Category: Featured

IGAD and the question of impartiality on South Sudan

By: Duop Chak Wuol, South Sudan, APR/29/2018, SSN;

One of the main reasons the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) was formed was to maintain peace in the East African region. In its mission statement, the bloc claims that it is the premier alliance for preserving peace in the region. This is an attempt to show why IGAD has not been neutral in its quest for peace in South Sudan.

There are irrefutable problems with IGAD being the lead player in South Sudan’s peace talks. The East African regional bloc began its search for a peaceful solution in 2014 as a capable agency.

For instance, in January 2014, IGAD brokered the first ceasefire agreement between South Sudan’s warring factions.

The pact was praised both locally and internationally. However, the supposedly peace-loving regional entity suddenly resorted to trying to sell Kiir’s tyranny to the people of South Sudan by imposing the August 2015 power-sharing deal and passing questionable resolutions.

IGAD’s protect-IGAD-head-of-states policy has enabled Kiir to commit more atrocities.

In any armed conflict, a lasting peace can only be achieved with the involvement of an unbiased mediator, and only when the root causes of such a conflict are properly addressed and the rival sides compromised reasonably.

It is good to remind people that Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni proclaimed two weeks after the war broke out in Juba that the entire East African region gave South Sudanese rebel leader, Dr. Riek Machar, four days to accept a ceasefire offer or face a collective military action from IGAD’s member states.

In addition, the Ugandan leader claimed that a deal to punish Machar was agreed upon by IGAD’s leaders in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Museveni was in Juba when he announced such a demanding warning to Machar.

Museveni’s assertion was never echoed by any other East African leaders.

It would be unnecessary for me to speak of Museveni’s support of Salva Kiir’s tyrannical regime since millions of South Sudanese were already aware of it before fighting erupted in Juba.

Museveni is a documented co-founder of South Sudan’s civil war. IGAD failed to uphold its mandates as a regional player and instead empowered Kiir to keep obstructing the peace and waging his brutal campaign against the people of South Sudan.

The 2015 agreement was not a plausible pact because the bloc forgot the fact that Kiir was prepared to hinder its peace implementation.

There are reasons to believe that the bloc has not been impartial in its search for peace in South Sudan.

In the 2015 deal, IGAD placed too much emphasis on assigning ministerial percentages to factions of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and other political parties, and little attention to peace execution.

The bloc gave Kiir’s faction 53 percent, whereas 33 percent were allocated to Machar’s group and 14 percent to Former Detainees (FDs) and other parties.

One of IGAD’s blunders is that when it assigned ministerial positions to all four main groups, it thought the establishment of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) would succeed and that the agreement would be fully implemented.

The power-sharing deal also stipulated that Juba must be demilitarized and it called for an external force to take over security in the capital.

There was also a need to monitor locations and movements of rebel and government forces. IGAD was fully tasked with enforcing and verifying many mandates needed for peace to succeed.

Nonetheless, the regional bloc failed to enforce its own rules. Because of IGAD’s inaction, Juba was not demilitarized: government troops were simply re-positioned into different strategic areas in the capital, and there was no third-party force running the security in Juba.

Besides, when Kiir attempted to assassinate Machar in July 2016, IGAD was disgracefully silent.

As noted above, IGAD’s pro-Kiir position is real. In July 2017, the bloc shocked the people of South Sudan when it declared that it will not allow the South Sudanese rebel leader to participate in the peace revitalization talks.

The reaction against its decision was loud and clear. The people of South Sudan were furious.

After South Sudanese questioned the motive behind its decision, IGAD then turned around and claimed that Riek Machar’s ideas would be incorporated into the negotiations and suggested that the rebel leader send his representatives to the revitalization forum.

Most of IGAD’s actions are not those of a neutral mediator. The bloc acts as if it has been infiltrated by Juba’s regime. Any unconscionable person would argue that IGAD’s position on South Sudan’s conflict has been questionable.

One would argue that trusting the bloc is like trusting a cunning tyrant who tries to convince his people that his ruthlessness mysteriously evaporated into thin air overnight and that they should trust him.

I know for a fact that not all IGAD leaders want to prevent Machar anymore from participating in South Sudan’s politics.

