Category: Featured

South Sudan old rivals ‘end war’, again!!

BY: Peter Martell, AFRICA REVIEW, APR/28/2016, SSN;

The metal gates are still twisted where troops in December 2013 stormed the house of South Sudan’s now new Vice-President Riek Machar, as war erupted leaving tens of thousands dead.

But on Tuesday, just a stone’s throw away in his heavily-guarded state house, President Salva Kiir called the matter an “incident” as he welcomed the rebel chief turned “brother” Machar back to Juba, saying his return marked “the end of the war and the return of peace and stability”.

Peace doves were released, and after Dr Machar was sworn into office, the two men stood alongside each other with hands on hearts, as a red-coated band played the national anthem, “God bless South Sudan”.

Hopes are high but the challenges — and the expectations the new government will swiftly solve them — are huge, analysts warn.

Many are cautious, pointing out that the pair have previously fallen out, fought, made up and fought again.

Was sacked

Dr Machar, who returned to the post of vice-president that he was sacked from five months before war broke out, said he wanted to work for “full implementation” of an August 2015 agreement “to make sure peace breaks out all over the country”.

For now, the war-weary population appears to be breathing a sigh of relief that for once, there is some hope for peace.

“We want the killing to stop,” said Ms Teresa Nyadet in Juba, a 58-year old mother of eight, one of over 180,000 living behind the razor wire protection of UN bases across the country.

“We women, we want peace in South Sudan, and Dr Machar must make sure the kind of life we are in stops.”

The next few weeks will be critical for persuading people the country has turned a corner.

The camp

“I am happy that Riek Machar has come, as this means that we are now going to get out of the camp,” said Ms Elizabeth Akol, a mother of four, also at a UN base in Juba.

“We are tired and have suffered a lot.”

The conflict, which has torn open ethnic divisions, has been characterised by horrific rights abuses, including gang rapes, the wholesale burning of villages and cannibalism.

Ensuring that the sides work together in a unity government, and that the thousands of rival armed forces now in separate camps inside the capital keep their guns quiet, will be an even bigger challenge.

Both sides remain deeply suspicious, and there is continued fighting between multiple militia forces who now pay no heed to either President Kiir or Dr Machar.

Mr Jok Madut Jok, who heads the Juba-based Sudd Institute think-tank, warned the return was only one of many steps.

“The people of South Sudan may be holding their breath for the war to end… but I think they should also be cautious not to let down their guard,” Mr Jok said.

Rebel leaders

Both President Kiir and Dr Machar are former rebel leaders who rose to power during Sudan’s 1983-2005 civil war between north and south — a conflict in which two men fought each other — before South Sudan won independence in 2011.

Mr Jok warned the old rivals “may disagree on several things along the way of the implementation, and that could easily return the country to a very messy situation”.

Dr Machar’s return to a country awash with weapons was stalled for a week by arguments that at one point came down to a dispute over some two dozen rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns that his security detail was allowed to have.

The pair now face far bigger problems.

The profits

The economy is in ruins, inflation has eroded savings and salaries, and without another round of massive international support there is little cash to rebuild and prove that the profits of peace are better than those of war.

With more than five million people in need of aid and more than two million forced to flee their homes, aid agencies who are struggling to support them said they welcomed any move towards peace but that the crisis was far from over.

“Though the peace process resolves some national level political disputes, it does not resolve escalating humanitarian and protection needs on the ground,” said Mr Victor Moses, who runs the Norwegian Refugee Council aid agency in the country.

Others warned that without justice to address the horrific abuses carried out by all sides, reconciliation would not be possible and hatred would fester.

Mr John Prendergast, who played a key role in drumming up US-backing for South Sudan’s independence in 2011 and who now runs the Enough Project campaign group, warned the root causes of the conflict remained unaddressed.

Deadly patterns

“Forming a government with the same actors responsible for the collapse of the economy and atrocities holds open the possibility that grand corruption will return to its pre-war patterns,” Mr Prendergast said.

“Without an emphasis on consequences for gross corruption and atrocities, it’s unlikely the deadly patterns will be broken,” he added.

But it is the best chance yet for peace. Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul, the Episcopalian Archbishop of South Sudan, has spent decades overseeing peace efforts in South Sudan.

“Now is the time for forgiveness, because we have to put all this behind us,” said Archbishop Bul.

“Let’s give peace a chance.” (AFP)

Kiir now clears Machar’s return Monday after first blocking till after weapons verification: LATEST

Various Sources, APR/23/2016, SSN;

Finally, the Kiir’s government has just surprisingly given clearance for Machar’s return, announced the security chief in Juba, questionably blaming the delay due to some mysterious so-called “on-going maintenance at Juba International Airport on weekends & delay by note verbale from Ethiopian Embassy, the two Diplomatic aircrafts will only land on Monday 25/04/2016.”

South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar had once again missed the deadline to return to Juba over what his aides blamed on new demands by President Salva Kiir’s government.

The language used in the landing permit however did not mention the agreed 195 troops of the SPLA-IO, their weapons and the coming of the chief of general staff ahead of Riek Machar.

It is however thought that the “accompanying delegation” mentioned in the clearance would encompass both military and civilian personnel who will accompany Machar

A new date for his return has been set for Monday, according to Machar’s spokesman Machar James Gatdet Dak.

“The government denied him landing. He has been waiting at the airport the whole day. We have just received word from the government that we wait until Monday,” Dak told the Sunday Nation.

Earlier, there were reports that the government insisted on verifying the identity of 195 troops who were to accompany the rebel leader.

The government also insisted on verifying the weapons at Gambela Airport in Ethiopia before granting permission to land in Juba.

It is not clear whether the said verification will be completed before Monday, the day scheduled for the return of the top leader of the SPLM-IO.

Earlier, officials of the opposition faction said the weapons verification had already been done by the Ethiopian authorities.

    KIIR GOVERNMENT BLOCKS MACHAR’S RETURN:

A senior government official this morning said that there was no reception planned for Machar today, also reiterating that they wanted ceasefire monitors to first go to Gambella to check the weapons that Machar would be bringing with him.

Minister of Information Michael Makuei said after a cabinet meeting yesterday, “CTSAMM which is the verification body will send a team of verifiers to Gambella to go and verify the 195 soldiers who are coming plus their individual weapons and plus these 20 PKMs and RPGs.”

The Joint Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (JMEC) had originally proposed that its ceasefire monitors (CTSAMM) carry out this task.

“It is thereafter that team will inform the government that they have done verification and based on that recommendation the government will issue the necessary clearance for the planes that will bring them,” Makuei added.

The minister said that the government expected Machar in Juba “probably Monday.”

