Category: More Views

Kiir’s anguish on peace deal…. it isn’t a victory for you!

BY: Dr. Peter Kopling, MD, Juba, SEPT/04/2015, SSN;

The few days leading to the signing of the South Sudanese peace compromise deal, was very revealing to the keen observers. President Kiir went through significant agony, which is a manifestation that something of great proportions, grave and uttermost importance to him, was at risk. Never before have we publicly noticed Kiir in such agony and dilemma.

Kiir tried to cope with this dilemma by at first sending a letter of what amounts to rejections of the peace deal, when IGAD plus did not back down but rather stepped up their pressures, the Jieng council of elders landed him their hands by putting out their own press release outlining how dangerous the particular path to peace was.

The next maneuver by Kiir was to go through his political mentor, Mr. Museveni in Entebbe where they sought to derail the Blueprint by IGAD, this too failed to trick IGAD plus.

Then Kiir threw the ultimate tantrum and refused to show up at the IGAD plus set date, August 17th 2015. By some press report, until Museveni called Kiir, which he must show up in 3 hours, Kiir ended up showing up at the 11th hour.

To most of us, we thought there was no more cards left in Kiir’s hand to play against the peace deal and we were wrong!

Kiir sought to delay or avoid the signing of the peace deal all together and refused to sign it instead return to Juba empty handed without delivering peace to his people as timely as planned.

The Agony then revealed itself, Kiir declared, “We have reservations”. Because of these reservations, Kiir would rather not end the blood bath for that is the direct implication of refusing to sign the peace deal.

To Kiir and his cohorts, because of these reservations; let death continue to reign on South Sudanese. Mind you being the president, Kiir is the Chief of those who even rebelled against him one way or another.

It seems if he had the abilities to kill off all his people who did not agree with him and rebelled against him he would do it rather than compromise!

He would rather have death continue to claim the lives of fellow citizens from both sides than sign the peace, simply because he has reservations.

Mr. President, I have news for you, if you didn’t have any reservations, then it would not be a compromise peace deal!

You have a hell of tough time to, not because the peace deal was horrendous, you had hard time because for the last 10 years you never compromised, the interest that only mattered to you is that of Jieng and let the rest rot.

Yours was the first and the last word, you have never learned to compromise. Like a true Dictator your color came through and you agonized more over areas of the compromise peace deal that strip your powers than over the death of thousands of your fellow Citizens whose lives hang in your hands!

You literally have the power to give life and to take life as we saw it the last 21 months. For 21 months you have not agonized over the loss of lives of fellow South Sudanese but over power, you do!

The truth is out; actually the most power hungry person in South Sudan is you! You strip 8 out of 10 elected governors off their Citizens-given powers, you fire and appoint at will.

It was you who triggered the war by lying about a non-existent coup and releasing your Illegal Militia on fellow Citizens in Juba and it is fitting you should be the one to end the bloodshed. You started it and you alone can end it.

You said, “The Peace deal is a reward for rebellions.” Well Mr. President, Look how much some of us have reservations against you but had to swallow it.

We know you lied about the Coup, so we have a lying president. We know all the deaths that resulted from this war is on you because you were the author of the war by killing democracy and lying about an imaginary coup which lead to thousands of loss of lives.

Thus the blood is on you. We know on top of this, you committed targeted genocide against your own people. We know because of you, there are more orphans in South Sudan and the number illiterates has increased.

So this is the view of majority of South Sudanese, minus most Jiengs, about you. This being the case Mr. President, by IGAD plus, putting out a road map, keeping you as the President of this nation, the very one you let down and led into blood shed.

Indeed, we too have some serious reservations about this peace deal as it is rewarding a Liar, the one who committed genocide and ethnic cleansing, a tyrant and a corrupt and inept leader!

We think your place is not at the presidency in Juba but at ICC, but nevertheless, IGAD Plus have rewarded you for Killing your fellow Citizens. Those of us who think this way had to swallow our bitterness for the sake of stopping more loss of lives and must compromise.

Mr. President, it is a compromise peace deal, it is not a victory peace deal, but more importantly, it is life saving peace deal, which gives us the opportunity to learn to compromise and solve our issues through words not through bullets and deaths.

I wish to see you anguish more about the loss of live than the loss of powers. You have revealed that what matters most to you is power, all your reservations have to do with reduction of “this power that belongs to you and they want to take it away, would you let them?”

For the next 18 months, Mr. President, put your country’s interest first, not that of Jiengs and its Council of Elders that have failed you and South Sudanese miserably.

If you so do, you shall have a second chance to redeeming your legacy. For it would be said of you: you delivered your people a country and you also delivered them from utter destruction and gave them rights to life and liberty.

DR. PETER KOPLING, MD.
JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN

Signing a pact is a step forward: Now fight corruption mercilessly!

BY: Andrew K. Michael, South Sudanese, AUG/30/2015, SSN;

At 16:54 hours on 26 August 2015, H.E. General Salva Kiir Mayardit, the President of the Republic of South Sudan inked an accord signed earlier by Dr. Riek Machar of the SPLM-IO and a former detainees’ representative, Pagan Amum. The signing, which was witnessed by heads of states predominately from East African countries and Sudan, has ushered a new dawn for the people of South Sudan who have borne the brunt of war for the last 20 months.

With this peace agreement, people hiding for their lives in the swampy areas will think of returning to their homes in spite of having been reduced to ashes. With this peace agreement, the people of South Sudan will have a second chance to bring about reforms in their country.

With this peace agreement, the people of South Sudan can reconcile and reunite in diversity rather than divided by diversity!

For the first time in 20 months, the national television, SSTV, showed and hosted South Sudanese artists from all corners of the country, depicting diversity of the great nation ruined by war.

It was amazing to see those youngsters play because they know peace would once again bring happiness to the people whose livelihoods had been robbed.

Having signed the peace deal, how will the government ensure service delivery to the people?

How will it reconcile the people whose thinking, as they were made to believe so during the war, is ashamedly based on ethnicity and regionalization?

What frameworks will the government put in place to attain permanent peace?

Upon resigning and while moving out of the White House in his chopper, the 37th President of the United States (1969-1974), Richard Nixon, said these words: ‘’I will forget my past and look to the future’’.

He said these because he did not want the mistakes of his past to haunt him. He said this because when he capitalized on thinking about it, he would presumably not work for his future.

He would probably think of what to do to undo what had transpired in the wake of the Watergate scandal.

This wise decision is worth taking by the people of South Sudan. We, the people, need to acknowledge what had happened to us during the war, but do not need to capitalize on it.

We need to work toward building a peaceful country. This is only attainable by all, not only the president and government.

Needless to say, the government and opposition leaders must now stop finger-pointing and name-calling. This can only exacerbate the already fragile relationship.

It is time to work together as a people destined to achieve common objectives. We cannot afford to inflict more suffering in the people of this country.

