Category: Featured

How likely are states to implement the US proposed arms ban on South Sudan?

BY: Mark Deng, a Law Ph.D Candidate, Univ. of Queensland, Australia, FEB/20/2018, SSN;

The Trump administration has recently announced an arms ban on South Sudan as a response to the seemingly intractable civil war in the country and the resultant humanitarian crisis. President Trump has called on both the regional countries in Africa and the UN Security Council to implement a global arms ban on South Sudan.

The arms ban came a few days after the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, called the government of South Sudan an “unfit partner” in the international effort to resolve the South Sudanese conflict.

While the comment may not have been an appropriate diplomatic thing to say to a foreign leader, and, indeed, an ally, it was made out of a frustration at the persistent failures of the South Sudanese leaders to make necessary compromises to break the impasse and bring durable peace to the country.

Adding to the frustration is the fact that the US government has invested over $11 billion dollars in South Sudan since 2011 to support the transitional process, peace talks, and development. Yet the situation in the country seems to be only getting worse.

The war has deeply divided the South Sudanese society and the arms ban was received in the country with mixed reactions.

The rebels and their supporters, on the one hand, welcome the ban as a necessary step to influence the government’s intransigent position on the ongoing consultations to resurrect and implement the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCISS) signed in 2015 between the government and the rebels.

The ARCISS collapsed in July 2016 after a ferocious fight erupted outside the State House in Juba between the presidential guards and the bodyguards of the rebel leader, Dr Riek.

Dr Riek instantly claimed that the incident was a government’s calculated attempt to assassinate him, prompting him to withdraw from the Government of National Unity in fear for his life.

The government’s response to the arms ban, on the other hand, has not been positive. The First Vice President of South Sudan, Taban Deng Ghai, was quoted recently in a newspaper, saying that the US is no longer a partner in peace.

The Vice President gave this statement shortly after the government of South Sudan recalled its ambassador to Washington in protest to the arms ban. It is unclear as to what these growing diplomatic tensions between the US and South Sudan would lead.

Whatever disappointments the arms ban may have caused to the government of South Sudan, however, the people of South Sudan should never see the US government as an enemy, bearing in mind the indelible role that the Bush administration played to help the South Sudanese achieve their independence.

It is clear that the arms ban raises with it a number of issues, one of which is state sovereignty. According to the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia, states are to respect each other’s territorial integrity. Put differently, no state should engage in acts that undermine another state’s capacity to maintain its national sovereignty.

The Treaty of Westphalia still holds today, however, it has come under heavy criticism. Some have argued that globalization and other factors that the treaty did not foresee and addressed have rendered the treaty ‘anachronistic’.

Mindful of the need to preserve the treaty, however, others have suggested that there should be exceptions to it. For example, it has been suggested that humanitarian crisis and breakdown of government in a state should be exceptions to the treaty.

I find myself in agreement with this view. A state sovereignty under which citizens do not enjoy the protection of their lives, rights, and freedoms serves no purpose.

The government of South Sudan may claim that the arms ban undermines its sovereignty but the ban, in my view, is justified as it is intended to stop human suffering in the country and further complications to the conflict.

However, the arms ban may have a justifiable ground, but it remains doubtful whether states will follow suit and implement it.

States are generally guided by their own national interests and international treaty obligations in implementing sanctions against a particular state.

The international arms trade is governed by the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) 2014, which is yet to earn the support of all states. As of present, only 93 countries out of the 193 UN member states have ratified the ATT. Among the non-signatory countries are China, Israel, Russia, and Ukraine, which all are the leading arms suppliers to South Sudan.

It is possible that Israel and Ukraine could implement the arms ban on South Sudan, given their close diplomatic ties with the US.

However, it is unlikely that China and Russia could do the same for two main reasons: (1) both countries have vested interests in mining the oil in South Sudan and may not be prepared to jeopardize these lucrative investments; and (2) they are not under ATT international obligations to implement the arms ban on South Sudan since they are not state parties to it.

In addition, the neighboring countries, particularly Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda, may not be prepared to implement the arms ban on South Sudan. Aside from being members of IGAD, of which South Sudan is a member, these countries face the same issue of political instability as South Sudan.

On that basis, it is difficult to see how these countries can implement the arms ban on South Sudan due to the fear that any of them could suffer the same fate at any moment.

However, if these neighboring countries were to implement the arms ban on South Sudan, the ban could be effective. These countries are the channels through which arms enter South Sudan from arms suppliers.

In 2015, for example, a Chinese cargo ship, carrying different types of Chinese-made weapons, docked in the Port of Mombasa, Kenya. The cargo was unloaded and the weapons were transported by land to South Sudan.

In 2014, it was reported that South Sudan and Uganda signed a military cooperation agreement. The particulars of the agreement have not been made public but it is generally understood that the agreement authorizes Uganda to purchase arms from third parties on behalf of South Sudan.

While nothing is set in stone in diplomatic relations, the close ties between South Sudan and its neighboring countries, as well as the uncertain future they all face in the region, make it unlikely for these countries to implement the arms ban on South Sudan.

Sure, the Trump administration could apply pressure of any sort to these countries to get them to implement the arms ban but how that would play out cannot be predicted with certainty.

When talking about arms bans, it is important to consult history. History shows that arms bans hardly work. An Arms ban was, for example, imposed on Sudan by the European Union in 1994, yet it did not seem to stop arms supply to Sudan.

Reports indicate that China and Iran, two of Sudan’s close allies, continued to supply Sudan with arms despite the ban.

So, the reality is that it is difficult to control the flow of arms effectively, and the reason is that the arms trade is an international multi-billion dollar business. The states and international arms sale companies will always to try to flout and circumvent the rules in order to continue to make profits from arms sales.

The ATT aims to prevent and eradicate illicit arms trade but its regulatory system does not seem to be effective enough, considering the fact that recent arms sanctions against Syria and Libya have not been successful.

So, in the absence of an effective mechanism that ensures compliance with the treaty obligations for all countries, doubts hang over the success of the proposed arms ban on South Sudan.

It is likely that countries like China and Russia will continue to sell arms to South Sudan and it will all be business as usual.

Mark Deng is a law PhD candidate at the University of Queensland, Australia.
Email: mark.deng@uq.edu.au

Australian Police move to seize ex-South Sudanese General’s $1.5m Narre Warren mansion

BY: DAVID HURLEY, Herald Sun, FEB/09/2018, SSN;

POLICE have moved to seize a $1.5 million mansion in Melbourne’s southeast from the family of a former South Sudanese (Chief of Staff) general linked to the nation’s military elite which fleeced millions of dollars from the war-torn country.

The Australian Federal Police took the case against General James Hoth Mai Nguoth, and several members of his family, to the County Court of Victoria on Tuesday as it pushes ahead with a proceeds of crime restraint.

It is targeting the luxury Narre Warren home, which has an infinity pool, sauna and five-car garage, as well as an Audi owned by the family.

Gen Hoth Mai’s family bought the sprawling property in 2014 when his wife and children were living in taxpayer-funded housing commission accommodation.

Investigators from the AFP’s Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce (CACT) launched a probe into the purchase of the property in September 2016 following allegations that several former and current South Sudanese public officials have bought houses in Australia with the proceeds of corruption.

General James Hoth Mai’s family bought the sprawling Narre Warren property in 2014 when his wife and children were living in taxpayer-funded housing commission accommodation.

Police have moved to seize the $1.5 million mansion in Narre Warren. Gen Hoth Mai was named in a 2016 report compiled by The Sentry, a team of investigators targeting those who profit from genocide in Africa co-founded by actor George Clooney.

Gen Hoth Mai served as the chief of staff in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army from May 2009 to April 2014.

Before that he was the deputy chief of staff for logistics. Investigators understand his biggest salary was no more than $58,000 a year.

J.R. Bailey, Investigations Director at The Sentry, said the group found information regarding the General’s purchase of the Narre Warren house in 2016.

“Gen Hoth Mai is a well-known military commander in South Sudan,” Mr Bailey said. “We discovered his purchase of the Melbourne home during a 2016 investigation into the assets accrued by senior South Sudanese military and government officials.”

“The Sentry found Hoth Mai’s purchase of the Melbourne home to be noteworthy — and worthy of additional scrutiny — for several reasons.”

General James Hoth Mai was named in a 2016 report compiled by The Sentry, a team of investigators co-founded by actor George Clooney.

The Sentry report accuses senior officials on relatively low salaries in South Sudan of profiteering from the country’s civil war.

“First, the cost of the home far surpassed what one could reasonably afford on the salary of a general of Hoth Mai’s rank,” Mr Bailey said.

“Second, the Hoth Mai family had purchased the home shortly after having resided in subsidised housing, a major sudden change in the family’s lifestyle.”

“Finally, the home was purchased in the name of Hoth Mai’s son, who had only recently graduated from college.”

“We considered this a possible attempt to obfuscate the General’s connection to the purchase. Taken as a whole, the circumstances of the transaction, we found, merit more scrutiny from relevant law enforcement and regulatory authorities.”

Shortly after The Sentry published its report — War Crimes Shouldn’t Pay: Stopping the looting and destruction in South Sudan — the AFP launched a probe with help from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.

Investigators visited the Narre Warren property in August 2016 and saw a BMW 316i, used by one of Gen Hoth Mai’s daughters, in the driveway.

An AFP spokeswoman said: “The investigation, which included assistance from the ACIC, focused on the acquisition of assets in Australia by the family members of an individual who is believed to have held senior positions including chief of staff in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army between May 2009 and April 2014.”

The General and his family did not appear at the County of Court of Victoria on Tuesday when the AFP’s criminal assets confiscation and proceeds of crime matter was heard. The case, before Judge Susan Cohen, was adjourned for three weeks.

Clooney, writing in The Sentry’s 2016 report, said the organisation’s investigators spent two years “following the money underwriting South Sudan’s war economy”.

“The Sentry’s investigation has generated substantial information indicating that top officials ultimately responsible for mass atrocities in South Sudan have at some time managed to accumulate fortunes, despite modest government salaries,” Clooney said.

The original sale documents for the Narre Warren property lists the general’s wife, Nyawarga Hoth Mai, as the buyer.

The luxury Narre Warren home has an infinity pool. The documents were then altered on the day the sale went through in August 2014 and buyer was listed as the general’s son, Nguoth Oth Mai, an Australian citizen.

Barrister Simon McGregor, for the General’s family, declined to comment.