“We expect Dr Riek Machar to move in soon as possible together with general chief of staff. Any delay the day after the government will not be ready for it. Any further conditions will not, and I repeat, will not be accepted by the government of South Sudan,” he said

“If the [ceasefire monitoring] team leaves today then definitely the team will be there to do the verification and probably by Monday we expect him in Juba,” Makuei further added.

Analysts say contentious details of the peace agreement signed last August could be the cause of the delays in forming the transitional government.

The stalemate, however, only tells half the story. Long before the deal, officially known as Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, the government and rebels had signed seven peace agreements since fighting broke out between factions of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) in December 2013.

All of them were broken within hours with each side accusing the other of violation.

IMPRACTICAL DEAL

When the agreement was signed, fighting resumed two days later. It has never been clear who fired the first shot but clashes took place in Central Equatoria State and oil-rich northeastern Upper Nile State where a battle for the control of Malakal Town flared. Many civilians and aid workers died.

More than 50,000 people have been killed and about two million others displaced since the conflict started, according to the UN. Other relief agencies give higher figures.

The current deal was nearly missed when rebels accused the government of changing details in the draft.

The initial draft provided for power-sharing only at national level.

In fact, it proposed for the country’s transitional security arrangements to be handled by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development regional bloc. These were opposed by rebels.

Igad mediators realised the problem and changed the document to allow transitional power sharing at all levels. Still, President Kiir signed it “with reservations.”

In changing drafts to suit parties’ demands, some experts think mediators may have made it difficult to implement it.

“The fact that the implementation is going through hurdles is telling,” Steve Paterno, a conflict research consultant from South Sudan told the Sunday Nation.

“The deal is impractical. Both armed parties acknowledge this. The government says it has reservations. In the words of Riek Machar, it is a bad agreement.”

When Igad proposed that regional armies be in Juba during the transitional period, Machar’s side said the country should not be in the hands of foreigners.

TEMPORAL ARRANGEMENT

The final document establishes 30 ministerial posts, with Kiir’s side taking 53 per cent, Machar having 33 per cent, seven per cent for political detainees and another seven for other groups.

At local governance level in clash-torn states, rebels would have the majority stake (53 per cent) while Kiir’s party would have 33.

A Kenyan diplomat who handles South Sudan affairs said on Friday that Igad was just looking at a way of accommodating everyone.

“Neither was willing to compromise and it was clear everyone was looking at remaining in government,” the diplomat said.

“By having a temporary government, mediators felt it would allow for the country to get a permanent solution.”

This arrangement is to last 30 months from the date of creation after which there will be elections.

But the Igad deal created two commanders-in-chief and two armies as the leaders worked on a unification programme.

The fact that regional power-sharing is pegged on where each side controls partly explains why fighting resumed after the agreement was signed.

Both sides defend the arrangement, saying it is only temporary.

“This is what we agreed on because we knew it was workable. Each of us has created a structure and the police will have a joint training,” Machar’s spokesman Dak told the Sunday Nation.

Dr. Riek’s Delayed Return to Juba: A Prelude to Resumption of War and Declaration of a Parallel Government In South Sudan

BY: Joseph Oreste Odhok, South Sudan, APR/21/2016, SSN;

There were high hopes and a jubilant mood in Juba city by the citizens as the government and the armed opposition members of the advance team were engaging in preparations for reception of the SPLA/M-IO Leader and the 1st VP designate Dr. Riek Machar. But it appears these hopes are now being dashed because of the government’s refusal to grant flight and landing clearance for the armed opposition general chief of staff plane.

Traded accusations by the opposing parties is seen by observers as lack of political will and commitment by both parties to implement the agreement.

With this new development in the country’s politics, the future of South Sudan looks grim and gloomy. Realistically, since the eruption of conflict in 2013, and what accompanied it of violations of human rights and crimes committed against humanity, there has never been a genuine dialogue between the warring parties to resolve the conflict peacefully.

Both parties had sought military solutions which further exacerbated the situation on the ground and led to more sufferings and displacement of the civil population. This reality increased the rift and polarized the masses along political and ethnic lines.

Regrettably, the government continued to pursue a divisive policy line being led by its tribal wing referred to as JCE (Jieeng Council of Elders). It put to use the state resources in an attempt to crash the rebellion and silence its real and perceived political opponents. It also used and continue to use the mercenaries from Sudanese rebels of SPLM/A – North and the Darfuri rebels of JEM known as TORABORA.

Reports and forensic evidence confirm the participation of those groups alongside government troops in battles fought against the Opposition forces for control of Malakal and Bentieu cities. To date the SPLA/M – N rebels of Southern Blue Nile of Malek Agar still maintain heavy presence in areas of Melut, Renk and Maban counties of Upper Nile State. They are used by the regime as a mobile force and readily available on request.

While government strategies to put down the rebellion proved futile as they could not bring about the desired goal according to plan, the SPLM/A –IO was gaining more territory and following and the war continued to rage indefinitely at the expense of human suffering.

At this hopeless situation, ARCISS was the best thing the International Community and the Regional Groupings could offer to South Sudanese as a means through which the hostilities could be arrested and peace eventually realized.

Although signing peace is an important step in the process of realizing peace and security, implementing it is equally the most crucial and the most difficult step in the process.

Judging by similar instances where signed peace agreements between opposing parties did not see light or endure, it could be deduced that the foot-dragging in implementing the security arrangements with regards to the demilitarization of the capital among others are indications of lack of commitment and political will by the government to implement peace. The agreement is therefore doomed.

Even if more pressure is exerted on the government to respect the agreement and allow for transportation of weapons and military personnel as required by the agreement, the government is likely to put new obstacle in the way of implementing the peace agreement in letter and spirit. Issues such as the question of the 28 states that it unilaterally created and went ahead to put into effect, could be one of such standoffs.

Despite all attempts by the government to block the return of Dr. Machar to Juba, he remains morally responsible to join his fellow comrades on their “Mission Impossible” errand in Juba. The armed opposition VIPs including Riek’s deputy, Alfred Lado Gore and its Chief Negotiator, Taban Deng had arrived in Juba on different dates ahead of Dr. Riek’s anticipated return and are now taken hostage with restrictions on movements and assembly sternly imposed on them.

A situation that makes one wonder if this peace is not a farce.

In the light of the foregoing facts, it is apparent that war is imminent even after the formation of the transitional government of national unity (TGoNU).

Possible Reactions of Sudan and Ethiopia to the Renewed Armed Conflict in South Sudan:

South Sudan’s northern and eastern neighbours, Sudan and Ethiopia, are currently hosting more than half a Million South Sudanese refugees fleeing the war in their country. And with the renewed armed conflict in South Sudan, more refugees would be expected to cross the border into Sudan and Ethiopia, thus increasing the already existing burden on resources and services on these countries at the time when there were high hopes of peace to prevail and subsequent repatriations.

Apart from this, there are security and economic concerns that would surely be put under jeopardy by resumption of war.