We have come from far and now we have a chance to show to the world that we can only live in harmony. My fellow country men and women, let’s do that!

Let’s make this country a place we can call home! It does not help to say my brother X made a visit. It does help though, to work to correct all that was not done rightly.

Let’s do just that and we will become once again a great nation. All those countries we see today as if God had returned to install all the good roads, establish functioning institutions, also faced difficulties, including waging wars which claimed millions of lives.

Nevertheless, the people of those countries sat down and said NO to war! They said YES to democracy and accountability! We also can do that and do it NOW!

Mr. President, you are a symbol of national unity. If you did not know, you are like the flag and South Sudanese currency. Your decisions affect every citizen of this country in one or another. They can do so negatively or positively.

We, the people of South Sudan, have a lot to thank you for. Your handling of the fragile 2005-2011 interim period is one of them. The people of Southern Sudan were nervous at the time.

They thought things would fall apart between the then government of national unity and that of Southern Sudan. It ended so well, with us securing what we wanted: Sovereign state.

Whatever happened on the night of 15 December 2013 had happened and we need to move ahead.

The lessons learned during the last 20 months are numerous and it is time you demonstrate to your employer, the people of South Sudan, that you are an employee who delivers results!

The employer will keep observing your performance and based on this, your next signing of a job contract is at the discretion of the employer! We are watching!

They say ‘’one can create problem to bring change’’! Watch out, Mr. President. Beware of people who advise you.

It’s time you screen pieces of advice advanced to you by who you may think are your right hand men and women. A number of them might be eyeing your seat and in the process can instigate your failure by way of advice!

What do you think if someone asks you to refuse peace because of power? Why would someone choose war just to continue killing innocent people?

It’s time to say enough to embracing immunity. It’s time to act transparently. It’s time to task technical experts in key institutions to deliver services to the people.

It’s time to hold people accountable for their deeds! Proceeds from national resources should not NOW be pocketed by few in Juba!

We can no longer afford to embrace corruption in this country, for this is one of the ingredients of war and conflict of any sort. Get rid of it completely and NOW not TOMORROW!

Dr. Riek, we the people need your inputs in developing the country. Work with the President as friends, not as foes as people will keep preaching.

Remember you two are South Sudanese, not Nuers and Dinkas as our people like ethnic division that has reduced our country to nothingness!

We must put South Sudan lens, not ethnic ones! We must not use innocent boys as our shield during fighting. They deserve to be in schools. They need to work for their families, but not to be killed in frontline for what they do not know!

While delivering his victory speech in Chicago, the incumbent US President, H.E. Barack Obama, said: ‘’to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may have not earned your votes tonight, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president too’’.

Now, to those of you South Sudanese leaders, be it in the military and national assembly, we understand your point, but we now need to work together.

South Sudan is happy when peace prevails!

You are never famous because you fight wars. Instead, you are when you embrace peace. Stop inciting people, war mongers. I think it is high time the people rise up against those who want to continue fighting and condemn them strongly…

Young men and women, if there were anyone to leverage our leaders and our people to ensure prevalence of peace in this country, we are the ones!

Stop taking sides based on ethnicity and regionalization. Let’s preach peace in any forum we converge in. We are brothers and sisters.

Even during the then 21 years of war, we did not encounter a situation where we could not stay in certain parts of the country because of our identity. Never. This did not happen.

At the moment, a South Sudan youth needs to think twice before moving to some parts of his/her own country lest s/he will be killed! This should CEASE as we enter the post war era. Remember the word of Richard Nixon quoted earlier.

We must join in unison and sing a song of peace. From now henceforth, let’s unite in diversity! Let’s see ourselves as brothers and sisters from South Sudan, not through ethnic lens!

Thank you those countries who tirelessly worked towards the signing of this agreement. You encountered resistance from the war parties, but I assure you the people to whom this peace belongs are short of words to thank you.

We request that you continue working with the parties to ensure implementation of the accord during the 30 month period.

May God almighty help us to strongly grip this peace? Amen.

Andrew K Michael is South Sudanese citizen and can be reached at michaelkakuma98@gmail.com

Hopes that Kiir-Machar Agreement will boost Justice, Peace and Reconciliation Processes

By Tong Kot Kuocnin, Nairobi, 27/AUG/2015, SSN;

It has been in the best interest of all South Sudanese to live in peace and harmony and it has been a wish of every South Sudanese to see that justice, due process of the law and the true adherence to the rule of law, respect for human rights and dignity of human person will always prevail.

But quite unfortunate, there hasn’t been peace and stability in South Sudan. However, it is our hope that this time the signing of the IGAD-Plus proposed peace agreement by the adversaries will indeed prove to be an important shift and move toward a peaceful settlement of South Sudan’s conflict.

Hence, in the pursuit of peace and stability, the substantive issues which have and will always stir up misunderstanding and thus cause conflict and pose continuous instability of the country seem to have been roughly framed in haste to resolves the conflict.

Like his 1991 defection and rebellion with Dr. Lam and Kong against the then SPLA leader Dr. John Garang, Dr. Riek must this time put behind him his incessant lust for power at the expense of the people of South Sudan and work for a true and meaningful peace and stability.

It is clear that Dr. Riek has been an obstacle to peace and stability in South Sudan. This is clearly illustrated by Dr. Riek’s 2013 second rebellion under the pretext that Salva Kiir is a dictator who undermined democratic principles.

This has caused frustration in South Sudan at Dr. Riek’s intransigence. This frustration has been highlighted as a result of the shift in the opinion of the people of South Sudan not to join his call for overthrow of Kiir’s government or join him in the bush to topple the government by force including members of his tribesmen.

Justice and Peace are two different things but some people wrongly think that peace may lead to the attainment of justice which has been proved otherwise.

Reconciliation after peace and justice cement and consolidate lasting peace and stability.

However, no proper or strict application of laws as pillar paradigms of justice according to its letter may in certain circumstances produce untold suffering, hardships, detriments and even serious miscarriage of justice to those victims whose rights have intrinsically and blatantly been infringed.

As the application of laws is imperative on judges and/or courts, the proponents of justice became rude and indignant to see that justice is awarded to those who deserve it and not to those who incurred injustice.

Machar and subordinates and his sympathizers, you will find that no any single reason or motive which could warrant a person to wage war except to murder innocent people and loot the entire properties of our vulnerable people.

We must remember here that no peace will ever be realized in south Sudan without awarding justice to anyone who deserve it and no justice will ever prevail without proper and strict adherence to the doctrine of the rule of law and not rule of men when everybody is tied down under the yoke of injustice.

We must cease appeasing and awarding senior positions and ranks to those whose hands are numerously tainted with blood of others for the sake of fake peace which has now resulted into further suffering of our people.

To have lasting peace and stable society, we must sharpen the teeth of the law so that it could bite anyone who is in conflict with it.

