Category: More Views

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

Who’s to blame for the potential disintegration of South Sudan? A Response to Jieng CE Joshua Dau Diu

By: James Yiel Yoak Nhial, 65Yoaknhial@gmail.com, JAN/11/2018, SSN;

A response to an Article written by the co-chair of Jieng council of elders Mr. Joshua Dau Diu entitled; South Sudan is at the verge of disintegration, dated 14th October 2017.

It is said in the Holy Bible that you say the truth and the truth will save you. The current crisis that plunged our lovely country into political abyss, came about political and administrative differences that emerged within the ruling SPLM party amongst senior members of the party on issues related to reforms on economic, social, political and administrative, is the main cause of this crisis especially when some members within the party expressed their intention to contest in the coming elections for the presidency.

This state of affairs reached its stalemate in December 2013 where president Kiir, his Jieng council of elders and positions seekers conspired to assassinate the former vice president Dr. Riek Machar and throw other opponent to jail or eliminate them as well.

To carry out smoothly the well planned and coordinated action, members of the Nuer soldiers in the presidential guards ( known as Tiger Battalion), must first be disarmed. To disarm a soldier by force especially a Nuer soldier is an eminent invitation of violence and this was the beginning of hostilities resulting in the current civil war of South Sudan.

The country could not have undergone this terrible situation had president Kiir and his Jieng council of elders contained and confined the situation to the army without massacring innocent unarmed Nuer civilians.

Because the primary goal was not to kill Riek Machar alone, but to kill as many Nuers as they find to satisfy their (Dinka) lust for revenge on unarmed Nuer civilians escalating the war to greater Upper Nile where the majority of these victims come from.

The question is why target one ethnic group and not the other groups if it were not a long term plan by Dinka? If anybody could believe the fabricated coup attempt, does that warrant the mass killings of civilians who have nothing to do with who rules and who is going to rule the country?

If it was not a planned action why did general Paul Malong, President Kiir and the Jieng council of elders came up with project of Dinka militias before December 2013`s incident? Why moved the recruited 15,000 Dinka militias from Warrap and Aweil the home towns of Malong and Salva Kiir,and stationed them in Juba before the war if the massacre of Nuer was not a planned thing?

Based on my practical experience and as one of the targeted prey, the foremost and fundamental root cause of South Sudan`s problems or crisis is the love of power and wealth by Dinka tribe aggravated by their lack of a nation building and/or vision, their DNA corruption in their veins, bad governance, absence of transparency and accountability and above all lack of nationalism to hold this country together as one political entity.

The ex-pastor and in-law Mr. co-chair of Jieng council of elders Joshua Dau stated that, when it became impracticable to adapt the ACRSS to the situation due to that alien characteristic nature, and upon mediators insistence to enforce it, the consequence was the fist battle in J1 palace in Juba on 8-12 July 2016 between the rebel forces of Riek Machar Teny and the government forces; end of statement.

In another statement, by Joshua, stated that the fist fight in J1 palace, was the second coup attempt of Dr. Machar.

Which is which now; was the dogs fight in J1 was a result of government refusal of implementation of the impracticable ACRSS as you called it or was it an attempted coup by Dr. Machar as you stated earlier? How can Dr. Riek stage a coup with only 70 body guards of his and his ministers?

I personally thought you were one of the elders who could have helped mend the Nuer – Dinka relations instead of planning evils against Nuer. Mr. Joshua, you have forgotten that you were elected to the assembly by the Nuer of Fangak who were the majority in preference to their own son that you are now working very hard to see that they are eliminated?

Mr. co-chair, as to the second coup attempt as alleged by you in 2016, is rubbish and too late for lies fabrications again to mislead public and world opinion, for almost everybody knew what happened and how it happened; however, Am never surprised or worried about the Dinka`s regime lies fabrications as it is their normal habitual behavior.

In 2016, in Juba Grand Hotel where we were putting up, you asked us and I quote, now you have mistakenly brought the children (meaning SPLA-IO soldiers) to Juba how will you take them out? (Me cia gaat kule nyakge, bia ke kule luoijiok I di?) End of quote. Your statement indicates that there was not only a planned an attack on SPLA-IO, but also to assassinate the SPLA-IO leader Dr. Machar.

Mr. Joshua, you know very well that both December 2013 and July 2016 were well planned and coordinated by Your Jieng Council of elders, general Paul Malong and some traitors from the SPLM/A-IO.

My common sense tells me that the plan includes possible elimination of the two leaders Kiir and Riek, after which Paul Malong becomes the president, Taban Deng becomes the first vice president and Lol Gatkuoth becomes the petroleum minister.

To prove that the December 2013`s Nuer massacre was a planned action, I would narrate the events that led to the massacre:-

• General Paul Malong, the then governor of Northern Bhar El Ghazal state recruited 15,000 militias from among Dinka of Warrap the home Town of president Kiir, and Aweil the home Town of general Malong. These primitive Dinka militias were trained, equipped/armed and moved to Juba before the December incidence and were instructed to kill the Nuer without mercy.

The resources used for the up keep of these militias were drawn from the public chest, e.g the money alleged to have been stolen from the president`s office was part of the funding of these militias.

• When the shootout occurred in Tiger Battalion in the night of December 15th 2013, the house of Dr. Machar was stormed and heavily shelled with the intention of killing him which has been the primary goal of his enemies in addition to the lust of mass killings of Nuer (ethnic cleansing) which was actually carried out on 16th – 20th December 2013 by Dinka militias mathiang anyor and Dinka`s SPLA and their national security organs.

Co-chairman of the Jieng council of elders, let me refer you to the AU investigation findings of the Nuer massacre in Juba in December 2013;
The investigation carried out in 2014 by the AU, has released the final findings on 17th October 2014 as follows:

• That widespread and systematic killings took place in Juba in December 2013.

• That the killings in Juba were carried out pursuant to a state policy and were coordinated also possibly planned,

• AU investigators found no evidence of a coup attempt as claimed by president Salva Kiir , but, instead concluded that a gunfight within the presidential guards was the immediate trigger for further violence in which Dinka members of the presidential guards and other security forces targeted Nuer soldiers and civilians in and near their homes,

• A number of Kiir`s personal associates and presidential guards commanders are named in the report as operational sectors commanders who led the operations that the AU commission said resulted in mass killings in residential areas in mid-December 2013 including, Muniki, 107 (Miaya Sabaha), Khor William, New site, Gudele one, Mangateen, Custom, Nyakuron and Jebel. Tens of thousands of members of Nuer ethnic group fled to the UN Tongping base in the wake of these killings and still remain under UN protection today and

• The detail numerous accounts of murders, rapes, tortures and other atrocities including cases of forced cannibalism perpetrated by the members of the army and security forces Articles; 810, 811, 812, 813, and 814 of the report, make that such acts were carried out with the degree of organization and planning.

