Category: More Views

South Sudan: Underdogs always suffer from Injustice

BY: Dr. Anthony Lupai Simon, SEP. 30/2012, SSN; In every encounter involving two parties in this world today one is always labeled as the favorite while the other one seen as the underdog, a classification related to some disparities in their mental, physical, economical and military capabilities.

Today south Sudan and Sudan are in a ring that started a long time before the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement. The two sides have been rivaling over so many issues and each time the international community jumps in to control the situation, one party gets out smiling while the other one drops his head down with a gloomy face; crying out foul with a tone that is only heard by him and his people. And this side is none other than the south Sudan.

It has never scored any win against Khartoum since the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement apart from the referendum. Going a little bit backwards to some of the terms of the CPA which was under the international supervision, we heard of a wealth sharing provision. But unfortunately not a single item from Khartoum was shared instead south Sudan was forced to donate more than 50 percent of her oil production to Khartoum.

The arbitration of the international court on Abyei clearly defined the region as belonging to the 9 Ngok Dinkas chieftainship but again gave some rights to the Arab tribes that have nothing to do with the region; and the Ngok Dinkas that were supposed to hold a referendum on the 9th of January 2011 alongside the south Sudanese were not allowed to do that because of blockade put out by Khartoum.

South Sudan territory was being violated in the broad day light by aerial bombardment and occupation of some areas, yet it was the south that was blamed when it tried to hit back.

South Sudan shut down her oil because somebody was busy stealing it and using the money for buying weapons used against her, still the international community failed to condemn the thief but instead turned against the innocent south, citing that halting the oil production would crumble the economy of the two nations which in turn would jeopardize peaceful coexistence.

And after hearing all those kinds of talks Khartoum immediately chose to implement them and began attacking the south in justification of what has already been said. That act of aggression was not challenged by anyone but instead the voice of the international community was heard louder than necessary when the south forces tried to hit back at Panthou.

For the past gone-by-months following the outbreak of hostilities at the border areas, Juba and Khartoum were forced to engage in talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to resolve some of the post independence issues that were still hanging in the air including security, border demarcation and Abyei. The UN Security Council came up with a resolution 2046 and mandated the AU high level implementation panel to work with the two parties to reach to a deal for all the issues.

Unfortunately the officials were just in Ethiopia to talk on what Khartoum want but not to enforce the resolution. And in what could again be seen as a biased stand, the international body represented by Thabo Mbeki left everything and concentrated on how the south oil should be given to Khartoum in the interest of peace. It was just a way of forcing the south to buy peace with their oil from Khartoum.

Major problems like the border demarcation were undermined while at the same time Khartoum enjoys occupying south territories like Panthou, Kafia Kingi, and Hufra Nahas etc.. with impunity.

Why it is that little attention is paid to things that concern the south while the international body including the USA president Obama shout loudly to help Khartoum’s position?

Is it because we are seen as the underdogs as we are unable to secure our air space allowing continuous air raids from Khartoum, economically unstable and still lack many things? Nobody knows as so many questions still remain to be answered. Do we blame the outsiders for not helping us properly or we also have some defects in us.

Could it also be because we lack the abilities of convincing the outsiders to come into terms with our real problems? Or it is just the common cursed underdogs endure in this world that south Sudan has got her share from. The stigma planted in our veins is always robbing us of all rights we deserve in this word.

No matter how different we try to be, we are seen as the underdogs by the outsiders in relation to Khartoum. And by pleasing Khartoum the military might it has would be avoided and peace will reign between the two sisterly countries.

The international community needs peace in the region and at the same time more oil in the market. But they care less if this can be easily achieved at the expense of the underdog. Because the underdog always shies down letting his rights go. Our voices have gone low in giving more negotiating tone to the border issues than the rest of the items.

A clear border would reduce border tension and clarify who legally owns what in his territory. A clear border will be the set point where the buffer zone will be instituted. Again the border is the domain because it was the main cause of hostilities between the two countries that took place some months back. And Khartoum was the side to blame for all the failures because of her rejection to abide by all the treaties signed.

Having known all these, the international community tails down at Khartoum and barks at south Sudan to continuously reconsider her positions in more talks while Khartoum increases her demands and swells with our land and resources.

The international community guided by the AU allows itself to be directed by Khartoum all the time and there is no secret that it will again be used by Khartoum in choosing where the buffer zone should be erected.

As usual Khartoum will always convince Thabo Mbeki to abide by the de facto border drown by the barrel of the gun which includes south Sudan territory as the set point for the demilitarized area.

Yes, south Sudan is the underdog but until when shall it remain so, and until when will the international community come to its sense and say to Khartoum, please stop here with a clear tone than it understands?

People of south Sudan are sad about the deal signed because they see that it has not strongly addressed what concern them most.

Dr. Anthony Lupai Simon
(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and not those of the website).

Wise up, Isaiah Abraham: Riek Machar can’t get a Democratic Nomination

BY: L.L. Reuben, CANADA
SEP. 24/2012. SSN; Let’s remind ourselves of what democracy is and make sense of its impact and how it affects the process of choosing of a leader in this case. Let’s refrain from a presumptuous wishful thinking driven by the perception that those who have higher education (PhD) will somehow make good leaders if ever they get chance to lead.

We should also be very mindful that democracy is mostly about a freedom to choose what each of us desires for ourselves freely without any interference or intimidation from anybody else.