Let the law bite at least one or two people this time just for the sake of our brothers and sisters who perished in the Nile running for safety to a safe place in Upper Nile.

Let the law bite one or two or even more this time for hundreds of people murdered mercilessly during this war of self satisfaction.

I sincerely and humbly urge our president and his cohorts, if his hands are clean, to leave no stone unturned in making sure that justice is done this time to our poor people who instantly became victims of the current useless and senseless war for power and control of resources which belong to all of us.

Let’s not betray our brothers and sisters. Bring peace but award them justice they deserved.

Tong Kot is a Master of Laws (LLM) Candidate at the School of Law, University of Nairobi. He also a Practising Legal Counsel at Deng & Co. Advocates – Juba. He can be reached at: Email: tongbullen@gmail.com.

South Sudan’s Corrupt politicians are Vultures rejoicing over corpses!

“You know, there is nothing worse than the poverty of the mind… the person is never satisfied at all. The more you get this , the more you feel like to get that – and the other one too, then more and more until you unknowingly swallow yourself in an attempt to leaving nothing un swallowed”……

By KON Joseph LEEK, South Sudan, AUG/12/2015, SSN;

I am not against corruption but I am only against its abuse, for corruption in any nation can’t be removed but can only be reduced by its “control mechanisms”.

You know that a little stealing here and there is not bad at all; it is only bad when it calls attention to others.

Anyhow, thievery and robbery are proves of a country’s advancement because for a country to flourish it must have something to be stolen, and for this, we have to be proud that we are also flourishing because we are having things that we steal.

Besides, our traditional corruption will continue for sometime because everyone is a victim; the corruption’s suspect, the appointer of the one to control it [corruption] and the appointed himself [the one to control corruption].

Now, it throws us into dilemmas of who is who here. Who is not corrupt to investigate the other? Chinese says that, “laws are useless when men are pure and unenforceable when men are corrupt”, that is Junub El’Sudan in Chinese proverb!

We saw corruption’s control in 2011 and 2013 when AKUIEN and Pagan Amum, then Deng Aloor Kuol and KOSTI MANIBE NGAI were implicated. Though the ends were a little pleasing because steps that abruptly ended were taken, it was still comical.

Lack of self integrity and moral authority are some of the things we lack in our hearts, thus it is a nightmare to exhale something like “we want a corruption-free country, now!”

My campaign is one-sided; let’s adopt the East Africa’s corruption system where a public figure steals and set up companies to employ others. There, you will eat your stolen stuffs peacefully without any interference from whosoever because the number you’ll have employed would be there to secure their positions by guiding you anyway.

But where you consistently rob without fear and shyness – with a gun in your left hand and loot with your right hand then you hasten to bank them under your bed without plans will only develop bitterness and hatred that will incite unemployed youth to rise up against you with machetes, sticks, pangas and axes to split open your nicely fed bellies.

This motive of robbing and marrying more wives or running to Uganda or wherever to buy a house and hide your families there, then you return and begin to move around mischievously and misbehaving and cause havoc will make you a loose politician whose purpose of politicking is selfish with the agenda of “blood sucking and robbing” but not to save the New Nation’s destitute populace.

One lion may be fitter than the other lions but that does not explain how he got to be a lion and all his offspring will still be lions not something else.

You, as leaders, are not something far much unreachable beyond any other human being. You were mandated by the people to lead them and they can, as it is their right, decree you out if you don’t meet their needs however much you decorate yourselves with military titles, tanks and bombs.

Aren’t you yet alert that elections would come back shortly sometimes in the future or do you think that you are still our role models?

Why should some people want to destroy the country they suffered much to liberate? Can’t something truly be done without any negative hidden agenda behind it?

Shall we always view political aspirations and positions as tools of looting and thieving? …. And you always tell us to follow your footsteps!

This is one of the reasons that brought about the on-going man-made calamity; fighting in front of the saucepan between “it’s my chance” and “it’s not yet your chance” factions.

Is the slogan “we liberated you [this young Nation]” a free ticket to munch it your own style?

Was “eating” a guarantee to liberate this Nation? Why should you malnourish your very own country you much struggled to liberate?

When we say “corruption”, it is it, not something new, it didn’t recently root. The present has been there right from the start. Only that we have been too blind to see or too busy to notice.

They mercilessly, unabatedly and convolutedly corrupt without nervousness and still walk around telling us that, “corruption is dreadful” and again go for it!

They are really the living embodiment of what they preach!

Gier Chuang, when he was still the minister of roads and bridges once vehemently told us in Uganda in the presence of Hon. Bashir Gbandi [deputy minister of foreign affairs] and Hon. Prof. Mijok Mijak Bilkuei [deputy minister of roads and bridges] that, ‘do not inherit our tribalism, nepotism and corruption’, it was really a good fatherly advice to his children but again, how can a child divert from his father’s foot step?

Uncle Gier’s advice was as good as impossible anyway.

What we know of our fathers is corruption, tribalism, nepotism, rebellion, media suppression, arrogance and many more; until you change your way of life, we will always be like you – like father like son, remember!

It is not about me or him or her. It is about the basic needs of the people you conned to bring you to power, it is about roads, electricity, water, schools, and hospitals…. mention them.

We know that your children do not study here and they are not treated here either. We are treated here, die and buried here but you guys, like your children are treated abroad and maybe die from there – and later buried here, and this is why you are only mindful of your “positions” but not “what to do” in your positions.

Our weaknesses and backwardness are generally attributed to the inability of our leaders to rise to their responsibilities and not that, “our country is a child” or young nation as always famed by some government officials – unless a child is malnourished or orphaned is a good reason it can still scrawl up to this time now.

JUNUB is what it is today because its leaders are not what they are supposed to be.

We want our ministers/leaders to be individuals or technocrats with moral authority, those ones that value their training [ethics] and dignity more than bending to eating public foods he/she was made to keep, distribute and maintain and not just those who claim to be rewarded for they have liberated us [the Nation].

QUOTE: ‘The more they try to be good boys to the president by betraying the community, the more they only tarnish the reputation and the standing of the president to the community’ Late Isaiah Abraham.

The writer is a commentator on contemporary South Sudan; He can be reached on j.konleek@gmail.com & 0927777006

Do the lives of the South Sudanese really matter to Kiir and Machar, or anyone else?

By Adama Dieng, THE EAST AFRICAN, AUG/8/2015, SSN;

Leaders who turn against their own and inflict on them the kind of suffering we have witnessed in South Sudan lack the moral integrity that is a requisite for leadership.

Personality conflicts, proxy wars to blame for South Sudan’s slide toward genocide
The forces allied to the two main parties to the conflict in South Sudan, President Salva Kiir and former vice president Riek Machar, continue to inflict pain, suffering and despair on the South Sudanese people as a result of their unwillingness to take the necessary steps to end the civil war.

