Category: Featured

Dr. Riek Machar Should Leave Politics for his Safety and the Nuer People

By John Adoor Deng, Australia, JUL/27/2016, SSN;

Having read through the lines, in and out, about the current conflict in South Sudan, I have come to the conclusion that at least the best way out of this serious situation is for Dr. Riek Machar Teny to sacrifice his political ambition and temporarily quit politics altogether.

This may sound odd to many hardliners on both sides of the political divide, especially the SPLM-IO supporters and presumably the FDs (former detainees) whose lifeline depends on IO victory. The following paragraphs shall illustrate why I came to this conclusion.

Indeed after thorough debates in my mind and after having seen and read the trends on which the conflict continues to turn each day in South Sudan, the following elucidations helped inform my inherent conclusions:

Firstly, the war is unwinnable in all aspects especially on the side of SPLA/M-IO and to some extent on the SPLA/M- IG as well. It is a baseless war, aims to achieve nothing but to notoriously kill, maim civilians, destroy properties and rob generations once again from gaining literacy and early childhood education.

Previously, we had lost generations into extreme illiteracy in civil wars; the war kills education opportunities, destroy infrastructure and germinate obnoxious hatred and mistrust among the elite themselves.

Recent wars have taught us to believe this, former enemies never in totality live in complete harmony. For instance, the atrocities of 1991 conflict are being sung and used as intimidation against those believed to have engineered them.

Although the bygones are gone through reconciliation, it is still the case in South Sudan.

Secondly, in the African context, conflicts are not won between brothers; the only winning point for each of the protagonists is reconciliation.

The war between Dinka and Nuer plus their acquaintances will only in my view be won by reconciliation and not in effect through the barrel of the gun as some generals may want to believe. The usage of artillery and bombing usage against each group in this conflict only serves to depopulate our country and leave unredeemed scars on our future generations.

Thirdly, the nature of contemporary Nuer people is rigorously characterized by defections and non-stick-ability on the perceived collective goal. This is true on how Dr. Riek Machar in most of his founded rebellions suffered rapid re-defections.

The data is replete with his followers changing allegiances at each of the critical time of his rebellion. For example, in the 1991 rebellion engineered by Dr Lam Akol and led by Dr Riek Machar, many officers from the Nuer tribe deserted their man to the mercy of SPLA/SPLM led by Dr John Garang De Mabior but were so kind to fully forgive him, and embrace him as his brother through true reconciliation.

History has repeated itself in the 2013 crisis, although many analysts believed that there wasn’t a planned coup at all but instead a mismanaged mutiny in the presidential guards unit.

Dr. Machar, for the second time, found himself exposed to a mounting another rebellion, which he had indeed led since 2013 to Aug 2016, that ended with IGAD brokered Agreement in what later became a short-lived and dishonored peace deal.

Again, for the third time, in July 2016, Dr. Machar has found himself exiled from the capital, Juba. Less than a month later, his close associate, Mr. Taban Deng Gai (his close relative) has taken up his position in a bloodless coup although some people are calling it a survival strategy by barricaded ministers at the wrath of roaring SPLA/M-IG.

Nevertheless, it true that some Machar’s appointed ministers in the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU) have turned against him with the view that it is business as usual without Dr. Machar.

His contemporary acquired the spirit of a non-shameless notion of re-defection referred to earlier s has fallen on those of Taban Deng Gai and Ambassador Ezekiel Lol Garkuoth, who were until the recent days the very men at Dr. Machar‘s left hand (Machar is left-handed).

Fourthly, Dr. Machar forces may not at this stage win this third conflict given the sound realities; i.e. the government forces have considerable numbers and are well resourced with the backup from Uganda People Defence Force (UPDF).

He is likely to fight three enemies; SPLA-IG, SPLA-IO-Juba and external force in the form of UPDF. Thus for his own safety and for the safety of his remaining loyal Nuer members, he must quit politics temporarily as a matter of a long time strategy.

This pull back in my view may help spare innocent lives of Nuer people who might, if this war continues, be killed, bombed and displaced.

Ironically, the trust based on International Bodies (AU, IGADD, and UN) is certainly not a guarantee in for Dr. Machar’s survival and his factions. The Rwanda case is a good example of the profound failure of International Community.

Therefore, I believe that a decision to rescue this conflict and bring it to an end once and all rests with Machar relinquishing of his quest for power in South Sudan.

Although it is his democratic right, the prevailing situation in our young nation makes it fervently difficult to apply conventional realities.

The Dinka people who rarely change allegiances have at this point rallied around President Kiir, whether through the influence of the recent known politically notorious group referred to as Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) or through tribal bonds.

It is hard at this juncture and in the near future to think of taking leadership by opposition to the Dinka governing elites (this may sound tribal but these are the facts on the surface).

It may sound like giving up or surrendering position but in essence, it is the best option out of the mess. Dr. Machar has engendered enemies both within IO Juba faction, FDs and obviously SPLA Juba who all really want him buried.

The Taban’s faction may be more dangerous to Dr. Machar’s survival than SPLA-IG. There may be a plan of a close proximity assassination of Machar filtering through in the SPLA-IO-in-the-Bush.

Thus, there is a high possibility for the resumption of Nuer against Nuer conflict emerging as it has always been.

Finally, sometimes when rams fight, they pull back to gain momentum, consolidate power and later on apply the power.

To give Dr. Riek Machar the benefit of the doubt, he appeared to have learned his lessons from the past; he too is seen as a leader who can take the nation forward in terms of development. He is fairer in power distribution as illustrated in the allocation of his 10 ministries.

All regions of South Sudan were well equitably represented in his IO part of the government, unlike president Salva who in most of his appointments appreciates seeing his giant Dinka community equitably represented first plus pockets of other communities.

Significant contrast may be drawn between these two leaders. The circumstance as I had alluded to in previous paragraphs dictates Dr. Machar to defer his quest for leadership until when the dust settled and that there is peace and tranquility in the country. END

Mr. John Adoor Deng is the author of the book entitled: Politics of Ethnicity and Governance in South Sudan: Understanding the Complexity of the World’s Newest Country.
He is a student studying a Doctor of Philosophy at Torrens University of Australia (TUA). He can be reached at dengjohn780@gmail.com

The consequences of the South Sudan government’s violence

BY: ELHAJ Paul, JUL/20/2016, SSN;

The implosion of SPLM/A with its factions in Juba from 7th July 2016 to 11th July 2016, was not an unexpected thing. That it would happen was not a matter of if, but when, and indeed it happened much earlier than expected. South Sudanese warned the world and kept beating the alert drums consistently, but all these as usual fell on deaf ears.

The chairman of Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission who should have heeded the warning certainly ignored the messages and now we have chaos in the South Sudan.

Now that things have slightly settled down following the cease fire, it is time to do some thinking on the whole thing. In this process it is important to acknowledge the pains inflicted on the country by actions of a grossly negligent government.