The AFP’s legal proceedings are a civil matter under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The alleged offences are breach of directors’ duties, causing a loss to the Commonwealth and obtaining a gain from the Commonwealth. Criminal charges have not been laid against the General or his family.

david.hurley@news.com.au
@davidhurleyHS

FROM THE EDITOR, SOUTH SUDAN NATION:
LET’S ALL JOIN IN SUPPORT OF THE SENTRY CAMPAIGN BY REVELING AND REPORTING ALL THOSE IN KIIR’S GOVERNMENT WHO’VE STOLEN THE NATION’S MONEY AND HAVE PURCHASED SUCH ABOMINABLE HOMES OR HAVE SET UP BUSINESSES IN THEIR FAMILIES’ NAMES.

THE SOUTHSUDANNATION.COM IS EVER READY TO PUBLISH ANY DOCUMENT PERTAINING TO THESE CRIMES, WHETHER THEY ARE IN CANADA, USA, EUROPE AND AUSTRALIA.

ONE STEP FORWARD FOR JUSTICE IN SOUTH SUDAN.

If peace and stability is to return to South Sudan, Pres. Salva Kiir and Dr Riek Machar must be excluded from the interim government

BY: ELHAG Paul, South Sudan, FEB/05/2018, SSN;

The second part of revitalisation forum kicks off on 5th February 2018 with the opposition as usual in this kind of forum on South Sudan under International Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) starting from a position of disadvantage.

The government of President Salva Kiir comes in well kitted with himself having attended the Summit of IGAD Assembly of Heads of state and government on South Sudan. Such an advantage enjoyed by one side in the conflict hardly makes IGAD’s mediation impartial, especially when IGAD member countries like Uganda and Kenya are openly supporting the regime in Juba.

In ‘The facade of International Community in South Sudan,’ it is argued that the international community has sided with the regime and by doing so, it has compromised its position and thus has become part of the problem in South Sudan.

It is hard to dispute the allegations labelled against the international community because it has engaged in things that can clearly be seen as biased.

For example, in the ‘

    Report: UN, US failed to prevent ethnic cleansing in South Sudan’ (https://www.voanews.com/a/report-un-us-ethnic-cleansing-south-sudan/4075980.html)

, the Associated Press points to numerous failures that could hardly be conceived as errors or lack of capacity or lack of resource in protecting vulnerable civilians.

Such is the disadvantage the opposition are starting with next week in Addis Ababa. However, all is not lost, with the limited representation of 3 persons per group without any support and resource back-up imposed by IGAD to weaken them, the opposition could achieve considerable success if most of the various non-SPLM groups come together and stand firm as a unit with demands for peace in South Sudan based on total overhaul of governance and security sector without President Salva Kiir and Dr Riek Machar.

In the first part of the revitalisation forum, the opposition united their ranks and that was commendable. Now it is even more important for them to deepen their unity in order to save the country from the abuses of the SPLM.

It is unfortunate that the SPLM/A-IO has through its position paper for the talks closed ranks with SPLM/A-IG. These groups are only interested in hogging power to continue destroying the country. Please see, ‘Who will help South Sudan find peace’ (http://www.southsudannation.com/who-will-help-south-sudan-find-peace/)

The opposition must remember they are on their own against the entire world (the emerging South Sudanese collective belief). IGAD has wasted the last four years in the belief that their twin track strategy for peace in South Sudan based on :
1) application of the 2005 CPA model on wealth and power sharing;
and 2) re-unification of the SPLM/A; will work.

IGAD forcefully promoted these theories without shame in spite of the fact that it did not have any studies to back them up. The reality is these strategies are completely unfit for purpose as it has now been proven with the benefit of time.

The real problem of South Sudan is the SPLM/A itself and identity politics. To understand and familiarise oneself with the rational, please see, ‘IGAD’s Inadequate Strategy in South Sudan’ (https://pachodo.org/latest-news-articles/pachodo-english-articles/8499-igad%E2%80%99s-inadequate-strategy-in-south-sudan)

So, what is needed in the coming talks is the total overhaul of the governance and security sector. For a start, in the article ‘President Salva Kiir sabotages the compromise peace agreement’ [https://pachodo.org/latest-news-articles/pachodo-english-articles/11445-president-salva-kiir-sabotages-the-compromise-peace-agreement] it is recommended that: “In line with the Compromised Peace Agreement, President Kiir and Dr Machar having been identified as suspects in the AUCISS Report, must not be allowed to take part in the Transitional Government of National Unity. Their respective parties can choose other persons to represent them. As President Obama of USA and Prime Minister Cameron of UK have categorically said “killers” can not be part of the solution. Therefore, neither of the two qualifies for participation in government of national unity.”

Now the necessity to exclude the duo above is based on their failure as leaders to protect the people of South Sudan in line with their duty. There are further two more reasons why the duo must be pushed aside.

First, the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer in December 2013 has created an atmosphere of huge mistrust between the Jieng and Nuer. With a member of either tribe in power, South Sudan may not see peace. No Nuer will wholeheartedly accept a Jieng president because of what has happened to them.

On the other hand, no Jieng will rest assured of security with a Nuer as a president due to the fear of reprisals for what they have done.

Therefore, genuine peace in South Sudan can only be achieved without any of the two in power. I have abundantly covered this point in my article, ‘President Kiir, Riek and the SPLM are the problem of South Sudan’ (https://pachodo.org/latest-news-articles/pachodo-english-articles/8686-president-kiir,-riek-and-the-splm-are-the-problem-of-rss)

The international community would have helped had they condemned the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer and held President Kiir instantly responsible but their failure has made people to think there will be no accountability for the grave crimes against humanity committed by the Juba regime.

Secondly, historically the Jieng and the Nuer have been in rivalry for centuries. Even during the 21 years of war in the Sudan the two ethnic groups indulged in committing carnages against each other.

For example, between 1986 and 1988 the Jieng using SPLM/A committed such crimes against the Nuer and then in 1991 the Nuer marched to Bor and avenged atrocities committed against them by the Jieng mentioned earlier.

In early December 2013 prior to the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer, President Kiir repeatedly in speeches he made referred to 1991 which may have helped to mobilise the Jieng to commit the grave crimes against humanity that followed few days after.

This unhealthy relationship of the two ethnic groups no doubt is interfering with peace and stability in the country. President Kiir and Riek are unknowingly transposing their negative tribal relationship into South Sudan national issues.

This is not only undesirable but poses serious danger for durable peace and stability in the country. The well being of the people of South Sudan can not be held hostage to the chaotic social relationship of the two groups.

There are 63 tribes in South Sudan and it is irreasonable to expect the rest of the 61 innocent tribes to be living in a state of war endlessly due to the toxic relationship of the Jieng and Nuer.

Therefore, both President Kiir and Riek should bow out of power to allow a neutral person from the other tribes to stabilise the country and begin to build a fair and just society that protects all the people of South Sudan.

If peace and stability is ever to return to South Sudan, it is also important that the SPLA must be disbanded and a proper national army consisting of all the people of South Sudan is formed. I made this point in my article, ‘South Sudan needs intensive care’.

The 2013 conflict primary broke out because the army was dominated by the Nuer and Jieng which enabled the disagreement of Present Kiir and his Vice Riek to be translated into the current conflict.

President Kiir took advantage of his executive position and used the resources of the state to commit grave crimes against humanity. The REPORT OF THE AFRICAN UNION COMMISSION OF INQUIRY ON SOUTH SUDAN on page 298, article 1135 “conclude[s] that there are reasonable grounds to believe that these [grave] crimes [against humanity] were committed in a wide spread or systematic manner, and that evidence points to the existence of a state or organizational policy to launch attacks against civilians based on their ethnicity or political affiliation.”

President Kiir was/is able to commit these crimes because the army is overwhelmingly composed of Jieng.

Amir Idris in his article, ‘How the International Community has failed South Sudan’ confirms the tribal nature of SPLA by writing that, “President Kiir himself has admitted that his army is made up of Dinka (Jieng), his own ethnic group.” (http://www.newsweek.com/how-international-community-has-failed-south-sudan-514204)

Translating the above into governance and security sector reform in the revitalisation form talks demands a foresighted national approach. The current supposed federal system is all but in name.

The reality is that it is a centralised system of governance which enabled tribalists to exploit it for their benefit thereby destroying the country.

So, the choice of governance must either be a true federal system or a confederal system (I know a confederal system by definition involves independent states, however it not impossible if we agree to have it) without President Kiir and Dr Riek Machar, the failed tribalist leaders who set the country ablaze.

Whatever system of governance is adopted, the structure should be able to distribute the resources of the country equitably in terms of percentages.

Wealth, and power sharing, therefore, equally should be seen from a national perspective rather than the current myopic party/movement frame adopted in ARCSS and highly preferred by the SPLM/A.

The SPLM/A and it’s off shoots and IGAD believe wrongly that the division of the country’s wealth and power must be limited to SPLM only. Hence, their selfish position papers presented to the mediator.

They equate SPLM to South Sudan. This is wrong and a recipe for disaster. For example, the paper presented by SPLM/A-IO divides wealth and power between Kiir and Riek within the SPLM as if the country belongs to them alone.

The crucial question is: have both Kiir and Riek sacrificed the tens of thousands of their soldiers for positions only within SPLM to share wealth and power? Have they destroyed the country just for that? Is it really worth it?

SPLM/A-IO’s proposal paper has conclusively exposed Dr Riek Machar as mere tribal leader who does not have the country at heart. He has no national agenda for the country.

The assertion made by Samuel Atabi in his article, ‘Riek Machar is failing the opposition against Kiir’s tyranny’ is coming to pass (http://www.southsudannation.com/riek-machar-is-failing-the-opposition-against-kiirs-tyranny/)

So wealth and power sharing should be done nationally according to regions or states to reflect equity.

If we choose to have a federal or confederal system based on the three provinces of the colonial period, then wealth and power sharing should be distributed on the basis of 33.3 percent so that each state gets its right share in everything.

If we choose to go by the ten states adopted at independence in 2011, then each state should get 10 percent of the national income in everything. Anything short of this will not work.

The current situation where the Jieng and the Nuer allocate to themselves unjustified percentages within the SPLM/A depriving all others as a solution is unacceptable and will not work. It will not bring a durable peace and stability to the country.

It is possible that the revitalisation forum may not yield any tangible results because there appears to be no will in the region to genuinely address the problem of South Sudan and South Sudanese now more than ever know that it is only them who can get themselves out of this mess.

