Category: More Views

CTSAMM to Observe Security Ahead of the Formation of TGoNU in Juba

By: Mabor Maker Dhelbeny, APR/26/2016, SSN;

Following the JMEC (Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission)’s announcement that Dr Machar, the FVP designate will arrive on the 12th April, 2016. But the SPLM/A-IO (Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/ Army-In Opposition) leader decided to postpone it indefinitely, even his own date set as 18th April, due to the intention of bringing more troops and additional weapons that will accompany his Chief of Gen. Staff to Juba.

Therefore, the IGAD-plus partners intervene to reduce tension and the peace from possible collapse by proposing a number of soldiers and weapons that will come to Juba on April 25 instant. This happens thereafter the concession of the GRSS (Government of the Republic of South Sudan) in which the team of CTSAMM (Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism) has been sent to verify weapons in Pagak or Gambella before their arrival to Juba International Airport.

Juba, as the seat of national government has panicked as to why the SPLM/A-IO is bringing more weapons if at all they are for peace. It seems that the GRSS is motivated by a need to achieve an implementation of peace agreement while the SPLM/A-IO has a motive for bringing in more weapons and troops to fight. Such ill-motives which may cause insecurity by either Party would be the assignment to be carried out by the CTSAMM and JMCC (Joint Military Ceasefire Commission) as stipulated in the Agreement.

Under the provisions of the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) and on the basis of Cessation of Hostilities (COH) Agreement, signed on the 23rd January, 2014, the GRSS and the SPLM/A-IO must ensure the following:
(a) For the peace to be sustained, all forces or militias allied to either Party are disengaged in the operation of war theatre, withdrew and cantoned in their areas agreed by the parties during the PCTSA (Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements) workshop.
(b) For the peace to be sustained, all non-state actors are disarmed, demobilized and repatriated by the state-actors with whom they have been supporting during the conflict.
(c) For the peace to be sustained, all forces must refrain from prohibited actions such as redeployment and movement of forces, dissemination of hostile propaganda, sexual exploitation and harassment, attacks against civilians, unauthorized recruitment, restriction of people’s movement and access to humanitarian agencies.
(d) For the peace to be sustained, all Prisoners of War (POW) and child soldiers including any other detainees in connection with the related conflict, are unconditionally released forthwith.
(e) For the peace to be sustained, the GRSS should have redeployed all SPLA forces within Juba outside the radius of 25km from the centre of National City to the demarcated areas, agreed by the PCTSA Workshop.
(f) For the peace to be sustained, the CTSAMM should ensure that the deployment of forces such as 2,910 military armed forces and 3,000 Joint Integrated Police allowed to remain in Juba are in compliance with the modalities agreed during the PCTSA workshop.
(g) For the peace to be sustained, the CTSAMM should also ensure that all activities due to be conducted at JOC (Joint Operation Centre) by the security forces in Juba are safe and free from conflict, especially in suburb areas of Juba.
(h) For the peace to be sustained, the CTSAMM should verify whether all forces of the SPLM/A-IO that are previously in combat in Juba and in the former Upper Nile, Unity and Jonglei States including other forces to the conflict in other areas declared by the warring parties during the PCTSA workshop are separated, assembled and cantoned (See Articles 1, 2, 4, 5, & 6 of the ARCISS, 2015).

The parties therefore need to revisit the Agreement in order to resolve the problem of forces that assembled themselves in the former Western Equatoria and Western Bahr el-Ghazal States as claimed by the SPLM/A-IO Advance Team to be their forces.

The interpretation of “all forces that are previously in combat” should not confuse the parties with rules of IHL (International Humanitarian Law) and Geneva Conventions in their minds, nor should it be used as a political leverage to derail the implementation. This brings me to the point that the party who alleged the presence of its forces in the said areas for cantonment, must prove it by giving the date before the signing of the compromise peace agreement on the 17th and 26th August, 2015 respectively.

Therefore the question that begs itself is that: “When did the forces, claimed by the SPLM/A-IO leadership wage their rebellion in both former Western of Equatoria and Bahr el-Ghazal States?” If these forces waged their rebellion after the ARCISS has been signed, subsequently followed by the declaration of PCTSA workshop, then they will not be granted the benefit of cantonment.

However, the CTSAMM which has succeeded the existing IGAD – MVM (Intergovernmental Authority and Development Monitoring and Verification Mechanism) should strictly observe and monitor the security arrangement in Juba ahead of the formation of Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU).

The verification of permitted forces with their weapons in Juba that are tasked with security activities should have to be observed and monitored by the CTSAMM. Indeed if IGAD believes that the security of South Sudan can only be guaranteed by the policy cooperation as the country has already seek integration of regional bloc, then what is the justification.

The justification is to support peace by controlling the proliferation of weapons that may act as threat to peace in other neighbouring countries such as Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya. This has been entrenched when Gambari (2010) argues that “… in Africa, lack of sustainable development has been linked directly to proliferation and intensity of conflict situations and war which in turn have hampered development efforts…threat to peace in a neighboring country, if not carefully managed and resolved could lead to massive exodus of refugees, weapons proliferation and trans-border crimes and general insecurity that could threaten other stable polities and compromise national economies”.

In furtherance of its transitional security management, South Sudan’s ARCISS has finally provided a board, known as Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) which will be considered as a comprehensive national defence policy during the TGoNU.

The SDSR Board is tasked with the transformation of security sector during the reform process, unification of the army and security forces including the disarmament, demobilization and Re-integration (DDR).

The process of SDSR shall be comprehensive, inclusive and transparent as underpinned by principles and strategies of national interests, conducted in number of stages so as to ensure the sovereignty, dignity of the country and its people (Art. 6 of ARCISS).

The Writer is an Advocate & Legal Consultant in Juba, the Republic of South Sudan. He can be reached via his email address:

Riek Machar accuses President Salva Kiir of blocking his return to Juba: LATEST


South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar is accusing President Salva Kiir of “violating” the security arrangements necessary for his return to Juba.

Dr Machar’s office said the government in Juba had imposed a limit on weapon importation by the rebels yet the issue had already been agreed upon.

“There is no reason for the government to refuse these number of soldiers travelling ahead of the Chairman (Machar). The kind of weapons we want to transport to Juba are the weapons they already have there,” Dr Machar’s spokesman James Gatdet Dak told the Nation.

“We are going to be a separate army under the transitional government and we should have our own weapons. If there is a lack of commitment to end this conflict, then it is the government in Juba which is not committed,” he added.

