Category: Featured

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Juach Garang Bul is a concerned South Sudanese living in Perth, Western Australia (Australia). He can be reached at his personal email for any inquiry at juach111@hotmail.com

Power sharing agreement not a solution to South Sudan conflict

By Jacob K. Lupai, JUBA, JUN/23/2015, SSN;

South Sudan is engulfed in a conflict that seems to have defied all attempts to resolve it peacefully. The conflict is now about 18 months old and despite every effort made to try to end it, South Sudanese are still to enjoy peace and stability after having shed millions of liters of their own precious blood to achieve independence from vicious colonizers.

The conflict has now become the concern of Africa in particular and the international community at large to chart a better way forward for South Sudan to realize peace and stability through whatever means possible.

It is evident that South Sudanese on their own have no power to end the conflict because they find it easier to disagree than agree. For example, an agreement on cessation of hostilities is easily dishonored with either side to the conflict vehemently blaming each other. The blame game continues monotonously while the country bleeds senselessly.

South Sudan conflict

The conflict in South Sudan began on 15 December 2013. However, according to South Sudan Human Rights Commission (SSHRC) Interim Report on South Sudan Internal Conflict December 15, 2013 – March 15, 2014, the genesis of the conflict can be traced back to July 2013 when President Salva Kiir Mayardit made a major reshuffle, dropping his Vice President, Dr Riek Machar from the Cabinet.

The reshuffle in July 2013 heightened political rivalries and tensions within the ruling party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). Prior to the reshuffle Dr Riek Machar as the Vice President and also deputy to President Salva Kiir Mayardit in the SPLM, openly expressed his desire to challenge the President for the leadership of the SPLM and therefore the President’s leadership as the Head of State.

The political rivalry between President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his former Vice President Dr Riek Machar for power and the leadership of the SPLM, and therefore the Head of State, is the cause of the conflict. A paper presented by SSHRC (July 2014) confirms that the cause of the current conflict is the struggle for the leadership and direction of the affairs of the SPLM and therefore the leadership of the country.

The start of the conflict was blamed on the alleged attempted coup to overthrow the government. However, others also claimed that there was no coup attempt but a fabricated one to silence critics. Nevertheless, whether there was a coup attempt or not what the people of South Sudan need right now is peace, stability and development to improve the quality of their lives. In addition, insecurity is so rampant that the very existence of South Sudan as a sovereign country may be under threat of disintegration.

Institutional reforms

In the absence of meaningful institutional reforms it is highly doubtful that a mere power sharing agreement is a lasting solution to the current conflict in South Sudan. Some may agree that power sharing is the solution to the conflict. Others may disagree while still there may be those who are not so sure. This may all suggest that the conflict is complicated. The complication is that the conflict has taken ethnic and regional dimensions where insecurity is the order of the day. A conception of power sharing agreement as a solution to the conflict is therefore too simplistic.

For any meaningful resolution of the conflict in South Sudan the primary priority is a holistic institutional reform. Reforms in governance, in the economy and in the security sector are a key to sustainable peace and stability. In governance the reform is the adoption of a federal system of government in a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-cultural country such as South Sudan where there are also regional diversities.

In a federal system powers are devolved to a lower level where there is autonomy with less interference from the national government. Through autonomy people have some freedom to run their affairs in their own way. This will likely promote unity in diversity. In South Sudan there could be three federal regions of Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria and Upper Nile headed by prime ministers while the federal government is headed by a president. Within a federal region there could also be autonomous states with the three arms (executive, judiciary and legislature) of government headed by governors. Alternatively, the existing ten states in South Sudan could form the federation.

Reforms in governance

I am aware that a proposal for a federal system will be construed as “Kokora” by people less informed and lacking in confidence. There is no better system than a federal one in addressing the plethora of problems South Sudan faces on daily basis. The naïve ones and the less informed will erroneously perceive that a federal system divides people. This is false. On the contrary, a federal system promotes unity in countries, for example, with diversities of multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-cultural backgrounds. Federal states are found in Africa, in the Americas, in Asia and in Europe. However, only the fearful with a hidden agenda are the opponents.

A centralized system is likely to create rebellions and a possible breakup of a country. The old Sudan is a good case study. The then Southern Sudan demanded a federal system of government to preserve the unity of the old Sudan but the demand was utterly rejected. The rest is for students of history. Hopefully South Sudan will not breakup the way the old Sudan did under naïve Arab Islamic leadership. Learning from the insensitivity in old Sudan, it is hoped that the leadership of South Sudan will be wiser.

Reforms in security sector

Institutional reforms in the security sector is of paramount importance in promoting a strong united South Sudan. South Sudan is a country of 72 ethnic groups. In the national peace conference of South Sudan tribes convened under the theme “Peace Now! South Sudan Tribes United Against War” at Nyokuron Culture Centre on 17 – 18 February 2015, 72 ethnic groups were identified and listed. This is an update of the previous number of 65 ethnic groups considered to be in South Sudan.

The existence of 72 ethnic groups in South Sudan clearly suggests reforms in the security sector must reflect the ethnic diversity of the country. Not having representatives of the 72 ethnic groups in the security sector is a clear disaster in the waiting. As power corrupts it is very unwise to have any ethnic group to dominate in the security sector because it will be extremely arrogant and this does not bode well in promoting national unity. It has been seen that people in uniform grab land using arms but are not accountable for their criminal behavior. The implication is clear.

In reforms in the security sector, a state in the federation should have its own home guards/militia to handle hardcore criminals. The state should also establish its own organized forces such as the police, criminal investigation department, the prisons wildlife and the fire brigade.

For economic reforms the states should have the power to tax in order to raise revenue for investment in development projects. They should have the power, without interference from the centre, to develop natural resources such as agriculture, forestry, animal resources and fisheries. They also should have the power to prospect for oil and minerals such as gold, uranium, zinc and so forth. For self-reliance, paramount in reforms is economic development, judiciary, public services and structures at all levels.