Not because of the AU findings, but, the bringing in of the 15,000 trained Dinka militias to Juba before the December 2013th incidence by Dinka led government was by itself is a proof of the intended massacre of Nuer ethnic group in Juba and elsewhere in South Sudan.

I know the truth is always bitter Mr. Joshua but, resorting to telling lies both to cover up evil deeds or for economic interests, will not help us get out of this nasty situation and eventually may lead to disintegration of this nation and the blame will squarely rest on Dinka tribe.

I want to shed light on Mr. Joshua`s root causes of Nuer- Dinka conflict:

Joshua stated that the Akobo incident of 1975 was one of the root causes of Nuer – Dinka conflict.

The Dinka – Nuer unstable relation is not something new, but is a historical struggle between the two cousins over scarce resources.

Nuer officers and men killed their commanding officer Colonel Abel Chol (a Dinka) and subsequently deserted the army and formed Anyanya2 1976 – 1983 stated Joshua.

Anyanya2 was not formed in 1976, but was formed right away after Addis Ababa Agreement by those discontented Anyanya1 with the Agreement and were in existence before 1975 of Akobo incident with their head quarter in Bilpam under different commanders at different times.
Mr. Joshua, one must write something one is dead sure of substantiated with dates and places not to leave room for any doubt.

• In Akobo incident of 1975, who shot Colonel Abel Chol, or Abel Kon as he was known? Colonel Abel was shot by Sergeant Bol Kur who was not a Nuer as you would like to hear. Majority of Nuer officers did not participate in the mutiny and that was why they remained in the barrack and also that was why they were charged of negligent and irresponsibility and eventually court martialed and shot in the morning of July 1975 in Malakal town and others were sentenced to long term imprisonment. Yes, Abel Chol, comes from Dinka ethnic group and that was not the reason for his death as you seem to advocate: but there were Dinka officers and men in Akobo during the incident.

• Anyanya2 as I said earlier, was not formed as a result of Akobo mutiny, but, cemented the alredy existing movement (Anyanya). Those who were there before Akobo incident, include, Gordon Koang Chol, Bol Kur, Vencent Kuany, Gabriel Gatwech Chan and many others as I was there in Addis Ababa when the movement was established. The political figures were not Nuers but Dinka of Bhar el Ghazal namely, Gordon Mortot and Elias Aduang. The two leaders Elias and Gordon disagreed right away on logistical issues, and Gordon went back to London and sometime later, Elias left for Italy.

The first split of the SPLM/A in Itang in 1984 was not based on ethnicity if it ever were, Dr. John Garang would not have led the movement as the bulk of the soldiers by then were Nuer; uncle Akuot Atem would not have been chosen by Samuel Gai and William Abdalla Chol to be their leader which was one of the reasons for the split besides the New Sudan ideology.

Dr. John Garang and his two military generals, Major Kerbino Kuanyin Bol who shot the first bullet in Bor and major William Nyuon Bany who in June 1983 rebel in Ayod and joined Kuanyin on the Ethiopian border were ideological and leadership differences.

New Sudan ideology by Garang`s group was to liberate the whole Sudan and change the system of governance; while the other group of Akuot Atem, Samuel Gai, and William Abdalla Chol were for the liberation of South Sudan to become an independent political entity.

Differences on who to lead worsened the situation, as Dr. John wants to lead the movement while Samuel Gai and William Abdalla wanted uncle Akuot Atem to lead the movement resulting in dislodging Akuot`s group to South Sudan`s border where they were ambushed by an air lifted SPLA resulting in Gai`s death.

Meanwhile, Anyanya2 kept themselves aloof from the new movement, the SPLA and was still in their head quarter in Bilpam. The first mistake committed by SPLM/A was the attack on Anyanya2 in Bilpam forcing them to joined Akuot and Samuel`s group at the South Sudanese border.

The 1991 incident that has become Dinka slogans of the day, was not condoned by all Nuers and not to be blame on Dr. Riek as the white army were not recruited, trained and equipped by Nasir faction of the SPLM/A of Dr. Riek and therefore, have no control over them unlike Dinka militias mathianganyor, gelwang, and kutkubeny who were and are still under direct control and instructions of SPLA Dinka army commanders.

Two hidden mass killings of unarmed Nuer civilians in Atar Aradeba in 1988 where hundreds Nuer women and children who were traveling in a convey of Anyanya2 were rounded up after ambushing the Anyanya2 force were cruelly murdered simply because they are Nuers despite the fact that my father-in-law Peter Riir Puk whose daughter Nyaruac Riir, my wife and son of 11 years old were among the executed civilians; while Peter Riir was one of the SPLA alternate commanders in Rub Nyagai in Bentiu by then.

The victims were selected on ethnic groups, Shilluk, Dinka and Nuer. Nuer group were led away and killed in cool blood. Those fighting Anyanya2 in almost all frontlines, were Nuer themselves and not the Dinka and every Dinka of SPLA soldier knows this very well. There are survivors of Nuer wives from Shilluk who were not discovered they are Nuer wives who can testify about the incident.

In 2011, in Kaldak, serious atrocities and human rights violations committed against unarmed Nuer civilians including running over people by tanks, burning people alive in their shelters/huts and in reeds along the river in addition to those who died of thurst and hunger in the forest and the Nuers are still supporting the dictatorial and the most corrupt rule of Dinka.

I was one of the SPLM/A supporters against Anyanya2 for two reasons, one is that Dr. Garang was the right person to lead the Movement educationally and militarily against uncle Akuot Atem as he was an old man, secondly, Anyanya2 collaborated with the enemy (the Arab) which I personally see as the betrayal to the cause, but differ in total liberation of Sudan.

People are silent about these killings even the Nuer themselves have forgotten evil deeds of Dinka using public apparatus in the name of the de facto-government.

Revitalization of failed August 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the conflict in South Sudan ACRSS by self-styled international and regional bodies with their allies and institutions in UN, EU, Troika, IMF, world Bank are using AU, and IGAD to deal the last catastrophic stroke of disintegration of the land and people of South Sudan, stated Mr. Dau.

Shame on you Hon. Co-chairman of Jieng council of elders, calling the international and regional bodies who have been and are still working day and night to restore peace to this messed up country, self-styled bodies?

Are you Mr. Joshua and your Jieng council of elders concerned about the suffering of South Sudanese people including the flight of Dinka Aweil and Warrap to northern Sudan in search of food?

Are you not moved by the deep rooted hatred by the 63 southern tribes towards Dinka tribe for inhuman deeds carried out against them?