I see democracy as a menace when talking about a country like the Republic of South Sudan not because I am an anti-democracy but an enormous illiterate population like the South Sudan has allowed democracy to operate from the opposite side – it has been perceived wrong by semi-illiterates and as a result democracy help created rebellion, a path that true democracy cannot not lead to. Those who revolt do so because they had thought about democracy from a different perspective.

The militias calling themselves rebels in the jungles of the Republic of South Sudan see democracy as a tool of fudging their own way to leadership, they don’t view it as fair system of governance that everyone should abide by. So when they lost elections during the 2010 Election they failed to understand that in democracy no one is exempt from loss.

In another word, they should have embraced the loss and wait for the next wrestle match. But because they were not prepared in case of a lost – this is what prompted them to pick up their riffles and begin to negotiate using their riffles to achieve what they think can still be considered democratic had they succeeded.

There is so much to democracy these days even those who know better bluntly chose to ignore the true meaning of the word (system) itself and instead hide behind by punching a hole through it in order to carry out their interest.

Isaiah Abraham has done this right out-of-the get-go from the inception days of the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS). He’s desperately doing this to cleanse his idol, Riek Machar (vice-president), from the sins he shares with his colleagues (the corruption boys) in the SPLM.

An example of how democracy is misrepresented and its meaning gravely distorted for the purpose of achieving a concealed interest.

In a true democracy, Riek Machar has zero chance of winning a democratically-held election. Riek has a better chance if he is appointed by his President Salva Kiir; a scenario Mr. Abraham had written articles shedding tears for the possibility of its occurrence but nothing guaranteed that from Kiir’s deportment himself and to his credit Isaiah knows that very well which explains why he constantly preach an imaginary capability possessed by Riek that not very many know of except Mr. Isaiah Abraham himself.

Both Machar and Kiir are allegedly at the top of the network of organisms that had embezzled the infamous “4 billions” dollar that even Isaiah talked about sometimes in his articles. It is a complete nonsense that Abraham detached his godfather (Riek) from Kiir. Whilst in the eyes of all South Sudanese both are money embezzlers at worst; no lesser evil between the two in that regard.

Riek himself has minimal credentials to preach to Southerners other than his own doctorate (PhD), nothing more than that. Khartoum Peace Agreement (KPA) was a sham and in no approach did that bogus agreement had brought the so-called Self-determination.

The Comprehensives Peace Agreement (CPA) brought the independence of Republic of South Sudan without any doubt from the sane – so again no credit to Riek on there. Salva has a signature in the Naivasha Peace Accord, Riek can share the pride of that with his President Salva.

When I looked at the demographic of the Republic of South Sudan I see chances of Kiir triumphing on another election higher than Machar’s or anyone else in that matter but only unless Kiir handed his throne to his deputy. We have a huge rural population with less or no education. This population votes based on who they know – their tribesmen/women. Convince me how Kiirdit will not win that vote.

This style of voting fits perfectly within the principles of democracy- by the way, it is not tribalism because a person chose who they want—- simple democracy. Now how do you like this kind of democracy-or- isn’t? Those who think they know democracy better than others will have tough times accepting this side of it.

Riek, on the other hand, if he wants to go head to head with his boss President Salva Kiir Mayardit, he has to convince millions of Southerners he offended during the liberation war. His association with Omar Bashier as he too deputized Bashir after the signing of his KPA also will diminish his chances.

I should‘ve forgotten this but true democracy can be achieved by electing clean leaders. In the end, a pretentious democracy will still be the same to a belligerent type of governance we have currently.

Leader without achievements to present and campaign for cannot pass the democratic election either. Singing along to the tune of western democracy is not good enough. He has to have something to show for, that something is missing from VP Riek Machar himself.

The Republic of South Sudan is not an experiment where murderous and human rights violators are given second chances to be seen if they can redeemed themselves. We have thousands of PhD holders in South Sudan of which some don’t even have jobs. We should start the experiment of choosing right a leader if this is all we have to do to bring true democracy. Those who have never broken human laws and obviously not part of the self-serving gang in Juba and Khartoum (regarding Lam Akol) should be first in line.

LL Reuben is a concerned South Sudanese in Canada reached him at lokinei@hotmail.com