In all, the reform agenda is about the rule of law, the promotion of good governance and the protection of human rights. However, this cannot happen without strong and implementable guarantees. For example, in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of 2005 Abyei was to have a referendum either to join Sudan or South Sudan. This did not happen. Also in the CPA the resolution of the conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States did not happen. Right now wars of liberation are raging in those two States. This is an indication that without strong guarantees and committed guarantors an agreement will likely be dishonored with impunity.

As a resolution of the conflict in South Sudan there must be committed guarantors and they should be the mediators, and those who have actively participated in bringing about any agreement on reforms. This is the only way to have a vibrant united South Sudan where every citizen identifies with and ultimately calls it a motherland. This is also how to save the country from collapsing.

Conclusion

It will be a waste of time and valuable resources for any agreement which is supposed to address the current conflict in South Sudan is only restricted to power sharing. Without guaranteed institutional reforms it is most likely that the conflict will recur with far reaching consequences.

In conclusion, the only salvation of South Sudan from disunity and possible breakup is institutional reform where a strongly guaranteed federation of either three regions or ten states is adopted, reflecting the diversities of the country. There should also be a reform in the SPLM, where among other things, a time-frame should be indicated as to when any member can start to campaign for the leadership. This is to avoid the way Salva Kiir Mayardit was being openly challenged at any time by members without respect.

Jacob K. Lupai is the author of the book: South Sudan, Issues in Perspective published in 2014. The book is available in St Joseph Bookshop and in JIT Supermarket in Juba, and at Juba International Airport. For students who would like to borrow the book, copies owned by Juba University are available in the library.

SPLM-IO Equatoria Caucus demands dismissal of Alfred Lado Gore & two others

JUN/20/2015, SSN;

RESOLUTIONS OF SPLM/SPLA EQUATORIA CAUCUS MEETING, NAIROBI- KENYA.

WE the undersigned members of SPLM/SPLA hailing from Greater Equatoria Region (GER) of the Republic of South Sudan met and made consultations from 6th -11th June, 2015;

CONSCIOUS of our unquestionable membership of SPLM/SPLA and our individual and collective responsibilities to the people’s movement-the SPLM/SPLA and to the people of South Sudan as a whole;

MINDFUL AND AWARE that the liberation and governance of South Sudan is a national affairs that can never be reduced or relegated to sub national level by isolating any region(s) or section of the people of South Sudan;

MOTIVATED by the vision to liberate South Sudan from those forces that marginalize and alienate others and dedicated to establishing a system in South Sudan based on the principle of liberty, equality, fraternity, transparency and accountability;

DETERMINED to participate and effectively contribute to the ongoing liberation struggle and efforts aimed at reforms and transformation of South Sudan for the betterment of all South Sudanese and;

CONSCIOUS of the need for fundamental reforms in the government of South Sudan namely; legal and judicial reforms, public service reforms, and economic sector reforms; and security sector reforms particularly in Defense, Army, Wildlife, Fire Brigade, Police, and National Security Services;

COMMITTED to the on-going IGAD led Peace Process and that the interest of Equatoria people in; Federalism, General Reforms, Security Sector Reforms, Good Governance, Representation, Respect for Property Rights, Justice and Accountability and leadership can be addressed within the national context and peace process;

AFFIRMED that democratic federal system of governance with full devolution of political and economic powers and empowerment of all levels of governments are fundamental in effective and fair governance of the country;

COGNIZANT of the fact that the population of South Sudan has been polarized at various levels; region against region; tribe against tribe; ethnic group against ethnic group; states against states etc and that such state of affairs can never be tolerated to perpetuate itself and;

RESOLVED that the prevailing political and social polarization and groupings in the country thus requires paradigm shift in the political, social and economic management of the affairs of the country and that nationalism, patriotism and fraternity should guide all South Sudanese in their social, political and economic interactions;

NOW THEREFORE resolved as follows:

A. ENGAGEMENT WITH EQUATORIA STATES GOVERNORS;
1. Welcome the leadership of the SPLM/SPLA’s nomination of the nine (9) member committee headed by Henry Odwar Dilang to dialogue with the Equatoria States Governors of Eastern Equatoria, Central Equatoria and Western Equatoria states;

2. Disapproved that Equatoria Paper have never been endorsed by the official select SPLM/SPLA engagement committee and that the so-called Equatoria Paper and the way it’s being managed by Cde. Alfred Ladu Gore, Cde. Ramadan Hassan Laku and Cde. Adel Senderi was never sanctioned by the Caucus and the committee and;

3. Note that the activities of Equatoria States Governors of Eastern Equatoria, Central Equatoria and Western Equatoria states are being directed and supported by the Government of Uganda and funded by the Government of South Sudan, therefore, we reject in no uncertain terms attempts by Equatoria State Governors and their supporters to divide the ranks and files of the SPLM/SPLA by encouraging defections of Equatorians who are members of the SPLM/SPLA;

4. Commit to IGAD led peace talks and reject any move by Equatorian within the SPLM/SPLA to defect and that disciplinary measures be taken on any member or members of the SPLM/SPLA seeking to divide SPLM/SPLA;

5. Condemn in strongest terms possible the action by some members of the caucus to accept and receive funds from the Government of South Sudan through their agents to facilitate parallel activities within the SPLM/SPLA and defections from the SPLM/SPLA;

6. Condemn the continued informal meetings with agents from the Government of South Sudan and the Government of Uganda for such purposes harmful to the interests of the people of South Sudan and SPLM/SPLA;

