Category: Featured

No Deal is better than a bad deal: The IGAD-Plus Peace Agreement

BY: Dr Lako Jada Kwajok, UK, JUL/31/2015, SSN;

I had the opportunity of reading through the Proposed Compromise Agreement On The Resolution Of The Conflict In The Republic Of South Sudan. This document as many of you know is the basis for negotiation to reach a peaceful settlement of the conflict.

It has been endorsed unanimously by IGAD-PLUS partners after the consultation that took place in Addis Ababa between 21 to 23 of July 2015. As we know, the peace talks are scheduled to kick off on 05/08/2015 with a deadline by the end of 17/08/2015.

A lot of hope and good wishes have been placed on the coming negotiations by millions of South Sudanese and many other peace loving people to finally bring peace and stability to the war torn young country.

President Obama on addressing the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, stressed that both Kiir and Machar must sign a peace agreement by 17/08/2015.

However, when you subject the above document to careful scrutiny, you quickly realise that something is wrong, indeed many things are wrong.

And gradually as you continue reading, you come to the conclusion that the document is full of flaws and missing some essential requirements that ensures the establishment of a just and permanent peace.

Firstly, I would like to address the issue of allocation of the presidency during the transition. As stipulated in the aforementioned document, Salva Kiir shall become the transitional president of the Republic of South Sudan for 30 months from the start of the transitional government of national unity ( TGoNU ).

This is a nonstarter and indeed a deal breaker from my perspective and I am quite convinced that many South Sudanese share the same view. The reasons are the following :

His deeds have blemished his reputation forever. To millions of South Sudanese, he is a genocidal ruler and a criminal. To others he is just a corrupt and a common thief. Still others consider him among the most tribalistic and divisive figures in South Sudan at the present time.

The presidency is not like any other job in the world. That is because it carries a lot in it. There is the national pride, the reputation of the country and it also provides an insight for the outside world about who we are.

What is seen in our president could be taken as a reflection of what we actually are as we are the people who allowed him to be on the helm.

The president needs to be a person of high integrity, good reputation and to be respectable. This relates to the fact that he serves as a role model for the school children, the youths and our future leaders. This is why children are often named after presidents.

Look at president Obama stance, he is a role model for the young and youths not only in his country but all over the world. His presidency has been uplifting to a whole generation of African Americans.

Who in his or her right mind would want their son to follow the footsteps of Salva Kiir Myardit?! Whatever good things he has done in the past, have been trumped or deleted in people’s memories by his heinous crimes.

It’s quite inconceivable that the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing (CTRH) would succeed in delivering the goods if Salva Kiir is allowed to preside over the transition.

Just consider the following – many Nuer families have lost their loved ones during the Juba massacre and some are still grieving from the recent atrocities in Unity State and haven’t reached conclusion to their ordeals.

How would they feel when every day they watch the face of the person responsible for their grief on SSTV?! Will this really be conducive to speeding up the healing process?!

Do not be misled by the Nuer Wews who are siding with Salva Kiir. They are fanatic food lovers who can kill and unleash carnage for food. They represent a negligible portion of the Nuer people displaying opportunism and political prostitution at its worst.

One of the things that would expedite healing is when the criminals are hold accountable for their heinous crimes. There will be a clear conflict of interest if Salva Kiir remains the top authority in the land.

He is the top culprit in the atrocities but is it realistic that he would do the unbelievable thing of indicting himself or allow others to indict him?!

It will never happen under his watch, in fact he will try to manipulate, coerce or even dispose of any individual who attempts to uncover the truth.

What is worrying is that there is a phrase in the agreement document that reads (mass violations of human rights have profound historical roots in our society which pre-date the current conflict).

It sounds like an attempt to water down the gravity of the atrocities or at least draw similarities with what happened in 1991.

Ladies and gentlemen, there is a fundamental difference in terms of accountability between the Juba massacre and what happened in 1991. There was no government or rule of law in the rebel held areas in 1991.

What we have here is a government, recognised by many countries of the world and the UN. This brings on certain obligations and duties most notable are respecting human rights and protecting civilians against atrocities and genocide.

It’s clear that our government under Salva Kiir has violated the international law by committing heinous crimes against its own people. In a democratic society with no blind tribal allegiances, he would have been tried for treason because of plunging the country into civil war out of greed to maintain power.

The good news is that, Obama mentioned in his address that “the world awaits the African Union Commission (AUC) report because accountability for atrocities must be part of any lasting peace”.

This is music to my ears personally and certainly to the ears of the aggrieved families and millions of peace loving South Sudanese.

It is a matter of principles, Salva Kiir and his group of criminals should not be allowed to get away with murder. This is simply because what is the guarantee that it will not happen again in future perhaps to a much smaller tribe.

Nuer is a large tribe and losing 20,000 lives may not cause a catastrophic lasting effect. But we do have much smaller tribes some with a total number of less than 20,000 lives.

Just imagine what happened to the Nuers has befallen one of these smaller tribes, the entire tribe would have been annihilated. That is why we should not allow the people responsible for these ugly acts to go unpunished otherwise it will set a precedent.

Kiir has been in office for nearly 10 years with no tangible achievements in terms of developmental projects, provision of services and improving the lives of the South Sudanese people.

In fact the overwhelming majority of the people were much better off 10 years ago than they are now in regard to livelihood, access to health services and availability of schools for their children.

In addition to that they were even more secure during the war than they are now. If the above is Salva Kiir’s track record, how much can he possibly do for the South Sudanese people in 30 months that he failed to do in 10 years ?!

It will be a miracle if he comes up with something useful for the people of South Sudan. I will bet my bottom pound that it will be more of the same – corruption, tribalism, insecurity and absence of the rule of law.

The country needs a fresh start in the transition with a strong personality in the presidential palace. Salva Kiir has been proven weak time and again.

He is unfit to lead this country in the transition or any time in future. Who would want the infamous Jieng council of elders to pull the strings from behind the curtains or Museveni running the show by remote control?!

And it’s not only Salva Kiir alone as many of his top ministers and the SPLM officials are corrupt and may have blood in their hands in relation to the massacres hence unsuitable to be candidates for the presidency.

If people could agree, any one of the governors of the greater Equatoria states could do a better job in the transition than the current illegitimate president.

Even if people fail to agree on a politician why not try members of the clergy. Archbishop Paulino Lokudu Loro, Archbishop Daniel Deng or Bishop Parade Taban could be made president for the transitional period.

There are precedents for that, Archbishop Makarios III was president of Cyprus from 1964 to 1974.

In Africa, Bishop Abel Muzorewa was prime minister of Zimbabwe/Rhodesia from June to December 1979. At least he (the clergyman) will not be corrupt or lethal to our people and will be an asset in the process of healing.

There are those who will say that a clergyman will be weak for the presidency. That is not true plus you already had the weakest president in the history of the world, any one who comes along can only be better. Even the chief of my village could have done a better job.

Secondly, While the document acknowledges that the federal system of governance is a popular demand, yet it does not indicate establishment of the federal system during the transition.

It talks about the need for devolution of more power and resources to lower levels of government.

The aim is clearly to maintain the status quo and avoid real federalism. The only hope for South Sudan to remain united is federalism and it should commence with the beginning of the transitional government of national Unity (TGoNU+).

Thirdly, The power sharing allocations in the executive body is a very contentious issue. How did the peace mediators arrive to those percentages and on what basis?!

Why should the G10 which has become effectively G6 be given 7%?! Do they really represent any particular constituency?

These guys are made super citizens by the IGAD peace mediators as each one of them represents over 1% of the proposed TGoNU. The G6 will have a say in the TGoNU than entire tribes like Lopit, Lokoro, Murle, NDogo and the Broun of Maban.

The government has been allocated full control of greater Equatoria and Bahr Gazal states. Kiir and his government is very unpopular in Greater Equatoria states.

He also lacks popularity in Western Bahr El Gazal State due to the oppressive policies and unlawful killing of civilians in peaceful demonstrations. Even in the other Bahr El Gazal states SPLA/A-IO is gaining momentum.

Then how comes the government was given 100% control over those states and on what basis?!

They can not claim that there is no war in those states. We are in a state of total civil war which is getting worse by the day.

Despite granting the government full control, the peace mediators seemed to have overlooked the security for the opposition. I find this very strange and dubious.

One of the most important goals of the TGoNU is to prepare the country and set the ground for a fair elections by the end of the transition. This will involve campaigning freely in all parts of the country.

Do you think Dr Riak Machar, Dr Lam Akol or Peter Sule would be safe campaigning in Wau, Mundri or Chukdom?

The majority of us know how Dr Riak Machar’s guards were slaughtered in Juba during the massacre. In addition to that how can we be sure that the elections will not be rigged if SPLM officials are left alone to conduct the elections in those states.

