Category: More Views

The SPLM govt. is a monopolist govt. but without control

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda. AUG/07/2017, SSN;

While it doesn’t help to blame people when there’s a problem, the best thing to do is to fix the problem first and then to blame later but in cases where the problem is recurring constantly, then the one who fails constantly must be targeted and blamed.

The conflict in Gok State like other States in South Sudan is the clear failure of the SPLM Governments both in Juba and in different States. The government of South Sudan has failed to know that citizens accepted her rule to protect them.

When the SPLM government fails through inaction then that is a neglect of duty. It is sad to see the government officials just sitting there watching at the citizens butchering each other like nothing while blaming them.

It means that there is a problem with the SPLM.

Moreover, it means that we do not have the government at all as the government in power is the government which clearly know hows to steal resources from the citizens but not how to protect them.

How can the government allow citizens in Gok State and other States to commit such despicable crime against each other while just sitting there doing nothing.

The conclusion one can reach is that the government of South Sudan is worse than the imperialist government that was controlling Africa from 1914 to 1990s. The imperialists or colonialists were even better since they could protect citizens and stop them from killing each other.

We liberated ourselves just to come and put ourselves in a cage of bad governance where government is doing its own things and citizens are doing their own things.

Government of South Sudan is only effective when it comes to taking of resources from citizens.

What is the use of those gunships and jet fighters that were used in fighting against Riek Machar?

What if the government ordered the citizens to surrender all their guns and if they refuse then they should be declared as terrorists and dealt with in accordance with the international and national laws governing terrorism by even employing these gunships and jet fighters?

Where they bought purposely to protect the president against Riek Machar but not to protect citizens and nation? Why are we sold alive for power?

What is happening in Gok state is the tragedy caused by the inaction of the SPLM Governments both in the State and Juba.

We must blame the President of South Sudan, General Salva Kiir Mayar for interfering with the way the Government of Gok State was running the State.

The people of Gok State should know that their problems go back to the president facilitated by the failure of the government of Gok State.

If the Governor was allowed by the President to continue imposing death penalty on those who kill others and just advise him on how to apply it properly, the current deaths of which within two months over fifty (50) people were killed would have not happened.

It is sad and incomprehensible to the Government of South Sudan running the country like a mercenary Government or proxy Government borrowed to advance the imperialists agenda in South Sudan with the sole aim of controlling natural resources.

I have never seen the Government that failed to try to control the citizens because it does not know what to do. The wisest thing the government should do under such a situation is to resign and allow other citizens who are capable to try.

However, the SPLM Government both in the States and Juba try to monopolize the system but without any control. This monopoly without control is worse than sin.

The SPLM Government has closed its ears to all the possible suggestions while lying supinely on phantom hope that God will bring a solution which is not forthcoming.

God will never bring any solution unless we human beings take an action while praying to God. That is when God can help us because God helps those who help themselves.

If God has created us, given us brain and power to change things to our benefits and then we sit there just to watch at bad things happening yet we are capable of controlling them then there is a problem. We are even putting God to temptation.

In summary, unless the SPLM government learns how to think and how to deal with crime then South Sudan will be destroyed. I really feel sad for my beautiful people that the government of South Sudan allows to kill themselves in Gok State and other States.

The Government must take a tough approach on Gok State or allow other citizens chosen by citizens of Gok State to run the State and protect them.

NB//: The Author is a lawyer by profession; he graduated with honors in law from Makerere University Law School. He participated in various works and training in community mobilization in awareness of their constitutional rights in Uganda. He is the member of Public Interest Law Clinic(PILAC) and NETPIL (Network of Public Interest Lawyers) at Makerere University; he is currently doing research with NETPIL on private prosecution; he is trained in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR); he participated in writing Street Law Handbook on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Uganda. He is practising with Onyango and Company Advocates Bunga—Ggaba, Road Kampala He is currently staying in Kampala Uganda where he is undertaking bar course training. He can be reached through: juoldaniel@yahoo.com or +256783579256.

Is the State of Emergency Decree an attempt to rescind the National Dialogue?

By: Wol D. Akech, Lawyer, JUL/27/2017. SSN;

As issues of public debate cannot be approach without aligning them to legal instruments or public policy frameworks, I decided to make an attempt in answering the question above by examining National, Regional and International frameworks and lastly personal opinion approach by discussing the chances of viability of National Dialogue alongside the State of emergency(SoE).

On July 17, 2017, President Salva Kiir issued another shocking evening presidential decree like the Justices and Judges Dismissal decree. This time, President of the Republic issued a decree in accordance with Article 189(1) of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011 (amended 2015) three (3)-months state of emergency in Gogrial, some part of Tonj, Wau and Aweil East States.

This decree came at background of intensifying inter-communal fights among the three communities of Gogrial State namely; Apuk Vs Aguok, Apuk Vs. Kuac Ayok and Apuk Vs. (Abiem Mayer in Tonj State). These communal fights left number of dozens of people killed and no one detained for the agitation of such violence.

It is not clear as well whether the National and State governments have any clear policies to settle the matter than the SoE, if any, why number of precious souls of children, women and elderly people were and are still abandon to perished and hundreds of homes burnt?

The declaration of the state of emergency in according to the Constitution is expected to be tabled before the National Legislature for approval or rejection within fifteen (15) days from the date of issuance as per the wordings of Article 189(2) which says “”the declaration of a state of emergency shall be submitted to the National Legislature within fifteen days of the issuance of the declaration. When the National Legislature is not in session, an emergency session shall be convened””.

Since the declaration of state of emergency, the Government has made no further steps to follow the provisions of this Article mentioned above; instead it has issued a directive appointing Major General Akech Tong Aleu, the Governor of Tonj State as the Chairperson of the SoE Committee in the four (4) States.

This decree met criticism because of the fear of hindrance of the National Dialogue process which is likely to infringe fundamental objectives of the dialogue by derogating basic human rights and background/true nature of inclusion of Aweil East State though there is no armed conflict or any element of SoE in this state.

Though the decree has not stated any reason for the inclusion of some of these States, senior government officials on their personal comments sought to hysterically justify the announced state of emergency by contending that the decree is necessary in response to the threat posed by inter-communal fights in Gogrial State, to stop anti-peace groups in close collaboration with local elements in the other two States(Wau & Aweil East States) or crossing to the neighbouring States in process of apprehension of the communal fights culprits or pre-empt anti-peace movements or from getting link with foreign elements in the borders of the other two States.

The same hysteria senior government officials said President Kiir wants to end the ongoing crises which have resulted into lost of lives.

What amounts to an “EMERGENCY” is not defined in our constitution, thus, it may give a misleading or vague interpretations if guidance is not sought. For this reason, it is not easy to have an agreed or conclusive definition but does not mean impossibilities of getting reasonable definition. The definition given by Dr. Subhash C. Kashyap, an eminent constitutional jurist can be applicable here.

Dr. Kashyap defines “emergency” as “a difficult situation arising suddenly and demanding immediate action by the public authorities under power specially granted by the Constitution or otherwise to meet such exigencies” (Our Constitution, 5th ed, 2011, National Book Trust).

The state of emergency as generally known undermines number of basic human rights which in any civilized and democratic society are deemed to be sacrosanct matters, e.g. freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, and more importantly beyond (undermines) what international law guarantee.

The National Human Rights Commission, Human Rights Watch and UN Agencies have recently reported and documented serious human rights violations in South Sudan whether by the Government, armed rebellions, communal factions or state sponsored actors in the whole country including some of these peaceful areas, thus the mind blogging question is, which rights will be spare/non-derogable under the state of emergency if the state authorities could committed such violations without the state of emergency?

Before I proceed into the main object of this work, one would like to state it early that the purpose of this article is to inquire whether this decree undermines the rights if so, will it not means that it will affect the ongoing National Dialogue under our National wise men?

If the answers to these two proceeding questions are in affirmative, then will it not mean that it is another mechanism that President Kiir has invented to rescind or sully the National Dialogue process? Or what could be the true notion of Aweil East State under the SoE?

It is true that the whimsical approaches being adapted by President since the start of the National Dialogue, suggest one common question in the minds of many South Sudanese whether the President means what he had said before the Parliament in December 2016?