Discussions with many South Sudanese globally through social media suggest that the international community’s purpose for holding the revitalisation forum is to legitimise President Kiir’s regime whose tenure is coming to an end.

Either way, the international community hopes to grant President Kiir continuation in power through another agreement, or through a shambolic rigged election.

South Sudanese have pointed at ARCSS itself as an example where the international community supported President Kiir to obtain legitimacy in 2015.

Will the opposition give the regime of terror another lease of life without overhaul of the system? This remains to be seen.

In conclusion, if the revitalisation forum is going to bring any peace, the region needs to act impartially with the guarantors being honest to what they have signed up for.

As for the opposition, the message from Riek Machar is clear. He has allied with President Kiir against the people with his proposal of 42 percent stake in President Kiir’s government.

Therefore, the other groups need to close rank and present a joint position paper which:
1) demands the exclusion of President Kiir and Dr Riek Machar in the interim period.
2) Implementation of a national approach to the issues of governance and security rather than a party targeted approach as now.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul
Elhagpaul@aol.com
@elhagpaul

The facade of the International Community in South Sudan

BY: ELHAG PAUL, South Sudan, JAN/25/2018, SSN;

At long last the SPLM/A in its different guises together with its off-shoots have called the bluff of the international community. For four years now the international community’s handling of the peace talks and implementation of ARCSS leaves a lot to be desired. During this period, they have left footprints of bias everywhere.

Just before the start of the revitalization talks, the international community issued strong letters sending a message that this time round they meant business. This raised the hopes of South Sudanese and for the first time the people appeared to give the international community the benefit of doubt about their conduct of the talks.

Ms Rebecca Nyandeng Garang, the widow of the late leader of SPLM/A, Dr John Garang, captured the positive feeling of the South Sudanese people in her interview with Mr John Tanza on Voice of America on 2nd January 2018.

Nyandeng expressed optimism about the revitalization talks based on the assurance she received from IGAD. This is what she said, “And I was happy to hear that IGAD said they were speaking in the same voice. Because IGAD in the other hand also have to unite their ranks and file.”

Asked by Tanza, why she was saying so, Nyandeng explained, “I say so because IGAD was divided. From 2013, even during the 2017 there are some leaders in IGAD who are supporting leaders instead of supporting people of South Sudan.”

Given the numerous violations of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement signed on 21st December 2017 by the government, the international community initially went mute only to issue the usual statement loaded with condemnation wrapped up with moral equivalence.

Many people have been asking what the international community is doing given their latest tough statement. Nobody has the answer and unfortunately the hopes of the people have once again been dashed. Nyandeng must be very disappointed.

The South Sudanese people have for over a year now lost faith in the international community following the naked violation of ARCSS by President Salva Kiir’s regime and its subsequent silence followed by their endorsement of General Taban Deng Gai as a replacement to Dr Riek Machar.

Why the international community as guarantors of the agreement chose to ignore Juba regime’s destruction of the agreement remains to be explained? It is something that makes many people to date to scratch their heads.

Worse still, they have gone on to isolate and confine the victim, Dr Riek Machar, the leader of SPLM/A-IO in South Africa. Machar has his own blemishes, but to put the blame of what happened in Juba in July 2016 on him to the extent of victimising him is as unfair and unethical as to reveal the internecine bias by international community against an innocent person exercising his birthright in his country’s affairs.

Machar’s isolation has proven one thing beyond doubt. His absence has not brought any peace. The war has continued unabated and this should be a reason enough to exonerate this innocent man and release him from the crude illegal confinement in South Africa.

Democracy demands that there must be a level field for all to compete for the highest office in the land. At the moment that is not the case in South Sudan. An innocent man is illegally held against his wishes in foreign land while the culprit is allowed to roam freely mismanaging the country.

This culprit, the trouble maker is in Juba. He is called President Salva Kiir, an extremely dangerous tribalist-psychopath who has already committed ethnic cleansing and continues to pose serious risk to himself, the people of South Sudan and South Sudan the country itself.

The facade of the international community in relation to peace in South Sudan dressed up in statements like, “We care for the people of South Sudan”, “There will be consequences”.. etc is unravelling before the eyes of the people of South Sudan and the world.

The revitalisation of ARCSS was meant to be a serious business. Though speeches were delivered by Troika, African Union and IGAD as mentioned above, only for the regime in Juba to instantly rubbish it by violating the CoH openly without any consequences as promised.

    The international community has lost credibility in South Sudan.

The majority of South Sudanese now wrongly or rightly believe that the international community including IGAD are conniving with the government of South Sudan against them. In a sense, the international community is viewed as part of the problem and as such they are perceived as allies of the Juba regime.

Conversations in South Sudanese circles nowaday is riddled with expressions like, “We are fighting the whole world.” This collective belief can be seen from the outcome of the National Dialogue consultations results held in Uganda and Kenya.

Please see, ’19 Things Uganda Refugees Want: An Official Summary by the National Dialogue of South Sudan’ (https://www.ssnationaldialogue.org/press-release/uganda-refugees-want-change/) and ‘Official summary of South Sudan National Dialogue in Kenya consultation in Nairobi, Kenya.’ (https://www.ssnationaldialogue.org/wp-content/uploads/Nairobi-Consultation.pdf)

Gatluke Reat in his letter to Troika titled, ‘What is the difference between Hitler’s Nazi regime and Troika today in South Sudan’ compares the activity of the International Community in South Sudan with the appeasement of the Nazi regime in Germany by some European countries in 1940s.

Although South Sudanese understand that the reigning world ideology of globalisation has made everything to be seen in monetary terms including human life, they can not understand why lessons learnt from the holocaust are ignored. It is clear that the cost of appeasing totalitarian regimes eventually out ways the benefits.

Please see (https://africanspress.org/2018/01/02/what-is-the-difference-between-hitlers-nazi-regime-and-troika-today-in-south-sudan/).

Boumkuoth Gatkouth writing a week after the signing of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement (CoH) questions whether the process would be fruitful. He highlighted the continuous silences of IGAD on the violation carried out by the government.

In his article, ‘The IGAD-led High Level Revitalisation Forum & Its Prospects’ (http://www.southsudannation.com/the-igad-led-high-level-revitalization-forum-its-prospects/), Gatkouth concludes that IGAD is not neutral and can not be trusted.

Why is the international community losing credibility in South Sudan? Primarily there are three drivers. These are: direct intervention of IGAD member countries in support of the Juba regime; the application of policy of moral equivalence by Troika; and the failure of African Union to protect the “African person”.

When the conflict broke out on 15th December 2013 with President Kiir targeting and cleansing the Nuer people around Juba, Uganda joined the Juba regime on pretext of stopping genocide.

The reality on the ground was completely different. It was the government of President Kiir that was committing genocide on the Nuer people. How could Uganda then stop genocide by aiding the genocidaire? This is a question that Uganda needs to answer.

Uganda even sent its jet fighters to bomb the Nuer who were fighting to defend themselves from the Juba regime in Bor using internationally banned cluster bombs.

In addition to this President Yoweri Museveni visited Juba on 30th December 2013 and said, “We gave him [Machar] four days [agreed that] if he doesn’t [comply with the agreement], then we shall have to go after him. That is what we agreed on.”

Please see, ‘South Sudan – Uganda’s Museveni threatens Machar over ceasefire’ (https://africasustainableconservation.com/2013/12/30/south-sudan-ugandas-museveni-threatens-machar-over-ceasefire/).

This declaration by President Museveni on behalf of the regional leaders clearly proves that the region sided with the Juba regime. This explains the fact that none of the countries in region condemned the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer by the Juba regime. The crime was hashed up.

The other country in the region openly siding with the Juba regime is Kenya. Both Uganda and Kenya to date often allow Juba regime’s security agents to kidnap South Sudanese exiles in their countries.

Now all these countries are members of IGAD and given their collusion with the Juba regime, is it any wonder why peace is difficult to achieve. We move on to the Troika.

When President Kiir unleashed his tribal militia known as Mathiang Anyoor on 15th December 2013 to cleanse the Nuer in Juba, everyone who was in Juba was horrifically shocked.

Hilda Johnson, former Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nation in Juba at the time records her observations of the grave crime in her book, ‘South Sudan The Untold Story: From independence to civil war’, on chapter 6 under the subtitle, The Nightmare. The Nuer cleansing in Juba was witnessed by the whole world.

When I talk about the world, I mean all the representatives of the foreign governments in Juba witnessed it. In spite of this fact, the world outside South Sudan was kept uninformed and as a result no country to date has condemned Juba for the grave crimes it committed. The UN and the Troika countries kept their mouths zipped up.

Following the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer and prior to April 2014, the international community did not condemn the grave crimes against humanity committed by the regime.

However in April 2014 when the Nuer wrongly and unacceptably retaliated by killing people in Bentiu, Akobo and Bor, the international community swiftly reacted by rightly condemning the opposition for these heinous acts.

Unfortunately from then on it embarked on a policy of moral equivalence. If the Juba regime commits a crime, the international community will wait until the opposition retaliates and thereafter it will condemn both sides equally.

A good example of their application of this policy is in the areas of sanctions and press releases. All the so called targeted sanctions in South Sudan have been equally applied on the warring parties.

Surely, this can not be right. In any conflict there must be a culprit and in the case of South Sudan the Juba regime without doubt is, yet it has never been held responsible.

Eric Reeves, senior fellow at Harvard University, elsewhere argues that the balancing of moral equities plays into the hands of the aggressors.

I agree with Reeves’ argument because in my view it psychologically distributes the guilt to all the actors which in a sense absolves the wrong doer from acknowledging the reality of his/her actions and the responsibility that accompanies it.

Further, this policy has the potential to fuel the conflict and keep it going endlessly as both sides get corrupted with time and believe that their position is right.

The problem with this policy is that it suggests those applying it do not have a moral position/responsibility on the issue at hand. But is this really true? What has happened to the values flowing from the instruments of the various resolutions of the United Nations?

What has happened to the Western values of justice and fairness? Perhaps South Sudanese are not perceived as humans enough and thus do not deserve to be treated as such.

The history of European interaction with Africa speaks for itself. Its vestiges may be what are in the policy of moral equivalence applied to South Sudan. Here is where African Union should have been of help, but perhaps it may have moved on and forgotten about the value of the “African person”.

The report of African Union Commission of enquiry in South Sudan (http://www.peaceau.org/uploads/auciss.final.report.pdf) which went through sieving many times before its release clearly captures what happened in Juba in December 2013.