Dr Machar delayed his return to Juba after President Kiir’s government declined to grant permission for more weapons and rebel troops transportation to Juba from Ethiopia.

Speaking on Aljeezira TV from Pagak today, Machar said it was president Kiir who is obstructing the peace agreement by his refusal to allow the SPLM-IO chief of staff to travel to Juba with his contingent of thousands of troops and their weapons.

The rebel leader, who was due to arrive in Juba to be sworn in as Mr Kiir’s deputy, has pegged his acceptance of the new job to the transportation of his troops.

***** In Summary:
The two sides were to establish a transitional government to last 30 months after which there would be elections.
This week, the rebel leader had asked to travel with 200 guards, Juba allowed only 40, a move that forced him to cancel his return. Juba allowed in 1,370 troops and has refused to admit a further 1,530*****

Dr Machar was supposed to travel to Juba on Monday and postponed it to Tuesday before his office issued a further “indefinite” postponement.


As part of the peace agreement Mr Kiir signed with Dr Machar in August last year, the two sides were to establish a transitional government to last 30 months after which there would be elections.

But the deal midwifed by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) created two commanders-in-chief and two separate armies as the leaders work on a unification program.

Dr Machar has asked to transport 1500 police and 1,410 soldiers with their weapons, which include machine guns and other equipment.

Juba allowed in 1,370 troops and has refused to admit a further 1,530.

This week, the rebel leader had asked to travel with 200 guards, Juba allowed only 40, a move that forced him to cancel his return.

South Sudan has been at war since December 2013.
The UN Office for the Coordination Humanitarian Affairs has estimated that 50,000 people were killed and two million others displaced by the violence.
A report by African Union investigators led by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo revealed that both sides engaged in cannibalism, sexual assault and use of public radio to foment hatred and violence. END

Lack of Willpower and obstruction of the Peace Accord by the Juba Regime

A Letter to: H. E. Hailemariam Dessalegn, the Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Chairman of the IGAD, Office of the Prime Minister,
Po Box 1031
Addis Ababa,

Date: 15 April 2016, SSN,

Subject: Lack of Willpower and obstruction of the Peace Accord by the Juba Regime;

Your Excellency,
The South Sudan’s Peace implementation process would most likely be doomed in the face of what plainly amounts to an established lack of willpower on the part of the regime in Juba to ensure the timely execution of the peace accord concluded between the contending parties to the conflict in South Sudan given the indifferent and the familiar lackluster stance adopted by the IGAD and Troika pertaining to their collective de jure role that calls for the non-obstruction of the implementation of the South Sudan’s Peace Agreement by all parties to the conflict.

Today the peace process is hanging by a finger nail, as the tribal regime in Juba continues to infringe on and obstruct the peace execution process on a consistent basis. We cite the following matters and violations by the Juba tribally-constituted and orientated authority as blunt indications of the regime’s unwillingness to put a halt to the civil war in South Sudan:

a) A number of humanitarian organisations rendering assistance to the displaced population in various parts of South Sudan bear first hand testimony to the regime’s insensitivity to the plight of the suffering civilians in the rural areas of the country. Thousands of civilians have been murdered, raped, and had other grave abuses meted on them on account of their ethnicity or perceived political bonds with the SPLM-IO in the rolling conflict in South Sudan as confirmed by HR Report Designated “South Sudan: Army Abuses Spread West”, 6 March 2016. The country’s Minister of information who is the official spokesman of the tribal regime justifies those indiscriminate attacks and awful abuses on the civilians as necessary operations against criminal elements. Neither the IGAD-mandated Joint Monitory Evaluation Commission (JMEC) nor the neglectful Troika and the inattentive African Union have condemned this oafish conduct of the callous regime in Juba.

b) While the peace agreement calls for both parties to the conflict to embark on Permanent Ceasefire Arrangements including cessation of hostilities, disengagement, separation and withdrawal of forces including allies of both parties (forces, militias) in the theatre of operations on the basis of the 23rd January 2014 CoH Agreement, and report compliance to Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (MVM), the Government in Juba still maintains its allied forces from the Justice and Equality Movement and SPLM-N that are currently engaged in fighting the government of Sudan. In a blatant disregard of the permanent cease fire, Juba consistently launches attacks on civilian settlements in Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr El Ghazal states and simply gets away with all these crimes.

c) In the past few weeks the regime has fully demonstrated that it does not recognise the SPLM-IO as a vitally important and indispensable stakeholder in the peace accord in the country. The arrival in Juba of the Deputy Chairman of the opposition SPLM-IO was never mentioned in the regime’s controlled media. Furthermore the so-called National security services of South Sudan prevented the population of Juba from thronging the airport to welcome the deputy opposition leader Lt. General Alfred Ladu Gore at the airport. Infuriatingly the members of the secret services went further to arrest, detain and torture the members of the press team of the SPLM-IO. Absurdly, the government has decided to dictate what the Chairman of the opposition leader the SPLM-IO, Dr. Riek Machar would and would not be permitted to do once in Juba. In effect this draconian conduct of the Police state would be likely imposed on him, which would literally extend to severe restrictions that include barring the Vice President from making public comments or he might even be put under detention as his body guards are lightly armed and would definitely not be able to withstand encirclement by battle tanks. Again the JMEC is muted and merely focuses on the formation of the Government of National Unity as it upfront fixation, as Festus Mogae hardly understands the twisted philosophy and perceptual configuration of the tribally-constituted regime in the country that solely believes in the total domination and subjugation of the rest of the other remaining 63 ethnicities that reside in the Republic of South Sudan.

d) The demilitarization of Juba and the others cities of Bor, Malakal and Bentiu as stipulated in the peace agreement has simply been given a cosmetic treatment by the government. It is also a blatant lie that there are currently only 3,420 government soldiers garrisoned in Juba (Sudantribune, 13 April 2016) in accordance with the peace accord. The government has never honoured the peace agreement as it claims and would not respect it. The government had earlier maintained that it would be difficult to demilitarize Juba because it lacked funds. Later the same regime claimed that it was negotiating with the natives and the custodians of the land and areas to be used for deployment of its soldiers. It now so sounds frivolous and downright eccentric to declare that the demilitarization of the capital city of Juba has been accomplished. To the contrary, thousands of additional armed tribal soldiers have been moved from Bahr el Ghazal state to Juba in what could evidently amount to a brazen disregard for the accord in that respect. The reality is that few soldiers were redeployed to a few locations around Juba on a rotational and camouflage fashion just to hoodwink the world into believing that demilitarization has indeed been accomplished.

e) The outlandish assertion of the repressive police state and its bureaucracy in South Sudan that the creation of the 28 states in the country was a popular demand by South Sudanese, is futile, deceptive and an idealistic postulation that does not have a counterpart in the realm and confines of paranoia integrity. Thus far, there has been no plebiscite or referendum conducted in the country to determine the size of South Sudanese for and against the 28 states. This is simply a hoopla campaign mounted by the government and the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) to impose their unidimensional and narcissistic philosophy on South Sudanese. If the 28 states decree is implemented, it would create another civil war, as millions of South Sudanese mainly the Nuer, the shilluk in Greater Upper Nile,and the Fertit group in the Greater Bahr El Ghazal States would have had their ancestral lands stolen by the Dinka in the name of what the government in Juba absurdly refers to as “The demand of the people”. Besides, the power sharing ratios in the conflict affected States of Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile as well as in the remaining seven (7) states as enshrined in the peace accord would be slanted in favour of the Dinka government.

