Category: More Views

Politicians’ indifference as South Sudanese continue to suffer

BY: DANIEL JUOL NHOMNGEK, KAMPALA, UGANDA, MAR/30/2018, SSN;

When the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, made remarks at the Consultative Meeting on South Sudan, with UN, IGAD and the African Union that— “first of all, it is clear to me and, I’m sorry to say so, but I’ve never seen a political elite with so little interest in the well-being of its own people,” some people expressed outrage that it was against the sovereignty of South Sudan for him to make such remarks.

However, he was and he is still right up to now. In my opinion, he made a very precise observation about the conduct of South Sudanese leaders. The leaders of South Sudan do not have any interest in serving citizens as their interests solely lie in power and wealth.

The desire by the leaders to have power and resources has reduced the human values in South Sudan to nothing. This is because South Sudanese have become less human beings since what the leaders look at is not how to improve their welfare but how to enhance their power and acquire more and more wealth.

Thus, citizens have been reduced to objects and because of that they have lost the intrinsic human values due to the indifferent conduct of the leaders of South Sudan. In other words, in the politics of South Sudan, welfare of the citizens no longer matters.

But what matters to South Sudan politicians are wealth and power. Hence, leaders use citizens just like objects to maintain their power and wealth.

Therefore, the way human values and citizenry are understood in South Sudan explain the problems being faced by the people at present. The following problems:

1- Shortage of foreign currency which was caused by corruption facilitated among others through the Letters of Credit (LC). By implication, the shortage of foreign currencies has pushed up prices, which in turn has led to runaway inflation.

Unfortunately, the runaway inflation has worsened because it is not matched with the increase in salaries or business activities. The overall implication of this nature of inflation is the emergency of abject poverty facing all citizens except some of the leaders and their families.

2- Deteriorating conditions of the citizens. The liberation war of 1983-2005 whose negative impact was not reduced and the present war which is the continuation of that war has had a negative impact on the citizenry.

The war in particular has psychologically affected citizens but South Sudanese authorities have not come up with policies that deal with post-traumatic stress that result from the psychological consequences of the past war and the present.

In a study recently conducted by the US-based National Centre for Biotechnology information, it has been found that at least 40% of the participants asked across South Sudan showed symptoms of post-traumatic stress.

The prevalence of post-traumatic stress caused by the war has made majority of the citizens live a hopeless life and has led many of the citizens to committing or attempting to commit suicide.

Hence, on 15 September 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that South Sudan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world.

In addition, on 29/03/2018, News24 reported that suicide in South Sudan rises as years-long war grinds down South Sudanese. The many suicides in South Sudan are caused by the post traumatic stress that has affected the citizens uncontrollably.

Thus, the PTSD has had a great toll on many citizens though the authorities live as if things are normal with citizens.

3- The Problem of the Unknown Gunmen. Many citizens are being killed across the country and in Juba in particular, without accountability. It appears that the Unknown Gunmen is the government project intended to deal with her critics.

The government on many occasions has been accused of forming the unknown gunmen which is said to be organ of the National Security. In fact, what made many people to believe in that theory is the fact that it is common with the unknown gunmen to target the civilians perceived to be against the government and those with property, and yet the government has never made any attempt to apprehend any member of the unknown gunmen.

4- The problem of communal violence among rural, and in particular, the cattle keeping communities. This is a type of violence perpetrated across ethnic or communal lines. It’s where the violent parties feel solidarity for their respective groups, and victims are chosen based on group membership.

The above is the kind of violence that is eating up South Sudanese communities found in different states in South Sudan.

For instance, this type of violence is common in Gok State, Western Lakes, Eastern Lakes, Tonj, and Gogrial State and in some of the states in the Upper Nile.

The presence of the communal violence has led to many citizens abandoning their original homes as their livestock are stolen or robbed and their crops destroyed yet the government does not even try to find a solution to this kind of violence, which shows that politicians of South Sudan are indifferent to suffering of ordinary citizens.

5- The drilling of oil in disregards to the safety of the local citizens of South Sudan inhibiting areas where oil is found. This has resulted into waste water not processed being disposed of in unprotected areas.

Recently, the report prepared by the German NGO, Sign of Hope, estimated that 180,000 people face life-threatening risks from oil-related water pollution.

The Sign of Hope further reported that heavy metals, from leaking pipelines and refineries have affected the soil and citizens. This has further resulted into massive displacement of the people in oil producing areas.

Despite negative effects on citizens of unmonitored mining of oil, the government of South Sudan does not care about the welfare of citizens as it is busy drilling oil purposely to sustain the war against the rebels with illusive hope of winning it.

This fact has been confirmed by the recent report which made it clear that the leadership in South Sudan is using oil revenues from Nile Petroleum Corporation-NilePet and the National Oil and Gas Corporation of South Sudan to fuel the ongoing conflict.

Though the government rubbished this report by denying it in totality, it has instead put up a defence that it has been using oil money to pay salaries to the employees.

This is not true because civil servants including those working in different embassies of South Sudan are going to ten months or more now without being paid.

This therefore confirms the fact that the government is lying, but in reality, it is using the money gained from oil to fund the war.

Sadly enough, as South Sudan‘s elite uses the country’s oil wealth to sustain the war as well as to terrorize the civilians and to get rich, the country is sinking deep into financial quagmires.

The economic uncertainty and limbo has made the country hostile for its own citizens to live in.

In general, South Sudan can properly be described as the sick man in East Africa since it is a country with suffering population but indifferent leaders.

In fact, the suffering has not spared any person including the soldiers who now beg on the streets though they are the ones defending the same leaders to remain in power.

Those widows whose husbands have been killed defending rebels or government are now begging on the streets because people in South Sudan are viewed like machines that become useless as soon as they are not able to produce more.

In summary, looking at the war as the war of power struggle not reforms, it is not easy for the leaders to reach compromise to achieve peace in order to save the citizens.

For that reason, there is no hope for achieving peace in the near future. This fact has been clearly confirmed by the recent statement from the First Vice President, Taban Deng, that he did not see any prospect of achieving peace very soon since the differences between the government and the oppositions are too wide.

NB// the author is South Sudanese Lawyer residing in Uganda and he can be reached through juoldaniel2003@gmail.com

Pres. Salva Kiir’s Gestapo Mentality is killing South Sudan

BY: Duop Chak Wuol, South Sudanese, MAR/24/2018, SSN;

It was a common perception in Adolf Hitler’s Germany that working as an assassin for the notorious Nazi’s secret police, the Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo), was a noble career in the Deutschland. It is now clear that South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has adopted Gestapo-like tactics to terrorize the people of South Sudan.

Kiir’s use of a Gestapo against his critics, political opponents, and civilians is not just wrong, it is hauntingly familiar and a threat to the very existence of South Sudan.

Most politicians like to make bold political statements, proclaiming better days ahead for their citizens or countries even when they know their promises are unjustified— or, rather, absurdly imaginary.

This is also the case in the minds of many ruthless tyrants. In Kiir’s mind, it is all about killing anyone who refuses to abide by his cruelty, imposing an ethnic reign, looting state resources and blaming it on unidentified culprits or unknown gunmen whom he owns.

This is exactly what Hitler did when he conducted a brutal campaign against those he believed to oppose his leadership.