Logically, each of these countries is expected to handle the new development in accordance with its national interest and would be ready to devise strategies that better serve this purpose. It will cooperate with any of the warring parties that would respect and work together towards addressing these concerns.

Resumption of War and Declaration of Parallel Government in South Sudan:

As has been explained in the proceeding paragraphs, war will erupt as a result of partners in the newly formed Transitional Government of National Unity failure to resolve any of the contentious issues as provided by the ARCISS. It could also happen as a provocation by the SPLA/M–IG as it is currently doing in Western Bahr El Ghazal, Greater Equatoria Region, and some parts of Upper Nile.

It appears the war will be long as it would include new territories and new elements from some ethnicities. These ethnic groups have their land forfeited and carved to President Kiir’s Jieng ethnic group.

It remains to be seen whether the Opposition forces would stick to their previous strategy and fight on till they capture Juba or may change their vision and mission to a Strategic, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound before they finally march to Juba.

If the opposition forces were to speedily capture the remaining major towns from Kiir’s government in Greater Upper Nile as the situation on the ground suggests, they would likely establish a functional civil administration in order to consolidate the power of the revolutionary forces among the civil population and help them rebuild their lives.

To achieve this, the Opposition SPLM would declare a parallel Government with one of the major towns of Upper Nile as its capital. This step will boost the political standing of the opposition and win im sympathizers and friends from the regional and international circles.

The opposition has the necessary civil service working force with qualifications to run all various civil institutions in territories under the opposition forces.

It would be up to Riek and his envisaged government to use their PR and diplomatic experiences skillfully with the neighbouring countries as well as countries across the globe to establish ties and relations for the common good.

Having firmly established its political system with functional civil and military structures, the opposition will be in a stronger position than before to wage a full and decisive war for total liberation of the country. END

Riek Machar accuses President Salva Kiir of blocking his return to Juba: LATEST

LATEST ASSORTED REPORTS, WED/APRIL/20/2016, SSN;

South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar is accusing President Salva Kiir of “violating” the security arrangements necessary for his return to Juba.

Dr Machar’s office said the government in Juba had imposed a limit on weapon importation by the rebels yet the issue had already been agreed upon.

“There is no reason for the government to refuse these number of soldiers travelling ahead of the Chairman (Machar). The kind of weapons we want to transport to Juba are the weapons they already have there,” Dr Machar’s spokesman James Gatdet Dak told the Nation.

“We are going to be a separate army under the transitional government and we should have our own weapons. If there is a lack of commitment to end this conflict, then it is the government in Juba which is not committed,” he added.

Dr Machar delayed his return to Juba after President Kiir’s government declined to grant permission for more weapons and rebel troops transportation to Juba from Ethiopia.

Speaking on Aljeezira TV from Pagak today, Machar said it was president Kiir who is obstructing the peace agreement by his refusal to allow the SPLM-IO chief of staff to travel to Juba with his contingent of thousands of troops and their weapons.

The rebel leader, who was due to arrive in Juba to be sworn in as Mr Kiir’s deputy, has pegged his acceptance of the new job to the transportation of his troops.


***** In Summary:
The two sides were to establish a transitional government to last 30 months after which there would be elections.
This week, the rebel leader had asked to travel with 200 guards, Juba allowed only 40, a move that forced him to cancel his return. Juba allowed in 1,370 troops and has refused to admit a further 1,530*****

Dr Machar was supposed to travel to Juba on Monday and postponed it to Tuesday before his office issued a further “indefinite” postponement.

ELECTIONS

As part of the peace agreement Mr Kiir signed with Dr Machar in August last year, the two sides were to establish a transitional government to last 30 months after which there would be elections.

But the deal midwifed by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) created two commanders-in-chief and two separate armies as the leaders work on a unification program.

Dr Machar has asked to transport 1500 police and 1,410 soldiers with their weapons, which include machine guns and other equipment.

Juba allowed in 1,370 troops and has refused to admit a further 1,530.

This week, the rebel leader had asked to travel with 200 guards, Juba allowed only 40, a move that forced him to cancel his return.

South Sudan has been at war since December 2013.
The UN Office for the Coordination Humanitarian Affairs has estimated that 50,000 people were killed and two million others displaced by the violence.
A report by African Union investigators led by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo revealed that both sides engaged in cannibalism, sexual assault and use of public radio to foment hatred and violence. END

Kiir and Malong are two sides of the same coin

BY: Dr. LAKO Jada Kwajok, APR/18/2016, SSN;

As much as peace in South Sudan is within reach, resumption of war and descent into chaos is much closer than you think. The return of the opposition leaders to Juba would have naturally filled every heart with optimism. However, this is not exactly the case in the current environment engulfing the country.

What accurately depicts the situation is what I call as a state of cautious optimism. The Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) is an opportunity for the regime to allow the country to climb out of the hole dug by its catastrophic policies. Squandering this precious chance for achieving a lasting peace would lead to one thing only which is a definite and rapid fall into the abyss.

A common theme among the regime’s supporters is the scapegoating of the President’s aides and colleagues in the cabinet for all the shortcomings of the government. Some would even say that the President was let down by people he trusted but failed to deliver.

What they neglected to explain is – why did he keep all his cronies despite mounting failures? And why no one was dismissed for good or ended up in jail? Those who were relieved from ministerial posts were made Presidential Advisors, Ambassadors with or without portfolios or just allowed to go into hibernation in the SPLM party at taxpayers expense.

Moreover, no one among them seems to have the courage of questioning the President’s personal responsibility regarding the dire situation in the country. It’s a misleading notion aimed at presenting the President favourably and rendering him the false image of being a fair-minded person.

The fact of the matter is that President Kiir is no different from his cronies.

Last week, the media outlets circulated troubling remarks from the Chief of General Staff, General Paul Malong, I quote, “I will wait to see how he would be the president in our presence. He would be a president in my absence.” He was referring to the expected arrival of Dr. Riek Machar in Juba to kick start the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU).

The word “absence” in his remarks could mean one of two things – either he would resign his post or that Dr Riek Machar can only be President over his dead body. The former is less likely than the latter as there is no way that he would leave his post without being fired. His words displayed a massive ego and implied authority over the regime’s decision-making process.

In a democratic government or indeed any government, such remarks would have cost him his job. A couple of weeks ago, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation was sacked by President Kiir with a decree read over SSTV.

The reasons for dismissal were not given. However, many observers have attributed it to a document signed by him and sent to the UN High Commission for Human Rights, in which he referred to Dr. Luka Biong, who hails from Abyei, as a Sudanese national.

It was a lie meant to mislead that UN organisation. The former Minister indeed made a mistake, but it’s quite trivial in comparison to what other members of the cabinet did but allowed to keep their positions. The said document affected one citizen and not the whole Abyei community – it did not point out that Abyei belongs to Sudan.