African Union as the body with power over IGAD has been expected to play supervisory role to make sure that the issues presented in the report are addressed adequately to provide lessons for the future in relation to the continent.

Thus for the sake of the “African person” (the civilians, women, children and old persons being raped and killed) it should have exercised maximum supervision on the conduct of the peace talks and the implementation of August 2015 Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS).

So far the indication is that it did nothing. So, when the Juba regime violently destroyed the peace agreement by turning the city into a battle field in July 2016 forcing the former Vice President Dr Riek Machar out of the country into the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudanese expected the guarantors of the deal and the international community including African Union to hold the regime to account.

Surprisingly, like in 2013 they did not condemn the regime but went on to reward it for violating the agreement. Without exception they endorsed President Kiir’s blatant decision to install Mr Taban Deng Gai as vice president.

All these were done in a lightning speed without any enquiries on the fact that the population of Juba were criminally exposed to serious danger by the government.

Unlike IGAD, the West African regional body ECOWAS regardless of the interest of the member states seems more competent in handling political conflicts efficiently in that part of Africa. When former President of Gambia Yahya Jammeh was voted out in December 2016, he attempted to stick to power by depriving the winner Adama Barrow.

ECOWAS acted swiftly to protect democracy. It mobilised a regional force within a short time which saw Jammeh off with no violence, and the winner Adama Barrow installed in power. Well done ECOWAS for standing up for democracy in Africa. You make the average African person proud.

So South Sudanese for the last four years have been watching some of the regional countries openly supporting the regime that is tormenting them; Troika’s application of equal moral equities and the failure of the African Union to protect them helplessly while their suffering continues.

Now they are making sense of their experiences and translating that into a belief that they are on their own. Are they not right?

Whether the talks in IGAD succeed or not, it does not matter. South Sudanese are beginning to discuss ways of finding their own solution to their problem. That by default is empowerment.
[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul
elhagpaul@aol.com
@elhagpaul

Make 2018 A Year of Decisive Action: A call to patriotic revolutionary & democratic forces in South Sudan

From: Peter Adwok Nyaba , JAN/02/2018, SSN;

South Sudan People Organize Do Not Agonize:

The republic of South Sudan is in deep social, economic and political crises. There seems no exit out of this situation except by complete destruction and transformation of Kiir’s ethnocentric totalitarian regime. The IGAD and international community’s attempts to revitalize the agreement on resolution of conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) signed in August 2015 will only raise false hopes in the people.

The CoH (Cessation of Hostilities) signed on 21st December is already a dead document consequent to its violation before the ink dried on the paper.

The February 2018 resumption is likely to carry no meaningful impact due to competing respective national security, economic and political interests of these countries, their lack of legal and diplomatic tools to force the regime to implement the agreement or any of its variants, and fragmentation of the political and armed opposition to the regime.

The political and military weakness of the SPLM/A (IO), which inadvertently led to the proliferation of political and armed opposition groups and the resultant collective weakness inherent in their divisions and in-fighting created a political military situation that allows the regime to perpetuate itself in power in spite of the deepening economic collapse, state failure and collapse of its institutions.

The regime is banking on the military defeat of the SPLM/A (IO) and ensnaring the people into believing that peace is around the corner.

The people of South Sudan enter the New Year 2018 without hope for peace, social harmony and meaningful change in their economic hardship.

The continued government military offensive throughout the 2017 preventing the rural population from engaging in agriculture and food production means that famine, already recorded in many places, is bound to force mass displacement and heightened humanitarian catastrophe in South Sudan.

In fact, millions are already in refugee camps in DR Congo, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. The civil war has raged this long because the regime, the armed opposition and the political opposition stand on the same ideological platform.

The dominance of right-wing idiosyncrasies prevented the evolution and cultivation in the SPLM/A (IO) of scientific knowledge of the contradiction underpinning the civil war, and the emergence of critical and strategic thinking in the conduct of the war and charting the appropriate solutions.

This rendered peace with the regime its leadership’s overriding preoccupation in order to recapture the lost power position, while Kiir’s lack of interest in power sharing rekindled the fighting and returned the country to war.

Power for its sake rather than destruction and transformation of the totalitarian regime drives the divisions within the opposition and absorbs their political energy. This struggle centred on leadership and personal power will therefore soon lead the opposition groups to a dead end.

The SPLM/A (IO) now managed from a house arrest in South Africa may not sustain itself without an ideological shift, and as long as some individuals in the membership entertain the falsehood that only Dr. Riek Machar can provide leadership notwithstanding his personal failures.

The SPLM as a leading political force in South Sudan has outlived its relevance consequent to the CPA 2005 and the independence of South Sudan in 2011, which both terminated the task of war of national liberation.

The present situation is a direct product of the SPLM leadership failure and explains why attempts at reunification of the SPLM (IG), SPLM (Taban Deng Gai) and SPLM (FPDs) bordering of treacherous auction of South Sudan’s sovereignty in Cairo and Entebbe, is not making any headway.

Although ideological basis exist for reunification of those factions nevertheless their greed for power and lack of concern for the suffering of the people does not allow them to sacrifice individual positions.

The current political crisis in the country should be viewed in positive light as the drivers of change and social transformation.

The fundamental contradictions remain the centuries-old condition of socio-economic and cultural backwardness of the masses manifested in abject poverty, ignorance, illiteracy and superstition that submerged their consciousness and render them susceptible to manipulation by the political leaders.

The ethnocentric totalitarian regime will not succeed to resolve this fundamental contradiction even if it won the civil war as long as it pursues liberal economic policies that link South Sudan, in an asymmetrical relationship, to the global comprador capitalism in the context of extraction and plunder of its natural resources.

The essence of national liberation was to completely free the national productive forces from every kind of foreign domination.

South Sudan is living what the Marxist categorize as the stage of national democratic revolution. The masses of South Sudan are inspired by freedom, justice, fraternity and prosperity. They readily mobilize and engage in armed struggle to realize these ideals.

They did this as Anya-nya during the first civil war against the oppressive regime in Khartoum; they did it again as Anya-nya 2 against General Gaafar Mohamed Nimeri; they rose in their tens of thousands in the SPLM/A in the twenty-one year war of national liberation from the minority clique regimes.

They are now in arms against Kiir’s ethnocentric totalitarian regime.

The missing link in their struggle remains the inability of the right-wing leadership to tie up the struggle against Kiir’s regime to the issues of social and economic development to transform the oppressive reality that submerges their consciousness.

Thus, in the last four years it was a war for personal power not for transforming the oppressive reality. This is obvious in the areas that the SPLM/A (IO) had controlled since 2013. There is nothing to show for the struggle the people have waged.

It has become imperative to break this vicious cycle.

The way to do it is for all the patriotic revolutionary and democratic forces wherever they are, whether in the different political and military factions or in the civil society, to rise to the task of saving the country from imminent collapse, dismemberment and disappearance into the oblivion.

Let us make the year 2018, the year of decisive action against the war for personal power ambition.

We can make a difference by mobilizing, organizing and unifying our ranks across ethnic and provincial lines to transform this situation into a revolution; the national democratic revolution and the construction of the national democratic state to address the fundamental contradictions in state and society.

This requires us to create discussion groups and fora to educate ourselves and our people about the tasks before us and to build consensus around these issues.

Whether a soldier, a civilian, a politician or a laity, you have an important role to play in transforming this situation of apathy and helplessness. Let us raise high social awareness and political consciousness.

The time to save our country is now or never!! 2018 is the year of decisive action!!! Soon, unless there is decisive action, life under the regime will equal death!!!!

Long live the struggle of the people of South Sudan
Long live the memory of the martyrs
Long Live South Sudan.

Peter Adwok Nyaba
31st December 2017

The IGAD-led High Level Revitalization Forum & Its Prospects

BY: Buomkuoth Gatkuoth Yer , USA, DEC/29/2017, SSN;

Between the 18th and the 22nd of December 2017, the East African regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), convened what it calls the High-Level Revitalization Form with the intention to revitalize the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCiSS) signed in Addis Ababa in August 2015.

A cessation of hostilities agreement was signed as a result. In February 2018, negotiations on governance, security arrangement, and economy shall follow.

The relevant question to ask is how many people genuinely believe that the high-level revitalization forum will succeed?

In my view, the IGAD-led high-level revitalization forum is destined to disappoint. Experience shows that whenever you have two parties and one is not ready to commit fully to make things work, the relationship is bound to fail.

Much the same as in marriage, if a spouse isn’t willing to completely focus on the relationship, regardless of how hard the other spouse tries to make it work, it simply won’t work.

The circumstance even gets aggravated if there is no impartial outsider to intervene reasonably. And despite how much effort one party puts in to influence the situation, the procedure is destined to disappoint.

As we are all well aware of, since the beginning of the first peace process, the government has not been committed to bringing peace to the people of South Sudan.

It has violated all cessation of hostilities from the beginning of the peace process until it decided to kill the agreement completely on July 8, 2016, by trying to assassinate the Chairman and the whole leadership of the SPLM-IO.

Yet IGAD not only stood by and allowed the agreement to be violated, but they also helped in violating by endorsing the candidates of the illegitimate 1st vice president and by isolating and confining the Chairman, Dr. Riek Machar, in South Africa.

Thereby, they ensured the government could pursue its destructive campaign against the innocent population of South Sudan on the pretext that it was pursuing peace.

With such a situation created by the government and endorsed by the IGAD, the SPLM-IO has no other choice but to defend its people from the tyrannical regime of Savla Kiir.

Since the beginning of this new process, the government has continued with its old policy of signing a cessation of hostilities in Addis Ababa, and then on the ground, it is continuing with its destructive campaign against the civil population since 23rd December 2017, and has particularly carried out several attacks in Unity State and the Bangalo area of Mundri West in the Western Equatoria region.

These are just a few examples that the government is continuing the same policy since 2014, yet IGAD has maintained its silence on the murder of innocent civilians in South Sudan.

Since 2014, IGAD has failed to bring a lasting peace in South Sudan. It has also failed to hold the government accountable for its actions in the past, and it will continue to do so in the future.

IGAD has failed. It is evidently clear that IGAD has chosen sides in this conflict.

As we are all aware of, Uganda, which is part of IGAD, has been supplying the regime in Juba with arms and ammunition and sending troops to fight alongside the government and now even Ethiopia, which has mostly been neutral since the beginning of this conflict, is believed to have aided the government in the recent fighting that took place in Pagak.