The SPLM-IO would certainly not accept this apparent risk of rushing into forming the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU) without clear safeguards that ensure the viability of the government and stability of the country once it is constituted for the next 30 months’ period.

Your Excellency,
A full blown civil war could likely occur in South Sudan at a scale far larger than the government’s feigned coup which was designed to liquidate its political opponents that finally sparked the civil war back in December 2013, unless the superintending parties, namely, the IGAD, the Troika the UNSC and the US government that has invested so lavishly in the creation of South Sudan as a sovereign nation, through the sustained efforts of an individual politician like Dr. Susan Rice move back to the drawing board to chart out a painstaking strategy that ensures the prevention of violence that could conceivably be created by the Juba tribal regime that has vowed to remain in power for eternity.

Given this grim scenario the 1,370 police units and lightly armed body guards of the SPLM-IO deployed in Juba would not be able to withstand a combined government and mercenary coordinated force more than twenty times the thin figure of the SPLM-IO soldiers, unless A more credible deterrent force from the SPLM-IO replete with defensive paraphernalia including tanks, antitank and aircraft systems are equally deployed in Juba. Such would guarantee the viability and sustainability of peace until the end of the period for the interim government of National Unity.

On a parallel note, a neutral force from either the African Union or from other parts of the world and duly sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council should be deployed in Juba and other cities in South Sudan as suggested before, and the demarcated mandate and role of such a contingent would be to restrain the Juba regime from creating another civil war in the country as it did in December 2013 against the opposition that the government had earlier vowed to extinguish altogether.

It is long overdue that the IGAD has yet to recommend the regime’s firebrand like Paul Molong and “others” who had instigated mass murders in Juba from 15 December 2013 to the 31 December 2013, for international sanctions and possibly to the International Criminal Court for further investigations for war crimes and gross abuses of human rights committed in South Sudan as documented in the Final report of the African Union commission of inquiry on South Sudan that designates the mass killings in Juba as “coordinated state policy”. (

Apparently, the external stakeholders that include the Troika, the IGAD the African Union and other parties have no inkling about the nature of the regime they are dealing with in Juba. It is highly advisable to primarily fully grasp the political and tribal contour of the South Sudan conflict before leveraging Dr. Riek Machar to travel to Juba and form a government of National Unity with a party that intensely believes in the opposition leader’s outright demise and the comprehensive destruction of all opposition elements in South Sudan.

The Chairman of the opposition risks having his residence surrounded by government tanks on his arrival in Juba and he inevitably becomes a hostage to the tribal regime that could fancifully dictate to the opposition leader new terms on the realization of the 28 states’ decree and other matters central to the supremacist tribal cartel ruling the Republic of South Sudan.

Thank you
Peter Lokarlo Ngrimwa
Former Lecturer, GSBL, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.
On behalf of South Sudanese Nationalists in Australia.

Copies to:
1) Ambassador Susan Rice, US National Security Advisor;
2) H. E. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, State House, Nairobi;
3) The British Embassy in South Sudan, Juba;
4) Embassy of the Republic of Sudan, Juba;
5) Representatives of Troika member countries;
6) Alpha Oumar Konaré, the AU high representative for South Sudan;

Will the expected transitional government of National Unity impact changes to ordinary citizen’s life in terms of services provision?

By Malek Cook-Dwach, Juba, South Sudan, APR/08/2016, SSN;

We tried in our simple ways to lead our lives in a manner that may make a difference to others… what counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived, it is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead. Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.

Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for eternity… If I had my time all over again, I would do the same.

“So would any man who dares call himself a man… many people in this country have paid the price before me and many will pay the price after me,” from assortment of quotes by Nelson Mandela.

I found it interesting as a concerned citizen to analyze the possible effects that will come out from Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) when formed. In my humble opinion piece of writing, I am going to shed more light on how the ordinary citizens perceived the government of the day and the forthcoming government (Transitional government of national Unity) in connection to the basic services provision.

In the pre-independent and post-independent Republic of South Sudan, citizens have less or not benefited in services delivery from their government. The dynamics behind the failure of getting these services delivered constitute my basic argument here.

When the flag of the Republic of South Sudan raised at Garang Mausoleum in the presence of the international community, regional heads of states and Diplomatic corps representatives on 9/July/2011, South Sudanese people were overwhelmed and over joyed in celebrating their hard won freedom that they were denied for decades by successful Khartoum regimes considering the fact that their suffering will come into an end.

But contrary to the famous quote which says, “the end results justifies the means,” their expectations get totally lost in the air.

The country went into civil war on 15/December/2015, which brought destruction to few existing infrastructures and claimed thousands of human lives in the whole country on what some analysts called power struggle within the SPLM leadership which on the other hand could be so contradictory within the context of how the fighting was conducted.

The dimension indicates that there was an imposition of an identity into economic, political, social and cultural South Sudanese atmosphere by some tribes.

As was mentioned in the African Union report of inquiries on South Sudan, the factors behind the eruption of war were instigated by hatred and overdue unresolved tribal tensions among communities as such, these fragile existing relations between tribes and frustrations from youth were exploited by politicians to advance and maintain their political power.

Coming back to the main question of this topic; will the expected transitional government of National Unity impact changes to the ordinary citizen’s life in terms of service provisions?

The answer is ultimately No. I based my reasons why the Transitional Government of National Unity will not impact any change in the ordinary citizen’s life in terms of service delivery because the nature of the deal that brought the two rival parties together doesn’t address the root causes of the problem.

The composition of the would-be Transitional Government of National Unity is the same people who were in the system since the birth of the Republic of South Sudan. They share the same blames of Dura saga, the 75 corrupted officials and other related similar cases.