For how long do you think the broken social fabric between tribes/communities will mend or rebuild when you the so called Jieng council of elders have become source of evil.

Am deeply and terribly moved by the degree of atrocities being committed by your SPLA and Dinka militias against innocent South Sudanese masses.

About the self-styled powers in the affairs of South Sudan, instead of being grateful to these foreign organizations who brought August peace Agreement that you have been violating since its signature and finally threw it to dustbin in July 2016, and are still trying to bring peace again to this country and you still have the gut of calling them names.

Have you forgotten that it were these self-styled international and national organizations particularly America under Obama`s administration who kept you in power since 2014 when Ugandan army was sponsored and ordered to militarily intervened in the internal war of South Sudan?

You know very well Mr. Joshua that had it not been the Ugandan military intervention in 2014, things would have been quite different today and would not have been to the enjoyment of Jieng council of elders.

In conclusion, I agree with you Mr. Co-chairman, that without digging into the real root causes of the problem or conflict in this country where those responsible for this mess are made to account for their actions including your Jieng council who are the real advisors to president Kiir, general Paul Malong who recruited Dinka militias who massacred innocent Nuer civilians in December 2013 in Juba causing this cycle of killings, this country will not witness peace.

In order to help mend and rebuild the broken social fabric and deep rooted hatred among South Sudanese communities and save this country from total disintegration, we ought to refrain from negative propaganda and hate speech.

Mr. Joshua, as grown up people tasked with bringing up our children and youngsters by planting in them love for their country, respect of civilized values, norms and good conduct towards their societies, and show honesty and responsibility in everything we do being verbal or in a written form and give up our personal economic interests and above all the real disease of tribal lenient.

We must learn to live together, tolerate each other, work together, mourn together, enjoy together without fear or trembling.Let us try to enjoy together peace that the self-styled foreign bodies trying to bring to us.

Let us be responsible elders Mr. Joshua for the sake of our young generation and unity of this blessed country.

God come to the rescue of South Sudan.

What We Expect From President Kiir and FVP Taban in 2018?

By: Winnie Nyiwer Majok, Kampala, UGANDA, JAN/03/2018, SSN;

As we step into 2018, every South Sudanese‘s wish for a new year is for the President Salva Kiir and his First Vice President Gen. Stephen Taban to change their current political stance on this ongoing crisis and bring a genuine peace to this country in 2018.

There is no doubt that these two individuals behold the future of over 10 million south Sudanese. They are in charge of our death files. In their book, there is time when we can die and when to live, what will kill us and what will make us live, how to die and how to live. They hold our country’s political heartbeat and our kismet more than any other SPLM politicians.

Therefore, it is squarely upon them to continue holding onto their current political philosophy (we are better off without them) while despising other factions of SPLM and letting the situation continue unabated or changing their philosophy and salvaging the country from a total prostration and saving the few remaining lives.

One year has gone now and sadly the country still sits in uncertainty since the invention of what I can correctly term as “the pyramid theorem.”

The pyramid I mean is made up of four sides, Gen. Taban, Hon. Ezekiel Lol, Dr. Dhieu Mathok and Gen. Lado Gore. In their invented excogitated arithmetic pyramid theorem of bringing peace, we were made to believe that this barbecue invented theorem in Crown Hotel will bring everlasting peace.

The pyramid theorem postulates “substituting Riek Machar with Gen. Taban Deng plus Ezekiel Lol minus Pagan Amum, multiplied by President Kiir all over the Compromised Peace Agreement equals everlasting peace.”

Unfortunately, it is Welei, it equals more suffering and death. Even though we try to apply the BODMAS rule and use a scientific calculator, it is still the same.

In other words, this trial and error arithmetic pyramid theorem of bringing peace has spectacularly failed and it would be good if our leaders can modify it in a good faith so that it brings everlasting peace.

Methinks that it is not sacrilege to say that South Sudan lacks purposeful political elites. Purposeful elites define the national interest and national conscience of any country. There is no single country that can be great without purposeful elites.

Visibly, our elites are only interested in their self-preservation. Their fight is always caused by leadership wrangling over who can eat what. Not by differences in political ideologies on how to run the country.

All these factions of SPLM don’t have any clear vision for this country.

To put it plainly, the politics of Bothon gebel Wathom (belly before nation) has outshone the politics of national interest and service delivery.

Nothing illustrates the ideological bankruptcy of our elites than the lack of convincing articulation on how President Kiir and FVP Gen. Taban can bring everlasting peace. Their brigades can’t give the country any clear work plan.

In the same vein, the discombobulated Dr. Riek suffers from mental impuissance of enunciating political ideas. He can’t articulate any reason to buy the brains of South Sudanese why he is the best man to be given the residency of J1.

His incoherent gist is always that Kiir has done nothing good during the whole interim periods and hence he must handover the power to him.

To give his argument some weights, he claims that he is the left-handed and handsome Nuer politician with gaps in the teeth who was prophesied by prophet Ngundeng to rule south Sudan.

He brags to have divine powers of Ngundeng and they can guide him to provide the best supernatural political leadership to this country.

The habitually dipsomaniac Pagan Amum and his group have also glaringly failed to articulate their reasons of wanting President Kiir go.

Pagan has totally forgotten that South Sudan was not a humanitarian donation from the UN and TROIKA. But insolently busy lobbying the UNSC in Washington for South Sudan to be placed under UN trusteeship for ten years.

What will benefit him and his group in UN trusteeship is something for us all to guess.

The so-called Nyandeng Garang is also unwittingly being held hostage by her wild belief that the leadership is a sexually transmitted skill and hence she stands the best chance to provide the good leadership of her late husband to this country.

For our elites, politics is the full belly thesis. And they can do whatever it takes them to get shares of the national cake and fill their bellies by all means.

They are all mentally impotent to articulate any single living reason for wanting the country’s top job.

The erudite aphorism of Mr. Alexander Eichener, “for a hyena, a bone is just a bone; no matter whether it lies in the bush, or in the vegetable garden of Mzungu. It is still a bone,” accurately explains the anserine belief of our politicians for positions.

They are determined to fill their bellies by default, no shame feeling! Take it to the bank; some politicians can even kill over 1000 innocent people in a single day so that they can be conciliated with positions in the government.

These are what we call the ‘SPLM elites of South Sudan’, very pathetic!

To take Mr. Akol Paul by his words, “SPLM is intertwined with South Sudanese and therefore when it coughs, the whole nation contracts political influenza.”

Therefore, if this is how the SPLM is intertwined with the people, then it is safe to say that the SPLM didn’t only cough but has farted very toxic gas which has drifted thousands of South Sudanese into UNMISS camps, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya refugee camps, and equally killed thousands.