Therefore to make the ground level for a free elections, the government should not be allowed full control of those states. In fact the percentages are flawed.

A more reasonable allocation would be 40%, 40% and 20% for GRSS, SPLA-IO and other parties/civil societies respectively. There is no room for the G10 or G6 as some of them have already joined the government and the rest are on their way either to join the government or SPLM/A-IO.

Fourthly, De-militarisation and Arrangement for the National Capital: This is one of the good things within the document but it is only limited to Juba.

What about Malakal that has been significantly destroyed and Wau where citizens live in a state of permanent siege. The de-militarisation should be expanded to include all the major towns and most parts of the country.

Citizens in towns like Nimule, Yei, Maridi, Mundri would be much happier if de-militarisation is extended to their areas. Indeed in the case of Mundri citizens, they have actually demanded the SPLA unit in the area be relocated due to gross misconduct, unruly behaviour and brutality against citizens.

Clearly the SPLA will not be missed in Equatoria due to the fact that it is the problem and not the solution.

Fifthly, The Hybrid Court for South Sudan (HCSS): The document states that the majority of the judges on the panels whether trial or appellate, shall be composed of judges from African states other than the Republic of South Sudan. That means some of the judges would be South Sudanese.

This matter is quite a sensitive one and the future of the country depends on fair trials. I don’t think the African judges let alone the South Sudanese will be up to the task, because they do not live in a democratic environment that would protect them if they go against the rulers.

We have seen the case of Pagan Amum when he sued Salva Kiir before the conflict. A gag order was issued against him and his civil liberties were curtailed. But what happened to his case, no judge or court was willing to accept the case and in the end the Supreme Court of South Sudan threw it out.

The best option would be for the criminals to stand trials at the ICC in Hague.

Finally, there are some time bombs embedded in the body of the agreement document that will cause problems in future.

Do you really think people like Peter Gatdet will go along with Paul Malong and be in the same army?!

Integration of the forces will not work and it will be a waste of time and resources on a poorly trained tribal armies. They are undisciplined and lack understanding of the rules of engagement.

The best option is to disband the SPLA and to start building a new professional army that is inclusive to all the ethnicities in South Sudan.

Given the many flaws in the document, my conclusion is that it is far from the work of shrewd politicians. The possibilities are that the document was produced deliberately in that way due to the mediation team conniving with GRSS or it was a matter of political amateurism or both.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok,

Better focus on the unity of South Sudan

BY R. MODI, JUBA, 24/July/2015, SSN;

A lot has been written and some of the articles have made focus on Dinka versus Nuer or Dinka versus Equatoria. Logically, it is not possible to paint a whole tribe or group of people using the same paintbrush or in the same colour.

Whereas there can be a myth aimed at creating what is called ‘bonding social capital’, usually those myths are created and propelled by politicians to achieve their goals.

These kinds of politicians do not in fact care for the good or welfare of their so-called tribes Men & women, contrary to what their followers choose or are made to believe.

These political foxes are merely pursuing their goals and in order to get support, they play the ethnic card.

Just see how they keep their immediate families in lucrative government positions and what bank accounts they have all over the world.

How they are out of reach even for mere handshakes for their tribesmen. By this you will know the myth of tribe is just a bluff.

But many people fall for these tricks. This has to be challenged and changed. If we are going to build a nation out of many but one, clearly the nation South Sudan has proven very expensive to build and elusive, demanding our language to change.

We have to deal with human beings as they really are. Humanly speaking, there is no evidence that a group of people, because they come from the same tribe or ethnicity, all reason alike.

Scientifically, the evidence to such is miserably lacking. The way we reason is the function of socialisation. It is not attached to our DNA.

In fact what is called a tribe can be deconstructed to a level that it is a unit created in negotiated identity. Because in one tribe there are so many differences that in many case the neighbouring adjacent tribe has more similarity with a group of people than their other tribe members geographically distant to them.

Anyway to come back to the topic, there are few points in the case of South Sudan that needs to be focused on. The important one is this, the government has failed and it does not serve the interest of South Sudanese, regardless of ethnic identity.

It is hurting everybody, whether they are Nuer, Ma’di, Dinka, Moru, Zande, etc. Simply it is not the government we fought for. It has no respect for the rule of law and in that case it hurts others who are not even South Sudanese.

Is there any doubt that this government hurts East Africans? There was a case raised at the level of East African court against South Sudan.

That has nothing to do with Nuer, Ma’di, Anyuak, Shilluk, Muru or Murle etc. It is simple and clear, this is incompetent government and whoever sticks to it is serving his self-interest.

And those who are mobilised to support this government on the basis of tribe not good principle of governance are self-deluded.

It takes us to a point where we need to examine the bedrock on which this government was founded.

There was too many lies about the SPLA/M right from the beginning. Some people will feel bad about this, but Dr. John Garang did not tell the truth to everybody.

His message changed according to the environment or audiences.

I want to draw the attention of the reader to the book of Professor Peter Adwok Nyamba entitled ‘The Politics of Liberation’. So do not judge me, but read that book and find the point where he pointed out how mobilization was done.

When Dr. Garang spoke to Dinka Bor Youth, he told them to go and get guns so that they could defend themselves against the Murle. When he spoke to the larger Dinka community, he said the Kokora was the reason to rebel.

In fact back in 2014, somebody called Martin Manyang Mading, commented from Bor and said they went in the bush because of Equatorians. That article appeared as a comment in South Sudan Nation.

It was one of those incendiary and provocative statements. ‘Our enemy number one are The Equatorians. That is why we fought, used their intellectuals for our benefits, turned their ladies into machineries for procreation, colonised them and used their resources to settle in our colonies. Those who are dreaming about federal government, you must know that our colony is the first priority. We will not leave our colony and Equatorians will never go free. Practically, as of today, our number in some Equatorian villages or towns is about 3 times more than the number of the native people’.

Those are his words verbatim. It appeared on June 8, 2014 at 11:45 pm. Is this acceptable in a nation? Where is the difference between Nazism and this philosophy?

That is a mind-set that is not only tribalistic but falls in the category of Nazism. Any respectable people now will feel revolted by ideas like that.

Can we now put it that this is the way Dinka reason? I think NO; this is a demented and very unsophiscated person who is posing to speak on behalf of a people of varied philosophies and interests.

The Dinka have a great deal of contribution in the journey to liberations and so are the other 63 tribes.

It is not possible for a single tribe to single-handedly fight on behalf of 63 other tribes, in fact should only 1/3 of the 63 tribes reject such notion, it is doomed before it takes off the ground.

That is why we are a mosaic. Every community has a specialty and you cannot compare them. But people like Mading, are going to destroy South Sudan.

The same way Salva Kiir is doing when he spoke to their youth and told them they fought for this power and they have to keep it. Misinformed people followed that logic and it makes me wonder how poor they are. This cannot happen.

The world is global and you cannot dominate any tribe because their representatives the world over will react. And when they do so, you will be questioned at the level of United Nation.

That is what we are supposed to be, people who work together with the global society. Less than that you are ferial nation and who will respect a ferial nation?

So I do not believe Martin Mading represents the Dinka nation. That would have been impossible to imagine. Where he got that from, the answer is above.

He was totally misinformed on the reason for the struggle of South Sudanese. He went to fight, if he ever did, for exactly the opposite reason why most South Sudanese went to fight.

His narrative is different and with narrative like that, South Sudan cannot stand as nation. I am very confident on that conclusion.

If anyone should try to build a nation on such bad, racist, tribalist and obviously undemocratic principle, they are not going to get anywhere, not in South Sudan but also anywhere in the world.

Do we have to remind people on this? I think it is necessary. The quickest people but at the same time hardest to change are in Equatoria.

Even the Brits found Equatoria difficult to occupy. So they used the churches to calm the people. Any war in Sudan or South Sudan not supported in Equatoria is doomed.

Again, I am not being chauvinistic. I base myself on real evidence. For Garang to get where he got, he has to come to Equatoria. Haaa, that is the reality.

Conversely, if people in Equatoria feel bad it is impossible to hold a government in Juba. And now we feel bad. That government is going down. That preferential advantage is not what we play on. We want to work together with our brothers and sisters in all South Sudan.

We are keenly aware the different contribution you are bringing to the table. That is why we are mosaic and respected one. A few times I used to see it happen in Kampala or Nairobi.

Whenever you see somebody paying bus fares for people behind them, they are South Sudanese. That was obvious. In Khartoum we saw the same generosity.

So together we can make a better South Sudan. But for now South Sudan has to be salvaged from Salva and he has to go.

I could tell you something in the lines that follow. Garang and Salva would have been nowhere without Equatoria.