Furthermore, the regime did join the Sudanese government in rejecting the unilateral referendum conducted by the Abyei civil society in 2013 that overwhelmingly supported joining South Sudan. That decision by our government though met with dismay from the general public was not perceived as an admission that Abyei is part of Sudan. What the former minister signed did not mean a change in policy or that our government has forsaken Abyei to the Jallaba government.

Therefore, it’s reasonable to believe that there are ulterior motives and a double-standard policy behind the dismissal of the former minister. With that being said, I am not by any means defending the former minister – he is an integral part of the corrupt and failed regime that has destroyed the country.

Coming back to my main topic, those remarks by Malong, should have led to immediate dismissal from his post. It’s a problem because what he said is very antagonistic to the single most important policy benchmark required to be adhered to by the government which is full implementation of ARCISS.

The problem with those utterances is two-fold. Firstly, there is nothing in the agreement that would prevent Dr. Riek Machar from becoming President of South Sudan should the position become vacant for whatever reason during the transition. Also he is entitled to be the Acting President While President Kiir is outside the country or in the event of being incarcerated by illness.

Secondly, Malong’s job description does not give him the right to wade into matters related to government policy. His job is purely non-political, and we have an example of his predecessor, General James Hoth Mai, who had run the military by the book.

Needless to say, Malong has overstepped his authority on several occasions. His outrageous statement in August 2015 that the regime would rather follow the footsteps of the likes of Al Qaeda and Boko Haram than to sign the peace agreement hasn’t been forgotten. That statement alone should have resulted in a swift dismissal because of its enormous implications.

I was amazed that in a world where a war is being vigorously waged against international terrorism that includes the above infamous terrorist organisations, Malong’s statement drew negligible or no reaction at all from the international community. Perhaps the formidable powers that are engaged in the global war on terror, regarded Malong’s utterances as empty threats from the Military Chief of a government that was saved from collapse by a foreign force.

Lack of action does not mean what Malong has said was entirely ignored. It has already tarnished the regime’s image as a government harbouring elements with terrorist inclination. The consequences may come in the form of difficulties in securing loans from the international monetary institutions, problems with admission into international organisations and plenty of others.

However, the most bizarre situation though was Kiir’s refusal to sign the peace agreement in Addis Ababa on 17/08/2015. The reason he gave was that he needed to go back to Juba for consultation with his colleagues in the cabinet. It was a move unheard of in what is known as state protocols.

The typical approach is for the head of the negotiating team to travel to Juba for consultation with the President in the event of a stalemate during the negotiation. The president only attends the negotiation venue at the final stage prior to signing the deal.

The whole thing was unprecedented because he is the top man in the government and as people say “the buck stops at his desk.” That leaves one to conclude that the president does not have total control over the decision-making process and that other strong players have to be brought on board before a final decision could be made.

The above scenarios have led to speculations about who runs the country. If Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin could be relieved of his duties as stated above, why not Malong who has apparently committed much graver mistakes? The fact that he gets away with any destructive statement and remark indicates one of two things.

Either that President Kiir totally agrees with him, or he is the real centre of power in South Sudan backed by the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE). In either case the prospects for a lasting peace is quite grim. South Sudan would be better off with the likes of Paul Malong kept out of office.

Unfortunately ARCISS does not prescribe removing those who are overtly anti-peace from their positions. Nonetheless, the formation of the TGoNU should offer the tools to tame Malong and his cohorts. It will be inexcusable and detrimental for the opposition to allow Kiir and Malong to do business as usual.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

Insight into Kiir–Machar upcoming power sharing government

By: John Bith Aliap – Australia, APR/13/2016, SSN;

The Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan also referred to as ARCISS, agreed in August 2015 in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa is hoped by its architects to end the conflict in the Republic of South Sudan. Military showdown between Kiir and Machar who are they key principles in the war raged for nearly two years with devastating outcomes.

The conflict remains one of the most brutal conflict in the continent of Africa. Recent UN figures show that more than 730,000 people have fled into neighbouring countries, 1.5 million people are internally displaced and 50, 000 people are believed to have perished.

The peace talks in Ethiopia were the last attempt to bring Kiir and Machar on the dining table to share the national cake. All previous diplomatic efforts had failed, but the U.S. government which is also accused of having a deadly hand in the conflict pressed Kiir and Machar against the wall until they unwillingly signed the peace agreement for the interest of their people.

The final agreement, dubbed as “ARCISS” or “Imposed Peace Agreement” is seen by many as a result of skillful diplomacy and political trade-offs exerted on the main warring parties. However, while the agreement appears to be a path-breaking, war-ending and peace-keeping tool, it does not seem to be an effective framework to end the vicious cycles of violence in the baby nation of South Sudan.

Although ARCISS is crucial in giving the new country a set of principles, rules and institutions; it doesn’t appear to be providing a universally backed direction capable of guiding the war-wrecked South Sudan through the unchartered waters of democratisation and liberalisation – the two principles of peace-building.

However, given ACRISS’ uncertainty, it is important to assess its intention for the interest of my readers and the policy-makers in the areas of peace and state-building. With a war raging in Syria, Iraq, Congo, Somalia, Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Sudan and Yemen such discussions are clearly timely and worthwhile to look into. The idea that Kiir – Machar upcoming “Transitional Government of National Unity” will silence the guns and lay the foundation of South Sudanese’ unity isn’t borne out of experience.

In December 2013 after Machar attempted to grab the power from his would-be boss, Salva Kiir, clashes occurred between their camps of supporters and the civil war quickly appeared on the cards. The international community backed by regional blocks such as IGAD and AU tried to end the bloodshed by setting up a Transitional Government of National Unity with Kiir behind the wheels and Machar as the passenger.

But while Machar and Kiir are forcefully made to swallow their pride and share the much contested power, the conflict on the ground between their tribal-based militias and sections of the security apparatus linked to them will likely continue unabated.

With Kiir–Machar known political rivalry, each side will be yearning to exploit the other in an attempt to seize control of J1 presidential palace; and the so called Transitional Government of National Unity will be a thing of the past.

South Sudan is not the only country in the world where bitter enemies like Kiir and Machar sit together in the government while their forces carry on the conflict. In Iraq for example, the government of national unity, mainly made up of Shia, Sunni and Kurdish was established, but the forces under their direct control continued with, not one, but a number of inter -ethnic conflicts.

In the case of Cyprus, the withdrawal of British and the gaining of Independence in 1960 was accompanied by a handful of uneasy power sharing deals, but these deals collapsed in no time.

So, Kiir-Machar power sharing government doesn’t appear as the step to the elimination of tribal division, but it’s rather an accommodation between the forces that are the architects and expression of these divisions as to how they can carve things up between them.