South Sudanese rapper Emmanuel Jal says police beat him

BY: Alan Boswell, McClatchy, USA
“They asked him if he was Nuer, and he said yes. Five police officers then began beating him, as perhaps as many as 15 other security personnel stood watching, Jal said.”
SEPT. 11/2012, NAIROBI, Kenya — South Sudanese hip-hop artist Emmanuel Jal, a global peace activist who’s the subject of the book and movie “War Child,” said Monday that he was brutally beaten and knocked unconscious over the weekend by police in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, as he was planning a peace concert.
“I still have a headache. My left side has been numb since yesterday. I can’t feel anything on my left side,” Jal, who said he was out of the hospital recovering from his injuries, told McClatchy in a telephone interview.
The rapper said the beating occurred when he was going home after a late planning session for the upcoming show when he got lost and stopped to ask directions from a group of police officers. They told him to get out of the car and started harassing him.
“They said, ’You are drunk. How can you not know your way?’ They didn’t understand how someone could be asking directions,” he said. Most of the police were of South Sudan’s dominant Dinka tribe. They asked him if he was Nuer, and he said yes.
Five police officers then began beating him, as perhaps as many as 15 other security personnel stood watching, Jal said. One of the officers took his phone, Jal said. He said he eventually lost consciousness.
Jal, who maintains residences in Britain and Canada, is one of South Sudan’s best-known citizens. His story of surviving his country’s brutal war against the Sudanese government, first as a refugee and then as a child soldier for the rebels, has touched millions.
The rapper escaped the war after he was adopted by then-guerrilla and now-Vice President Riek Machar’s British wife, Emma McCune, who later died in Nairobi in a car accident.
Jal said Machar called him Sunday evening after he heard about the incident. Machar’s press secretary said he didn’t have details of the call. South Sudan’s government spokesperson, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, couldn’t be reached by phone for comment.
For two years, Jal ate just one meal a day to raise money to build a rural school. He’s known for writing a rap song addressed to the artist 50 Cent, complaining about his promotion of street violence. Recently, Jal released a pro-peace music video that features former President Jimmy Carter, actor George Clooney, musician Ringo Starr and others.
The reported assault highlights a major challenge facing South Sudan, where the vast security service is populated by former rebels and militia members whose training for police activities is lacking. Like Jal, many have been under arms since they were teenagers, or younger, and they lack any sort of education.
Incidents such as what happened to Jal “are no longer shocking to a lot of people in South Sudan,” said Jok Madut Jok, South Sudan’s undersecretary of culture, who’s said that he himself was tortured in December during a visit to the city of Wau, the capital of his home region. “This is happening to so many people every day across the country from the hands of the men and women in uniform.”
Jok said he’d suffered a concussion from the unprovoked attack. He said he’d never received an apology for the incident, which he wrote about publicly several days later in scalding detail: “As I was seated on the floor, being interrogated, several drunken soldiers, the ones ’protecting’ our leader, kept interrupting their officer with really disorderly behavior, and instead of the officer reprimanding them, he told me ‘You see, they may be drunk, but that is how we liberated this country,’ Jok wrote at the time. “Liberators? To what end?”
He said growing pains within the country’s security services were in some ways inevitable, given the country’s violent history, but that they were aggravated by a culture of impunity within the armed forces.
“Nothing happened. They were let go,” he said of the soldiers in his own situation.
“There are no law books for them to read. And if there were law books, they couldn’t read them because they are illiterate,” Jok said.
As for Jal, the musician said his peace concert later this month will go on as planned. He said he remained optimistic about his nation and found a ray of hope in one of the police officers yelling, “Don’t beat him,” as he was repeatedly struck.
“We are just out of war. South Sudan is like a newborn baby. And I believe it is going to grow,” Jal said.
He said the authorities told him they were still looking for those responsible.
Jal’s new album, “See Me Mama,” will be released later this month.

Boswell is a McClatchy special correspondent. His reporting is underwritten in part by a grant from Humanity United, a California-based foundation that focuses on human rights.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent those of the website.

The Only Weapon Left to Fight Corruption in South Sudan

John Adoor Deng. SSN; As from today, one can recall numerous articles written against corruption in South Sudan. In the same direction, we have heard numerous position papers, enacting of rules to govern the practice and speeches delivered against corruption and against corrupt officials, by various authorities including the most powerful men and women in the Republic of South Sudan. All these attempts fall into deaf ears and the vice (corruption) is still active in all institutions!

The question is what is the weapon left to fight corruption in South Sudan? An attempt to answer this question summarizes the purpose of this article.

Indeed, corruption in South Sudan is real and active as confirmed by our beloved president, General Salva Kiir Mayardit, in his letter to the suspected corrupt officials both former and current. The president, on his letter made it clear that the vice is bad; as it robbed our innocent masses of their hard earned resources.

Thus, the question about what weapon is left to fight Corruption in South Sudan is worth wrestling with in the next few paragraphs.  Of course I must knowledge that the war on corruption in South Sudan is well fought but it has for some reasons failed to cut off the corruption vessels.

This may be because we are using an exhausted weapon as demonstrated by the fact that nobody has been prosecuted by the anti-corruption commission since 2005 when the vice took roots in our national resources.

Nature dictates that if all avenues fail in the capacity of human beings, they must consult the supernatural realm. The cases about corruption in south Sudan will not be done to finality in the physical-mental realm. The vice is chronic within every individual in south Sudan if I have to exaggerate it in this context.

The majority of our national elites find favors in the practice of corruption. And the families, relatives, friends, colleagues, tribesmen, mates of the elites are indirectly involved in the vice as they rely on the corrupt officials (but to them not corrupt but their helper!!! ) to provide them with support services.

In this direction, I believe that corruption has become chronic as we accrued such behaviors during our protracted war with the Arabs. For example, in many refugee and displaced camps,  people  used to  cheat to have many ration kilos, some were counted twice so as to have enough food for their families, this was corruption.

In the rebel army, people used to loot civilian things and say that it was an order from above! But that was not true as there were no such orders from above, this was corruption.

For those that were inside Khartoum, they used to live double life as being supporter of SPLM/SPLA in the  dark and being supporter of NIF on the surface so that they survived from assassination from the Arab militants at the time. This was to some extent corruption.

Believe it or not, this culture had encroached into our very wholeness and people don’t feel that they are corrupting even when taking things of the public as theirs.  The culture of corruption is embedded in every individual and many are corrupt but thinking that what they are doing is “normal”.

Hence, the modality of the supernatural becomes appropriate as the only weapon left to fight corruption. What we need is not fighting corruption per se but the transformation of behaviors into normal human instinct sharing spirit.