Because the link with Museveni which proved crucial especially in the battle of Aswa, Kaya, Pogee, Owinykibul, Yei and until close to Juba could never have been possible without the mediating link of Equatorians.

Forget about their meeting in Dar El Salam. People on the ground did the real connection because previously Dr. Garang had Ethiopia and Mangistu as his powerhouse.

When Mangistu was taken out in Ethiopia, SPLA was on the run and by 1993, when William Nyoun Kuach defected from Pageri, nothing remained of SPLA fighting force.

That was re-echoed in Rumbek during the meeting of the leadership. And Salva was the one who challenged Dr. Garang on his administration and Uyay Deng Ajak clearly said there was no more army to fight.

Had it not been for the Equatorian boys and Nuer, Torit was going to be recaptured or Kapoeta for that matter.

The commander who entered Kapoeta we know him and the same commander entered Torit. We know these things but we have been silent. No more.

Fellow compatriots, the best direction is to work for a government we wanted to have in the first place, one for which that first bullet of independence was fired.

One that respects the rights of our South Sudanese people and promotes peace. Such a government will make South Sudanese respectable in the international community.

We have lost too many in the process of finding a government of the people, by the people and for the people, not of a tribe, by a tribe and for a tribe.

We have lost too many and too much and have come too far for us to give up and we shall not give up until we get it.

Should those who now fight, politically or otherwise for such a people’s government fatigue out, or be bought out, history shall remember them harshly and the dead shall not forgive them.

South Sudan at the end of it all shall not fall, for many of her children are nationalists not against tribes but for all tribes, thus out of many, only ONE!

By R. Modi
Juba, RoSS.

Countering lawlessness in South Sudan

BY: Elhag Paul, JUL/20/2015, SSN;

In the article, ‘SPLM, a curse to South Sudan’ I argued that this organisation has no idea of what to do with South Sudan. ‘To all intent and purpose (it is) confused without any identity of what they (it) stand(s) for.’ The only thing that keeps it going is the entrenched culture of violence it introduced and normalised in the country. As a result South Sudan has been in a state of lawlessness for over three decades now.

In order to capture this state of lawlessness and suggest a solution to it, I shall highlight six incidents to make the case clearer. In November 2007 SPLA soldiers shot dead 3 senior police officers in Yambio in their offices because they refused to release a detainee to them.

In the same year, the then minister of finance, Mr Arthur Akuein Chol, was fired for embezzling nearly sixty million dollars. He was arrested and remanded in prison. However his tribe’s mates in the security services violently freed him from Juba prison while on remand. Soon after the unlawful violent release, Mr Chol was appointed to the Upper House of the parliament by President Kiir. To this date he serves in that august house.

In 2009 President Salva Kiir awards Pigi County in Jonglei state to the Jieng people dispossessing the Chollo people of their ancestral land. These events happened before South Sudan attained its independence.

We see state agents and institutions violently assaulted by SPLA with impunity. We see a criminal freed violently and illegally from state prison by his tribe’s mates and rewarded by the president with a responsible post in the legislative assembly. We see the President dispossessing citizens of another tribe for whom he has a duty to protect in favour of his own tribe.

After independence in July 2011, South Sudan ploughs on without any change in its governance. In December 2011 an alliance of Jieng and Nuer targeted the Murle people with an open notice circulated in the social media declaring an intent to “wipe out” the Murle as a final solution.

While in Equatoria, the Jieng systematically dispossessed the Madi people of Nimule, from their home land with the support of the government. The Madi tribe’s leadership and its influential members have routinely been killed by SPLA Jieng soldiers.

In the summer of 2013 President Kiir forms a militia with the help of the then governor of Northern Bahr El Ghazal state, General Paul Molong Awan, against the advice of the then Chief of the Army, General James Hoth Mai. In December of the same year, President Kiir unleashed this force on the Nuer people in Juba and the surrounding areas.

We see the state failing to protect the Murle people from being “wiped out” by the tribal alliance of the Jieng and Nuer. The Murle had to fend for themselves and to their credit they did very well in holding their corner.

We see the powers that be sanctioning the dispossession of the Madi people from their land in Equatoria by the Jieng. The government deliberately ignored the aggression on the Madi people by the Jieng. Worst still, we see the president running an illegal militia parallel to the national army.

From these few selected snippets of numerous stories, something glaringly stands out. In spite of the fact that all of the suspects in these cases hail from one tribe and are known, they have not been arrested, or investigated or prosecuted to show that indeed law and order exist in South Sudan. All the culprits involved are protected by their tribe’s mates and the government. They roam the streets posing continuous serious risks to peaceful people.

All these point to one thing. South Sudan prior to independence and after independence has been in a state of chaos. There has never been any law and order in South Sudan but tribal disorder and chaos.

Surprisingly this chaos is designed, hatched and promoted by the so-called Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) composed of judges, lawyers and intellectuals. Please get a sense of the mindset of the JCE by reading their recent letters. Here they are: ’Jieng Council of Elders reject imposition of peace in South Sudan’ and ‘Response of the Jieng Council of Elders to the latest IGAD proposal on power sharing’

So, what is going on in South Sudan is what the enlightenment philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau calls the state of nature – an environment where the armed uses brute force to stamp his wishes on the peaceful and unarmed.

As you can see what has been going on in South Sudan is contrary to what the Troika and the UN have been saying about South Sudan. They repeatedly and relentlessly call South Sudan as a young democracy and a legitimate system thereby reinforcing the ongoing lawlessness.

Now this lawlessness has a history covering over 3 decades which must be taken into consideration if peace is to be achieved in South Sudan. This starts from 1983 with the inception of SPLM/A – an organisation that has been lawless to the core waging war against Khartoum supposedly to establish a “New Sudan” of multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious order, but also consolidating power into the hands of a single tribe, the Jieng.

To deeply understand the arguments advanced in this piece and the true nature of the SPLM, the reader my wish to read the work of Dr Peter Adwok Nyaba, ‘Politics of Liberation of South Sudan’ and also the work of Dr Lam Akol Ajawin ‘Colonialism, Resistance and Autonomy’ among other written critiques of the SPLM/A.

During the Machakos negotiation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), a golden chance availed itself to stop SPLM/A from continuing with the chaos and to transform itself for the better but this was lost when the talks assumed the modal of peace negotiation between two principals or what is commonly referred to as peace between “elites”. This discriminatory and oppressive modal eliminated all the democratic forces representing the various political groups in north Sudan and south Sudan.

Principally, this theory is not new at all. In 18th century, monarchs in Europe deployed it to exclude their subjects (the people) from participating in political discussions that affects their lives. Jean Jacques Rousseau’s theory of ‘Social Contract’ was a direct response to this undesirable model of conflict resolution.

The monarchs at the time argued that they had a divine right to legislate on behalf of the people without the people representing themselves. Rousseau’s response to this nonsense was that sovereignty lies in the people and essentially the people must be the shapers of their destiny.

Therefore, the adoption of the “elites” model in the Machakos negotiations in effect pushed the forces of democracy out narrowing the talks to the men of arms. The net result as we know now has been consolidation of dictatorship in both Sudans with lawlessness reigning in South Sudan. Not only that but wars broke out in both Sudans meaning the CPA was ineffective in bringing peace.

The implosion of the system in Juba in December 2013 was not a surprise to South Sudanese, it was expected. While the events of that particular period are sad and painful, it should be taken as an opportunity and here let me borrow the words of Ms Helda Johnson, the former United Nations Representative of the Secretary General to South Sudan, to describe what needs to happen. South Sudan needs to be “rebooted”.

Rebooting South Sudan does not need IGAD’s current approach which is more of what happened in the CPA. As Albert Einstein correctly said such a repetition would be insanity.

“Insanity” according to him, “is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different result.”

We can not employee the same strategy used during the CPA that ended up empowering the very parties perpetuating lawlessness to realise peace, law and order. Unbelievably, this is what is going on now with IGAD-Plus.

It is wrong to speculate that power sharing and narrowing the talks between the SPLM/A factions will bring peace. The very notion of sharing power and wealth in the same country between a fractured party is manifestly wrong.

It implies that governance should be based on appropriation of power and resources to certain groups rather than for these resources to be used by the political group for the benefit of the whole country as it should be.

Such approaches employed by IGAD encourage vicious competition for meagre resources which means other non-state actors will begin to mushroom across the country to claim their share thus perpetuating instability and war-lordism.

However, one of the drawbacks with the current IGAD‘s approach is that it tends to hide the real problem which is tribalism which fuels the lawlessness. It is good to talk about deals between elites, but it is important to know: who are these elites?

Using the term elite in African context can be misleading. The Oxford dictionary defines elite as “A select group that is superior in terms of qualities to the rest of a group or society.”

