Category: More Views

Gen. Thomas Cirillo’s visit to America causes jitters in Juba

By: JOSEPH ODUHA, THE EAST AFRICAN, SEPT/04/2018, SSN;

A visit to the US by a top South Sudanese National Salvation Army (NAS) rebel commander, Gen Thomas Cirilo, is causing jitters in his home country.

A report by The Dawn daily in Juba on Tuesday, suggested that the trip to Washington was part of a wider American plot against the latest South Sudan peace agreement.

In Summary
***Thomas Cirilo’s faction confirmed his presence in Washington
***The rebel leader demanded a federal system in South Sudan
***The former Army deputy Chief declared rebellion against President Salva Kiir in 2016

The deal was negotiated in Khartoum.

“We are not sure of why he is gone to the US, but we know he is there, being sponsored by the CIA,” The Dawn daily quoted intelligence sources as saying.

Rallying support

The paper said the rebel commander was rallying support from the South Sudanese diaspora to fulfill his motive of overthrowing the Juba regime.

Gen Cirilo is the leader of a faction of the National Salvation Front/ Army.

His faction confirmed his presence in Washington, but did not give details.

The rebel commander publicly rejected to sign the final power sharing and security arrangements pact on August 5, 2018 in Khartoum.

Tribal agenda

He also declined to initial the final peace accord last week, citing lack of credibility in the deal.

Gen Cirilo further blasted the peace guarantors, Sudan and Uganda, claiming they were after their interests than achieving lasting stability in South Sudan.

The rebel leader demanded that a federal system of governance be introduced in South Sudan.

The former Army deputy Chief declared rebellion against President Salva Kiir in 2016 and accused the latter of implementing a tribal agenda.

The Rise and Fall of Gathoth Gatkuoth and the Politics of Political Merger

BY: Simon Yel Yel, Wau, South Sudan, SEPT/05/2018, SSN;

Exactly, it’s less than a month since the Khartoum Peace Agreement was signed and also less than six months since the First Vice President, Gen. Stephen Taban Deng, ordered the abolition and amalgamation of his SPLM/A-IO faction with the SPLM Mainstream party.

Unfortunately, the once-time strong house of Gen. Stephen Taban is now wobbling on the brink of political precipice as Riek Machar’s comeback reality caught the political elites with their pants down.

His coming back is inevitable as baby steps are seriously taken towards Juba.

Divided loyalty, regrets for joining with Taban; political conundrum; anxiety over losing positions; political harlotry and bankruptcy; are the executive summaries of the current state of affairs of Taban’s camp that once appears united.

Make no mistake about it. The Taban’s camp is a collection of military desperados, butchers, tribalists and political opportunists that were only united under the altar of political expediency masquerading as peace lovers and leaders.

They are unpredictable and tumbocrats with narrow self-interests. They fundamentally and principally subscribe to the politics of full-belly and tribe. That is because they are tribalists and opportunists.

Historically, SPLM/IO mainstream didn’t emerge on ideological ground. It was born out of dangerous lust for power, indiscipline and opportunism. It leaders are ideologically impotent creatures.

And that is why SPLM/IO, whether Riek or Taban’s faction, will never cohere into a real political party with any political ideology.

It is a den of thieves who are determined to get rich quick by all means and it will always remain like that come back Jesus Christ again.

Beneath that house (SPLM\IO), is the history of treacherous betrayals, coups, defections, indiscipline, opportunism, and massacres.

As historians always say, no one can rig history and history always repeats itself. The abolished SPLM/IO of Taban has the curse of the original sin.

That is because the SPLM/IO mainstream was conceived in a rape. I mean it was conceived in 2013 failed coup attempt. Similarly, Taban’s faction was again conceived in another rape in 2016.

I thought Taban’s faction could redeem itself from this curse of the original sin; unfortunately, the ghost is still chasing it.

And that is why there is now a budding feud pitting the FVP Gen Stephen Taban with his erstwhile friend and the partner in crime, Gen. Gatthoth Gatkuoth.

Their political merger (Taban’s SPLA/IO and Gathoth’s FDF/SSAF) in the Crown Hotel in July 2016 was nonsense on the stilts (anarchical Fallacies). That’s because you can’t mix immiscible elements like water and oil.

Though some people touted this merger as the foundation of Taban’s formidable political hegemony in Nuerland which successfully saw his enthronement as a Nuer kingpin in Crown hotel in 2016, I was not delusional that this marriage will last long before collapsing into a heap.

In perverse logic, the merger was a Machiavellian tactic deployed to lock out Riek Machar in the battle for Nuer political kingpin and indeed in the government.

Unfortunately, things are falling apart now into public quarrel between the two leaders. However, don’t get surprised, that’s how the marriage consummated in a hotel always turned out to be especially when the partners are divorcing themselves.

In actual sense, this weird merger was neither meant to deny Riek a say in Nuerland/Nuer nation nor a political optical fusion to conjoin them (Taban and Gathoth) at the hips like Siamese twins forever.

The merger was only a Hail Mary to bargain for government positions in the name of Nuer unity under Gen. Taban. That is why most of the SPLM\IO leaders are position leaders and nothing more.

With the current readings on the wall of Taban’s camp, it’s crystal clear to those with eyes and ears that there is a trouble in paradise.

The SPLM/IO which was hurriedly and opportunistically conceived in a rape in Crown Hotel is now threatening to scramble. No, it has already scrambled when Taban ordered its merger with the President Kiir’s SPLM Mainstream.