Biblical history reminds us on how the modality of supernatural was effective with the city of Nineveh (Jonah 3&4). The city was transformed into corruption free city and all corrupt officials were forgiven by God. The forgiveness came after repentance.

I therefore would take the opportunity through this article to appeal to all our religious categories (Christianity with its various denominations, Islam with it various sectors and may be African Traditional Religions (ATR)) in the country to propose two days for national fasting and prayers.  In these two days, nobody will be allowed to work, eat, or dress on with good clothes, all must wear  under privileged clothes and pray for forgiveness asking God to rid out the spirit of corruption within us, in our departments, tribe and cities.

As in the case of Nineveh, we can be forgiven, transformed and redesigned for posterity. AUSTRALIA, JULY 27/2012

The Author is John Adoor Deng: MPRL & Director of South Sudan support Foundation. He can be reached at johnadoordeng@yahoo.com.au

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent those of the website.

Junub (South Sudan) Independence alone is not enough

By Butrus Ajak:

QUOTE: “If the money is eaten by a few, all the rest will go hungry, and a hungry citizen is an angry citizen” Pres. Kiir at Governors Forum, Juba.

JULY 29/2012, SSN; As we prepare to embrace and pay homage to war fallen mates, heroes and heroines, it’s worth noting Junub (South Sudan)  independence alone isn’t enough. There is much to get done. It is obvious the above quotation is congruent with what is actually playing out on the ground. We’ll get to this in a moment.

When South got independence on 9th July 2011, most of southerners if not all, were relieved. Seeing our sons and daughters in helm of power, as custodians of our own affairs was something big. Nothing was like it. Unfortunately, the then happiness is quickly pummelled and dashed off by a tsunami of corruption and a tradition of paying less attention to issues of urgency. For instance lack of anti-craft rockets, which would have prevented massacres in Bentiu and Panthou during NCP aerial bombardment.

Exasperatingly, the SPLM comrades whom I thought will bring hope to the hopeless, address the issues of national building and mend the broken hearts, turned into something no one had ever expected. It is a compunction they will take to their graves.

They took up arms to fix the so-called deformed system in Khartoum, where we were left out of the loop, where we were marginalised, where we were denied basic infrastructure, where we were denied health service, where there was lack of self-expression and consumption of national resources by few amongst many other things. Why taking up the habit you determined to overhaul?

Thank goodness we have a state, but a state where the common citizens are denied and deprived of their rightful rights surely is doomed to fail and become a no man’s state.

Why nearly killing Deng Athuai and terrorising many other citizens you brought freedom for them?  It shows beyond doubt that liberation is yet to happen. My people still haven’t noticed what it is to be a citizen in one’s own country. A right denied them for so long, and the SPLM seems to even denying it the furthest.

You have started on a wrong footing and it will cost the party profoundly. If election is held today, the party will lose miserably.

The independence many of us yearned for all these years has just proven not enough. The system is convoluted with widespread grand corruption consuming the whole nation. Needless to say, it is initiated by the ruling party, the SPLM individuals. The SPLM has ruined its reputation nationally and internationally.

Why bringing freedom and robbing the nation of its meagre resources? Where do you leave our citizens who look up to you here? Unless some miracles happen down the track the SPLM party popularity is tarnished and is going down the drain.

Surely the SPLM/A managed to break the country into two, but falls short of delivering an equitable service to the people of South Sudan. They are ruling the nation as if they are leaving tomorrow. I have always been a steep supporter of the SPLM/A party given the determination it showed back in the days of revolution struggle, but I am extremely disappointed and betrayed when its splendid corruption hits the World news.

4 billion US dollars got smuggled by the few ruling individuals??? I was shocked and couldn’t just believe it. Instead of seizing the opportunity and utilizing $4 billion to build the national scheme so as to meet southerners dire needs, annoyingly, few pocketed it all, leaving the nation rotting in an abject poverty. Is this how we were liberated? I hope not.

As if it wasn’t enough, the burglars didn’t stop there, our men and women who dare to ask the whereabouts of the money are hunted down and tortured severely. Is this how liberators behave? Absolutely not.

These are unusual liberators.  Our common men and women must be allowed to feel at home. They must have right to question the government which governs them without intimidation. To worsen the case, the president has been contradicting himself on how he approaches the smugglers lately. This leaves me with lingering doubts about my president presumption of innocence.

He got to stand up for the nation, speak loud and clear who were these men and women who took the chunk of dollars. There is nothing to fear, my president. You have more than 8 Million people behind you; the 75 comrades who purloined and siphoned the nation’s money into individual accounts have inflicted shame and insult to the SPLM/A principles.

They are no more honourable, they are thugs who deserve their names yelled out. You either be with them, or with us. I suggest they must get laid off in the government positions forthwith.

Outrageously, I had a lengthy conversation with a friend of mine in South Sudan who told me a lot of people went back home when independence came. However, they have started going back to refugee camps citing lack of health services, insecurity, exclusion and lack of schools for their children.

For how long will our people be refugees? It is breathtaking thinking you have a home and it turns out those leading the nation are hungry and angry wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Finally, my president you have to space yourself from the corrupt officials by making sure they are brought to justice and made to vomit what does not belong to them. As your quote goes “If the money is  eaten by a few, all the rest will go hungry, and a hungry citizen is an angry citizen”. It is in fact the case now, citizens are frustrated and soon will erupt and spiral out of control, unless you act and act now to save your fame.