This is essentially a Eurocentric view which normally looks at elites as people emanating from different ethnic backgrounds but with similar experiences and interests in a country. Unlike in Africa, where political leaders usually come from a tribe and want to dominate for the interest of the tribe.

IGAD appears to be using the elite model of brokering peace in South Sudan to promote continuation of dictatorship in the new country.

The question to ask is: does SPLM/A really have superiority and quality? The obvious answer is NO! However, if one peers deeper into this organisation, the reality is that it is a tribal organisation and so its various factions as tribally oriented.

For example, take SPLM/A in government, the president is a Jieng, the minister of foreign affairs is a Jieng, the minister of defence is a Jieng, the minister of home affairs is a Jieng, the chief of police is a Jieng, the chief of prisons is a Jieng, everywhere is headed and staffed by Jieng.

Similarly with the SPLM in opposition everything and everywhere is staffed by the Nuer.

Turn to the peace talks under IGAD, the bulk of the representatives of both factions are composed of the two groups with both heads of delegations with their spokesmen. The bitter fact is that 62 tribes are marginalised and excluded from the affairs of the country.

Who then represents this silent majority in the IGAD peace talks? Therefore what goes on in IGAD is not peace talks but deliberate empowerment of two ethnic groups to lord it over the majority of the 62 ethnic groups. It is difficult to see how a lasting peace can be achieved under IGAD.

A careful examination of the IGAD talks suggests that, it is not about bringing peace to South Sudan. Its latest peace proposal being floated is the increasing evidence the talks are primarily about politics and the interest of the IGAD member states and others far afield.

The insistence on a deal between the warring factions of SPLM/A whose combined population is less than 20 percent of the country speaks for itself. This medieval monarchical method of conflict resolution is a disgrace to Africa at large and South Sudan in particular.

How could Africans (IGAD) wilfully promote a hopeless Eurocentric theory which the Europeans themselves have trashed, buried and ditched centuries ago in a new 21st century state of South Sudan?

It is startling that the Troika are backing a non-democratic approach which strives to entrench totalitarianism in the country they love to refer to as a young democracy. This song is misleading because it encourages the dictators in Juba to continue with their misrule.

If the Troika truly believed in promoting democracy in South Sudan they should be seen to promote practices that encourage and lay democratic structures.

Such practice would necessitate the Troika to recommend and encourage an inclusive pluralistic process bringing all South Sudanese together to truly sort out the mess of SPLM/A once and for all. Not what is going on right now in Addis Ababa, Nairobi and Arusha in tandem.

In a sense, a pluralistic approach is not only to promote democracy but to also avail the South Sudanese a chance to make their own ‘Social Contract’ which they have never had the opportunity to do because the current South Sudan was born out of vehement opposition to Khartoum’ Islamic system by the African tribes in the Sudan.

The latest IGAD proposal will most likely not be signed as all the signs are that the talks may fail like that of 6th March 2015. If by sheer luck or shrewd arm-twisting it should succeed, then it may not bring the long-awaited peace for reasons already elaborated above… namely the repair and reunification of the SPLM/A and its failed structures that generated and will continue to generate instability in the country.

It is possible that the dogged refusal by IGAD supported by Troika to apply democratic practice to the talks in Addis Ababa may be driven by the fear of the unknown.

The international community through IGAD appears to prefer the talks to be limited to the SPLM because such a process excludes stakeholders and directs the talks to achieve a desired outcome.

The main purpose of such a manoeuvre is to ensure the interest of the involved members of the international community is not compromised or lost in a multi-stakeholder’s process that may produce actors whose intent is to truly work for the benefit of South Sudan.

In the case of South Sudan, the international community appears to prefer business with the ultra corrupt murderous SPLM/A than the peace loving people of South Sudan.

So, they may be thinking it is better for them to patch the SPLM/A up because it serves their interest. They do not want to see a situation where power shifts from the SPLM through the talks which can lead to a true change of political play leading to a potential loss of interest of the member states of IGAD and beyond.

The political corruption of IGAD countries distorts the reality of South Sudan politics. For example, Uganda’s overt destructive activities in South Sudan.

On one hand it is an active participant in the war using banned weapons such as cluster bombs and helicopter gunships in eviscerating South Sudanese and their properties in the war zones. On the other it pretends that it is a peace maker and a friend of the people of South Sudan.

Given what is going on, any talk by the international community of standing with the people of South Sudan is a mere facade and face saving gimmick.

South Sudanese are on their own and they should be prepared to go it alone to make their own peace. The earlier this point is grasped by South Sudanese, the quicker a solution can be found from within.

However, as IGAD-Plus is now in charge, if it truly wants to achieve peace then it should counter the lawlessness in South Sudan by considering the following suggestions:
1) The IGAD-Plus talks to be inclusive rather than dragging on with a wrong and a failed process based on a deal between supposed “elites”.
2) The objectives of the talks must be about resolving the core issues generating problems in the country notably: tribalism, state driven violence against citizens, corruption and lack of law and order.
3) Reform of the entire security sector with emphasis on representation of all ethnicities in the various organs of the sector.
4) Accountability, preferably through the current international legal structures as the crimes committed in South Sudan is of an international nature.
5) To make maximum impact to discourage corruption, the UNSC should freeze accounts of all South Sudanese who have in excess of 2 hundred thousand dollars. South Sudanese know that before 2005 hardly any person of South Sudan origin had that amount of money.
5) NGOs to be discouraged from shielding the government from its responsibility to provide services.
6) The AU report into the violence in South Sudan in December 2013 must be released. Further delay clearly will mean denial of justice to the victims. The adage “justice delayed is justice denied” applies here.
7) IGAD needs to consider the invaluable contributions of South Sudanese intellectuals, the Diaspora and the people of Equatoria in brokering peace. Position papers from these groups have already been submitted to IGAD.

Finally, South Sudan has been lawless for over three decades. During this period it has bled and lost over two million people, majority of whom died at the hands of the SPLM/A.

The latest bloodletting initiated by President Kiir in December 2013 setting the country alight needs to be resolved through a modern multi-stake holders process and not the medieval “elite” process adopted by IGAD.

If IGAD truly wants to solve the South Sudan problem it should change course of direction now and do the right thing for the sake of the region generally and South Sudan in particular.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul

Accountability in South Sudan can’t wait for peace – but could foster it

BY: Ken Scott is Amnesty International’s research consultant for South Sudan, THE EAST AFRICAN, JUL/12/2015, SSN;

On July 9, South Sudan observed its fourth anniversary as a state. I say “observed” because there is nothing to celebrate.

Since conflict broke out in mid-December 2013, South Sudan has become one of the neediest, most tragic places on earth.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed, in schools and hospitals, churches and mosques, even in guarded UN camps for already displaced persons.

On June 30, the UN reported grave acts of brutality against civilians by government forces in Unity State, including burning people alive in their houses.

Unicef recently concluded that “violence against children in South Sudan has reached new levels of brutality,” citing the gang rape and the murder of girls as young as eight and the castration of boys left to die.

Although the UN and international community have repeatedly voiced “outrage” and called for an end to the conflict, peace efforts to date, led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, have failed. Recent talks sponsored by President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya also showed no tangible progress.

Among the root causes of the South Sudan conflict are an unfortunate culture of impunity and a historical absence of accountability. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005 failed to address gaps in accountability resulting from decades of civil war with the North.

After 18 months of killing, mayhem and rape, the South Sudan government has done nothing of significance to hold any of its own officials and forces accountable for violations committed and in fact obstructs international efforts to monitor human-rights abuses and investigate probable war crimes.

****Maybe the warring parties in South Sudan will cease or at least reduce their attacks on civilians, churches and schools when they see serious international criminal investigators on the ground with a robust protection force and every intention to indict and bring to justice those responsible for so much human misery****

There has been no shortage of speeches calling for accountability, but a tragic shortage of real action. A year ago, there was already consensus among South Sudanese civil society and international actors including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for some type of hybrid court, but no such mechanism has yet been established.

The principal reasons given by the international community for not taking more action over the past year are the desire to give peace efforts a maximum chance of success by not naming persons allegedly responsible for the violence, and to show deference to the African Union in the hope for a genuine African accountability solution.

All of us hope that genuine peace can be established in South Sudan — a peace that is more than a ceasefire between rival elites, a peace that will addresses the country’s real issues and needs.

However, accountability cannot wait any longer. While some have expressed the view that the violence against civilians will only stop when such a peace is established, the prohibition of crimes against humanity and the rules of international humanitarian law are meant to prevent and stop such violence even while an armed conflict continues.

It may not be possible to achieve a complete peace in the short-term, but that does not and cannot mean that mass violence against civilians must, in the meantime, simply be accepted as “just the way it is.”