Hence, silencing of guns and allowing free movement of citizens across states in the Republic of South Sudan will be positive parts to the realization of peace in the country.

What comes into my mind always is that, this great Country called Republic of South Sudan will one day rise to it helm and every tribe, clan and sub-clan will be accorded due respect and will find their rightful place in it regardless of these temporary messes.

Hitherto, services delivery is what is mostly needed by the traumatized and broken society of South Sudan. The role of the Government is to build Schools, Health care centers, power supply and roads.

Finally, if those above-mentioned services are prioritized, the development phase will see the light in this Country.

This article is a wake-up call to open doors where the Government explores the possible ways on how to offer these needed developmental amenities.

The Author is a South Sudanese Concern Citizen, reachable at

LATEST: South Sudan’s opposition leader Machar to return to Juba on April 18

By Reuters and The EastAfrican, Posted Thursday, April 7;

South Sudan’s opposition leader Riek Machar said on Thursday he would return to the capital Juba on April 18, the first time since conflict broke out in December 2013 between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and rebels allied with Machar.

MACHAR: New South Sudan govt to ensure respect for ceasefire
South Sudan’s first vice-president designate Riek Machar said on Thursday he would return to the capital Juba on April 18, the first time since conflict broke out in December 2013 between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and rebels allied with Machar.

Dr Machar leads the armed opposition faction of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO).

“I am therefore confirming the date of my arrival to be April 18 and thereafter form with President Kiir the Transitional Government of National Unity and hold the Transitional National Council of Ministers,” Dr Machar said in a letter to the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission which is monitoring the implementation of a peace deal signed between Machar and Kiir.

In an earlier interview with The EastAfrican , Dr Machar said that he would return as soon as the designated 1,370 SPLM-IO force is in place.

He said he has already made a tentative list for 10 Cabinet slots that were given to the former rebels and will refine it once in Juba in consultation with his supporters.

The portfolio balance reached in January gave President Salva Kiir 16 slots, Dr Machar 10 slots and two each for former detainees and other political parties in the 30-member Cabinet of National Unity. END

DEVELOPING STORY: Impending Arrest of Gen. Thomas Cirillo over Gwuduge Land Grab?

JUBA, MAR/24/2016, SSN;

Latest reports emanating from Juba and confirmed by close sources in Juba reveal that the Government Security forces/SPLA are planning to possibly arrest Gen. Thomas Cirillo, the Deputy Chief of Staff in the national army, the SPLA, allegedly for the on-going dispute over the land grab confrontation between the natives and the illegal Dinka settlers in his own village of Gwuduge, Rejaf East, Juba.

Yesterday, Wednesday March 23, heavily-armed SPLA soldiers went to Gwuduge Village, Rejaf and aggressively rounded up and arrested about 28 villagers around the Catholic Church area and reportedly took them away and badly tortured those people arrested. Some were later reportedly released but an unknown number of the villagers were taken away by the SPLA and their fate remains unknown up to this moment.

Again, that same night the SPLA military returned to the village with the aim of provoking the Rejaf natives to react so that they, the SPLA, would execute the arrest of Gen. Thomas Cirillo. That was speculated as their motive of going back to Rejaf East at night time.

Fresh reports received from Juba today firmly confirm that this morning, Thursday, 24, the Army was heavily deployed all along the Juba Bridge across the Nile up to to Nesitu Junction on Juba-Nimule Road.

Since the public publication by The Dawn newspaper of Juba on March 12, 2016, about the Gwuduge, Rejaf East land grab by the Dinka of Padang and Bor and the understandable personal reaction of Gen. Thomas Cirillo to warn his top ranking officers in the Army Headquarters on the impending situation, and the intercession of President Kiir, Gen. Paul Malong and Gen. Marial Chaunoung of the Tiger Battalion, no action has been taken by the government to evict the land grabbers or demolish their illegal houses.

Actually, no permanent structures of these land grabbers have been demolished by the authorities, it’s only the temporary make-shift structures that were initially pulled down.

Sources in Juba confirm that since most of the illegal land grabbers are mostly Dinka soldiers from the notorious Tiger Battalion mostly made of Dinka and under the very command of Gen. Marial Chaunoung, probably no action will ever be taken against their fellow land grabbers.

It must be recalled that it was Gen. Paul Malong and Gen. Marial who built up the so-called Presidential Guards who were associated with the infamous massacre of the Nuer in Juba on December 23, 2013 and this particular army unit is notorious for most of the killings and secret arrests and tortures of many South Sudanese citizens.

Gen. Thomas Cirillo meanwhile continues to reside in and commute daily from his Gwuduge village, Rejaf East, to his office in Juba Town and that is of great concern and apprehension to his people and sympathizers who have become concerned of what might befall on him given the blatant refusal of the land grabbers to relocate.

Finally, the latest deployment of government troops only heightens the apprehension of the villagers and raised the suspicions of the citizens concerned. END

A War Waged on Shilluk (Collo) Civilians’: Update on the Conflict in Upper Nile

MAR/19/2016, SSN, Full HSBA report;

A new report from the Small Arms Survey’s Human Security Baseline for Sudan and South Sudan describes, for the first time, details of ongoing efforts by the Padang Dinka elite in Upper Nile to forcibly displace the Shilluk from the east bank of the Nile — with support from the Government of South Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).

The campaign has included the killing of civilians, the razing of villages, and forced displacement as tools of war. The SPLA has collaborated by cutting off food and humanitarian access to the communities under attack.

Furthermore, evidence reveals that the attack on the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) protection of civilians (PoC) site at Malakal on 16–18 February was a carefully planned assault by the SPLA and Padang Dinka militia forces backed by the state government. UNMISS is unable and unwilling to protect the Shilluk civilians at the PoC site and elsewhere in Upper Nile.

The report, based on previous fieldwork and investigations, interviews with key informants, and a review of public and confidential documents, also finds that the implementation of the partition of Upper Nile into three new states, as directed by South Sudanese president Salva Kiir, is a tool in this campaign, and is a ‘fundamental obstacle to peace’.

Since March 2015, the Padang Dinka military and political elites of Upper Nile have carried out a sustained and systematic campaign to push the Shilluk off the east bank of the White Nile. The campaign has targeted Johnson Olonyi’s Agwelek forces, using Mi-24 Hind attack helicopters to strafe his troops’ bases on the west bank of the Nile.

These operations have been aimed at consolidating control of the east bank of the Nile, including areas contested by the Shilluk: Akoka, Nagdiar, Pigi, and Malakal, the state capital.