All of us the South Sudanese in one way or another are deeply hurt by loss of loved ones, and traumatised by witnessing the savagery in Juba that went on for those four days. For those of us who survived the Juba carnage of 1965, this brutality awakens a deeper and hidden pain in us.

What makes it worse is that the Juba Carnage happened on exactly the same day: Friday 8th July. Note everything is the same except for the year.

As a survivor of that grave crime against the people of South Sudan, I have sadly come to accept that extreme evil exists in all societies. The naive and racially biased judgement we doled out to the Arabs was full of ignorance. For the savagery of President Salva Kiir’s government far exceeds what the Arabs had done in South Sudan.

This piece attempts to examine the consequences of the South Sudanese government’s violence against its people that has thrown the country into chaos.

If President Kiir, the Jieng Council of Elders and their Chief of the army General Paul Malong Awan Anei thought that by attempting to assassinate Dr Riek Machar they would strengthen their political grip on the country, they no doubt must have miscalculated.

With or without Dr Machar their half baked plan would not bring peace. If anything it would lead to further destabilisation of the country.

It is not rocket science to work out that if Dr Machar disappears from the scene the Agreement for Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) would still have to be implemented. What then is the point in trying to assassinate Dr Machar, if this is not personal tribal hatred?

In the process of this evil plan, the government has plunged the country into a crisis inviting possible foreign intervention to the government’s dismay. The United Nations response to the crisis in questions appears to be heading in that direction.

Now there are three variant perspectives competing to shape the future of South Sudan. The first is made up of those who strongly recommend trusteeship as the only solution to address the chronic failure of leadership in Juba.

The second group is made up of those who advocate partial intervention to save ARCISS, and the third group is made up of supporters of the government who do not support intervention of any nature. If anything they want President Kiir to continue with violation of ARCISS to appoint a Machar replacement.

The advocates of trusteeship include Professor Mahmood Mamdani, Dr Remember Miamingi, Dr Lako Jada Kwajok and others. This group has made a compelling case that can not simply be brushed aside.

Mamdani in his YouTube video, ’South Sudan was not ready for Independence’, thinks that “politically this authority [South Sudan] should be led by somebody who has both the experience, and the vision, and the confidence of everybody concerned.

In my [Mamdani’s] view there is one party, which is the AU High Panel in the Sudan led by former president Thabo Mbeki.” (https://uk.search.yahoo.com/search?fr=mcafee&type=B214GB642D20110806&p=south+sudan+was+not+ready+for+independence)

Although Mamdani’s argument is powerful for the case of trusteeship, his conclusion quoted above falls short of acknowledging and accepting that there are capable South Sudanese who can actually competently with confidence lead South Sudan, for example, Fr Paride Taban.

Dr Miamingi in conversation with Ivan Okuda of the Monitor newspaper under the heading, ‘South Sudan as a state was still born’, equally makes a powerful case of intervention for a hybrid administration consisting of local and foreign people.

He sums it as follows: “This country has failed and won’t work unless the following happens: first, an international military intervention to secure the country and protect civilians.

Second, the replacement of the failed government in Juba with a hybrid administration of South Sudanese technocrats supported by our brothers from the region and international community. This transitional arrangement will reconcile, heal, foster accountability, restore order, hand it a constitution and after that process organise elections with guaranteed sanity.” (http://www.monitor.co.ug/Magazines/PeoplePower/South-Sudan-as-a-state-was-stillborn/-/689844/3298006/-/rv8c42/-/index.html)

Dr Kwajok expressing the view of the majority of South Sudanese in his article titled, ‘United Nations Trusteeship is the best option to resolve the crisis in South Sudan’, points out that “There is a growing consensus among a significant number of South Sudanese that supports UN takeover of the country until it’s able to function as a viable state. A 5-year period under UN Trusteeship would give the country the chance to start afresh on sound foundations.” (http://www.southsudannation.com/united-nations-trusteeship-is-the-best-option-to-resolve-the-crisis-in-south-sudan/)

The second group wants to see the implementation of the peace agreement resume with both President Kiir and Dr Machar working together. The group consist of the United Nations, IGAD and the Troika.

The Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr Ban Ki Moon advancing this view in his response to the crisis recommended to ‘the Council (UNSC) to take action on three fronts:
=== impose an immediate arms embargo on South Sudan,
=== enact additional targeted sanctions on leaders and commanders blocking the implementation of the peace agreement, and
=== fortify UNMISS with “desperately needed” attack helicopters and other material to fulfil the mandate to protect civilians.’ (http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=54434#.V41JaNQrLs0) Equally both IGAD and the Troika called for the same. (http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article59587)

The third group is that of the government and its supporters who want the status quo to continue. The Jieng Council of Elders is already issuing out threats against any intervention. Please see, ‘Dinka Council of Elders warns war over additional UNMISS troops’, (https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/dinka-council-elders-warns-war-over-additional-unmiss-troops). This group should be ignored. They have already failed spectacularly and they have nothing to offer the country.

Those arguing for trusteeship no doubt have made strong and valid points that South Sudan one way or other needs to be pulled out of the mud it is deeply stuck in.

Their recommendations however ignore a hidden reality in South Sudanese politics, which is that the country actually has knowledgeable and competent leaders to lead it, the reason these leaders have not surfaced is because of SPLM/A’s violence towards leaders from other ethnicities.

They have not asked the question: Is it true that South Sudan does not have the necessary leaders? If they did, they perhaps would have come up with the right answer.

Mamdani’s recommendation is outright contemptuous of South Sudan and its people. He parachutes Mr Mbeki as the qualified person to fix South Sudan without taking into consideration that leaders like his nominee, are currently failing South Sudan.

What have the foreigners with impeccable governance credentials appointed to manage the current agreement done? Are they any more of a success than the failed South Sudanese leadership? How has the implementation of ARCISS led to chaos under their watch?

All the signs for impending troubles were in their face, what did they do? Mamdani presents a paradox himself in his video where he acknowledges the failure of the international community.

On the other hand, placing hope on ARCISS and spending energy to salvage it is a dead end. It will not work. What is needed now is for the two perspectives of those supporting intervention to be merged to give birth to a totally new approach that breaks the backbone of the cancer – SPLM/A with its various factions once and for all, in order for peace to come to South Sudan.

Therefore, the international community as recommended should intervene to separate the SPLM-IG and SPLM-IO and demilitarise the capital. Once the capital is demilitarised and security is restored, the intervention force takes over the security of the capital for the entire duration of the interim period.

This should then be followed by the dissolution of the Transitional Government of National Unity of President Kiir and Dr Machar.

A national Unity conference should then be organised composed of all the registered parties, registered civil societies, faith based groups, and the Diaspora supported by one of ‘The Elders’ (www.theelders.org), preferably Kofi Annan with the main objective to choose a new transitional government whose agenda includes the main provisions of ARCISS.