In most cases, when there is war or natural disaster, the Government needs to restrict some of these fundamental rights as enshrined in International and National Laws. It is however true that in exercise of SoE order, people may be denied of their enshrined rights and thus suffer as well even if they(section of people) would have not suffer the effect of the cause which led to SoE declaration.

Thus, this paragraph leads us to a question whether all the states covered by SoE qualify or meet the conditions or circumstances in which the President is empowered to declare SoE under Article 189(1)?

In South Sudan unlike other countries where declartion of SoE is discussed by the Council of Ministers, President is unilaterally empowered to declare a state of emergency under Article 189(1) which states that “”the President, may upon the occurrence of an imminent danger, whether it is war, invasion, blockade, natural disaster or epidemics, as may threaten the country, or any part thereof or the safety or economy of the same, declare a state of emergency in the country, or in any part thereof, in accordance with this Constitution and the law””.

The literal and broadly meaning of this provision is that there must be an imminent danger to occur or external invasion or internal disturbances, blockade, widely spread of natural disaster or epidemic disease(s), a breakdown of law and order which endangers the Constitutional order and such dangers cannot be controlled by the regular law enforcement agencies(police).

Each of the four states under SoE, border Gogrial States generally but Aweil East State do not border the immediate waring communities in Gogrial State. Aweil East State borders Gogrial in the areas of Awan Counties of Gogrial State. It means that there is no direct boundaries between Aweil East and the warring communities nor is there events of SoE as describe under Article 189(1) while Wau State borders Gogrial in the areas of Kuach Ayok Counties, a community which is not in dispute or conflict or call a fight with Wau State currently .

So, one may ask a further provoking question as to what is notion behind inclusion of such State(s) under SoE?

This question will be answered in the conclusion or be left to the reader to digest but let us with the help of TCRSS, 2011, African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 1981 and International legal instruments(ICCPR,1966) examine as to what are the impacts of SoE in such scenarios.

Article 189(3) of TCRSS, 2011 states “”When the National Legislature approves the declaration of a state of emergency, all laws, orders or measures issued or taken by the President pursuant to the state of emergency shall continue to remain in force””.

It is apparently clear in view of this sub-article that some of the fundamental rights or Laws that give such rights or institution can be suspended by president.

In other words, this provision read together with provisions of Article 190 of TRCSS, 2011 empower the President to perform legislative power as well as his extra-ordinary executive power to suspended or abrogated institutions such as National Dialogue, the Agreement of Conflict Resolution in the Republic of South Sudan(ACRSS, 2015) or its Revitalization process, as we approach 2018, population census which is a prerequisite to elections may be suspended, thus, no elections that may be held in 2018 as scheduled and subsequently, the government can extend its lifetime as it did previously.

This is clearer in Article 190(b, c, d) where President is given dissolution or powers or power to suspend institutions.
The President of Republic has power under Article 190 and reads:
“During a state of emergency, the President may, by law or orders, take any measures that shall not derogate from the provisions of this Constitution except as provided herein:
(a) to suspend part of the Bill of Rights; however, there shall be no infringement on the right to life, prohibition against slavery, prohibition against torture, the right of non-discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religious creed, the right to litigation or the right to fair trial;
(b) to dissolve or suspend any institution of the National Executive;
(c) to dissolve or suspend any of the state organs or suspend such powers conferred upon the states under this Constitution; and
(d) To take any such measures as deemed necessary to the state of emergency, which shall have the force of law”.

Reading these provisions of Article 190 with experiences of the other States such as Turkey in 2016, Ethiopia in 2016, India in 1975-77 and others, state of emergency orders or laws declared by the Governments often introduced special powers of arrest and detention. Such declared orders or laws always have subsequent enactments of criminal laws that limit the right to fair trial, due process, freedom of expression, association and assembly.

During the upheavals in the SoE, Governments turns to torture and all other forms of ill treatment in pursuit of confessions, and sometime use the help of private persons (State sponsor actors) where abduction and extrajudicial killings are possibly endorsed. The right to have remedies like writ of habeas corpus may be suspended; as a result, victims of arbitrary arrest and detention are left without legal protection with devastating infringements.

Under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 1981 there is no derogation of any rights under the charter rights allowed during a time of emergency. This rise a legal question as to whether the member states should abide to the provisions of the Charter or regard it as a persuasive instrument which can be disregarded in presence of derogating provisions in the National Constitutions or law ?, The answer can be found in the following interpretation and case law.

In interpreting the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, it means that the Charter “does not allow member states to derogate any Charter’s rights during the state of emergency. In more liberal model interpretation that may not be accepted by conservative theorists, even in situations of civil war cannot be grounds for derogation of some of the Charter rights by State members.

In Commission Nationale des Droits de l’Homme et des Libertés v Chad (2000) AHRLR 66 (ACHPR 1995) a Communication/case filed before Commission on 11th May 1992 against Chad, the Commission stated that the “Chadian Government had failed to provide security and stability in the country, thereby allowing serious or massive violations of human rights.

The national armed forces were “participants in the civil war” and there had been several instances in which the Government had “failed to intervene to prevent the assassination and killing of specific individuals. Even where it could not be proved that violations were committed by government agents, the government had a responsibility to secure the safety and the liberty of its citizens, and to conduct investigations into murders The civil war could not therefore be used as a legal shield for failure to fulfil the legal obligations under the African Charter, and Chad was held to have violated articles 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9””.

In the provisions of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), 1966, Article 4(1) provides that: “In time of public emergency which threatens the life of the nation and the existence of which is officially proclaimed, the States Parties to the present Covenant may take measures derogating from their obligations under the present Covenant to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation, provided that such measures are not inconsistent with their other obligations under international law and do not involve discrimination solely on the ground of race, colour, sex, language, religion or social origin.”

Here it is permissible that some rights may be derogated under a state of emergency but must be only in exigencies of the situation and other basic rights cannot be derogated under any circumstances. The United Nations Human Rights Committee in its General Comment No. 29 on states of emergency (U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/21/Rev.1/Add.11 (2001), para. 5) commented that “governments need to provide careful justification not only for their decision to proclaim a state of emergency but also for any specific measures based on such a proclamation.

The notion in which presidential decree on SoE included Aweil East States shows a vague and overbroad interpretation of Article 189(1) by the Government and thus, restrictions permitted under the ICCPR 1966 Article 4(1) are likely to be derogated when they do not meet the conditions for derogation.

Therefore, one is of the opinion that SoE has preceded or misinterpreted permitted circumstances. For any suspension of some rights in States like Aweil East will not be justifiable under TCRSS, 2011, ACHPR, 1986 and ICCPR, 1966 since there is no clear elements of Article 189(1) of TCSS, 2011 In SoE in case it is submitted and approved by National Legislature, South Sudan as a member state and a party to ACHPR, 1981 should remains obligated to respect all articles of the African Charter, which has no derogation provisions.

Arbitrarily detention on excuses of exercising derogated rights under SoE or any violations of human rights should be redress according as if SoE has not been declared.

In my view, if any of the conditions contented in Article 189(1) is not fulfilled, it means that derogation in States like Aweil East or Wau are beyond the powers of the SoE order or exceeded the prescribed conditions.

The territorial extent of SoE is very clear within the provision of Article 189(1) where power confers upon the President to declare SoE either the whole Republic of South Sudan or any part thereof. For instance, if the intre-communal fights in Gogrial State is proved or considered by the President to be beyond the control of law enforcement agencies and it has reached a stage it can be referred to as an imminent danger, he can only declare SoE in Gogrial State only but not extend to other peaceful areas or States merely on grounds of controlling the movements of the so called anti-peace groups.

The movement of the so called anti-peace group can be controlled within and in the borders of a state that falls under SoE or where an imminent danger occurs unless it has become reasonable that the bordering areas or States have the same imminent danger. Henceforth, one sees that the SoE Order is highly made on erroneous grounds.