IGAD has been silent about every violation of the agreement that was signed in Addis Ababa and has been silent about the root causes of this conflict.

Therefore, we can’t trust IGAD countries to be neutral or to hold parties to the conflict responsible for their actions.

We believe IGAD is not the right body to mediate the peace process.

We, the Youth of South Sudan, are fully aware that peace could only come from us, but we ask the international community to help us bring peace to our country by transferring the peace process to a neutral and credible third-party, preferably the United Nations, and by releasing the Chairman of SPLM-IO, Dr. Riek Machar, before the next phase of talks begin in February next year.

Buomkuoth gatkuoth
Gatkuoth1985@gmail.com

Juba Monitor, the mouth piece of JCE tries to taint Gen. Cirillo-led National Salvation Front

From: Elhag Paul, DEC/16/2017, SSN;

On Thursday 7th December 2017, Juba Monitor reported sensationally in bold red headlines, ‘Cirillo’s men’ then followed in black print ‘stranded in Nimule as talks delay’. The colour red is known psychologically as colour of power. Red has the power to attract attention and also to raise sense of danger. In normal circumstance the colour red has been found by many studies to raise pulse in human beings.

So its use in the report appears to be designed to make the maximum impact on its reader and also to attract attention of the public to an important story.

The report is written by Kidega Livingstone under supervision of the Juba Monitor’s editor Anna Nimriano. According to Kidega “the negotiating team sent by the Commander-in-Chief of National Salvation Front (NSF), the former Deputy Chief of General Staff of the SPLA, General Thomas Cirillo Swaka is stranded in Nimule. They are said to be in one of the hotels in Nimule following delay from the national government to respond to their calls for peace talks.”

Kidega continues, “In telephone interview yesterday, the political officer of NSF and the head of delegation to the negotiation in Nimule, who declined to be identified, told Juba Monitor that they were sent by their leaders to come and present their grievance and negotiate peace. However, he said they were still waiting for the government to respond, and added that they had been waiting for three months since the team arrived in Nimule town for the commencement of the negotiations.”

Kidega then quotes the supposed NSF officer saying, “We need the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the international community to come to listen to us.”

This mendacious reporting by Juba Monitor to blindfold the people of South Sudan in the government controlled areas is shocking and it can not go unchallenged. In the least it is expected that the reporter Kidega and the editor Anna would contact NSF HQs to verify the information from their sources.

NSF did not and has never heard from Juba Monitor or any other reporter working for the paper. This process of checks is a rule of thumb for journalism, yet Juba Monitor fails flat in this regard. It is clear that their reporting is of Konyo-Konyo standard, which in the Western World is referred to as gutter journalism.

No decent person who wants to be appropriately informed/updated about South Sudan’s fast moving events should spend their pennies on this hopeless mouth piece of the Jieng Council of Elders regime.

NSF media team has befittingly responded to this concocted story. Please see its press release, ‘False report in Juba Monitor regarding stranded NAS officials in Nimule’ [right click on this link and select ‘open hyperlink’ to access document] The issues that the Juba Monitor report raises are: 1) its timing. 2) blurring of the talks in Addis Ababa. 3) Corrupting the collective psyche.

What is strange is that the story of the talks in Nimule is published at the same time the IGAD is sending out invites to the stakeholders for the High Level Revitalisation Forum (HLRF) meeting in Addis Ababa scheduled for the third week of December 2017. It is possible that this story is released to taint NSF so that it would appear as unprincipled organisation.

Secondly, the story has the potential to confuse the mediators in Addis Ababa. They may then ask questions as to whether the NSF can be taken seriously since it is engaged in talks already in Nimule with the government. So could this be the government’s strategy of blurring the High Level Revitalisation Forum’s talks?

Thirdly, the story is clearly misinformation designed to confuse the people of South Sudan who are already looking at NSF as the most likely saviour of the country.

The report seeks to portray NSF as a weak organisation poaching for positions without any teeth to pose challenge to the government of South Sudan as an alternative. This can be seen from the supposed NSF officer asking for the United Nations and the International Community to come and listen to it.

The implication is that NSF is not only begging the government for talks but has resorted to plead for outsiders to come and listen to it. The question is: why would NSF beg the government and the international community to come and listen to its grievance?

NSF has made its position clear from the onset. The government knows the position of NSF from the numerous documents issued by the organisation from its inception in March 2017 to date. Please see, ‘The National Salvation front: The Mission‘ & ‘The Declaration of National Salvation Front’. The objectives of NSF as can be seen in these documents expose the blatant lie of the Juba Monitor.

Again if this newspaper is credible, it should have seen the declaratory documents of the organisation. If it has not seen them, then this makes their existence as a national paper a subject of ridicule.

The Juba Monitor clearly has the intention of portraying NSF in a negative light, however it must be made known that NSF is not the organisation that the Juba Monitor is attempting to portray it to be. NSF is a national movement with credible experienced leaders dedicated to emancipate the people of South Sudan from the claws of the JCE’s regime in Juba.

In reality, it is the JCE regime in Juba and not NSF that is already weak. The evidence can be gleaned from the following:
1) the feedback released by the National Dialogue of their surveys in Uganda and Kenya have conclusively demonstrated that the people of South Sudan do not want the government of President Salva Kiir.
2) The Jieng people as the rulers of our unlucky country are already viscerally divided to the extent that their grip on power is loosening fast.
3) The JCE regime has mismanaged the country driving it into total economic collapse.

The Juba Monitor would be better advised to concentrate their stories on these issues facing the country rather than bowing down and acting as the mouth of the JCE regime.

The fat lie of Juba Monitor concocted by Kidega Livingstone and supervised by Anna Nimiriano is an assault on the collective psyche of the South Sudanese people most likely with the intent to corrupt it by inducing a virus into the collective to think of NSF as just a waste of time and space to enhance and protect the JCE regime from the challenges posed to it by NSF.

The Juba Monitor is now worse than the mouth pieces of the failed communist regimes of pre 1991 led by the Soviet Union.

By publishing brazen lies against freedom fighters organisations, the Juba Monitor has chosen to ally itself with the regime of terror. It is clearly telling the people of South Sudan that they share values with JCE. These values are not only limited to lying but goes beyond to cover belief in abuse of human rights and criminality as a tool of governance, the very values that have driven the country to destruction.

For the people in the government-controlled areas, the best way to respond to Juba Monitor’s new identity as a propaganda machine of the JCE is to hit it where it really hurts. They need to know that there is a price to pay for going against the people and for supporting the JCE.

It should not get away with putting the dumper on your feelings by intentionally misleading you to enhance the JCE regime. Punish this new JCE tool by boycotting the print news.

It does not only lie to you to destroy your hopes, but it is actually part of the bigger JCE machine tasked with maligning your mind to psychologically turn you into a helpless person that the JCE can rule comfortably.

Therefore, do not buy Juba Monitor to enrich it and make it stronger in its protection of the regime of terror. The readers of Juba Monitor who abhor the JCE regime should remember that they have the power in the money they spend to buy the paper. Use that power effectively to compliment the bigger struggle against the regime of terror.

Juba Monitor may not feel the pinch of falling income as the regime of terror is already bribing them with huge sums of money to do their dirty job of propaganda. So losing income from sales may be subsidized by the money poured into their coffers by the JCE regime.

However, it may be shocked to find out that its crucial source of revenue in form of advertisements will dwindle too. The reason for this is simple; a boycott of the newspaper is also aided by the very fact that any newspaper that publishes inaccurate stories slowly loses credibility locally.

The strength of any media business is based on trust and the loss of such trust locally among the readership and advertisers means that as a propaganda tool it becomes useless to invest in.

This is a very important point because it means that this will spell the downfall of Juba Monitor. The regime of terror will not see any benefit in funding it if it is not influencing the public in its favour. The advertisers too will not waste their money on advertising on newspapers without credibility and wide readership.

If Mr. Peter Morbe, the Chairman, Board of Directors of Juba Monitor and the editor Ms Anna Nimiriano want to save their business, they need to either issue a public apology to the National Salvation Front, or to withdraw their woolly story by issuing a public statement. This is the only way they can restore credibility.

Finally, Juba Monitor unethically has sold its soul out to the JCE regime. It can no longer be an impartial news processor and disseminator that enlightens the public in this difficult time in the country.

In taking sides with the JCE regime, it has consciously decided to work against the people of South Sudan. The ball is now with the public to do the right thing in the struggle for freedom
[Truth hurts but it is also liberating].

Elhag Paul
elhagpaul@aol.com
@elhagpaul

What are the Alternatives to Pres. Salva Kiir?

BY: Apioth Mayom Apioth, DEC/10/2017, SSN;

By the looks of things, Kiir Mayardit has no intention of steering the nation into the daylight. He has been the leading figure in the South Sudanese politics for twelve unimpressive years. He has become “Mr. Let’s wait and see how this problem is going to take care of itself.” His love of the leadership has blinded his conscientious self.

In ancient Africa, Kings or chiefs wielded enormous power and with this juggernaut of power came novelty. In most cases, they were principally wealthy and gave away their wealth to the downtrodden populace. For this, Kiir Mayar is trying to emulate how the traditional leaders had an open door policy and being all ears to countless number of people all at one go. He just sits there on his presumed throne and families of all kinds come to demand whatever they long for their livelihoods.

Even before his ascendancy to the upper echelon of the South Sudanese politics, his laid-back approach to everything cost many soldiers to lose their lives during our days in the bush. The first task of a leader is to be an initiator. The first to take the first step out. Salva Kiir sleeps on his duties. An influential leader cultivates trust. How does trust come about?

He/she is a selfless being that goes out of her comfort zone to make sure the lives of all individuals are secure from harm. Once the people are secure from danger, then what comes next is trust and a willingness for the general populace to heed his call for commandeering. Trust is garnered through three hard-earned steps.

First, the character of the leader must be put under the microscopic lenses for all to scrutinize. Integrity reigns supreme here. He/she is accountable and must follow through on his/her promises. Up next is competence. Is the leader in question qualified to lead the institution that he/she is vying for? Last, but not the least, is authority.

As things stand today, no one in his right mind would delegate any powers to Kiir Mayar so he can determine the fate of our nation. People began to lose trust in Kiir soon after he took over after the demise of Dr. John. Corruption became the name of the game. Insecurity was rampant and thus making everyone to fend for himself. Money was being carted away in boxes.

For someone that is this inept and incapable of taking care of his duties; one may wonder how he survived the leadership upheaval under Dr. John. What did John Garang see in him that made him stand out from the crowd?