But its poles were still strong, you know! However, now, they are falling apart and breaking down. The dismissal of Gathoth from the cabinet and the sudden eruption of the war of words between the foot soldiers of the two leaders (Taban and Gathoth) exhibits all.

However, don’t forget also to read something out of his replacement with Gen. James Hoi Mai. His replacement with Gen. James Hoi sends some serious messages about the state of affairs of the government to whoever cares to read this situation logically, not mechanically.

There is no other enough confirmation of the rift between two leaders (Taban and Gathoth) than this. “General Gathoth Gatkuoth likes to create chaos to satisfy his lust for power and resources. In 2013 and 2014, Gathoth Gatkuoth Hothnyang mobilized us the Youth of Nasir to go to Malakal and killed all the Dinka and loot whatever we can grab and use as our own.

“We were misled by him to kill everything including cows of Dinka and we extended the killing to Shilluk for supporting Dinka. This misleading will never happen again, Gathoth Gatkuoth Hothnyang.

“Dinka are our brothers and sisters and we are from one family. The same to Shilluk and other South Sudanese,” wrote the two representatives of Latjor state youth affiliated with Taban Deng on 25th August in their press release which was posted by Agel Ring Machar, the FVP spokesman on his Facebook timeline.

Before his sacking, it was reported by Sudan Tribune that he wrote a letter calling on the Youth of greater Nasir to support him in the war against Taban.

It was also reported that Gen. Gathoth wants Taban to step down from his position for someone from Barh EL Ghazal or Eastern Nuer.

Indeed, Gathoth is a butcher and tribalist who butchered many people in Malakal. One of the speaking evidence is the video filmed by two investigative journalists, Mr. Robert Young and Tim Freccia, in February 2014 in Malakal.

Owing to his rancorous betrayals and brutal carnage committed in Malakal, he brags in the interview, “Now you have seen the Nuer White army, Nuer SPLA, Nuer police; you know the Dinka; they don’t have white army, where is the Dinka white army of Salva Kiir Mayardit? It is now the Nuer White army that is fighting the SPLA.”

When asked by the journalist about Gelweng, (the Dinka Padang paramilitary group), he mockingly replied, “All Gelweng have been killed, they’re brought here and they’re all killed. Gelweng, or whatever it is, Gelweng, they are all killed. Yeah, Gelweng is not working,” he laughingly concluded.

It’s only in South Sudan where a butcher can be appointed into the government but not taken to court of law and held to account for all atrocities he has committed.

Though Gen. Gathoth is still now enjoying fresh air in Juba and moving freely in his V8, I am optimistic that no matter how long it will take, justice will be served and he will plead guilty in the court of law for all these crimes he has committed. He will never get away it!

As things stand, I can analyze the sacking of Gathoth in two days: Firstly, if Gatkhoth has died of a natural death from the President Kiir’s epidemic and unsympathetic Presidential decrees without the knowledge of Stephen Taban, then it means that the abolished SPLM\IO of Taban has really died and buried six feet underground and therefore, President Kiir remains the sole principal of the SPLM party as well as this Transitional Government of National Unity.

Hence, in the meantime (before the KPA comes to effect), President Kiir can dismiss and appoint any minister from Taban’s faction including the First Vice President on his own will.

In other words, the sacking of Gathoth and his replacement with Gen. James Hoi Mai also confirms the death of equal co-leadership at the pinnacle of the executive branch of the government and the end of Gen. Taban’s half share of title deed to the executive.

As things stand now, President Kiir sits only on the head of the government with no one else!

Secondly, if his death was sanctioned by Gen. Taban, then it confirms that the merger of Taban’s SPLM\IO and Gahoth’s SSAF\FDP, is dead and Gathoth is bound to rebel again anytime from now or join his former bosses, Riek Machar or Gabriel Changson Chang.

I am not privy to what is going on inside the tukul of Taban. But the decision by the Presidency to kill one of central midfielders of 2016 coup against Riek and his replacement with the President Kiir’s ally is something that left a lot to be desired.

In conclusion: what prompted President Kiir to bring back James Hoi Mai after five bitter years in political Siberia is something that we are all longing for to know.

Could it be for his recent election as the Nuer community leader or the death of Taban’s half share of title deed to the executive?

I will leave it for you to investigate and report it back to us.

Simon Yel Yel is reachable via maandeng2017@gmail.com

Machar signed his Death Warrant as Pres. Kiir refused to shake his hand for peace

BY: Nicola Bringi, Concerned Diaspora elder, AUG/08/2018, SSN;

We have watched the signing of the mockery peace agreement with great concern, since this peace agreement is not going to prevail as it is not addressing the root causes of the conflict.

Some may think that the problem is only between SPLM-IO leader, Riak Machar and South Sudan president Salva Kiir, but the problem is between the Kiir government with the people of South Sudan; because the government of South Sudan has let their own people down.

Instead of focusing on development and services for the people of South Sudan, Kiir turned to nepotism, uprooting other tribes from their land and relocating his tribe into other peoples’ places.

As a result, some tribes such as people of Western Bhar El Ghazal rebelled in 2012 against the Salva Kiir Regime. By that time, Riak Machar was still the first Vice President and he then supported Kiir’s policy toward people of Western Bhar El Ghazal.

In 2013 when the fight broke out between Kiir and Machar, Machar was expelled from Juba and he became a rebel. The people of Western Bahr El Ghazal thought “the enemy of their enemy was their friend.”

Now they know they were wrong, as Machar only focuses on his personal interests and does not care about the people. Many people from the ethnic group of Machar have been killed, yet he does not think about their lives, their families, or communities in general.