Is it not the right time for SPLM now to see the doctor and treat itself to cease coughing and farting so that the few remaining lives of South Sudanese are saved?

Because of you (SPLM elites), the past five years have been extremely more difficult on several accounts. We have seen the skyrocketing of foodstuffs in the shops, and at some point in this Christmas and New Year celebrations, we have had difficult choices to make between buying 10 Kg of Maize flour for family meal or buying second hand clothes for kids, but never both.

We lost our fathers, mothers and siblings not only in the war but some were starved to death.

We have lost jobs because companies and NGOs have left South Sudan because of insecurity.

Some companies and NGOs have scaled down their work forces. Our children have dropped out from schools because the parents couldn’t afford to pay their tuition fees.

Some families broke up because of this economic hardship.

Our currency has lost its value due to inflation. Government employees can spend up to three months without salaries.

Reportedly, some SPLA soldiers hung themselves because their salaries can’t buy 5 KG of maize flour and 2 KG of beans for their families.

Tribalism has littered in every government’s departments and private sectors. Ethnicity has become a ticket for employment; Deng can’t be employed in the department headed by Lado, Adwok can’t be promoted in the office headed by Gatkuoth and vice versa.

Our children are starving with even with their degree certificates.

Do you hear and understand these tales, Mr. President? Can you and your FVP Gen. Taban scratch your heads and recall the cause of our struggle for this country by making 2018 the year of a genuine peace?

Can you and your FVP Gen. Taban make this year the beginning of your good legacy years?

Are you still patriots with your FVP Gen. Taban like before CPA to return this country to its unstrained shape and form?

Can you and your FVP Gen. Taban swallow your pride and call all your colleagues in SPLM-IO and SPLM-FD and lock yourselves in any room in SPLM House and agree on who can eat what and bring peace to us?

I assure you, sirs, the country needs peace and no one will dare to question what the hell you are doing with the country’s resources as long there is peace.

Millions of South Sudanese have endured this economic hardship and war for the whole of 2017 hoping that the ‘pyramid theorem’ will produce something tangible that will derogate our sufferings. Woefully, nothing has changed.

In conclusion, in 2018, many South Sudanese expect much from president Kiir and his First Vice President Gen. Stephen Taban. If either of them has smidgeon of belief that this is not the country that they fought for twenty one (21) years and cost 1.2 million of lives, we expect them to change their current political stance and make 2018 the year of permanent peace.

The author is a South Sudanese student studying in Uganda and can be reached via winnienyiwer2015@gmail.com

LATEST: Gen. Thomas Cirillo calls for new leadership without Kiir & Machar

Radio Tamazuj and Various News Agencies, OCT/24/2017, SSN;

Thomas Cirillo Swaka, leader of the National Salvation Front (NAS), has called for global support to a new leadership that excludes President Salva Kiir and his main political rival, Riek Machar, from power configuration, saying the two leaders have apparently failed to manage the national crisis after the outbreak of civil war in December 2013.

“We believe the old political configuration of Kiir and Machar is not capable of addressing the national crisis. A new leadership should be supported to introduce genuine political and socio-economic transformations in the country,” Thomas Cirillo Swaka, leader of the NAS rebel group, said in a statement dated October 17.

The former army official told the UN Security Council that South Sudan under Salva Kiir has been tribalized and the army has been turned into ethnic militias and that the art of good governance is unknown and non-existence.

He said the role of the regional and international actors, including the UN Security Council should not only focus their mandate on saving lives by halting the violence and assisting the supply of aid, but also creating an enabling environment for long-term stability to prevent future conflict and loss of lives safeguarded by holding those who have obstructed the implementation of the peace agreement and engineered the violence accountable.

The South Sudanese rebel leader urged the UN Security Council to empower UNMISS with clear mandates to protect civilians and enforce its own resolution on the deployment of the Regional Protection Force (RPF).

“We urge the UNSC to play a leading role in making sure that any new peace agreement is fully implemented. It is not enough to allow the regional actors to supervise the implementation of the agreement. They have already failed in implementing the signed 2015 peace agreement. It is important for the Security Council to speak with one voice on issues pertaining to peace and security in South Sudan. We noticed that different member states have different positions on how the conflict should be addressed,” Carillo said.

The rebel leader asked the United Nations Security Council to hold those obstructing the implementation of the peace agreement and committed crimes against humanity in the country accountable including the top leaders.

In March, Swaka resigned from his position as the deputy chief of staff for logistics and formed a new rebel group to fight against opposed President Kiir’s administration.

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South Sudan’s government bears “primary responsibility” for incessant violence in the country, according to a new United Nations report that also criticises East African and US mediation efforts.

A UN Panel of Experts presented the starkly negative assessment in an update on the South Sudan conflict issued on Thursday.

The five-member panel established by the UN Security Council cited an absence of political will to implement a 2015 peace agreement and to address “the destructive governance practices and historical grievances that continue to drive the conflict in South Sudan”.

SALVA KIIR
The experts attribute these failures to “the political and military elite of the country, with the primary responsibility for the ongoing violence resting with those in the government, led by the president, Salva Kiir, and the first vice-president, Taban Deng Gai”.

Neighbouring nations continue to experience adverse impacts of the nearly four-year-long civil war, yet are making no effective efforts to negotiate an end to the fighting, the report says.

RESOLUTION
Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and the four other member-states of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) have not generated “a coherent political process backed by genuine pressure on the parties”, the experts found.

“Each Igad member is dealing with significant national challenges that, coupled with long-standing and complex regional rivalries, continue to undermine consensus on South Sudan,” the report adds.

An ensuing proliferation of uncoordinated diplomatic initiatives has enabled the warring forces to “forum-shop”, the panel warns.

The government and armed opposition groups “engage selectively in various processes while buying time for military operations, and avoid attempts to enforce a political settlement to the conflict”, the report says.

PEACE
The Trump administration is implicitly criticised for failing to sustain US attempts to resolve the conflict.

“The leadership of the United States and other nations that previously exerted leverage in the region has also waned considerably in 2017,” the panel said.

The report makes note of complaints concerning US support for the continued exclusion of opposition leader Riek Machar from peace-making efforts.

Some opposition groups view this refusal to include Dr Machar in the search for a settlement as an impediment to a neutral mediation approach by outsiders, the panel states.

FOOD INSECURITY
The political impasse, along with government military offensives in recent months, have substantially worsened an already dire humanitarian situation in South Sudan, the experts conclude.

“The population faces intersecting threats of violence and insecurity, large-scale population displacement, extreme food insecurity and an escalating national economic crisis,” the report notes.

“The actions of South Sudanese leaders have done nothing to address these threats, and there is unlikely to be an improvement in the foreseeable future absent a significant change in the national and international approach to the conflict.”