This new administration must be a product owned by the South Sudanese people, to dispel the propaganda of the JCE and their song of sovereignty aimed at elevating themselves fraudulently. It also should avoid the shenanigans and bias of IGAD Plus during their mediation of ARCISS.

South Sudan’s parliament should not play any role in this process because:

1) It is not a legitimate body. All the MPs like President Kiir himself were not voted in by the South Sudanese people in an independent South Sudan.
2) They failed to play their role in holding the executive to account since 2005.
3) A good number of the MPs are nominees of the already proven failed leaders that have plunged the country into the abyss. The people of South Sudan through the mentioned organisations should now make the decision of who should run the country on behalf of the people.

In conclusion, South Sudan has been hijacked by the SPLM/A, and it has been abused to an extent that the only way out now is partial intervention.

If the international community truly wants to support the people of South Sudan as it claims, then they need to provide the needed security and safe environment for South Sudanese to exercise their collective sovereignty. This surely is not much to ask for…

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

United Nations Trusteeship is the best option to resolve the crisis in South Sudan

BY: Dr. Lako JADA KWAJOK, UK, JUL/16/2016, SSN;

To many South Sudanese, the 9th of July each year is a day for joy and magnificent celebrations all over the country. There is nothing unusual about such expectations in a day that marks our independence following a protracted war that resulted in massive losses of human lives, material, and a consequent underdevelopment of the country.

People were filled with dismay following the cancellation of the 2016 anniversary because of lack of funds. But never in a million years did anyone envisage that the gates of hell would open in South Sudan on the very day it gained its independence.

The deadly clash outside the Presidential Palace (J1) in Juba on Friday 08/07/2016 was the final nail in the coffin of trust between the two parties; SPLM/A-IO and SPLM/A-IG. The triggering event was the killing of Lt. Colonel George Gismala and Sgt. Domach Koat Pinyien on 02/07/2016 by elements of the National Security Service (NSS) and Military Intelligence (MI).

From there, the tension between the two sides escalated significantly and culminated in a further shooting incident on 07/07/2016. It was obvious to sharp observers that SPLM/A-IG has opted for war and the shooting of the two SPLM/A-IO military men were the first shots in it.

In the aftermath of the carnage at J1, President Kiir stated that he does not know who was behind it. Reports indicate that a large force came from nowhere and attacked the SPLM/A-IO guards deployed outside the presidential palace.

It appeared to be a coordinated attack with the presidential guards already positioned outside J1 joining the “unknown force” in the fight against SPLM/A-IO guards. Only a person with remarkable naivety would believe that President Kiir has nothing to do with what happened.

Even if we give him the benefit of the doubt, how could the attack on SPLM/A-IO headquarters and Machar’s residence the next day, be explained? Is there anyone on planet Earth who believes that thousands of army troops supported by artillery units, tanks, and helicopter gunships could launch such a major offensive without the blessing and knowledge of the Commander in Chief?

The regime, in its moment of madness never spared a thought for the consequences of its actions. Suppose Kiir and his supporters succeeded in wiping out the entire SPLM/A-IO leadership – what then? Would South Sudan attain a lasting peace?

The regime seems to hold the erroneous belief that its problems are caused by certain personalities, therefore, neutralising or liquidating these individuals would pave the way for the consolidation of its rule over South Sudan.

But it’s up against the reality that the overwhelming majority of the people are behind the opposition, hence, there will never be any shortage in filling up any vacant leadership position.

The fact that these ugly events took place around independence day, sent a message to the whole world that South Sudan lacks responsible leadership. Those who have been sceptical regarding South Sudan becoming an independent state now feel vindicated.

However, the fact of the matter isn’t that the South Sudanese communities are incompatible with each other or unable to coexist peacefully. They have been living together as tribal communities neighbouring each other for centuries.

There hadn’t been any hostilities in our ancient past on the scale we are witnessing now. The majority of the populace are law-abiding and peace-loving people.

The unfortunate reality is that the country is being misruled by a bunch of sadistic leaders who do not give a damn about the future of the country.

Self-enrichment through rampant corruption, targeting of political rivals and adherence to a divisive policy on ethnic lines are the reasons that landed the country in the current predicament. The regime has utterly failed in all aspects of good governance.

Calling it a government is a sort of a misnomer as there is no government in the world where civil servants, teachers, university lecturers and soldiers do not receive salaries for 3 to 4 months. It even resorted to the medieval practice whereby soldiers are allowed to rape and loot as part of dividing the spoils or payment for their services.

There is a difference though as the victims in the medieval era were subjects of conquered countries and not citizens of the same country.

Not long ago, India today TV station and several news outlets reported that the government of South Sudan sanctioned its soldiers to rape and loot as payment for their salaries. These abominable acts were confirmed by Human Rights Watch (HRW) and several relief organisations – what a disgrace!

The second misnomer is the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) which is said to be the national army of South Sudan. The name itself creates a paradox as on one hand South Sudan chose secession from Sudan and on the other it continues to use the name that relates to Sudan.

The SPLA is anything but a national army. It’s composed overwhelmingly of one ethnicity, the Jieng, making it a tribal army. It lacks discipline, training, structured chain of command and standard rules of engagement. It often resorts to looting, destruction of properties and extrajudicial killings.

Following the recent ceasefire in Juba, the whole world witnessed how the SPLA ransacked Juba markets, private homes and properties belonging to citizens. Even the UN World Food Programme (WFP) central warehouse in Juba was not spared by the unruly SPLA soldiers.

The WFP has been delivering vital services to the needy population of South Sudan and presumably saved many lives.

What took place is not the behaviour people would expect from a national army. Those soldiers brought nothing but shame and disdain on South Sudan.

We must remember that President Kiir and the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) lost legitimacy on 09/07/2014. Signing the Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) restored their legitimacy for the purpose of implementing the peace accord.

Apparently, the recent hostilities have dealt ARCISS a fatal blow. Anyone who thinks that there is hope in enacting ARCISS is only burying his or her head in the sand. It’s time to consider other avenues that could rescue the South Sudanese people from an imminent catastrophe.

There is a growing consensus among a significant number of South Sudanese that supports UN takeover of the country until it’s able to function as a viable state. A 5-year period under UN Trusteeship would give the country the chance to start afresh on sound foundations.

During the said period it would be possible to establish an inclusive system of governance and develop equitable government policies. The international community should avoid being complacent as it’s not in anyone’s best interest to allow the replication of the Rwanda’s horrors.

Those who are concerned about the breach of the sovereignty of an independent state must understand that a failed state has no sovereignty. Even from the citizens’ perspective, it has no value when the state fails to deliver essential services, uphold the rule of law and promote peace and harmony between its communities.

Moreover, with the growing influx of refugees across the borders to the neighbouring countries, South Sudan has become a destabilising entity in the area and a real threat to regional security.

There is an urgent need for a pre-emptive intervention by the UN to save lives, prevent massive population displacement and avert widespread famine.