Since fighting started in December 2013, both government and rebel forces have reportedly committed serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, including extrajudicial killings, mass rape, torture, arbitrary detention, pillaging, forced displacement and have reportedly attacked protected personnel and sites, including United Nations personnel and property.

In June this year, the United Nations reported vicious attacks against civilians in Unity State by government forces, including the mass rape of women and girls, some of whom were reportedly burnt alive.

The brutality and cruelty of these attacks defies imagination. Thousands of civilians have been killed to date, more than one and a half million people have been displaced and some 700,000 have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.

Given the widespread and systematic nature of attacks against civilians, some may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity and those responsible must be held accountable.

While the South Sudanese people continue to bear the brunt of the conflict, their leaders have been engaged in endless rounds of talks, travelling back and forth between South Sudan, Addis Ababa and Dar es Salaam.

These talks have so far failed to produce meaningful results or alleviate in any way the suffering of the South Sudanese. Fighting continues unabated, as do violations and abuses by both sides.

This, despite the best efforts of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, Tanzania’s ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi party and South Africa’s ruling African National Congress. We have to ask ourselves whether the lives of the South Sudanese really matter to Kiir and Machar, or to their neighbours, the regional leadership or the rest of the world.

I was among those whose hopes were raised by the establishment on March 7, 2014 of an African Union commission of inquiry on South Sudan, the first such commission to be established since the African Union was founded.

The commission was mandated to investigate allegations of human-rights violations and abuses committed during the conflict, assess the underlying causes and, importantly, to make recommendations on accountability, reconciliation and ways to deter and prevent recurrence of violations in the future.

Olusegun Obasanjo, an eminent statesman and former president of Nigeria, was appointed to lead the commission.

Reaction to the establishment of the commission was mixed. Some saw it as a way to pre-empt the establishment of a United Nations investigation that might recommend prosecution of those leaders responsible for crimes committed in South Sudan.

Personally, I was delighted that for once the African Union had demonstrated willingness to deal with the impunity that has too often accompanied violence on the continent.

I believed that a successful investigation could send a strong message that the regional body would not shield from justice political leaders responsible for crimes committed against their people.

In an op-ed article I wrote on April 9, 2014 that hailed the African Union’s initiative, I also cautioned that the world would be watching to see if the African Union would deliver on its promise.

Almost a year after it completed its work, and six months after the commission of inquiry submitted its report to the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC), there is a deafening silence. The PSC has so far avoided discussing the commission’s findings, which have not been made public. No action has been taken to implement its recommendations.

When I met President Kiir and Riek Machar in South Sudan in April 2014, both stated their commitment to accountability, promising that those responsible for atrocities would face justice. They both said that they would support the inclusion of accountability measures in a comprehensive peace agreement.

READ: UN vows to prevent ‘another Rwanda’ in South Sudan

Indeed, in the initial agreement signed in January 2015, they committed themselves to establishing a judicial mechanism to prosecute those who had committed atrocities.

What rationale could there be, then, for holding the commission’s report hostage? It would be a mistake to think that sustainable peace, reconciliation and national healing can be achieved in South Sudan without any kind of accountability for the crimes committed.

Amnesty is not an option. In addition, those who oppose accountability could be seen to be indirectly abetting the atrocities in South Sudan by protecting the perpetrators.

The mantra of “African solutions for African problems” sounds hollow when it is not backed up by action. Africa must stand up for its people.

Leaders who turn against their own and inflict on them the kind of suffering we have witnessed in South Sudan lack the moral integrity that is a requisite for leadership.

I urge the AU Summit, which is due to take place in early August 2015, to do the right thing — make the report of the Obasanjo Commission of Inquiry report public and implement its recommendations. Ignoring the need for justice will not solve the conflict in South Sudan.

We need to end the cycle of impunity that is fueling the conflict. If not, we shall be failing the South Sudanese people, and failing once again in our responsibility to protect our populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. END

Adama Dieng is Under Secretary-General/United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide

The Position of Jieng Council of Elders on the IGAD-Plus Proposed Compromise Agreement

The Republic of South Sudan
Jieng Council of Elders
(JCE)

Friday July 31st, 2015, SSN;

The Jieng Council of Elders, as a body that is greatly concerned about suffering of the people of South Sudan and yearns for an expeditious end to the on-going violent conflict in the country, wishes to express publicly it views on the latest IGAD-Plus “Proposed Compromise Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan”.

Though the proposal is an attempt to resolve the on-going conflict in the country, it is our opinion that the proposal inherently creates more serious problems than it solves. It actually makes the achievement of peace very difficult for four reasons.

First, the proposed agreement is intrinsically a strategy for the international actors to take-over the country. It is essentially born out of the recommendations of the African Union Commission Report, which recommended foreign personalities to run the country during the transitional period.

Second, the proposal creates a more divisive future for the country that is likely to breed a much bitter war, considering the proposal to handover Upper Nile region to the opposition.

Thirdly, it does not address in a meaningful way the root causes of the conflict, though it may succeed in temporary halting the fighting, it does not entirely provide any guarantees to stop its resumption in the very near future.

Lastly, the agreement is crafted particularly in favor of Riek Machar and helps him achieve his coup objectives, albeit diplomatically. The agreement makes Riek Machar co-president, not just a vice president and the agreement essentially renders the sitting president powerless and more ceremonial. This glaring appeasement of hell-bend coup plotters actually provides incentives for violent usurpation of power.

To understand this better, it is important to unpack the problematic articles as away to unveil the truth about this faulty proposal.

Chapter-one, Article 1.6 of this proposal outlines the power sharing ratios in the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) as follows: In the executive body, the government gets 53%, the SPLM-IO has 33%, while the SPLM FDs and other political parties get 7%, and 7 % respectively.

Whereas power-sharing ratios in the conflict affected States of Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile as reflected in Article 15.4 breaks down as follows: The government is apportioned 33%; SPLM/A-IO 53%; SPLM Leaders (Former Detainees) 7%; and other Political Parties with 7 %.

Obviously, there is no major objection on the rationale to share power between the warring parties as a way to end the conflict. The question that arises, is on what basis should this be done?

What is raising questions more on this proposal is the justification for giving the opposition 53% in the war affected states? Does this suggest that the opposition controls 53% of the territory in the Upper Nile region?

Or is this based on the assumption that since the rebellion is predominantly Nuer-led, that the Nuer ethnic group makes 53% of the total population in each of the three states? Is this also assuming that the whole Nuer ethnic community has joined the rebellion?

Moreover, if power is being shared on the basis of ethnic ratios, how could the Nuer opposition get 33% of the state power when the whole ethnic group constitutes about 15% of the total population in South Sudan?

The proposal clearly lacks any sound basis, as it is devoid of any coherent logic and does nothing more than to fragment the society and threatens to further aggravate an already fractured social fabric.