It should be clear to the people of South Sudan that Kiir is a modern admirer of Gestapo methods who believes that he can kill with impunity and remain untouchable.

There are many similarities between Kiir’s unknown gunmen and the Gestapo’s assassins. For many years, Kiir’s unknown gunmen have terrorized, arrested, tortured, kidnapped, and killed people, and yet none of the assassins have ever been put on trial.

The reason why Kiir did not use his submissive Judges to punish members of his killing squad is the fact that he is the one who employed them to commit atrocities on his behalf.

What intrigued me about Kiir is the fact that he likes to accuse people whom he disagrees with of wrongdoing. He believes that anyone who refuses to abide by his brutality is wrong and that such a person deserves punishment.

For example, Kiir, with the help of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, orchestrated a scheme to make his rivals look as if they were working on a plan to topple his government.

He put his plan in motion on December 15, 2013 by accusing them of plotting a coup, presenting groundless evidence to support his self-managed claim, and then turning around to blame them for being the ones who started the war by attempting to remove him from power.

This was, in fact, a colossal lie. Kiir later used this misleading allegation against his opponents the morning following the outbreak of war.

He declared that his then-deputy Dr. Riek Machar, along with many senior leaders of the Sudan People’s s Liberation Movement (SPLM), planned a coup against his government and that some of the plotters were detained.

Kiir also demonstrated this seemingly blame-the-victim strategy in July 2016 after he colluded with Taban Deng Gai to try to assassinate Machar at Juba One (J1), his residence.

Most South Sudanese were shocked when they saw Kiir accusing Machar of starting the J1 fighting. Kiir’s policy of blaming the victims is the same tactic Hitler used against his rivals.

The recent politically motivated death conviction of former Machar’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, and South African William John Endley has exposed Kiir’s deceit in a stunning way.

The decision by the court proves that Kiir’s mentality is no different from the former Nazi leader, who was very good at targeting his critics.

Kiir, through his sycophantic Judges, alleged that Dak committed treasonous acts and that Endley was a spy for the rebel leader Machar.

Kiir then falsely blamed the two men for being the masters of their legal troubles — troubles that were carefully fabricated at J1 and given to a Kangaroo court in Juba to punish the men.

All the charges labeled against both men were unreasonable in merit. The truth is that Mr. Dak was a critic of Kiir’s regime and Mr. Endley was simply an ordinary South African who happened to be a friend of Machar.

In a logical sense, Juba’s tyrant does not want anyone who likes Riek Machar. The man has developed a very serious hatred towards Riek Machar. His hatred for the rebel leader has reached the level of madness.

Kiir’s policy of rewarding the killers and punishing the victims reminds me of an ancient King who is so consumed by the fantasy of wanting to make people embrace his cruelty, justify his atrocities, and glorify his madness.

The real reason behind the convictions was simply an attempt by Kiir to tell his critics that he is capable of punishing anyone who criticizes his leadership — this is exactly how Hitler operated through his Gestapo-managed courts.

Kiir’s decision to use a court to punish Dak and Endley is probably the biggest act of hypocrisy to ever be committed in South Sudan.

There are many people who have carried out far more serious crimes than Endley and Dak, and these people are still working for Kiir’s government.

So, if Kiir wants to punish people, he could have started with his tribal militiamen who massacred innocent Nuer civilians in December 2013, crooked elites, and former ministers who looted hundreds of millions of dollars.

Salva Kiir is simply not a national leader as I indicated in some of my preceding writings. His actions will be an indisputable living testimony in the history of South Sudan.

The man is simply too destructive for the country. For instance, prior to the outbreak of the war in Juba, Kiir became increasingly brutal, visibly enraged, spoke out in a tribally-motivated tone, and publicly recalled past divisive events.

This was a dangerous move displayed by the very person whom the people thought was their leader.

I believe Kiir’s political opponents also contributed to what was then a looming political tragedy by not speaking out against his divisive language.

All these actions led Kiir to falsely accuse his rivals of planning a bogus coup, which resulted in a spate of targeted killings in Juba — it was a gruesome display of his leadership that went down in history as his biggest political blunder.

The South Sudanese tyrant has turned the country into a graveyard for greedy empires. It is good to remind people that the empires in question are Uganda, Egypt, Ukraine, Morocco, Kenya, and Eritrea.

There is no doubt in my mind that these nations are the main investors in Kiir’s atrocious regime and benefit from the ongoing war, all in complete disregard of humanity.

The leaders of these greedy countries are fueling the conflict by dressing up in sheep’s clothing, crying peace, and shedding crocodile tears.

Kiir always likes to accuse his critics of treason and other crimes, but he is the one who should be accused of committing treasonous acts because he has sold South Sudan to these greedy kingdoms.

Salva Kiir has no feeling for any loss of life unless such a loss poses a direct threat to his own life. Kiir is a cold-blooded leader who would kill, smile, and then blame the victim.

What I find puzzling about his tyrannical mindset is that he does not recognize the fact that those who feel oppressed by his leadership have the right to fight for their rights; be they cultural, social, economic or political rights.

It is worth mentioning that many dictators who persistently oppressed their citizens ended up facing serious ramifications. This is what happened with Hitler: he announced that those who opposed his leadership had no reason to live, yet he ended up being the victim of his own brutality.

If this is what Kiir wants, then he must publicly declare that he is the enforcer of a 21st century Gestapo and that he has decided to deny the South Sudanese much-needed democratic changes.

Kiir is now the obstacle to the democratization and development of South Sudan. The only reasonable thing for him to do now is to denounce his destructive leadership and vacate the presidency.

Salva Kiir’s leadership is built on the ideology of a tribal supremacy. He empowers ethnic ideas created by the hooligans of the infamous Jieng Council of Elders (JCE), deceives everyone in his inner circle, and robs the people of South Sudan from their national pride by cunningly changing the constitution to legitimize his tyranny.

The sheer size of his crimes is appalling for any reasonable person to comprehend.

If there are people who still support Kiir’s Nazi mentality, then I’d argue that allowing him to continue ruling the young nation will be a bonanza for his viciousness.

The Republic of South Sudan is now a modern version of a Gestapo-run state where everyone is expected to think sycophantically.

The South Sudanese must not allow Kiir’s Nazi mindset to give birth to a Gestapo baby with a “kill-with-impunity” statement written on its forehead.

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

Open Letter to Dr. Francis Mading Deng: Waste of time with National Dialogue

BY: Kuir GARANG, Poet, Novelist and Political Commentator, MAR/14/2018, SSN;

Many of us have read your books and reports on behalf of the United Nations. When I tell people, casually, during conversations, that the person who formulated the ‘Guiding Principles’ and ideas now used by the UN to take care of the internally displaced is [South Sudanese], they stare at me with a confused sense of wonder and admiration.

It is a good feeling in terms of the human communion and in terms of intellectual relatedness.

The Principles have not only been adopted by aid agencies and different governments, they have also been translated into different languages since they were introduced in the January of 1998.

“A number of governments,” you wrote in a paper in 2001, “publicly praised the development of the Principles and several governments in countries with serious situations of internal displacement have actively supported and participated in seminars on the Principles.”

This is indeed instructive on how valuable these Principles were and still are. You can understand why I’m inclined to speak about the fact that you were the brain behind these Principles with such a global appeal.