It is not true that justice and accountability can only be addressed once peace has been established. An investigative Commission of Experts was established for the Balkan wars in the 1990s three years before the Dayton peace accords were signed.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia was established two years before the accords. International investigators were on the ground and evidence was being collected while the fighting continued.

The International Independent Investigation Commission to investigate the murder of former prime minister Rafic Hariri and 21 others was established by Security Council resolution in April 2005, four years before the Special Tribunal for Lebanon was created in 2009.

The conflict in South Sudan must be addressed in a similar fashion. There is no need to wait for a fully developed peace or until a full-blown court or tribunal is established. Indeed, the people of South Sudan cannot wait.

There is ample authority in the UN Charter, Chapter VII, for the creation of a hybrid accountability mechanism for South Sudan, and, since 2011 and as recently as 28 May, the UN Security Council has made at least eight Chapter VII findings that the situation in South Sudan constitutes a threat to international peace and security.

Adequately resourced criminal investigators must be on the ground in South Sudan as soon as possible before more evidence is destroyed, concealed or otherwise lost. The US Secretary of State John Kerry said almost a year ago, “We’re well past the point where enough is enough.”

If that was true a year ago, it must be doubly true now. How many more South Sudanese civilians must be murdered and young women sexually assaulted before real, concrete actions are taken to obtain sustained security for all?

In early May, the United States pledged $5 million to help set up an accountability mechanism for South Sudan. This pledge must lead to concrete action now. A strong and sustainable international mandate can lead to justice and perhaps real steps toward justice can lead to peace.

Maybe the warring parties in South Sudan will cease or at least reduce their attacks on civilians, churches and schools when they see serious international criminal investigators on the ground with a robust protection force and every intention to indict and bring to justice those responsible for so much human misery. The time to act decisively, to stop the violence, is now!

Ken Scott is Amnesty International’s research consultant for South Sudan. He is a former senior prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and currently a special prosecutor at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

‘Thon Mangok hung up himself:’ Path to Tribal Self-destruction


On Friday 26th June 2015, a significantly sad event took place in Juba. Facebook carried the story and I thought that the following day this would be reported in the media. But it was not – reason, the story could be explosive and could enlighten the wider Jieng supporters of the SPLM/A machine to realise that they are simply dispensable.

Right now the majority are carried away by the feeling that they are rulers even when they are being sacrificed like lambs in the front lines and the social environment as in this case.

This story must be told and deconstructed for the benefit of all the people of South Sudan. Mr Thon Mangok, a Jieng overwhelmed by the unbearable suffering in the country created by his own kith and kin decided to end his life by hanging himself.

Someone by name of Faza Gabriel posted the images of the late with the message, “Dear Friends, my friend, father, Then (Thon) Mongok hung up himself today at 01.30 pm in POC3 Juba”.

In the image the late hanged on a whitish thick rob firmly tied to the ceiling beam. Mangok wore a dark trouser and a vest. His suspended body hang still with his visibly snapped neck with the face looking downwards to the ground. That very sad look of the deceased sums the very malaise gripping the country.

But beyond that the whole story of Thon Mangok symbolises the destruction of the Jieng people by the Jieng Council of Elders and the destruction of the country by the SPLM/A which is controlled by the latter.

On face value it appears that the Jieng are having it large, especially given their behaviour all over the country. But in reality the truth is that a lot of the Jieng, especially those in the villages are suffering like their brothers and sisters in other parts of the country.

They too are victims. Dr Justin Ambago wrote about this in the past highlighting the suffering of those Jieng dying in Warrap from hunger while their son sat in J1 with his black hat doing nothing to save them.

The greatest irony is that they join his militia in thousands and die to protect him in droves, but the president does not care about their welfare except that of his closest friends in the Jieng Council of Elders.

The militia and the army are not paid regularly. When they die in front line, their bodies are left for vultures to help themselves on. No health facilities. No proper homes or insurance.

Their families are left destitute. But then look at the members of the Jieng Council of Elders along with their closest relatives – they are driving Toyota V8s, Hummers and what have you.

They reside year in year out in luxurious hotels paid by the government. They over-indulge in eating so much so that obesity has become endemic in their circles.

It is this discrepancy of have-and-have-not in the whole country and within the Jieng community itself that produces painful stories such as that of Thon Mangok.

Emile Durkheim, one of the founding philosophers of Sociology, explains that anomic environment among others can cause suicide. In South Sudan, with values and norms disrupted by the alien culture introduced by the SPLM/A, it is not difficult to see why poor Thon Mangok chose to end his life.

Everything is uncertain and there is no future to look to without health service, employment, security of life, food security… etc.

Chinua Achebe in his book, ‘Things fall apart’ from an African perspective similar to Durkheim’s argument shows us how environment can be destructive to life. His main character Obi Okonkwo ends up committing suicide because he could not cope.

Similarly Mangok despairs about the rule of his kith and kin and as a last resort he takes away his life as an act of “preservation” from the SPLM/A system. A system that destroys the secure way of life South Sudanese have known since the British colonial period.

What the SPLM introduced trashed and destroyed the very soul of South Sudan.

All the values of decent living and social relationship got ripped apart by the policies of Jieng Council of Elders. Like Okonkwo, Mangok gave up and took his life.

Mangok must have thought there was no chance of escaping the new destructive order put in place by his own people but to escape through self destruction.

Unlike sociological theories, Psychological theories place the burden on the individual’s inability to cope with the environment. While the medical approach as its name suggests looks at suicide as illness and it strives to treat it with medication.

Regardless of whatever approach, suicide can be minimised if potential candidates are empowered with information and given appropriate support. This is something lacking in South Sudan due to lack of care from the system.

Mangok’s self destruction therefore highlights the measure of lack of information he had as a person. Had he had sufficient information he might have chosen other less drastic options than the one he took and he would still be with us today.

It is worse now for his small family left behind. Their life is going to be a nightmare with a government of kleptocrats that does not even care about those it sends to harm’s way in a war it manufactured to perpetuate Jieng hegemony.

Mangok chose what to him might have seemed as an easy way out. This is not to blame him or to disrespect him as others would.

It was unfortunate that he was unlucky not to have had someone near him to talk him out of taking his life. The people of South Sudan need to know that they should not kill themselves.

Their woes are not of their making. It is the making of SPLM/A and so they should fight back to regain their freedom and what belongs to them by destroying this monstrous thing called SPLM/A.

It is better to die fighting this monster “SPLM/A” thing than to end your own life making it easy for the very system that wants you out of its way.

If Thon Mangok had ended his life in any other country with a conscious population, perhaps the situation in South Sudan now would be different.

This may also be the reason why his melancholic story has been muffled to protect the murderous kleptocratic system in Juba.

Compare the suicide of Thon Mangok with that of Mohamed Bouazizi. In the Town of Sidi Bouzid in Tunisia in January 2011, Bouazizi immolated himself in public and set the country into a revolutionary mode changing the environment that drove him to commit suicide.

Bouazizi’s death, though sad, it served a larger cause of empowering the Tunisian people to regain their dignity while Mangok’s death in South Sudan is an utter waste of human resource.

But, expecting a revolution in South Sudan may be a bit too optimistic now given the brutality of the system that has insulated itself with ruthless tribal army and tribal militia ready to mow people down without any second thought.

The events of December 2013 remain a constant reminder to the people of South Sudan, the extent to which this Dinkocratic system is ready to go to maintain its tribal government.

The only way to deal with it effectively perhaps is what the late Dr Wani Tombe articulated in his speeches in USA, Canada and Australia in 2014.

Here are the youtube videos of these speeches: ‘Dr Wani Tombe calling the People of Greater Equatoria to rise and protect their rights and freedoms’ ‘Prof.Wani Tombe (Speech in Queensland Australia)’ ‘Dr Wani Tombe Speech in Nebraska 2014’

It is worth listening to late Dr Tombe’s message carefully because it is so rich and empowering. Dr Tombe in life might have been controversial but the fact that he is sadly not with us now should make people re-examine his patriotic position and his commitment to realising a free South Sudan.

Nobody can blame him now for any sinister motive other than to accept the fact that he has gone with a bang arming the people with intellectual ammunitions to demolish the regime of terror. With humility I take my hat off to him. May Dr Tombe’s soul Rest in Peace.

SPLM/A in its totality is a pathological organisation. Please see ‘The fight of the beast in the luak’.

Because this outfit is a Jieng organisation, the two have become one with each supporting the other in this destructive course. South Sudan as a whole now risks being destroyed by this suicidal behaviour.

Thus the duty now falls on the rest of the country to save the Jieng from themselves and also directly saving themselves from destruction.

What this means is that the Jieng need to be made aware of the current SPLM/A government’s potential to push them into suicide due to the contradiction that exist within the system for them, for instance they are purported to be the rulers yet they are left just as destitute as the rest.