We find it objectionable to extend the power sharing ratios to the states. While the compromise to share the power with the rebels is an undertaking that should not to be talked about disdainfully, some mechanisms of power sharing equation used by the IGAD-PLUS ought to be closely scrutinized, for we may end up inadvertently priming the country for another disastrous self-butchering.

Perhaps the IGAD mediators are fed with slanted information about the population dynamics in the Greater Upper Nile region. Thus, we intend to submit to the whole world demographic facts regarding this strategic region.

In terms of the population breakdown in the region’s three states, the 2008 Population Census shows that the Nuer community accounts for 49.5% of the total population in the Upper Nile region, while it constitutes 15% of the total population in the Republic of South Sudan.

At the state level, Nuers make up 28.2% in Upper Nile State, 49.5% in Jonglei state and 85% in Unity State.

Through this ethnic demographic prism, it is abundantly clear that the Nuer population alone does not constitute 50% of the total regional population. Therefore, IGAD-Plus’s mediation cannot use this as the basis for granting 53% majority to the rebellion.

Second, the Nuer’s collective opinion is split, which makes this agreement an unfair adventure, for it is forcing the rest of South Sudan to share power evenly with a fraction of a subset of the total population.

In the case of Unity State for example, it has to be ardently borne in mind that the present governor of Unity State, who is with the government, has the majority following in the state. His followers constitute the bulk of the men fighting the SPLM/A-IO in that state.

Could it be that the decision to give majority power to the rebellion was based on but false believe that majority of the South Sudan’s oil come from the Nuer territories?

Assuming that this was the basis on which such decision was made, we want to make it vividly clear to the whole world that majority of the oil; actually 96% of the total oil production currently in South Sudan comes from the Jieng (Dinka) territories.

Upper Nile state produces up to 85% of South Sudan’s oil output and it is 100% in a Jieng territory.

In Unity State, South Sudan produces roughly 15% of the total oil output, 60% of which is produced in Parieng County; a Jieng territory.

When all numbers are stipulated, the oil production in Nuer territory comes to more or less 4% of the total oil output in South Sudan. Hence, IGAD-Plus mediators could not with a straight face justify their decision on this fact.

The mediation might have considered who controls what territory to decide on the fate of the Upper Nile region. Based on the facts on the ground, the opposition controls part of one county, Panyijar in Unity State, which has only 9% of the total population in the state.

They control parts of one county in upper Nile, Maiwut, which has a population of roughly 8% of the total population in the state. The opposition seems to have more fortunes in Jonglei where they control Akobo, Uror and Nyirol with 33% of the population.

Thus, in terms of territories the parties control, the SPLM-IO could get less than 10% of power in Upper and Unity States and 33% of power in Jonglei State.

This agreement therefore unfairly grants the power in the Upper Nile region to the rebellion in disregards for the government control of these areas. This cannot be used as the basis for allocating 53% power to the rebels.

This will definitely alienate the present state governments and may end up encouraging another Nuer vs. Nuer war in Unity State and Nuer vs. other ethnic groups in Jonglei and Upper Nile, a scenario that is worth avoiding at all cost.

Therefore, if the IGAD-PLUS is using the information narrated above as the basis to compute the percentages reflected in this current peace proposal, then they have missed the point by a wide margin.

Either that the information they used in their arithmetic is awfully slanted, or they simply want to see the current mayhem in our country continuing.

Given the aforementioned reasons, we find it appropriate to challenge IGAD and its partners to go back to the drawing board and take a fresh look into the population dynamics in those states.

Although our collective desire for peace is overwhelming, exceptions have to be made if this agreement were to have any remote chance of ushering in a new dawn of sustainable peace in our country.

Turning over the whole greater Upper Nile region to Riek Machar is vehemently objected. This agreement is tailor made for Riek Machar and his followers and so this alone is sufficient to warrant opposition to the tenets of the whole agreement and the power sharing ratios in Upper Nile in particular.

The proposal actually aggravates people’s growing distrust towards IGAD’s mediation model, which is itself becoming more and more an obstacle to the achievement of peace.

This appeasement scheme, skewed towards SPLM/A-IO, has a potential for igniting more violence in Upper Nile; a region that is already battered by repeated bouts of man-made disasters and persistent cycles of rebellious conflicts.

As the base of the nation’s oil wealth, it is imperative to make sure that this region is handled with extra care and great sensitivity so that it is not plunged into any sort of armed anarchy inadvertently.

If this agreement is signed in its present form, we are afraid that it will be a recipe for another disastrous outcome in South Sudan and the greater Upper Nile region in particular.

In fact, if such a proposal were to make it through, it would not be surprising to witness the emergence of another rebellion in the region before the implementation of this proposed agreement commenced.

This should not be allowed because geo-politically, the greater Upper Nile is a strategic region both for its population and natural wealth; it would be a grave mistake to allow it to descend into uncontrollable chaos.

If the greater Upper Nile region is blindly granted this special status, it may later serve as an opportunity for those who want to dismember this country by propping up separatists whose indulgences are not in the best interest of this country.

The other concern with the power sharing ratios regards the SPLM Leaders-Former Detainees (FDs). The IGAD-Plus simply ignores the fact that the SPLM FDs have reached an agreement with the government and they have returned to the country.

It defeats any logic to insist on keeping a stakeholder that has ceased to exist. This is either a sheer ignorance on the part of IGAD-Plus, or it is simply part of the broader scheme by the international community to set in motion further fragmentation of this country.

The fact is that the SPLM Leaders FDs are now part of the government and so if IGAD wants to continue to recognize this group, it has to be acknowledged as part of the government.

Therefore, whatever percentage share of power given to this group should go to the government automatically.

The second problematic provision in this proposed agreement regards the powers, functions and responsibilities to be exercised by the President, the First Vice President and the Vice President through consultation and mutual agreement.

The proposal on the presidency is consistent with the African Union Commission recommendations on collegial presidency.

The main difference is that this proposal envisions the TGoNU as an institution that is grounded on the premise of collegial decision-making and continuous consultation between the President, the First Vice President and the Vice President, in order to ensure effective governance during the transitional period.

The most serious issue with this proposal regarding the collegial presidency is that it may lead to paralysis within the presidency and essentially diffuse the presidential powers into three power centers.

This has a potential to create conflict, especially when there is no one person that has the final decision-making powers.

The whole of the transitional period may end without any meaningful progress on all the issues, which would really be a recipe for violence.

This is exactly the excuse the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), essentially a parallel foreign-led leadership structure, needs to make and impose decisions on the presidency, a serious challenge to the sovereignty of the Republic of South Sudan.

Since the implementation powers of this agreement are given to Riek Machar, it is potentially possible that Riek Machar and the JMEC could bypass and sideline the president and run a parallel government.

As previously discussed, the proposed agreement gives Riek Machar what he could not achieve through his attempted coup to dislodge the president from power forcefully.