According to the report, the Padang Dinka elite has used militia forces in a campaign that is fundamentally a war waged on Shilluk civilians. Padang Dinka militias have burned Shilluk habitations, raped Shilluk women, and forced the Shilluk to flee to the west bank of the Nile.

The SPLA has assisted in this campaign by systematically denying humanitarian actors access to Shilluk populations, limiting the Shilluk’s access to food, and using attack helicopters to strike at civilians.

The militia forces engaged in these attacks are from Akoka, Baliet, Melut, and Renk counties. They were formed in 2014 and operate outside of the SPLA’s military command structure, although they often work with them.

They receive their arms and ammunition, including Israeli Galil ACE assault rifles, from the Internal Security Bureau of the National Security Service. Funding for the militias is provided by the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company, in which
China has a 40 per cent stake, and administered by Stephen Dhieu Dhau, the Padang Dinka minister of petroleum.

The current campaign is the latest in a series of historical actions by state-supported actors against the Shilluk communities of Upper Nile. Since 2005, and the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the Shilluk have been steadily marginalized in the state.

Meanwhile, the Padang Dinka—previously one of the less influential Dinka lobbies—have risen to prominence, under the general leadership of Dhau. Shilluk marginalization has been evidenced by the creation of new counties during this period, including
Akoka and Pigi counties, which places territories contested by the Shilluk under exclusive Padang Dinka control.

In the context of Upper Nile, Kiir’s decree of 2 October 2015, which split the state into three new states, should be seen in light of this longer-term trend.

The decree turns the east bank of the Nile into a Padang Dinka-majority county called Eastern Nile state. This new entity includes Malakal, leaving the Shilluk with a non-contiguous Western Nile state that is intended to legally formalize the occupations that the Padang Dinka have already achieved militarily.

Although the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement has made claims to the contrary, the new states continue to be implemented. Chol Thon Balok, the governor of Eastern Nile, has appointed a cabinet and commissioners for the counties. His appointments for county commissioners include militia leaders.

He has also terminated the contracts of Shilluk civil servants. This latter measure builds on a campaign of harassment against Shilluk civilians that continued throughout 2015, when Shilluk members of the Upper Nile administration were denied their pay.

Kiir’s new map of Upper Nile is a fundamental obstacle to peace. It is the culmination of the Padang Dinka campaign to control the east bank of the Nile. It will never be accepted by the Shilluk. The result is likely to be an interminable war, with the Shilluk resisting from the west bank of the Nile.

Meanwhile, the SPLA and the Padang Dinka militias are likely to continue attacking from the east bank, both on the ground and through air assaults, so as to erode the capacity of the Shilluk to support themselves— while simultaneously heralding a humanitarian catastrophe.

As of mid-February 2016, the only significant Shilluk presence on the east bank of the Nile was in the UNMISS PoC site. This population represented a problem for the Padang Dinka campaign. The SPLA and Padang Dinka militia attack on the PoC site on 16–18 February was part of its overall attempt to remove the Shilluk entirely from the east bank of the Nile, through forcible population

Despite UNMISS claims about ‘youths clashing’, the attack was a carefully planned assault by the SPLA and the militias. UNMISS is unable to protect the Shilluk civilians at the PoC site. Its peacekeepers are unwilling to use force to protect civilians, despite a mandate that enables them to do so.

In March 2016, further attempts by armed Padang Dinka to enter the PoC site indicated that the possibility of a further assault on the site is very real.

While the Shilluk have been displaced from Upper Nile, the South Sudanese government has been relocating Padang Dinka from Equatoria to Upper Nile, to settle in areas in Baliet and around Malakal from which the Shilluk have fled.

This indicates the degree to which the Padang Dinka war on the Shilluk has national backing.

It is also a strategy familiar to the Government of Sudan: occupy an area militarily, displace the population, and then try to sanction one’s land-grab by moving civilians into the area. It is a massive campaign of forcible population displacement— waged militarily, politically, and demographically.

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BREAKING NEWS: Bari Rejaf Land Grabbed by Dinka recovered after serious intervention by Lt.Gen. Thomas Cirillo

Juba, MAR/12/2016, SSN;

In a first ever reaction, a joint military command from the Republican Guards known as Tiger Division, under General Marial Chanuong together with the body guards of General Thomas Cirillo have forcefully recovered land previously and illegally grabbed by Dinka Bor and Dinka Padang communities in BUDUGE Village in Rejaf East, Juba, home to General Thomas Cirillo himself, according to The Dawn Newspaper of Juba published today, Saturday, March 12, 2016.

According to the published article, General Chanuong, who himself inspected the site on Friday and has ordered the arrest of the ring leaders from the Dinka Bor and Padang Dinka communities respectively for their irresponsible influence that caused the conflict between the Bari natives and the illegal Dinka land grabbers.

Reliable sources from Juba indicate that the problem started after General Thomas Cirillo, a highly renowned fighter during the liberation war, and a Bari native himself of the land grabbed by those two Dinka communities, and who happens to be the SPLA Deputy Chief of Staff, reportedly called an emergency meeting of the top SPLA generals at Bilpham, the Army headquarters, and severely warned them that he was ‘going back to fight for the land grabbed, and that he would remove his military uniform and all the medals and other brass’ from his uniform, and that he would be ready to ‘die in his land.’

It’s reported that both those of Gen. Paul Malong, the Chief of Staff and Gen. Marial, in shocking disbelief, begged and told Gen. Thomas that “we heard what you said but we’ll not agree with your dying.”

Incidentally, the land grabbed by the Dinka Bor and Dinka Padang is the actual village home of the larger family of General Thomas Cirillo and it is the same place where he, Gen. Thomas currently resides. Gen. Thomas is the younger brother to Gen. Peter Cirillo, himself a legendary veteran of the first Anya-Nya war.

The alleged Dinka Bor and Padang land grabbers had completely ignored General Thomas Cirillo’s presence and residence in the Buduge, Rejaf Tokiman East village, which lies on the Eastern bank of the Nile river from Juba.

According to the Dawn Newspaper of Juba, whose Editor-in-Chief is Mr. Emmanuel MonyChol Akop, General Chanuong has appealed to the ring leaders still at large to surrender themselves before they are forcefully hunted down. If you want land, he appealed to them, it is better to cooperate with the natives and follow the right system so that your situation is understood and land is given to you.

The Dawn Newspaper reports that General Chanuong acknowledged that “land has more than economic value to its owners,” pointing out land is a source of livelihood, wealth, social peace, and in some cases holds a ceremonial and cultural value.