LATEST: Businesses close as South Sudan Civil War takes its toll

By NJIRAINI MUCHIRA, THE EAST AFRICAN, OCT/18/2017, SSN;

Kris Mbaya, the managing director of UAP Old Mutual South Sudan, who was posted to the country in early 2013, is among business managers who have seen the good, the bad and the ugly of South Sudan’s business landscape in its short history of 11 years as an independent state.

Indeed, UAP Equatorial Tower, the tallest building in the country at 15 storeys high, is a fitting analogy of how businesses that flocked into South Sudan following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord in 2006 have crashed.

UAP was among the first companies to venture into South Sudan at Independence, and invested $30 million in putting up the building in 2011 to provide foreign investors with ultra-modern office space.

But the breakout of violence in 2013, following the fallout between President Salva Kiir and his then deputy Riek Machar meant that the building could not be completed on time and as such had no tenants for a long time.

The tower — with only 23 per cent occupancy —is a painful reminder of a strategic investment decision that went awry.

Occupancy will rise to 35 per cent when the Kenyan embassy in Juba relocates to the building by end of the year.

Although it generates minimum revenue, the building generates costs. Every month, UAP spends $15,000 for diesel to power the generator, which is the only source of power, and $5,000 for satellite Internet. In Kenya, it would cost only $400 for the same Internet capacity.

However, the building also represents the long term view of South Sudan opportunities.

“We believe in the long term potential of South Sudan. This country represents the mantra of high risks, high returns for us as a business,” said James Wambugu, UAP Old Mutual Group managing director in charge of general business.

While UAP believes in the potential of South Sudan, other companies have fled because of insecurity, political uncertainty and a struggling economy.

Sme’s close down

Several small and medium enterprises owned by foreigners have also closed down, while traders bringing goods into the country, particularly foodstuffs and other consumer products, are operating in a difficult environment.

“Business in Juba used to boom, but things have been tough since the crisis,” said Peter Kaikara, a Uganda national who supplies alcoholic beverages to several outlets in Juba.

Considering that South Sudan largely depends on imports, the cost of living and of basic commodities is high due to the poor state of roads and lack of electricity. The country has only 400 km of paved road.

A bottle of 500ml Kenyan beer brand Tusker that costs $1.9 in Kenya is $3.3 in Juba. Rent for a one-bedroomed apartment ranges from $1,500 to $2,000 per month.

Juba has one mall, City Mall, which is a pale shadow of those found in other East African capitals.

Unemployed young people crowd the streets in Juba, idling away and drinking strong tea; motorcycles (boda bodas) are the main source of earning a living for many.

The unemployment crisis has been exacerbated by the exit of numerous foreign companies while others have scaled down their operations after experiencing losses.

Kenyan multinationals like KCB Group, Stanbic Holdings, Equity Group, Co-op Bank and CIC Insurance are some of the businesses that have significantly reduced their operations in the country.

The hopes of prosperity and opportunities that came with the signing of the Peace Accord in 2006 have been diminished.

Three years of political instability and prolonged fighting between government forces and rebels, particularly in the oilfield states of Paloch, Upper Nile and Maiwut, have crippled the economy that is highly dependent on oil.

Cash crunch

The cash crunch from oil earnings has made it impossible for the government to meet even basic financial obligations, including paying salaries of civil servants, teachers and the police, some of whom are earning $20 per month.

The government has no money to finance key programmes like health, education and agriculture to secure food production.

Despite its huge tracts of fertile soil and water resources, South Sudan remains largely a subsistence agriculture state. Currently the country imports 70 per cent of food from Kenya and Uganda, and humanitarian organisations say that about half of the population is food insecure.

“Food security continues to deteriorate across South Sudan with life-threatening hunger spreading in scale and scope, making 2017 the most food-insecure year in the country’s history,” states a report by the United States Agency for International Development.

By July, approximately six million people were experiencing crises or higher levels of acute food insecurity and were in urgent need of emergency aid.

Despite being a significant oil producer, South Sudan depends on imports of petroleum products for local use, with diesel in the country being among the most expensive in East Africa at $1.05 per litre, compared with $0.95 in Kenya.

The government has established a fuel subsidy programme to ensure fuel trades at $0.2 per litre.

Do we have leaders in South Sudan or just murderers?

By Peter Gai Manyuon, OCT/12/2017, SSN;

According to different scholars globally, leadership style is the way a person uses power to lead other people. More so, scholars have also identified a variety of leadership styles based on the number of followers. It’s also noted, the most appropriate leadership style depends on the function of the leader, the followers and the situation but more interestingly, some leaders cannot work comfortably with a high degree of followers’ participation in decision making.

Hence, in the context of South Sudan, each leader is for himself or herself, no paying attention or caring for the masses. Most of leaders lack the ability or the desire to assume responsibility in good manner- which is accountable, acceptable, peaceful and transparent to the civil population in one way or the other.

Furthermore, Leaders in South Sudan, are only good on spreading’s lies, inciting conflicts, spreading rumors or rhetorical manipulations that eventually infected the minds and hearts of people.

More so, each and every one is only focusing on ethnic’s perceptions, cultural philosophies and sectarian politics which have destroyed the peaceful co-existence of the societies in the Country.

Notwithstanding, sometimes leaders must handle problems that require immediate solutions without consulting followers in amicable manners, however, among South Sudanese, leaders are not for the people but rather for themselves.

Leaders do things based on ethnicities, individual interests not for the benefits of the masses that they represent. More interestingly, Leadership in South Sudan is defined by how much each one accumulates (wealth) through corruption practices, killings and worshipping idols.

In comparison, it’s always good to be realistic sometimes in order to inform the world or masses on what is right for the betterment of the incoming generations than telling lies that doesn’t help audiences.

Specifically, those who advocates for good governance, rule of law and respect for human rights to prevail in the Country are regarded as “Rebels” and those who tell lies, praises and worshipping individuals are called “Loyalists” or “patriotic” citizens in the Country.

Where are we heading as the Country? Some goons, doesn’t know the different between the words “Rebel,” “Journalists” or “writers” who aired out their voices for the betterment of others.

It’s should also be noted that, most of the government plans are planned tribally, ethnically, prematurely, primitively and sectarianism or clans’ politics is affecting the progress of peace in the Country.

Consequently, the ongoing fighting in Country is currently, twisted and the genesis of the crisis was changed already into way of looking for positions or wealth’s for building bellies and the entire civil population are mostly displaced and other got killed in thousands due to tribal political ideologies.

Do we have leaders or we only have politicians who are murderers in the Republic of South Sudan?

Unquestionably, since the Independence of the Republic of South Sudan in 2011 up to date, many followed only philosophy of Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) forgetting that, the leaders of the SPLM are looters, killers, thieves and stooges who doesn’t have the future of the Country but rather looking for ways to get riches and exploits citizens for their interests.