Some of Western Bahr Ghazal’s people joined Machar based on the following conditions:
1. The policy of Wau County’s move to Baggari must be reversed
2. The annexing of Raga to Awiel must be reversed
3. Wau and Raga must remain as one state as pre-independence from Sudan in 2005
4. There must be an adaptation of the federation of governance in South Sudan so that every group can work to develop their state
5. Accountability must be taken against those who are responsible for the killing and raping of innocent civilians in Western Bhar El Ghazal.

Now Machar is signing the so-called peace agreement without putting into consideration what the people of Western Bhar El Ghazal agreed to when they decided to cooperate with him.

He has not condemned the attacks following the ceasefire agreement and their counties are currently under attack. As they are signing the agreement, Salva Kiir is still attacking people in Baggari, Bringi, Mboro, Beselia, Bazia, Raga, Dulu, Mangayat, and Demzubier… etc.

The participants of the Khartoum so-called ‘Khartoum Peace Talks’ have never honoured any agreement…. we saw this in 2015. We also saw this with the 2016 agreement, as well as the ceasefire agreement that was recently signed in July of 2018.

They violated these agreements many times in Equatoria, Western Bhar el ghazal and Upper Nile.

Machar needs to understand that he is signing an agreement with a culprit. Salva Kiir has never honoured any agreement. Machar believes he is signing a peace agreement, but to Salva Kiir, Machar is signing his death warrant, as Salva Kiir refused to shake his hand for peace during the ceremony.

Nicola Bringi
Concerned Elder – South Sudan ‘ Diaspora

Condemning Kiir’s unlawful arrest of Peter Biar Ajak, now in Juba ‘Blue House’ Den of Lions

BY: Yom Deng Bul, South Sudanese, AUG/02/2018, SSN;

I am hereby Appealing to the Kiir’s Government of South Sudan to unconditionally free and release the South Sudanese Political Analyst, Peace Activist and a Founder of (SSYLF), Dr. Peter Biar Ajak, who is the PhD Holder from the Harvard University in US.

Dr. Biar was part of the 26000 lost boys/girls of South Sudan who were resettled to the Western world in 2001. Dr. Peter Biar becomes part of the lost boys/Girls who were brought to the USA in 2001.

My Name is Yom Deng Bul, I am a South Sudanese Child Rights Activist, the founder of Achut Foundation (A.F) that came to existence in 2007. The A.F was established in South Sudan as a South Sudanese’s Children Rights Organization. I am A Master Student from the U.O.N, and majoring in Diplomacy.

I fled South Sudan on April 27th, 2012 after South Sudan had just gained her independence on 9th July, 2012. I had survived an attempted murder at Hai-Amarat in my premise in Juba. The attackers on me were allegedly suspected to be members of the South Sudanese National Security.

I had spent seven years in exile in Kenya. I had also survived attempted forced kidnapping in Kenya until my House was attacked and raided in Roysambu Estate in Nairobi, on Feb 17th, 2018.

Currently, I am residing in Manhattan, New York City, US. I came to the US on April 15th, 2018 for a speaking Engagement purposes.

Dr. Biar was arbitrary & unlawfully arrested on Saturday, July, 2018 at Juba Airport. He was harassed and intimidated while he was about to board a Plane to Aweil Town heading to Nyamilil to attend a Red Army Foundation’s Commemoration anniversary-day, as reported by a good source.

Dr. Peter Biar was inhumanely and brutally arrested by the South Sudanese National Security (SSNS) in the VIP terminal building. He was forced into a SSNS car and transported to the Blue House, the SSNS headquarters in Customs Area in Juba where he’s being kept.

There is no proper information about what the SSNS charged him with so far. There is no proper public notice about the arrest although all the media houses and magazines are shut down by the government in Juba.

Unfortunately, such SSNS pernicious and unlawful act of Detention, False accusation & an illegal Imprisonment of an individual South Sudanese Political moderator, Analyst, Human rights and Peace activist in South Sudanese is something very common in Juba.

The South Sudanese National Security (S.S.N.S) under General Akol Khoor can decide to illegally arrest anybody they want for no reason. So this is an act is misuse of power. This continuing act of human rights abuses has amounted to war crime and crime against humanity.

This has been going on in South Sudan since the country gained her independence on 9th July, 2012. Addition to that, I am also appealing to all the International Human rights organizations, and individuals legal bodies in East Africa to join hands in advocating for the release of Peace Activist from unacceptable detention.

The Background to South Sudan’s Conflict Hostility: LEADERSHIP FAILURE

The conflict in the Republic of South began on 15th Dec, 2013. It began as a misunderstanding within the SPLM ruling Party. Due to mistrust in the SPLA/M party, it mushroomed into an out-scaled civil war that has engulfed the whole country into the violence.

The war was fueled by mistrust and power wrangling within the SPLM Party. It started as misunderstanding between President Kiir and his former Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, who become SPLA/M-IO chairman.

The war is sustained by the Government and its corrupt cartels including SSNS agents. There was also malfeasance and stealing of the public funds by the SPLM and its high rank government officials as for the case of the 2008-2010 Dura scandal.

This had led to the disappearance of $6 billion in the economy. There is constant Human Rights Violation by both the Government and opposition armed groups leading to abuses of intellectuals in Major towns, Women, Children, elderly peoples and vulnerable youths.

The civil war has been prolonged and has led to constant rebellions at various state levels but much worse in Greater Upper-Nile Region which is composed of Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity States and currently the conflict has escalated into the Greater Equatoria region, Former Western and Northern Bahr-El-Ghazal States in the Greater Bhar El Ghazal region.