Mangok was not saved because possibly nobody cared enough to speak to him. But the Jieng and their organisation are now told by this piece and the rest of the country should follow suit.

Those negotiating in IGAD and the mediators too need to tell it to the Jieng in raw form as it is to drive the message home.

It is only when the Jieng are made to understand their foolery will goad them come from Mangok’s sad self destruction.

A distinction of the two suicidal acts the Jiengs have entered into needs to be made from the chaos they created.

First, the Jieng Council of Elders’ policies have produced a pauperised Jieng section that is afflicted with despair and no hope. This tormented group is now suffering silently without any voice and receive no sympathy from the rest of the country. As a result sad stories like that of Mangok are surfacing.

The second group is made up of the fighters that stuff the killing machine, the SPLA. Because of the nature of their job and the lack of professional guidance and ethical orientation, they have found themselves misled and beastialised.

Anyone who doubts this should read the recent reports about the war in Upper Nile and Unity states where women and girls are raped and thrown into fire and children castrated and killed by the government troops.

Please see, ‘UN says South Sudan children raped, castrated and thrown into fire’

The horrific acts of the Jieng militia and SPLA both in the battle field and in the security offices all over the country is a problem waiting to explode in the Jieng community and the country at large given the fact that there are no robust health and social structures to support them.

These Jieng boys and girls are now dying slowly through emotional, mental and physical break down. If the experience of the armies of western countries in Iraq and Afghanistan is anything to go by, the Jieng Council of Elders should be prepared for the outcome of their foolery in brutalising their sons and daughters.

As you can see the Jieng on both social and military fronts have set themselves on a suicide course and this is fast getting out of their control.

This malaise of madness afflicting the Jieng comes directly from the SPLM/A and the obsessive lust for power for the sake of it.

The jieng through the policies and actions of Jieng Council of Elders have plunged the country into chaos and in the process they have made themselves to be deeply hated by the other tribes in South Sudan.

Their behaviour on careful examination is irrational and amounts to what could be seen as a collective suicidal ideation. That the jieng’s collective mind appears to be suicidal is something hard to refute or dispute given the widely available evidence.

For example, the rampant killing the Jieng security officers and militia are committing all over the country and the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Nuer in direct violation of the interim constitution of the country. If their acts are not suicidal then I do not know what suicide is.

The exposure of the Jieng by the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) to:
–1) the bitter hatred of fellow country men,
–2) pauperisation of the majority and
–3) individual and collective mental illness;
all these for the sake of unachievable objectives such as expansion through encroachment to other people’s lands, and the dream of being the elite of South Sudan is an act of irresponsible leadership.

JCE is only thinking about their personal interest of enrichment and clinging to power at the expense of the wider Jieng community. They are sacrificing the entire South Sudanese including the Jieng willy-nilly and they do not care.

If they did, perhaps Thon Mangok would not have hanged himself. If they did, the foot soldiers of SPLA and the militia would not be constantly unpaid. If they did, the fallen militia and SPLA soldiers would not make feast for the vultures – because they would be buried in dignity.

What does that then mean? Simple! The Jieng who are being abused, especially the militia and those in SPLA need to join hands with their brothers and sisters from the other tribes in the struggle for common good.

This is important because by taking such a step they affirm their humanity and at the same time they will save themselves and their tribe from the deadly course set by the JCE.

What is the point in following the JCE when it is impoverishing you the Jieng, pathologising you the Jieng, and making you the Jieng a subject of extreme hate and ridicule by others?

All in all, the bravado of bravery sung by the Jieng hides the realities of emotional and mental pain emanating from their abuse of state power and involvement in grave crimes like the mass killings of others in particularly gruesome ways.

The enemy of the Jieng now is the JCE and those Jieng who are nursing undetected emotional and mental health problems from their obnoxious behaviour. This type of human destruction is the one presently eating away the Jieng.

They (Jieng Council of Elders) have been walking into it foolishly in the last three decades in pursuit of narrow ideas such as acquiring massive land and the glory of power.

The Jieng are most likely going to pay a heavy price for their reckless behaviour. Thon Mangok’s self destruction sad as it is, symbolises what awaits the Jieng unless they change course. May Thon Mangok RIP.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]
Elhag Paul

Rule of Law has died in South Sudan as rule of man now rules

BY: Juol Nhomngek Daniel, Makerere Law School, Uganda, JUL/06/2015, SSN;

The problems of South Sudan are out of hand due to poor leadership, that has led to insecurity as the rule of law has disappeared. For instance, nowhere is safe in South Sudan except inside the tomb, but if the person is dead then he or she is not saved because he or she does not know whether he or she is alive or not, which means that he or she does not feel pain. In short, no where is save in South Sudan.

People are always under constant fear. Many people are being killed on daily basis but leadership does not care because things have gone to the wholesome stage where every person lives for himself or herself, and God for us all.

The point is that South Sudanese leaders who are remnants of SPLA generals are confused on what to do with the nation. They are confused and do not understand the term nation building.

What they have not understood is the fact that building a nation does not mean building physical infrastructures but it means building human resources first so that an aspect of humanity in human beings is brought out and the inhuman and cruel part of them being suppressed.

It is deplorable.The way the SPLM leadership is building South Sudan leaves much to be desired. The SPLM leadership is capitalizing on the ignorance of the citizens to achieve their own parochial perspective as they are applying divide-and-rule politics.

A reminiscence of British Rule in Uganda and Nigeria and Arabs in South Sudan. Therefore, there is a real risk that the whole nation would be thrown into unending lawlessness and chaos as already seen in some states.

Lakes State is one of such states. The problem of Lakes State like other states of South Sudan is that it is being punished with crude and ruthless form of government that cares for nothing but money and wealth in general. Buying expensive cars is the norms and aspirations of leaders governing all States of South Sudan while citizens are under fire and dirty politics.

What I have seen in not only in Lakes State but all over South Sudan is that the roots of hatred and misgivings are already planted through the institutionalized tribal rule that is likely to haunt South Sudan in some many years to come.

Besides, the army, which is the heart and lifeblood of any nation is politicized as politics has invaded the whole army circle as army generals are being suspended like politicians while the general army body except the generals in South Sudan is wallowing in abject poverty as corruption goes on unabated in the army because no one cares about the welfare of the nation.

The nation is in fact sold alive and is being consumed in four-mouthed barrel of greed and myopic politics. The whole scenario is sad. South Sudanese and its citizens are stuffed at the back. They have even become slaves in their own country.

South Sudanese fought the war to liberate South Sudan but found themselves enslaved by ruthless and myopic leaders that have nothing to add to the nation but instead become a burden to the nation.

In actual sense, the leaders of South Sudan unlike Uganda are a burden to the nation. For instance, leaders of South Sudan have stolen billions of dollars as indicated by the forms of houses that they have built in Uganda and elsewhere that the president of Uganda or presidents of other nations in which they have built such houses do not even have because those leaders have at least put in place the ideology, law and order as signified by their Constitutions.

Hence, the existence of such deadly corruption in South Sudan can be attributed to the fact that the rule of law is dead since it is now the rule of man that rules.

Thus, as a matter of fact, where the law is undermined there is always emergency of chaos. It is upon this ground that I can foresee that South Sudan will never be stable for twenty or thirty years to come.

Due to lack of rule of law and ideology, citizens of South Sudan feel that they do not have any direction and this is why they are confused as their lives are in state of nowhere. This is because rule of law is dead in the whole of South Sudan as the rule of man takes precedence.

Law is upside down since the rule of law is dead as the rule of man takes center stage. The citizens are being ruled by rule of man without law and order. The nation is held hostage by a clique of miscreant gang that is ready to grab the nation’s resources as soon as the opportunity avails itself.

The recent report on disappearance of millions of dollars in Central Bank of South Sudan and the suspension of employees in the office of the president who forged the signature of the head of State to steal money from Central Bank confirms the truth that there is no rule of law in South Sudan.

If there were a strong rule of law the individuals who forged the signature of the president to siphon millions of dollars out of the bank would have been charged with economic sabotage against the nation. Economic Sabotage is the practice of undermining the economy of a nation.

It is a tactic used to pressure governments. The power of the markets is such that it may be wielded as a weapon to damage the stability a country’s economy, raising food/fuel prices, interest rates on international debts and other factors important to an economy.

As seen from the above explanation of what economic sabotage is, it can be concluded that economic sabotage is a serious crime that can be punished even with death as seen in some countries such as China.

Before we go to the conclusion, it is important to note that it is not foreseeable in the near future in South Sudan that things will change for the better unless rule of law is enforced and justice prevails.