Wol Deng Akech holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) from University of Juba,
Advocate and Legal consultant, currently pursues Master of Laws (LL.M),
University of Lucknow, India. Co-founder, Screen of Rights, a National
Non-governmental Human Rights Organization, Secretary General, Board
of Trustees, Integrated Development Organization(IDO)
Lives in Lucknow, India, Email: woldeng24261@gmail.com, woldenga@yahoo.com
Tel: +917376270849, +211912507858.
23rd July, 2017

Gen. Paul Malong Awan: A No Nonsense Man who’s Neutered?

By Kharubino Kur Bol, JUL/13/2017, SSN;

The fall of Gen. Paul Malong from the corridors of power to house arrest perfectly defied an apothegm that goes, “the bigger they are, they harder the fall.” Malong was not just a powerful military figure, but he was believed to be the de facto President of South Sudan.

His relationship with the President is dated back 30 years ago. Rumors have it that the once powerful Gen. had once swaggered about his close ties with the President, “I am in Kiir’s throat, he can’t swallow me nor vomit me out; we are intertwined,” brags Malong.

However, his untimely fall left a lot to be desired and we all look forward to seeing pathologists coming out to tell the country the postmortem results of the dead ‘intertwined relationship.’

Ho yes! Amb. Telar was the government’s chief pathologist sent to Malong in Yirol. Can you please tell us something?

Speculatively, the Malong’s superiority complex is among what caused the death of the intertwined relationship.

If there was a great paradox in Kiir’s government, do not think of Micheal Makuei, it is Gen. Malong. He embodied what government supporters need and what they do not need.

He palls the people with equal ease, he charms them to support the government. He influenced major presidential decrees; he fixed his people in every angle of the government, and commanded huge followers than Kiir within the Dinka tribe.

He walked out of Freedom Hall in protest when President Kiir signed Compromised Peace Agreement in 2015. He accepts the truth and rejects the false.

He talks black and white. He is a no nonsense man.

With that charisma, Malong did not know that he has broken law number one of the 48 commandments of power by Robert Greene. In his book called “48 laws of power,” law number one says, “Don’t outshine your master.”

Malong outshone the President and he is neutered.

In his recent portfolio as an army chief, an influential position that some Generals used to breach the constitution and ascend to the presidency by coup, Malong did not strictly stand on the side of law; but stood against anyone who sought to take political capital through the bullet; stood against anyone who sought to kill the citizens and abrogate the constitution.

However, he almost brought to an end the rebellion of Riek — and indeed lamed the rebellion. President Kiir un-deservingly humiliated him at wrong time on illogical accusations concocted by gossip mongers.

To be fair, Gen. Malong was not everyone’s cup of tea. He is a ruthless military leader who believes that the war can be fairly won in the battlefield rather on negotiation table. And this belief earns him thousands of supporters.

The gossip mongers accused him of overflowing ego, Presidential ambition and offensive management of power.

However, with that rank (LT GEN.) of his and his previous experiences in politics, he is already in politics and politics does not often go without ego and ambition. Less than that, you are ordinary.

They also accused him of overstretching his hands farther than they were meant to be, and biting off more than he can chew.

Leave it or take it, Malong has won the admiration of many South Sudanese especially when he heeded the calls of his friends and the hoi polloi to return to Juba. This is a rare demonstration of leadership.

Though he was ignominiously neutered by the President and intimidated by some junior officers, Malong accepted to come to Juba for the interest of South Sudanese irrespective of their tribes and political affiliations.

With his unabated leadership aplomb, Malong didn’t lambast the government for placing him under house arrest nor did he forcefully demand for his release to go for medication in abroad. He is just suffering in a silent mode.

Do not shoot the messenger — I am just telling you the truth. Malong Awan is not AWAN. Malong knows ‘LONG’, he stands and lives by ‘law’. He is not as sly as fox; he knows law as Justice Chan Reech Madut.

He is a good and honorable man. He is temperate and thoughtful. He is not a power hungry dude. His demeanor shows a man who understands the laws and cannot misuse the army to advance his political interest___, which I believed he has none.

He does not throw bombs, or speak haphazardly and his recent serenity not to respond to reckless and antagonizing statements uttered several times by the government against him bears the witness.

As a soldier, he is a follower of Sun Tzu, a famous Chinese military strategist who taught his followers to choose their fights carefully; Know whom they are fighting and why.

In addition, know their options in fight. Therefore, Malong did not choose to fight and that is why he returned to Juba in defiance of all odds.

His exit from Juba had shaken the whole nation to the core and put all people in panic.

However, the patriotic Malong was not scheming for rebellion but to let the country know that the President is being held hostage by the gossip mongers and is running the country under their influences.

It is clear now that the witch’s brew of gossiping in J-1 will sooner than later throw South Sudan into the abyss.

On 12th of May, President Kiir unwittingly accepted that he embraces the rumors more than realities. “I was receiving reports about Malong almost every hour of people telling me things which I knew Malong was not doing. This was becoming a routine talk and it was like I was not listening to them,” Kiir cacophonously added.

“I made the changes because I wanted to see what the people coming with reports about him will have to say again.”

This misbegotten practice by our politicians to gossip against their colleagues in order to register their allegiances and trust of the President is primeval politics of 21st century. Nevertheless, it is the perceived reality in the SPLM.

The President sacked Gen. Malong because of this kind of politicking. This gossipy political creed will set this nation on the precipice if the President does not discard it soon.

However, the President seems loath to learn from his astronomical blunders of embracing gossiping. He drops a clanger after a clanger, and learns nothing. The blunders of 2013 should have served as his lessons.

In conclusion, today Gen. Malong is two months old in Juba under house arrest since he returned from Yirol. It is now upon President Kiir to genuinely reconcile with Malong, forget the past and move on.

Or else, he keeps Malong under house arrest till he, Malong, sneaks out of Juba and uses his detention as an accuse for launching a rebellion.

It is true that in politics, there is no friend but an ally; President Kiir should bring Malong back into government and teach him the table manners.

The writer is reachable via kharubino83@gmail.com

Ministers Lomoro & Makuei decry corruption and lack of confidence in Kiir’s leadership: REALLY???

From different sources, JUN/23/2017, SSN;

Two senior South Sudanese ministers and longest serving favorites who have been the staunchest supporters of the president in the government surprisingly have decried high levels of corruption, poor governance and loss of public trust in President Salva Kiir’s administration.

Really!! Is there any shred of credibility in the talk? As some of the greatest beneficiaries of the corruption, the two duplicitous and most vociferous spokesmen of the government have persistently criticized any opposition against Kiir’s leadership.

Reportedly, these two loud-mouthed government supporters have allegedly financially benefited tremendously from president Kiir favoritism.

Elia Lomoro, the Cabinet Affairs minister and a close ally of the president, said the government and its institutions lacked accountability, transparency and rule of law.

“I know all sorts of malpractices in the government have contributed negatively to the perception of the citizens,” Mr Lomoro said during the National Consultative Symposium on Good Governance and Democracy held in Juba on Thursday.

“The final step in bad governance is corruption.”

He said the country was heading in the wrong direction and its political leaders, including himself, are not doing enough to deal with the troubles.

“Addressing these issues now require political will to adopt and embrace practices aimed at encouraging democratic governance,” he added.

Echoing similar remarks, Information minister Michael Makuei Lueth pointed the finger at “some officials” who, he said, were disregarding the principles of transparency and accountability.

Without naming the officials, Mr Makuei accused them of looting state resources and compromising the government’s chance of winning in the 2018 General Election.

“The trust, the confidence is lost. We lost it simply because some of us did not care about all these principles,” Mr Makuei said, adding that “as a result the people lost trust in their government simply because of the conduct of the few.”

“If we don’t go down to address them then South Sudan will not be at peace,” he said.

War-torn South Sudan has been mired by civil conflict since 2013 that has seen thousands die and millions forced to flee to neighbouring countries. According to UN, about half of the population also faces extreme food insecurity.

South Sudan is also ranked as the most corrupt country in the world by Transparency International.

It is the first time that serving ministers expressed unfavourable remarks about the government. Others who have done so quit office.

Will Lomoro and Macuei now quit the so-called ‘corrupt’ Kiir government???