This wide spread of violence is contributing to mass atrocities and abuses of citizens across the country and in a Neighboring countries to South Sudan.

The Social services such as learning facilities have been destroyed by the civil war, civilians have fled to increase the Refugees crisis in the region.

HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES

The war in South Sudan is four and half years now, violence has escalated across the country and if the war doesn’t stop, we will witness the worst. This is because the more the war is prolonged, the more it becomes complicated and complex.

There is no security for intellectual South Sudanese like Dr. Peter Biar Ajak. One could be killed by any criminal agent known as Unknown gun man in South Sudan.

The warring factions are committing more mass atrocities and violating many ceasefire agreements since 2014. The government in Juba has resorted to new tactic of inciting communities to go to war with each other.

The National Security has counted and recorded Juba populations and whoever is a new face or arrival in Juba city is recognized and interrogated.

There is use of online hate speeches, fueling up of mass atrocities across the country. The individual supporters of the warring factions in South Sudan are using their associate tribesmen and women to help them preach hatred.

This has given rise to an increase of abuses of sexual violence and sexual exploitation of South Sudanese women on the ground.

There are extra-judicial killings, torturing of the prisoners of war, inhuman treatment of abducted political analysts/leaders, Human rights and Peace activists, Journalists, Moderators and philosophers, Recruitment of Child Soldiers in the Refugee camps outside South Sudan in East Africa and including the IDP.

The civil war has increased the corruption cartels such as stealing and Looting of civilian property, cattle and destruction of the agricultural farms and the Foods items.

There has been forced adoptions and transfer of children to the other group.

The above all amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

This war and its effects on Girl-Child population in South Sudan, has increased early pregnancies, rape..etc.

There is an ongoing Humanitarians crisis fueled by warring factions using inhuman warfare tactics in preventing Aid workers transporting foods to the needy people.

Warmly regards,

Yom Deng Bul,

Contact number: yombul2015@gmail.com

Is the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) on ‘Life Support’?

BY: Dr Lako Jada Kwajok, AUG/02/2018, SSN;

Some would find the title of this piece controversial. The reason is that it implies the ARCSS was very much alive before it could be put on life-support.

To them, it had died long ago following the J1 shooting in July 2016 and the subsequent manhunt to capture or kill Dr Riek Machar all the way to the borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

However, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) had formally maintained the view that the ARCSS was on course and peace can still be achieved through it.

But to be precise, the IGAD itself had been sending mixed messages with some supporting the view that the ARCSS was indeed dead.

The launching of the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) for the ARCSS on 18/12/2017 was seen by many as the last chance to salvage it and ensure its implementation in spirit and letter.

It was hoped that it would lead to sustainable peace in the Republic of South Sudan. What transpired from the Khartoum round of peace talks made many observers conclude that the peace process is in deep trouble or maybe “gasping” before its final demise.

When the current peace process is recorded in history books, it will turn out to be one of a kind. It’s the first time in history that peace talks were moved between 3 capitals in a very short space of time.

There’s such a thing in peace talks called shuttle diplomacy whereby Peace Mediator(s) travel between different locations several times to talk to the warring parties.

It was first put to use to describe the efforts of the US Secretary of State Dr Henry Kissinger to forge a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War in 1973.

But shuttle diplomacy does not involve moving the parties on short notice between different locations like what we saw in the IGAD-led peace negotiations. It was evident to everyone that the hosts were clearly after their interests and the whole process appeared chaotic and crude.

But let’s examine the HLRF from its start to where it is now.

In spite of a reasonable chance of a breakthrough towards resolving the conflict, the IGAD handling of the peace process was faulty from the start.

It was marred by biased approaches that worked against the very purpose of the endeavour which is the attainment of a just peace in the Republic of South Sudan.

Peace talks are not random processes but guided by international norms. There is a wealth of knowledge accessible even to the layperson on how they are conducted.

Examples could be drawn, and a lot could be learned from previous peace agreements like what took place in Liberia. It’s even pleasant to us as Africans that African peace mediators were the ones who achieved the success in Liberia on August 18, 2003.

In any peace process, there’re issues to be addressed during the pre-negotiation period to ensure a successful outcome. The parties have to agree on all the points before the beginning of the peace negotiations.

The following are some of them:
1. The location for the peace talks
2. The logistics
3. The security of each party
4. The participants
5. Mediators and their roles and responsibilities
6. Timeframe
7. Setting realistic goals
8. Building trust
9. Parties’ agreement on the agenda.

The IGAD-led peace mediation is regarded by many as indecisive and easily influenced by the regional powers. Some would argue that it was as such because of a scheme being adhered to by the mediators to realise a specific result.

Others may go as far as saying that some of the influential players don’t want any change to the status quo in South Sudan. The current regime serves their interests best.

We have seen no discussions regarding the issues mentioned above in the pre-negotiation period. There were numerous instances where the mediation team overstepped the boundaries of contemporary peace mediation.

Khartoum and Nairobi were not in the plan to host the peace talks at the launching of the HLRF. The IGAD mediation team selected them following the deadlock at the peace talks in Addis Ababa. The parties were never consulted, and the move was nothing but kicking the can down the road.

Sudan entirely crafted the Kampala trip in what appeared to be a collaboration with Uganda. Again, some of the opposition groups only knew about it less than 24 hours before departure to Kampala.

It was doubtful that the opposition would have agreed to a round of peace talks in Kampala, had they been consulted beforehand.