In summary due to the fact that there is no rule of law, South Sudanese government officials are and will be stealing money with impunity. Thus, there is a need for all South Sudanese to get united irrespective of their tribal backgrounds to fight a war against misgovernment that is currently going on in South Sudan.

NB// Th Author can be reached Via,

What Legacy would SPLM Leaders leave behind in South Sudan?

By Tong Kot Kuocnin, Legal Counsel, JUL/03/2015, SSN;

The history of many African Liberation Movements have succinctly and coherently revealed that fighting for freedoms, in order to free your people from all yokes of oppression and marginalization of the repressive and most terrible despotic regimes in Africa is one thing and maintaining the legacy after the war to live longer is another.

Too many African liberation movements suffered this fate and SPLM as one of Africa’s strongest liberation movements of its time is thoroughly defaced by this disease and is on the next row.

The SPLM fought a fierce protracted civil war with the Islamist led government centered in Khartoum for more than two bloody decades which eventually culminated in the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement which formed the legal basis for south Sudan statehood.

That was such an admired and well received legacy the SPLM as a liberation movement registered in the history of our nation. But is this legacy worth living on as it should have been? It’s certainly not.

The SPLM after becoming a ruling party in both the former Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan seems to have fallen short of its visions and missions and certainly lost its right direction.

The legacy which it had earned is being eaten away by some ants in its own thatched house where its cleaners became the bosses. The legacy is no longer worth living in the hearts and minds of the peoples of south Sudan, maybe only the SPLM diehards like myself may say yes, it would be worth living but loosely because it is the same SPLM that is eating its own tail.

This is manifested by unethical and unprocedural reckless and quirky mismanagement of almost all the resources of the state misguided by this assumption of being leaders of SPLM.

This malfeasance conduct by these leaders led to the standstill and hence dysfunctionality of all the other organs of the party hence relegating some of them to become weak and useless.

These leaders thrust themselves out by stabbing at the back the legacy they fought so hard to win. And of course they won but they have washed away all the credits and veneration they had earned first as fighters in the bush and in the government.

But despite all this respect, admiration and love the people of south Sudan accorded them, they decided to immerse our beloved nation into the toilet.

They divisions, power wrangles and quarrels that have inconsistently been going on within the ranks and files of the SPLM show that SPLM as a liberation movement is going through the same hole most African liberation movements have gone through and has signal very resoundingly that it is suffering from the same disease.

However, belittling this infighting within SPLM in such ingenuity to its survival and rules won’t take this country ahead.

The legacy of mass killings of innocent and vulnerable women, children and elderly is such a mischievous iniquity. The legacy of burning all the villages and infrastructure worth living of human beings is such a worst legacy to leave in history.

The legacy of looting all the civilians’ properties, raping every girl child and kidnapping women for forceful marriages is menacing to the entire state of south Sudan and hence the most dirtiest history a party like SPLM has in the records.

Therefore, what legacy would these so-called SPLM leaders leave behind for the people of South Sudan to remember them?

Is it the killings of innocent people they have masterminded due to greed for power within the party?

Is it the looting of the properties of the civilians?

Or is it the burning of villages, raping of women and girls that we should remember them for?

The legend of this legacy has ventured and vanished away due to such inadvertent chaotic behaviors by the callous SPLM leaders as they called themselves, setting themselves unknowingly on such shameful shambles of history.

However, shamefaced by the fact that they have lost all the respect and admiration that have all been accorded them by the populace, they disgracefully embark on pandemonium acts in the SPLM leadership circles.

That legacy is very much lamented by many who had wished SPLM to move on as clean as it fought for the freedoms of the people of south Sudan. These leaders as they claimed in the SPLM cajole the people of South Sudan into a great calamity which will take some time to calibrate.

The cantankerous bigoted SPLM leaders begrudge each other over a plate that is big enough to feed all of them at the expense of the people they claimed to be theirs.

This unspeakable torment the so-called SPLM leaders callously impelled on the people of South Sudan is very much deplored and detested.

The imperiousity SPLM has earned in the sights and hearts of the people of south Sudan has been chattered away and completely lost and even thrown into the dustbin.

They have torn apart our social bonds which bind us together as one people of this great country due to their selfish interests and coherently coerce our people to believe in their mindless violence which eventually cost only our poor and vulnerable people very pricelessly.

They have uprooted our social cohesions and our being one people and begin to look at each other as tribes, as enemies and not as brothers and sisters who share common bonds and oneness.

Their debility in the SPLM house has debilitated all our social bonds and crippled them to a certain extent.

This legacy is such a legacy which deserved no special place in our history books.

The pain, the suffering, the destruction, rape and mass killings caused by these heartless leaders will surely be remembered for centuries to come as people who have caused and initiated unspeakable atrocities and untold human suffering of the sorts in the history of the Republic of South Sudan.

Tong Kot Kuocnin is a Master of Laws (LLM) Candidate at the School of Law of the University of Nairobi and a Practicing Legal Counsel at Deng & Co. Advocates and a die-hard Member of SPLM. He can be reached at:

UN: South Sudan army (SPLA) raped girls and burned them alive

Latest– Report by UN mission in South Sudan says recent military campaign was notable for its “brutality and intensity: ALJEEZERA, JUN/30/2015, SSN;”

The UN has accused South Sudan’s army of raping and then burning girls alive inside their homes during its recent campaign, a report by its mission in the country said.

The statement, published on Tuesday, warned the recent upsurge in fighting had been marked by a “new brutality and intensity.”

“The scope and level of cruelty that has characterised the reports suggests a depth of antipathy that exceeds political differences,” the UN said.

Women and children flee violence in South Sudan
Members of the UN mission in Sudan (UNMISS) said they interviewed 115 victims and eyewitnesses in Unity state where South Sudanese forces were involved in fighting against opposition fighters in April.

The survivors allege that the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) killed civilians, destroyed villages and displaced 100,000 people, the statement added.

The UN said attempts to corroborate the reports were prevented by the SPLA, which denied its teams access to the areas concerned.

“UNMISS human rights officers visited two additional sites of alleged atrocities and conducted more interviews of eyewitnesses and victims. The information gathered from those visits and interviews provided further corroboration of the earlier accounts,” the statement read.

“We call on the SPLA to fulfil this commitment and allow our human rights officers unfettered access to the sites of these reported violations,” said Ellen Margrethe Loej, the head of UNMISS.

The military spokesman for the South Sudanese army, Philip Aguer Panyang, told Al Jazeera that the accusations made in the report needed further verification, and questioned accusations South Sudanese troops had obstructed UN investigators.

“Our role as an army is to facilitate humanitarian deliveries and access for civilian protection,” Panyang said.

“If the UN has been denied access, they have the right to present those claims to the SPLA command.”

South Sudan attained independence in 2011 but the country has disintegrated into chaos.

Thousands of people have been killed and almost two million displaced in a civil conflict that erupted in late 2013 as forces loyal to Salva Kiir tried to put down an uprising led by his former deputy, Riek Machar.

Peace talks between the factions collapsed in March this year, and clashes have since escalated.

Kiir said that he will not be forced into a premature peace deal and rejected the UN threat of sanctions against his country. END

The untold story of Israeli military exports to South Sudan and crimes against humanity

By: Adv. Itai Mack and Idan Landau (translation: Einat Adar), JUN/27/2015, SSN;

Since South Sudan’s independence, Israel has continuously sold it weapons, military training, homeland security and surveillance technology. The only problem? They are being used to commit war crimes and potential crimes against humanity.

We now know that Israel sold weapons to Rwanda in the 1990s as genocide was being committed throughout the country. The details of these dealings are still being kept secret and an appeal (Hebrew) to make them public is currently being examined in the High Court of Justice. No lessons, it seems, were learned from that affair.

For the last 18 months a bloody civil war has been raging in another African country, South Sudan, including documented war crimes and potential crimes against humanity. The international media is covering this war on a daily basis.

The Israeli media, on the other hand, reported about it during the first few months but has since become silent, even though atrocities are still being perpetrated.

This silence probably has a good reason: high-ranking officials in the government and the security industry are selling weapons, military training, homeland security and surveillance technology to factions in South Sudan. Any publication on these activities can seriously embarrass them.

Since the 1960’s Israel has been fighting a secret war in South Sudan by supporting the rebels’ struggle to break free from Khartoum’s tyranny. Israel’s support does not reflect its humanistic values or solidarity with a just and legitimate fight for freedom, but rather is the result of various strategic interests in the region.

In 2011 a referendum was held in South Sudan following massive pressure from the international community. Ninety-nine percent of residents voted in favor of breaking away from Khartoum, and on July 9th of the same year South Sudan became an independent country.

The State of Israel was one of the first countries to recognize the new state, and in 2011 Salva Kiir Mayardit, president of South Sudan, came to Israel on official visit.