Additionally, all those in both the government and oppositions are all liabilities who don’t value the lives and social co-existence of the communities.

Admittedly, all the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) leaders both in the government and outside the government have looted the country for decades.

Resources of the country are taken and banked in different parts of the world by corrupts leaders of the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) starting from 2005-2017 respectively.

Even though currently masses divided themselves behind tribal chiefs, still there will be end as per this man-made catastrophe is concerned, where each and every one of the SPLM top leaders will account for the resources of the Country they mismanaged and crimes against humanity they have committed so far.

The Republic of South Sudan (RSS) is not for SPLM but all people have the rights to exercise their democratic rights no matter what might be the case, regardless of the parties’ affiliations, gender or parallel ideologies.

What are we going to do with these, scary, menacing, criminal, felonious, egotistical and immoral leaders in South Sudan?

Author is Independent Journalist, Columnist & Researcher who has written extensively on issues of Human Rights and Democracy in South Sudan. He is the Co-Author of the Nuer Nation” a book currently widely distributed or sale on amazon.com. Reachable on southsudanjournalist@gmail.com

Phow State SPLA-IO Governor Maj-Gen. Johnson Gai-Nyoab Speech: We’ll win against Kiir

OCT-08/2017, SSN;

Dear Compatriots of Phow State,

Delight and warmly greeting from/to Machar Teny Dhurgon PhD, Strategist Planner, Chairman & C-In C of the SPLM/SPLA-IO!

My appreciation to entirely Phow State people and its Government, particularly IO GHQs Commanders and Field Commanders of Sector One’s 7th Division in collaboration with its gallant forces in various units.

In order to achieve many objectives to take advantage from different battle-fields since 2015 down to the recent recapturing of Tonga along Wichpanyikang (Wunkur) in May 2017, that resulted in the disbarment of Taban’s and Salva’s ally militias and capture of these weapons by our forces which we have now in SPLA-IO’s 7th Division HQs. It did not happen at all anywhere in SPLM/A-IO controlled areas to capture artillery SUCH AS THESE in less than 3 minutes since 2013 except you Fangak and Phow State People!

When you compare Phow State People with others states of SPLM/SPLA-IO controlled areas, you will get that you are the best, well organized and respected people who have ability to overcome and contain the enemy whenever it attempts to touch our land.

In addition to your hospitality to those who are coming from different states particularly Bentiu and others as well as stability of security. You are really maintaining the spirit of honesty and integrity because no Robbers and Looters in Phow State territory to loot people’s properties along the roads, Air or River Nile route.

Therefore the overall SPLM/SPLA-IO’s Top Leadership, Liberation Council under able and visionary leader Chairman & C-In-C of SPLA-IO, Riek Machar Teny Dgurgon- PhD. Strategist Planner, is very happy with you.

I would like to appreciate Former and Current Leadership of Fashoda State Government under leadership of Lt Gen. Johnson Olony Thabu, Military Governor and Sector One Commander and I would like also to extend my appreciation to Division One and Aguelek Division Commanders for their hospitality they rendered to my team as Phow State Governor.

Final appreciation goes to Phow State’s Diaspora Community (USA, Australia, Canada) for their much contribution, specially treatment of all critically wounded and provision of other facilities in Sector One’s 1st and 7th Infantry with collaboration with Greater Fangak People (Phow State Community in Sudan).

Offering some of guerilla items or military logistics support to our gallant forces in 7th Infantry division within its different brigades that could help us contain enemy’s negative actions toward Phow State people.

In April 2016 when SPLM/SPLA-IO left its HQs, Pagak for Juba, its intention was to implement the 2015 Compromise Peace Agreement (the ACRISS) in accordance with its provision as it was signed by two rival leaders, the peace partners, witnesses, grantors and international observers on 17th-26th August 2015.

Unfortunately, that peace agreement could not hold water because the regime in Juba was not happy with its implementation with mysterious reasons — JCE backed reservations which obstructed the progress of compromise agreement.

Salva Kiir started and declared peace collapsed on 7th July 2016 by attacking the SPLA-IO forces on Gudele Road to Ministries.

In a meeting convened on 8th July 2016 at J1 or Presidential Palace, where Salva Kiir in collaboration with the so-called SPLM/SPLA-IO former chief negotiator (Taban Deng), former security chief (Thoy Chany) and former chairperson for foreign affairs (Ezekiel Lol) declared the final collapsing of the peace agreement by imposing Dog Fight on SPLA-IO’s joint forces (FVP’s Bodyguards) at the Presidential Palace (J1) in which some of our beloved comrades lost their lives.

Salva Kiir and Taban’s intention to assassinate the Powerful FVP, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, who was then surrounded by his fearless and well trained soldiers. Those fearless and well trained SPLA-IO forces taught Salva Kiir militias a very good and unforgettable lesson at J1.

Thousands of appreciations and thanks to the SPLA-IO’s joint forces who managed to rescue our Chairman from J1 to his residential area in Jebel Kunjur aka Pagak Two.

Kiir militias falsely convinced themselves that because the size of their army was so big, so what they planned was first to disarm the FV’s Bodyguards and then arrest our Chairman.

This was impossible, our protection unit could not allow Salva Kiir’s militias to win the battle despite the fact that Dr. Machar’s Guards were less in number only two companies (1,370 out of 2,910 troops agreed upon in the security arrangement, CPAII) without Tanks or Wulids at the same time.

But it’s matter of how to control the forces and their confidence upon the issue they are defending and protecting regardless to the number of the forces.

Two weeks later President Kiir came up with a bias and illegal decree, relieved Dr. Machar from FVP and appointed Taban Deng Gai as FVP on 25 July 2016, hence the Worldwide, Peace Partners (IGAD, Troika and International Observers) and overall SPLM/SPLA-IO Leadership Council understood that, the Compromise Peace Agreement has been abolished by Kiir and Taban in addition to JMEC Chairman-Festo Magae.

Meanwhile the government soldiers were still continuing to attack on SPLA-IO position in Equatoria with one single aim; to kill the Chairman by using heavy artillery, Drone aircraft to detect the location of Chairman and the American Black Waters bombardment Company for killing terrorists, but by help from our Almighty God and SPLA-IO’s joint forces and its troops in Greater Equatoria, they defended and managed to rescue the Chairman safely.

All those attempts to kill Dr. Machar could not succeed because he and the SPLM/SPLA-IO are fighting for the rights of the majority South Sudanese; a democratic nation in order to establish good governance for the people of South Sudan.