Meanwhile, General Thomas Cirillo vowed to rally behind his Bari community and not to compromise with those illegal settlers and occupants or people who use force to grab other people’s land for themselves. Gen. Thomas said this is very bad and provocative, as there have been serious clashes between the land grabbers and the natives few days ago.

According to the newspaper, first of all, even the Padang and the Bor Dinka themselves are in tension among themselves and also with the Bari land owners.

“I told my guards to be watchful and open fire in self-defense if they touch you,” according to The Dawn, “because some people will manipulate the situation to tarnish my fame.” Gen. Thomas Cirillo said.

The two generals, Cirillo and Chanuang are both loyalists to the current President Salva Kiir before and after the country attained independence in 2011.

General Cirillo who hailed from Equatoria region is one of the most respected high ranking military commanders in the SPLA, South Sudan official army.

Gen. Ciriilo has beefed up security along Rejaf-Juba road after an outcry from his own village for him to rescue them from threats of violence by the two communities, Bor and Padang Dinka, who have used force to grab a large of size of Bari land, according to the Dawn newspaper.

General Chanuong said already one community leader from Dinka Bor believed to be a member of the organised forces with the rank of 1st lieutenant was arrested at the scene and brought to Juba when the two commanders inspected the large size of the grabbed land and found the grabbers busy with demarcating the area, according to the Dawn Newspaper in Juba.

Reportedly, General Paul Malong along with General Thomas Cirillo went to meet President Salva Kiir where Gen. Thomas is said to have repeated the same warning he earlier told the SPLA generals. Gen. Malong reportedly told Pres. Kiir that he had repeatedly warned the President about the danger the Dinka land grabbers will bring to the nation.

It is said that President Kiir was in a terrible shock when General Thomas repeated his threat to die for his land, Kiir just ‘held his head down.”

More developments to the story above:

It is reported that Gen. Thomas Cirillo’s move has unsurprisingly attracted great support and solidarity not only from the Bari land owners but from many other South Sudanese from all parts of the Greater Equatoria region. From Yambio and all Western Equatoria to the entire Eastern Equatoria, pledges of support including physical and otherwise have been continuously pouring in.

Reportedly, the Former governor of Central Equatoria, Gen. Clement Wani Konga has promised to deploy his Mundari militias in support of the Bari and it is said other surrounding tribes are marching to Rejaf to boost the support to Gen. Thomas and the people of Rejaf.

Already, Chief Lado Bureng of Rejaf East payam, the area in dispute, has reportedly been detained on bribery and sale of the land in dispute.

Also, a Canadian citizen from Rokon who was the Executive officer of the Rejaf East payam is on the run for alleged bribery in the sale of this land grabbed by the Dinka of Bor and Padang. It’s reported that the Dinka in Canada would pay the money to his wife in Canada for the piece of land in Rejaf East.

Also, the newly appointed Commissioner of Jebel Lado is reportedly ordered to be arrested for involvement in illicit land sales.

Finally, despite the vows of President Kiir on the land grabbing problem, it is lately reported that president Kiir himself has ordered the same General Marial Chanuong to build a fence from the GUEDA (the Military Barracks to the South) up to Lulugo southwards and then up to the banks of the River Nile. This massive area will force out nearly 300 homes of innocent residents who had legally acquired those plots of land.

Kiir’s Motive: It should be recalled that some years ago, while Dr. Riek Machar was vice-president an opposed to the plan, President Kiir and his Jieng Council of Elders had toyed with the idea of relocating the J-One presidential residence from the current site to the Gueda-Lologu area, allegedly for “security reasons,” he was said to be morbidly paranoid and afraid of the tall buildings that are being currently erected around the current presidential residence, J-One. Riek wanted the relocation of the entire government to Ramciel, the proposed new capital.

More updates will be coming!!!

To Ethiopean Prime Minister: Violation of Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) & new internal borders

Your Excellency Hailemariam Dessalegn
Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Chairperson of the IGAD Assembly
C/O Minister Counselor, Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
17 Princes Gate, London, SW7 1PZ

17th February 2016

Re: Violation of the Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) and new internal borders.

Dear Prime Minister;

We, the Nuer Community in the United Kingdom, hereby convey to you warm greetings with high hope that the Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) between SPLM/SPLA warring factions shall bring about an end to the ongoing suffering and displacement, justice, genuine reconciliation between communities, and lasting peace in our country.

At this point in time, we can only express sincere appreciation for your wise and capable leadership that helped bring about signing of the peace agreement; and may we take this opportunity to thank your Government and the brave people of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia for hosting South Sudanese refugees.

Your Excellency,

Despite restored hope for the return of peace to South Sudan, President Kiir and his advisors, the Jieng Council of Elders, have remained committed to maintaining hindrances against any foreseeable lasting peace in South Sudan.

In addition to ongoing ceasefire violations across the country, a notable unfortunate action the president took, shortly after signing of the ARCSS, was a deliberate violation of the agreement. He did that by issuing a decree to unilaterally restructure existed ten states that were agreed upon by all signatories of the ARCSS.

That uncalled action occurred with creation of 28 states, but the move was rejected right away by various South Sudanese civil society groups.

This particular violation of the ARCSS was also objected by the IGAD in an instantaneous statement. However, as we write this letter, President Kiir continues to ignore calls from the South Sudanese public, the IGAD, and their friends in the international community.

Having been evoked by decreed creation of 28 states, our community in the UK has taken steps to revisit sources of background information beside conduction of consultations with members of the wider community in the Diaspora and inside South Sudan.

It has now become clear that the decision taken by the president to redraw South Sudan internal borders is just a pretext of what appears to be a plan aimed at causing or sustaining conflicts between communities.

It is another attempt by the same tribal grouping of Jieng Council of Elders to continue misusing our country’s natural resources against attainment of peace, development, and prosperity.

In view of all these, our community in the UK would like to bring to your attention that President Kiir’s decision to redraw South Sudan internal borders is not only deplorable and illegal but also segregating, alarming, and indeed unpopular as it favours only one tribe at the expenses of many other tribes.

Prior to stating the reasons as to why our community has rejected what appears to be a mapping of new internal borders, we would like to remind your wise leadership about what unites various communities in South Sudan as opposed to what would divide them.

One important uniting factor throughout generations is the land, for which South Sudan lost millions of lives in defence against aggressors before independence of its people.

On the other hand, any attempt to redraw our country internal borders would undoubtedly become a key fragmenting factor with unimaginable implications.