Besides your work with the Sudanese government in terms of your foreign affairs services, your books and other scholarly works, these PRINCIPLES speak loudly about how you perceive, and take seriously, the suffering of the internally displaced persons relative to their governments and your concept of ‘sovereignty as responsibility.’

This is a concept that I wished many African governments understood and practiced.

This brief reminder of your work with the internally displaced plays well into what I want to say and why I decided to write to you an open letter.

This letter is about what is happening in South Sudan and what the government of South Sudan has become: a vengeful, suspicious force against the average South Sudanese and all critical voices.

As you correctly said in your 2001 paper, The Global Challenge of Internal Displacement, that “Instead of being seen as citizens who merit protection and humanitarian assistance, these persons are often perceived as part of the enemy, if not the enemy itself.”

This, sadly, captures the reality of what is happening now to the average civilian in South Sudan. The government that is supposed to protect them sees them with a scary suspicion.

So when someone of your caliber works for the government that is doing exactly what you used to advise governments against, someone like me assumes that you are doing something internally, something that would mitigate the suffering of our people.

When you were appointed as the UN ambassador, my hopes were up. I told myself that “a cautious voice of reason will finally speak on behalf of the government of South Sudan.”

But I was being too optimistic or, to some extent, naive. Ambassadors are nothing but mouthpieces of governments.

However, when I heard that you’re again appointed as part of the national dialogue-ND, my hopes were high again.

But then I realized that the ND was merely a face-saving initiative with no real normative intent as resolving the conflict for it was very exclusive.

Since President Kiir Mayardit is being opposed by the likes of Dr. Riek Machar and other opposition figures, it’d have been clear to you that they’d not want to be part of an initiative that was started by their ‘enemy.’

That Riek Machar refused to meet your delegation in South Africa was common sense.

This statement, which you gave in December of 2017 in Addis Ababa, is troubling.

You said that, “On the issue of inclusivity, however, it must be noted that it’s a two-way challenge. When all the stakeholders are invited to dialogue, with flexibility on a mutually agreeable venue, and some individuals refuse to join, where does the responsibility for the lack of inclusivity lie?” That is strange.

Why’d you expect these ‘stakeholders’ to join something that was formed by someone they’re fighting?

You’ve worked with many governments and in politics to know the vanity and self-interestedness of ‘realpolitik.’ Why are you surprised by something you expected?

Did you expect Riek Machar to say, “Yes, it’s a good initiative, we’ll join it” without caring about the fact that this ND was formed by his archenemy?

You dashed my hopes here when it comes to rational expectations.

However, you always have a way of warming our hearts by saying the right thing when we need it the most.

You recently, in the February of this year, presented a noble address in Addis Ababa during the ill-fated ‘High-Level Revitalization Forum’ aimed at reviving the [2015] August Agreement that was meant to end the December 2013 crisis.

You wrote, with an eerie sense of impeccable humanness that: “I’ve always said that while it’s sad and painful to hear that the outside world cares more about the suffering of our people than their own leaders, our response should not be anger or defensiveness, but to convince them that we indeed share that concern, perhaps even more than outsiders, and that we’d join hands and work together to mutually reinforce our efforts toward our shared objective.

We must also convince our people that we’re indeed concerned about their suffering, and we can only do that through affirmative action.”

Undoubtedly, this is a reminder of ‘leadership as responsibility’ as Robert Joss would say. That outsiders sound more alarmed than the very leaders who’re supposed to be the most affected ones is deeply troubling.

However, given your history with the internally displaced, I do believe that you mean those words.

I’ve seen your calm demeanor, calculated and carefully reasoned arguments that makes one feel the need to listen.

You bring out that traditional African wisdom within a value-impoverished contemporary African politics.

Despite the fact that you’re with a group of hardened and desensitized men, who’ll find it hard to listen to the suffering of the people, I still believe that you can help change things.

However, I also believe that you’re approaching this in the wrong way.

First, for the ND to be inclusive, it has to be an entity formed by all the ‘stakeholders.’ This would force them to respect it and commit to it if they know they’ve people they can trust in the ND.

These would be people they chose themselves.

You also need to remember that the problem in South Sudan is the leaders, so for peace to come to South Sudan, these leaders are the ones who’re required to dialogue.

Even if the average South Sudanese in the villages and in towns reconcile, the bitter differences among the leaders will always divide them.

Unless the leaders reconcile and the war ended, any ND would be futile. How do you reconcile people who are still fighting one another?

While the ND is an excellent initiative, it’s being used for the wrong reason and applied to the wrong people.

You need to start by convincing President Kiir to dialogue with Riek and other stakeholders. You don’t even have to go to Addis Ababa.

Unless you help the leaders reconcile and end the war, you are wasting your time.

Just imagine you going to Akobo and the people accept to forgive those who’ve wronged them. But then the government and the rebels fight again in that area and the very people who’d accepted to forgive had their relatives killed.

Would they still respect such a dialogue?

Dr. Francis, while your heart is in the right place, you need to rethink what it means for something to be inclusive and who exactly needs to dialogue with whom and when.

Inclusivity shouldn’t only be in the intended execution of the ND but also in its very formation.

The idea that calling people to be part of the ND is what it means to be inclusive, worries me.
________________
Kuir Garang is a South Sudanese author and poet. For contact, visit www.kuirthiy.com

Peaceful Governance in South Sudan: Lessons from Kenyan Leaders Coming of Age

From: Dr. Hakim Dario, People’s Democratic Movement, Press Statement – For Immediate Release, MAR/12/2018, SSN;

On 8th July 2016, as if 15th December 2013 was not enough, the world looked on at South Sudan as political violence erupted again in Juba instigated by the JCE and President Salva Kiir against his FVP Dr. Riek Machar, in the wake of no more than three months into ARCSS implementation, which triggered renewed civil war in the country instead of extinguishing its flame.

(Editor: 15th December 2013 was the date pres. Kiir launched a genocidal war in Juba targeting and killing members of the Nuer tribe)

President Kiir chose and preferred violence over peaceful means to settle differences with former FVP Riek, the grave consequences of which the country and millions of its population today in refugee camps and POCs suffer in silence without a glimmer of hope in yet another HLRF search for an illusive peace.

President Kiir as head of the TGONU in the country on 8th July 2016, did not pose the legitimate question of “what will become of South Sudan from the repeat resort to uncalled for violence against fellow country men and ARCSS peace partners” that is now destroying the people’s social fabric and what hope was there now for peaceful governance in an ethnically polarized country bent on violence?

Last year in October 2017, the world witnessed a political contest in presidential elections in ethnically polarized Kenya between arch political rivals; incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta and Hon. Raila Odinga, which was concluded in a court ruling, the first of its kind in Africa for coming of age of the rule of law and the independent judiciary in Kenya.

This appeal to law and peaceful means to political conflict resolution in July 2016 would be far fetched in President Salva Kiir’s and JCE world in South Sudan ruling with impunity!

PDM notes that while Kenya’s court ruling raised hopes and held promise of a new start for the country, however, the events that followed confirmed that the Kenyan nation and people were divided down the middle, unashamedly largely on ethnic lines if not exclusively so.

This turn of events were watched with great anxiety and trepidation worldwide. What will become of Kenya and what does it mean for African democracy?

What hope is there for Africa if a country like Kenya, until recently, one of few success stories of African nationhood and democracy was cracking under the weight of ethnic division, corruption and strive over power before our very eyes on the world stage!