Dr. Lako Jada Kwajok

South Sudan: Vice-pres. Wani Igga vs First Vice-pres. Riek Machar

BY: Malith Kur, Canada, JUL/15/2016, SSN;

The events of the last few days in South Sudan call for some reflections on the contributions of those who are now active on the political scene and have been influencing South Sudanese politics since 1983. But we shall leave out President Kiir for now and pay attention to two politicians, Wani Igga and Dr Riek Machar.

A brief examination of the political careers of these two politicians is important because it allows us to understand assess their contributions to peace building, political stability in South Sudan, and their capabilities to lead our country in the future.

The purpose of our focus on Wani Igga and Riek Machar is twofold. One of these men is likely to succeed Mr Kiir should he decide to retire. In addition to that, the political decisions these two men have made as members of the SPLM is of greater interest in South Sudanese politics and in the future of South Sudan as a nation.

Let us begin with Dr Riek Machar. As most South Sudanese may know, Dr Machar joined the SPLM/A in 1984 shortly after graduating from the University of Bradford in England. He quickly became a prominent member of the SPLM/A for two reasons. His academic background played a major role in his rise to high position in the movement.

When he joined the SPLM/A, the movement was already facing stiff resistance from Nuer politicians such as Gai Tut and others. The members of Nuer community were the majority when the struggle started. They felt that since they were the majority, they had the right to lead the SPLM/A.

As a result, there were constant armed confrontations between the SPLA guerrillas and members of ethnic Nuer in the areas lining the border between South Sudan and Ethiopia.

When Riek Machar joined the SPLM/A, John Garang saw that as an opportunity to win Nuer’s support and avoid using his soldiers to fight the unnecessary battles. This is how Dr Machar rose quickly to a high position in the rank and file of the SPLM/A.

As a member of the high command, Machar led the SPLA fighters in Western Upper Nile for some time. But his position in the SPLM/A leadership did not persuade some members of Nuer community to stop hostilities against the movement.

Machar’s commanding of the SPLA fighters in Western Upper Nile was the only positive contribution he had made toward the liberation of South Sudan before he gave in to the demands of his ethnic interests in 1991.

The coup that he led against John Garang in 1991 and the subsequent attacks of his forces on civilians in Bor have defined his political career among South Sudanese. It became clear to most South Sudanese in 1991 that Riek Machar had decided to undermine the aspirations of South Sudanese for a stable, independent state.

In fact, he turned all his efforts into fighting to eliminating the SPLM/A faction led by John Garang. His forces ensured that the SPLA forces led by John Garang did not capture Juba in the 1990s.

Those actions led John Garang to suggest at one point that Machar and his group will be remembered as people who “stabbed South Sudan on the back” while fighting the enemy.

When he failed to oust Garang from the leadership of the SPLM/A, he signed a bogus peace agreement with the National Islamic Front in Khartoum in 1997. He was promised a referendum that never happened.

As part of the regime in Khartoum, he facilitated the demolition of villages in Upper region to clear the way for oil companies to extract oil on behalf of Khartoum’s government.

In 2002, Machar returned to the movement he once tried to destroy. Two things precipitated his return to the SPLM/A in 2002. He saw that the SPLM had made a concrete progress in the negotiations with the Sudanese government, which later brought the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) into being.

In addition, he never won the trust of the government in Khartoum. The Sudanese government trusted Paulino Matip Nhial more than Machar. Based on these perspectives, his political future was already in jeopardy.

The best option for him then was to return to the SPM/A to benefit from what the negotiations in Naivasha would bring to the then Southern Sudan.

We all know that the Naivasha negotiations guaranteed the self-determination to the people of South Sudan, not the Khartoum Agreement of 1997. Machar and his supporters, however, have attempted to claim credit for the self-determination process that occurred in South Sudan in 2011.

But this claim makes little sense. The clause of self-determination was inserted in the CPA because it was a persistent demand of South Sudanese. It neither had anything to do with John Garang’s political vision in the Sudan nor has it anything to do with Machar’s recent claims.

What we are all aware of is the fact that Riek Machar, in his political moves between Khartoum and the SPLM/A, had tried to form several militia groups. But they all failed. He began with the SPLM/A Nasir faction, which he later abandoned in favor of South Sudan Independent Movement (SSIM).

It was not long before he formed another group known as South Sudan Defence Force (SSDF). Once more, before returning to the SPLM/A led by John Garang, he established another militia group called Sudan Democratic Front (SDF). All of these groups are now debunked.

That is the glimpse of what Riek Machar has done for South Sudan.

Looking at Machar’s political undertakings above, he lacks national leadership principles. All he wants is power at any cost including violence. Machar is not, therefore, a kind of leader who can lead South Sudan into a better future. He needs to leave South Sudan alone.

Now let us take a look at Wani Igga’s political career since he joined the SPLM/A in 1985. Igga is an economist, with a modest background. He has been the member of the SPLM/A for the last 31 years. I believe he will remain a loyal member of the SPLM for the rest of his political life.

As a member of the high command of the SPLM/A, Igga led the SPLA fighters who liberated many towns and villages in Equatoria in the late 1980s and in the beginning of 1990s.

Besides his unwavering support for South Sudan’s independence, he is a staunch advocate of unity among South Sudanese. For instance, he openly deplores any form of division among South Sudanese. After the split of 1991, he tried to convince Riek Machar to return to the movement.

Indeed, Igga is an effective peace ambassador, but he will always be remembered for his ability to make compromises for the sake of South Sudanese national interests.

He has made two important political decisions—you may compare them with Riek Machar’s political decisions to see the difference— to give unity and peace a chance in South Sudan. In 2002, when Riek Machar rejoined the SPLM/A, Igga relinquished his position to accommodate Machar in the SPLM/A hierarchy. This move allowed all South Sudanese to pursue their independence under one banner.

Again, Igga has taken the same step in 2016 to give peace a chance by giving up his position as Vice President to allow Riek Machar’s return to the country to end the current crisis.

Given the political backgrounds of Mr Wani Igga and Dr Riek Machar, South Sudanese have a clear choice of who may lead them should Mr Kiir decide to retire from politics in the next few years, I think Mr Igga has what it takes to unite South Sudanese and lead them to a prosperous future.

Igga can do this because he is not a man after power or political fame. He believes that the success of South Sudanese lies in their unity and their coexistence as one people. His political slogan is “one country, one people.”

This is the man who can possibly succeed Mr Kiir and build a new South Sudan where tribal identity may become less important.

Malith Kur
London, Canada
mkur@uwo.ca

Machar’s SPLM-IO forces withdraw from Juba: The end of government, peace and a resumption of war?

Various Sources, JUL/13/2016, SSN;

Both the UN and the Al Jazeera reporter in Juba have reported today that Machar’s SPLA-IO forces who were settled in the so-called ‘cantonment’ camp in the Jebel outskirts of Juba town have withdrawn and are reportedly somewhere in the vicinity of the Juba-Yei road and surrounding areas.