Our community here in the United Kingdom, together with Equatorian Community, Shilluk Community, and Ferteit Community, have jointly rejected unilateral restructuring of states in all three regions of Greater Bhar El Ghazal, Greater Equatoria, and Greater Upper Nile.

The reasons and clarifications why we disagree with President Kiir on the creation of 28 states are stated as follow:

1. The sketch-map showing locations of the decreed 28 states is designed with intention to curve lands that belong to Ferteit, Nuer, and Shilluk communities into states populated by the tribe of the President.

For example, if the decree were to be implemented, two communities in Upper Nile State, namely the Shilluk and Eastern Jikany Nuer, would lose large parts of their ancestral lands to Dinka Padang.

In Western Upper Nile/ Unity State, two Dinka communities, who share no common boundary, would be emerged in a newly created Ruweng State at the expenses of Leek Nuer, Western Jikany Nuer, and Bul Nuer.

Establishment of Ruweng State on Nuer ancestral land would trigger conflicts between Western Nuer and Dinka Ruweng. Even more, large portions of lands in the areas of Gaawar Nuer, Lak Nuer, Lou Nuer and Thiang Nuer of Jonglei State would be annexed to their respective Dinka neighbours.

We have included three sketch-maps herein to further explain why our community has principally rejected creation of 28 states. By comparing and contrasting these sketch-maps, it can be deduced whether the internal borders recently created by President Kiir are consistent or not with the ones that are known to various communities on the ground.

The map numbered 1 illustrates recently created internal borders; the red colour indicates states or lands populated or being annexed to Dinka tribe. While President Kiir would want new boundaries of Nuerland to be within the blue colour, the actual boundaries of Nuerland or actual locations of Nuer or their neighbours are shown on the sketch-maps numbered 2 and 3.

Sketch-map 1: illustration of new internal borders as per President Kiir’s decreed 28 states

Sketch-map 2: Actual locations of Nuer, Dinka, Shilluk, and Anuak

Sketch-map: The Nuer, E. E. Evans-Pritchard, Oxford University Express

Sketch-map 3: Locations of the larger Nuer tribes

Sketch-map: The Nuer, E. E. Evans-Pritchard, Oxford University Express

2. With full knowledge of territorial boundaries between Dinka and Nuer communities on both east and west banks of the Nile, our community views decreed annexation of our ancestral land to the tribe of the president as an incitement of tribal conflicts.

Since he decreed creation of 28 states, the President has been vocal-claiming that the created 28 states were popularly demanded by the people. As it has widely been understood by the South Sudanese public, this claim is merely based on what being demanded by one tribal grouping, the Jieng Council of Elders.

n their support for the above mentioned unilateral presidential decree, the Jieng Council of Elders, which represents the tribe of the president, came out promptly to endorse the decreed 28 states. The said elders of the president’s tribe also rejoice over creation of 28 states because large portions of lands that belong to other tribes such as Nuer and Shilluk are being annexed to states populated by their tribe.

3. The decreed 28 states were not presented at IGAD-plus mediated peace talks, whereas 21 states as well as federal system of governance were tabled by the opposition.

However, as the Government of South Sudan (GOSS) consistently rejected consideration of federalism and 21 states, it was agreed to address both federalism and restructuring of sates at future talks for a permanent constitution. On that basis, the IGAD-plus compromised ARCSS was then signed by the warring parties without reference to neither 21 states nor 28 states.

It is not just a view but a reality on the ground that the unilateral creation of 28 states shall not promote efforts toward implementation of the peace agreement. It is indeed a serious violation and discouragement of what has been welcomed widely by the South Sudanese public as a truly new beginning toward nation building in the world youngest country.

Without clear boundaries, we also believe that demarcation of new internal borders for the President’s decreed 28 states shall generate endless tribal conflicts in the country.

In conclusion, we appeal to your wise and capable leadership, IGAD and their partners in the international community to press on Gen. Salva Kiir and his Jieng Council of Elders so that they acknowledge facts and use wisdom rather than illogical grounds that have led to wrong decisions.

We call upon your wise leadership of the IGAD Assembly to work for an action that can compel G. Salva Kiir and his Jieng Council of Elders to revoke the presidential decree that created 28 states.

This is imperative for realisation of peace and reconciliation between communities in South Sudan. Our community would also like to appeal for a speedy establishment of the hybrid court that has been promised by the peace agreement.

We further want to express our community’s profound support to IGAD and their friends/ partners, while they maintain engagement with the political leadership in South Sudan. It is our hope that your great country and its wise leadership shall continue guidance and assistance in building a united nation with a government that does not segregate citizens of South Sudan on the basis of ethnicity, gender, religion, or region.

Yours sincerely,

Contact: William Dengchang- Chairman of Nuer Community in the United Kingdom

Cc: G. Salva Kiir Mayardiit- Chairman and C. I. C. of SPLA/ SPLM- IG
Cc: Dr. Riek Machar Teny- Chairman and C. I. C. SPLM/ SPLA- IO
Cc: Benjamin Taban- Chairman of South Sudanese Community in the UK

Is the Nation-State in South Sudan a Step Forward or a Step Backward?

By John Juac, CANADA, FEB/12/2016, SSN;

I often ask myself an important question: What kind of community is this new political abstraction known as a nation-state? And the simple answer that comes up in my mind is that a nation-state is the new form of human social organization, a step forward from the village life most people have known for centuries.

In post-independence South Sudan, however, a nation-state is widely viewed as a step backward because it does not add to our humanity.

Millions of South Sudanese use the Internet to participate in public ongoing discussions about the challenges of building this larger association of small communities in their new country, but so many extraneous factors intrude that rationale and dispassionate discussions are scuttled.

Ethnic arguments, even though they are a dead end, tend to see an ethnic conspiracy plot in every South Sudanese misfortune: ethnic domination has become the favorite of Internet warriors.

Some often denigrate policies of the new state and leaders of the governing party on ethnic lines, while others often blindly defend those leaders in the name of ethnic solidarity. As a result, there is much confusion about what South Sudan can do to overcome its woes.

South Sudan has a long history of internal divisions among its people on a combination of politico-ethnic grounds.

Mutual distrust and lack of cooperation which inform the political climate of the country are directly related in a very low regard for person’s capacity for solidarity and consensus.

The idea that it is possible to transcend the prevailing atmosphere of anxiety and suspicion by trusting one another has been slow to appear and extremely rare.

The prevalence of distrust in South Sudan limits individual loyalties to groups that are intimate and familiar. People are loyal to their tribes, perhaps to their tribal leaders, but not to broader political institutions.