And since its independence 55 years ago, a grim prospect of civil war was on the horizon for a deeply divided Kenya.

On 9th March 2018, what was seemingly an unlikely political event happened in Kenya, as President Uhuru Kenyatta and Chief political rival Raila Odinga, stood together to address Kenyans about the state of their nation and the way forward.

This came as a shock, unexpected but also as a great relief, not just to Kenyans but also to their immediate neighbours in South Sudan, the African continent and the world at large.

PDM commends the phenomenal event seeing the two arch-rivals – who only a few months ago couldn’t see eye to eye, making a joint statement – standing together to address Kenyans and to face the world: a huge victory for the two leaders; a victory for Kenya and a lesson for her conflicted neighbours.

President Kenyatta and Hon. Odinga evaluated their options, decided to heed to the voice of reason. Both leaders are third generation of Kenyans, are schooled and exposed to statesmanship, which is lacking in President Salva Kiir’s and JCE world leadership of South Sudan.

It is instructive which by contrast makes leadership of our country appear to be from the bygone ages of violence and despotism.

PDM applauds the stance and steps taken by the Kenyan leaders – to subordinate their personal rivalries and political ambitions in order to serve the interest of Kenya and Kenyans first.

These two leaders had and have the capacity to destroy Kenya and destroy themselves in the process, but chose not to.

The good news is that they chose the path to resolution of potential conflict through peaceful political means as the preferred option to avert violent and destructive conflict where nobody wins but everybody looses.

PDM looks to Kenya as a valued peace partner to extend their new policy of respect for rule of law, human and peoples rights and security inside Kenya and beyond its borders to effect our country South Sudan to uphold a culture of peace and put the people first.

PDM takes particular interest in what happens to Kenya that matters to South Sudan, as Kenya is not only a home to thousands of fleeing refugees since 2013 but Kenya morally and materially supported South Sudanese throughout two wars of liberation.

The two countries share not just common borders but peoples of common linguistic and ethnic origins.

It was among the first to recognize the legitimate right of our people to self-determination.

Unfortunately too however, today’s South Sudan under President Salva Kiir shares in common with Kenya what “Building Bridges to a new Kenyan Nation” describes as the lack of national ethos in that both South Sudan and Kenya are increasingly being defined by politics of corruption and violence.

The Sentry organization chronicled in numerous reports, how the current crop of political and government leaders in South Sudan are defined by corruption, impunity, lack of vision and lack of respect for human rights and public property.

As Kenyan leaders have acknowledged what it takes to build bridges to a new Kenyan Nation, South Sudanese leaders should know too that before you can build a bridge, you must acknowledge the need to have one to bring people together.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga have set their goal to pull Kenya back from the brink and collapse, history and the people will not judge them harshly if they remain true to the promise they made in their address to Kenyans to create the political space and opportunity for all Kenyans to live together in peace, harmony and dignity.

That will require the support, dedication and commitment of all Kenyans and the international community, not least their neighbours.

The leaders of Kenya have come of age, graciously risen to the challenge of leadership, called a “spade a spade” and averted destruction of their country.

PDM supports the courageous steps they have taken in the interest of Kenya and all its peoples.

As the search for South Sudan peace through the HLRF continues in Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia, will IGAD mediators and the parties to HLRF put the people and country first?

Sincerely,
Hakim Dario PhD
CHAIR _________________________________________________
PEOPLE’S DEMOVRATIC MOVEMENT – PDM

South Sudan: The ‘Last Chance’ Call for Peace

BY: Samuel ATABI, South Sudan, MAR/05/2018, SSN;

Dear Troika Ambassadors,

The other day I watched, with tears in my eyes, a television news of a perilous journey by South Sudanese internally displaced people (IDP) being displaced again by a government attack in their camp somewhere in the Upper Nile region.

The TV footage featured young people, old people, and even pregnant women trudging along a bumpy dirt road, in a rickety truck, towards the Ethiopian border.

There, they hoped they would be safe from the government soldiers’ guns. Along the way, the footage showed a young pregnant woman who went into a sudden labor, clearly as a result of the bumpy journey.

The truck stopped and she, accompanied by some three women, walked away from the other passengers to an isolated grassy spot so that she could give birth to her baby with some dignity.

The arrival of the baby was announced by the usual lung-opening cry of neonates. A few minutes later, without ceremony or post-natal medical care, the young mother and her baby were brought back to the vehicle to resume the journey.

The vicarious pain I experienced by watching the footage brought it home to me that this war has reduced us to the life of wild animals; to a life in the wild where the struggle for survival is dictated by the Darwinian precept of ‘survival of the fittest.’

Whereas in the wild, predators such as the wild dogs, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, crocodiles are the skilled killers and devours of both the old and the young preys, in South Sudan, those who have got to the guns first and are armed to the teeth pick their unarmed victims (old and young, including babies) and kill them with complete impunity.

Failed concept of nation-state:

But why should the world stand by and watch this debasing and degradation of innocent lives of South Sudanese without doing something decisive?

Those of us who question this paralysis on the part of the international community in the face of the genocide taking place in South Sudan, are often reminded of the right of a sovereign nation-state to govern its territory without interference from other nations or institutions.

This notwithstanding, and driven by the Wilsonian vision of the American exceptionalism, the US government has spent billions of dollars in support of the people of South Sudan over the last decade.

And to their credit, the US and other Western governments have tried to stop the violence by introducing arms embargo on the warring parties in that country.

But their effort has been thwarted by the two Eastern powers, Russia and China, through vetoing of resolutions aimed to institute the embargo at the UNSC.

The two powers have no visible assistance program for the people of South Sudan, but they continue to make money from the oil industry in this unfortunate country.

The behaviors of these two latter powers continue to perplex South Sudanese; surely, they do not enjoy seeing South Sudanese killed and displaced in millions?

Although it is not profitable anymore to debate whether or not South Sudan is a nation-state as conceived by Cardinal Richelieu in the seventeenth century Europe, in his raison d’état precepts, it is still important to question whether, as structured, the South Sudanese state is the most stable and is fit for purpose.

South Sudan was itself a part of Sudan, a nation-state construct designed by the colonial power in the last century.

The peoples of the Sudan were far from homogeneous; homogeneity is one of the acceptable defining characteristics of a nation-state.

Because it lacked this feature, and as expected, the black and mainly Africans inhabitants of the south of the country, who shared very little with the brown and Muslim Arabs of the north, did challenge the credential of Sudan as a nation-state: they waged a war of liberation for decades starting in 1955 until 2011 when they managed to secede and gain independence.

In acceding to the South Sudanese secession, the international community implicitly and tacitly accepted the argument that Sudan was not a sustainable nation-state as previously constructed.

The tensions that led to the break-up of the colonial Sudanese nation are emblematic of the current challenges faced by several African nation-states: there are increasing calls for secession in some of these countries.

Examples of the countries include Niger, Nigeria, Cameron, DR Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia.

The calls are a consequence of some of the leaders of these nations behaving more like emperors of mini-empires than leaders of nation-states.

Those groups of elite or ethnicities, who are in power in these countries, discriminate against those groups of citizens who are out of it, effectively rendering their fellow compatriots as secondly class citizens.

Second-class citizenship was an enduring feature of empires, such as the Roman Empire, and not that of Richelieu’s “national-state”.