7. Condemn the misconducts of Cde. Alfred Ladu Gore, Cde. Ramadan Hassan Laku and Cde. Adel Senderi for:
i. Lack of transparency and secrecy in dealing with the three Equatoria Governors and the fact that the trio deliberately isolated, ignored and eventually undermined the functions of the official nine member SPLM/SPLA Engagement Committee;

ii. Harboring and pursuing dubious interests aimed at dividing the ranks and files of SPLM/SPLA into regional, sectional and tribal groupings and defecting from SPLM/SPLA;

iii. Accepting and receiving funds from the Government of South Sudan through their agents to facilitate parallel activities within the SPLM/SPLA and defections of Equatorians who are members of SPLM/SPLA;

iv. Holding secret meetings with agents and governments of countries hostile to the interest of the people of South Sudan and SPLM/SPLA;

v. Undertaking illegal secret mission to Uganda on 25th May, 2015; in order to meet representatives of the Government of Uganda and the Equatoria Governors with the intention of consolidating plans parallel and harmful to the interests of SPLM/SPLA and stability of South Sudan;

vi. Undertaking an illegal mission to South Africa in June, 2015, which was never approved by the Caucus with the intention of consolidating plans parallel and harmful to the interests of SPLM/SPLA;

vii. Using seditious, derogatory and divisive languages on fellow members of the SPLM/SPLA;

8. Resolve to suspend and ex-communicate the trio from the membership of Equatoria in SPLM/SPLA Caucus and cease all official interactions and business with Cde. Alfred Ladu Gore, Cde. Ramadan Hassan Laku and Cde. Adel Senderi in their respective capacities;

9. Urge the leadership to suspend from office Cde. Alfred Ladu Gore, Cde. Ramadan Hassan Laku and Cde. Adel Senderi;

10. That the leadership establishes a five (05) member independent investigation committee headed by the Deputy Chairman of the National Committee for Justice and Human Rights to investigate and render reports with recommendations within two weeks on the misconducts of Cde. Alfred Ladu Gore, Cde. Ramadan Hassan Laku and Cde. Adel Senderi;

11. Propose that the report and recommendations by the Independent investigation committee be tabled in the next SPLM/SPLA Leadership Council Meeting for Discussion;

12. Resolve to halt with immediate effect any engagement with Equatoria States Governors and their agents until investigations are carried out and;

13. Urge the leadership of the SPLM/SPLA and members of SPLM/SPLA to deal with impunity and remain seized of the matter;

B. ORGANIZATIONAL ISSUES
14. Appreciate the various appointments of sons and daughters from the region into SPLM/SPLA positions of responsibilities and urge the leadership of SPLM/SPLA to expeditiously make appointments of states governors in the remaining five (05) states of Equatoria as recommended;

15. Urge the leadership of the SPLM/SPLA to make more appointments of Equatorians at the national political structures of the SPLM/SPLA;

16. Note that Equatoria War Front have never existed anywhere and that the forces in Equatoria region are part of the national liberation forces of the SPLA falling under the direct command and control of the Commander in Chief, Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon and the Chief of General Staffs (CoGS) of the SPLA;

17. Request that the Chairman and the Commander-In-Chief of the SPLM/SPLA to consider promotion of Equatorian officers on recommendation by Military Commanders so that they are deployed in various structures of the SPLA and National Security Services;

18. Recommend that the office of the Deputy Chairman of the SPLM/SPLA be made national and that it was never meant for any other purpose other than that of the services of SPLM/SPLA and therefore;

i. Any location or space such as residents, vehicles, hotels and lodges temporarily or permanently occupied by way of hire or given for the service of the deputy chairman of the SPLM/SPLA constitute his office;

ii. Note and condemn the prohibition of official visit or courtesy call to the office by members of SPLM/SPLA regardless of which part of South Sudan they come from;

iii. Note and Condemn the ineffectiveness of the office of the deputy chairman in the service of the SPLM/SPLA;

iv. Propose review and evaluation of the office of Deputy chairman of the SPLM/SPLA by the Leadership Council of the SPLM/SPLA;

v. Urge the leadership of the SPLM/SPLA and members of SPLM/SPLA to remain seized of the matter;

19. Note that there are many members of SPLM/SPLA from Equatoria region and those from other regions resident in Uganda, Kenya and other countries and that they be invited and facilitated to attend any SPLM/SPLA general meetings.

ANNEX ONE:
EQUATORIANS IN SPLM/SPLA CAUCUS MEMBERS, (names, positions and remarks):

SIGNATURES:
01. Cde. Oyet Nathaniel Pierino, Chairman NCPMO, Seconded
02. Cde. Dr. Richard K. Mulla, Chairman NCJHR, Seconded
03. Cde. Odwar Henry Dilang, Chairman SPLM/SPLA Engagement Committee, Seconded
04. Cde. Aggrey Iddri Esbon, Deputy Chairman NCRMEP, Seconded
05. Cde. Mannaseh Zindo, Deputy Chairman NCWYE, Seconded
06. Cde Marko Lokidor, Lochapio, Governor Kapoeta State, Seconded
07. Cde. Otim David, SPLM/SPLA Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Seconded
08. Cde. Oryem James, Peace Talks, Seconded
09. Cde. Sandra Bona Malual, Peace Talks, Seconded
10 Cde. Luris Mulla, Peace Talks, Seconded
11. Cde, Angu Anthony, SPLM/SPLA Admin and Finance Nairobi Office, Seconded
12. Cde. Joseph Esbon Iddri, Deputy Chairman SPLM/SPLA Uganda Chapter, Seconded
13. Cde. Hassen Sulleiman, SPLM/SPLA National youth League, Seconded
14. Cde. John Bene Lomaryata, SPLM/SPLA Dir Admin and Finance Uganda Chapter, Seconded
15. Cde. Rashid Leki, SPLM/SPLA Deputy Dir Political Orientation, Seconded
16. Cde. Latio Labor, Chairman SPLM/SPLA Youth L. Uganda Chapter, Seconded
17. Cde. Ochan Joseph Taban, SPLM/SPLA Gen. Sec. Uganda Chapter, Seconded
18. Cde. John Esbon Iddri, Member, Seconded
19. Cde. Salah Peter Lino, Member, Seconded
20. Cde. John Barayona Member, Seconded
21. Cde. Latio Simon, Member, Seconded
22. Cde. Joseph Lasuru Member, Seconded
23. Cde. Augustino Okuma, Member, Seconded
24. Cde. Julious Nyerere, Member, Seconded
25. Cde. Oreste Lopara, Member, Seconded
26. Victoria Garrille Mulla, Member, Seconded
27. Kitua Loyce, Memeber, Seconded
END