Salva Kiir is a quiet person by nature and by the same token, he hideously swallowed his true corrupt nature so he could feed that monstrous character once the power came his way. According to the United Nations, some 2 million people are taking refuge in our neighboring countries. Another 2 million people are internally displaced.

South Sudanese who first began the refugee life in 1987 have now spent thirty years in those makeshift camps. Thirty years more and they are in their sixties, still living the hard life of a refugee. These South Sudanese nationalities are not entitled to land rights, agricultural subsidies for farming, and low taxes in their host nations; they consistently live on the hand-outs from the United Nations where the daily meal is beans.

What are the alternatives to our current quagmire?

South Sudan as a nation has not fully healed from the traumas we put ourselves through during the liberation era. From the early eighties to the early nineties, SPLA was holding the high ground in our struggle for justice; major swathes of South Sudan was liberated with the exception of few major towns that comprised of Juba, Wau, and Malakal.

After the splintering of SPLA/M into SPLA/M-Torit/Mainstream and SPLA/M-Nasir, respectively, we began to turn on ourselves and chaos started to confuse our national identity. Our adversaries in Khartoum began to buy our loyalties with the simple words of mouth. We began to switch sides to Khartoum, thinking that we can find greener pastures on that side yonder.

No tribe was invincible to the manipulative machinations of Khartoum’s age-old doctrine of divide and conquer. Our leaders ranging from Kerubino Kuanyin Bol, Arok Thon Arok, Joseph Oduho, Riek Machar Teny, Lam Akol Ajawin and even to a certain extent, William Nyuon Bany, all decided to abandon our major struggle for an unknown promise from those we were fighting against.

We were stronger when we were one collective and united force, however, after the 1991’s splintering, Khartoum regime under Omar el Bashir started to push us back into a rabbit hole. Efforts were made to create a reconciliation project and the December of 2013 crisis has shown that the reconciliation efforts were ineffective at best.

Our best bet would be for the group of South Sudan Young Leaders Forum (SSYLM), which includes the likes of Peter Biar Ajak and Manasseh Mathiang to take over the mantle of leadership in the land. This group comprises of 70 bright young South Sudanese leaders who were drawn from all the tribes in the nation.

South Sudan is a highly conservative nation; a year ago, Kenyan girls were harassed in Wau for wearing skinny jeans. Our older generation would easily dismiss the likes of SSYLM members as mere children and thus incapable of taking over the reins from Salva Kiir.

What our people fail to grasp these days, is that our young and upcoming generation lives in two competitive cultures at the same time. They live in the Western culture of iPhone and popular culture, and traditional culture where they still pay the bride price for their betrothed brides. They are the ones that are good at juggling modernity and the old way of life, whereas the older cohorts could easily be manipulated to succumb to old tribal cliches.

The older generation wants to main the status quo and the old way of life, whereby an Azande traditional dance would be deemed inappropriate by Toposa people. The Toposa would see it as an impure custom, infringing on their pure cultured way of dance. The 34 years we have spent in the diaspora since after the eruption of second Sudanese civil war, have taught this young generation to be more tolerant of their differences. Some of them have lived their entire lives outside of South Sudan, coming only for a short family visit after the signing of the CPA.

In case the upper echelon of South Sudanese politics refuse to relinquish the leadership to SSYLM, then they can bequeath the reins to Pagan Amum. Why of all people Pagan Amum? Pagan Amum is neither a Dinka nor a Nuer. He is not an Equatorian indigene, too.

After the eruption of the crisis in December of 2013, it has been the Dinka vs Equatorians vs Nuer ever since. Many would complain again of the Nuer dominance in the government if we relinquish the leadership to Taban Deng Gai or Riek Machar. The same would be the case if we hand it to James Wani Igga or Thomas Cirilo Swaka, or Joseph Bakosoro.

Our situation is quite different from the one the Rwandans face after the 1994 genocide. Paul Kagame is a Tutsi and Rwanda has only two other tribes, namely of Hutu and Twa. The majority of the army that took down the Hutu-led government were collectively Tutsi by ethnicity. As one homogeneous ethnic group, the Tutsi easily understood each other and fought for justice as one collective unit.

After Liberia plunged into two successive civil wars, they elected Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was regarded as a nontraditional leader, because she is a female. Mrs. Johnson defeated the former World Footballer of the Year, George Weah in the general elections and Liberia has been stable ever since.

The Dinka, Nuer, and Azande are the three largest tribes of South Sudan. By choosing Pagan Amum, we would be choosing a nontraditional leader who would stitch together the scattered parts of our nation into a wholesome and cohesive unit. For our people to continue to turn on ourselves for trivial matters as the competition for leadership is truly unfathomable.

We had it worse under successive Khartoum regimes and yet we haven’t learned a thing about how to live together as a nation. History has it that when a people went through a protracted suffering, they rise up from the ashes and used their tragic past to build better communal relations for their betterment.

Our people continue to flock to the SPLA-IO and National Salvation Front to continue to wage a non-victorious war against the inept regime of Salva Kiir. Why do we continue to lure our youth into the lion’s dent when we know better that Salva Kiir won’t budge one bit?

Even though we are one of the poorest people on earth, we should just let our youth rot in the refugee camps in our neighboring countries so they could at least live half-decently on daily meals of beans. Oh! being a refugee is way better than being dead and all bones in the coffin.

Pres. Kiir & Gen. Malong are ‘Fighting like ferrets in a sack’: Will Gen. Cirillo, not Machar, be the nation’s savior?

BY: ELHAG PAUL, DEC/03/2017, SSN;

If there is any person who has caused monumental damage to the society of South Sudan other than President Salva Kiir, it is General Paul Malong Awan Anei. This person is responsible for aiding and abating the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer in December 2013 and in executing the Jieng master plan of making South Sudan an exclusively Jieng land. His affinity to President Kiir is rooted in their military career, ethnicity and shared belief in Jieng supremacy in South Sudan.

Nobody would have thought that any of the two would fall out with the other. Such a thought, though unrealistic because in life some of the mechanisms and rules governing social interaction are not only dualistic in nature but also mediated by power dynamics.

What this means is that when friends bound by politics and power begin to vie for power, enmity kicks in between them and the atmosphere can be really ugly. This is exactly what is happening between President Kiir and Gen. Paul Malong and it does not end with them within the Jieng community.

Divisions also are rife within the Nuer and Equatorian communities on the same issue of power which makes the South Sudan problem complex but not unsolvable. This piece will look at these divisions separately with the aim of providing the reader with what is going on in the country and the way forward.

The distrust and enmity between President Kiir and General Paul Malong must have started last year with the undisguised activities of the latter promoting himself as a president in waiting. Please see, ‘The coin of power: Gen. Paul Malong aspires for president!!’ (http://www.southsudannation.com/the-coin-of-power-gen-paul-malong-aspires-for-president/).

His dismissal in May 2017 by the president became the spark of their current ongoing conflict. General Paul Malong did not take his removal from the post of the Chief of Staff of SPLA with dignity and obedience expected of an army man.

Unlike others before him such as General James Hoth Mai who gracefully vacated the post without any drama, General Paul Malong reacted to his removal by leaving Juba in a company of heavily mechanised troops. He was intercepted in Yirol and for a couple of days he had to be persuaded to return to Juba.

When he was flown back to Juba from Yirol, unbelievably he was received at the airport by thousands of Jieng men, women and children with ululations and chants of ‘King Paul’ etc. That particular welcome of General Paul Malong by his tribesmen posed a serious challenge to the presidency of Kiir.

This act by General Paul Malong in itself constituted disobedience, insubordination and rebellion. In any normal army, the General would have faced Court Marshall. But SPLA is not an army in the true sense. It has ever since been a Jieng militia managed through Jieng kraal rules and Jieng language.

(Please see, ‘The Mighty SPLA, (Tiger Division)’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSQDSn3eaBo)

The behaviour of the General is not for nothing. President Kiir owes him a lot. First, in 2004, prior to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005, Kiir then a deputy to late Dr John Garang, the leader of the SPLM/A had fallen out of favour with his boss prompting him to rebel. Kiir hid in Yei and resisted meeting Dr Garang on his own in fear for his life.

Emissaries after emissaries including Nhial Deng Nhial and Deng Alor were sent to him to no avail. Finally, after assurance by Paul Malong, Kiir accepted to attend a meeting in Rumbek in November 2004 which led to his reconciliation with Dr Garang. That meeting revealed the shoddy nature of the SPLM.

Please see the Rumbek Minutes of 2004 (http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article26320).

Secondly, in September 2013 while President Kiir was on a visit to Akon, his home town, he sought military assistance from General Paul Malong who by then was the governor of Northern Bahr El Ghazal in order to contain Riek Machar and his group comprising Pagan Amum, Deng Alor, Alfred Lado Gore, Rebecca Nyandeng, Oyay Deng Ajak, Majak D’Agoot and many others.

This group since May of that year confronted President Kiir seeking to remove him peacefully through SPLM rules and structures.

According to Peter Adwok Nyaba in his article titled ‘It wasn’t a coup – Salva Kiir shot himself in the foot.’ (http://www.southsudannation.com/it-wasnt-a-coup-salva-kiir-shot-himself-in-the-foot/), President Kiir “in Akon his home town, speaking to Dinka (Jieng), which SSTV aired, Salva had this to say ‘………….look this power which I have belongs to you. You fought and died for it ……….. Now some people want to snatch it from me ……….. we (will) you accept it?

“Aci bag am,” meaning we will not accept, shouted the people back. It was in this context of retaining power that he ordered Paul Malong Awan to recruit and bring to Juba three thousand young men which now constitute his presidential guards.’”

This very militia became the force responsible for chasing Riek Machar out of Juba and cleansing of the Nuer in Juba.

Thirdly, in July 2016, General Paul Malong destroyed ‘The Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan’ (ARCSS) to save President Kiir, JCE and the implicated Jieng militia officers from having to face court for the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer in Juba in 2013 by audaciously attacking Dr Riek Machar’s SPLM/A-IO in Juba using land and air forces. General Paul Malong pursued Dr Riek Machar up to the border of Democratic Republic of Congo.

So because of the above, General Paul Malong has a hold on the president giving him confidence to misbehave. Being a Jieng, rather than being held to account, he was placed under house arrest since his return from Yirol. When his daughter Alakiir Malong sadly died in a fire accident in Kenya in September 2017, President Kiir refused to allow the General to go and identify the body of his daughter in Nairobi as well as to attend the burial and funeral in Aweil.