The people of South Sudan know Uganda and Kenya either colluded with Kiir or at least represented his interests in the bloc. Other East African nations should tell Kampala and Nairobi that IGAD is not Kenyan or Ugandan — it is East African — and that ending the suffering of the people of South Sudan outweighs their self-interests.

Is IGAD really an entity for maintaining peace in the East African region as it claims in its mission statement, or a bloc merely meant to protect the leaders of IGAD’s countries?

Does IGAD conspire with Juba to prevent Machar from participating in South Sudan’s politics?

Is South Sudan’s oil money being used to bribe some members of IGAD?

Is there any external power influencing the bloc’s decision on South Sudan? Can the people of South Sudan still trust IGAD?

IGAD’s actions on South Sudan’s peace negotiations speak for themselves. The bloc has simply become a useful tool for Salva Kiir. Kiir uses IGAD’s anti-SPLM-IO resolutions to impede the revitalization of peace.

South Sudan’s peace can only be achieved if parties to the conflict compromise fairly and their concerns are addressed in a way that is acceptable to both sides.

Millions of South Sudanese were stunned when they saw the rather dubious communiqué IGAD issued on March 26, proclaiming that it is ready to lift Riek Machar’s house arrest in South Africa and that it will relocate the rebel leader to a country outside the East African region.

The decision was not only baseless; it was a clear glorification of Kiir’s atrocities. The statement was clearly a resolution to protect Kiir’s regime. It baffles me that IGAD passed such a communiqué when the people of South Sudan have been patiently waiting for more than four years hoping that the bloc would find a reasonable solution to resolve the young nation’s crisis.

If there are entities that hinder the revitalization of the 2015 compromise deal, then IGAD likely qualifies to be in the cluster of organizations standing in the way of peace.

Most of IGAD’s peace proposals have been conducted in secret consultations with Juba’s regime. The bloc is no longer impartial and has proven itself to be an agent for Juba’s atrocious regime.

IGAD’s confinement of Machar is a colossal mistake. His house arrest did not stop the war — in fact, it only intensified the conflict.

If IGAD believes it is working for a real peace in the young nation, it must utterly release Machar. Relocating the rebel leader from South Africa to a different country should not be called a release: it is merely a change of location of the same arrest.

If the bloc really wants a lasting peace in South Sudan, it must also ask Kiir and other political leaders to denounce violence. IGAD’s complicity has allowed Kiir to obstruct the implementation of the 2015 deal, kill with impunity, and loot state resources.

Whether Juba uses plundered oil wealth to bribe several of IGAD’s leaders is another topic. The African Union (AU) and the international community should not allow IGAD to play with the lives of innocent people by crying for peace during the day and colluding with Kiir at night.

The East African regional bloc — which seems to be suffering from a crisis of credibility — is no longer a reliable body and cannot be trusted to play a leading role in the peace process.

If IGAD wants to regain its credibility, then it must stop acting as Juba’s agent. Protecting a murderous tyrant is rather reprehensible.

The author can be reached at duop282@gmail.com.

Looking beyond Gen. Paul Malong’s Rebellion: What’s he up to?

BY: Nicola Bringi, APR/19/2018, SSN;

Right after the Juba massacre in 2013, Gen. Paul Malong, a Dinka, then governor of Aweil State, was brought in as SPLA Chief of Staff, to replace Gen. James Houth, a Nuer, based on the recommendation of the so-called Jieng council of elders, to preserve and guarantee the security and continuation of the status quo regime.

Basically illiterate, he was given the job by the Jieng council of elders to ensure all those who oppose President Salva Kiir are crashed and bulldozed, so he began with the mass killings in Juba against the Nuer and any non-Dinka tribes.

Paul Malong then ruthlessly expanded his operations to the Upper Nile, Wau and non-Dinka towns and villages around Wau. The ground troops, infamously known as the ‘Mathiang Anyoor,’ mercilessly burned down houses and killed civilians while helicopter machine guns were in the air to wipe out those who tried to flee the aggression.

All of these operations were targeting civilians who have nothing to do with politics. The main agenda of the Jieng Council is to wipe out the non-Dinka tribes in Wau and surrounding areas so that the Dinka can take over their land.

To execute these plans, Governor Rezik Zakaria was instructed to move the capital of Wau County from Wau City to Baggari town. When the indigenous tribes of Wau went on a peaceful demonstration to protest this decision, they were brutally gunned down; 13 protesters were killed and 15 were injured.