The Bitter Pill: IGAD Plus Peace Proposal and Power Sharing Formula among the Parties in South Sudan Crisis

BY: Dr. Thon Giei Ajak, JUN/18/2015, SSN;

Take it or leave it, literally speaking, is precisely the summary of the IGAD Plus peace proposal for the parties in the South Sudan crisis. Surprisingly, the two chief negotiators of the warring parties have signed up to IGAD plus mediation process. After their signature, the two received the proposal document for consultation with their principals in Juba and Addis (Fagak).

It is understandable that Taban Deng Gai did not say a word on the proposal as his rebels lost most territories in Greater Upper Nile. But for Nhial Deng Nhial to keep silent without showing the world that South Sudan is a sovereign nation and that its territory now and previously is under the control of the Mighty SPLA and if it were not the rainy season, the government army would have shouted “ SPLA Oyee” mouth-fully in Pagak and that South Sudan Government under General Salva Kiir will never entertain calls for dismantling the country.

I say, without Nhial uttering any comments, that in my view speaks volumes on how the peace talks are being managed on the government side.

None of the two government and rebel chief negotiators, have wondered how did the document come out to light? Who was the brain behind the power sharing arrangement? Who was the architect of the document? What criteria did she/he use to put the knife on the throat of South Sudan Nation (the proposed division)?

If the parties to South Sudan crisis agree to the proposed document, then that would be a farewell to a country called as South Sudan effective from 9 July 2011.

What is good in dividing South Sudan into Greater Upper Nile under the murderous Riek Machar rebels who has slaughtered civilians on ethnic grounds where they operate militarily, and South Sudan under executive president Kiir administration of Greater Bahr-El Ghazal and Equatoria?

What peace would be realized in South Sudan particularly in greater Upper Nile if the SPLA is to pull out from the region, and Oil facilities and the government in the 3 states of Upper Nile to be handed over to the murderous Riek Rebels?

And what would be the position of the opponents to Riek rebels in the states of Upper Nile (Bull Nuer in Unity state, Padang Dinka in Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei states, Maban ethnic group and Dinka Jonglei (Bor)?

Will the above opponents of Riek rebels leave their lands and resources to Riek rebels, because they will never accept to surrender their fate to the rebels?

Rejected by both the government and rebels and welcomed by Pagan Amum of SPLM-FDs (according to radio Tamazuj), IGAD Plus proposal is going to have far reaching implications for the future of South Sudan being the first step to divide the country on power sharing and resources.

The methodology used in calculating the percentages of 53%, 33% and 14% for the rebels, the government and others in the 3 states of Upper Nile respectively, remains unclear and undisclosed and every South Sudanese has the right to know.

If the calculation of the percentages in power sharing was based on the ethnic make-up of greater Upper Nile in accordance with 2008 census, then IGAD plus team and its South Sudanese informants and bad wishers, have made a fatal and unforgivable mistake as it wrongly assumed that all Nuers and all Shilluk in greater Upper Nile are rebels or support the rebels.

The Bul Nuer and Padang Dinka in Unity state have been a thorn in the throat of the rebels and managed to chase rebels out of South Sudan borders.

In Upper Nile state, Teet-Bai forces in (Baliet, Akoka, Malut, Renk and Maban) have maintained their grounds and given hot pursuit to the rebels; Teet-Bai forces proved to be a heavy shield, kept the rebels away from Upper Nile oil fields and in May 2015, Teet-Bai forces (Abu-Shouk: Shouk, Shouk, Shouk) annihilated the rebels forces in the battle of Peel-Bier in Akoka County.

In Jonglei state, the Eagle forces kept the enemy away from Bor, restored peace to Duk and Oror counties and advanced to capture Akoba County.

So if the government in Juba wants to pull out its forces from greater Upper Nile State as part of IGAD proposal, the inhabitants in greater Upper Nile and who are opposed to the plan of genocide and ethnic cleansing of Riek rebels as evident in the massacres of Bailiet, Parieng, Bentiu, Bor, Malakal, Akok, Malut and Majak of Renk County: I say the opponents of the rebels in Upper Nile will take of the situation under their own control.

The IGAD plus proposal is a two-edged weapon to both the rebels and the government. If the rebels accept the proposal to enjoy the 53% governance in the 3 Upper Nile states as well the oil (the sharing formula to be worked out), it will abandon its allies in Bahr El-Gahazal (Dau Aturjoung and Wau trouble makers) and Equatoria (Afred ladu Gore and Maridi and Mundri trouble makers).

The rebels will therefore, abandon the national agenda and become a regional force to advance its agenda for statehood of the region it controls.

If the rebels reject the proposal, it will be a difficult position having lost territories in Unity State, if not rainy season and the rebellion of Johnson Olony, the government forces would have controlled fagak in Upper Nile, and again if not rainy season, Akoba would have fallen to SPLA forces.

So the rebels are in difficult military situation and have to accept any form of peace to allow them to regroup, retrain, re-arm and re-deploy for future combat missions.

On the other hand, if the government accepts the proposal, it will abandon oil facilities that provide 98% of the revenue, sacrifice greater Upper Nile to the rebels and worse, having set the blue prints for Eguatoria to follow Upper Nile and practical disintegration of South Sudan into 3 independent states.