At the end of October, President Kiir upped the ante by issuing a presidential decree officially placing the General on detention without the right of visitation by his family members. Troops were deployed around his house with orders to disarm him which ended in a standoff.

Juba suddenly turned into a front line between President Kiir and General Paul Malong in a game of power. Alarmed and scarred of the real possibility of a show down between the president and his former Chief of the Army, the JCE, the architect of Jieng hegemony in South Sudan sought to broker peace.

Their main interest as expected is the maintenance of Jieng unity against all other South Sudanese. Ambassador Telar Deng emphasised this point sometimes back by saying, “Our (Jieng) internal front should remain united. This is the only way to defeat our enemies [South Sudanese].” (http://newsafricanow.com/2015/10/s-sudanese-envoy-says-creation-of-new-states-administrative/).

The JCE having failed to reconcile the President and his former Chief of the Army brought one of their renowned son, Dr Francis Mading Deng, to lead a new group they cobbled together to save the situation. This group called Concerned Citizen’s Committee for Peace which is answerable to the chairman of the JCE comprises: General Albino Akol Akol, chairman, Dr Francis Mading Deng, deputy chairman, General Andrew Makur Thou, Hon. Joshua Dau Diu, Hon. Maker Thiong, Amb. Bol Wek Agoth, General Lual Wek Guen, Hon. Oliver Majok Aleu.

Unsurprisingly, even though the name of the group may suggest or give an impression that the group represents the people of South Sudan, the hard reality remains all the group members are ethnically Jieng and hence they only represent Jieng views and Jieng interest. It has nothing to do with the general view and interests of South Sudan.

This new Jieng group fraudulently called Concerned Citizen’s Committee for peace managed to superficially reconcile the president and his former Chief of Army on 14/11/2017. As a result, the President has allowed General Paul Malong to travel to Kenya for medical treatment.

The most interesting thing is that in this struggle for power between the two, General Paul Malong appears to have emerged victorious and stronger if only because he has made President Kiir to eat his Republican Order number 26/2017 for the issuance of Orders to the Chief of Defence Forces of the SPLA dated 30th October 2017.

It is unheard of in this world that a Republican Order signed by president can be challenged by an army man. This is a clear case of disobedience and insubordination.

This is even made worse by the fact that the entire members of JCE and the supposed Concerned Citizen’s Committee for Peace joined General Paul Malong supporters and his family in giving him a dignified send off to Kenya at Juba airport.

The General, acting presidential, “told elders and support[er]s at Juba airport that he would work with them and other stakeholders in and outside the country to ensure peace, reconciliation, unity and forgiveness are consolidated to bring back peace and stability to the country.”

Please see ‘South Sudan ex-army chief cedes home trip, leaves to Kenya’ (http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article64043)

Observers at the airport were in awe to see the members of Jieng cabal listening attentively while nodding in affirmation.

Take the scenes described earlier of the General arriving Juba from Yirol with chants of ‘King Paul’ and add to it this scene from Juba airport, it becomes clear that he has substantial support among the Jieng people.

The bad news for President Kiir is that the JCE is clearly leaning toward supporting the General and he also has been weakened by his inability to enforce his republican decree in respect of the General. Internationally, President Kiir has lost face. Interesting times ahead!

The brokering of the peace between the President and the former Chief of the army has exposed Dr Francis Mading Deng who now cannot escape being under intense scrutiny.

As someone who coined and spearheaded the concept of Responsibility to Protect ‘R2P’ as UN Under Secretary for Prevention of Genocide, articulating rightly that sovereignty can not be the basis to commit crimes against humanity, Dr Deng unfortunately and ironically became an ambassador for one of the worst regimes that has ever existed on earth.

A regime that committed grave crimes against its own people.

To some of us this was not surprising because as a staunch unionist, Dr Deng opposed the separation of South Sudan from the Sudan but quickly jumped into the new independent country to reap the fruits.

This is an opportunist who shamelessly defended an obnoxious regime which as a UN Under Secretary he would have opposed vehemently.

In mediating between President Kiir and the General, he proved beyond doubt that he is comfortable mingling with the worst criminals known globally.

It is possible that Dr Deng may well not believe or respect the duo. In such a situation he would have been acting in the interest of averting war among Jieng.

However, the question would be, why associate with such vile men? Only opportunists do that. If he is one as suggested by his leadership of a tentacle of JCE called Concerned Citizen’s Committee for Peace, it might well be that he could be vying for a ministerial position in the tribal regime of terror.

The government of South Sudan is packed full of people from Abyei and the Jieng acknowledge that technically the Abyei people are not South Sudanese. Bona Malwal in his book, ‘Sudan’s latest peace Agreement’ said, “I also recognise that they [Abyei, the Nuba Mountains and the Ingassina hills’] are part of Northern Sudan.”

If the Abyei people cannot join the rest of South Sudanese in their struggle against the tribal regime now in Juba for fair, just and inclusive society in order for them to prove their true patriotism, then they should better be in their homeland in the Sudan. They should remain with Khartoum.

South Sudan has had enough from the JCE and it does not need another tentacle of the JCE led by Dr Deng, an Abyei opportunist of the Sudan.

The deal brokered by Dr Deng is supposed to have restored the unity of the Jieng. Unfortunately this very deal is very misleading. Jieng unity seems to have long gone.

The Jieng are butchering themselves in their villages. It is just a matter of time before they import the differences from their villages into Juba, the seat of power.

As the group dominating state power, the likelihood is that their bitter differences and the battles that follow from that will usher in a new era in the country.

Dr. Machar’s SPLM-IO:

Turning to SPLM-IO, the divisions plaguing this organisation are not an enigma. The leader of SPLM/A-IO has demonstrated practically that he has no leadership skills at all. All the organisations he has led have experienced splits within a considerable short period of time, and sadly they have not achieved any of their aims and objectives.

In 1991, Dr Riek Machar sought and committed himself to oust Dr John Garang. He failed and eventually in 2002 he returned to Dr Garang with his tail coiled between his legs.

In December 2013 following the cleansing of the Nuer in Juba, he again rebelled with the objective of ousting President Kiir. He failed and returned to a shaky Transitional government of National Unity as deputy to the very person he promised to remove.

This imploded in July 2016 and again he ended up exiled and detained in South Africa.

Please see, ‘President Kiir’s Machiavellian tricks: Machar be forewarned’ (https://pachodo.org/latest-news-articles/pachodo-english-articles/11334-president-kiir%E2%80%99s-machiavellian-tricks-machar-be-forwarned)

The divisions among the Nuer right from the days of struggle against Khartoum are caused by dynamics of power exactly as in the Equatoria case now in South Sudan. The difference between the Nuer and Equatorians is that the Nuer got themselves armed at an earlier stage and so they are able to resist and assert themselves.

SPLM/A FORMER DETAINEES:

While talking about divisions in the SPLM/A, it would be unhelpful if remarks are not made about the SPLM former detainees. This group did not emerge out of natural wishes of South Sudanese or genuine dynamics of South Sudanese political struggle.

It is a making of the international community and the name itself was coined by the international community. To be specific Kenya played a big role in the creation of this group. Some of them like Deng Alor and John Luk are ministers in the Kiir’s Juba regime of terror and others are in the opposition.

What does this tell you about members of this group? I leave that for you to work out. If anything, in a nutshell, one could say the international community created this group to distort the political problem of South Sudan.

DIVISIONS AMONG EQUATORIANS

Now let us move on to Equatoria Region. The divisions in Equatoria, as hinted above, are simply an issue of power.
The malaise afflicting Equatoria is a result of a long sustained oppression on Equatoria designed by the JCE to destroy Equatoria.

Jieng hatred towards Equatoria is contained in Bona Malwal’s book, ‘Sudan and South Sudan: from One to Two.’

On page 207, Malwal points out that,

“…unfortunately, Equatoria…this rather unusual, indeed non-existing constitutional being in South Sudan…has now got onto the bandwagon of Riek Machar Teny, hoping to defeat and overthrow the Dinka [Jieng] that Equatoria has always hated. There is a clear Dinka [Jieng] hate campaign now on in South Sudan.

Even the elected governors of Equatoria have sent a delegation to Ethiopia to plead for IGAD mediators to decree a new federal arrangement for South Sudan – Equatoria’s new way of hoping to get rid of the Dinka [Jieng] from Juba, the land of Equatoria, which happens to be also the capital of South Sudan from which no South Sudanese ethnic community can be excluded.

This is now a hate campaign which will make it very difficult, if not impossible to find a solution to the current problem, the failed attempt to overthrow the legitimate system of South Sudan.

The Dinka [Jieng] have land and space from which to seek to survive and should not be expected to give away power to those who hate the Dinka [Jieng]! One gives away power to someone or those one does not think hate them.

The Dinka [Jieng] have been described, or indeed insulted as a foolish majority. But even a fool recognizes death when they see it. Will the Dinka [Jieng] be so foolish to cede power to those they know hate the name Dinka [Jieng[?

Can the Dinka [Jieng] be so foolish to offer their lives as a solution, in order to provide a second Rwanda of Africa?”

It is unfortunate that Bona Malwal has expressed such a destructive view which in reality can not stand the test of scrutiny.

Gen. Thomas Cirillo and NAS:

The impact of oppression on Equatorians is clearly displayed in the ongoing divisions among them in SPLM-IO and NAS. They are decimating themselves in Kajo-keji for no reason at all other than to please their oppressors – the Jieng and the Nuer.

Equatorians in SPLM-IO who oppose the emergence of NAS argue that, “Thomas Cirillo is a good man who fell into the hands of ethnic and regional fanatics.”

The NAS leader is accused of calling Equatorians with SPLM/A-IO as “blind supporters and/or ‘followers of Nuer’ while shouting with the lobe-side of their [his] months that NAS is a national movement.”

It is only fair that judgment of an individual is done through provision of evidence. In the case of the leader of NAS such a measuring yard stick is absent. Unsubstantiated damaging statements are made against him without any proof.

For example, Thomas Cirillo is alleged to have made speeches during his visit to the USA that fell short of a leader’s standard. These negative criticisms mostly come from the supporters of SPLM-IO. Checks done with other neutral South Sudanese reveal the opposite.

Thomas Cirillo comes out as highly regarded, respected and competent leader with a very good sense of judgement. Remarkably, international media more or less substantiates the favourable views held by majority of South Sudanese.