Ironically, it is this lack of homogeneity among the citizens of South Sudan that is now the cause of conflict in the country; it is ironic because this young country has purportedly bolted away from Sudan to escape discrimination, marginalization and second class citizenship for its people.

South Sudan is now at the front of the queue of African countries being threatened by disintegration because of complaints about discrimination against certain categories of citizens.

Peoples of South Sudan are not homogeneous.

As stated above, the black Africans of the then colonial Southern Sudan were put together by the British, most probably with their blackness being the main uniting factor.

This, however, is not to say that the British were entirely oblivious to the glaring differences, in physical attributes, cultures, levels of education and temperament, among the people of Southern Sudan.

This is because in their wisdom, the British divided the region in three provinces, which approximately reflected these differences.

These sub-divisions or provinces were named Equatoria, Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile.

In Equatoria, the population shared a number of characteristic: a multiplicity of ethnic groups (>30 tribes) with sedentary and agricultural lifestyle; relatively higher literacy, thanks to sustained education provided by the Catholic and protestant churches; because of the latter, the Equatorians were less prone to violence and vengeful temperament, which, in turn entrenched respect for life and property among the inhabitants.

The remaining provinces, Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile, were dominated by, respectively, single majority tribes with the Dinka dominating in Bahr el Ghazal and the Nuer having preponderance in Upper Nile. (There are, in addition, other significant minorities both in Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile).

Both Nuer and Dinka are related anthropologically, are steeped in their main tradition of pastoralism based on ownership of cattle, and share similar temperament of being quick to anger and fight over cattle rustling.

(The fight over cattle rustling, which can be either within each tribe or directed at other ethnic groups, have become more dangerous with the wide ownership of modern weaponry).

The levels of education among the general population of both these tribes were lower than those in Equatoria, probably because of diminished presence of the Christian churches in their provinces.

Genesis of antagonism among South Sudanese.

The differences described above are at the core of the present post-independence conflict in South Sudan.

The war of independence for South Sudan was fought in two phases: the first phase started in 1955 and was largely led by the Equatorians. The phase ended in 1972, when the first Addis Ababa peace agreement was signed, giving the South an autonomous government.

This was the first ever opportunity for South Sudanese to administer themselves. The autonomous government ran for approximately 10 years.

It was during that time that other South Sudanese began to recognize discriminatory tendencies among the Dinka elite who were involved at various levels of government.

They were seen to be nepotistic, tribal and physically aggressive.

The Equatorian elite in that autonomous government countered these tendencies by successfully lobbying the Sudan government to divide the autonomous government into further three autonomous governments.

The Sudanese government agreed and duly created, respectively, the Equatoria, the Bahr el Ghazal and the Upper Nile regional autonomous governments.

The Dinka elite, whose strategy of dominating the Southern government depended on a single and centralized administration in Southern Sudan, strongly opposed this move.

The Dinka elite were alone in this opposition because the rest of the Southerners had welcomed this re-division as it gave them the opportunity to govern themselves without the domination from the Dinka elite.

It was this opposition to the further decentralization of the autonomous government that led the Dinka elite to withdraw to the bush and start an armed rebellion in 1983.

Later, this primary reason for the rebellion was hidden from the public when Dr John Garang, the head of the lead rebel army, the SPLA, disingenuously claimed that the objective of the insurgency was the “creation of a New Sudan”.

In 2005, following the Naivasha Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the Khartoum government and the SPLA, the interim administration that was set up in Southern Sudan was initially dominated by the Dinka and the Nuer.

It is important to note that the Dinka elite had not abjured their earlier strategy to dominate governance in South Sudan during the more than two decades of the war.

South Sudan: The ‘Last Chance’ Call for Peace opportunity to re-assert their divisive objective of domination presented itself in December, 2013, when they started the present civil war by killing thousands of unarmed Nuer civilians in the capital of the country, Juba.

Now, they are fully in-charge of the country, while at the same time excluding other South Sudanese from meaningfully participating in the government.

Root causes of the war

With the foregoing background in place, it is now possible to delineate the root causes of the war in the Republic of South Sudan.

i) The primary cause is the selfish and hegemonic design by the Dinka elite to perpetually dominate the governance of South Sudan. This historical strategy has neatly dovetailed with the prevailing orthodoxy in Africa where the first or some intermediate ethnic group or elite to head the early post-independence governments refuse to pass the mantle of power to any other group of citizens.

The incidence which triggered the present conflict in 2013 was singularly motivated by fear among the Dinka elite that they would lose power in the planned general election to take place in 2015 to the Nuer elite headed by the then Vice President, Riek Machar.

Therefore, the obstacle to the resolution of the conflict is the determined effort by the Dinka elite to first, maintain the centralized government system and second, to use this centralization to deny other groups any meaningful roles in the governance and development of South Sudan.

ii) A secondary course of the war is the interference from the neighboring nation-states in the South Sudanese civil war. There are some nations in the vicinity of the Republic of South Sudan, particularly Uganda, which, for reasons yet unknown to the public, are selfishly shielding and supporting the regime in Juba.

They are fomenting war and disunity among the citizens of the young country and are bent on turning the country into battleground for wars in the Nile valley; the recent entry of Egypt, again, on the side of the government in Juba makes this likely.

Their support for the regime makes the regime arrogant and defiance to any suggestion for peaceful resolution of the civil war.

Solutions to the war

In August 2015, a peace agreement to end the conflict in South Sudan, also known as ARCSS, was successfully negotiated and signed in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

For reasons which history will reveal later, those charged with its implementation neglected to enforce it strictly and timely.

As a consequence, the government’s side violated several of its clauses and Dr Machar, the leader of the opposition SPLA-IO and a key signatory to the agreement, was chased out of Juba and into enforced exile in South Africa.

This left the agreement practically dead. Now a new peace process, called High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) for ARCSS has been launched.

Key participants to the forum have signed a Cessation of Hostility agreement on December 22, 2017 as a prelude to a more substantive discussion of the ARCSS itself in February, 2018.

Disappointingly, already, the government side has been accused of several violations of the ceasefire clause contained in the latest agreement.

Thus, the prognosis for the success of the next phase of the revitalization does not look good.

Despite this pessimistic assessment, we propose and recommend the following as the most reliable solutions to the conflict:

1. The mediators should adopt the following as their strategic objective:
Redefinition and restructuring of the STATE known as South Sudan in such a way that no one tribe or individual again can capture and monopolize power in order to entrench self with the purpose to subjugate and become a hegemon over the other tribes in South Sudan.

2. The mediators should encourage the participants to accept:
A clause, in the agreement, which will authorize the re-division of South Sudan into three FEDERAL states of Equatoria, Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile.

This should include a provision of freedom for any minority group to opt for a shift to another state which is different from that where it traditionally belongs.

For example, if a minority tribe in Bahr el Ghazal, who feels oppressed by the majority Dinka and would want to shift to Equatoria, it should be allowed to do so.

3. Participant should endorse:
Mandatory arms embargo through the UNSC on any party who violates the ceasefire agreement and any other clauses of the resulting agreement.

4. The members of IGAD should agree and sign on:
Promise to strictly refrain from transferring arms to any participants in the armed conflict on the pain of UNSC sanctions.
These are the key pillars that should hold the resulting agreement and on which other clauses will lean.