If the government refuses the proposal, it will appear as if it has rejected peace and opted for war and the IGAD plus machine will move to impose sanctions (targeted or non-targeted) and the threats of referring government officials for International Criminal Court (ICC) for trials of crimes against humanity.

So the IGAD plus proposal is a screw nail for both the rebels and the government and none of them will come out if it clean.

The government negotiating team in Addis Ababa was proportionally imbalanced in terms of representation based on the 3 greater regions (Bhar ElGhazal, Equatoria and Upper). It looks the team did not have enough representation from Greater Upper Nile to reflect the war impacts (death, displacement and claims).

In comparison, the rebels’ representation looks 99% Upper Nile. So the South Sudan Crisis on Addis Ababa negotiating table looks like Upper Nile (rebels) against Equatoria and Bahr ElGhazal (government).

Based on this observation, IGAD Plus came out with that proposal. The government needs to work on representing greater Upper Nile on the peace talks to clarify issues linked to tribal composition and position in making peace.

Lastly, the government needs to conduct popular consultations for the people in greater Upper Nile (in displacement) as to what is their position regarding the proposed peace plan. The government team should not confine consulting itself in Juba and heading back to Ethiopia for talks.

It needs to conduct popular consultations of the people concerned and affected directly by war.

Dr. Thon Giei Ajak, is a concerned South Sudanese and can be reached at thongiei288@gmail.com

The Awaited Devils in Details of IGAD’s Mediated Proposed Truce

By James Okuk, PhD, Lecturer, JUN/13/2015, SSN,

“Men will cease to commit atrocities only when they cease to believe in absurdities” – Voltaire;

Since the start of peace mediation by IGAD for the second time in the history of South Sudan, a lot of political absurdities have been floated as a solution to the SPLM’s triggered crisis in the country since the close of year 2013. The most absurd of these proposals is the power sharing formulae that rewards all the SPLM’s factions for having thrown South Sudan into the current unforgivable abyss of spree of insecurity, economic turmoil, ethnic head-knockings, hunger, diseases, displacements and death.

The latest of these funny floats for truce is that, comes July 2015 at the level of the executive positions in National Government, the current government in Juba shall get 53%, the SPLM-IO in Pagak 33%, and the leftover 14% is to be thrown to the remaining stakeholders (i.e., SPLM-FDs and Other Political Parties).

On top of that the current GRSS will run away with top VIP positions of the President and Vice President of the Republic. The SPLM-IO will get the lucky award of 1st Vice President with strong powers of consent, similar to that of the 2005 CPA’s model.

The Other Political Parties and SPLM-FDs will get nothing at tops. The presidency is not designed for their bad luck in the coming proposed 33 months of the transitional period of Addis Ababa II, because they failed to take up arms to fight for the positions.

At the level of National Legislature, the current SPLM’s overwhelmed parliament shall be expanded from 332 to 400 with 50 representatives nominated by SPLM-IO, 17 by Other Political Parties and 1 by SPLM-FDs. All the SPLM’s MPs who were dismissed shall be reinstated within the total 400 transitional period legislators. Indeed, a very crowded Big Ten parliament of rent-seeking accommodation for buying peace!

At the level of states, the current government status quo shall continue in the so-called ‘Greater Bahr El Ghazal’ and ‘Greater Equatoria’ except for the three ruined states – Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity – of the so-called ‘Greater Upper Nile.’ There the changes shall be made so that the government gets 33%, the SPLM-IO gets 53%, the SPLM-FDs get 7% and the left over 7% of the executive and legislative posts is thrown to Other Political Parties.

That means, the non-violence opposition SPLM-DC shall lose almost all the 17% of its MPs currently serving in Upper Nile State Legislative Assembly. The Independent MPs in the all the targeted states shall also be zero losers in this IGAD-Plus peace game.

Nothing has been said specific about governors of the ruined ‘Greater Upper Nile’ states.

What is new then? The same faces in the same parliaments and Council of Ministers of SPLM Oyee’s clappers! It seems the other political parties are unwanted for a meaningful existence within a multi-party political context in South Sudan. What an insensible IGAD-Plus proposed truce that is perched to eliminate the Non-SPLM MPs from the political scene! Is this the real start of the making of one-party state for the IGAD’s rescued Republic of South Sudan?

Surely, the IGAD has been over trapped into the fallacious thinking that South Sudan is the SPLM and the SPLM is South Sudan. Thus, comes the undermining of the inclusively value for the IGAD-Plus and resort to upholding the SPLM Reunification Agreement with all its inherent weaknesses of implementation. The Scientist Einstein must be turning with heat in his grave as the same experiments are repeated with insanity of expecting new results at the end of the futile attempts.

Given its proven history of down-lettings, the SPLM shall remain too deformed to be reformed for the necessary if not the sufficient needed reforms in the country vis-a-vis the”Key Provisions for the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan”: -1) Transitional Governance Arrangements;
-2) Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangement;
-3) Humanitarian Assistance;
-4) Reconstruction;
-5) Resource, Economic and Financial Management;
-6) Transitional Justice and Accountability;
-7) Reconciliation and Healing, and
-8) Parameters of the Permanent Constitution Making Process.

The reinvigorated IGAD-Plus and its funding partners seem determined to re-impose a SPLM’s dominated country where promotion of crises management style of leadership rather than good governance continue to prevail permanently to no avail.

But will the ever failing SPLM’s leadership be capable this time to implement the devils in details of the IGAD-Plus proposed truce?

At least the 1972 Addis Ababa Peace Agreement will be better (though dishonored) than the proposed IGAD’s Addis Ababa II Truce. The Anya-nya veterans didn’t negotiate themselves into shameless power formulae. They negotiated peace and development.

The move by IGAD-Plus to renegotiate all the SPLM factions back to power by way of Addis Ababa II is not only dangerous but also detrimental to any successful germination of democratic multiparty governance system in South Sudan.