Secondly, those who nearly murdered Deng Athuai need to be identified immediately or else, we, in the civil society will always remain knowing your government apparatus did it.

Lastly, the SPLA soldiers who killed Mayol Kuch, the South Sudan-American citizen need to face the law and get contained so they don’t kill another person.

Butrus Ajak is a concerned South Sudan citizen, Australia 

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent those of the website.

South Sudanese nationalism in post-independence era

By Jacob K. Lupai: South Sudanese did not struggle for a nation of their own but were forced to do so in conditions beyond their control. This assertion may not go down well with those who believed that from day one South Sudanese aspirations were totally a nation of their own. Arguably if that was the case South Sudanese would have to exert every effort in nation building. This is because South Sudanese are of diverse tribes, languages, cultures, states and outlook that may easily polarize them. They may be people of one race but this is not enough to instill nationalism as more often loyalty seems to be to one’s tribe or clan rather than to nation building for prosperity to all. There is therefore not yet such a thing as South Sudanese nationalism but it can be cultivated.

Southern Sudanese in pre-independence era

We may need to know more in-depth about Southern Sudan from historians. However, in brief the history of Southern Sudan has been about slavery and domination, and resistance of the people to be freemen in the land of their birth. The modern history of Southern Sudan is therefore a history of struggle for freedom, equality and justice. The struggle was against Northern Sudan with its notorious Arab component that was terrorizing the people of Southern Sudan. The struggle was also against foreign rule and occupation of Southern Sudan by the Turks, Mahdists and the British. People of Southern Sudan had a long history of struggle for freedom but as people of separate tribes without coordination in their struggle until lately. The Arabs of Northern Sudan exploited and plundered resources in Southern Sudan with impunity. However, this was not received submissively. Despite poor weaponry the people of Southern Sudan put up heroic resistance against northern Arab slave traders. Heroism was the characteristic of Southern Sudan in the struggle throughout the pre-independence era.

Juba Conference of 1947

As though to pacify Southern Sudan for submission and exploitation a hasty conference was convened in Juba by the British colonial administration. The main objective of what became known as the Juba Conference of 1947 was to gain the support of the unsuspecting people of Southern Sudan for the realization of one united independent Sudan. Northern Sudan agitated for the conference to be convened. The conference, obviously serving the interest of Northern Sudan, urgently wanted Southern Sudan to agree immediately on the unification of Southern and Northern Sudan.

The British colonial administration erroneously concluded that Southern Sudan was inextricably bound for future development to the Middle East, Arabia and Northern Sudan. In its erroneous conclusion and naivety the British colonial administration merely hoped that Southern Sudan would be equipped to take its place in future as socially and economically the equal of Northern Sudan in the Sudan of future. It was to take Southern Sudan 64 (1947-2011) costly years to correct the British colonial administration erroneous conclusion and naivety about the unity of Sudan. It was of interest that Britain was among the first to recognize the independence of Southern Sudan as the Republic of South Sudan on the day independence was attained.

In the Juba Conference of 1947 southern participants made an eloquent argument against a hasty unity with Northern Sudan. However, one northern participant was so persuasive that southern participants swallowed the bait for unity without perceiving what would become of Southern Sudan, which was once a hunting ground for slaves, in a united Sudan. However, at any rate the decision on unity of Sudan had already been taken by the British colonial administration in favour of Northern Sudan.

Torit uprising of 1955

The erroneous conclusion and naivety of the British colonial administration that Southern Sudan would be socially and economically the equal of Northern Sudan in the Sudan of future was confirmed when the British left. Also, the persuasion of the northern participants in the Juba Conference of 1947 that southerners would be treated as equals to their northern counterparts was nothing but a deception. When Sudanisation of the civil and public service was made, out of 800 posts Sudanised less than I per cent of the posts went to southerners. How could the British colonial administration and the northern participants in the Juba Conference of 1947 explain this gross marginalization of the people of Southern Sudan? On their part southerners saw this as the substitution of hostile Arab colonialism for a limited and benevolent British colonial rule.

The hostility of southerners for the northern domination surfaced violently when southern soldiers in the Equatoria Corp based at Torit mutinied in 1955 marking the first armed uprising for fair treatment in modern history of Southern Sudan. The cause of the mutiny was clearly dissatisfaction when southerners saw that the Arabs were going to install themselves as new colonial masters in Southern Sudan. What southerners saw was the complete transfer of the colonial structures intact from Britain to the northern Sudanese to colonise Southern Sudan. Southerners were left with no influence on the future of Southern Sudan. A choice had to be made either submission or resistance. The latter was chosen.

Addis Ababa Agreement of 1972

The uprising at Torit in 1955 marked the start of a protracted armed struggle against domination by Northern Sudan. The armed struggle intensified when in 1958 a military coup took place where the military regime enthusiastically embarked on a vigorous programme of Arabisation and Islamisation which led to increased repression in Southern Sudan. This in turn made occasional skirmishes to escalate into a full-fledged civil war. Southerners saw no peaceful solution in sight except an intensified protracted armed struggle for freedom, equality and justice. However, in 1969 another military coup took place but this time the second military regime took a different approach, that of resolving the problem through a negotiated settlement. In 1972 a peace agreement was signed in the Ethiopian capital and the agreement came to be known as the Addis Ababa Agreement.