The critics of Thomas Cirillo who mostly are pro-Riek Machar always try to play down the truth about their preferred leader. For South Sudanese to make an informed assessment it becomes important that contrast should be made.

For most of Thomas Cirillo’s life he remained in the army. He resigned from the SPLA army in March this year. So, he has been in the open political arena of South Sudan for 8 month. During this period he has engaged the nation through speeches to the country explaining his position and offering to liberate the people of South Sudan.

Those speeches were received favorably by the country and there were no criticisms from the SPLM-IO supporters. In fact they welcomed him. With hindsight, it is clear now that this group was expecting Thomas Cirillo to rally behind Riek Machar. Since this did not happen, they set out to demonize him as “good” but “falls” short of a leader.

Unexpectedly, but in line with their value of violence, SPLM-IO switched into military mode and attacked NAS positions in Equatoria to destroy any hope for the emergence of an Equatorian-led movement as a credible option for the South Sudanese people.

In short, the 8 months of Thomas Cirillo in political arena have proven beyond doubt that he is an excellent leader. All the military commanders with their foot soldiers who joined NAS refer to his wise leadership in comparison to the organisations they left and a good number of them are from the SPLM-IO. This is an important point that can not just be dismissed or brushed under the carpet.

On the other hand Riek Machar who has been in politics/military leadership for 33 years…. that is from 1984 to date… has not demonstrated any leadership. In all the organisations he formed and led, splits have been the order of the day.

Although Riek Machar’s supporters try to portray him as a capable leader, they seem to have forgotten that during these three decades, Riek Machar has not delivered any visionary speech that he can be remembered for as a rousing or an explosive one, while under Dr John Garang or as a leader of his numerous failed groups from 1991: SPLM/A United, SPDF, SSIM, and SPLM/A-IO.

Those who are criticizing Thomas Cirillo in this area conveniently ignore the failures of their supposed iconic leader while downplaying the success of the former in his very short period as a patriotic leader.

To date, Riek Machar has not adequately explained why he is fighting the Juba regime. He has not addressed the nation to explain himself since December 2013. The saddest of all is that he has failed flatly to articulate the case of the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer.

Had Riek Machar done that as a concerned citizen and emphasized that he would do the same if it happened to any tribe in South Sudan he would have garnered support and sympathy of most South Sudanese and the world. One of the reasons why the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer was/is muted completely is due to this failure to articulate what happened to the Nuer people in Juba in December 2013; a failure whose cost has been huge in the struggle to oust the JCE regime.

Right from the onset of the conflict, Riek Machar’s supposed major speeches, if at all they are, carried one theme. According to him, he was inspired and motivated by the SPLM/A report of March 2013 that identified among other things SPLM/A’s loss of vision and direction.

This as understood is the one thing driving Riek Machar to challenge President Kiir. Hold on a moment!!

How did SPLM/A lose vision and direction? Who were the drivers of the SPLM/A vehicle? Was it not President Kiir and Riek Machar as partners since Dr John Garang died? If so, how can Riek Machar exonerate himself from the loss of vision and direction?

What was he doing in that whole period when the vehicle was getting lost without destination? This argument pursued by Riek Machar must be a joke.

So the duo plunged the country into chaos only over their party loss of vision and direction? Just think about this warped rational. He uses his own failures in the SPLM/A as Vice President and turns round to justify it as a reason to ousting President Kiir.

In effect it follows from Riek Machar’s argument that all those who are supporting SPLM/A-IO are disgruntled members of the organisation who want to restore it to its glory of “New Sudan” days. However how could the vision of New Sudan be achieved since the country is already split into two?

But even then, SPLM/A from day one has been a criminal organisation which does not regard the interests of the people.

THOMAS CIRILLO VERSUS RIEK MACHAR:

Now compare and contrast Riek Machar’s rational to try to oust President Kiir to the well articulated reasons provided by Thomas Cirillo. Unlike Riek Machar, Thomas Cirillo zoomed straight to the point and articulated the real core problems for a struggle to oust the regime.

These are identity politics, grave crimes against humanity, absence of law and order, lack of national army and security systems, economic destruction with grand corruption, and SPLM/A itself. To this skeleton of problems he added sufficient flesh as he voiced in his speeches from March 2017 to date.

If one analyses the divisions in Equatoria, it is different from the divisions among the Jieng. President Kiir and Paul Malong are fighting for real power base in South Sudan, whereas the Equatorians are fighting the impact of oppression on them.

Because Equatorians have been oppressed by the SPLM/A since its inception from 1983, they have lost self worth and confidence in themselves. They do not believe that one of their own can actually liberate the country. They would prefer to be led by others who project power.

Riek Machar projects that power and so it is safer to stick with the powerful even when that supposed powerful being has no real potential. The literature of liberation explains such situation in terms of power.

A simple example is the battered woman syndrome whereby an abusive husband/partner would batter his wife/girlfriend, yet the victim would do everything to remain in the abusive relationship against all wise rational advice.

In political terms, such play of power in societies since we are talking about Equatorian society is well articulated by Franz Fanon in his book ‘The Wretched of the earth’. So the infighting of Equatorians is the impact of the Jieng/Nuer power over them.

Alternatively, it could be looked at from a religious point of view in similar terms like what happened to Jesus. Although outsiders could see the importance and spiritual power of Jesus, the Jews despised him.

So while others can see the formidable leadership Thomas Cirillo is offering the people of South Sudan, some of his own people despise him. What a paradox?

In the western world, the same phenomenon happens in a slightly different way. Because the powerful political groups use power of persuasion: winning minds and hearts, the less powerful groups vote against their own interest. The recent example is the election of President Trump instead of Hilary Clinton. Basically the majority of the American people voted not to improve their lot.

Having looked at the divisions within the various SPM/A factions, the fight for power between the President and his Chief of the Army is a fight for real base of power among the Jieng who have usurped state power and it can be likened to fight of the Ferrets in a sack.

This fight is just beginning to take root and it will end with the Jieng losing power no matter what they do.

As for the Nuer, their fight for power in South Sudan is characteriZed by the Nuer decimating themselves to sustain Jieng in power. Without the substantial support of the Matips, the Monytuils, the Buays, the Ruais, the Lukes, the Rieks, the Gathoths and the Tabans, Dinkocracy would not have been possible in South Sudan.

This calls for an awakening in the Nuer people to unite under another leader one who is concerned about their well-being and not one that exploits them. That way the wrongs committed against the Nuer can be addressed and accounted for.

As for the Equatorians, their lack of self worth and self confidence is gradually being remedied by the mushrooming of rebellions in Equatoria suggesting they are unshackling themselves from the chains of oppression. Thus their divisions are momentarily.

They will soon understand their predicament and inevitably they will unite under the credible South Sudanese leader General Thomas Cirillo who will lead all South Sudanese into freedom.

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

South Sudan civil war, abetted by Uganda’s Museveni, worsening – UN panel

By KEVIN J KELLEY, THE EASTAFRICAN, NOV/29/2017, SSN;

The catastrophic conditions that confronts war-torn South Sudan will likely worsen in coming months in the face of government intransigence and ineffective regional peace-making efforts, United Nations monitors have warned.

“Absent a change in the current conflict dynamics, the coming dry season will see further fighting and civilian suffering, as the government continues to pursue military victory over political compromise,” UN investigators said on Monday.

The UN panel also accused government forces of impeding humanitarian and peacekeeping operations. This, they said, cut-off food supplies to Bagari in the northwestern Upper Nile state.

At least 164 children and elderly people died from hunger and disease in that area between January and September this year, they said. Further, the UN panel said armed forces were using food aid as a weapon of war to target civilians.

Uganda

In a 35-page report to the Security Council, the UN monitors cited Uganda as abetting President Salva Kiir administration’s refusal to end the war.

In addition to allowing arms to reach government forces, Uganda serves as the destination for teak and gold extracted from South Sudan, the panel said. These resources, as well as oil, are sold to finance military operations and enrich South Sudanese elites, the report stated.

Divisions among neighbouring countries, particularly competition between Uganda and Ethiopia for “regional hegemony,” are also causing peace initiatives to flounder, the monitors said.

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni is said to be more invested in the Kampala-led attempt to reunify three factions of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) than in moves by the regional bloc the Intergovernmental Authority on Development to revitalise the peace agreement.

READ: Will Entebbe talks deliver peace?

These parallel processes are “neither complementary nor mutually reinforcing initiatives, despite assertions to the contrary,” the report stated.

Kenya

Kenya, despite its “significant financial interests in South Sudan,” has been sidelined from the peacebuilding efforts due to Nairobi’s preoccupation with the presidential elections, the monitors said.

Kenya’s banking and real-estate sectors, along with those of Uganda, “are key destinations for financial assets and laundered funds from South Sudan,” the report noted.

The Kenyan government has additional reasons to remain actively engaged in efforts to end the nearly four-year-long civil war in South Sudan, the monitors suggested.

They cited mounting insecurity in Eastern Equatoria on Kenya’s border, which could accelerate an influx of refugees. The panel also pointed to “the continued possibility of armed groups attacking and looting poorly secured Kenyan banks in South Sudan.”

Rebels

South Sudan opposition “has become increasingly diverse and widespread as the conflict has expanded to different parts of the country,” the report said.

But the armed rebels are splintered and comparatively weak, the monitors added.

READ: South Sudan army commander defects to rebels

They said exiled opposition leader Riek Machar continues to maintain overall command of the main faction of rebel forces, “although his isolation in South Africa has limited to some degree his day-to-day oversight.”

Machar’s grip is being further loosened by military gains made by government forces, defections by some of his troops to other opposition groups and “the apparent continued lack of significant military resupply to opposition forces.”

Weaponry

Further, the report said South Sudan opposition fighters seem unable to obtain large-scale weapons supplies other than by capturing government arsenals.

The country’s army, however, has been resupplied via transhipments of arms through Uganda, the monitors said.

ALSO READ: Kiir accuses Sudan of being ‘source of weapons’

According to “documentary evidence” obtained by the panel, a cargo flight containing 31 tonnes of weapons arrived in Entebbe, Uganda, on August 29.

Kampala-based Bosasy Logistics is listed as the consignee for this shipment, reportedly from Bulgaria, that includes AK-47 rifles, spare magazines, bayonets and ammunition, they said.

“Panel sources claim that these weapons were destined for onward shipment to Juba,” the report said.

South Sudan plunged into war in December 2013 when Kiir accused Machar, his former deputy, of plotting a coup.

Tens of thousands have died in the fighting and nearly four million have fled their homes. END