The issue of which Organisation/Movement participates and which one doesn’t was contentious. A selection criterion was wanting.

Some Organisations/Movements were admitted to the HLRF, while others were ignored on undisclosed grounds. If individuals could be invited to the HLRF in their rights, then why not any Organisation/Movement regardless of its size?!

Furthermore, limiting the number of the opposition delegates to only 3 was a striking feature of the IGAD-led peace mediation.

Firstly, the number of delegates was not discussed with the opposition in the pre-negotiation period.

Secondly, how possible that three delegates from each party would be sufficient to tackle the enormous political, military, humanitarian, and social issues relating to the future of the country?!

Even the three delegates limit was not adhered to as preferential treatment was accorded to the government and the SPLM IO. They were allowed more delegates with the government of South Sudan ending up with a bloated delegation of over 50 members.

Some Movements offered to cover the costs of bringing more delegates to the HLRF using their private resources, but the mediation team wouldn’t agree. No explanation was given whatsoever.

But what raised eyebrows was the admission of the so-called eminent personalities into the peace talks. What was the criterion used for selection?! And how comes that they were drawn from one ethnicity?!

Furthermore, which entity recommended them for participation in the HLRF?

These questions have been in the minds of many people and yet remain unanswered. But what is certain is that they have relentlessly eroded the credibility of the IGAD peace mediation team as an impartial peace broker.

The security of the opposition delegates was never a concern during the entire rounds of peace talks in Addis Ababa. However, the Khartoum round of negotiations was a different story.

For the first time in the history of peace talks in South Sudan and Sudan, people heard of coercion, intimidation, and delegates being made to sign an agreement under duress.

The whole drama started with the signing of the Khartoum Oil Agreement (KoilA 2018) and the Khartoum Declaration of Agreement (KDA) on the 27th of June 2018.

It was stunning to many of the delegates as they thought they were in Khartoum to finish what was started in Addis Ababa only to find themselves appending their signatures to an Oil Agreement.

Oil was never part of the negotiations in ARCSS in August 2015 nor the HLRF in 2018.

The negotiation style undertaken by the Sudanese peace mediation team was unprecedented. There were no programs or agendas for the meetings contrary to what the delegates were used to in Addis Ababa.

A delegate told me that the mediators kept coming at random times informing them about what they would like them to do. The delegates mostly never knew what would happen next during their entire stay at the Police Academy in Khartoum.

The mediation team was led initially by the Minister of Defense of Sudan Lt. General Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Aouf and the Chief of Intelligence Salah Abdallah Gosh.

Subsequently, the negotiations’ file was handed over to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, El Dirdeiri Mohamed Ahmed. In fact, the negotiations’ file was back and forth between the team of the Ministry of Defense and the one belonging to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Some delegates gave two scenarios whereby diplomacy and niceties took the upper hand when the negotiations’ file was moved to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while intimidation and coercion replaced the former when the file was brought back to the Ministry of Defense.

It’s customary and indeed a requirement that the agenda of the meeting is agreed upon by the parties to the conflict. There has to be a consensus on the issues that are deemed negotiable.

But what we saw was the IGAD mediation team usurping that right from the warring parties. In doing so, it assumed a dictatorial role to ensure the implementation of what it approves of rather than what the people of South Sudan want.

Providing logistical support for delegates was quite messy. It was not clear whether IGAD tendency to do things at short notice was deliberate or indeed it was a sign of organisational weakness.

In the Khartoum round of talks, some delegates received invitations and were directed to obtain visas from the Sudanese Embassy in a matter of few hours.

They were further instructed to travel the same day to attend a meeting the next day. The mediators never thought of their short notice and the inconvenience and difficulties the delegates had to endure.

The IGAD seems to have a problem with planning things before time. It’s just unbelievable! The world has never witnessed peace negotiations carried out in such a manner.

But before the Khartoum round of peace talks, it became increasingly evident that the IGAD mediation team had run out of ideas.

The first indication was when it temporarily relinquished its mediation to the South Sudanese faith-based organisations.

The second indication was when it came up with the Khartoum round of talks that would be followed by another in Nairobi. Despite the initialling of the (Outstanding Issues on Governance) by the regime in Juba and the SPLM IO, the truth remains that it lacks the support of the majority of the people of South Sudan.

The IGAD mediation team did two things that could be seen as an admission that the ARCSS no longer exists.

Firstly, Dr Ismail Wais, the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan initialled the Agreement on the Outstanding Issues of Governance which stipulates the maintenance of the 32 states that was created by President Kiir’s government.

The act is in contravention of the ARCSS which was based on the original 10 States.

Secondly, the IGAD didn’t join the Troika in condemning the recent illegal extension of the term of office for the Presidency and the legislature.

If IGAD is mediating in an endeavour to help the parties establish a Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU), then it cannot keep quiet to the extension of the term of a government that illegally calls itself a TGoNU as well.

As it stands, the IGAD seems to be all over the place. President Festus Mogae did admit following the renewal of fighting in July 2016, that the ARCSS was severely “wounded” but not dead. But all the indicators, however, point in the direction that the “wound” was indeed mortal.

Admitting failure is not a bad thing. In fact, it shows how brave and responsible is a leader or a politician. By doing so, other peace brokers preferably from countries that do not border South Sudan would be most welcome to render their much-needed services.

The South Sudanese people don’t deserve to be held hostage to a peace process that seems to go nowhere.

Therefore, the decent step by the IGAD to take is to issue a “death certificate” for ARCSS on the 25th of August 2018 (the official end date).