Kiir-Taban militias and companies achieved not the target, Dr. Machar was not harmed until we reached to South Sudan-DRC border where he was airlifted by UN to DRC then to Sudan for medical treatment after 40 days of walking by foot.

Thanks to DRC government & UN Former Secretary General, Ban Kimoon! Thanks to Sudan Government for her care of Machar’s health!

We in the SPLM/SPLA–IO have so far said and we still say it today that the 2015 peace agreement had collapsed but Kiir & Taban faction is responsible; no peace and no legitimacy of Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU) anymore in Republic of South Sudan.

But (SPLM/SPLA–IO) becomes stronger than before and ready to tackle, contain, resist the acts of that Satan in details and request the public to continue with popular uprising against the clique and rogue regime’s brutal activities of lying and killing its own citizens.

Therefore, the People’s Movement by all costs would have to fight hard to bring the last Peace of Purpose to restore hope and stability of South Sudan people to establish Federal Governance, Democratic, Human Rights, Justice & Equality, Accountability and Respect of Rule of Law; would pursue & hold to account all those who committed the atrocities during 2013 massacre of civilian nationwide to be subjected to the court.

The SPLM/SPLA-IO has won the war politically and economically as per as $1= SSP 25 in Juba while is $1=13 SSP in the IO’s controlled areas.

It’s manpower is in high morale, alert and confident to overcome the regime soon while Kiir and Taban lost the confidence on their troops that ts seen by looting in the national capital.

Now the SPLM/SPLA-IO Top Leadership organs change its scenario of believing in Peace without Purpose as it was disappointed by what happened in July 2016; we lost the confidence and trust on Juba JCE regime and JMEC who are happy with the killing of vulnerable people of South Sudan through their several violations of peace agreements.

The SPLM/SPLA-IO will accept the peace of purpose that will attain and address the root causes of 2013 civil war with fair power sharing and clear security arrangement in order to avoid bias reservations of Kiir and his ally militia Taban El-Taban.

We cannot accept the so-called national dialogue which Salava Kiir and Taban is imposing to replace the ARCISS.

Action and mobilization remain the top priorities of the People’s Movement to assure public of peace and to be aware of all combatants to liberate and protect the nation from disintegration and transformation into an ethnic state as well as Kiir’s dreaming by create tribal states and annexing lands of certain communities to others.

For instance, Greater Pigi County is annexed to Malakal while its community was not consulted, this is a day dream that will not happen.

And historically, the people of Greater Pigi belong to Phow State (Greater Fangak) that comprised of former three counties read as Fangak, Ayod and Pigi County, geographically, culturally and socially.

The regime’s ideology has shown that it really wanted to disintegrate and create permanent conflict in the world’s youngest nation.

Through SPLM/SPLA-IO commitment, struggle, confidence and it’s manpower (SPLA-IO troops) under the visionary leadership of Dr. Machar, we will bring back our nation to stability, harmony and we will make it great again.

Viva………………………….………….. Dr. Machar………………………………..Viva!
Viva……………………….……..Phow State People……………………………….Viva!
Viva…………………….………..…SPLM/SPLA-IO………………………………Viva!
Viva…….………………………………South Sudan…………………………..…..Viva!

Thank you very much

Amnesty exposes Kiir’s illicit US$46m South Sudan arms deal brokered under UK government’s nose

Amnesty International, 26/SEPT/2017, SSN;

Research released by Amnesty International today reveals how a shell company in the heart of London’s West End acted as an intermediary in huge prospective arms deals to war-torn South Sudan and other countries, thanks to regulatory gaps which are making the UK a hotspot for companies involved in illicit arms transfers.

Commercial documents name S-Profit Ltd, a tiny UK-registered company, as the ‘supplier’ in a 2014 deal to provide at least US$46m worth of small arms, light weapons and ammunition to the South Sudanese government.

The report, From London to Juba: a UK-registered company’s role in one of the largest arms deals to South Sudan, also reveals that the UK government has been aware of similar practices taking place on British soil for more than eight years, without taking effective regulatory action.

“South Sudan is awash with weapons that have been used to kill and maim thousands of civilians, causing Africa’s biggest refugee crisis. The UK government has been a vocal proponent of a UN arms embargo on South Sudan, yet is turning a blind eye to illegal deals taking place right under its nose,” said James Lynch, Amnesty International’s Head of Arms Control and Human Rights.

“Glaring gaps in UK company regulation mean a dealer of illicit arms can go online and set up a UK company to front its activities with fewer checks than joining a gym or hiring a car. The UK must urgently review its company registration procedures – right now it provides the perfect conditions to become a hotspot for the kind of irresponsible arms transfers that have devastated South Sudan.”

The weapons in question form part of a previously undisclosed 2014 contract between a Ukrainian state arms company and a UAE-based company to procure US$169m of weapons on behalf of South Sudan. These include thousands of machine guns, mortars, RPGs and millions of rounds of ammunition.

If fulfilled, the total deal would constitute one of the largest publicly disclosed arms transfers to South Sudan since the outbreak of fighting in December 2013.

Amnesty International has not been able to determine whether some or all of the weapons listed in these documents have yet been delivered to South Sudan. However, a UK company may violate UK export control laws even by being involved in the negotiation of an arms deal to South Sudan.

The involvement of the Ukrainian state-owned arms company and a UAE private company in weapons supplies to South Sudan also potentially contravenes the Ukraine and UAE’s obligations as signatories to the Arms Trade Treaty.

S-Profit’s director –a Ukrainian national based outside the UK – denied to Amnesty International that the firm had supplied military products to South Sudan, but has not responded to further questions, including whether it played an intermediary role.

As well as the South Sudan deal, documents seen by Amnesty International show a sequence of commercial offers and contract negotiations involving S-Profit Ltd – some unfinished — for the prospective supply of armoured vehicles, weapons and aircraft to Egypt, Senegal, Mali, Rwanda, Ukraine and Peru, as well as to private companies in Serbia, Ukraine, Poland and Australia.

Amnesty International has been unable to identify UK trade control licences for any of these negotiations or deals.

Turning a blind eye

Amnesty International has provided UK authorities with the documents and information it has obtained. The report also reveals that the UK government has, for more than eight years, been aware of UK shell companies being used unlawfully as contract vehicles for weapons dealers to supply arms to human rights violators and embargoed destinations including Syria, Eritrea and South Sudan. The UK has made no regulatory changes to address these gaps.

The UK government has also failed to take any meaningful enforcement action against the companies involved, despite powers under UK company and insolvency law designed to allow the government to wind up companies acting unlawfully or fraudulently.

A regulatory vacuum

S-Profit Ltd is emblematic of how companies that wish to operate in the shadows can benefit from regulatory gaps at Companies House, the government body responsible for registering companies. Anyone in the world can set up a UK company online without needing to provide any identity documents.