This was also confirmed today by president Kiir’s spokesman, Ateny Wek, who laughingly stated that Dr. Machar and his troops’ whereabouts remain unknown. It’s very obvious that the government in Juba that was made up of Kiir and Machar is practically dead as Dr. Machar and his appointed ministers are now far away from Juba with all his supporters.

Additionally, United Nations peacekeepers have reported that SPLM/A-IO opposition troops that came to Juba under the terms of a peace deal have abandoned their bases at the foot of Jebel mountain on the west side of Juba.

This follows government attacks on the opposition bases including shelling and aerial bombardment over the weekend.

According to Herve Ladsous, head of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York, which oversees UNMISS, peacekeeping patrols, have verified that SPLA-IO troops have left the Jebel bases.

“Government troops appear to be in full control of Juba but opposition forces remain around the west of the city and “further clashes cannot be ruled out,” Ladsous said.

Both army and rebel forces are mobilising around parts of Malakal in Upper Nile region and Leer in Unity state, fuelling worries of fighting there, he added.

In a prepared statement to the UN Security Council today, he said, “The mission has established that both SPLA in Opposition cantonment sites on the west side of Jebel Mountain have been abandoned.”

Ladsous added, “Reportedly, Opposition forces are currently scattered around the areas of Jebel and Yei road while SPLA troops are setting up defensive positions along the Yei and Gudele road. Further clashes, therefore, cannot be ruled out.”

The cantonment site in Jebel was one of only two areas in Juba where SPLA-IO fighters were allowed under the terms of a negotiated security deal. The rest of the city was de facto controlled by President Salva Kiir’s troops.

Most of the fighting in recent days in Juba has concentrated in the two areas where SPLA-IO is based. By Sunday, the SPLA-IO said government troops had overrun their base in Jebel. Shortly after, Kiir announced a unilateral ceasefire. Celebratory gunfire was heard throughout the city.

Yesterday, army spokesman Lul Ruai confirmed in an interview with Radio Tamazuj that their troops successfully overran the SPLA-IO base in the Jebel area of Juba, claiming they drove their forces out of the city.

“We chased them from the city… and they ran away far,” he said. Lul’s statement amounts to an admission that SPLA forces waged attacks on the SPLA-IO cantonment site.

These ominous developments pointedly signal the end of the so-called transitional government of national unity between the SPLM of president Kiir and the SPLM/A-IO of Dr. Riak Machar as per the August 2015 peace deal.

More fighting could break out in South Sudan despite a two-day ceasefire that followed a major flareup of violence in Juba in which almost 300 people were killed, the United Nations peacekeeping chief has warned.

Herve Ladsous issued the warning on Wednesday, as Germany evacuated about 100 of its nationals from the war-torn state, where tensions remain high despite a break in fighting.

“We remain very worried about the potential for the resumption of violence and spillover into other parts of the country, as we have seen in the past,” Ladsous told the Security Council, in New York.

The UN’s worries come as Vice President Riek Machar urged the organisation on Wednesday to establish a “buffer zone” between his forces and government troops who are loyal to President Salva Kiir.

Machar’s forces have fled the capital to an undisclosed location. A spokesman told Al Jazeera that the vice president “does not feel safe” enough to return to Juba.

The UN is considering an emergency request from regional leaders to send an intervention brigade to Juba that could secure the airport and separate the warring sides. END

When Killing becomes more affordable than celebrating Independence!

By: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, JUL/12/2016, SSN;

Even by South Sudan’s own standards, the people remain baffled by their President’s weird decision to choose a return to war as a celebratory gift for his people in this month of July 2016 which marks the country’s fifth Independence Anniversary.

Unfortunately that isn’t quite the end of the story. The truth is that the five years of independence have been marked by corruption, incompetence and lawlessness. The leaders even find no shame in openly declaring their lack of readiness to celebrate the country’s fifth independence anniversary because all the money has been spent on war gadgets, lethal weapons, and helicopter gunships.

When fighting broke out in Juba on Friday 8 July just hours ahead of the fifth Independence Day commemorations, there were many people who were not surprised that the fragile peace deal had broken down. It provided even more evidence for those wanting to believe that there will never be peace in South Sudan and crush the hopes of those believing that peace could one day come.

Characteristic of a failing centre of power, it came as a little surprise even after finding itself in this embarrassing situation – completely unable to pay salaries of workers and professionals for months and months and unable to spend on independence anniversary celebrations, President Kiir and his loyal ministers undeniably became mentally crippled.

No wonder they all failed to react quickly enough to prevent the country from sliding back to civil war following the halfheartedly formed transitional government of national unity. All the writings are on the wall for them to read, yet they chose not to.

Now based on the realities on the ground in Juba, South Sudan’s capital city and the seat of its transitional government of national unity, it hardly needs one to be a political scientist to concluded that like peace and democracy, the future of the August 2015 Agreement for Resolution of the Conflicts in South Sudan is hanging by the thread in this troubled country.

As of now the republic of South Sudan is on the verge of collapse unless of course there is some divine intervention. The renewed fighting in the country probably marks the end of the last chapter in the implementation of the peace agreement signed in August 2015.

As of now, and all rhetoric aside, the country has no responsible government in place. The fighting between the two factions who essentially formed the military component of the country’s divided transitional government of national unity institutions, have for all practical purposes long been rendered non-operational as of Saturday 9th July 2016.

In short, anarchy and absence of the rule of Law are now the orders of the day in the country. This may likely continue to be the case until further notice – or sometime to come when Almighty God, the Saviour Lord, chooses to re-bless the people of South Sudan again.

The reasons why the country is on its way back to an all-out far the nationwide, is because President Salva Kiir is not in position to implement the August 2015 Peace Agreement.

If every peace loving South Sudanese believes that the August 2015 Peace Agreement indeed offers the country with a second chance to come out of its conflicts, then they better reconsider President Salva Kiir’s position on the agreement.

Maybe it’s important to recall that President Kiir was very clear when he signed the August 2015 peace agreement and said that it could not be implemented.

In his own words, President Salva Kiir told the IGAD heads of state at the signing ceremony that the agreement was not made to be implemented. For those who have ears, they knew from day one that president Kiir wasn’t going to implement the very agreement that he was ‘forced’ to sign when he detailed the design flaws with the arrangement, saying that the structure of the transitional government of national unity “could be inevitably confrontational.”

He concluded by saying that “(T)he eminent result of trying to implement this agreement would be the total disintegration of the country.”

Of course President Kiir wanted to eat his cake and still have it, and that’s where he went wrong. Looking back from today, one can say that Kiir was aware of the risk he faced in trying to keep the hardliners in his camp on the side, while he compromises to implement the agreement.

It is now easy to conclude that all the foot dragging by Kiir in the implementation of the August 2015 Agreement and the subsequent return of the country to an all-out war at the back drop of the ongoing violence has not only proven that the peace deal has collapsed but it has also proven another important fact that Kiir has no control over his camp – both politicians and army generals.

This is probably the central reason why President Kiir can never implement this peace deal.