Kiir and Machar could share the cabinet in J1, while their forces continue to aggressively flex their military muscles on the ground in Jebel Kujur and Luri. Kiir-Machar upcoming Transitional Government of National Unity is a recipe for maintaining tribal status quo, it’s not for achieving reconciliation, or bringing together the tribally- divided communities across South Sudan.

Whether it quickly flies apart or maintained in a relatively stable form for a time will be determined by the intensity of the conflict on the ground, and not fundamentally political miracles performed by those who take their seats in the would-be Transitional Government of National Unity TGONU. Even if Kiir-Machar’s government survives for a lengthy period of time, this doesn’t necessarily indicate the end of tribal feud in South Sudan.

Kiir-Machar power sharing government will only institutionalise sectarianism and perpetuate the conflict in some form. The power sharing government that involves a sectarian politician like Riek Machar isn’t a solution, nor is it a step to a solution. ARCISS has only made Kiir & Machar, who had held opposing positions in a bloody war, sign a document which they may not have agreed with, but which will nevertheless stop them from bashing each other.

John Bith Aliap is an Australia-based political commentator and can be reached at Johnaliap2011@hotmail.com.

Is Dr. Riek Machar “signing” His Death Certificate by Returning to Militarily Fortified Juba City?

BY: J. Nguen, CANADA, APR/10/2016, SSN;

Warmongering is one thing but telling nothing but the truth is another. This piece is one of the truth-telling political commentaries on South Sudan’s political affairs and road to peace and stability. Dr. Machar, the Chairman and Commander in Chief of the SPLM/A-IO, the armed opposition in the country is scheduled to return to Juba, South Sudan 18 April 2016.

This step is in line with the Compromised Peace Agreement signed in August 2015 but I recently developed serious reservations regarding this tentative Machar’s return to Juba based on saboteur evidence or much more.

In March 2016, I wrote a commentary questioning the Government of South Sudan’s readiness for peace, particularly over Lt. Gen. James Gai Yoach saga. I outlined why I was justified and should be concerned over unprecedented prevailing bad intention at the time and still relevant while writing this piece.

On the second week of April 2016, I became more certain over the Government of South Sudan’s intransigence, saboteur attitude toward peace and possible secretive intention to do away with Machar upon arrival to Juba.

My thoughts became more apparent on the following grounds:
I. Juba is not demilitarized as required by the August Peace Deal and this is as one of the crucial steps to ensure Dr. Machar to return to the capital. Unfortunately, this didn’t occur and there are no signs showing its eventuality in the near future.

II. The Government of South Sudan is currently on the military operations; the commanding officer is none other than the army’s General Chief of Staff, Paul Malong Awan. This offensive is ongoing in the West and Eastern Equatoria States and Western Bhar El Ghazal respectively. This is no secret to no one.

III. The operationalization of the illegal 28 States created by President Kiir is also underway unabated despite IGAD’s resolution to suspend such operations.

IV. Gen. Paul Malong Awan has once again mobilized a force outside the regular SPLA-Juba army in Bhar El Ghazal region. This force is reminiscent to the illegal armed Dinka militia which he commanded and carried out the Nuer massacre in Juba in December 2013.

V. Gen. Malong ordered the transportation of this force to Juba and “eight lorries” full of these troops arrived in Juba on the 10th of April 2016 prior to Dr. Machar’s scheduled arrival.

VI. Gen. Paul Malong “vowed never to accept,” South Sudan’s 1st Vice President Designate, Dr. Riek Machar “acting as President in the absence of President Salva.” It was alleged that Gen. Malong has stressed that he will “never allow Dr. Machar to be a acting President or President” but after he is “dead.”

VII. Salva Kiir’s Government has rejected any meeting between Dr. Machar and Salva Kiir to be facilitated by JMEC’s chairman upon Machar’s arrival in Juba. This in itself is an issue of concern since both men don’t talk to each other; maybe, this is where hell will break loose, God forbid!

These articulated points are on the public domain and there are becoming apparent by the day, as Machar’s return to Juba draws closer.

So, the question becomes if indeed, Dr. Machar is “signing” his own death certificate by returning to Juba given the prevailing evidences that Juba is not demilitarized yet and is being fortified with illegal armed militia and by Kiir’s government’s refusal for a neutral body to facilitate the first meeting of these supposed two rivals?

These developments are imminent threats to the implementation of the peace agreement and to Machar’s personal life.

Therefore, I seriously recommend that JMEC take the lead by informing the Peace Guarantors of the apparent troops build up in Juba, possible issue of sabotage of the peace in South Sudan and, finally, Dr. Machar must be advised to withhold plans to return to Juba until further notice because the eventuality of letting these slips go uncorrected would be a grossly deadly ignorance.

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

Confronting the Jieng policy of Land Grab in South Sudan

BY: Elhag Paul, APR/07/2016, SSN;

The reaction of General Thomas Cirillo Swaka, a highly renowned liberation war hero against the Jieng land grabbers who descended to his village, Gwu’duge in Rajaf should not surprise the people.

It is an expected outcome to an undeclared and unspoken Jieng policy being implemented by the state in South Sudan. This policy is destroying South Sudan social ties at an alarming rate. It is dispossessing people, pauperising the victims, generating vile hate among the people and constructing the Jieng social group falsely as the upper political class in the new state.

The reaction of General Swaka is an outcome that all of us eventually in our own ways will be pushed to resort to in order to protect our human rights from the Jieng regime of destruction.

Critically, every non-Jieng must know that they will be affected and dispossessed by the current system in favour of the Jieng and they will resort to saying like the General did, ‘I am ready to die for my land.’

To be dispossessed and pauperised through land grab is something nobody is going to accept. It is sad and shameful to see a well respected and honoured member of the society in the person of General Swaka being frustrated and provoked to resort to self defence to protect his home. It is further disgusting to read in various media outlets that the system is planning to arrest him.

General Swaka from personal observation appears to be a very patient person who hardly gets swayed by political events. This is what makes him a truly professional soldier.

When he served in the Sudan army, in spite of the suffering of South Sudanese he controlled his emotions, lived with the pain and remained loyal to the system until the Arabs overstepped the mark in 1992 that he reacted heroically to fight for emancipation of his people.

The independence of South Sudan is the product of the work he contributed to massively. His own elder brother, Major General Peter Cirillo too fought for the same objective under General Joseph Lagu. How on earth can a family that contributed immensely to the independence of South Sudan find itself in such a predicament?

It is only in South Sudan under a tribal regime that such aberration take place.

The threats on freedom of General Swaka must be taken seriously for two reasons. First, the General is an Equatorian. Secondly, the Jieng want to settle in Equatoria in huge numbers to establish themselves as the local people.

In the article ‘The decapitation of Equatoria’ http://southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/editorials/the-decapitation-of-equatoria enough has been written to highlight the problem Equatoria as a region is facing from the current regime.