Consequences of failure
We respectfully urge the UN, the Troika and the AU to seriously consider adopting our suggested Strategic Objective listed in (1) above.

Were it to be successfully applied in the South Sudanese conflict, it might provide a future template for a wider application in the various African conflicts that will surely result from the failing nation-states as alluded to earlier.

The creation of meaningful federal units, in South Sudan and elsewhere in Africa, within a united entity (state) must be preferable to a complete fragmentation into successively tiny and unstable ‘independent’ countries.

This opportunity must not be lost.

The international community has repeatedly announced that the present peace process on the South Sudanese conflict is the last chance for the leaders of that country; but the community has not revealed what are the consequences if this ‘last chance’ fails.

We want to invite the international community to again consider our suggestions for what should be the consequences in case of failure.

a) Seek and pass a UNSC resolution establishing a UN-AU Trusteeship to govern South Sudan for a defined period and prepare the country for a general election; or

b) For a specified period, the dollar proceeds from the sales of oil by the regime in Juba should be managed by the UN for the benefit of the people of South Sudan and not for the ruling elite or nor for the purchase of armaments which are used for killing the population; or

c) The military power of the government in Juba should be forcibly degraded either: through a UN-sanctioned forces attacking the SPLA; or through the intervention of forces from a coalition-of-the-willing, regardless of the resistance at the UNSC; or through the judicious and selective arming of the South Sudanese opposition coalition forces to force a hurting stalemate that should in turn force the government in Juba to the table for a realistic peace settlement ; and

d) If all of the above fail, then the world should be prepared to countenance a scenario of generalized and internecine warfare in South Sudan, perhaps which will be worse than the Somalia debacle both in intensity and scope.

The opposition, in desperation, might seek support from states that sponsor of terrorism for supply of arms and ammunitions. They might form liaisons with terrorist fighters and adventurers in return for religious conversion and future economic benefits.

(There are mineral resources such as uranium, gold and diamonds, in South Sudan, which the opposition might use for illegal purchase of armaments and supplies).

The military presence of Egypt in South Sudan might facilitate the attraction of its terrorist enemies to shift their battleground to South Sudan.

As history and experience have shown, the costs for delayed action to bring peace and normality to a country devastated by conflicts are usually enormous and higher than those for an early intervention; these elevated costs will not only apply to the South Sudanese but will also be applicable to the region and to those who have security and economic interests in eastern Africa.

I should, however, hasten to add here that this is not just an idle speculation from our side; during her recent visit to South Sudan, Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the UN, had expressed similar concern on the possibility of South Sudan turning into a breeding ground for terrorists if the conflict is inordinately prolonged.

(In an appreciation of Ambassador’s Haley stance to side with the people of South Sudan, the following poem was written by one of our members in response to an American female blogger urging Ambassador Haley, from the US, to choose side with the regime in Juba:

‘Have you ever seen the earth from a distant space?
It is a ball of navy blue water with swirling clouds
At that distance, one cannot see the rotting bodies of soldiers and civilians on the Juba streets.
Neither can you see a young mother giving birth in the bush like a wildebeest in a wild park.
Nikki is no dewy-eyed sentimentalist, arm-chair observer talking from New York.
She is a street-level observer who has been to the refugee and IDP camps.
Nikki talked to the victims of war about their sufferings
She shares their pains.
Between the two women, I would choose Nikki for a mother’)

Conclusion
The ‘last chance’ call made by the international community to the leaders of South Sudan should equally apply to the leaders in the region (IGAD), the AU, the UN and world powers.

It is time the Darwinian experiment now being conducted in our country was stopped. Our people need peace and dignified life.

Yours sincerely,
Samuel Atabi

Latest Report: Half of South Sudanese hungry, as famine looms again

BY: AFP, FEB/27/2018, SSN;

Nearly half of the population in war-torn South Sudan is experiencing extreme hunger, with many more set to run out of food as famine looms, government and UN agencies said Monday.

A year after South Sudan became the first country in six years to experience famine, due to a drawn out civil war, its National Bureau of Statistics warned that 40 percent more people were going hungry this year, even before the lean season sets in.

The state bureau said in a statement that in January 5.3 million people, representing 48 percent of the population, were facing acute food insecurity.

In 2017 some 100,000 people were affected by a famine — meaning people started dying due to lack of food. It was declared over in June.

“Improved access and a massive humanitarian response succeeded in containing and averting famine later last year.

Despite this, the food insecurity outlook has never been so dire as it is now,” said a joint statement from three United Nations aid agencies.

Four years of civil war have devastated agriculture, while prices have soared and rains have also been unreliable.

The country has also been hit by crop-destroying armyworm caterpillars.

“The situation is deteriorating with each year of conflict as more people lose the little they had.

We are alarmed as the lean season when the harvest runs out is expected to start this year much earlier than usual,” said Adnan Khan, World Food Programme (WFP) country director.

The statistics bureau and aid agencies warned that if humanitarian assistance was not stepped up, more than seven million people could become food insecure — two thirds of the population.

Eleven counties are at risk of famine. Without assistance, as of May, more than 1.3 million children under five will be at risk of acute malnutrition.

Allain Noudehou, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, told a press conference that only 5.5 percent of $1.7 billion (1.3 billion euros) in aid needed in 2018 had been received.

South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, was engulfed by civil war in 2013 after President Salva Kiir accused his rival and former deputy, Riek Machar, of plotting a coup against him.

Violence — initially between ethnic Dinka supporters of Kiir and ethnic Nuer supporters of Machar — has since spread to other parts of the country, engulfing other ethnic groups.

The last ceasefire, signed in December, was broken within hours while the latest round of peace talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa have stalled.

Why the Death Sentence on James Gatdet Dak should be Nullified

By Peter Gai Manyuon, Activist, FEB/16/2018, SSN;

On Monday 12th of September 2018, a South Sudan court in Juba sentenced James Gatdet Dak to death by hanging, citing several provisions in the constitution as the basis upon which the verdict was reached by Judges.

The verdict sentenced (Gatdet) for allegedly inciting violence which falls under treason charges according to article 64, disseminating false information to the detriment of South Sudanese national security under article (75) and insulting the president under article 76 under the penal code of 2008 respectively.

On the other hand, the lead-defense lawyer, Monyluak Alor Kuol, described the verdict as a political decision from the government of South Sudan with no legal basis or citations.

Evidently, audiences all over the world reacted positively and only few welcomed the decay sentenced on various social media platforms. It’s should be noted that, sentencing or death penalty was not cross-checked or properly cross-examined by competent judges in South Sudan, instead incompetent Judges all over the Country continue determining cases that are not well scrutinizeD.

What can South Sudanese do in regards to these judges? For how long Should South Sudanese continues trusting these Judges in the Country? Are they really well trained judges or politicians working in the judiciary in South Sudan pretending to be judges?

The transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011, under bill of rights mentioned that “every person has the inherent right to life, dignity and integrity of his or her person which shall be protected by the law; no one should shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her right” respectively.

The question is, whether the judges have read the Bill of Rights of the Transitional constitution 2011 which they are claiming to have read?

In the same Bill of rights clearly and precisely mentioned, all persons are equal before the law and entitled to equal protection of law without discrimination as to race, ethnic origin, color, sex, language, religious creed, political opinion, birth, locality or social status.