So when the suffering masses in South Sudan, especially those who have been displaced once or twice or several times or those who have lost one or several of their loved ones or those who have lost their wealth of entire livelihoods, helplessly hear the United Nation Security Council (UNSC) issuing routine statements like:

“We have urged South Sudan’s leaders to operationalize the security arrangements in the agreement, particularly by establishing Joint Integrated Police units to patrol Juba, empowering the Joint Operations Centre to ensure communication and coordination between forces in Juba, and directing the Joint Military Ceasefire Commission to operate continuously.”

Or hearing the African Union Chairperson saying:

“The peace partners should start working with the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), chaired by H.E. Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana, to ensure scrupulous adherence to the transitional security arrangements.”

The people of South Sudan are left to think that these organisations are not serious given the fact that they have said the same things over and over again but to no effect.

They are also likely to conclude that the thugs now turned rulers in South Sudan are indeed invincible creatures since neither the IGAD and the African Union (AU) on one side, nor the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on the other end, are capable of holding them accountable for the destruction they continue to inflict on these poor and helpless souls.

This time around the statements coming from both the United Nations Security Council and the African Union must be decisive and better still be followed by immediate actions. What the South Sudanese masses need at this crucial moment is action to set the country right.

Unfortunately, all that we hear now is rhetoric which only emboldens the dictator and his cronies to continue with impunity and impede any attempts for the peaceful settlement to the country’s multi-faceted conflicts while remorsefully destroying innocent lives.

Under the very watchful eyes of the international community President Salva Kiir and his chief of staff were still able to unleash their ethnically skewed SPLA soldiers to spread terror and havoc over the city of Wau in the Western Bahr Ghazal.

A house to house ethnic cleansing of the Fertit ethnic minorities was carried out by the president’s loyalist militiamen and SPLA troops, very identical to the Juba massacre of December 2013 in its execution, cover up and preparation.

With these entire track records, one can rightly say that the international community for reasons only known it, has chosen to entrust the implementation of the so-called peace agreement to a president who isn’t even in peace with himself to begin with!

The realities in South Sudan are exceptionally bitter. Everything is in a state of a free fall – from the national currency to the societal values, the human dignity and the virtues.

It is true that under a deranged leadership, a country with a collapsing economy can find it more affordable to kill its own citizens than provide them with the simplest form of independence anniversary celebrations for a hard won independence. This is now a lived with reality in South Sudan!

Author: Dr Justin Ambago Ramba. Reachable at: Justin_ramba@aol.co.uk

LATEST: Heavy fighting erupts again in Juba, South Sudan’s capital, Machar’s base under attack

Sunday, JUL/10/2016, SSN;

Forces loyal to the vice-president of South Sudan say their positions in the capital, Juba, have been attacked by government troops, reports the BBC.

UN representatives reported heavy exchanges of gunfire near their headquarters in the suburb of Jebel.
The clashes follow days of fighting between supporters of President Salva Kiir and Vice-President Riek Machar.
The violence has raised fears of renewed instability, with a 2015 peace deal failing to quell unrest.

Heavy gunfire was reported on Sunday in the Gudele and Jebel suburbs of Juba, near a military barracks occupied by troops loyal to Mr Machar.

“For about 30 to 40 minutes we heard sounds of heavy artillery in the direction of Jebel area,” an aid worker based in Juba told Reuters.

From Al Jazeera: Latest— Intense fighting has resumed in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, as an increasingly tense security situation threatened to send the young country back to all-out civil war.

Al Jazeera staff in the city on Sunday heard loud booms, characteristic of heavy weapons, and gunfire coming from the area near the airport, which local sources said had closed. In a post on Twitter, Kenya Airways said they had suspended flights to Juba “due to [the] uncertain security situation”.

Gunfire had earlier been heard in the capital’s south-west near an army barracks and a United Nations base.

Violence from Thursday to Saturday killed more than 100 people, mostly soldiers from different armed factions, after gun battles broke out across Juba.

Our correspondent said the latest bout of violence meant “that the hopes of peace were dimming” in the country, which reached its fifth independence anniversary on Saturday.

“These are not good times,” Hendren said on Sunday.

“Two days ago, the presidential palace was struck – that is a major strike into the heart of government here and shows just how shaky it is.

“And on Saturday, the fifth Independence Day was completely silent because Juba was shut down – it was militarily occupied, which is exactly the opposite of what is supposed to happen here under a peace accord in August.”

ANALYSIS FROM JOHN HENDREN IN JUBA

I don’t think anyone here is talking about advancing peace right now.

The president and the vice president have both said they are committed to doing so, and they of course are the rival factions that came together to form this coalition government – but their armies remain separate, they are clashing and have done so over the past week and sporadically before that.

So this obviously dims hopes for peace anywhere in the near future.

The concern is now that if the fighting continues you might have a humanitarian crisis because you will have people trapped in a country where people already are having great difficulty subsisting because of inflation, poverty and other problems here.

So it could be a crisis in the very near future if this fighting does not stop, and that is probably the more immediate concern than the overall peace agreement moving forward – although both the president and the vice president have said they are committed to doing that.

More to follow…………….

South Sudan: A Nation with Two Commanders-in-Chief

BY: Malith Kur, London, Ontario, Canada, JUL/09/2016, SSN;

The clashes that have occurred in Juba this week have not come as a surprise to most South Sudanese. It was a matter of time before those clashes could take place. They are a result of the political and military experiment that the Troika countries and their passive partners represented by the IGAD nations and the AU are trying in South Sudan.

The experiment to have two rival armies and two rival commanders-in-Chief in one country has no precedent in history. This arrangement was not designed to stabilize the situation in South Sudan, but it was designed in haste for a number of reasons.

First, the arrangement was planned to punish the government for expelling the UN envoy, Hilde Johnson, because of her open support to Mr Machar. Ms Johnson represented the interests of the Troika countries in South Sudan, not the interests of the UN.

The Troika countries feel that they are the guardians of South Sudan’s independence because they supported and sponsored the peace agreement between the Sudanese government and the SPLM/A up to the declaration of independence on July 9, 2011.

They are also the donors who support 90% of the developmental schemes and the humanitarian work in the country. For these reasons, they want to have a greater say in the political and military arrangements in the country.

As all of us followed the process of negotiations in Addis Ababa, the agreement was not a result of negotiations between the government of South Sudan and the rebels. The agreement was prepared and imposed on the country to counter the tendency from the political and military leaders in Kiir’s regime to ignore the interests of Troika countries.

Second, the Troika countries want to see a regime change in South Sudan. The clauses in this agreement have a potential to do just that. They want to install a government that listens and heeds their policies in the region.

Since South Sudan emerged as an independent nation in 2011, the policy makers in Kiir’s government have been leaning towards China economically and perhaps politically. These moves have strained the good relationships that once existed between South Sudan and the United States during George Bush’s presidency.