General Swaka unfortunately may not be exempt from this Jieng policy and the recent media reports should be read within such context. However, the General’s colleagues need to stand up in defence of their commander as he led and stood with them shoulder to shoulder in those trenches drenched in sweat and blood liberating the country.

You worked together tirelessly to liberate the country, now you need to rise up to the challenge to make sure that the country you fought for is a true home to every South Sudanese.

The grapevine stories circulating regarding planned arrest of General Swaka simply because he is an Equatorian who has confronted land grab is unacceptable.

Land grab is illegal, but because President Kiir and his JCE have disabled the other two branches of the government namely: the parliament and the judiciary, the issue is allowed to go on in order to benefit the Jieng and to also achieve their long term tribal plans.

The issue of land grab is something that must be debated now vigorously because it is not going to go away as it is an undeclared policy of the regime whose intention is to settle Jieng in Equatoria using the state. The JCE’s plan to settle Jieng in Equatoria in huge numbers is part of a strategy laid down by the late leader of the SPLM/A, Dr John Garang De Mabior.

The birth of the SPLM/A in 1983 came at a time when South Sudanese were torn among themselves by divisive politics introduced by Abel Alier and his supporters in mid 1970s, most of whom are members of the current JCE.

Alier’s discriminating rule during the autonomous government of the Southern Region in the Sudan led to Kokora, the redivision of South Sudan into three regions based on the colonial provinces of South Sudan: Bahr El Ghazal and Equatoria and Upper Nile.

The Jieng political class were totally opposed to Kokora and this included Dr Garang who expressed his views in his book, ‘Dr John Garang Speaks.’ Right from its inception, Dr Garang was telling the Jieng that when they liberate the country the Jieng would be free to settle anywhere. This was given in a form of promise which acted as a motivation to the Jieng flocking to the movement in anger of Kokora.

Dr Garang intelligently used the anger generated by Kokora to recruit the Jieng in big numbers to build the monstrous SPLM/A as the Jieng machine of oppression and revenge which is why the Equatorians initially hesitated to join the movement until the introduction of forced Islamisation by Khartoum pushed them.

Basically SPLM/A has been constructed on promises to make the Jieng people the ultimate rulers and owners of South Sudan.

Arop Madut-Arop in his book, ‘Sudan Painful Road to Peace,’ on page 56 confirms this point by writing: ‘the resentments (of Kokora) were meted against the North through mass exodus of Southerners (Jieng) to swell the training camps in Ethiopia.’ It is in these camps that the idea of settling all over Equatoria was sown, nurtured and grown to be the cancer that it is now.

The renaming of places in Equatoria as New Bor, New Site, Jebel Dinka, Bilpham etc is central to this policy because it enables the settlers to put roots in the new area which then allows them to claim legitimacy. This combined with the ferrying of dead bodies from Jieng lands to Equatoria for burial strengthens that argument.

The Jieng have gone to unbelievable levels to remove evidence of Equatoria in lands they forcefully grabbed. For example there are documented cases where such settlers (aided by the disgraced clown, JW Igga) have not only desecrated graves but they dug out the remains of deceased Equatorians in rest from their graves which callously they threw away.

Cruelly, they converted the emptied graves into pit latrines. Utter disrespect to Equatorian cultures re-honouring the dead and the place of the dead in our lives. In this, the Jieng do not empathise or consider the cost of emotional and mental torture they are inflicting on the dispossessed legitimate owners of the land.

Claims to land are evidenced by names of places and graves. Names provide evidence of local language and the rich stories behind them; and graves provide evidence of history and ancestry. So, if you carefully look at the behaviour of the Jieng on this issue of land grab, it is clearly calculated to dispossess the local people in the long run.

Therefore, this is a combined short, medium and long term policy that if not stopped by all means available will result in Equatorians losing their home.

It is worth remembering that President Kiir was a close officer of Dr Garang who must be well indoctrinated with the Jieng ideology of settlement. With the JCE comprising most of the people who initiated the idea of Jieng supremacy and settlement, no wonder President Kiir’s government is fully committed to implementing the idea. It clearly explains why the parliament and the judiciary
have been deliberately crippled by the executive.

The objective of settling the Jieng all over the country is intended to promote the false claim of the Jieng that they come from all over the country. They want to create a situation like that of the Tutsi in Rwanda in which they are found everywhere in the country.

It is astonishing that the Jieng have completely ignored the local contexts of both countries. Copying the Tutsi does not work. The
reason being each situation has its own unique context and produces a unique outcome.

Therefore, the Rwandan context that produced Tutsi among the Hutu can not be recreated in South Sudan because South Sudan’s context is totally different. For example, in Rwanda there are about two major tribes (Hutu and Tutsi) with two or three tiny ones while in South Sudan there three major tribes (Zande, Jieng, and Nuer) with sixty other sizeable ones.

The Jieng believe that if they are able to settle everywhere in the country like the Tutsi spread throughout Rwanda, then they will be the ones to legally represent the various social groups of South Sudan in the parliament and therefore they will have achieved their objective of ‘Born to rule.’

Given the above, arguments such as the issue of land grab is coincidental, or it is a consequence of poor governance, or the Equatorians are the ones selling their land is intrinsically not true. These arguments are deployed by the Jieng to confuse the Equatorians while land grab goes on.

The important fact is that land grab is part of a bigger well planned, well coordinated and well executed policy of the Jieng intended to construct South Sudan as a Jieng nation. Just think of the imposition of the 28 states through illegal means and think about who are the beneficiaries of this elaborate land theft. Think about it.

Thus, every non-Jieng is going to fall foul to this obnoxious policy that has caught up with General Swaka. This is the reason why it is not a surprise to some of us. General Johnson Olony after accepting President Kiir’s amnesty in 2013 told him point blank that he rebelled because the Jieng grabbed Chollo land.

But did President Kiir listen to him? No! He did not. President Kiir instead went ahead to grab more land through the Establishment Order 36/2015 creating 28 ethnic states.

General Olony is now back in the bush fighting for Chollo land. As said, with this undeclared policy in place, many other army officers will be faced with critical decisions of what to do when this evil reaches their door steps.

Before each one of us experiences this horror, something can be done about it. The tribal government of President Kiir and his JCE needs to be changed and this calls for a strategic alliance of all the other tribes of South Sudan.

In 1930s the Nazi in Germany arrogantly set out to dominate the world and to a certain extent they succeeded to control Europe. However, when they attacked the United States in 1941 using the U2 boats, the world had to come to its sense to confront Nazism. It
took the logical and workable strategy to build up an alliance of purpose to fight Hitler and it did work beautifully resulting into a decisive defeat of Nazism from which a peaceful Germany emerged.

What can we learn from the German lesson? The one most important lesson is that bullies including dictators and totalitarians must not be appeased or accepted. They must be confronted and cleanly defeated.