In the total absence of social conflict, political institutions are unnecessary, and in the total absence of social harmony, they are impossible.

The two groups which see each other only as archenemies cannot form the basis of political community until those mutual perceptions change, and this is one of the greater challenges facing South Sudan today.

The country’s political community is fragmented against itself and political institutions have little power, less majesty and no resiliency- in many cases governments simply do not govern.

Its political evolution is characterized by dissensions, the dominance of unable personalistic leader who often peruses disastrous political, social and economic policies, widespread corruption and despotism among cabinet ministers and civil servants, arbitrary infringement of the rights and liberties of citizens.

It is also characterized by the lack of standards of bureaucratic efficiency and performance, the loss of authority by the national parliament, regional assemblies and courts, and the fragmentation and complete disintegration of broadly based political parties.

The primary fact is that all these problems are in the large part the product of rapid social mobilization of new groups into politics coupled with the slow development of political institutions.

For many, among the laws that rule human societies, there is one which seems to be more precise and clearer than all others.

If people are to remain civilized or to become so, the art of associating together must grow and improve in the some ratio in which the equality of conditions is increased.

The current political instability in South Sudan derives precisely from the failure
to meet this condition: equality of political participation has grown much more rapidly than the art of associating together, social and economic changes have extended political consciousness and multiple political demands.

These changes have undermined traditional sources of political authority and traditional political institutions.

They have enormously complicated the problems of creating new bases of political association and new political institutions combining legitimacy and effectiveness.

In short, the rates of social mobilization and the expansion of political participation are high while the rates of political organization and institutionalization are low, so the result is general political instability and disorder.

The problem of politics is lag in the development of political institutions behind social and economic changes, but the country’s new rulers have failed to grip with this problem.

Economic gap, in contrast to the political gap, has been target of sustained attention, analysis and action.

The ruling SPLM elite and their development partners all share in a massive guilt to do something about the problem of economic development in South Sudan. Economic development is the sum total of activities, and these do not take place in a vacuum but in an environment that is created by the institutions and policies of the government.

A leading international development economist with UN programs in South Sudan has argued that, “local planners and development partners have overlooked an environment conducive to development, and assumed this environment to be constant and focused on the structural obstacles such as lack of capital and how to relieve this constraint.”

This environment, however, has deteriorated so sharply that it stunts the development and therefore it should no longer assume to be constant, he said, noting that for the new country like South Sudan, an infusion of billions of dollars of foreign assistance or investment would be a waste.

In fact, the anti-development environment that prevails in South Sudan is characterized by political tyranny, instability, ethnic violence, horrible carnage, corruption and capital flight.

These are what economists called environmental obstacles, and these man-made obstacles are distinguished from structural obstacles such as lack of capital.

The amount of capital that is being siphoned out of the country by the ruling elite, their families, closer relatives and political supporters- capital flight- exceeds the amount that comes in by way of foreign aid and domestic investment.

In this case, it would be more judicious to remove the environmental factor that aggravates the capital shortage problem than to seek the infusion of more capital into South Sudan.

The environmental factors are crisis producing and by definition, a crisis is a serious adverse condition that requires immediate attention.

A crisis cannot persists for long without a major social upheaval or economic explosion. It would be preposterous to expect such diverse tribal groupings to live in peace in the absence of human action to establish a new peaceful political community.

It would also be preposterous to expect economic development in South Sudan in which genuine political structures are nonexistent and chaos flourished.

Nor does it make much sense to talk of economic development when the civil war is raging and construction of bridges, roads and power plants are being blocked in the areas of economic production.

Perhaps an analogue would be appropriate here. Consider the development process as embarking on a journey in a vehicle, leaving point A- a state of underdevelopment- and going to point B- a development state.

No wonder, the road is strewn with obstacles. The available development literature on South Sudan has identified a host of obstacles: low income, low investment, low savings and illiteracy, and the interplay of these factors produces the notorious vicious circle of poverty.

The vehicle for this journey may be private or state owned, but South Sudanese state vehicle, a motley collection of obsolete discarded parts scrounged from foreign junkyards, has now broken down. A headlight is broken and the electrical system malfunctions, and when turning the ignition switch, the windshield wipers fall off. The engine sputters and belches thick smoke that pollutes the entire country. There are no checks and balances and the fan belt is ripped, which means its cooling system is inoperative.

Clutching the wheel of the state vehicle is the President Kiir, a reckless and unskilled egomaniac who proclaims himself the driver of the vehicle. He insists that he alone must be the driver till kingdom comes since the vehicle is his own property.

Aboard the state vehicle are his cabinet ministers, cronies, sycophants, and other patronage junkies who have also brought along their relatives and friends.

Since 2005, governments have been seen as the personal fiefdom politicians use to accumulate wealth for themselves, their families and their tribesmen. They use their governing authority to extract resources from the peasantry and spend them to enrich themselves.

They cannot be subjected to criticism by anyone and anythings they say are final. President Kiir- a man hailed by the groveling South Sudan Television as the great Helmsman- runs South Sudan as a personal fief.

His Dinka people and some of their Nuer cousins have scooped the best government jobs. The army is nearly two-thirds Dinka and Nuer, but three times as many South Sudanese belong to other ethnic groups loathe the President.

Somewhat along the development journey, the smoke-belching with coolant vehicle broke down: dead battery, radiator overheated with the coolant boiling over and tires flat. This is a crisis, which must be resolved before continuing on the journey.

But instead of fixing the state vehicle, President Kiir and Riek Machar battle ferociously to determine who should be the driver, while social media revolutionaries argue furiously and endlessly over who should be a better driver.

After South Sudan’s independence, Kiir and Machar have not occupied themselves with the condition of the state vehicle. Changing the driver through a military takeover or democratic elections as the militant armed factions demand would not make any difference to the journey.

Removing the obstacles on the road would not make any difference either. Adding emission control devices to cut down pollution would be futile.

The state vehicle is going nowhere fast. If it moves at all, it will land in an economic ditch; it has to be fixed or completely overhauled.

Therefore, questions of accelerating development- getting to point B faster- must be deferred until the state vehicle is fixed.

And that cannot be done until the cause of the state vehicle break down- the cause of the South Sudanese crisis-is determined, which requires an understanding of how the vehicle operates and knowledge of its component systems.

The state vehicle in South Sudan is the defective political system, personal or one-man rule. This defective system has been the source of most South Sudan’s environmental problems, and until the system is rectified, the development journey will be extremely slow, interrupted by constant breakdowns.

John Juac Deng