This is all happening with complicit directives of President Salva Kiir, and in the presence of Gen. Paul Malong and Salva Mathok in Wau as they supervise the execution of the plan.

One of the reasons for Malong’s recent so-called rebellion is because Pres. Salva kiir has not implemented the Dinka agenda tough enough, for he is only ruling by the Dinka council of elders ideology.

According to Paul Malong, he wishes for South Sudan to be turned into a Dinka Kingdom with himself as the King.

The second reason for the Paul Malong rebellion is a pretext coordinated by the Jieng council of elders to fool the opposition and enable Malong to infiltrate among them and create division to ultimately weaken them; that way the Jieng council and Salva Kiir regime will continue to rule South Sudan for an unlimited time.

Interestingly, in the Malong’s rebellion declaration paper, he mentioned that he is for Federalism, which is his plan C.

According to Jieng council, they will turn to it if they fail to defeat the oppositions and stop the angry South Sudanese people, or if their government collapses.

The Dinka jieng will have nowhere to go or stay as both Equatoria and Upper Nile will not tolerate their arrogance. As such, The Jieng council now needs to prepare for the worst-case scenario.

To safeguard the future of the Jieng council, Malong must declare a pretext rebellion and go to Bhar El Ghazal region and complete the unfinished plan of 2012 by capturing and taking control over Bhar El Ghazal.

Then, whereby they can declare their Federal or confederal state, or even declare Bhar El Ghazal a separate country as a pressure point for reconciliation with the opposition made of the other regions.

Clearly, the mass atrocities that took place in Western Bhar El Ghazal in 2012 were executed under the direct supervision of Gen. Paul Malong, Governor Rezik Zakaria, Salva Mathok and Damiano Alieu, under the direct orders of President Salva Kiir and the Jieng council.

The Fertit Land of Raga was forcefully annexed to Aweil creating the so called Lol State. With this new revolving Jieng Council plan, Wau will be the nominal capital of Jieng Bhar El Ghazal Federal government.

This is all a prime example of divide-and-rule policy. Eventually the Fertit who are the indigenous tribes of Wau will be expelled from their land, just like what the Dinka did to the Jur tribe in 1958, in both Aweil district and Tonj district.

As a result, the Jur tribe was compulsively uprooted from their land and left to take refuge in areas around Wau whereby they were kindly received by Fertit tribes and now live in harmony. (See Ethno-Geography of Bhar El Ghazal written by Santa Andria).

Based on this narration, we, the people of Western Bhar El Ghazal need to maintain safety and prepare ourselves for any potential harm.

Nicola Bringi
A member of Western Bhar el Ghazal community.

A shattered hope: Revisiting the horrors of Kiir’s Juba’s massacre

By Duop Chak Wuol, FEB/22/2018, SSN;

Sometimes it is better to immerse yourself in other’s experiences to get an understanding of your own imagination. It is not rational to conclude that what you imagine is necessarily the case. However, it is logically valid that putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is a reasonable way to understand his or her inner self.

It was more than four years ago when a hopeful five year old boy was slit in the throat in Juba and died instantly. His name was Peter Gatwech Nhial. This heartrending episode transpired in front of his parents. A few minutes later, the killers shot his father and mother. Fortunately, his father survived.

Peter’s life was ended by a ruthless ethnic militia employed by South Sudanese President Salva Kiir to kill people. His death was a hope shattered: the life of an innocent child unjustly terminated, leaving his father to continue living life in pain. It was an act of violence committed against a helpless young South Sudanese child.

In January 2018, I visited one of the South Sudanese refugee camps located in Ethiopia’s western region, Gambella. The name of the camp is Nguenyyiel, and the site is also known as Kule Three. After my arrival in the camp, I asked for permission from the local authorities to be taken to a public place like a market, health center, or school.

My intention was to see, assess and experience the current refugees’ situations in the camp and compare them with the life I once lived in a refugee camp in Ethiopia. But I did not expect my tour to be overshadowed by this boy’s shocking story.

After a short walk, I met Peter’s father, Nhial Goy, at a nearby health center’s compound. I have to admit that my meeting with Nhial was accidental. When I first arrived at the compound, I saw a middle-aged man sitting on the compound with his head down. A few minutes later, his face was still leaning downward.