The day after its registration, the shareholding of S-Profit Ltd was transferred to a Ukrainian national who lists a non-existent UK office address and a commercial ‘virtual telephone switchboard’ service for official communications.

This should be a wake-up call for the UK government to hold UK-registered companies accountable.

“S-Profit Ltd’s company filings give no indication of its involvement in the arms trade – but then UK law does not require them to. This kind of weak regulation is seriously undermining the other robust domestic, EU and international controls which should make any UK involvement in arms transfers to a war zone like South Sudan unimaginable,” said James Lynch.

“This should be a wake-up call for the UK government to hold UK-registered companies accountable. Simple measures like checking the veracity of names and addresses and setting up a register of arms brokers would make it much harder for foreign arms dealers contributing to serious human rights abuses to set up shop in the UK.

“If they have not already reached South Sudan, these deliveries must be halted. In the meantime we continue to call for a comprehensive UN arms embargo on South Sudan that includes any brokering, financial or logistical activities that would facilitate these kinds of transfers. Without an embargo, weapons will continue to flow into South Sudan, and the consequences for civilians will continue to be catastrophic.”

Background

S-Profit is one of three companies named in the documents, alongside the UAE-based International Golden Group and the Ukrainian state-owned arms exporter, Ukrinmash.

Amnesty International has repeatedly documented the devastating abuses against civilians in South Sudan since the 2013 civil war began, most recently in the report, “Do not remain silent”: Survivors of Sexual violence in South Sudan call for justice and reparations.

S-Profit is one of three companies named in the documents, alongside the UAE-based International Golden Group and the Ukrainian state-owned arms exporter, Ukrinmash.

In response to the report, Ukrinmash published online a letter it claims to have sent to Amnesty International which, along with statements made by a Ukrinmash spokesperson, confirm that it signed a contract for the proposed transfer of US$169 million worth of small arms and light weapons to South Sudan. However it states that the contract was not executed and that “no flows of goods and services were performed”. Amnesty International has no record of receiving this letter.

Amnesty International’s report is very clear that it was not possible to establish from the available documents whether these arms had been delivered to South Sudan. However the letter’s contents fully support Amnesty International’s findings that negotiations took place, contracts were drawn up and signed, and End User Certificates were obtained from the South Sudanese Ministry of Defence.

Amnesty International has repeatedly documented the devastating abuses against civilians in South Sudan since the 2013 civil war began, most recently in the report, “Do not remain silent”: Survivors of Sexual violence in South Sudan call for justice and reparations.

Amnesty International is calling on Ukraine to cease supplying arms to South Sudan and uphold the object and purpose of the Arms Trade Treaty which includes reducing human suffering and establishing the highest possible common international standards for regulating the international trade in conventional arms. END

End conflict, bring peace & conduct true National Dialogue not Elections

BY: DANIEL JUOL NHOMNGEK, KAMPALA, UGANDA, SEP/14/2017, SSN;

For elections to be considered and declared to have been conducted freely and fairly, they must have been conducted in accordance with the law which represents the will of the people.

In respect to South Sudan, there are many speculations even from government officials that the government is planning to hold general elections in 2018. This is unacceptable and should be opposed by all South Sudanese who love South Sudan as a country.

Whereas the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan provides for the elections to be held regularly as a sign of democracy (see; Article 194) but where the elections are called and held in bad faith with the intention of maintaining power, then, such elections are in fact amounted to the breach of the Constitution itself.

In respect to “fair’ election, it means that all registered political parties have an equal right to contest the elections, campaign for voter support and hold meetings and rallies. This gives them a fair chance to convince voters to vote for them.

A fair election is also one in which all voters have an equal opportunity to register, where all votes are counted, and where the announced results reflect the actual vote totals.

The question is, if the elections are held in South Sudan, can they be free and fair? Of course not.

As things stand now, there are rampant insecurities that will not allow citizens to vote freely and fairly. In addition, many citizens are displaced within and majority are sent into exile.

As the UN report indicated since December 2013, the conflict has devastated the lives of millions of South Sudanese and more than 3.5 million people have been forced to flee their homes.

This shows that if the elections are held while the substantial section of the population is displaced then they will not be free and fair in the real meanings of the terms.

In other words, majority of the ethnicities making up South Sudan will not vote in the said general elections.

Thus, for free and fair elections to take place, there is a need for the government and the oppositions to come together to agree to end the conflict, bring peace to the country, return all displaced citizens and conduct true national dialogue.

Without these the free and fair elections will never take place in the country. Therefore, in my opinion, elections are not a priority in South Sudan.

For meaningful elections that are going to be free and fair to be held, the following should be done:

First, violent security Forces should be reformed; second, the amendment or repealing of the laws must be made to produce the laws that protect human rights; third the state controlled media should be made political neutral to ensure fair access for every citizen.

This will help candidates to express their views freely and be able to air out their opinions on national matters; Third, independent Election Commission should be formed to oversee the conduct of general elections; fourth, the independent interim government should be set up to help in implementing reforms as agreed by both the government and the oppositions;

Fifth, the Constitution-Making Body/Process should be formed and launched to write the constitution that will provide very clear two terms limit; after the peace is achieved, the true and genuine national dialogue should be conducted alongside the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to deal with issues of accountability and reparation and finally the census should be conducted to know the number of eligible voters.

It is after all these are done, that is when the general elections that reflect the will of all South Sudanese can be held successfully.

In conclusion, I appeal to all South Sudanese to boycott the proposed elections by the government unless the above proposals or recommendations are implemented because allowing the government to go on the elections in the present situations, it will entrench the ineffective government that will reforms desired by South Sudanese impossible.

Consequently, if the reforms as stated above are not carried out, South Sudan will never achieve peace and the war will remain in the country indefinitely. It is therefore my passionate appeal as well as the international community, the AU, IGAD and East African Community not to allow the elections continue unless all the above mentioned reforms are conducted.

All South Sudanese should not sacrifice the future of South Sudanese for individuals’ interest to hold to power. We must stand up against all power hungry politicians to achieve the future South Sudan we want.

The Author is a lawyer by profession; he graduated with honors in law from Makerere University, School of Law. He participated in various workshops and training in community mobilization in awareness of their constitutional rights in Uganda. He is the member of Public Interest Law Clinic (PILAC) and NETPIL (Network of Public Interest Lawyers) at Makerere University; he is currently doing research with NETPIL on private prosecution; he is trained in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR); he participated in writing Street Law Handbook on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Uganda. He is practicing with Onyango and Company Advocates Bunga—Ggaba, Road Kampala He is currently staying in Kampala Uganda where he is undertaking bar course training. He can be reached through juoldaniel@yahoo.com or +256784806333.