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

LATEST: South Sudan Opposition Alliance rejects The Entebbe Proposal on Governance

SSOA Press Release on The Entebbe Proposal on Governance.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, JUL/10/2018, SSN;

The South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), along with Other Political Parties (OPP) issue the following statement in response to the bilateral Agreement reached between two of the warring parties (the Juba regime and the SPLM/A- IO, led by Dr Riek Machar) in Entebbe, Uganda on 7th July 2018.

SSOA is deeply concerned about the fate of the Khartoum phase of the peace process undertaken as mandated by the 32nd Extraordinary Summit of IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government held in Addis Ababa on 21/6/2018, that Khartoum should facilitate the HLRF with a view to narrowing the gap on the outstanding issues of governance and security.

We are grateful to the government of Sudan for hosting these sessions of the HLRF and the progress on security arrangements that has now been achieved.

However, we are yet to discuss and narrow gaps, let alone agree on, the outstanding issues of governance proposals that were given to us by the Khartoum mediators to which we had submitted our written responses.

Fully cognizant of the fact that Khartoum was the chief mediator, and thus in that capacity it went to Entebbe to seek ideas on how to resolve the outstanding issues of governance, we were not expecting such a turn-around.

To our dismay, the Entebbe meeting of 7/7/2018, attended by H.E. President Omar Hassan El- Bashir of Sudan, H.E. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda, President Salva Kiir of South Sudan and Dr Riek Machar (SPLM/IO) turned out to be a bilateral agreement between two of the warring parties, namely; the Juba regime and SPLM/A-IO!

In our informed view, any bilateral agreement to the exclusion of other parties will not bring about sustainable peace in South Sudan!

Therefore, we maintain our commitment to the inclusivity principles adopted by the HLRF as the only way for lasting peace.

It is to be noted that the leadership of SSOA and Other Political Parties (OPP) were officially invited to Entebbe for the July 7th meeting but kept out of the 8-hour proceedings between the government and the SPLM/A-IO; only to be invited into the meeting to be briefed about what had been agreed upon by the two parties.

We note the following in the Entebbe Proposal:

1- It is all about jobs, accommodation and maintaining the status quo. Furthermore, the agreement is tailored to suit individuals rather than addressing the fundamental issues of governance.

2- It does not address the root causes of the crisis in South Sudan.

3- It maintains the illegality of imposing the creation of 28 States, which later became 32, in contravention of the ARCSS’ ten (10) States. It is surely a contradiction to talk about revitalizing ARCSS when clear violations of its provisions are upheld. The people whose lands were grabbed as a result of this division of the country will have nothing to do with that.

4- It is a repeat of the ARCSS 2015 in that it concentrates power in the hands of SPLM alone; the party that ignited the war in the first place.

5- It is oblivious to the suffering of the South Sudanese people who are at the receiving end of this devastating war. If peace prevails, they will need every pound for repatriation, resettlement, relief and reconstruction of their livelihoods and infrastructure. The little money available is now to be spent on paying a bloated government of 550 MPs, 45 Ministers and 10 Deputy Ministers in a country with about ten (10) million people. This is why SSOA is demanding a lean government.

6- Lack of inclusivity in the responsibility sharing at the Presidency, States and Counties.

7- It says nothing about the adoption of federalism which all Parties have recognized to be the will of the people of South Sudan.

Therefore, it is crystal clear that the Entebbe meeting was focusing on power-sharing instead of addressing the fundamental issues of governance.

For that reason, we absolutely reject these proposals as they do not serve the interests of the suffering people of South Sudan.

SSOA had all along been advocating for addressing the root causes to the conflict, lean government and a federal system of governance, beginning with a clear devolution of power and resources to the states as well as the localities.

We wish to assure our membership, sympathizers and the public at large that SSOA will continue to engage in the peace process in search foR a just and sustainable peace.

That is the only way to alleviate the suffering of our people and stop the current down-slide of the country into an abyss.

****
Date: 8 July 2018
Contact: Kwaje Lasu; +1-336-575-5965 (Direct/WhatsApp)
Email: jointoppositionpressrelease@gmail.com.

A final fake peace and security mediated by IGAD Plus in South Sudan’s conflict

By: Akic Lwaldeng, South Sudan, MAY/08/2018, SSN,

“August, 2015, the Pope Francis, told a group of youth that the greatest challenge in his vocation so far has been finding true peace, and encouraging them to learn how to discern between this peace and the one offered by the devil.” (Source: Catholic News Agency);

South Sudan people are seeking a sustainable peace in the country. In fact, it has been revealed recently that the European Commission Tourist Office advisers warned their citizens about security in Eastern Africa region, such as South Sudan, Kenya and Somalia.

And recently South Sudan, was ranked as the second worst place in the world after Somalia, to live and work in; this is because there is an ongoing conflict in the country and, also, because South Sudan regime faces several forms of malicious violence on foreigners and their own people.

And the question is: what’re the prospects for building a sustainable peace are? What would be the elements in such a peace and how might we bring them about?

In spite of all the militarism that now fills the headlines, I’m feeling less encouraged that the prospects are good for building a meaningful peace over the next few decades.

After all, friends, while I am sharing my thoughts and personal experience on these issues, I often asked myself what motivates a person from Western world to return to the country governed by immoral leaders.

I did study there, but I spent the majority of my life abroad. You could say that my return home represents a reunion with the place of my origin and allows me to gain a more holistic sense of self and identity.

In other words, returning home is an opportunity to be a part of something bigger and better, which could make me positively contribute to the lives of others.

