim-led Sudan, which is hostile to Washington.

Now, by trying to connect the dots for sensibility of the report, you could detect from March 6, 2015 press release by the Ethiopian Prime Minister and Chair of IGAD after declaring the collapse of the latest session of Government-SPLM/A (IO) peace talks in Addis Ababa, that the region together with the UN could impose ‘by all means’ a transitional government for South Sudan by July 2015 (perhaps including the Cote d’Ivoire President Laurent Gbagbo ousting model, justified by his illegitimacy in holding power beyond elections mandate and Angola Jonas Sabimbi’s crushing model, justified by his intransigency on continuous rebellion).

This might mean that the recommended joint AU-U.N ‘trusteeship’ would be effected to oversee a five-year transition and creation of an executive for the Republic of South Sudan and place oil revenue in an escrow account overseen by the African Development Bank.

It could be sensed that such AU-UN sovereign controllers would rule the country in collaboration with some selected South Sudanese technocrats. What is yet to be known in details is whether the proposed AU-UN panel that shall be handed sovereignty of South Sudan would be doing it by ‘remote or proximity control.’

It shall be impossible for one country to have many governments claiming the same sovereign power at the same time. That is, how will the AU-UN imposed government operate inside the country successfully side-by-side with Dr. Riek Machar’s declared federal bush-government and with President Salva Kiir’s city-government?

How would South Sudanese technocrats who shall participate in such imposed alien government be perceived by the public? May be betrayers versus patriots, depending on where someone who judges stands.

The possible aliens’ intervention into the Republic of South Sudan is now imminent if our leaders don’t come into their proper senses and see politics clearly the way critical analysts see it. “By all means” would then mean including military takeover of the government of South Sudan by AU-UN peacekeeping forces and crushing the rebels’ government if it doesn’t comply with peace that is imposed by the superpowers.

Surely, our political leaders are to blame for this unfortunate situation of opening the country to aliens’ intervention. This would have not come if the internal front of all legal political forces were united for securing the dignity of their country. The price of disunity is always fall and collapse of sovereignty, nationalism and patriotism. We might even reach a day to say “there was a country” called South Sudan, God forbids!

However, perhaps, the stalled IGAD peace talks is going to be a blessing in disguise for the serious and concerned nationalists of the Republic of South Sudan (intellectuals, politicians, religious leaders, civil society leaders and ethnic sages) to rethink out alternative internal avenues of finding a lasting peace and rescuing the hard won independence dignity of the Republic of South Sudan from aliens’ or betrayers’ grabs.

The IGAD mediation deadlock on peace negotiations could open a ripen opportune for an urgent calling of an inclusive national peace and governance conference in Juba before the AU and UN reach the tipping point of taking over the country from both the government and the rebels by July 2015.

It could be learning by hard ways after our leaders have knocked their heads on hard walls of tough choices between war and peace, and after they have gotten humiliated and chickened by threats of sanctions. Keep crying my beloved country!

It is now time for the honest nationalists of the Republic of South Sudan to come together as soon as possible and deliberate on available avenues of securing a dignified fate of their beloved and embattled country, before giving a foolish chance to outsiders to decide for them via regrets.

It is high time to abandon politicized selfishness and embrace altruism for the common good of the new nation in the making.

———————————————-
Dr. James Okuk is a lecturer and political analyst in the area of politics. He can be reached at okukjimy@hotmail.com.

Exclusive: Bar South Sudan Kiir & Machar from transition govt – AU Inquiry draft

Exclusive: Bar South Sudan leaders from transition – inquiry draft
Reuters News | Mar 05, 2015, SSN

By Michelle Nichols and Aaron Maasho;

(Reuters) – LATEST: Peace talks between South Sudan’s government and rebels adjourned on Friday and there was no date set for the next meeting, a mediation official said.

UNITED NATIONS/ADDIS ABABA – A much-anticipated African Union inquiry calls for South Sudan’s president and his rival, Riek Machar, to be barred from a transitional government and for the oil-producing country to effectively be placed under AU control, say sources and a draft of the report.

The recommendations are directly at odds with a peace deal being negotiated that would retain Salva Kiir as president and appoint rebel leader Riek Machar as deputy. The two are holding talks this week in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on forming a unity government.

Fighting between forces loyal to Kiir and rebels allied with Machar plunged South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, into a civil war in December 2013. At least 10,000 people have been killed and 1.5 million civilians displaced.