Furthermore, under the same bill of rights restricted or prohibited death penalty to anyone without proper scrutiny. The same Bill of rights precisely said, no death penalty shall be imposed on anyone.

The Judges in Juba imposed death penalty on James Gatdet Dak on tribal basis not through good legal procedures.

In fact, judges are making judgments based on assumptions and interests attached to their legal processes in various courts in the Country. No fairness and respect to the Constitution of South Sudan 2011 especially the Bill of rights. The government in Juba abandoned constitution of the Country and judges only worked on directives of the government.

There is no independent judicial system in the Country. It’s rule of man which is final in all the Institutions in the Country.

It’s therefore very unfortunate for a Country to allow national security and politicians in deciding or determining court cases, killings or terrorizing all people in the Country.

The matter if not handled with care can disintegrate the Country more and more in to sections in due time, where each community shall be ready for self-rule or self-determination.

In summary, the only people qualified enough for death sentences and treason charges are all former Ministers, current Ministers, Army Generals and Kiir himself who have looted, killed thousands and displaced civilians to different parts of the World.

Who is more criminal between someone doing his work as Spokesperson of his party and someone who kills millions of people and loots the Country resources for almost two decades?

It’s only happening in South Sudan where top criminals are sentencing innocent Journalist for belonging to certain ethnicity. This is a serious and contentious issue that must be denounced as malicious in nature.

In conclusion, Kiir Mayardit and the National security and despotic politicians in South Sudan should evaluate the judgment again otherwise, the issue of James Gatdet could incite more crises in the country since others will look at it in different lenses.

Even though South Sudanese are looking for peace to come back to the Country anytime from now, the government and its allies must desist from doing unnecessary court cases that are inciting’s more conflicts in the country.

Peter Gai Manyuon is an Author, Independent Journalist and Columnist who has written extensively on Human Rights and Democracy in South Sudan. Reachable on independentjournalistpgm@gmail.com.

Response to VP Taban Deng on blaming American Administration for imposing Arms Embargo on South Sudan

By: Hoth Giw Chan, Jurist Doctor, Unvi. of Massachusetts School of Law, FEB/12/2018, SSN;

Truth hurts, but, it’s the only way out of South Sudan Situation. The American leadership under the President Donald J. Trump, wisely took unprecedented steps to end the suffering of the South Sudanese people who are roaming around in Refugees Camps inside the country (UN-Protection Camps) and in the neighboring countries, due to the failures of their government.

In dealing with the uncompromising stand of the government of South Sudan not to give peace a chance, the U.S, administration selectively sanctioned individuals who were impediments to the peace and who also used their financial powers to finance the conflict.

This was how those of Makuei Lueth, Paul Malong Awan, and Malek Reuben Riak, and Benjamin Bol Mel, got blacklisted by the American government. That was the first step for Trump, administration in taking a serious measures regarding South Sudanese conflict.

This past week, the Trump, administration took another positive step to impose an arms embargo on the Government of South Sudan, as a result of its failure to respect the signed Cessation of Hostility Agreement by the parties.

This step was taken by American administration after it failed to convince the UN Security Council to do the same. Russia and China refused as expected, but that did not deter the American Administration to take a unilateral action on the South Sudanese government.

It shows that the U.S is concerned about the South Sudanese people more than their own government in Juba. In fact, the civilian are now under UN Protection in the UN Camp outside Juba—being protected from a brutal dictator, with minority government ruled by tribal chiefs (JCE).

In response to the action taken by the U.S administration, the Minority Government of Juba (Kiir regime) did the followings:
….(1) recalled its Ambassador based in Washington DC, to Juba,
….(2) summoned U.S, Ambassador to South Sudan, to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, to explained the reason why U.S imposed the sanction,
….(3) decided to build their relationship with China and Russia, and
….(4) rented the crowd to protest on the street of Juba, about the U.S, government decision (the crowd were directed or threatened by the government to protest).

That Minority government of Juba, even went further to issue a threat to the American government when it’s illegitimate Vice President Taban Deng Gai, stated that: “It is the Chinese who will build the roads in South Sudan, not Americans because they are not our partners in our economy. The partners are Chinese and the other potential partners are Russians, they are building a refinery, the first refinery in South Sudan. So these are the people who have been defending us,” said Taban Deng Gai, South Sudan’s First Vice President, on Sunday.

“During the war of liberation, I have never seen the American M16 … I know AK-47, I know the support from Russia, I know the support from Libya, I know the support from Ethiopia and I know the support from Yemen.”

Adding further that “I don’t think he [Trump] is for peace because if peace comes to South Sudan … we shall eat our cassava, we shall eat our sweet potatoes and we shall eat our corn,”

Let me clarify why I think that Minority government in Juba lost it mind, by threatening the U.S. government for taking a right decision to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan.

First, as we all know that the American Government—several administrations, invested heavily on South Sudan to be an independence country. This began after the 1990s, when the Socialist Camp (former USSR) collapsed and the international politics favored Western Democratic form of government.

SPLM/A under the leadership of Dr. Garang, switched side, and eventually received humanitarian assistance from the Western countries.

Indeed, at the end of 1990s to early 2000s, the U.S, government helped finance the establishment of the current IGADD (Inter-Government Authority on Drought and Development), which became instrumental in the North-South Peace Process (CPA).

In fact, it was the American pressure through the UN, which brought the CPA—making the establishment of the regional government of Southern Sudan a reality. Without American pressure, it would have taken us some time to defeat the Islamic Government of Bashir, in Khartoum.

On the financial aid of the American Government to South Sudanese people, the $11 billion Dollars the U.S government invested in South Sudan since 2011, are a lot of money, but were mis-managed by people like yourself (Taban) and your brother in corruption (Salva Kiir).

That should not be an American problem why this money were mis-managed by the South Sudan government. I believe you also remember the only paved road from Juba to the Ugandan border (Nimule Road) was built using the American financing.

I have never heard or seen a Chinese or Russian road project connecting South Sudan with an outside world. They might have provided the weapons currently used by those government militia terrorizing civilians in South Sudan.

As for the refinery you talked about being built by the Chinese, the refinery was built because of the contract to pay these Chinese Companies — not that they loved South Sudanese people and donated the refinery to them for free.

It was part of Chinese strategic energy security on the Continent that brought them to South Sudan, when we separated from Sudan.

After separation, we inherited these Chinese Oil Companies from Sudan, when we should have let them go and bring American Oil Companies — the people who actually helped us attain our independence.

As for the statement blaming American government for not providing weapons to SPLM/A during its war with the Sudanese government, I find that pathetic, “During the war of liberation, I have never seen the American M16 … I know AK-47, I know the support from Russia, I know the support from Libya, I know the support from Ethiopia and I know the support from Yemen.”

That statement is pathetic because SPLM/A was a Socialist Movement at the time fighting to instill a Communist form of governance in Sudan. That was the reason why it was assisted by the Socialist Camp, led by USSR.

Why would American government support such an Organization fighting against its principles?

In addition to the above facts on how previous American administrations helped South Sudan, Taban Deng Gai, has forgotten the fact that it was the previous American administration that made it possible for him to bypass the legal process and became the current illegitimate Vice President— thereby bypassing Lado Gore, who was the second man in the hierarchy of the SPLM-IO, and who should have been the head of SPLM-IO, in the absence of the Chairman.