The Addis Ababa Agreement of 1972 granted Southern Sudan a local autonomy. With the agreement in place economic development and the establishment of political and administrative institutions became a priority in Southern Sudan. Arguably one of the most important results of the Addis Ababa Agreement was the establishment of Southern Sudan as an autonomous region with its parliament and a high executive council. However, manipulation of southern politics and interference from Northern Sudan caused the regional government to lose effectiveness. Leniency in dealing with corruption and rampant tribalism contributed to the negative perception of the regional government. Eventually the Addis Ababa Agreement was abrogated arguably because of the ugliest face of tribalism taken advantage of by Northern Sudan.

Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005

The abrogation of the Addis Ababa Agreement of 1972 was a blessing in disguise. The liberation struggle in Southern Sudan gathered unprecedented momentum that Southern Sudan was ultimately to become independent in its own right. After a 22-year war a comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) was reached in 2005 that, unlike the Addis Ababa Agreement, granted Southern Sudan the right to self-determination with an interim period of 6 years after which a referendum would take place for Southern Sudan to choose either to remain united with Northern Sudan or to secede and become an independent country.

The experience of Juba Conference of 1947 was quite enough for people to have learned about the unity of Sudan. This was also reinforced by a message from none other than Dr John Garang de Mabior, the charismatic leader of the second revolutionary armed struggle, who said, “I and those who joined me in the bush and fought for more than twenty years have brought to you CPA on a golden plate. Our mission is accomplished. It is now your turn, especially those who did not have a chance to experience bush life. When time comes to vote at referendum, it is your golden choice to determine your fate. Would you like to vote to be second class citizen in your own country? It is absolutely your choice”.

Who would really be a fool to vote for unity of Sudan that was racially and religiously discriminative? However, some southerners who ignored how their brethren were treated in a united Sudan shamefully voted for unity of Sudan. Fortunately they were a very tiny minority that the southerners who voted for secession and independence had sweet dreams the day the one result of the referendum was announced. The cherished result was a massive 98.43 per cent for secession and independence of Southern Sudan.

Meaning of independence

The more than 98 per cent of people of all tribes in Southern Sudan did not vote for independence for fun. The overwhelming vote for independence precisely meant people earnestly wanted freedom from human rights violations and services for a decent standard of living. In short people wanted a life different from the one before independence. Southern Sudanese did not need a lecture on problems with Northern Sudan in order to vote for secession and independence. They were already self-taught and experienced firsthand Arab’s arrogance of treating southerners as second class citizens. The experience gained in living with northerners, especially the Arabs, should have made southerners experts in nation building. However, southerners seem to be extremely slow learners and practitioners in putting something for the common good into practice in promoting unity.

South Sudanese nationalism

After attaining independence are South Sudanese nationalistic? Some may answer in the affirmative that indeed South Sudanese are nationalistic for they couldn’t have overwhelmingly voted for secession and independence. On the other hand it can be argued that South Sudanese are not nationalistic but tribalistic. They voted for secession and independence because of the equal suffering endured under the heavy handed Arab colonialism that was utterly dehumanizing and unbearable. After removing the Arab mean colonial actions there is very little that binds South Sudanese together. Unless some visionary revolutionaries produce concepts that are practically unifying, it is difficult to see how South Sudan will not be disunited.

Victims of crime do not get justice as their loved ones are murdered in cold blood. The constitution is violated with impunity, for example, when land grabbers violate and commit criminal offense by depriving legitimate land owners of their property. Worse still land grabbers beat up and threaten to kill legitimate owners of the grabbed property. The law seems to be hardly enforced. In all this tribalism appears to play a part. There is no way one can conclude with absolute certainty that South Sudanese are nationalistic. The predominant culture seems to be that of greed and tribalism with lip service as part of a careful public relations exercise. Nationalism if any is abstractly remote from the reality on the ground.

Conclusion

In conclusion, South Sudanese nationalism in post independence era is still abstract and remote. The overwhelming vote for secession and independence was an expression of aggregate rejection of Arab colonialism. There is hardly any evidence that nationalism played a part. Rampant corruption, insecurity, tribalism and nepotism, and tribal conflicts seem to confirm this. Nationalists put the country first with equitable access to resources and services but not self-enrichment and tribal appointment of officials. However, nationalism can be cultivated and sustained, and the sooner nationalism is cultivated the better for the unity of South Sudan. It is to avoid all the negatives that may contribute to disunity. JULY 21/2012, SSN.

The author can be reached at jklupai@googlemail.cpm

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent those of the website.

The author can be reached at jklupai@googlemail.com

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent those of the website.

The first anniversary of independence under a chaotic regime of tribal gangs

BY: ELHag Paul, JUBA AUG. 16/2012, SSN; Like a spoilt little brat sniffing glue, it neither listens nor learns from its mistakes.  It just carries on doing all the wrong things antagonizing every body; it has unknowingly slipped into a state of trance.  Now with its first birthday, it expects everyone to celebrate it and praise its imaged and drummed up achievements that never have been.  Well, the celebration itself tells a different story.  If South Sudan does not learn from the messages of this yet again shambolic celebration, then the future does not bode well for it.