The inquiry blamed the United States, Britain and Norway for creating “a politically unchallenged armed power” by backing a 2005 peace deal that “ushered in an unaccountable political class”.

The findings were to be presented to the African Union’s Peace and Security Council on Jan. 29 but the body shelved publication of the report. The inquiry’s findings have not been released due to fears its publication could disrupt peace negotiations, say diplomats in the 54-state African Union.

Reuters obtained a 60-page draft of the inquiry, which a source close to the five-member inquiry panel said was produced in October. The same recommendations of barring Kiir and Machar from a transitional government were included in a new draft in January, the sources told Reuters.

Kiir sacked Machar as his deputy in July 2013, sparking the crisis. The United Nations and aid agencies accuse both sides of ethnic-based massacres and grave human rights violations including widespread rape and executions.

The United States supported Kiir until it lost confidence in him in late 2013. Washington had hoped he could oversee a stable, oil-producing, majority Christian state allied to the West in contrast to neighboring Muslim-led Sudan, which is hostile to Washington.

The conflict reopened ethnic fault lines, pitting Kiir’s Dinka people against Machar’s ethnic Nuer forces.

The violence “ethnically cleansed” the capital Juba of Nuer, who then sparked revenge attacks, said the draft of the inquiry obtained by Reuters.

The inquiry, led by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, holds Kiir and Machar responsible for the political collapse in December 2013 and “the organized massacres and the large-scale violence that followed.”

“RULE OF THE GUN”

The draft recommended that members of the South Sudan government, including the president, vice president and ministers in power before the cabinet’s dissolution in July 2013 “be barred from participation in the transitional executive.”

It called for an AU-appointed and U.N.-backed three-person panel to oversee a five-year transition and the creation of a transitional executive that would place all oil revenue in an escrow account overseen by the African Development Bank.

It recommended the creation of an African Oversight Force made up of troops “without prior involvement or direct interest in South Sudan” that would be under AU command and “the overall charge” of a U.N. peacekeeeping mission.

It does not specify how many troops would make up the force. There are already some 11,500 U.N. peacekeepers in South Sudan.

Fighting has continued despite a truce signed a month ago by Kiir and Machar, who aim to form a transitional government of national unity by July 9. The current peace talks in Addis Ababa will extend beyond a Thursday deadline set by mediators.

The inquiry blamed some of South Sudan’s problems on the United States, Britain, Norway and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, an eight-country Eastern African trading bloc known as IGAD, who were behind a 2005 deal paving the way for South Sudan’s 2011 independence from Sudan.

It said they helped to establish “a politically unchallenged armed power in South Sudan” that acted with impunity and legitimized “rule of the gun.”

Officials from the United States and Britain declined to comment on a document they said they had not seen. Officials from South Sudan, IGAD and Norway were not immediately available for comment.

The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday urged public release of the findings. The United States, Britain and Norway last month called for the report’s release.

The draft obtained by Reuters recommends that the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights, instead of the International Criminal Court, be given criminal jurisdiction over “high state officials individually responsible for war crimes and/or gross violation of human rights.”

(Additional reporting by Louis Charbonneau; Editing by David Storey, Jason Szep and James Dalgleish)

UN Security Council OKs sanctions for South Sudan

New York – (NEWS 24), MAR/04/2015, SSN; The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on Tuesday creating a system to impose sanctions on those blocking peace in South Sudan, hoping it will press rival leaders into ending a conflict that has killed tens of thousands in the world’s newest country.

The Secretary-General takes note of the unanimous passage of Resolution 2206 (2015) by the Security Council this morning, establishing a sanctions regime on South Sudan. He reminds both parties that the best way to avoid the enactment of actual sanctions by the Security Council, is to strictly adhere to the Cessation of Hostilities agreement of 23 January 2014, fully comply with International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, extend their full cooperation to United Nations and humanitarian personnel in the discharge of their mandates and duties, and conclude a Comprehensive Peace Agreement that places South Sudan back on the path to stability and prosperity.

The resolution drafted by the United States says an arms embargo is possible if the warring sides can’t stick to a peace deal. Talks between the government and rebels continue this week in Ethiopia, with a Thursday deadline to reach a decisive peace agreement.

“Those who frustrate peace must begin to pay the price,” US Ambassador Samantha Power said.