The previous American Administration also help with the detention of the SPLM-IO Chairman in South Africa, thought your minority government is paying for his detention as a way of securing your illegitimate position.

You have to remember that the current American administration under President Trump, is not finished with you yet.

Wait for the next step, which may be to deal with you directly for violating the signed Ceasefire intentionally when you moved your forces to attack SPLM-IO forces in their respective places.

Dr. Hoth Giw Chan.
Jurist Doctor, University of Massachusetts School of Law. Master of Public Administration, Drake University, Iowa. BA, Iowa state university, Ames Iowa.
Email: giwchan@yahoo.com

South Sudan peace will not materialize under IGAD’s Leaders

By Gatwech Deng Wal, Melbourne, Australia, JAN/27/2018;

South Sudan’s peace will not materialise under IGAD’s leaders! This is because their neutrality, failure to give a clear and timely commitment in support to bring about peace are in question since the war and negotiations began.

Warring factions under Dr Riek Machar Teny and Salva Kiir Mayardit signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2015 in the hope that it would bring the war to an end, restore love and harmony to the world’s youngest nation’s citizens. However, IGAD’s leaders’ undue influence over it made it fail and cost many more lives.

The CPA collapsed under the watch of IGAD’s leaders, and thus resulted into the episode of indescribable killings between the warring parties, that is, Sudan People Liberation Army/ Sudan People Liberation Movement in Opposition and in Government (SPLA/SPLM-IO) and (SPLA/SPLM-IG). This caused massive displacement of innocent civilians in the South Sudan’s capital and elsewhere across the country in July, 2016.

Similar episodes forced Dr Machar and his forces out of Juba to Congo with hot pursuit of an aerial bombardment and ground infantry combatants for more than forty days with IGAD’s leaders failing to intervene and/or condemn. As the CPA of 2015 failed under the watch of IGAD’s leaders without intervention and condemnation, even this revitalisation that is now in the process is unlikely to materialise.

IGAD’s leaders are architects of South Sudan’s conflict. There is nothing that will bring South Sudan’s peace into place while they are present in the negotiations. They are working behind closed doors in fueling the conflict and making it worse, knowing that the more South Sudan’s war prolonged, the more employments they will get from the international communities such as Troika, China, EU and others under the guise of peace negotiation.

In this case, they do not deserve to be mediators of South Sudan’s conflict while they are not playing a neutrality role as mediators. They are taking and favouring sides, working around the clock day and night to promote war in, and the destabilisation of South Sudan.

A good example is violation of Cessation of Hostilities (COH) signed on the 21st of December, 2017 by the two factions in Addis Ababa. It was violated by the government within less than 72 hours, and IGAD’s leaders neither intervened nor condemned.

Since the negotiation between South Sudan’s warring parties began, IGAD’s leaders have done little to bring about peace to South Sudan and its people because their mediation process lacked flavour of truth and impartiality. They recklessly mediated the warring parties, knowing that their mediation would mean nothing else than killing and the displacement of innocent South Sudanese.

In essence, they are not good at anything else, but creating loud propagandas and mockeries, causing more confusions, fuelling conflict, disintegration and discord within the South Sudanese people. Their mediation has never been negotiated with a good faith but with dirty deals with South Sudanese angry position leaders.

Leaders of IGAD have little knowledge in knowing that both parties have to be aware of what their interests are, and the need to be willing to engage in a give-and-take process with the other party to come to agreements together. This lack of understanding shows that IGAD’s leaders’ ability to bring about peace to South Sudan is very slim.

They are far from addressing conflict negotiation strategies that can brings the conflict to an end. That is, as mediators, they do not confront the situation’s differences differently, or consider interests separately or engage the warring parties in a good relationship-building dialogue.

Ignoring these approaches will not allow good understanding between the parties or the mediators. Even cases where resolution of a dispute is possible it would not be possible.

South Sudan’s peace will not materialise if the leaders of IGAD continue to act naively, not knowing there would be no real writ and viable political solution in the peace talks without involving IO’s leader, Dr Riek Machar. His isolation is a huge setback in the peace talks and recipe for war in South Sudan.

This is simple to know, it does not need people like IGAD’s leaders to be commonsense scientists to know it. Isolation of the main person to the conflict such as Dr Riek Machar shows that South Sudan’s peace is far from materialising under IGAD’s leaders.

Author: Gatwech Deng Wal
Melbourne, Australia
The author can be reached by email
His email is gatwechdeng@gmail.com

Juba can’t do a Rwanda, so it better get serious on peace

By: CHARLES ONYANGO-OBBO, The East African, JAN/24/2018, SSN;

In Summary: If the South Sudanese refugees become a huge population, they can seize power the way the Rwandan refugees did in 1994 in a return-to-the-homeland rebellion.

The South Sudan warriors have been doing what they do best — violating ceasefires and peace agreements.

When in December the Salva Kiir government and its rebel opponents signed a peace agreement, there was an online conversation, where one of the people asked if there was anyone out there who was willing to bet that it would hold. Not a single person did.

And, indeed, a few hours later, there were reports of violations.

With the conflict still going on, it will be a long while before the nearly 2.6 million South Sudanese who have fled to neighbouring countries in the past four years can dream of going back home.

The thing about that number, 2.6 million, is that they are nearly a quarter of the country’s 12.5 million population.

South Sudan is not alone.

East Africa, Central Africa and the Horn each has at least one country where between 10 per cent and 25 per cent of the population has been displaced by conflict.

Central African Republic, a country of 4.5 million people, has some 600,000 – or 13 per cent – as refugees.

For nearly 25 of the past year 27 years, Somalis have been scattered all over the world. At the height of the conflict in Somalia, one got the impression that the country would empty, as famine added to the toll of war.

Three years ago, it looked like Burundi would go the same way after President Pierre Nkurunziza, inspired by some of his peers, decided to grab a third term, and the country erupted in violence again.

If all these crises were to get worse, to use the politically incorrect expression, the region would soon have a couple of countries where there are more chiefs than Indians.

You would have more politicians, ruling party officials, soldiers and militias in these conflict nations than citizens for them to rule over and prey on.

The flip side of this is that the countries that host the most refugees in Africa are also in the region, topped by Uganda, then Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and Sudan.

What does a country and its government do when most of their citizens are across borders, leaving them with no subjects? Is the power with them, or in refugee camps across the borders?

If the majority of South Sudanese were to flee to Uganda and Ethiopia in escalating violence, would it make Yoweri Museveni and Hailemariam Desalegn co-presidents of South Sudan, or would Salva Kiir still pretend that he is The Man?

A not too dissimilar situation played out after the 1994 Rwanda genocide, in which the Interahamwe moved with most of the people and set up a menacing mini-state across the border in DRC. It ended very badly.

Rwanda intervened to dismantle the camps, and the series of events that followed led to the ouster of dictator Mobutu Sese Seko in Congo in 1997.

Juba is in no position to do a Rwanda on Kampala or Addis Ababa. But if the South Sudanese refugees become a huge population, they can seize power the way the Rwandan refugees did in 1994 in a return-to-the-homeland rebellion.

Juba can’t say it was not forewarned. It better get serious about peace.

Charles Onyango-Obbo is publisher of data visualiser Africapaedia and Rogue Chiefs. Twitter@cobbo3