But before the IGAD-Plus could finalize its strange and alienating truce, it needs to clarify honestly the following critical queries:

1) If the SPLM is still the SPLM, then why should its factions (SPLM-IG, SPLM-IO and SPLM-FDs) share different formulae of power rewards for igniting the current senseless war in the country?

2) Does the Government of the Republic of South Sudan comprise other non-opposition parties it is now sharing the portfolios with?

3) Does the SPLM/A (In Opposition) represents a political party or a guerrilla rebel movement comprising disgruntled and discontented different parties and entities united by nothing much apart from the common enemy in power?

The IGAD-Plus should not lose the track of the hard fact that all the SPLM’s factions admitted in Arusha their collective responsibility of failure to govern South Sudan. They went as far as promising a public apology to the people of South Sudan. Where then are the IGAD-Plus and its friends and partners getting the audacity to propose an overwhelming power reward to the SPLM’s factions? Is this a conspiracy to keep South Sudan a perpetually failing state or what is it exactly?

The SPLM, hitherto, doesn’t deserve any future credit of legitimacy and dignity. This outdated dinosaur party and its military wing must be laid to rest of historical archives. The good future of South Sudan should transcend beyond the evils of the SPLM/A. It is by then, and only from then, will the Republic of South Sudan see in reality the 800 years Magna Carta values called peace, harmony, liberty, justice, prosperity and happiness.

The Addis Ababa peace talks should not come back with the SPLM’s lost glory because South Sudan shall for a longer time be held hostage for no apparent noble reason apart from power greed and malice of unwanted continuity. Instead, the peace talks should bring home the dignity of the people of South Sudan where they will choose the leaders who have no blood of innocent people tainted in their hands.

“Know thyself”is the Socrates’ philosophic command that the people of South Sudan need to notice keenly from the current crisis and after it is over. The SPLM has already been known and tested for over ten years of misgoverning South Sudan since 2005.

After all, since the independence era from 2011, the SPLM has been a malignant entity that doesn’t deserve to continue in mismatch with the new reality of the Republic of South Sudan. If the IGAD-Plus is still so much in love with the SPLM, let it take this stranger dangerous dinosaur to the Sudan where it was born.

The best way forward for the reinvigorated IGAD-Plus mediation is to invite all the stakeholders, and not only the favorite few self-proclaimed shareholders of South Sudan, to negotiate the fate of the Republic and determine jointly a consensual outcome of the “Key Provisions for the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan”.

Otherwise, any undermining exclusive IGAD-Plus imposed peace agreement that favors the SPLM’s factions only will never be owned by the people of South Sudan in their different beautiful diversities. We want a situation where we shall be proudly saying together “there is a country” rather than regret of “there was a country.

If it has been said ‘Economic, Stupid’, let it be acclaimed ‘Politics, Clever!’ The IGAD-Plus should beat a retreat immediately!

—————————————————
Dr. James Okuk is a concerned South Sudanese analyst and a lecturer in the area of politics. He is reachable at okukjimy@hotmail.com

Power Struggle in Juba: Kuol Manyang, a Dinka, the likely next president, not Wani Igga

SSN FLASH COMMENT, JUBA (June 07, 2015); A new power struggle is brewing up in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, as news spreads that president Salva Kiir is preparing to hand over power to a successor within the ruling SPLM-Juba party due to bad health, this comes after talks that Kiir has been privately confirmed as being sick, weak and not fit to continue by doctors.

Talks going across the political and ministerial corridors in Juba say Kiir might be suffering from a kidney and liver disease and might decide to handover power.

Kiir is said to have temporarily delegated his powers to current defence minister, Kuol Manyang, instead of James Wani Igga bypassing his Vice President, this has sent shock waves within the ruling party leadership ranks in what is seen as a huge saga to hit the party since the violent break up of the party in December 2013 which triggered the current civil war.

It has been described by citizens and observers as particularly a huge embarrassment to vice president Wani Igga and a damage to his reputation.

As vice president of the republic, Wani Igga is supposed to take responsibilities of state authority in case of any absence, death or unavailability of the president, he is also mandated to represent South Sudan in any regional or international meeting which requires high level representation to the level of president or vice president.

Salva Kiir was allegedly pressured by leading SPLM members hailing mostly from Bahr el Ghazal to delegate powers to Kuol Manyang but not to Wani Igga whom one insider says has been described as having a weak personality, lacking character or clear political direction and is seen as a yes boy and would prove a president with no independent standing when it comes to important political decisions and actions.

This all started yesterday on Saturday June 6th when Kiir was meant to attend the Northern Corridor meeting in Kampala which brings together all the heads of state of the various East African countries to discuss infrastructure and security programs for the region.

President Kiir who is said to be sick, failed to appear at the conference with his colleagues from the region, but instead was represented by Kuol Manyang who is defence minister, to the surprise of many including the East African heads of state who expected at least the South Sudan’s Vice president to attend the important meeting if the president could not make it as the meeting was meant to be attended by heads of states and not on a ministerial level.

According to a senior equatorian official in the SPLM party familiar with the presidency and protocols says Wani Igga was not informed of the move by the president and was shocked to discover he had been bypassed in terms of state protocol and constitutional powers without any explanation.

The confidential source and senior Equatorian official in the SPLM party says Wani Igga has not taken Kiir’s decision lightly, saying Wani Igga expects a frank explanation from pres. Kiir as to why he has been bypassed as per protocol and why a junior to him has been delegated to represent the president while his vice president was available and was not engaged with any other duties while the president was also present inside and not outside the country.

The senior official who is close to the vice president said such actions could allow for “mistrust” between the two senior SPLM leaders.

Kiir, whose health is said to be in bad shape according to sources within the J-One (as the President residence is called), has been under heavy pressure from IGAD peace mediators and the international community to sign a peace deal which would end the current civil war and give the opposition forces led by Dr Riek Machar a lion’s share in a new interim government of national unity which would then undergo extensive reform programs including in key areas of security, judiciary and financial/resource sectors.