Judiciary of South Sudan: A Paralyzed and Dysfunctional Third of Arm of Government

By Tong Kot Kuocnin, LLB (Juba), LLM (Nairobi), Specialist in Law, Governance & Democracy, JUN/20/2017, SSN;

In most of my preceding articles on the state of the Judiciary of South Sudan, on how best this great institution can function effectively, efficiently and independently from the other arms of the government, I have had a number of cocktail ideas inadvertently swarming in my mind on how best I can contribute as a law abiding citizen of this country on the quest for an equal, just and prosperous society guided by the principles of natural justice, equality and liberty.

I have had in a number of times shared my thoughts and ideas on how the judiciary of South Sudan should indeed be made to meet its standard and its rightful place as an institution charged with sole responsibility to deliver and administer justice to the populace.

I have had all the time sleepless nights and days as I felt like not contributing in the quest for justice and judicial reforms much needed by our great institution as well as the people of South Sudan.

I also felt obliged not to accept, as a member of legal fraternity, the shame that befalls on us as this institution is only led, manage and administered by only and only lawyers who are deemed and presumed to be the best among the community of lawyers, people with high moral conscience and integrity, highly trained in the field of law to do nothing but administer justice to the people.

As I am left with no more words to explain and describe the state of the judiciary of South Sudan given my numerous articles and writings about the state of our judiciary, the conditions the judges and justices who are servants tasked to deliver justice impartially and without any favour to any of the adversaries faces, I shall in this article labour again to bring to the attention of not only the people of South Sudan but to the entire world of the pathetic state our judiciary has been plunged into.

As we may all recall, the Republic of South Sudan gained independence from the Sudan on the 9th of July 2011 following an overwhelming referendum vote on self-determination by the people of Southern Sudan. However, Article 123(2) of the Transitional Constitution established the Judiciary, independent of the Executive and Legislature and with a budget charged on the consolidated fund thus guaranteeing both political and financial independence from the other arms of the government.

Hitherto, the unusual process of becoming independent from both pre-existing and existing political and legal entity thus far created unresolved problems for our judiciary.

The Judiciary of South Sudan indeed inherited part of the Judiciary of the Republic of the Sudan upon which it broke cords, a judiciary that was highly weak, corrupt and was based on the principles of Sharia’a law with Arabic as an official language.

Judicial power according to Article 123(1) of the Transitional Constitution is derived from the will of the people of South Sudan and shall be exercise by courts in accordance with customs, values, norms and aspirations and in conformity with the constitution and the law but not the President of the Republic.

Thus, this literally translates that legally and practically, the strength of the Judiciary lies not in the Head of the State but in the people’s confidence that the institution can indeed administer and deliver justice fairly and impartially to the people of South Sudan.

Unfortunately, the judiciary is said to be one of the most corrupt institutions in the country in which corruption both administratively and financially has taken toll within the judiciary thus leaving the institution in these pathetic conditions.

There is such an outspoken outcry by all judges and justices that there is untold corruption, nepotism and influence by the Executive in the exercise and discharge of the Judiciary’s functions and duties.

This was put to test when the former SPLM Secretary General challenged the president’s orders to suspend him as a Secretary General and hence from the party as well.

The independence of the Judiciary was also put to test again when the Alliance of the Opposition parties challenged the Presidential Order creating Twenty-Eight (28) States which led to the unlawful removable and dismissal of Justice Ruben Madol as Deputy Chief Justice and Justice of the Supreme Court as well, a move which violates and contravenes the provisions of Article 135(2) of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 and section 8(2) of the Judicial Service Council Act, 2008 respectively.

This is the state of the judiciary of South Sudan and it will continue to be under the incumbent Chief Justice whose protection and legitimacy rest on the shoulders of the Head of State even when has lost respect, veneration and legitimacy from the members of the Judiciary.

It has to be bore in mind that the decline in public confidence, the disdain from other arms of government, and the dissipation of internal confidence within the judiciary, are the enduring legacies of the Judiciary’s own historical injustices which are evidence of an institution that hungers for renewal and a complete restoration of its lost constitutional mission and mandate.

The overweening influences of the executive has created an enfeebled judiciary, an arm of government strikingly reluctant to play its classical role in the defence and upholding of the constitutional principle of separation of powers.

This has created an institution plagued by both social and administrative corruption and inefficiency causing a veritable figure of scorn at odds with the public interest.

It has become an institution marred by crisis of confidence which was supposed to be enjoyed by both litigants and the public at large.

These pathologies, however, saw the institution develop toxic insularity and cold insensitivity and internalized privilege and entitlement rather than service to the nation and its people.

Hence, paralyzation and creeping dysfunctionality, unprofessionalism and corruption became the immediate result; as well as institutional ignominy, the resultant effect.

We have a duty to restore the Judiciary to its rightful constitutional place, and forge a new relationship with the public whose duty it exists to serve.

Therefore, the transformation of the Judiciary from a paralyzed and dysfunctional arm of the government must achieve at least three lost objectives:
—– first, it must reset the relationship between judiciary and other arms of government molded on the principle of separation of powers premised on the principle of robust independence and constructive interdependence, where the judiciary will reposition itself as a strong, effective and equal independent arm of government while engaging other agencies in the administration of justice within acceptable confines of the constitution as the grundnorm.

—– Second, the Judiciary must reorient its organizational culture to customize it with the exigencies of its social realities and its institutional design and leadership style needed to reflect known models of modern management science.

—– Third, and most important, it must emerge and operate as a service entity which serves the people. It must win back public confidence; express itself with such authority and integrity that the public will always respect its opinions and decisions even when they disagree with those opinions and decisions.

The Judiciary must recapture public imagination, not through its outdated aristocratic poise and rituals, but through the rigor of its jurisprudence.

It’s obvious that the Judiciary of South Sudan under its current leadership faces a number of challenges with respect to leadership and management.

The key ones include chronic under-capacity in leadership and management offices, lack of mentorship from the senior echelon, excessive centralization, and absence of consultancy, privatization and personalization of leadership spaces from the top leadership, clientelism, poor attitudes and ethics, discrimination and ethnicity and a weak culture of professionalism in the management of the courts.

Each leadership and management office such as the offices of the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice, Presidents of the Courts of Appeal, presidents of the High Court and resident Magistrates are supposed to have efficient professional and executive offices designed to support them to deliver their responsibilities.

The Judiciary was supposed to standardize offices in all court stations to eliminate the variations and asymmetries that presently exist.

In a nutshell however, the primary responsibility for the successful and sustainable transformation of the Judiciary rests with its leadership, management and staff at all levels and in all capacities.

A clear and robust organizational design, a dynamic leadership and management team; and a competent and motivated staff are conditions necessary for a successfully transformed Judiciary.

Rest assured that to have these reforms and transformation take place, the Judiciary needs a new face and not the incumbent under whose leadership the judiciary lost confidence in the public hence creating an enfeeble judiciary, one that has submitted to the Executive arm of government and relegated its independence, neutrality and impartiality.

The Judiciary must be restructured to have these reforms and complete transformation takes place to meet the demands of the public and continue to enjoy respect and command confidence of the people.

Under the incumbent Chief Justice, the Judiciary of South Sudan is an institution designed to fail, so frail in its structures, so low on confidence enjoys by litigants, so weak in its public support that is expected from it to deliver justice timely, and so deficient in its integrity.

This is the state of the judiciary of South Sudan under the incumbent Chief Justice. One month plus on, the Judiciary of South Sudan has collapsed before our eyes as the judges and justices went on an open strike due to the deplorable and pathetic conditions they have been undergoing since the independence of South Sudan from Sudan.

The collapse of the laws is the collapse of the state and the society; hence the collapse of the Judiciary of South Sudan is the collapse of South Sudanese society for this is the only institution which safeguards the conducts and omissions of other arms of government.

Last Word on Kiir’s National Dialogue: It’s no dialogue but a mockery of it

BY: DANIEL JUOL NHOMNGEK, KAMPALA, UGANDA, MAY/27/2017, SSN;

The swearing in of a 94-member steering committee to head the national dialogue should not be a source of joy for all of us but rather we should be prepared for more crisis or even future war.

It is the missed opportunity as the President has again failed this time to do what is required for the national dialogue to be successful and to bring a permanent peace in a country facing war like South Sudan.