As people were gearing themselves for celebration of the first anniversary of independence they were hoping that they would be spared the daily horrific news of crime.  That was not to be.  They had to live with the reality of Oyee poor governance even during festive periods.  The Oyee ruling party has completely failed to protect its citizens.  Every morning people wake up to hear disturbing news of looting, murders and abductions that take place during night time in Juba.  On 4th July 2012, the criminals decided to celebrate the independence of South Sudan by abducting non other than the leader of the Civil Society organisation, Mr Deng Athuai Mawiir.  He was deemed to be a loud mouth and perhaps this is what led to his rough treatment.  His brutal chastisement in Oyee style was a signal to democrats and free thinking South Sudanese to note that the government of the “cow boy hated” Kiir is a totalitarian regime composed of fragmented gangs and it won’t tolerate any criticism. 
The news of Mawiir’s abduction came as a shock to everybody who keeps abreast with developments in the country.  If the leader of Civil Society is not safe, who else is?  The chilling message that the abduction of Mawiir sends silently to the general population, not only disables them but terrorizes them to the core.  Certainly, this is what the criminals intended and this they had delivered with clinical precision.  The abduction is one act which amounts to depriving a citizen of their freedom of movement.  In effect, it is unlawful imprisonment.  Then there was the suffocation with a plastic bag in the car which amounts to literally attempted murder followed by beatings and torturous acts until the victim fell unconscious.  What was all this for?  What did Mawiir do to deserve this kind of barbarity during a festive period?  The questions posed to Mawiir by his assailants such as ‘Is that your father’s money?’ indicate that his call for eradication of corruption must be the reason why he was singled out.  Taking this to be the case, does Mawiir not have the right to express his view?  Why violate his person?  Why was he not openly arrested and charged according to the law if he committed a crime so that he could be tried in a court of law according to the constitution?  It is clear now that we are not to be in any doubt as to who the abductors are?  They must be those guys in black Toyota V8s without number plates cruising around in the streets of Juba.
What is the significance of this sad incident?  Certainly it can be unpacked in many ways.  But, without doubt it is a serious crime perpetuated by those in position of power whose motive is clear.  They want to keep the loot of over $4 billion at all cost.  In order to keep the loot, they must silence the people and to silence the people they must terrorise them.  This is the modus operandi of all totalitarian regimes.  Hence, the abuse meted on Mawiir is a warning to all to forget about the issue of corruption or else the consequence can be dire.  Fighting corruption is a dangerous business as John Githongo the anti corruption tsar of Kenya found out to his detriment.  Githongo had to flee to the UK to save his life from powerful quarters in Kenya.  Paradoxically, he is now advisor to non other than Don Salvatore, the lord of corruption in RSS himself.
 
While the literature explicitly with examples from West Africa to Russia acknowledges that fighting corruption is dangerous, this should not deter us from confronting the criminals in Juba to recover the people’s resources.  Terror is the business of cowards who hope to hide behind it.  Terrorists know that they can not win support of the people through talking thus they resort to violence.  The abductors of Mawiir belong to this class.  They know that they unlawfully stole people’s resources and they are trying to terrorise the people.  This is not acceptable and it must be confronted by people’s power.  When the people come together and stand firm nothing can stop them.  People’s power has smashed the one time thought iron fist leaders like Causescou of Romania, Amin of Uganda, Gaddaffi of Libya, Mubarak of Egypt and the list can go back to the days of Aristotle.  
 
These so called strong men, when things come to head, they and their henchmen who always are their tribes mate start running about like ‘rats’ and hiding in culverts but when as now they are yet exploiting tribalism and the divisions they sowed in society, they are audacious in their cowardly acts such as in the abuse of Mawiir.
 
The other significance of Mawiir’s abduction showcases the absence of security in RSS and the rule of gangs.  It is no secret that all the generals in the SPLM/A have their own body guards whom they recruited personally and are paid for by the government through them.  These body guards who normally are tribe mates pay their allegiance directly to these generals.  To make sense of this, just walk around Juba and have a look at the houses of the ministers and generals.  The first thing one sees are numerous huts (tukuls) occupied by soldiers and their families at the backyard of the residences of these generals.  These are the tribal bodyguards as well as members of the SPLA.  This contradictory security arrangement negates the role of the state as the protector of its officials and people. 
 
In all non failed states, government employees are protected by the members of the law enforcement agencies who are recruited from all over the country based on fitness and merit.  These bodies prepare their daily, weekly, monthly and yearly rotas to ensure that the senior government officials are well protected by the state.  Senior officials do not rely on their kin and kith for security but on professional protection service from state organs.  In RSS, it is the other way round.  Bodyguards are tribes mate recruited by the tribal lords solely on grounds of tribe.  No fitness and merit is considered and they are answerable to their own tribal lords, or the generals.  The law enforcement agencies are packed with members of the ruling tribe – the largest chunk does not even know a word of Arabic or English.  If they happen to see something suspicious they either shoot or arrest and begin beating the suspect without questions asked and if the suspect is unlucky he/she could lose their life.  A good example to enlighten the reader is the case of the Kenyan school teacher Miss Tabitha Musangi employee of Dr John Garang International School.  While the flag was being lowered on 13th May 2012, the unfortunate lady in a car happened to be passing near Dr John Garang mausoleum.  The body guard of the mausoleum thought they broke the law and he instantly without halting the car and asking questions responded by shooting at the passing car killing the teacher and wounding the driver.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y635vawHBt4 This is the consequences of having a failed tribal government with illiterate and brutal tribal forces.
With this point in mind and looking at the structure of SPLM/A described above, what emerges is a very complex system of clanism, predominately dominated by one tribe interwoven into the wider structure of government of South Sudan.  It is this amorphous structure that disables the machinery of the state in South Sudan from functioning as it should.  What matters in this structure is the tribal interest of those holding the levers of power. Anybody questioning this system regardless of tribe, no matter who he/she is, will find themselves in hot soup by any of these gangs just like Mawiir.  Though, Mawiir is a Jieng from Warrap, the president’s hub, he is seen as a threat to the wider interest of the Jieng people as a whole and therefore he must be dealt with accordingly. 
 