Therefore, the Agreement for the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) was designed to facilitate the Troika nations’ policy of regime change to reduce Chinese influence in the country.

When Mr Kiir fired Riek Machar as Vice President, the Troika countries saw him as the perfect man to oust Kiir from power. But when the possibility of overthrowing Kiir from power through military means failed, the peace agreement was devised to make it difficult for Kiir to retain power.

Third, some IGAD nations, particularly Ethiopia, Sudan, and Kenya are silently working to facilitate regime change in South Sudan. These countries have diverse interests in South Sudan. Ethiopia, for instance, wants to please its Nuer’s population and keep their support in favor of the ruling party in Ethiopia.

Addis Ababa has been the headquarters of Riek Machar for the last two years and has been providing refuge and training to the rebels. The Ethiopians are doing this work with the American approval.

Sudan, on the other hand, is a natural ally of Riek Machar. The alliance between the National Islamic Front (NIF) regime in Khartoum and Riek Machar dates back to the time when the SPLM/A split in 1991. This alliance allowed the government of Bashir to extract oil in the South during the war.

In addition to this alliance, stable South Sudan is not in the interest of Sudan because of Abyei and other border issues. As a result, Bashir provides weapons and other logistics to the rebels led by Riek Machar to keep South Sudan unstable indefinitely.

As for Kenya, the regime led by Uhuru Kenyatta has territorial ambitions in South Sudan and has found Riek Machar as an ally who could fulfill these ambitions.

Kenya, since the conflict began in 2013 in South Sudan, has been welcoming Riek Machar as if he were the president of South Sudan in waiting, and last year, on the eve of South Sudan’s independence, Riek Machar declared in Nairobi that Kiir’s government and all its institutions were null and void because its mandate had expired.

Can Kenyan opposition parties do this in Juba without protest from the government of Kenya? Mr Kenyatta wants to squeeze the regime in Juba to allow the annexation of the Ilemi Triangle to Kenya without opposition from South Sudan’s government.

Therefore, the agreement that was signed in August 2015 was a product of these competing interests, not for the interest of peace in South Sudan.

Had the agreement been designed for the consolidation of peace in South Sudan, the provision that set up two rival armies and two rival commanders-in-chief in one country should have never been contemplated, leave alone being part of the accord.

This accord is bound to fail and the Troika nations along with their partners in IGAD and the AU bear greater responsibility for trying something they cannot do in any other countries but only in South Sudan.

Most South Sudanese do not support the existing side by side of two hostile forces in the country, but because of the regional and international competing interests in the Republic of South Sudan, public opinion has been ignored.

The voice of the majority in the country is regarded by foreigners as a tribal agenda in order to weaken the authority of the government. This unrestrained outside interference in the political affairs of South Sudan has encouraged lawlessness and legitimized rebellion in the country.

But the government of South Sudan has its share in this game. The regime in Juba has squandered its legitimacy by allowing individual politicians a free rein to steal public resources without consequences. This practice has left the country bankrupt and dependent on aid.

Now the economic situation in South Sudan has deteriorated to the point of uncertainty. The country has become the largest refugee camp on the global map. At this point, the UN and its agencies are now the de facto government because they are the ones meeting the daily needs of the population.

The only thing that will stop bloodshed is for the signatories of the Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan to return to the drawing board and establish a clear political roadmap to build peace across the country.

The agreement in its current form — particularly the provision of having two rival commanders-in-chief and two rival armies in one country — will not work because it lacks popular support. The agreement needs to be reviewed for the interest of peace in South Sudan.

Malith Kur
London, Canada
Malith_kur@yahoo.ca

Eating human flesh is an extreme injustice venerable South Sudanese are subjected to

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Law Development Centre, Kampala Uganda, JUL/07/2016, SSN;

Vulnerable people of South Sudan are reported to be eating human flesh while in reality the government officials or public officers are driving the latest and most expensive cars which among others include: Mercedes Benz, Hammer, V8, Nissan, Bullet Proofs and some cars that can speak that “NO ROAD” where there is no tarmac road.

All the above mentioned cars cost the country thousands of dollars or even millions of dollars, money that would have been used to set off the shortage at this time of need, if the leaders had the interests of the people at heart.

However, leaders are keen in building personal wealth and empires which have led to patronage and snobbishness.

Thus, all the state machineries and apparatuses are being used to protect not national interest but the interests of the individual leaders who do not have any vision for the country.

Because of that, the country has been turned into a butchery and witch hunt ground for imaginary criminals who are being framed and killed while leaving the real criminals to roam about freely.

Leaders have disunited the country as the disunity of South Sudanese turns to support and benefit them by maintaining their own interests. Hence, South Sudanese are being used to kill each other just to protect interest of individual leaders.

Leaders have hijacked the liberation war and independence of South Sudan and South Sudanese; hence, turning South Sudanese into slaves in their own freedom and in their own country.

The status quo created by misgovernment that created disunity in the country as people struggle over limited resources is being maintained with blood and iron by the state authorities and their protectors.

Any person seen to be critical with the government is deemed as an enemy against the tribe not against the government because of the disunity created by the government.

The recent comment by the Catholic Priest in Juba that South Sudan is being ruled by “Monkeys and Devils” attracted a lot of attention and condemnation that he said something bad.

However, any patriotic South Sudanese would have never found any problems with that statement because if leadership does not protect the interests of the people then a patriotic South Sudanese can view such administration as less human because it does not have any moral authority to run the country.

When that Catholic priest made a comment, he did not intent to target a certain group as it was interpreted but he was attacking all government officials and public officers including the opposition.

His views are proved by what we are witnessing in the government now. The Opposition and the Government are on each other’s neck as they twitch-hunt and kill each other in daylight while the citizens’ interests are left at the periphery of the governance.

The two parties are at loggerhead over the power sharing and because of that the welfare of the people is disregarded.

Moreover, innocent people are being killed in Wau State, Western Lakes, Western Equatoria and the Upper Nile Region. The insecurities caused by the war and killings plus looting have left innocent citizens with no means of survival hence leaving them at the jaws of hunger.

As a result, the citizens have resorted into eating flesh of their fellow human beings because of hunger, which is an extreme injustice committed against vulnerable South Sudanese.

When a private South Sudanese citizen with concern points out these injustices with anger like that priest in Juba who said that South Sudan is being governed by moneys and devils, he is branded a traitor and looked at as someone who is against the government.

Moreover, his life might be in danger from the invincible State Security apparatuses for pointing out the truth. Simply because the State Security apparatuses have not understood the fact that what appears to be a horn-bill’s problem will become the problem of all in future.

The State Security agencies may protect individual leaders at the expense of South Sudanese and the implication is that in the long run they will be the victims as no system will protect them which will be a part of extreme injustice.

The desire for retaining or grabbing the power has left the country in tatters. Killers who support the government or opposition are left free while citizens who feel and talk against the government because of the problems are seen as enemies.

In summary, a patriotic South Sudanese who has no interest in taking part in the government but desires only to see good governance prevail will never stand aside to watch at things as they go to the dogs.