For Israel, an independent South Sudan was a golden opportunity to further its security and economic interests in the area, and it subsequently made hefty investments in civil and military infrastructure there. The relationship between the two countries is exceptional even when compared to Israel’s close ties with other African countries, showing some signs of sponsorship.

This special relationship should also be understood in the context of regional power struggles. The local conflict between Sudan and South Sudan is sponsored by Iran and Israel respectively. As Iran reinforced its ties with Muslim Sudan, Israel strengthened its relations with Christian South Sudan, which also provides it with oil.

Two-and-a-half years ago Israel allegedly bombed an Iranian owned arms factory in Khartoum; a year ago the IDF intercepted a ship carrying munitions from Sudan to Gaza; and just this month an Israeli drone was reportedly shot down in Sudan. It is evident that Iran and Israel are fighting a proxy war through their African allies.

The only question is whether this semi-imperial strategy can, in any way, justify supporting South Sudan forces who perpetrate war crimes and crimes against humanity. No Israeli strategic interest, real or imaginary, can exempt it from the moral and legal responsibility to prevent the sale of any weapons that may be used for such purposes.

South Sudan’s celebration of independence sadly turned into one of the worst tragedies of our times. Since mid-December 2013 a civil war has been raging in South Sudan between opposing ethnic and political groups — a continuation of the bloody civil war that led to the country’s independence after 22 years.

According to the latest reports, 50,000 people were killed, 2 million people were displaced or became refugees, and 2.5 million people are at risk of starvation due to the war. Human rights organizations and the United Nations estimate that 12,000 child soldiers are fighting in South Sudan.

All parties involved in the fighting, and especially the government and its allied militias, are implicated in war crimes, crimes against humanity and severe violations of human rights.

Neither side is able to bring the war to an end, and no ethnic group has a clear majority in the country. The Dinka tribe, which is currently in control of the government, is only 35 percent of the population. Some of the opposition fighters are former security forces personnel who defected to the other side, taking their weapons and military training with them, thus making it harder for government forces to defeat them.

For these reasons, the government decided on an alternative strategy: mass murder, systematic rape of other ethnic groups, and abuse of citizens identified with the opposition. As long as weapons continue to stream into the country, the government has no interest in reaching a compromise, and it continues to cling to a false hope of defeating their enemies in the field.

This situation led European countries to declare a weapons embargo on South Sudan and the U.S. to suspend its military aid. There were also attempts to pass a similar embargo resolution in the UN Security Council.

So far these attempts have been unsuccessful due conflicts and arguments between the members of the council, as well as the fear that the rebels will defeat the government forces.

Despite the political difficulties involved in agreeing on an embargo resolution, the gravity of the situation in South Sudan is clear to all. On March 3 of this year the Security Council adopted U.S.-sponsored Resolution 2206, giving both sides an ultimatum threatening a weapons embargo and other sanctions if the fighting is not ended.

Despite the world’s reaction, Israel’s secret war in South Sudan continues according to reports and information provided by human rights activists who have been, or still are, in South Sudan.

Since the country’s independence, Israel has continuously sent it weapons, training government forces and providing various security-related technologies. There is also a cooperation between the two countries’ secret services, and Israeli entities have established an internal control and surveillance system in South Sudan, which they continue to maintain.

The current Israeli involvement in South Sudan is exceptional in the history of Israeli military exports. This goes way beyond greed. Israel is currently fighting over the viability of a project that it has invested much in over the years — a project whose failure may damage its credibility in the eyes of other dictators and regimes that receive military aid from Israel.

An official publication by the Ministry of Defense from November 2014 (almost a year after the beginning of the civil war in South Sudan) boasts (Hebrew) about the success of the defense export department at Cyber Security exhibition, visited by 70 delegations from around the world, including South Sudan. There are testimonies that the South Sudan military is using the Israeli Galil ACE rifle.

Eighteen months before the outbreak of the civil war, a Sudanese newspaper reported on an airlift from Israel to South Sudan, providing rockets, military equipment and even African mercenaries (after training). The provisions still continue to flow. A South Sudanese delegation will visit (Hebrew) an Israeli armament exhibition to be held next week in Tel Aviv.

Think about it for a minute: a country in which crimes against humanity are perpetrated at this very moment, using foreign weapons and under a complete weapons embargo by U.S. and Europe, sends a military acquisitions delegation to Israel and is being welcomed with open arms.

Both international law and basic human morality forbid the sale of weapons or other military aid which may serve in war crimes and crimes against humanity. In the past, due to the political conflicts of the Cold War, the international community failed to fulfill this obligation, but since the 1990s it has been transformed into decisive law in U.S. and Europe, as well as among international conventions and international institutions such as the UN and international courts.

Israel has no real way of ensuring the weapons it sells to South Sudan are not used to massacre civilians or threaten women as they are being raped by soldiers and militia fighters.

Furthermore, there is no way to ensure that the training of security forces is not used for the murder and torture of civilians and that the technology it provides is not used for persecuting citizens for their political or ethnic affiliations — not to mention supporting horrific war crimes and crimes against humanity — unless it completely stops all military and security-related exports to this country.

It is important to clarify that international law also forbids the sale of technologies and devices that “don’t shoot” if they may be used in committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

On March 12 this year, Adv. Itai Mack gave an interview about military exports to South Sudan on the radio program “According to Foreign Media” (Hebrew), which is aired on the “All For Peace” radio station (beginning 47:50). Mack revealed more details about Israel’s involvement in providing weapons and training to South Sudan forces. Following these findings, Adv. Mack appealed to the Ministry of Defense to stop military exports to the country. The appeal, unsurprisingly, was rejected.

MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) is currently trying to break the seal of silence, by demanding that the Ministry of Defense cease all military exports to South Sudan immediately. The demand was accompanied by an expert opinion prepared by Adv. Mack, which details the factual and legal aspects of the issue (you can find the request and opinion in Hebrew here).

The Israeli public must join this request. And the time to do it is right now.

Idan Landau is an Israeli academic at Ben-Gurion University. This post was originally published in Hebrew on Idan’s blog, Don’t Die a Fool. It is reposted here with the author’s permission.

The reinstatement of Pagan Amum to Secretary General of SPLM is inappropriate!

BY: Juach Garang Bul, Australia, JUN/25/2015, SSN;

Comrade Pagan Amum was the former Secretary General of the South Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). He has been accused of pilfering SPLM party money and also as being a coup plotter. Pagan Amum was reinstated back to his previous position as Secretary General in accordance with the Arusha agreement to end the nineteen-month-conflict.

I’m opposed to this reinstatement, as the decision was made without lucid clarification to the public proving that he will work in favour of the system, not his political ego.

It would be best if Comrade Pagan Amum came out and reassured the nation that he will be honest and will defend the constitution. This would work towards keeping peace, as the ongoing conflict started amongst SPLM leaders, including himself.

As this has not happened, it suggests the government is keen to support the same politicians responsible for instigating the ongoing conflict.

It would be astute to bring peace first prior to reinstating those who called President Kiir an inept and visionless leader. Perhaps reinstatement of these SPLM leaders will result in the betrayal of president Kiir and his government, again.

Related to this, many people might question why someone such as Pagan Amum is reinstated back to the party while other elites are left out. What’s behind his reinstatement?

If President Kiir was being rational, Riek Machar would also first have been reinstated back to his position, as would other former political leaders from the SPLM.

The people of South Sudan want to know why individuals who killed innocent people are being reinstated back into political positions without publically apologizing and being held to account.

Who is going to be held accountable for the innocent Nuer killed in Juba?

And likewise, who is going to be held accountable for innocent Dinka killed in Bor and other UN camps by Nuer?

We, the people, have power to question the government as to why criminals in power have not been brought to justice.

We have power to highlight mistakes by the government because democracy means people power.

This means we, the people of South Sudan, have a right to question why the government and Opposition are still fighting when former SPLM leaders are returning back to Juba without accountability.

This lack of justice means that those involved in the fight for political attentiveness between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the White Army are blindfolded and dying in vain.

I know we are all desperate for peace, but it cannot come this way. Peace without justice is not genuine peace.

Peace without South Sudanese people knowing why their children were killed isn’t real peace.

As one amongst millions of South Sudanese affected by this senseless war, I disagree with the reinstatement of Pagan Amum without questioning what he will do differently from betraying and dehumanizing President Kiir and his government.

I may have concurred if President Kiir implemented the Arusha Agreement by bringing all former SPLM leaders back to the party, and promptly ended the conflict.

Allowing one individual to such a political position like this is corrupt and not appropriate.

What has Pagan Amum done that makes him deserve this reinstatement? END

Juach Garang Bul is a concerned South Sudanese living in Perth, Western Australia (Australia). He can be reached at his personal email for any inquiry at