Therefore, Riek and Kiir will be co-presidents essentially with equal powers with each having the power to veto the other’s decisions.

There is enough evidence regarding the fact that the two leaders had eight years of bad working relationship. One would have to assume that the relationship would be ten times far worse than it had been previously given the level of animosity and distrust resulting from this conflict.

The proposal does nothing to recognize this acrimonious situation; instead, the proposal seems bent on adding highly combustible fuel to the situation.

Given the state of affairs just described, one can simply deduce the fact that the presidency is destined in this agreement to decent into anarchic paralysis magnified primarily by the acrimony between the two leaders and reinforced by the convoluted mechanics of its working proposed in this agreement.

In other words, with each having equal powers, the duel between the two is set to impede the normal running of the government as people will squabble even over trivial matters and with the apparent loathing, neither would be willing to compromise.

While there are three persons in the presidency, the third person has essentially no role or powers to break the deadlock, because the vice president has no meaningful contribution in the decision-making process.

This begs the question as to what is the value added of having a position that would not be a factor at all in leadership and decision-making?

In chapter one, Article 10.4, the Council of Ministers, an entity that is elevated above the presidency, in some circumstances, is given the power to break the deadlocks in the presidency.

However, the agreement also made sure that this planned anarchy is extended to the Council of Ministers, because decisions on substantive and controversial matters are reached by two-thirds majority (67%), which is impossible to achieve in a bitterly divided cabinet and presidency considering the power ratios.

Not only does this submission lead to perpetual conflict within the presidency and the cabinet, it makes the process of decision-making time consuming and conflict ridden and devalues the presidency in terms of its responsibilities and authority.

This is consistent with the broader scheme to make the process of making critical decisions difficult between the parties and give the JMEC the power to impose decisions on the parties and it essentially makes the government weak and unproductive.

The more serious question regards the logic behind the relegation and diffusion of the powers of an elected president when the position was never legitimately contested in an election.

Unlike Zimbabwe and Kenya, where President Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai, President Kibaki and Raila Odinga had to share power because elections outcomes were contested, the situation in South Sudan is completely different.

What we had in South Sudan was an attempted coup and so the sitting president is being forced to share power with someone who tried to take his position by force.

This proposal does not do justice to the people of South Sudan. It is entirely premised on rewarding violent usurpation of power, a clear antithesis to the democratic ideals that are supposedly espoused by IGAD and its international supporters.

It reflects really bad on those who preach the tenets of democracy and sends a wrong signal to those who harbor violent tendencies to rise to power.

In Article 10.5, the way the ministers and ministries are selected is crafted like a lottery. The proposal provides a formula for how ministries are going to be selected. The parties will choose ministries in rounds.

For example, the government will choose the first ministry and the opposition chooses the second ministry and so forth until all the 30 ministries are selected according to the power sharing ratios.

There are eight ministries that will have deputy ministers and so each party will nominate a deputy minister for each ministry that it has selected. This is essentially unworkable. Parties should be able to negotiate a better formula, not this lottery-like scheme.

Regarding the proposed expansion of the National Legislative Assembly to 400 members, the proposal makes no attempt to provide clarity and defense for this.

Though one can infer from the draft agreement the objective as a measure to make the SPLM-IO the second largest party in the parliament, there is nothing convincing about adding more people to an institution that remains diversely balanced and swollen in terms of the sheer numbers.

We are of the opinion that the expansion of the legislature is unjustifiable given that it was an elected legislature and expanding it to accommodate members of the opposition would be unfair to the constituencies that do not have members in the opposition.

The expansion of the legislature would not only be unfair, but it could create over representation of the Nuer community in the government, a situation that is likely to provoke other communities to embrace the use of violence to get over-represented; much of which is the aim of this agreement.

Extending this appeasement scheme to people’s house is clearly overdoing it.

In an attempt to align the agreement to the Transitional Constitution, Article 13 of the draft document proposes Pre-Transition Period National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC).

The draft agreement instructs that upon signing this Agreement, the IGAD-led Mediation in consultation with the Parties and other stakeholders shall initiate the formation of a representative NCAC, with the mandate to complete the tasks necessary to prepare for the Transition Period and form the TGoNU.

This simply infringes on the work of the national legislature, which is sovereign and therefore on that ground, NCAC is unnecessary. The amendments can be initiated in the executive and the parliament would have to approve it as it is normally done.

Furthermore, Chapter 6 article 5.5 states, “the Transitional National Assembly shall be transformed into a Constituent Assembly on the 1st date of the 27th month of the Transition for purposes of adopting the Permanent Constitution after which it shall be dissolved preceding the Elections”.

No explanation is provided to justify this transformation of the legislature. The transitional assembly could adopt the constitution without being transformed into the constituency assembly, provided that it is done in conformity with the constitution.

Coming to the question of permanent ceasefire, which is contained in Chapter 2 of this proposed agreement, the proposal is consistent with the recommendations of the African Union Commission on the security sector reforms and the broader scheme to turn the country over to a coalition of international actors.

The objective of this section is not only aimed at transforming the security sector, is actually aimed at a complete destruction of the SPLA structures and rebuilding a new army on a clean slate.

Although some of the SPLA forces may be part of the new security apparatus, the scheme will not recognize existing structures.

The idea is that the current SPLA structure has a divided loyalty and it is inseparable from the SPLM.

Since it is not easy to destroy the SPLM for all the apparent reasons, one way you could achieve this is by cutting historical links to the SPLA by rebuilding a whole new military outfit.

The international actors are citing both Sierra Leone and Liberian experiences as possible models for rebuilding the army. This of course is a non-negotiable proposition and it should be rejected in earnest.

Though military restructuring and reforms are certainly necessary, they should not be aimed at erasing the historical legacy of the SPLA.

The same proposal prescribed the demilitarization of the national capital in Article 5 of chapter 2. Claiming that “the National Capital, Juba”, shall be designated as a Special Arrangement Area (SAA) and shall be demilitarized 25kms in radius from the center of the city and the demarcation of the area shall be agreed upon during the PCTSA workshop in terms of latitude / longitude”.

This means that the SPLA in Juba would have to leave the town except for a company of Presidential Guards with four platoons, which comes to 260 soldiers to protect the president and 195 soldiers to protect the First Vice President.

A third-party security unit comprising of forces from UNMISS, IGAD and the AU will provide security in Juba and to the government officials including the president. This protection force will not only provide security in the work places, but also in residences.

Obviously, this is perhaps the most telling article about the thinly veiled international disposition to establish a trusteeship in the Republic of South Sudan.

Juba, the capital city is the sovereign seat of the national government; to render it devoid of the national army is tantamount to a white coup.

The proposal simply confirms the intention of the international community to takeover the country.

There is no country in the world that remains sovereign whose national capital and its leadership is under the protection of foreign forces. This is essentially a non-starter and on sovereignty grounds alone, it should be rejected without hesitation.