I then felt a moral obligation, though it was probably not a coherent choice, to greet him and perhaps attempt to ask him why he kept his head down for such a long time. It was an uncomfortable decision and my heart was, for reasons unknown to me, beating heavily.

I walked to him, greeted him, and extended my hand to him. A brief conversation transpired between the two of us — I asked him if he was well. He replied, “Yes, of course.” I then asked him why he kept his head down for many minutes. “Is there anything wrong?” I asked.

To my surprise, Nhial responded by lifting his head up, looking around, and bursting into tears. I was stunned to see Nhial’s face covered with seemingly endless tears. It was a throbbing moment — a moment that caused me to keep quiet for a while.

Astonished and not knowing where to begin, I asked him if I could get him a cup of water. Nhial replied, “No, I am fine.” I was baffled. I remember having a strange feeling in my mind that something was just not right about Nhial’s tears. After wrestling with my conscience, I decided to ask him again about his well-being and why he had cried.

Nhial had enough, tearful and determined to share his grief: “I am here to seek medical attention for my gunshot wounds,” he said. “My son and wife were killed in Juba. My only hope was shattered by Salva Kiir,” Nhial added. He explained that his wife, Nyabiey Ruon, died of her wounds a few hours after the attack.

Nhial disclosed to me that they were shot in the early morning of December 16 and he could not remember the exact time. He stated that he was waiting for his wounds to heal so that he could join the fight against South Sudan’s government, saying, “I am willing to fight against the person who took the lives of my wife and son.”

While I was stunned and did not know what to say, Peter’s father decided to take the lead and voluntarily showed me three huge permanent scars: one on his forehead and the other two on the right side of his lower abdomen — a chilling reminder of how horrifying the attack was. How he survived puzzled me, and I know for a fact that his miraculous death-escape needs medical explanation.

Nhial told me he thought he was going to die and that his rescue was God’s work. He explained that he was inside his house in Gudele with his dead wife and son when he heard the sound of an ambulance the morning of December 17, 2013 and decided to crawl out of his blood-filled home.

He said he was lucky enough to reach outside his gate before the ambulance arrived. There, one of the medical workers saw him and asked the driver to stop the car. He was then put into the ambulance and rushed to Juba’s teaching hospital.

As we continued our conversation, I noticed a continuous flow of tears from his eyes: it was one of the most painful moments in my life — my heart was bursting with sadness, I had to end the discussion about the tragedy.

Nhial later revealed to me that he was snicked out of the hospital to a UN-run camp in Juba by humanitarian aid personnel after he was told by a doctor that he was free to leave the hospital. The doctor advised that he should seek further medical attention in another hospital as Juba’s hospital did not have the right medications for his head wound.

He said he did not know whether his wife and son were buried and that he kept thinking about what happened to their bodies. In the back of my mind, I also knew that there were countless numbers of people who probably experienced the same cruelty.

Nhial was lucky enough to be snuck out of the camp by his relatives and escape to Kenya before his final destination, Nguenyyiel refugee camp.

Nhial’s horrifying story kept me thinking for three weeks and helped me to understand what Salva Kiir’s leadership is all about. It was a tough and touching experience for me, but it was an account that I would embrace even though it echoed the pain in my soul.

This narrative gave me opportunities to cry and laugh. But there are times when I get enraged with the level of brutality inflicted on Nhial’s family – especially when emotions get the best of me.

I tried my best to separate my personal feelings from the brutality Kiir’s regime inflicted on Nhial and his deceased family. What enraged me the most about this particular tragedy was the fact that none of Peter’s parents had blood relations with any of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement’s (SPLM) senior political leaders, whom Salva Kiir accused in December 2013 of plotting a coup.

Nhial, Nyabiey, and Peter were all innocent civilians who were living the life of ordinary South Sudanese. They were not active in South Sudan’s politics and had no known records of supporting any particular political leader or party.

Kiir’s ethnic militia targeted Nhial’s family simply because they were of Nuer ethnicity. Peter and his mother were brutally murdered due to tribally-motivated political madness — it was, indeed, a hope shattered.

The author can be reached at duop282@gmail.com.

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.

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.