It is sad to blatantly state that the current national dialogue of President Kiir is not national dialogue when tested on common sense principle but rather it is something which is like a “national monologue,” which in my opinion is but a mockery.

This Dialogue established by President Kiir is a recipe for future war in South Sudan. This is because it will not bring permanent peace in the country. Though, the war may stop now, that does not mean that it is the current national dialogue that has brought peace but the war has just been postponed for future generation.

For that reason, it is sad to see the country being bogged down in vicious cycle of violence and to also see the liberator turned president losing sight of the long cherished principles of justice, liberty and prosperity in South Sudan.

In fact, for South Sudan to realize these principles, there must be someone who is solely concerned with the protection of the lives and welfare of South Sudanese but not power and wealth.

These are what are understood to be the ultimate aims of politics in South Sudan, which is contrary to the leaders that South Sudan wants.

Leaders that South Sudan wants as already stated in the above paragraph are selfless individuals whose goals and objectives are that of the country guided by the principles of justice, liberty and prosperity for all South Sudanese.

Failure to get the leaders of the type as described in this paragraph to run the country will keep the country on prolonged war and indefinite crisis.

Once the crises have been the order of the day in any country it will be hard to end them quickly. South Sudan has reached that state of unending crises and once the armed stage has been reached in any conflict, it is always difficult to stop it and the longer an armed struggle continues, the more difficult this becomes.

In the unending crises like the case of an internal armed conflict like what we see in the context of South Sudan, the only viable option to such crises is to engage in a process of negotiations, which is an essential step in finding a solution.

This article, therefore, is the last word on the President Kiir’s dialogue which is a mockery of national dialogue in its real sense.

The president in fact disguised his plan to frustrate all attempts to solve the conflict which may affect his personal interest to remain in power by coming up with this substandard national dialogue.

For the National Dialogue to be described as such, it must be unconditional, which lacks in the present national dialogue of President Kiir.

It was therefore a mistake for the President to establish the National dialogue and then restricted it in respect as to who should participate in it and who should not. Restricting it as such as witnessed in the case of Dr. Riek Machar who the President refused to participate was the beginning of the failure of the said national dialogue and we are wasting time and national resources on what is not going to be successful in the end.

As I have already stated above, this article is my last word in this regard is that the current President Kiir’s National Dialogue, which is not a national dialogue nor is it a national monologue as many call, but it’s a mockery of national dialogue.

I have stated here that it is not national dialogue because of the following reasons—
First all, for the national dialogue to bring permanent peace it must be inclusive. This means that all key interest groups such as women, youth, opponents or rebels in the case of South Sudan and other hated groups should be invited to take part in negotiation.

Because of a need to create trust and deeper understanding among all the participants, the process of national dialogue must begin as a political process. For the process to be deemed as political process it must be accepted by all parties that must be inclusive, transparent, and consultative in the preparatory phase that sets the foundation for a genuine national dialogue after that.

In relation to the above, the decision on how a national dialogue should be made by all the parties to the conflict as was the case in South Africa in 1990s. For example, before the National Dialogue was conducted in South Africa, the opposition parties were all invited and in response to invitation, they formed the “Convention for a Democratic South Africa” or CODESA, whose aim was to form part of a political negotiating process.

The CODESA, as a whole was divided into various working groups that worked on the preparation for national reconciliation, which took a period of two years i.e. 1991-2. These Working Groups met and negotiated frequently and after that they eventually delivered their reports on their agreements and recommendations.

This example from South Africa clearly illustrates the fact that the national dialogue is almost like the real political process that results into ordinary peace agreements as was seen in the case of Compromised Peace Agreement (the CPA), 2015.

Nonetheless, the only difference between the ordinary peace agreements and the national dialogues or national reconciliations is that whereas on one hand the former is negotiated between the warring parties only as seen in the case of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), 2005, the national dialogue on the other hand, involves the whole nation.

Otherwise, the two are the same in a way that peace process involves intense political process as the dialogue itself.

To sum up on this point, for the national dialogue to be successful, there must be preparations, which are undertaken carefully and transparently by a preparatory committee that must be inclusive of all major parties to the conflict.

In respect to South Sudan in relation to this point, what the President ought to have done was to give independence and neutral party to the conflict responsibility to invite unconditionally all parties to the conflict including Dr. Riek Machar in South Sudan to negotiating table where they would agree on comprehensive and permanent cease-fire which will be followed by agreement on how national dialogue should be conducted.

Failure to do this confirms my last word on President Kiir’s Dialogue that it is neither a national dialogue nor a national monologue but it is a mockery of national dialogue.

The second reason I deem the present process in South Sudan not to be regarded as national dialogue is that it is not transparent since it lacks public participation.

The present so-called national dialogue is only composed all friends to the president who are not neutral and because of that it is in risks of or has lost legitimacy at the start. This is because there is a serious restriction on the public participation and also no way to keep the public informed about the process of national dialogue given the rampant insecurity in the country.

For the national dialogue to be successful, it must go beyond the delegates who are in the room. Hence, a national dialogue, should therefore, have mechanisms to include the broader population so that the public is able to understand the whole process and further able to contribute to the process of national dialogue.

Thus, the broad participation can only be achieved by linking local dialogue processes to the national dialogue, as well as through public consultations, regular outreach, and coverage in the media.

Failure to involve the greater public by the present proposed national dialogue makes not to be transparent which shows that it is very weak and consequently it will never achieve its purpose. This explains the fact that it is not a national dialogue as some people have perceived it.

Thirdly, a national dialogue must be led by a credible convener. The credible convener means the one who heads the dialogue. This is important as it helps to secure the participation of a wide variety of stakeholder groups since the process can be fair as it avoids the perceptions of biasness. Hence, a credible convener is very utmost important.

The convener may take the form of a single person, a group of people, an organization, or a coalition of organizations. Besides that, the convener must be a respected individual or group of persons or the convener should be respected by the majority of citizens and should not have any political aspirations or goals that would present an obvious conflict of interest.

The recent processes in Tunisia and Senegal for example, owe much of their success to the credibility of the conveners.

Relating this point to the present South Sudanese National dialogue, it is my contention that the convener appointed by President Kiir though may be neutral it is not credible as he is old and also his appointment is not sanctioned by all the parties to the conflict.

This may make him or two of them not credible conveners in the real sense and hence the said national dialogue is not national dialogue in the actual sense.

Fourthly, for the process to be termed as national dialogue, it must be topped by the agenda that addresses the root causes of conflict. This is because a national dialogue seeks to reach agreement on key issues facing a country.

It is for that reason, months or even years of pre-negotiation or consultation is needed purposely to allow the parties to identify and agree upon the fundamental issues that constitute the basis of the conflict.

The issues such as national identity, political rights, basic freedoms, institutional reforms or constitutional reform, equitable sharing of resources, election procedures, and the structure of government, which are central to the conflicts in South Sudan must be considered in the national dialogue negotiation or process.

Hence, a national dialogue’s agenda should provide for substantive conversation around the major grievances of all key interest groups in the country.

As seen in the above explanation the national dialogue must be started with the identification of the root causes of the conflict. This is important because once such root causes are identified and addressed, the permanent peace can be secured and the brighter future of citizens assured.

It is because of this fact the present proposed Kiir’s national dialogue is not a national dialogue in the real sense.

Fifthly, for a national dialogue to be called national dialogue and to achieve its purpose there must be clear mandate, structure, rules and procedures. This is because National dialogues often take place outside the existing institutions of government.

The reason for conducting it outside the government is that the sitting government and existing institutions are unable to resolve the major issues at hand, either because they are seen as neither legitimate nor credible, or because they are unwilling to challenge the status quo.
It is for the above reason a national dialogue is supposed to have its own set of procedures and rules for making decisions, which should be transparent and carefully geared towards the goal of achieving its purpose which is permanent peace.

There must be procedures that should include mechanisms to break deadlocks if an agreement cannot be reached. Furthermore, there must be a clear mandate that gives authority to a national dialogue committee. This must be established either through a peace agreement, law, presidential decree, or some other manner.

For example, the clear mandate of Tunisia’s national dialogue allowed delegates to make steady progress toward four goals: selecting a caretaker government, approving a new constitution, establishing an electoral management body, and setting a timetable for elections.