The embattled South Sudanese president had initially rejected to sign any peace agreement that would give the opposition more power describing it as “rewarding rebellion,” is now said to be looking to sign a peace agreement which a senior Juba official from Bhar el Ghazal working within the presidency said is a ‘flexible’ arrangement which would allow Dr Riek to be appointed as the first vice president while leaving Wani Igga to hang on to the third senior position as second vice president for the sake of peace.

The senior official who worked within the presidency and didn’t want to be named as he’s not authorised to speak on the peace process, says for that “flexible arrangement” to happen the Arusha agreement would now be linked to the ongoing peace process in Addis Ababa.

This requirs both to be implemented together if agreed by the parties, the Arusha agreement calls for the reversal of all previous decisions by president Kiir to dismiss party members including those currently in the armed opposition the SPLM-IO, meaning Dr Riek Machar would then be reinstated as the first deputy chairmen of the SPLM re-unified party.

This arrangement would automatically put Dr Riek above Wani Igga within the ruling party.

Wani Igga would then go back to being the second deputy chairman and so as per the party rules the first deputy chairman will automatically be considered as second most senior and will hold the position of the first vice president.

This leaves Wani Igga to hang on as the third man in the ruling party instead of his current position as the second leader within the SPLM party in Juba.

As rumours of Kiir’s ill health and power handover spreads throughout the country like wild fire so is the race between senior political leaders to take his position.

The president is said to be personally favouring Nhial Deng Nhial, the current government lead negotiator in the talks with the rebels, to be his successor, but this has been fiercely resisted by veteran SPLM members from the National Liberation Council who are in favour of Koul Manyang and see Nhial Deng having weak personality and has been involved in corruption.

Meanwhile Equatorians within the government are said to be backing James Wani Igga as the next successor to president Salva Kiir, however this has been rejected by the SPLM National Liberation Council from Bahr El Ghazal who are said to have described Wani Igga has being a weak character who cannot be trusted and has no independent vision or political program.

Another source said the current Chief of Army Gen. Paul Malong is also seen as another potential candidate with huge backing from Bahr El Ghazal SPLM members in Juba.

However, Equatorians and Nuer members of the SPLM in Juba are said to have dismissed Gen. Paul Malong as having no qualification (he is completely illiterate) or political experience to lead a political party.

Meanwhile SPLM members from Nuer and Greater Upper Nile are said to be opposing any attempt to try and install Kuol Manyang as successor to Kiir, describing the SPLM veteran as a tribal oriented politician who will not help SPLM unity.

According to officials in Juba, James Wani Igga has resisted any attempts to have him drop his position as vice president. It’s not yet clear how the current vice president would receive any news of handing over his position, but it’s believed it has already started on Saturday when president Kiir delegated powers to his defence minister, Kuol Manyang, instead of his vice president Wani Igga.

“Buy the truth but do not sell it” Proverbs 23:23

SPLM ex-detainees set to return to Juba and re-unite with Kiir

By FRED OLUOCH, TheEastAfrican Special Correspondent, May/30/2015, SSN;

IN SUMMARY:
The return — which is part of the reunification of the three SPLM factions as per the Arusha agreement signed in January — is seen as a major boost to President Kiir’s side after the government in March issued a decree of amnesty to all those in exile.
The adoption came as a result of diplomatic efforts by Kenyan and Ethiopian foreign ministers, plus mediators of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, who in the past week consulted President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and President Kiir.
The new arrangement gives 10 former detainees, who were released after President Kenyatta intervened, a major role in reconciling the warring factions.
However, the rebels led by Dr Machar, said the former detainees were simply trying to gain relevance at a time when there was still increased fighting between the two warring sides.

Negotiators of the South Sudan peace process in Addis Ababa have adopted the Arusha Accord in a fresh bid to end the 17-month civil war.

The Accord — signed by those loyal to President Salva Kiir, former vice president and SPLM-IO head Riek Machar and party officials — seeks to reunite the three SPLM factions.

The adoption came as a result of diplomatic efforts by Kenyan and Ethiopian foreign ministers, plus mediators of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, who in the past week consulted President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and President Kiir.

The new arrangement gives 10 former detainees, who were released after President Kenyatta intervened, a major role in reconciling the warring factions.

Five of the former detainees were scheduled to travel to Juba on June 1 for two-day consultations in a bid to reunite the three SPLM factions.

Former Cabinet Affairs minister Deng Alor will lead former Finance minister Kosti Manibe, former Justice minister John Luk, former Postal Services and Telecommunications minister Madut Biar, and Cirino Hiteng, a former minister for Culture, Youth and Sports.

Dr Hiteng told The EastAfrican that the former detainees would work to narrow the gap between President Kiir and Dr Machar and hasten the implementation of the Arusha Accord and the Addis Ababa process.

“We have remained moderate and have not been an obstacle to the peace process,” said Dr Hiteng. He added that after Juba, the group would visit Pagak to deliver the same message to Dr Machar.

The five were set to leave for Juba, accompanied by South African Vice-President Cyrile Ramaphosa, Tanzania’s Chama Cha Mapinduzi Secretary-General Abdulrahman Kinana, Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, and Ethiopian Minister for Foreign Affairs Tedros Adhamon.

President Kenyatta on May 29 met the 10 former SPLM officials and former detainees, representatives and guarantors of the Arusha Accord.

Those in the meeting were Mr Adhamon, who is the chairman of the Igad Council of Ministers, Ms Mohamed, Mr Kinana, representatives of Igad and two special envoys from South Africa, Reddy Mampane and Mandlenkosi Memela.

Pagan Amum, the former SPLM secretary-general, said their first task was to unite the SPLM party and to deal with obstacles blocking the Igad process, which had not made significant progress because the South Sudanese leaders, including himself, had been stubborn.