The resolution doesn’t explicitly name South Sudan President Salva Kiir or rebel leader Riek Machar as possible targets for sanctions that would include an asset freeze and travel ban, but it says people affected could include “leaders of any entity”.

Peace talks

Multiple cease-fires in South Sudan have failed during more than a year of fighting that has had ethnic overtones. Two million people have been displaced.

South Sudan’s rebels on Tuesday warned that the latest peace talks could fail if the government does not make concessions, especially on the issue of how to share power in a possible unity government. Kiir arrived in Ethiopia early Tuesday to attend direct talks with Machar.

The resolution comes after months of threats by the US and others to impose sanctions over the conflict, though some countries had wanted more support for the idea from regional actors such as the African Union. As time passed, international calls for action grew.

The UN director for Human Rights Watch, Philippe Bolopion, welcomed Tuesday’s approval after months of hesitation but said, “The elephant in the room is the long overdue arms embargo, sadly absent from this resolution”.

Monitoring groups have described South Sudan as being awash in weapons after its long fight to split from Sudan ended in its independence in 2011.

Power sharing agreement

South Sudan’s UN ambassador, Francis Deng, quickly warned the council that sanctions would be counterproductive, especially as the country’s people suffer. “What the president and the government of South Sudan need is encouragement and support, not condemnation,” he said.

Deng said he hoped the council will not actually impose sanctions.

Russia’s support was grudging at best. Deputy Permanent Representative Petr Iliichev said the decision to impose sanctions was hasty and that any negative effects of Tuesday’s action should be blamed on those who pushed the resolution in spite of Russia’s warnings.

“Pushing the protagonists into a corner will not change anything” and will further complicate the peace process, he said.

China’s ambassador spoke out on Friday against the resolution, saying he saw no logic in it, but Liu Jieyi on Tuesday simply expressed his hope that the warring sides would quickly reach a compromise. China’s interest is focused on South Sudan’s oil production.

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement on Tuesday night urged Kiir and Machar to show leadership and “make the necessary compromises” for a power-sharing agreement that would help end the conflict.

– AP

Machar shouldn’t be rewarded with position of first vice-president: Kiir

By: Fred Oluoch, NATION REPORTER, FEB/28/2015, SSN;

As the South Sudan peace process continues in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, President SALVA KIIR spoke with The EastAfrican at State House in Juba.

QUESTION-1: You have often complained about Igad mediators unnecessarily postponing talks even when the two parties are making progress. Do you believe Igad can successfully mediate a lasting peace?

Pres. Kiir: If they don’t change the current tactics which they are using, then they will not bring peace. Whenever there is a recess and the parties go back to their principals for consultations, they always have the agenda which was on the table.

But when the parties resume discussions with full briefing from their principals, the mediators often shelve the agenda that was on the table and bring new issues which the two protagonist parties did not consult about. Such an approach cannot bring peace.

QUESTION-2: As the president of South Sudan, why do you think your country is facing an internal war only three years after Independence?

KIIR: The conflict came as a result of personal ambitions of individuals who wanted to take power by illegal means because they were afraid that they would not be elected if they went to the people. They opted for a military coup; when they failed; they transformed themselves into a guerrilla insurgency.

Q-3: Your close associates have categorically said that Dr Riek Machar can never be your number two. Are you ready to work with Dr Machar without reservation or retribution?

KIIR: Well, my personal position and that of my party is that Dr Machar should not be the First Vice President. He can come in as number three like what was agreed on in Addis Ababa last August. He wanted the position of prime minster and I accepted despite the fact that we don’t have it in the Constitution.

But when the proposed government structure was put forward by the mediators, they put president, vice president, prime minister, two deputies and then the council of ministers. Dr Machar rejected it because he wanted to be an executive prime minister who will exercise all the powers in the country and the president becomes ceremonial. He was told ‘no, because this was an elected executive president.’

If you want to be an executive prime minister or president, then you wait for elections and keep out of this government.’ He wanted to share executive powers with the president and yet these powers were given by the people.

Q-4: The Arusha Accord of January 21, talked about reforms within SPLM as a way forward. Do you think the fighting could have been avoided if SPLM had initiated internal reforms earlier as had been demanded by Dr Machar’s group?

KIIR: Talks of internal reforms are not new because we have been talking about reforms in the SPLM even when we were fighting Khartoum. But the problem is that many of the people who are now spearheading the rebellion were not part of the movement and were co-operating with Khartoum. So they know less about SPLM than those of us who stayed.