In relation to South Sudan, the National Dialogue Committee should have been given clear mandate to achieve four clear goals as stated in the above paragraph. This is important because there is a need to establish a new system which will involve dismantling the current system.

Failure give the national dialogue committee mandate to carry out the activities as explained here makes the present national dialogue not a national dialogue in actual sense.

Sixth, for a national dialogue to achieve its purpose there must be agreed mechanism for implementation of outcomes. Hence, national dialogue should clearly lay out the plan that will ensure that the resulting recommendations from the pre- and national dialogue negations are implemented.

As already pointed out above, the plan mechanism should involve the enactment of a new constitution, law, policy, or other programs and it must also take into considerations the issues of transitional justice, constitution making, and elections.

It must be noted that without a clear implementation plan, a national dialogue is at risks of consuming extensive time and resources without producing any tangible results.

This is because the political transition achieved through wrong procedure, which is produced by hastily organized national dialogue is a failure.

For that reason, for a national dialogue to be successful in South Sudan, it must have clear agreed mechanisms that will guide the transitional government in implementation of the outcomes of the national dialogue, which importantly include a political transition.

Lastly but not least, what makes the present national dialogue not a dialogue in the real sense is because the President does not have powers to institute the National Dialogue Committee.

The committee and the convener that should be selected to constitute national dialogue needed in South Sudan must be agreed by all the parties to the conflict, which is not the case in our purported national dialogue.

In conclusion, my last word on national dialogue of Kiir as based on all the reasons given above is that it is not a national dialogue in the real sense. Thus, for it to be national dialogue it must meet the principles explained above which in brief are inclusiveness; transparency, credible convener; it must be able to address the root causes of conflict in South Sudan; it must have a clear mandate, structure, rules, and procedures and agreed mechanism for implementation of the outcomes.

Without meeting these principles, I am afraid the constituted national dialogue has failed from the start. This is my last word!

NB//: the author is the human rights law and can be reached through: juoldaniel@yahoo.com

Our land, Oil, 16 May, Citizenship & Nationality – taken away by Chinese Masters: Is it New Colonization or Slavery in South Sudan?

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda, MAY/16/2017, SSN;

Summary:
***South Sudan has oil but does not know the terms of the contract with the Chinese Contractors. From this oil contract, South Sudan’s government made $316 million from oil sales in about seven months in 2016, the UN says and in March 2017, South Sudan was declared to be under threat of famine.
***At least half of the country’s budget is being spent on arms even though a famine has been declared.
***South Sudanese workers who are the owners of the oil are working in worse conditions than slaves: they are paid peanuts, work under worse conditions. Government officials are bribed to award Chinese Masters contracts whose terms they do not know.
***The China National Petroleum Company (CNPC), the biggest investor in South Sudan’s oilfields is the master and the controller of oil resources while South Sudanese are slaves on their land.
***South Sudan’s oil is proving to be one of the trickiest puzzles: it has 7 billion barrels in proven reserves, small compared with African oil giants such as Nigeria but enough, if it was all extracted, to meet the oil needs of the United States for a year.

How South Sudan uses its oil, which accounts for almost all of the country’s income is not clear. But war and corruption rules the oil drilling.

We all fought the war. The main reason we fought the war was to control our resources so that we use them for the development of ourselves and our country. This was the hope every South Sudanese had before independence of South Sudan. This in fact is a well founded hope as South Sudan in actual sense is a large country endowed with a lot of resources.

According to African Economic Outlook, Special Thematic Edition of 2013, South Sudan is a large (619 745 square kilometers) country that is very rich in natural resources, many of which remain to be discovered. It also pointed out that the available natural resources are water, hydro-power, fertile agricultural land (about 90% of which is arable land), gold, diamonds, petroleum (with proven reserves of 7 million barrels), hardwoods, limestone, iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica and silver.

Furthermore, South Sudan has a lot of wildlife of which protected area of Bandingilo National Park that hosts the second-largest wildlife migration in the world is one of them. Besides, South Sudan is rich in agricultural land, which includes the largest populations of pastoralists in the world.

In spite of the many resources as listed in the above paragraph, South Sudan remains one of the poorest countries in the world because it has not utilized other resources except the oil or petroleum. Hence, this article discusses the management of oil contracts in South Sudan; negative impact such mismanagement has on South Sudanese citizens, corruption embedded in and surrounding oil production and business, mysteries about the oil contract, negative impact the oil production has on citizens.

Above all, disenfranchisement of citizens which made them to become slaves in their own land while Chinese citizens exploiting and killing them by supplying guns to both rebels and the government, which end up being used indiscriminately against innocent citizens. Hence, my discussion will be as explained in this paragraph.

What needs to be noted at the onset of this article is our oil contract is controlled by Chinese and Khartoum. This is because the oil contact which establishes the relationship between South Sudan and China was the one signed between Khartoum and China before independence of South Sudan.

However, since independence, South Sudan has not reviewed the said contract and does not have any intention to review it. The reason for this reluctance is not known.

Nevertheless, it appears that the failure of the Government to demand the contract from China and Khartoum is due to two reasons as explained below:—

First, there is lack of seriousness and political will on the side of the government or if not there must be a dominant group of people within the government who are benefiting from the oil and because of that their desire is to leave things as they are. This is the first possible reason.

Second, the failure of the Government of South Sudan to review the oil contract may be due to the fact that China threatens South Sudan if it insists on reviewing the said oil contract. Otherwise, if that is not the case, then under ordinary circumstances, any Sovereign Country would not allow herself to go into a contract that it has not understood.

In fact, the first action the Government of South Sudan would have taken immediately after independence was to recall all contracts signed by Khartoum in regard to South Sudan oil and other resources in order to review them.

However, that was not done by Juba and it is not clear why Juba decided to continue with the contract signed by Khartoum with China though its terms are not up to date disclosed to the government of South Sudan.

In addition, failure to adhere to the principles of transparency and accountability in oil management in South Sudan has left corruption at oil sector flourishing uncontrollably.

To prove this fact one has to go to Juba city and other towns in South Sudan to see what is going there. For instance, if one goes there with the purpose of proving this point, the first thing he or she notices on the streets of Juba, the capital of South Sudan and other towns is a lot of white Toyota Land Cruisers, V8, Hammers and other expensive cars.

All these cars except for the UN and foreign missions, are bought with oil money and since oil constitutes 98% of country’s income, no much money is left to develop and provide services to the people.

Thus, all services are not available because of corruption which has very much affected oil sector, which is the only source of money in the country. Even this sector generates more than enough money but all is stolen.

What even worries me or complicates or worsens the matters is the lack of knowledge about the debts South Sudan owes to other countries and the World Bank. This is because debt management is poor since there is no transparency and accountability in borrowing and terms of repayment. In other words, debts owed to other countries by South Sudan are not known.

However, the recent International Monetary Fund report for 2016 on the Republic of South Sudan staff under article iv consultation concerning the debt sustainability analysis, economic crisis and continued political instability, it has been found out:
“That the total external debt remained at about US$1 billion through 2016; that by June 2016, debt to the World Bank amounted to US$34 million on IDA terms, while US$100 million had been borrowed from China Exim Bank to reconstruct Juba international airport. That the balance of outstanding oil advances from international oil companies and traders is estimated at US$219 million. Finally, the Bank of South Sudan (BSS) has an outstanding liability to the Qatar National Bank amounting to about US$610 million, originating from short-term credit facilities (guaranteed by the Government of South Sudan) that fell into arrears in 2015”.

In addition, on April 16, 2015 the Eye Radio reported Dr. Lam Akol to have said that the government had accumulated more than ten billion US dollars in foreign debt, which he said is not a secret, although he did not disclose the source of the information (visit: www.eyeradio.org/south-sudan-accumulates-10m-debt-3-years)

It should be noted that since 2008, China and South Sudan have concluded agreements worth about 10 billion USD and the latter through official channels has expressed willingness to have Beijing’s support for projects worth 8 billion USD (visit: africanarguments.org › Home › Politics).