In order to end the crisis, the only viable solution now is for Kiir and Riek to step aside and leave the country to the committee that will work for the unity of the country.

Otherwise if things will continue like the way they are going on now, the country will reach a point of no return.

NB//: The writer can be reached through juoldaniel@yahoo.com

Optimism: Is there any hope to hope for in South Sudan?

BY: Ocholamero Otir Bure OROTO, JUN/29/2016, SSN

Attention:
His Excellency, Salva Kiir Mayardiit, President of the Republic of South Sudan.
His Excellency, Dr. Riek Machar, Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan.
His Excellency, Wani Igga, 2nd Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan;

The Sudan People Liberation Movement & Army (SPLM/A) had done great work and valuable tasks to rescue South Sudanese from the tyranny of Arabs’ government in the old Sudan. No one in South Sudan can pay any of the liberators for such a gift. I meant, no money can be enough as a token of appreciation to all the SPLM/A personnel who fought for the self determination of South Sudanese.

Allow me to bring to your attentions the following, as an ordinary concerned South Sudanese, who would like to see the best happen in this country.

The view that dialogue is a tested means to resolve issues peacefully is a reality when people accept it, and I, the writer, is a proponent of peace through dialogue and reconciliation. But in a society where it appears that the leaders make ordinary people feel like they are not listening, it is difficult to see any progress.

There is no hope! It has been for a while now that people are regretting due to the fact that they voted for separation. Because many have not experienced such insecurity and brutal killings of innocent civilians when the country was not divided.

It appears clearly that the current government has failed terribly under the leadership of SPLM/A in the provision of good life and security in the country. The sole purpose of leadership is to lead by good examples.

If it appears that the government leaders are messing the playing field for peace and reconciliation, it is a waste of time for ordinary people or communities at grass root level to try their best in fostering peace and unity.

It is terribly sad to see how this country went from celebratory mode to the extreme mode of sorrows due to brutal killings in the hands of liberators! So to speak. Yes, South Sudanese need to create their own solutions, but it is clear that the leaders and influential figures are not showing any interest to return the country back to peaceful situation any time sooner.

It seems there are many deceptive information and abuse of power is so rampant! How could such behaviour facilitate peace and reconciliation in a dysfunctional newly created state without the sense and spirit of nationalism?

As leaders of the government and leaders of SPLM/A which is perceived to be the movement of the people, it is about time to work out what went wrong and work to correct it. In other words, identify the faults and correct them kindly.

It is the case in any given society that moral and ideological support can be given to the presiding leaders when they show interest and take visible actions that can give hope to the people.

Otherwise, what is clear at the moment is that under the current helpless situations, South Sudan will remain ‘a hell on earth’ for several years to come.

The answer to the truthful solutions to the current crisis is within reach, but consciously or unconsciously it appears that the leaders are beating around the bush and not doing enough to solve the real issues.

The ordinary community members are ready to reconcile and most of them do not have any inter-tribal issues, but, the current situations had instilled or reconstructed deeper inter-tribal dislikes over the years.

Some questions deserve some thoughts among others:
1. How could societal members change their minds when leaders are the factors of continuous mess?
2. How can peace be implemented in such a situation?

The SPLM/A top leadership should wear the onus of the security failure and they are in a better position to act in a humane manner to reverse the country from the current crisis.

Considering the current SPLM/A ideological malfunction and what most South Sudanese and the rest of the world call as a failure, there is no HOPE to hope for! Because, who else should “we” the South Sudanese turn to for security and peace?

It seems that South Sudan has become a deadly field of atrocities and unpredictable killings. Until further notice, there’s no sign of peace in South Sudan due to the political unwillingness of the SPLM/A top leadership.

At present, there is no projection for peace. The only sign that is visible is more brutish killings in the land of deception, rampant continuous immorality and dehumanising acts.

This is all what people are experiencing in the country not to forget the resultant effects of war like hunger-lack of food. How many will die of hunger this year alone? Just think about this and try to feel it.

Question 3. How could the situation in South Sudan be in 10, 15 or 20 or more years to come?
South Sudanese are yearning for peace. Taking the current trend in perspective, it is difficult to see peaceful co-existence and improved security in the near future.

This means SPLM/A will go in history as the worst movement known in the 21st Century. This will tarnish SPLM/A reputation for good. In other words, without taking steps to maintain peace and security in South Sudan, people will only remember SPLM/A for bad things and forget the many good that SPLM/A have done on aggregate.

Thus there is no sense in concealing the reality on the ground. The problem of South Sudan is in the hands of those who control SPLM/A (the leaders and their associates who could influence good policies and return to the good mission of the movement).

By the same token, SPLM/A as an entity under your leadership is the solution to all these problems. Nothing more and nothing less.

The ordinary citizens can only and only help when the leaders correct their errors of policies and correct their ideological mistakes and accept to correct themselves. Otherwise, they (the SPLM/A leadership) are running in circles. That mean attaining peace will never be an easy work without the change of minds and hearts of the leaders who wield the power at the moment.

Tentative recommendations:
1. Sudan People Liberation Movement and Army (SPLM/A) top leaderships, President Kiir, VP Dr. Riek, 2nd VP Wani Igga plus their associates, need to urgently act to curb these situations.

2. The top leadership needs to lead by examples and ensure the field is leveled for peace and reconciliation agenda to prevail. This will ensure peaceful dealings.

3. Please re-visit, revise the SPLM/A manifestos and deliver to the people what you promised e.g., the justice, equality, freedom of communication and prosperity.

4. Show people that the SPLM/A was, is and will be the movement of the people.

5. Show the world that South Sudanese can and have the ability to govern themselves peacefully.

6. Show people that South Sudanese are one people who struggled together and are willing to overcome these challenges collectively.

Excellency,
It is the case that however slow the vehicle of peace is travelling, if it is travelling in the right direction, there will come a time when the vehicle will reach the targeted destination.
The Sudan People Liberation Movement/Army, has the capability to steer this country toward peace within foreseeable future.

It is not too late to make a U-turn. I write to you out of concern and out of love to see the Republic of South Sudan prevails and attain the values that you fought for over the course of your lives. South Sudanese will be extremely happy to see that your offices work toward the attainment of ‘Justice, Liberty and Prosperity’ for all.

Once again, SPLM/A under your leadership is the surest solution to the current problems. Allow me to make this request; could you please shift the gear forward, Mr. President, speed up and you have the support of the concerned people to back you up in propelling the nation toward peace.

Therefore, is there any Hope to Hope for? Yes, there is!

Mr. President, the hope is your collective efforts to attain peace. With that in mind, I wish you all the best, may our good South Sudanese ancestral spirits guide you to steer this nation in the direction leading to peace and progressive development.
Yours sincerely,

Ocholamero Otir Bure OROTO.
A concerned South Sudanese
E-mail: ocholamero.oroto@uqconnect.edu.au