The most surprising thing is that the Jieng who support this backward and primitive style of governance are so loud in labeling anybody who disagrees with their tribalism as a tribalist.  Read the various papers and websites specialising in RSS issues and you would not miss this pertinent point.  The practitioners of tribalism are loud in throwing the tribal label at any one in order to distract the masses from their vicious tribalism and to entrench their hegemony.  It is interesting that this kind of behaviour was exactly practised by the Arabs against the African tribes in the then Sudan.  Recall the failed coup attempts carried out by people of African origin like the coup of Hassan Hussein in 1974.  The Arabs called it a racist coup while forgetting that they the Arabs were the masters of racism.  So, what we have in RSS now is the mirror of this nasty behaviour.  It is a case of the abuser blaming his victims for their predicament which he is responsible for – a classic example of abuse of state power by demagogues a psychological pathos resulting from oppression.
 
While in the short term the rulers can massively benefit from this mismanagement of state affairs eventually it is self defeating because essentially this negative behaviour fragments the society.  The abused and disadvantaged groups (general masses) consciously will dissociate from the state as the vital links of social trust that bind the people to the state are eroded or broken.  RSS will not mean anything to the average person on the street.  The people will be alien to their own government and country and this is when serious situations of unquantifiable destruction and loss like what happened in Libya and what is presently taking place in Syria begin to happen.  RSS does not need this.  We can stop this now by working together towards a healthy society.  So, for a start, let us begin to talk honestly about the vices taking place in our country to appreciate the magnitude of the problem.  If a Bari is doing wrong, he/she must be told and if a Jieng is doing wrong, likewise he/she must be told.  Then let us isolate and challenge those practising tribalism and corruption as a way of rebuilding social trust among ourselves to regain our collective worth.  This is the only way forward, otherwise the future looks bleak under Oyee as it is driving us towards an inevitable internal conflict.
Back to the issue of Mawiir. His abduction could have been committed by anyone, but the fact the victim was asked why he talked about corruption raises questions as to the motives and characters of the assailants.   We know who would not want the corruption problem to be dealt with – Don Kiir and his acolytes.  Do not take Don Kiir’s façade of his letters to the 75 thieves seriously.  He is a liar.  Remember on 23rd September 2011 he lied to the UN General Assembly on this very issue of corruption.  And again it appears he may have lied to a president of a friendly country which ended with an apology from him in written.  Lastly, he personally confessed to lying during the Independence Day in 2011 by saying “anihna ma akazib bitana da” meaning us and our lies.  Secondly, the government has not denounced this barbaric act in the strongest terms possible.  Thirdly, no mention of what would be done to deter such acts of violence. Is it any wonder why RSS is a failed state?  The sad thing is that Mawiir’s torture symbolizes the closure of the first anniversary of independence under a chaotic regime of tribal gangs.
 
The international community correctly sensing what type of government in South Sudan they are dealing with has become cautious.  They are gradually distancing themselves.  As they do this, RSS becomes more and more of a pariah state.  The evidence to this can be deduced from the way the international community ignored the invitations extended to them by GoSS to attend the first anniversary of South Sudan independence.  Of all the invitees, only president Museveni of Uganda turned up.  The rest including Kenya which benefits massively from South Sudan did not show up.  To appear polite, these dissatisfied countries and international organisations dispatched very junior or low ranking officials to represent them in the event.  In diplomatic speak that was tantamount to a snub and a withdrawal of confidence in the rulers of new country.  As you can see the damage is already done. 
 
On the Independence Day itself, the president’s speech turned out to be a recycled version of his speech delivered on Independence Day in 2011.  It was all full of lofty ideals but empty in tangible substance as the “cow boy hatted” president failed to live up to his words in his first year of rule.  He promised democracy but delivered Dinkocracy.  He promised eradication of corruption but delivered millioniarisation of Oyee apparatchiks.  He promised lean government but delivered a bloated government.  He promised law and order but delivered lawlessness and insecurity throughout the country.  He promised equality but delivered tribalism.  He promised policies of good neighbourliness but delivered conflicts.  He promised good governance but delivered mismanagement.  He promised government of the people but delivered a government run by foreigners and miscreants.  Name anything and the opposite holds true.   
 
Because of Oyee’s spectacular failures in governance, they have managed to squander the good will of the international community towards RSS.  In just one year they turned the entire world against our country.  If this is allowed to continue, all of us will sink with Oyee.  The cracks under the boat created by Oyee misgovernance need to be sealed quickly before they widen and water begins to gush into the boat.  So president Kiir should use the realities of the poor balance sheet of RSS’ first year of business to speak to all the opposition political parties, armed groups, civil societies and religious leaders in order to hold a convention of the people of South Sudan.  This is the only way RSS can be salvaged.[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]
Elhag Paul, RSS;  elhagpaul@aol.com

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent those of the website.