All the money mentioned above are not granted for free but they are debts that must be repaid by the Government of South Sudan with interests. What is even bad is that there is nothing to be shown as a project on which the above money was spent on.

This is because the lenders do not monitor how the money borrowed from them is spent by the government. Hence, all money borrowed end in individuals’ pockets.

It should be observed that it is oil under the ground which is being sold by the present government and by the time it has gone, South Sudan would be left without oil but unpaid debts that will make us slaves to creditors, the ownership of our resources will be taken away by Chinese Masters and others business organizations.

Oil companies have corrupted the system in South Sudan by circumventing rules of procurement through bribes. This enables them to find their way straight to top officials with plans, hence bypassing the law or other arrangements and are awarded contract though they have not qualified under the strict procurement rules. Lack of accountability and transparency hides this serious corruption.

To make the matters worse, some of the South Sudanese technocrats that had returned from Sudan or other countries with knowledge to work in South Sudan’s oil industry have conspired with the Chinese Oil contractors; hence, declining to publish figures like oil output and revenue, which they consider too important to reveal.

We cannot blame China much but our government of South Sudan since it is the one duty-bound to fight for the interest of citizens of South Sudan.

Sadly enough, our government is acting like an imperialist government which only works for private interests. Currently, our government has allowed control over oil to be exercised by Sudan and China, which still have absolute control over oil resources in the country.

As a result, Chinese treat citizens of South Sudan working at oil sector like slaves: they are paid less than wages or salaries given to the Chinese workers or employees though South Sudanese workers or employees may be more qualified than their Chinese counterparts.

In order to remain in control of the oil, China is fueling the war by supplying guns to both rebels and the government, though the supplies to the government is more than to the rebels as the Government is presumed to be in control of the oil.

In order to take control over our oil, the Chinese must be forced to be more transparent.

The country’s rulers are struggling to crush several rebellions using arms from China purposely supplied to keep the war going so that they benefit out of the chaotic domestic politics as the government and oppositions are struggling for power, money, politics and resources and for the government to maintain their dominance over the country resources.

NB// the author is human rights lawyer and can be reached through: juoldaniel@yahoo.com

Ukraine on the spot for massive $264 Million arms sale to South Sudan

By: JOSEPH ODUHA in Juba, THE EASTAFRICAN, May/14/2017, SSN;

The United Nations has accused Ukraine of supplying weapons to South Sudan against an international embargo.

A report by the UN Panel of experts (PoE) monitoring the international compliance with the arms embargo on South Sudan, disclosed that Ukraine was supplying weapons that have perpetuated the conflict in the famine-ridden country.

PoE cited the case of an ilyunshinil-76 transport aircraft that departed from Kharkiv airport in Ukraine, bound for Gulu in Uganda on January 27, 2017.

Jets and engines

It said the aircraft manifest indicated that it contained two L-39 jets and engines provided by Musket OU, a company based in Tallinn, that were overhauled, and that the flight was operated by the Ukranian Defence ministry.

“Subsequently, the government of Ukraine confirmed to the Panel that the two jets were listed as being operated by the Ugandan military and that the end user certificates indicated that the aircraft were to be used only for advanced piloting training,” the report reads.

However, PoE disclosed it was investigating if the aircraft were transported to South Sudan following reports that there was a new military plane with obscured marking, parked at the Juba International Airport.

During battles

PoE also revealed that it was probing another Hungarian fighter jet pilot Tibor Czingali, who was contracted by the Ugandan Air Force, but had allegedly been seen flying South Sudanese L-39 aircraft.

The experts believed that jets based in Uganda were operating in South Sudan during battles between government forces and rebels.

PoE has recently received documentation from a confidential source that details a contract, signed in June 2014 by two National Security Service officers, for a company based in Seychelles to provide weapons to the South Sudanese Internal Security Bureau of the Service, headed by Akol Koor.

Heavy weapons

The contract sum was reported to be $264 million, covering a large quantity of heavy weapons, small arms and ammunition.

“Among the items are 30 T-55 tanks, 20 ZU-23 anti-aircraft weapons, 5,000 rounds of T-55 tank ammunition, 10 BM-21 “Grad” rocket systems, 10, 000 122-mm M21OF rockets, 3, 000 S8 rockets for Russian-made Mi-24 attack helicopters, 20 million rounds of 7.62X39mm ammunition, 50, 000 AK-47 assault rifles and 12,000 RPG-7 rounds. The Panel is investigating this order to establish whether it was executed as outlined,” the report noted.

Key entry points

The panel report also detailed that the border areas between South Sudan, the Sudan and Uganda remained key entry points for arms to Juba, adding that more weapons were reportedly flowing into the war torn country through the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It also alleged that there were persistent reports and public accusations of arms being flown to South Sudan government forces by Egypt.

PoE said it had interviewed one Pierre Dadak, a jailed polish arms dealer who revealed that between January and June 2014, the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army-In Opposition, under Riek Machar command, approached him seeking 40,000 AK-47 rifles, 200,000 boxes of AK-47 ammunition, 30,000 PKM machine guns, 3,000 anti-tank rounds, 300 anti-tank guns and 300 anti-aircraft guns.

Humanitarian crises

South Sudan has been at war since 2013 after a major fallout between President Salva Kiir and Dr Machar.

The country was is currently battling one of the world’s biggest humanitarian crises caused by the conflict. END

South Sudan Economic Crisis: Presidency is both the blame & the solution

BY: Thondit Ayolcuer Majiec , MAY/03/2017, SSN;

Before I could tell you how the presidency has failed to avert this crisis from occurring, let me remind some of you that our president has done some good things before things started going astray, noticeably, the followings are undeniable good things his administration has done for this nation.

Our president himself is very patient man, it was alleged that during the liberation days, he was not given lots of money that he could have used to rent for his house in Nairobi because he’s a man with vision, he wasn’t seen leading a quarrel with his boss by then, Dr. Garang.

When he succeeded Dr. Garang, he managed to ensure national cohesion for all South Sudanese, his administration managed to exist as a result national cohesion against the common enemy (Arab) and the independence of South Sudan in 2011 was achieved.

President Salva Kiir is a man of peace as evidenced by so many amnesties his administration had been giving to various rebels factions.

However, his administration went astray as evidenced by the following narratives:—
1…Failure to control economically all his executive and legislature. In my view this point is the major cause of this crisis because, if he had controlled what went into the pockets of those who’d been working with him and those large and forged withdrawals from Central bank unless approved only approved by him.

2…More importantly, if he had led by example so that his office is free from corruption and numerous thieves, he’d have averted this very crisis. His signature and stamp were reportedly forged by people who worked in his office on faked payments paid by the Bank of South Sudan.

3…It is one of the reasons that showed his administration’s lack of control. As I write, it’s reported that our nation has depleted its reserves.

4…Due to of lack of control, many people looted our nation and that was how list of 75 thieves emerged.

5…Failure to invest in government parastatals, our government has never invested in any income generating activity but instead relied on oil, no agricultural schemes established, no good roads except Nimule road, no functioning sugar plantation and sugar factory, no functioning cotton farms, no functioning simsim plantations and simsim factory.

6…Because of the education sector’s weakness, our people have their children taken to Uganda and Kenya, as I write our girls in Nairobi are called “black gold” (new term for South Sudanese Prostitutes) while they are selling themselves also in Uganda.

Is that what we fought for, are those girls not possible wives, sisters and daughters of South Sudan?

In short, the president has become friends to those few elites but not to the general public. Because of that, no one had been prosecuted for corruption by South Sudan Anti-corruption commission, nobody has been jailed leave alone recovery of the looted money.

It should be noted that all those that had been in Kiir’s administration are those with personal interests (enriching oneself, nothing more) just revisit the list of 75 thieves and you will concur with me.

For example Central bank is supposed to regulation money supply, control the value of currency through monitoring exchange rates, encourage commercial banks to lend out money to entrepreneurs or general public among others, instead it is just encouraging looting of national coffers.

One thing that has perplexed me in that emotion of appointing Dr. Othom Rago when he was part of the mess that happened in the Central bank…let’s wait for that Miracle of economic recovery with these old faces in the system.