The return — which is part of the reunification of the three SPLM factions as per the Arusha agreement signed in January — is seen as a major boost to President Kiir’s side after the government in March issued a decree of amnesty to all those in exile.

South Sudan Ambassador to Kenya Mariano Deng told The EastAfrican that the government had guaranteed the security of the former detainees based on the Constitution and had even allowed them a minimum of 60 soldiers from countries of their choice to witness their protection while on the ground.

However, the rebels led by Dr Machar, said the former detainees were simply trying to gain relevance at a time when there was still increased fighting between the two warring sides.

The SPLM-IO representative in Kenya Adel Sandrai said the credibility of the former detainees was dented because the conflict was brought about by the mismanagement of institutions that the detainees were part of.

The former detainees — who were among 11 politicians arrested in December 2013 for disturbance, and charged with treason — have been in exile in Kenya for over a year.

The initial seven were released in late January 2014, with the remaining four released in April after the government dropped charges against them. The four are Mr Amum, former security minister Oyay Deng Ajak, former deputy defense minister Majok D’Agoot Atem, and former envoy for Southern Sudan to the United States, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth.

The government maintains treason charges against Dr Machar, former governor of Unity state Taban Deng Gai and Alfred Ladu Gore, the former Environment minister, who are accused of being behind a coup on December 15, 2013. END

Vetting and Verification (V&V) Should Always be Upheld with Pious Passion

BY: Kuir ë Garang, Author, Canada, May/21/2015, SSN;

When President Kiir fired his entire cabinet and appointed a new one in July of 2013, many of us thought it was the advent of a new era of accountability. Sadly, as the subsequent series of events would prove, it was actually the advent of a gloomy era of serious flood of errors.

Even for some of us who knew that Mr. Kiir was already an incapable leader as early as 2005, we didn’t know his incompetence would be this destructive and eternally damning.

As he metaphorically and fatefully said when he assumed power after the demise of late Garang, the country is running with no ‘reverse gear.’ So it is easy to see why there is no stop to killings, meaningless decrees, economic deterioration, and political intimidation.

But when the cabinet was initially named, a semblance of a democratic process was exercised with a nominal ‘vetting’ of the ministers. There was even a rejection of one of the president’s nominees.

South Sudanese therefore thought the dawn of democracy was in the air. However, the acrimonious vetting process of Telar Ring Deng for Justice Minister soon revealed something sinister.

Mr. Telar was the only one actually vetted as the rest of the cabinet wasn’t seriously vetted. Telar’s rejection was later understood to be ‘revenge’ as he was seen to be the power behind the president’s decisions.

Our democratic utopia was therefore dashed. The process was even aggravated when the president warned the parliament after they expressed desire to subject the president’s nominees for the speaker of legislative assembly and Vice Presidency, to scrutiny.

The president warned parliament that there’d be consequences if they reject his nominees. It was the classic African preference of personality cult as opposed to democratic or parliamentary principles.

While the president found it easy, or even necessary to do away with the vetting process to bolster his hold on the presidency and power, he can now see that the chicken are coming home to roost.

The constant defection of the likes of Peter Gatdet and Johnson Oliny is a result of not following due process in the institution of any given policy proposals.

The incorporation of militia into the national army needs to be done in a manner that reduces any chance of such rebellion-prone folks to rebel. A government, or even the army, can’t just make decisions because they feel they are necessary at the time. Long-term effects have to be put into consideration before any decision is made.

We all know South Sudan has become a totalitarian regime that has copied Khartoum’s theocratic totalitarianism letter by letter and word by word. The political atmosphere is stifling in Juba and any political opposition is treated with pious brutality.

There are people who are in government’s controlled areas but they disapproved of the government. They just don’t see rebellion as a solution to the problems in South Sudan.

However, the government doesn’t take it seriously that the more they stifle the political breathing space in South Sudan, the more they drive the disgruntled minds toward rebellion.

The SPLA and National Security Agents arrest people anyhow and detain them without any due process of the law.

Ateny Wek, the presidential spokesperson, argues that the president doesn’t order such arrests. If the president doesn’t order such arrests then who has the authority to do so?

Without doubt, we know such arrests are unconstitutional, so why doesn’t the president stop such arrests given the facts that he’s the guardian of the constitution, ideally speaking?

The government brags about having been elected; that it is a democratically elected leadership. However, the president doesn’t explain to the people — who gave him the mandate to rule — the logic behind some of the decisions he makes.

He breaks constitutional provisions and finds it unnecessary to explain to the people the reason why.

In what nation on earth, even dictatorial ones, does a president select the leadership and board members of the supposedly independent bodies such as media authority?

Media authority is supposed to be an independent body that employs people of merit by subjecting them to credential assessment in their hiring process.

Doesn’t the president have something to do, something presidential? It has come to the point in which the president is going to pass decrees employing janitors for his office and the parliament.

This president has either been reduced to this level by those who’d want to see him destroyed; or he’s reduced himself to his level through incompetence. Either way, the president needs to wake up and salvage what’s left of his legacy.

The failed Nigerian former president, Goodluck E. Jonathan, salvaged his legacy in the last minute. He’s going to be remembered for having conceded election loss and for having peacefully handed over power to President Muhammadu Buhari, rather than through his failures.

It’s time for President Kiir and Riek Machar to realize that time is up for them and that the leadership needs to go to a different, younger class of South Sudanese leadership.

It’s high for the leadership in South Sudan to subject policies to verification and stern vetting mechanics. We know with certainty that cabinet ministers contradict each other day in day out because of lack of systematized verification process.

Ministers have to consult one another before they go public in order not to reflect the government as confused and incompetent. The minister of information says one thing but he’s soon contradicted by either the minister of foreign affairs or presidential spokesperson.

Transparency, information verification, respect for human rights and respect for democratic ideals have never harmed any civilians or leadership.

Kuir ë Garang is the author of “South Sudan Ideologically.” For contact, visit www.kuirthiy.info