The proposed Transitional Third Party Security Unit (TTPSU) referenced in Article 6 of the same chapter should also be rejected on the basis that it is an occupation force.

Another issue of serious concern is the proposed Strategic Defense and Security Review (SDSR) contained in chapter 2 Article 7.

The SDSR proposed mandate is to “undertake a comprehensive assessment of the requirements of South Sudan’s national army within one hundred and twenty (120) days from the signing of this Agreement to inform the formulation of the country’s Defense and Security policies that shall subsequently lead to the overall Security Sector Transformation (SST) process, including the future command, function, size, composition and budget of South Sudan’s national army and security forces, and DDR requirements”.

This proposal goes together with the broader objective of the proposed agreement, which is the foreign intervention in the country.

In order to achieve this seizure of our sovereignty, it has to be assumed that there is no national army and therefore a new national army has to be created from the scratch.

This assumption is of course sinister on the part of those proposing it and on that basis, such a proposal should not be entertained.

Article 8 tackles the Unification of Forces. Again, this proposition assumes that there are two equal forces that should be unified and it talks about forces in Juba and the Greater Upper Nile region being given the priority.

The issue with this article is that there are no two equal forces. There is the SPLA, the national army and there are rebel forces, some of which defected from the national army.

Therefore, there should be no unification of forces; instead, there should be reintegration of rebel forces into the national army. This proposal conforms to the same notion that there is no national army and that a new one would have to be built.

In Chapter 3 Article 2, a Special Reconstruction Fund (SRF) is recommended. There is no major objection to the creation of such fund, but Article 6.2.5 of the same chapter stipulates that the proportion of the natural resource wealth of South Sudan shared with the States and counties shall be increased and that the terms of the increment and formulae to be applied shall be determined in the permanent constitution.

Such arrangements should not be included in the constitution as they are subject to many changing conditions. Perhaps a separate law should govern this, but not the constitution.

In chapter 4, the draft agreement proposes the creation of Economic and Financial Management Authority (EFMA).

There is no concern with the establishment of such a body, but the advisory body, which is essentially a foreign body made up of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, African Development Bank, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), PTA Bank, UN-Economic Commission for Africa, United Nations Development Program, and three (3) major donor representatives is certainly a concern.

The sheer number of institutions that make up the advisory body is puzzling. Why do you have to bring all these world institutions into an advisory board?

The motive may be that these institutions would be ready to takeover the financial institutions if the EFMA does not work or does its job efficiently.

Chapter 5, Article 3 recommends the establishment of Hybrid Court for South Sudan (HCSS) whose mandate would be to try suspected cases of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity under international law.

This court, which according to the proposal should be established through an MOU between the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU), African Union and United Nations will see its staff and judges jointly appointed by the Chairperson of AU and UN General Secretary.

The proposal specifies that HCSS shall have primacy over any national courts of RSS.

Perhaps, this institution is proposed under the assumption that South Sudan’s legal institutions do not have the capacity or the will to carry out justice in the country.

The scheme of course fits with the international ploy to intervene in the country. This provision will ensure that those who may be obstacle to the international intervention could be dragged to court under the pretext that they have committed war crimes.

Given this reality, it is preferable for the people of South Sudan to deal with justice and accountability matters within their own customary systems as well as statutory mechanisms.

Doing this, we believe will speed up the process of healing, reconciliation and justice.

An international court such as the one proposed may not enjoy the cooperation of the state and the citizens and therefore would delay justice and it is most likely to delay the achievement of peace and reconciliation in the country.

Further, the proposal talks about the court having jurisdiction in respect to matters of genocide and other crimes committed since December 2013.

Since when has IGAD determined genocide as having been committed in South Sudan?

This is telling enough in a sense that there is a serious degree of prejudice and bias against South Sudan and this is sufficient to warrant objection to the creation of such an international body.

Chapter 7 of this proposal recommends the establishment of Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC).

While we see the importance of having a body that can monitor and evaluate the progress in terms of the implementation of the peace agreement, we are simply stunned by the proposed powers of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC).

According to IGAD, JMEC will be tasked with overseeing the implementation of the agreement, a mandate that essentially guarantees this body “the power to take corrective action in the event of non-compliance with the terms of the agreement”.

Moreover, the proposal intends to make JMEC more than just a body that is entrusted to monitor and evaluate the performance and progress with respect to the peace agreement but rather a powerful governance institution that “shall oversee institutions created or operating during the Transition”.

To ensure that JMEC fulfills its mandate, “all transitional institutions” are expected to regularly report to it.

JMEC itself draws its power from the UN Security Council (UNSC) and the African Union Peace and Security Council.

This provision alone is enough for one to draw a conclusion about the fact that this country is going to be run through JMEC using a series of UNSC resolutions.

Although a prominent African personality will chair this body, appointed by the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government in consultation with IGAD-PLUS partners, it is the Security Council that shall enforce its mandate.

This is consistent with the recommendations of the African Union Commission proposal that recommends the creation of High Level Oversight Panel. This body will have overbearing powers that would clearly undercut the legitimacy of the government and will certainly infringe on our sovereignty and so it should be rejected.

The body should be supported in as far as it can monitor and verify violations and refer its findings to the principals of the parties to the agreement for resolution.

The chapter of this proposed agreement that raises serious questions is chapter 8. It suggests that the Agreement shall be fully incorporated into the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, 2011 (TCoSS), in the event that the provisions of the TCoSS conflicts with the terms of this Agreement, the terms of this Agreement shall prevail.

Additionally, this Agreement shall take precedence over any national legislation, and in the event that the provisions of national legislation conflict with the terms of this Agreement, this Agreement shall prevail.

This, in our view, is the undoing of the legitimacy of the state and government and it completes the transfer of power from South Sudan government to the transitional authority, which is in the body of JMEC. Hence, this provision should be rejected.

In conclusion, while we are committed to the return of peace and stability to South Sudan, the latest IGAD-Plus proposal does absolutely nothing to expedite and resolve in any meaningful way the current crisis; it actually delays and exacerbates the crisis.

Moreover, it seems very clear that those who are hell bent to usurp the sovereignty and independence of the Republic of South Sudan are trying their best to seriously undermine genuine efforts to end this senseless war.

We are now convinced that the IGAD-led mediation has failed; we advise the parties to seek alternative mechanisms.

Signed on behalf of Jieng Council of Elders (JCE):

Justice Ambrose Riny Thiik

Hon. Joshua Dau Diu

Hon. Aldo Ajou Deng

Hon. Maker Thiong Maal

Hon. Daniel Dhieu Matuet

Hon. Lewis Anei Kuendit

SPLA Chief of Staff, Malong, orders ‘shoot to kill’ in Yambio

YAMBIO – JUL/01/2015, SSN;

A deadly clash erupted yesterday morning between local youths of Western Equatoria State and SPLA army identified as recent trainees of the Dinka-only militia Mathiang Anyor in Birisi Boma of WES.