Q-5: Do you believe the Arusha Accord that seeks to reunite the three factions of SPLM can be used as a stepping stone for a final peace settlement?

Kiir: I believe that it laid the foundation people can work from, if all of us are sincere about the wellbeing of South Sudan. But that is not what Dr Machar wants. He wants by all means to be the president and if he cannot get it on the negotiating table, then he has the military option to defeat the government and take over government

Q-6: It has been said that you also strongly believe in a military option.

Kiir: Well, I don’t believe in a military option because I have been fighting for many years and I know the difficulties of war. When we were fighting the Sudan government, Dr Machar was in Khartoum after rebelling against Dr John Garang in 1991 — just like he did in 2013. Slaughtering innocent civilians and later on enjoying the support of Khartoum and he was fighting us as the militia of Sudan.

But all the same, he was hoping that Khartoum would defeat us, which did not happen. So he decided to surrender fully, signed an agreement with Khartoum and became number four in the hierarchy of the National Congress Party. So he does not understand the dynamics of the war.

Q-7: Do you believe that this final session of the Addis Ababa peace talks will bring a lasting peace?

KIIR: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development [Igad] can only bring the conflict to an end if it can differentiate between coup plotters and normal conflict. The problem is that Igad is treating the coup plotters as innocent people who simply protested against the government, yet there was nothing wrong with the government.

We did not differ on our objectives or any issue. We were discussing internal issues within the ruling Sudan’s People Liberation Movement (SPLM). So the group which was not contented with whatever was happening in government, because they found themselves out of the government, resorted to violence. But the mediators in Addis Ababa are not taking these issues into account.

Q-8:Are you saying the issues of the coup and rebellion should be highlighted and not mixed up with the need to stop the fighting and people’s suffering?

KIIR: The situation in South Sudan is different, for instance, from what happened in Kenya in 2007/2008 where violence was caused by the results of the elections. That is why the region came in to talk about power-sharing between Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga. This was definitely a conflict over the results of the elections but in our case, it was a coup.

Where in the world is somebody who planned a coup brought in to share power that he wanted to take wholly for himself?

Q-9: South Sudan has applied to be a member of the East African Community. But some in your government are wary that this could stifle the growth of the manufacturing sector. What is your position?

Kiir: I believe that joining the EAC has benefits. We are not producing anything besides the oil, but we believe that we can contribute to the EAC because we have abundant fertile land yet we have no capacity to engage in commercial agriculture for export.

People in other EAC countries have the technology and the capacity to do that. I believe agriculture will uplift the livelihood of our people, so the people who have fears will later on understand that joining EAC is in their best interest. END
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LATEST: South Sudanese Pres. Salva Kiir says he will not accept Dr Riek Machar, who led a rebellion against him, as the first vice-president in the current peace negotiations.

In an exclusive interview with The EastAfrican from State House, Juba, Pres. Kiir said he would only agree to Dr Machar coming in at position three as the second vice-president or non-executive prime minister.

PERSONAL POSITION

“My personal position and the position of my party is that Machar should not be the first-vice president. He can come in as number three as agreed in Addis Ababa in August last year. He wanted the position of prime minister and I accepted, despite the fact that we don’t have it in the Constitution.

“But when the pecking order was put forward by the mediators, they had the president, vice-president, prime minister, two deputies and council of ministers. Machar rejected it because he wanted to be an executive prime minister who will exercise all the powers and the president becomes ceremonial. He was told ‘no’, because this was an elected executive president. If you want to be an executive prime minister or president, then you wait for elections and keep out of this government. He wanted to share executive powers with the president and yet these powers were given by the people,” Mr Kiir said.

President Kiir added that the Igad talks in Addis Ababa after violence broke out in South Sudan in December 2013, could only end the conflict if the mediators acknowledged that Dr Machar’s men were “coup plotters”.

He also spoke about the pressure from regional leaders and his views on claims that Kenya supports the Machar group.

In Summary
President Kiir added that the Igad talks in Addis Ababa after violence broke out in South Sudan in December 2013, could only end the conflict if the mediators acknowledged that Dr Machar’s men were “coup plotters”.

In an exclusive interview with The EastAfrican from State House, Juba, President Kiir said he would only agree to Dr Machar coming in at position three as the second vice-president or non-executive prime minister.

(From The EastAfrican)