In the context of South Sudan, we have a nasty tribal-totalitarian bully in the form of Jieng armed with the machinery of SPLM/A who hijacked the state and is using it to destroy the South Sudanese society. This should not be tolerated, it should not be accepted, it should not be compromised with and it should not be allowed to continue.

The other 62 tribes of South Sudan and the peace loving Jieng like the rest of the world in the case of Nazi Germany should come together and form a strategic alliance of purpose (common good) to decisively defeat the Jieng and recover the state of South Sudan.

From what is going on in the country, the reality is that South Sudan will not see peace and development under President Kiir and his JCE. As all of you know very well their only ideologies of Dinkocracy and Dinkonomics have sunk the country.

These ideologies must be destroyed and uprooted from the psyche of the adherents through education. These ideologies seek to cleanse
some ethnic groups as well as subjugate and dominate the rest of South Sudanese in the interest of the Jieng people only like what Nazism in Germany tried to do in 1930s and early 1940s.

The only panacea therefore is for the Jieng regime to be changed by whatever means available in order to save South Sudan.

In conclusion, land grab is an undeclared policy of the government for the interest of the Jieng. This policy affects every South Sudanese but Jieng. With President Kiir and his JCE in power, this policy will not be stopped and there will be many Thomases, Olonys, Dukus, Bakasoros , Otims, Oneks falling victim to it simply because the government supports it.

As each and every one of us will be affected now or in the near future it is imperative that an alliance of the people of South Sudan is built soonest to bring an end to the chaos in the country. Yalla! Yalla!

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul

elhagpaul@aol.com

Rape as a Weapon of War: The Case of South Sudan

BY: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Lawyer, Kampala, APR/05/2016, SSN;

This article is the comment on the recent report of the United Nations Human Rights Commission on sexual violence in South Sudan.

The report is published on A/HRC/31/49 Advance unedited version Distr.: General 10 March 2016 Original: English. In that report as part of it shall be explained below briefly shortly, horrific and heart-breaking stories on sexual violence have been reported.

Therefore, I find it relevant to summarize the part of sexual violence for the consumption of South Sudanese so that they understand the reality of the war and help me campaign to hold soldiers, militias, rebels and government accountable for this war crime (rape).

Allegations of rape as a weapon of war used by both rebels and the government in South Sudan have dominated the international news headline in recent times.

These allegations became clear after the Human Rights Council Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General, Thirty-first session Agenda item 2 Assessment mission by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to improve human rights, accountability, reconciliation and capacity in South Sudan exposed it (visit: A/HRC/31/49 Advance unedited version Distr.: General 10 March 2016 Original: English as already pointed out above)

The stated above report exposes several human rights violations. However, what came out vividly in the assessment and report is that sexual and gender-based violence continued in 2015, and on a widespread basis in Unity and other states affected by war in South Sudan.

In Unity state as the report puts it, the Protection Cluster in South Sudan reported over 1,300 rapes between April 2015 and September 2015.

As the report further pointed, some of the women that the assessment team spoke to reported that sexual violence and rape had become worse in Unity as the conflict progressed.

In the same report, the team received information that the armed militias, mainly comprising of youth from Mayom or Koch counties who carry out attacks together with SPLA, do so under an agreement of “do what you can and take what you can.”

In one harrowing account, a mother of four children told how as she was walking from her village to Bentiu, she was separated from her group. When she reached another village, she encountered a group of soldiers and armed men in civilian clothing who accused her of lying about where she was coming from.

Then, the men proceeded to strip her naked and five soldiers raped her at the roadside in front of her children. She was then dragged into the bush by two other soldiers who raped her there.

To make the matters worse, when she eventually returned to the road side, her children, aged between two and seven, were missing. As the team who made this report reported, at the time of the drafting of the report her children were still missing. It was really heartbreaking, horrible and double jeopardy.

In other incident as the report pointed out, one woman described how, during an attack on her village in Koch, in October 2015, after killing her husband, SPLA soldiers tied her to a tree and forced her to watch as her 15 year-old daughter was being raped by at least 10 soldiers.

In another incident, an 18 year-old girl explained to the team how, during an attack on Gandor, in Leer County, in early October 2015, when hiding in a nearby river SPLA soldiers found her and beat and raped her twice before handing her over to two armed men in civilian clothing who also raped her. Upon her return home, she learned that her three sisters and mother had also been raped.

Again, in Upper Nile like in Unity State, sexual and gender-based violence continued after the war started in 2013.

The sexual violence was aimed at the ethnic groups of opposing forces or on suspicion of belonging to the opposition being targeted. The sexual was just being used at rampant as the weapon of war with impunity.

Furthermore, in Maban County, the assessment team (responsible for the report I am writing about) received allegations of the rape of four girls during clashes between SPLA and opposition forces in Liang, Maban County.

The team also received credible reports of sexual assaults of elderly women by opposition forces in Pigi County, Jonglei State, close to the border with Upper Nile.

In addition, between April and December 2015, protection actors documented numerous allegations of abductions, rapes, killings and disappearance of (mostly Shilluk) women from areas outside the UNMISS POC site as well as on the roads and pathways from the POC site to Malakal.

Again, according to credible sources, during fighting in Malakal Town on 25 May 2015, 24 women from the Shilluk community sought protection from the fighting in the SPLA base at Ayat Company. SPLA detained several of the women who were repeatedly raped.

Rapes also occurred when women left the UNMISS POC site to pursue various livelihood activities, such as gathering food and firewood. As one woman narrated how she and other Shilluk women encountered five SPLA soldiers on their way from the UNMISS POC site in Malakal to the riverside.

When the above mentioned SPLA soldiers saw them they called on them to stop, but they ran back towards the site. One of them returned to the UNMISS POC site only after two days and informed the witness that she had been abducted and raped by the soldiers.

The above report highlights the grave nature of South Sudanese war. Women, children and elderly are the victims of the current civil war. Sexual violence as a weapon of war has been employed against innocent civilians.

The use of rape as the weapon of war is horrible, ugly, inhuman, malicious, and heart-breaking and the international community should take it seriously. In fact, rape is classified under the international criminal law as one of the crimes against humanity.

Article 7 (1) (g)of the Rome Statute (ICC Statute; circulated as document A/CONF.183/9 of 17 July 1998 and corrected by process-verbaux of 10 November 1998, 12 July 1999, 30 November 1999, 8 May 2000, 17 January 2001 and 16 January 2002 and entered into force on 1 July 2002) provides that rape is a Crime against humanity.

Rape is sexual slavery, which is enforced prostitution that may result into forced pregnancy. It is a form of sexual violence of serious gravity, which must be taken seriously and perpetuators who commit this terrible crime with impunity brought to book and pay for their sins.