Untimely joining of East African economic integration, I do not who advice Mr. President. Economic integrations are joined for mutual benefits but not just for the sake of joining. As I write our nation is a dumping grounds for fake drugs (medicines), expired food items, center of prostitutes for all East African prostitutes, center for all wanted criminals from East African countries.

In short there is nothing developmental from joining East African economic integration because we do not have what we could export to them in return.

Just move around Juba, you will never find any East African trader that has constructed a shop, restaurant or is involved in large scale business that employs citizens and generates a revenue to the government, they are all here to loot as much as they could and return to their respective countries.

Ever since Kiir administration came to power, there has been no long permanent roads constructed with exception of the Nimule road. The states are not connected to the national capital via tarmac roads, so the question is: what will the general public remember Kiir’s government with exception of being number two in the corruption index.

Talking of employment, Kiir administration has failed to ensure equitable employment of South Sudanese in NGO’s sector even though all NGOs are regulated and monitored by south Sudan relief and rehabilitation commission. As a matter of fact, all NGOs are dominated by few tribes.

Reliance of our nation of black market for exchanging hard currency. As I write if you walk into Forex bureaus in Juba or any commercial bank, you will not get the hard currency as the central bank’s rate, no hard currency in forex bureaus when they are meant to do the buying and selling of various currencies.

Black market now is the forex bureau that is our tragedy. It is only in South Sudan where black market is a parallel financial market. All that is the weakness of Central bank of South Sudan, instead of doing its work they are not doing their work but they are part and parcel to the flourishing of black market in South Sudan.

The last mistake that Kiir administration had done is rushing to become signatory to Human rights, our nation does not require rule of law but it requires jungle laws that used to exist during the bush.

For example when a soldier commits adultery or loots public resources, he is given a firing squad. Because of those laws, South Sudan was peaceful during war time than now. If his administration hds adopted elimination method, he would have eliminated various opponents by now and this nation would have been free from the nonsense of war now, its opponents would have been exiled, executed or lived in fear and that is what exactly in needed here.

When you are a politician, you are not like a priest, as such Kiir would have executed many of his opponents long time so that everyone listens to him, let him visit Rwanda and Uganda to understand what I am talking about.

In conclusion, I would like to recommend that the money that is to be obtained soon from donors to fight famine should be used wisely, we as general public or concerned citizens are concerned with results but not speeches or reading some good news of signing donations, aid or debts, but we care about results.

If citizens suffer under SPLM leadership, they will not forget their suffering now but remember it for years to come and this will negatively affect the party’s credibility. Everyone in your leadership seems to have forgotten what their professional ethics demand them to do but works against you by concentrating on looting.

South Sudan: New Spate of Ethnic Killings by Kiir’s government

Nairobi, APR/18/2017, SSN;

Urgent Need for Justice; UN Should Increase Patrols in Wau: Government soldiers and allied militias deliberately killed at least 16 civilians in South Sudan’s western town of Wau on April 10, 2017, in what appears to be an act of collective punishment, Human Rights Watch said today. The attacks were against people presumed to support the opposition because of their ethnicity.

The killings followed weeks of tensions in the area, where South Sudan’s government has carried out an abusive counterinsurgency operation since late 2015.

When the UN Security Council meets to discuss South Sudan later in April, it should condemn these crimes and ask the peacekeeping mission in South Sudan what steps it intends to take to deter further revenge killings in Wau and the surrounding area.

“The pattern of abuses by government forces against civilians in Wau has become predictable, with soldiers taking revenge against unarmed civilians based on their ethnicity,” said Daniel Bekele, senior director for Africa advocacy at Human Rights Watch. “The South Sudan authorities need to call a halt to the killings, investigate, and bring those responsible to justice.”

In November, a special investigation commissioned by the UN recommended that peacekeepers should move around in armored vehicles rather than remaining in their bases to better identify threats to civilian lives and prevent rapes on their doorstep.

The UN is expected to release an update on steps it has taken to carry out those recommendations on April 17.

Hostilities erupted on April 8, outside of Wau, when government forces opened an offensive on opposition-controlled areas and opposition groups counter-attacked. The opposition killed two high-ranking government officers, including a prominent member of the Dinka tribe from the neighboring Lakes region.

On April 10, government soldiers and Dinka militiamen went from house to house in ethnic Fertit and Luo neighbourhoods on the southwest side of Wau, and killed at least 16 civilians, apparently in retaliation for the killing of the two men.

Government authorities prevented UN peacekeepers from moving freely around the town, limiting their access to areas where the violence occurred.

The recent violence displaced nearly 8,000 people, about 3,800 of who sought safety in the Catholic church. Others have moved to a site adjacent to the United Nations’ Mission to South Sudan base, where more than 25,000 people had already gathered under UN protection.

A 26-year-old Fertit, mother-of-four, who is married to a Luo and was living in the Nazareth neighbourhood, said she was at home preparing a fire when she heard gunshots in the morning of April 10: “The attackers came over to my house. They wore civilian clothes, had their faces whitened with ashes, and carried spears and guns. I lied and told them that my husband was a Dinka and they said they would not kill me because I am their wife. They said: ‘don’t go out in the streets because we are killing people.’ When it calmed down, I went to my neighbor’s house. She had been shot in the eye. Her four children, between 3 and 15, were hiding under the bed. They were killed too. I saw their bodies.”

Human Rights Watch expressed concern about the possibility of further attacks on civilians, and urged the peacekeeping mission, UNMISS, to increase the number of troops stationed in Wau and to ensure adequate patrols of sensitive areas, such as around the Catholic church and southwest of the city.

After Kenyan troops withdrew from the peacekeeping mission in 2016, the contingent in Wau has been short staffed.

The UN’s response to the deteriorating situation in Wau will be an important test of the mission’s ability to improve protection of civilians in hostile environments, especially following attacks on bases in Malakal and Juba last year, Human Rights Watch said.

In Wau, the abuses have followed a familiar pattern in recent years, with hostilities between government soldiers and opposition forces followed by retaliatory attacks by mostly Dinka government forces and militias against ethnic Fertit and Luo civilians.

In May 2016, Human Rights Watch documented a surge in government abuses against civilians in Wau and surrounding villages beginning in late December 2015, after the government deployed a large numbers of new soldiers, mostly Dinka from the former states of Northern Bahr el-Ghazal and Warrap, to the area.

Government soldiers were responsible for a spate of targeted killings and arbitrary detentions and abuse of ethnic Fertit and Luo civilians in February and again in June. The violence and abuses in June forced more than 70,000 to flee.

South Sudan’s government has taken little action to stop these attacks on civilians. Following each round of violence in 2016, president Salva Kiir appointed investigation committees. The first one visited Wau in March and the second in in early July.

A report submitted to president Kiir on August 1 found that at least 50 civilians had been killed on June 24 and 25, more than 100 shops were looted, and tens of thousands of civilians were displaced; but no further criminal investigations or prosecutions were carried out.

While the media reported that the army executed two soldiers on July 22 who had been convicted by a military court for the murder of two civilians in a residential area of Wau, no other steps were taken.

On April 12, President Kiir announced an investigation of the most recent killings. But the government’s track record of investigating these kinds of incidents in Wau and its weak judicial system raise questions about its credibility. Credible criminal investigations and transparent judicial procedures against those responsible are urgently needed, Human Rights Watch said.

The government forces’ continuing crimes against civilians in Wau and the lack of accountability underscore the urgent need for the hybrid court envisioned in the 2015 peace agreement.

Despite the agreement, government soldiers have committed widespread violence against civilians, not just in Wau, but also in Juba, Malakal and the Equatorias, Human Rights Watch researchers found.

Human Rights Watch has also repeatedly called on the United Nations Security Council to impose a comprehensive arms embargo on South Sudan to reduce harm to civilians by increasing the cost of weapons used to attack them.

In December 2016, an attempt to pass an arms embargo at the Security Council failed when eights members abstained. They included Egypt and Japan, which still sit on the Security Council.

“South Sudan’s military commanders have once again shown they won’t stop the abuse or hold anyone to account, and instead they obstruct peacekeepers from doing their jobs to protect civilians,” Bekele said. “The UN Security Council should make it clear that there will be a price to pay for this kind of obstruction.”