If I could remember well, at the beginning of 2013/14 after having been independent for just two years, South Sudan was deranged, the government was able to control only five regions under the regime, the rest and most of regions were under control by the rebel movement.

There was an incredible number of severe casualties and deaths, women with children were displaced time and time again as we saw many refugees killed by both rebel SPLM-IO and regime SPLM-IG.

Those who were fraught with constant uncertainty many times felt that their freedom has been robbed and they have been disconnected from their family and outside world.

Today they are struggling to maintain a sense of purpose of living, which initially led some of them to leave the country. However, they often contemplated giving up with their lives abroad and just going back to South Sudan.

On the one hand, it was very easy to do it, but on the other hand lack of security was one of the real obstacles and made their returning process difficult, because of causes that prevented them from going back home.

I recognized that the institutional conditions in order to facilitate their returning and integration did not exist in previous years, because of the wicked regime.

In so many years security hasn’t improved, the experiences that I had with my returned colleagues are appalling. They were South Sudanese refugees from the neighbor African countries and all over the globe, but they were not welcome home with dignity.

This is something unbelievable and worthless way of celebrating the returning refugees.

Anybody in this world can easily understand that the current South Sudan regime is an unhealthy system; and that it would be impossible for any sound mind to suggest them to return home.

It is true that the refugees and internal displacement provided by the United Nation camps around the country is a blessing at this stage, but we must acknowledge that a friendly coexistence and the foundations for peace building are not there yet.

In fact, it is unrealistic for refugees from the neighboring African countries to come home to South Sudan under Salva Kiir’s regime: it would be a nightmare for their lives, and it would be the same as we have already witnessed in between 2015 to earlier 2018, genocide in cities such as Juba, Malakal, Bentiu and Bor.

This happened because weak and wicked agreements supervised and undertaken by a failure organisation, so-called IGAD, which was meant to act as a mediating agency, but, in reality, was not able to accomplish this mission at a decent level.

Therefore we are calling them to step down from this worthless negotiation: we realize that to be negotiators became a business for them, and, therefore, the longer it takes, the better and more profitable job they get.

And if we want a real peace, let it be UN or AU to lead the peace process on behalf of South Sudan people and refugees, and not anyone else: in fact, in the past they have done a successful job in Central African Republic. And again they facilitated the entire peace process by the CPA agreement in 2005.

I would give some advice to those who want to help the people of South Sudan, they should put pressure and action on the regime, such as more sanctions on the individual politicians and bans on buying or transporting weapons from some countries, such as Egypt, Uganda and Kenya.

In fact, these countries have no interest in peace in South Sudan, including the toothless so called IGAD plus. In fact IGAD Plus is a dead fish, should not conduct the peace process again, in order to avoid a waste of time.

Africa has so many organisations in the continent such AU, ECOWAS, and others. And I am afraid that IGAD will never ever bring a sustainable peace in South Sudan, with due respect, it looks like a dogs whining and barking with no effect.

Finally, South Sudanese people did put faith and creditable hope on the IGAD Plus to bring peace home, but they have been let down by it.

By Akic Adwok Lwaldeng
email:Akic.lwaldeng@yahoo.com
NDM’s Representation in the UK and member of the Policy Institute for Africa Economy.

The SPLM finally admits destroying the Republic of South Sudan

BY: Dominic Ukelo, MP, Juba, MAY/06/2018, SSN;

On 4th May 2018, the members of SPLM National Liberation Council, NLC, who met in Juba concluded with their final resolution admitting to the public of:

1. Failing to institutionalize and democratize the exercise of power in their Party, which described mostly by South Sudanese people as the root cause of the current crisis in the Republic of South Sudan.

2. Their collective responsibility, as leaders of the SPLM party, for the crises that have engulfed the country.

3. Their loss of discipline and respect of the Constitution and Basic Rules of the SPLM party, which contributed to the emergence of the current crises over power and leadership.

Indeed, the innocent citizen of South Sudan didn’t commit any wrong doing to be killed or destabilized. The proximate cause of this brutal civil war was a falling out between the SPLM’s top politicians.

Therefore, giving the fact that the NLC of the SPLM, under the leadership of president Salva Kiir Mayardit, has admitted to the public and taken the responsibility of their wacky activities and irresponsibility, the people of South Sudan reserve their rights to hold the leadership of the SPLM/A accountable for their:-

a. Killing, committing rapes/abuses against the civilians in different places in the Republic of South Sudan.

b. Evil acts of destroying and pillaging civilian properties during government forces operations in several areas in the Republic of South Sudan.

c. Destabilizing innocent civilians, as the result, UNMISS continued to shelter more than 1,854,000 Internally Displaced Person IDPs, who’re forced to flee their homes by irresponsible behavior of the SPLM party.

d. Furthermore, as SPLM/A continue waging war on their own people, many civilians fleeing the country as we speak, bringing the total number of refugees so far to 4 million, scattered in the countries around the South Sudan.

4. Additional to the wide range of corruptions by the SPLM leaders, looting the resources of the country continue on daily basis, leaving civilians without basic needs; in which large financial transactions, involving politically exposed persons, defined as SPLM senior government officials and military officers, as well as their families, end up in personal accounts outside the country, those financial transactions have been unlawful or otherwise improper.

5. With all due respect to the SPLM/A and it’s history of liberation, the people of South Sudan are skeptical on the future of the country under the current leadership of the SPLM party.

6. Until the South Sudanese introduce new leaders to work for the interest of the country, to develop a road map in order to put an end to this conflict, and incubate a Marshall Plan for the interest of reviving the broken economy, the Republic of South Sudan will remain ruined and looted by the SPLM leaders.