This came after South Sudanese army (SPLA) chief of general staff, General Paul Malong Awan, had given orders, instructing government soldiers in Western Equatoria state to shoot anyone resisting his directives.

“You must deploy to stop this and if they refuse, shoot them. It is not up to them. You must stop it,” General Paul Malong told government soldiers predominantly members of the ethnic Dinka on a visit to Yambio town, scene of fighting, over the weekend.

It’s now revealed that the mainly ethnically dominated Dinka militia, the same as the militia that allegedly committed the December 15, 2013, killings of the Nuer tribesmen in Juba, has a newly established base in Western Equatoria State for training more Dinka militia associated directly to the chief of staff of the SPLA.

The fighting happened when the SPLA units (mostly Dinka) went on a purge and attempted to arrest local youths in Birisi village. The youths refused the arrest considering it as tribally charged.

Reportedly, in a period of two days, the SPLA opened fire on the crowd of youths killing dozens of the local Azande youth. The local youths responded in kind with few rifles in hand killing two militias and wounding one. The militas were advised to return to the barracks by the local unit commander.

Late afternoon yesterday, the militias and SPLA officers came back and retaliated randomly shooting at Boda Boda riders. Two Boda Boda riders died in the scene with another sustaining serious injuries(pic).

Dr Riek Machar: Please sign the “Proposed Compromise Agreement”

From: Choromke Jas , Canada, 31/JUL/2015, SSN;

Dear Dr Riek Machar: Please sign the “Proposed Compromise Agreement”

I have taken time to read the IGAD’s “Proposed Compromise Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict South Sudan”. I must say, IGAD this time has done an excellent job!. That is my reading of the document.

In this Forum I have in the past offered unsolicited advice to you on a number of topics. Some of these include the need to have two armies to safeguard the delivery of a permanent constitution, reform of institutions (security, civil service, economic, ant-corruption etc) and general election after the transitional period.

Today, I continue in the same vein.

It appears to me that this latest offering from IGAD-Plus fits the bill. I would like to urge you to compromise on certain issues such the illegitimacy of Kiir, extension of equal shares in executive branch to all the ten states and the special treatment of Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei states.

These, to me are adequately compensated for by articles on:

!- Reparation;
2- The Hybrid Court;
3- The Truth and Reconciliation Commission; and
4- The water-tight collegiate decisions-making between the President and the 1st Vice President.

Further positive articles are those on federalism, monitoring and evaluation, the safeguards on the electoral processes and the reorganization, professionalization, and downsizing of the army and other articles.

Of course you and your colleagues will carefully look at the draft and come up with the best options for the way forward.

However, according to the views of the many people I have talked to, the draft contains all that you have been fighting for.

Above all, it has the REBOOTING features suggested by Hilde Johnson!!

Good luck, God bless YOU and God bless South Sudan
CJ

South Sudanese community in UK says SPLM must step aside

Radio Tamazug, LONDON (27/Jul/2015), SSN;

The South Sudanese community in Britain said the ruling SPLM party must step aside and allow for new leadership in a transitional period.

The community made its decision at a peace, reconciliation and national unity conference in London on 18 July.

“The SPLM led government has violated the interim constitution, it plunged the country into serious political, economic, social and humanitarian crisis and therefore should accept out of ‘Love and compassion’ handing over the power during the transition back to the people,” read a statement from Benjamin Taban Avelino, Chairman of the South Sudanese Community in UK.

The UK community recommended that the African Union and the United Nations should help the people of South Sudan to enact an alternate interim administration.

“The patience of our people has run out and the majority have lost trust and confidence in the political system that has gone out of touch,” the conference decided.

“The government no longer serves the people equitably nor does it protect the interest of all its citizens, while the self-inflicted war destroys us. The SPLM/A led government and opposition should not scramble over power, but to know that it is the right and responsibility of the citizens to either withdraw or grant power to the government, power must not be grabbed by the barrel of the gun.”

They added that the regional bloc IGAD which is mediating a peace process in Addis Ababa cannot impose a transitional government onto the people of South Sudan as has been proposed. The group said peace must come from the people.

“The 30 month transitional period is for a long time, without the agreement of South Sudanese people,” the group said. “The IGAD imposed government would never be owned by the people. We must have the right to entrust a government that would be desired, supported and honoured by the people.”

“South Sudanese people should have the sovereignly superior power over the land, state and the government, they should be honoured to rectify and validate the peace agreement,” they added.

The conference said South Sudanese people and the diaspora must be included in the Addis Ababa talks to come up with “homegrown solutions that can truly deal with the problems created by the SPLM.”

The principle guests at the meeting were Bishop Paride Taban of South Sudan, former Archbishop of Canterbury Rt. Revd. Dr Rowan Williams, and former Ambassador of UK and EU representative to Sudan Dame Rosalind Marsden.

Radio Tamazuj photo: South Sudanese women protest for peace in Juba

https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/south-sudanese-community-uk-says-splm-must-step-aside

A Voice in the Wilderness of South Sudan: Women of South Sudan

From: Amal Ajang, JUL/24/2015, SSN;

We the women of South Sudan, shout with one voice in solidarity with our sisters, mothers, and daughters in Juba, Jonglei, Upper Nile, Rumbek and Abyei.

We shout with one voice that December 15, 2013 shall not be repeated in the history of South Sudan again.

We the women of South Sudan shout with one voice, when there is no vision, the people perish and the country suffers.

We the women of South Sudan, shout with one voice:
We are against war, and against those who have started and caused the war.

We the women of South Sudan, shout with one voice:
No to War. No to Genocide. No to Corruption. No to nepotism.

We the women of South Sudan, saw what the war has done to our nation.
When our mothers and aunties were raped, you raped all the mothers and aunties in South Sudan.

When our sisters and daughters were raped, you raped all sisters and daughters in South Sudan.
When you killed our children, you killed the future of South Sudan.

We the women of South Sudan, stand tall and strong, and shout with one voice:
We will never be defeated by rape, killings, destruction or uprooting.

We the Women of South Sudan, have seen how our nation came to existence.
We saw the long queues of thousands of our people standing patiently for many hours, for unique moment in our history, to cast their votes for the independence of South Sudan.

We shout with one voice, saying:
Our independence is our human right.

We cannot divide our Nile and take it to our tribal land.

We shout with one voice:
No to division of our mother land.
No to tribalism in our mother land.

We the women of South Sudan, shout with one voice:
Peace is indivisible, if one citizen is killed; you killed all citizens of South Sudan.

We the Women of South Sudan, shout loud with one voice:
Yes to Peace in our Mother Land
Yes to Healing and Reconciliation.
Yes to Justice

Written by Amal Ajang, inspired by the women in the UN camps in South Sudan.