I shed tears on 04/04/2016 as I was listening to the News Day and Focus on Africa, when of a sudden, the rape issue in South Sudan came to light again. What made me shed tears even more were the narration of a young South Sudanese woman and a war victim of rape.
That lady had really suffered. She was raped with her daughter and unfortunately, her daughter died though she survived.

Her two sons were killed on alleged ground that they were Nuer and because of that they were killed since the killers believed that they were going to become rebels when they grew.

It was a very terrible story and whoever did it must pay for it. The authorities must take all necessary measures to ensure that the rapists and other criminals in South Sudanese war are brought to book.

We were not fighting to get independence of South Sudan and then turned it into butchering ground. South Sudanese should not live like animals governed by jungle laws where might rules over rights.

We should learn how to respect human dignity and human rights. Whether Nuer or Dinka or from any other tribes in South Sudan people must be respected, they are all South Sudanese children, women and elders.

Women, children and elders should be respected by all parties to war since they do not have any contributions to neither cause of war nor its effect.

Leaders of South Sudan, both in rebellion and government must control their forces. Failure to control them may lead to criminal responsibility under the international criminal law.

Article 28 of the ICC Statute (or Rome Staute) provides for the responsibility of commanders and other superiors. It provides that a military commander or person effectively acting as a military commander is criminally responsible for crimes committed by the subordinates.

If the military commander or person either knew or, owing to the circumstances at the time, should have known that the forces were committing or about to commit crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide but failed to take all necessary and reasonable measures within his or her power to prevent or repress their commission or to submit the matter to the competent authorities for investigation and prosecution, then, he or she is liable personally.

In summary, the government and rebels must take steps to produce those who committed crimes of rape against women. It is a crime against humanity. It is contrary to the civilization.

The international community should hold the two leaders accountable if they do not direct the investigative machinery to produce the perpetrators of this terrible crime. END

Why Economic & Political Uprisings are civil means needed to end the life of unproductive Government of South Sudan

By Tong Kot Kuocnin, LL.B, LL.M, Nairobi, Kenya, MAR/30/2016, SSN;

South Sudanese are indeed a great people. They are people endowed with very strong heart who continuously suffer in dignified silence even when there’s need to rise up in demand for certain rights. This is exactly the situation South Sudanese find themselves in at a time when their own government should have stood up for them.

The economic hardships we’re facing are not less than the economic hardships and situation which caused President Ben Ali of Tunisia to flee, President Ali Abdellah Saleh of Yemen to leave office and flee and the great President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt to resign and put onr trial up to now.

The causes and conditions of this so-called Arab Spring which almost swept through the entire Arab world are not less than the economic hardships we’re facing here in South Sudan. Our economic situation is much worse than that of the Arab Spring World.

Our unemployment rate is beyond hundred per cent level. Hundreds of South Sudanese go to bed on empty stomachs. Some are already dead and the rest are on their way to the graves. This is worse than that of the Arab Spring.

The only difference is that we’re used to patiently enduring hardships of all sorts meanwhile the citizens of the countries where the Arab spring burst out aren’t used to this kind of situation.

But the questions many south Sudanese are asking are: what’s the government of South Sudan really doing? What exactly is the role of the Ministry of finance and Economic Planning? How about the Central bank, what’s its role? Which institution is truly responsible for economic policies and planning? And which institution is responsible for the implementation of national monetary policies in South Sudan?

Hard questions a layman like me can’t grapple to answer. But to answer some questions on matters of facts and law, the Central Bank has its own share of failure for it is the one that is charged by law to formulate monetary policy, promote and maintain price stability, maintain a stable exchange rate, and maintain sound, efficient and effective banking system.

But the Central bank instantly failed in its function to strictly regulate, maintain sound, effective and efficient banking system when it allows all Forex Bureaus and Commercial Banks to commercialize dollars instead of keeping it as a medium of exchange.

The Central Bank commercialized the dollar, making it an item for trade and not a medium of exchange causing hikes in almost every item on sale in the market.

Today, the rate of 1 dollar stood at 37 SSP, meaning that one hundred dollar is equal to 3,700 SSP causing inflation rate to rise more than 250%, something which never happened in any country around the world.

The two institutions, ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and the Central Bank have completely failed us with their weak measures and an untenable modality of strategizing the efficiency of economy.

It seems that in South Sudan, everything runs on its own. Traders are selling and raising prices on their own, Central bank floating the rate of the hard currency as it wishes unquestionably.

The luckiest rich few are manipulating everything from the Ministry of Finance with their so-called LCs to the Central Bank to the market at the expense of the downtrodden poor South Sudanese who have no ability or the energy to do anything about it or change the status quo.

The authorities both at the ministry of finance and economic planning and the central bank together with their cohorts are responsible for this economic downturn.

We entrusted hyenas with responsibility to look after our goats and sheep. We gave them power to roast any goat or sheep they wish amongst our goats and sheep. This is why this economic turmoil ensued and is the sole reason you can’t understand the head and the tail of who is responsible and who’s not in this country.

The country seems to have been left on its own whim to turn its economic downturn into economic boom. We’re convinced that truly our government is indeed a boondoggled government.

Where’s the Joshua? Or is he the driver of this vehicle that is taking South Sudanese to hell earlier than the days that God planned for them each at a time?

Let our government know that the root causes of the Arab Spring aren’t more than ours and that Arab Spring may inevitably ensue in this part of the world for we may be forced to violently demand our socio-economic rights to food and decent living like others.

We can’t permit others to enjoy live at our expense on resources that belongs to all of us. If you invite a musician for 1.5 million dollars while hundreds of South Sudanese are going to bed with an empty stomach, thousands are starving to death and hundreds are dying, some have already died of hunger, where did you get that money from?

What a country! It obvious, the money was gotten from the public finances because the father of the person who contracted the musician is the governor of the Central Bank, you can take any money you want and nobody can hold him to account.

Thus, if the president can’t think twice to bring in responsible personalities with expertise both at the ministry of finance and at the central bank to turn things around, he must be prepared for eventualities from the people of South Sudan who will not in any way continue to suffer at the hands of selfish and corrupt leaders who buy their positions at the expense of the people.

There will be time when the people of South Sudan stand up to forcefully demand their socio-economic rights from these oligarchs and mafias. We will surely touch these untouchable mafias and oligarchs who scoop all our money for their selfish enrichment unless they rescue themselves from this shambles.

I assure you, economic and political uprising as necessary civil means of ending the life of a repugnant and an unproductive government like the government of South Sudan will be inevitable.

Mr. President, this is a fact. Look at the faces of South Sudanese; listen to their voices on the streets on how they are suffering and you will dismiss this failed minister of finance who buys his position using public money and the weak, lousy and ailing governor of the Central Bank; the danger is surely haunting you and it will sooner reach your gate if you don’t act swiftly.

The writer is a Master of Laws (LLM) candidate at School of Law, University of Nairobi. He can be reached via: tongbullen@gmail.com