By. Hon. Dominic Ukelo

Kiir: Stepping down may not be an option, but Reform is the way forward

BY: Apioth Mayom Apioth, South Sudan, MAY/04/2018, 2018;

“The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him” – Niccolò Machiavelli. Salva Kiir surrounds himself with the likes of Jieng Council of Elders (JCE), the former Khartoum politicians and formerly with Paul Malong Awan when he was popularly known as King Paul.

These sycophantic groups of opportunists do not question the conscientious rule of Mr. Kiir, that is why they continue to linger around whereas those of Majak da Agoot, Pagan Amum, and Joseph Bakosoro are a planet away from the discussion table.

Another significant reason of why South Sudanese and opposition parties, in particular, do not want to leave their lives to be dictated by the perpetual dull whims of Salva Kiir is that he loves to listen to just about anybody.

All kinds of people, whether they number in an entourage or a few people in number want to see and talk to the person with the highest position in the land.

This sole power that comes with being the president of South Sudan is one of the most cheerful things that he so much adores. And by talking to these varied groups of people, he gets to be pulled from one corner of South Sudan to another different dimension altogether.

With Salva Kiir being a natural introvert, he loathes criticism because he sees it as an infringement on his principles and worth.

Combating security challenges that are engulfing our nation do not play into his natural strengths of being naturally a shy person. That is why since 2005, we have had numerous insurgency starting from the likes of the late George Athor, Peter Gadet, David Yau Yau, Riek Machar, Thomas Swaka and Joseph Bakosoro.

Before the onslaught of the current political crisis, Kiir’s military solution on renegade generals was to quickly integrate them back into the mainstream South Sudanese military, because he didn’t know the proper way to create a conducive environment so they won’t be able to return to the insurgency and create a fertile environment for newer militant insurgent groups.

Shortly after the signing of the CPA, politicians were seen carting away money in boxes and every nameable enclosed container.

From 2005 to 2013, $12 billion was collected from the oil proceeds, and yet it is only 2% of the citizens that receive tap water in the capital Juba whilst after twelve years 98 percent of the population still receives water from commercial tankers.

Whereas in comparison, by the year 2004, twelve years after South Sudanese had taken refuge there no one was still receiving water from commercial water tanks in Kakuma Refugee Camp in northern Kenya.

The only visible developmental initiative of value is the Juba – Nimule Highway which was developed by the funds provided by the USAID.

Had we saved the petroleum proceeds, our people wouldn’t be living on hand-outs from the UN these days, would we? And yet you continue to say it is not easy being the president!

Come on, Mr. Kiir! Your predecessor in South Sudanese politics, Dr. John Garang de Mabior had it worst than you. How did he manage to motivate starving soldiers who didn’t receive any salaries as compared to their counterparts in the North.

John Garang did exactly that for 21 years while living on scraps not like you are living in luxury in Juba, and yet the chaos continue to proliferate each brand new day.

During the public viewing of the late James Ajongo Mawut, Salva Kiir said the opposition groups were calling for impossible demands.

Mr. Kiir, your resume speaks volume for itself: your leadership is a complete disaster, the circumstantial nagging issues continue to plague us as years passed us by without an end in sight.

We may eventually give in to our call for you to step down, but one thing that needs a complete makeover is the parliament.

There is just no way for you to take 75% of High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF), while the opposition groups remain with only 25%.

I say 75% because the presidency itself is 25 percent added on top of the 50 percent for the government groups.

It is totally fair to share HLRF 50 – 50 among the major stakeholders of the opposition and the government groups.

By starting over with a clean slate, we could generate the best candidates for the parliaments on both sides and bring them to the new Transitional Parliament of National Legislative Assembly (TPNLA).

We have all seen what your current parliamentarians have done, so why is it in your best interest to continue on this same path and just cobble together the opposition and government into one unquestionable piece of junk?

Both the government and opposition groups need to scrutinize their members and select their best-qualified candidates so we won’t fail our people this time around.

“It is said that power corrupts, but it’s actually more true that power corrupts the corruptible. The sane are actually attracted by other things than power” (David Brin).

In South Sudan, Salva Kiir has put himself above the law, mindlessly going about his business and toying with us as if we are mere playthings.

The power has corrupted his very being from his unused gray matter down to the last fiber of his simplistic cells.

The same military that he commands belong to all of us: they are South Sudanese nationals. And never has it been in our recent memory that the military has been so fragmented like these challenging days.

Our military goes for four to five months without pay. We are a resilient people and every circumstantial and trying times produce its own heroes.

In the first Sudanese civil war, we had Deng Nhial, Joseph Oduho, Joseph Lagu and Abel Alier; and the second Sudanese civil war we had Dr. John Garang.

There is no doubt that the end is near for Salva Kiir to see the might of collective power.

Our people may be spread over across different terrains of unfamiliar lands, but a new hero may be sharpening his wits and indomitable intelligentsia, so he/she may rescue her people from the jaws of a fool.

Some people may be gifted with talents of a natural hero from birth, but it is the trying and challenging times like ours that create distinguishable heroes and heroines among us.

A peerless hero in the fold of John Garang might be lurking around the corner. Our military is in total disarray, thanks to neglect from Kiir and so with this mess as a daily occurrence, anybody can stage a coup and kick Mr. Kiir to the curb.

Apioth Mayom Apioth has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA USA. He is an Admission Counselor from the University of North Dakota. He can be reached at: agutkeu@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.